Sunday, August 9, 2009

Getting away from it all: more about sea steading, micronations and finding a physical Galt's Gulch

The discussion on Libertarian seasteads, space colonies and micronations is opening up again on the blog "Next Big Future" This link is to only one of the articles, others exist here and here.

The basic argument is how could freedom loving people escape from the current mess of redistributive politics? Simply up and leaving civilization isn't much of an option, every piece of the land area of Earth has been claimed by one State entity or another, and even the open oceans are patrolled by navies eager to exert the sovereign power of the State wherever resources and trade routes exist that can benefit the State.

While it is possible to find some very out of the way area that has essentially been abandoned by central State control, there are probably good reasons for this, including relative inaccessibility, lack of resources and the presence of competing non state actors attempting to create their own areas of control. The determined freedom seeker would have to be extremely tough, resourceful and willing to battle it out with FARC, the Taliban or similar groups, as well as doing without hot and cold running water.

I suspect only the very smallest minority of readers fall into this category, so joining the John Galt strike and making provisions to disconnect yourself from the grid through some form of urban homesteading is probably the most realistic path open to the majority of readers.

There is the delicious irony of turning the various memes of the Progressives against them while becoming a successful citizen of  the distributed or virtual "Galt's Gulch". Generating your own energy and home schooling your children to "reduce your carbon footprint", growing your own produce to "only eat food from within 100 km" and other activities that increase your standard of living while reducing your tax contributions to the State; now we are starting not only to join John Galt, but also his confederate Ragnar Danneskj√∂ld, who recovers wealth from the looters.

For people determined to build real as opposed to virtual or distributed Galt's Gulches, there are a few possible options left. A billionaire or corporation with libertarian inclinations might choose to "buy" a small city or create the physical infrastructure of a self contained city within a city (something along the lines of the classical Arcology concept). Encouraging migration of like minded people to single geographic areas might also work to build a voting block which could swing elections, and this moment in history could make it possible, considering the collapse of housing values in many parts of the United States. (The downside is most of the collapse is in the Democrat controlled "Blue States", so even fully libertarian municipalities would be held hostage by intrusive State governments).

The timeline to create a Galt's Gulch is very tight, with an apocalyptic financial crisis looming in the relatively near future. US Medicare is projected to go bankrupt in 2016, and Social Security soon after. The increase of the annual deficits by the Obama administration to almost 2 trillion a year means the United States itself could exhaust the accumulated stock of American wealth in under 25 years, much sooner once the unfunded liabilites are factored in. Certainly the surviving institutions of the State will take extreme measures to maintain their hold on power as the economy crumbles under them, and we need to get ready not only to survive and repel the agents of the State desperate to seize our wealth for their own survival, but also the chaos that will follow the collapse.

Charter cities in the desert, sea steads, urban homesteads and other nodes of civilization need to be prepared, and more importantly, people need to be prepared and educated to survive the new realities. Every attempt to meld anti-politics (i.e. the John Galt Strike combined with creating the best Galt's gulch that is physically possible) with local political action to reduce the power and effects of the State from intruding into your lives will serve to soften the blow when it does come.

Freedom is a self help project!


Zip said...

I think that it may be possible to work out a Hong Kong type lease with a third world or failed state. However, the amount of capital required would be immense and finding a suitable location with resources and a small native population may be problematic to say the least.

CapitalJustas said...

We should try an island in the Carribean or The Pasific. Some of them come with small infrastructure and can be bought for 5'000'000 dollars or a smaller sum. However, getting that much money is impossible unless some corporations funded us. Such an island may become a good tax haven for them.