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Living without the state in Britain today: The case of the Irish Travellers
by John Kersey sub-topic» Values and Norms
Why should libertarians be interested in Irish Travellers? For the simple reason that when in the UK, Irish Travellers demonstrate how a life may be lived within a voluntary society that has minimal interface with the state. In addition, their life illustrates what happens when a community decides consciously to live by and to perpetuate a set of traditions and a strong ethnic identity that persists for many generations, and that shows little sign of adaptation to wider norms or assimilation into the broader mass of society. When libertarian utopians talk about the communal purchase of a plot of land, the establishing of roots and the inculcation of particular values into a future community, they should be looking to Irish Travellers both as a rare example of success in maintaining a separate way of life alongside mainstream society and also as a warning of some of the difficulties that are likely to be encountered.
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