Panarchism is a political philosophy emphasizing each individual's right to freely join and leave the jurisdiction of any governments they choose, without being forced to move from their current locale. The word "panarchy" was invented and the concept proposed by a Belgian political economist, Paul Émile de Puydt, in an article called "Panarchy" published in 1860.[1] The word "panarchy" has since taken on additional, separate meanings, with the word "panarchism" referring to the original definition by de Puydt.[1]

De Puydt, a proponent of laissez-faire economics,[1] wrote that "governmental competition" would allow "as many regularly competing governments as have ever been conceived and will ever be invented" to exist simultaneously and detailed how such a system would be implemented. As David M. Hart writes: "Governments would become political churches, only having jurisdiction over their congregations who had elected to become members."[2]

Panarchism has been embraced by some anarcho-capitalists and libertarian socialists, including some of those promoting secession from existing states and those advocating creation of new micronations. Max Nettlau in the early 1900s and John Zube in the latter part of the century wrote extensively on the concept in articles found on Panarchy.Org.

Three similar ideas are "Functional Overlapping Competing Jurisdictions" (FOCJ) advocated by Swiss economists Bruno Frey and Reiner Eichenberger, "multigovernment" advocated by Le Grand E. Day and others, and "meta-utopia" from Robert Nozick's Anarchy, State, and Utopia[3]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 P. E. de Puydt, "Panarchy", first published in French in the Revue Trimestrielle, Bruxelles, July 1860.
  2. David M. Hart, Department of History, Stanford University, Gustave de Molinari and the Anti-statist Liberal Tradition Part I11, The Journal of Libertarian Studies VI. No. I (Winter 1982)
  3. Le Grand E. Day, The Theory of Multigovernment, 19691977.

External links

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