Brian Doherty Discusses Libertarian New City Schemes on Huffington Post Live with Seasteading Institute Founder Patri Friedman


Libertarians have long dreamed of escaping the depradations of modern states through creating new countries, cities, or other communities with their own sets of rules.

I've written about these ideas frequently for Reason, most lengthily in the context of the Free State Project in 2004 (an attempt to shift New Hampshire in a more libertarian direction, still in progress) and Seasteading in 2009 (building new polities in the open ocean).

I chatted about some such ideas in the works now (including Seasteading, Honduran free citiees, Glenn Beck's Texas redoubt, and a hoped-for libertarian buyout of Detroit's Belle Island) on Huffington Post Live on Friday, with host Jim Poulos and fellow guests Patri Friedman (founder of the Seasteading Institute) and Christina Heller, maker of the documentary Libertopia, which focused on the Free State Project.

You can watch the HuffPost Live segment here.

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  1. “One thing I kind of miss now that we’re seasteading is those long, slow walks on the beach at night. So we had the slav…children bring buckets of sand up, one at a time, while we were moored in a shallow bay. They were so cute, swimming to the beach with the handle of the little bucket in their little mouth, trying to avoid jellyfish and coral, turning around and swimming on their sides, holding the bucket in the air to keep the sand dry, going back, doing it again, over and over. The ones who made it back brought enough for us to make a small beach at the stern of the boat. So we go there now, at night, and watch the sunset while walking down our homemade beach, listening to the orphans cook over an open fire till there done, just so…”

    1. Really? “There”? Yeah – “their”. Please carry on.

    2. Shhh.. don’t tell Peter Thiel he’s really financing these floating, urchin-powered, monocle factories

  2. *sees Christina*.. nice… wait, I thought there were no libertarian females?

    WRT Patri’s statement about running out of frontier land, there is still Antarctica.

    Other less known efforts on their way: by Jeff Berwick, and a related but different set of projects by ‘Simon Black’:

    1. The asteroid belt is probably more livable than Antarctica.

      1. Less damn penguins for one.

  3. The free state project is interesting but I have a hunch most of them are bullshitting and just trying to prod others into action. Otherwise why would they wait for their to be 20,000 of them, they would (like a thousand already have) just move when able.

    I’m thinking when they hit 20k they’ll find out 12k are going to welch on them. Be interesting to find out. They should hit 14k in a few months and 20k in 2-4 years.

    1. A bunch are already there, including in the state house.

      1. I gather a bunch of libertarians have moved without affiliating with the free state project. According to their website, only about 1k of the 14k have moved already.

    2. Embedding the FSP in the middle of New England is like establishing New Jerusalem smack dab in the middle of 1930s Germany. I’m sufficiently radical to try something like that–I’d even be willing to share a backyard with a bunch of Objectivists, Big-Love style–but there’s no way in hell I’m putting up with New Hampshire and all of its Masshole runoff. You’d have a much better shot setting up camp in Auburn or some other area that combines a strong existing libertarian presence with a population that is at least partially libertarian by nature.

      1. They are the ones who picked it.

        You’re right though, I’d sooner move to Texas, Wyoming, Alaska, Canada, Singapore, Timbuktu Mali, Antartica, Mars, hell anywhere but New England.

      2. Pretty sure the location was chosen since it’s a small pop. state with an existing structure that is already the most libertarian in the nation.

  4. Patri Friedman looks nothing like what I expected.

  5. Doherty once again trying to make non-Libertarian groups Libertarian to help the media confusion.

  6. Brian Doherty Discusses ‘Libertarian’ New City Schemes on Statist Post Live with Seasteading Institute Founder Patri Friedman

    Fixed that for you.

    Simply unbelieveable the way some ‘libertarians’ chase the approval of people who are violently against everything they believe in.

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