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 My two cents

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PostSubject: My two cents   Sat Jul 10, 2010 7:15 am

As you probably know from my previous thread, I don't have terribly high expectations for this project. Right now, it sounds flat-out impossible that it'll succeed. I don't see how this project could possibly go anywhere unless you take a drastically different approach, and even then your chances wouldn't be very good. Here's how I'd do it.

It's fairly clear that it's actually fairly common for people to want to found their own nation to gain more control over their lives, if it is usually only left at a dream. Ayn Rand's fictional "Galt's Gulch", the Republic of Minerva, the attempt to buy Sealand, the Free Nation Foundation, 888chan's /sov/, the Seasteading movement... Yes, you are not the first group of people in the world to consider this sort of project. The problem, however, is that very few people can agree on what the end laws of such a nation would be, and so these "movements" never become more than small groups of people, never become large enough to raise the sort of funds needed. Even if you have gathered a fairly large group, there's no guarantee you'll get any meaningful amount of money in donations. After all, if you're trying to live in a nation more in accordance with your own view of how the world should be, why donate money to a micronational group that wants to go in a completely different direction?

Why indeed.

People often use the trite expression "agree to disagree" when faced with the possibility of living with somebody they don't see eye-to-eye on. Why not do exactly that? Why not take the various small groups of people interested in setting up their own nations and unite them under the one common cause to be found among them - acquiring a new home? This way, many people with many different ideologies could work together to gain an island (or a seastead or whatever they so chose), and when they got to that island, they would live under their various separate laws.

The governance of the island would be set up simply enough. There would be a basic set of common laws that every sane human being speaking seriously can agree on, specifically:
No murder,
no rape,
no unlawful imprisonment.
These would be written into a constitution before the island would even be settled, it should not be possible to modify through legislation. All of the phyles (governing bodies) would also work together to provide a common military with which to defend the island. Other than that, the phyles would have their own sets of laws. Each phyle would be able to tax only its own citizens and the products being purchased and sold by them (although they could boycott any incoming products from a company who refused to have their execs pay the phyle, or something along those lines). It's possible that a more socialist or technocratic phyle could demand tax from the libertarian phyle or else they would no longer recognize it, but that could have disastrous results. Anybody could start a phyle, and allow people to become citizens of it. However, the other phyles would have to recognize it (in whatever way they have chosen to run that process, democratic, bureaucratic, kleptocratic...); if a phyle is not recognized by another phyle, the second can subject the first's citizens to the second's laws. It's also possible that the recognition process could be done on an island-wide scale - some sort of directly democratic process for choosing to recognize a phyle voted on by every citizen of the island. The one last principal of the common law I would suggest applies to phyles rather than to individuals: No punishment without due process of law. These phyles would not have any specific geographical location, rather, they'd be built on the individuals that make up their societies.

The first step required in this plan would be to set up a website that would appear much more legitimate and official, though one that would still center around a discussion forum. After this, you'd need to gather a great number of people interested in the idea of self-direction from various sources. I'm thinking that Libertarians, Communists, Anarchists, Capitalists, drug legalization advocates, and data pirates would be a great place to start. After that, the larger phyles would be formed, and the donation system would be set up. Most likely, all of the phyles would be contractually obligated to recognize all of the other phyles that have a sufficiently large number of donors. This would give people an incentive to donate, to ensure that their ideology has a place, but it wouldn't skew things too much in favor of the rich, as it'd be based on the number of donors and not the total amount donated. A vote would be taken on the form of the new home, probably island vs seastead vs on the land in some third-world nation. The donation system, of course, must have a couple of important features: if the project fails or doesn't go anywhere in twenty years, your money is automatically refunded. If the user chooses to withdraw (un-donate) their money, they can do that. After that, more money would be raised, and (this is the part where it'll all break down) if they've gathered enough, then they'd purchase the island.

How I see it going down after that point: The braver members of the project, drawn from every phyle, journey to the island and work to set up a preliminary infrastructure (this would, of course, be very different in a seastead) and housing quarters. After that, more members come to the island, further building it up, and this continues until everybody who donated is on the island. Meanwhile, the island is protected from small threats by a militia and from large threats by very good PR (hopefully augmented by some sort of free online "reality show" type of broadcast detailing the lives of our colonists). The economy of the island would likely be dominated by medical tourism and drug tourism, especially early-on. Having lax regulations on research - specifically, nothing based in religion or sci-fi-movie-inspired paranoia - might help as well.

Do I think that this plan makes success in this venture likely? Hell no. It makes it possible. Is it worth trying? That's for you guys to decide, I'm not going to lead this venture. I'd rather not have my real name attached to something that will probably result in humiliating failure. However, if you're dead set on trying to build a nation, I'd say that this is your best bet. It's certainly a better plan than trying to recruit technocrats from /sci/ and somehow outwit the entire corporate research world. You still won't have a very good chance, but you'll have a chance, and that just might make it worth it. Call it a hail mary.
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PostSubject: Re: My two cents   Sun Jul 11, 2010 1:14 am

The initial observation by myself of the whole idea that was posted on /sci/ yesterday got the fires in my heart going, and I thought to myself, "One day, this will be done, and it will be grand."

But then reality set in. The amount of work is truly staggering for how much manpower there currently is. Will people become interested once they hear about it? More importantly, will they stay to help? This prevented me going any further.

But now after reading this well thought out plan, I have renewed confidence about the whole project, enough to actually register and post. I will help, and I will tell my friends (whom fit the bill for a society like this nicely) about it, but I will only do so once there is more organization, manpower and concrete planning.

The best of luck to us all!
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