TO REINVENT CIVILIZATION WITHOUT STATES
Stateless is an upcoming film about a “loose-knit” community of crypto-anarchists who emigrate to Acapulco, a city recently ranked as the fourth most dangerous in the world, to escape the powers of nation-states. But several years into the movement, the group diverges into to different visions of liberty.
Acapulco, Mexico was ranked the fourth most dangerous city in the world in 2015 by the U.S. State Department, which advised American travelers to avoid the region. In this city that same year, controversial Anarcho-Capitalist internet personality Jeff Berwick launched the Anarchapulco Conference.
The three-day event was designed to attract other “ancaps”, libertarians, and crypto-anarchists to Acapulco, with hopes of encouraging many to become residents of the region and build a new community of government-evaders.
Nathan and Lisa Freeman decided after attending the first Anarchapulco that they wanted to dive in. Relocating for both for their ethical principles and for the ability to raise their children without government oversight, they left their comfortable middle-class life in Georgia to live in Mexico.
The next year, Nathan took over the responsibility of running the conference. His efforts, combined with an explosion in the value of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, allowed the event to grow each year, with the 2018 conference attracting over 1600 people. He juggles this operation while also remotely working as a partner at a software consulting firm and fathering three kids.
The eclectic community also includes a couple in their mid-twenties, John and Lily, who fled across the border after being arrested for manufacturing cannabis products. Arriving in Acapulco with only $30 and no passports, their lifestyle contrasts dramatically against the Freemans.
Following the 2017 conference, John and Lily became dissatisfied with the more “centralized” direction taken by Anarchapulco. So they decided to create their own event called “Anarchaforko,” an homage to the ‘forking’ process in the world of software development, one which has analogously shaped the world of cryptocurrencies.
The film also looks into the life of Erika Harris, who stayed in Acapulco after attending the 2016 conference. She is perhaps the most unique figure in the community not only on a superficial level — being a black woman — but more importantly on a philosophical level.
“These are soul issues. These are organic, cosmic issues,” she says while feeling the politicization of the freedom movement and its tendency to embrace the left-right paradigm of the mainstream.
The most common point of skepticism in the blockchain-sphere is the lack of real-world application. This film contests that point by dissecting the lives of these renegades, dreamers, and revolutionaries and asks the question: Is a stateless world possible?
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