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“If I’m not a ship, I’m a boat that could be”: Seasteading and the post-social political imagination

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“If I’m not a ship, I’m a boat that could be”: Seasteading and the post-social political imagination

Simpson, Isabelle (2016) “If I’m not a ship, I’m a boat that could be”: Seasteading and the post-social political imagination. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Founded in 2008, The Seasteading Institute (TSI) is a California non-profit organization set up “to facilitate the development of permanent, autonomous cities deriving legal autonomy from their location in international waters – Earth’s last unclaimed frontier” (Hencken, 2013, cited in Barksdale). These floating city-states, or seasteads, would exist on platforms inspired by cruise ships, aircraft carriers and oil platforms and become frontier habitations for aquapreneurs and ocean pioneers wanting to experiment with new systems of governance. The seasteading movement, in line with Silicon Valley’s tech culture and (a)political ethos where individuals are encouraged to exit the political structure (Friedman 2009; Thiel 2009, 2014), is part of a larger trend toward postsociality and depoliticization. Much more than just a new utopian lifestyle on offer, seasteading is part of a digital countercultural movement driven by techno-libertarianism (a libertarian political approach to technology), and anarcho-capitalism. Ultimately, the certitude that technologically advanced, subject-centered, small-scale communities are more appropriate than large democratic political structures as catalysts for social change illustrates a broader shift in the collective imagination from social and political preoccupations to preoccupations with individual enhancement.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Sociology and Anthropology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Simpson, Isabelle
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Social and cultural anthropology
Date:8 April 2016
Thesis Supervisor(s):Watson, Mark K.
ID Code:981163
Deposited By: ISABELLE SIMPSON
Deposited On:08 Jun 2016 18:47
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:52
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