Freedom is a Common Goal…but Seasteading is currently not a Viable Way of Achieving it.
Throughout modern history, many people have dreamed of freeing themselves of what they perceive to be the shackles of their government. Excessive taxation, over-regulation of personal behaviour, militarization or oppression have all given birth to this desire. The most famous example is from Ayn Rand’s classic book, Atlas Shrugged where all of society’s producers decide to Go Galt.
In order to achieve freedom from these problems, people have turned to the solution of creating their own “MicroNations”, where they believed they could create a government and laws to their liking. One of the most famous of these MicroNations was Sealand .
In 2008, a new movement called “Seasteading” gained public attention, when it was given a $500,000 USD donation from famed PayPal Mafia alumnus and VC investor Peter Thiel.
Thiel later withdrew his support and after struggling for a decade to find a “home country” that would allow the building of a viable prototype, Seasteading’s future seemed dismal.
Elwartowski boldly claimed that their new “home” was a Libertarian dream and beyond the jurisdiction of any country, as it was in “international waters”.
Their experiment was short-lived, as the Thai navy soon moved in to take down the structure. The couple are now in hiding afraid that the Thai authorities will now arrest them.
Could Chad Elwartowski have achieved his goal of defining the laws, regulation and society to his liking? The answer is yes…but not by Seasteading off the Thai coast. Rather, he and other similar minded people need to recognize that there are necessary governmental services which they need in order to live and thrive in our current world. The first key concept to accept is that it is extraordinarily difficult to either a) change the current regime in your home country and b) create a new country where you can create your “dream regime”. Once this reality is firmly in place, then it is time to adopt the mindset that it is entirely possible to “arbitrage” the various government regimes around the world and “pick and chose” the elements that you like from the buffet of choices available.
In Mr. Elwartowski’s case, he is a US citizen, who currently carries a US passport. Along with having a single travel document that can be revoked by the issuing country at any time for a variety of reasons Mr. Elwartowski is still considered a US taxpayer whether he sleeps in his hometown of Detroit or 30 miles off the Thai coast. In fact, if he decided not to fulfil his filing and tax payment duties as a US taxpayer, that would be yet another ground for the US to revoke his US passport. Therefore, in order to achieve his aims, Mr. Elwartowski will need to acquire alternative citizenships/passports and even consider renouncing his US citizenship.
Secondly, Mr. Elwartowski will need to consider whether he wishes to reside in a one or two places in a year or whether he would be happy living a Digital Nomad or “Yachting” lifestyle. This decision is one that is often driven by the realities of family life If he is going to spend a majority of a year in one or two countries, then he needs to consider the potential immigration and tax issues that may be involved. The difference between success and failure in this area depends Mr. Elwartowski engaging the proper Golden Visa/ Citizenship by Investment/ Residence by Investment/ Second Passport advisor.
Along with protecting his “Ass”, Mr. Elwartowski will want to protect his “Assets” in order to fund this lifestyle that he has designed for himself, his partner and her son. This type of holistic planning is called a “Back-Up Plan. While he is a Bitcoin enthusiast, the reality is that few of the goods or services which he needs on a daily basis can be paid for by Bitcoin. This means that even if he is comfortable with the volatility of various cryptocurrencies, he will need some form of normal banking facilities. These can range from standard local bank accounts to on-line solutions such as TransferWise . Furthermore, his holdings need to be organized into legal structures which will properly withstand attempts at taxation or matrimonial property claims.
Other services that Mr. Elwartowski decides he needs to maintain his business and personal lifestyle can be obtained from countries in which he resides, occasionally visits, or deals with completely on-line. The on-line sale of various government services to Digital Nomads has already begun.
Mr. Elwartowski and those of a similar mindset, need to design and execute a legal, viable and liveable Back-Up Plan in order to achieve their goals. To those who are interested, I point you to my three part blog series on “Seven Ways Golden Geese self-sabotage their own Back-Up Plans and also suggest that they request my White Paper on Back-Up Plans. It is possible to turn this fantasy into reality, but it requires a grounded clearheaded individual acting on proper advice.
Also read https://lesperanceassociates.com/2019/04/23/seven-ways-golden-geese-self-sabotage-their-own-back-up-plans-part-1/