2 Responses to Patri Friedman Has Nukes!

  1. Anon73 August 23, 2011 at 11:29 am #

    Speaking of Friedman, there were a few questions I was pondering ever since Seasteading got mentioned on the AP news wire last week. On the seasteading institute’s site in the section about whether governments will interfere with seasteads, it has this response:

    Even cruise ships (let alone nations) get enormous internal autonomy. We’re going to be able to set our own rules in a wide variety of areas, as long as we don’t interfere with the sovereignty of other nations. No one is going to invade us because they don’t like our zoning laws – but they may if we are exporting illegal drugs. We would advise seasteads to ban the latter, but we expect to see different groups make different decisions, and we’ll all learn from who gets interfered with. For more on the issue of autonomy, see the extended Q&A.

    The extended Q&A then goes on to discuss how things like drugs and will have to be banned in order for the seasteads to operate freely. This sounds rather like a slippery slope to me – once it’s established that banning a few things is acceptable, how do we know the seasteads won’t ban more and more things to comply with the laws of existing nation states until the seasteads are indistinguishable from a US city or a caribbean island?

    But, assume somehow the seasteads do end up mostly free. Then the last part about seeing “who gets interfered with” sounds incredibly naive. If the land based nations can find just one seastead doing something dangerous (e.g. nukes, drugs, etc), what stops them from tarring the rest of the seasteads with the same brush and destroying them? Most US citizens for example think invading Afghanistan was justified just because of one man living there. And keep in mind Friedman says elsewhere in the FAQ that seasteads will have to rely on some minimal goodwill from nation states to survive.

    • Brandon August 23, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

      Friedman said that exporting drugs would be banned. But does that mean importing them is also banned?

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