Strategies for Autonomy

by Jim Davidson
[email protected]

Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break in pieces.

— Étienne de la Boètie, On Voluntary Servitude, Anno Domini 1548

For many years, I knew there were issues with the way Americans were treated by their government. My high school required a two-semester class in the constitution to graduate. So I had a deep understanding of the balance of powers, the federalism that supposedly let states limit federal government authority, and a sense that quite a lot of what had been designed was not being upheld.

For example, president Jimmy Carter responded to an oil price shock by declaring a national speed limit. You can search the constitution high and low for any presidential authority to have a national speed limit on highways in the several states. There is none. To make it happen, the president conspired with congress to prevent block grants to the states so they could not get the highway funds they were expecting from the gasoline taxes collected by the states (and by gas service stations) and sent to the federal government. Bizarrely, from my perspective, the states all caved on this matter, though Montana held out for a time.

But, as with many people living in those halcyon Summer days, I did not notice that I myself was not free until I was falsely charged with felony gambling promotion of a lottery in Anno Domini 1991 for trying to give away a trip to the Soviet space station Mir. That is a story for another time. I’ve gone over it in essays published on various sites, and in two of my books (Being Sovereign and Being Libertarian). It did get my attention being hauled to a jail in Houston where every wall had a sheet of paper from the 5th Circuit Court announcing that being held for any time there was, in the court’s opinion, cruel and unusual punishment. The raw sewage on the floor of the big holding cell and the overcrowded conditions in the smaller holding cell were among the reasons for the court’s opinion.

What, then, to do? Yes, I did eventually get out of jail thanks to my friends and business associates. Yes, eventually the state of Texas and Harris county agreed that I had been operating a lawful sweepstakes and dropped the charges. No, they did not apologise or pay compensation.

Two years later there was a group in Nevada that were convinced their candidate had been cheated. Tamara Clark had run for the state legislature from Clark County as a Libertarian. She was ahead in the vote counts on election night. Then about 3 a.m. the voting system went off line. When it came back a few hours later, her exact vote total now showed up under her opponent’s name, and his vote total under hers. Boxes of evidence were gathered by their team and presented to the state senate committee in charge of reviewing vote fraud in house elections. The committee adjourned without looking at any of the evidence. So those guys decided to start their own country. This idea got my attention.

So I moved to South Henderson, Nevada, a place near Las Vegas, and began working for The Atlantis Project. That led me to write my first book, The Atlantis Papers which described the constitution and law that they had drafted. And shenanigans took place, the founding conference for the new country was never held, one of the founders apparently covered his stock market margin calls with the funds that had been raised, and the project was kaput. I was back in Texas by that time.

New Country Foundation

The good news is that I met Courtney Smith, the financier and world-famous commodities and stock trader. He read my book. Then he emailed me, and we spoke on the phone. In AD 1995, he invited me to speak at the founding conference of the New Country Foundation. We had a newsletter talking about different strategies for starting a new country.

At the conference, I met Mike Oliver who had succeeded in building a country by dredging sand from the ocean depths to build up a sub-sea mount. He funded it with money from Sir John Templeton. The Republic of Minerva was recognised by New Zealand because it was helpful to ships in the area, having a beacon alerting mariners to the sea mounts in the area, and having emergency supplies. The island was vacant while Mike and his team were putting together a group to come live there full time. That’s when the CIA had the kingdom of Tonga invade, wreck the place, and conquer it. Yes, the United Nations recognises territory taken in conquest. And Sir John did not want a war, so the group did not reconquer their island.

Many discussions were held, and I learned about a group called, at the time, the International Society for Individual Liberty. I began working with a Dutch diplomat, Michael van Notten, who had been working on building a free port in Somalia since AD 1990. He was attracted by the fact that the Somalis had gotten rid of their national dictator. He had been involved at the founding of what is now called Liberty International about a decade before his venture in Africa began.

So, among many other trips, I spent time at some of the world congresses of Liberty International, travelled in many parts of Europe, and visited Somalia quite a few times. It is my view that Somalia has too many governments. It is also my view that there are no free countries on Earth. I could go into considerable detail, and I’m happy to be challenged on this matter.

But everyone who has tried to get me to move to another country has failed to convince me that I would find much greater freedom there. And, brother, people have tried to convince me! I could go into detail, but those stories are also for another time.

Building Freedom

Although I had not completely dismissed all possibility for finding a free country until some years later, I had gotten in touch with some folks working on freedom projects in Montana, Saskatchewan, and other parts of the free mountain West. In fact, we had a gathering, the Grand Western Conference II, in Three Forks, Montana in AD 2004. At that event we wrote and signed a declaration of independence for the Free Mountain West.

The network of people I know who believe in freedom and are pursuing individual autonomy has grown quite large. And it is here in the Western provinces and states of North America that I believe freedom has the most fertile ground. So I am here working on that now.

What we need are ways to communicate privately, like Signal and Session. We need online markets for buying and selling, as we now have on Telegram and on sites like We need newsletters and newsletters need subscribers. We need advertisers and freedom oriented companies. We need introductions so we can find one another. We need prayers so we can receive God’s help. We need events and meetings so we can learn from each other and connect in person. We need ways of finding places to live, and free places where we can have real privacy. Basically, all these things exist. But they aren’t accessible to everyone. There is no app, no place, no network that has all the things free people need and want. So, I’ve been asked to build that network up and expand it by building a new network.

Space Privé is developing a network of private spaces and services. These are intended for members who seek privacy, luxury, and some degree of anonymity. Members of the network pay for features they seek and are matched with an AirBnB style location, a hotel, or another facility we operate. We plan to initially focus on Las Vegas, Nevada, then expand into other cities.

A typical booking might be for a private room in a home with shared kitchen, bath, living area, and work space. A luxury booking could include catered meals or an on-site chef, home cinema, meeting spaces, high end accommodations, private drivers, local event tickets, and other services. An economy booking might be a bunk bed in a shared dormitory room with a private locker. Members at any financial level can earn credits for upgrades, free meals, event tickets, classes, and special services. Our goal is to keep all of our facilities fully booked, even at discounted rates, year-round.

Some network members need wheelchairs, nursing care, on-site rapid response care, and other access to health support. We provide what people need to make sure their stay with us is safe, healthy, and happy, charging for these features.


One challenge in the hospitality industry today is finding and keeping qualified staff. There are a variety of approaches to this matter. Ours is to identify effective workers and recruit them, train them, and provide them with amenities they need to enhance their lives. People who work for us, after a six-month mutual trial to establish a good fit, qualify to be members of our network, earning meals, vacations, event tickets, classes, and special services of their preference, so they are rewarded in part through regular pay and in part through benefits they choose. Treating people well and making the work experience pleasant will win contractor and subcontractor loyalty in ways that cannot be attained by simply paying more.


For our initial foray into hospitality, Las Vegas offers an array of schools teaching housekeeping, computer skills, cooking, driving, nursing, emergency medical skills, security service skills, and other vocations. There are thousands of homes available for sale or lease, dozens of commercial properties adaptable to our needs, hotels and motels for sale, and plenty of real estate on which to build to suit. We can easily provide members of our network storage services through any number of facilities in town, marking these up as appropriate. As in all post-pandemic cities, there are transient and indigent populations who are seeking work and looking for shelter, food, and health care. We can identify these people and provide for their needs, then select our team members from among them as well as from standard temp agency and employment solicitation methods.

As we expand we can coordinate with non-profit agencies to earn charitable deductions. In all our locations we’ll consider development of low-cost housing, ambulance services, search and rescue services, charity clinics, or other community services to enhance our local reputation in suitable ways.

Big Market

How big is the market for membership in a global freedom community? Our research indicates that about 54 million Americans were neither in the work force nor on food stamps at the end of 2019. About 125 million Americans don’t vote although they are qualified to do so, don’t file income tax papers, and don’t respond to the census. These groups of gig economy, non-voter, non-filer, non-responder people have significant but not perfect overlap. We assume not more than 50 million Americans and 200 million worldwide are in our market for services. Our model projects 163,544 members at all levels in 2026, which is 0.33% of the American market.

For their membership fee, members receive newsletters, special reports, books, access to private spaces, and at higher levels, consulting services including physical security, software security, communications privacy, data security, and financial services. Members have access to the network of members to provide goods and services on a for fee or barter basis. The system is accessed through web pages, apps, encrypted voice over IP, customer service phone numbers, and at in-person locations. In the event of external systemic failures the network provides support and access to members and their families at all levels to reach safe houses, safe valleys, and to be retrieved by whatever means necessary.

Here are some of those services that will be available to members.

Prayer Service

Those who pray are encouraged to pray for one another. No fee, ever. If you don’t pray, no obligation either. If you want to learn to pray, many will help you learn.

Introduction services

We know a lot of really smart people. Members of SpacePrivé receive free introductions by our founder and by some of our primary members. We make introductions on various platforms.

Marketing services

Members of SpacePrivé who have goods and services to market are able to reach our exclusive clientele. More importantly, we offer marketing expertise from some of the world’s great expert marketers.

Newsletters from top experts

Many of the smart people we know write newsletters. Depending on your level of membership, you can choose from various free and paywall newsletters that we offer. You can also receive commissions for selling certain newsletter subscriptions to others.

Hospitality services

We have many places to stay and we know people all over the world. So if you need accommodations for travel, for an emergency, or for ordinary life, we are here to help. Members receive free or discounted housing based on situation, rewards, and market factors.

Technology services

Many of the smart people we know make technology stuff work. Some of them make it work better. So if you need help with a tech problem, we can provide experts and support personnel. We can help you find gigs, too.

Education services

Many of the smart people we know are teachers. We can book a teacher for your needs, and if you are a teacher we can get you gigs in many different locations.

Security services

Some of the smart people we know are really good with weapons, security analysis, and defence. If you need security services, let us help you. If you provide security services, we can help book gigs for you.

Get out of trouble services

We’ve been operating mutual aid response teams for twelve years. If you need help getting out of trouble, or staying out of trouble, we know people who can help. These include lawyers, bail bonds people, sober living service providers, and many more.

Commissions for recruiting new members

Being part of our network means that you earn 10% or more every time a new member signs up, as well as ongoing renewal commissions (typically 5% or more).

Rewards points for many things you’d do anyway

You book services through our network, we provide rewards points. These can be redeemed for services in our network.

The objective is to provide strategies for autonomy and learn as we go. I don’t claim to have all the answers. But I do think the answers exist, and that working together we can make things happen.

The Crisis

Ultimately, the system we’ve been living with, and within, is failing. There were certain key events that enabled the previously somewhat-limited government to become enormous and take on unwarranted powers. I can trace the groups involved back to 1745 and the events in the United States all through its history. But certain familiar events show the basic time line.

The newspapers and magazines read by many Americans were bought up in the 1890s and their new owners wanted a war for empire. They got one in the Spanish American war. The wealth from this war enticed them to further acts of corruption. Meanwhile, Cecil Rhodes and others wanted to destroy European civilisation with a “great war” out of greed, jealousy, and hatred. To accomplish that, they needed a Federal Reserve system and other central banks to help with funding the war. They began the insidious process regulation under Teddy Roosevelt with the FDA, the even more insidious process of income taxation and annual reporting requirements, and found great enthusiasm for their work with racist Woodrow Wilson. Probably with his creation of the FBI the corruption became irreversible. Certainly with Truman’s creation of the CIA, NSA, and NATO, there was no reform ever again possible.

And so presidents have been assassinated, duly elected governments overthrown, and a fifth world war is now upon us. (Yes, the 7 years war and the American revolutionary war were also world wars.) This war seems destined to also include the use of nuclear weapons. The survival of mankind depends, then, on decentralising power, eliminating government corruption by eliminating many agencies, and freeing the enslaved, worldwide. To accomplish these things, we have to live through the times we’re in.

So, I’m asking you to join this new network. I’m inviting you to help build new ways of doing things, and use ones that have been built but not yet adopted by everyone. There’s a great deal at stake. Which means there are enormous opportunities for success, for heroism, and for martyrdom. Not all of us are going to see things through to better times. But, as TE Lawrence once said, when he agreed to take 50 men across the Empty Quarter and attack the 4,000 Turkish troops at Aqaba with recruits from nearby tribes, “It’s going to be fun!”


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