"Let a Thousand Nations Bloom"


If you dig thinking about the possibilities for increased liberty through experiments in government, you might want to check out the new idea blog "Let a Thousand Nations Bloom" in which the possibilities are debated, featuring, among other thinkers, Patri Friedman, who pushes artificial floating nations under the rubric "Seasteading."

Here's how the blog defines its purpose: "Like any technology, democracy was once a radical innovation, thought unlikely to work.  Now, it is the industry standard.  Our aim is to find, analyze, and debate the innovations in governance today that may become the standards of tomorrow, especially those that utilize the best technology for social organization ever developed–the market."

For a sample of what you'll find there, see FLOW chief Michael Strong on a "Cambrian explosion in government":

The point is not so much whether or not libertarians should give up entirely on electoral politics, or whether or not a "libertarian" state will remain "libertarian," both of which have been debated here. The real point is more along the lines of "What kinds of legal system innovation will we see once we have a Cambrian explosion in government?" And based on the analogy with the IT industry given above, my bet is the over time, if we truly had a "Cambrian explosion," we would see truly extraordinary innovations in legal system creation that would result in something analogous to Moore's law in human happiness and well-being. Moreover, I predict that we will be as poor at predicting these outcomes as an intelligent observer in 1900 could have predicted the technological achievements of the 20th century. Once entrepreneurial forces are released, we will see improvements in legal system innovation that compare in significance to improvements in technological innovation.

Strong realizes that such innovations in governing styles won't necessarily lead to more libertarian outcomes, though.

See Friedman, me, Peter Thiel, and others hashing over seasteading at Cato Unbound last month. And look for a feature story by me on seasteading in a soon-to-come issue of Reason magazine.