FREE PRIVATE CITIES – THERE IS AN ALTERNATIVE
Imagine a system in which a private company, as a government service provider, offers you the protection of life, liberty, and property. This service includes internal and external security, a legal and regulatory framework and independent dispute resolution. For these services, you pay a contractually fixed fee per year. The state service provider as operator of the community can not unilaterally change this "citizens contract" with you later. As a "contract citizen", you have a legal claim to compliance and a claim for damages in the event of failures. You take care of everything else, but you can do whatever you want, limited only by the rights of others and the other moderate rules of living together. This includes working with others for all sorts of purposes. Disputes between you and the governmental service provider will be heard by independent arbitration tribunals as is customary in international commercial law. If the operator ignores the rulings or otherwise abuses his power, his customers go bankrupt. He thus has an economic risk and thus an incentive to treat his customers well in accordance with the contract.
This system is called Free Private City. At first glance, it may seem outrageously radical or utopian. However, we already use the service approach in other areas of life very successfully. The transition to our social order is only the last step in an already ongoing development. What is new is that coexistence in this system takes place on a purely private basis, but the system is nevertheless able to provide all the services required by the inhabitants of previous states (especially security) better, cheaper, and with far greater Shares freedom for customers who are contract citizens. The main elements of the free market are simply applied to our coexistence, namely the voluntary exchange of services, the right to refuse offers and, finally, competition as a method of discovery, a means of limiting power and a quality filter. Since participation in the Free City is voluntary, the concept must be permanently attractive, otherwise no one will come or the residents will leave.
Especially the design as a service contract has the advantage that it has already been tried and tested. It corresponds to what we know from the private transactions of daily life, be it the purchase of bread from the baker, the conclusion of an insurance policy or the appointment of a tax consultant. A mutual, mutually agreed contract is always the basis. It regulates which product or service should be delivered at what conditions and at what price. This also applies if the contract - as with the baker - came about only through implicit action. The buyer knows that his contractor has an economic interest; He does not have to pretend to be motivated either by the common good or the salvation of mankind. Disputes can be referred to independent courts or arbitration boards. No seller would get away with unilaterally changing the content of the contract ("From now on, you pay twice, but receive an additional service that you did not order") or settle a dispute solely through your own institutions.
In a Free Private City, everyone is the Sovereign of Himself, by voluntary agreement, has
concluded a genuine contract with a more or less ordinary service provider, the Citizens' Contract. Both parties have the same formal rights and are therefore legally equal. The relationship between authority and subject is replaced by the relationship between customer and service provider. In contrast to traditional systems where the citizen is required to pay taxes without being entitled to benefits, there is a direct link to free private city service and consideration. Both contractual partners are entitled to fulfillment of the contract, d. H. The operator may request the payment of the fixed contribution from the contractor, but no additional fees. In turn, the contractor may require the operator to comply with his contractual obligations, for example by ensuring security and a functioning civil law system. Anyone who currently heads the operating company or who owns it is not relevant to the functioning of the model.
A Free Private City is therefore not a utopia, but rather a business idea whose functional elements are already known and which need only be transferred to another sector. Basically, as a service provider, the operator only provides the framework within which the society can openly develop in the sense of a "spontaneous order" (Hayek).
Free Private Cities are characterized by the following main elements:
1) A Free Private City is a sovereign or at least semi-autonomous local authority with its own legal and regulatory framework, and its own tax, customs and social regime, as well as its own administration, security forces and an independent dispute resolution system
2) A Free Private City is an operating company as a for-profit business. For a fixed basic fee, it guarantees the protection of life, liberty and property.
3) Participation in the Free Private City is voluntary.
4) There is no legal claim to admission to the Free Private City; the operator decides on this according to his criteria and his discretion.
5) Each individual resident has concluded a contract with the Free Private City or its operating company, which conclusively regulates the mutual rights and obligations. In the Free Private City.
6) This Citizens' Contract can not be unilaterally changed; it represents the "personal constitution" of every contract citizen.
7) Furthermore, they can not be held in the Citizens' Contract.
8) All adults and legally capable contractors are responsible for the consequences of their actions themselves, not "society" or the city operator. Apart from claims for contract or family support, there is no right to live at the expense of third parties.
9) Any resident can terminate the contract at any time and leave the Free Private City again, but the operator can only terminate the contract for good cause, e.g. non-payment of the fee.
10) In the event of conflicts with the operating company, each party is entitled to appeal to arbitration.
The operator's basic package, which must be accepted and paid for, includes security and rescue forces, a legal and regulatory framework, a certain infrastructure and independent courts and dispute resolution bodies. To ensure voluntary participation, ideally the area should start uninhabited.
In order to implement a Free Private City, internal autonomy is necessary. This does not necessarily mean sovereignty under international law, but at least the right to regulate one's own affairs independently. The establishment of a Free Private City. In this agreement, the Host Nation grants the operating company the right to establish the Free City on a defined territory in accordance with the agreed conditions.
Free Private Cities therefore do not correspond to privately administered new cities or gated
communities that are fully subject to the laws of the respective state, or authoritarian city states such as Singapore or Dubai, which can unilaterally change the rules at any time. They also go beyond special economic zones, but rather correspond to independent special administrative zones, comparable to Hong Kong's relationship with China. Special Economic Zones. If you are looking for something special. Getting existing states to give up their sovereignty is not an easy task. Nevertheless, this path is easier than changing existing systems "from within" to more freedom, legal security and self-responsibility.
Take a look at Hong Kong, Singapore or Monaco. Near each of these states, a child of the belt of prosperity has grown up in the neighboring countries. Its inhabitants pay taxes in the neighboring countries. In addition, these city-states create many jobs for commuters from the surrounding countries who might otherwise have remained unemployed. If a Free Private City is created in a structurally weak or uninhabited area, then the host state has nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Living together in a Free Private City is based on just a few principles. The guiding principles are self-determination and private autonomy. The Golden Rule applies to living together as it is expressed in the proverb "Do not give others what you do not want others do you,"; in addition, the principle "do ut des" ("I give so that you give"), i. the recognition that merit is based on reciprocation; finally the principle of voluntarism or non-aggression, i. the priority of voluntary cooperation over coercion and expropriation, including expropriation for allegedly good causes. In order to comply with these basic rules, coercive measures can or must be applied. Serious or repeated violations so lead to exclusion from the private city. The right to end one's stay at the Free Private City at any time is part of the concept of voluntariness.
Free Private Cities expect their citizens to be mature and independent. This includes taking responsibility for oneself and others, strengthening families and small communities, as well as using and understanding to overcome difficulties. In return, there is the joy and satisfaction of being able to master your life. In the long term, a community of self-confident, bright and realistic people wants to grow up in this way. If everyone is free to decide what they want to do, then there is no real need for participatory bodies such as parliaments. They are always at risk of being hijacked by interest groups or the government for their own purposes. The freeze on change in favor of freedom and self-determination in a Free Private City is the Citizens' Contract. Thus, the residents can agree on a representation of their interests and, for example, establish a municipal council. But even though 99% of the population is in and out of the room, 1%, who wants nothing to do with it. This is precisely the point at which state systems regular fail: the long-term guarantee of individual freedom.
The city operator's profit requirement is of central importance. Many people consider the pursuit of profit to be immoral and prefer to have nothing to do with it. They fail to recognize that there is no better incentive to make the best use of scarce resources. It also ensures transparency. The operator of a Free Private City wants to earn money, that is clear. But what are the motives and rationales of politicians? Almost nobody believes that they are driven solely by concern for the common good. United Nations, being prominent and wielding power-over-people - in Free Private Cities all these things play second fiddle to the profit motives. Of course, such considerations will be appointed by the operator. But in the end he has to do so, he said, he said: "Customers would go away", "join international organizations", "participate in the worldwide conference circus" or "receive additional famous personalities" ("additional expenses") for "pomp" without measurable value). The incentive system is very different from that of a politician in conventional systems. There the political personalities can afford to pay attention to the expenses of the citizens, while the head of the administration of a Free Private City can not for the reasons mentioned.
Rather, competition and the requirement to make a profit. Every decision has has immediate effects. Does this increase the satisfaction of the people or is it reduced by cost-cutting measures? In other words: will this ultimately generate higher revenues than expenses? If so, the value of private enterprise is increased. If not, the measure must be reversed or improved. Search efficiency never wants to be achieved by public state systems.
WHAT COULD LIFE IN FREE PRIVATE CITIES LOOK LIKE?
Innovative service providers such as Uber or Airbnb are not prohibited but a matter of course. There are private entrepreneurs who cover everything that is in demand, from hospitals to schools and kindergartens to waste collection. If desired, residents may privately against all eventualities of life or set up self-help groups, be it to protect against illness, death, need of care or accidents. Highways, ports and shopping centers are constructed and operated by investors. Anyone can offer new products and services without authorization or license, and get paid in any desired currency. There is also use for unskilled workers - for paint of minimum wage regulations. Cheap products can be imported from all over the world because there is free trade and therefore no customs duties. New drugs and treatment methods are available to anyone who wants to test them with knowledge of the potential risk. Environmental thresholds apply only to dangerous dangerous products and processes as determined by serious scientific research.
There is freedom of speech, and even freedom of contract. Cigarettes are again traded and advertised without ugly warnings. High-performance vacuum cleaners and showerheads are available, even old-fashioned light bulbs (in the European Union, conventional light bulbs are forbidden today). The city makes its own immigration rules. It can summarily throw out anyone who becomes a criminal or, for example, causes a nuisance by propagating the primacy of religious dogmas over the rules of the city. Due to this positive selection, contract citizens do not require a visa for most states. Free private cities that belong to the same operator or are otherwise associated also have a global uniform emergency number as well as consulates abroad, in which contract citizens are helped in emergencies.
Crime and vandalism hardly exist, you can even let your kids out on the streets at night without worrying about them. Sociologists, political scientists, art historians and other humanities scholars, who usually populate the civil service and state-funded NGOs, have become rare. Since their studies have been conducted, the courses of prospective customer demand are generally preferred. Some companies, including well-known names, have failed to settle here. There are also new laws that may be tapped in their own favor nor subsidy pots. Hosts of clever people who would become civil servants, tax consultants, lawyers or auditors elsewhere in the private sector and increase productivity and value creation.
Political activism, missionary zeal, distributional struggles and the stirring-up of social groups against each other have virtually disappeared. Different views and assessments. Self-confident, more stable and more realistic in their assessments.
After two generations at the latest, Free Private Cities would be wealthier, freer and more peaceful than anything we have known so far.
Titus Gebel is a German entrepreneur and holds a doctorate in law. With Free Private Cities he wants to create a completely new product on the "market of living together", which will have impact if successful. Together with partners is currently working on the realization of the world's first free private city. The article is based on his book Free Private Cities – Making Governments Compete For You.