Blog: Jaume's mind

Blog: Jaume's mind

Distilled: Balaji Srinivasan on how to reform a state

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Disclaimer: These are a set of notes I took from listening and reading Balaji Srinivasan. They don't fully represent his thoughts as some of these might be rephrased to something I understand more clearly.

Start a local media company, a blog. Even at $10 per customer acquisition, that's <$10M for the whole city.

Organize a parallel shadow government online. A social network that is not just a facade but a social tree with a hierarchy as basically the shadow mayor of a city a bunch of folks underneath that is the CTO and so forth.

This network union delivers goods to people. When you join the network union you are part of this hierarchy and you live-action play it as if it was the real thing.

When you join the network union you are part of this hierarchy and you live-action play it as if it was the real thing.

As it gains scale its ability to deliver more and more goods by convincing people rather than compelling people. Of course, there'll be certain goods that can only be delivered with coercion (e.g., police forces), but it's remarkable how far you can get with convincing people.

This is not a corporate context, but a social context. This means that you don't "run for mayor", meaning you don't have to wait for the election cycle where there are all those personal attacks. Rather, you start building backlinks today, where you're community organizing and you build this up online and become a community leader. Future: organize the network to organize outside the state.

As you start building these communities, social trees, network unions, instead of just the social graph - there's an organized hierarchy-, as you start building these both locally and transnationally, they could start taking physical shape. These online groups are delivering useful goods online to their people (e.g., tutorials, boosting people's launches or product announcements on social media by helping promote the initiative and defending it). These online groups start meeting offline on a larger and larger scale.

Once that happens more and more, you'll need apps around this to organize the 10k people. Now you can start doing things where these 10k people can negotiate with states.

As an example, take a group of 10k software engineers, they can bargain to move to a city in exchange for a certain policy is moved forward. Collective bargain with capitals we know it works because companies like Amazon with EQ2 have done it before with 25k people and cities like NYC would place in bets for it. Why would they do that if that's only 0.1% of the population? Well, it's 1-2% of the revenue that comes in and maybe 5& if we compound it. So a relatively small number of people can have enormous leverage if they collectively bargain.

That's a thing that ideological libertarians don't think about, the collective. And a lot of progressives are bound to the idea that states are dysfunctional. Putting these insights together is how you get binocular vision, rather than just having one color of the spectrum.

Once you start collectively bargaining with governments and states competing with each other for groups of citizens, and you join various "network unions", which have clear leaders. And there are basically three paths:

  • You can be a citizen of an existing state, that's fine.
  • You join one of these new network unions.
  • You actually fund your own network state, and you become the CEO of a new network state, you fund your network union.


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