Silicon Valley billionaire funding creation of artificial libertarian islands

Silicon Valley billionaire funding creation of artificial libertarian islands
By Liz Goodwin | The Lookout – 9 hrs ago

Seasteading Institute city design (Anthony Ling)
Pay Pal founder and early Facebook investor Peter Thiel has given $1.25 million to an initiative to create floating libertarian countries in international waters, according to a profile of the billionaire in Details magazine.
Thiel has been a big backer of the Seasteading Institute, which seeks to build sovereign nations on oil rig-like platforms to occupy waters beyond the reach of law-of-the-sea treaties. The idea is for these countries to start from scratch–free from the laws, regulations, and moral codes of any existing place. Details says the experiment would be “a kind of floating petri dish for implementing policies that libertarians, stymied by indifference at the voting booths, have been unable to advance: no welfare, looser building codes, no minimum wage, and few restrictions on weapons.”
“There are quite a lot of people who think it’s not possible,” Thiel said at a Seasteading Institute Conference in 2009, according to Details. (His first donation was in 2008, for $500,000.) “That’s a good thing. We don’t need to really worry about those people very much, because since they don’t think it’s possible they won’t take us very seriously. And they will not actually try to stop us until it’s too late.”

I think I’ve seen this movie.Kevin Costner was in it and it was the end of his career.


I could think of better ways to spend my billions, but “whatever floats your boat…” :smiley:

They tried this in Abu Dhabi. The results are not good.

The islands are eroding away, and the channels are filling in.


LOL!! What a hoot! The lamestream media can have their own utopia.

Oh you! “Lamestreet media”. Isn’t that a Sarah Palin thing? How cute!

This has been done before, but to no good results. In the early 1970s, a US millionaire hauled a huge amount of sand to a reef in the South Pacific, dumped it there and created an island. He declared it to be an independent country called the Republic of Minerva and even induced a sizable number of followers to relocate there. However, he could not achieve diplomatic recognition from any country, and eventually another Pacific island nation (Tonga) sent over a military expedition and annexed it.

A somewhat similar situation would be the Principality of Sealand, which is an old WWII artillery platform located in what once were international waters, off the coast of England. A former military officer and family occupied it, declaring their independence and even issuing passports. Again, they never achieved diplomatic recognition.

I cannot see manufacturing or trade from such small countries, so I imagine the real idea is not to experiment in Libertarianism, but build “utopias” for the wealthy and they can simply import everything they want or need, including workers. I’m not judging whether that is good or bad…but I don’t see how just physically existing in international waters can make an island a real country.

Apparently Sealand is still around and still claiming to be an independent nation. Frankly, living out in the middle of the ocean on a platform approximately the size of my yard is not terribly appealing. Most of their money is made in the sale of coins, stamps, and the sale of royal titles. Many of these “entrepreneurs” hope that the platforms will make money through offshore banking and internet servers that operate beyond national laws.

Sealand has the only defense a micronation can have, no one cares enough to do anything about it. If you’re micronation was ever in a spot that a country actually cared about or wanted it would disappear pretty quick.

… and few restrictions on weapons."

I give it five hours.A civil war on an oil platform would not be pretty.Can anyone say Jonestown?

I’m in.

Generally speaking, this won’t happen. Everyone seems to think that this will turn into the Wild West with gunfights in the streets every hour of the day. The old west wasn’t even that way. In spite of its lack of defined law enforcement, most western towns in the late 19th century were relatively peaceful places where everyone knew each other and got along quite well without big brother watching their every move.

This is an old, old story, especially the part about escaping existing moral codes. The story was first told in early Genesis…a place called the Garden of Eden…Adam and Eve, eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

I’ve always preferred “presstitutes”, myself…

Hahaha…I hadn’t heard that one. :slight_smile:

The idea of libertarian laws is outstanding. The idea of the floating island, however, is not so appealing. I sense that he is a big fan of Ayn Rand’s masterpiece Atlas Shrugged, and is trying to create a real world version of Galt’s Gulch. In the novel, of course, Galt’s Gulch was located in Colorado.

Jonestown? So you are suggesting that the residents of this new island will be brainwashed or coerced into dangerous behavior?

Here’s a documentary about Sealand. It’s interesting, although keep in mind that this documentary was produced and commissioned by Sealand itself, so it is a bit biased.

This is the link to part 1. You can find the links for the other parts on the page:

Don’t worry if it looks tiny! Apparently, there are a few rooms in the two concrete pylons as well! lol

Didn’t Ayn Rand already do this?? I really need to read my copy of Atlas Shrugged!

I heard about this today on Fox News’s show, The Five. It’s an interesting concept. I’m not sure about the practicality of it, but it seems like a place I’d consider. I know there is a group trying to get a bunch of libertarian minded people to New Hampshire, the freest state in the union. I’m actually considering that after I finish college.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit