Voice, Exit, Leverage and Competition

This article will describe the fact that governments are tending toward decentralization and give several specific examples of how that might continue. This article will have multiple videos from major speakers on the subject.

Voice, exit, leverage and competition

Voice and exit refer to the ways people may express dissatisfaction with an organization. People can sometimes get things they want when they have leverage and competition refers to market competition, which is much like the everyday competition found in sports and so on, where buyers and sellers compete for optimal outcomes. These concepts all work together to explain how government is becoming and will continue to become more and more decentralized.

Balaji Srinivasan, who goes by BSS, is a genius from Stanford who talks about voice and exit. His video follows:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOubCHLXT6A]

Key points:

  • Exit, referring to exit from the current political system, can happen, is happening and will continue to happen, regardless of government preference, if for no other reason then as a result of technology. This ties to the idea of cryptoanarchy.
  • In reforming political systems (or any system really), people can seek interior reform or exterior reform. People will eventually do whichever is simply more efficient. In the case of US democracy and many political systems around the world, interior reform is high cost and low result. Over time, in particular in the face of facilitating technologies, people will tend toward exit.
  • Internal reform and external reform can be complimentary rather than mutually exclusive. A system utilizing both might undergo amplification of each.

Patri Friedman is the grandson of Milton Friedman and the son of David Friedman who I will also talk about in a minute. They are all notable thinkers in economics. Patri is a big proponent of applied libertarian ideas including seasteading and things like the free cities project. Here is one of his videos on seasteading where he discusses the fact that political systems can be dramatically improved through free market mechanisms such as competition.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIqA7RMHsHo]

Key points:

  • Changing individual laws or replacing certain political figures is less important than creating an environment which will allow legal and political rules to freely form.
  • Seasteading is one example of a movement toward a new and better environment, both in the literal sense and in a figurative sense because it involves governance on the high seas and also because it is one way to make governance a free market.
  • Competing with government is a better solution than complaining to the government that we don’t like the government.
  • Within 3-10 years Patri expects seasteads to begin, forming into real cities on the high seas in 25-30 years.

David Friedman is the son of Milton Friedman, the well known Chicago School economist and founder of monetarism. David Friedman’s The Machinery of Freedom is a foundational work in Anarcho-Capitalism. David is also a professor of law. In the following video he discusses legal systems very different from the current US legal system, specifically examining the implications of certain legal regimes for seasteading.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afGejwdZ9_4]

Key points:

  • There are essentially 2 environments in which a seastead may occur and they have different legal implications. Seasteads may be out in the high seas or within the territorial waters of other nations. The latter case is a kind of embedded legal system.
  • There are at least 3 models of how embedded legal systems have worked throughout history: The Federal system, The Gyspy model and the Ottoman model.
  • Although embedded systems do not constitute real anarchism, they are still a great improvement on what we have today because they represent a great increase in competition of legal systems. Seasteads increase competition in governance because they can sail from one nation’s water to another. In this way they have a leverage to increase competition. This is similar to the leverage offered through immigration to people today, but seasteading leverage force would be much stronger because relocating for a seastead on the water would be much less costly than relocation for a traditional immigrant due to legal requirements and the fact that you can’t take your house and infrastructure with you.

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