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Author Topic: Internet billionaire donates $1.25 million to create libertarian islands  (Read 5645 times)
herzmeister
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August 18, 2011, 08:01:17 AM
 #1

http://bestplaces.nydailynews.com/voyeur/internet-billionaire-donates-125-million-create-libertarian-islands

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Internet billionaire donates $1.25 million to create libertarian islands



Peter Thiel has made his fortune by being part of the next big thing: He was a co-founder of Paypal and one of the early investors of Facebook.

But a new Details profile sums up his new plans: “Forget startup companies. The next frontier is startup countries.”

Thiel has donated $1.25 million to the Seasteading Institute, the brainchild of Patri Friedman, a former Google engineer and grandson of economist Milton Friedman. Here’s the gist: creation of libertarian, sovereign nations built on oil-rig-type platforms anchored in international waters and free from the laws and moral codes of any other country.

Plans for the prototype include a movable, diesel-powered 12,000-ton structure that could house 270 residents. The goal would be to eventually link hundreds of the structures together.

Friedman’s timeline is to launch offices off San Francisco next year, get a full-time settlement within seven years and eventually diplomatic recognition from the UN.



“The ultimate goal is to open a frontier for experimenting with new ideas for government,” Friedman told Details. Some of the changes: no welfare or minimum wage, looser building codes and few restrictions on weapons.

Friedman thinks what could set this apart from an Ayn Rand novel – or even a remake of “Waterworld” – is the idea of entrepreneurship. He calls one idea Appletopia. A corporation, such as Apple, “starts a country as a business. The more desirable the country, the more valuable the real estate.”

Criticism of the idea hasn’t been kind. Slate’s Jacob Weisberg called it “the most elaborate effort ever devised by a group of computer nerds to get invited to an orgy.”

Yahoo News points out that Thiel made news this year for putting a portion of his $1.5 billion fortune into an initiative to encourage entrepreneurs to skip college.

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thesum
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August 18, 2011, 05:07:16 PM
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This idea has been around for a long time.  If it becomes a reality, I might just hop on board so to speak.
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August 18, 2011, 05:33:21 PM
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I thought it had been ruled that countries can't claim human built land as their territory, only natural land

(I dont always get new reply notifications, pls send a pm when you think it has happened)

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August 18, 2011, 05:43:31 PM
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Only $1.25 million?  Thats not enough to buy a house with a decent garden in London let alone to create a free state.  This guy should pony up enough to at least make his idea possible.

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August 18, 2011, 07:19:29 PM
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I thought it had been ruled that countries can't claim human built land as their territory, only natural land

I assume that's inaccurate considering how many years Patri Friedman has been trying this, but I don't know enough about law to check. But for a practical aversion of that, have a look at Sealand (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principality_of_Sealand).
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August 18, 2011, 11:25:47 PM
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For those interested in this, I suggest reading the detailed and well-written FAQ here: http://seasteading.org/about-seasteading/frequently-asked-questions
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August 19, 2011, 12:55:54 AM
 #7

this is going to be crazy when its done..

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August 19, 2011, 01:28:47 AM
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this is going to be crazy when its done..


Crazy good place to hide from taxes and bang child prostitutes, but otherwise (if it even gets started) it'll just be a disaster that ends in chaos just like every biodome trial... ever.

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August 19, 2011, 01:34:39 AM
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I hope they build it off the coast of Somalia. I don't want my tax money spent to defend it.

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August 19, 2011, 01:55:34 AM
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I wondered how long it will take for a thread like this to surface!

One of the better ideas around

http://www.new-utopia.org/

just a pity it is taking so long.
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August 19, 2011, 03:59:08 AM
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this is going to be crazy when its done..


Crazy good place to hide from taxes and bang child prostitutes, but otherwise (if it even gets started) it'll just be a disaster that ends in chaos just like every biodome trial... ever.

Perhaps you should of read the link I posted? Have a look at this quote below:

We don’t think our libertarian supporters expect to create a perfect libertarian paradise where they can do whatever they want without any interference. They are simply looking for a significant improvement over the territorial status quo. To see how large a gain this might be, try the following thought experiment: Look at all the states currently in existence and consider how a libertarian might hand select the best available policies from among them to create a new, single set of institutions.

For example, there are countries in Europe (Switzerland, The Netherlands and Portugal) with fairly lax drug laws (social freedom). There are economic havens (Luxembourg, Bahamas) with very low tax rates (economic freedom). None are perfect from a libertarian perspective. The drug-tolerant countries tend to be left-leaning states with high taxes. The tax havens tend to be more right-wing and socially restrictive. Libertarians feel the combination of these two types of freedoms is worth striving for, even if either is restricted to the maximum level currently tolerated by any of the powers-that-be. Such a state would be far more libertarian than any currently in existence without pushing the legal envelope or creating any radically new policies.

In practice, some libertarians think they can achieve even more freedom than this. Countries really do have a great deal of leeway in their internal affairs, after all. A libertarian seastead should easily be able to have no zoning laws or building codes, low taxes, no import/export tariffs, few restrictions on weapons, local consumption of drugs, no minimum wage, no legislated work week, no coerced welfare system, no eminent domain and many other items from a laundry list of common libertarian policies.

Sure, there are definite limitations. Actions seen as a serious threat to the security of other nations ought not be tolerated, such as letting terrorists launder money, exporting drugs to countries where they are illegal, or researching or building weapons of mass destruction, particularly with nuclear capabilities.
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August 19, 2011, 04:02:44 AM
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I hope they build it off the coast of Somalia. I don't want my tax money spent to defend it.

Why not? Isn't the ability to experiment with new governments and societies a very useful thing? They state repeatedly on the website that this isn't restricted to libertarianism. So I assume various forms of socialism could be tested aswell. The only criteria is that people should always be allowed to leave.

It seems to me that there's a lot to learn here, what ever your political views are.
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August 19, 2011, 04:08:21 AM
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Only $1.25 million?  Thats not enough to buy a house with a decent garden in London let alone to create a free state.  This guy should pony up enough to at least make his idea possible.

Which isn't really the goal of the project. From the website:

"Many similar ventures failed because they expected billions to materialize out of thin air. Our ideas for seastead financing are far more realistic. The basic idea is to proceed in self-financing, incremental steps."
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August 19, 2011, 04:11:56 AM
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I thought it had been ruled that countries can't claim human built land as their territory, only natural land
I didnt think you were right due to  sealand but I guess you are

but the japanese may have found a way around that somewhat

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August 19, 2011, 04:15:53 AM
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Only $1.25 million?  Thats not enough to buy a house with a decent garden in London let alone to create a free state.  This guy should pony up enough to at least make his idea possible.

Which isn't really the goal of the project. From the website:

"Many similar ventures failed because they expected billions to materialize out of thin air. Our ideas for seastead financing are far more realistic. The basic idea is to proceed in self-financing, incremental steps."
They might be able to drill one of the support holes for that much.   Cheesy
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August 19, 2011, 12:59:12 PM
 #16

I hope they build it off the coast of Somalia. I don't want my tax money spent to defend it.

Why not? Isn't the ability to experiment with new governments and societies a very useful thing? They state repeatedly on the website that this isn't restricted to libertarianism. So I assume various forms of socialism could be tested aswell. The only criteria is that people should always be allowed to leave.

It seems to me that there's a lot to learn here, what ever your political views are.
Unless they are officially chartered as a member of my country, then the answer is no. Sovereignty has a price, if you don't pay it, then you don't deserve to be free.

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August 19, 2011, 01:24:54 PM
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Unless they are officially chartered as a member of my country, then the answer is no. Sovereignty has a price, if you don't pay it, then you don't deserve to be free.

There is a very cheap way to remain free: Just offer a secure and trustworthy way to store funds anonymously to the politicians and corporatists of the rest of the countries.
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August 19, 2011, 02:28:13 PM
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I hope they build it off the coast of Somalia. I don't want my tax money spent to defend it.

Why not? Isn't the ability to experiment with new governments and societies a very useful thing? They state repeatedly on the website that this isn't restricted to libertarianism. So I assume various forms of socialism could be tested aswell. The only criteria is that people should always be allowed to leave.

It seems to me that there's a lot to learn here, what ever your political views are.
Unless they are officially chartered as a member of my country, then the answer is no. Sovereignty has a price, if you don't pay it, then you don't deserve to be free.

I think your jumping to conclusions by assuming there isn't a price. There is a price here: the useful information gained from experimenting with various untested societies.

I don't think the seasteaders are asking for US defense, but I still think it would be worth the money even if they did.

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August 19, 2011, 03:25:19 PM
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I hope they build it off the coast of Somalia. I don't want my tax money spent to defend it.

Why not? Isn't the ability to experiment with new governments and societies a very useful thing? They state repeatedly on the website that this isn't restricted to libertarianism. So I assume various forms of socialism could be tested aswell. The only criteria is that people should always be allowed to leave.

It seems to me that there's a lot to learn here, what ever your political views are.
Unless they are officially chartered as a member of my country, then the answer is no. Sovereignty has a price, if you don't pay it, then you don't deserve to be free.

I think your jumping to conclusions by assuming there isn't a price. There is a price here: the useful information gained from experimenting with various untested societies.

I don't think the seasteaders are asking for US defense, but I still think it would be worth the money even if they did.


I do understand that the money is being spent on research, but I'll wait for the peer reviewed articles before I would consider this anywhere near useful as a scientific experiment.

Any significantly advanced cryptocurrency is indistinguishable from Ponzi Tulips.
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August 20, 2011, 08:11:53 PM
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I hope they build it off the coast of Somalia. I don't want my tax money spent to defend it.

Why not? Isn't the ability to experiment with new governments and societies a very useful thing? They state repeatedly on the website that this isn't restricted to libertarianism. So I assume various forms of socialism could be tested aswell. The only criteria is that people should always be allowed to leave.

It seems to me that there's a lot to learn here, what ever your political views are.
Unless they are officially chartered as a member of my country, then the answer is no. Sovereignty has a price, if you don't pay it, then you don't deserve to be free.

I think your jumping to conclusions by assuming there isn't a price. There is a price here: the useful information gained from experimenting with various untested societies.

I don't think the seasteaders are asking for US defense, but I still think it would be worth the money even if they did.

To be honest, it wouldn't cost anything extra for the US to defend a seasteading community off its coast.  All it has to do is announce that the community is under its protection.  No country is going to attack the US or any protectorate of it with its current military capabilities.  As far as pirates, the community is on its own.  They can hire private defense contractors, or simply chip in to fortify their city.  Any city over a certain size that has an armed populace would be too much risk for any but the most brazen and well armed pirates.  Besides, when was the last time you heard of pirates making raids off the US coast?

Yes I know the coast guard runs patrols and therefore would be protecting the seasteading community, but I'm arguing that the marginal cost is zero or negligible.  They are already protecting the US coast and would probably not have to make any extra patrols.  But even if they did the cost of extra patrols is so much smaller than other US military expenditures (Iraq, Afghanistan) it seems stupid to quibble about it.
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