The Author sets out on her Voyage and is greeted by Libertopians. Her Arrival to a floating Charter City. She is received by Seasteaders.
I BEGAN my Voyage with a necessary Departure from the Portsmouth Airport. There my first Triumph was over the Transportation Security Administration.
Having been born in a State, I longed to venture to the new Frontier of Freedom. The Founder, Mr. Freedman, had extended an Invitation I could not refuse: All expenses would be generously covered by two Brothers.
After a long Flight, we began our descent to Libertopia, a distinguished Hydropolis. Even from a distance, the Lilypad Structure was an architectural Wonder to behold! Sensing that I had been transported to the Future, I saw atop the elevated multi-layered Platform so many staggered residential and commercial Units of numerous Colors and Sizes. The Skyscrapers appeared to me as high as the island was long. Behind the Island I caught a glimpse of two off-shore Oil Rigs that, after having been long since abandoned, had been transformed. One was converted into a Resort and the other into a Renewable Energy Plant. Freshly paved Air Strips on Deck ensured a smooth landing.
A Volunteer Ambassador greeted me asking, “How was your Trip?” Delighted by the Cordiality of his Greeting, I confessed, “The Island is farther away than I expected.” Composed, yet with a hint of defensiveness, he responded, “Well, there being no terra nullius remaining whatsoever on this planet, we needed to set out to unowned international waters. Finding no Territory not under the Sovereignty of some State, it became necessary, for the Sake of Liberty, to homestead the Ocean.”
Then suddenly, Peter, an Investor who founded Libertopia, arrived. “Good Morning!” he exclaimed. “I see you have decided to Vote with your Boat!” I did not wish to reveal that I had travelled by Plane from a State and only for a Visit. “Thank you for your Hospitality,” I said. “Please, do tell me Peter why you have decided to Seastead and how many Citizens there are Here.” “Why Seastead?” he repeated, his eyes widening. “To cure Diseases! Reduce Emissions! Feed the World! Power Existence! End Poverty! Replace Fossil Fuels! Escape the Oppression of the State! Could you possibly need more Reasons than that? If you do, through Competition we will surely discover them! And, we have about 200 Passengers aboard. Each is more a Customer than a Citizen.”
The natural love of Liberty gave me some inward motion of Joy, and I was ready to entertain a hope that this Adventure might, in some way or other, help to deliver me from the desolate Place and Condition I was in when I lived in a State.
Peter gave me a Chip loaded with sufficient Bits of Currency for the Voyage. Prevailing over my Weariness, I began to think more and sleep less. But at last I did sleep and did so in my own private Dwelling granted by the excessive Benevolence of the Libertopians.
The next morning I had set out to explore the Island. Eventually I came upon many Individuals productively bustling about. The Reader can hardly conceive my Astonishment at their profound Industriousness. As I advanced nearer, I saw some Individuals tinkering with 3D Printers and others with microscopic Computers. My Eyes then fell upon a whole Crowd of Individualists who were dining on a Patio together. They beheld me with suspicion given that I had just arrived from a State. Nothing did I suddenly desire more than Statelessness, that I might belong.
Despite their Apprehension, I became much in their Debt, having never till then seen a Race so singular in their Appearances, Dispositions, and Values. Their Heads were all reclined, either to the right, or the left; one of their eyes near-sighted, and the other far-sighted. Their Skin was generally tattooed with Symbols, including the Letters “A” and “V” and some peculiar dart-like Shape. Eventually someone explained to me that the Circle-A represents Anarchism, V is for Voluntary, and the “Amagi” is an ancient Symbol meaning Liberty.
I observed many Libertopians in the Habit of having technological Tools at their Disposal, which they carried at all times. These androgynous mechanical Slaves that serve them cause the great Absorption of their Attention. But they, in fact, resemble nothing Human because of the fierce Rejection of Slavery among the Libertopians. Yet, these so-called Androids perform all the functions of Slaves. They deliver Messages, are used to pay Debts, to negotiate Contracts, to keep Time, to make Calculations, and above all, to access any Information that is Unowned. One Man sought demonstrate the Powers of the Android with the hope that I would Admire his Product’s Efficiency, Utility, and above all, Beauty. His company Motto: “Beauty is Utility, Utility Beauty.” That is all that was in the public Domain, and so all I needed to know.
It seems the Minds of these Individuals are so taken up with intense Speculations, that they neither can speak, nor attend to the Discourses of others, without being roused by some external action upon the Faculties of their Understanding; for which Reason, those Individuals who are able to afford it always keep an Android and never leave their Property without it. This Android is employed diligently to help his Owner better relate to the Aggregate of Individuals, and upon Occasion to give him a Vibration in his Pocket when he is so absorbed in Cogitation, that he is in manifest Danger of walking into Something or Someone and causing accidental Self-Aggression or worse, Aggression against Another by staggering and jostling.
I’ve never seen a Race so fragile. When the slightest trespass occurred on their Private Property, they incurred visible Bruises on their own Persons as though they had been pelted. This Phenomenon perplexed me greatly until I studied their Philosophy of Self-Ownership from the Island Bard, who was in fact more prosaic than poetic. Every Individual, when he is born, does not receive a birth Certificate. The Libertopians consider Citizenship conferred without any Contract to be a terrible Remnant of Statism. Here, when a potential Self Owner, having reached the age of Reason, declares his Independence, he then receives a Property Title to his own Life.
Having by then gained some Confidence, I dared to query, “Well, suppose that he should not want to own himself any more that a Libertopian would consent to being an automatically made a Citizen of a State. Suppose that he considers Ownership by Self or State equally dishonorable.” Flabbergasted at this Proposition the Bard retorted, “That would be utterly nonsensical. For it is impossible to reject Self-Ownership. The Rejection itself involves a Contradiction since Self-Ownership is the sine qua non for Argument.” He said so many other things, and I knew him to be so learned a man, that I could not very well dispute him.
The Knowledge I had in Philosophy gave me great Assistance in acquiring their Phraseology, which depended much upon Finance and Economics; and in the Latter I was not unskilled. Their Ideas are perpetually expressed in the theory of Marginal Utility and thought Experiments. If they would, for example, discuss the Worth of any Good or Service, they described it according to the theory of Subjective Value. I observed among the Libertopians all sorts of diagrammatic Models and utility Theorems.
And although they are savvy enough upon a Smart Board, in the fine Arts and foreign Languages and the common Actions and Behaviours of Life, I have not seen a more awkward and uncultured Aggregate, nor so slow and perplexed in their Conceptions upon all other Subjects, except those of Business and Economics. They are very bad Reasoners, ignoring all Philosophy before the Enlightenment, and vehemently given to Opposition, unless when they happen to be of the right Opinion, which is seldom their Case. Self-Denial and Sacrifice, they are wholly Strangers to, nor have any Words in their Language by which those Ideas can be expressed. The whole Compass of their Thoughts and Mind being shut up within the two forementioned Sciences. Nevertheless, they have a Theory that all their Sentiments are Moral.
Most of them, and especially those who deal in Economics, have great Faith in the Austrian School of Economics, although they are ashamed to own it publicly. They have, though, through some Agreement decided to drop “Austrian” since it references a State and though the Theory had its Origin there, the Libertopians would prefer to forget that Anything good ever came from any State. Slowly, they have begun to drop “Scottish” from qualifying the particular Enlightenment of which they are most fond.
But what I principally admired was their strong Disposition towards News and Politics, giving their Judgments in matters of local Affairs, and passionately disputing every Inch of another Faction’s Opinion. I have indeed observed the same Disposition among most of the Libertarians I have known who have not yet declared their Independence from the State.
I was eventually introduced to the Anarch of the capital City, New New Hampshire. I remember that I remarked, “There is no poverty here. In a State we have dependent Persons especially including Children, Seniors, those with Disabilities, and so on. Here you do not have any poor or dependent Persons. Why is that?” To which the Anarch replied, “Actually, the opportunity Cost for the poor and dependent is the least. Migration to the Sea is a great opportunity Cost for the rich. In fact, the cost for the rich and independent is almost prohibitive. We expect that in the near Future, floating charter Cities will attract Individuals of all types. “Oh, I’m confident third Worlders and the Disabled can afford and manage and would desire to move out to a City in the Ocean,” I said. The Anarch answered, “Since the poor have the most to gain from competitive Government, it really is quite a modest Proposal.”
As I observed more Individualists on the Island, I realized that the greatest Number of them were Male. It seems that the primary Function of the Females was to give Birth either to potential Self-Owners or to ideological Literature. Interestingly, it was the same male Doctor who delivered many of the potential Self-Owners into the Island who was also responsible for their being born again as self-owning autonomous Individualists.
Most of the Libertopians were Boys between the ages of 16 and 50. I should not Prejudice the Reader against them by reporting on so few of their Activities. However, I did learn that their main Pastimes involved playing a Video Game called BioShock, watching digitized Pornography, and performing strange Rites of Initiation whereby new Self-Owners were instructed in shooting Pistols.
Naturally, I was lead to ask the Anarch of New New Hampshire how it is possible for there to be any Order at all. With delight he replied, “All of the Order is Spontaneous.” Everyone voluntarily abides by This and also a principle of Non-Aggression. Exaggregation is a Word that for them means that an Individual has deliberately excluded himself from the Aggregate. If ever someone should plan Disorder or aggress against Another, then contractarian Lawyers and Judges endeavor to resolve Problems of Justice through the Interpretation of private Contracts. So important is this Role that they revere a Judge named Napolitano as much as the State esteemed a man named Napoleon.
The last Visit that I made was to the Outskirts of the Capital where I visited the University of Freedom and Mastery (UFM). The President of the University guided me on a Tour and introduced me to a Professor of Meta-Ethical Relativism and a Professor of Transhumanism. The Latter informed me that he had just received a Grant from the Institute for Abolitionism for his Project on non-coercive Eugenics. A Chemist who was unavailable to meet with me was reportedly occupied with a biotech Invention to solve the Problem of Women’s diminishing Marginal Utility due to Menopause. An Economics Debate was meanwhile being hosted on the Topic: Be it resolved that a Preborn Potential Self-Owner be understood as a Derivative.
My Visit was nearly over and I could not help but marvel at all that I had seen. Mr. Freedman made a final Visit to say farewell. He asked for my Opinions and I complimented him for his wondrous Achievements. He replied modestly, “Even if our Isolationism means that Nobody can see the Brightness of our Light, we will be a shining City on the Ocean.”
I was curious if he planned to build more floating charter Cities and so I asked light-heartedly, “You would annex the Planets, if you could?” And in a most serious and enterprising manner he responded, “I should not like to annex them, but to homestead them.”
I wondered how much Happiness was to be gained from pioneering the new Frontier of Freedom by asking, “What if you gain the whole World but you lose your Soul in the Process? Mr. Freedman looked perplexed and said, “It would be impossible to lose were I not to voluntary choose to sell it for my subjective Profit. All Labour requiring the Intellect is like that, really: prostitution of one’s rational Nature.” And it was on this Note that we said Goodbye.
This is all True, and I confess that in the Division of Talents, I am not specialized in Imagination. Everything I recounted exists in Libertopia, or in the Minds of the Libertopians. Were it not for their ingenuity, I would have Nothing to report and no Expedition about which to Speak.
I expect that in a few Years, the Libertopians will find a nonviolent Solution to all foreign Powers and acquire such Mastery over Nature as to prevent its non-volitional Aggression against their peaceful Existence at Sea. And while they have made terrific Progress in nearly every Way, as I departed in a plane back to the State, I realized that the Libertopians had not yet overcome that infamous Snake from the Garden. Nay, they had, in fact, placed it on their yellow Flag.