Thinking Beyond Turf Wars
Canada is a territorial state with a democratic constitutional monarchy
and a federal system of parliamentary government, with a sovereign as
head of state and a prime minister as head of government. The state,
embodied in the sovereign and often referred to simply as “the Crown”,
claims ownership of all the territory within its boundaries and claims
sovereignty over the population within its territory.
Within the borders of the state there are various groups, associations,
organizations, federations, communities and clubs with diverse religious,
cultural, educational, recreational, social, economic and political
interests. These exist together in the same area, even in the same town
or neighbourhood, often intermingling and with overlapping membership.
Individual members of various groups may reside in different places,
without any group being the sole occupant of a specific territory or
attempting to have complete control over an entire geographic region.
Larger organized communities, including self-identified nations, do not
necessarily need to be defined by restrictive geopolitical boundaries
with contiguous properties, and do not need to have exclusive
territorial sovereignty and jurisdiction. Groups with dispersed
membership can still presumably make their own decisions about
leadership, representation, legislation, enforcement, adjudication and
negotiations, based on the preferences of the participants and with
their voluntary consent.
Larger groups and organized communities can coexist without mandatory
membership and without imposing their decisions on any people living in
the same area who may choose to be members of different groups.
Communities and individuals would benefit if everyone could associate
with the groups that matched their interests, without being obliged to
join any particular group just because they happen to live in a specific
area, and without being forced to move if they choose to belong to a
different group. Any group could also choose to limit, exclude or revoke
membership, although that doesn’t necessarily mean that any person would
have to relocate.
Organized groups and self-governing communities could also provide a
variety of services without having exclusive territorial control, just
as various communities and similar businesses can coexist in an area
without restrictive or coercive territorial monopolies. Any businesses
or groups could choose to compete or cooperate with each other to
attract new customers or members on the basis of the quality and price
of the products or services that they are willing and able to provide.
This could conceivably include health care, instruction, protection,
security, investigation, apprehension, collection, dispute resolution,
telecommunications, utilities, roads, and different exchange systems.
“The way we organize into
groups and the way we produce and exchange goods and
services has changed over time and will most likely continue
to change. The direction of this transformation will
presumably be determined by the way we think and the choices
we make, choices which are based on some measure of costs
Individual consumers would then have more choices available to them from
various producers and providers. Presumably we would not purchase from
any business that offers poor quality goods and services, and we would
not want to pay for anything that we don’t want and don’t use. Any
business could also refrain from selling or exchanging their goods and
services. Contracts could outline the terms, conditions, obligations,
responsibilities, prices, and payment schedules for any agreements to
join a group or trade goods and services.
Nor does the exchange of products and services in any territory
inevitably require a monetary monopoly, especially a systemically scarce
currency that is created as interest-bearing debt. Alternative methods
and media of exchange can already be used, including barter, local
trading systems, community currencies, commodity money, cryptocurrencies,
and mutual credit clearing. Presumably, it would be preferable to
control the allocation of our own credit and be able to accept or refuse
any form of payment.
Money is a human invention, and we are an inventive species. There are
benefits to be obtained from trading with one another, and we can design
new ways to facilitate the trade of our goods and services. Different
exchange systems or currencies can operate concurrently. We can also
create new products and services, and various producers and providers
can do business in any locality.
We are also a social species, because it is generally advantageous to be
part of a group. Numerous groups can live side by side in any
geographical area without insisting on exclusive use and control of
entire territories, and without aggressively obtaining and maintaining
dominion over whole regions.
Moreover, we are a fairly adaptable species. We are capable of learning
new patterns of thought and new behaviours. Territoriality might be a
learned strategy or habit rather than an instinct, and we could decide
to use an intergroup strategy that does not insist upon territorial
monopolies or restrictive territorial control, especially if the costs
of exclusive territoriality outweigh the benefits.
Decisions about group affiliation and the exchange or distribution of
goods and services can be made without imposing one’s preferences on
anyone else, without forcing anyone to move or preventing anyone from
moving to another location, and without any coercive monopolies,
compulsory production, mandatory membership, or imposed political and
monetary systems. Larger groups and organized communities, including
nations, do not inevitably need to claim exclusive territorial
sovereignty and jurisdiction, and our political and economic choices do
not necessarily require consensus or majority rule. Restrictive
geopolitical borders do not exist with everyone’s consent, and exclusive
territorial control is not necessarily a mutually beneficial strategy.
The way we organize into groups and the way we produce and exchange
goods and services has changed over time and will most likely continue
to change. The direction of this transformation will presumably be
determined by the way we think and the choices we make, choices which
are based on some measure of costs and benefits. Numerous producers of
goods and providers of services can operate concurrently, using various
exchange systems or currencies, without any coercive territorial
monopolies. Diverse communities can also coexist in any geographic area
for the mutual benefit of all voluntary participants at their own risk
and expense, without claiming exclusive territorial control.
First written appearance of the
word 'liberty,' circa 2300 B.C.
Le Québécois Libre
Promoting individual liberty, free markets and voluntary
cooperation since 1998.