Birmingham SEZ 2024

Birmingham SEZ 2024 – 40 x 40cm, acrylic on canvas

“Everyone is interested in changing the world, and they start with the biggest of dreams and the ecosystem around [Silicon Valley] is supportive of trying to help people realize those ambitions.” Rishi Sunak on his Stanford years.

Sunak’s model of Silicon Valley = Corporate rule.

What people don’t know about Sunak is that his mentor at Stanford was Prof.Paul Romer, a r/w libertarian who lectured on Silicon Valley colonialism. Romer talks about the rules of democracy as placing a stranglehold on what enthusiasts of charter cities and SEZs want to implement. Anarcho-capitalism is a struggle against rules. Brexiters cited Hong Kong as a prime example of different rules that could accelerate economic success bypassing the constraints of democracy, that Hong Kong was undemocratic was dismissed by Romer and his acolytes as sentimental. Hong Kong happened to be a democracy that didn’t involve the local residents. Romer dismissed the violence of the 2 Opium Wars as incidental to what the Brits gained by colonising Hong Kong. Romer asked how ‘historical accidents’ like Hong Kong’s could be forced to happen again. Romer’s answer was the charter city, where poor nations surrender their sovereignty to be ‘rescued’ by a benevolent Silicon Valley corporate regime. Romer called these ‘start-up political jurisdictions”. Sunak’s 12 Freeports and 74 SEZs continue a new chapter in zone fever