October 1, 2008

Seasteading: An Alternative To Democracy

From The Onion comes a Report: 60 Million People You’d Never Talk To Voting For Other Guy:

BOSTON—According to an eye-opening report released Tuesday, 60 million people whom you would never talk to, would never be in a position to talk to, and wouldn’t even be able to talk to if you tried will be voting for the other candidate in this year’s presidential election, and there is nothing you can do about it.

The 110-page document reveals that these strangers share a fundamental vision of our nation’s future, a vision that shockingly runs completely counter to your own and is furthermore embodied by the candidate whom you could not in a million years fathom being the leader of the free world. Even more frightening, the report says, is that their votes count just as much as yours.

Just by looking at them, it’s clear to you that your guy is the only sane choice.

"While you are 100 percent certain that your preferred candidate’s stance on issues such as foreign policy and the economy would appeal to any human being with half a brain, there is, in this very same country, an equally large voting bloc which believes that you and your candidate of choice are absolutely insane," the report’s co-author Dr. Mark Grier said during a press conference. "Every single thing you love about your candidate’s personality, vice presidential pick, and family, 60 million other registered voters absolutely deplore."

"What you consider to be this country’s ruin," Grier added, "these other people actually consider to be this country’s savior."

The report also confirmed that even if you were able to communicate with these other citizens, your passion and conviction would never be enough to convince them not to vote for their candidate, just as they would never be able to convince you not to vote for your candidate, and just as nobody can convince anybody else that what they believe to be right is wrong, regardless of how clear the evidence to the contrary may be.

This is a great example of the problems inherent in modern centralized democracy.  It’s hard enough to get 5 people to agree on where to go to dinner or what movie to see – getting hundreds of millions to agree on a single leader and set of policies is insane.  That’s why the founders of the United States created a federalist system with a small central government to handle interstate standards and national defense, with most areas of government left to the states.  The smaller the group, and the more choice people have in sorting themselves into groups, the less we have to fight about contentious issues, and the more we can let everyone have what they want.

Seasteads will bring back federalism by letting people organize into small, self-governing groups.  They will also give that federalism teeth – the power to literally rearrange the geography of a community will create a never-before-seen level of political flexibility, where any house, block, village or city can choose to move itself to the frontier, or to the protection of a different state, if it doesn’t like how things are going locally.

As you get bombarded with messages this election season urging you to make this decision or that on behalf of millions, tens of millions, or hundreds of millions of people, take a moment and consider – might there be a better alternative?