How would you deal with people that break the law on a seastead?

(Chad Elwartowski) #1

What would be your solution to people on the seastead committing a crime? Assume they have been found guilty through whatever process, what is your idea as far as punishment goes?

Do you build a jail and pay guards to guard the jail, use up valuable seastead space for housing and feeding criminals for years?

What would be your different levels of punishment?

If you support taxes on the seastead, what if someone does not pay taxes? What if so many people don’t pay taxes that you can’t afford to punish all of the people that don’t pay?

(Matias Volco) #2

Have you looked at what happens in cruise ships?


Off course not. Why waste money? Just dump them in the bilge (got to have one on a seastead, I guess) on a hammock without air condition and lock that bilge. :smile:

What for? That bilge is locked…

They’ll pay for food if they have money. If not, they’ll work for food. If they don’t want to work just feed them shitty food until they come to their senses.

More likely “taxes” would translate in maintenance and operation costs. They will be a must and everyone should pay, I think. A brand new seastead will have few, progressively growing in time.

Also, you must have defense and security. For that, a small income tax would be OK by me.

(Alex Smith) #4

i think we could try to become the first society that Jean-Jacques Rousseau wants.
the ideas comes in my mind when i was a child after read the introduction of him

i think every citizen should got the rights after he sign the agreement with the local goverment, and their could be many different goverments there, people could choose which they want to join after become adult, also immigrated could happen become goverments if people could accept the law of the destinated goveremnt

under this situation, to answer your question, my answer is yes, build jail or even shot him if its the local goverment and all its citizen’s decision

(Torrey Jones) #5

That’s one way of dealing with it I guess. Ultimately, I think it has to depend on the offense committed. There’s a huge difference between littering and murder. I think we, as in Western Society, have fairly conclusively proven by now that simple incarceration doesn’t work. I know that it’s supposed to be rehabilitation in theory, but in practice, not so much. I don’t think a truly effective treatment has been used yet, so maybe we need a multi-pronged approach, so not only do you use compulsory psycho-therapy as is used in some places and shows promise in reducing recidivism, couple that with community service, and actual restitution of the victim or the victim’s estate.

In case one of the miscreant’s friends decides to come by with a pair of bolt cutters maybe?

I kinda liked what Sheriff Joe Arpaio was doing in Tent City. PB&J sandwiches, Bologna sandwiches, and if we couple that with your idea that if you want better, earn it by working for it, or making progress in your psycho-therapy.

Every steading is going to have to have taxes to generate income, but they don’t have to be involuntary taxes like income tax or property tax. The taxes you have can all be for voluntary transaction, like Sales Tax, fees for governmental services (and feel free to have the more frivolous or silly a service is, the more it costs), Registration Fees, Flaging fees, customs and import duties, annual business licenses with a progressive fee structure (the bigger the company, the lower the ownership liability, the higher the fees, can be compounded by having been fined in the recent past), Gambling taxes, and of course, Fines and penalties.

Generally, punishments must fit the crimes committed. If you get caught littering, you pay a fine for the act itself, then do community service picking up after other people who weren’t caught littering, emptying garbage cans, etc. Theft, well, first, you give back what you took, pay the owner you stole from a fine, pay the state a fine, mandatory psycho-therapy to figure out what your mental malfunction is and to then fix that malfunction, and finally, community service of some appropriate kind. About the only time I would have a different set of punishments is if the convict is giving the therapists a snowjob, or is, like The Joker, not able to be rehabilitated, in which case, the solution is blatantly obvious, though, you can try banishment first if you want.

I think you’re going to need a jail of some kind, staffed with security personnel as a given, you need to do something with the suspects before they are tried after all.

Since Taxes are all about voluntarism, if you don’t pay the tax, you don’t get to do the thing the tax is associated with. If you don’t pay the Corporate Tax this year, well, you don’t get to run your business this year either. If you do whatever anyway, well, the fines and penalties will be high enough that you’ll wish you had paid the tax first.

(Chad Elwartowski) #6

Here are my thoughts on this, and I have mentioned this before, but I support the medieval Iceland method of privatized court system.

If you violate a law (of which there should be few, and there must be a victim), you pay the victim. There will be several prices for the different crimes or an agreed price negotiated with the victim.

For more severe crimes, banishment and recording your crime on the blockchain linked to your identity so that anyone everywhere around the world who meets you or has you in their town will know your crime and can decide if they want you in their town.

For this like murder you become what they used to call an “outlaw” (more modern movies have depicted these people as wild rebels). Nobody is allowed to house or transact with these people and if someone should kill an outlaw…no penalty. The family of the murder victim may decide upon a lesser punishment but being an outlaw would be the worst.

If you can’t pay a fine you go into indentured servitude until your fine is paid off.

With this system, there is no cost to the “government” while crimes are still punished.

Court costs can be diminished through video streamed juries with the only cost going to the judge. All court costs are paid by the loser.

(Torrey Jones) #7

The biggest problem is that punishments like Banishment and Outlawing someone require the cooperation of other nations. It’s a punishment that the major nations of the world simply do not recognize any more.

Further consideration should be given to the rights of non-lawbreakers in this, they still have their rights, amongst them the right of free association. If you banish a man, he is very likely to take his wife and children with him (assuming that any exist). I agree that the crime, evidence, punishment, and hopefully even the video records of the trial itself, would all become part of the public record, part of the blockchain. I can easily see that the actions and the consequences associated therein should be available on the internet for all who meet the person to be aware of, AI based facial recognition is already largely moving in that direction, so I have no difficulty picturing a future where everyone who meets a person will find out their name, contact info, social media links, and other noteworthy information about them, being readily available on the internet.

I’m pretty sure that this all makes more sense in my head, but these are my thoughts, scattered as they are. I think the concept of the Medieval Icelandic Legal System can be adapted, but the days of people not going further than the edge of town within their lives are long gone. The realities of the modern world need to be taken into account, and when crafting your set of laws, you want to avoid crafting something that infringes on the internationally recognized rights without good cause, because the international community will take notice.

I do however agree whole heartedly that there should be few laws, the fewer the better, and I also agree that you can’t logically have a crime without a victim. These are very good foundational elements to base a code of laws upon. I had the idea that “The Book of Law” should be constitutionally limited to 100 8.5x11" pages, using a given font & font size, and using language understandable by your average 6th grade graduate. I’m partial to 8pt Ariel, but ymmv. That means that every junior high student should be able to read the law for themselves, and be held accountable to it, years before they are likely to start breaking those few laws.


How would you deal with people that break the law on a seastead?

My seastead, my rules. Keeps it simple. I can and will defend myself and my property from any that would steal or do other harm.

(Chad Elwartowski) #9

Most countries require at least a passport for entrance to their country. Outlaw will no longer be a citizen and thus passport is no longer valid.

I doubt a murderer who’s victim’s family wants him dead will last long if there is no punishment for killing him. It could even become a sport for some very demented individuals. Or a paid service by the family.

(Larry G) #10

In theory,perhaps. But most countries (destinations) have no means of checking for revocation of passports from the nation-of-origin; the host country must force the physical surrender of a physical passport or the expiration of the document. We’re not far from a technical world where the passport could be digital-certificate-based, including revocation mechanisms, but we’re very far from a world where all countries or even most, cooperate on a level like that, and I’m pretty sure I don’t really want them to.

Preventing people from leaving is one of the more insidious and nastier tools of oppressive regimes through history.

In reality, there are literally tens of millions of people present without official permission in the United States alone. Places with more borders probably even more so. In a world where you can literally reach any possible destination in 36 hours and most people in the developed world don’t even live near their relatives, banishment doesn’t meet the “sniff test” of being a real deterrent any more. If you just want to keep committing crimes and skipping town, it would be almost impossible to catch you. This is true even now in regular communities, but in a place that has little official international recognition as a government, with no punishment other than banishment or voluntary fines, and little pressure for social conformity, it simply wouldn’t work.

The Icelandic model worked because they were physically isolated (you might assume this works for seasteads, but it wouldn’t; weeks of dangerous, arduous journeying by primitive wooden sailing vessel with no navigation aids simply doesn’t compare with modern travel), most wealth was inherent in tribal arrangements with the chieftain providing his largesse to the extended clan, and family-based, rather than individual-based social identity through their culture, endogamous marriage customs, etc.

Banishment from a community you voluntarily joined and whose values you don’t respect enough to follow has no real downside. It’s like being kicked out of the book club. No real damage to your prospects.

(Chad Elwartowski) #11

Whether other countries check or not is of no concern to the seastead. The goal is to get rid of the problem. And you have done so.

If countries don’t care about seastead murderers in their country they won’t check the easily accessible public blockchain when someone comes into their country.

(Larry G) #12

Not really. The problem is not that one person committed a murder. The problem is a lack of deterrent incentive to potential murderers. Legal systems aren’t about punishing one person, they’re about setting up a long term means for people to interact positively. Understanding the problem and scope is fundamental to solving it. There is a fundamental problem of scale to any tribal or socialist system; based upon mutuality of social pressure but no concrete incentives, they simply don’t account for people with no skin in the game, who are willing to violate norms and social expectations and move on to fresh hunting grounds.

(Chad Elwartowski) #13

This is a common misconception with no proof. If you actually look at the numbers, deterrent doesn’t really play a role when it comes to murder.

If you want to talk incentive then having murderers enter your country will be an incentive for countries to check the blockchain before letting someone in their country.

(bill mapezzi) #14

I agree here. The problem is gone, the countries that check won’t inherit the problem, and they will just all gravitate together and go the Darwin route (even though I don’t think much of his theory it gives an example). So there is some “deterrent” after all.

(Larry G) #15

Technically, studies show that death penalty vs long term imprisonment has little difference in deterrent effect; the major deterrent effect is more closely related to likelihood of being caught than degree of penalty.

But more lenient locations with no death penalty do see some more heinous crimes, if not more absolute volume of crime. And banishment is just not a punishment in modern society. It’ll almost certainly have the same effect as failing to detect a crime at all.

I actually do study this stuff professionally.

(bill mapezzi) #16

But even if so, were talking seasteads here. If they are gone, left on a life raft with some water, dried fish, and a paddle, that a pretty harsh image to look forward to. If someone burnt their last bridge and is on their own, they are either shape up or ship out. Of coarse I’m assuming everybody knows everybody else on the seastead.

(Torrey Jones) #17

To me, that just smacks of ocean pollution, throwing your refuse overboard… It’s making that person someone else’s problem to deal with because you don’t have the moral fortitude to deal with the problem yourself.

“Get off my Boat” works. “Get off my marina” also works. Partly, they work because you have a higher legal authority to appeal to, when you become that higher legal authority, you are assuming the responsibility of dealing with those problems, not just setting them free and letting them go be a problem for “Anyone But Me.”

(bill mapezzi) #18

Your coming at it from a culture where crime is an institution, prison is an institution, career criminals. Our system is basically rat on people if you can and call the cops - professionals. Idk, i read everything yesterday and for me- Chad made the most sense. I’m thinking moving to a seastead is like one seastead one family(extended), Sure quite a few families can be compatible and live next to each other but each “unit” is unto itself only (pure anarchism or family monarchy), so your not on your own turf at all if you go visit your neighbor. There are no cops to call on. If discipline is not maintained in one and you got two or three generations of inbreeds/bastards and wanted rapists living next to your family…you’re an idiot and deserve it. I’m agree 100% with mobile seasteads.
Oceans can be tamed with “outer communities” growing seaweed and living near to seaworthy craft whle holding no rhyme or reason for being told what to do. To me self defense is whatever it takes. The same training does not allow pro-active mentality toward disciplining OTHERS.

(Torrey Jones) #19

I think this is where the problem lies. Even a large vessel, like a cruise ship or container vessel, is still viewed as a ship that is flagged to a Host Nation, such as the Philippines, or Indonesia, or even the USA. That makes you beholden to the laws of whatever nation you’re flagged to, and you don’t have a right to fly your own flag as you’re not an independent nation. It really doesn’t matter if you’re Harmony of the Seas or Barzan, you’re still just a ship, and not a nation, regardless of having more residents than 7 other nations.

A single “Homestead on the seas” which is one family, even if extended, is never going to have the authority to be left in peace as one might like. This is always going to remain true until you have a fixed geo-location under your control and rule of law that others also agree to willingly.

If someone comes on your family’s floating homestead and kills your brother, your host nation is never going to allow you to prosecute that murderer for a variety of reasons. Vested interest, lack of legal training, lack of advocate for the defense, etc. In a single family steading, you may well have to lock the perp in the bilge until they can be turned over to your parent nation for prosecution. Based on many nations laws, just letting the person go, ie banishment from your steading, would be viewed as aiding and abetting as you have let him escape legal prosecution.

Look back to the last time that there were homesteads on as lawless land as could be found, it was the American West. Even there, where you had settlers spread out over many miles, they still had County authorities to turn to, like a sheriff, when legal matters arose, and there was always a town (usually where the sheriff had his office) with an elected mayor somewhere near-ish by that was responsible for passing the laws that everyone in the area had to abide by, be they town-folk or homesteader.

So, depending on what you’re referring to, either a small floating homestead for a single extended family, or a larger community, your options and responsibilities are different, and those differences need to be accounted for.


While I agree and respect you expertise, society, as we know it on land, and future seasteads, as we can only try to imagine them, seem to have very little in common.

Well,… actually ZERO since there are no seasteads yet.

But, assuming a future seastead of about 100?-200? people, I think that it would be fair to say that law enforcement would not be a priority on such minor scale…