Max Borders and Jeffrey Tuckers wrote an article in FEE recently that listed 50 ways that people are working around State obstacles and “leaving Leviathan.” Here are a few key excerpts from the article (and 10 of my favorite examples of creative destruction and “leaving Leviathan”):
State management of society is not only contrary to human liberty; it is also unworkable. It cannot achieve what it seeks to achieve, which is often all-round control of some sector of economic and social life. The attempt provokes a social backlash. People find loopholes and workarounds or just invent new ways to make progress possible. This is because people will not be caged. They struggle to be free and sometimes they succeed.
In our times, innovation has provided people with more tools. And often they use these tools to get around the barriers that politicians and bureaucrats have erected. Some of us take note of them every day. And while we may revel in their cleverness, we don’t take time to look at the big picture. Here is where this phenomenon of small ways to break out from and break down the system—which pop culture often labels “breaking bad”—gets really interesting.
Here are just 50 ways people are working around State obstacles (here are 10 of my favorite examples, see the full list at the article link):
1. Airbnb: This service allows people to rent out their homes for a couple of days. It offers competitive prices compared to hotels and gets around the whole of the regulatory apparatus, zoning control, union monopolies, and other barriers to entry. Of course, in some states, hotel cartels aren’t happy.
2. Uber: Taxis have their licenses, which drive up fares. It’s a cozy and well-protected cartel. Uber lets you get around this system, finding great rides in clean cars for better fares—all while checking (gasp! unlicensed) chauffeurs with reputation ratings.
3. Concierge healthcare: Doctors are opting out of Obamacare and the third-party payer system. Pay them up front and pay them out of pocket. Get the care you need and go buy a catastrophic plan if you can (instead of taking whatever’s on the Obamacare exchanges).
4. 3-D printing: Not only will people circumvent unconstitutional gun restrictions (like Cody Wilson has), but people will be able easily to get around patents and regulations by printing their own high-flow showerheads. When everyone is a maker, no one is regulated.
6. The raw milk movement: The government has tried for decades to suppress this unpasteurized brew, but fans won’t be stopped. Buyers’ clubs are everywhere. The more the feds crack down, the more the demand for the product grows.
7. Medical marijuana/decriminalization: States are relaxing their prohibitions on marijuana. It’s becoming increasingly clear that the drug war is lost and that some drugs, like cannabis, have real therapeutic value. Regardless, prohibition is a fool’s errand and punitive measures are increasingly viewed as cruel and unnecessary. Even as the crackdowns continue, these are the first signs of the Drug War’s obsolescence and popular dissent.
8. Private schooling/homeschooling: If you don’t like the government schools, take your kids out. Millions of families are doing it. Some are even forming virtual coops and getting content from online sources.
9. Online education: Are you after a real education or a signaling mechanism? MOOCs and other online sources (like Khan Academy) are reducing the costs of education—away from the inflated guild of higher ed and publicly funded indoctrination camps.
10. Food trucks: Bricks-and-mortar restaurants love regulations because they can keep a boot on the necks of competitors. That’s why cities that tolerate food truck culture are giving these restaurants a run for their money. If you can stand to eat your tacos on a park bench, it might be worth hitting a food trailer—the ultimate in microentrepreneurship. They are often at the forefront of experimentation and variety.
How long will the State be able to keep up with the dizzying pace of innovation, as this civil disobedience hydra sprouts two heads in the place of any one severed? Unless the State gets really repressive really fast (and we’re all prepared to let them), its functionaries will not be able to control the swarms and the gales of creative destruction those swarms bring with them. Fifty ways will become 50,000. This is our present. This is our future.
HT: Mike LaFaive