Two Projects Of Social Technology
Grant Gould respoonds to Patri's post in the comments below as follows.
I have increasingly been coming to see libertarianism as two related-but-different projects of social technology.
The first, and perhaps less immediately important of these is the anarchist project: The development of social institutions and mental models that could make some point north of big-government democracy a stable point. This includes notions like seasteading, development of insurance market technlogy that can recreate the “social safety-net” in a voluntarist fashion, systems of private adjudication and arbitration, and the like. People will never choose to go to or remain in a free society unless they can get certain things that the state has traditionally provided, and the state has a serious advantage since its monopoly has stifled development of these fields and given it centuries of head-start on us.
The second, and perhaps more immediately important of these is the liberal project: The maintainance of states free enough that people can work on the anarchist project. Once upon a time the “killer app” here was revolution. These days “killer app” seems to be constitutional democracy. It is no coincidence that the United States has been home to most of the recent work on the anarchist project. You can’t be totally free in a democracy, and a democracy cannot help but slowly erode its constitutional bounds, but classical liberalism bought us a good century to play with, and it has not been squandered.
So to me the questions are, first, what are the remaining holes in the anarchist project – what is the to-do list before kicking off a seastead or what-have-you – and, second, what must be done to keep liberty alive for the century or two needed to get those done.