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Gulching: Can we create an Atlantis?

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backpacker
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But... a lot of people have studied elements of Objectivism, and not been convinced. Others have been subjected to our excited enthused rants, and been skeptical at best. Anyway, those who aren't downright antagonistic do wonder how various aspects would be handled.

You keep saying "a lot", how many is a lot? I've been talking about Objectivism with people for years, and I've learned quite well just who is approachable and who isn't. They tend to break down into groups like this:

1. People who Just Aren't Interested. These are more intellectually passive people--they are interested in hearing tidbits of philosophy as issues come up in their lives, but you'll never get them to accept a particular, identifiable philosophy and they'll never be on fire about it because they simply don't care. (At best, they may learn some "philosophy for Rearden".) From what I can tell, this is the majority group by far, but they don't matter because they're always moved by culture and won't stand in the way.

2. People who are Academically Interested. These are people who like to "keep an open mind" and "enjoy dispute", but who are intellectually passive where it comes to applying ideas. They are very frequently incapable of projecting the logical, real-world consequences of ideas. These are probably the ones who claim that they need some evidence or demonstration, but in reality they are as intellectually passive as the people in group 1 and will not be convinced.

3. People who worship on the altar of Altruism. They're opponents and will never be anything else, there's no sense in trying to convert them or appeal to them. Fortunately, people who do this in a principled fashion are incredibly rare. Most are hypocrits and thus are no threat.

4. People who are opposed to any strong or absolute ideas of any kind whatsoever. They don't care what you believe as long as you aren't definite about it. They might accept a tidbit of Objectivism here and there, but once you start getting definite they flee in terror.

5. Active-minded people who think there is Something Wrong with the world. These are your potential Objectivists--they see and know that things just aren't working and still think ideas are important. They don't need demonstrations, they just need what Ayn Rand has already provided, which is the *words* to identify what they can already sense.

The only really important people are the ones in group 5 and they don't need demonstrations. Examples may help them integrate some very narrow areas when they're having trouble, but other than that they generally do a good job of teaching themselves.

If your *primary* interest in an activity is other people (showing them the way), it's not a rationally selfish activity. Unless you, personally, are very rich, it's probably still better for you to stay in a free-ish country and pursue your goals there.

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For those naysayers who believe creating a better nation would require "roughing it" and some backwards barter system, they are forgetting that we would all be Capitalists-- smart, highly motivated Capitalists who would refuse to live primitively very long. Within a very short time we would have one of the largest and most successful economies in the history of the world regardless of the relatively few citizens. I'd say around ten thousand Capitalists living in a limited geographic area under true Capitalism would be a force to be respected in a relatively short amount of time.

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For those naysayers who believe creating a better nation would require "roughing it" and some backwards barter system, they are forgetting that we would all be Capitalists-- smart, highly motivated Capitalists who would refuse to live primitively very long. Within a very short time we would have one of the largest and most successful economies in the history of the world regardless of the relatively few citizens. I'd say around ten thousand Capitalists living in a limited geographic area under true Capitalism would be a force to be respected in a relatively short amount of time.

Thank you, EC.

And, to answer JMeganSnow, the point isn't just to educate & illustrate and win over those who are open to the ideas, but to live the dream and make it a reality. I don't see it as an "either/or" situation. Either we have spreading of ideas or we have a concrete demonstration. I think there's room for all kinds of action. However, I disagree that Group 3 in your list are "no threat." A vast majority subscribe in some way shape or form to altruist principles even though they have to be hypocritical to do so. I think they're the ones who do us a lot of damage with their ignorance, because many times they also fall into Group 5, but their ideas for how to fix What Is Wrong take them further in the wrong direction.

What I consider now to be a very real threat to all of us is the speed with which environmentalism's agenda is being forced into law in so many different ways.

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  • 7 months later...

*** Merged with an earlier topic. - sN ***

Do you all think we can get enough Objectivists to band together and move to a particular geographic region in order to create an "Atlantis" where the government is based on the Objectivist Philosophy and is confined to the sole purpose of protecting our natural rights?

I would be interested in doing this, or participating, if possible. Is there any such movement underway now?

Edited by softwareNerd
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None that I know of, Tom. But the settlers wouldn't have to be Objectivists -- the founders basically would, though. All they need to be is people who will live by their own effort, leave others free to do the same, and support (if only implicitly) the rational, philosophical underpinnings of the culture.

Such an endeavor is a tremendous challenge, but it seems to be the only way for civilized man to survive in the near future. I'm ready, too.

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This is essentially what I would like to work towards. It's tough because all the current mainland is in use. Maybe buying a island would work? That would cost a lot though. How about moving to the most free state of the United States and through peaceful persuasion change it to reflect more objectivist politics.

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None that I know of, Tom. But the settlers wouldn't have to be Objectivists -- the founders basically would, though. All they need to be is people who will live by their own effort, leave others free to do the same, and support (if only implicitly) the rational, philosophical underpinnings of the culture.

Such an endeavor is a tremendous challenge, but it seems to be the only way for civilized man to survive in the near future. I'm ready, too.

I've been thinking a lot about New Zealand.

They have a mixed economy now and are a country of only about 4 million people. If Objectivists made a concerted effort to move there and engage with people about their ideas, we could potentially make enough of a cultural difference that the people would ditch the altruist ethics.

I know this sounds like a pipe dream but honestly I just don't see another way. As humans it is our right to live free, and forming a new Atlantis would have the selfish motive of creating a society that respects the individual. The practical problem of forming a new country has been illustrated in several posts in this thread, so it seems like a tactic like focusing on one particular country that consists of mostly individualists (with misguided ethics) is our best bet.

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I'm thinking Nauru. It is a small impoverished Pacific Island nation which is from all accounts on the verge of economic collapse. There is no income tax and unemployment stands at about 90%, with 90% of the remainder employed by the government.

It's infrastructure is failing and it's "last" and "only" resource (phosphate) is almost gone.

Sounds perfect eh? A Tiny island in the middle of the pacific with a population of about 10,000. 21 square Km of mined out petrified guano and an unemployed population. :P

So what does it have? Limestone from which to make buildings (both raw stone and cement/mortar). That failing/failed infrastructure means employment and the fact that there is only one really functional hotel on the island means that it's tourism potential is completely untapped. The desalination plant is old and needs to be replaced... the electrical system is in the same shape.

Any thoughts? :P

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  • 1 year later...

I'm not an objectivist but if anyone comes across this thread, reads all the posts previous to this one, and takes hope from the positive and optimistic ones, understands and ignores the naysayers, and is interested in hearing about/discussing/joining a gulch project with rational individuals, please drop me a line.

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I don't really trust people. There's no ideology - Objectivism included - where its adherents can be trusted for their affiliation to that ideology alone. And there's no set of measurable personal traits that I can envision using that would properly screen out people I might not trust.

I think we have to work with what we've got - and there's a lot that can be done without running away to a Gulch, which wasn't the ultimate end for the characters that did it in Atlas Shrugged.

I often dream of building places for people to live in outer space. The only qualification I can envision for people living there is willingness to do the work required to live there - and not being a blatant collectivist or tyrannist. And that's basically the right approach for life, I think. People worth dealing with from the context of that dealing - friendship, commerce, employment, etc. - are worth dealing with.

'Atlantis' is the niche you carve out for youself in your environment by refusing to sacrifice yourself voluntarily to others.

Not that I don't find speculation on cool man-made islands to be 'fun'.

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I've spent a very large amount of time pondering this topic (that is, before reading this thread and before Bioshock Infinite), and I've arrived on a pretty radically different solution than what seems to be being discussed. The basic premise would be to create personal airships. They would have to be relatively self sustaining, requiring some type of food production on-board and an advanced solar energy system for power. These airships would be able to function as homes, offices, movie theaters, museums, etc. They would be inherently independent, and you would have as close to absolute freedom as possible. This also does not require that you change the minds of others or establish some sort of land-based nation.

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I've spent a very large amount of time pondering this topic (that is, before reading this thread and before Bioshock Infinite), and I've arrived on a pretty radically different solution than what seems to be being discussed. The basic premise would be to create personal airships. They would have to be relatively self sustaining, requiring some type of food production on-board and an advanced solar energy system for power. These airships would be able to function as homes, offices, movie theaters, museums, etc. They would be inherently independent, and you would have as close to absolute freedom as possible. This also does not require that you change the minds of others or establish some sort of land-based nation.

Hmm, I can't find it on Google, but I read once about a space colony design called a 'sunflower homestead'. This is essentially a bowl shaped spinning thingy. There would be almost normal gravity at the edges, and crops would grow in the middle. It would be large enough for a family, and capable of travelling around the solar system.

That seems to be the ideal you're going for. There would always be lots of space to get away if you wanted, and plenty of resources to self-sustain. There would also be an opportunity for division of labor. Imagine pulling off at Ceres for 4 months to work in the factories there, earn some dough, by replacement parts and a some luxury wood flooring, and head back out to prospect on your own.

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I think Seasteading is the best hope for freedom in the short run. A successful micronation like the original Republic of Minerva could work if its founders were willing to fight for their freedoms. We should build an island and set up industry for export initially. If someone or some nation attempts to annex our country, we should respond with every available weapon.

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The most important part of creating a new nation is defense. No one is going to allow you to secede or start a new nation for free. No one is going to move there or even visit if its to big of a risk. The only viable defense option that I see right now is secrecy. Which means that if an Atlantis does exist out there right now, its most likely a secret just like Galts Gulch in Atlas Shrugged.

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  • 1 month later...

There are new countries and residential alternatives sprouting all around us. I have to yell again Singapore. But also places like Dubai epitomize small thirdworldish countries, like Costa Rica or Bahrein, trying to attract foreign investment in the form of residents. This pressure, the market pressure, can lead Governments to allow for Obectivist Living - which is different from Obectivist Refugee Camp.

The Lords of the Land, have every inch of the World taken, but they do lease it, sometimes with surprising autonomy. The Landlords of America, the Federal Government, have allowed private cities like Irvine or Celebration or even Disney to exist on very unexpected terms. The Tyranes in Abu Dhabi and China have allowed Dubai and Hong Kong to exist; and eventually some could lease Cape Guardafui from the Puntlander "Authorities".

Also, more countries are breaking up: Eritrea in the 90s, Timor 10 years ago. People don't realize the inmense acreage some diminute or dense populations and their governments govern. Indonesia is 75% not populated by Indonesians (you know, Malays from Java and Sumatra). IRian aya (Western Papua) could break away as soon as some charitable soul sends them some ammo with strings attached.

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Again, splitting up countries along racial or religious lines, and sending ammo to start another bloody civil war just for that purpose: not the Objectivist position.

And out of the other 95 posts on the topic you chose mine? Abd out of my long post you chose not the creation of Dubai's foreigners' zone, but Irian Jaya, New Guinea, Indonesia? What am I to think about your mal or benevolent world-view?

The United States of America became the country the best suited for Objectivism, but was not at all settled and only barely founded in objectivistoid principles.

What I mean about the creation of more countries and special residential zones, is that it augments the chances of living an Objectivist lifestyle - which is different from Gulching. Making that distinction is why I posted in lieu of insisting on my Expats and Objectivism thread.

Again thank you for the good vibes Mr Ellison.

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  • 1 year later...

Setting up a real-world Galt's Gulch isn't my cup of tea, but for anyone interested in the history of these things, The Economist did a short article about various attempts to set up new "libertarian" countries, and the latest attempt in Honduras.

Also, besides this one, the forum has a few other threads on this topic. A couple are below:

Free State Initiative

Floating Countries

Edited by softwareNerd
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