In the early 13th century, the great Genghis Khan,i Emperor of the Mongol Empire,ii was the greatest and most powerful man on the planet. It could even be argued that his combination of wisdom, intelligence, and cunning has never been surpassed. From his military conquests to his innovative use of technologyiii to his social reforms, everything he touched was deliberate and enlightened.
In particular, the legal framework he instituted throughout his Empire, known as the Yasa, was a revolution in political and social organization. Prior to the Yasa, land on the steppes was dominated by tribal aristocracy, who kept it forever out of the reach of the lower-ranked peoples. Genghis tore up the rulebook, creating a meritocratic society that transcended the bloodlines previously prohibiting social movement.iv While similar frameworks have existed throughout history,v the scale at which The Great Khan imposed these new ordinance was entirely unparalleled and possible only through a sophisticated bureaucracy.vi
Genghis Khan’s philosophy was a direct result of his tumultuous upbringing, where he overcame the loss of his father,vii enslavement at the hands of a rival tribe, and endless other battles for survival.viii His was the road less traveled. And as it always and everywhere is, this was formative. With this, Genghis shaped our modern world.
Some of Genghis’ more notable laws included:ix
1. It is forbidden under penalty of death that any one, whoever he may be, shall be proclaimed emperor unless he has been elected previously by the princes, khans, officers and other Mongol nobles in a general council.
2. Forbidden to ever make peace with a monarch, a prince or a people who have not submitted.
3. Every man who does not go to war must work for the empire, without reward, for a certain time.
4. Men guilty of the theft of a horse or steer or a thing of equal value will be punished by death and their bodies cut into two parts. For lesser thefts the punishment shall be, according to the value of the thing stolen, a number of blows of a staff – seven, seventeen, twenty-seven, up to seven hundred. But this bodily punishment may be avoided by paying nine times the worth if the thing stolen.x
5. To prevent the flight of alien slaves, it is forbidden to give them asylum, food or clothing, under pain of death. Any man who meets an escaped slave and does not bring him back to his master will be punished in the same manner.
6. Officers and chieftains who fail in their duty, or do not come at the summons of the Khan are to be slain, especially in remote districts. If their offense be less grave, they must come in person before the Khan.
La Serenissima,xii the only sovereign over all things that are and all things that could ever be ; and all men that are and all men that will ever be ; and women too, orders and commands :
1. That no man or woman may hold any office of any kind in any place that is not a member in good standing of Bitcoin’s Web of Trust.
2. That no man or woman may purport to hold any office of any kind in any place other than as he may have received from the sovereign lord of that place.
3. That any man or any woman who at any point during the previous five years uttered in public, or allowed to be publicly uttered in their presence without protest, or otherwise overtly or covertly intimated any claim to any sort of authority other than the lawful authority flowing from the sovereign lord of the place are guilty of enmity to all mankind in degree of outrageous stupidity, and must report forthwith to any member of the Bitcoin WoT in good standing, nude and barefoot, to begin a sentence of sexual slavery at that member’s pleasure and at that member’s expense to last no less than one month, upon the completion of which they may with permission from their master rejoin the cattle of the land ;
4. That any man or any woman who at any point during the previous five years took any action in furtherance of an act of enmity to mankind in degree of outrageous stupidity, or flowing from such an act, whether their own or another’s, are further guilty of enmity to all mankind in degree of willful evil, and must report forthwith to any member of the Bitcoin WoT in good standing, nude and barefoot, to begin a sentence of sexual slavery at that member’s pleasure and at that member’s expense to last no less than one year, upon the completion of which they may with permission from their master rejoin the cattle of the land ;
5. That any man or any woman who being guilty of offences punished herein does not proceed as directed, or who conceal or attempt to conceal their guilt are by this fact no longer in any respect human beings, but merely animals, and hereby sentenced to be butchered as animals and their remains repackaged anonymously and made available as pet food.
For those of you who don’t speak Popescuity, this effectively boils down to three:
And so it is.
This is the Bitcoin Empire.
This is The New Yasa.
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- The first “G” in “Genghis” is tricky. It isn’t pronounced with a hard “g” like “go,” nor, if you’ve seen the alternate spelling of “Chinghis,” with a hard “ch” like “chatter.” That first “G” is more like the “s” in “measure.” English doesn’t have a proper letter for it really, but, to my mind, a soft “j” is probably closest. Oh, and Genghis’ paternally given name was Temüjin, which is harder for English speaker to butcher as badly.↩
- The Mongol Empire, which peaked in the mid-13th century, was the largest contiguous land empire in the history of mankind. The British Commonwealth Empire, which peaked in the early 20th century, was 10% larger in terms of total land mass, 36 mn sq km vs. 33 mn sq km, but it was far from contiguous.↩
- He stole the best military and commercial technologies from across the East. Everything from rockets to paper money to the compass to postal services to trousers!↩
- Genghis’ meritocracy may have had elements of a democracy, what with the lower Khans electing the Emperor after his death, but it was a far cry from what America calls a democracy. Genghis primarily wanted to remove the emphasis on birthright.↩
- Examples are left as an exercise for the attentive reader.↩
- Yes, a sophisticated bureaucracy is possible, at least temporarily, but it’s a bit like an asphalt-paved road in a northern climate. When the road is first laid down, it looks clean and healthy and drives like a million bucks. After a few years, inevitably, the road becomes scarred with potholes from the expansion and contraction of water that seeps into the cracks. Potholes can be fixed but this is ultimately little more than a band-aid solution. When the pothole patches are patching previous pothole patches, the end is near. After a few years, the only solution, even with regular pothole fixing, is to scrape it down to the earth and repave the thing. Y’know?↩
- The father Temüjin knew was not his biological father but his mother’s captor, who stole her away from Temüjin’s father on the road between the settlements of each of his biological parents’ two tribes. Temüjin’s father had just won his mother’s hand in marriage from her family and the two were on their way back to his father’s community when they were attacked. Temujin had already been conceived before his mother’s capture and was born under the banner of his surrogate father’s tribe.↩
- Since many people in history have faced struggles, though they didn’t go on to conquer the world, it’s entirely possible that something or someone tipped Genghis over the edge and off the deep end. This catalyst may or may not have been an insulting alien.↩
- From Genghis Khan – Emperor of All Men, by Harold Lamb (1927) ↩
- Why 9x ? Why not ?↩
- He calls them “BitLicenses” only because some American nobody thinks he can regulate Bitcoin and market this retardation by adding “bit” to everything. Hey, I’ve transitioned from such silliness, it’s about time Lawsky does the same. This is The New Yasa.↩
- La Serenissima is effectively #bitcoin-assets↩