Zoom Call 5/18/2020
Today the Perimeter had their third Zoom call. There were 5 of us in attendance. The topic of the discussion was the idea of colonization and statecraft, led by Jacob Hartman. In this post you'll find key points from the discussion and an audio recording from the conference call.
Colonization, not to be confused with colonialism, can be defined as the ability to go into a foreign or wild land and build an organized group of people from scratch.
Colonization is a practice and an idea that has become somewhat removed from our lives, since most of us find ourselves moving to places with infrastructure, places with opportunities for career growth. We are often more concerned about our own personal development than we are about the development of our tribe.
So, how does it relate to us? Hartman asked the rest of the Perimeter how we would get from a group like this into forming a fully fledged state. He expressed that what you need at the core is a group of men with high trust. This group would be made of highly motivated elite people, who are highly minded and stoic in their practices. They would also need to be trained in many disciplines in order to be very functional.
In the sci-fi novel Dune by Frank Herbert, a king gets sent to an inhospitable desert world. The local population is hardened by their harsh world, so they are naturally the elite warriors in the galaxy. The king is able to unite this group of people against the empire from which he was exiled. This empire carries bad morals, is unfocused in life, and is vastly unprepared for the conflict that arises. This is somewhat reminiscent of the fall of Rome, where a lack of values and the evolution to an unfocused way of life leads to their downfall. And, when we take a look at it, the United States sees some of this today as well. People are more likely to purchase items they want instead of items they need. There has been a decline in our morals and values as a society as we become increasingly distracted by modernity. The heterogeneity of our society with respect to culture, in which we once took pride, adds to our lack of identity and raises many internal conflicts.
The group explored similar scenarios that relate to this idea of a return to a more primal society.
In a zombie apocalypse, it would be difficult to survive in a group of strangers. You might not have the shared history that bring about trust within a group, or maybe the right set of personalities that mesh well together.
In such a group, dating and marriage would look much different than they often do in our society today. You would need the absolute approval from the father of someone you wanted to date. Love would be less about having sex on the beach, and more about commitment. The idea of marriage would represent a contract between tribes.
In an RPG video game where you build a team to carry out a quest, you need the right combinations of skillsets, personalities, and tools in order for the squad to be successful. As the player of an RPG, you are someone who finds the strength of each individual and who can really bring that strength out and give it a direction in supporting the common goals of the group.
This also holds true for the zombie apocalypse scenario, for business in today's world, and more.
In Mastery by Robert Greene, he encourages the reader to work at mastery in a specific skill, to focus on it, and then to find the next skill, and create a masterclass of skills that is specific to oneself. This masterclass of skills and how they complement and supplement the skill sets of the rest of our tribe is part of what we would call statecraft.
In the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, and with the political unrest and failure of the government to maintain the harmonious functions of our communities, the idea of colonization may be more relevant today than we initially thought. When we go back into a normal, sociable life, we will have the opportunity to ask ourselves what we want that life to look like.
If it still seems a little far out, groups of people are already doing this. The Chinese diaspora for example, do a really good job of taking care of their own: even a non-English-speaking, 65-year-old Chinese man can get set up with a living arrangement, a job, and healthcare when he moves to a number of cities around the world. There are many other examples of this, including an Armenian community of people near LA.
One way that the United States' way of life simulates this sense of community is through their university system. Small universities that have specific skill sets or job niches (going to sea, naturopathic medicine) experience a high level of camaraderie in their students and alumni. It seems easier for graduates of these programs to find like-minded peers and role models in their fellow students and in the faculty and alumni of the school. Upon graduation, they often find themselves with many doors open to them, with fellow grads making jobs, living arrangements, and more available to them as they begin the next chapter of their lives. Even in larger schools, we have this sense of building on the collective skills, experiences, and connections of individuals to work toward a common goal when we form study groups, just as we do in business.
Whether it be a shared upbringing or heritage, shared trauma or growth, or a shared mission or goal, forming such a community is easier the more you share. We see it in sports teams who train together and who compete together to prove themselves over other similarly motivated groups of men. We see it in military troops who go through training and deployments together. Statecraft is the next level of forming a community. It starts with your nuclear family, then your extended family, and progresses to a small village, town, city state. It’s the combined skills, talent, trust, morality, values you need in order to build a successful community.
For the Perimeter, moving forward, it dawns on us to begin to share. Since we don't all share heritage, a profession, or a religion to unite behind, we must begin to share experiences, to define our shared set of values, and to share a mission for our vision of the future.