From the mindset that brought you the idea that seceding from the United States was viable in any way, shape or form comes the first early contender for Stupidest News Story of 2009: libertarians spend large amounts of money to invent new ways to create independent floating countries.
Now, seaborne libertarian paradises are nothing new. The Republic of Minerva, for example, would have worked except for the fact that most libertarians, despite willing to talk a good game about government being slavery and casting off one’s chains, are pussies who in that particular case could not stand up to the dreaded army of Tonga, who have three patrol boats, two prop planes and a yacht as the bulk of their transport. The Tongan military is less than five hundred guys and the libertarians could not find enough Ayn Rand-loving gun fetishists to take on their dreaded royal military marching band (which Tonga indeed has), let alone the presumably-feared Tongan Royal Marines.
Of course there is also Sealand, which exists primarily to make money off illegal passports and novelty coin sales. Surprising that this independent micronation, who claim sovereignty over a twelve-mile radius of waters (that happens to be one-third coastal Britain, but hey, sometimes these details must be overlooked) would base its entire ability to exist on what amounts to extremely weenie-ish types of piracy, but at least they’re doing better than Rose Island, which only serves as a demonstration of Italy’s resolve to not allow any stupid libertarians to really get going lest they all turn into genetic monsters.
Still, the seasteaders have big dreams. For example, I note that one Vince Cate has designed “the WaterWalker,” which is a grandiose name for a tripod floating on soccer balls. (See it in “action” here.) And now the SeaSteading Institute estimates that you can have your own completely self-sustaining floating ocean home (well, except for the question of where you’d get food, considering that the vast majority of sea life – and certainly just about anything edible – swims around in the continental shelf areas which are already claimed by all the nations which recognize the United Nations Convention On The Law of the Sea) for a mere three million dollars, exactly the perfect cost for some computer engineering wank who just doesn’t get why all those poor people don’t learn to use computers like he did.
But what’s best about this story is the unintentional comedy. For example:
But in the end, the seasteaders may face an even more fundamental challenge. During an afternoon session, Friedman asks, “How many people here know how to sail?” Few hands go up.
Come on, that is exactly the plotline of Atlas Shrugged 2! And lest we forget this gem:
“You’ll get slavery. You’ll get drug dealing. Maybe there’ll be polygamous Mormons. The first people involved will inevitably be those who want to do things they can’t do on land, and we have to deal with that.”
…but I thought doing things you can’t legally do on land was the whole point! Man, these libertarians sure aren’t serious about their liberty! Maybe we should just let them all die when the world collapses while we survive in our magic underground bunkers. It would be kindest, wouldn’t it?