Free Private Cities

in ecotrain •  6 months ago

Free Private Cities - More Competition in the Most Important Market in the World

Every once in a while I come across a book which has a lasting impact on me.
Freie Privatstädte (Free Private Cities) by Titus Gebel is such a work.

While I mostly read books in English, because the original works about topics which interest me are usually written in English, and many times when I read a book which was translated from English to German I was not happy with the quality of the translation, so why bother with crappy translations when I can have the original, now I have come across a groundbreaking work which is written in German. The English translation might come out in the course of this year.

With his seminal work Titus Gebel catapults himself to the status of a worthy succsessor of the great German anarchist thinkers, a title he himself might not like, because he is more of a classical liberal than a leftist anarchist. After studying law he became a very successful entrepreneur who, after selling his business, can afford now to reside in Monaco with his family, so not the typical guy I would normally fall for because I am more of a classical leftist anarchist, but hey, consistency is for boring people.

And I have one character flaw which always prevented me from being a “good“ anarchist, I have an almost sexual relationship with money, so I never really subscribed to Proudhon´s “Property Is Theft“, one of the ideological pillars of classical anarchism, though I absolutely enjoy Bookchin´s rant about libertarians being proprietarians, yes, I know, I am full of contradictions, pretty weird, right?

Bookchin Dissing Libertarians

But I always have been a pragmatist as well, so while some of my anarchist friends preferred being stuck in a shitty minimal wage job, dreaming of the revolution with almost religious fervor, they framed that as being true to oneself, I decided to make some money and travel the world and found out that Germany was not such a bad place after all, with all its social security and stuff. Other countries I visited were more free than Germany in certain ways, but there you were also free to die if you were poor. So through travelling I lost a lot of my juvenile black-and-white thinking where “the revolution“ was the answer to everything, “if only people were as smart as I was and had all the answers like me.“

Titus Gebel also had his fling with politics in his former life, but instead of becoming a street fighting man, he joined the FDP (Free Democratic Party) the German center-right liberal party, trying to change society by means of parliamentary democracy.
Quickly did he learn that the real meaning of democracy is crazy people, a system where politicians make promises to the stupid majority in exchange for votes, then engage in clientele politics, trying to please their donors and usually work in their own best interest. He doesn´t blame them, he even understands them because this is how the political incentive system works, you would basically be a fool to not take advantage of this system of mutual favors, patronage and lucrative job offers after your political career.
He came to the conclusion that freedom and change were nowhere to be found in the system and tried to create an alternative to the “best possible system, parlamentary democracy“.

Titus Gebel being interviewed by Jeff Berwick

So he wrote his book to educate people, founded his new company, Free Private Cities Inc., tried to find a state which would give up some territory to install a free private city there and apparently has found Hondurras which allowed him to start his city on a few uninhabited hectars on the island of Roatan.
The constitution was changed to allow other, already existing, native communities on Roatan to join the private city, in case the city becomes a success story and the communities so decide. So maybe, one day, the whole island of Roatan will be one big free private city.
You can find more information on his website.

Maybe I will also, in another post, elaborate a bit on the content of his book which is so brilliant that, after getting the ebook for myself, I then went to get a hardcopy as a present for some friends who were also very impressed after reading it.
In this book there is one of the most impressive, unpretentious, pragmatic and clear analyses of the state ever, its duties and obligations (which it often neglects) to its citizen, the onesidedness of the power structure basically turning once free citizens into tax slaves, etc. Any anarchist reading this analysis will beam with joy, albeit the solution Titus Gebel offers is not to smash the state in a more or less violent and bloody revolution, and history has shown that revolutions do not really have a good track record in improving the lives of people, just ask the millions killed by Stalin, Mao or Pol Pot, but to offer an alternative to the existing paradigm in the form of free private cities.

Never in the field of human conflict has this murderous ideology been dissed so funnily!

In a private city a private contractor provides the services of the state, like security, jurisdiction, arbitration, etc. for an annual fee. The one big difference, compared to the state systems we are accustomed to, is that the “social contract“ between the citizen of a private city and the provider cannot be changed arbitrarily all the time by the provider to the disadvantage of the citizen like governments like to do.
Changing laws or passing new ones, raising taxes for the sake of East Germany, compromising the security situation by allowing thousands of foreign nationals to cross the borders without proper identification and using the taxpayer´s money to accommodate them. Once them taxpayers find themselves dead under a bus, driven into a Christmas market by some terrorist, they know, they got a bad deal.
If Berlin was a private city, the relatives of those dead people could now sue the provider in an international court for negligence, for not holding up his part of the deal. That would not bring back the dead, but just the possibility of being sued incentivizes the provider to prevent those attacks, whereas the State cannot be held accountable and surely won´t pay any damages to the families of the victims.

Titus Gebel, Creating Free Private Cities

While I do not agree with all his ideas, I am for example against nuclear power and not to fond of genetic engineering, Titus Gebel´s book is thought-provoking and illuminating in many aspects and a godsend for all freedom loving folks.
For those of you on whom it dawns that "the revolution" might never come, he offers a valid and feasible alternative in which you can implement your dreams of freedom on a smaller, local scale, in a free private city.
An almost sexual relationship with money might also help there with the realization of your dreams, because I guess, especially in the beginning, free private cities are more suitable for people with money.


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You made this world a slightly better place with this post :)

thank you


Cities and the privatization of capital has allowed 60 people to be richer than all the rest of us...private cities are a terrible idea... Public Natural Cities and Industry is what we need.

To listen to the audio version of this article click on the play image.

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From the look of things, the book looks interesting and informative...
I cant wait to read it as soon as i get it tomorrow morning.


please give us more good support.and thanks for the post

Thanks for information and your work

Interesting read(your post, haven't read the book) and the book reminds me of an idea I had of buying a small island from a weak un-allied country, making ridiculous money, and going to war for independence from said country, but where are we going to find an un-allied country nowadays lol

As for anarchy, I don't think it can exist with human nature, makes a void for authoritarians as many have said. Also, who is going to hold these private cities accountable and provide incentive not to simply devolve into states as citizens(customers) begin disagreeing? International court which will eventually set a problematic precedent? Book probably provides answers... but still lol


His website and his youtube videos might also provide some answers.


I may just check it all out, if I'm going to get an island, I may as well have several strategies for governing it, if I loose the war that is.

The website certainly looks fancy. I'm very curious how the separation of city of state of country of international will go in reality but great reads nonetheless. Nice videos too, took the time to see them so I hope my original comment didn't come across as too self echo-y

Would like to read the book, I love reading books especially the ones that is highly informative....thanks for sharing

excelente informacion

Living togather is something we all are demanding

Cool. I'll look more into it.

"But that wasn't real communism"

"Fuck off"

"Read Marx, read Lenin, read Trotsky, understand history and world economy and then come back you fucking ignorant, superficial, brainwashed idiot"

PS: I'm not saying communism is the answer to everything, I actually don't know (probably not because people are dumb and greedy) but real communism 1) it was never tried and 2) it would only work if the whole world or at the very least a big part of it, was communist

Congratulations @likedeeler!
Your post was mentioned in the Steemit Hit Parade in the following category:

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I think the world wouldalready be a better place entirely, if each country would start caring about their own shit only. In this case, not trying to conquer other countries, not trying to intervene in dictatorships of other countries, not trying to exploit other countries resources (being cheap employees or natural resources).
This way, things like the fugitive crisis would probably have never happened to that extent. The biggest reason for all these issues are still WE (The OCED).

I'll love to have a free PDF copy, if available.

Interesting. Would it be appropriate to relate the private city idea to a subscription service such as Spotify or Netflix? The citizen subscribes to a service that they believe to be worth their money. If the service is lacking, and the citizen is not pleased, the citizen will cease to pay and will move away, therefore hindering the income of the private city owner. The owner of the city (this is how your descriptions have been summed up in my head correct me if I am wrong) therefore has an incentive to provide a high quality service, at a good price. If there are multiple cities owned by different people, the price of living would be driven down due to competition.

This is very interesting to me, however I think I might still prefer a market-governed ancap society :). Upvoted...


As the subtitle of the book says:
More competition in the most important market in the world, and this market is the market of living together. So the author envisions different kind of free private cities, for different kind of people, so to refer to your analogy, if you´re not happy with Amazon Prime´s movies you go to Netflix. And you´re right, the author also thinks that with time, if investors see they can make money with those cities, and governments see the advantages of ceding territory and jurisdiction to those cities, more cities will be founded and their annual fees will get cheaper.
Right now in Honduras, the government has also not agreed 100 % to Gebel´s ideas, in a recent interview he said about 70% could be realized, but that´s still better than anything else currently in existence, so it will be similar to a Free Trade Zone, but with a bit more freedom.


Very interesting. Market controlled pricing is always the best way, and works out for everybody.