Free Capitalist Network - Community Archive
Mises Community Archive
An online community for fans of Austrian economics and libertarianism, featuring forums, user blogs, and more.

Micronation seasteading

rated by 0 users
This post has 35 Replies | 8 Followers

Not Ranked
Posts 11
Points 280
Friedreich Posted: Fri, May 23 2008 6:38 AM

http://www.wired.com/science/planetearth/news/2008/05/seasteading

What's your opinion on this? Would an Austrian school invest in their own platform?

  • | Post Points: 50
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 294
Points 6,705
Friedreich:
What's your opinion on this? Would an Austrian school invest in their own platform?


If it the cost estimate of $100,000,000 for a platform accommodating 2,000 people holds up, I think there might be a market for these things. Assuming the governments of the world don't intervene in some capacity. For some reason, I suspect they wouldn't like the competition.

My main problem is that they appear to approach this as an experiment in government optimization, rather than offering freedom.
Drag not your strength from government, but from the voices they abuse.
  • | Post Points: 5
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 295
Points 4,565

From the article:

"If you're not flying a flag … any country can do whatever they want to you," he said.

That statement sounds to me like the seed of their eventual destruction.  It indicates their willingness to compromise rather than defend, and so governments won't have to intervene, just threaten to.

I've been watching this for a while. It has a lot of promise, but as I tried to work out the actual social and organizational dynamics of it (as opposed to the engineering issues), I ran into some pretty big problems right off the bat.  It has the same flaws any gulch-style agora has, in that security thorugh isolation is a pretty thin defense in today's world, and the fact that it is a market that starts off with a huge handicap that it never really shakes.  It has the same problem with incremental issues that political movements have, namely that until reaching a certain threshold, incremental advances bring little or no concrete benefits.

I hope they do well.   Like the Paulvilles (even less likely to succeed, in my opinion), it might not be an ultimate solution, but if it succeeds to any extent, it will help the rest of us in indirect ways, and if it fails, we can all learn from watching the details of how that failure plays out.

 

 

The state won't go away once enough people want the state to go away, the state will effectively disappear once enough people no longer care that much whether it stays or goes. We don't need a revolution, we need millions of them.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 294
Points 6,705
histhasthai:
it is a market that starts off with a huge handicap that it never really shakes


I think economically such platforms would be successful. Though not really on their own merits, but on providing services and commodities that are illegal elsewhere. This, of course, will make them a target for pretty much every state around.

Drag not your strength from government, but from the voices they abuse.
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 295
Points 4,565

Sure, there's plenty of opportunity to trade.  And they'd have to trade for most of their goods.  That's one of the problems with gulching - to achieve the isolation needed for it, you have to go to the places least populated.  In today's world, those are pretty much by definition the places where it is hardest to live off the land.

Though they can trade, the structural problem they start with is that the same isolation they think will protect them makes trade very, very expensive.  And so they're limited to high-margin trades, and illegal trade is usually a much higher margin.  But as soon as they make themselves the target of the hostile governments we're all surrounded by, that isolation turns from a defensive advantage to a vulnerability.

My guess is that to survive, they'll end up spending an enormous amount of time in courts around the world, with all the cost and compromise that entails.

 

 

The state won't go away once enough people want the state to go away, the state will effectively disappear once enough people no longer care that much whether it stays or goes. We don't need a revolution, we need millions of them.

  • | Post Points: 50
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 294
Points 6,705
histhasthai:
My guess is that to survive, they'll end up spending an enormous amount of time in courts around the world, with all the cost and compromise that entails.


I seriously doubt that they will, nor can, take the contraband trade post route. If this thing ever takes off, it will probably be a quirky hangout place for rich people. The only other realistic economic prospect is for the economy to be information based. But to attract anyone, it would still have to offer considerably more freedom than existing states. Which, again, might make it a target.
Drag not your strength from government, but from the voices they abuse.
  • | Post Points: 5
Top 100 Contributor
Male
Posts 946
Points 15,410
MacFall replied on Fri, May 23 2008 10:08 AM

It would be better for them simply to ignore governments altogether, and scream bloody murder to any sympathetic press when governments act aggressively. Neither are good options, but I think that's the less bad one.

Pro Christo et Libertate integre!

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 104
Points 2,500
Jonas replied on Fri, May 23 2008 10:35 AM

MacFall:
It would be better for them simply to ignore governments altogether, and scream bloody murder to any sympathetic press when governments act aggressively.

 

That didn't help the Republic of Minerva.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_Minerva

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 500 Contributor
Male
Posts 212
Points 3,430
Twirlcan replied on Fri, May 23 2008 11:35 AM

I think Micronation Sea-Steading is a dumb idea.  I wish those luck who try it and hope they prove me wrong but I don't think they will so I have to go with "dumb idea" to be polite and when I am feeling less polite I have to go for "swindler magnet".

Not all successful people credit the state as the reason for their success, in fact I think very few who are outside of getting direct government money do, but they are successful in spite of the state and not because of it.  So why on earth would a successful person relocate to a really expensive platform to eat canned food and urinate in a bucket?  They wouldn't. 

The people who try to form these places seem to be of the idea that if they just put up an internet gambling site or a cafe that sells marijuana that a plumber who likes getting high and slot machines will eventually come and save them.  The people who never participate in these schemes are always the type who find success in a place that is not a recent wayside for migratory birds.

So what of the "John Galt's" who try to form these places or the ones who try to move there?  I think the people in the article above are not swindlers but other oceansteaders would be.  The google and paypal folks who want to do this are just going to lose money because the only people who want to live on an ocean platform are either crazy or losers and crazy losers tend to be moochy, debt ridden, filled with stupid ideas of supply and demand (like that everyone wants to give money to people living on platform) and anti-social....Not the kind of group that you want to be stuck in the middle of the ocean with.

My faith in anarchy and libertarianism is one of socialising, family and community ties and using the knowlege aquired through these institutions to create natural interactions and markets.  I would rather see the state be made a platform in the middle of the ocean than to see libertarians move to one.

 

 

http://www.comebackalive.com/phpBB2 Travel, Adventure Travel, Arguments, Recipes.

  • | Post Points: 50
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 104
Points 2,500
Jonas replied on Fri, May 23 2008 12:26 PM

I would rather see the state be made a platform in the middle of the ocean than to see libertarians move to one.

Of course, we all would.  But the simple fact of the matter is that "the state" is everywhere and it is not going away anytime soon.  People who wish for a life outside the state, or even for a life with minimal government intrusion, are out of luck.  The system is not going to change...ever.  There are too many powerful people with too much money on the line to ever let that happen.

The only option is to make something new.  If you want to make something new, there are only two places open to you:  space and the oceans.

The oceans are the only chance for a near-term colonization option, and floating platforms are far simpler and cheaper than underwater habitats.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 105
Points 2,055

 

histhasthai:
Though they can trade, the structural problem they start with is that the same isolation they think will protect them makes trade very, very expensive. 

If they were worried about the cost of trade, couldn't they build colonies near shipping and cruiseship lanes to cut down costs? 

 

 

 

 

 

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 500 Contributor
Male
Posts 212
Points 3,430
Twirlcan replied on Fri, May 23 2008 12:58 PM

The oceans are the only chance for a near-term colonization option, and floating platforms are far simpler and cheaper than underwater habitats.

 

Of course they are.  Given the choice between crazy and more crazy I will chose crazy.

But states are not all powerful.  If I believed they were all powerful I would favor "liberal" type reforms over abolishment.  And they are everywhere and they do collapse and can collapse...the trick is to make sure no entity replaces a failed one and that can only be done by people consenting that none is needed or ignoring the ones that try to pop up.  Convincing people to do this will rest  on the shoulders of admired people advocating that no state is needed.

The problem with the "Galt's Gulch" theory is not that the state comes in and conquers them but that it was created by a writer in a contained and fictionalised world of her own design. The same reason that Sherlock Holmes is a genius in fiction but in real life cocaine addicts who write monographs on tobbacco ash are not good crime solvers...in fact I would guess they would be the worst possible crime solvers.  In real life, capitalist supermen who isolate themselves on ocean platforms, in space or underwater would not really be capitalist supermen..they would be deluded people who run out of drinking water.

http://www.comebackalive.com/phpBB2 Travel, Adventure Travel, Arguments, Recipes.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 104
Points 2,500
Jonas replied on Fri, May 23 2008 2:21 PM

Twirlcan:
But states are not all powerful. 

I guess I am just more of a pessimist.  I don't believe that any free society will ever come from the ashes of an old one.  Time and time again through history we see powerful governments collapse...only to be replaced by another powerful government.

There are two reasons for this.  One, people are cowards.  They fear change, and when a corrupt leader or ruling junta collapses all they want is for things to go back "the way they were".  They are not thinking "oh, here is my chance to implement a new type of free society".  They are thinking "I don't care who is in charge, as long as I can feed my family".  The likelihood of any libertarian finding an existing country, causing it's collapse, and then forging a new society based on libertarian principles in its wake is nil.  You might as well hope for a libertarian to be elected president of the US in November by a surprise write-in third-party vote.

Second, land is rare.  There is a reason why they call the term a "vaccuum"...there are not many forces stronger than it.  As soon as any existing state falls apart, other states swarm all over it.  Even if some libertarian somewhere found a country in the process of collapse and tried to take it over they would have plenty of competition...from well-armed, powerful, and rich neighbors who would much rather take over that country's assets then let them be part of a grand social experiment in libertarian principles.

No, the only chance there is of any libertarian...or libertarian-like...society being formed is for something to start fresh...free of all the baggage that comes with any existing state.  Since all the land is taken, you have no choice but to start in the only unclaimed area of the planet...the oceans.

The other great thing about starting a floating colony is that everyone who is part of your new society is there by intent.  There is no need to convert the cowardly masses.  You start a new society, and you invite anyone who shares your principles to come along.  You start off with a strong population base that already agrees on a basic set of rules and principles.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 5,538
Points 93,790
Juan replied on Fri, May 23 2008 4:26 PM
I think buying an island migth be a better idea. I mean, islands can't be easily sunken...

February 17 - 1600 - Giordano Bruno is burnt alive by the catholic church.
Aquinas : "much more reason is there for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, to be not only excommunicated but even put to death."

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 11
Points 280

Has there ever been an attempt to colonize an island for at least one generation before a government steps in? It doesn't seem like a government could be able to defend its actions if it wanted a whole new generation to pay taxes.

 

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 100 Contributor
Male
Posts 946
Points 15,410
MacFall replied on Fri, May 23 2008 4:43 PM

Twirlcan:

I think Micronation Sea-Steading is a dumb idea.  I wish those luck who try it and hope they prove me wrong but I don't think they will so I have to go with "dumb idea" to be polite and when I am feeling less polite I have to go for "swindler magnet".

Not all successful people credit the state as the reason for their success, in fact I think very few who are outside of getting direct government money do, but they are successful in spite of the state and not because of it.  So why on earth would a successful person relocate to a really expensive platform to eat canned food and urinate in a bucket?  They wouldn't.

Nobody goes to a frontier because it is comfortable. They go because they prefer liberty to the cushions in their prison cell.

 

Pro Christo et Libertate integre!

  • | Post Points: 35
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 104
Points 2,500
Jonas replied on Fri, May 23 2008 4:51 PM

I think buying an island migth be a better idea.

You can find plenty of islands for sale at http://www.privateislandsonline.

But good luck trying to setup an independent society on one of them.  You might buy the island, but you are still under control by the host government.  You would have better luck setting up a libertarian society on a ranch in Waco, Texas.

All the land on the entire globe has been claimed by someone.  Period.

That means you have to make new land.  And then be able to defend it.  Floating platforms are, IMHO, the best method for this.

  • | Post Points: 20
Not Ranked
Posts 47
Points 865

MacFall:
Nobody goes to a frontier because it is comfortable. They go because they prefer liberty to the cushions in their prison cell.

Brilliant insight!

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 5,538
Points 93,790
Juan replied on Fri, May 23 2008 5:19 PM
Jonas:
That means you have to make new land.
New land wich any government can claim whenever it pleases them, and, the open seas is a hostile enviroment. Buying an island isn't a very bright idea either, I don't deny that.

February 17 - 1600 - Giordano Bruno is burnt alive by the catholic church.
Aquinas : "much more reason is there for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, to be not only excommunicated but even put to death."

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 100 Contributor
Male
Posts 985
Points 17,110
Stephen replied on Fri, May 23 2008 6:04 PM

 

Jonas:

All the land on the entire globe has been claimed by someone.  Period.

That means you have to make new land.  And then be able to defend it.  Floating platforms are, IMHO, the best method for this.

 What's to stop government from claiming the rest of the oceans? And taxing the people in the floating platforms? I think running is at best only a temporary solution.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
Male
Posts 212
Points 3,430
Twirlcan replied on Fri, May 23 2008 9:04 PM

MacFall:

Nobody goes to a frontier because it is comfortable. They go because they prefer liberty to the cushions in their prison cell.

 

 

Romantic notions don't bring freedom.

 I think there are better options.  And since I really think that people who plan on moving to platforms , really, really, really know nothing about anything practical and in the middle of an ocean atop a slab of concrete and rebar is no place to be stupid.  Which is one of the many reasons I could never reccommend moving to a floating Galtland..Not only do I think it would fail but someone would eventually have to save someone from being eaten by an Albatross.

And islands?  Maybe.  It did wonders for Marlon Brando.  But we have to again look at where it is and who lives there and if no one lives there then why doesn't anyone live there?

I'd be especially wary of any island that Polynesians never settled or if they settled there they died off.  Polynesians were the greatest frontiersmen the world has ever seen and if they could not settle an island then I am convinced that no one can settle an island.

 

http://www.comebackalive.com/phpBB2 Travel, Adventure Travel, Arguments, Recipes.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 100 Contributor
Male
Posts 946
Points 15,410
MacFall replied on Fri, May 23 2008 9:38 PM

Twirlcan:

MacFall:

Nobody goes to a frontier because it is comfortable. They go because they prefer liberty to the cushions in their prison cell.

 

 

Romantic notions don't bring freedom.

There's nothing romantic about beeing a frontiersman. People go to frontiers knowing the risk, knowing the certain cost, and wanting to do it anyway. And a frontier does give those who settle it freedom while it lasts. The problem is, it doesn't last.

Still, places like that could be assets to a broader movement involving economic secession and geopolitical strategies such as the Free State Project.

 

Pro Christo et Libertate integre!

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
Male
Posts 212
Points 3,430
Twirlcan replied on Fri, May 23 2008 11:54 PM

 Assuming frontiersmen go to the frontier for freedom and assuming those who don't have cushioned prison cells is a pretty romantic notion. 

Most who have done it have done so for less ideal notions and more practical ones.  Like my Norwiegan relatives who came in the 1860s wanted relgious freedom...which they found in the Netherlands working for the Frisians but what they really prefered was cheap farmland...which they found in Iowa.  Migrating for freedom sounds better than migrating for easy hay and silage, so that is the story that sticks but what kept them there was hay, silos, and seedcorn.

I hope the sealibertarians succeed...even me who hates the open sea woudl benifit from its success (especially since I set up computer systems to transmit power, run trains and clean sewage) but I do think that the Free State project is a better idea since no dramamine would be required to live in New Hampshire, and if it fails...then you are in the same boat as the other cushioned prisoners and not devouring one another in a life raft.

I wish them luck..I really do but I just cannot stop myself from trying to discourage them.

http://www.comebackalive.com/phpBB2 Travel, Adventure Travel, Arguments, Recipes.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 100 Contributor
Male
Posts 946
Points 15,410
MacFall replied on Sat, May 24 2008 12:15 AM

Twirlcan:

Assuming frontiersmen go to the frontier for freedom

That is not the only motivation, but it is certainly a major one.

and assuming those who don't have cushioned prison cells is a pretty romantic notion. 

No, it's a realistic one. Taxation is enslavement; governments tax people. If you live under a government, you are a slave. Just because we have cool stuff here that we wouldn't have in a frontier setting doesn't change that fact.

 

Pro Christo et Libertate integre!

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 11
Points 280

I think seasteading libertarians will benefit American libertarians by being a model society to prove that the free market doesn't fail. I don't believe it as a long-term goal to set up ocean platforms.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
Male
Posts 212
Points 3,430
Twirlcan replied on Sat, May 24 2008 3:52 AM

 

Friedreich:

I think seasteading libertarians will benefit American libertarians by being a model society to prove that the free market doesn't fail. I don't believe it as a long-term goal to set up ocean platforms.

 I would not want to put my free markety advocacy eggs in that basket (actually the platforms would be a great place to gather exotic bird eggs and guano...good thing I don't believe in patents).  If we had a "Just as Twirlcan Predicted" platform where all the occupants ate each other after failing to trade silver coins for off site disk storage and their supply of potable urine ran out, that would not prove the market a failure...it would prove sun baked platforms are terrible places to live and that perhaps there are better ways to achieve freedom than dying of exposure.  But the market would not fail because of it, it would in fact prove that markets favor the non-fatal ideas.

But if it succeeded it would have the wonderful effect of showing that I am wrong and the market in the hands of the right people can result in profits , freedom and the right to mercilessly taunt me.  But it would not prove that living on an ocean platform is always a good idea, just like opening a retail store is not always a good idea because Wal Mart does so well at it.

http://www.comebackalive.com/phpBB2 Travel, Adventure Travel, Arguments, Recipes.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 104
Points 2,500
Jonas replied on Sat, May 24 2008 10:21 AM

Yea, the "Free State Project".  The fact that 1) in over 7 years only 8000 people have signed up and 2) they advertise in "Cannabis Culture" magazine, shows me how serious this project is.  They still will live in the United States, they still will pay federal taxes, and they will still be bound by all federal laws including IP laws.  Sheesh, New Hampshire has a property tax!!  Yea, there's your libertarian state.

I'm sorry but there is no way a small seed community, built within a large existing government entity, will work.  Sure, they may delude themselves for a while and say "See, we are free!!".  But it's just a sham.  Just because they live in a state without sales tax doesn't mean they are living the libertarian dream.

Same thing goes for purchasing an island.  Sure, you can buy one and live there and say "See, I'm free!".  But you will still be paying taxes to the nation that owns the island, and you will still be bound by all their laws.

No, the only way it will ever work is to start fresh.  While I feel that a floating platform, secured to the ocean floor, is the best route...it most certainly isn't the only way.  A small, well-funded group of people could easily purchase an old freighter and retrofit it with living quarters, a water distillation system, some basic hydroponic gardens, and park it outside of a country's EEZ and call it home.  Sure, they need weapons to defend it.  One of the reasons that Minerva failed was that they didn't leave anyone there to defend it.

 

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 295
Points 4,565

Jonas:

I'm sorry but there is no way a small seed community, built within a large existing government entity, will work. [...]

No, the only way it will ever work is to start fresh.

Starting fresh has the same kind of problems, unless you mean a single atomic world-wide revolution.  ("Atomic" meaning all at once, not nuclear weapons.)  The fundamental thing about both approaches is that they can't take advantage of incremental benefit.  The seed community is not free at all until it reaches a certain threshhold that allows it to defend its independence.  The revolutionary community is not free at all until it reaches a certain threshhold that allows it to defend its independence. 

But those aren't the only alternatives. A distributed community that is 1% free, then 10% free, then 20%.... That community can sustain itself, build resources, gradually deprive governments of resources, and defend itself from the start by virtue of the fact that, unless they can round up everyone, taking out a part of the community only reduces the size of it, it does not undermine the community as a whole. An agorist network can absorb damage, a concentrated community has a single point of failure.

 

 

The state won't go away once enough people want the state to go away, the state will effectively disappear once enough people no longer care that much whether it stays or goes. We don't need a revolution, we need millions of them.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 264
Points 4,630
Grant replied on Sat, May 24 2008 1:26 PM

You guys are acting like states have some sort of single goal to crush any form of voluntary government they encounter. They don't. There are tons of small island nations out there which aren't being attacked by larger states. States have no more incentive to attack small, voluntary governments than they do small involuntary ones. The reason they don't go around conquering small island nations anymore is because mass communication keeps them from being able to get away with that sort of thing. I seriously doubt politicians care whether or not a seastead's government came into power by voluntary means or coercion; in fact I'd bet they'd never even think along those terms, and would just see it as another tiny nation.

For seasteads to prevent themselves from being annexed, I'd think they'd have to work as hard as possible to legitimze themselves in the eyes of the public of a nearby nation. Given the media fallout that would occur if a seastead (presumably equiped with many cameras and many people posting videos to YouTube) was annexed by the USA, I really don't think it would be worthwhile for a democractic state to do. 2,000 people is nothing.

I'd think economic sanctions would be far more likely. If a seastead starts dealing in contraband (real or information-based), it could have some problems.

  • | Post Points: 35
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,221
Points 34,090
Moderator

Grant:

You guys are acting like states have some sort of single goal to crush any form of voluntary government they encounter. They don't. There are tons of small island nations out there which aren't being attacked by larger states. States have no more incentive to attack small, voluntary governments than they do small involuntary ones. The reason they don't go around conquering small island nations anymore is because mass communication keeps them from being able to get away with that sort of thing. I seriously doubt politicians care whether or not a seastead's government came into power by voluntary means or coercion; in fact I'd bet they'd never even think along those terms, and would just see it as another tiny nation.

For seasteads to prevent themselves from being annexed, I'd think they'd have to work as hard as possible to legitimze themselves in the eyes of the public of a nearby nation. Given the media fallout that would occur if a seastead (presumably equiped with many cameras and many people posting videos to YouTube) was annexed by the USA, I really don't think it would be worthwhile for a democractic state to do. 2,000 people is nothing.

I'd think economic sanctions would be far more likely. If a seastead starts dealing in contraband (real or information-based), it could have some problems.


This is partially why I thought while the notion of PirateBay attempting to raise funds for Sealand, previously, was noble, it would've failed anyways for the simple fact that it's PirateBay; even if they did not conduct any illegal activity in Sealand after buying it, their activity elsewhere would give ample reason for any other state to impose sanctions on them; if not in the case of the U.S., also to utilize physical force to enforce intellectual property laws against them.

I'm more convinced that such will become more common place, rather than stamping out voluntary governments with force, with the advent of the US ACTA Multi-Lateral Intellectual Property Trade Agreement *

* [ see here: http://wikileaks.org/wiki/Proposed_US_ACTA_multi-lateral_intellectual_property_trade_agreement_(2007) ]

 

"Look at me, I'm quoting another user to show how wrong I think they are, out of arrogance of my own position. Wait, this is my own quote, oh shi-" ~ Nitroadict

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 295
Points 4,565

Grant:
You guys are acting like states have some sort of single goal to crush any form of voluntary government they encounter.

No, they act in their interests.  And the interests of governments, on the whole, are always in conflict with the interests of individuals.  No, government doesn't want to crush small independent community per se.  But when those interests conflict, if the independent community's pursuit of their interests gets successful enough to become a threat to some government, that government will act against that community.

It doesn't have to be violent.  It doesn't even have to be as overt as blockades, embargoes, trade sanctions.  It could be as apparently benign as import regulations, banking regulations, indirect economic pressure on the community's trading partners.  And it doesn't have to be directed at that community, even covertly.  If the community is trading with some country to the level that the government of that country sees its interests getting undermined, it may do something like restrict or tax all imports, without even knowing or caring what the specific affect on the independent community is.

And here's the thing.  One reason most of the people here are interested in libertarian style independent communities is that they think such communities will be economically successful.  After a long enough time, that translates into economically powerful.  So, in effect, the reason a lot of us are interested in these communities is the same reason that will make them more likely to be perceived as a threat by governments.

 

The state won't go away once enough people want the state to go away, the state will effectively disappear once enough people no longer care that much whether it stays or goes. We don't need a revolution, we need millions of them.

  • | Post Points: 20
Not Ranked
Posts 28
Points 545

histhasthai:
No, they act in their interests.  And the interests of governments, on the whole, are always in conflict with the interests of individuals.

That's no more true than the statement that the interests of individuals are always in conflict with the interests of other individuals.  Governments aren't some unnatural external force:  they're groups of humans who have gotten together and agreed to conduct their affairs in a certain way.  That's not to say that every person governed has agreed to be governed.  But people use force against each other in the absence of governments anyway, so that's nothing special.

If these communities are unable to survive in the face of action taken by other individuals and governments, then you haven't found an ideal way of organising human communities.  You've found a utopia that doesn't work because it doesn't fully appreciate human nature.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 295
Points 4,565

Callisthenes:
That's no more true than the statement that the interests of individuals are always in conflict with the interests of other individuals. 

I hope you don't mean to imply that I said that every interest of government is in conflict with every interest of individuals.  I said "on the whole", but to clarify, I meant that the highest interest of government is hostile to the highest interest of individuals, and vice-versa.  But modern tyrranies, for instance, have an interest in the economic prosperity of their subjects that coincides with their subjects' interest in their own economic prosperity. Tyrants learn too, and the new breed seem, for the most part, to have learned that it is not in the interest of a parasite to kill the host.

Callisthenes:
Governments aren't some unnatural external force:  they're groups of humans who have gotten together and agreed to conduct their affairs in a certain way

That's correct.  The part you miss is that these people are acting against their own interests.  They obviously don't think so, but they are. Government itself is not a moral agent, but it does have interests (technically, it's that the people who comprise it have an interest in regards to it that is separate from the interests they hold individually).  That's the problem with heiracrchal organizations, including corporations, they (effectively) have interests without moral agency.  Divorce those two, and there's going to be problems.

Callisthenes:
If these communities are unable to survive in the face of action taken by other individuals and governments, then you haven't found an ideal way of organising human communities.  You've found a utopia that doesn't work because it doesn't fully appreciate human nature.

That's absolutely correct.

 

 

The state won't go away once enough people want the state to go away, the state will effectively disappear once enough people no longer care that much whether it stays or goes. We don't need a revolution, we need millions of them.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 104
Points 2,500
Jonas replied on Sat, May 24 2008 4:10 PM

The seed community is not free at all until it reaches a certain threshhold that allows it to defend its independence.  The revolutionary community is not free at all until it reaches a certain threshhold that allows it to defend its independence.

It is one thing to defend a small, floating platform from an unorganized band of poorly-armed thugs.  It is another thing to seceed from the United States.

I think it much more likely that a group of a hundred or so people with basic small arms can do a pretty good job of defending a floating community from your average group of pirates.  I don't think that even 20,000 people in a compound in New Hampshire can defend themselves against the United States military.

I agree with the other posters that I don't see the American military taking an active role in destroying a small ocean-bound floating community...especially if it is not engaged in any illegal trade.

  • | Post Points: 35
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 295
Points 4,565

Jonas:
I agree with the other posters that I don't see the American military taking an active role in destroying a small ocean-bound floating community...especially if it is not engaged in any illegal trade.

It doesn't have to be the American millitary, and/or it doesn't have to be direct action, as I said earlier.  And such a community, if it has any external trade at all (and it would have to have), would almost by definition be involved in grey markets, if not black. Else, why bother going out to the ocean?

 

 

The state won't go away once enough people want the state to go away, the state will effectively disappear once enough people no longer care that much whether it stays or goes. We don't need a revolution, we need millions of them.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 100 Contributor
Male
Posts 946
Points 15,410
MacFall replied on Sat, May 24 2008 7:35 PM

Jonas:
I don't think that even 20,000 people in a compound in New Hampshire can defend themselves against the United States military.

There's no "compound", and the Free Staters aren't dumb enough to fire on Fort Sumner. What they're doing (with a lot of success) is taking over local governments and just disregarding stupid laws, which the government is finding too much trouble to enforce. And A LOT of them don't pay taxes. So far only a couple have been arrested - and not even for that reason.

 

Pro Christo et Libertate integre!

  • | Post Points: 5
Page 1 of 1 (36 items) | RSS