Brock Lorber

More About: Counter-Economics

Is the Second Realm Necessary?

I received the following e-mail in response to my posting of “The Second Realm Book on Strategy - Crypto-Anarchy, Tradecraft, TAZ and Counterculture”:

Of course the first thing to happen will be the infiltration of the Second Realm by the First Realm, so any activity illegal in the First Realm will sure to be punished. There is no need for the Second Realm. Barter is legal: barter for gold/silver BBs, barter with gold/silver Bbs [sic] (voluntarysociety.org/concept/money.html). As long a [sic] money (anything with a government stamp on it) is not used, there is no "income" issue.

Granted. Since the very first part of the book is an unqualified acknowledgement of the First Realm's fetish with crime and punishment and the remainder of the book outlines strategies to avoid First Realm infiltration and punishment, there's no surprise. I'm more interested in the emailer's contention that, “there is no need for the Second Realm.”

The emailer's unsupported assertion aside, I think it's fair to ask, “is the Second Realm necessary?”

The answer is the same as for the question, “is SCUBA gear necessary?” That is, the answer depends on who you ask, and where you ask them.

To someone who is happy living off Bell Ave., subject to the whims and fancies of the self-styled “World's Toughest Sheriff”, as long as they can legally trade used tires for ammunition against thin-skinned werewolves, the answer is “no”.

To others, who want to explore new frontiers, who want individual autonomy, are willing to pay the cost, and who reject the initiation of violence to achieve it, the answer is “yes”.

To still others, who want individual autonomy but are frightened by the possibility that once they achieved it they may not be able to keep it, the answer is a solid “maybe”.

The Second Realm Book on Strategy” is as much geared toward the “maybe”s as it is the “yes”s. However, the book explicitly states it is not for the “no”s.

This is a strategy for risk-takers, entrepreneurs and adventurers. Both the risks and the expected rewards are great.

In plain terms: This is not for boys; it is for men. Facing reality is required. Change is created by people with courage, not by the timid who usually follow behind and clamor for credit after all the battles have been fought.

It will come as little consolation to the “no”s, but the Second Realm actually encourages your non-participation. In the Second Realm, you would not be an asset, but rather a liability. Further, it just may be that you will gain more individual autonomy in the First Realm than those in the Second Realm; any denizen of the Second Realm worth their stripes would applaud your superior competitiveness in the market of achieving individual social and economic liberty.

Last, it's worth noting that the world is filled with Temporary Autonomous Zones (TAZ). Every home, every house of worship, every Wednesday night poker table, and every back office of every business are a form of TAZ. The cost of security for your TAZs is a reflection of the value contained. “The Second Realm Book on Strategy” is a suggestion for securing higher-value TAZs as well as attracting higher value to your TAZ through the selling point of providing higher security.

I'm giddy with anticipation of the TAZs to come.

2 Comments in Response to

Comment by Justen Robertson
Entered on:

I haven't had a chance to read the book yet (I did download a copy!), but IMO a "second realm" has always existed. We may be approaching the first time in human culture when a large swath of the population find it not only necessary but moral. Up until now the white markets have been considered "legitimate" while gray and black markets are "shady" or even "dirty" - you'll find people who think flea markets and craigslist are morally questionable - but, maybe thanks to the more libertarian culture at the core of the internet, that perception is starting to flip. In this new light strategies for securing the black market from intrusion by violent scum (whatever costume they may be wearing) become a moral imperative, rather than an admission of guilt.

Comment by Justen Robertson
Entered on:

I haven't had a chance to read the book yet (I did download a copy!), but IMO a "second realm" has always existed. We may be approaching the first time in human culture when a large swath of the population find it not only necessary but moral. Up until now the white markets have been considered "legitimate" while gray and black markets are "shady" or even "dirty" - you'll find people who think flea markets and craigslist are morally questionable - but, maybe thanks to the more libertarian culture at the core of the internet, that perception is starting to flip. In this new light strategies for securing the black market from intrusion by violent scum (whatever costume they may be wearing) become a moral imperative, rather than an admission of guilt.


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