Is 45% the earth's surface a state-free society of emergent law?

(joequirk) #1

The NYT is beating a relentless drumbeat for government oversight over all things oceanic. Politicians have written public letters mentioning the “The Outlaw Oceans,” with John Kerry describing it in interviews and speeches.

I think we could write “Oceans Of Emergent Law” as a response. Is the following thesis is accurate?

The Earth is currently divided between two philosophies of governance. 55% is claimed by state monopolies based on military control of land. 45% is entirely aquatic and flourishes as a voluntary seavilization well into its Golden Age. Consider that none of the following services at sea involve tax confiscation or armed enforcement:

SEARCH AND RESCUE: Private salvors rescue more ships than the Coast Guard and often rescue military ships who call them for help. Environmental cleanup is often provided by private salvors.

COURTS: Disputes are brought to Lloyd’s private arbitration, who require the disputants employ no lawyers. Lloyd’s has no enforcement mechanism. They simply publish their decisions, and industry participants comply.

FOOD SAFETY: The FDA-- with its staff of over 14,000, plenary powers, budget of over $4 billion, and armed raids-- only inspects 2% of seafood imported from overseas. Why aren’t we poisoned? With a staff of 140 people, The Marine Stewardship Counsel compels the global fishing industry to comply with sustainability and safety standards. They also have no means of force. They simply publish their judgements.

SHIP SAFETY: 50 ship classification societies operate worldwide. They compete to provide optimum codes of construction. 6 compete to provide rules in Singapore, and as far as I can tell there is no state oversight of this.

GOVERNANCE: American institutions emerged from pirate innovations: constitutional democracy, worker compensation, equal pay and rights of former slaves, checks and balances. All these institutions flourished 50 years before Madison put pen to paper. We interviewed Peter Leeson, author of “The Invisible Hook.” The governance innovations we inherited from pirates were as foreign to landlubbers in the eighteenth century as the ocean of emergent law is to land-based citizens of the twenty-first century.

Is a state-free civil society already flourishing at sea?

Making a living at sea has been possible for millenia | oceanic business alliance
List of Current Seasteading Projects
Seasteading Book | comming out in March | Simon & Schuster
Seasteading Invest | the big five of ocean colonization | investment yield 10%+ | oceanic business alliance
Breakaway Civilization | Seasteading | Ocean Colonization | Advanced Oceanic Cities | Atlantis | Enlightenment | Oceanic Business Alliance | next big thing in business
Lousy reporting at The Guardian by Julia Carrie Wong, Insults French Polynesians and Misleads Readers
Real Estate Paradigm Shift | oceanic business alliance | oceanic real estate | floating real estate |
Would these sea steads have a military?
Oceanic Real estate | global networking hubs | Extraterritorialized | oceanic business alliance
Condos, resorts or timeshares
Openess of mind and codes as key ingredient for progress and prosperity | oceanic business alliance
An interesting article on the future of fish farming
Oceanic business alliance | key player network | ocean colonization | big five | get connected | get invested
Political autonomy (maybe not essential at first?
Podcast: Texas Lawyer interviews Seavangelist. Politically Fight or Create?
Medicine on free waters
Breakwater Design
Evolutionary Context | Seasteading | Ocean Colonization
Creating a legal jurisdiction on former water territories
Seasteading Delegation To Meet With French Polynesian President
Creating a legal jurisdiction on former water territories
Would these sea steads have a military?
(Chris) #2

Well, I know of at least a couple of people here who are going to have a big problem with your post, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I would submit that governments are seeking to control more and more of the oceans with ever expanding EEZ’s as well.

Governments are severely afraid of thoughts and ideas that are outside of government control.


IMHO, the historic precedence of the Freedom of the Seas doctrine continues.

Grotius: Mare Liberum

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea

UNCLOS is a sort of compromise between who controls what, where, at sea, as ‘territorial’ claims increase. In practice, though, the inability to enforce 100% of authority over any given section of the seas leads to a tendency, imho, to take a mostly hands-off approach.


The Grotian Doctrine of the Freedom of the Seas
Alison Reppy

(.) #7

Well, yes Halloween is upon us, and stories like that are needed.
Thank you.

(joequirk) #8

Hugely helpful JL_Frusha, thanks. I was particularly struck by this sentence on the Encyclopedia Britannica entry:

"Freedom of the seas was ideologically connected with other 19th-century freedoms, particularly laissez-faire economic theory, and was vigorously pressed by the great maritime and commercial powers … "

It seems to as though the world David Friedman proposed in “Machinery of Freedom” exists to a significant extent among industries at sea. But my second thought is that it seems too good to be true, and why has nobody else pointed it out?


IMHO, not many people are actually looking for a way to change their lives. Better job, nicer house, nice car, but, same unimaginative ‘dream’…

My own means of escape is entirely dependent on getting out of the same drudgery. Get the kids out of the house, free-up the funds we throw at rent and household utilities, along with the groceries to feed the kids,…

Suppose I free-up ~$2K/month, then start putting some of that into having a Naval Architect work up a suitable ferrocement structure, while I locate a place to build. Get the armature done, then plaster the geopolymer cement in, finish out the build, set up the mooring and tow out into position and just be at home… Once I’m out on the water, and more self-sufficient, that $2K/mo comes back into my budget, to start expanding, so I put in a floating pen and set up the IMTA. I don’t need to be commercial, to be viable, but, if I have enough surplus, and space, I can try the B&B/Dive Destination concept. Not some resort, just an unusual place to go, get away for a weekend, or a week… Better than going to the islands, and on a budget. No crowds, no trinkets, just peace-and-quiet, floating on the ocean…

Granted, my goal isn’t to setup a new society, or new laws, but it’s a stepping-off point. Prove it’s possible to live on the sea, let others do their thing. Once there’s a working model of one way to do it, then it opens up the next step, of putting a second, third, fourth,… developing a community, until there’s, say, ‘Clarke County, USA’, just outside State waters, floating off the coast of Southern Oregon. A laid-back aqua-agronomic community… Located just over the horizon, from all the conveniences of a major city, with none of the noise, or pressure.


[quote=“joequirk, post:8, topic:1275”]
It seems to as though the world David Friedman proposed in “Machinery of Freedom” exists to a significant extent among industries at sea.
[/quote]It seems so but it is not quite so. “Industries at sea” are the backbone of modern civilization. IF they stop for one day, the shipping of cargo or crude, “civilization” stops for a week,…and so forth.

It’s a monopoly of the VERY FEW that NOBODY will ever regulate. In fact, THEY regulate everything and there is no “freedom” there to interfere with.

[quote=“joequirk, post:8, topic:1275”]
But my second thought is that it seems too good to be true, and why has nobody else pointed it out?
[/quote]Well,… it is not too good to be true!

BUT, seastading could cut into that. All that is needed is “the right angle”.

(Chris) #11

That extent is under constant attack though. Nations infringe on it increasingly in the name of stopping drugs, enforcing customs laws, and protecting wildlife.

While I agree that nations will try, it isn’t that easy to enforce or regulate. To regulate you would need some type of control at your borders. Such as, “you must have this certification to be in our nation’s waters.” This certification must be open to vessels of all nations and therefore all nations will want oversight on compliance enforcement. Then it is just a matter of getting certification from the most lenient nation, much like flags of convenience are used today.

(Alexander Tomasik) #13

Writing a legal document stating our desired modes of operation would be an excellent way of solidifying the Seasteading Institute as a legal entity within the high seas and providing a code of conduct, without misleading legal jargon, would be beneficial to all. I think we could produce such a document of what we’d like to see maritime law for seasteaders to be, provided we can all see eye to eye about the manner.

I’d prefer that the seasteading community pay volunteer taxes and be recognized by the landmass that it spawned from as an island nation allied with its’ original harbor in order to obtain protection from unlawful confiscation or military takeover by other landbased nations. Either that or provide enough of an Internet presence to inform citizens of every region about any grievances and wrongs done to the seasteading community if anything happened to arise. I think floating academies, weather and data collection services provided by the seasteaders would be ideal for the spread of information and bring about more seasteaders in the process.

I will look into previous laws from posts and write up a draft, in the upcoming weeks, for everyone to look at and we can go from there.

(Chris) #14

No, we can’t. The whole point of seasteading is to create your own unique version of such things without outside regulation or influence. The document that you want would destroy the very thing you want to create.

And there are many other people here that would be opposed to at least one of those things. This is why such a universal document would not work. Also, if you plan to be recognized by the landmass that spawned you as a harbor belonging to that landmass then you just surrendered any say that you have in the matter to such authority.

Save your time. It simply would not work.

(Alexander Tomasik) #15

There needs to be some agreed upon teamwork for the structure to grow. The whole point of a seastead is to have many forms of government and the people determine which one they prefer best and attach themselves to that particular one; to say that creating a document of governance would destroy the very thing that you’d want to create isn’t correct and without one you’d be naively hoping that human nature is a kind and gentle one.

(Chris) #16

For design, location, or other things maybe, but again you are going to have people that will want different things.

For political, legal, and systems of governance. You would have better luck herding a bunch of cats.

To create a document that “everyone would agree to” would do just that. First off there is not one thing that “everyone” would agree to. For every line you add to any such document, you are taking away an option for at least one seasteader. You will never get absolutely everyone to agree on anything, so your next option is “majority rules”. Now you have people dictating their opinions on those in the minority. Not exactly what I picture as utopia.

Let me give you a couple of examples from the 2 things you mentioned above…

I would have no problem with this one at all, but some of the more liberal among us are going to want to implement social programs. Those programs are going to need continuous constant reliable funding and therefore fixed known taxes.

I would rather have death by fire ants than ever sign on to this one. The very last thing I want for my seastead is to go back under the control of a corrupt government. I might as well stay where I am at if that is the case.

Now here is the thing for me personally. Even though I would have no problem with the first example, I can’t sign off on that one either. Although I personally have no objections to such a tax system, I can not dictate or mandate such a system onto another seasteader that doesn’t want it. That would be an aggressive act and against my principles.

In fact about the only thing that you could write in your document that I could sign off on is that we agree to not assert aggression against others. That one I can defend aggressively.


Not everyone is planning on new forms of government. New communities, new way of life, not necessarily new governments.

Hell, there currently are NO seasteads and NO Seastead communities. Hard as Hell to write rules and regulations for something that doesn’t exist, then have people that can’t agree on just what a seastead is, agree to those terms… Utter nonsense.

(.) #18

I am working on my seastead. Nothing floats yet. Rules make no sense for
something that does not exist. Agreements do make sense, but I am in
agreement within myself, and writing rules would not solve any of my inner problems.
Some kind of psychotherapy solves inner problems, and I have experienced that.
I intend to continue working on my inner problems. I would also recommend to others
this approach as an opposite to writing rules for others.
I intend to keep on working on seasteading too.
I do not want to write rules, and I do not want to pay “valunteer” taxes.

I do not have a seastead yet, but I understand enough of the rules of admirality,
that my seastead already has a captain. On my seastead I do not need a captain,
because that position is already filled. I am the captain of my seastead.
Respectfully yours;

(.) #19

Though other people can research and write whatever they want to.
Just do not necessary include me in the “us” and “we” and “ours” category.
Go ahead research it. But the research is not going to be for me.
It is going to be for you. The writings are the same way. Write all you want,
and publish it right here.

(John Frederic Kosanke) #20

The universal principle of nonaggression is held by an overwhelmingly vast majority. The only people who would not support it are those who belong to the political class - who don’t belong in such a society. The Civil Order Pact is a formal statement of this principle:

(Chris) #21

That was very well written and something that I could sign.


So, what defines nonaggression? People coming in and stealing benefits is nonaggression? I’m not allowed to be pissed when taxes are thrown at illegal immigrants, that broke international laws to get here. while I can’t get those benefits for me and mine, who were born here?

(joequirk) #23

I also appreciate John Kosanke’s Civil Order Pact. It seems pretty airtight.