May 29, 2017

"Here on land, the seasteaders propose, ideas about how to govern societies have stagnated. Politics is too entrenched..."

"... societal change comes slowly, if at all.... Seasteads would upset [the] dynamic, since each floating city would be small enough and modular enough that individuals could come and go freely, shopping for governments and social structures. If residents didn’t like one utopia, they could simply sail off to a new one.... [T]he Seasteading Institute makes clear that it will not be operating the cities itself. The particulars of each seastead’s political system should be determined by its inhabitants—or an oligarch, if that’s the way it turns out. 'Any set of rules is OK,' the organization’s FAQ page emphasizes, 'as long as the residents consent to it voluntarily and can leave whenever they choose.'"

From "Libertarians Seek a Home on the High Seas/The unlikely rise—and anti-democratic impulses—of seasteading," by Rachel Riederer in The New Republic, who observes that the seasteads represent "a very particular set of politics," politics based on the free market," and:
When [government] works, it protects the vulnerable and guards the commons—essential tasks at which the free market so often fails. Ocean dwellers will also need those protections. Much as we might like to, we can’t escape the political, even by walking into the sea.

31 comments:

chuck said...

Ah, The New Republic. Fake intellects marching in the service of fake morals.

rcocean said...

"The idea was to provide a base of operations for entrepreneurs who wanted to bypass the hassle of U.S. immigration laws—“an immigration hack,” as Atossa Abrahamian put it in a Quartz op-ed."

IOW, cheap labor for Billionaires. Its all about the greenbacks baby.

dda6ga dda6ga said...

Is there not a book titled: "A Man Without A Country"?

YoungHegelian said...

When [government] works, it protects the vulnerable and guards the commons—essential tasks at which the free market so often fails.

Just how historically ignorant does one have to be to not know how many millions have died at the hands of governments that failed to "protect the vulnerable & guard the commons"?

I'm not a believer that the invisible hand of the market is the benign hand of Providence. But, I'm sure as hell not a believer that you give a man a bureaucrat's job, or a badge, or elect him to office & that purges evil from his heart. Nor from the heart of the government that he serves.

robother said...

"And our friends are all aboard, Many more of them live next door."

Roger Sweeny said...

When [government] works, it protects the vulnerable and guards the commons—essential tasks at which the free market so often fails.

Kind of like saying, "When religion works, people live by the Golden Rule."

The Cracker Emcee said...

Good Lord. Jules Verne, yeah, that's the ticket. The most fascinating thing about the current state of politics is what, if anything, will be the real world price of this frantic flight from reality. 2018 will be informative, but mid-terms are often tricky to read. 2020 should provide some sort of answer. Who knows, maybe hysteria is a winning political tactic.

Gahrie said...

Who is going to fight off the pirates?

pacwest said...

The idea has been around for decades. I hope they don't try to build in the South China Sea.

madAsHell said...

Can you imagine the HOA fees?

tcrosse said...

Can you imagine the HOA fees?

Who wouldn't wish to be governed by the board of their HOA ?


madAsHell said...

Diversity, and inclusion will be cast overboard.

Virtually Unknown said...

The 'Invisible Hand' is a silly superstition, obviously economies must be intelligently designed.

'Intelligent Design' is a silly superstition, obviously life evolved though a kind of market selection of the fittest!

My suggestion is that we all live on maximum libertarian city until we get sick, then head over to universal free health care city, and if we get well, sail back to liberty.

Hagar said...

The natives kind of do that on Lake Titicaca.

Bob Ellison said...

You can escape the political by walking into a rip current.

southcentralpa said...

To adapt the immortal Samuel Johnson, "Seasteading is being in Kowloon Walled City, with the off-chance of drowning."

[http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2139914/A-rare-insight-Kowloon-Walled-City.html?ICO=most_read_module]

gadfly said...

It takes an "aquaprenuer" like Joe Quick and the upbringing of Patri Friedman (grandson of one of our greatest economists, Milton Friedman) to attempt this venture on a privately-funded basis. Somehow, our profit-minded libertarians should look to emulating the admirable success of environmentalists, who hate oil drilling, but discovered a biological miracle. Abandoned rigs in the Gulf and off the California coast are natural gathering places for thriving, ever-growing sea life. With help from political friends, and uninformed taxpayers, many dead rigs are living again, having been converted to artificial reefs.

There must be a lesson there someplace.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Karl Stromberg call your office...

The Spy Who Loved Me https://g.co/kgs/jwJor2

So what they're admitting is that libertarianism cannot exist on Earth.

John Lynch said...

Tonga says no.

D said...

I was thinking Moonraker on the Sea, BL.
Where every hour, on the hour, they play Come Sail Away.
On holidays, Ride Captain Ride.
(I guess Bond analogies are lost on our hostess unless it involves Odd Job)

Danno said...

robother quoted the Beatles and now I blame you for getting "Yellow Submarine" stuck in my head.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Althouse=Icky Bond is for icky boys?

Hah, yeah, sort of a rehash, wasn't it. Moonraker novel was badass. TSWLM was in its own way also quite something. Pity Fleming died so young. And C.S.Forester, come to think of it.

tim maguire said...

"So long as they are free to leave if they want."

Sure, at first.

traditionalguy said...

Cults always take people away from their family support system and then insist they dedicate themselves to a new fake family. But, unexpectedly, the new family has rules that enslave them, rob them, and finally murders them.

But give it a try.

robother said...

Danno: getting "Yellow Submarine" stuck in my head.

John and Paul missed their true calling, writing annoying advert ditties for Double mint gum.

Known Unknown said...

I speak with fellow libertarians daily. None of them have ever mentioned this. Sounds like one of those all-too-common articles that treat some super-fringey thing as a trend or harbinger.

Jack Wayne said...

Libertarians are utopians. I expect this venture to founder.

Steven said...

I'm still waiting for an example of the free market shipping millions of the vulnerable to extermination camps.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Steven, have you got an example of the free market stopping it?

William Chadwick said...

"Anti-democratic:" Statist for "pro-freedom."

TestTube said...

The most stable and successful ship-based societies have had a strictly enforced social hierarchy, ruled by a single man who has life-and-death power, reinforced by a cadre of lesser, yet still powerful, officials, a brutal, absolutely loyal police force, and a set of laws and traditions that is simple enough for all to understand and ruthlessly enforced with neither mercy nor pity.

Not exactly where I want to spend my retirement years.