Joe Quirk on seasteading:
Benjamin Franklin participated in several major innovations in his day. He helped discover and control electricity, and he helped design the US Constitution. The control of electricity set off a cascade of innovations, driving almost every modern technology we can name. Yet the instrument of government he helped invent has not progressed.
Consider that Franklin’s many inventions have advanced beyond his wildest imagination: the Franklin stove, bifocal glasses, refrigeration, the flexibile urinary catheter (my favorite). Yet, the methods of government he helped invent have not evolved. And why?
Because inventors and entrepreneurs had the freedom to experiment with Franklin’s technological ideas, but not his political ideas. More importantly, as Patri [Friedman] says, customers had power to choose amongst gadgets competing to please them, while citizens are captive to the political system they inherit.
One day, people will laugh at the idea of government (legitimized, institutional theft and murder) just as today people laugh at the idea of monarchy as a system of government.
Government is a technology– it is a means for achieving particular ends. What people don’t understand right now is that
- government is a means, not an end and
- government is an inappropriate and contradictory means for the end of “living in a harmonious, civilized and prosperous human society”
Government reduces human relationships to the Laws of the Jungle, the very thing we all claim to be striving so mightily to avoid.
As Allen Thornton wrote in the early 1980s,
And just what is this government? It’s a man-made invention. It’s not some natural phenomenon or a special creation of God. Government’s an invention, just like the light bulb or the radio.
The state was invented for me, to make me happier, but a funny thing has happened: If I don’t want this invention, people are outraged. No one calls me unpatriotic for refusing to buy a light bulb. If I don’t choose to spend my money on a radio, no one says that I’m immoral. Why should anarchy upset everyone?
Anarchists are ahead of their time, even though the truth they speak is itself timeless– conservatively, probably 200-300 years ahead of their time. The gradual evolution of the “human collective social consciousness” over time has been away from absolutism and toward individualism, with various depressing but ultimately temporary and regional setbacks along the way. Most visionaries DO look like kooks to their neighbors and countrymen before their vision is realized.
But it is the “market purists” who will have the last laugh, and ultimately deliver every one into the closest thing to a perfect society that one can get while still remaining firmly in the grips of reality in this universe.
They’ll be naysayed and boohooed and shouted at quite a bit along the way, though. Good thing most of us are of stout heart and strong mind.