'Jefferson's response to Kercheval in 1816 outlined the necessity of "ward republics," small units of local government, within Virginia's existing counties. The counties were too large for direct participation of all the voters, thought Jefferson, but dividing the counties into "wards of such size as that every citizen can attend, when called on, and act in person … will relieve the county administration of nearly all its business, will have it better done, and by making every citizen an acting member of the government, and in the offices nearest and most interesting to him, will attach him by his strongest feelings to the independence of his country, and its republican constitution."'
+ Thomas Jefferson: Political Writings (1999):
'One of the functions to be performed by such wards was public education. Jefferson's 1779 Bill for the More General Diffusion of Knowledge was never passed in the form he proposed. Virginia did not set up a system of mandatory common schools until well into the nineteenth century. However, the concepts it contained persisted and he continued to campaign for public education as the safeguard of republican citizenship. Jefferson's Bill proposed that each county would be divided into "hundreds … so as that they may contain a convenient number of children to make up a school, and be of such convenient size that all the children within each hundred may daily attend the school to be established therein." Jefferson's deliberate use of the term "hundreds" echoes the Anglo-Saxon term for such a political sub-division. He and many of his contemporaries believed that English and American liberties were rooted in Anglo-Saxon political life... The term "ward" or "precinct" continues to be used for subdivisions of counties or municipalities, but usually only as voting districts to send representatives to county government, or for the administration of county or municipal functions. Most of those subdivisions contain too many people to fit Jefferson's vision. The closest would be voting precincts, which in most states tend to consist of about 3,000 people. There are also small townships and neighborhood associations that realize that concept for at least some people.'
+ Ward Republics:
'Ludwig von Mises believed that states, in theory, could be reduced in size to a single household...
"Human action itself tends toward cooperation and association; man becomes a social being not in sacrificing his own concerns for the sake of a mythical Moloch, society, but in aiming at an improvement in his own welfare. "
In Mises's view, these efforts to enhance trade and cooperation among human beings lead to the creation of cities and other population centers. Moreover, for Mises, the state — properly limited to the function of protecting private property — can potentially assist in creating conditions that facilitate the cooperative behavior he envisioned. Thus, it is the cost of acting as an administrator of law that leads Mises to conclude that certain "compelling technical considerations" are are likely to keep states above a certain minimum size. A problem arises, however, when we recognize that this vision of the state exists in tension with the fact that — as illustrated by Raico — the physical and geographical growth of states tends to facilitate the expansion of state power well beyond the role imagined by Mises.'
+ Size Matters - No Country Should Be Bigger Than This (2017):
'Estonia, officially the Republic of Estonia (Estonian: Eesti Vabariik), is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe... The territory of Estonia has been inhabited since at least 6500 BC, with Finno-Ugric speakers – the linguistic ancestors of modern Estonians – arriving no later than around 1800 BC. Following centuries of successive Teutonic, Danish, Swedish, and Russian rule, Estonians experienced a national awakening that culminated in independence from the Russian Empire towards the end of World War I. During World War II, Estonia was occupied by the Soviet Union in 1940, then by Nazi Germany a year later and was again annexed by the Soviets in 1944, after which it was reconstituted as the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1988, during the Singing Revolution, the Estonian Supreme Soviet issued the Estonian Sovereignty Declaration in defiance of Soviet rule, and independence was restored on 20. August 1991.
Estonia is a developed country with an advanced, high-income economy that is among the fastest growing in the EU. Its Human Development Index ranks very highly, and it performs favourably in measurements of economic freedom, civil liberties and press freedom (3rd in the world in 2012 and 2007). The 2015 PISA test places the Estonian high school students 3rd in the world, behind Singapore and Japan. Citizens of Estonia are provided with universal health care, free education and the longest paid maternity leave in the OECD. Since independence the country has rapidly developed its IT sector, becoming one of the world's most digitally advanced societies. In 2005 Estonia became the first nation to hold elections over the Internet, and in 2014 the first nation to provide E-residency.'
"Our vast network of federal and state prisons... rivals the gulags of totalitarian states.' - Chris Hedges
'According to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), 2,220,300 adults were incarcerated in US federal and state prisons, and county jails in 2013 – about 0.91% of adults (1 in 110) in the U.S. resident population. Additionally, 4,751,400 adults in 2013 (1 in 51) were on probation or on parole. In total, 6,899,000 adults were under correctional supervision (probation, parole, jail, or prison) in 2013 – about 2.8% of adults (1 in 35) in the U.S. resident population. In 2014, the total number of persons in the adult correctional systems had fallen to 6,851,000 persons... In 2013, by age 18, 30% of black males, 26% of Hispanic males, and 22% of white males have been arrested. By age 23, 49% of black males, 44% of Hispanic males, and 38% of white males have been arrested. According to Antonio Moore in a Snuffington Post article, "there are more African American men incarcerated in the U.S. than the total prison populations in India, Argentina, Canada, Lebanon, Japan, Germany, Finland, Israel and England combined." There are only 19 million African American males in the United States, collectively these countries represent over 1.6 billion people.
Judicial, police, and corrections costs totaled $212 billion in 2011 according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In 2007, around $74 billion was spent on corrections according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. In 2014, among facilities operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the average cost of incarceration for federal inmates in fiscal year 2014 was $30,619.85. The average annual cost to confine an inmate in a residential re-entry center was $28,999.25. State prisons averaged $31,286 per inmate in 2010 according to a Vera Institute of Justice study. It ranged from $14,603 in Kentucky to $60,076 in New York. In California in 2008, it cost the state an average of $47,102 a year to incarcerate an inmate in a state prison. From 2001 to 2009, the average annual cost increased by about $19,500... According to a 2016 study by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis, the true cost of incarceration exceeds $1 trillion, with half of that falling on the families, children and communities of those incarcerated.
Some scholars have linked the ascent of neoliberal, free market ideology in the late 1970s to mass incarceration. Sociologist Loïc Wacquant postulates the expansive prison system has become a political institution designed to deal with an urban crisis created by welfare state retrenchment and economic deregulation, and that this "overgrown and intrusive penal state" is "deeply injurious to the ideals of democratic citizenship." Academic and activist Angela Davis argues that prisons in the U.S. have "become venues of profit as well as punishment;" as mass incarceration has increased, the prison system has become more about economic factors than criminality. Professor of Law at Columbia University Bernard Harcourt contends that neoliberalism holds the state as incompetent when it comes to economic regulation but proficient at policing and punishing, and that this paradox has resulted in the expansion of penal confinement. According to The Routledge Handbook of Poverty in the United States, "neoliberal social and economic policy has more deeply embedded the carceral state within the lives of the poor, transforming what it means to be poor in America."'
+ Incarceration in the United States (2017):