This Island is My Land

This Island is My Land Ashley Dace

When market-libertarians seek to establish and engineer their own so called ‘anti-states’ that do not hold the same obligations and requirements as a nation-state, one of which being taxation, can one allocate such behaviour simply to a realm of capitalist profit-insurance?

Or are there deeper-seated ideals at work here? Nicolas Rose has argued that we live in an age where freedom enjoys an overarching normative position in our society. Freedom is the principal, which we utilise to organise our political, social and economic world.

The ‘free world’ and the ‘free market’ have seemingly triumphed over totalitarian systems, command economies and planned economies to become a hegemonic concept in which we both measure others and ourselves. Varying degrees or levels of freedom is a notion that we encounter constantly in comparing different societies - and implicitly the morality of said societies. Rose has further argued that there is an underlying consensus in the fact that human beings are naturally free and therefore must ensure that their freedom is upheld both through state governance and self-governance.

When state governance perceivably fails to uphold the notion of freedom for its citizens its authority is delegitimized. However, the concept of freedom includes a myriad of definitions. In most contemporary nation-states the concept of freedom serves in balance with a notion of security and well being of citizens, which generally are state-regulated to different degrees. How this balance is conceived and defined differs from state to state; yet, the accepted fact is that there must be in place some form of state-regulation – however minimal – to ensure the continuing freedom and security of citizens. It is here perhaps that the ideals and views of market-libertarians or ‘anarchic-capitalists’ stand out as something separate from more conventional market-capitalism.

For they seek what they define as the ‘ultimate freedom’ where all societal and economic systems are allowed to unfold unrestrained. Therefore, although one may be quick to judge the establishments of ‘liberalist anti-states’ on remote islands as ‘escape geographies’ from state-regulation and taxation, one could also argue that such ‘escape geographies’ are attempts to not only escape but also to seek out something greater – a sense of ‘ultimate freedom’.

Associate Professor at Cornell University, Raymond Craib, will elaborate on the concept of market-libertarians and what he has termed their ‘escape geographies’ of anti-state islands at Studentersamfunnet’s Upop event this upcoming Tuesday, October 13th.

By Lina Halvorsen

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