Why online-first: Cloud nations are a blank slate to reinvent society

Nation states have traditionally organized around common traits, but even more importantly, land.

Ever since the inception of Homo Sapiens, we have lived in tribes. Early tribes gathered around a shared culture, resulting from common descent, religion and language. — Nation3 Manifesto

Out of these traits, land and descent aren’t chosen. A citizen born in a country has no choice on the land their country possesses, and of course no choice on their genealogy.

Religion and language are technically chosen, but it’s rare that a citizen would choose not to speak the local language nor practise the official religion (if there’s one). It would make their life quite difficult.

The pillars around which traditional nation states are organized are falling apart because they aren’t based on choice and values. Most of them are forced upon us. That’s why people start to question whether they belong to these state behemoths.

Internet communities took a different angle. Internet communities are opt-in and organized around common causes and values. That’s why today some young people identify more with these communities than with their motherland.

Aaron Swartz, a true son of the Internet and co-founder of Reddit.
Aaron Swartz, a true son of the Internet and co-founder of Reddit.

Web3 brings many new possibilities for creating Internet communities. DAOs enable true ownership and governance over Internet goods, something unattainable before.

But these are the means, not the endgoal. The endgoal is to build countries where people have a common vision of the future, based on shared values and not dogmas.

Internet communities are the best starting point to create belonging today, because the Internet has no boundaries. The Internet is fully opt-in and free from physical aggression.

It only makes sense for a cloud nation to start off on the Internet. That way, a cloud nation can gather a community of talented individuals strongly aligned around common beliefs, and rally them around common actions.

Eventually some cloud nations will expand into the meatspace and acquire land. Wouldn’t that make them fall into the same trap as traditional nations, and start organizing around land and not values?

Not necessarily, if the cloud nation keeps its discourse online-first. If it continues leveraging the Internet and the tools built around it for civilized discourse, knowledge sharing and citizen onboarding, it can overcome the erosion of values caused by the information silos and lack of transparency present in traditional nations.

And even if the cloud nation builds an archipelago of estates, it can leverage a common system of law to create a shared market, easing business across all its territories.

That requires an Internet-native jurisdiction — making it possible for citizens to transact on the Internet while leveraging the legal guarantees of the Nation3 jurisdiction. This is not only possible, but desirable, as the Internet has already been the fastest growing economy on the planet.

Web3 is here, and for the first time in history, the Internet will determine the structure of our society. — Nation3 Manifesto

This doesn’t mean that the Internet won’t allow for territories to develop their local culture or economy. In fact, a certain degree of localism should be celebrated, and each territory should be free to elect its own destiny within the broader nation. Keeping the opt-in nature of cloud nations is paramount, even in the meatspace.

The important bit is leveraging the Internet so that all territories and citizens within them can keep a common discourse around policy, gravitating around shared values and a common vision for the cloud nation.

Imagine a society where citizens feel they belong because of shared values and beliefs.

Politics wouldn’t look like a circus where enemies throw dirty laundry at each other. It would look like an civilized space where people who want the same things discuss how to achieve them, together.

For the first time in millennia, cloud nations give us a blank slate to reinvent society.

If you are interested in building this future with us, subscribe to this publication or join our Discord.

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