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2013-02-08

'Little Isle Upon the Ocean' excerpt, Part 1

Nowheresville
Nowheresville (Photo credit: ezola)
I'm trying a little experiment here. I am going to be blogging parts of book I'm working on, 'Little Isle Upon the Ocean', about seasteading. I'm also starting a Google + community for the book. The idea is that releasing it in parts this way, I can build up buzz for it and hopefully get some feedback at the same time. So, please, read this small bit, and let me know what you think, either here, or at the Google + community.

Good news- your country is doomed.
I’m a citizen of the United States of America. It is the country I’m most familiar with, so I will be writing this book from the perspective of the United States. However, I think the observations and conclusions I shall come to are capable of being universally applied. Therefore, while I say the United States of America is doomed, I am confident this applies to your country as well, wherever you live.
Now, as to why this a good thing.
The dominant political paradigm for humanity today is Representative, Electoral, Liberal Democracy. The few nation-states that do not follow this practice are marginalized, and those who continue the trappings of the past, such as kings, still use the mechanisms of Liberal Democracy to confer legitimacy.
And yet, Liberal Democracy is showing its age. There are cracks showing. It would not be totally out of line to say that it’s failing. Far from being a mechanism that expresses the true will of the People, it has become a playground and candy store for the rich and corrupt, the cruel and the authoritarian. Bureaucracies and Oligarchies dominate.
Not many people take serious notice of these problems, because the System has become very good at telling Its subjects that not only is it the best system, it is the only system. And when people do bring serious problems -serious failings- to light, this is held up as further proof of the strength of the System. “After all,” The thinking goes, “Only a truly strong system would allow such dissent.”
And when solutions are proposed to these many, glaring, deadly problems, they are always reforms, a little tinkering with the Rube Goldberg machine that Liberal Democracy has become. Anything else, anything more, is dismissed as unrealistic. “This is what we have,” The thinking goes, “and we have to deal with it.” Or, rather, not deal with it.
Francis Fukuyama once wrote, back in 1992, that, "What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of post-war history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government." Many people have taken issue with this thesis. Some disagree with Liberal Democracy as the end of history, still holding out for Marxist Communism. Others point to the supposed threat of Islamic Fundamentalism and ‘Clash of Civilizations’ as evidence that the spread of Liberal Democracy is not inevitable and assured. Fukuyama himself admitted that his thesis was incomplete, “without an end of modern natural science and technology”- in other words, Humanity might yet invent, evolve, or modify itself beyond or away from Liberal Democracy.
I disagree with Mr. Fukuyama, but for different reasons. I do not believe that Liberal Democracy is the end point of Humanity, and I do not believe that Humanity needs to be evolved or otherwise modified to use something better. I believe the successor to Liberal Democracy, the further evolution in the mechanics of large groups of humans living together, already exists. This mechanism, this political system, is called Anarchy. If that name is frightening, you might feel more comfortable thinking of it as Libertarian Socialism, or Participatory Democracy with a Polycentric Judicial System and a use-based property system with due regard given to individual rights and local knowledge. It comes to the same thing. There is a better way, a better political system out there, as better as the personal computer was to the Univac mainframe when it came to consumers, and it is available to us, just as our current is failing.
But while I feel Liberal Democracy is on the way down, and the Anarchy is the Next Big Thing, that is by no means inevitable, at least in the short term. And it will be by no means be easy to achieve. This book will be a handbook on how to achieve it. It will also examine for fully why it needs to happen, and why previous attempts- evangelizing the cause, violent revolution, going off the grid- did not work, and why we cannot count on the time-honored strategy of “Building a new society in the shell of the old.”
We cannot build a new society within the old one. We must move beyond it. To build a new society, we must move to where there is currently no society. We must move to the sea.

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