Peter Thiel’s dream of a libertarian utopia in the middle of the ocean may have finally sunk.
Radio New Zealand is reporting that the French Polynesian government has not renewed its agreement to help the Seasteading Institute, a group created in Silicon Valley, build a permanent and politically autonomous settlement off the coast of the South Pacific islands.
In 2008, Thiel, a billionaire investor and Trump transition team member, launched a mission to develop a floating city, called a seastead, that would operate independently from existing nations. Thiel invested $1.7 million in The Seasteading Institute, but resigned from its board in 2011. He later said in an interview that engineering seasteads is “not quite feasible.”
Here’s what we know about the Seasteading Institute’s plans for a floating city in the South Pacific — and why the deal went under.
Leanna Garfield contributed reporting to this article.
In a 2009 essay, Thiel wrote, “Between cyberspace and outer space lies the possibility of settling the oceans.”
Source: Cato Unbound
He imagined “an escape from politics in all its forms” in a new libertarian society.
The PayPal cofounder partnered with Patri Friedman, a Google software engineer who reportedly came up with the idea of seasteads at Burning Man, to launch the institute.