|Posted on March 13, 2007 at 2:58 PM|
As Libertarian concepts of emphasis on rights and voluntary alternatives to coerced government programs spread to non-libertarians and the general culture, another 'radical' libertarian idea has taken hold: Right of Secession of communities coupled with wholesale privatization of public services to firms, non-profits, and civic groups.
LARGE CITY SECEDES, GOES VOLUNTARY
The locality of Sandy Springs outside of Atlanta, Georgia USA was blanketed some years ago with Libertarian outreach materials. While the local Libertarian group in the area of 100,000 dissolved, the ideas continued to percolate. Speakers from the Libertarian International Organization, which sponsors www.libertarian-program.org, were invited to talk to local groups or provide reading lists or websites on 'broad implementation of Libertarian or libertarian-direction' ideas, best practices, standards, and areas of proven success.
The locality started a movement to secede, formed it's own city, and created a plan to provatize all city services except public security. Initial city staff was cut to 6 people according to GOVERNING magazine's site, which noted this was the beginning of a new trend. Libertarians have proposed 'voluntary cities' of primarily voluntary and private services and few laws with a wide array of choices, and smaller 'Libertarian Charter' neighborhoods and tows guided by pledged Libertarians who've taken a committment to advance rights and not advcate initiations of force. But it also shows a growing trend of use of libertarian-direction tools "Where people get familiar and ask, why wait for a Libertarian to get elected? Let's get to work," says Brian Bustamante, a consultant and officer of the Libertarian Party of Florida who monitors how Libertarian tools are being driven by citizens in public administration: "The Georgia Libertarian Party was taken completely by surprise, which is good, it means people are taken ownership so Libertarianism is for everybody. I think that in due course we'll see cities go completely voluntary as skills and comfort levels increase."
SKEPTICISM + INVOLVEMENT IN PRIVATIZATON
So far there have been considerable increases in quality, choice, voter satisfaction, and lowering of costs, say Sandy Spring officials, who say they're exploring and 'feeling our way' and correcting mistakes as they go along. Key to success, say officials, are brainstorming sessions with voters to get needs and ideas, open communication, and healthy scepticism in evaluating bids and proposals. To that end, the city has even adopted a motto of " Being Honest, Efficient, Responsive," says the mayor, who notes their website, heavy with citizen participation and rapid response links, is a key tool in promoting "involvement and knowing what's going on." For more key resources to bring these concepts to your area google "Sandy Springs" and "Mayor Galambos" and the book "Voluntary City" at www.cato.org