Following a brief discussion on Twitter with @obotheclown, I’ve started to think in a slightly different way, perhaps even coming some way towards solving a conundrum I’d constructed for myself since coming to the anti-state side of the equation, namely: Given that the state inevitably grows and gathers power unto itself, how would a nation go about maintaining a small, non-authoritarian state that nevertheless has the wherewithal to defend its citizens from other, less libertarian state apparatuses?
As Obo said (I’m paraphrasing), an anarchic nation or territory that is armed to the teeth would need to be taken household by household, a difficult and costly (in terms of blood and cash) slog of house-to-house and street-to-street fighting, and would hopefully not be worth the effort to conquer. Therefore, part of my rationale for keeping a state at all (defence) would seem to wither away. Certainly, the British Isles have no significant natural resources that would be worth the cost to take, and lebensraum here is limited at best. Certainly, some ideologies or cults of personality may decide to invade our wet and windy islands for merely ideological reasons (and ideologies can be used to justify anything) but for rational actors a well-armed and robustly anarchic British Isles would simply be too much bother.
However (you could just sense a ‘however’ or a ‘but’ coming, couldn’t you?), a well-armed and robustly anarchic British Isles is presicely what we don’t have. What we have is a British Nation firmly wedded to the British State and to some great extent dependent on its largesse, whether in terms of cash or in terms of its dubious protections. Like junkies, the British people are hooked on the state to the point where most of them cannot even conceive of life without it (that damned meta-context again). I’m getting dangerously close here to the subject of the post of Al Jahom’s that I never got around to writing a response to. I’m pretty sure that if anarchism were declared tomorrow, and Putin turned up with his big-state mob sometime next month after the dole cheques hadn’t been paid then most of our fellow islanders would welcome him with open arms.
Like a serious addict, the british public needs to be weaned off the state slowly, so that when the time comes to shut it down altogether the majority of people are armed, self-sufficient and responsible. Going cold turkey would have effects, rather then shakes and shivers and seeing babies on the ceiling we’d experience riots, looting and disorder, as the dole-bludgers and the public employees first got angry, and then got hungry. Civil society has taken a real beating at the hands of the state over the last few decades and would certainly not be able to take up the slack straight away. People would feel better for being clean, for sure, but getting through withdrawal would not be much fun, and it would be a dangerous time indeed with the risk of some strongman politician offering some more big-state-skag ever present.