“We want to be able to peacefully start a new state for the same reason we want a bare plot of earth, a blank sheet of paper, an empty text buffer, a fresh startup, or a clean slate. Because we want to build something new without historical constraint.” says Balaji.
No, we don’t. That is not why we are building PricelessDAO.
This is the first of a muti-part series on our response to Balaji Srinivasan’s new book, The Network State: How to Start a New Country. To the best of our knowledge, we are the first to openly declare ourselves that state, as the PricelssDAO. While much of what Balaji shares resonates with us, we have several points of divergence, and this is the first.
We don’t want to build something new, just as the Pilgrims did not board the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria to start something new. They boarded because they were persecuted and given no choice than to cross the treacherous oceans to have any life whatsoever.
We want to start a network state because we are persecuted inside the Westphalian order.
Our men are persecuted for their labor. Our sons taken to fight wars and kill other sons. Our children are brainwashed in schools that see them only as tools to a production system. And as for production, ah. The production of a new human being, the labor of the womb and of childcare, is not seen as production at all. Our governments would wrest from us the control over our children, teach their values to our offspring, and charge us a tax for the right to have our progeny filled with propaganda and molded as tools of the machine.
“Control of the means of production” is supposedly the difference between Capitalism and Communism, new isms in human history which have meaning only when there is money. Yet who controls my womb? Unfortunately, in the Westphalian order, it is not necessarily me.
We do not take lightly the creation of a new state, a nation-state. After landing in Plymouth, half of the original settlers died in the first Massachusetts winter. And that was after successfully fleeing persecution. It will not be so easy for us at Priceless, integrated as we are into society, living inside the existing order, a state inside a state, perhaps an underground.
And so. We do not want to build something new without historical context. Indeed, we do not want to build something new at all. For hundreds of years, we have lived our lives and accepted our fate. We are weary, and yet, build we must.
If there is to be a future on this planet, we must break away and say “no more” to the atrocities and abominations of the current systems of control.
How is it that the leaders of the new movements–the crypto-anarchists, the Game-Bs, the Stoa, the Liminal Webbers–how is it they are almost all men, more predominantly white and male than the existing order? They say they are aware, enlightened, trying to be diverse. And yet they cannot see the underlying causes of their isolation from the masses, the women, the people of color, the Global South. They are isolated from us for reasons they cannot see and we cannot describe.
And so. Persecution.
We start, as Balaji suggests, culture-first, as we must, establishing ourselves as a world religion, a sect, protected under the laws, such as they are.
We offer alternative economies, alternative rituals, and a start that is as old as humanity.