New Alexandria is the first exclave of Hypatian society. Hypatia is also a legal entity, a cooperative corporation.
Hypatia is a plan for developing a cognitopia that includes modified liquid democracy, cooperative business structure, possible locations, demographics, funding, architecture, infrastructure, culture, social philosophy, secularism, and society built on critical thinking, environmentalism, and humanism.
It has been in development since 2016 when the author, Phi Hypatia (pseudonym), became convinced that the current western society was not sustainable or desirable. Phi Hypatia is not academic or urban planning professional.
Hypatia, The Cognitopia
- Cognitopia is a new contribution to the arena of imagined societies. Cogni — as a prefix is taken from the word “cognition,” which means thinking or reasoning as well as anything that is based on empirical factual knowledge. A cognitopia is a society where critical thinking is central to the functioning and philosophy of the state. At the same time, a cognitopia is not a society devoid of emotion like Vulcan, the imaginary home plant of Dr. Spock, but rather a place where policy, social morals, and beliefs are determined by what can be created through empirical evidence and critical thinking.
Hypatia, while legally an international corporate cooperative, is run as cognitopia, the very foundation of which is critical thinking, emotional intelligence, eco-literalism, rights of nature, ethics, and humanism rather than mysticism, religion, greed, and violence.
Conceptually, Hypatia is governed as a secular democracy. It’s founded on social and economic equality and civic responsibility.
Aspects Hypatia governance includes secularity, constitutional social democracy, delegated democracy, evidence-based policy, open government, scientifically based, focused on economic equality, and civic responsibility.
The purpose of Hypatia is to build on the best qualities of humanity while dispensing with the rest. Everything is designed to mitigate the worst of human nature — ignorance, greed, corruption, sexism, racism, classism, and violence — from impacting society as a whole. It’s a place where knowledge of the universe expands without fear or superstition, where transparency makes corruption all but impossible, where all genders are equal, where racial distinctions are of no importance, where no one is grossly wealthy. No one is poor and desolate, where violence is rare, and people live in harmony of purpose and perspective.
Citizens of Hypatia consider themselves custodians of Earth and philosophers. The mission of Hypatia is to establish and maintain ecological balance and promote a more human society while seeking knowledge of the universe.
Hypatia: A Collection of Exclaves
- An exclave is a piece of land that is politically attached to a larger piece but not physically conterminous (having the same borders) with it because of surrounding foreign territory.
Instead of establishing a micronation the founders of Hypatia legally organize as a federation of cooperatives within the jurisdiction of one or more nations. A corporation can own its own land, set its own rules — as long as they respect the laws of the host nation — and pick and choose their employees which, in the case of Hypatia, would make up the body politic.
Hypatia would be geographically organized into a federation of cities on private lands within existing, healthy nations. These lands, legally corporate campuses, would be fully owned and operated by cooperatives including housing, health care, infrastructure, and all other necessities. Each exclave is located in a different country with its own populations and in accordance with the laws of the host nations. The first exclave of Hypatia is New Alexandria located in the United States.
An Exclave would consist of a land and services cooperative that would house both employees and businesses. They would effectively be city-states. The Exclave would obtain income, not from its citizen-employees, but in shares of employee-owned cooperatives both within the Exclave and re-distributed by the Hypatia corporation. The Exclaves would be non-profit enterprises all of which are part of the much larger non-profit Hypatia Corporation.
The income distributed to Exclaves and the Hypatia Corporation would be similar to taxes. Cooperatives within an Exclave would distribute some income to the Exclave, which the Exclave uses to maintain services and provide land for both employee-owner housing and business. The Hypatia Corporporation would distribute its income to the Exclaves. The redistribution of Hypatia Corporations' profits to Exclaves would help to balance the disparities among the Exclaves.
Why Not A Micronation, Seastead, Or Space Settlement?
- A micronation is a political entity whose members claim that they belong to an independent nation or sovereign state lacking legal recognition by world governments or major international organizations.
It would be enormously difficult, if not impossible, to establish Hypatia as an independent sovereign micronation. To date, not a single micronation created in the last 150 years has successfully petitioned for international recognition. Every attempt to claim independence by micronations has failed from lack of funds, popularity, or destruction by neighboring countries.
When people talk about establishing a micronation, the first consideration is location. Where should the micronation be established? You can’t just build it anywhere because nearly all of Earth's landmass is claimed by one country or another. No country is going to tolerate a substantial micronation established on their sovereign territory. History is full of examples of people attempting to turn private property within an existing sovereign nation into an independent micronation. In nearly every case the government refuses to acknowledge the independence of the nation and eventually prosecutes its inhabitants for tax evasion or some other crime.
In rare cases where territory is not claimed, such as in disputed borderlands, the adjacent countries refuse to support, recognize or even acknowledge fledgling micronations.
While there are lands and islands here and there that are disputed or unclaimed by any nation they are exceedingly rare, have existing populations, are susceptible to invasion, or are simply too difficult to establish logistically. History has shown that micronations declared in international waters, such as abandoned industrial or war-time platforms, man-made islands, or ships are susceptible to invasion.
Logistics and the enormous capital required to establish settlements on islands, planets, or space stations make them equally as difficult if not more so for at least 50 to 100 years.
Hypatia: A Federation of Cooperatives
- an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise.
Hypatia Corporation is a federation of hundreds of cooperatives. Constituent cooperatives are employee-owned corporations that span Hypatia’s Exclaves. Each cooperative has either a commercial focus or infrastructure function.
An example of a very successful federation of cooperatives today is the Mondragon Corporation in Spain. Mondragon is the parent corporation for over one hundred other cooperatives with over eighty thousand employee-owners. Mondragon provides commercial products and services across the globe as well as health services and higher education to its employee-owners.
There will be many cooperatives under the auspicious of the Hypatia Corporation, which provide products or services to the exclaves or as exports to others societies.
Infrastructure cooperatives, such as housings, transportation, or medical cooperatives, will be based in specific exclaves and are responsible for providing services (e.g. health care) and products (e.g. housing) to employee-owners of a specific exclave.
The Hypatian Virtues is the basic philosophy of the Hypatian society. It is a general code of conduct based, in large part, on qualities called the Cardinal Virtues as described by Plato in Republic, namely: Wisdom, Courage, Temperance, Justice. The Hypatian Virtues are Knowledge, wisdom, courage, restraint, and justice.
Knowledge: understanding based on facts, information, descriptions, or skills, acquired through experience or education by perceiving, discovering, and learning.
- Wisdom: the ability to think and act with judgment, emotional intelligence, awareness, and compassion.
- Courage: the ability to confront fear, uncertainty, and intimidation.
- Restraint: the practice of self-control, discretion, and moderation.
- Justice: the application of ethics, rationality, law, equity, and fairness.
These five virtues are a common substrate of many philosophies and religions, including Chinese Confucianism, Indian Sattva, the Nine Qualities of the Buddha, the Christian Seven Virtues, and the Japanese Bushidō code of the Samurai.
A Brief History of Ancient Alexandria
Before the Dark Ages, which threw western society into an impoverished, ignorant slump for a few hundred years, Greece had led the first western enlightenment. Names you have heard but may not really know came from the Greeks, including Socrates, Plato, and Homer.
It was from ancient Greece that ancient Alexandria was founded, and it was in the Greek tradition of western thought and philosophy that it thrived.
Ancient Alexandria was a society that valued the pursuit of knowledge. It was also a city of coexistence where people of many faiths lived. It was not perfect, but it represents an ideal that inspired Hypatian society. It was also the home of Hypatia, the Philosopher, the namesake of this cognitopia.
Alexander the Great was a Greek emperor who conquered most of the Mediterranean around 400 B.C. He chose a village on the northern shores of Africa, just west of Egypt’s Nile River Basin, for his capital and left instructions to build it. Alexander never saw the small village grow into his imagined metropolis. Still, others took charge after his death and created what is probably one of the most important cities in human history, Ancient Alexandria.
After Alexander’s death, his top generals fell into infighting and broke his empire into three or four major regions. Ptolemy (the ‘p’ is silent), one of those generals, took over Egypt and moved the capital city to the newly christened Alexandria. It was Ptolemy, who we should remember as the original custodian, if not founder, of ancient Alexandria. Under his rule and his successors, Alexandria grew from an irrelevant fishing village to the very epicenter of learning and knowledge that, in many ways, eclipsed Athens.
Central to Alexandria’s success was its location as a seaport, with its iconic lighthouse, which made it ideal for trade among Greek, Roman, Arab, and Egyptian societies. This commercial hub powered another significant aspect of the city, its Library, and museum. At its peak, Alexandria’s Library was the largest on the planet and was home to nearly all of the most important western science writing and literature of that period. The museum was what we call today a university, and some of the most renowned minds in mathematics and science were born or educated here.
It was in Alexandria that Euclid invented modern geometry, Archimedes studied and taught mathematics and astronomy. Eratosthenes of Alexandria calculated the circumstance of the earth nearly 2,000 years before Galileo was even born. Alexandria was also the home of Hypatia, the Philosopher, who was perhaps one of the first women scientists in history. Hypatia is also a martyr of feminism and science. She was killed by a mob of Christians for her beliefs and her influence in politics.
In 400 a.d. the Library of Alexandria was destroyed by a Christan mob, making it another martyr for science and philosophy. Since the Library’s destruction, there has never been a city to rival Alexandria in the concentration of knowledge and scientific method.
Had Alexandria never been conquered, had Christianity, Judaism, and other religions never taken power, the Library of Alexandria would have continued to thrive. Advancements of human knowledge and understanding would not have been lost to the Dark Ages, and western society would probably be 2,000 years ahead of today.