From great power competition to smart power competition.
In late 2020, there was a meme of moving Silicon Valley to Miami. Mayor Suarez famously replied, “How can I help?”. And it got memed into existence. In 2023, there is a meme of moving Silicon Valley to Dubai.
If we combine the memes of American dynamism, rising India & Asia, special innovation zones, fractal localism by Nassim Taleb and network states by Balaji Srinivasan we get something like post-American dynamism or fractal dynamism.
It's a world where global harmonization of regulation is waning, with American hard/soft/smart power declining, and gives way to local harmonization of communities. A retribalization driven by remote work and Starlink. And by AI, Crypto and Social.
Balaji Srinivasan says that the network state might sound too sci-fi today, but the term can be translated as (pro-)tech policy. I think post-American dynamism (or fractal dynamism) is something between ambitious and mundane. A concept that might help to bootstrap the desired future.
If multiple jurisdictions and municipalities signal that they are strongly pro-tech (pro- AI, Crypto and Social) and can provide secure streets, smart regulations, and pleasant living for creative people, they can put themselves on a map and attract top tech talent and founders from all around the world. History is running in reverse, says Balaji.
Last century we saw the rise of Indian, Chinese and East European diasporas. This century we might see the rise of American diaspora, escaping an increasingly dysfunctional state that has lost its empire.
Balaji says that the Democrats are copying Chinese digital censorship without admitting it, and the Republicans want to copy Chinese industrial policy without admitting it. Both are half-measures, like glasnost and perestroika that just ushered the end of the USSR.
I wish American dynamism as a meme will succeed and will even unite Blue/Gray/Red America. But I think we will see post-American dynamism instead. Or what I call fractal dynamism.
Instead of GPC, or great power competition, we will get smart power competition. When the meteor hits, it's more likely the small and nimble creatures survive. Lot’s of niches will be constructed by entities that can build 100x faster and better than the current incumbents.
We might go back to the future. Not city states (v1), because they were defeated by nation states (v2). But network states (v3), digitally-native cloud countries printed on land as network archipelagos.