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Author Topic: Awesome free state project open to bitcoin donations  (Read 36199 times)
meatsim
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April 01, 2011, 07:22:09 AM
 #1

Check this out: http://freestateinitiative.org
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meatsim
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April 01, 2011, 07:35:22 AM
 #2

I just realized that today is April fool's, but this one is actually no joke.
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April 01, 2011, 07:42:34 AM
 #3

I wish them well, but this idea has so many holes that explaining them all at 3:30 in the morning is going to be difficult.

So here's a brief summary of what's wrong with this proposal:

The "Initiative" is to find a government somewhere which will create a semi-autonomous zone within its borders called a "Free State" which will itself be a government, and will have its own constitution, legislature, courts, and laws. Or perhaps the existing government will just close its doors and go home, but that's probably too much to ask for.

The "Initiative" is targeting primarily desert areas (albeit with ocean coastline) with little or no population, but expects access to large amounts of cheap labor.

The "Initiative" is being planned as a top-down entity which will dictate various terms, ground rules, laws, or whatever it wants to call them, to its participants.

The "Initiative" is actually contacting existing governments to ask them to sign up!

The "Initiative" says it is for open borders, but then explains that it wants exactly the opposite, for reasons of "state security." I cannot make this up: "... anyone who wants entry to the Free State must make themselves known to the authorities, typically with a passport at an airport. . . . anyone who is found entering the Free State illegally will therefore automatically be assumed to have foul intentions and be immediately expelled."

I cannot in good conscience give these guys a single satoshi.

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April 01, 2011, 11:32:14 AM
 #4

The real free state project http://freestateproject.org/

/end
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April 01, 2011, 11:39:59 AM
 #5

I wish them well, but this idea has so many holes that explaining them all at 3:30 in the morning is going to be difficult.

So here's a brief summary of what's wrong with this proposal:

The "Initiative" is to find a government somewhere which will create a semi-autonomous zone within its borders called a "Free State" which will itself be a government, and will have its own constitution, legislature, courts, and laws. Or perhaps the existing government will just close its doors and go home, but that's probably too much to ask for.

The "Initiative" is targeting primarily desert areas (albeit with ocean coastline) with little or no population, but expects access to large amounts of cheap labor.

The "Initiative" is being planned as a top-down entity which will dictate various terms, ground rules, laws, or whatever it wants to call them, to its participants.

The "Initiative" is actually contacting existing governments to ask them to sign up!

The "Initiative" says it is for open borders, but then explains that it wants exactly the opposite, for reasons of "state security." I cannot make this up: "... anyone who wants entry to the Free State must make themselves known to the authorities, typically with a passport at an airport. . . . anyone who is found entering the Free State illegally will therefore automatically be assumed to have foul intentions and be immediately expelled."

I cannot in good conscience give these guys a single satoshi.


Hello,

I can answer all your questions and objections. There are bound to many of them.

1) the reason we are targeting unpopulated wastelands with no natural resources is because these have little/no value to a country. They don't lose any power by giving autonomy to such an area. At the same time we are targeting poor countries in desperate need of economic growth and international legitimacy. They would be willing to give up control of a very small portion of their country in exchange for the spectacular economic growth that this can generate. We have already had certain confirmations that this strategy is sound. One country in Africa has expressed great interest in the project.

2) today people from poor countries are willing to move around the globe and live in relatively poor living conditions for what in Western terms is a lousy salary. Filipinos for instance work 60 days on a ship for down to 2 dollars per hour. If you're willing to live on a ship and work 12 hour days for 2 dollars an hour, you are most certainly willing to move to a desert and work there. We do not believe that finding cheap labor will be a problem.

3) the rules will in did be "dictated" and once the constitution is written and the Free State Charter is signed these basic rules can't change. BUT then again, no-one is living in that area at the moment. No-one are affected by those rules. The only ones who will be affected by them are the ones who VOLUNTARILY move to the Free State to live under those rules. If those rules are as bad as you portray them to be, then no-one will come. If they, on the other hand, are as liberating and attractive as we believe them to be then people will come in droves and they will fight to maintain those rules.

4) Yes, we are contacting existing governments. That is the whole point. The Free State will be a sub-national autonomous governmental entity, and our response so far has been positive. In fact, all the negativity we have run into has come from rich spoiled people from the West. The response from people in poor countries, including government officials, has been phenomenal so far. It's too early to tell if this is a coincidence, but it seems not to be. Westerners are so rich that they can be picky. Poor countries and poor people cannot.

5) We are for open borders for PEACEFUL people, but obviously not all people in the world are peaceful. Some are criminals and some are terrorists. We need to protect the peaceful people who DO enter from criminals. That is the job of the state. This means that some provisions will be required to stay in the Free State, but these measures are not strict. Most people will be able to enter without a sweat. That people have to announce themselves to the authorities with an identity does not mean that they will be STOPPED by the authorities. It only means that the authorities need to have control over who is currently in residing in the state. You can very easily enter the Free State, and it will by far have the freest immigration practices in the world. Obviously if it is very easy to get into the state legally and you STILL try to sneak in, then why should we assume anything other than that you have ominous intentions when it is so easy to avoid it?

You say you cannot support us in good conscience. That is the same as saying that you support the status quo. You support the way things are done in the rest of the world, but that makes no sense since the rest of the world isn't anywhere near fulfilling your "good conscience."
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April 01, 2011, 11:58:30 AM
 #6

Sounds very interesting! Considering relations with foreign states, it could be a good strategic choice to have a nominal "government" even if the country was practically a free-market "anarchy".

I might be interested in donating euros when I know more about the project and the people behind it Smiley

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April 01, 2011, 12:06:27 PM
 #7

Are you affiliated with wirtland by any chance ?

http://www.wirtland.com/

Sirius is correct in that there is no info on the people behind the initiative.


As long as theres no oil the Us wont invade lol.
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April 01, 2011, 12:20:04 PM
 #8

Hello,

the people behind the Free State Initiative is mostly me, Onar Åm, but with a network of associated people who support me financially and with webdesign, critique, ideas and other resources.


http://freestateinitiative.org/about-us


If you google my name you will find that I am a known figure in the Norwegian blogosphere. I'm an author and a classical liberal.


FSI has nothing to do with wirtland og which we know nothing about. We are familiar with both Free State Project and Seasteading Institute. We applaud both efforts and hope they succeed, but believe that we have the best strategy for a Free State a reality.

The Free State will not be an anarchy, but a minarchy. Minimal government that only maintains the peace, i.e. secures property, contract and person. And the government will be composed of an international team of experts and law enforcers, recruited from cultures with a proven track record of low corruption. This will not just be a "nominal" government, but a real autonomous entity at the sub-national level. In fact, the state will in many way resemble a state in the United States. A state in the US has its own constitution and is autonomous in many respects. The federal government has grown far beyond its original purpose, and the states themselves have left their minarchy past behind, but the political structure is not completely unlike the proposed Free State.
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April 01, 2011, 01:06:42 PM
 #9

Governments tend to get corrupted over decades (just like the US did), but yeah, I'd still give it a shot. At least it would be great as long as it lasts.

I hope you can get more people to work with the effort. That is of course easier when you get donations and there is progress in the negotiations.

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onarchy
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April 01, 2011, 01:37:01 PM
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Governments tend to get corrupted over decades (just like the US did), but yeah, I'd still give it a shot. At least it would be great as long as it lasts.

We are fully aware of the corruption of government and the Free State Initiative and the effort to redesign government from scratch was to a large extent motivated by that corruption. We have a concrete new design to prevent corruption. Most of the elements of the proper design was in place in the design of the original United States, but a crucial feedback mechanism was missing for self-correcting and preventing the accumulation of errors and corruption. This crucial design element is the generalized burden of evidence for the use of physical force. "Innocent until proven guilty" today is the slogan of rule of law, and it applies in a court room. However, more generally speaking "innocent until proven guilty" rests on the more fundamental principle that everyone should be allowed to live in peace until proven otherwise. ALL use of physical force must therefore be motivated and proven to be legitimate and necessary.

As I mentioned this principle is applied in court rooms, but is missing today in a crucial part of government: law creation. There is no burden of evidence for new laws. All that is required is a simple majority. The law makers do not have to prove the law in Supreme Court. However, a new law is a standing order of how to use physical force. It instructs the government who to prosecute and throw in jail. Therefore the laws themselves require evidence beyond reasonable doubt, and the burden of that evidence rests on the one who wishes to wield government power, i.e. the law maker.

This is a complete redesign and expansion of democracy from the outdated majority rule of today to true democracy. In this system A SINGLE INDIVIDUAL can challenge a law in Supreme Court and have it overturned. He does not need to prove his case. He only needs to make a *plausible* case that the law is a violation or unnecessary.

Thus, with this new design, vigilance is built into the system. It's the equivalent of an open source version of government.

And this vigilance does not only apply to laws, it applies to ANY governmental procedure, institution, design features, and even features. Do you think there is a better way to reduce bureaucracy and structural hurdles in the system? Well, you can present them in the Open Government-community and those in favor of the current way of doing things need to make a very strong case against you. The burden of evidence rests on them.

This may not eliminate corruption of government over time, but it sure reduces the problem. It is a self-corrective method which with some luck is able to prevent another degeneration cycle of government as we have seen in the last 100 years or so.


Quote
I hope you can get more people to work with the effort. That is of course easier when you get donations and there is progress in the negotiations.



The Free State Initiative also accepts bitcoin donations at this time:


http://freestateinitiative.org/about-us/donate


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April 01, 2011, 01:40:40 PM
 #11

If this is going to be a special administrative division of some poor country, it means that the country's laws will still apply to some extent, and unfortunately, most poor countries are extremely unfree and oppressive when compared to the West.

I see the danger that this is going to become another UAE, where amongst other nasty things, you go to prison for being a rape victim, but hey, living under arbitrary state violence isn't so bad when you're not paying taxes, right?

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sirius
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April 01, 2011, 02:22:45 PM
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If this is going to be a special administrative division of some poor country, it means that the country's laws will still apply to some extent, and unfortunately, most poor countries are extremely unfree and oppressive when compared to the West.

I see the danger that this is going to become another UAE, where amongst other nasty things, you go to prison for being a rape victim, but hey, living under arbitrary state violence isn't so bad when you're not paying taxes, right?

Extinction of arbitrary state violence is a stated goal of the project. Of course it requires a major exemption from the enclosing country's laws.

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April 01, 2011, 02:41:16 PM
 #13

It's a wonderful notion, but what government would ever entertain the idea? Would they allow this new country to have an army? Without an army what would keep someone from just looting your village?

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April 01, 2011, 05:35:38 PM
 #14

Extinction of arbitrary state violence is a stated goal of the project. Of course it requires a major exemption from the enclosing country's laws.

Will a (by Western standards) unenlightened, superstitious, ultraconservative country such as Yemen or Western Sahara tolerate production of gay pornography within its borders? Even if it's a special administrative zone? What about setting up an ecstasy factory? Drawing a cartoon of a fictional prophet? Running a voluntary euthanasia clinic? etc...

Because if those things (and others) aren't tolerated, it ain't a "free state".  

It is one thing welcoming a no-tax, free trade zone.  (Those places already exist, but still they are highly oppressive in other respects).

It is another embracing the concept of sovereign individuals who owe nothing to society and are free to ignore cultural and religious rules. That concept is alien to people in most poor parts of the world.  They will perceive a high degree of social freedoms as a threat to their very existence.  We are talking about incompatible value systems.  It's a much deeper issue than mere economics.

A free state, hosted by one some the most unfree states in the world (according to the map on their website), coexisting peacefully?  I'll believe it when I see it.

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April 01, 2011, 06:30:04 PM
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If this is going to be a special administrative division of some poor country, it means that the country's laws will still apply to some extent, and unfortunately, most poor countries are extremely unfree and oppressive when compared to the West.

I see the danger that this is going to become another UAE, where amongst other nasty things, you go to prison for being a rape victim, but hey, living under arbitrary state violence isn't so bad when you're not paying taxes, right?


No, the laws of that country will NOT apply. That's the whole point. The laws of mainland China do NOT apply to Hong Kong, because it is a "special administrative region." It will be the same thing here. The host country will make a Free State Charter Law which declares it to be a special administrative region, with autonomy according to the Free State Charter.
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April 01, 2011, 10:12:41 PM
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It's a wonderful notion, but what government would ever entertain the idea?

Probably a very poor country with great incentives to get economic development in their country. We are already have one concrete lead in an African country who has expressed great interest in the project.



Quote
Would they allow this new country to have an army? Without an army what would keep someone from just looting your village?

The entire premise of the Free State is that it MUST have security forces sufficiently powerful to be able to protect the borders of the free state. I.e. not a full-fledged military, but a sufficiently powerful security force to make invasion much less attractive. The Free State should in addition of course have a regular police force to fight ordinary crime.
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April 01, 2011, 10:24:30 PM
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Extinction of arbitrary state violence is a stated goal of the project. Of course it requires a major exemption from the enclosing country's laws.

Will a (by Western standards) unenlightened, superstitious, ultraconservative country such as Yemen or Western Sahara tolerate production of gay pornography within its borders? Even if it's a special administrative zone? What about setting up an ecstasy factory? Drawing a cartoon of a fictional prophet? Running a voluntary euthanasia clinic? etc...

There's a very real chance that the Free State Charter will contain specific Decrees on certain social issues like the ones you mention. We will negotiate and argue for as few decrees as possible, but there is a real possibility that there will be limitations. Even with these limitations this Free State will still be the freest political entity the world has ever seen.


Quote
Because if those things (and others) aren't tolerated, it ain't a "free state".

Well, no need to support the project then. No sir. Who needs free banking and money, low taxes, no regulations, private health care, roads, ports, airports, water and sewage anyways, right? It aint' free at all and of interest to NO-ONE on the planet without gay porn. Frankly I find that to be a typical objection from someone who is materially wealthy and therefore has the surplus to be able to focus on "high values" such as Ecstasy or Muhammed drawings. The response I see from people who are actually poor on the other hand is quite different.


It is one thing welcoming a no-tax, free trade zone.  (Those places already exist, but still they are highly oppressive in other respects).

Quote
It is another embracing the concept of sovereign individuals who owe nothing to society and are free to ignore cultural and religious rules. That concept is alien to people in most poor parts of the world.  They will perceive a high degree of social freedoms as a threat to their very existence.  We are talking about incompatible value systems.  It's a much deeper issue than mere economics.

This is true for many, and as a result the Free State may be hampered in some respect. But I don't see why this should be an issue. These freedoms are already hampered in these areas, and the kind of economic freedom we are talking about in the Free State exists nowhere on the planet, not even close.

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April 01, 2011, 10:47:19 PM
 #18

What do you need to do to make this happen?
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April 01, 2011, 11:40:01 PM
 #19

What do you need to do to make this happen?

To begin with a budget to be able to travel to various countries and talk to officials. That means that in order to get through the first phase we need donations. In the second phase we need, when we have a preliminary letter of intent from a host country we need to gather a team of experts and resource people from all over the world to design the general framework, constitution, laws and institutions of the Free State. Finally, when we enter into the last phase -- implementation -- we will be needing annual donations of 5-10 million dollars to operate the Free State until it can stand on its own, probably after 10 years or so.
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April 01, 2011, 11:43:15 PM
 #20

Looks interesting as a thought experiment; however, there is always a reason that unproductive regions are largely uninhabited.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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