Experience Libertaria Report
By Trevor Watkins
As South Africa Zuma’d from one existential crisis to another, 11 individuals met on the Tsitsikamma coast to think about a better alternative to the prevailing madness. In a profoundly beautiful setting, in interesting and intelligent company, we set in motion “The Libertaria Project”. Like Nebo 30 years before, small beginnings can have unexpected consequences.
On 18th and 19th March 2016, we met in 4 separate sessions to discuss the challenges, logistics and opportunities involved in establishing a specific physical space on which like-minded individuals and families could gather to forge a fairer way of life, free from compulsion, based on individual consent. The meetings took place in the Tsitsikamma-on-Sea Lodge belonging to Stephan Botes (www.tsitsikammaonsea.com), which consists of a range of upmarket accommodations situated on a 3 kilometre stretch of cliffs overlooking the Indian Ocean. For one brief weekend we were the masters of our own fates, with the pervasive state a distant and irrelevant inconvenience.
Peter Elstob very kindly recorded all the discussions, which are available on Youtube (See references in Appendix 1 of this report). This is a summary of some of the major topics and agreements reached.
- The Libertaria Project (TLP) will be established, as a focus point for South African Libertaria related activities and activists.
- TLP will be managed using the Swarmwise principles developed by Rick Falkvinge described here.
- TLP will invite 2 classes of members.
Friends of TLP may register on the TLP database at no cost, join and comment on the public discussion forums, and be informed of TLP activities and events.
Members of TLP will pay a substantial membership/entry fee (R1000 was suggested). This will entitle members to participate in closed discussion groups, to vote on policies going forward, to undertake significant projects on behalf of TLP, and to receive funding from TLP. Members of TLP will also enjoy first options on properties for sale in future Libertarias. The details of TLP membership are still subject to further discussion.
- The core principles of TLP will be based on individual consent as embodied in the Consent Axiom, described here.
- As far as possible, TLP will not rely on state provided services such as law enforcement, contract enforcement, property registration, judicial arbitration and similar. TLP will seek to provide viable private alternatives to these services from the very beginning. In this context, internet facilities such as Monetas.net, Ethereum, Bitcoin and others will be explored.
- Whilst TLP will make extensive use of the virtual facilities available on the internet, the ultimate objective is a real physical space in which individuals and families can live and prosper. Tsitsikamma-on-sea provides a unique, tangible example of a possible Libertaria, remote, beautiful, developed and sympathetic to the libertarian ideals. However, other options will be sought out and evaluated as well, including options outside South Africa.
- Crossways in the Kouga municipality has been set up as a “private” municipality, with private control of almost all municipal functions. Thesen Island in Knysna is another example of a private municipality. Orania is a third example of autonomous governance within the overall state structure. TLP will explore the potential of establishing a private municipality in the Eastern Cape or elsewhere with urgency.
- Our discussions identified many threats and impediments to the establishment of a libertaria. State interference, invasion by squatters, disputes and differences amongst members, fraud and corruption, lack of funds, the list is long and scary. However, the alternative to doing something, anything, is to do nothing. TLP is a first attempt to do “something”.
- Some of the many issues to be considered and agreed upon:
- Law of Libertaria
- Enforcement of civil contracts
- Logistics – water, power, access, waste disposal
- Dispute resolution
Libertarians are no strangers to utopian, pie-in-the-sky projects with little or no real world relevance. This may be yet one more. But it is exciting, and it is fun, to dream great dreams, to make big plans, to work towards a worthwhile goal.
Next year in Libertaria!
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Videos of Proceedings
Experience Libertaria! Invitation
Stephan Botes, a longtime libertarian, has a beautiful resort on the cliffs overlooking the Indian Ocean at Tsitsikamma-on-Sea (www.tsitsikammaonsea.com) on an estate spanning almost 3 kilometers of ocean front. He has kindly offered the opportunity for up to 30 libertarians to enjoy a weekend of freedom and fun and thoughtful discussion at a very reasonable price, while exploring how a local libertaria might look.
The details are:
Date: Saturday morning 19th March to Sunday afternoon 20th March 2016
1) Registration, 4 meals, discussions – R550 per person
2) Accommodation, sharing a 4 or 6 bed cottage or the Loft – R250 per person
3) Camping is free (no fires allowed).
4) Luxury Lodge, the Grande Suite for 2 at R950 extra per person
the Ocean Suite for 4 at R500 extra per person,
the East Suite for 2 at R750 extra per person
the West Suite for 2 at R550 extra per person.
Saturday lunch, Saturday night braai, Sunday breakfast, Sunday lunch, coffees, teas and juices. (Alcohol extra)
4 roundtable moderated discussions.
morning 11am – 1pm Protocols and policies for Libertaria
Lunch 1pm – 2pm
afternoon 3pm – 5pm Practical steps towards a Libertaria
Braai 6pm – 9pm
Breakfast 9am – 10am
morning 10am – 12pm Problems and solutions
lunch 1pm – 2pm
Sunday afternoon 2pm – 4pm Open forum
Confirm attendance by emailing Trevor Watkins at firstname.lastname@example.org, and depositing total required funds per person to
First National Bank
Branch: 210515 Jeffreys Bay
Account: 6213 886 7380
Booking is on a first come, first paid basis, up to the maximum capacity. Payments received after that will be refunded.
All attendees agree to abide by the provisions of the Consent Axiom for the duration of their stay.
PO Box 3302, Jeffreys Bay, 6330