Ephemerisle: Inspiration

I want to live in freedom (by which I mean at least libertarianism, if not anarcho-capitalism). Unfortunately, no such political system is implemented on a significant scale anywhere in the world. Fortunately, there are lots of other people who claim to be interested in the same thing. It seems like you ought to be able to just start a new country (read more on my desire/reasons to do this). Unfortunately, it turns out to be hard. I mean, really hard. Sealand somewhat succeeded, but Oceania, SeaState, Transtopia, The Freedom Ship, and Laissez-Faire City are all examples of visions that have so far failed to become reality.

I think that these projects all suffered from too much ambition. They attempted to tackle a difficult problem all at once, rather than dividing it into realistically small pieces. Realistically small, for a country, may not merely mean space, it may also mean time. Rather than attempting to solve the paradox of finding good land that no government wants, or the thorny engineering problems of building economical barge-cities or floating platforms, I propose the Ephemerisle: a temporary, autonomous, anarcho-capitalist community in international waters (fuller description).

Many critics of anarcho-capitalism have pointed out, quite correctly, that it is an almost purely theoretical system. How do we know that it can work if its never been tested? This argument makes sense, and given the difficulty of convincing people to move to some remote corner of the earth in order to test out a new political system, the question is: how can we get there gradually? In an interview, David Friedman proposed one method: "My ideal path to anarcho-capitalism would be one in which private institutions gradually replaced government institutions, so that when the state finally vanished nobody noticed. An entertaining tongue-in-cheek version of such a society is described in the science fiction novel Snow Crash. "

While the sit and wait attitude is easy, it is slow and not guaranteed to work. Governments have managed to keep a pretty tight grip so far. The Ephemerisle approach is more aggressive than just continuing to develop theory, more timely than agitating for our neighbors to see the light, and more realistic than trying to convince a government to give up sovereignty at an affordable price.

Burning Man was part of the inspiration for this idea. Here are some similarities and differences between BM and the Ephemerisle.

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