How to create a meaningful Blockchain Constitution

in #eos4 years ago (edited)

If you Google “Blockchain Constitution” you will discover my prior post on “Why every Blockchain needs a Constitution” as the number 2 hit. Today I would like to expand upon why and how one would go about creating an meaningful, enforceable constitution.

As those who have followed me over the years know, it is my continuing mission to discover free market solutions for securing life, liberty, and property. I started this mission because I believe it is possible to create a well ordered society without resorting to violence. When people think of anarchy, anarcho capitalism, libertarianism, and voluntarism they immediately think of all the problems that would exist without government. What do you call a system of governance that is purely voluntary and absent of violence? Can any such system have teeth?

What is Governance?

Governance is the process by which decisions are made by a group of people. At its heart is the concept of dispute resolution. Any time two or more people are involved in making a decision disputes will arise. A solid governance system is a process for dispute resolution over which there is prior agreement and therefore no dispute. If people can agree on the process, then they can usually live with the outcome.

What should be Governed?

The biggest challenge for any group of people is the allocation of Rights: who can do what and when. The most basic Right is property rights and from that all other Rights can be derived. Our first property claim is our body and from that claim our right to control how it is used.

Contracts are a process by which people agree to grant and exchange Rights under certain circumstances.

A free and prosperous society is derived from efficient governance over property right disputes and therefore all contract disputes. This means that a system of governance ultimately must govern all of our mutual Rights. If we can agree on an efficient and honest, logically consistent, process for determining who owns what and when, then we can have a peaceful and prosperous society.

How should Rights be Governed?

Ambiguity over rights is the source of most disputes. Any time things are ambiguous, or subject for interpretation, there is an opportunity for dispute. It could be said that an ounce of dispute prevention is worth a pound of cure. If we want to minimize ambiguity then we need to formalize contracts in computer code and have them evaluated in a transparent and reproducible manner. In other words, smart contracts can be considered a means to reduce ambiguity in contracts and the dispute resolution process.

Ideally everything could be resolved by perfectly executing computer code, but that would require the code to have perfect knowledge, a sense of equity, and the ability to discern between the explicit instructions we gave it and the intent of the instructions we gave which may not be the same thing.

For this reason it is necessary for us to have humans involved in governance to cover the situations where code fails or is unable to resolve disputes.

Property Rights are a Treaty

It is commonly held that our rights are derived by virtue of being human; however, not all humans agree with that premise. Many people believe in the law of the jungle, that might makes right. Rights are a concept that we grant to others so that others will grant them to us in return. It is a peace treaty that frees us from the need to defend ourselves against those who sign it and enables everyone to devote more time and resources toward more productive activities.

Under this view of property rights, you only have rights by virtue of your explicit consent with two or more people who grant those rights to you. Without such an agreement we revert to the law of the jungle. No one claims a bear is violating their “rights”. Nature knows no rights; we only imagine them to exist. The bear never agreed not to maul you, and likewise unless other people agree not to maul you they haven’t violated your rights by mauling you. Afterall, did you ever promise not to maul them? What consideration did you give in exchange for the rights you imagine to have? Does the other party you expect to respect your rights consider the terms fair?

This philosophical approach may appear repugnant to those who are convinced that they are owed certain rights by virtue of being human. This is a view I once held, but now see as wishful thinking of an individual wanting to impose terms of a peace treaty on everyone else. Instead what this individual should be doing is organizing his own community among people that will grant rights to each other with an eye toward mutual defense against aggressors.

We demand the government to recognize our rights and we all protest when we feel the government is violating its constitution. The fact is that governments are strong, powerful groups of people which represent a force no individual can defend against which makes us wish we could prove they are in the wrong and we are the victim. Sadly, they force us to sign their contracts under threats of imprisonment or death if we refuse. Then they claim we consented despite the obvious duress.

It is not possible to enter a contract while under threat of overpowering violence. Therefore, there is no contract between us and our so-called government. Therefore there are no more rights between us and our government than between us and a bear. In fact, the government doesn’t actually exist! It is a figment of our collective imagination and any violation of our perceived rights can only be by individuals with whom we have not signed any contract.

A Constitution is a multi-party Contract

Any two people can create a contract where they agree to recognize each other’s rights and agree to allow a 3rd party to resolve any dispute. The most common way this is done is via an arbitration clause in a contract. The ruling of binding Arbitration is generally enforceable in all countries around the world by virtue of numerous arbitration treaties.

There are many reasons to agree to Arbitration including:

  • Faster
  • Cheaper
  • Privacy
  • Choice of Law
  • Fairness
  • International Disputes
  • Controlling Jurisdiction
  • Knowledge of Judge

Without an arbitration agreement between two parties, a dispute can be brought in any number of countries with any number of different applicable laws, non of which the parties consented to. The parties can shop jurisdictions for those most favorable to them and least favorable to the opposing party. Governments around the world can pass new laws and set precedents that might invalidate the intent of the parties contract.

If we want to create a free society with an honest dispute resolution and property right allocation, then we must take control of Jurisdiction and Choice of Law. Fortunately, this is easy to do with an internationally recognized Arbitration clause and dispute resolution forum that employ the Maxims of equity.


You may have seen clauses like the following in various contracts you have signed:

This Contract may be executed in any number of counterparts, each of which when executed and delivered shall constitute a duplicate original, but all counterparts together shall constitute a single agreement.

What this is saying is that two different people can sign two different copies of the same contract and it has the effect as if both signed the same contract. This language is incredibly common even though it is almost unnecessary as most courts will recognize signed Counterparts as one document even without such a clause.

Therefore, two parties who both sign a separate copy of Constitution can be considered to have signed the same contract where the Constitution is a contract.

Constitution as a Contract

A constitution can be viewed as a contract and enforced as such around the world. This contract can establish choice of law, choice of arbitration forum, and allocate any other lawful rights among the parties. In order to be viewed as a valid contract it must have several elements:

  • Offer
  • Acceptance
  • Consideration
  • Mutuality
  • Competency / Capacity
  • Ideally a Written Instrument

The Offer

The constitution is an open offer to anyone willing to accept it. In this offer the offeree is agreeing to participate in dispute resolution and to take reasonable, non-violent, actions to recognize and restore the property rights of another using a mutually agreed upon process (e.g. smart contracts). The person accepting this offer is granted validation of their property right and the benefits of an efficient process for managing and transferring their rights.


There are many ways to demonstrate acceptance, including: digital signature, physical signature, verbal agreement, depositing a check, or other actions that demonstrate your voluntary choice to partake in the benefits of the agreement. Use of a blockchain and signing a transaction that incorporates the hash of the contract is a valid proof of acceptance.


A constitution that offers both parties an equal trade of rights and obligations comes at equal expense and benefits to both parties. These benefits have material value to the parties and come at material expense.


Nothing could be more mutual than a Constitution that imposes equal rights, benefits, and obligations on all parties.
Competency / Capacity
This particular loophole may allow some individuals to escape the enforcement of the contract, but is of little concern to the vast majority of people.

Written Instrument

A public Constitution identified by cryptographic hash and signed by digital signatures is about as solid and verifiable, indisputable, written instrument as one could hope to come across.

Enforcing the Contract

Ok, so we have identified that a constitution can be drafted as a simple multi-party contract that all parties executed in counterpart by virtue of using a particular blockchain. How does one go about enforcing the terms when you may not know anything about the other party other than their blockchain account name.

Serving Notice of Dispute

The first and most important aspect of bringing a suit against someone is knowing how to properly serve them. This is something that must be specified in the contract and recognized by the arbitration forum. Fortunately, a blockchain is a public record where notices can be delivered to any and all parties to the constitution. Afterall, unless you have an account it is unlikely you signed the constitution / contract.

If you publish notice of your dispute to the blockchain and the other party refuses to participate in the arbitration process, then he or she will lose by default and a ruling can be made against the account. To prevent abuse the loser has to cover the legal costs and time of the winner’s fair market rates.

Know your Customer

Generally speaking, if you are doing business with someone and there is some probability of dispute then you should likely gather information from them that will help you prove they have signed the constitution and submit an arbitration ruling in your local courts for enforcement. This can happen in many ways, but the simple process of asking them to send a signed payment request or a purchase order via the blockchain is enough to tie their account to the address you are shipping the good or service to.

Pseudo Anonymous Dispute Resolution

May services, such as VPNs, allow customers to pay via Bitcoin and take no other identifying information. If the user of the VPN violates the Terms of Service then the VPN operator may have claims for damages, but no ability to know how to bring them to justice.

A blockchain with Constitution and built in method for delivering notice of request for Arbitration can enable the VPN service provider to get a ruling against a Pseudo Anonymous account. The account owner will either have to identify themselves or defend themselves Pseudo Anonymously or they may lose the dispute by default.

Once a ruling is entered the entire community will be aware of the judgment and if the real identity of the account owner is ever found then it will be binding on them. In all likelihood the rulings would even be enforced by governments around the world.

The ideal situation in these cases is for accounts to be bonded and insured. In this way individual identity can be kept private from everyone while still enabling certain guarantees of payment in a dispute.

Block Producers can Expel Accounts in Bad Standing

All blockchains have a group of block producers with the power to collectively block any account they desire. Bitcoin miners use fees as the basis for blocking certain transactions. Steem uses rate limiting to do the same. It is also possible for Block Producers to block transactions from accounts until the individual behind the account complies with a public ruling against them.

The benefit of having 21+ elected block producers is that it requires sustained unanimous consent to execute such a punitive measure. The reality is that the elected producers can and should set up a smart contract based process to reach consensus on when to utilize this power to enforce a ruling.

Businesses can Shun Accounts

Just like producers can block transactions, businesses can quickly review the record of any account to determine whether it is in good standing. An account in bad standing can be denied service based upon the principle of freedom of association. The goal of a governance system is to make it easier to get verified background checks.

How is this less corrupt than what we have today?

Those of us who are sensitive to abuse of power and corruption of individuals within a system may be feeling sad right now. The promise of rule by benevolent artificially intelligent blockchain overlords just seems so ideal after centuries of government corruption.

What good does it do us to construct a blockchain with a constitution that enables users to bring other users to arbitration in a court governed by corruptible people? Won’t this result in arbitrary rulings and ultimately arbitrary law?

Here are the key differences:

  • All parties explicitly consent without threat of violence
  • All parties explicitly agree to refrain from aggression and aim for logical consistency
  • A much larger part of your rights is governed by logically consistent code
  • Enforcement is limited to non-violent actions on a public ledger
  • Precedent (aka the fallacy of appeal to authority) can be explicitly excluded from being valid basis for an arbitration ruling, all decisions should be independently derived from facts and reason. This prevents one bad / corrupt decision from compounding over time and hopefully prevents legislation by judges.

All of that stated, the single biggest things that drive corruption out and integrity up is free market competition, transparency, and immediate public referendum.

No system is perfect when it must be designed and operated by humans with competing value systems and agendas. Hopefully we can find new ways to work together that raise the bar enough to make a difference in the quality of our lives and those of our children.

What would you like to see in a Constitution?


You're mixing up a government and a state here.

Government is what happens any time two or more people get together and agree to abide by a set of rules. As long as they agree, then there is no need for involvement of a third party.

A state is a monopoly on violence and is used to enforce the rules of the government. This works fine so long as the people in power are benevolent. But regimes changes and people are panicky, fickle creatures who sell their freedom all too cheaply.

A constitution is only worth the desire of men to enforce it as sacred and inalienable. If you're starting down this path thinking that "rights" are somehow granted, you're sorely mistaken. They are not "granted" by laws, they are "enumerated" by them.

Rights, by definition exist outside of any law. They are yours because you exist. It is up to you to enforce and defend your rights. When you are able to do this, then you exist as sovereign over your domain and your domain stretches as far as you are able to enforce your rights.

This is why governments are considered sovereign. They are the collective will of the people, so long as the people assert their own rights individually within the government by exercising all their rights at all times and not allowing the collective will of others to deprive them of said rights.

Because if you allow someone else to deprive you of your rights, then you are not sovereign are you?

Rights, by definition exist outside of any law.

Does your right to medical care from me exist outside a contract between you and I? If we have a contract and you have paid, do you now have a right to that care?

I think we can see that through contracts rights can be created. You are merely debating whether or not rights exist prior to a contract. I argue the point is moot, people should enter a contract that grants the rights they think they are owed to everyone is who is willing to recognize those rights. Now whether you have rights by virtue of being a live or by contract you are covered.

Does your right to medical care from me exist outside a contract between you and I?

Rights exist because we exist. But it is the power to assert and manage those rights that determines who is sovereign over their affairs and who is a supplicant.

What I said about a state being a monopoly on violence and a government being the thing that exists when two or more people will it to be, defines the state as sovereign in this context. It will remain sovereign so long as individuals lend it their power and pay it fealty. When that ceases, then the state loses it's mandate, ceases being powerful and is no longer a monopoly on violence as the people reclaim and reassert their rights.

At a more basic level, I have the right to live, so do you. You are not a provider of medical care. Were you one, then yes my right to continue to live is going to be more important to me and mine, than your right to do with your time as you please is to you and yours.

If I can assert that right either through plea or force, then my right is recognized by you. But that doesn't mean it didn't exist prior, just that you were failing to recognize it.

The underlaying problem here is that you have paid fealty to a state which says that you are not sovereign over your financial affairs. The state has taken your money and used it to compensate medical providers to provide medical care for those who are in need.

The state does this because yes, they do have this right and it is even enumerated in some of our most basic principle founding documents. "We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal and have the rights to life, liberty..."

This is a thing you disagree with, but you are not powerful enough to walk away from the society that gave you this money while still holding onto the money, power and prestige that society gave you by acknowledging your rights.

It sounds like you believe that your right to money you earned , exceeds the right to life of the indigent. Yet you choose to continue in a society that disagrees with you on this point. You have to ask yourself why you would do that, rather than asserting your rights and becoming active at changing the balance of power back to the side of the powerful from the side of the weak?

Contracts can NEVER create a RIGHT. They can enumerate the terms of agreement. Some of those terms are requirements that each side acknowledge the rights of the other.

Contracts are a reference to go off from when there is a disagreement. What you're calling a right, is just a term of agreement and it only applies so long as the parties agree to those terms.

You are correct that when parties disagree, they need an arbiter. Your system works so long as all parties agree to the terms of either the contract, or the implicit social contract which is created by participating in the society.

But rights do exist outside of that construct. It mostly matters who has the strength and determination to ensure those rights are respected.

I'm going to ask you to consider that all rights must be mutual and both parties must have the ability to grant the other party said right. If you are not a doctor then you do not have the ability to grant a mutual right of medical care.

Like I pointed out in the right to food debate: can two people who have no food enter a contract that grants each other the right to food? This this right to food exist by virtue of them being human? Do they have this right in the desert?

Would you sign a contract that grants me a right to food whether or not I provide you food or compensation? Would you open that contract up to anyone who wanted to sign it with you?


Rights, by definition exist outside of any law. They are yours because you exist. It is up to you to enforce and defend your rights. When you are able to do this, then you exist as sovereign over your domain and your domain stretches as far as you are able to enforce your rights.

See the contradiction there, "Rights" are only yours if you can "Enforce" them... this is a law of the jungle.

A contract is a means of enforcing your rights. You recognize that your fellow man also wants the same thing you want and thus you agree where the boundary is. Without this agreement you are left to fight to establish your rights.

Rights, by definition exist outside of any law. They are yours because you exist.


Rights, by definition exist outside of any law. They are yours because you exist.


  1. Rights exist on their own
  2. You exist on your own
  3. Rights are yours when you claim them, either directly by assertion or indirectly by respect

In what way was that not clear? Sorry I'm fighting a massive toothache, it's slowing me down.

I was asking for a why, not a restatement of assumptions.

Good luck with the toothache, hope it's fixable.

Very compelling. So we reach a compromise which is considerably more resilient because language and the ability to write code can never be perfect.

Wow. Thank you so much for your contributions, Dan. This is all SO important. This is truly giving power back to the people and relinquishing it from the hands of corrupt mega-governments globally. This is absolutely beautiful. The future is bright. Keep up the amazing work, you're a truly important player on the world's stage. It's such a cool feeling being able to play a part in all of this as well. Keep on fighting the good fight! Can't wait to learn more about EOS! Hopefully I land one of the free tickets for Consensus 2017!!!

I put in a good word for you.

You are the sweetest of sweetie pies. Thank you!

Put in a good word, you did! Got confirmation today that me @robrigo and I both got tickets! Amazing, thank you so much. Beyond excited and thankful to be surrounded by so many amazing minds.

Beautiful put @matt-a! I think a lot of us share your feelings and would have love to put it how you've put it. At least I do.

Thanks! Feel free to use my expression, if you share that sentiment, you share it, right? I'm not copyrighting anything haha. Also, keep up the solid blog!

In answer to your question: "What would you like to see in a constitution?" Equality.

By what definition of Equality?
What properties should be equal? What things may be different?

I guess my primary concern would be the equality of people, humans. As far as properties being equal I think this would refer to rights of access to basic needs, food, water, shelter the freedom to make decisions about how one lives their life. Even more so I consider access to the internet a basic human right so that would need to be there as well, although to some extent it is implied it must also be stated.

And what if there is not enough food to feed everyone? Say a global disaster results in enough food for only 50% of the people to eat enough to barely live?

Rights can only be sourced from what people have to give. If you grant me the right to food and I grant you the right to food, but neither of us have food then that is fraud. It would be like me selling you a bridge in Brookland.


Let me state it another way, would you sign a contract where you were on the hook to personally provide everyone else in the world with food? Because that is exactly what signing such a contract would do to you.

Even if they were obligated to provide you food as well, it wouldn't matter because if you both had food then the clause is pointless.

Interesting, in this constitution then do we need to answer the question of who does produce the food?

No, we just need to recognize the process by which ownership of food is determined and the process by which title to food may be transferred.

Hmm. Interesting. My guess is I'll need to ponder on this.

Well production of food is technically limited to only those who own land. Or those who can rent land to produce food, But I do certainly recognise your point interms of signing a constitution that guarantees access to food.

For governance in general, I would start by learning about existing techniques for human self-organization, such as holacracy or sociocracy. In particular for developing a constitution, I would especially study the holacracy constitution on github.

Of course, none of those are tailored for the block chain, but many of the concepts will probably be the same.

I'll make sure to take a look at these. Thank you @remlaps!

You're welcome. FYI, I still have much to learn, but I posted a couple times, scratching the surface for both holacracy and sociocracy, a while back: 7 Videos about Holacracy: A Social Technology for Human Self-Organization, and [Article Review]Sociocracy: An Organization Model for Large-Scale Agile Development.

I'll take a look at them too.

interesting!!! I will also follow you.

Does EOS stand of End of State?

lol good one! I like it.

Sounds to me like Entry Of Steemit😎

Congratulations @dantheman!
Your post was mentioned in my hit parade in the following categories:

  • Comments - Ranked 2 with 65 comments
  • Pending payout - Ranked 1 with $ 206,8

No one may have the right to write (such) a constitution. Don't think I have the energy to think out a proper response. However I love the discussion of the great minds that meet here.

Very interesting read! Thank you for posting your views.

Although I like to believe in a blockchain constitution, I have some doubts if it indeed will solve issues we are facing now.

All parties explicitly consent without threat of violence. All parties explicitly agree to refrain from aggression and aim for logical consistency

Isn't this more or less the same as some of our basic laws, such as: you are not allowed to kill someone, or do physical harm? While in no country in the world it is allowed to harm or kill someone, some of us still do this. Don't you think this is an Utopian view that can never be reality?

All of that stated, the single biggest things that drive corruption out and integrity up is free market competition, transparency, and immediate public referendum.

Transparency: Don't you think that this requires real life identity mapping to account holders on the blockchain holding the constitution? Ie, anonymity shall not be the bases of such blockchain constitution?

Immediate public referendum: Although I like to believe in individuals being able to inform themselves sufficiently, analyse the information responsibly, derive conclusions, and vote based on the conclusions; the reality shows many individuals vote what they are told to vote; Whatever their friends, neighbours, loudest politicians or whoever the individual is following, is telling over and over again.

What is you view on eg two neigbours both signed up to a different blockchain constitution: 1 blockchain constitution forbids playing of load music after 10PM, and the other blockchain constitution allows playing load music after 10PM? One blockchain allows to carry a weapon and is allowed to shoot someone when entering without permission your backyard, while the other blockchain determines that your backyard is open to anybody?

A contract is only binding on those who sign. It can grant you nothing the other party doesn't already have.

No contact will allow you to escape criminal jurisdictions of government, but it may give you standing in a new forum.

I understand the principles indeed. But the fact remains that individuals can decide not to sign any contract. In a world without centralised governments; These do have all the rights one can possible have; These individuals can so anything they please since they have no contract with anybody else. Therefore I actually think it is impossible to live with such an amount of people on our planet without some centralised or semi-centralised 'governments' (I quote governments, since these maybe different to what we have implemented today).

Wouldn't it be better to have a competition of constitutions? People could choose which one to sign and un-sign - for example in case of flaws identified in the constitution. This would enable natural selection and evolution of constitutions.

Yes, people have choices... just like there are 100 blockchains :)

A single blockchain can even support amending the constitution.

I meant multiple constitutions inside a single blockchain. Like there are multiple open source licences.. but only a few of them are used the most.

What good does it do us to construct a blockchain with a constitution that enables users to bring other users to arbitration in a court governed by corruptible people? Won’t this result in arbitrary rulings and ultimately arbitrary law?

I've thought about this for some time now myself (of course, still a work in progress). I think you're right on regarding "rights". However, how about implementing blockchain governance committees / voting pools formed by the following criteria with the goal of minimizing potential corruption:

  1. blockchain randomly chooses 50 suitable (non-anonymous and active) accounts to fill 25 positions (for example)
    • verified accounts opt in for committee participation
    • accounts must pass minimum reputational criteria (aka linkedin skills/endorsements, language, etc)
    • no account can serve twice consecutively
  2. of the 50 suitable accounts, the community can each vote for, against, or no preference
    • top 25 candidates are offered the governance position
  3. possible compensation for effort involved (ie. shared arbitration fees for an arbitration committee, etc)
  4. term limit of no more than a year, then the process starts all over again
  5. NO "absolute immunity".
    • dereliction of duty or violation of agree-upon "rights" / constitution / "code of conduct" is grounds for dismissal and even possible punitive action against account (ie. undisclosed conflicts of interests, etc) or staked capital.

You may also appreciate the following posts:

Another system that actually worked very well was Genoa. There the “Doge” (head of state) was selected each year from the head of a prominent family. The rich families ruled on a rotating basis annually. What made it work well was the short-term period. No family would ever pass something Draconian because it would apply to themselves the next year. The system was not one of rich v poor, but Genoa v Venice and Florence. The interests were furthered collectively rather than this philosophy of party politics. Therefore, each class benefited. It also lasted longer without corruption than Florence or Venice.

Link: Best Form of Government – Will Anything Ever Work?

Only an idiot accepts government allegations as fact in any case. The entire problem stems from ABSOLUTE IMMUNITY! The US government cannot be sued, only the agents of the government. Consequently, those in the Justice Department are not forthcoming about admitting a mistake. I do not believe that a prosecutor should be able to bring charges. There should be a panel set up where every prosecutor presents his case to them and they are the one’s who bring an indictment. That would remove the personal liabilities.

The Supreme Court’s most anti-Constitutional decision ever rendered implemented a nationwide policy declaring prosecutors must have absolute immunity for acts committed in their prosecutorial role. This decision has unleashed the most abusive legal system ever on the face of this Earth.

Link: When There is no Justice – It is Time To Turnout the Lights

Too many words.
there...fixed it

It would be nice if that was all it took... but as we see different people have different definitions of aggression and other "facts" that would be pertinent to any dispute.

I never know what to say when I read your posts. What you're discussing is so obvious and far reaching and yet I never see those ideas discuss anywhere else, not even close. I look forward to this brighter future we're working on NOW!

Like most things in life, it is only obvious in hind site. It took many discussions with many smart people to distill these ideas.

You're right. In hind site it's now obvious.

The thing is those other suppose geniuses are so far off in the solution for the world. They never even mention money creation and wealth concentration. Well I have my reasons to think they're just not allowed. Anyway thank you again for your insights and your much needed work.

That IS all it takes.
Steemit would be an environment in which aggression was impossible.
Except for flags.

And therefore you have proven the point that different definitions of aggression. I do not consider flags to be a form of aggression considering we both consented to the Steem smart contract by virtue of our use of it.

You can consent to anything. Because you consent to something does not mean it is not agression.
I consented to high school football. If you have ever seen how us Texas boys play I think you would agree that aggressive is much too mild a word.
I considered boot camp in the Vietnam war to be easy by comparison to spring training.
I've not proved your point.
The two major problems that Steemit has are flags and bot vote harvesters.
Eliminate both and Steemit will be a much better place.

Consensual aggression sounds like an oxymoron but I get your point. Flags are a necessary part of Steem.

Like I said, consent has nothing to do with aggression.
I disagree, and the evidence supports me, regarding flags.

This is one definition of aggression:

forceful and sometimes overly assertive pursuit of one's aims and interests.

By this definition you can't have consensual aggression but there's many definition possible to each and every words. That's why we need prior agreement or contract to avoid those kind of dispute.

Flags are a necessary part of Steem.

Today, maybe, but if the appropriate conventions get established, I don't think they need to be. I think that comments, the mute button, and up-vote removal can all interact to solve any problem that down-votes can solve.

For example, someone could comment on a post: "I think this post is plagiarized. Here is the original: [link]." Then, voters who think that it's important to avoid voting on plagiarism could evaluate the claim and either refrain from voting on it, or go back and remove their up-votes. This comes with a couple additional benefits, in that authors would be able to dispute the accusations, and up-votes to reward comments that identify plagiarism might even create a bounty system to incentivize discovery. Of course, the vote removal could be automated as certain accounts establish themselves as trustworthy plagiarism finders. (I wrote about that, too. here).

Where does it say in this smart contract what flags are for? Flags are most definitely being used in an aggressive way; on content that has nothing to do with the personal dispute of two users. By what definition of aggression is that non-aggressive?

I think when you click on the flag button you'll see the disclaimer and it must also be in the code description but I'm not sure about the second.

Also if you created an account on Steem you agreed to play by its rules and thus have given your consent.

There are no rules for flags, and if there were any, they would be unenforcable in the current set-up. That's the whole point.

the single biggest things that drive corruption out and integrity up is free market competition

I think that is only true for unusual definitions of free-market competition. Is bribing someone to buy your goods in stead of a competitor's in any way prevented by free-market competition? Or is it in some way a violent act, or against a constitution, or would a public referendum be needed to stop such things, implicitly laying down rules, making it a not-quite-free market?

go ahead and bribe. that brings the price down for the buyer, when you run out of money he'll seek the lowest price. The free market is self correcting.

go ahead and bribe. that brings the price down for the buyer

Not when the buyer is buying on behalf of others and pockets the bribe himself, a more usual scenario.

The free market is self correcting.

That's a creed from an economic belief system, not a fact, closer to magical thinking, actually. I many cases, the free market corrects itself after things have gone terribly wrong, and sometimes not at all. It's in the history books.

The belief that institutional violence is a necessary component of a functional government is also a creed and belief system. In fact, it may be worse than magical thinking because it implies an individual has given up thinking all together and resigned himself to the necessary use of violence.

That has very little to do with the point I'm making, and it is not a point I am debating, so I wonder why you reply like this.

In fact, I would agree with what you say, as long as there are other enforcable rules that limit the total free-for-all a free market at its worst could turn into. I do not believe an unconstrained free market will automatically lead to the best solutions, or even set the best prices (best for whom?).

Any viable constitution will have to take into account that not everybody supports the same economic thinking, or even believes that there is a working economic theory out there at all. Trying to come up with an economic theory from assumptions and reasoning alone is rather medieval. If there are no testable hypotheses, or real-world data is ignored, such a theory is without worth.

I think anthropology is a better place to look for inputs for a constitution than economic theory, and I suspect no good will come at all until we replace competition with cooperation.

Not true. the free market works as long as the government doesn't get involved.
History is a lie.

Another creed. You are being religious about what should be just an economic theory. No arguing with that.

the evidence supports the hypothesis.

Question: how do you define smart contract? I have a hard time viewing Steemit as a smart contract, as I think Bitcoin would be too in that sense, and Ethereum's definition.
(also I haven't finish reading it yet).

There are many attempts to define a smart contract, but in my opinion every blockchain is a smart contract.

A contract is a commitment to take certain actions in response to certain inputs. A blockchain is a log of user inputs and the code represents the actions to be taken.

A smart contract is actually composed of more than just code, consider the concept of ricardian contracts. In this case, you have code combined with written agreements.

Etheruem style smart contracts are just one kind of smart contract. A vending machine is a physical implementation of a smart contract.

OK I get it.

Although I kind of prefer to call smart contracts contract that are rule by blockchain laws. Sure, Steemit, in your sense, can be viewed as a smart contract, if you take in account the fact that the code is open source for instance.

It will be difficult to do better than this one :


Don't dive too deeply into philosophy and theory. Most important question is: Does it work in the real world? We can only know that after we have tested the hypothesis. Before that this kind of constitution for a blockchain is just a guess.

We need to know at least: Are people willing to use this kind of system? Most humans are highly irrational and have lots of contradictonary opinions. They don't give much value to logical rules. If you ask them, they might say "yes, this sounds great" but when you create the blockchain, they have zero interest in actually using it.

Instead of thinking this from the viewpoint of a state, a better alternative might be just think of an ordinary organization. Ok, not ordinary since we are trying to create something totally new here, but basically it's just a bunch of people cooperating, with some of the business logic automated with a blockchain. It's a DAO, right?

What's the purpose of the DAO? Why does it exist? What it is trying to achieve?

When we have a clear vision for the future – where we are going – we can understand better what kind of rules we need. But we don't know it until we try – let's remember that this is totally new kind of system that nobody has tried before. So we must be ready to change the constitution because it's highly unlikely that the first draft will be perfect. Unknown problems will arise and those need to be solved. Little by little we can adjust the constitution until we have rules that guarantee smooth cooperation and minimize conflicts.

That's why I wouldn't create too complex system in the beginning. It's more efficient to create first a simple system and then add new features based on demand – what people seem to be wanting to use most. The advantage is that we can observe how new features and their rules are actually used when we add them one by one. If there are lots of different features in the beginning, it's much harder to understand how they play together.

If you want to choose the dispute resolution system that you describe here, you need to find first a niche market that needs that kind of system. I'm quite skeptical if there is much demand right now. If there is no need, it's inefficient to prioritize "dispute resolution feature" for the new blockchain.

  1. principle of non-aggression.
  2. the Earth and its natural resources are the common inheritance of all humans. entails: respecting the environment and an economic model* which accounts for everyone's share of the planet.
    *could mean a monetary system that pays shares to every human (as you suggested in an older thread) or redefining land/natural resources as owned by all mankind. e.g. all agricultural land would be "nationalized" and put on the free market for renting only, with the rent paid directly to all humans- through the blockchain obviously.
    I'll write more on these topics when I start blogging at the end of the month.
    was really interested in the "proof of Unique ID" + "birth right"/basic income shares idea you posted some months that what EOS will be? or another project?

some great perspective, insight, and ideas.

one piece that particularly stuck out for me:

It is not possible to enter a contract while under threat of overpowering violence. Therefore, there is no contract between us and our so-called government. Therefore there are no more rights between us and our government than between us and a bear. In fact, the government doesn’t actually exist! It is a figment of our collective imagination and any violation of our perceived rights can only be by individuals with whom we have not signed any contract.

Very important point the mass majority of people completely overlook, and quite a key fact to keep in consideration progressing with all this.

Glad you're back! :-)

I totally agree that good governance is necessary, in say a cryptocurrency. Bitcoin is very limited but reasonable (and perhaps perfect) in this respect. Dash and other cryptos are experimenting beyond.

It makes me think of John Henry's moutain contest drilling, since Bitcoin has brought such beauty to math and money. I also think of the horse vs the locomotive story. Maybe a new crpyto will take over.

Where will governance end up? Well, it may be simple like Bitcon or more comprehensive like Koin or others.

Who deserves to have power? The nodes and miners, programmers, elected leaders, coin holders/ lenders/ users, national governments or others?

Maybe we all vote on what governance we like best by where we stay.

Why did Steem's draft constitution never make it past the draft stage? It was at least influential in some important decisions made by Steemit.

What does it mean that this article's payout is declined?

This is too good, and too long a read, with too many comments for me to get into this time of night LOL, just found this now. I will read this - this weekend, I am happy to see a post from you Dan.

I asked your dad to say hi to you, on his BTS post from today, that I directly shared with people.

I JUST started a new Weekend Steemit Campfire Series tonite...

Check that out, I am trying to still find ways to build community and love and kindness here. THAT is the Constitution of Community, Kindness, Encouragement, and Fun etc.

On my page every Friday nite - Runs for the whole weekend til Sunday nite,

#SteemitCampFire !!

I would love it if you stopped by once in awhile on a weekend, I designed the series to be friendly, encouraging, loving and fun only and for flags to be left a the office

THAT is my weekend Steemit Family Constitution promise to you Brother Dan!!!

Don't be a stranger! GBY you and have a nice weekend man!


OT: Who was it that recognized your Decentralized Autonomous Corporation idea shortly after you created it? :)


i got no problem with voluntary government :)
always an informative post from you dan!

"LIBERTY"&"FREEDOM"I find to be the straingth behind the constantution. My wife & I went to Williamsburg for a week vacation. Being Canadian we were inspired by the stories explaining the history.On the way back home we had to stop in Washington for the day. I think when it comes to the constantution the story behind the American history that inspires the rest of the world

Government is a wonderful idea that saved Western civilization by the skin of its teeth (quoting Kenneth Clark) from The Dark Ages. The problem is not governance itself, but the bad players that ruin it. Humans are inherently utterly self-obsessed. We are dictated by primal instincts that may have been crucial for survival a million years ago, but are not necessary today.

By human nature, there have been many corrupt governments - but getting rid of governance is not the solution. Human aggression does not go away with governance. If there's one thing Steem has proved, it's that not everyone acts selflessly, even when they have a large stake in the society. And plenty behave poorly when they don't have much at stake. There will always be some that act selfishly and violently. Thank goodness Steem is a virtual society, otherwise people would have been hurt - we have seen our fair share of death and violent threats by highly staked Steem accounts.

The key is to remove the human aggression aspect. The ultimate solution will have to come from unbiased and objective strong artificial intelligence. I'm glad you're thinking along similar lines. Blockchain-based smart contracts / constitution starts us off on a journey towards that end goal. Keep up the great work - very eager to learn more about EOS.

Block Producers can Expel Accounts in Bad Standing

We need this feature on Steem urgently. There have been a fair few abusive accounts, and flagging them to death is an inelegant solution; and they still continue spamming. Their spam as comments to new accounts or popular posts is very costly for a social platform.

Haha, I got some pretty amusing replies :)

😊😊😊glad to make you smile with my response....

Sane or insane we stand for what feels good. We agree to the guide line below in the optic of facilitating what feels good and should recognize those guide line as having possible exceptions.

Guide line:

  1. No one should initiate violence against anyone unless their life is in imminent danger.
  2. No one should steal private property unless their life is in imminent danger.
  3. What someone own should be recorded on the blockchain as much as possible with a serial number and date of acquisition, picture, description etc. (this can be made public or undisclosed depending on people's preferences)
    Some other ideas:
  4. Everyone is encourage to have their own modified version of the constitution which anyone can agree to.
  5. Everyone is encourage to state their favorite currency.
  6. Everyone is encourage to have a motto or shared motto.

An interesting opinion. Where I live, I have been in a water war. We need it survive in this desert and it has been denied us by the most powerful local residents. We survive by act of "VIOLENCE" and no other means. I pray to god for storms to keep us alive. We have lived in this situation for ten years. It has been very difficult beyond the understanding of people safe in a society where they turn on their tap and get water.

Oh just a few things that they have done:

  1. Sealed off all the springs
  2. Left one spring open and fed it into a drain pond.
  3. They are currently pumping the water back up the creek from which it should flow and draining it farther away.
  4. Many more things including shutting off a well to which our house is connected so that we could not use a well we were invited to use.

The ideal is nice but some people live in areas with gangs, murderers, thieves, vandals, and in the center of wars or battles. That one should be able to defend oneself is also a basic right, like the right to religion.

Again your thoughts on violence between men is interesting because like many herd animals men "duel" each other over women and I have seen women do the same. Usual animals in contests over mates do not kill one another but it can happen. We are mammals with herd instincts and is it wise to make laws that punish people for instinctual mating rituals even if they are violent?

That we are in several wars, or face other countries which could begin war with us at any given time is a given on the planet earth and not paranoia. It is why we have a department of defense and so does just about every other country on the planet because of real need.

Although violence is wrong as you state, is all violence a crime?

Jesus took a whip and beat the sinners in the temple. He kicked the invaders out where they should not have been. Do none else of us have the right to engage in the removal of known enemies from our presence?

In the United States, the right to defend oneself was a given for the longest time. These days an injustice regularly occurs where, gangsters of organized crime prey on the people, like cyber thieves preyed upon my accounts and destroyed their victims, sometimes even taking their lives.

If you are enslaved, do you have the right to free yourself? If a human being does not have that right to protect themselves that person is enslaved. The ability to defend oneself is now so convoluted, complex, and sabotaged that one could be sitting within reach of an assailant wielding a gun and shooting but found guilty for grabbing the little murderer by the throat.

This is a complex question but not really because the world is not an ideal place and one is mortal. Because the world is not an ideal place the rights of the individual which is the foundation of any society, country, or civilization must maintain a sanctity that allows the individual to defend themselves.

After all, there are plenty of mass murderers out there who stalk and wait to kill. This is by learned experience and the inability to defend oneself against them is a culture of death.

Thank you. The thing I've written is only a first pitch on top of my head.

If someone subject you to violence then you have the right to defend yourself. It is implied. You should not initiate violence imply that you can use violence if you're not initiating it. If not my guide line would have said you should never use violence.

This doesn't solve all the resources problem but is a better system than the one we are currently under.

sounds sort of like this not so friendly experience...

atmospheric water generators...?

They produce about a cup full a day. Proper prayer is a positive thing and works well.

This is a good start, perhaps add to it some definitions of terms and a statement of assumed / shared beliefs, facts, and assumptions.

Yup but it's a start. I already modified it a bit.