The recent referendum in the UK probably means the UK will leave the EU. Is that good or bad?
There is a spectrum of institutionalized coercion and all of us exist somewhere on that spectrum. It goes from complete freedom – anarchy – to complete tyranny, such as manifested in communist societies. Parrish Miller has written a nice piece on this.
While the UK will unfortunately remain a democracy – which is tyranny by the majority over the minority – it will no longer be under the thumb of that great bureaucratic monster that is the EU. This brings me to an important point, another important dimension that might be added to paint a fuller picture: the size of the coercive institution that you live under. Let’s call this ‘the coercive unit’. Most of the time, this would be a country. But if smaller units within the country – such as states in the US – are free to some degree to coerce less or more, then these can function as ‘coercive units’ as well. The size of the coercive unit correlates closely with the distance separating you and those wielding the monopoly of power. The shorter the distance, the more you may hope to influence the institution.
Also, with many smaller units of coercion you may be better able to pick and chose between them. Don’t like living in France? Move to the UK. Of course, if each institution – or country – is extremely coercive, you may have difficulty being allowed in, but I will leave that matter aside for now.
Note how this is fundamentally different from the ability to move freely within the EU. Under the EU, yes, you are free to relocate as a EU citizen, but whether you live in France or the UK is off diminishing importance. In the end, the oppressive thumb of the Bruxelles monster will be upon every individual inside its borders. Separate, sovereign nation states however are somewhat free to evolve in their separate ways, creating a sort of market for individuals to chose from. For one example of how this works, see how many citizens of high-coercion states such as Denmark have relocated to Switzerland, lower down on the coercive spectrum.
With Brexit, the UK is free to move away from the EU. I sincerely hope that will mean reducing government, lowering taxation, easing up on overall coercion. For the sake of all Britons – and Scots, and Northern Irish, etc. – and for the sake of all of us. Then who knows – perhaps one day a surplus of productive, freedom-loving people from various oppressive EU states will vote with their feet and settle in the UK. As always, more freedom is the way forward.