Libertarians pine for a country with next to no government presence and freedom from the burdens of living as a part of a community. If Pay Pal founder and early Facebook investor Peter Thiel has his way, they may just get such a place. Thiel has donated $1.25 million to create floating libertarian countries in international waters where they would be free from any current laws and regulations.
That’s right. A libertarian island paradise free from the rest of us. It almost sounds too good to be true.
The funding runs through Seasteading Institute which seeks to build sovereign nations on oil-rig like platforms. The idea behind these “countries” is to start from scratch and based on libertarian principles. Those principles include no public welfare, no minimum wage laws, minimal, if any, building and environmental regulations and non-existent weapon restrictions.
Seasteading 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.
I hope this initiative moves forward, if only to provide an example other than Somalia of a place where libertarian ideology translates into governance. It is one thing to promote an ideology of non-government influence on a micro or a macro scale, but it is an entirely different thing to actually build a functioning community around it. Is this even possible? I guess we’ll see.
Photo from brewbooks via flickr.