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Milton Friedman's Grandson Is Starting A Country: Get In At The Ground Floor

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Maybe you've spent the summer getting your face ripped off. Maybe you committed some crimes and need to hide out where people can't find you. Maybe you were pissed off about yesterday's earthquake in that you wished it'd done more structural damage to your buildings which unfortunately are up to code. Maybe you're CEO of a bank that will not give you a fucking break, where you're getting your ass kicked, and every time you drive down the road you wanna jerk the wheel into a Goddamn bridge abutment. Whether you're hiding from something or searching for it, we've think we've found it.

Pack your bags, grab your passport and break out the flippy-floppies. The place you're going doesn't yet have a name or an address, per se. To be completely honest, at this stage it's just a "weird idea." Patri Friedman, the grandson of Milton has pitched it to Clarium Capital's Peter Thiel who is totally on board but if there's enough interest i.e. cash, we can move quickly.

It goes like this: Friedman, [a short, kinetic 35-year-old with a wife and two children, maintains an energetic online presence that ranges from blogging about libertarian theory to tweeted dispatches such as "Explored BDSM in SF w/big group of friends tonight"] wants to establish new sovereign nations built on oil-rig-type platforms anchored in international waters—free from the regulation, laws, and moral suasion of any landlocked country. They'd be small city-states at first, although the aim is to have tens of millions of seasteading residents by 2050. Architectural plans for a prototype involve a movable, diesel-powered, 12,000-ton structure with room for 270 residents, with the idea that dozens—perhaps even hundreds—of these could be linked together. Friedman hopes to launch a flotilla of offices off the San Francisco coast next year; full-time settlement, he predicts, will follow in about seven years; and full diplomatic recognition by the United Nations, well, that'll take some lawyers and time.

"The ultimate goal," Friedman says, "is to open a frontier for experimenting with new ideas for government." This translates into the founding of ideologically oriented micro-states on the high seas, 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.

Does that sound like something you'd be interested in?

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