Podcast: SeaZones Compared to Nation States? Tom W. Bell Explains

(joequirk) #1

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Why should seastead law operate better than land-based law? What is the nature of consent? What’s the difference between a Special Economic Zone and a SeaZone? How can legal systems be open-source like Linux? What are some concrete examples of cities that created prosperity by providing platforms for legal startups?

One of our most staunch seastead legal innovators, author and lawyer Tom W. Bell, explains why he believes the future of legal innovation is in free cities and seasteads. Tom is so dedicated to this possibility, he’s been busy drafting the foundational legal code for our Floating City Project and for seastead aquapreneurs.

Will Tom W. Bell be remembered among legal theorists as the John Adams of the Blue Frontier?

If you subscribe to podcasts on iTunes, you can find this podcast and all of our other podcasts on our iTunes page. While you’re there, how about giving the podcast a five-star review so we can reach more potential seasteaders?

For SeaZones,

Joe Quirk, Seavangelist

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://www.seasteading.org/2016/02/podcast-seazones-compared-to-nation-states-tom-w-bell-explains/

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

Timing… If this had preceded the End of Year Message, that whole negative conversation would have been different.

Some problems I see include the supposedly favorable comparison to HOAs. I can’t say what anyone else has experienced, but my own personal experiences with 1 HOA has soured me on HOAs and anything similar, such as the Condo model. Rather than buy in, my preferrence is to buy OUT, but that is based on my experiences, which sets up a precedence for my critical view of the limitations and interactions, when it should be cooperation instead of by enforcement of rules that don’t make sense. People are what’s important. When we went through the whole process of taking care of my failing Father-in-law, the HOA, rather than coming together as a community, chose to get nasty, fining us left and right for not mowing as often, and not being able to paint, simply because we didn’t HAVE the resources, or even time to commit to labor, to DO those things. Rather than being an inclusive community, they chose to chase us out, yet they took the opposite approach with other elderly and ill members of the very same HOA, at the same time.

That said, the better understanding of the way the legal system is setup in Dubai does make for an interesting proposition, for TSI and those wanting the floating condo-city there.

One problem I see with the desire of some to merely move to the spots outside EEZs and declaring a new nation-state, is the need to create some sort of charter agreement with all of the countries that border that small zone. Not just a non-interference pact, but something that also states how much of the surrounding waters the new floating state will be allowed to use. Especially with regard to EEZ status and borders. By convention, an EEZ is 200 miles from the shore, but try taking away a chunk of that EEZ, and we’ll be up against a wall and under attack from all sides.

As Mr. Bell stated, and well worth mentioning is that these new zones are still subject to national governance, and they are not going to suddenly allow a New-New-Amsterdam and create a drug-den in their midst. New legal modes will have to agree with the general customs, laws and practices of the host nation.

(Wilfried Ellmer) #3

@joequirk -

A great interview

openning a whole series of interesting topics to talk about - congratulations !

  • 2:11 - Primary interest “creating new jurisdictions” try out new laws and new ways of living

  • 2:17 - Why should seasteaders care about legal sistems

  • 2:49 - What is a sea zone | a cross between seastead and special economic zone

  • 3:43 - The rule of law | worldbank study | sources of wealth in the world | law most important factor |

  • 5:15 - nation state | monopoly on law | introducing competition to improve laws |

  • 5:59 - governments competing - is that not shooting and killing ? - get less of that - people have freedom of exit. Governments who think it makes sense (for them) to tax for war need to be discouraged by customer feedback .

  • 7:06 - Honduras economic free zones | import the law that works for you | civil law countries with comon law zones |

  • 9:51 - Model Hong Kong | who takes over ? | Hong Kong model took over China |

  • 11:48 - Model Dubai | bring in english common law including the wigs |

  • 12:30 - Dubai sharia law and british common law coexist

  • 13:00 - “The law chosen by the parties” - principle - (common law is only the default) - “open mindedness” is the real key. | “you can choose the law you like” | symbolism (like the wigs) is important |

  • 15:55 - Book comming out “Your Next Government” | upcomming people have more choice in governments | new forms of governments happening under our noses | more choices - new things will emerge |

  • 17:46 - legal operating sistems and computer operating sistems - both are coding - | see the future | operating sistems work across platforms | development of open source | linux - microsoft analogy |

  • 19:56 - concrete examples of private governance working better than the nation state | home owner asociations, condos, cooperative communities | special economic zones in the developing world | it is not about revolution and waving flags it is sutile on choice base | e-bay, credit cards, all have their rule sets |

  • 22:12 - it is not about winning arguments it is about provide better choices |

  • 22:28 - the nation state is not a safe place to stay

  • 22:59 - who has murdered more | dangerous | instable | tough love by competition

  • 24:00 - confiscated | creeping expansion of force in our lifes

  • 24:28 - consent mutual agreement | consent is important

  • 26:05 - levels of consent | signing in | if you don’t flee the country did you consent having Hilary Clinton as president ?

  • 26:51 - emerging “consent rich societies”

  • 27:09 - polycentric world - overlapping rules - polycentricity - more choice - more consent.

  • 28:24 - failure as part of the process - why freezones sometimes fail - bad plan - political direction central planning - less is more - market choice.

  • 30:51 - cost of building the seastead | how seasteads will interface with existing terrestrial governments |

  • 31:28 - clean pallet

  • 32:04 - don’t care about nations - care about people - but finally nations will learn from seasteads

  • 33:20 - data collection about freezone experiments | scientific analysis method |

  • 36:00 - private management, is better, municipality level works better,

  • 37:58 - governance is getting better optimistic view | long way to go |

Interresting Topic Connections:
| [existing oceanic "consent rich code sistems" - working "multi platform - multi state - codes" - classification societies](http://discuss.seasteading.org/t/is-45-the-earths-surface-a-state-free-society-of-emergent-law/1275) | "choose your law" - Example Dubai - Example flags of convenience - Example code platforms of choice ABS/GL/Lloyds | how clear / unclear is "oceanic interaction" between ships and seasteads and land governments ? - Example interaction in ports - the "coding of oceanic trade" (two points: non interference - principle of choice of your arbitration code) ([example navigation lights - international customary rules beat national regulation](http://nautilusmaker.discoursehosting.net/t/international-rules-at-sea-who-implements/7733))[.](http://discuss.seasteading.org/t/all-national-law-pretending-to-regulate-the-ocean-is-dead-law-by-default/1300).. | how expensive is sea real estate compared to land real estate ? | don't care about nations and "governance" - care about people and choice and efficiency | the importance of "open mindedness" Example Dubai / [Example Venice](http://concretesubmarine.activeboard.com/t56710025/venice-italy-how-to-do-instructions-for-seasteading-from-his/) / in prosperity | [.](http://discuss.seasteading.org/t/what-needs-to-be-done-to-make-seasteading-investment-worthy/26)...

Would these sea steads have a military?
(Larry G) #4

I’ve lived under a number of HOA and been exposed to condominium living as well. I don’t think either of those models work very well. The HOA especially. It permanently encumbers a portion of one’s private property rights, like an easement or right of way. It grants collective powers over individual living spaces, without any particular balancing power. It doesn’t contain a charter of homeowner redress against abuses of HOA power, for example. HOAs often become cliques of bored, vindictive housewives that will take mob action against unpopular people, all based upon subjective and difficult to verify perceptions of value and neighborhood social standards. As far as I can see, without common infrastructure to maintain, there is no value in an association for home appearance standards (as opposed to fire and construction codes which are imposed by cities, not HOAs.)

The singular value to HOAs in the seasteading discussion is a familiar jump-off point for discussion.

Condos are a bit different. They have shared infrastructure which requires all occupants to pay for it, but also benefits all of the occupants. There is a shared and an individual value, that can be bought sold, and inherited. It’s often very expensive, and is not a lifestyle I would prefer personally. You’re semi-permanently tying yourself to a number of nearly random people in a working relationship that requires cooperation, with no control over who the membership is. You only find out if you can work with the new neighbor AFTER you HAVE TO work with them. But the benefit to the condo Association is that it is “infrastructure as a service”, something that we’re working toward in the Info Tech industry for very good reasons.

It’s also similar to my personally preferred model for group seasteading, which is the worker-owned cooperative. In this model, the membership has some means (not perfect) of determining the suitability of new members. There is shared AND individually-assignable value which can be bought, sold, and possibly inherited. There is accountability for actions which affect the group, and there can be clear boundaries between public and private sphere for individuals and families. Contribution to the cooperative can be evaluated and compensation objectively based upon that contribution. The cooperative “business” is the provision of living and working space to the membership and/or tenants. Each member has an ownership stake in the platform and to the extent that each contributes to the maintenance and operation of the infrastructure and vital services related to it (such as security/participation in local militia, plumbing, painting, what-have-you) they are compensated with profits generated from it by leasing to tenants (including usage fees paid by the membership which is really just a means of accounting).

So you have two classes of residents/infrastructure users- members and tenants/tourists. They all pay fees, but the residents’ usage fees are basically a local financial cycle mostly realized from their participation in infrastructure maintenance. In other words, members make some money from ownership and participation in the co-op and give some money to the co-op in return for living space and it’s relatively financially neutral (net effect is market/cost-based rationing of living space provided for members in a place where it otherwise would not exist). Profit for the members comes from the members having businesses other than infrastructure (shops, restaurants, health clinics) that provide value-added services to each other and to outsiders and the tenants bringing in outside cash for rent and services.