Peter Thiel Bankrolling Libertarian Sea Colony — Because He Was Inspired By Atlas Shrugged
6:02 pm, August 11th | by Hillary Reinsberg
Peter Thiel, the guy who will pay you $100,000 not go to college, has another wacky idea up his sleeve: he wants you to live on a floating colony. Thiel, who also founded PayPal and bankrolled Facebook in its early days, was inspired by…get this…Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. Cliché, much?
Thiel dumped $1.25 million into the Seasteading Institute, the goal of which is to establish floating colonies in international waters, according to The Daily Mail. Libertarian ideals and essentially lawless free-market capitalism would be the method of governance…or non-governance, rather.
The Institute was founded by Patri Friedman, a former Google employee who apparently said they’ll launch floating offices near the coast of San Francisco within the next year. We checked in with the San Francisco Mayor’s office to see if they knew anything about this bonkers concept, but they haven’t gotten back to us yet. Given the principles of the project though, we’re guessing the Seasteaders are leaving the government guys out.
What’s the deal here? Is it just like, if you’re a billionaire Internet mogul, you just get to fund outrageous, world-altering projects? First, Jeff Bezos is funding some undying 10,000 year clock, and now this? Give me a break.
For the unfamiliar, Atlas Shrugged is a 1957 novel in which an over-regulating government essentially destroys a society, which in turn inspired multiple generations of would-be moguls to become reformed libertarians. Ask any over-educated young Wall Street analyst what their favorite book is – we’d guess at least half say Atlas Shrugged. So by saying he was “inspired” by the book, he’s not exactly original.
So, will Thiel be moving to this floating isle? Maybe — but we’re sure he’d still make trips back to his swanky NYC pad.