Anti-Piracy: Seastead Foreign Policy

Startup Societies Foundation

By Joe McKinney

Seasteading has always captivated the startup societies movement, and is exciting for many political and technological reasons. However, seasteading has two major obstacles: sovereignty and maritime piracy.


Seasteading supporters like to imagine that they would be immune from external politics. They are sadly not. Diplomacy is necessary to prevent a seastead from being strangled in the crib. For example, the first modern seastead, Operation Atlantis, was largely ended by the Haitian government. A floating platform of foreigners complicated an already tenuous diplomatic background in the Caribbean. Consequently, Haiti shut down Operation Atlantis at gun point, claiming that the Atlanteans were pirates. Since the seastead was not a sovereign entity, they had no recourse and the project quickly ended. In the future, sovereignty will continue to be a problem. States treat international politics as a zero sum game and must be given incentives to cooperate.


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