At the most basic level, my view is closest to Murray Bookchin’s libertarian municipalism. That is, rather than locating sovereignty in the national or state level governments, or in individuals, it should be located in communities small enough for citizens to meet in face-to-face assemblies. With technological advances in the internet, maybe not all meetings need to be in-person. Differing work schedules and personal commitments can, and should be, accommodated by using message boards, email lists, or social networking sites to carry on most ongoing discussions. Still, occasionally, maybe once a month or so, neighbors should meet at the same time and place, in the flesh, for real-time discussions, and more importantly, to create social bonds that just don’t form (or rarely do, at least) through virtual communications.
Large cities and metropolitan areas, as well as those entitites we currently call counties, states, or nations, should be confederations of these sovereign municipalities, wards, or communities, or even confederations of confederations. This is the only structure of governance in which liberty can inhere. However, that does not mean the idea is problem-free. Bookchin attempts to address this:
“If particular communities or neighborhoods — or a minority grouping of them choose to go their own way to a point where human rights are violated or where ecological mayhem is permitted, the majority in a local or regional confederation has every right to prevent such malfeasances through its confederal council. This is not a denial of democracy but the assertion of a shared agreement by all to recognize civil rights and maintain the ecological integrity of a region” (Libertarian Municipalism: An Overview. Green Perspectives, No. 24, Oct. 1991).
(to be continued)