Voice vs. Exit

I feel the title is a bit misleading but I wanted to draw a comparison between the voice and exit dichotomy and my real topic which is established vs frontier politics.  First voice vs. exit is mired in the democratic mind set.  Voice assumes that someone is going to listen to you and certainly in the case of a private business someone might listen to you, but in the case of democracy it is almost guaranteed they won’t.  Your opinion only matters if it happen to align with what the powers that be already want.  At best you will be ignored, at worst you will be derided and insulted (maybe imprisoned).  So let us talk politics.  Not the sort of democratic politics, no elections, votes or pandering.  Lets talk real politics conquering, buying, subverting, capturing.  The world as it exists today is virtually conquered, at least the good parts.  Places with well established property rights are also the places where government is strongest.  Now these institutions might not last forever they might collapse but they may also persist limping along.  So where is the exit, where is the frontier?  Certainly it is difficult to imagine a frontier existing on earth in the near future.  Maybe I lack imagination but without collapse I don’t see an region in the world where nascent government might take over.  Some libertarians think that the frontier is seasteading or establishing colonies in South America.  Certainly this might work, but it will never be a nation.  Even if they were so successful that began to draw large crowds.  Either could be subverted by entryism by the left (which is already happening to the libertarian movement anyways) turning a Singapore style island into dead broke multi-culti California.  Or in the case of a libertarian colony success could easily lead to the natives turning violent.  Envy is a powerful emotion and hyper efficient capitalist Europeans and poor socialist Mestizos probably don’t mix well.  On a side note while I would welcome a Singapore style Chinese special economic zone in the U.S. I would bet money that they are going to piss someone off whether it be America first patriots, the gay mafia or other minorities.  Though it would be hilarious to see a reenactment of Tienanmen square with transsexuals.  Colonialism even of the benign kind rubs people the wrong way.  It is completely irrational people are stealing nothing from you by doing business in your country, even if they take resources in most cases the natives couldn’t even ship them to market anyways.  I understand that a colony is an invasion, but is usually a very organized and peaceful invasion (in modern times).  Its one thing if a bunch of poor invaders are overwhelming your social system its another if a bunch of rich invaders are making investments.  But I will admit whether you like dislike colonialism of any type  has more to do with aesthetic preferences.  But I digress.

What about the other options for frontiers?  Space is probably the most promising it has the potential for endless exit.  This comes of course at a cost.  Colonies would be dependent on the outside world till they developed to a certain level and colonization requires huge amounts of investment.  I will hopefully be making a full post on space and exit soon.


2 thoughts on “Voice vs. Exit

  1. “Frontier” evokes images of a place without any human inhabitants.

    However, many “frontiers” have actually had hostile human inhabitants.

    The first problem is that communication and transport have advanced, so if you try to homestead Detroit, you might become a target, and raiders might use gasoline-powered vehicles to surround you much more quickly than you could rally a defense.

    The larger problem is that if you defended yourself against raiders, the neighboring lawyers might see you as a larger threat than the raiders.

    • I agree if one is going to start something on the frontiers there had better not be any lawyers around. Frontiers require much more brute force and a lot less finesse like dealing with protocol and lawyers. A semi-inhabited frontier is going to have to be self sufficient on the self-defense front or at least last long enough for help to arrive.

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