But with the invention and subsequent availability of computer technology and the internet, combined with public key cryptography, the tide shifted. At the very least, it allows knowledge workers unbind themselves from the land. Programmers, web designers, architects, and engineers can work from anywhere in the world, using a laptop computer as an office. Communications can be conducted over the internet, with encryption making it truly private. Digital currency is pseudononymous and secure. Suddenly one can converse and trade, while avoiding government agents who would control or rob you. The beauty of strong crypto is this: all the tanks in the world cannot bust PGP. Even if states find a way to break any given crypto system, it's too expensive to try. Besides, you can simply switch to the next great system. Finally, the return on force is sinking like a stone.
The new revolution of power ... is liberating individuals at the expense of the twentieth-century nation-state. Innovations that alter the logic of violence in unprecedented ways are transforming the boundaries within which the future must lie. ... You stand at the threshold of the most sweeping revolution in history. Faster than all but a few now imagine, microprocessing will subvert and destroy the nation-state, creating new forms of social organization in the process. - James Davidson and Lord William Rees-Mogg, The Sovereign Individual
The political manifestation of this is devolution - the decentralization of power from the few centralized entities to the many dispersed entities and individuals. We see the trend already in the increasing number of political entities. The Soviet Union devolved in 1991, resulting in a dozen new protection providers. Yugoslavia also devolved into Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Kosevo, and Montenegro. The number of entities continues to increase. This is a wonderful trend for anarchists! Obviously, the more political entities there are, the smaller they are.
But they are still states, you say. This is where we utilize our knowledge of panarchy. There is a continuum from immigration to migration to voting with your feet to shopping for the best PDA. As more and more entities compete for citizen-taxpayers, these formerly ruled people become customers. In short, political entities can be expected to evolve, through competition, into PDAs, and citizens evolve into customers. This is not the evolutionary anarchism that Godwin or Thoreau predicted, but it will do nicely!
One major benchmark will be the breakup of the USEmpire. Already its bloated theft and redistribution system, and more importantly, its imperial overstretch, is obvious. Its trillion dollar deficit, financed by monetary inflation, is not sustainable. Hyperinflation of the dollar is foreseeable, perhaps imminent. The devolution of the US will be every bit as good for freedom as the devolution of the USSR was.