Would these sea steads have a military?

(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.

(Larry G) #78

Indeed. And these solutions are generally preferable to government solutions. However, they don’t and cannot practically exist without the final arbiter of force. Peaceful negotiation is generally a better compromise than King Solomon cutting the baby in half. But without the threat of that, people often get irrational about “winning” rather than preserving the long term viability of the contract relationship. And generally, the threat of force by a nominally neutral third party rather than escalating clan warfare is a superior solution to the vendetta.

(Jordan) #79

generally, the threat of force by a nominally neutral third party rather than escalating clan warfare is a superior solution to the vendetta.

I agree. But I think that’s a false dilemma. In a truly free society, business interactions and all kinds of other interactions would/could rely on contracts and predetermined sources of final arbitership (that’s not a word). A basic example (I’m guessing you’re already familiar with the concept, but just in case you’re not), is this:

I want to hire you as an employee. You want to work for me as an employee. We sign a contract that is likely very similar to many employment contracts today. In this contract, however, is also specified things like, who will be used for arbitration in the event of a dispute, what punishments there could be in the event of theft etc committed by either party, an agreement to abide by the ruling of the arbiter (whoever that is, maybe there are companies that offer their services, whose success is determined by how marketable they are in terms of fairness etc.) and, an advanced consent to the arbiter’s use of force if either party refuses to abide by its rulings.

That way, no government is needed, no ultimate power over the land is needed, and yet all things are resolved. It’s not necessarily perfect, but it’s more fair, more voluntary, and more market-based than anything else I can think of.

(Larry G) #80

If I refuse to abide by the terms of our performance contract, whyever would I abide by terms requiring me to submit to force?

Most good contracts already contain arbitration and penalties. In some cases these are specified by law and the contract write can be lazy about it. Most of the time, the controlling authority for contracts or the specifications is cited in the contract. (i.e. “the house will be constructed to applicable state and local building codes.”)

Force is the final arbiter. You can either agree to do something or not, but once a contract is violated (and some percentage of disagreements and violations will ALWAYS occur), sanctions must be imposed to guarantee it or contract is meaningless. That force can be swift reprisal from the injured party, a third party bond holder, or government. But what if the bond holder violates contract? What if the government violates contract?

The mechanism matters little- everything is subject to corruption if there is not enough widespread commitment to maintaining the integrity of the system.

Even government shouldn’t (and in the USA doesn’t) have ultimate power. There are limits. Still, not everything will be resolved peacefully. Personally, I believe that anything which doesn’t harm uninvolved persons should be legal to contract. Legal codes should only take effect where there is externality. In these cases, a third party bondholder authorized to do violence on behalf of the contract holders would theoretically work. Except for the fact that additional third party violence suppliers will always be east to obtain, and may counter the effectiveness of the bondholder. With no authoritative framework to prevent it, escalation is easy to predict.

This is why a participatory, representative government is pretty much the choice of the masses. Not everyone has financial resources to purchase sufficient violence to be done on their behalf. Again, personally, I would prefer that such a government is strictly limited to providing common services not easily adapted to private enterprise (think more like military defense than roads and infrastructure, at least not provided by the federal level) and contract enforcement. I would greatly prefer that government charge fee for service than general taxes as well.


One way to use blockchain (as in … Bitcoin) contracts is to insert verifiable conditions that trigger irrevocable actions.

When I finish paying off the mortgage (or car, or whatever), I should receive the clear title. But that isn’t automatic.

Verifiable conditions make irrevocable actions possible … by structuring automatic verification into the process (such as making the payment thread globally transparent, to which one can point to when claiming “payment in full”).

In that case, a third party holds the “debt paid in full” paperwork that is released when the payment thread (blockchain) proves the final payment is made.

Thus … it is possible to structure a contract that the bond holder cannot violate.

(Jordan) #82

Hi thebastidge. I appreciate the fact that you aren’t just letting me spout off without challenging what I say. However, in this case I think you did not read everything I said. Part of my solution was that the contracts would call for a consent to a use of force in the event that people did not want to abide by the arbiter’s ruling. That is not there in order to make things easier to implement force. That is there to justify and authorize the use of force. It’s important to define the scope of the contract in that way, so that enforcement is morally/ethically allow.

Of course if you refuse to abide by the terms of the contract, you would not abide to the terms requiring you to submit to force. That’s not the purpose of those terms. The purpose is to give the moral authority to the contract to use force in the event that it’s determined by the arbiter that it’s needed.

I agree entirely. That’s why specifying that you agreed to the use of force initially is important. Otherwise it’s a violation of the NAP if you believe in that, and it’s a violation of general rights even if you don’t.

I know there is possible corruption in everything. That’s just an unfortunate aspect of human nature. Doing it without government, however, lessens the likelihood of corruption because of the fact that the markets will call for various different arbitration systems (use DROs if you like, though I’m not a Molyneux disciple), will help limit corruption because people and businesses can choose different systems based upon the reputation of the system, among other things. See polycentric law and DROs if you are unfamiliar with this topic (though I think you probably are, I’m providing this for anyone else who is curious).

I probably was careless in my words with the use of “ultimate power”. I was referring to the idea of having one relatively ultimate (haha) power in comparison to the other powers in the system. The US Constitution is considered to be “the supreme law of the land”, for example. The US Supreme Court has the final say on almost any issue that comes before it. That’s what I’m referring to.

I agree that anything that doesn’t harm uninvolved people should be legal to contract. I just don’t see a need or a place for government to implement it.

I disagree, though we could go back and forth on this forever. If there is the option to resolve things peacefully and keeping your reputation intact, then a third-party violence supplier will not resort to violence, which is more costly and would not appeal to the sensibilities of probably most people. I trust in the free market to regulate that at least as well as government does, and likely much better. See this interesting article from mises.org.

I disagree with your conclusion, but I agree that a strictly limited government would be a vast improvement to what we have now.

Fee for service is a great idea.

Finally, just food for thought.

(Larry G) #83

The problem with social sensibilities is they can change over time, and violence is NOT always more costly. Sometimes violence has an appeal all its own, aside from traditional economic incentive.