Welcome Center

Your introduction to the OboxPlanet: The Visitors Park

Welcome on the OboxPlanet, the stateless planet. Here you can find out how things can be solved without politics and without a state.

But how can you find answers to the topics that most interest you? We’re here to help. This website is structured like an amusement park for visitors from Earth. But instead of rides, restaurants, and roller coasters, there are

30 Discovery Labs.

Each lab lets you discover one aspect of life on the planet and each lab is self-contained. This means you can pick whatever topic you like and dive right in. 

The six overarching discovery labs A through F explore the bigger topics, namely human rights, family and life planning, ethics and property, wealth creation, safety and security, and current issues on earth. 

Then there are four specialty labs for each main topic, a1 to f4. These labs focus on some more detailed aspects of the main topic like discrimination, gun control, or Covid.

You can access each lab via the respective title in the menu or when you scroll down the homepage.

The structure of the labs:

At the door to each lab, “first impressions” will give you a short description of what’s to come. 

Once inside, there are three rooms.

1. Exploration room . The exploration room has more information on what life is like in a society without a state, related to each respecitve lab's subject.

2. Retrieve area: Let's remember Earth to help us understand life on the OboxPlanet. What are the things that happened on Earth, both in the past and present, that can give us insight? The reflection corner is a place where we can do this.

3. Imagination Lounge. Come to the Imagination Lounge. Take a break and imagine what solutions you'd like - without limits. Then, think about what would have to change on Earth to get you closer to your dreams.

The world looks a little different on OboxPlanet. What you’ll realize first is that there are no countries. Yep. You read that right. There are no state borders, and no politicians fighting over them. Everyone is free to move to wherever they desire.

But… how does this work? Wouldn’t there be, like, lots of problems? Wouldn’t all people just gather in the richest cities, making them overpopulated and crime- ridden?

Yeah.. not exactly.

On OboxPlanet, there is no “public property”. There is also no government to hold any land or real estate, because, again, there are no countries. Instead, all the land is privately owned. Let’s look at an example. In our world there are public parks that are run by the government. On OboxPlanet, all parks are owned by individuals, families, or organizations. Some people decide to make their parks publicly accessible and free of charge. Others might want to keep their land to themselves, while some might build zoos or adventure parks that you’d have to pay an entry fee for.

Same goes for real estate, for agricultural land, for mountain ranges etc.

We know. This sounds utopian. Maybe a little dystopian in the beginning. “But the bad big fat capitalists would take control of all property and land and make everyone miserable and everything would turn to poop”.

We get it. This is what people think of when they hear the word “private property”. But OboxPlanet shows that this would not necessarily be the case in a stateless society. You will encounter many examples for all different kinds of questions. But first, let’s get back to the question of where people would gather.

The answer is: Wherever the heck they want to. And it works out to all people’s benefit.

Think about it: Where would you move to if you could live anywhere you’d want? It depends on what you prefer, right? Some people love the ocean. Some the mountains. Some people want vast spaces of nothingness and lots of land, while others prefer living in the middle of a busy city. So, you first pick a place that meets you geographical needs. Second, you might look at what kind of communities exist in the place you’ve picked.

Maybe you’re an artist. You get inspired by talking to others who share your passion, and who like to create and be creative. You might want to look at an artists’ collective, or simply a neighborhood that has a lot of opportunities for creative fulfillment.

Maybe you’re a parent who wants lots of room for your children and dogs, meaning you’d want to move to a cute small town somewhere and buy lots of land. Your priority would be safety. Maybe you practice a specific religion or come from a specific culture. You’d like to be surrounded by like-minded people, so you join a community with similar values and cultural customs.

Maybe you’re a student. Boring country-side life is not for you; you want to live smacked in the middle of an exciting college-town. You don’t care about noise, lots of partying, or sharing your living space with strangers. In fact, you want to join in the fun!

There are countless examples of where people would move to and why. The great thing about OboxPlanet is that you get to choose. However, once you live in a certain place, there is an expectation that you adhere to at least some basic rules. If you live in a neighborhood full of families, don’t expect to get lots of applause for throwing loud parties every single night.

There are countless examples of where people would move to and why. The great thing about OboxPlanet is that you get to choose. However, once you live in a certain place, there is an expectation that you adhere to at least some basic rules. If you live in a neighborhood full of families, don’t expect to get lots of applause for throwing loud parties every single night.

This leads to an interesting observation. There is more diversity between different communities on OboxPlanet than in our own world. Like-minded people would gather naturally. However, within communities, there would likely be less diversity since move people share similar values.

When did the idea of stateless societies appear first?

Stateless societies have been described in history, anthropology and other social sciences since before the 20th century, although not as a complete political theory. In political science, Gustave de Molinari’s work “The Production of Security”, 1849, is often considered the first systematic presentation of the workings of a stateless society.

What followed, however, was a century of increasing state control, including communist and fascist dictatorships. Then, suddenly, starting in the 1970’s, we find an increasing number of systematic treatises on just about all aspects of a stateless society. Pioneering works were “The Market for Liberty” by Morris and Linda Tannehill, 1970, “For a new Liberty” by Murray Rothbard, 1973, and “The Machinery of Freedom”, by David Friedman, 1973. The timing probably had to do with the disappointing results of all the wars the states were fighting, wars against poverty, against, drugs, inequality, and communism. Whatever the reason, the idea of a stateless society appeared in different places but at the same time. Once again, it seems, “there is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come”, to quote Victor Hugo.

History of the OboxPlanet

Spoiler-alert: the OboxPlanet does not exist, and neither does its history.

Here is one version that gets told on the planet:

Once upon a time, before 1750, there were states and kings and countries all over the planet. But most of all, there was poverty . All throughout history, the great majority of people lived more or less on a subsistence level. In good times, the populations started growing, only to starve, freeze and die when times got rougher, the so-called ”Malthusian trap” phenomena. This fact severely limited the amount of taxes that any existing state could impose on their population. If they increased the taxburden beyond a few percentage points, their population would revolt or simply starve. For most ordinary folks it mattered little what type of ruler they had: no society really outperformed others by leaps and bounds.

This changed dramatically with the Industrial Revolution. Beginning in 1750 in England, and for the first time in human history, a great part of the population kept getting richer, not by a few percentage points but steadily up to 5, 10 or even 50 times.

One precondition for this development was the philosophy of individualism, the idea that humans have the right to do as they please and the right to keep the fruit of their efforts. The attitude toward state involvement got summed up in the call for “laissez-faire, laissez- aller”. These ideas were well developed in England and Scotland as well as with the English settlers that moved to the colonies in America. These settlers rapidly gained experience in self-rule. The tolerance for the English king decreased. In 1776, they started their war for independence.

With their victory in the war for independence, the American settlers got rid of the English King as their overlord.  Unfortunately, instead of enjoying their freedom, the colonies soon established a new overlord, the “United States” government. As if to demonstrate its importance, they decided to establish a new administrative district and a whole new city for this central state government, “Washington, D.C.”

This is where the OboxPlanet took a different turn. After the settlers got rid of the English king, they decided to abolish all other remnants of England’s colonial administration. Some were abolished completely, others were turned into voluntary regulatory bodies. There were no more organizations with the power to enforce their edicts, no legislators, no state bureaucracies, and no more taxes. The former colonies reverted to self-rule, and they became a stateless society.

Freed of all state taxes and bureaucratic restrictions, the population prospered immediately. This inspired the French Revolution, which in 1789 followed the American example and also got rid of all state institutions in France. Revolts soon followed all over the world, such that by 1820, there were no more state institutions anywhere on the planet.

This may sound like an unlikely scenario, for some even too nice to be true. But take a second to think about it. Imagine yourself in 1750 and consider some proposals of what was going to happened on Earth:

  • The first scenario is the expectation that after thousands of years of stagnation, there will probably be no miracles. If things go well, people on average will be two to four times richer in the year 2000.
  • The second scenario is the Earths history, in fact. England’s population is, on average, 40 to 50 times richer than in 1750. At the same time, the state spends 200 times more money per person than in 1750. Laws, bureaucrats and policemen are controlling and regulating people’s daily lives in minute details, down to what you can work, sell, plant, drink and what medicine you may take. 
  • The third scenario is the OboxPlanet. People are many hundred times richer than in 1750 and there are no more states, and no more groups of people who can enforce their rules onto others by force. 

Which scenario would you have bet on? Which scenario would you have preferred?

Theory. Non-aggressive acquisition of property.

There is a growing literature of what laws would be adopted on the OboxPlanet, and, once again, thinking about it gives us lots of practical and useful tips for our daily life on Earth.

One common theme is the “Zero Aggression Principle” ZAP, also known as the “Non Aggression Principle” NAP, which means that you own your body and all land and goods that you have acquired by non-aggressive means. In the words of Murray Rothbard:

“The basic axiom of libertarian political theory holds that every man is a self-owner, having absolute jurisdiction over his own body. In effect, this means that no one else may justly invade, or aggress against, another’s person. It follows then that each person justly owns whatever previously unowned resources he appropriates or “mixes his labor with”. From these twin axioms – self-ownership and “homesteading” – stem the justification for the entire system of property rights titles in a free-market society. This system establishes the right of every man to his own person, the right of donation, of bequest (and, concomitantly, the right to receive the bequest or inheritance), and the right of contractual exchange of property titles .”(Law, property rights and air pollution, Cato journal 1982)
This defense of the self-ownership principle stems from the falsification of all other alternatives, namely that either a group of people can own another group of people, or that no single person has full ownership over one’s self. These two cases cannot result in a universal ethic, i.e. a just natural law that can govern all people, independent of place and time. The only alternative that remains is self-ownership, which is both axiomatic and universal.

This of course is a very rough description, which begs for clarifications. What exactly is non-aggressive acquisition? What is coercion? How exactly do I get possession of formerly unowned, land? Is it enough to plant a flag on a formerly unclaimed island, or do I have to do more to establish ownership? 

For some first answers, we recommend Murray N. Rothbards “The Ethics of Liberty” and for some of the most recent research insights “Legal Foundations of a Free Society” by Stephan Kinsella. Be prepared for an intellectual adventure!

History: A historic illustrations of how laws emerged “naturally” on Earth:

From the EH.Net book review by Frank D. Lewis of the book “The Not So Wild, Wild West, Property Rights on the Fronteer”, Anderson, Hill, 2004

“Economic activity on the U.S. frontier during the nineteenth century took place in an environment where government was largely absent… The key to the successful and, by and large, peaceful enforcement of contracts, as well as the generally peaceful exploitation of what at the outset were common access resources, was the emergence of a set of rules, both formal and informal, that assigned property rights to agents operating in this new economy.

Despite the lack of a formal government structure, Native Americans developed a range of property rights to resources that they jointly exploited. Bison, for example, were so numerous until the nineteenth century that there was little advantage to assigning rights to them; but once groups of Natives jointly hunted the animals, often using buffalo jumps, a method that required coordinated action, rights to the meat and hides were specified even to the extent of allotting larger shares to those who took on more important or more dangerous roles. By contrast, salmon were at serious risk of over-harvesting because of the comparative ease with which they could be fished once they entered the rivers or streams that led to their spawning grounds. Tribes in the Pacific Northwest reacted by establishing property rights to the salmon runs even to the level of the family, a system that promoted conservation of the stocks.

European settlers to the frontier were faced with much the same problem that had long confronted Native Americans — the lack of a central authority to assign and enforce property rights. From 1840 to 1860, nearly 300,000 travelled overland to Oregon, California and Utah, most by wagon train; and to fill the government void each group adopted a set of rules, a “constitution-like agreement,” that specified the terms of the passage. For example, individuals often combined their property, such as cooking materials, while on the trail, but they retained ownership and these goods were remitted once the train reached its destination. The emigrants themselves created and enforced the contracts and, as Anderson and Hill describe it, the result was a large relocation of population that was relatively free of conflict.

The cattle drives of the late nineteenth century required contracts between cattle owners and drovers that addressed the problem of monitoring. And where there was the more serious problem of contact with farmers, means were found to avoid violence. Cattle-trader Joseph McCoy, went to great lengths to ensure peace with the residents of Salina, Kansas and others close to the cattle route by compensating them for losses and offering other benefits. The potential for violence among Europeans was perhaps greatest during the initial years of gold mining. Yet even the 1859 discovery of the Comstock Lode in Nevada was largely peaceful.Rothbard’s defense of the self-ownership principle stems from what he believed to be his falsification of all other alternatives, namely that either a group of people can own another group of people, or that no single person has full ownership over one’s self. Rothbard dismisses these two cases on the basis that they cannot result in a universal ethic, i.e. a just natural law that can govern all people, independent of place and time. The only alternative that remains to Rothbard is self-ownership which he believes is both axiomatic and universal

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