About Underthrow

person holding flag standing on rock near body of water during daytime
Unsplash @enginakyurt

The American Founders made a promise to the world.

Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it.

Since 1789, the powerful have consistently broken that promise, as Thomas Jefferson warned they would.

So what are we to do? Underthrow is dedicated to the answers. But every answer originates in consent.

“We can underthrow the state one contract at a time,” writes author Michael P. Gibson.

Real communities are the products of real agreements and actual social contracts—you know, the kind the people sign. If we’re right, politics, policy, and presidents won’t drive the next revolution. Technology, community, and subversion will.

“Every innovation is an act of subversion,” writes Underthrow editor Max Borders. And what distinguishes Underthrow is its commitment to showcasing the ideas, innovations, and institutional experiments that challenge authority.

Our Why

Underthrow is dedicated to the anti-authoritarians, wherever they may be. But we can’t just sit on our hands or expect to vote our way to Shangri-La. We have to become a movement—but not just a movement of agitators and activists. We have to start new projects, write fresh code, and create new community protocols.

Then we have to lock arms in solidarity:

Think of the sea at night. The moon reveals the surf’s fury, which pounds the dunes and sprays the beach. What monsters lurk beyond the waves? What slithers beneath the foam? The swimmer fears the answers, but as she enters the water, an undercurrent recedes as new waves approach. She’s nearly swept off her feet. 

That’s undertow

It’s powerful, so much so that more swimmers should fear it, though too many underestimate its power. They focus on those crashing breakers, full of sound and fury. And so do our enemies.

Underthrow includes undertow.

Like receding ocean waters, we can start to appreciate how unexpectedly powerful we can be when we move together. Like water molecules, we must find each other, bind together, and flow as dark waters rushing back into the deep. We are not supremely powerful, but powerful enough to topple ogres.

There are a thousand projects in the works and a thousand more not yet born. Our work here is designed to inspire and showcase subversive innovation. If one of these projects succeeds, we could turn the tide against the powerful.

Welcome to Underthrow.
Let’s topple ogres.

Subscribe to Underthrow

Every innovation is an act of subversion.


Author of The Social Singularity, After Collapse, and The Decentralist. His most recent book is Underthrow: How Jefferson's Dangerous Idea will Spark a New Revolution.