90. What Is Seasteading?

There is no real way to escape living under some sort of government.



Here’s a transcript of our conversation:

Connor: Hey, Brittany.

Brittany: Hi, Connor.

Connor: So our listeners are no strangers to the fact that sometimes, or maybe even a lot of times governments make laws that are, you know, unjust or even unconstitution But if we don’t like those laws, you know, there’s, not a lot of recourse, there’s not a lot of things that we can do. A lot of people will say, vote with your feet. right. You can move to another city if you don’t like your city’s laws, and you can move to another state if you don’t like your state’s laws. But so many laws are kind of the same everywhere. Or they’re federal laws, right? They’re national. So then you gotta figure out how to leave the country. But then the federal government makes that hard, right? Cause they still tax you after you leave, and then you have to get permission to leave with like a passport and a visa. And so these things are kind of complicated and not always ideal, even, you know, if we wanna state where we are, sometimes we can engage in, you know, civil disobedience. We’ve talked about that in a previous episode. We’ve talked about the right of revolution. Something that, you know, John Locke and the founding fathers, wrote about, certainly in the Declaration of Independence, that it’s the right of the people to alter or abolish their government when it’s, you know, undermining or destroying their rights. So there’s some options, but these are kind of like difficult options cuz having to move to another country or even to another state, there’s a lot of costs associated with that. You’d have to leave your family behind, your friends, your, support network, maybe your job, you know, and so that’s kind of a high, high barrier, right? Like you have to overcome all these things if you wanna avoid that one law you don’t like. Yeah. Or that tax increase that’s gone up. So, what if there was another way to kind of declare your independence and live under a system of laws that even you agree with a hundred percent? Like what would it be like to live somewhere where you could have a lot more kind of self-control and independence? In fact, you could even be the one making the laws yourself. Well, there’s some people who are toying with this idea, with something that we call seasteading. And seasteading is literally when you live in the sea, this could, you know, even be like on a boat. They’re kind of, you know, nomadic sailors who just live off, you know, marine life, fish, whatever. And, they’ll just live out on the water. or it could even be like permanent structures in the middle of the ocean called seasteads. These are like floating pods if you will think of them like mini modern islands. and, so this is kind of an interesting new concept. Brittany, have you ever heard about seasteading?

Brittany: Yeah, in fact, I’ve worked with some people who work for seasteading companies. one guy, Joe Kirk, I spelled his last, or said his last name wrong, he wrote a whole book about it. So I think it’s a really cool concept. It’s given people the kind of this hope of freedom that they don’t really have in regular countries right now. Because even though we are, relatively free compared to other places. Like you said, if we don’t like a law, if we don’t like something, it is a little bit trickier to kind of have states competing or even cities competing because you go somewhere and you’re oppressed by someone, right? But there are parts of the ocean that aren’t owned by any government. And I know governments, you could argue with whether or not governments justly own land or not, but in the middle of the ocean, there’s literally international waters that nobody has any jurisdiction, no rule over. And so you can go and you can set up these, pods, these like manmade island kind of, but they don’t really look like islands. They’re more like metal spaceships if you look at ’em, right? They’re like on poles. We’ll link to some pictures, they’re on poles, and they kind of stand up over the water. But because there’s no government ruling over it, you are, there’s a really cool word, sovereign is kind of the word they say. Sovereign is where you rule over yourself. So if you’re living in these waters, you are theoretically supposed to be sovereign, and it’s supposed to be able to self-govern. And a lot of people think this is kind of a radical concept to self-govern, but I think it’s a pretty fun idea to discuss. There’s actually two people who tried it last year. They were the first seasteading pioneers. one, the husband’s name was Chad, and I can’t remember the wife’s name. I’m actually Facebook friends with them. I’ve gotten to interview him and ask him some questions. But they built a seastead right outside of Thailand. Now they were about 500, I think, nautical sea miles away from the border of Thailand. But the government decided that they were a threat to their sovereignty. So they were basically saying, you’re trying to be, you know, individuals, you’re trying to own yourself. You’re trying to govern yourself. We think that that might be a threat to our land and our people. And so they declared war against them, essentially. So they had to flee their, seastead. And they’re safe now. In fact, they just bought a huge cruise ship that they’re gonna turn into a seastead. So not all seastead stay in one place. Some seastead are like cruise ships. So you’re just sailing around international waters without anyone ruling over you. So we think it’s really interesting, but whether or not it’s practical, whether or not we can actually do this kind of, you know, has yet to be seen.

Connor: Right. And, what I find so interesting about Seasteading is it’s basically, a water version of homesteading, right? Like.

Brittany: Oh, that’s a good connection.

Connor: Well, this all originates from the idea that once upon a time, and even today, but not really back in the day, there was unoccupied land and you and your family could go as, you know, pioneers of the west or whatever, and, you know, plant your flag in the ground and say, I claim this territory, as my own. Now, this was a little complicated in the sense that first, you know, there were, you know, native Americans, indigenous type people who lived here, and they asserted kind of ownership of all this vast land. And then you have, you know, the kings of Spain and England and others asserting that they now own large chunks of land.

Brittany: Like in that Pocahontas, right? Isn’t the mayor, if anyone’s seen the Disney Pocahontas, he kind of claims it for Spain. He claims land for Spain. It’s a flag in the ground.

Connor: Yeah. And it’s kind of like that, that’s not homesteading. That’s more like imperial

Brittany: Building.

Connor: Like, yeah. Like I now am gonna use the force of my military to fight anyone who wants to use anything within like, you know, a thousand miles, right? Homesteading is more the idea that what you can actually develop the land you can actually, you know, control and develop yourself and live on, that’s when it becomes yours because you are bringing utility or usefulness to the land, simply planting the flag, you know, and saying, I claim this for the king of Spain. You’re not actually doing anything that’s a political argument, right? You’re saying, I’m gonna fight you with my army. Yeah. If you claim it differently, that’s just people, it’s like the game of risk, right? Like it’s just, government battles. But homesteading is more like, Hey, we’re gonna, you know, develop this on our own. So what you had back in the day with the American colonists is you had, you know, the king of England and, later the colonies in the states say like, Hey, we own all this land, and we will allow people to homestead the land and basically get, you know, 10 acres, 50, a hundred acres. And so the government told people like, Hey, we want people to go out into the western frontier and develop, you know, this land. And if you do, you get to keep it. So that created an incentive for all these people to move increasingly westward and settle the land, right? Because hey, free land, like, that’s amazing.

Brittany: It was an opportunity too. Probably none of them would’ve ever had otherwise. None of these people were necessarily rich. You know, some of them might have been, but

Connor: A lot of them are poor immigrants. But they were willing to work hard, and so they could go develop the land and maybe start a business, you know, or whatever. So that’s kind of the principle is homesteading. It’s like, we’re claiming this as ours, we’re gonna use it and we’re gonna kind of govern ourselves a little bit here. This, I’m gonna be the master of my domain. And so with that concept, we think now of seasteading where, you know, the land is now basically all land on the globe is, controlled by someone. And I should pause to say like this, principle could also apply. Think of like an island. If there was an uninhabited island and, you went and kind of settled it, you could also be kind of the master and, be sovereign, right? You could kind of start your own government. The silliness of this example is that just like with the examples we mentioned earlier, where parts of North America were just claimed by these, countries, these kings across the Atlantic Ocean. So too today, if you go look up all these different islands about which governments own them or control them, it’s ridiculous. There’s all these like tropical islands owned still to this day by, you know, great Britain or France or the United States, right? It’s like, guys, this island is like way out there. Just let those people deal with themselves, right? Like, why are you trying to control this little island? So unfortunately today, all land is claimed basically, by someone else. There’s another experiment, Brittany, I think you’re familiar with. I, I think it’s called, is it Liberland or Libertopia. or something?

Brittany: Libertopia yes.

Connor: Yeah. Where they have like, a couple of square miles somewhere in like,

Brittany: is that what it, is?

Connor: Yeah.

Brittany: You can pay like $500 to be a citizen, I think it is. So you can get or land Libertopia. I can’t remember it.

Connor: How, about since we can’t remember? You’ll look it up for the show.

Brittany: I’ll put up and put it in the show notes, yeah.

Connor: Yeah, So check that out. it’s an interesting little experiment where they’re trying to claim that, oh, now we have jurisdiction, we have control over this, you know, few square miles. So we’ll give you citizenship. We’re forming a new country. But, you know, so basically, all the land, let’s get back to the sea study. The whole point is all the land is kind of claim, but all the oceans are not. And so what happens is, think of the United States of America within a few, several miles of the border, the United States of America, the federal government still says we’re in charge of these waters because they’re so close to us that if we didn’t control it, then people could come to attack us or steal things or whatever. And so we’re gonna have a little like buffer, right? A little, kind of protection zone around the country. But that’s only for, I think it’s like 12 miles or something like this.

Brittany: It’s not too far. Yeah, no.

Connor: And so once you go out further than that, there’s just vast ocean where, you know, Mexico, Canada, United States, no one is saying, we own this part. It is a kind of unclaimed territory. So in theory, someone could set up either their boat or this little seastead, kind of modern island, things or whatever, and kind of claim that territory as their own. Another fun thing, maybe we talk about some future time, Brittany, is the same thing applies to space, right? Like, oh yeah. If Elon Musk, takes us to, you know, Mars, there’s gonna be all this uninhabited unclaimed land that if there’s technology to like develop it and actually live there, all kinds of people are gonna be quote unquote homesteading, you know, Mars or some other planet, or even the moon, although I guess, does the American flag on the moon say that the United States of America,

Brittany: I would just be wondering that

Connor: at all, no other country can develop the moon. Now I don’t know what they’re trying to say with that, but, that’s the point. There’s like unclaimed territory and so we’re not going to Mars yet. And the moon, you know, there’s nothing there, blah, blah, blah. But hey, out in the sea, people could survive with the right kind of technology and if you like that lifestyle, and then they would be totally in charge of themselves, which is a really fun idea to think about.

Brittany: And there’s another cool aspect to this. And I wrote about this once, and I’ll link this article in, but it’s also doing amazing things for healthcare, which sounds, you’re probably thinking like, what, how does an island or even a cruise ship help with healthcare? But there’s something interesting. So a lot of, countries, America especially have a lot of regulations for healthcare. So let’s say that you have a terminal illness and you wanna try an experimental, treatment or drug, you’re not allowed to you, right? You have to, cuz the government says, no, we, control what you put in your body and we did another episode on this. But if you go into international waters, if you’re not on a land, you can try these. And of course that doesn’t mean they don’t come with risks, but that means that you as an individual is making the choice that, maybe your life, cuz maybe you’re going to die with this illness. You care more about trying something that could save your life than you do about the consequences and potential consequences of them. So it’s really helpful. But another thing it’s doing is people who can’t afford healthcare, there’s actually cruise ships that, they spend their time going international waters, but they travel around islands that don’t usually have access to good healthcare and they’re making it affordable. So people will, jump on their boats and, and you know, they will not swim out to the boat to this big cruise ship and they’ll be able to get healthcare. So it’s not even just about living, living a sovereign life. There’s also helping people get the healthcare they need by taking it away from government jurisdictions.

Connor: So this is kind of the trade-off, right? The socialists will say, well, we live in a society and we need to all work together and help one another. And, you know, it is nice to live. for example, like if you live out, probably some of our listeners live in very rural areas, and so they have to drive quite a ways to go to, you know, a grocery store or the gas station or a movie theater. Whereas other people like being able to walk to those places and, super close, it is nice to live next to amenities, right? The, amenities are like things that are nice to have. it’s nice to live near the grocery store and not have to, you know, drive so long to go there. So a lot of people like those comforts. They like being around enough other people that, you know, look, there’s a dentist right down the road and the doctor is nearby in a hospital and a pharmacy, and all these things that make our lives maybe more efficient, more affordable, more you know, effective, more enjoyable, comfortable, whatever. now if we were to go live out in the sea, right? Unless we had like a ton of people out on a seastead and had a division of labor, we’ve talked about that before where different people, you know, you have a dentist and you have a doctor and you know, people who can help on another, that would be a big trade-off, right? We’ve talked about trade-offs. You, have choices to make. And by making one decision, you’re kind of giving up on something else. If you make the decision to go live out on a seastead, you’re, giving up having close access to all of these amenities, these comforts in life. But you know what, maybe that’s better for you because then you’re not paying taxes and you’re not being controlled and you don’t have to listen to MSN BC anymore, or you know,

Brittany: Or any news channel

Connor: Right? You can unplug and maybe that’s better for your mental health, right? Like there’s just different trade-offs to all these decisions. I think it’s just fun to see people kind of experimenting with this. Yeah. Because who knows, maybe once the kids listening are adults, maybe it would be like a realistic option where people, like there, would be little communities out there where you could maybe just go spend a couple of years to kind of have the experience and unplug and that would be really interesting to see if the idea takes off.

Brittany: I think you’re absolutely right. And I mean the main thing is competition. We’ve talked about that before too, right? You should have a competition. Governments should have competition and say like, oh, we don’t like these laws. We think these laws are unjust, we can go elsewhere. So it is really cool to me to see people, like you said, experimenting with different ideas that will bring competition to the government. We need more of that. So very exciting. You know, I’m kind, I love paying attention to what’s going on in the seasteading world. I even got to go to a c setting, it was like a mini-conference and we got to play a game where each table was a different seastead and we had to try to win people over with our laws. So that was fun. So

Connor: Nerd alert,

Brittany: Right. Total nerd alert. So really fun to see this happening. and yeah, it’s cool to see what the future could hold.

Connor: Well, head to Tuttletwins.com/podcast for the show notes. We’ll link to some of these resources. If you guys wanna click around and learn a little bit more, make sure you’re subscribed to the show. Appreciate you guys listening, and we’ll see you on the next episode. See you later, Brittany.

Brittany: See You later.


Interested in more content?

Check out our latest email…

When did normal become bigoted?

Kinda funny being called hateful/bigoted/phobic/etc for expressing opinions that were emphatically mainstream just five years ago. And by funny, of course I mean it’s asinine. There was a time not too long ago when common sense ideas and opinions were pretty much the norm. Now, anyone who dares to express a perspective or a belief that goes against the new orthodoxy is met with accusations of bigotry or hate speech. What’s happening is nothing less than a concerted effort to silence dissent and control the narrative, and the folks doing it don’t seem to care about how antithetical it is to the principles of a free society. Maybe that’s the point. Prince Harry recently made headlines by calling the 1st Amendment “bonkers,” but he’s got it all wrong. What’s bonkers is the idea that politicians and bureaucrats should be the arbiter of what speech is appropriate. It’s not just the

Read More »

From the trusted team behind the Tuttle Twins books, join us as we tackle current events, hot topics, and fun ideas to help your family find clarity in a world full of confusion.

Want More?

The Tuttle Twins children’s book series is read by hundreds of thousands of families across the country, and nearly a million books (in a dozen languages!) are teaching children like yours about the ideas of a free society.

Textbooks don’t teach this; schools don’t mention it.

It’s up to you—and our books can help. Check out the Tuttle Twins books to see if they’re a fit for your family!