As authoritarianism, state surveillance and state censorship are increasing and individuals who want to live freely are met with hostility, many people are looking for escape routes, such as Flag Theory, building sovereign micronations or living entirely outside of the state via agorism.
Flag Theory is one of these discussed escape routes. The premise is that nations would compete with each other for residents (who would generate income via taxation, investments, starting businesses or other economic activity) and individuals could choose which nation best fits their needs. Some examples include: St Kitts citizenship by investment, Panamanian permanent residency, Estonian digital residency and RNS.id’s national ID cards; becoming a digital nomad; or immigrating to a country with better living conditions or less state tyranny.
However, one problem is that all of these methods require an existing passport from a different country — which means Flag Theory can’t help you if your current country of residence or country of birth won’t print a passport for you (more info: https://anarkio.codeberg.page/blog/roadblocks-to-obtaining-government-id.html). Despite its marketing as global freedom, Flag Theory still relies on two cases of state permission: 1) A passport and permission to leave your current country 2) Permission to enter and a visa from the Flag Theory country.
Furthermore, economic incentives aren’t enough for many states — if the state refuses to print ID for you, there is no meritocratic way to “earn” access via skilled work, character references, a successful business or investments. The state doesn’t only want to enrich itself via taxation, but wants to entirely exclude people from society without recourse. State tyranny isn’t only driven by monetary greed, but also the pathological desire to control, surveil and censor innocent people.
A further problem is that state tyranny is everywhere. While there are certainly safer and freer countries, and escaping to a freer country can and does save people’s lives, authoritarianism is increasing globally. For example, increased KYC requirements mean that it’s impossible in most countries to open a bank account, get a job or rent an apartment without government ID (although depending on country, you may be able to avoid this via widespread cash-in-hand gray markets). Across the globe, corona restrictions shut down businesses, banned people from working or meeting friends and family, or even required experimental medical treatments in order to participate in society and the economy. In some countries, cops or even soldiers demanded ID from people walking in the streets and raided businesses that were still open. However, in other countries, people may have only been requested to wear a mask inside stores (and even this may not have been enforced). So it is true that there are still some “less tyrannical” countries, although relying on the state’s leniency may not be possible as global authoritarianism increases.
So why not start your own nation? Many people have tried, from building seasteads in international waters to claiming “unclaimed” or disputed land. In theory, a libertarian micronation could provide an escape from global state tyranny, not only for people who reside there, but also for people who use remote services, such as citizenship, banking or company registration.
Although it sounds like international waters and unclaimed land would be free from state control, there have been cases of attacks by neighboring states or militaries, such as when a seastead in international waters was invaded by the Thai navy, or when Croatian cops arrested people who were trying to enter Liberland. Outside of direct hostility or even invasion by neighboring nation-states, international recognition is also an issue. If a micronation isn’t recognized by existing nation-states, trade, finances and logistics become difficult — for remote citizens, any banking, company registration or citizenship services wouldn’t be recognized by international banks, immigration authorities or KYC platforms, and for physical residents, entering or leaving the micronation, as well as importing supplies such as food, medicine or oil, would be difficult.
The hostility of existing nation-states against micronations makes creating an independent libertarian refuge a difficult task, but if a micronation could succeed, it could offer a much-needed escape route.
Instead of asking for state permission — either to leave and join an existing state via Flag Theory, or to create your own state via micronations — why not avoid the state entirely?
Agorism describes markets that operate outside of the state’s knowledge and control. No company registration, government ID or permit is required to participate in these markets. Instead, these markets operate purely on supply and demand, without restrictions or censorship. Some examples include: working in a restaurant for cash under-the-table; renting an apartment from Craigslist without ID; importing medicine from a country that doesn’t require prescriptions; selling refurbished laptops without a registered company or tax declarations; using anonymous sim cards and PO boxes; or using proxy merchant services to bypass KYC.
Agorist markets have existed since decades under many names, such as informal, parallel, cash-in-hand or underground economies, second realms, or black, gray or unregulated markets. Even under communism and other authoritarian regimes, people successfully used agorist markets to access necessities that weren’t available from the state-censored market. There is a risk to this, but for many people who are excluded from the mainstream white market, agorism is the only possible way to access jobs, housing, healthcare or other daily life needs.
Agorism focuses on peer-to-peer trade by individuals, communities and small businesses — which means that state permission, corporate acceptance or mass adoption is not required. If you can find one agorist employer, one agorist landlord and one agorist doctor, you can easily access what you need, without worrying about the mainstream market or state regulations. This peer-to-peer, grassroots and decentralized nature helps agorism to thrive even in hostile environments.
Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Monero are practical tools for agorist markets. Unlike banking or credit cards, cryptocurrencies don’t require government ID or corporate permission, and unlike physical cash and gold, they can be sent to anyone around the world in minutes. Bitcoin and Monero circular economies make it possible to trade locally and globally outside of the state’s fiat system.
With agorism, there’s no need to wait for a revolution or mainstream adoption. Agorism already works and helps millions of people worldwide to access what they need outside of state censorship and surveillance. To learn more about agorism, visit: https://anarkio.codeberg.page/agorism/