Tech bros told they’re no longer allowed to colonize French Polynesia
Many years ago, tech mogul and future-website-killer Peter Thiel had an idea to develop an independent, libertarian floating city where he and other tech billionaires wouldn’t be beholden to things like laws. Thiel co-founded the Seasteading Institute in 2008 and invested $1.7 million in it before resigning from its board in 2011. But the dream lived on: The Seasteading Institute struck up an informal deal with the government of French Polynesia in 2016. Building a libertarian boat paradise in international waters was too expensive, they reasoned, so finding a host country was their best option.
Now the dream is dead. Business Insider reported on Wednesday that French Polynesia was cutting ties with the seasteaders, with the country’s ruling party announcing that the agreement was non-binding and became void in January 2018.
Though the deal with French Polynesia was great for the seasteaders — French Polynesia is an eight-hour flight from Los Angeles and has a fiber cable that runs to Hawaii, which provides internet — locals feared that the influx of libertarian tech bros would use their water-colony to evade taxes at their expense, according to the report.
It looks like the seasteaders will have to find a new island nation that’s willing to put up with their demands — or, better yet, revisit the open ocean idea. After all, they won’t have to worry about pesky things like other human beings out there.