Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Seasteaders Could Face the Death Penalty

By Robert Wenzel

So much for another nutty plan to challenge the global state.

Seasteaders Chad Elwartowski and his girlfriend, Nadia, made their home on a tall floating structure in international waters off the coast of Thailand, with the goal of creating an independent nation-state but they made a lot of noise about it.

Including putting out this video:

But last month the Thai navy towed the structure ashore, accusing  Elwartowski and his girlfriend of violating the country’s sovereignty. According to the Financial Times, if charged and convicted, the pair could face the death penalty.

Thailand’s attorney-general has appointed officials to lead an investigation. “The minute we saw the accusation we got out of there and went into hiding,” Elwartowski told the Times in a phone interview.

RĂ¼diger Koch, the legal owner of the sea-home and the engineer behind the $250,000 project, has fled Thailand.

Bottom line: Challenging the government directly can be extremely dangerous. Ross Ulbricht is suffering the incredible consequences of such a challenge and Chad and Nadia are learning the lesson also.

You can chip away at the edges but you better be very savvy and always on alert about what you are doing.

That said, the advance of the liberty movement is mostly an intellectual battle and that is an entirely different game then these in your face battles for hills.

Robert Wenzel is Editor & Publisher of EconomicPolicyJournal.com and Target Liberty. He also writes EPJ Daily Alert and is author of The Fed Flunks: My Speech at the New York Federal Reserve Bank and most recently Foundations of Private Property Society Theory: Anarchism for the Civilized Person Follow him on twitter:@wenzeleconomics and on LinkedIn. His youtube series is here: Robert Wenzel Talks Economics. More about Wenzel here.


  1. Seasteading is just exchanging one rigid social structure for another. It's like a nightmare version of The Love Boat on eternal reruns.
    One man, one boat is the proper way. And if you don't like the neighborhood, (or neighbors) MOVE!

  2. You do realize, Capn Mike, that that is the ultimate idea behind seasteading: while the first seasteads may not be mobile, the goal is to own a movable module and decide which collective seastead to associate with, moving when desired. But we have to start someplace.

    1. To me, the truest measure of Liberty is a society of one.
      A collective seastead is still a collective.
      But I've got lots of friends who sail their own boats and we get together frequently, but not by dictate.
      So as you said, you have to start someplace, and I have, about twenty years ago.
      BTW, all due respect to you, and good luck.

    2. Aren't you both saying the same thing in different ways, namely, that true liberty means the ability to join or leave a group as you see fit? A group -- a "collective" -- is not objectionable or anti-liberty per se, provided that it is voluntary.

    3. The NAPster is right, Capn Mike. You can easily go off and be a "society of one." You will not likely live long -- especially if you respect others' property rights. To have a free market, you need lots of people acting freely. It's not a "society of one."

  3. I don't see these things as much battles for hills but rather people who think that government plays by rules and they've found the secret that will allow them to live free. That government will go 'aw shucks, this one can see' and let them be.

    It's most apparent when it comes to right to travel. Getting in your automobile and going from A to B without license plates or driver's license. They think because they found the case law and the history that shows them correct they simply won't obey and nothing will happen to them and if it does they will prevail. Same with the federal income tax. It can be shown how the government doesn't technically have these powers in the free society the US of A should be. But should be isn't what actually is.

    The government through its control of schools and mandatory attendance there of has successfully created the perception that the income tax is constitutional and that driving is a privilege and bunch of other things. As such it can easily pick off the few people who resist. The masses will have no issue with the government going after the weirdos.

    The same thing happens when various groups decide to build their place and live as separate as possible. At some point government sees them as a threat and squishes them. People accept any pretense for it. Who's going to stand up for the weirdos?

    So these seasteader people thought they found yet another way government would just have to play by the rules and they could be free. Well, no the government just goes out there and takes them in. Government has no rules and bounds except for what the people in mass will stand against. It is an intellectual battle to convince them where to stand.

  4. @Jimmy Joe Maker,

    It is true that you can easily show that having to pay and file Federal income taxes is not enforceable. But then of course federal judges are paid through the income tax. So which side are the judges going to stand on? Obviously the side that pays them. They will rule against you regardless of the merits of your case.