It looks like crazy uncle Peter is off of his meds again. That’s what the mass media and statists (but I repeat myself) have been saying about Peter Thiel’s (you may have heard of him, he founded that shitty service called Pay Pal) newest endeavor which is the creation of a libertarian island out in international waters:
Thiel has been a big backer of the Seasteading Institute, which seeks to build sovereign nations on oil rig-like platforms to occupy waters beyond the reach of law-of-the-sea treaties. The idea is for these countries to start from scratch–free from the laws, regulations, and moral codes of any existing place. Details says the experiment would be “a kind of floating petri dish for implementing policies that libertarians, stymied by indifference at the voting booths, have been unable to advance: no welfare, looser building codes, no minimum wage, and few restrictions on weapons.”
Sounds great, sign me up! As nice as this idea sounds it’ll never fly (I was going to say float but alas that was just to easy of a pun to make). Why? Because the primary failure is relying on the law of the sea treaties. Like it or not the United Nations (UN) administers the current rules regarding international waters through their Convention on the Law of the Sea. The UN is basically the biggest big government advocate group on the planet. According to the UN you’re not a sovereign nations unless they recognize you as such and if you’re not a sovereign nation they don’t recognize you as having any rights. On top of that the UN doesn’t exactly recognize private property rights which is needed in order to use homesteading.
You’re probably saying to yourself right now, “But Chris you hate the UN! Why are you concerned with what they want?” My concern stems from the same source as my hatred, the UN is more than willing to use guns to stomp down anybody they don’t like. Do you think the UN will be thrilled with the idea of a group of libertarian staring their own nations on the UN’s “property” (they view the oceans as their property)? Probably not. If construction started on this hypothetical island I wouldn’t be surprised if the UN showed up and arrested everybody for violating some stupid treaty that the islanders never signed.
With that said I would like nothing more than this project to get off of the ground. Having an island of liberty in a sea of tyranny would at least give those of us who care about freedom a place to run to. Currently the closest thing we have to that is the Free State Project (which I think has far better odds of success) but they’re still in the process of getting a critical number of liberty minded people to New Hampshire.
There is an interesting observation I have made in regards to libertarian projects like the Free State Project and the Seasteading Institute. Almost every libertarian project involves liberty oriented people running away from the statist societies that have developed all over the globe. This says a lot about libertarians, we’re willing to pick up everything and get the fuck out of your hair but the only thing that stands in our way are people who want to control our actions. Libertarian philosophy leaves no room for any person to have control over any other which means our tactics are restricted, we won’t use coercion and force to achieve our goals. So ask yourself who the selfish people really are; those willing to pick up and leave letting everybody to continue their existence as they see fit or those who will use violence to force others to obey their desires?