Peter Thiel, PayPal cofounder and an initial investor in Facebook, and a gay libertarian, is investing in what he calls his most ambitious project: Creation of artificial libertarian islands in international waters, free from international laws, regulations or moral codes.
The tech giant is very clear about what he wants and what humanity wants. We're at this pretty important point in society where we can either find a way to rediscover a frontier, or we're going to be forced to change in a way that's really tough, Thiel told Details Magazine, which features his new venture in its September issue.
Thiel, whose other investments include cloud technology in music (Spotify) and Hollywood (Thank You for Smoking), was introduced to the novel idea of libertarian countries by a former Google engineer Patri Friedman who is the grandson of the Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman.
Friedman's idea was to establish free sovereign nations built on oil-rig-type platforms anchored in international waters, with no regulation, laws, and moral code of ethics designed to be small city-states in its initial stages of development. These countries will then develop to house tens of millions of seasteading residents by 2050. These artificial 12,000-ton massive structures of islands will be movable and diesel-powered.
The ultimate goal, Friedman says, is to open a frontier for experimenting with new ideas for government. This essentially means a libertarian Utopia with no welfare, looser building codes, no minimum wage, and few restrictions on weapons, and built by entrepreneurs.
The investors will launch an office park off the San Francisco coast in a year, and is planning first settlements in the island seven years later.
However, the idea of a land free of government control isn't entirely new. In 1967, Italian engineer Giorgio Rosa funded the construction of a 400 square meter (4305 sq ft) platform supported by nine pylons called the Republic of Rose Island, in Adriatic Sea, 11 km off the coast of Rimini, Italy. The artificial structure housed commercial establishments, including a restaurant, bar, nightclub, souvenir shop and a post office. Rosa became the self-declared President of the land, which declared independence on 24 June 1968. The so called sovereign nation didn't last long. Italian government assumed control soon of the structure, and the Italian Navy used explosives to destroy the facility.