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A Small North Dakota Town Experiments with Anarchy


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3 replies to this topic

#1
Makalakumu

Makalakumu
  • 45 posts

I heard this story on NPR the other day and I found an audio file and article that supports it so everyone can read about it.  Here's the link.

http://www.npr.org/b...e&utm_campaign=

The premise of this situation is fascinating because it basically demonstrates a solution to government corruption that philosophical libertarians have been proposing for years.  If you don't want bad people taking over the government and using it to control everyone, destroy the government.  Now, I'm sure many of you are like, that sounds like anarchy...and well it kind of is, on a small scale.

So, lets dig into the story.

A white supremacist has plans to take over a tiny town in North Dakota and turn it into one for whites only. This weekend, members of one of the nation's largest neo-Nazi organizations will descend upon the town in a step toward making that vision a reality — and several residents are trying to stop them.

Leith, N.D., which sits 3 miles off the nearest paved road, has been in decline for decades. The railroad, schools and most of the town's businesses and residents are gone. Many buildings are held together by rotting boards and slabs of concrete. At the urging of residents, the county health department has condemned several of the structures.

It's part of an effort to stop Craig Cobb, a white supremacist, from easily moving in others like him to take over the town and its small local government.



Essentially what is happening here is that a person with some wealth and influence is moving into an area where he can buy up properties and use that wealth and influence to dominate the community.  However, he can't really dominate the community unless he takes control of the city government and now has the power to use the force of law to make what he wants a reality.  So, the community's possible decision is this...

Still, the residents of Leith aren't feeling hopeful. Several say their best chance of saving their town may be to legislate it out of existence. They are considering dissolving the town's council and transferring control to the county.

http://www.npr.org/b...macist-takeover

Here's another take on the matter...

The Times says:

"After a Southern Poverty Law Center researcher tracked Cobb to Leith and published a report last week that Cobb had purchased more than a dozen lots of land in the area, the town government of Leith is now considering whether to self-destruct so that Cobb can't take control."

Ryan Schock, a 38-year-old farmer and the mayor of Leith, told The Associated Press that such although Cobb could still own land in the town, without a city government, he couldn't take over.



Forget for a moment that this tiny area in ND will be swallowed up and controlled by another government entity that already exists.  The precedence here is interesting.  People should rightly be concerned about rich and powerful people controlling their government and using it to get their way.  In a free society where limits and money and speech are impossible without violating civil rights, there is nothing the average person can do to control whether or not someone can use their influence to take control of a government.  On a large scale, we don't have to worry too much about one single person taking control of governments.  But on a large scale, corporations, international banks, and other giant NGO's regularly threaten democratic traditions by subverting them and taking them over.  

So, what would happen if people suddenly decided to dissolve government and take it over?  Think about this tiny town in ND, so far away from any main roads, so far away from even country government that it's presence will hardly even be felt.  Who will take care of the roads?  Who will provide services?  How will any money be collected in order to keep that society running?  The people are going to have to figure this out without making any laws that force people to do what other people want.  

And this Cobb guy, he can buy up the land and invite some people to live there with him, but without the government, he'll never have the ability to control this little society, to shape it to his will by using force.  

Imagine what the world would look like if you took government away from Kings and Queens, Rockefellars and Rothchilds, Monsantos and Mercks.  If the Ring of Power exists, these entities will always have the power to take control of it, but if you throw it into the Crack of Doom, this power disappears.
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#2
Phillip Brix

Phillip Brix
  • 39 posts

it doesnt sound like they are getting rid of govenrment altogether, just shifting from local to county.


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#3
RoseCodex

RoseCodex
  • 140 posts

  Yes getting rid of government does not mean buying land around everyone and forcing your anarchist society on them.  It's fundamentally to do with addressing the psychological reasons for why people see government as legitimate, virtuous, and necessary.


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Well, I try my best

To be just like I am
But everybody wants you
To be just like them
They say sing while you slave and I just get bored
I ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more

 

#4
Existing Alternatives

Existing Alternatives

  • 214 posts

I’m confused (mind you, I did not get a chance to listen to the sound file). But it sounds like this Cobb-fella already owns sizeable tracks of land in the country (the town is located within the county, right?), so what’s stopping him from controlling the county now that’s the town is dissolved?

 

Further, if he already owns the land, how is dissolving the town going to prevent him from allowing only his friends (ie whites-only) onto the land? Who cares what you call the government structure where the land is?


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