January 24, 2013

Response to The Washington Times

Today the Washington Times published, “Citadel, Glenn Beck’s Independence, USA, PayPal’s Thiel lead right’s utopian experiments” by author Patrick Hruby. Here is the letter I sent to Hruby in response:
Dear Mr. Hruby,
I am writing from the The Seasteading Institute to express deep disappointment in your article, “Citadel, Glenn Beck’s Independence, USA, PayPal’s Thiel lead right’s utopian experiments.” We are frustrated by your free association of our intentions with the efforts of the Citadel group and of Glenn Beck, and that you identified our project as a right-wing utopian experiment. As a journalist, you failed to research The Seasteading Institute and report on our actual mission, reported outdated information, and used misinformation from a more than two-year-old men’s magazine to back your story.
If you had taken the time to write or call us, we could have provided you with accurate and current information.
To be clear, neither The Seasteading Institute nor Mr. Thiel are trying to create right-wing or libertarian utopias. In fact, as the executive director of the Institute, I have never identified as a libertarian. Rather, we are working to enable the development of floating cities in international waters – a new frontier for people to peacefully experiment with new societies and innovative forms of governance. We don’t have plans to build a city ourselves, and we aren’t dictating any ideology. Instead, we believe that more experiments in governance are needed to advance humanity. A new frontier is the only peaceful place where experiments can take place, since it is nearly impossible to make significant changes to existing governments, entrenched in bureaucracy and well-funded interest groups.
Seasteading is a humanitarian effort, which can provide opportunities for millions of people to rise out of poverty, accelerate medical and other technologies stymied by regulations, alleviate hunger through aquaculture, reduce fossil fuel consumption by harvesting renewable ocean energy, and engage in other activities for the betterment of our planet.
I hope you will take this letter seriously and retract your misinformation about our Institute and Thiel. If you would like to write an accurate story about our Institute, I would be happy to give you an interview.
Randolph Hencken
Executive Director