Grayclaves and Henry the Lion

I read two articles on a similar theme this morning. Firstly there was Scott Adams’ post Startup Country, about creating a small, elite, light-weight country inside another country and using it to bootstrap the economy of the larger country. Secondly I read The Politically Incorrect Guide to Ending Poverty, published by The Atlantic. This article actually talks about Paul Romer’s ideas on “Charter Cities” – a city governed by it’s own charter, rather than national laws. According to The Atlantic, this idea goes back to the 12th century with Heny the Lion and the idea of Imperial Free Cities.

If I squint, I can maybe see this happening. Maybe it will be more along the lines of a Burbclave – a franchised nation nestled within a gated community (as envisaged by Neal Stephenson). Of course, by the time all this happens we’ll be old and decrepit, so I think they’ll be more like Grayclaves. We’ll all be trading bio-engineered medicines with the Grayclave next door.

One Reply to “Grayclaves and Henry the Lion”

  1. Interesting articles indeed, Brett.

    I’m not sure I expect any kind of clave in developed nations – although I guess it is questionable for how long they will count as being ‘developed’ – but the Romer idea viz developing countries is really interesting. Unfortunately the poor political systems might kill it – after all, the Brits had to ‘steal’ HK from China. Are there any examples of successful, peaceful creation of such an enclave, I wonder?

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