Scattering the financial body is a strategy to escape from the grid today. Rising debts and increasing capital control have made it increasingly popular to find invisible ways to protect one’s personal assets. “Going offshore” means moving capital elsewhere – which effectively means nowhere – in terms of financial regulation. In the offshore economy, profit is generated from the pure circulation of money. To guarantee this flow, assets are chopped up, remixed, repackaged and distributed into complex international structures – assets are schizophrenic. Schizophrenia also increasingly strikes citizenship. Tax haven specialists liken citizenship to capital, treating it as a flexible status to be dropped or picked up at will. Small jurisdictions are marketing and selling citizenship as a gateway to the global economy. And for an individual, multiple citizenship becomes a gateway to personal sovereignty and liberty.
The Osiris Myth tells the story of the Egyptian king, Osiris, who is drowned by his brother Set. Osiris’ drowned body is then found and brought back to life by his wife, Isis. Enraged by his brother’s rise from the dead, Set murders Osiris a second time and cuts the body up in pieces, scattering them all over Egypt to prevent his revival. Yet Osiris’ reign becomes embedded in the soil – the body becomes the territory. Rather than diminishing his supremacy, the scattering of Osiris’ body distributes it over a broader terrain. This scattering can be likened to the way that today people can scatter their national or financial bodies to reduce sovereign risk and control.
Schizophrenic Assets reflects on the new mythical person who has been called into being by the offshore economy. This pioneer, who can break free from nationality or citizenship is lawsuit-proof, blending into any surrounding, owns oneself yet owing nothing to society. Ubi bene ibi patria – where one is well off, there is his country