Image Source: Mogulite

 

 

BY ZACH TOOMBS

 

 

An independent island nation on the high seas, governed by libertarian policies and bankrolled by tech billionaires. It sounds like something right off the pages of a big-budget Hollywood script, but PayPal founder Peter Thiel wants to make it a reality.

 

Inspired by Ayn Rand’s 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged, Thiel has invested $1.25 million to the Seasteading Institute, an organization with the goal of setting up island colonies off the coast of San Francisco independent from any other nation.
The Daily Mail has Thiel’s comments on the project.

 

“Decades from now, those looking back at the start of the century will understand that Seasteading was an obvious step towards encouraging the development of more efficient, practical public sector models around the world. We’re at a fascinating juncture: the nature of government is about to change at a very fundamental level.”

 

So what would this island nation’s government look like? Thiel and his colleagues say no welfare, looser building codes, no minimum wage and few restrictions on weapons are a few of the main policies future residents can expect.

 

As for the island’s physical features, the sovereign state would originally be contained on a single oil rig, according to Wired.com, and would provide 300 square feet of living space per person along with gardens, solar panels, wind turbines and satellites for Internet access.

 

The island nation project has gotten mixed reactions on the web, with Mogulite calling the idea “wacky” and its inspiration “cliché.”

 

“Atlas Shrugged is a 1957 novel in which an over-regulating government essentially destroys a society, which in turn inspired multiple generations of would-be moguls to become reformed libertarians. So by saying he was “inspired” by the book, he’s not exactly original.”

 

And Wired mentioned some similar ambitious billionaire pet projects that have tread the same grounds and ended in failure.

 

“...there's a particularly rich history of people trying to live outside the nation-state paradigm out in the ocean... Marshall Savage's Aquarius Project... aimed at nothing less than the colonization of the universe... the Freedom Ship was to be a mile-long portable country costing about $10 billion to construct.”

 

Joe Lonsdale, the Seasteading Institute’s chairman, acknowledges that many privately-funded efforts to set up sovereign colonies have failed in the past, but he’s confident a relatively modest entrepreneurial approach will work out differently, telling Wired:

 

"There's a history of a lot of crazy people trying this sort of thing, and the idea is to do it in a way that's not crazy.”

 

Patri Friedman, the former Google Engineer who first came up with the idea for the Seasteading Institute, tells Details Magazine that the ultimate goal is to create a series of sovereign island nations with tens of millions of residents by 2050.

 

“Friedman hopes to launch a flotilla of offices off the San Francisco coast next year; full-time settlement, he predicts, will follow in about seven years; and full diplomatic recognition by the United Nations, well, that'll take some lawyers and time.”

PayPal Founder Funds Libertarian Sea Colony

by Zach Toombs
0
Transcript
Aug 16, 2011

PayPal Founder Funds Libertarian Sea Colony

Image Source: Mogulite

 

 

BY ZACH TOOMBS

 

 

An independent island nation on the high seas, governed by libertarian policies and bankrolled by tech billionaires. It sounds like something right off the pages of a big-budget Hollywood script, but PayPal founder Peter Thiel wants to make it a reality.

 

Inspired by Ayn Rand’s 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged, Thiel has invested $1.25 million to the Seasteading Institute, an organization with the goal of setting up island colonies off the coast of San Francisco independent from any other nation.
The Daily Mail has Thiel’s comments on the project.

 

“Decades from now, those looking back at the start of the century will understand that Seasteading was an obvious step towards encouraging the development of more efficient, practical public sector models around the world. We’re at a fascinating juncture: the nature of government is about to change at a very fundamental level.”

 

So what would this island nation’s government look like? Thiel and his colleagues say no welfare, looser building codes, no minimum wage and few restrictions on weapons are a few of the main policies future residents can expect.

 

As for the island’s physical features, the sovereign state would originally be contained on a single oil rig, according to Wired.com, and would provide 300 square feet of living space per person along with gardens, solar panels, wind turbines and satellites for Internet access.

 

The island nation project has gotten mixed reactions on the web, with Mogulite calling the idea “wacky” and its inspiration “cliché.”

 

“Atlas Shrugged is a 1957 novel in which an over-regulating government essentially destroys a society, which in turn inspired multiple generations of would-be moguls to become reformed libertarians. So by saying he was “inspired” by the book, he’s not exactly original.”

 

And Wired mentioned some similar ambitious billionaire pet projects that have tread the same grounds and ended in failure.

 

“...there's a particularly rich history of people trying to live outside the nation-state paradigm out in the ocean... Marshall Savage's Aquarius Project... aimed at nothing less than the colonization of the universe... the Freedom Ship was to be a mile-long portable country costing about $10 billion to construct.”

 

Joe Lonsdale, the Seasteading Institute’s chairman, acknowledges that many privately-funded efforts to set up sovereign colonies have failed in the past, but he’s confident a relatively modest entrepreneurial approach will work out differently, telling Wired:

 

"There's a history of a lot of crazy people trying this sort of thing, and the idea is to do it in a way that's not crazy.”

 

Patri Friedman, the former Google Engineer who first came up with the idea for the Seasteading Institute, tells Details Magazine that the ultimate goal is to create a series of sovereign island nations with tens of millions of residents by 2050.

 

“Friedman hopes to launch a flotilla of offices off the San Francisco coast next year; full-time settlement, he predicts, will follow in about seven years; and full diplomatic recognition by the United Nations, well, that'll take some lawyers and time.”

View More
Comments
Newsy
www3