Cyberstate

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Types of government

A cyberstate is a category of micronation characterized by a purely digital existence. Often used interchangeably with the word micronation, this is a misconception. Almost all cyberstates are micronations, but only some micronations are cyberstates. Cyberstates handle their own digital currency, digital identity documents and often lack international and intermicronational recognition because of their inability to secede.

Criticism of Cyberstates

It is not that a cyberstate needs to secede, rather is it functionally unable to. For this reason, it must be by default the other option, a state which does not secede. A nation that does not secede must be simulating the operations of a functional government, without being a functional government.

Much in the same way the a person is either atheist, or theist. There is not unforeseen third option. You either believe in a god, or you do not. You either have a government that can secede, or you do not.

The problem with your statement here is that you do not in fact do all of the things a real nation does. You can take an unclaimed area, and even consider digital space land. However cyberstates are missing a number of things which are required to make the credible claim of secession.

Properties of Sovereignty

Monopoly of Violence

You need to control and enforce a territory to an extent that you can incarcerate or enforce law. If you cannot be in a location with physical manpower, then you do not have a credible claim of independence. How would you protect your citizenship? How would enforce the collection of taxes? How would incarcerate criminals? How would you engage with enemies of your state?

Land

While you may have a "digital territory" you are missing the production of food, agriculture, livestock, manufacturing facilities, storage, government registration offices, courthouses, etc... Any building that requires land is a missing function of government. As much as I would love to consume a holographic cheeseburger paid for with my digital currency account, to eat in a virtual reality chair in my digitally reconstructed living room; it will not meet basic standards of nutrition.

Manpower

While for a cyberstate, you are capable of remotely hiring personnel to work on digital infrastructure projects, you are missing the other kinds of manpower a government needs to function. You may be able to hold assembly and draft legislation to limit the amount of drugs a person can carry in public. However, if I violate that law, you lack any and all law enforcement power, threat, or deterrent effect. As a digital citizen of your nation, I don't have to follow any of your laws. Which begets another problem.

Autonomy

Because you have no credible argument to independence, no nation will take a claim from you seriously. I as a citizen of your nation would still be required to be both a citizen of the nation I am already in, and a citizen of the cyberstate. I would logically be required to adhere to the laws of both nations. Many of those laws are likely to conflict in multiple areas. I would be required to, in many cases, violate the laws of one of them. I would always choose to violate the laws of the cyberstate because there is no physical punishment for doing so. Therefore, no person or institution would take the laws seriously.

Summarized Arguments

  • You cannot have a monopoly of violence, and be a cyberstate, because you would not have both manpower and land which are tangible assets a physical nation owns.
  • You cannot have land, and be a cyberstate, because they define you as a physical state. Those two things are mutually exclusive.
  • You cannot have manpower, and be a cyberstate, because you would have to house that manpower, as well as provide vehicles and equipment. These themselves need storage, which require land.
  • You cannot have regional autonomy because you cannot have manpower to enforce rules and regulations upon a population. They would be forced to adhere to the regulations of the nation they already occupy. Which you cannot say is yours, because it would require claiming land. You have no means to liberate that land.

You cannot be a functional government without at least manpower, and autonomy. Those both require land to enforce. Monopoly of violence is how a nation that already has autonomy achieves its absolute sovereignty. Therefore a cyberstate cannot achieve absolute sovereignty.

You might be able to get away with saying you have "digital manpower", but that doesn't stop the fact that autonomy requires physical manpower to enforce. With a digital: manpower, legislative body, executive branch, and judiciary system; you are still only capable of simulating the enforcement of law instead of actually enforcing law.