The dream of libertarian technotopia floating startup nations






damnit beat me to it.


Five years old? There were people proposing this back in the sixties. Possibly earlier, but that’s when I first started hearing about it. Did people forget about it for fifty years, or what?


I think you buried the lede: “Paypal Founder Pisses 1.2 Billion Right Down His Leg”


L2 is the place to be.



I’d actually love to see one of these ventures get the money they need to actually build their designs, because it would be interesting (and entertaining) to see just how quickly the whole venture would fall apart.


Interesting that they want to plant the first one in the Caribbean with it’s tradition of wealthy white men setting up private kingdoms inhabited by slaves. Galt’s Gulch before Alisa Rosenbaum was even born.


I dream of reading Jared Diamond’s post-mortem.


$1.2 Million, not Billion. Plenty of people in his pay grade can piss away that kind of cash over the course of a weekend.

Which is not to say that I think this little venture is likely to go anywhere.


The article completely glosses over how a big motivation for these initiatives is to escape the restraints democracy places on capitalism. Peter Thiel, who has donated $1.2 million to this effort, is already on the record for saying that “freedom” (which he defines in the typically narrow libertarian way) and democracy are incompatible. Ultimately, seasteading is not going be feasible on a big enough scale for us to watch it descend into some horrifying Rapture type horror show. Instead we will see some tiny, moderately successful (yet highly promoted) examples, a lot of absurd failures, and most of the money spent on distorting the American political process to further insulate government and business from democratic control.

That Silicon Valley libertarianism is sliding towards authoritarianism has been more welcomed as of late:

The speech succeeded in promoting the anti-democratic authoritarianism at the core of neoreactionary thought, while glossing over the attendant bigotry. This has long been a goal of some in the movement. One such moderate—if the word can be used in this context—is Patri Friedman, grandson of the late libertarian demigod Milton Friedman. The younger Friedman expressed the need for “a more politically correct dark enlightenment” after a public falling out with Yarvin in 2009.


The “Freedom Ship” (website still up, not much else to show for it) fell apart before construction. They had plans to build it in Honduras(cheap natives y’know!); but that sort of silently disappeared without much comment.


China Mieville offered a necessary corrective to these libertarian fantasies a few years ago:

Coercive political apparatuses, operating internally and externally, are implicitly, sometimes explicitly, part of the libertarian seasteading project. Good Brechtians, we ask: Who is to maintain New Utopia, Laissez-Faire City, the Freedom Ship? Who will cook the feasts and clean the heads? So many reports. So many questions. The fantasists of libertarian seasteading are vague or silent about on-ship labor standards, preferring not to ponder who will swab the decks on which the offshore traders, speculators and Web entrepreneurs will promenade.


What is a ‘dark enlightenment’? I don’t even.


Apparently there’s been a lack of loony for a few decades that’s finally come back. All I can say is power to ya douchebags!


Its an “endarkenment”, obviously.


Much of the pioneering work on the subject was done by people perpetually hovering over the M&M bowl at science fiction convention parties.


Dark Enlightenment is a small blogging circle of meandering 10,000 word essays that are difficult to read because they make little sense other than as a monument to the author’s inflated intellectual ego.

It’s also a group of mostly former libertarians who think that the Enlightenment went too far with that democracy stuff, and would prefer an authoritarian government with laissez-faire economic policies, because that would prevent popular redistribution of wealth through the ballot box. It prefers not to be called the F-word no matter how much it sounds like it, or often sympathizes with it.


If I was going to found a micro-nation in the Pacific, I’d definitely avoid a Capitalistic model. If there’s anywhere that a communal economic system can be said to be definitively superior, it’s on a small scale.