1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to sidebar




Viva la revolution!

Home Forums Community Dreaming / Crazy Ideas / Speculation Viva la revolution!

This topic contains 158 replies, has 22 voices, and was last updated by Avatar of Altaica Altaica 3 years, 10 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 159 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #1173
    Avatar of i_is_j_smith
    i_is_j_smith
    Participant

    So I finally got around to watching Jorge’s talk from the 2009 Seasteading Conference and I gotta say…I’m pretty depressed. I find myself unfortunately agreeing with Jorge that there will be no sovereignity without land. And without true sovereignity I really don’t see the point of seasteading. While flying a flag of convenience and getting “99% of what we want” might be okay for some, I had higher aspirations. It looks like, without some land to get our hands on, the whole idea of real seasteading is dead in the water.

    So here’s the crazy idea / speculation…think of it as a thought exercise, a gedankenexperiment if you will.: you get some land and found your own nation. You can then make your seastead and fly your own flag of convenience. This nation will be designed to have an absolute minimum of laws. This way you can give flags of convenience to anyone who wants to make a seastead and live on that seastead by their own rules.

    We don’t need good land…we just need a place to build a few structures and house a few dozen people as a permanent population so we meet the requirements of the Montevideo Convention. So where can we get some land? We either make our own, or grab some that is already there.

    Making our own is the least viable option I believe. Starting a volcano is highly doubtful. Dredging, piling up rocks, or building up a reef is inexpensive but requires shallow areas of which there are none. Any other methods anyone can think of? Remember, this must be land. Not floating or attached to the seabed but actual, honest-to-goodness terra firma.

    So the only other option is to grab some existing land. I believe there are two realistic ways to go about this: you buy them out or chase them out.

    There are two ways you could buy them out. First, you come in and purchase a country. This could mean giving every person a fixed dollar amount to leave. Depending on the population size this could get very expensive. Plus you will find that many people have tribal or cultural systems in place that make the idea of leaving their homeland unthinkable. Second, tt could mean purchasing a large chunk of land and then bribing the government to allow a peaceful secession. This might be the most likely and least expensive scenario, especially if the land we are grabbing is completely unusable.

    Chasing them out might not be that tough. It’s amazing how many weapons a few million dollars will buy. Or just hire any of the several professional security companies that are in business around the world…although invading another country might not be in their catalog. The problem with this method is finding a country small enough to invade that doesn’t have a decent military of its own and isn’t under the protection of another, well-equipped country. The best thing would be to find a country that is being a pain-in-the-ass to its neighbors…neighbors who wouldn’t mind a nice quiet group of seasteaders moving in and calming things down.

    Any ideas anyone?

    #9226
    Avatar of Melllvar
    Melllvar
    Participant

    There was one idea that had occurred to me. Find a host nation that would be willing to allow seasteads to develop with effectively complete autonomy, and agree to seasteads seceding independently after some given amount of time. In return the host nation is given some kind of monetary or trade incentives. This kinda depends upon seasteads having something valuable to produce that a host nation would want. So basically we exist under their flag for a while, then eventually pay some money and say f*** off.

    I’m not sure its really important though. The line between nationhood and something else seems thin and grey, and with certain seastead models (like ships/boat-steading) a large economy of seasteaders could develop while all flying various flags. Once a community becomes large enough to warrant declaring nationhood, they would by that time hopefully have the means to do so (by any of the standard methods). I’m not sure current land based nations would want to let any of this happen, but if they’re going to stop us by banning it and enforcing it with big militaries, any political movement is pretty much doomed already.

    Building up or claiming an island for all of seasteading seems like a bad idea… for one thing, it leaves the barrier to entry rather high. Hopefully most would be ok working with whatever group owned the island, but it still makes new “nations” start up as proxies from the island state. For another thing, if there is a land based nation that seasteads are associated with, then we’ve effectively just made a new land-nation and started claiming the oceans as its territory, which probably won’t go over very well.

    #9227
    Avatar of i_is_j_smith
    i_is_j_smith
    Participant

    It seems to me that there are only two options. Fly a flag of convenience or get boarded by every naval warship that comes around. If you get boarded all the time then how can you trick yourself into thinking you are free? And is there any country today that you can fly under that will allow the freedoms many seasteaders want?

    If you have to fly under a flag, wouldn’t you rather fly under the flag of a country that says “we don’t care what you do! We are seasteaders too and you can have your freedoms!”?

    A floating community will never become large enough to warrant declaring statehood. I once felt like you do, but Jorge has dissuaded me. It’s the land, baby. That one nagging requirement will always be the thorn in our foot. Unless the floating community is armed and powerful enough to tell a naval warship to take a hike…and be able to back that up…then we will always need to rely on the backing of a land-based nation. Since there aren’t any land-based nations that give us the freedoms we need…let’s make one.

    #9230
    Avatar of cscoggin
    cscoggin
    Participant

    ok, taking the idea of a ‘stub nation’ (for want of a better term) as a base… Would every seastead needing to fly that country’s flag be any different from any other already existing country? In the short term I assume the answer would be yes, because they (the stub nation) share the ideals and well really let you do what you like. But what about when (I’m a pessimist) they eventually don’t? You are back in the same boat (so to speak).

    That said, how big does a country need to be to be an internationally recognized country? Luxembourg is only a bit over 600K acres. Heck Vatican City is only a titch over 100 acres. If size doesn’t matter then might it not be easier to buy 100 acres (or a 100,000 or whatever the ‘minimum’ is) from an existing country and secede. I know it is not as simple as that (or is it). But if you took some poor country grossly over pay on the value of the land in question (perhaps a little baksheesh to grease the wheels) what would be the down side for the country in question? They get a huge (for them) influx of hard currency they would not get otherwise, the only loose a tinny chunk of useless (buy some swampland or other undesirable property that would never sell otherwise) and they gain a potentially affluent neighbor that is somewhat beholden to them. On ‘our’ side, if they ever get frisky/greedy and try to take the land back, if the country is chosen correctly and the ‘paperwork’ is all in place so everything is legal it should be quite easy to fend them off militarily if needed.

    #9231
    Avatar of i_is_j_smith
    i_is_j_smith
    Participant

    cscoggin wrote:
    ok, taking the idea of a ‘stub nation’ (for want of a better term) as a base… Would every seastead needing to fly that country’s flag be any different from any other already existing country? In the short term I assume the answer would be yes, because they (the stub nation) share the ideals and well really let you do what you like. But what about when (I’m a pessimist) they eventually don’t? You are back in the same boat (so to speak).

    Yes, but since the stub nation would be extremely small, have no real place to expand, and be very limited in government so it should be hard for it to grab for more power. But government transition is always a possible issue. But the likelihood of this happening is small, and the benefits (getting seasteads) far outweigh the unlikely problems.

    cscoggin wrote:
    That said, how big does a country need to be to be an internationally recognized country?

    According to the Montevideo Convention all you need is land and defined borders…the size doesn’t matter. I guess the ladies were right all along… ;) Monaco is less than a square mile.

    cscoggin wrote:
    might it not be easier to buy 100 acres (or a 100,000 or whatever the ‘minimum’ is) from an existing country and secede.

    That’s exactly what I said in my original post. The secession would need to be organized ahead of time with the government, and they would of course be compensated heavily. The benefit of this plan is that we automatically get one of the things you need for statehood: recognition by other nations. Whatever nation we break off from would recognize us as a new, free nation.

    I’m thinking either Nauru or Palau would be a good candidate. We could easily just get one of the small outlying islands….

    #9235
    Avatar of cscoggin
    cscoggin
    Participant

    i_is_j_smith wrote:
    cscoggin wrote:

    might it not be easier to buy 100 acres (or a 100,000 or whatever the ‘minimum’ is) from an existing country and secede.

    That’s exactly what I said in my original post. The secession would need to be organized ahead of time with the government, and they would of course be compensated heavily. The benefit of this plan is that we automatically get one of the things you need for statehood: recognition by other nations. Whatever nation we break off from would recognize us as a new, free nation.

    I’m thinking either Nauru or Palau would be a good candidate. We could easily just get one of the small outlying islands….[/quote]

    Sorry I totally missed that on my first read. I read it as the old option of buying out the whole country. I guess my fear is that it almost seems too easy. If that is all it takes why hasn’t someone done it already? I have the tingling feeling that there is something ‘obvious’ missing in the idea.

    #9236
    Avatar of i_is_j_smith
    i_is_j_smith
    Participant

    What’s missing is the cost and the assumption that any country…even a dirt poor one…will voluntarily give up even a small piece of it’s land and give it to another nation.

    The cost will probably be very high, at least in the tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars. Land might be cheap but bribes sure aren’t.

    The harder part will be finding a nation willing to give up some land. Maybe looking at the tiny nations, who barely have enough land of their own, isn’t the way to go? Maybe dealing with one of the big countries like Russia or China would be better, but then to them a few hundred million dollars is a drop in the bucket so we have nothing to bribe them with.

    I’m starting to think armed invasion is the best approach. Some of these nations have less than 5000 men between the ages of 14 and 60, and I doubt they would put up much of a fight. I bet you could put together a pretty nasty and well-armed mercenary force for a few hundred million dollars. And again, if the nation we take over is causing troubles for its neighbors we might even come out with a few friendly nations who would gladly recognize our sovereignity in thanks for getting rid of the pest.

    Just thinking out loud…

    #9240
    Avatar of JeffM
    JeffM
    Participant

    I hear that there are a lot of paramilitary outfits in South America and other areas.

    Buying a small island from one of these nations would be best, but you never know which locals might take issue with it, and how far they’ll go to make you leave. The first priority would probably be development aimed at ‘securing’ the island, and making sure some locals didn’t come and butcher us in our sleep. This could make a paramilitary outfit very useful at first, until we had an organized system with a trained seasteader militia.

    I know that its not really fair to call them all murderous, but there is an awful lot of understandable, anti-american imperialist sentiment, and a bunch of white North American buying one of their islands might be enough to get them riled up. We would have to make it clear that any intruders on the island shouldn’t be harmed, and should at most be disarmed and sent back, or detained until their own authorities could come pick them up.

    I’m starting to think armed invasion is the best approach.

    Well armed invasion is just armed robbery on a larger scale… no one will like you, and they won’t acknowledge that anything you take belongs to you.

    Buying one would probably be easiest… some countries would slaver at the thought of 20 million american dollars, especially since we aren’t looking for a valuable, tropical paradise; we just need an island fit for development. Hell, even an area of shallow water would be fine.

    #9241
    Avatar of i_is_j_smith
    i_is_j_smith
    Participant

    JeffM wrote:
    Well armed invasion is just armed robbery on a larger scale… no one will like you, and they won’t acknowledge that anything you take belongs to you.

    That’s why it would be best to target a small country in an area where it’s neighbors wouldn’t mind our intrusion. We get rid of a thorn in their sides, we take on all the risk, and in return they promise to recognize us once things settle down.

    JeffM wrote:
    Buying one would probably be easiest… some countries would slaver at the thought of 20 million american dollars, especially since we aren’t looking for a valuable, tropical paradise; we just need an island fit for development. Hell, even an area of shallow water would be fine.

    Again, it’s not an issue of finding land to purchase…it’s the FEAR that existing nations have in giving away control over any of their territory. But I agree that purchasing land is probably the better route…some of these countries really are dirt poor.

    How about setting a budget of $150M USD for this project? That should include the cost of the land, the bribes, some basic structures with a permenant population, and basic infrastructure. This is only a little more expensive than ClubStead, and we would have our own nation. We can make some money back by selling our flag…we might even be eligible for international grants for developing nations!!!

    #9242
    Avatar of wohl1917
    wohl1917
    Participant

    “… The Oceanic Citizens Republic’s Home Territory and Home Territorial Surface is One Square Nautical Mile located at 121.34.00W to 121.35.00W, 10.00.00S to 10.01.00S, within section ‘E’ of the International SeaLand Enterprises (ISLE) claim of September 1975. ” The dirt, the sea-bottom itself, was claimed by the International Sea-land Enterprises (ISLE) in September 1975, prior to the existence of UNCLOS. Ex post facto law are not legal by international treaty and the claim, while not acknowledged, has never been disputed. I purchased 1 square nautical mile of ocean floor. Just as you do not own the air above your house, I do not ‘own’ the water above my land but under UNCLOS I have the right to use the sea just as anyone else does. It’s like if you had a tethered balloon on your land you could let it out as high as you wanted to or in this case drop my hook so to speak. If the water were shallower, I could build a tower to the surface, just the same! I chose to create the Oceanic Citizens Republic there and because I’m not getting any younger and may never get to the ‘Home Territory’, I chose to have the Republic make ‘claim’ to points, locations, spots on the high-seas where Citizens of the Republic can sail too that are closer to where they actually live. The Republic does not exist ‘there’, it exists in the hearts and minds of its Citizens and on any vessel that flies the flag. As for the validity of the claim… Well, let’s see: According to Article 1 of the 1933 Montevideo Convention on Rights and Duties of States, the Republic itself exists independent of recognition and because it, through me, owns actual land, property in the temporal world, it exists. I’ve already covered ISLE and since the Republic makes no claims in conflict with UNCLOS, there you have it. In all actuality, my Republic has more ‘legal’ foundation that the United States had when the founding fathers signed the Decoration of Independence because at that time there was no law to allow anyone to declare themselves anything as ‘rule’ was by devine right!

    < http://ocr.wikia.com/wiki/Oceanic_Citizens_Republic_Wiki>

    Avatar of i_is_j_smith
    i_is_j_smith
    Participant

    wohl1917 wrote:
    The dirt, the sea-bottom itself, was claimed

    I wish it were that easy. I too hoped, as you do, that these types of claims would be recognized as legitimate but Jorge has brought me back to reality. In my case, my seastead will have tons of “land” in the form of soil for gardens and such. Nearly the entire surface would be covered in soil. “There’s my land under Montevideo” I said. I also thought along the “I’m really claiming the seafloor” lines. I felt that since my seastead would be anchored forever in one location it made those claims of owning “land” more substantial. I have lost faith in those ideas.

    If a warship approaches your seastead and demands to board, you can explain your seafloor claims all day long and it won’t mean squat. The only way to get around this, I fear, is to fly a flag from an existing, recognized, land-based nation.

    I’m starting to think that getting our hands on some land won’t be as hard as I originally thought. Some nations like Niue have a total GDP of $10M with a total population of 1400. The trick is finding one that would be more agreeable to giving away their land. Places like Tokelau have a strong religious and cultural base, and strong social bonds that might make it difficult to give their land away. Other places, like Tuvalu, look like they would sell their land to anyone who could pay.

    #9244
    Avatar of Melllvar
    Melllvar
    Participant

    i_is_j_smith wrote:

    If you have to fly under a flag, wouldn’t you rather fly under the flag of a country that says “we don’t care what you do! We are seasteaders too and you can have your freedoms!”?

    Good point. Yes. But I doubt it will work out like that, as I explain below.

    i_is_j_smith wrote:

    A floating community will never become large enough to warrant declaring statehood…. Unless the floating community is armed and powerful enough to tell a naval warship to take a hike…and be able to back that up…then we will always need to rely on the backing of a land-based nation.

    I’m not sure about this. I’m guessing seasteading can and will be extremely profitable, for some, at least in the way of fishing, aquaculture, vacation property, etc. Even with just a large community living at sea there should be plenty of business in providing products and services to the community, provided the community members have some sort of income or wealth to buy with. Once money is being made seasteaders will have a lot more leverage to make demands. An entrenched residential community wouldn’t hurt either. Hypothetically supposing that a large and successful ancap “government” of businesses started up, it might be possible for ships to go without flag and receive protection against being boarded from private defense groups. I doubt you’d find any private defense forces willing to stand up to US warships right now, but if there was a large enough market for such services they might. That’s all that gives any nation or corporation any legitimacy within “international law” as it is… they’ve either got the power to make others respect their rights, or they’re allied with someone who does.

    I doubt it will be any easier to declare nationhood using land. Even if you find a country willing to let you secede, why would any other country choose to recognize you? Even if they do, you’re then tied to a land based government with all the associated draw backs. Suppose there is a regime change, or some other bigger country decides to take over, or you get cheated in the deal, etc. All this can happen on the ocean too, of course, but its less of an issue since the oceans are big and you can just start another aquatic community (resources provided, of course).

    As far as a forceful takeover goes… count me out if that’s what it takes to “seastead.” Its seems like a step in the wrong direction… instead of open competition in government, you have one more nation willing to exert force to achieve its agenda… also insert parallel between the US and the genocide of native americans here. Not to mention you’re completely abandoning the non-aggression principle to start a country that would most likely be founded largely on that principle. Plus, hiring military groups to force out natives would realistically mean killing some of the natives… aside from bad publicity, you’re going to quickly limit the number of people willing to be part of such a project to the most corrupt available. Also having a single nation that sanctions seasteads (unless they wanted to fly another flag of convenience) would probably lead to an oligopoly of seastead governments, with only ones favored by the land based nation being likely to get started. Even if people start out with good intentions, I doubt that will last indefinitely. I can just see the land-based libertarian nation raising fees to start socialist or communist seasteads under their flag (or vice versa, or use religious systems instead of socio-economic ones), or more readily facilitating groups affiliated with whoever the financial backers of the country were.

    To sum up:

    1) Too hard – probably not worth the extra effort compared to lobbying for nationhood without land
    2) Violent take overs defeat purpose of seasteading
    3) Will most likely not lead to a true competition in government

    As far as the bigger problem of Jorge’s presentation and the difficulty of declaring nationhood, I still say don’t be in any rush to declare nationhood. Focus on protecting your rights to autonomy in international waters, and if a single group becomes large enough to compete on an international level, they can declare nationhood then. It seems rather silly to put 100-200 people on a floating platform and call it a “nation”… what do they really get out of international recognition that they don’t out of just being a floating autonomous community? Unless the nation whose flag they’re flying is becoming a problem, it really doesn’t make a difference. I bet some nation would be willing to give seasteading groups almost complete autonomy, provided we aren’t harboring terrorists/pirates, trafficing weapons, etc.

    #9245
    Avatar of wohl1917
    wohl1917
    Participant

    leagally, it is that easy. The nations of the world haven’t and probably won’t ever acknoledge ISLE’s claim nor will they contest it in the Hague because that is in and of itself is acknoledgement. It simply ‘IS’… As for dealing with aproaching warships, that is easy too: DON’T! Don’t do the things that will make them come out and mess with you. Don’t become a haven for drug dealers, arms merchants, terrorists and criminals. To coin a phrase “Just say No!” Don’t aquire or even try to aquire weapons and weapons systems capable of agressive warfare. Don’t mess with people trying to enforce your ‘sovereignty’ and stay far out to sea so ‘they’ and ‘them’ won’t have to mess with you. Just quietly go about your business, fly the flag and live. When there are enough Citizen Captains, Subject Citizens and Subjects ‘they’ and ‘them’ won’t want to ‘mess’ with you and the declaration will be a de facto reality.

    < http://ocr.wikia.com/wiki/Oceanic_Citizens_Republic_Wiki>

    Avatar of i_is_j_smith
    i_is_j_smith
    Participant

    wohl1917 wrote:
    Don’t do the things that will make them come out and mess with you.

    That’s the point…you don’t have to do anything to make them mess with you. Just being on the ocean without a recognized flag is enough.

    Sure, you can wander for a while and…if you’re lucky…you’ll never run into another ship. But living in fear of spotting that eventual warship on the horizon isn’t what I’d call sovereignity. Plus, if you are planning to get investment money to build your seastead, do you think your potential investors will be pleased with the “we just hope we don’t run into any ships” mentality? They tend to not fund projects with that kind of risk.

    And “legally” doesn’t mean anything. Like I said, when that U.S. destroyer tells you to prepare for boarding you can yell all day long about how your claim to the seafloor pre-dates UNCLOS and that no nations have challenged you in the Hague…but that won’t stop the boarding party.

    I do agree with the “get powerful so they don’t mess with you” thing. But, as we’ve said in other threads, it will be a LONG time before any seastead…or community of seasteads…has the firepower to stand up to any of the major navies that are patrolling the seas.

    #9249
    Avatar of Gentry
    Gentry
    Participant

    You’ll never be more powerful than a destroyer.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 159 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.



Posted on at

Categories:

Written by

Blog/Newsletter

Donate