Ayn Rand IRL. Soon to be Bioshock IRL.
Libertarians pine for a country with next to no government presence and freedom from the burdens of living as a part of a community. If Pay Pal founder and early Facebook investor Peter Thiel has his way, they may just get such a place. Thiel has donated $1.25 million to create floating libertarian countries in international waters where they would be free from any current laws and regulations.
That’s right. A libertarian island paradise free from the rest of us. It almost sounds too good to be true.
The funding runs through Seasteading Institute which seeks to build sovereign nations on oil-rig like platforms. The idea behind these “countries” is to start from scratch and based on libertarian principles. Those principles include no public welfare, no minimum wage laws, minimal, if any, building and environmental regulations and non-existent weapon restrictions.
Seasteading says the group plans to launch an office park off the San Francisco coast next year with the first full-time settlements following seven years later.
I hope this initiative moves forward, if only to provide an example other than Somalia of a place where libertarian ideology translates into governance…
Read UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s op-ed article in today’s Los Angeles Times: “We can’t allow Somalia to starve.”
That is why I reach out today: to focus global attention on this crisis, to sound the alarm and to call on the world’s people to help Somalia in this moment of greatest need. To save the lives of the people at risk — the vast majority of them women and children — we need about $1.6 billion in aid. So far, international donors have given only half that amount. To turn the tide, to offer hope in the name of our common humanity, we must mobilize worldwide.
From the UN News Centre: When a food security crisis becomes a famine
The following are a handful of organizations seeking donations to funnel to the Horn’s crisis:
- The United Nations: There are several UN agencies working together to address the regional crisis. UNHCR, the refugee agency, has a page on its website detailing what aid specific amounts of money will buy for its effort in Somalia. UNICEF, the UN children’s agency, is also seeking assistance (US citizens, donate here).
- The World Food Programme has a full page detailing its efforts in the region and is collecting donations.
- Oxfam is accepting donations for its efforts to alleviate the drought in the region, which was the key cause of the famine. It is providing both emergency water supplies and leading efforts to build more sustainable water resources and practices.
- The International Committee of the Red Cross has been in Somalia, working alongside the Somali Red Crescent Society, since the 1970s. The two announced last week that they will be opening ten new feeding centers, expanding services in existing feeding centers, and launching a program specifically geared toward malnourished children under five and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. You can find out more, including how to donate, here.
- The International Rescue Committee has operations in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia that run the gamut from supplying water to providing medical screening in the refugee camps. Find out more here and donate here.