The importance of gardening, isonomia, federation, and free banking

I’ve recently taken up gardening, in a very amateurish way. Right now I’ve got two plants growing out of a bucket filled with dirt. I water them every day. I talk to them. I rotate them so that different sides face the sun at different times of the day. I spray them with water, too. … Continue reading The importance of gardening, isonomia, federation, and free banking

Hazony’s nation-state versus Christensen’s federation

Yoram Hazony’s 2018 book praising the nation-state has garnered so much attention that I thought it wasn’t worth reading. Arnold Kling changed my mind. I’ve been reading through it, and I don’t think there’s much in the book that I can originally criticize. The one thing I’ll say that others have not is that Hazony’s … Continue reading Hazony’s nation-state versus Christensen’s federation

Introducing: the Federation of Free States, an ongoing thought experiment

The most popular article I have ever written, in terms of views, has been, by far, “10 Places that Should Join the U.S.,” a short piece at RealClearHistory pining for an enlarged geographic area under the American constitution. This is not a strange concept for longtime NOL readers. I’ve been pleading for stronger political ties … Continue reading Introducing: the Federation of Free States, an ongoing thought experiment

Federation, not unilateralism, ought to be the American Libertarian’s foreign policy

This is an expanded post that stems from a conversation I have been having with Bruno and Jacques in the ‘comments’ threads. The conversation is more about the nation-state than the unilateralism/federation non-debate, but I thought that’s why it’d make a good post. The Nation-State Nation-states are often considered to be sacred territory to conservative … Continue reading Federation, not unilateralism, ought to be the American Libertarian’s foreign policy

Eye Candy: the states in India’s federation

Stay tuned for more on India from a sub-state perspective. I’m going to find the GDP (PPP) per capitas of these states. I’m going to find their population densities. I’m going to find their literacy rates and their life expectancy rates. I’m going to find out much more about India over the coming 12 to … Continue reading Eye Candy: the states in India’s federation

Taxes, Free-riding, and Federation

Check out Adam Smith complaining about the rent-seeking that the UK’s North American colonies were practicing back in 1776: The expence of the ordinary peace establishment of the colonies amounted, before the commencement of the present disturbances, to the pay of twenty regiments of foot; to the expence of the artillery, stores, and extraordinary provisions … Continue reading Taxes, Free-riding, and Federation

A short non-political note

I have not been paying attention to the election news cycle. I have dropped out of that system. I am lucky that I was born in the United States. I marvel at the underpinnings of the American constitutional order (an internationalist order). I understand that self-government and elections go hand-in-hand (if only we were all … Continue reading A short non-political note

The Westphalian myth

Was the Peace of Westphalia and its implications for state sovereignty one big myth? The apparently ineradicable notion (repeated even by many recent historians of the war) that the Peace of Westphalia sanctioned the “sovereignty” of Switzerland and the Netherlands and their independence from the empire demonstrates this. In the case of the Swiss it … Continue reading The Westphalian myth

The collapse of socialism and the sovereignty gap

When socialism collapsed in the late 1980s-early 1990s, many debates and contentions were settled, but the issue of sovereignty has only grown in importance thanks in large part to more economic integration. The European attempt at federation, undertaken after the fall of socialism, has not gone well precisely because it cannot close the Westphalian sovereignty … Continue reading The collapse of socialism and the sovereignty gap

Transaction costs, exit, and democracy

“What is important to note, however, is that transaction costs associated with relocation matter. The relative success of protectionist and subsidyseeking groups in post-war Britain, Australia, and New Zealand was facilitated by the high costs associated with exercising the exit option. Both Britain and New Zealand are unitary and centralized nation states. Although Australia is … Continue reading Transaction costs, exit, and democracy

Forthcoming: Reviving the libertarian interstate federalist tradition

One of my papers was accepted for publication in the libertarian journal The Independent Review. Here’s an excerpt: This essay aims to fill that gap by making four arguments: 1. Prominent classical liberals and libertarians have long recognized the importance of interstate federalism for not only individual liberty but security for liberal polities in the … Continue reading Forthcoming: Reviving the libertarian interstate federalist tradition