Building libertarian cities in the middle of the ocean

This has been talked about for a while but here is a brief update on independent libertarian cities to be built in the oceans:

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.”…

The Seasteading Institute’s Patri Friedman says the group plans to launch an office park off the San Francisco coast next year, with the first full-time settlements following seven years later.

While this sounds like some post-apocalyptic scene, these cities could provide an interesting Lord of the Flies situation. Even though these places will (or may) be built in order to escape regulations, they will have to adopt rules and norms of their own in order to survive. I will be interested to see what sort of society will develop in these new cities.

I also imagine that someone will try to control what happens on these islands. Although these places may be in international waters, I think there will be a discussion about how these rules should be altered. Won’t someone want to tax what happens on these islands or to make sure that they are not national security threats?

0 thoughts on “Building libertarian cities in the middle of the ocean

  1. Sorry about seeing this so late but here I am. I love this story. The biggest joke is that they actually want to have lower building standards in a city built out in the middle of the ocean based on some agreed upon formula, or perhaps based on each person’s contribution to the city. All of that is very unclear and yet this only demonstrates how completely contradictory the idea of libertarianism is to the ideal of building a society. Will the city be top-down management at the corporate level, telling people how to deal with local problems, which of course, is not ‘government’ but private rule of law which of course is much better than public government. These guys don’t know how to make a coherent theory. Just read, ‘The virtue of selfishness’, by Ayn Rand to see how to structure BS as a philosophy.


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