Startup Societies are the Future

In the past I have fallen into the habit of talking about the problems society faces, mostly from coercive government. These are real problems of which most of us are aware, and there is copious discussion on these topics in older posts on this blog. But at some point, we need to stop identifying the problems with society, and start formulating solutions.

That is exactly what happened, and what will continue to happen, with the Startup Society Summit. The first of its name was held in Portsmouth New Hampshire at a wonderfully cozy venue called the Praxeum. I have been volunteering with the host organization ICHA for almost a year now, and had the opportunity to speak at the first Startup Societies Summit. Another summit is planned for later this year.

Check out other talks on the Startup Societies youtube page, like Joe Quirk of the Seasteading Institute, and Jason Sorens who came up with the idea for the Free State Project over a decade ago.

Why do I think Startup Societies are the future? Because they have worked in the past to save civilization from total collapse. After Rome, feudalism was not ideal, but it was better than living in the wilderness, and eventually gave rise to the Renaissance through competing micro-states. When China started special economic zones within the last few decades to boost the economy, the standard of living rose rapidly, and now Honduras is following suit.

When 13 American Startup Societies seceded from England, they began by competing with each other for the best government, though that was eventually foiled by the macro-state which was too centralized from the beginning to allow proper competition for long.

Startup Societies are not only the moral option for solving problems through secession, but they are the best option to raise the standard of living to unprecedented heights, prevent the decline and collapse of current civilization, and usher in the modern renaissance!

ICHA and the Startup Society Summits will definitely be something you want to follow. The aim of ICHA is to help grow startup societies or “geolibres” around the world by fostering education and communication about what has worked and failed in previous attempts to start micro-societies. This was the first summit to bring leaders, members, and those interested in startup societies together to learn and network, but it won’t be the last.

And if all goes well we will see new systems of governance (not government) compete with the state so that each individual is free to choose the society in which he or she wishes to live, work, and belong. Freedom is the future. We are at a turning point and must seize this opportunity to thrust society forward.

6 thoughts on “Startup Societies are the Future

  1. Joe, my forte is synthesizing visionary concepts from big picture ideas of others. You provide a wealth of big picture ideas to work with.

    A fundamental starting point is that life is conditional and the precondition of all life is self-interest down at least to the level of genes, a la Richard Dawkins’ “The Selfish Gene”. My working definition of life is those entities that have the ability to act in their self-interest in the competition for reproductive success. The connection with Adam Smith’s ‘Invisible Hand’ concept is inescapable. Smith’s theory states that the remarkable success of free markets is due to the unintended consequences of everyone acting in their self interest in the competition for scarce resources. The ‘scarce resources’ in my working definition of life is ‘reproductive success’.

    My definition of self-interest, courtesy of Ayn Rand, is behavior consistent with the requirements of the nature the species that the individual entity is genetically derived from.

    Humans have a decided advantage in the competition for reproductive success due to their rational capacity and ability to act in their rational self-interest, a concept derived from Ayn Rand’s assertion that the primary means of survival for humans is the exercise of their rational capacity.

    With help from Ayn Rand, I extend Smith’s ‘Invisible Hand’ theory to all human interactions where the ultimate scarce resource is reproductive success built on an endless variety of intermediate scarce resources.

    As economists have long recognized, everyone attempts to act in their self-interest because it is inherent in their genes. The great majority of humans, exercising their rational self-interest, consciously or unconsciously act on the reality that they can get more of what they want by making assertive peaceful win-win mutually beneficial agreements with others. However, because we have free will that is greatly enhanced by our rational capacity, a small percentage among us will make the mistake of taking the shortcut of getting what they want by using force, fraud or theft instead of earning their rewards ethically in the free market. In private society, we label those individuals as criminals and their activities as crime.

    Not surprisingly, that small percentage of criminals in or society gravitate dis-proportionally toward involvement in government where they can leverage authority derived from the power of government to pursue their criminal activities legally at our expense without having to earn their rewards via productivity. Generalizing, those who seek authority over others do so as a substitute for productivity and government is the legalizing of criminal activities.

    Note that the criminal element in society is small and relatively easy to deal with by using the powerful tool of economic and social ostracism. So why do we have so much difficulty dealing with government criminal activity? The answer is simple. We give government criminals the exclusive right to maintain a coercive monopoly over the use of aggressive force to protect our inalienable rights. Really! Shame on us for being so gullible. Governments have always been by far the worst violators of inalienable rights.

    Truth be known, we give up our responsibility to protect our inalienable rights as an easy, lazy way out in exchange for cronyism preferences through the compulsory majority-rule ballot box mechanism. So, how can we solve this dilemma? The solution is simple but the hard part is doing the hard intellectual work to discover the root causes, design solutions and then have the courage to implement those solutions to eliminate the root causes.

    The first step is to remove our permission for the government to use aggressive force against us for any reason. The second step is to achieve the right to opt out (secede) on an individual basis. Then we will be free to form voluntary societies that will gravitate toward private competitive social service firms built not on authority relationship but rather on voluntary personal and business relationships.

    What will hold society together in the absence of authoritative government? I believe that the glue that holds society has always been there and is inherent in our genes. Society has always been and increasing so cohesive and stable as an unintended consequence of the self-interest precondition of all life. Man has naturally developed logical social cohesion mechanisms by applying his rational capacity to his inherent self-interest, i.e., rational self-interest. The most obvious of those social cohesion concepts are the Non-Aggression Principle action prohibition and the Golden Rule actionable social contract.

    Here is the formula for my ‘Invisible Handshake’ theory that justifies the viability of voluntary societies in the absence of government:

    ‘Invisible Handshake’ = Rational Self-Interest + Non-Aggression Principle action prohibition + Golden Rule actionable social contract

    Celebrate Life, Set the Bar High and LIVE FREE

    ~David Pratt Demarest

    • Well said David! Thanks for commenting and putting so much thought into these concepts! I like what you have come up with. It is definitely important to dive into the philosophy of freedom in order to inform the real world actions that should be, and can be taken. Have you read my post
      The Moral Case for Secession? It is essentially similar to what you have written here. I define some terms in the beginning such as what moral means, and what justice means. Then I go on to discuss why the freedom to disassociate is so important to humanity and continued human progress.
      I mean, it seems pretty obvious, and you might think more people would get it with all the social justice warriors talking about a rape culture. The “rape culture” is clearly the government culture, as government says it is okay to force our interactions without consent.
      I look forward to keeping in touch!

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