Politics

Libertarian Seasteading Gains Traction With Deep Pockets

By  | 

We first wrote about the idea of seasteading (building new countries offshore on oil platforms) in 2009.

At the time, I had this to offer…

No doubt it’s an interesting notion, but is this practical? Living on the sea? Just think of how much risk that could entail. Of course you’d do the research to make sure you’re settling in a place that isn’t prone to natural disaster, but it’s still THE SEA. Talk about a wildcard if there every was one.

Commenter Tully had this to say…

Yeah, […] a small settlement of massive egos all working together in perfect harmony! What could possibly go wrong? :-)

Could be fun to watch, though. From a distance. Like a too-full cage of fight-trained angry pit bulls.

Well, guess what…

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.”

Here’s the thing…even if it is possible…why would anybody want to live there? What are the benefits? Fewer taxes? Legal prostitution and drugs? Also, can you really be free if you can’t enjoy all that America has to offer?

Sorry, I still don’t get it. But if you do, tell me how this would work.