I get some short details out of the way first, and then try to answer Devin's question about what a phase-I anarcho-formalist trial would look like.
"But it is possible to have multiple security forces in a territory who neither hold a monopoly"Telephone carriers hold a monopoly over telephonics in a territory - defined by who's paying them. Multiple security agencies would have monopolies, their jurisdiction would just not have a traditional shape, over space or time.
I should note that simply saying 'multiple, competing' may not be the best description of what anarcho-formalism would stabilize to. For example there may be one army sponsoring several police forces - perhaps the market solution to armies is basically the status quo. My point is that we can't know without trying it, but I have good reasons to think it would be better.
"and keeps its promises, then any sort of system becomes workable."I hope that the lawful ideology keeps them non-corrupt and causes them to keep their promises. As before, needs testing.
The legal framework I'm thinking of fully answers the nuclear question. If it's your land, then you can. Unless it affects someone else's land, then you need their agreement.
If they follow the legal framework, there's no valid disputes. Though this gets a bit complicated, I'll go into it below.
"That organization will be - by definition - the state."A jarring logical leap. If England and the US have a dispute, who settles it? Does that mean neither are states, and there's some meta-state?
But yes, I agree a sovereign is a sovereign. Allodial ownership is unavoidable.
"I would be interested in hearing what phase 1 trial would look like"Trying to be brief...the first part is to figure out who actually controls what - so MM style formalizing and share-issuing.
The caveat is that certain things cannot be self-consistently owned, namely coercive 'rights.' Taxation without legal recourse if services aren't provided. Taxation without a voluntary contract.
Perhaps this is best illustrated by market-style solutions to imprisonment and seizure of evidence.
Let's return to the nuclear plant. It's build despite neighbouring title holders.
These title holders can use the legal principle to show that the plant affects their property without their consent - coercion. They're justified in defending themselves. In a state of nature, they can at this point do whatever they like to the offender, including imprisonment. If you don't respect the principle, you cannot justify being protected by it.
So I'd suggest they agree beforehand to a dispute resolution process. (Which in turn the accused can cite them for not following.) Perhaps the punishment is imprisonment. Perhaps not.
The key is that with clear property rights, every potential dispute has a clear solution. With such formal rights, and if the principle is widely understood, then it becomes impossible to create a dispute without everyone knowing you've done wrong.
(Indeed property rights are defined by the reverse. If ownership/control/rights can't be precisely defined, it isn't owned.)
Sure, things can still go off the rails. The nuclear plant could be surrounded by tanks all shouting, "Bring it!" But the actor cannot justify it in any way but might==right. "I'm allowed to build it because I have more tanks than you." As states don't do this, I strongly suspect it would be self-defeating in practical terms.
Next, seizure of evidence. If from the accused, there's no issue; just seize it. But innocents cannot have their property taken without consent. If the court system has problems with simply buying it, then for the court to agree to resolve your disputes, you in turn agree to hand over evidence at a reasonable price.
In short, such a system may look indistinguishable from our current one, aside from replacing voting booths with voluntary contracts. Perhaps even mayors would subscribe to police firms, not individuals.
Or perhaps the fact you're supposed to be able to unsubscribe to police protection would lead to chaos, misery, and death. Let's try it and see!
One problem is that during the formalization process, homeowners may refuse to sign taxation/dispute contracts, but it is hard to get around the fact they don't own the land under their home. However, "Sign or be exiled" looks an awful lot like duress, which common law rightly holds to void contracts. Yet, if the landowner can't exile, then they're not really the owner. (Ultimately it isn't surprising that coercive systems lead to inconsistent property 'rights.')
Also, I don't see a problem with selling yourself into slavery, you just can't sell your kids into slavery. Similarly, you can't sign your kids up for taxation.