There’s a premise that I’ve accepted as true since I was in high school. The premise’s survival in the face on many years of new information tends to suggest that the premise has some validity.
The premise is this: The human system, as a whole, is anarchic.
Yes, we have nation-states. Yes, we have corporations. Yes, we have elites. Yes, there are people in charge. But, try as they might, there is no single entity that has absolute control over humanity.
At the very top of the global social ladder, there are opposing interests, offsetting forces and competing entities. And, as this is the top of the pyramid, with nothing governing it, the churn here is subject to the laws of emergence and market dynamics.
And as above, so below. From the yacht clubs of Massachusettes to the black hole of Calcutta, governance exists in pockets. Control exists in finite zones that emerge within an overall system of anarchy. And if these zones are seen as discreet bodies within the anarchic system, we can see that they emerge and behave according to the laws of the system that they inhabit.
In other words, a government is the product of a free market.
Empires rise and fall. Kings are as subject to economics as a business owner. Certainly, a king may control the money supply in his realm, but he can’t violate natural law. A king can’t print money indiscriminately and avoid the consequences any more than he can hover in midair.
Between kingdoms there are natural laws, too. As von Clausewitz said, war begins when diplomacy fails. Between individuals a fist fight might result from failed negotiations at a tavern. Of course, there are laws pertaining to that. But what law stops one nation from invading another? Only alliances, quasi-influential international bodies and other artifices have any effect on international relations. These artifices are the product of an anarchic system.
So, seen from the moon, we realize that we already live in a free market system. When anyone talks about, or lobbies, for market freedom they are doing it on a local basis. To work for free markets is a dismantling process, an uncovering of human layers to reveal what lies below.
But let’s remember that these zones of control are temporary. They may last for a long time. Just as an overfunded business can operate at a loss for years on end, a government with faulty financial policies can run for a long long time. But in the end they will fail. No entity, coporeal or corporate, can evade the laws of its environment.
“Nature Bats Last” says the bumper sticker. It’s really true. And if we believe that market forces are natural laws, then the agorist has already won. His only struggle is with his local situation.