Would these sea steads have a military?

(Chad Elwartowski) #136

The fact that a 3D metal printer is under $100k today means that by the time we have full seasteads in international waters (decades from now), they will be like buying a new washing machine (which you won’t need to buy anymore because you can just print one).

Even today’s 3D printed guns in such a primitive stage have been found to be superior to manufactured guns.

(Larry G) #137

No offense, but that’s a pretty big assertion without much evidence to back it up. Remember, I had a federal firearms license for several years and only closed that business a couple years ago. There are no 3D printed guns actually in commerce that I am aware of. And superior (in relation to firearms) is a VERY subjective term. There are many firearms that fit lots of purposes, and some that have very specific and narrow applications. Superior (other than a fuzzy line separating manufacturing quality of very cheap firearms from average price firearms) is generally a matter of preference. Many of the most expensive firearms have only cosmetic differences and brand recognition separating them from generic production.


I never heard about any of those dreaded pirates roaming in space “seeking whom they might devour”, @Elwar.

Please share your analysis of the relative presence of pirates in space vs their known presence on the oceans and seas of Planet Earth …

… and explain why your comment has any relevance to security on Earth.


The original difference of opinion was over the need for security at any significant level (e.g., comparing a seasteading community to a vacation at Disneyland, etc.) … which ignores the attraction of “something of value to be seized” to those who tend to take by force what is not theirs to take.

@Elwar is, IMO, correct that 3D printing will be a growing trend probably heavily used in seasteading.

I also think @dodger is correct to state that threats are from more than just pirate sailors on the Jolly Roger.


First, thanks for calling me out on some pretty strong hyperbole. I was trying to make a point and could have toned down my rhetoric. I do think, however, the security challenges would be at least as significant as for a large international city. We can debate about what specific threats should be addressed, but I think that list should go well beyond petty crime and muggings.

Second, my interest in joining this forum is primarily an intellectual attraction to a sovereign seastead (a SovStead?), however that might be created. I have little interest for an untethered and/or (semi) nomadic group of residents creating a floating island somewhere. I also see the complexity of developing the former as several orders of magnitude greater than the latter.

Back to the questions you posed: I think there are similarities and differences between a SovStead and a small nation. The difference, in the case of the Bahamas, is that it is already recognized as an independent state (country), is a party to many international treaties (e.g., Rio Treaty - 1947), has an established financial and legal system, and more.

I’m honestly struggling to think how a SovStead will find legal standing, how it will function in international trade, whether it could have its own currency and participate in SWIFT, etc. Would it have to pay “protection” to some benefactor?

At a deeper level, what would you change about the US or French constitutions, knowing what you know now? IMO, this is not simply about the technology.


There was some interesting discussion at the beginning of the year, found here:

(.) #142

Space piracy: I understand that would be an extreme example, but it is an example.

It is probably possible to destroy satellites from Earth.
A third party, non government entity could develop such a thing.

The same way, Greenpeace might get pissed at a seastead, for whatever reason.
Iron dumping could be one.

Paul Watson (Seashepard) (http://www.seashepherd.org)
already made a statement about Russ George, so that is a threat.

I like the idea of Russ George: http://russgeorge.net
So the declaration of Paul Watson is not a friendly gesture to me.
The Haida Gwaii natives might feel the same way about Watson.


Sea Shepherd’s Watson vows to stop B.C. ocean fertilization plan

Paul Watson is declared by many countries as a criminal, and he is wanted as a criminal.

On one end there is no recorded piracy, on the other end there is, and there is probably lots of shady
areas between the two.


Since there is no recorded history of piracy in space … probably due to economic realities like excessive barriers to entry and a negative cost/benefit ratio, there is no logical reason to associate piracy in space with the security posture of a seastead on Earth.

Hyperbolics aside … there are practical reasons for a seastead to maintain some degree of security.

Having a military force sufficient to repeal an invasion from a global superpower is probably excessive.

Seasteading, Sovereignty & Citizenship

Perhaps as a collective of “economic citizens” under a charter from a nation like Estonia.

(Larry G) #145

It is probably not feasible.


Worth exploring. I’m going to start another thread (i) to minimize drift here, and (ii) to give some breathing room. Here’s the link:

(.) #147

Yes, I understand. I just do not want to concentrate on something that does not exist.


and utterly unnecessary. Security shouldn’t automatically read military - an police/gendarmerie like force would be wholly sufficient with limited powers of arrest and hold, and a mandate to protect the physical integrity the stead. I would also make service mandatory due to the nature of the stead. I have to stress this is not about building an offshore police state but rather ensuring that security and protection remain in the hands of the actual residents rather than a dispassionate security company and/or security services of another nation state.

However any security force would/should be based on the legal and governance framework the stead adopts.

(Chandler ) #149

It should be obvious that any independent country, especially one that is in open unpoliced waters, will need some type of defense force. The best method would be to maintain a small group who, while trained to use fire arms, will not carry them unless there is a direct threat to the community. Ireland and its police force is an excellent model. The other thing is to mandate that every household own a rifle in the case of an attack by pirates or a government ect… This allows for greater security but since the civilians only own rifles and are likely screened before being allowed to become a citizen concerns like mass murder and robberies are negligible. Any thoughts?

(Larry G) #150

LOL. You’re in the seasteading forum. Some of us have nothing but thoughts, most of us have plenty of them.

Yes, you would think so, but some don’t see it. Ship Security is a specific position and there are requirements for training in it according to international standards. there are lots of people offering it now as well, although most of them are probably pretty low-bar on depth and professionalism.

I would be hesitant to make a blanket statement as to a “best method”. I am actually a security professional (both cyber and physical) and “best methods” are not in our lexicon. The generally accepted term is “best practices” and these are like dim sum- you pick and choose them in combinations to address your particular circumstances. There are principles involved (and regular training and exercising of plans are among them) but not one “best method”. Risk is not static and therefore security measures cannot be either.

What is the point of training to use firearms if they are not immediately available? When I teach a “concealed carry” class, one of the first questions I get is “what caliber?” My invariable answer is “the one you will carry every day.”

Rifles… why not shotguns? Better in close quarters (less over-penetration) useful for other things, like clearing avian pests. Pistols are also close-range, close-quarters firearms, and take up less space. I would not dictate what type of firearms individuals should have, I would just recommend to them that what they choose should be easily maintainable, supportable with relatively common/easily obtainable ammunition, and fits their abilities.

Mass murders… it’s an interesting and complex topic. I am not sure that any professional literature or studies would support your assertion that a population owning only rifles is any less prone to mass murder. Small populations of homogenous race and culture are less prone to mass murder amongst themselves, but that’s a different issue.

As for screening- do you intend to screen each generation before they assume citizenship? Who screens them? On what criteria?


Not to pass judgement on the relative pros and cons …

… but @noone’s perspective sounds very European to me …

… and @thebastidge’s perspective sounds very Western American.

As with other seasteading issues, the issue of seastead security will likely vary from seastead to seastead … and the strengths and weaknesses will become obvious over time.

I, personally, lean more toward the Western American approach to frontier security … in part, because I grew up in that environment … in part, because America has more recent expertise with frontier security than does Europe … and, in part, because science tells us that a small percentage of humans are psychopaths or sociopaths and, therefore, are a potential threat to society.


I think most western countries have said experience - the French in Africa, Brits globally etc I’d say if you really want to adopt a national model, the Australian defence force has most relevant considering the breathe of its current operations and its area of interest. As to my inspiration, it was actually the IDF with its paramilitary, whole force concept.


And let’s not overlook Mossad and building a tall wall around your seastead in conjunction with that,…


Everyone has the Right to defend themselves and their property.

If they exercise that Right there is no need for a police force or military. That principle works extremely well for every circumstance, except against a military. A military is the only real physical threat a SeaSteading community has.

The solution to fighting a military is to incentivize the military into protecting you through trade (capitalism). It really is that simple.


I was talking about just physical security. I’ll leave the need for intelligence services to people that know about that.