Seasteading is not about No Rules and Loose Building Codes

This Yahoo News article about PayPal founder Peter Thiel’s donation to the Seasteading Institute cracks me up. According to the writer, the libertarian project consists of “no welfare, looser building codes, no minimum wage, and few restrictions on weapons.” LOL.

In reality, libertarianism is about having legitimate authority, voluntary authority. Right now, the world is flooded with forced authority. Do what I say or you’re going to be thrown in a cage or have some of your money taken. Libertarianism, on the other hand, says: If you want to work with me or live in community with me, let’s follow these rules we both agreed to. If not, you’re free to find other people to work or commune with.

Libertarians are not explicitly against welfare, which is just a form of mutual aid. For libertarian anarchists, in fact, mutual aid is a highly valued concept. Libertarians, generally speaking, just want mutual aid to be voluntary. Even if you like government programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, you have to admit that government has screwed them up. Social Security is bankrupt. Although it accrued a $4 or $5 trillion surplus, the federal government has spent that. The likelihood of it being repaid doesn’t seem good, due to the national debt. Medicare and Medicaid have been impregnated with lots of promises but Uncle Sam is a deadbeat dad. Surely these important causes deserve better management.

Many of the commenters on the Yahoo article wonder how people living on the seasteading platforms will fend off invaders and pirates. Without all the US self-defense restrictions, I expect arms dealers will do business with us. We should be able to handle most contingencies. As someone who wants to participate in this experiment some day, it’s not something I’m worried about.

In any case, seasteading is an exciting idea. Congratulations to Patri Friedman and his team on their success. Onward and upward.

Here’s a short intro to seasteading:

17 August 2011
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