We put forward agoraXchange to elicit collaboration for challenging a world in which myths about birthright result in violence and suffering within and among nations and families. We urge eliminating the laws responsible for nation and marriage because we believe that these institutions misshape our material and psychic lives and constrain the imagination in ways that stunt us all.
We are disturbed by the familiarity and even acceptance of war among much of the world's population, where each day on average hundreds will die from bombs, guns, machetes: over six million dead in wars since 1989, tens of millions friends and relatives in grief. We see but cannot fathom a world in which a family will live for a year in southern Africa on less than what a few businessmen pay for a quick lunch in London. And we are mystified as to why each year tens of thousands of people should die from drowning, suffocation, dehydration, and being shot and stabbed simply because they lack a piece of paper and attempt to move between borders, to whose location they never agreed. We also believe human beings deserve an earth that has air that is not toxic, water that is uncontaminated, and an infrastructure that affords everyone basic education and health care.
Finally, we see the travails of war, hunger, restrictions of movement, environmental degradation, the lack of compassion in our political institutions and in our families, as largely rooted in laws that use birth for assigning us our place in life. It is the law of nationality that makes one's place of birth determine where one may move and live, and not competencies of language, knowledge of a Constitution, or even education. It is the laws giving us inheritance and kinship that determine whether one will have access to the hundreds of trillions of dollars in wealth from estates or whether one will grow up in poverty. It is marriage law that produces the family tree, whose roots are always national.
Our present political institutions are not natural or inevitable, but an experiment gone awry, a utopia for the paranoid. We seek collaborators for bringing an end to the system of nation-states, the demise of rules rendering us passive objects tied to identities and locations given at birth. We call on all communities of and for the imagination, for creative thinkers and visionaries, including citizens, activists, artists, scholars, political leaders, and the stateless, to eliminate those laws requiring us to live and be seen largely as vessels for ancestral identities. We seek to develop in agoraXchange and elsewhere laws that will privilege creativity, empathy, and freedom.
Throughout history, including the present, decisions have been made that form the body politic, creating slave and owner, lord and serf, husband and wife, citizen and alien, heir or squatter, largely without consultation with global or even domestic publics. No one ever voted on whether to live in a system of nation-states. We are using the medium of an online collaborative community not only to facilitate construction of political communities free of ancestral ghosts, but to perform the contingency of all laws, including those regulating citizenship and familial relations. We hope the medium of an online repository drawing on open source technologies and methods for the collaborative development of an online game will highlight how our present political institutions have been designed, albeit haphazardly, by previous generations, and so that we may facilitate people taking the inititative to imagine and share new ideas for governance.
We believe that:
1. Human nature varies over time and among and within political communities, and is largely a result of whatever the laws at a particular point in time dictate.
2. Our current laws, especially those regulating citizenship and kinship, encourage behaviors that are xenophobic and selfish, though many resist this.
3. Xenophobia and materialist values should be changed not only for reasons of justice, but so that we may design a body politic that rewards acts of creativity as well.