Seasteading: Billionaire Reveals Plan To Launch Floating Countries (Updated)

Seasteading: Billionaire Reveals Plan To Launch Floating Countries (Updated)

Aug 17


Multisource political news, world news, and entertainment news analysis by


Daily Mail
August 11, 2011

Original Link

PayPal-founder Peter Thiel was so inspired by Atlas Shrugged — Ayn Rand’s novel about free-market capitalism — that he’s trying to make its title a reality.

The Silicon Valley billionaire has funnelled $1.25 million to the Seasteading Institute, an organization that aspires to launch a floating colony into international waters, freeing them and like-minded thinkers to live by Libertarian ideals.

Mr Thiel recently told Details magazine that: ‘The United States Constitution had things you could do at the beginning that you couldn’t do later. So the question is, can you go back to the beginning of things? How do you start over?’

The floating sovereign nations that Thiel imagines would be built on oil-rig-like platforms anchored in areas free of regulation, laws, and moral conventions.

The Seasteading Institute says it will ‘give people the freedom to choose the government they want instead of being stuck with the government they get.’

The venture capitalist who famously helped Facebook expand beyond the Harvard campus, Mr Thiel called seasteading an ‘open a frontier for experimenting with new ideas for government.’

After making his first investment in the project in 2008, Mr Thiel said: ‘Decades from now, those looking back at the start of the century will understand that Seasteading was an obvious step towards encouraging the development of more efficient, practical public sector models around the world.

‘We’re at a fascinating juncture: the nature of government is about to change at a very fundamental level.’

Mr Thiel and his colleagues say their ocean state would have no welfare, looser building codes, no minimum wage, and few restrictions on weapons.

Aiming to have tens of millions of residents by 2050, the Seastead Institute says architectural plans for a prototype involve a movable, diesel-powered, structure with room for 270 residents.

The long-term plan would be to have dozens and eventually hundreds of the platforms linked together.

Patri Friedman, a former Google engineer who is working on the project told Details that they hope to launch a flotilla of offices off the San Francisco coast next year.

‘Big ideas start as weird ideas,’ Friedman said.

He predicted that full-time settlement will follow in about seven years.

But while some Ayn Rand acolytes may think the idea is brilliant, it’s not without its critics.

Margaret Crawford, an expert on urban planning and a professor of architecture at Berkeley, told Details: ‘it’s a silly idea without any urban-planning implications whatsoever.’

Thiel meanwhile once a crowd at the Seasteading Institute Conference in 2009 that: ‘there are quite a lot of people who think it’s not possible.

That’s a good thing. We don’t need to really worry about those people very much, because since they don’t think it’s possible they won’t take us very seriously. And they will not actually try to stop us until it’s too late.’



  1. This should be a good push in the right direction for seasteading floating cities

    • David Fine

      Tthe only thig wrong with this,is it would be a liberal country and there for you would be a slave to the idea of hollywood type leadership where you would be server or a servant,and this i’snt my idea freedom or agovernment.
      For this to work ,it needs to be set up as a republic or it will fall apart at it’s foundations

  2. Cosi

    How shortsighted. Do they forget that it takes the middle masses to support their designed products? Without a tax supported infrastructure, eventually, they will dwindle too.
    How elitist & greedy. Asking for trouble. . . Ha! Not to mention the garbage situation of the oceans. I’m sure they’d add to what’s already a depressing situation for the planet.

  3. Nonne

    Oh, it will fly (er, float) for a while. But unless it develops a self-supporting economy, it will be forever dependent on outside funding by its millionaire residents. For anyone else living there I foresee a “no work, no eat” kind of culture. Also sounds like an “IQ-tocracy” because it won’t welcome anyone who can’t handle its level of technological complexity.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.