June 9, 2009

20,000 Nations Above the Sea: Is floating the last, best hope for liberty?

Reason Magazine has published an in-depth story about seateading, _[20,000 Nations Above the Sea: Is floating the last, best hope for liberty?](, which begins:

> Ideas evolve quickly along the Friedman family tree. The late Milton Friedman, an economist at the University of Chicago, was one of the 20th century’s most respected and influential advocates for classical liberalism. In scholarly books and popular articles he argued that if we want the greatest possible wealth and freedom, government should be restricted pretty much to cops and courts. It shouldn’t be in the business of manipulating or dictating our choices, whether they involve education, the economy, or joining the military.

> Milton’s son David took this attitude a step farther in several books on political philosophy and economics. Given the manifest inefficiencies of government, David argued, the healthiest and most efficient social and economic system requires no state at all.

> Now David’s son Patri has taken the family tradition one step beyond. Inspired by his dad’s classic 1973 book The Machinery of Freedom, Patri Friedman has concluded that society’s design flaw goes deeper than just government itself. Think of the state as a business—but one with enormously high barriers to entry and enormously high exit costs. As it would in the business world, this set-up breeds sclerosis, inefficiency, and the tendency to treat customers like dirt.

It’s a long article, and Brian Doherty did a lot of original research for it, so it is much more content-full than a typical short news bite (like our 1-paragraph mention in the New York Times last week).