Friday, April 25, 2014


We all know that Cliven Bundy has said, “I don't recognize [the] United States Government as even existing." But heck, he's just a racist rancher from the lunatic fringe, someone mainstream conservatives embraced in a moment of weakness -- right?

Well, as we're reminded in this New York Times story about Rand Paul's efforts to assemble a donor base of rich libertarians, you don't have to be a fringy racist rancher to be accepted in the GOP establishment despite questionable loyalty to the notion of the United States of America:
Mr. Paul's nascent finance team includes Joe Lonsdale, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist who helped start an organization dedicated to building new sovereign cities on floating ocean platforms.
Yes, that's "building new sovereign cities" as in building cities off the coast of the U.S. that are self-declared independent nations. In other words, the guy some consider to be the Republican presidential front-runner, i.e., the guy who seriously could become president of the United States, has a finance team that includes a rich guy who wants to set up his own country apart from and independent of the United States.

This isn't a new development by any means -- Lonsdale's mentor, fellow libertarian and PayPal founder Peter Thiel, is a big financial backer of Lonsdale's organization, which is called the Seasteading Institute. Thiel gave lots of money to Rand Paul's dad in 2008 and 2012 (although Ron Paul was never a plausible winner of the GOP nomination). Thiel has also donated to McCain/Palin, Romney/Ryan, and dozens of GOP gubernatorial and congressional candidates (as well as to one libertarian Democrat).

And maybe I shouldn't regard the funding of a possible independent libertarian country as a rejection of America. I guess I ought to see it as like a musician's side project. But it still seems kind of disloyal. I suppose I'm old-fashioned that way.

Here's an August 2008 clip of a pre-Fox Glenn Beck interviewing Lonsdale, who was then a very rich 25-year-old, about the Seasteading Institute. What's amusing is that Beck can't decide whether the whole idea is wonderful or ridiculous -- and he seems to lean toward the latter.

I know these techies think that the only thing preventing them from solving all the world's problems -- and making a huge profit doing so -- is that they have an albatross around their necks consisting of the rest of us lesser mortals, with our ridiculous taxes, regulations, and other restraints on their limitless brilliance. I'm sorry the existence of our nation-state is harshing their mellow.


Victor said...

"Mr. Paul's nascent finance team includes Joe Lonsdale, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist who helped start an organization dedicated to building new sovereign cities on floating ocean platforms."

What a wonderful place for the rest of us to have planes and helicopters drop toxic refuse and diseased bodies!

I'd rather have a target like a small man-made island like this float around with all sorts of sh*t on it, than we dump stuff randomly in the oceans, and have it collect in 'Garbage and Plastic Islands.'

We can even pay them for the privilege of being Staten Island, NY.

And if these rich douche-canoe's don't like it?
Let them start a military on their little richy-rich mini-islands.

The level of selfish, greedy, and cruel, 'TEH STOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPID!!!!!!", is getting beyond ridiculous.

Unknown said...

Finally, a serious proposal to go Galt! What's stopping them?

Lawrence said...

I read about one of these seasteading experiments. It was described as Burning Man meets Waterworld. And it sank. Wish I still had the link. But even if they manage to make a practical Dr. Evil Atlantis the will need to address: Habitat construction cost, maintenance, sanitation, fresh water, food, Blackwater mercs (unless you want Sinaloa to mail your finger with the ransom note), Comcast bill, medical care, hookers and blow...
"Thiel! Tell Zuckerberg to send more money or we'll have to start collecting taxes!"

Anonymous said...

RationalWiki says there have been only 3 real attempts, noting "It is quite possible that herding libertarians is difficult."

'Operation Atlantis' was the one that sank. 'Minerva' was conquered by Tonga. 'Rose Island' was blown up by Italy.

Never Ben Better said...

No worries; they'll support the government, and call out as traitors anyone who dares to criticize it, just as soon as one of their own is back in the White House.