Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Libertarian Billionaire Wants Island Nation for Libertarian Billionaires

Libertarian Billionaire Wants Island Nation for Libertarian Billionaires
Awesome. Too bad they won't be taking the rest of the libertarians with them. Most of them no doubt will continue to preach the gospel of Ayn Rand and Ron Paul from Mom's basement..


Anonymous said...

An "oil-rig style" structure with "looser building codes"?

How much do you want to bet BP gets the contract for this?

Anonymous said...

"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."

Reminds me of The Simpsons episode "Mansion Family," where Homer takes Mr. Burns' yacht out to international waters.

Moe: Now you know I can't sell you no beer until 2 p.m. on account of it's Sunday.

Homer: But I need that beer now!

Moe: Sorry, 2 p.m. Or you can steal a boat and sail out to international waters, heh.

Homer: What's that, a theme park?

Moe: No, the ocean. Once you get twelve miles out, there's no laws at all. That's where they held the Tyson-Secretariat fight.

. . .

Carl: Homer, have we hit international waters yet? Because, eh, things are gettin' real ugly.

[cut to Moe, who stands in front of a keg of beer, holding off the advancing crowd with a bullwhip]

Moe: I can't sell you beer until we cross the line!

Barney: Legally, you can give us free beer. [Moe whips him] Ow!

. . .

Bart: Wow, you can do anything out here!

Homer: That's right. See that ship over there? [points to a ship with a large satellite dish on it] They're re-broadcasting Major League Baseball with implied oral consent, not express written consent -- or so the legend goes.

. . .

% The party rolls on full blast in international waters. Homer
% considers the lives of those back on land, smugly noting they are
% unaware of "the simple joys of a monkey knife fight." (One of which
% is taking place on the yacht at that very moment.)
% Bart teases a Coast Guard cutter holding position just inside United
% States national waters.

Bart: [through a bullhorn] Hey, Coast Guard! Try to stop us now, you lousy Americans.

Coast Guard: [through a loudspeaker] We can't hear you! Come three hundred feet closer!

Bart: Nice try. You're not going to nail us.

Coast Guard: But we just want to party.

Anonymous said...

“There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.“

(original author unknown to me)

Anonymous said...

"Too bad they won't be taking the rest of the libertarians with them."

But George Soros, who is a hero by the standards of Ayn Rand (he has lots of money), will be eligible.

Anonymous said...

Peter Corning has a recent article on the Psychology Today web site titled "What’s the Matter with Libertarianism?" (August 01, 2011).

Near the end of the first page, Corning observes something that I've been trying to find a way to articulate (hence my comment above about George Soros being an Ayn Randian hero):

"And it is weak on the subject of equity (or social merit) as a criterion for respecting property rights. It presumes a priori that property holdings are deserved, rather than making merit a precondition. Imposing a test of merit would put strict limits on property rights."

Regular readers of this blog (except for Tom Skiba, Tyler Berding, and Bob Nelson) would probably agree that HOA corporations do not deserve the right to our property that the law allows, regardless of what is in some document called a contract.

In the Comments section, he writes that

"Meantime, it's worth noting that Ayn Rand’s gospel of selfishness represents the very antithesis of every major religion and ethical system. It is a modern-day example of the view, tracing back to the Sophists and Epicureans in ancient Greece, that the 'elite' in any society have an entitlement to do whatever is in their own self-interest, so long as they don’t harm others (a vague restriction that is mostly ignored in practice) and have no obligations to the parasitical 'masses.'. Rand’s sophistry is even hostile to the notions of fairness and 'justice,' much less the Golden Rule. (And the same is true for such Libertarian economists as Friedrich Hayek.) It’s also profoundly anti-democratic, and it serves as a moral justification for the ever-increasing concentration of income and wealth in our society and the spreading wasteland of poverty. Rand even excuses her elite heroes from the rule of law (viz the architect Howard Roark in 'The Fountainhead.')"

Anonymous said...


August 25, 2011
PayPal Founder To Create Island

Peter Thiel, the founder of PayPal and an early investor in Facebook, is putting $1.25 million of his own money toward the creation of artificial libertarian island-nations. Here are some of the features the islands will include:

* Large monument paying tribute to Bob Barr and his heroic 0.4 percent of the popular vote in the 2008 presidential election
* Annual contest to see which island-dweller can best hijack a normal conversation with a tirade about the corrupt U.S. tax code
* Huge pile of free guns right in the middle of each island
* Canning operation free from restrictive boiling and acidity-regulation rules
* Penn and Teller, every Thursday night
* Large ceremonial nonfunctioning national debt clock that just reads "0"
* A swimmin' hole
* Emergency blue-light phones that connect directly to the Cato Institute
* A bunch of Republicans anyway
* Occasional arbitrary tax on the population just to give them something to get riled up about, which, for many libertarians, is their sole reason for existing

Anonymous said...

Scott Adams, the creator of the comic strip "Dilbert," has an article about this in the Wall Street Journal:

Driving the Rich Into the Sea
According to biologists, billions of years ago the first sea creature wiggled onto the beach. This was a pivotal moment in life's long march from amorphous sea snot into the highest form of mammalian beings—hedge-fund managers. Many people see that as an improvement, but I'm not judgmental. What we don't know is why the first sea creatures were so anxious to leave their ocean habitats. My guess is that it had something to do with taxes.
Reliable people on television have informed me that taxes are the root cause of all behavior.

Read the whole thing at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204138204576601000374936460.html


Anonymous said...

The December 10, 2011 issue of The Economist published an article about a project by

the Honduran government wants to create what amounts to internal start-ups—quasi-independent city-states that begin with a clean slate and are then overseen by outside experts. They will have their own government, write their own laws, manage their own currency and, eventually, hold their own elections.
. . .
The Honduran regions are modelled on a concept called “charter cities” developed by Paul Romer, an economics professor at New York University. The principle is simple: take a piece of uninhabited land big enough for a city of several million, govern it by well-tried rules and let those who like the idea move there. The aim is to replicate the success of such places as Hong Kong, not as colonial outposts but as models of development.

(Hong Kong in the Honduras)

What might be of interest to regular readers here are comments in a side-article about the project.

The two firms hail from different parts of the libertarian spectrum. Mr Friedman [Patri Friedman, grandson of Milton Friedman] is an outspoken critic of democracy. It is “ill-suited for a libertarian state”, he wrote in an essay in 2009—because it is “rigged against libertarians” (they would always lose) and inefficient. Rather than giving its citizens a voice, he argues, they should be free to exit; cities should compete for them by offering the best services.

The second firm’s backers appear to be less radical. A founder of several charter schools, Mr Strong [Michael Strong, libertarian activist] is now the force behind FLOW, a movement that claims to combine libertarian thinking “with love, compassion, social and environmental consciousness”, says its website. He too prefers exit over voice (meaning that he thinks that leaving and joining are better constraints on executive power than the ballot box).
. . .
Both firms, however, have links to prominent libertarians with deep pockets. Mr Strong is close to John Mackey, the co-founder and chief executive of Whole Foods, a high-end supermarket chain—though Mr Strong says that Mr Mackey already has too many other things on his plate. Mr Friedman’s contacts seem more promising: the Seasteading Institute received lots of cash from Peter Thiel, a Silicon Valley billionaire who founded the internet payment service PayPal and was an early investor in Facebook, the world’s biggest social network.

Mr Thiel’s ambitions go far beyond scouting out the next big thing in technology. “I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible”.

(Honduras Shrugged)