For about 20 years, looking at the desolation of American politics, I have often wondered “Why doesn’t some billionaire just make his own island out in international waters and do whatever he wants out there?”
Well, here you go. Billionaire Paypal founder and one-time savior of Facebook Peter Theil just dropped $1.25 million to do just that. He wants to create a man-made libertarian utopia 200 miles off the coast of San Francisco. San Francisco? Why San Francisco? I was just there last week and it’s a nice city but…why there? Then I remembered Peter Theil is gay, and I said “Oh.”
Do I like the idea? Sure. I love it. If I was a billionaire with money to burn I’d probably do the same thing.
Do I think the idea will succeed? No. It probably will never even be built. There have been many libertarian pie-in-the-sky attempted projects like this in the past, my favorite being the Freedom Ship, mile-high ship that’s it’s own nation that sails around the world. Oh yeah baby. Mount some missile launchers on that bad boy, remove all alimony laws, have no income tax of any kind, slap a flat 3% sales tax on everything sold to maintain the cost of the ship, and shiiiiiit. I’d move there tomorrow.
Of course, that’s fantasy too. A nice fantasy, don’t get me wrong, but a fantasy nonetheless.
Do I think that by 2050 (or whatever) there will actually be man-made mini-nations out in the ocean with a libertarian worldview? Sure, it’s possible. Would I live in such a place? Sure, but I would not be an early adopter. Uh, no. I’d like my fellow libertarian buddies go beta-test the place before I moved out there. Once it was proven to be a viable place to live and work, I’d give it a shot.
What’s more likely to happen at some point over the next several decades is small states or provinces begin to break away from their current countries. As government all over the world gets more bankrupt and more corrupt, don’t be surprised to see places like Texas, Quebec, Eritrea, Palestine, and many others say “That’s it!” and break away and form their own little countries. Which would be a very good thing, even if they adopt styles of government I disagree with (which would be just about everything except libertarian minarchism). Hell, they don’t even have to secede. I would stand up in my office and applaud if even one of those European countries over there had the balls to tell the EU to go screw itself and withdraw from that collectivist, authoritarian, banker-owned piece of shit.
The more sovereign countries in the world peacefully trading with each other, the better. I oppose the conservative world vision of a small number of massive countries bulling around everyone else just as much as I oppose the libertarian vision of a one-world government putting a gun to everyone’s head telling them how big their toilets should be. Nope. A perfect world would be thousands of tiny independent and sovereign countries peacefully doing business with one another. Like the that doctor on Idiocracy said, “Kick ass!”
One more thing. Regarding the media reaction to this story. There are two kinds of libertarians: anarchists and minarchists. Anarchists want no government at all (I’m talking about real anarchists, not fake the liberal anarchists who are always rioting, saying they’re anarchists but are actually Marxists in disguise). Minarchists (like me) want government, just really small government. I think complete anarchy is extremely stupid and would never be in favor of that. (Though as technology continues to advance I might change my mind about that some day.) I love government PROVIDED it handles the basics and THAT’S IT. You know, crap like roads, courts, firemen, etc.
Always remember that the media (who hate most libertarian ideals since the media is largely liberal) always portray libertarians as anarchists, not minarchists. “OMG an island with NO LAWS? OMG those stupid libertarians! Like THAT’S going to work!” No, that would be an island of anarchists. Libertarians would have plenty of laws to protect their investment, believe me.
See you on the island!