What options are available to a U.S. citizen who rejects the authority of all levels of government (an anarchist in the strict sense)?

This hypothetical person wants neither the protection of the state nor the services provided by it. Some specific things that this person would wish not to do: pay taxes, invest in social security, purchase healthcare, obey the police. Lets say that this person has a piece of property on which he lives and is willing to accept that when he leaves this property he must obey the laws of the state. What if he has a group of people who wish to self organize into a free association and live on his piece of property without either the burdens or services of the state?

I should say that I am not this person (I consider myself an upstanding citizen), but I have friends who like to discuss these ideas.

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    Found it, Republic of Molossia, not that I consider it a real sovereign nation.
    – user1873
    Jan 25, 2014 at 21:06
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    "What if he has a group of people who wish to self organize into a free association and live on his piece of property without either the burdens or services of the state?" - it's been tried twice before. First time it worked, 230-odd years ago. Second time it failed, 150-odd years ago.
    – user4012
    Jan 25, 2014 at 23:32
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    @DVK Though I appreciate your comment, I was referring to something on a smaller scale such as a commune. Jan 25, 2014 at 23:54
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    @ChrisMueller - you mean Branch Davidians? That's mere what, 15-20 years ago
    – user4012
    Jan 26, 2014 at 0:31
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    Out of curiosity, would this citizen also be producing their own food, water and other infrastructure, or would they be paying for others to do so via US$? If the latter, where would the money come from? Because if it's earned off of the property, there would be no relevance to not paying taxes while on the property.
    – Bobson
    Jan 27, 2014 at 15:38

3 Answers 3


A few options:

1) Move to Alaska and get a homestead. Laws do apply in Alaska, but if you move out far enough, you will be lucky to see people, much less the police. On a subsistence agriculture homestead, you will not likely owe taxes and can work the land for free in a commune. There are a few people who have homesteads that do gold mining, as well.

2) Buy a yacht and move to international waters. There are no laws and no taxes there, so you will only have to follow laws and pay sales or other taxes while on land. Supporting oneself may be difficult. There is always piracy (obviously the best option here), running a casino, or providing boutique travel tours. Start a small shipping company based out of a nation that has no corporate taxes and renounce your citizenship. You don't have to be a citizen of any nation with this lifestyle. You might try shipping supplies to oil rigs or resupplying research vessels. Some food can be provided through hydroponics and fishing (non-commercial, otherwise limits will apply when you bring the fish back to land).

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    ARRRRRRRRRRRR! +1.and a bottle of rum
    – user4012
    Mar 10, 2014 at 16:31

You can renounce your citizenship, and leave the country.

The details can be found on the State Department's website and the law that governs it, (Section 349(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1481) but in brief:

(5) making a formal renunciation of nationality before a diplomatic or consular officer of the United States in a foreign state, in such form as may be prescribed by the Secretary of State; or

(6) making in the United States a formal written renunciation of nationality in such form as may be prescribed by, and before such officer as may be designated by, the Attorney General, whenever the United States shall be in a state of war and the Attorney General shall approve such renunciation as not contrary to the interests of national defense.

They also note that renunciation of citizenship won't in itself shield you from taxes, military service, or other financial obligations:

The U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Supreme Court have concluded that the intention to relinquish U.S. nationality required for purposes of finding loss of nationality under Section 349(a) of the INA does not exist where a renunciant claims a right to continue to reside in the United States, unless the renunciant demonstrates that residence will be as an alien documented properly under U.S. law. [...]

Persons considering renunciation should also be aware that the fact that they have renounced U.S. nationality may have no effect whatsoever on their U.S. tax or military service obligations. Nor will it allow them to escape possible prosecution for crimes which they may have committed in the United States, or repayment of financial obligations, such as child support payments, previously incurred in the United States or incurred as a United States national abroad. Questions about these matters should be directed to the government agency concerned.

This hypothetical person wants neither the protection of the state nor the services provided by it. [...] this person would wish not to do: pay taxes, invest in social security, purchase healthcare, obey the police.

Not obeying the police is pretty easy if you aren't in the US. They likely do not have jurisdiction outside the US. Failure to follow a lawful order is usually a criminal offense in most US states (I just used the first google link)

§ 20-114.1. Willful failure to obey law-enforcement or traffic-control officer; firemen as traffic-control officers; appointment, etc., of traffic-control officers.

(a) No person shall willfully fail or refuse to comply with any lawful order or direction of any law-enforcement officer or traffic-control officer invested by law with authority to direct, control or regulate traffic, which order or direction related to the control of traffic.

Purchasing healthcare isn't a requirement for non-citizens.

Undocumented immigrants aren’t subject to the individual shared responsibility requirement.

Non-citizens who do not work in/for the US do not pay Social Security or Income Tax. You could chose one of the professions that is exempt from these taxes and reside in the US, but that would require you obey police officers.

Nonresident aliens, in general, are also liable for Social Security/Medicare Taxes on wages paid to them for services performed by them in the United States, with certain exceptions based on their nonimmigrant status. The following classes of nonimmigrants and nonresident aliens are exempt from U.S. Social Security and Medicare taxes:

The Internal Revenue Code imposes the liability for Social Security and Medicare taxes on both the employer and the employee who earns income from wages in the United States. The Code grants an exemption from Social Security and Medicare taxes to nonimmigrant scholars, teachers, researchers, and trainees (including medical interns), physicians, au pairs, summer camp workers, and other non-students temporarily present in the United States in J-1, Q-1 or Q-2 status.

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    And move where? This answers the question if "state" = USA, but then you are somewhere else.
    – gnasher729
    Dec 10, 2017 at 14:44
  • @gnasher729, if you are somewhere else(especially in a non-western country), then you are not an anarchist, but a fighter for freedom, and should definitely ask USAID for help in your activities. Remember - if you are not in the US - you are not a criminal, you are a political activist! Mar 19, 2020 at 7:18

People should not rip themselves out of society and their social surroundings. Doing so is also statistically impossible, i.e. only a few rich people can actually manage this, if any can at all.

An option, if not the option to consider is investing efforts and resources in building a mass Anarchist movement. This may not be that fantastic a prospect, given that most US population is disaffected with the political establishment and most young people have a positive view of Socialism in general. Either this works soon enough and one gets to enjoy some post-revolutionary freedom, or it doesn't and one has spent one's life on a worthy endevor which is hopefully fulfilling in itself.

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    -1: answering questions like "how do I do X?" with answers like "you don't need X, do Y instead" are, at least, not constructive and can be even considered rude by some readers. Regardless of the fact that "Y" can be, indeed, a better option for the vast majority of people. Dec 9, 2017 at 16:05
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    @bytebuster: 1. This is not a "how do I do X" questions, it's a "what are my options if I want X" which is not the same thing. 2. That is the option that real-world Anarchists take (and I don't mean rich property owners who want to not pay taxes).
    – einpoklum
    Dec 9, 2017 at 17:24

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