Plate seastead in a protected bay connected to a city and a host nation, its supply lines and commercial opportunities. Like the example of Venice shows it can still enjoy de facto independence, work as political power broker and dominate sea trade.
As soon as that plate city competes with businesses on land, the city will demand taxes. If you don’t pay up, they will nationalise it and put anyone who disagrees onto the next plane leaving the country. You will lose the entire city because of some new ink on paper, and of course the military backing it up. This happens over and over, especially to oil companies.
But, find a new way to put that city into international waters, find a reason for it to exist at all, and it has a good chance to keep on being free. This is why i keep going back to finding out what works in open waters, and asking why a profitable business would want to be out there.
I don’t know what your personal experience is on this and why you suppose abusive use of power is all you can expect when building up a floating business venture. I can only testify, that we do afloat ship repair, with mobile workshops on big barges, in sight of the city skyscrappers, here in the bay of Cartagena, with a extreme high grade of interference freedom (9.5 on the scale). A typical project includes 200 workers and as long as you take good care of the ambient neither the city nor the marine authority is doing anything else than welcome the project and support it due to the jobs it brings in. So the scenario of my “pretty picture” is not unrealistic at all, it is the dayly reality of the Cartagena bay marine business cluster as we speak. The seastead would just be the next logical step taking it beyond (short lifecycle) steel barges and make it permanent on floating concrete honeycomb structures.
Cartagena skyscrapper line foto from the ship repair site in the bay.
In fact we prefer afloat repair for EXACTLY this reason compared to repair in a shipyard the project interference is much much lower what makes the management much easier. It starts with the noise that comes from hammer a steelplate in place – out a mile on the bay nobody cares about the noise…
You are not a new independant country, you are a local business, a big difference. Many countries will not allow a foreigner to open or run a business, let alone form a sovereign seastead in their territory.
What matters is the DE FACTO situation. I can not talk what “many contries” will do or not do – i have practical business management experience in Europe and Colombia – not in all countries on the planet. Fact is if you are afloat in the bay of Cartagena – you are “King of your Castle” – DE FACTO and DE JURE that is what counts. Working a ship repair business in the middle of the bay or on a shoreside dock is a “universe of difference” in cost and interference handling – this is why we prefer afloat repair. It is not a “theoretical discussion between academic opinions” it is a business ambient choice that reflects in project cost. Waterbased wins, not only in ancient Venice also in todays Cartagena ship repair, each time we set up a project. This is as real and “hands on” floating lifestyle and business as it gets.