A Nation Apart
Is this really the best we can do?
How would we do it if we were to start over?
Let's find out.
If we can create our world and our institutions any way we want, how the heck did we end up here?
Is this really the best we can come up with?
Is this what we truly want our society to look like?
I don’t think so.
When I ride the subway here in New York and look at the people around me, I notice they don't look happy. They mostly look tired, worn out, unhealthy, struggling. The subway, the stations, the facilities, all look worn out, too.
Outside the subway, streets are full of potholes.
Millions of people are undereducated, for no good reason, and to the loss of all of us.
The point here is simply this: Things are broken.
And not just in America. I can't think of a country that's not fundamentally broken, politically.
So let's fix things
Step one: Design the ideal nation
We'll bring together the smartest people we can find, look at the most successful implementations across the world, and devise a set of blueprints for effective governance that just makes sense. Policies that are well thought-out, clear, logical, based on clear values, deep understanding of reality, well-defined desired outcomes, backed up by evidence, and cost-effective.
It'll be a set of suggested policies for everything from elections, to taxation, to defense, drugs, education, religion, governance, privacy, business, anything you can think of that a nation needs to legislate around.
That's the first part. If we don't know where we're going, how are we going to get there?
Step two: Implement it.
We'll figure out how to build on or co-opt existing political structures to implement our ideal nation.
What elements are foundational and absolutely need to be in place for the rest to make any sense? Corruption-free elections, governance, and freedom of speech seem to be good candidates for such foundational pieces.
Also, what small tweaks can we make that will have a big impact in the direction of implementing the vision?
A good example is how the city council in Froome shook things up: They ran as a political party, but with the provision that each elected member speak for themselves and not for the party. In two elections they ended up with all 17 seats on the council, thus completely transforming how that city is governed.
The idea is to create a comprehensive and coherent set of suggestions that people across the world, whether they're ordinary citizens, politicians, or whomever, can steal and make the basis of their political platform.
We provide it, free of charge, in the spirit of an open source software project. We want people to take it, use it, make it their own.
I've always dreamt of creating my own country. I've been thinking about how I would want it to be governed. What the laws were. Politics and governance as practiced in the countries I've lived in (Denmark, India, USA) have never made much sense to me. So much waste. Such senseless decisions. So clueless. I'd fantasize about how I would do it in my country.
Then on my birthday in 2013 while living in Mysore, India, my wife Nomi had arranged for a walk around our local lake near the university, and had prepared a series of questions she'd ask me that would make me reflect. I don't really remember any of the questions, but I do vividly remember my answer to one of them:
"I want to be a special advisor to the President of The United States on conscious nation building".
I'd never had a thought like this before. I have no idea where it came from. It came out as a completely formed sentence, out of nowhere.
But it was what happened next that really sealed the deal for me: I started crying.
They were tears of relief. Tears of meeting some until this moment unknown call to greatness inside of me. Tears of coming face to face with a purpose so grand I didn't have words.
This experience stayed in the back of my mind until in 2017 I mentioned it to my friend Andy. He looked at me and said, dude, you need to get started on that now. Don't wait for some president to call you up. Get to work on this stuff now. And so I did.
It reminds me of the story Joseph Jaworski tells in his book Synchronicity: He had this vision for a consciousness-based education for leaders. When he spoke with a friend about it, his friend said: "You have to be the one to lead this. You can't hire someone to do it. You're the one that has the vision, the inspiration, you need to be the one to do it."
And so it is, and here I am. And I'm asking you to join me.