Laissez Faire City

I’ve stated from the modest beginnings of this blog that I was particularly concerned with “implementation” of principles and practices that allow and encourage human flourishing. There are certainly enough excellent theoreticians of the NRx (see the links bar).

So it was with particular interest that I ran across this, via an ad at Christopher Cantwell’s site: The Constitution of Government in Galt’s Gulch. To a former Anarcho-Libertarian-Randian Übermensch (yeah, check your premises, baby), of course the title and description were pure clickbait:

Comparison of utopian fiction presented in Atlas Shrugged and the actual experience of living in a private community beyond the reach of government. Examines theory and practical real-world aspects of liberty, property, constitutional law and national security in the context of a fully free society. Presents a novel proposal to fund national security by private enterprise that does not rely upon (and has no legal right to impose) taxes. Extensive discussion of property as a moral office of responsibility to advance the general welfare by offering employment. The book is addressed to Objectivists and libertarians, and it offers a new theory of value and virtue that considers individual character, personal ambition, and risk of change. Discussion of constitutional law includes loyalties beyond the law, fundamental rights, due process, and persistent presumption of innocence.

Just as interesting, in perusing the free “look inside” it turned out that the “actual experience” of the author, the pseudomynous “Wolf DeVoon,” was in a place called “Laissez Faire City,” some sort of mountain redoubt in Costa Rica.

The actual LFC website and links seem to have been scrubbed a long time ago (yeah I know, Wayback Machine; I’ll get to it later) but I did find this item from the Seasteading Institute, this report, a little help-wanted ad, some interesting clews on a Bitcoin discussion board, and much more discussion here. (ADDED: A history, in Spanish). I didn’t read it all yet but it intrigues me that I don’t recall hearing about it in the 1990s-early 2000s, and it looks to me like there are some serious “lessons learned” to be had from the rise and fall of the enterprise. Namely, it may have started out as a private Free State, morphed into a data haven and died in a welter of fraud, suicide and prison terms.

It rather reminds me of Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon. I wonder if he drew anything from it for his book?

Do any readers remember hearing about LFC when it was a going concern? And does anyone have additional knowledge of where the principals ended up (those who are still alive and avoided prison, anyway)?

I don’t have DeVoon’s book in hand yet, but I’ll let you know of anything especially relevant.

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4 thoughts on “Laissez Faire City

  1. This is the most interesting thing I’ve heard of. I was worried only about Final Fantasy in those days, so I have no clue about it. I’ll be waiting, at the edge of my seat, to see what else you’ve found out. Like you, I’m an ex-Randian.

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  2. Pingback: Laissez Faire City | Reaction Times

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