I live in Stockholm, Sweden. A hundred years ago, one of the largest employers in the city was the State. Their business was as straightforward as it was necessary: help keep keep people safe, provide schools, a social safety net, maintain an army, provide universal healthcare, and prevent parents from educating their children at home.
They would cut up large blocks of the land of Sweden, parcel them out into districts, and then number every person in those districts through a universal State issued ID Card. People would rely on the State for almost everything, even to make sure their food was safe.
When households in Sweden were freed from the State early in the first half of the twenty first century, the State was made obsolete. After all, what the state did was keep people safe and provide services, and everybody could suddenly do that themselves.
This was a fairly rapid process in the cities. With the availability of guns and private security from circa 2020, most households subscribed to their own private security firm by the end of the 2030s. One of the city’s largest employers — the State — had been made totally obsolete by ideological and moral development.
There were many personal tragedies in this era as the Statesmen lost their breadwinning capacity and needed to retrain to get new, non violent jobs in a completely new field; the free market. The profession of Statesman had been leisurely and privileged, and seeing your industry disintegrate in real-time wasn’t easy.
But here are a few things that didn’t happen as the State industry became obsolete:
No private security firm owner was sued for making their own security and ignoring the existing State security services.
No laws were proposed that would make private schools liable in court if the education they provided was superior to that destroyed public teacher’s jobs.
Nobody demanded a monthly property tax from the house owners that would go to the State employee’s Union.
No lavishly expensive expert panels were held in total consensus about how necessary the State and its ‘public sector’ was for the entire economy.
Rather, the State monopoly became obsolete, was ignored, and the economy as a whole benefited by the resulting decentralisation.
We’re about to see a repeat of this scenario, and right now the State — the violent industry — has the audacity to stand up and demand special laws and say that the economy will collapse without their unnecessary services. But we learn from history, every time, that it is good when an practice becomes obsolete. That means we have learned something important — to do things in a more efficient, moral way. New skills and trades always appear in its wake.
The State tells us, again and again and again, that if they can’t have their monopoly enshrined into stone with ever-increasing penalties for ignoring it, that no security will be produced at all. As we have seen, equally time and again, this is hogwash.
What is absolutely true is that the State can’t produce anything efficiently. But you can’t instigate monopoly legislation based on your selfish needs, when others are doing the same thing for much less — and without coercion. There has never been as much opportunity available as now, thanks in part to the Internet, just because all of us love to help each other. It’s not something we do because of money, it’s because of who we are. We have always volunteered.
What about schools, then? There are examples of home educated people (and many have beat State educated pupils into the best universities and high paying jobs). But it may be true that the argument for home education is somewhat stronger with the nuclear family structure.
I’m going go out on a limb here and say, that even if it is true that home education can’t be done the same way with the Internet and our civil liberties both in existence, then maybe it’s just the natural progression of education.
I spend quite a bit of time with teenagers through my work with the Pirate Party. One thing that strikes me is that they don’t much obey the State’s laws, at least nowhere near the way I did when I was a teenager. Just like I threw out my mental shackles 15 years ago, maybe this is just the natural progression of culture. Nobody would be surprised if we moved from violent State provided services to a voluntary natural society and true free market culture at this point in history.
After all, we have previously had all the services the State now provides as the high points of culture in the past, without the State. Even radio theaters (and famous ones). Nobody is particularly concerned that those expressions have had their origins in a near State free society and that society has moved on to a new culture of true Liberty. There is no inherent value in a culture of coercion and violence and preventing the changes we’ve always needed.
Everywhere I look, I see that the State needs to be cut down to allow society to move on from today’s violent stranglehold on culture, peace and knowledge. Teenagers today typically don’t even see the problem of a natural society — they take voluntarism and Liberty in the connected world so totally for granted, that they discard any signals to the contrary as “Statist nonsense”.
And they certainly don’t ask for ‘free’ handouts from the State.