Thursday, August 22, 2019

Can Bitcoin and Virtual Replace Blood and Soil?

Could Facebook (or Google) be a sovereign political entity to avoid regulation that threatens them?

One option available to them is to become a country, by partnering with a sovereign state like Canada. Such an undertaking, obviously, would be fiendishly difficult to execute. No one has ever sat down and written the legal code for a corporate-sovereign national partnership. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

The basis for their power would be artificial intelligence research.

True, a virtual state needs cooperation with the traditional governments that control the physical realm where people live. But perhaps the lure of being the physical home to that kind of power would tempt a traditional state to host the virtual power.

I've raised the possibility of e-states to resolve disputes over territory that don't seem to allow for two people in one state:

I've mentioned this e-state notion both for Israel as a Plan B in the nuclear age and for Palestinians who would have a hybrid-land/digital state to encompass "refugees" (actually the descendants of refugees) in Arab states.

Could this be an option for the Kurds and others who lack a state in the modern state-centric system?

Could "states" that have nothing but embassies in traditional territory-based countries as their sovereign territory provide a true national experience and benefit as an alternative to long fights to wrest control of land from somebody else as the basis for declaring a state?

Of course, one problem with a virtual state is that it is going to be thuggishly ugly:

Halfway through a 16-state backroads trip across the country, I've had many people — both conservative and liberal — tell me that if they use Twitter, they don’t use the social media platform in the way we assume they do.

They mostly observe. And what they see often makes them not want to jump into the discussion.

They also worry about how Twitter is used as a blunt force weapon to punish those with unpopular views, diminishing a healthy discourse to debate differences. They are not wrong.

The Twitter experience gives people pause about expressing their views on anything, because anything these days, even a cat video, is just one keystroke from becoming a political hot potato.

Will people really want to live in a virtual state of constant Cultural Revolution and reeducation by online Red Guards?

And will traditional states have a responsibility to protect the virtual citizens who happen to live in their territory from the virtual world predators?

But if so, will they be able to fight against an AI power intertwined with their physical state? Will Skynet Wokenet be unstoppable? Will some traditional political entities be fine with empowering the mobs whether virtual or not?

Perhaps online citizens will be able to e-flee to more open virtual states. But is the online social culture unable to have anything other than Red Guard-style social control mobs? Will virtual states that espouse tolerance and don't send the e-mobs to crush dissent be allowed to exist? Or will the Red Guard e-states wage war in an endless woke jihad against the blaspheming virtual states?

Maybe such a virtual power can't coexist with a state. Maybe the social media powers need to move into space to gain their own sovereignty away from Earth powers and regulation. Maybe they need their own real estate to rule.

Perhaps we'll see the Facebook East Mars Company (or the Google North Ganymede Company) as the logical outcome of this new form of power that may not be able to coexist in a Westphalian system. Why not someplace closer like our own moon? Well.

Of course, I'm assuming the Westphalian state-centric system doesn't collapse under assault by this new phenomenon. I could be wrong. Maybe the Westphalian system will be the one that needs to flee to space to survive.