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A Digital Country

It’s time to start a new country. A digital country.

We live in a world that no longer colors neatly within the lines of traditional nation states. A world connected by a global internet and dominated by multinational corporations. And yet as individuals, our freedoms and opportunities — our destinies — are still restricted and shaped by whichever plot of land we happened to be born upon.

Let’s change that.

Growing up in America, I was taught (and still believe) that America is more than just a place. America is an ideal. A way of looking at the world and how it ought to be. To be an American is to belong to a special club with a shared set of common values and beliefs.

Critics and cynics can point out all of America’s flaws and injustices (there are many), but the point still stands. For the last few centuries, freedom and opportunity seeking people from all over the world have come to join our great American experiment. 

But why should they need to move? In a more perfect world, freedom and opportunity would be available to all, regardless of where they happen to live.

That’s not to say that America should run the world (although we’ve certainly tried), or that the rest of the world should adopt America’s values, or even that American values are the “correct” values. Nor is this a call to create some terrifying “one world” umbrella government. And the goal is not to build a community online for the purpose of purchasing and taking over some piece of land to form a new country. 

Instead, the goal is to create a complementary system of citizenship that exists alongside the current model (the same way that cryptocurrencies have emerged and coexist with traditional currencies). People could then “opt-in” to digital citizenship(s) based on shared values, desired privileges, or any other criteria they choose.

It starts with creating one digital country.

To be continued…