Re: Extropian country

James Rogers (
Wed, 18 Feb 1998 20:41:57 -0800

At 01:48 PM 2/19/98 -0800, Mark D. Fulwiler wrote:
>Good points. However, the main problem in establishing an Extropian
>country (as I'm sure you know) is not finding some suitable land one
>could buy (there are a number of islands on the market, and many more
>could be had with enough cash) , but obtaining sovereignty. You might be
>able to buy an island in Alaska, but Washington is not going to let you
>form your own country, even if you are Bill Gates. One might be able to
>buy sovereignty from a smaller, poorer country however.

It is effectively impossible to buy sovereignty, so as long as people are
stuck on this planet, you have to look for the best choices under the
constraints given. The Alaskan coastal islands are a pretty good match.
Advantages: lots of resources, sovereignty of a relatively benign
government, proximity to high tech, virtually no force of law (you really
have to go there to believe how far this really goes), and a reasonable
price. You may not get your own country, but what you do get is damn close
for all intents and purposes and no one is going to mess with you.

While you may be able to obtain "sovereignty" from some small, poor
country, it is unlikely that your sovereignty will carry any weight and
will almost certainly be contested very strongly (i.e. it could be
retracted at will by the granting country). Short of
coopting/buying/overthrowing the dictator-of-the-month of some banana
republic, you have no real options for obtaining "legitimate" sovereignty.

>Although you might consider the climate on the coast of Alaska "mild," I
>believe a tropical location would have much more appeal to most people
>despite the problems you mention. Hurricanes could be avoided by picking
>an island near the equator. I agree that a coral atoll would be a bad
>choice, but why not investigate decent volcanic islands in the tropics?

The coastal islands *are* mild, with a seasonal temperature range of
20-80F; much better than most of the continental US (unless you've been
spoiled by California weather ;^). Tropical volcanic islands are usually
already well populated, since this is where most of the usable/farmable
landmass is in the ocean. Additionally, there is the nasty problem of
volcanic activity (consider Montserat), which appears to be considerably
more frequent for island volcanoes, most likely due to their proximity to
active subduction zones and tectonic seams. You would be much better off
buying an island that has been created by plate crumpling around subduction
zones; these are usually found in proximity to island volcanoes, but around
the rims of the ocean. Unfortunately, essentially all of these types of
islands are owned by countries that would never consider selling you
sovereignty. Tropical would be nice, but most islands worth considering
are not equatorial; in fact there are few islands in the equatorial regions
and virtually all of those are atolls.

-James Rogers