Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Seasteading: Government as Industry, Citizens as Customers.

Here's how Wikipedia describes "seasteading:"

The Seasteading Institute, founded by Wayne Gramlich and Patri Friedman on April 15, 2008, is an organization formed to facilitate the establishment of autonomous, mobile communities on seaborne platforms operating in international waters. Gramlich’s 1998 article "SeaSteading – Homesteading on the High Seas" outlined the notion of affordable steading, and attracted the attention of Friedman with his proposal for a small-scale project. The two began working together and posted their first collaborative book online in 2001, which explored aspects of seasteading from waste disposal to flags of convenience.

The project picked up mainstream exposure in 2008 after having been brought to the attention of PayPal founder Peter Thiel, who invested $500,000 in the institute and has since spoken out on behalf of its viability, most recently in his essay "The Education of a Libertarian," published online by Cato Unbound. TSI has received widespread and diverse media attention, from sources such as CNN, Wired Magazine, and Prospect Magazine. American journalist and commentator John Stossel wrote an article about seasteading and the Seasteading Institute in February of 2011 and invited Patri Friedman onto his show on the Fox Business Network.

"Let's forget about left and right...and instead, put our entrepreneur hats on. Let's think of government as an industry, where countries are firms and citizens are customers. Now this is not just any industry, this is the world's BIGGEST industry.....a start up country could be the world's first trillion-dollar business....What we need is a new frontier, an open space for political experiments, and the next frontier is the ocean."
-- Patri Friedman, grandson of Milton Friedman,  The Seasteading Institute

I think this is a splendid idea for all those libertarians who want freedom from territorial government. I hope the Cato Institute finds a nice oil rig out in the middle of the brine and settles in. Can't you just see it now?
"I pledge allegiance to the flag, and to the United Corporation of the Pacific for which it stands, one seastead under Rand, voluntarily joined, with liberty and profit for each shareholder."

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