According to a profile in Details magazine, Pay Pal founder and early Facebook investor Peter Thiel has given $1.25 million to an initiative to create floating libertarian countries in international waters. Thiel has been a strong supporter of the Seasteading Institute, which is an organization looking to build sovereign nations on oil rig-like platforms to occupy waters beyond the reach of law-of-the-sea treaties. These “offshore” countries would be free from the laws, regulations, and moral codes of any existing state.
The profile in Details says the experiment would be “a kind of floating petri dish for implementing policies that libertarians, stymied by indifference at the voting booths, have been unable to advance: no welfare, looser building codes, no minimum wage, and few restrictions on weapons.”
Sounds interesting, but I want to open the floor and get your thoughts.
What are the trade implications if floating countries were indeed created and sustained? Political implications? Would this truly advance libertarian ideals? What drawbacks can you envision? What benefits? What bits of crazy are inherent in the idea? What bits of genius?