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”