A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace -A Reminder For The Many
by John Perry Barlow, Written in Davos, Switzerland
February 8, 1996.
Foreword by Mr O’Modulus
You would think from reading the below that it was created yesterday. However this battle has been fought for generations, each generation more oppressed than the next. It is only upon the collapse of the global financial system in 2008 that opportunity was born for the young to escape, and escape we have.
I no longer consider myself operating within the old financial system, yes I have a bank account at present, bills, a mortgage, but fiat is a hinderance to me, I will only ever use it as a last resort and reject suppliers for my business if they ask for it. We the young have created our own economic system, the old do not understand why a BAYC NFT is worth hundreds of thousands. It is worth hundreds of thousands because we say it is worth hundreds of thousands. Our economic model is built by us. Yes we often screw it all up, most of us are degenerates and the others are retarded…
But even we wouldn’t have burnt the only planet we inhabit alive, just for our own selfish desires.
Imagine if the generation above us had spent their money on the quest for eternal or extended life rather than being so lazy as to just pull oil out of the ground and burn it to produce power through electricity. And now here we are, our world and theirs, one is dying whilst ours is thriving.
But now you want to burn OUR economy to the ground. As if collapsing your own and birthing the seeds of your demise was not enough, you now wish to keep us locked into your dying system. You call us money launderers for buying NFTs whilst your own banks set aside budget to pay their own money laundering fines, knowing they will be caught. You call us criminals whilst being funded and lobbied by weapons manufacturers committing genocide and bombing children.
God is dead. The media is dead, and your world is dying. This is why on this 5th of the month, I wanted to remind us all that this battle is not new, it is only now that we have the means to fight it. The old world is tied together by greed, and this is why as our new economy battles the old, we only need to win 51%, then the old systems supporters will abandon them.
A Declaration of the independence of Cyber Space
Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.
We have no elected government, nor are we likely to have one, so I address you with no greater authority than that with which liberty itself always speaks. I declare the global social space we are building to be naturally independent of the tyrannies you seek to impose on us. You have no moral right to rule us nor do you possess any methods of enforcement we have true reason to fear.
Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. You have neither solicited nor received ours. We did not invite you. You do not know us, nor do you know our world. Cyberspace does not lie within your borders. Do not think that you can build it, as though it were a public construction project. You cannot. It is an act of nature and it grows itself through our collective actions.
You have not engaged in our great and gathering conversation, nor did you create the wealth of our marketplaces. You do not know our culture, our ethics, or the unwritten codes that already provide our society more order than could be obtained by any of your impositions.
You claim there are problems among us that you need to solve. You use this claim as an excuse to invade our precincts. Many of these problems don’t exist. Where there are real conflicts, where there are wrongs, we will identify them and address them by our means. We are forming our own Social Contract. This governance will arise according to the conditions of our world, not yours. Our world is different.
Cyberspace consists of transactions, relationships, and thought itself, arrayed like a standing wave in the web of our communications. Ours is a world that is both everywhere and nowhere, but it is not where bodies live.
We are creating a world that all may enter without privilege or prejudice accorded by race, economic power, military force, or station of birth.
We are creating a world where anyone, anywhere may express his or her beliefs, no matter how singular, without fear of being coerced into silence or conformity.
Your legal concepts of property, expression, identity, movement, and context do not apply to us. They are all based on matter, and there is no matter here.
Our identities have no bodies, so, unlike you, we cannot obtain order by physical coercion. We believe that from ethics, enlightened self-interest, and the commonweal, our governance will emerge. Our identities may be distributed across many of your jurisdictions. The only law that all our constituent cultures would generally recognize is the Golden Rule. We hope we will be able to build our particular solutions on that basis. But we cannot accept the solutions you are attempting to impose.
In the United States, you have today created a law, the Telecommunications Reform Act, which repudiates your own Constitution and insults the dreams of Jefferson, Washington, Mill, Madison, DeToqueville, and Brandeis. These dreams must now be born anew in us.
You are terrified of your own children, since they are natives in a world where you will always be immigrants. Because you fear them, you entrust your bureaucracies with the parental responsibilities you are too cowardly to confront yourselves. In our world, all the sentiments and expressions of humanity, from the debasing to the angelic, are parts of a seamless whole, the global conversation of bits. We cannot separate the air that chokes from the air upon which wings beat.
In China, Germany, France, Russia, Singapore, Italy and the United States, you are trying to ward off the virus of liberty by erecting guard posts at the frontiers of Cyberspace. These may keep out the contagion for a small time, but they will not work in a world that will soon be blanketed in bit-bearing media.
Your increasingly obsolete information industries would perpetuate themselves by proposing laws, in America and elsewhere, that claim to own speech itself throughout the world. These laws would declare ideas to be another industrial product, no more noble than pig iron. In our world, whatever the human mind may create can be reproduced and distributed infinitely at no cost. The global conveyance of thought no longer requires your factories to accomplish.
These increasingly hostile and colonial measures place us in the same position as those previous lovers of freedom and self-determination who had to reject the authorities of distant, uninformed powers. We must declare our virtual selves immune to your sovereignty, even as we continue to consent to your rule over our bodies. We will spread ourselves across the Planet so that no one can arrest our thoughts.
We will create a civilization of the Mind in Cyberspace. May it be more humane and fair than the world your governments have made before.