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Following a four-year hiatus, the Penn Libertarian Association held their second meeting of the year Thursday night. Topics of discussion ranged from floating cities to applying free-market techniques to comparing different systems of government.

The group hosted a presentation by Michael Keenan, president of the Seasteading Institute, a non-profit organization whose goal is to set up societies and governments on platforms in international waters. The main idea driving this goal, according to the institute, is to experiment with new forms of government, free from the restraints of the laws and ideologies of any particular nation. By enabling people to freely exit and enter any platform, or seastead, at any time, citizens will directly prove which system of government on these seasteads is most successful.

College freshman Seth Koren said that this was a “fantastic idea,” adding, “I am critical of certain aspects of existing governments, and I would be very interested in experimenting with new forms of government.”

The Seasteading Institute views government as one of countless industries that is performing poorly, is highly outdated and must be revamped.

“Why are we still using government technology invented 200 years ago when every other industry in the world is modernizing and changing every year?” Keenan asked.

Keenan claimed that most engineering difficulties in building seasteads have already been solved, citing the success of oil rigs and large cruise ships. He admitted that there were some legal issues, since even several miles off the coast of a nation, certain laws of the mainland nation still apply and even large vessels in international waters must carry a flag at all times.

Yet according to Keenan, if planned through incremental steps, the establishment of seasteads is a feasible project.

College freshman Jeffrey Nadel, who attended the meeting, agreed. “In terms of feasibility, I think it can be scaled in a way so that it is viable,” Nadel said.

Keenan went on to explain that the first seastead is planned to begin operation at the end of next year. Located seven miles off the coast of California, it will serve the business interests of Silicon Valley by providing legal residence for employees with temporary work visas.

College freshman Tony Cotzias, who reestablished the Penn Libertarian Organization and organized the presentation, said that the efforts of the Seasteading Institute “represent a solution to politics that is not part of electoral politics, with which I am disillusioned. Politicians in a new frontier can provide solutions to these problems.”

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