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It was all wrong from the beginning

Home Forums Community General Chat It was all wrong from the beginning

This topic contains 13 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of OCEANOPOLIS OCEANOPOLIS 3 years, 3 months ago.

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
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    Profile photo of Paine O'Danegeld
    Paine O’Danegeld

    There is no escaping the archons of fate, to speak poetically. They control everything. They will find you no matter where you hide. There is nothing you can build that will protect you from them. The only hope is a change within the spirit of man. Freedom cannot live so long as there are men on this earth who pray for tyrrany. The seastead is nothing but a bubble you are attempting to build to escape this reality. No economic leverage, no military might, no material substacne can protect you from the archons and their legions, to once again speak poetically.

    You must create something different entirely. Not to stake a claim on the ocean, but to stake a claim within men’s minds. The ocean of the collective unconscious, if you will.

    That you are here, on this forum at all, proves you are open to radical ideas. it proves that you’re willing–that you desire– to be a part of something the world has never seen before. I won’t use meaningless buzzwords like “culture” to describe what needs to be changed, although “culture” comes close. “zeitgeist” comes closer, and “paradigm” even closer still.

    To quote the late Lennon, “You tell me it’s the institution. Well, y’know, why don’t you free your mind instead?” Think about how you think. Think about how you believe what you believe. There are many things in this world that strive to control you, beyond mere governments. Subtle pokes and prods. Unspoken assumptions. Unquestioned premises.

    Do you remember Cass Sunstein’s “Nudge”? When it was first published, conservatives and libertarians were screaming bloody murder over what it advocated. “Libertarian Paternalism”, Sunstein called it: Control without coercion. A list of techniques– methods of designing structures of choice to “encourage” a man to make the choice the designer desired.

    Consider this: the essense of Sunstein’s designs is that they do not require coercion to achieve control. Therefore, they can be put into practice, not only by governments, but by private entities which cannot legally wield coercive force.

    So who’s been Nudging you?

    Who, beyond the government, has been trying to influence your life without your knowledge or permission?

    If you are a dedicated libertarian, as you likely are, you may believe that anything non-coerced is morally permissible. You may lable me socialist if I start railing about how advertisers engage in Sunsteinian Nudging.

    So please realize, I’m not calling on the government to stop private Nudging, I’m simply saying: you’d be better off if you became aware of it and tried to resist in. In fact, becoming aware of it at all leads to some reflexive resistance.

    Beware the art of storytelling. Political pundits talk about “narrative” so much, but they never get to the essence. Narrative, to them, just means “a widely accepted organizing principle through which events are filtered and conceptualized.” But that isn’t the essence of Narrative. I’ll tell you what is:

    Tension and Relaxation.

    TO induce anxiety, and then relieve it. It’s what a politician does when he talk about a cataclysmic crisis, then proposes a solution. It’s what an advertiser does when they show a person in distress and then show their product as that poor person’s path to freedom. It’s what an abusive husband does as he zigzags between inducing terror and devotion in his wife.

    Watch for this. Watch for when the proverbial “they” try to make you feel it.

    This is only one example. One of the subtlest forms of “Nudging.” There are many others. They are all around you. Be on the lookout for them.

    TO bring this full circle, and back to the topic of seasteads, I think your effort, noble as it may be, is jumping the gun. “Free minds and free markets,” is how a certain libertarian magazine states their credo. But you must always remember, the latter depends upon the former. Building a Galt’s Gulch– a haven for free markets to stay free– will accomplish nothing unless there first exists a haven for free minds.

    That is what we must build. And I’m not talking about reforming the education system here, althought that is one aspect of it.

    The first haven you need to build is one for yourself. In your own mind.

    Thought is the foundation of everything. Unfree thought cannot build a free city.

    Profile photo of OCEANOPOLIS

    Very well said, Paine,…to a certain extent :)
    Beyond that threshold, one might successfully argue that the “archons of fate” are none others than our own selves. While seasteading might be a bubble for those attempting to escape reality, it is better than no bubble at all. What else is left out there if hope is taken away?
    A haven for free markets cannot exist if we don’t build it and if in somebody’s mind that haven is a seastead, that definately can be built, even if one’s self is not “absolutely” free.

    Profile photo of

    I think if were able to build micronations at sea at some point in the future it would be a shame to see old ideas and systems running them. We have a chance to create not just a new type of city or new type of government but a new world. I dunno why people are even talking about creating new forms of government. I personally don’t think human beings need any form of government to rule over them but that’s just my opinion.

    Profile photo of Theodore Schultz
    Theodore Schultz

    Well, Patrick, I’ll take it from Jefferson:

    “It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all.”
    -Thomas Jefferson to Francois D’Ivernois, 1795.

    Anarchy is the least stable of all forms. It falls at a touch. We’ve lived with a fairly good government for so long that we’ve forgotten what it was like to live wearing small arms, and to hope that an assailant breaking in would wake us. People used to wear weapons and bury their treasures. Women were property. How many houses in Europe have secret rooms? Most Americans don’t build with them and have never felt a need for them. Never forget where we’ve come from.

    Profile photo of OCEANOPOLIS

    The “political dimension” of seasteading is irrelevent at this point,…simply because there is no seastead and there are no seasteaders. To talk about the role of a future “government” of non existing seasteading entities is just useless mental masturbation. (no pun intended) Also, lets keep in mind that whatever worked or is working (if so,..) on dry land will usually not work @ sea.
    It is almost a certitude that the first seasteaders will come up with their own “set of rules” regardless what “the norm” of 1795 or 2012 might be,..

    Profile photo of Luke

    Hearing talk about a government, of any kind, in place on a seastead is akin to hearing talk about bringing a new human being in the world strictly to test out disease treatments on.

    You guys need to learn about Voluntarism in the worst kind of way.

    Profile photo of OCEANOPOLIS

    LOL… Is it the “you guys” who dared talked about government or the “you guys” who need to learn about the wonders of Voluntarism?
    What IS “you guys”?

    Profile photo of Luke

    Well mostly that was aimed at Theodore Schultz above talking trash about Anarchy, but overall I don’t see anyone here defending a life on the sea without Rulers and it makes me cry a bit inside to see how misguided the whole thread is…

    Making a Seastead without attempting Anarchy onboard is one of the most colossal wastes imaginable, kind of like building the golden gate bridge without putting any kind of road across it.

    To those that feel that Anarchy always results in some sort of Chaos; I say to you that you are believing the government’s propaganda. Here is a list of actual examples of anarchy without chaos:

    List of Historical examples of Anarchy

    To those that have questions to how Anarchy can actually work, there are many books on the subject, this classic one is even free:

    David Friedman – The Machinery of Freedom PDF

    And so is this one:

    Stefan Molyneux – Practical Anarchy PDF

    -Which answers very specific questions like how to keep out external invaders and all kinds of dispute resolutions.

    Having no rulers (a.k.a Anarchy) is the freedom that all mankind will forever seek. You may not realize this yet if the states’ propaganda is heavy in your head, but future generations will look back upon our first seasteads’ makers and judge them for what their goals are.

    If you are trying to free mankind, then you’ll be thought of as a good person, probably a hero to humanity.

    If you are trying to make a buck, then you’re just a capitalist but no worse than bill gates or steve jobs.

    If you are however trying to make a new form of government that isn’t absolute anarchy, you’ll be judged as a misguided fool who wasted humanities’ precious time.

    I know which path I’m taking. Do you?

    Profile photo of Ken Sims
    Ken Sims

    Take whatever path you want. That’s one of the points of seasteading … to try different things.

    But what gives YOU the right to dictate to the rest of us what kind of government we should want?

    It sounds to me kind you are setting yourself up as a ruler in that regard.

    And calling us “fools” really isn’t helping your case any.

    Profile photo of Theodore Schultz
    Theodore Schultz

    I think that the “you guys” Luke is referring to are both, that he’s saying that those of us who write of government like this need to learn about volunteerism. I think that what Luke is saying is that the “cure” is worse than the “disease”, (whatever the disease may be). I’m guessing that he thinks volunteerism will deliver us from our regard for government, and that an unspoken social contract will prove superior to one that has been stated in detail. He may be right. On the other hand, depending on the people involved, an unspoken social contract may only lead to unrealistic and unfulfilled expectations.
    Many years ago, a relatively anarchistic person invited me to visit his home. Just prior to entry, he said, “I only have three rules for you: No violence, clean up any messes you make, and uh…don’t rape my cats”. I did a double-take at this, being young and relatively innocent at the time, and he admitted that the third had been thought up on the spur of the moment, because he had said he had three rules, but hadn’t made them up ahead of time. Government will occur when people create rules, even if most of those rules for a specific seastead follow directly from “Jim here owns this structure”. TANSTAAFL: There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch, (“The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”, Heinlein). To what degree will seasteading resemble asteroid mining?
    Universal standards of human rights will probably be recognized, against cannibalism, slavery, piracy, rape, child abuse, pollution, animal cruelty, fraud, defamation… Will any student of history tell me that this won’t happen? Will children be generally regarded as property of their parents? Wives as property of their husbands? Will anybody bother to define an “age of majority” or “age of consent”? How do you define and protect against slavery when none can survive without property? If a claim of a debt can be used to hold someone? If inability to pay passage off a structure results in relatively permanent residence? What will happen if a former resident of another seastead shows up on your dock in a small boat, claiming that their possession of it wasn’t theft, but that their need justified the use of it, and they’re begging rights of sanctuary or asylum? (Star Trek, Original Series, episode #70, “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield”).
    People compare seasteading with the Old West and the Frontier. Do you remember what happened when corporate interests penetrated into the Old West? “If Saint Peter comes a calling, tell him I can’t go, I owe my soul to the company store”. You’ve heard the phrase “The Wrong Side of the Tracks”, but do you know where it comes from? In the transcontinental railroad project, the government awarded land to the railroads, ten mile squares adjacent to the tracks, alternating sides. Naturally this land was worth a lot, especially because it had rail service, but the land that was opposite the company-owned spaces developed far differently than the land they owned.
    If you have a seastead without rules, and you fail to defend it, whoever takes it from you will make at least one rule. Bet on it. “Swear Fealty or Swim For It”. (This may be simply expressed as a grunt and a raised fist). Anarchy falls at a touch.

    Profile photo of Theodore Schultz
    Theodore Schultz

    Oh, Voluntaryism. I guess that’s different. Hard to find if I spell it wrong too.

    I guess we crossed in the mail.

    Nice list of references and examples, but it’ll take me a long time to read them all. I hope you’ll all excuse me if I keep reading and posting here well before I’m done?

    I have to wonder what Ayn Rand would have been like if she’d had and raised her own children. Probably a lot different. Go ahead, contract, build, float your own seastead. Will you raise a family on it? Raise your children without the village? What will it be like for them? What will it be like for your grandchildren? What values system will carry through multiple generations? If we have seen further, it is because we stand on the shoulders of giants. Some of us know more of those giants than others.

    Maybe it will all work out well, or maybe it will be like the repatriation in Liberia. We’ll see, I hope. (What if this whole thing is just an exercise to select and recruit that first critical team of asteroid miners)?

    Profile photo of Luke

    @Ken Sims:

    But what gives YOU the right to dictate to the rest of us what kind of government we should want?
    It sounds to me kind you are setting yourself up as a ruler in that regard.

    I do not dictate. I am only pointing out two self-evident truths. Men desire freedom. The state is the opposite of freedom. You can argue all you want but in the end these two facts will stand. I didn’t tell you to take any action directly, did I?

    As for me “setting myself up as a ruler” I can only laugh. When people advocate anarchy, they simply want no rulers at all. It’s like you just said all atheists are trying to set themselves up as God.

    @Theodore Schultz:

    Nice list of references and examples, but it’ll take me a long time to read them all. I hope you’ll all excuse me if I keep reading and posting here well before I’m done?

    Of course. The fact that you express interest into reading them at all is awesome. Take your time.

    I have to wonder what Ayn Rand would have been like if she’d had and raised her own children.

    Honestly I don’t think as highly of Ayn Rand as most people would guess. Technically yes, I’m looking to build a Galt’s Gulch of sorts on the waves so she certainly gets props for the idea way back in her day, but in the end she got a lot of details wrong and didn’t really include the most important ingredient to making a Voluntary society work: The Non-Aggression Principle.

    Then she went and brought her personal beliefs on God into it and spoiled everything for her whole generation. Frankly I’m kind of mad at her for that.


    The “political dimension” of seasteading is irrelevent at this point,…simply because there is no seastead and there are no seasteaders. To talk about the role of a future “government” of non existing seasteading entities is just useless mental masturbation.

    If it is important to talk about the engineering of a seastead at this point, or the defense of a seastead at this point, or especially the purpose of a seastead at this point, one would necessarily need to speak of the government aboard their seastead at this point.

    The amount of freedom offered aboard a seastead is a Major selling point for it. Even Blueseeds’ stead, which basically runs under the same laws as the USA, has ca Core PURPOSE of allowing technical folks a way to get around US Laws. (Which we anarchists like to refer to as “Freedom.”)

    So clearly it depends on the seastead. I guess someone could build one just for Oceanographers with no purpose other than to get fish lovers closer to the deep-ocean fish, but most of us designing a seastead colony to appeal to a variety of people in different professions will likely need to consider the roles of government, law and order aboard their stead.

    Frankly I can’t think of a better use for a seastead than making mankind free. Can you? That will take government discussion right up front.

    Profile photo of Theodore Schultz
    Theodore Schultz

    Does the analogy break down?
    Comparisons are being drawn between the Oceans and the American Western Frontier. Just how valid is this analogy anyway?
    Has anyone else here read Freeman Dyson? The first two British colonies in the New World vanished without a trace. The third, Jamestown, left traces, but failed. The Mayflower Expedition was heavily financed, (seven year’ average annual income per migrant), but not heavily enough, as they had to sell their stores of butter to pay for port fees for departure, and by Thanksgiving, half their number had died, (yes, those firkins of butter would have made a big difference). Repayment of the debt took over twenty years. The Mormon Migration cost three year’ average annual income per migrant, but at least that could be saved up. What was the entry cost for Western migration? Some people didn’t go very far, they just grabbed some dried beans and an ax, and disappeared into the brush. Many people living near the frontier already had the skills to live over the edge, it was easy country to disappear in, relatively easy to construct shelter in, and land that could be lived off of in reasonable confidence for many.
    What kind of advance investment will be required for seasteading? How easy is it to disappear on the open sea? Food? Fresh water? A balanced diet? As OCEANOPOLIS has said elsewhere, “as a rule of thumb, what works on dry land will suck @ sea”. Life at sea will resemble life in space, and only preparedness and possession of the right property will sustain you. A friend on another seastead is someone who will sail hundreds of miles to come get you when you can’t stay on the one you’ve been on, for whatever reason.
    The bar for entry looks high. The ability to inspire trust in the landlubbers you’re dealing with looks poor if you’re staying in commuting range. Further out, infrastructural requirements will be much higher until there are communities for you to join, at which point there will always be tradeoffs.
    If a child is born on or raised on a seastead, how difficult will he find it to build one himself when he comes of age? Most of what I see at this point is the endless potential for drama. It could be some very good drama, don’t get me wrong about that, but the kind that most folk will want to read or see, not live themselves.

    Profile photo of OCEANOPOLIS

    My view is that future seasteads should be based on 2 important social, political and economic concepts:
    1. Unanimocracy.
    Unanimocracy, as I define it, is a referendum based democracy in which a supermajority vote is required for any legislation to become law. A supermajority is defined as a majority that must represent a percentage much higher than a simple majority. It is my belief that the unanimocracy system will create a smaller government and fewer laws. It is also my belief that unanimocracy will diminish political opposition, thus highly reducing social antagonism. Smaller government, fewer laws and less political opposition combined, will result in better preserved individual freedoms and a better, more stable social-political-economic system.
    2. Free Market Distributism.
    Free Market Distributism, as I define it, is a social-economic philosophy alternative to socialism and capitalism. According to free market distributism, ownership of private property, productive property and wealth is highly desirable for all the members of a society, with the means of production ideally being spread as widely as possible among the general populace, rather than being centralized under the control of the state (socialism) or a few large businesses or wealthy private individuals (capitalism).
    Free market distributism seeks to subordinate economic activity to human life as a whole, to our spiritual life, our intellectual life, our family life.

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