How do we get to a fully-free society?

published Aug 21, 2019

A hypothesis.

I strongly disbelieve that any existing nation in the world will ever be able to achieve fully free (zero tax) status on its own. On any timescale. It just can't be done.

The reason it cannot be done is because the vast majority of people have already been taught to be dependent on their government in at least some capacity. And their governments are continually producing waves and waves of people with that exact same mindset.  In short: these people are already broken.

"This is the way we do things here" has very potent appeal.

Thus, I'm pretty sure that the first fully free societies will begin as a slow exodus from developed nations — by people who are high-achievers, don't want to be taxed anymore, and are willing to pay only for the services they agree to.  Their probable destinations will be floating seasteads to "economic free zones" in lands where a political compromise is found (think Hong Kong).

Then, as these communities grow and present more of an appeal to outsiders, more and more people will flock there.  Of course, there'll be high requirements for people to join, much as it is the case today in Switzerland and Singapore.  This will continue until most of the talent pool from the other nations has left them behind.

At this point, the nations of origin will have no choice but to implement the successful economic policies of those homesteads, or crumble. This will be brutally hard on the remaining populaces, because people who remained behind will be largely takers rather than producers. But well, that's what they voted for... so, in a very real way, it's hard to feel sympathy for the victims of that inevitable outcome.

Does this sound familiar to you?

This is already happening. If you are in a highly-developed nation, and you are an expat, you need no more than to look at all the expats around you. They're all high-skilled, they've all left circumstances that were in some way oppressive to them, and your country is likely lower tax than anyplace you and they came from (as an example of a successful economic policy).  If people do this today, it is natural to assume people will do this when even more favorable circumstances present themselves.

That said, this wave of talent migration will be a multi-generational project.  And there are still some technological barriers — for example, I don't expect to see a tax-free society tomorrow, barring a giant leap in solutions to the technical problems of seasteading.

Competition amongst societies is the way that a free society will be bootstrapped.  We already have competition amongst societies.  The process will continue.

It's inevitable.