I’m a child of the 1960s and 1970s. I grew up in the era of the war in Vietnam, hippies, LSD, and “do your own thing.”
My friends and I never understood how the “land of the free” could round up eighteen-year-old boys and force them to fight in a war that was 8,000 miles away.
More than 50,000 US soldiers died in that war, including a few of my friends – and untold millions of Vietnamese people.
My circle of friends thought there had to be a better way. And there is. It’s a decentralized world without nation-states, without government coercion, without war, and without the enforced extraction of wealth via taxation.
A world like this isn’t just a pipe dream, either. Throughout history, societies have successfully existed this way. One of the best-documented examples was in central Turkey, at a site now occupied by the modern city of Catalhoyuk.
My friend and colleague Paul Rosenberg summed it up when he wrote about Catalhoyuk several years ago:
[a state with no central authority]
We know these statements are factual based on overwhelming archeological evidence. Catalhoyuk had no large central square that could have been devoted to political gatherings or religious expression. Skeletons of inhabitants display no telltale bone damage that could only be incurred by blunt-force trauma or blades. Every dwelling had its own food storage bins.
Men and women appear to have been equal. Chemical analysis of the remains of both sexes shows that they ate similar diets and spent the same amount of time in their homes.
It’s easy to conclude that Catalhoyuk could never be replicated today. Here’s what critics fear would happen if society moved in the direction of a decentralized world order without nation-states in charge. As Rosenberg puts it:
Read this list again. Does it sound familiar? It should, because it describes the world we live in today.
A world of nation-states doesn’t protect us from these conditions. It facilitates them.
Indeed, an exhaustive study by Professor R.J. Rummel, author of , concluded that in the 20th century alone, governments killed some 262 million people. Rummel coined the term “democide” to describe these killings:
According to Rummel, the largest democides of the 20th century were:
· By the Chinese Communist Party (77 million dead)
· By the Russian Communist Party (62 million dead)
· By the German Nazi party (21 million dead)
Rummel’s research concludes that six times as many people died from the actions of governments in the 20th century than died in battle.
Is there a way forward from this incredibly sad state of affairs? I believe there is. A “decentralized world order,” as Rosenberg describes it, won’t happen all at once. Nor will it lead to the immediate end of the nation-state. But I think we’ve already passed the zenith of the nation-state, with the “global village” of the Internet paving the way.
It’s now possible to communicate instantaneously online with anyone, wherever they live (North Korea and a handful of other totalitarian countries excluded).
Talking about the global village sounds cliché, but it’s already here. I have friends in more than fifteen countries. In many cases, I have a great deal more in common with these individuals than with, say, the typical supporter of Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. And I have a great deal more to fear from my own countrymen than, say, people in North Korea or Iran.
Decentralized systems are emerging everywhere. For instance, the business world long ago realized that a centralized justice system wasn’t agile enough to adjudicate commercial disputes. That’s how binding arbitration became the preferred mechanism for international commerce.
Thanks to crypto-currencies like bitcoin, the nation-state is losing control over the money its citizens use, and it’s losing the ability to extract forced contributions via taxation. With crypto-currencies, you can now make secure electronic transactions with anyone, anywhere in the world. Much to their chagrin, governments have no effective way to control this, short of shutting down the internet.
It’s become patently obvious that the nation-state can’t fulfill the promises made to its citizens. In the US, for instance, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the social security system will become insolvent in 2029. That’s only 12 years away. The unfunded liabilities reported by state and local pension plans come to nearly $1 trillion. But according to accounting experts, the real shortfall comes to around $3 trillion.
How do we start to build our own decentralized systems? Each of us will do this in our own way. Whether you’re a constitutionalist, a libertarian, a Tea Partier, or an anarchist, organize yourself with like-minded people. Then by the fruits of your actions, prove your way is better than what we have now.
The common factor in our efforts is to from those overseeing us. If enough people withdraw consent from a business and stop buying its products, the business fails. It will work – and is working – the same way with the nation-state.
One way to withdraw consent from the nation-state is to stop using its fiat currency. Instead, use gold, silver, or bitcoin, etc. – stores of wealth that both benefit you and weaken the authority of the nation-state over your wealth. Investing assets outside your own country is another way to withdraw consent. Those assets are now much more difficult for your government to seize against your will.
Withdrawing consent from oppressive governments is hardly a new idea. Indeed, one organization, the Albert Einstein Institution, has been working along these lines for decades. It has even prepared a list of 198 methods of non-violent protest and persuasion.
There is a better way forward. The people of Catalhoyuk proved it at the dawn of civilization. Now it’s our turn to apply their example to our own time.
Mark Nestmann [send him mail] is a journalist with more than 20 years of investigative experience and is a charter member of The Sovereign SocietyCouncil of Experts . He has authored over a dozen books and many additional reports on wealth preservation, privacy and offshore investing. Mark serves as president of his own international consulting firm, The Nestmann Group, Ltd.. The Nestmann Group provides international wealth preservation services for high-net worth individuals. Mark is an Associate Member of the American Bar Association (member of subcommittee on Foreign Activities of U.S. Taxpayers, Committee on Taxation) and member of the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2005, he was awarded a Masters of Laws (LL.M) degree in international tax law at the Vienna (Austria) University of Economics and Business Administration.
Copyright © 2017 Mark Nestmann