2018: A Virtual Country
The year is 2018.
Planet Earth is divided into geographical territories, and each territory is fenced-off by a collection of physical and symbolic walls called a border. These territories are called countries, and they are owned and managed by a corporation called a state. Each country is described as being populated with a nation, which is the group of people that belongs to that country, and that is thus owned and managed by the state that owns that country and everything that is of it.
If you like the so-called country-nation-state triad you have been cast in, and you identify with its geo-located flag, you can stop reading now.
Odds are you don’t agree with most people that you share your default country-nation-state identity, i.e. the “flag.” Not only that, in this Year 2018, you disagree strongly with many people that you share a default flag with. You disagree so strongly with them that you wish you could not share a flag with these people.
You don’t have to share a flag with anybody you don’t want to share a flag with. You can share a flag only with those that meet a basic standard of agreement with you.
You can create your own flag. You can create your own country. Everyone who joins you in the country you have created, to share the flag, will share in the absence of things you have deemed intolerable.
The people who join you in your newly-minted country are your fellows in a new nation.
The economic, political, legal and social organizations you and the rest of your nation creates to operate in the real world are your new state.
The country you just created has no territories other than the territories owned, managed, possessed or inhabited by its nation of people. The country itself has nothing. The flag is just a concept. It is a virtual country. The people who identify with the flag, the country — that is, the actual nation — has the power to claim land, and they do so in the name of the flag. The flag itself commands nothing. It is just a story.
Every country, every flag is a concept. But by being born in our current default countries, we reify them and we lose the psychological distance necessary to realize that these large countries that supposedly “have land,” in fact have none by themselves, because they are concepts. That is also how the “religion” — the body of tales regarding cosmology and morality — that we are born into seems real to us well into adulthood, while other people’s “religions” are visible mythologies to us.
Your country is as false, is as much of a convention, a story, a social construct, as all the other countries that you have not been born into. Every country that today “has land,” once was just a loose concept, an ideal, a “virtual country.”
All countries are thus “virtual,” since they are all concepts. They hold nothing but the imagination of those who believe them to be literally real entities. However, we will use “virtual” to qualify the countries we create for ourselves and those we consider our national peers as a way to remind ourselves that countries are virtual, and that we are not condemned to belonging to them. Countries are social constructs, and our membership to a country is solely self-determined.
Countries, flags and nations are like Internet chat-rooms. You can create as many as you like, and they are automatically destroyed once the last human leaves them. When a story is forgotten by the last person who knows it, it dies.
Anyone can create a virtual country, a flag, which is a conceptual space to be inhabited by a nation of people, and it only dies when the last record of its principles and everyone forgets about it.
No country, no state, no nation has a claim to you. You entirely control that aspect of your life, because you control every aspect of your life that is nothing but a story — nothing but a social construct.
You’ve heard of intentional communities. Meet the intentional nation.
But why would you create a country out of intention? What would be the practical purpose? If the country, the flag, the nation is purely intentional and it doesn’t own anything other than what its members own and control, probably all located in other “countries” as well, then what is the point?
The practical purpose is to make society better by shunning those who are being anti-social. If anti-social practices are rampant in the state you have been assigned to, you are economically collaborating towards those practices. If you do not want to feed behavior you already disapprove of, then you have to spend elsewhere your capacity to feed, that is, all the physical matter and energy that you can harness, and all your symbolic knowledge and intelligence. You do that by creating another state, another set of practical arrangements, another set of institutions and organizations that touch the real world, and making sure that state is one created by and for another nation, another country — one that does not tolerate the anti-social behavior you do not want to see in the world.
You do not have to explicitly create a new flag, a new country, a new nation and a new state, nor you have to join another such group that has been previously created. Evolution is an inexorable process, and it works automatically, despite what humans decide to do. You don’t have to do anything. You can toss away this scroll and go have fun with life. That is good. You can relax, forget all about this, and go live an individual, happy life by fitting in into whatever stories the politically motivated people have already woven for you. Even if those stories are clearly dying, and taking the entire physical ecosystem with them, you can perhaps stretch them for another good 20 or 30 years, or whatever time you think you have left for your present human body. Maybe sing and dance a little, exercise whatever art you have in you, and bring some joy to others. Good.
But if you are pissed, and you’ve had enough with inhabiting the same singleton political, social, economic, legal, medical etc. space with millions of morons who cannot take a hint even if that hint is the total collapse of the biosphere, then perhaps it is time to move all of your energy to other spaces.
You’re tired of being a slave in a world where 99% of people are slaves to 1% of people. You want a weapon, a method, a thing that is both incredibly potent and incredibly simple to perform. You want to bootstrap a process of liberation that does not consume more energy from your already stressed-out body, mind and spirit. Instead, you want a release. You want something that will net you more resources. You want whatever it is that is draining you and making you feel hopeless and overwhelmed gone. You don’t need more. You just want whatever parasite that is sucking you 99% of your energy dead and gone.
Imagine, right now, you can move to a place where you are surrounded by millions and millions of other citizens. And not one of them can make you cringe about any core political, economic, legal, medical, social issue. Not one person.
That place is not an utopia. People are still both garbage and both wonderful in many way. However, you can’t spot a single trace of 2018 in them. All the basic wrongness of people, all the medieval shit is gone. You only have future-facing garbage to deal with. The basic stuff is all gone. There’s no poverty, no sexism, no racism, no fascism. No matter how hard you look, you can’t find a single Nazi.
That place exists, and you can create and operate it for less than you spend in all the crap you buy to bury the depression that is to be forced to live in a society full of Nazis, politically negotiating with them and collaborating with their businesses and their economies.
Does this mean all this Nazi shit physically ceases to exist? No, it doesn’t, but once you get to that place — that mental, symbolic, social space — you simply will not care about the Nazis. You will struggle with them outside of your house, outside of your nation, outside of your identity, not inside of it, not within it.
Which is what is making your body, mind and soul ache so badly. You are not one of them. So stop pretending you are. That is the only way you will ever have a shot at healing them faster than evolution and its long-range processes can. We’re out of time. We need to take these matters in our own hands.
You can create virtual countries, and you can belong to any number of them. You can join and leave them freely, at any time. These countries can collaborate with each other — or not, depending on what each one of them believes.
Each country has its own “state,” or its own set of powers and technologies that allows the protection and nurturing of bodies, all of them owned and operated by the actual physical people who inhabit the real world and who identify and serve the story of that “state.” Many of them have their own “moneys.” When you leave a country, you probably lose access to a virtual citizen’s income of it’s “money,” but if you belong to many other countries, you will still continue to have many sources of a basic income of state power.
Once everyone in the world inhabits many of those virtual countries, the capacity of the territorialized, religious, default countries and their fascist, obsolete state structures will be effortlessly, automatically transfigured.
Once the majority of good people and their good ideas has the ability and the technology to shun, to step away from stories, from spaces that include fascist, obsolete garbage stories, arrangements and organizations, they can take all their magic, all their levity, all their intelligence and refrain from feeding those who refuse to evolve. Because withdrawal is the only fix to sociopathy. You have the right to withdraw, and you must, if you want to heal all that fascism.
A world of diversity is not a world of “cliques” or “bubbles.” It is a network of self-determined “flags” or countries where nations of people overlap — one person having potentially hundreds of “nationalities,” and thus being a member of hundreds of “states,” collaborating with thousands more. And that web of networked self-determination encompasses the bulk of humanity, the vast majority, which is forced to feed and drag the sociopathic minority that exploits, enslaves and oppresses them, simply because of naiveté, of a poorness of conceptualization.
In 2018, we are only lacking a social technology — a technology of story creation. In 2018, we already have all the physical technology: all the computing and networking technology we could ever dream of.
What is at stake is your real life force, your real participation, your real bodily experience, and how much of that you spend interacting with and feeding people you would not ever want to if the stories you chose to organize how your energy flows allowed you to spot them and avoid the abusive “national” relationship you have with them.
Think about it. And get started.