Anti-Corruption Infrastructure


(Sarah) #1

I’ve just arrived to this forum, but I’ve already seen a myriad of governmental systems proposed. But what of the corruption that has driven us to the sea in the first place? I have never heard of any government system–real or theoretical–discuss the inevitable decline of their ideology into corruption.I have an ideal society in mind, like I’m sure all of you have yours. And I’m quite sure your ideas address the current forms of corruption. But fraudulent behavior evolves just as quickly as we do.

My suggestion is a branch for any style of government that is specifically tasked with combating abuses of power. All positions of decision-making be elected and every bit as powerful as the government it will be charged with policing.

What do you think?


(Matias Volco) #2

Hi Sarah,
I think a Home Owners Association is the highest level of bureaucracy and political organization any human person is able to handle. A very flexible, geographically flexible even, constellation of home owners associations with total right to association and dis association, would be fine, just as Yacht Owners enjoy but without the steep cost of slips

Oceanic freedom would allow seaworthy vessels and islands to be their own (sic) island. Some may chose to temporarily associate into archipelagos.
Smaller entities could chose from different artificial floating harbors and migrate at will. We must not forget that the fundamental idea is to provide competition so as to free us, the people, from single answers, from settling for the default.


(Sarah) #3

Hiya Matias!

Although I love the idea of being able to pull up stake and leave a nation that is failing/failed, as an alternative to violent revolts. I believe a purely libertarian model is antithetical to progress, an “every man/woman for themselves” mindset would prevent us from gathering enough resources to reach the truly monumental achievements, like going to the moon or the Internet we are using right now.

Millions of unique perspectives working together makes anything possible. And only trust in each other can make a country possible. Unfortunately, that trust can be hacked. I believe we need to face the demons of our collective nature and come up with solutions, not try to separate into groups small enough not to be a threat to ourselves. With over seven-billion people and counting, I don’t think we can put the mega-city genie back in the bottle, no matter how much ocean space we have.


(Matias Volco) #4

Hi Sarah,
I couldn’t agree more!
I see the issues of Freedom and Prosperity at stake

leaving a nation can happen not just when it’s outright failing (i.e. war thorn refugees) it can also happen when it doesn’t agree to your personal taste (i.e. poor but subsisting economic-ambitious migrants, middle class and billionaire expats, cultural and political migrants).
This is analogous to the shopping mall choice mentality, one can chose one store or another or change malls altogether.
An enclosed sphere could create microworlds, islands of many a man and woman, mobile and independent. Like Space Colonization.
Closer to shore and present time, Ramform Islands can be the “malls” that harbor a myriad of islands.
Sure, every man is an island, but most prefer to assemble into archipelagos.


(Chris) #5

Going by the theory that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, I think the best option is to have the smallest possible government limited only to the basics needs of keeping a seastead together and functioning.

I like the direction the open source political party is going and believe that even without something like that, competition alone will make seastead governments more accountable.


#6

Different communities for different people will most likely be the near term result but I would like to see a new age system where persons and enterprises who generate maximum net benefit and common good are very highly financially compensated for their useful function and existence


(Sarah) #7

Who determines this “maximum net benefit and common good”? Our current societies vaunt billionaires as “job creators”, this has been proven to be factually incorrect, but this perception is still very pervasive. As the greatest corruptible force ever invented, money needs to be seen as the frivolous luxury it is. It should be fire-walled from anything to do with survival or power and used only for the superfluous items. Money should be fun, since all currencies are funny-money anyways.

I’ll get off my soapbox now. :slight_smile:


(Chris) #8

I what you view as “every man for himself” others might view as allowing you the right to determine your own fate. I do have a few issues with Libertarianism, but generally lean that way. Your statement of: “Who determines maximum benefit and common good?” brings up a good example.

If whatever government I choose decides it wants to regulate food for example, I appoint someone in charge of that and they then decide what is safe for everyone to eat. Everyone in my seastead is now dependent on them to make good choices. The people supplying this food are motivated to try and influence this person and the potential for corruption exists to influence this person’s choice. We have this problem in the US now with abuse of the food labeling system, a USDA that has a dual mandate of making sure that you are healthy while at the same time trying to boost US food sales, etc…

If on the other hand, we simply make sure that the information is provided on an open platform that anyone can contribute to and let people make their own decisions, it allows people to control their own health effectively and limits the corruptible power of government. Now there is a down side in that some people may not be capable of making their own smart decisions and those people will in fact suffer because of that, but I would prefer a minority suffering in this scenario over a majority suffering in a single decider scenario.

Now, on the issue on making money frivolous, again I think that limiting government influence over money would create such a scenario. I also think that most seasteads that are self supporting will create this environment by default. A seastead with it’s own printed money will likely fail because nobody will accept it outside the seastead. This lack of control over it’s own economy is going to lead to everyone on the seastead supporting themselves. You can’t count on the seastead bailing you out if you are paid in Panamanian dollars and the economy suddenly collapses in Panama. If you want to use US dollars on your seastead, you are going to have to increase productivity at a constant rate just to maintain pace with it’s inflation. Want to use Bitcoin? Then you have to prepare yourself for the huge swings in value from day to day.

I would suspect that anyone that lives on a seastead will provide most if not all of their own food and power. They would also be able to float away any time that they choose and could live on their own for a time if they did. I would also expect them to keep a few different currencies and regularly study the currency markets of the world to determine if their nest egg was safe. Monthly bills, (except for maybe internet?) will be a thing of the past and both government influence and government taxes will be minor in nature, limited to infrastructure needs and mutual security.

All of this is just the way I envision things happening and I know this goes against a few plans of the Utopias of others. Take it for the grain of salt that it is.


(Sarah) #9

I agree with you, that most/all seasteading cities will start out with a libertarian bent. But if they want to be anything other than a niche market, filled with upper-middle class and above–which is a small and shrinking market. Its going to have to make way for the ever growing poor. A gold-backed currency seems to me the best universally accepted method of maintaining value and stability. Also establishing a resource/barter based trade economy (e.g ten tons of fish for two tons of steel) wherever possible would help stability outside of inherently chaotic currency issues.

Your example of the USDA’s duality doesn’t exist anymore, its priority is sales. This person you would collectively hire as a food inspector would favour those who pay him more; creating high-quality luxury goods, while neglecting standards everywhere else. Money is not democracy. The most stable economic era in the US was when there was robust regulations. Before FDR it was an endless cycle of boom and bust. Capitalism will eat its creators if given the chance. Uplifting those that hit hard times–and almost everyone hits them at some point in their lives–is the heart and soul of stable civilizations.

Who is in charge of disseminating this information and who will teach our children how to interpret it? Interpretation determines our reality and if money is involved, our realities will always be skewed in its favour. This circles back to my money fire-wall idea. Everybody needs to have a fare shake when they get started, but the board is tilted. If taxation is theft, then inherited wealth in obscene amounts is a crime against humanity. “Old money” contributes almost nothing to society, while cannibalizing it to death. Wealth hording is the mental illness of our civilization. I’m not going full Marxist, I’m not saying we should seize the means of production, but merely give everyone access to it; through things like free education or tool libraries. There is nothing wrong with enjoying the fruits of your labour, just not at the expense of everybody else and any system with little to no safeguards will eventually be exploited by the few.

Libertarianism, like Communism works on the small scale, but falls apart when applied to larger populations. The United Arab Emirates is the closest example of a Libertarian state I can think of and it is built on the backs of slaves and floats on speculative bubbles ready to pop if enough people look closely at them. Any ideology taken to its extreme will always go over a cliff into fascism and/or ruin.

If we are serious about this, we need as many people–rich and poor–as possible to be apart of it.

Well… I think I’ve worn out my poor soapbox. I hope I haven’t put too many of you to sleep.


#10

Who will decide the amount of net benefit and common good will be citizen jury’s but the person or enterprise in question will of course have a right to appeal and prove their case.

The only purpose of net benefit and common good ratings is to determine the rate of taxes, rent, maintenance fees or whatever you want to call it or if they receive funds and special contract opportunities from said country or seastead. If they are treating their employees well and being environmentally responsible than why not reward them?

I do agree agree with community facilities such as community kitchens/restaurants and fully equipped community machine shops that people can rent on a as needed basis to work on projects or trying out there business idea before investing in their own equipment not knowing if it will work or not.

The goal for my seastead will be to produce hydrocarbons from co2 and hydrogen via a modified Fisher Tropsch process https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fischer–Tropsch_process with the hydrogen coming from electrolysis powered by wave power generators.

In my seastead people will receive basically a welfare check from leftover profits at least initially to build consumer demand and business opportunities such as water taxis, restaurants and retail just to give an example. And I also plan on community sponsored production runs with the machine shop to produce locally needed items, my hope is that the producers form guild’s or associations such as furniture makers or appliance makers for example to take turns using the community machine shops to produce various items.


(Chris) #11

I seem to be with you on some of your ideas but we stray a lot when it comes to economics. (Although we do agree somewhat on the velocity of money, I would disagree on how to encourage it.) Please do not take anything I post here as more than the pleasant discourse I intend it to be. I am not trying to belittle your views or ideas, but hoping for a mutually beneficial dialogue.

I think seasteads will start out with lots of different types of governments, but I think that only the ones that have a smaller governments will succeed without a huge sources of outside funding. The fact is that a seastead isn’t going to be any more accepting than other countries are now of new citizens. You will be expected to show up being able to prove that you can support yourself. Therefore everyone will at least start at an equal footing, and it’s up to them what they do from there.

I would also like a gold backed currency, but there are issues there as well. If your seastead decides to store the gold in a vault on the seastead, you are inviting others to try and test your defenses. If you store it in a vault in another country, it can easily be appropriated by that country. This has happened more than a few times in history. The US gold reserve act of 1934, (started by FDR btw), the bail-in laws in Cyprus, and the exchange controls proposed recently in the EU are examples. If you have any negotiating with that country at all, you will do so knowing that they have your gold reserves locked in their vaults. I do think that barter will be alive and well on a seastead though.

I won’t pounce on FDR too much. I’ve already brought up that he is responsible for us going off a gold backed currency to begin with. I just want to add that he started our never ending debasement of currency and the larger bust/boom cycles that came with it.

The USDA’s duality still exists, but you are correct about it’s priority. Corruption tends to do that. It’s why lobbyists from Monsanto and Goldman Sachs pay top dollar to get one of their own on the presidential cabinet. If you create a government office, a corporate lobbyist will fill it for you.

As far as teaching your children, the answer is you are in charge of teaching them. There are plenty of great resources out there like Khan academy and MIT open source, but if you make the mistake of allowing anyone else to be in charge of that, you allow them to be victimized well into adulthood.

Taxation is theft by government force and it will have to be low on a seastead for practical reasons. You can tax me to the point that I tolerate it enough not to float away. Your only way to stop me from floating away is to imprison me. The “old money” scenario sounds great until you apply it to the family farm. Farmers are land and equipment rich and money poor. So when you tax that farmer’s estate for the privilege of dying, you now force that family to sell off a part of their farm to pay taxes again on what they have already paid taxes on in the past. Seasteaders are going to have a majority of their wealth tied up in their self sufficiency and if you try to apply an estate tax to that you’ll do the same and end their existence. You can’t sell only part of a seastead platform. It’s an all or nothing proposition.

The UAE is nothing like Libertarianism, it is a favorite brought up by some left leaning orgs though along with Somalia. Both places are on the opposite end of the scale when it comes to human rights though. (usually ignored by those groups to falsely prove their point) About the closest you are going to come today is maybe New Zealand, but even that is like comparing an apple to a pear.

I understand what you envision, but I do not think it can ever happen that way. You’ll have to show up on a seastead ready and able to support yourself. You’ll need to grow your own food, make your own power, and fix your own leaks. Nobody is going to create a seastead for the purpose of taking care of you. They may create one that allows you to take care of yourself. Isn’t that what we all want in the first place?


#12

It’s all a moot point, until there is a community large enough to need some sort of internal government. As yet, there is nowhere to build a seastead, no defined and engineered designs for one, and the only current project is by a former member, while I wait on a settlement, to be able to start an incubator site, intended for building mine and others to be able to build theirs.

All the plans for floating condos, floating cities and such are billions of dollars away from happening. Until there are homesteads at sea, there is no basis for a floating community. Once those begin to develop and coexist, then there will eventually become a need for, first, local cooperation, and eventually some sort of larger organization.

Once there are communities, rather than ideology-driven political groupings, I think people should really look into the system described in “the Ganymeade Protocol” by Don Elwell.


(Sarah) #13

AmericanSlave, couldn’t agree with you more! I think we are very close to the same page. I love the idea of “citizen juries”! I’d prefer to call it basic income, rather than welfare, but that’s just a personal preference.

As for JohnGalt, I might disagree with some of what you say, but I value your point of view greatly. I thank you for the stimulating debate and sorry if my passion comes across as aggression.


(Chris) #14

It was not taken as such at all, nor do I hope I came off that way to you.

We just disagree on some things and that’s okay.


(Chris) #15

Agreed, I think the first multi household seastead will basically be a little more than a floating dock. The only rules needed will be basic civility and respect to others. What grows from there will be interesting but trying to figure out what that will be is a thought exercise at best.


(jtaxman) #16

The key here, I believe is to go with the idea of philosopher kings. Those who assume positions of power are extremely restricted by choice.

What I mean is that the leaders/politicians are in these positions for the good of the community, not to assume power or money. All they get is living, food, and clothing. All very modest. Their entire lives revolve leading the community and doing what is best for it.

Another possibility i’ve thought about is doing raising the leadership from childhood, kind of like how it has been done with the Dali Lama for centuries.

Power must also be decentralized, not one person can have to much power, every branch is broken off into teams of people.


(Larry G) #17

This is a complete misunderstanding of the libertarian philosophy. The point of libertarianism is voluntary cooperation, not lack of cooperation.

Money is simply a medium of exchange.[quote=“WheezyLobster, post:7, topic:1665”]
It should be fire-walled from anything to do with survival or power and used only for the superfluous items.
[/quote]

This is a logical fallacy and complete impossibility. Since cooperation is necessary for survival, and exchange is part of cooperation, the minute you ban “dollars” someone will come up with another medium of exchange to facilitate cooperation. Some people are more willing or able to cooperate than others- they will inevitably gain a surplus of cooperation in whatever medium

Nobody determines the maximum common good. There is no such thing because there is no universal perfection, and anything designed to loosely fit lots of people is still going to be a sub-optimal compromise for most individuals. There is simply the aggregate of lots of individual good. Maximum benefit is relative to the individual. Lots of individuals maximizing their personal good becomes the general beneficent level of society. So judging benefit based upon being willing to pay for it is the only rational means of judging.


(Larry G) #18

There is nothing small or shrinking about the middle class. The ever-growing poor, are mostly an artifact of population growth. Population growth in the developed nations is actually negative, discounting immigration. As humanity becomes generally wealthier, population growth slows, and prosperity is rising (unevenly) all over the world. The disparity still exists, but it exists most starkly in those places without individual rights, with poor protection for individual property, with maladaptive incentives towards immediate consumption over delayed gratification and investment.

Inter-generational wealth transfer is increasing, but that’s not a bad thing. If there were none, we would all still be squatting around fires in caves. And wealth is largely knowledge now, not things. Technology and processes are what generate most wealth, not discovering things lying about on the ground. Gold standards have some utility in stability, but are inherently limiting.


(Blank Name) #19

Or just split power between many representatives and create a balance of power :stuck_out_tongue:


#20

And a convenient means to store value (assuming others are willing to accept the money).

One can call it any name one wants, but the “exchangeable things of value” are a necessary element in any society or community.

Without “exchangeable things of value”, it is every household solely for itself …
and, thus, neither a society nor a community.