Are the sovereign citizens the true anarchist vanguard?
At least around the borders.
Most of the examples of quasi-libertarian societies in history draw upon barbarian tribes and frontier societies. The individualist, nomad libertarians of Ricardo Duchesne, medieval Iceland and old Ireland are cases in point. But so is frontier California.
Academic libertarianism has had only limited influence upon the Patriot and Sovereign Citizen movements, yet these are by far the most earnest attempts to actually revoke the monopoly on jurisprudence and violence that the American Federal Empire claims. This is not to say that they have been successful, and perhaps their strategies are a bit muddled, but they have at least tried – which is more than one can say for ‘agorists’ and the Cato Institute.
Libertarianism as a material doctrine requires a rough egalitarianism in the means of economy and violence, not an equality between individuals but the presence of enough prosperous individuals with diverse ‘stakes’ that they can combine and oust numerically inferior and wealthier opposition. This means the average person must be self-motivated, ready to change occupation, and willing to move both when pressed and when new opportunities present.
It presumes that individuals feel both entitled and capable of taking the law into their own hands when more routine measures are not at hand. This is tremendously helped if the average person is familiar and comfortable with the use of arms, and that these are actually to hand in unexpected situations.
While the academic system of libertarian law and the anti-nomian sermons of professional libertarians are nothing to be scoffed at, the attainment of a society who really approximates these trends one requires first a decentralized world. For psychological and historical reasons, libertarianism will not become a general creed of mankind. If, by the breakdown of traditional empires a situation presents itself – in which adventurous, skilled, and risk-taking people who feel confident taking their lives and fortunes into their own hands – perhaps doctrinaire libertarianism could find itself at the axis of that.
The libertarian missionaries need a warrior caste.