Is Seasteading the Future?

We need all the alternatives to big arthritic government we can get.

Here's a novel idea: Escape the suffocating chains of intrusive government by starting your own country!

That's Patri Friedman's idea. He comes from an impressive line of libertarian thinkers. Milton Friedman, the Nobel-prize-winning free-market economist, was his grandfather. His father is David Friedman, author of the libertarian classic The Machinery of Freedom. Milton Friedman advocated severely limited government. David Friedman thinks we need no government at all. And now Patri, who will be on my Fox Business show tonight, believes he has an effective solution to bad government: communities on the ocean surface, or seasteading.

As a fan of the free market, Friedman understands the benefits of competition. The competitive process teaches us ways to do things we otherwise never would learn. This is important because resources are scarce and we want the most from them. In the crucible of entrepreneurial rivalry, where consumers are free to say yea or nay, competitors are pushed to do better, and under this pressure they come up with things no monopolistic bureaucrat would ever think of. That's why F.A. Hayek called competition a "discovery procedure."

Governments provide various services, but they do so monopolistically. This makes them inept, even when performing valuable functions. You can move to a different city or state to escape government burdens, but it doesn't seem possible to start a whole new country. Governments claim every square mile of the earth.

What is someone looking for better governance to do? In 2008, Friedman set up The Seasteading Institute. His website states: "(W)e believe that experiments are the source of all progress: To find something better, you have to try something new. But right now, there is no open space for experimenting with new societies. That's why we work to enable seasteading communities—floating cities—which will allow the next generation of pioneers to peacefully test new ideas for government. The most successful can then inspire change in governments around the world."

In Friedman's view, there is no time to lose. Skyrocketing spending and crushing debt push governments toward crisis. Political incentives being what they are, there is little will for the needed overhaul. The retirement benefits promised by governments are totally unsustainable, and yet proposing significant cuts in benefits has been political suicide. While there is at least serious talk about cuts now, powerful constituencies will mobilize to try to portray any cutter as a monster.

Friedman is convinced that only competition can produce the way to extricate us from the mess the politicians have created. "Seasteaders believe that government shouldn't be like the cell phone carrier industry, with few choices and high customer lock-in. Instead, we envision a vibrant startup sector for government, with many small groups experimenting with innovative ideas as they compete to serve their citizens. ... The world needs a place where those who wish to experiment with building new societies can go to test out their ideas. All land is already claimed—which makes the oceans humanity's next frontier."

To promote actual experiments in seasteading, Friedman's institute seeks to launch a "Seasteading Evangelist" program, with local chapters for enthusiasts. By 2015, the institute hopes to present its Poseidon Award, "our prize for the establishment of the first independent seasteading community." To win, a community will need at least 50 full-time residents, financial self-sufficiency, seastead real estate for sale on the open market, and de-facto political autonomy.

Friedman doesn't expect lots of people to drop everything and start living on the ocean immediately. He writes in the upcoming issue of The Freeman: "Technology, though, has the potential to make the ocean a feasible alternative for more people. Early pioneers will learn lessons that will make life on the ocean easier, thus prompting previously unwilling pioneers to make the move. Over time, the costs in comfort, safety and access to civilization will fall and the ocean will be just another place to live. This is the path we see on any frontier."

I will not be among the first to move to a seastead. But I wish Patri well. We need all the alternatives to big arthritic government that we can get.

John Stossel is host of Stossel on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of Give Me a Break and of Myth, Lies, and Downright Stupidity. To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at johnstossel.com.

COPYRIGHT 2011 BY JFS PRODUCTIONS, INC.
DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

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  • Tim||

    Will they come with a Thunderdome or will we have to build it ourselves?

  • ||

    You can hire the one from Burning Man if you need one.

  • sarcasmic||

    There already exists competition among governments.

    It's called war.

  • ||

    Coercion or the threat of coercion is not competition.

  • sarcasmic||

    What do you call it when governments compete over who gets to threaten and coerce the general population?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "What do you call it when governments compete over who gets to threaten and coerce the general population?"

    The 2012 election?

  • sarcasmic||

    That's competition over who controls the government, as opposed to competition between governments.

  • -||

    In a republic the people control the government. Stop blaming a faceless entity and look in the mirror.

  • sarcasmic||

    This country ceased to be a republic with the passage of the 17th Amendment.

    We're a democracy now, baby!

  • Zeb||

    We're a democracy? Then how come I didn't get to vote on the health care abomination?

  • ||

    It's still a Republic. There's no royal family ruling the U.S.A.

  • Zeb||

    In a republic the people control the government.

    Which people? Nobody asked me how the government should be controlled.

  • -||

    Where were you during the last election?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    -, you are such a trusting soul... and a fool to boot.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Sorry, sarc, just couldn't resist.

  • sarcasmic||

    why apologize to me?
    you did nothing to offend.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I know... was playing on the "two governments" angle, btw. Thought I was on to something.

  • ||

    but the roadz!!!!!1!!!11!

  • Doc Brown||

    Where we're going we won't need roads

  • mdb77||

    this made my day

  • ||

    Dream on. Governments would just demand that you enforce their laws or they would invade. You can already see the justification. Mostly it would relate to the internet.

    "Oh the seasteaders are maintaining ISPs that are havens for child porn and copyright infringement. We need to send the FBI and BATF anphibious assault force over and put an end to this right now"

    It is just a pipe dream unless you can seastead with a large collection of nuclear weapons.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: John,

    Dream on. Governments would just demand that you enforce their laws or they would invade.


    Just like the US invaded China for not enforcing America's 'copyright' laws.

  • ||

    I hate to suggest this, but it might be because China isn't easy to beat. At least, not with nukes.

  • Tim||

    More of a Taiwan sort of thing?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Pro Libertate,

    I hate to suggest this, but it might be because China isn't easy to beat.

    Well, there's your answer - seastading, with nukes! Just like the pioneers of old, with muskets.
  • ||

    This is why I think focusing on space-based colonies makes more sense, long term. Harder to get at from Earth-based governments, and more likely to be on the technological cutting edge. Oh, and weaponized comets.

  • Tim||

    Zero G brothels.

  • ||

    Which will stimulate cheap access to orbit. Bigelow's master plan, if you ask me.

  • robc||

    Also, rocks go downhill easily.

  • robc||

    weaponized comets.

    Nevermind. Ignore my comment.

  • ||

    Well, you can also use asteroids.

  • robc||

    Well, you can also use asteroids.

    Closer in terms of delta-V too, so much cheaper ammo. Also, more plentiful.

  • ||

    Folks colonizing Titan could just hurl chunks of ring ice at the Earth.

  • ChicagoSucks||

    and lasers

  • ||

    Lasers, particle accelerators, mass drivers--you name it, we'll have it.

  • sarcasmic||

    Rail guns. Definitely need some rail guns.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    those Antarans dont stad a chance.

  • asdf||

    Fucking best game ever.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Fucking best game ever.

    Galactic Civilizations II?

  • -||

    space-based colonies makes more sense, long term

    And by "long-term" you must mean centuries in the future, if then. Sucks for us contemporaries, but what the hell. Dare to dream!

  • ||

    I don't think it'll take that long, but yes, it sucks for us.

  • -||

    I prefer reality and the present, and unlike most pessimistic, "libertarian" utopian dreamers, I think freedom and liberty and happiness is possible now. If not, why bother?

  • ||

    Well, they aren't mutually exclusive goals.

  • robc||

    If not, why bother?

    Not all goals should be achievable. If they are, what is there to strive for?

    I think freedom and liberty and happiness is possible now

    I do to.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Major in Aerospace/Astronautical Engineering, and start a company. That's the plan I'm pursuing.

  • Hooha||

    Science damn, Pro L. It's like you know someone I've ranted at IRL. You get it done, sign me up.

    I recommend launchpads suspended from massive zeppelin rigs, btw; It'd be astoundingly more efficient than these clowns that launch from the ground.

  • Brett L||

    Displacement is a bitch for LTA. Air weighs 1.2kg/m^3 on the ground. That's a big fuckin blimp to launch 27 metric tons of payload like a SpaceX Falcon I. (23m radius if it was a sphere, without any other weight added in.)

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    I'm not so sure zepplins would work. Even if we use helium as our lifting agent, that's just a giant bag waiting to rip. Maybe the SpaceShipOne/SpaceShipTwo method: drop your rocket from a plane at high altitude? Or just launch on the equator. Or a combination thereof.

  • Hooha||

    That's why you compartmentalize the gas chambers, and surround them with secondary sheaths. In addition to that, you have multiple zepplins supporting the launch platform (as many as it takes), each with 2x the lifting capacity it needs, and ballast them all with water.

    Come on, guys; redundant backups are Good Engineering 101. Safety is NOT the issue with zepplins. Nor is scale or cost.

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    Should have known you'd beat me to it.

  • Hooha||

    More likely, a FEW 'big fuckin blimps'. Where's the problem, again?

  • Sovereign Immunity||

    Or China's sterling environmental record.

  • ftfy||

    Governments would just demand that you enforce their laws pay them tribute, er, taxes or they would invade.

  • ||

    Mexican,

    Maybe you missed this part

    It is just a pipe dream unless you can seastead with a large collection of nuclear weapons.

    Yeah, if you were like China and had nukes, you could pretty much do whatever you wanted. But sadly they don't sell nukes at the local seasteader outfitting store.

  • Kim Jong Il||

    You call; we talk.

  • asdf||

    hahaha

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    If the seastead passes it's own laws against the stuff that should be illegal, they might avoid attention and make the governments look pretty stupid.

  • ||

    ""It is just a pipe dream unless you can seastead with a large collection of nuclear weapons.""

    More or less. It's not necessarily governments that would attack. It could be priates. Either way, once you add the cost for defence, it would not be cost effective. Taxes for such a small population would have to be extreme and that probably wouldn't be enough.

  • Hooha||

    Of course, everyone exercising their right to bear arms WOULD be enough to deter pirates.

  • GroundTruth||

    The old Swiss comment about the German army? "So, we all just fire twice"?

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    They deal with these issues prety effectively at www.seastead.org

  • Ze German||

    I think this is what happened to Sealand and its servers.

  • Brett L||

    I think they just need a geostationary satellite with a kinetic bombardment capability.

  • DLM||

    You can already see the justification.

    Commerce clause. "To regulate commerce with foreign nations..." Since any activity or inactivity within another nation affects commerce with foreign nations, the United States government has the right and power (and probably obligation) to stick it's nose in, regulate it, and tax it.

  • The Gobbler||

    If a govenment can sieze and plat land, it can do the same damn thing to water. It'll be justified by the Reparian Clause.

  • The Gobbler||

    ^^At least I spelled some of these words correctly.

  • ||

    Just like the first versions of Windows had to be built on top of DOS, a sea-based libertarian city would need to "interface" with the existing nation-state system. Most likely by an arrangement for the whole thing to exist under some nation's flag, but with an agreement the city would have a great deal of autonomy.

  • cynical||

    I think that's what it will come down to, if anything -- seasteads will just be mobile colonies, but they'll tend towards flags of convenience. Eventually, if there are enough, they might form their own vague nation, like the Raft or the Quarians or something.

  • Sovereign Immunity||

    Didn't Kevin Costner produce some sort of documentary covering this very subject?

  • Tim||

    Was that with the post apocalyptic mailman? Man those gubment programs are HARD to kill.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Hard to kill was the fat guy, not Costner.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Look at all the anti-Free State Project screeds, and count up how many of its detractors are leftist authoritarian control-freaks and far-right authoritarian control freaks.

    Now, multiply by infinity, and apply to the concept of seasteading.

  • ||

    Didn't somebody already try this once?

    I thought I remembered reading something about people seasteading. They bioengineering some kinetic powers and blasted each other to kingdom come? There was a creepy little girl with a ginormous robot...

    The whole thing ends in tears?

    Anybody?

  • Old Mexican||

    Uh... I didn't like the premise behind Bioshock, because it sounded like something concocted by someone pathetically ignorant of economics, or even common sense.

  • Old Mexican||

    Cool game, though... very cool!

  • cynical||

    The only real problem with the premise is that it assumes that people are mostly the same -- but libertarians are much more tolerant of inequality provided they feel they are earning what they get, so if Rapture was truly populated only by libertarians/objectivists (though I don't know if that was really implied), it's not terribly likely that Fontaine would have gained much traction with his class envy angle.

    But really, if you actually stocked a city with objectivists, they'd probably all have murdered each other within about a month for heresy and basically being communists.

  • creepy little girl||

    giggle!

    (Stabs you with giant syringe)

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Here's a novel idea: Escape the suffocating chains of intrusive government by starting your own country!

    This idea is so 'novel' that it has been proposed, debated, tried and failed many times even without including high-seas pirates.

    Peter Thiel in 2008, some crackpot on the Phil Donahue show in the 1970s, and others.

  • Tim||

    Sounds like a Scyfy Saturday night movie: Megashark versus Libertarian Sea Dome.

  • Janet Napolitano||

    How did you find out about the Megashark Project?

    GUARDS!!! SEIZE HIM!!!!!!!!!

  • ||

    Apparently Anonymous hacked into Debbie Gibson's gmail account.

  • robc||

    Thats Deborah to you.

  • ||

    And hillbillies prefer to be called Sons of the Soil but it ain't gonna happen.

  • Dr. Hibbert||

    Heh heh heh heh.

  • Old Mexican||

    Governments provide various services, but they do so monopolistically. This makes them inept, even when performing valuable functions.


    Well, government will always be inept regardless. Anybody that needs to live off other people's productive efforts (i.e. thievery or what some call with a very sick sense of humor "taxation") is too inept for creating value.

  • Chupacabra||

    Careful, you're talking about our best and brightest.

  • ||

    I've always wondered if that was misquoted, given how unfactual that statement is. Breasts and blightest? Bested and blighted? Beasts of frightfest?

  • ||

    Sounds like a pirate's wet dream

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: subdork,

    Sounds like a pirate's wet dream


    Not if you allow merchant ships to be armed. Seastead would. Statist fuck countries don't. Who would get the most commerce... I wonder, I wonder...

  • ||

    Armed with what, and at what cost?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: TrickyVic,

    Armed with what, and at what cost?


    Why, with RPGs, of course! At $200.00 a piece in the black market!

  • ||

    What if an organized military/militia attacks? What about submarines? Rocket launchers? There's a reason that people banded together into communities a reason communities banded together into states... protection. 50 people floating around in boathouses with rifles are no match for modern weaponry.

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    Then you aren't talking about pirates anymore.

  • Old Mexican||

    No, he's talking about the other pirates: Governments.

  • ||

    Drug cartels have submarines. If there's money to be made, people will find ways to make it. They will organize themselves to be however big is necessary, if it's possible. Take the Vikings as an example.

    And shoot there's no reason why some governments wouldn't also pillage these great seasteads if they were indeed to grow to be as important and Stossel seems to think. I would hazard that N.Korea might be interested in adding to their revenues.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: subdork,

    Drug cartels have submarines.


    They're for carrying merchandize, dork, not for fighting.

    And shoot there's no reason why some governments wouldn't also pillage these great seasteads[...]


    Circular, circular, circular... like a fish in a bowl.

    And here I thought you said governments were created by people that band together for mutual support - seems like they don't, after all!

  • Edwin||

    how is that circular logic?

    all he's saying is that it would be hard to fight against states with their many large ordinances and vehicles
    I mean there isn't even "logic" to that, it's just a claim

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: subdork,

    There's a reason that people banded together into communities a reason communities banded together into states... protection.


    Question begging in my mind.... la di la!

    "People created states to defend themselves from states [What if an organized military(?)], which were created to defend from...."

    Circular, circular, circular.... Like a fish in a bowl.

  • ||

    I didn't say people formed states to defend themselves from other states. It's easy to debate if you get to change what the other person is saying, eh? People formed states to defend themselves from attack... from any source thereof. Anarchy leads to the strong pillaging the weak. The weak then band together in defense. (Alternatively a group bands together in offense, forcing others to band together in defense). My first premise is that some men will take from other men if they can. My conclusions follow. It is not at all circular reasoning.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: subdork,

    I didn't say people formed states to defend themselves from other states.


    I suggest you READ what you WROTE before you SUBMIT:

    "What if an organized military[...]"

    Only States have organized militaries. Otherwise they're just armies or hordes or mobs or gangs or militia.

    People formed states to defend themselves from attack... from any source thereof.


    That's not the reason - States were NOT formed by people out of some committee, they resulted from previously-existing forms of government (kingships, principalities) who could levy enough taxes to pay for a standing army.

  • Goobs||

    What are you talking about? There are all sorts of historical examples of "Organized Militaries" that weren't the subject of a state.

    Either way, who gives a fuck? People think it's clever to point out that the biggest threats are from other States. So what? It's true. And guess what else? The biggest protection from aggressive states is SURPRISE- OTHER STATES.

    If you think some self-armed merchantmen could defend themselves from even the most minimally equipped nation- like Libya, you do not know anything about naval warfare. They could put your seasted on the bottom of the ocean before you even see the ship/jet with the sites of your rifle.

    Having nukes won't help either, unless you have a strategic delivery vehicle. And please explain to me how you support that expense in your libertarian seatopia.

  • Palpatine||

    This sounds strangely similar this quote:"Rapture is built in the deep of the ocean, because it cannot be built anywhere else."

  • Old Mexican||

    "[...]That's why we work to enable seasteading communities — floating cities — which will allow the next generation of pioneers to peacefully test new ideas for government. The most successful can then inspire change in governments around the world."


    Oh, that has been tried, and the winner is: The Caimans! Yay!

    A rival tax haven would still be good to have, though...

  • Mike in PA||

    Wow, this is crazy coincidental.

    I'm building a website and blog on this very subject for my web marketing class. (My original idea was to create a website for organ buying and selling, but my professor nixed that idea because it is illegal.)
    I'm creating a site that sells homesites on a seasteading platform. The only laws are natural laws and there's some innovative ways of dealing with utilities and shared property. I know it's a little much for a simple web marketing class, but I had to make it interesting.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Mike in PA,

    My original idea was to create a website for organ buying and selling, but my professor nixed that idea because it is illegal[.]


    Wouldn't making it work be testament to your marketing skills, even if "illegal"? Even Tom Cruise got a scholarship that way!

  • Tim||

    Livin on the high seas! Pissin off the rail, firing bazookas at gulls, eating Whale Steaks with fried dolphin nuggets. Yes sir that's for me.

    PS. Nobody tell Steve Smith.

  • ||

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HciyMVDtLdU

    Don't forget monkey knife fighting

  • Tim||

    "He ain't pretty no more"!

  • ||

    Furious George, what happened???

  • robc||

    Rebroadcrasting major league baseball with only implied oral consent.

  • The Gobbler||

    sweet!

  • Zeb||

    I've heard whale meat isn't even that good. The Japanese just do it to be difficult.

  • ||

    The same is true of tentacle porn.

  • Sovereign Immunity||

    (shakes head) I don't know about you CMS; but you're cute in a Sugar Free kinda way.

  • ||

    The Japanese are like the Cylons--they have a plan, but nobody knows what it is. Including them.

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    I hope their plan involves hot blondes banging scientists too.

  • ||

    It sounds like them, doesn't it?

  • Hooha||

    Well, except for the 'blonde' part.

  • ||

    Know you nothing of Japanese goals and lusts?

  • ||

    That's your solution to everything: to move under the sea. It's not going to happen!

  • Homer Simpson||

    Not with that attitude.

  • ||

    sounds like someone's smoking too much dope while staring at the aquarium.

  • Zeb||

    I wouldn't have thought it possible, but the quality of your trolling has really declined recently.

  • Chupacabra||

    None of the trolls are working hard these days.

    Except for The Truth.

  • Ska||

    And Hercule is too off-topic and entertaining to be called a troll in my book.

  • Pip||

    "None of the trolls are working hard these days."

    It's their homage to Black History Month.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    I should laugh or be offended but I don't know which...

  • cynical||

    They don't give a shit, since the troll union only rewards seniority, and Chad and Tony and Dan T are basically standing in their way, even if all they do is phone it in. The Truth just hasn't figured out how the system works; he'll fight it for a while, but he'll give up eventually.

    Although I thought Tony did well on the democracy thread -- I guess some people just care about their craft, regardless of the incentives.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: OhioOrrin,

    sounds like someone's smoking too much dope while staring at the aquarium.


    Take your Thorazine, OO - you're beginning to hear written words talk to you...

  • ||

    My ears are burning...

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    In fact, this might well be O-O's most lucid thought ever posted here.

  • Vara||

    For information of other Libertarians at work worldwide see: http://www.Libertarian-International.org

  • ||

    How exactly would this work?

    People raft their boats together, and if you don't like the government on your "raft" you pull out and either 1) Go back to land 2) Go to another raft?

    My knee-jerk reaction is to say "this is completely crazy." But I can't actually think of why it wouldn't work.

    The economy would be an interesting problem. You would need a lot of people making a lot of value inorder to make importing all the food and fuel worthwhile.

    Selling intellectual property, and maybe trade would eventually be possible. It could be a gambler's/prostitution heaven. Cater to the very rich.

    I kinda like the idea. The problems don't seem insurmountable.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Lurker,

    The economy would be an interesting problem. You would need a lot of people making a lot of value inorder to make importing all the food and fuel worthwhile.

    Selling intellectual property, and maybe trade would eventually be possible. It could be a gambler's/prostitution heaven. Cater to the very rich.

    You just described Hong Kong, circa 1900.

    Yes, it certainly can be done. But I don't like seasickness...
  • Sovereign Immunity||

    Sounds remarkably like the the Seyschelle's business plan; and they already figured out the terraforming logistics.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Mmmm, living on The Raft. Sounds delightful.

    I still think Stephenson wrote Snow Crash as a dystopic satire of libertarianism, not as an aspirational model.

  • Imp of the Perverse||

    He treats the subject rather better and more seriously in The Diamond Age.

  • cynical||

    Did you see the part where he described life working for the remains of the U.S. government? And how the old system fell apart?

    Enzo and Mr. Lee are Randian supermen by way of cyberpunk attitude. The whole country is their Galt's Gulch, for better or worse.

    I'm not saying Stephenson didn't show the bad along with the good (New South Africa and the like, not to mention the villain's network of franchulates), but bona fide anti-libertarianism is more boring and predictable; when the criticism comes from people that get it, and sympathize with it, it's more valuable.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Not that anyone is reading this anymore, but I did read the whole thing. The toilet paper memo is one of the funniest bits in all of science fiction. The part where Y.T. is bribing the cops in the patrol car with a gazillion dollars is pretty funny too. And sad/scary, now that I think of it. Having the antagonist roll around with a portable nuke with a heartbeat sensor is a nice argument ad absurdum too.

    I was reacting to many of the big-L fanbois who mourn that we don't live in a Snow Crash-type universe. Life in the Snow Crash universe is nasty, brutish, and short, and Stephenson does a great job at showing the warts, as well as the good points, of such a purely libertarian society.

    That said, living on the Raft would suck. Living on a seasteading version, while not as bleak, (probably), seems like the kind of marriage-breaking life Ken was describing for small craft sailors.

  • Dan||

    Well if this global warming thing pans out with rising sea levels and all, it might be easy to get started :)

  • asdf||

    I'm going to go burn some Styrofoam.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    It's in the 70s in the Midwest today!!! Global warming has begun!!! I'm so happy.

  • Warty||

    I'm going to set up my data haven in the sultanate of Kinakuta instead. More scenic.

  • cynical||

    That's not a Snow Crash reference! What's next, Quicksilver?

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Would it work? Seems to me that the people on the seastead would just start voting for more and more restrictive rules, and eventually become a city-state in itself.

    This is purely IMO, but the goal of libertarianism should be to beat back the darkness, instead of aiming for a purity that human nature will probably never allow. For example, the internet is as close to a libertarian ideal as we have at the moment, but will it remain that way? Eventually the encroachment from government will become significant, and in fact, began in earnest this very year. So, fight the encroachment as long as possible, while keeping eyes open for something better that will replace it and can remain free for some time.

  • Sovereign Immunity||

    There is a book by William Golding addressing many of these ideas.

  • ||

    The Princess Bride?

  • Sovereign Immunity||

    You're so cute!

  • Mike in PA||

    Yeah, it definitely seems to be a sort of "Galt's Gulch", but why not see how it works? And if there's eventually many of them, each could have their own rules.

    And in some cases, it wouldn't be a matter of "voting" on the rules, but a matter of moving to which seastead's rules you like the most. And it would seem to me that any country where the citizens like the rules would almost surely prosper.

  • sarcasmic||

    There would have to be a clear way to remove bad rules, or it would surely evolve into tyranny as every government in the past (including our own) has.

    Perhaps a Heinleinian bicameral legislature.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    I really like that idea. But why not make it Tricameral? One house selected by state legislatures, one by the people, and another by the people to repeal laws. Supermajorities in the first two, 1/3 minority in the last. That would make it even harder to get laws through while maintaining the repeal mechanism.

  • sarcasmic||

    not bad

  • GroundTruth||

    You cribbed that one from "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress", didn't you?

    But I do like the TANSTAAFL flag idea. And at sea, it would flutter nicely!

  • Imp of the Perverse||

    Get this man a blog STAT!

  • AlmightyJB||

    "people on the seastead would just start voting for more and more restrictive rules"

    Yep, people just can't stand not being able to tell other people how to live their lives, while they bitch about other people doing the same to them.

  • ||

    * Must be a yearning deep in human heart to stop other people from doing as they please. Rules, laws — always for other fellow. A murky part of us, something we had before we came down out of trees, and failed to shuck when we stood up. Because not one of those people said: Please pass this so that I won't be able to do something I know I should stop. Nyet, tovarishchee, was always something they hated to see neighbors doing. Stop them for their own good.

    -RAH

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" is my other "Atlas Shrugged."

  • Imp of the Perverse||

    But this would be a voluntary society. Anyone who starts feeling like a busybody will be invited to take a long walk off a short pier.

    “For liability purposes it is the ocean that will kill you, not us”

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    I'd like to know where, precisely, they propose to put such a seasteading venture. To be out of the jurisdiction of any other government, you're going to have to be "out there" a ways - i.e., far away from resources (fresh water, fresh food, medical facilities) and vulnerable to massive ocean storms.

    And the occasional surfacing alien craft that landed and submerged millenia earlier.

  • ||

    And Dr. No.

  • ||

    Keep your posessions in your boat. If the government becomes opressive (or another flotila gives you a better deal), take your wealth and move there.

    It's like the right of succession, except every individual has it.

  • Tim||

    Unless your boat sinks.

  • Sovereign Immunity||

    Or some nihilist or utilitarian just offs your sorry ass and steals your stuff. A very green approach, as they can just dump the body in the sea or the flotilla can make soap and fertilizer out of your carcass. Recycling at its finest.

  • ||

    Vincent Bugliosi wrote a book, And The Sea Will Tell, about a couple who did just that. On Palmyra Island, IIRC.

  • ||

    Ah, a society of temperamental teenagers who keep locking themselves in their room -- that should work out nicely.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Why not let them? It's not like you would have to participate.

  • ||

    My knock on seasteading is that people underestimate the value and effort that goes into infrastructure.

    It's why New Orleans is back. The value of all those sewer lines, roads, storm drains, etc.--that's what the people want....

    You have to entice a critical mass of people to suffer the lack of all that stuff and then chip in to finance the construction of all that expensive stuff--before they can even benefit from it.

    And guess what? Deciding how all that stuff is built, shared and maintained? That may require the kind of organization and--egads!--government you're trying to escape.

    It's so much easier for people to plug into the infrastructure that's already available here in overgoverned land--and the reason Seastead Libertopia doesn't already exist? Is because there weren't enough people who were willing to suffer like that.

    The sad fact is that people are willing to tolerate our vicious government because it means they don't have to suffer the hardships something like seasteading would necessarily entail.

    Hell, I've known long range cruisers who lived 365/24/7 on Crealocks sailing from port to port and fishing and trading or working with the locals--out in the middle of the South Pacific somewhere. It's a hard life that has like a 90% success rate at destroying marriages. I just don't think they'll get enough people involved to make it work--especially women quite frankly.

    The women you see riding on the back of some guy's motorcycle for weeks at a time? Just from my own personal visual survey, those are the ones that are worried much about personal hygiene. Okay?

    The reason guys spend $100 large and up on a Winnebago? Is because their female companionship won't go gallivanting around the country without their own plumbing.

  • robc||

    Existing infrastructure is why no one ever left Europe for the new world.

  • ||

    Actually, if you went back in time and approached the major cities of Europe, say London, circa 1776 right at this moment? You wouldn't be able to stand the stench.

    People emptied their chamber pots into their basements, which is why the servants lived down stairs. Those that didn't have basements just emptied their chamber pots into the streets.

    By the 1840s, sanitary conditions were unimaginable, and the infant mortality rate was ridiculous.

    Regardless, you know how cars look better when hot chicks are standing next to them? It works with beer too--beer looks way more awesome when it's being held by a hot chick?

    Well I think this may be the opposite of that. Women have a lot of options these days. ...and I've noticed that very few of them pick the options that involve very little by way of sanitation.

    I'm just saying.

  • Edwin||

    the thing is a lot of people stayed in Europe, too

    and it isn't just infratsructure, it's just staright up buildings. Those cities grew mainly before industrialization, which is why they're so walkable. My cousin's friend/girlfriend is staying in a place whose foundation was built in the 1100's in Italy.

  • Edwin||

    it's also how they can still afford to live despite such heavily restrictive bulding regulations

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Edwin,

    the thing is a lot of people stayed in Europe, too


    Yeah - suckers!!!!

  • Edwin||

    I dunno suckers or not, I mean I'd agree that we're better off here, but the point is infrastructure and completed development is attractive and desirable to people

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Edwin,

    but the point is infrastructure and completed development is attractive and desirable to people


    But those things ruin the environment, Edwin! Why do you hate the Earth so much???

    Anyway, people's value scales are not my concern. Some people like socialism, meaning they are scared, spineless bastards, and some don't.

  • Edwin||

    dude, you freak out and attack people even when they aren't arguing against you. I made one small off-hand comment about the attractiveness of development and how that affects people's willingness to colonize new areas - that's it. that's all. It can be difficult to attract people to colonize a new area when there's already places with plenty of iunfrastructure/development. It's just one challenege involved in any such colonization venture.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Dude, he didn't attack you.

  • cynical||

    Maybe, but he comes across like libertarian Keith Olbermann.

  • Kolohe||

    Existing infrastructure is why no one ever left Europe for the new world.

    You note, though how they actually went ashore, and didn't just hang out in the Sargasso Sea.

  • robc||

    And the seasteaders would do the same if empty land still existed. Well, Antarctica, but space might be more managable than that.

  • robc||

    The point being, both have to create their own infrastructure. It aint gonna be there at first.

  • ||

    Tons of empty space in Detroit.

  • ||

    Well there's plenty of empty land (I live within driving distance of a ton of it). Just none you can buy where you can opt out of the local government.

    The sea is the only place you can go where a government can't immediately claim you, and, as others have mentioned, that's likely only a temporary situation particularly if you have any success.

  • ||

    I remain suspicious that the first they do when they get out there?

    Is create government you won't be able to escape in any way save getting the hell off the seastead.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    We've learned a lot about Constitutions. If a bunch of rightminded people (presumably the ones creating seasteads or space colonies) put it together, they could write something manageble. Long list of unbreakable rights. Arduous methods to pass laws. House of repeals.

    I really liked the Oceanian Constition. It was basically for a seasteading project back in the 1990s. Look it up. Article 1, which is a listing of rights and entitlements, is about 2/5 of the document.

  • cynical||

    "We've learned a lot about Constitutions."

    I've learned that they don't work. The best defense against tyranny is a culture that doesn't stand for tyranny.

  • Sebastian the Crab||

    That's why is better, down where it's wetter, take it from me!

  • Charlotte Sometimes||

    Hail Doofania!

  • Spiny Norman||

    You live in a world full of wonder.

  • ||

    kevin costner...waterworld...that is all.

    or

    it could sink and we could have rapture from bioshock.

    *poor attempts at pop culture references*

  • Big Daddy||

    GRRRRRRRRRRRRR......

  • ||

    ""we could have rapture from bioshock.""

    I've already cleaned that mess up once.

  • Fontaine||

    I remember when me and the Kraut put you on that sub. You were no more than two. You were my ace in the hole. But you were also the closest thing I've ever had to a son. That's why this hurts, kid. Life isn't strictly business.

  • ||

    Great game.

  • Jim||

    Instead of CPAC, we could have SeaPAC, and teh gayz could have SemenPAC.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Jim,

    Instead of CPAC, we could have SeaPAC, and teh gayz could have SemenPAC.


    That's gross!

    I don't ever see anybody's pack! Gross!

  • ||

    What's long, hard, and full of sea men?

  • ****||

    Sealand!

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Lady Gaga?

  • Tim||

    Alpha Centuari's a mere 26 trillion miles away...

  • ||

    Probably nowhere good to live there, with all the extra stars. Maybe Tau Ceti?

  • Khan||

    Come to Ceti Alpha V for the scenery, stay for the fashions.

  • Spiny Norman||

    That used to be a lot, but a trillion isn't what it used to be.

  • DLM||

    Alpha Centuari's a mere 26 trillion miles away...

    It's the journey, not the destination.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    That number is wrong. A lightyear is about 10 trillion kilometers away. Alpha Centauri is 4.3 lightyears away. Do the math.

    Yes, I'm the kind of nerd that cares about this. I'm proud of it.

  • Mensan||

    DK, he said 26 trillion miles, not kilometers. It's pretty close to the same thing depending on where you round.

  • sevo||

    It's not moving; it'll somehow get taxed.

  • Other Derp||

    Didn't they see what happened with Rapture?

  • KLP||

    Unless people build and operate these floating cities on a cooperative basis, landlords will come to rule them. And that's all that government is, a landlord.

  • ||

    a landlord with a gun. big difference.

  • Zeb||

    You think if the government wasn't there to enforce things for them landlords wouldn't all be landlords with guns?

  • KLP||

    What Zeb said.

    My point is that seasteading will only work if seasteaders have an intolerance to capitalism. If a seastead's inhabitants tolerate interest and rent, all they'll have is a floating state.

  • robc||

    Rapture refs >>> Kinakuta refs

    Sigh.

  • Edwin||

    This is pathetic - now Stossel is having little nerdo re-re dreams of libertarians starting their own country?

  • Edwin||

    If libertarians actually got their own area or country to colonize, it would end up like 90% male. And then it would only be 2 weeks before you guys are playing ookie cookie with each other

  • Corduroy||

    Actually, it would most likely be ruled by women.

    Supply and demand, supply and demand

  • Sovereign Immunity||

    After I go full muto and grow my vagina dentata, I will be ready to rule you!

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    I'm pretty sure you'll have better luck with the regular one.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Edwin,

    If libertarians actually got their own area or country to colonize, it would end up like 90% male.


    At least, in your 3D wet dreams....

    Oh, you need to change your bed sheets again, Edwin!

  • Edwin||

    come on, are you so pathetic you're going to deny that libertarianism is a sausage fest? You just don't see that many libertarian females. Look at pictures from any libertarian event.

  • ||

    I actually choked on my soda. Good one!

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Edwin,

    come on, are you so pathetic you're going to deny that libertarianism is a sausage fest?


    I don't answer loaded questions. Next?

    You just don't see that many libertarian females.


    Ha ha ha!!

  • Edwin||

    egyptian rivers...

  • Sovereign Immunity||

    Fuck off, sausage boy!

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    I strongly suspect that the low number of female libertarians stems from dependecy (read, pro-socialism) conditioning that girls recieve from a young age. If raised without the whole ditzy **** that is spread around today, we would probably see a lot more female libertarians.

    And, women would come so they could exploit their high market value. That may sound sexist but it isn't intended to be.

  • Sovereign Immunity||

    There is a grain of truth in that Dr. K. And you aren't sexist: women are aware of our high market value. Trust me. ;-)

  • ||

    Well, if a frog had wings he wouldn't bump his ass every time he jumped.

  • cynical||

    Is Russia still selling brides?

  • ChicagoSucks||

    I'm holding out for Mars.

  • Corduroy||

    I hear Tyche is beautiful this time of year.

  • ||

    Except that it probably doesn't exist, yes.

  • Tim||

    If it exists they should name it Goofy.

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    And the good thing is that on Tyche "this time of year" means since Jesus.

  • Ahhhhnold||

    Get your ass to Mars.

  • rather||

    I see Waterworld in their future-except Helen stocked more in the store.

  • Edwin||

    There is already a micronation, Sealand, off the coast of England. It has de facto status as a country as it is in international waters and a judge ruled that English courts and governance do not have jurisdiction over it.

    In the 70's a real estate investor named Michael Oliver tried to build a nation by buying fill material and dumping it in the shallow reefs of the Tongan sea. Some libertarians along with him occupied it, but later the Tongan government kicked them out by force, claiming they were Tongan waters.
    I think it was the same guy who was involved in an attempted coup in... French Polynesia? On one of the islands of this country that was getting independence, there was a well-known business-man and local leader who had a movement that involved some mix of libertarianism and polygymy - he called it the "nagriemel" movement or something. Anyway, the newly-formed government squashed that movement along with help from the French

    Then there was something in the Carribean.

    Then there was some guy who tried to take some leader in Suriname hostage or something as a way to take over the country.

  • Edwin||

    tiny little island places are interesting too,

    There's a tiny, cloudy cold little island in the South atlantic called Tristan de cunha. It's a rock island with one large central mountain that's made of solid rock. About 250 people live there and speak their own dialect of 1900's South-African English. There is a land-use system that prevents any one family from gaining too much more land than another family, and they raise sheep and grow potatoes. The islands only industry is a crawfish canning factory.

    Then there is Pitcairn island, which is inhabited by the descendents of the mutiny of the HMS Bounty. The crew were pissed at the captain, so they mutinied, and went back to their girlfriends in Tahiti. Somehow some of them made their way to Pitcairn island, and they've living there ever since. Only about 50 people live there now.

  • Edwin||

    I say the place to start a country is in Southern Suriname and Southern French guinea and that whole norther-Amazon area. One of the least densely populated plaes in the world, but its tropical, very wet climate give it great potential for agriculture, plus there's aluminum ore there, and there's possibly oil.

    My plan is to take it over with the funding of a few billionaires - with some force, subterfuge, winning over the Indians and making deals with the government. The land shall be converted into usefullness by massive slah-and-char operations and giant tiller to form productive tera preta soils, and Jackfruit, durian, salak, cempedak, breadfruit, mangoes, bananas, mangosteen, etc. shall be grown for my enjoyment.

  • ||

  • ||

    Edwin,
    Last I saw you, you were Edwina. Did the Red Wizard finally turn you back?

  • Gray Ghost||

    Go for the eyes, Boo!!! Go for the eyes!

  • Edwin||

    I still don't get why libertarians just buy boats and live out at sea. This will give you the literal absolute freedom you so desire. This friedman douche got his $500,000 from Thiel.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Edwin,

    I still don't get why libertarians just buy boats and live out at sea.


    Because I don't want to.

    This will give you the literal absolute freedom you so desire.


    Nobody could desire that, Edwin, as liberty cannot be absolute. It's like wishing for absolute security and pampering from the State - the State kills, maims, steals, cheats and rapes, so that cannot be achieved either, it's a mirage, a pipe-dream.

  • Edwin||

    OK.... but you'd not be subject to any of those laws, like you guys pine for. Nobody could tell you what to do on your boat

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Edwin,

    Nobody could tell you what to do on your boat


    Which is something different than... right now?

    I can't tell the captain of the cruise ship what to dol, either.

    Why don't you ask your mummy to give you better arguments, child?

  • Edwin||

    jesus christ kid what the hell's a matter with you? Why do you try to turn everything into a debate?

    It's just a simple fact - you'd be out of the effective enforcement of the vast majority of laws of any state. If you wanted to grow pot and smoke it on your ship, you could - just hang the planter from something to counteract the waves.
    Want to hire a prostitute? Who's going to stop you out at sea, just moor your lines to her boat and do the thing. Nopbody could or would even care to stop the both of you if you';re out at sea
    Ditto gambling

    etc. etc.

  • Edwin||

    really I don't even know what the hell it is you think you're arguing against - you would be a hell of a lot freer, in terms of being exempt from the statutes of states, than you are now, if you and a bunch of other people lived out on boats
    You'd be less free in terms of economic options, but that comes with the territory, or what libertarians usually refer to the limitations of reality, as opposed to the limitations of laws imposed by people. You'd be very free in terms of the latter

    Am I wrong?

  • Edwin||

    or in other words, what's your beef with what I've said, exactly?

  • COMMANDER ||

    The following comment represents the views of Reason.com and Reason Foundation. Take it away:

  • ||

    Problem is once the work is done, lesson learned, capital invested, there will be some value or money on these Seastead nations.

    And where there is money but no 'real' sovereign, soon the sovereign shows up to get his cut. Its like a guy who opens a nice store in a rough neighborhood. The local mob leave him alone until they see some bling and such on his store, happy people in front. Then they show up. That's SeaSteading. Unless you can defend yourself with organized military, which invariably needs hierarchy, someone to pay for it, which means...well back to square one.

  • Sovereign Immunity||

    I see you have identified the fallacy inherent in anarchy. I guess limited government isn't so bad after all. It's just that limited part that government doesn't quite seem to grasp.

  • -||

    the fallacy inherent in anarchy

    Yup. How does the peaceful anarchist utopia protect itself against foreign aggressors? Assemble a bunch of volunteers, provide them with weapons and training and a monopoly on killing? Sounds like an army to me. And who controls that army? A bunch of people chosen by the whole of society to represent their wishes and interests? Oops, sounds like you just got yourselves a government.

  • Jeff||

    Private defense contractors. They exist even now.

  • sarcasmic||

    Where is the incentive for government to limit itself?

    There is none.

    I would have a chamber of congress whose sole power is the repeal of legislation and regulation.

    This way (some) members of government would compete for elected office not on what they will do, but on what they will undo.

    Republicans pay lip service to that concept, but in the end all Congressmen consider themselves to be lawmakers.

    And that is the heart of the problem.

  • Sovereign Immunity||

    No, the heart of the problem is the governed accepts more and more nonsense and tomfoolery in the name of a false sense of security.

    I also wish that I could have inserted language in either the original or amended constitution that every law require sunset provisions.

    But the problem there is, as you said, Congress views themselves as law givers and law makers and passing so much legislation to try a plug any intended consequences that it is almost impossible for the governed to keep up.

  • ||

    Only 'fix' I see for things of that nature would be some kind of fiscal democracy. People vote their taxes to what they want, Congress can add things to org chart or subtract them, Prez is still 'CEO' but people vote their money. If you don't pay taxes, you don't have a vote (still have political one though). A sort of bicameral democracy where the minority of population - but owners of most the land so-to-speak - have their own venue, all the more so if 'progressive' tax rates are applied (still in purview of Congress). With the absolute control of money removed from politico's hands, they would lose vast power. And the lobbyists would suddenly find themselves without a job for the controllers of the money are no longer in one place.

    It would also put powerful feedback loop on consumer response to government services. If the voters don't vote hoards of cash to public education, or drug war for instance, the only recourse for the rent-seekers in those 'industries' is to blame the people...it would totally change the political dynamic at work.

  • Sovereign Immunity||

    I think the Fair Tax would be an excellent start personally. John Linder put lots of resources into that idea, and I believe its time has come. The 19& solution isn't a bad idea, but I don't think it addresses the problems you address in your ideas.

    Unfortunately, separating money from power is impossible. Look at the cops. At one time they just had power and job security in exchange for a huge wondermuss salary, and now, the public sector unions have figured out that they can indeed have both.

  • ||

    Separating money and power is impossible because they are the same thing. One is merely a way to measure and quantify the other. So if people control where their money goes, to whatever extent they do that then they will have that much power.

    This is the reason for increasingly brazen abuse of corporate coffers and assets by executive management...which is food for liberals. People who actually own those companies have been separated from governance of them by paperwork-middlemen like 401k's, IRA's, mutual funds...etc. Everyone here owns a piece of these huge companies I bet in some investment vehicle, yet I also wager no one here has actually voted their stake - their ownership - in any of these companies. The owners have been separated from controlling what they own and we see the results everyday.

  • sarcasmic||

    "No, the heart of the problem is the governed accepts more and more nonsense and tomfoolery in the name of a false sense of security."

    What choice do we have?
    Seriously?
    Regulation has the power of law, and there is no way to vote out the regulators.

    "I also wish that I could have inserted language in either the original or amended constitution that every law require sunset provisions."

    I do seem to remember something about our army needing to be refunded every two years, the intent being to prevent a standing army.
    Fat load of good that did. They just rubber stamp a "defense" bill every two years.
    Requiring sunset provisions would just mean that the would lump together ten thousand sun setting laws into one omnibus bill every year.

    "But the problem there is, as you said, Congress views themselves as law givers and law makers and passing so much legislation to try a plug any intended consequences that it is almost impossible for the governed to keep up."

    ftfy

  • DLM||

    Requiring sunset provisions ...

    At least they'd be on record as having voted FOR a particular spending item instead of being able to sit back and innocently pretent they couldn't do anything about it.

  • Sovereign Immunity||

    That's why I hope they don't have a budget by March 4th and they keep having to pass continuing resolutions. It's a bit easier to see where money is actually going. Plus, it avoids the possibility of the bad press of a government shutdown. Ah, I can dream...

  • Zeb||

    I don't think it is really a fallacy. I consider myself an anarchist in principle and a minarchist in practice because I recognize that if true anarchy were ever achieved, it would be difficult or impossible to avoid something indistinguishable from government arising. But I still can't find any moral justification for many things even the most minimal government must do.

  • asdf||

    We live in anarchy, an anarchy of states. It's just on a grander scale then people normally contribute to anarchism.

    Until there is a one world government policing the different gangs (states), we live in anarchy.

  • ||

    You've been endorse by THE COMMANDER? Wow, did you pay for that?

  • ||

    Endorsed, I mean.

  • Libertarian Lament||

    Why won't anyone take us seriously?!

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Libertarian Lament,

    Why won't anyone take us seriously?!


    Your handjob-party male friends you invite into your mommy's basement for the weekly "get to it" are not "anybody" or "everybody".

  • Libertarian Lament||

    Aw, the anarchist is cranky. Nappy time!

  • Fiscal Meth||

    "That's why we work to enable seasteading communities—floating cities—which will allow the next generation of pioneers to peacefully test new ideas for government. The most successful can then inspire change in governments around the world."

    The most successful cities can then inspire governments around the world to come and plunder all the wealth created by a free society and go back to their statist business as usual at home.

  • ||

    Exactly. Empires are always stolen, never made.

  • ||

    Which is why space is such a good option. Let's take some empty land and make it less empty!

  • ||

    If the sovereign collection of seasteaders is decentralized effectively, they cannot be plundered. It is possible.

  • ||

    Ships are one address. Many ships - a hundred for instance - is ready to conquer, divide part's been done.

  • Tony||

    Anyone ever played Bioshock?

  • Tony||

    While their redneck boyfriend beats and then sodomizes them with a maglight?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Anyone ever played Bioshock?


    Yes, good game - bad premise.

  • ||

    Sorry, Seasteading is not possible.

    I mean, where is your dog supposed to take a dump?

  • ||

    Biofuel!

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    The ocean, or a chemical toilet. Or don't bring a dog.

    This doesn't get past where *you* poop, but it does reduce the problem.

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    Er, wouldn't a people seeking a homeland reserved for only other people like themselves kinda be xenophobic and nationalistic?

    Racists!

  • ||

    How do you defend it? If it's the least bit successful it will threaten other governments and they will want to destroy it. If so much as one marijuana plant is grown on the new seasteading "country" I have no doubt that America would destroy it with a cruise missile or two, calling it a "terrorist outpost".

    Seasteading is the most impractical idea I've ever heard. A more pragmatic idea is to try to convince (read: pay off) some government somewhere to set aside a certain number of square miles of its land as an independent nation. I'm sure Nigeria or Congo or some other 3rd world African shithole would give up 50 square miles in exchange for $100 million or so.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Bruce,
    How do you defend it?
    People ask this question as if states successfully defended THEIR populations every single time.

  • Edwin||

    Charter cities

  • Edwin||

    I bet they'd give it up for free in exchange for a promise of a cut of tax money
    They're inept, but they're not so inept that they don't realize that they're inept and that some foreign investors might be able to make more money in said cordoned-off area

  • ||

    I volunteer to share the expense of any sea platform construction costs and the transport boat costs -- with one condition. Each libertarian douchebag so disposed must agree to never, ever come back.

    Deal?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Orel Hazard,

    Deal?


    No deal, Statist douchebag.

  • ||

    Statist.

    Ha ha. Libertarian minds are so pathetically tiny that they think any opposition given to their self-absorbed posturing is equivalent to advocating central planning of society and the economy. Imagine being so deaf to nuance and so contemptuous of reality! Ha ha.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Yes, because that's what libertarians do. Volunteer to give up their freedom. Real bright, you are. Real bright.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Oh, the irony of Orel calling anyone else a douchebag...

  • bdcbryan||

    This has to be the worst idea... Ever.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    At least some of the trolls above said why they thought so. Put some energy into it or go to some other website.

  • ||

    How deep is the water in the Great Pacific Gyre (where the much-discussed "garbage patch" is located)? Perhaps environmental objections to seasteading might be mitigated, if not overcome entirely, were some Seasteaders to locate in the gyre and, among other activities, work to eliminate the "patch."

    Just an idea.

  • cynical||

    Maybe they could get green credits from foreign governments. Oh, the irony.

  • TANSTAAFL||

    Why not wait and in a few decades we can take the moon (Luna)?

  • cynical||

    Well, the seas can at least support life.

  • Realist||

    This thread sucks without the wisdom of Tony. You all pale in the shadow of his "superior intellect"!

  • قبلة الوداع||

    ThaNk U

  • دليل||

    gfasgasg

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  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

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