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Ultimate experiment: Would you live on a libertarian island?


One of my biggest political dreams is finally coming true. For a long time, I wished that some conservative billionaire could purchase the city of Detroit, implement no nonsense market-driven policies, limit business and living restrictions and give capitalism and liberty a chance to really revive the Motor City. I'd imagined it would finally put to rest any dispute over the merits of free-market capitalism and bury Keynesian economics for good.

Like I said, however, this was just a dream. But news today gives me a glimmer of hope that a similar experiment prove the case just as well. Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel has reportedly donated $1.25 million to an initiative dedicated to building "floating libertarian countries in international waters."

The Lookout reports.

Thiel has been a big backer of the Seasteading Institute, which seeks to build sovereign nations on oil rig-like platforms to occupy waters beyond the reach of law-of-the-sea treaties. The idea is for these countries to start from scratch--free from the laws, regulations, and moral codes of any existing place. 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."

"There are quite a lot of people who think it's not possible," Thiel said at a Seasteading Institute Conference in 2009, according to Details. (His first donation was in 2008, for $500,000.) "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."

Let's go further -- let's build one libertarian island and another ruled by communism and see which one flourishes.  I know which one I'd bet my money on.

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