A fascinating development, as reported by the New York Daily News:
Peter Thiel has made his fortune by being part of the next big thing: He was a co-founder of Paypal and one of the early investors of Facebook.
But a new Details profile sums up his new plans: “Forget startup companies. The next frontier is startup countries.”
Thiel has donated $1.25 million to the Seasteading Institute, the brainchild of Patri Friedman, a former Google engineer and grandson of economist Milton Friedman. Here’s the gist: creation of libertarian, sovereign nations built on oil-rig-type platforms anchored in international waters and free from the laws and moral codes of any other country.
This is one step beyond the Free State Project, the plan to turn New Hampshire into a libertarian paradise. Rather than working within the system, Thiel and company's more radical vision essentially says the whole system of government is so broken that we have to start from scratch.
(There is a precedent for this, by the way. Another group of libertarians attempted to create the Republic of Minerva in the South Pacific in the early 1970s. The 'nation' was quickly annexed ... by Tonga).
As unsatisfying as the Obama years have been for most of us here, I think it safe to say that none of the Ricochetoise have any plans for seasteading in the near future. It does raise an interesting question, however: what would the government have to do to compel you to "go Galt", give up on the whole American enterprise, and search for greater liberty elsewhere?