21 November 2011

Stateless Serbia

Stateless in Serbia

I would like to provide more of a background to my statement in the last post that the north of Kosovo is among the freest places on the world, particularly since an area which is effectively stateless must be of interest to libertarians.

There are two state-like entities which lay claim to the area in question, however, neither of them is able to exercise power in it. Washington keeps out the police and the military of the Republic of Serbia and the locals keep out every single institution of the quasi-state governed from Priština. That leaves the area with a number of civilian state institutions of Republic of Serbia, but seeing the organs of compulsion of Republic of Serbia are out of the picture, the cooperation with the former is de facto voluntary. In other words while Republic of Serbia has a presence in occupied Kosovo, it is not the presence of a coercive state.

Looking to change this condition of statelessness of the four northern municipalities are the occupying forces. This July KFOR and EULEX moved to install Kosovo Albanian police to the crossings to unoccupied Serbia in the north and to enforce there the sort of border regime the government in Priština wants. There is no doubt this would have been just the first step in a larger effort to hoist an unwanted state upon the north had things gone according to plan.

They did not, however, go according to plan. The Serbs rose up and KFOR and EULEX proved utterly and totally incapable of extracting compliance by force. As there is not the slightest bit of compliance there is neither a state, merely the presence of dangerous, armed goons in government-issued costumes. Absolute resolution of the people of the four northern municipalities not to give way defines the danger the occupying forces represent. Since no one will bow down before them the occupiers' potential for violence presents a great risk for injury and tragedy, but poses no threat to freedom. The locals having determined they will take any injury before they will see NATO impose an unwanted state upon them have eliminated the possibility the occupying forces can act as an organ of state compulsion.

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