EconTalking about seasteading

The latest EconTalk podcast features me talking about seasteading. It was a fun interview. One of the things I find wonderful about seasteading, and frustrating about libertarian skepticism towards it, is that I see it as a reform that fits much better with libertarian theories than most libertarian reforms. It's all about spontaneous order and about systems and incentives being more important than people. Russell Roberts asked some great questions that helped bring those aspects out, and was open to the answers.

Doctrinaire libertarians (not Russell) amaze me with their blind spots: they point to all the empirical evidence about the power of the free market...and then ignore all the empirical evidence about the instability of economic freedom (especially when combined with political freedom). Yes, free markets are great - the world has made that clear. It has also made it clear that democracy and free markets are incompatible - the world's democracies have far too much economic regulation and taxation to qualify as a free market.

Stability matters - what is the point of a theoretically better system if we can't reach it in practice, and if it would just decay into the same old same old even if we did reach it? Rhetoric and proselytizing are not the answer - we've had amazing people out there conveying libertarian ideas in beautiful ways for decades, and whaddaya know, the population still ain't libertarian. And even if they were, the political process would still distort things in the way that democracy distorts things (which is substantial).

A credible vision of a better future must include a reason why things suck now, and why it will change so that things can be better. Seasteading has such a reason. No other libertarian reform I've seen does - the Libertarian Party, the Ron Paul Revolution, the Free State Project, Agorism, whatever. Thus, they are pipe dreams.

Settling the oceans is hard. But not as hard as changing human nature. Or wishing away the incentives of democracy.

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...not as hard as changing

...not as hard as changing human nature. Or wishing away the incentives of democracy.

Incentives? Hah! your funny. :)

Once you have a community up and running, you will be able to test your theories. Until then, your endgame appears laughingly unlikely to me.

You just changed your

You just changed your message but you were saying that Patri was laughing away the endgame of agorism. He was obviously not. Your new comment is a bit lame now. The blog gives argument why it seems much harder to do away with democracy than to do away with the technological challenge of living at sea, are you laughing them away ?

You just changed your

You just changed your message but you were saying that Patri was laughing away the endgame of agorism. He was obviously not.

http://seasteading.org/book_beta/faq.html#anarcho-capitalism
Look under incrementalism.

Your new comment is a bit lame now.

Thanks, it says the same thing in less words. Distilled, if you will.

The blog gives argument why it seems much harder to do away with democracy than to do away with the technological challenge of living at sea, are you laughing them away?

I am still listening to the interview and I have been reading the seasteading.org FAQ amongst other articles on the same site.

I have never heard of this before today. I will laugh when I feel justified in laughing. Until then, I really don't like his opinion on the agorist endgame (from the faq), but I will keep reading unless I come across some blatant absurdity.

First time I had heard of seasteading

Was on EconTalk that I listened to last night. I thought it was fascinating. I think you're right to argue that scalability is both its biggest asset and greatest danger (if it's not.) But I will be reading more now.

Seasteading

Very interesting project you have going on there. Props.

But not as hard as changing human nature.

Simply acknowledging human nature is a challenge for many.