Bratton’s structure is excellent for analysis of how the different layers of our society impact the interactions of these systems and the relative sovereignty that countries, companies, and individuals are able to exercise. I like to bring up the Stack (Earth, Cloud, City, Address, Interface, User) as a way of mapping out the influences of systems on the whole. An excellent example is Bitcoin, which is a service accessible to everyone with Internet. It thus forms part of the Cloud layer, which permeates all political bodies and corporations.
Bitcoin can act as a parallel mechanism for the transmission of money, deeds, credentials, and basic contracts (in theory, I know in practice it lags). Bitcoin also modifies the notion of the address for money. Compare it to the necessary information that is required to receive money. Compare the users of Bitcoin as well, which need not all be human. This allows for extra layers of logic to be built to control the flow of value between entities automatically. In some non-trivial sense this emancipates the right of abstract logical contracts (or, broadly, computers) to own and spend money independently of traditional notions of ownership. There are momentous implications to this that are not fully realized in the limited usability and implementation stage at which we find ourselves today.
What I want to highlight is that technology has a way of breaking apart the limitations of the old paradigms, and in doing so they unpredictably change the relationships of the units that compose our societies. Emancipation opens new possibilities, but chaos is a correlate of change, and when looking at global, distributed systems whose functionality is constantly increasing and whose accessibility is near-total, the effects of a change are beyond anything that preceded our era. When looking at the attainment of order in such a system, the notions of innovation and liberty may be contradictory to the purposes of the state, chiefly, but also all entities that prefer a state of order (most people would fall here), as well as entities that benefit actively from the status quo (e.g. the traditional banking system).
I would love to see the creation of parallel sovereign entities that afford rights and responsibilities to their constituents parallel to countries. It is in this sphere that I see the greatest possibility for innovative use of Bitcoin technology as well as adversarial competition with the modern state.
Its implications to alternate paradigms of nation states such as Moldbug’s patchwork are also very compelling, particularly the notion of parallel sovereignties interacting within the same patch of land, as this is a more general case than Moldbug’s. In this sense, it serves as a better framework for imagining a fully abstracted nation state.