Randolph Hencken is executive director of The Seasteading Institute.

Interview Highlights

“Since the earth is covered in 70% ocean, and the oceans are mostly unclaimed territory, we vision having millions of people living in city-states at sea.”

“Your home could be on a vessel that could travel from one city to the next.”

“Your home, your business, could actually be on a vessel that could travel from one city to the next. You’re not locked-in to a monopoly.”

“The power is in the ability to exit and to choose your government.”

“Personally, I don’t want to seastead by myself, on a raft, just to get ‘freedom’.”

“This isn’t about going and living off of the ocean without connecting to the greater world’s societies”

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References & Links

Podcast: Seasteading today with Joe Quirk

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  • Ok, we understand the tragedy of the commons. And we accept that private property ownership can reduce pollution. But how does that play out for the world’s oceans? Even if the oceans were privatized and you could buy, say an acre of ocean off the coast of California, you only own the water and fish while it and they are within your boundaries. You can choose not to pollute  and not to fish, but what if your neighbors decide to kill every fish that enters their boundaries, or decide to grow some oxygen sucking algae for energy use, that kills fish? Given that there are ocean currents and fish that travel long distances, how does anarchical environmentalism work in the oceans? Is this a different problem than the issue presents for landowners? Does anyone have a hypothetical scenario in which private property rights in the ocean reduces pollution or improves fisheries?

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  • This is the place to discuss ideas for a new name for CYCLE…

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  • I have two large raised beds and have successfully grown a lot of vegies.  I’m wondering how much space would be required to grow enough food to feed two people?  Anyone here grow all their own food?

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  • It seems to me like utilities are a sort of natural monopoly. Though you could move to another area if a utility company is charging too much for power for example, because of the way I understand the grid is configured, one is pretty much a captive of the utility company serving the area. There’s also a cap on how much a utility could abuse it’s monopoly with self-generation using solar cells or even using in-situ gas micro turbines (though it’s still a rather high cost) Has anyone ever defined a good system which could foster competition between utility companies, even in the same area? Dunno how it is in the US, but here in Quebec, there is an analogous situation with internet. The big telecom companies are obligated to allow “resellers” to use their cables for distributing internet service. But kilowatts don’t have IPs and such, so I’m not sure exactly how it could work with electricity. This always seemed to me like an “achiles heel” to anarcho-capitalism and an argument for at least minimal government to legislate against such “natural monopolies”. I was wondering if anyone had already put some serious thought into this conundrum.

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  • FEE published an expanded version of the article I posted here last week on the advances we’ve made in freedom ( In it, I talk about things that give me hope for liberty, including startup cities, seasteading, projects like OpenBazaar and Defense Distributed, etc. What gives you hope? Peaceful parenting? Politics? I’m interested in knowing why (or why not) others are optimistic.

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