Silicon Valley billionaire funding creation of artificial libertarian islands

Yahoo! News:

Silicon Valley billionaire funding creation of artificial libertarian islands

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.”

Actually, I think “they” can stop you anytime they want.
Unless they keep a good defense force on hand pirates will come raiding, not to mention any navy in the world could establish a blockade.

The whole thing reminds me back in the 90s one of the “information wants to be free”* gurus came out with a manifesto starting “I come from cyberspace . . .”
It turns out everybody gotta be someplace, and someplace turns out to have laws and cops and prisons and taxes – you know, civilisation.

*my favorite response to that was “Information wants you to give me $5.00”

This guy should watch the 1951 Laurel and Hardy movie Utopia before investing any more money in the idea, which obviously is not original. Without government, society quickly degenerates into mob rule.

It’s kind of a scary thought. It appeals to such a high degree of egoism, but what’s to keep it from descending into total anarchy? Fear or reprisal?

I for one don’t see what can go wrong with a man trying to create (as the article says) “a start up country on the open ocean that will be governed by his Ayn Rand-inspired ideology”. Anyway, I’m off to go play BioShock. :wink:

Just because you can’t conceive of what can go wrong doesn’t mean there aren’t any ways it can. A utopian society is a theoretical, perfect society; and man, being imperfect, just cannot create anything that is perfect. Man being what he is, i.e., no damned good, someone will try to take advantage, and the inevitable conflict will arise [as it always does]. When this happens, there being no authority to summon, by definition, “get a rope” will be the cry that goes up. Example: the crowds that wanted Bernie Madoff lynched.

I was being sarcastic. :slight_smile: Also, I included a related link in that last post, but I’ll just write it here. BioShock is a game that takes place in the middle of the ocean in an underwater city that a business magnate built for the exact same reasons (right down to Objectivism) as these islands are being built, and the city ends up destroying itself from the inside.

Very good. :wink: Sorry I missed the sarcasm. I failed to realize that BioShock was that related. :shrug:

Why doesn’t he just move to the libertarian paradise of Somalia? 1.25 million will not go very far to build a floating island but it might be a good start to build a compound in Somolia.

What’s this about Somalia being “libertarian?”

That’s the first time I have ever heard of Somalia being considered that.

Are you somehow being sarcastic and I somehow missed the point? :confused::confused:

Iwish Thiel luck in his endeavor----however, IF as he says, these islands are going to be beyond the reach of ANY moral codes-----does that therefore mean that religion or some sort of spirituality will not eb encouraged?
If that is the case, then how can a supposedly free state survive, since it will not have any established “morality” or moral codes, which are the outgrowth of SOME sort of religious belief?:confused:

Already a thread about this here:

Also… there’s already an attempted oceanic microstate. Look up the Republic of Sealand (see the other thread).

What’s this about Somalia being “libertarian?”

That’s the first time I have ever heard of Somalia being considered that.

Are you somehow being sarcastic and I somehow missed the point?

The sarcasm is that Somalia’s government has almost zero control over their people. It is also a hellhole controlled by local warlords and pirates who’d kill you for looking at them wrong.

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