Would these sea steads have a military?

"... here at Discuss TSI we have no government ..."

Except when a moderator shows up and disciplines a member. :open_mouth:

Just because TSI usually exercises very casual oversight in the discussion threads doesn’t mean there is no form of government.

State statutes and regulations in every US state mandate a form of government in non-profit organizations. Consequently, government within TSI exists.

How effective the enforcement might be is a different issue … whether that’s within TSI, a particular state, or even within a nation.

But one shouldn’t misconstrue lax governANCE for no governMENT.

(Matthew Thomasson) #58

Regardless of your opinion on the use of weapons; there are some people who have neanderthal like minds and only respond to brute force. When I was aboard the USS Boxer, we had to intervene in a ship that had been taken over by pirates with M2 .50 Cal machine guns. A civilization that is prepared to fight for its right to exist is going to stay alive.

(Jordan) #59

The answer to this question depends on the kind of seastead and the location.

For example, for the one that is hopefully going to be built in a special economic zone off the coast of French Polynesia, I do not believe a military will be necessary. A military’s purpose is to defend, and if we are worried about defending ourselves from French Polynesia, then it’s a bad idea to put a seastead there. French Polynesia has not had to worry about war since WWII, and is an overseas collectivity of France. France provides French Polynesia with justice, security and defense and since the seastead would be within the 200 mile radius in order to not be in international waters and take advantage of the special economic zone French Polynesia would provide, I think having a defense force would be inappropriate and unnecessary ceteris paribus.

However, security could be a different story. Given that the seastead will operate within a special economic zone, it is possible that France will choose not to expend resources by stationing people from the National Gendarmerie on the seastead itself, which would provide a great opportunity for private security forces to show that private markets can be more cost effective, fairer, more dependent upon customer needs, subject to market competition if good service is not offered, etc.

There are examples in the United States of certain small townships etc. hiring private security companies to provide policing services, because they outbid the local sheriff’s department in response time and cost and provided better customer service. I see no reason why that can’t be done on a seastead, and every reason why it should be.

If the seastead were in international waters (I have been daydreaming about the French Polynesia seastead changing in role to a sort of embassy to France and French Polynesia once one is built in international waters later), then there may be more need for a military, as we would have no one to protect us.

I think I disagree with ellmer, who seems to be saying that military is obsolete. It will only be obsolete when everyone thinks it’s obsolete (hopefully soon), until then there will be a need.

(Jordan) #61

You know, I think it’s great as a last-ditch effort for security forces to pitch in on defense. But I think it’s a problem to have them have the same duties. Militarized police forces have caused problems in the US, as we’ve seen. I agree with you on point defense and short range weapons.

Edit: Sorry, I’m new to posting on here. I thought my response would go below your comment, and when it didn’t I deleted it.

(Jordan) #62

Violence and enforcement are not necessary for a society to function. However, the society won’t function at all if outside parties try to take over, steal, pirate invade, etc. That covers the need for some kind of defense force if the seastead were in open waters. Regarding security, it wouldn’t be so much enforcement as it would be response to crime and provision of safety, which would be necessary no matter what.

The fact that you’re arguing the semantic of private mercenaries vs. private military is irrelevant. Another word for mercenaries is private military companies. The fact is, that there could be a need for some kind of defense force, depending on the situation.

(Wilfried Ellmer) #63

@osirisadvocate | You made your point well - i stand corrected. Depending on the circumstances a very small private defense force might be suitable some times…military (as highly flexible task force) is not always and in any case obsolete as we speak, but i insist the concept is on its way to a deep transition…threat to society in an oceanic future may rather be things like ocean acidification, asteroid impact, economic instability, chernobyl, ruthless self interest in politics and religion, internal divisions, avian flu, and things like that. Armed humans from somewhere else will not be very high on the “expected problem list” - in general. Those problems will call for other (smarter) methods than “guns” to be dealt with. I doubth that the "ammosexual business model presented by @jwliberstead " will play a leading role in the seasteading movement - i see little reason for it.

But in the end seasteading is about everybody getting his way on his island - so in a niche - it might happen.

Hypothesis: Open Society instead of Militarized Society

In general i expect seasteads to go down the business Model of Venice, a open minded society, free trade with everybody, marine sophistication, free art, free literature, free thoughts, wide cultural exchange, broker in conflicts, prosperity based on trade fleets and commerce. Key player in Enlightenment. Rather on the other end of the scale than a “militarized society”.


Freedom of mind and code is key ingredient for success and prosperity - militarisation and enforcement is a ingredient where the principle of “less is more” (Mies Van Der Rohe principle) applies.

• How non enforcement societies based on volutary opt in / opt out and “culture base” can work - examples | classification societies | burning man |

(Jordan) #64

I agree with your last paragraph. However, Venice attacked and was attacked multiple times throughout its history, even during the times of so-called enlightenment. I think what you’re describing is a great ideal and should be worked toward, but I think we would be remiss if we didn’t plan on experiencing problems in the meantime. Those changes won’t occur overnight, and during the transition phase, pirates, not to mention nations or international governments (which grow more and more powerful all the time) may want to either stop what we’re doing because they recognize the cultural threat, or may want to participate in what we’re doing by force because they recognize the benefits to be had. Those are things that are outside of our control.

Example: Say everything goes through as planned in French Polynesia. The seastead gets built by, say 2025. Over the following 10 years, scientific advances come out of the seastead that far outstrip most if not all other places in the world because of the unique mindset of people attracted to seasteads and also mostly due to the freedom granted by the special economic zone. A few things could happen. It’s possible that the world lauds our efforts and the seastead becomes a pillar of light and truth and freedom etc. I hope that happens. It’s also possible, and in my opinion more likely, that one of the following two things happen. People become upset because maybe some of the advances discovered violate traditional close-minded ethics, like stem cell research or something, and try to use force to shut us down (which has happened all over the world more times than I can count). If that happens, it would likely be the power of a state or international government trying to do that. Perhaps even France itself. Or, people would see how rich, prosperous, successful and etc. we are, and want to take advantage of that themselves. Either people will try to do it through legal processes and use the power of the state, or there will be risk of pirates. In fact, because of the advanced technology of the seastead, pirates would have to up their game, and could become more dangerous than they are now.

This is all hypothetical, I admit.


You articulated that very well, @osirisadvocate. I agree with your conclusions.

The future is always hypothetical, so historical facts remain valuable guides upon which society can rely.

And, historically, there has always been people who covet what others have. For such circumstances, societies have empowered government with the ability to exercise force.

(Larry G) #66

Say rather; governments have been delegated powersto protect the rights that inherently exist in all people, in order to represent the interests of the people who reside in that government’s jurisdiction.

The 9 principles of policing:

  1. To prevent crime and disorder, as an alternative to their repression by military force and severity of legal punishment.
  2. To recognise always that the power of the police to fulfil their functions and duties is dependent on public approval of their existence, actions and behaviour, and on their ability to secure and maintain public respect.
  3. To recognise always that to secure and maintain the respect and approval of the public means also the securing of the willing co-operation of the public in the task of securing observance of laws.
  4. To recognise always that the extent to which the co-operation of the public can be secured diminishes proportionately the necessity of the use of physical force and compulsion for achieving police objectives.
  5. To seek and preserve public favour, not by pandering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolutely impartial service to law, in complete independence of policy, and without regard to the justice or injustice of the substance of individual laws, by ready offering of individual service and friendship to all members of the public without regard to their wealth or social standing, by ready exercise of courtesy and friendly good humour, and by ready offering of individual sacrifice in protecting and preserving life.
  6. To use physical force only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient to obtain public co-operation to an extent necessary to secure observance of law or to restore order, and to use only the minimum degree of physical force which is necessary on any particular occasion for achieving a police objective.
  7. To maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
  8. To recognise always the need for strict adherence to police-executive functions, and to refrain from even seeming to usurp the powers of the judiciary, of avenging individuals or the State, and of authoritatively judging guilt and punishing the guilty.
  9. To recognise always that the test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, and not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with them.

After hundreds of years, the only part of this I can find to disagree with is:

“without regard to the justice or injustice of the substance of individual laws,”

A man is not absolved of his personal responsibility to truth and justice by slavishly following rules.


… Up to a point. There are, have been and always will be laws that are unjust, such as those in the current war on drugs, as well as those that punish people for being poor, like the homeless, as well as laws against feeding, or helping them.

Is speeding a crime? Only if it causes harm, or is part of a criminal act, should driving fast, be a crime, imho.

What about littering and pollution? They SHOULD be crimes, may even be, yet mostly Go unpunished, though detrimental to the health and welfare of others, and the global community, even for generations, or millenia, considering radioactive wastes, and even glass, or the destruction of habitats, extinction of species, etc.


There are many forms of governANCE.

Forming a governMENT is one form.

My point was not to debate how policing should function …

… but only to recognize the obvious historical fact that the people acknowleged the threat and responded by legitimizing government’s use of force as protection against the threat.

The threat still exists.

It is merely foolish fantasy to pretend it does not.

Therefore, a response from society against the threat remains.


While I like the Peelian Principles, they only apply to domestic policing among the society of those who willingly acknowledge the authority of that particular governMENT.

The “use of force” legitimately inherent in an independent sovereign state extends beyond the domestic realm, and is even more comprehensive than merely police departments and military units.

@ellmer’s position acknowledges that, and I agree to that specific point.

Trade alliances with mutually-agreed-upon rules and punishments is one such type of “force”. Block-chain contracts is another emerging form.

But CURRENTLY those non-combative types of force are insufficient for global security.

(Larry G) #70

Recognize the authority (legitimacy) of a government or not, once you enter the territory of another entity, whether it is a street gang, a wolf pack, or a democracy, you are taking your chances with force being used on you by the owner of the territory. The ability to use force is largely territory-based and exists regardless of justification.

The most applicable point in the discussion may be principle #7… To re-phrase; “the military are the people and the people are the military, the military being only members of the public who are paid to give specific attention to matters of defense which are incumbent upon every citizen in the interests of the community.”

To give a concrete example from the United States law and tradition: 10 U.S. Code § 311 - Militia: composition and classes

(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.

So in the end, acknowledge it or not, every Seastead would have a necessity to be willing to defend itself, using the people that live their in some capacity, or it takes a serious risk of being captured, annihilated, or otherwise victimized by outsiders. If a group of people is not willing to defend themselves, they will get whatever treatment other people decide to give them.

Opinions vary. Dosage makes the difference between food, medicine, and poison. Some people want to regulate your access to raw milk because they think it might harm you. Some would require that human sewage has to be incinerated. Any kind of overly-rigid rule-based (rather than risk-based) societal control eventually becomes pathological.

Silica glass is completely inert and exists in nature. It’s unaesthetic to have lots of glass bottles lying around. That doesn’t necessarily make it pollution. Paper eventually rots: is littering with paper a crime or merely an anti-social act?. Most plastic is inert, eventually breaks down, can be burned. Petroleum exists in nature. Radioactive isotopes exist in nature. Species go (have gone) extinct without human intervention.


Yet mankind continues to pollute the environment, willy-nilly, killing off countless species, destroying the entire ecosphere with toxic wasted.

Yes, man-made glass is generally inert, but the lead of old glass formulated with it is toxic for millennia. The man-made plastics create unnatural hazards. Natural oil seeps don’t generally toxify, say, the entire Gulf of Mexico, within a matter of a few weeks, with toxic ‘dispersants’ killing even more than the spill, the entire Pacific is toxic from man-made radioactive leak from Fukushima that is still leaking. Sure, the plastic in the various garbage-patches is mostly too small to clean easily,but it still continues to kill species and ecosystems.

At what point in justifying man-made pollution as natural, because mankind is a part of nature going to wipe mankind off the planet, as well?

Dumping sewage into the oceans creates artificial algal blooms, killing the ecosystem. Dumping ash from incinerated sewage alters the pH and toxifies the ocean, as well., not to mention wasting useful nutrients that can be recycled.

There are ways to reduce, reutilize and recycle most ‘wastes’. Doing so can also reduce dependence upon land-based resources, cutting costs, and inherently pushing toward a cleaner environment and independence.

It's free real estate

On this technicality I disagree, in that the Peelian Principles necessitate a public that acknowledges the legitimacy of the model of governANCE to which the public has delegated the power to use force.

Currently, within the Westphalian construct of “sovereign nations” (in which the national governMENT is the model), there is an inherent rejection of one nation’s authority to impose by force its citizens’ will upon the people of another sovereign nation.

So … the “community” to which it is incumbent upon the citizens have an interest is THEIR community, not the “community” that represents another sovereign nation.

However, our conclusion on the security posture of an independent (sovereign) seastead is, I think, identical.

If each “sovereign nation” represents its citizens … and the “matters of defense” are consequently “incumbent upon every citizen in the interests of the community” … then those citizens will logically have a tendency to interpret “defense” to include the potential of “pre-emptive strikes” when an attack appears imminent (clearly a subjective determination).

That is the current global norm, and that won’t disappear without a superior model for guaranteeing “the interests of the community” to the citizens of all parties concerned (i.e., to the citizens of all nations involved).

Without such a superior guarantee, sovereign nations would be negligent in securing “the interests of the community”, and the citizens would replace the negligent politicians with others who are more hawkish on “matters of defense”.

The end result is independent military and paramilitary forces, each representing their unique “community” (both nation and rebellious factions that exist) with unique interpretations of what is “best” for their own citizens.

To presume the sufficiency, in such an environment, of a mere proclamation that a seastead is “peaceful” and “non-combative” would be idiotic.

If such proclamations WERE sufficient, then military invasion and terrorism wouldn’t be a threat …

… and those arguing for an abandonment of defense would be building floating concrete seasteads in the Persian Gulf.

(Jordan) #73

They have, but I don’t think it’s NECESSARY to empower governments with the ability to exercise force. There are other solutions.

(Jordan) #74

Whether they’ve been delegated those powers or not I think really isn’t the issue. Doing so gives them a monopoly on the use of force, and really does nothing to give incentive to even “civilian police officers” described by Peel.

(Jordan) #75

My other comment to you is now irrelevant, lol. I misunderstood too. Good point.

(Larry G) #76

Such as? I don’t see a single working example of a government which does not have the ability to use force. It’s one of the defining differences between a government and other types of entities.

I don’t know what you mean by this. Police officers have an incentive to do what they are paid to do. They have another incentive in being defenders of their own and our collective society. (Principle #7 above) They have the same incentive to defend society that we all should have, plus the additional incentive of making a livelihood doing it.

(Jordan) #77

I feel like we are saying pretty much the same thing.

You misunderstood my first quoted text, I was saying that there are other NON-GOVERNMENTAL solutions other than having governments use force (private solutions).

I agree with you about the problem with the right of kings. However, in practice, I don’t believe there is a government that can handle the power of that delegation and not abuse it.

I agree with you about if there is no moral, ethical and legal reason for a person to do it, it’s not ok for a government to do it either. But I take it a step further, I think. Even if it is moral, ethical and legal for a person to do it, that doesn’t mean that it’s moral, ethical and legal for a government to do it.

Yeah, that last part about incentive was an incomplete thought, sorry. I don’t even remember what I was trying to say about that now.