Not too long ago I considered a concept called the Last ID, which would be a universal identification and authentication system initiated by the US State Department. As many people have noted, there are purportedly millions of people around the globe who perceive their stake in American government seriously enough to wish they could vote in American elections. I suspect that some of this is a result of the paranoia endemic in the viral vectors of Bush Derangement Syndrome, but certainly it does make some sense independent of that propaganda. So I promoted the idea:
Three movies come to mind when I think about how difficult it is to find ones family in war, Blood Diamond, Schindler's List and Hotel Rwanda. Forget about American civil liberties for a moment and think about what an enormous service to the world it would be if we went made a huge locator database for every human on the planet. I'm willing to suggest that a proper system wold be of tremendous benefit to humanity if it were done with the LLP concept in mind. That is to say you could absolutely and positively identify people but that through LLP, the people themselves would be in control of the associations known to the system of authentication.
And with that control of associations in mind, Fernandez of Belmont reports the following:
A paper in an Australian policy journal has proposed letting citizens choose their degree of relationship to the State in proportion to the degree to which they intend to be dependent on its assistance or guidance. Recalling Ronald Reagan’s famus dictum that ‘The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help,” ’ the authors propose that people be free to choose either to declare their dependence on the state — in which case they may be told what to do — or opt to be relatively independent so that in most cases, the government would simply get out of their lives. The need is urgent, because if something isn’t done, an increasingly intrusive government will simply consume all available free energy.
As Fernandez astutely recognizes, as soon as we opt out of citizenship, well everything breaks. I mean what if you're a welfare guy who doesn't want to spend a dime on "Reagan's Army" aren't you dependent on the army anyway? And what if you're a rich guy who doesn't want to spend a dime on "Carter's Welfare", aren't you dependent on those millions as well? If the state can't compel, it cannot rule, it cannot protect. There are only very limited ways that second-class citizenship can work, and practically speaking we already have it through the tangle of loopholes that are our lack of enforcements.
This is a consideration with regard to the applicability of
voluntary association in a national identification system - if you
allow opt out, people will probably hedge their way out of as many
obligations as possible. In which case you are going to have the kind
of situation in which banks might find themselves - lending out money
they don't actually possess based upon their assumptions about how much
people would withdraw at any time. What is the liquidity of obligation?