About That German Open Border Policy

I was born and raised in Germany, and I lived there for the first 28 years of my life. That is not to say that I feel particularly German. I have always been an individualist. What ties me to Germany is more family and friends rather than a patriotic feeling about this artificial political construct. But with all of my family still living there, I still have strong ties and I visit often. That is why, even though I never want to go back and live there again, I think I still have a good idea of what is going on in the country.

These days, at political gatherings, when I mention to strangers that I am from Germany, I get often worriedly asked, how horrible the place must have become, since Merkel opened those borders at the start of the refugee crisis. There seems to be a theme in certain political circles that Germany is almost on a verge of destruction and civil war, thanks to the crazy policy of open borders. And for some strange reason, these circles overlap with the libertarian movement. To many, it proves that open borders just do not work. In other words, Germany would have done better if it had had stricter government regulations of people.

This is a very strange perception. The basic facts seem to be false and it is a wrong analysis of what the problem is. Let me assure you that Germany at no point in this century had anything even remotely resembling an open borders policy. That is to say, at no point was it legal to enter and live in Germany without the government regulating the whole process. What is referred to as open borders, in reality was something very different. Here are the facts: People licensing in Germany is very strict. You will not just be checked for a valid Government license going into Germany from a non-Schengen country, you are also checked going out. Even if you are a full citizen in Germany you have to register all your homes with the government. You also have to carry a valid identification card with you at all times.

It is very difficult for a non-Schengen citizen to obtain a license to live and work in Germany. A foreigner would usually need to have a high income job offer, which requires high qualifications. To obtain a citizenship, and therefore being freed from future visa requirements, is even harder. Someone would need to live in Germany for at least 8 years to apply. And even then, he or she would usually need to give up any other citizenship in return for a German one. So, far from having open borders, the picture is actually very grim for freedom of movement in Germany.

One of the few positive things however is that Germany has signed a lot of international law. Under this law, everyone fleeing political prosecution and violence has the right to seek refuge in a save state. And Germany definitely qualifies as one of the latter. This forces the state to not deport people whenever they are not save in their home country. People like Syrians, who are fleeing the civil war in their home region.

At least on paper, this looks good. In practice however, the government has even made that a difficult endeavor. If a person wants to apply for refuge in Germany, he or she will have to be on German territory. It is impossible to make the application from abroad. However, without a visa, crossing the border is illegal. That means someone who wants to make use of the right to seek asylum, first has to break the law.

One could make an argument that this is actually not as bad as it looks. The harshest punishment for breaking this law is that the person can be deported. But this can only happen, if there is no valid reason for seeking asylum. That means that if someone does have such a valid reason, it does not matter whether he or she breaks the law or not.

Unfortunately, that is not the whole story. This law matters in a different way. Because of it, everyone who does help someone to enter Germany without a license, even if that person has a valid asylum reason, does also commit a crime and potentially faces punishment. This is especially the case if that help is frequent and organized. Therefore, airlines, and other professional transport service providers, are not allowed to transport people without a valid visa. That is why we are seeing scary looking hordes of refugees marching through Europe, instead of simply taking the next Ryanair flight. Clearly the purpose of this law is to make it very difficult for anyone in need of asylum to actually reach a secure country like Germany. In other words, there is in practice a very cynical regime in place, in which on paper the state pretends to be a humanitarian, moral actor, while at the same time having all sorts of policies in place that reveal those gestures to be essentially a scam.

Another important restriction to the right of asylum is the so called Dublin agreement. It demands that refugees can only apply for asylum in the first EU country they enter. This is because all EU countries count as save. So if the goal is safety, it technically does not matter where they seek refuge. But in practice of course it does matter. Since no one is allowed to help a refugee entering a country like Germany without a visa, most refugees have few other choices than to walk. That way, there is hardly any chance that a refugee first enters the EU via Germany, since Germany is surrounded by other EU countries and Switzerland. On the other hand, states on the outer part of the EU, like Greece, Italy or Spain, have to deal with almost all refugees entering the union.

And when it comes to that alleged German open border policy that people ask me about, this was the real problem. Since violence escalated in the middle east, a huge amount of people were fleeing simultaneously. Most of them entered the EU through Greece. Greece is a very small country. In addition to that it had, and still has, a lot of economic problems. So it simply was not able to handle the large numbers of people coming in. And most refugees where not really keen to stay in Greece anyway, since there are no opportunities in this ruined state. Hell, even a high number of Greeks do not want to stay in Greece at the moment. So most refugees headed for the richer, northern countries, like Germany, since this is where the opportunities are.

This follows the example of historical migrations, which always tended to be from poor economic areas to richer ones. It is the market in action. People leaving unproductive areas for productive ones is employing existing capital more productively, and is beneficiary for everyone.

Because of the solvency crisis in Greece, there were, and still are, a lot of tensions between the mediterranean state and Germany. The Greeks accused Germany for behaving like a dictator, for insisting that they had to cut spending in return for new loans. The German public on the other hand, perceived the Greeks to stealing their money. There is certainly some truth to the latter, but what the German public did not understand was, that it was a bit too late to save their money. The government in Berlin had a big interest of bailing out Greece, since German banks were already holding a lot of Greek dept. That meant that German savers would have been in danger if the government in Athens had become insolvent. In other words, the German government really wanted to bail out the banking system rather than Greece. In addition to that, a bankrupt Greek government was likely to leave the Euro, which could have caused a loss in confidence in the relatively young currency.

And that is where German Chancellor Angela Merkel reacted. She announced that everyone who reaches Germany with a valid asylum reason will be granted asylum in Germany instead of Greece. She added that people from Syria are automatically seen as having a valid asylum reason.

She must have though, ok let’s kill two birds with one stone. We take the refugees off the shoulders of the Greeks. Germany can handle the refugees, and Athens in return will be pleased. In addition to that, the very unpopular solvency crisis will disappear from the headlines in Germany and replaced by news about refugees. Once out of the headlines, Greece, and the banking system can be secretly bailed out. And that is exactly what happened. At least at first.

It is important to understand that non of the German people licensing laws where at any point repealed. The borders remained just as closed as before. The only agreement that was broken was the Dublin agreement. Merkel did not say, everyone can come to Germany. She merely said, if you somehow make it to German shores, and you are a Syrian, we will not send you back to Greece, and give you asylum in Germany instead. That is all, no open borders here. It remained illegal to enter the country without a visa, making anyone essentially a criminal that helped refugees across the border. And if someone wanted to stay in Germany, they still needed a valid asylum reason or a visa. Since many people had neither, there have been a lot of deportations since.

What about the consequences?

Some people might now say that this is even more a reason against open borders. Merkel just liberalized the laws a tiny bit and you already have this disaster. How bad would the situation be, if there were truly open borders and everyone could come.

Not so fast. I agree there are problems with refugees in Germany, and many Germans are not happy about Merkel letting in those people. But the reason for the problems is not too few regulations. The reason is that there are way too many. A lot of the problems came from the attempt to regulate the situation. I warned about this in my article “Soviet Migration Chaos” which I wrote at the time.

As an asylum seeker in Germany, you first of all only have a right to be on German territory. This does not come with the right to choose where you want to live, seek employment or run your own business. For the first 3 month, asylum seekers are forced to live on taxpayer money. They have to live in an accommodation that the government provides. After that, they can apply for a very limited amount of jobs. But every time they do, the employer has to proof that there is no German who can also do the job. This is a hassle that few employers want to go through, when it comes to low qualifying jobs. So this regulation affectively prevents that refugees are able to work. It is only after 18 month that people with a valid asylum reason are allowed to freely work in Germany. That is a lot of time of forced inaction.

The whole thing is essentially a completely centrally planned endeavor. And so we are seeing the same problems we are always seeing with central planning. It appears that there is not enough space and work for all these people. This however, is unlikely a real problem. Short of super abundance, there is always more than enough work to do, if only the government does not put in work prohibitions of any kind.

But it is this welfare chaos that Germans in my experience are most unhappy about. They see all these poor people coming in, getting all this free stuff from the government. The government has even closed schools and outright confiscated private flats, in order to house refugees. This is the main cause of a lot of anger among Germans. But remarkably, many are blaming the ‘lazy’ refugees, who ‘only come for the welfare’, instead of blaming the real villain, which is the government trying to control everything. Unfortunately, we see this all too often. The government creates a big problem and then the market gets blamed for it. As a consequence, more regulations are proposed as the solution. Sadly, even some ‘free market’ people have fallen for this nonsense. But in order to fix a problem, one needs to have a correct analysis of what the problem is. And it ain’t open borders, as we do not have those.

What about security

Besides welfare, another concern of some people is security. On all kinds of nationalist blogs, I can read how places like Germany have apparently turned into war zones. This is largely based on individual report of bad experiences with refugees. Individual cases however, do not necessarily present an accurate picture of the overall situation. Of course, Germany too has an active, and in parts even violent, nationalist movement. These people never liked foreigners, and are now out on the internet, completely misrepresenting the situation. These are the kinds of people that describe the migration from unproductive and dangerous, to save and productive areas, as an invasion. ‘Invasion’ is of course a military term, which describes a forceful and hostile takeover of a territory.

But immigrants, including refugees, are usually neither armed nor hostile. To the contrary, they come in order to better their lives, and because they are attractive to the place they go to. Most of them are completely unpolitical. The use of the term invasion to describe such a peaceful market process is very revealing in my view. It shows that these people are predominantly driven by fear rather than good rational arguments.

Let us look at the facts. How dangerous are the refugees really. On the surface, there seem to be slightly more crimes being committed by them compared to locals. There is no statistic however that shows that a high number of asylum seekers are criminals. The vast majority are completely peaceful. So we are talking about a small group of trouble makers.

At a closer look, it turns out that this group of trouble makers, percentage wise, does not seem to be bigger than criminals among Germans. A significant portion of the crimes being committed are dodging public transport fares and forging documents. The latter has to do with the fact that there are people licensing laws in the first place. So these are crimes that Germans do not have to commit. And the former, while not ok, is not a damage that could be prevented with closed borders. After all, if they are not in the country, they would not pay for a ticket either. Both are crimes that more come from poverty and desperation rather than real criminal energy. If you deduct these crimes, the difference between criminal Germans and refugees disappears.

In addition to that, a lot of crimes committed by refugees are being committed in the state run accommodation facilities. So the victims are also other refugees. It turns out, locking up a lot of healthy young men of different backgrounds in small facilities, and condemn them to do nothing all day, is not a recipe for harmony. Who would have though. And once again, this is a result of state planning and not of too much freedom. If we had free migration, which of course includes free association, these people would just go out of each other’s way.

As recently released numbers show however, there is one area of crime in which the latest refugees are disproportionately often involved. And that is sexual motivated crimes. This goes from sexual harassment to rape. The difference is not huge, but at least according to crime statistics, it is there. This seems to indeed have something to do with different cultural attitudes towards women. There can of course be no tolerated for this in any shape or form. But again, we are not talking about a large number of trouble makers. Overall, the vast majority of refugees are not engaging in any criminal activity. So the correct way to deal with this type of crime is on a case by case basis and not with collective punishment.

None of these things seem particularly dramatic or worrying. And yet there seems to be some Germans who are very worried about an increase of crime. The number of licenses issued for carrying defensive weapons has gone up significantly over the last few years. I however, have yet to meet one of those people who is really altering his or her behaviors, because of a fear of refugees. The facts do not seem to merit this. Objectively, Germany remains a fairly save place with the usual western levels of crime.

What about terrorism

But then of course there is terrorism. Last year, there were a number of terrorist attacks in Germany, some of which were indeed committed by immigrants. The most lethal one was the one on 19th December at a christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people and injuring 55.

The reason why terror is so scary is, because our brain is inherently bad in dealing with probabilities. People see this and think their own lives might be in danger. The reality however is, that even in the bloody year of 2016, the chances of being caught up in a terrorist event in Germany are statistically negligible. Terrorism is factually one of the smallest problems on earth. And yet we are constantly spending a lot of time and resources solving this none problem. All because of our brain being unable to handle probabilities.

Terrorism on the whole is almost a non problem. And it certainly is not any kind of serious problem when it comes to the free movement of people. Over 1 million people have made it to Germany with asylum reasons in the last few years. But we have not even seen a handful of terrorist attacks resulting from this. The only rational conclusion to draw from this is that the number of terrorists among those coming in is indeed negligible.

The humanitarian disaster caused by closed borders

What is not negligible however, are the tens of thousands of people who have died trying to get into the fortress Europe. These people die, because they have nothing to lose, and we have nothing better to do than to put stones in their way. This has now lead to the building of huge criminal mafia organisations in northern Africa, who earn handsome returns ripping off these poor, desperate people. We are even literally seeing slave trades re-emerging in Libya.

Whoever wants to argue that we cannot have open borders, needs to make a case that open borders are worst than the humanitarian horrors we are witnessing on the outer borders of the fortress Europe. These are a direct consequence of the government trying to license people, and they seem to completely dwarf any kind of crimes and terror we have seen from refugees in places like Germany. And as we have seen, most of these problems too come from government intervention and not from free movement, which Germany never had.

So even if one wanted to argue that there was a distinct security problem with immigrants, clearly the immigration controls are not creating better outcomes. In fact, people licensing is probably the most destructive state policy after war. It just increases the misery. Unless of course, the argument is that only the misery of Europeans count. We should not care about the misery of all the other people. It is therefore perfectly legitimate to take away their freedom. This is essentially what the nationalist argument comes down to at the end. But do not call them xenophobic or racist! That is offensive and not PC. Although, even that is a too generous representation of this agenda, for they do not even care about Europeans either. They also want to tell us that we cannot associate ourselves with these foreigners. I am sorry, but as a libertarian, who believes in individual liberty for everyone, I have no respect for this line of arguing whatsoever. It is collectivism at its worst.

Greater Israel Means The End Of The Jewish State

The Israeli government is in the news again. Benjamin Netanyahu, the current prime minister of the jewish state, is angry at the Obama administration. Before christmas, the US government refused to veto a UN resolution which condemned the continuing building of jewish settlements in the occupied territories. In addition to that, US Secretary of State John Kerry gave a long speech outlining a peace strategy for the long and complicated conflict, which did not seem to be in line with what Bibi and his government had planned.

Netanyahu accused Kerry’s speech to be ‘skewed against Israel’ and called the UN resolution ‘hostile and imbalanced’. He even went so far to call it a declaration of war. As a reaction, the Israeli government summoned the US ambassador for a complained on Sunday, christmas day. But if you think the US got a particularly harsh treatment, think again. Others did not just get a complaint. Israel temporarily limited diplomatic ties to 12 of the 14 countries who voted in favour of the UN resolution.

One wonders what exactly was in the resolution and Kerry’s speech that provoked such a seemingly hysterical reaction. Astoundingly the answer is, not much really. The UN resolution, which is not even binding, simply reminds Israel that it is breaking international law with its support for the settlements in the occupied territories. According to the geneva convention, which Israel has signed, it is illegal for a state to transfer its own citizens into territories that were conquered in a war. This is not new, it has been international law since 1949.

The outrage over John Kerry’s speech is even more bizarre. Kerry simply emphasised his support for a two state solution to the conflict, in which there would be a Palestinian state next to a Jewish one. Again, this is everything but new. In fact, it has so far been the official position of the Israeli government that it is committed to such a solution. So one wonders, why is the Israeli government so angry at a proposal, that has essentially been at the heart of peace negotiations for decades?

The only plausible answer is that Bibi and his followers are not working towards creating a Palestinian state. Critiques of Israel have long pointed out that the behaviour of the government does not match its commitment towards a two state peace solution. But these critiques have, for the most part, been attacked as conspiracy theorists, often with the additional label of being anti-semites.

However, the reaction of Netanyahu to the Obama administration makes it very clear now that these critiques were right all along. Israel has long given up on the idea of giving the Palestinians a state of their own. The real plan seems to be to create a Greater Israel from the Mediterranean to the Jordan river. The settlements are there to create facts on the ground, so that there is no land left on which Palestinians could form a state.

With this, zionism, which is just a word for Jewish nationalism, is following the typical path of most nationalist movements. Time and time again, throughout history, we have seen these movements using force to expend or at least ethnically cleans territories in favour of their favoured people, suppressing and banishing unwanted ethnicities in the process. So it should be no surprise that zionism behaves like so many of its sister movements all over the planet. Nationalism proves once again to be an inherently statist and illiberal ideology.

But it looks to me like the Israeli government is overplaying its cards by aiming for a Greater Israel. There are still millions of Palestinians living in these territories. The plan of the government seems to be to make their lives as miserable as possible so that they will hopefully leave ‘voluntarily’. This however does not seem to work very well. Where would millions of these people go anyway? There are still millions of Palestinians in refugees camps who were banished during the so called Israeli war of independence. And that was almost 70 years ago. Realistically, the Palestinians in the occupied territories will not go anywhere. But if they are staying where they are, then what is the Israeli government trying to achieve? What is the end game here? Let us have a look at the options.

The worst option is to commit an outright genocide on the Palestinian population. Technically this would be no problem. The Palestinians at this point are essentially completely crushed and defenceless. And Israel has one of the strongest militaries in the world. But a genocide would obviously strip away any kind of legitimacy that Israel pretends to have. It hopefully also won’t go down easily with the majority of Israelis.

A more realistic option is to create an apartheid state, in which only Jews enjoy the full rights of citizens. This has essentially been the de facto reality in the occupied territories for decades anyway. Jewish settlers enjoy the full rights of Israeli citizens, while Palestinians live under military law. The difference is that, if a Palestinian state is off the agenda, then Palestinians will only have one other option left, which is to demand full citizenship. And history tells us that once this narrative is pushed, it will eventually succeed.

Which brings us to the last option, and most likely longterm outcome, which is a multi-ethnic state. It would mean that Israel stops being jewish. What is not to like? There are plenty of good example of such states. Israel essentially just joins the western world, which, for good reasons but with some drawbacks, since WW2 has moved away from ethnic nationalism towards multiculturalism.

Under normal circumstances there would indeed not be a problem. But nothing is normal in the middle east. These two ethnic groups clearly do not get along very well. It would take a long time to forget all the hardship of the past few decades. And on neither side I see a lot of willingness to play soft ball. Opinions within Israel seem to more and more turn to hardcore nationalism and racism. Liberal voices, pointing out the craziness of current policies, still exists, but they seem to shrink by the day. And on the Palestinian side you have lots of groups that are very open about their desire to finish what the Nazis started. Neither side has a strong Mandela like leadership figure in place that could lead a peaceful transition.

But the Jews would have a bigger problem in this multicultural solution. The Palestinians would outnumber them, which in a democracy means that they would be in charge. Given the hostilities, this would be really dangerous for the jewish population. It is this fact in particular that makes the behaviour of the Israeli government hard to understand. In the long run, their best chance of surviving this crazy statist zionist project is to do everything to create a Palestinian state and move away from explicitly calling Israel jewish. In other words, it is in their own interest to start fighting nationalism.

Unfortunately, as always in wars, statist radicals seem to be the big winners. The extreme nationalists have taken over politics in Israel and steering the ship towards an inevitable disaster. Israel will most likely go down the way of South Africa, but with a more violent ending.

At this point the question may be asked, why would anyone in England care about this. Israel is a far away country and it is just one of many screwed up conflicts, heading for a violent endgame. So why single it out. True, best advise, as always in these kind of conflicts is to stay out of the madhouse. If two groups cannot help but fight each other over some stupid ideologies, let them do it. But don’t get involved and therefore spread the conflict further and further.

The problem is that our governments have decided that Israel is an ally that deserves our help. And my greatest fear is that they will drag us right into this violent endgame. We are already the target of a lot of hate for our government’s support of this state. The sad reality is that Kerry had to wait until the end of the Obama administration in order to make a very moderate speech. That is how deeply the US government is already involved in the conflict.

This policy of support needs to end. There is nothing to win from it. In fact, the support of the US government is strengthening the hard-liners in Israel. They feel that, with such a big brother holding their hands, not much bad can happen to them anyway. It makes it difficult for them to see that they are heading for a disaster. There is almost no chance that this conflict will find a good ending. A real solution would need a correct analysis first. But such an analysis would entail an admittance that the statist zionist project was a mistake from the start.

Instead of reverting to nationalism as the solution for their very real security problems in Europe, Jews should have supported liberalism and fight nationalism. By embracing nationalism with the zionist project, they were trying to fix a problem, which was european nationalism, within the system that caused it. Since World War 2, Europe has more and more moved away from nationalism with great results. At the same time that Europe has given up on nationalism, the Middle East started to embrace it. And that has a lot to do with zionism.

A Palestinian nationalism was unimaginable before Israel. There simply was no group of people called Palestinians that would define themselves as a nation. This is the same with the Jewish nation. Prior to European nationalism, Judaism was a religion and not a nation. Now, both Jews and Palestinians have started to see themselves and nations. Interestingly, Palestinians, like Jews, have chosen religion, to be an essential part of this new nationalism. Previously, islamism was not a big problem in that particular part of the Arab world. A large number of Palestinians were christians and they got along with the jews, who always were present, just fine. Nationalism breads more nationalism which breads more violent conflicts. There can be no peace within this ideology. The only solution is to overcome it.

The EU is the Wrong Tool to Defeat Nationalism

I am very much an individualist. As such I have always despised nationalism. I am convinced that we need to overcome this ideology if we want to live in a free world. One could think now that, since I hate nationalism, I probably should like the EU. The core political agenda of the EU has always been to defeat the nation state. And it seems to work to some degree. All nationalists that I know, have a passionate hatred for the EU. And it is nationalists who are very much behind the campaign to get the UK out of the EU.

But I have to say that I have always mistrusted the logic of ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’. As much as I dislike nationalism, I also dislike the EU. The EU is simply the wrong tool to defeat this ideology. Neither do I think that it will succeed in defeating nationalism, nor do I think that if it did, it would replace it with something better. The opposite might very well be the case.

The biggest problem with nationalism is that it is married to the state. I cannot think of any coherent theory of how to identify a nation that does not involve a state like political structure. So strong is the connection that every nationalist movement seem to automatically aim for a sovereign nation state. That is why we are seeing all European nationalists cry for an end of the EU, which threatens the sovereignty of their beloved nation state. In addition to that, we of course also seeing all kings of national liberation movement within the accepted nation states, which just goes to show how arbitrary the concept of a nation is.

But of course, nation states are a big problem in and of itself. When Europe only consisted of nation states, these states all insisted of putting up trade barriers between them. Even, worse, very often they saw each other as threats and fought wars all the time. These type of politics were very destructive for the well being of Europeans.

However, what was the problem? The problem was states. Ordinary people have better things to do than trying to stop each other from making trade deals or killing other people, who they have never met, in foreign countries. It is states who organise and facilitate these crimes. So it does make perfect sense to try to do something against these nation states.

Enter the EU. The EU tries to solve the nation state problem by putting an even bigger state on top of all the nation states. That way, so the idea goes, this more powerful big brother state can stop the nation states from committing crimes.

This seems to work to some degree. We have not seen any war between the members of the EU. And trade barriers, including migration barriers have fallen. However, the fundamental problem with the EU is that it is itself a state. And if states are the problem, then how is a bigger state going to solve it? It seems we are just trading one problem for others.

We have some precedents for what the EU is trying to do. Take Germany for example. Germany once was split up into dozens of small, independent states. And it had the same problems as Europe. These states were putting trade barriers up and fought wars against each other. Finally, Prussia, one of the two big kingdoms (the other being Austria) united all the small states into one big state.

And sure enough, there were no trade barriers within Germany anymore and the different ex-states, have not fought wars against each other ever since. But that is not to say that Germany did have free trade with the world and ended every kind of military engagement. The opposite is true. The destruction caused by this new state just got bigger. It got involved, and was arguably responsible, for two world wars and massacred millions of its own citizens. Yes, little German statism had its problems. But uniting Germany into one big state, in hindsight, looks like the worst possible solution for it. In fact, it was no solution at all. And yet, strangely, although everyone seems to agree that the history of a unified Germany is very problematic, few people would even suggest that the solution was faulty. The belief in the alternative of ever bigger statist solutions seems unlimited.

The US is another bad example. It first had a constitution, the articles of confederation, that did not have a central government above the individual states. But they quickly had a counter revolution that succeeded in installing a central government. And now we have a gigantic state that is running the biggest empire in human history. It is bullying everyone on the planet to bow to their demands. And no, it is not a good deal for its own citizens either. They are tax slaves even if they physically leave the country. And they have a very hard time to escape the law, if the US wants them. We just saw this with Edward Snowden, whose only possible refuge was Russia of all places. That is because the US Empire is big enough to enforce their laws and regulations, no matter how bad or silly, far beyond its borders. And lately, it even started to charge people huge exit fees in case their dare to say no to its citizenship.

The EU is on its best way to become like the US. If we know one thing about states, it is that they grow and grow and grow. Short of a revolution, nothing seems to be able to stop them from doing just that. We already have a European police that makes it hard to hide from the legislature of the individual states, no matter how unlibertarian it is. If the EU continues, we will soon see the establishment of a European army. This will be the beginning of another european imperialism, only this time American style. And of course sooner or later they will have a centralised tax policy that prevents the currently existing tax competition.

Many people will say, well this cannot happen. Every single member state would need to agree on this and there will always be someone in opposition. Yes, sure, there are some barriers. But, again, states always grow. They eventually overcome these barriers. The problem is, they can try as often as they want, they only have to succeed once. They may fail 20 times. But then the 21st time, there will be a special historic situation in which suddenly everyone does agree. At that point a new government department will be established. And of course, once established, it will be impossible to get rid of.

The Euro is a good example of this. Just like the EU, most criticisms of the Euro seem to be ill informed. No, you do not need a common fiscal policy to use the same currency. No, it is not the fault of the Euro that people in many Euro states are voting for socialists that are expending the welfare state to unaffordable levels. And no, these countries are not better off leaving the Euro and inflating their way out of it. Inflation has never made any economy richer.

Just like nation statism in general, monetary nationalism is a big problem. It makes trading across state borders more expensive and risky. And it gives the control over a currency to a single government, that can then use it politically without any opposition. Compared to national currencies, the Euro looks a lot better. It reduces the cost of trading within the Euro zone significantly. And it makes it difficult to instrumentalise the currency for political purposes.

Difficult, but not impossible, as we are seeing at the moment. Yes, for a while it looked like the Euro was working well. States that got into trouble had to cut spending and deflate their economies. That is because there was a lot of opposition to money printing. But eventually, this opposition was overcome. Now, the ECB is engaging in huge money printing programs and has set its interest rates below zero. But since the Euro is now covering a much bigger area than the national currencies, the damage being caused by this money printing is much bigger. In other words, as bad as national monetarism is, the Euro has now proven to be the wrong solution.

One interesting aspect about the fall of the Euro is that the Euro had a no bailout clause as a core part of its design. This clause was suppose to prevent the Euro to be used as a tool to bailout bankrupt states within the Euro zone. Had this clause been observed, the Euro would still be a pretty good currency. But it was not. The interesting thing about this is, that the clause was actually never repealed. Technically it is still the law in the Euro zone.

This is a phenomenon that we see over and over again with states. If there is a law in the books that is supposed to stop the state from growing, this law is simply ignored when it becomes inconvenient and cannot be formally removed. This is so common that markets, from the very beginning bet against the no bailout clause. This bet turned out to be a very lucrative trade. It is simply naïve to believe that states can be limited by written laws. It is precisely this observation that made me an anarchist.

So what is the right solution? The answer is, we need to get the government out of money. In other words, letting the market choose its own currency. However, political solutions like the Euro actually make this real solution more difficult. Because the real solutions will have to compete with the political ones. And the political ones have a lot more physical force on their side.

And that is true for the EU as a whole. Other then the official leave campaign suggests, the problem with the EU is not that it is undemocratic. It actually looks more democratic than the UK. But democracy in general simply does not work. Westminster will listen just as little to ‘the people’ than Brussels will. And it is just as capable passing tons of regulations. So to give Westminster more power is something completely different for demanding self determination.

Brussels simply has a PR problem. That arguably, actually makes it a more attractive government than Westminster from a libertarian point. A government that is seen as legitimate is much more dangerous than an illegitimate one, as people are more likely to obey its command. In other words, Westminster can probably get away with a lot more tyranny than Brussels can at the moment.

But, we really need to get rid of both, Westminster and Brussels. The way I see it is, if we get rid of Brussels we have one down, one to go. The real solution to the nationalism problem is global markets. But the EU is actually not helpful for that goal. First of all, since Brussels is loathed, it gives the national parliaments a much higher legitimacy. The governments of the nation states increasingly discover that they can just blame all problems on that other government in Brussels. So it is actually backfiring in the fight against nationalism.

But more importantly, nation states are not capable to deal with a globalised world. Today, more than ever, people and companies vote with their feed if they dislike the politics of a state. The more states exist, the more they are competing for productive people. And the more they are competing the less power they can actually exercise. The market can play divide and conquer with them.

Of course, there is a great need for international rules. If we destroy the state solutions for providing these rules, the market will come up with private ones. If on the other hand, politics provides them, the market for these products will be damaged or even destroyed.

That is not to say that we should oppose treaties that break down trade barriers. Ever treaty that fuels the competition between states should be welcome. But these treaties should not come from international governments like the EU. As soon as we establish institutions like the EU, whose purpose is to regulate, then that is what they are going to do, whether it is useful or not. Single treaties can be accepted or rejected one at a time. And there is no international political body that immediately goes to the next regulation once it has signed the last one. I cannot see, why there could not be a treaty like Schengen, which gets rid of all these, highly destructive, border controls, without having an international government.

We will need to crush the nation state eventually. But we have to do it with the means of the free market and not of politics. If we use ever bigger states as the solution, we will solve one problem and get 10 new ones in return. The EU, just like a bunch of other international institutions, are the wrong way to do it. We need to get rid of them.

The UK leaving the EU will probably be a big step into that direction. Of course, it will be very disruptive. All the talks about new, favourable deal with the EU after a Brexit are nonsense in my view. The EU is a political and not an economic project. I would be surprised if there is any deal at all. Since when do traitors get good deals? They get hanged publicly, to deter all other potential traitors. The most likely offer will be that the UK can re join the EU as a full member at any time, if it comes to its senses. Until then, out means out. There will be no deal whatsoever.

This will be the most likely outcome, because if the UK got any deal that is at all attractive, a lot of other states will then demand the same. And that would be the end of the EU. Not negotiating with Britain is pretty much the only way they can rescue this political project after a Brexit. And even then, they might no succeed in rescuing it. But to me, the chance of the EU blowing up completely is even more reason to leave. It might be disruptive in the short term, but in the long term, Europeans will most likely be better off.