Re: Libertarianism and Extropia?

John Blanco-Losada (
Wed, 12 Mar 97 13:29:31 -0500

Sorry about the delay of this response.

Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:

>> 1. The Atlantis Project ( aims to create an
>> island. As far as I can tell, this one just kinda mysteriously stopped
>> about 2 years ago.
>Eric is still around, and the web pages are still there. He hasn't
>printed the passports or done some other things in the plan, but he
>still has the big model and still has copies of the Constitution and
>other literature, I believe. The project took a bad hit when we
>bought a much larger model than planned, and then donations dried up.
>That left us in debt, and unable to continue advertising and doing
>other promotional things until the model was paid off. I left to get
>a "real" job; the other co-founders are out of touch. I think there
>is still some hope left for this one.

Interesting. I'd be curious to know what the size of the debt is now,
and whether you think this is the only thing stalling further progress on
this project. Perhaps now that you and the other co-founders have had
time to step back from the day-to-day problems you should consider a
reunion to take a fresh look at the project. With the continued growth
of the web and of "all things internet" in the past two years, it might
be easier to generate interest.

>> 2. The Laissez Faire City ( project takes a
>> different tack, and is planning to obtain a 100-year lease of a parcel of
>> land from some host country. I assume they've done their homework and
>> are confident that such a property could be run/operated independently
>> from the host country. They also claim to have established an "interim
>> community" in Costa Rica which allows members to live tax free. All of
>> which sounds interesting, but I have a gut-level suspicion of any group
>> that asks me to pay $35 for additional "research materials."
>Don't know much about this one. At least when the AP sold Constitutions,
>we told you up front that you were paying $30 for a paperback editition
>of a document you could download for free :) Does LFC tell you what you
>get for that $35?

Not as far as I can tell.

>> Do you feel that a libertarian society can be realized by working within
>> the political system to change existing governments, or do you feel that
>> such a society can only be realized by starting fresh from scratch?
>I think there is one way to do it from the inside: to form the nation (i.e.
>the people) before you form the country (i.e., the land). Accumulate a
>group, each of which pledges to never use force against any other member,
>and slowly build that group into economic self-sufficiency (cybercash and
>similar technologies help a lot here) so that the government of the land
>they occupy simply atrophies, or sells itself off to us. It may take
>decades, even generations, but I think it would work to both free us and
>allow us to keep our land.

I agree, but would prefer not to wait during the amount of time that this
might take.

>> Would you "put your money where your mouth is" and actually move to a
>> libertarian colony?
>> Thanks in advance. Hope this helps to turn our discussions towards the
>> more practical aspects of libertarianism.
>I would, and I have. Personally, though, I am unlikely to discuss the
>"practical" ascpects of libertarianism, as I do not look at liberty as
>an end result, but rather as a prior condition; a means, not an end.

Could you elaborate on this? Are you approaching this from a "freedom
to", rather than a "freedom from" standpoint? From the Terra Libra-esque
position that freedom begins with the individual, and that once one
decides to be free that they are? This personal liberty versus political
liberty dichotomy is one that I've struggled to resolve.

John Blanco-Losada "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." - M. Gandhi