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Gulching: Can we create an Atlantis?

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backpacker
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Between this and Buddhjectivism, I want to both laugh and cry.

backpacker, there are a lot of wackos who like to latch on to Ayn Rand's ideas without understanding them. The page you give describes themselves as "an organized movement of like minded independent libertarian individuals," which should already indicate that this is the Free State Project on steroids.

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Take a gander at that Constitution. Sounds like someone's been reading too much Heinlein.

Do you think they eat anti-aging medications illegally imported from Mexico, thinking they're the Howard Families.

I think Ayn Rand's name needs to be trademarked, just to keep pieces of work like these from sullying her name (to the uninitiated, of course) without paying dearly for it. Just my opinion ... no more nutty than anything written on their site.

Wackjobs.

On second thought, I totally support them. Let them get out of the way and go live on a little hurricane target in the Caribbean.

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There is nothing wrong in principle with setting up a “capitalist paradise.” If the United States becomes more of a socialist state, it may be a very good idea. I would not make a big deal out of the constitution of “new utopia” – it’s obviously amateurish, but the basic approach is sound.

The challenge is that such undertakings are enormously expensive and require a solid development plan, in addition to a sound political theory. It’s hard to justify such an investment while there are still alternatives in the United States and offshore nations.

Edited by GreedyCapitalist
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Why not?
The US constitution is to restrict the govenrment. The people are free which is identified in Ammendment 9.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

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  • 11 months later...

*** Mod's note: Merged with a similar topic. sN ***

This is my first post, I have enjoyed reading the site, and the Warren Buffet thread got me wondering about something. Could an individual, or group of individuals, purchase a piece of land somewhere and "legally" establish a new country, founded and incorporating a political system based upon Objectivism? The current "owner" of said parcel being of course willing to sell the land and any "national" ownership involved, that is allowing the purchaser to set up his own system of government and relinquishing any control. (I need to come back and edit the language here, I'm doing this during my lunch break).

My questions are, what would it take for this to happen, how would one with appropriate resources go about purchasing land and establishing a country, by Objectivist means, ie by consent between the buyer and seller? If there were a Midas Mulligan in the world today, how would he go about this? Hiding in the mountains of Colorado isn't practical and still leaves one subjected to the laws of the US and the state.

On a related note, a political system would need to be established along Objectivist ideals, what are your thoughts as to what a "bill of rights" for such a country might include? What powers would be vested in the government and what in the hands of the people? At the least, I would expect that a government needs to maintain a police force, a court system and a means of national defense. How would the legitimate functions of government be funded.

Thanks for any thoughts.

Brian

Edited by softwareNerd
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You definitely needs some funding. If I had 40 billion to spend like B. Gates, that's what I would do.

About the land, I don't think there is a patch anywhere for you to take for free, as all the land is taken or claimed by one or another country. So, the real option is to buy the land. And that is definitely possible, so long as someone is willing to sell you a piece. (Think Russia [before USSR], USA, and Alaska)

I bet some territory in Africa could be easily bought from one of the countries there. This would be much cheaper than buying from a developed country.

After you have bought a land, it gets tricky. Technically, you should be able to claim a creation of a new country. [Think break up of USSR] Though, you have to get others [like UN for example] to see you as a country.

After that, you are free to roll, and make the country of reason and freedom. If done well, intelligent humans should flock as they used to flock to North America from Europe back in the day. [i know I would.]

The key in the end is the initial resource.

P.S. However, modern Mulligans seem to be tired by society and want to do "good" to be remembered by people. [Yeah, I know, how dumb is that?]

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Could an individual, or group of individuals, purchase a piece of land somewhere and "legally" establish a new country, founded and incorporating a political system based upon Objectivism?

I read about a guy, Rigoberto Stewart, awhile back attempting to do just that in Limon, a pverty stricken province of costa rica.

http://bastiat.net/en/Bastiat2001/rigoberto.stewart.html

Not sure how likely it is to succeed. Governments tend to not give up tax revenues very easily. I think it might be more likely to succeed if it was a lease. That way, the government could be assured that after capitalism turns it into a booming economy, they could take it back and steal all the cookies again.

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Yeah, that's the same thing I was thinking, aequalsa.

The idea of buying the land outright from some poor country (and subsequently renouncing one's previous citizenship after porting one's assets out of country) might work, but I suspect a Gulch would more likely come into being through subterfuge or having to immediately physically fight to defend it.

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There is the "Free State Project" which is the idea that if enough freedom loving people move to one state, they can vote out the statists. But I don't know how wholesome it is, i.e. could just be a bunch of libertarians and anarchists.

The best idea is to try to spread Objectivism in the intellectual realm (universities and thinktanks) and thereby make the whole country more Objectivist, but it is a long term strategy.

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It is just a bad idea overall, for several reasons.

1.) Natural resources. A new country needs them if it is going to be a viable alternative to current ones. The problem is that current countries aren't going to give up land with precious resources to people trying to form a Gulch.

2.) Inertia. It is hard to get people to move, even to please with more personal freedom. Note the numbers of Objectivists who live in places like New York City. It is hard to convince people to move somewhere with more personal freedom but with no symphony orchestra, Whole Foods or Mercedes-Benz dealership.

3.) Defense. Making a new country in a third-world region like Afrika is just asking for trouble. Even the most powerful African nations are relatively weak, but would still be incredibly powerful relative to a new Objectivist nation. The Charles Taylors of the world would think nothing of invading the Gulch if they can get away with it, and they can.

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thanks all, for taking the time to respond.

I have been thinking some more about this, and of course coming up with more questions and different scenarios, than answers. I believe that Olex is correct, that there is probably no place on earth unclaimed by some country.

Is there a mechanism by which a country can sell and give up all claim to a piece of property? I'm asking this as opposed to selling land to an individual or company and still claiming "control" as part of that country. I'm assuming that this isn't all that difficult, given that in US history we have bought land from France (Louisiana purchase) and from Russia (Alaska), I'm not sure why a willing seller couldn't deal with an individual or corporation, rather than another nation.

One scenario is that "Midas" purchases an area of unpopulated land from a willing country, with the understanding that said country truely gives up all claim on the property. I would anticipate that as the owner, he could set whatever terms he chose with respect to following the laws of this new, free country. Purchase of property within this country could be tied to acceptance of the conditions of governance.

Things get more complicated in the case of an occupied piece of property. Aequalsa, thanks for the info on the Limon REAL project, I have only had time to peruse that site. It appears that they have attempted to address that issue, by the existing government turning over ownership to the state-owned properties to the corporation, of which the existing residents are shareholders. I need to spend more time reading up on this, sounds interesting.

Ian, I agree that the best thing is to spread objectivism within this country...this is more of a dream or mental exercise than perhaps practice. Just wondering what an Objectivist with say the assets of a Warren Buffet could accomplish.

Bri

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Vladimir, you happened to respond right when I was composing my last post. I'd like to respond to some of your comments and see what kind of thoughts they bring up.

"It is just a bad idea overall, for several reasons.

1.) Natural resources. A new country needs them if it is going to be a viable alternative to current ones. The problem is that current countries aren't going to give up land with precious resources to people trying to form a Gulch."

I agree that natural resources are an important asset to a new country, but perhaps not essential. I believe Singapore and Hong Cong have very little in terms of natural resources, but have generated a very rich economy by embracing trade and business. With respect to current countries giving up land and resources, I'm not sure that they are that much different than individuals. If I happened to own a piece of land with say a significant mineral deposit, I could certainly sell that property to another individual, perhaps one with the resources to utilize said deposit. Optionally I could try to develop them myself or work out a agreement with some company to extract them in exchange for a percentage of the take. IMO, same with a country, if a significantly large sum of cash is put in front of a countries leaders, the potential for them to agree to sell some portion of their land is viable.

"2.) Inertia. It is hard to get people to move, even to please with more personal freedom. Note the numbers of Objectivists who live in places like New York City. It is hard to convince people to move somewhere with more personal freedom but with no symphony orchestra, Whole Foods or Mercedes-Benz dealership. "

On a personal basis, I have to disagree here. I made a conscious decision to leave New York State (an unfortunate birth defect) and move to Northern Idaho. All of this revolves around "quality of life", both in terms of natural features, as well as a "polictical consensus" (to make up a new term here) much more in line with my way of thinking than the socialist sespool that NY has turned into. The same is happening with a large number of Californians moving here. In short, I believe we live in a very mobile society, and the opportunity to create a better life in a society with more personal freedom and acceptance of property rights and minimal governmental interference might be very successful in drawing people. As Ian mentions, the Free State Project has drawn a number of Objectivists to NH, I don't happen to know the number. I think there is a considerable "wait and see" attitude on the part of a lot of people on this, prior to making the move.

"3.) Defense. Making a new country in a third-world region like Afrika is just asking for trouble. Even the most powerful African nations are relatively weak, but would still be incredibly powerful relative to a new Objectivist nation. The Charles Taylors of the world would think nothing of invading the Gulch if they can get away with it, and they can."

I agree that much of Africa is based on tribalism, with little respect for borders or property rights. On the other hand, the fortune of a Buffet alone could hire a very significant "security force" by the standards of most African contries. With the exception of South Africa, most of the continent has armies consisting of local militias armed with small arms.

Bri

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I wouldn't know about Objectivists moving to NH for the "free state" project...only Libertarians. Not the same thing at all. That whole project doesn't sit too well with me. I was living in NH when that whole thing started up. I wasn't aware of what objectivisim was then, but I felt it was wrong for a group of people to move into a state to just vote up a bunch of stuff they wanted no matter what the natives of NH felt about it. I think that was the first time I realize democracy wasn't really as wonderful as I thought it was.

Anyway, now that I have studied objectivism for a while, I would be a little perplexed by a flock of Objectivists moving to a state just to "free" it. I don't think that is the same as a Galt's Gulch at all.

However, I think on a smaller scale it would be possible maybe for a bunch of local Objectivist to do like a planned community thing together if they wanted too. Sometimes those actually become little towns.

An island would be more fun though.

(Sorry couldn't help but comment on the free state thing.)

[removed quote of entirety of immeditely-preceding post. Conserving electrons :P - sN]

Edited by softwareNerd
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Sherry, you are absolutely correct in your comment about the FSP being a Libertarian effort, I need to read my own posts before hitting the submit button! Call me embarassed.

I think the FSP is an interesting tactic and experiment into how to employ libertarian ideas. However, I agree with you that moving into an existing community and recreating the "society" in your own image is wrong. As a comparison, a bunch of hard core environmental extremest liberals moving to my neck of the woods and attempting to change things wouldn't sit well either. I believe though that the FS Project settled upon NH due to the belief that NH already has the most "pro libertarian" culture in the country.

Bri

[removed quote of entirety of immeditely-preceding post. Conserving electrons :P - sN]

Edited by softwareNerd
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Interesting.

The Republic of Minerva was set up in 1972... their efforts at securing international recognition met with little success, and near-neighbor Tonga [2005 population 102,000] sent a military force to the area and annexed it.

Defense
This seems to be the strongest difficulty. How many men can even the smallest established nation suit up? Bringing in sufficient defenses is a problem, because 'neutral' nations don't want the onus of allowing individuals/weapons to go out from their countries to attack foreign nations. That'd be a diplomatic nightmare.

There's a considerable "disturbing the peace" effect that would deter even nations that "ideally" support Gulch efforts from aiding/abetting.

Edit: beyond buying land, in the Minerva case, established nations even opposed the idea of creating new land :glare:

Edited by hunterrose
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Sherry, you are absolutely correct in your comment about the FSP being a Libertarian effort, I need to read my own posts before hitting the submit button! Call me embarassed.

I think the FSP is an interesting tactic and experiment into how to employ libertarian ideas. However, I agree with you that moving into an existing community and recreating the "society" in your own image is wrong. As a comparison, a bunch of hard core environmental extremest liberals moving to my neck of the woods and attempting to change things wouldn't sit well either. I believe though that the FS Project settled upon NH due to the belief that NH already has the most "pro libertarian" culture in the country.

Bri

[removed quote of entirety of immeditely-preceding post. Conserving electrons :glare: - sN]

It is funny, because when I first heard about the Free State Project and people moving to NH for it, I turned to my husband (who was not originally from NH) and said "Don't these guys realize we are Yankees? I don't think it is going to go over too well." hahaah. I can understand why they decided on NH though.

I don't know if a Galt's Gulch totally free like the one in Atlas Shrugged is totally feasible in the world as it is now, but I think something can be set up that works towards that direction, at least starting for a place for people to live. Maybe not for everyone to work, but it would be a start. I guess the purpose of that would to just not have to deal with irrational neighbors all the time.

So I guess it wouldn't be Galt's Gulch...maybe more like Galt's Homesteads or something. But I have to tell you, even just living in a neighborhood where I didn't have to worry about the city inspection guy giving me a ticket because my van's tags are a month out of date would be nice. Or get a ticket because my lawn is 1/8 th of an inch too high for 2 days. Stupid stuff like that. Or to be able to live in a neighborhood where your neighbors acturally RESPECT your property rights.....my goodness...that...that would be heaven.

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However, I agree with you that moving into an existing community and recreating the "society" in your own image is wrong. As a comparison, a bunch of hard core environmental extremest liberals moving to my neck of the woods and attempting to change things wouldn't sit well either.

Why do you think so?

20000 people cannot 'recreate' the society by moving there, they only can persuade the people there to join their cause. Do you think it is wrong to go to another place and persuade other people to become Objectivist/Libertarian?

@topic:

I agree with Frederick Cookinham. In his opinion, space would be the place where such a country could be created. Theoretically, if you have enough money, you could start right away moving to the moon :glare:

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