Martin Jacobson: Land & Liberty: On the Natural Monopoly of Violence

  • Datum: 7 juni 2024, kl. 13.15
  • Plats: Brusewitzsalen, Östra Ågatan 19, Uppsala
  • Typ: Disputation
  • Respondent: Martin Jacobson
  • Opponent: Robert Huseby
  • Handledare: Jonas Hultin Rosenberg, Johan Tralau
  • Forskningsämne: Statskunskap
  • DiVA


This thesis explores the analytical relationship between geoism, also known as left-libertarianism, and libertarian anarchism. Geoists argue that private property in land is unjust since no one has created the land. Furthermore, they contend that such landownership is the root cause of many social problems, generating systematic inequality and poverty. Hence, geoists argue that the economic rent of land should be shared equally among all. Similarly, libertarian anarchists claim that states are inherently unjust and that state-created privileges are the root cause of many social pathologies. Accordingly, they reject state authority and argue that society should instead be organized via voluntary associations. While both geoism and anarchism can be interpreted as versions of libertarianism, they are rarely discussed in relationship with each other. In this thesis, I seek to address this research gap. 

I argue that we can understand the territorial authority of states as a form of landownership, thereby facilitating a dialogue between these traditions. As an implication of this, I argue that the anarchist rejection of states can be extended to a rejection of landownership, while the geoist rejection of landownership can be extended to a rejection of state authority. However, it is often assumed that states are necessary to bring about an equal distribution of rent, rendering geoism and anarchism incompatible. Thus, this thesis also seeks to address the question of whether these ideologies are compatible, exploring possible non-state mechanisms for achieving a geoist distribution of rent. Finally, the thesis also considers political strategies that activists could use to achieve a more equitable distribution of rent, independent of state policy. 

Thus, this thesis seeks to provide an original contribution to the libertarian literature. The “geo-anarchist” position I explore is barely mentioned in the current academic literature. Nonetheless, I strive to show that it is not only a logically coherent position but also that it seems to follow from many of the internal commitments of libertarian theory.