(to table of contents of FNF archives)
A new group is pursuing the idea of creating a country at sea. New Utopia, based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, hopes to establish a principality of the same name by constructing a network of platforms in shallow water somewhere off the coast of Central America.
New Utopia has some striking similarities and some notable differences with the ill-fated Atlantis Project. Like those who conceived Atlantis, New Utopia's founders are heavily influenced by Ayn Rand, are interested in anti-aging technologies and propose to create a new country in tropical waters. Unlike Atlantis, New Utopia would not be a libertarian society, but rather a limited government principality like Monaco. Also departing from the Atlantis model, the group has thus far taken a relatively low profile, and has given greater thought to creating a financial plan. Finally, New Utopia plans to build its housing atop columns built on the ocean floor, rather than relying on floating platforms.
Recently, I had an opportunity to speak with founder Lazarus Long. Although his name is the same as that of a Robert Heinlein character, he told me that he is not using a pseudonym. He legally changed his name several years ago. During our conversation, Long came over as well-centered, thoughtful and confident. As a successful businessman, he apparently has a fair amount of money to invest in this project-although not nearly enough to see it to completion.
New Utopia's web site (http://www.new-utopia.com) indicates that the group plans to create itself by issuing $400 million in bonds at an interest rate of 9-3/4%. Of the money raised, $299.4 million will finance the construction of 10 platforms with a total area of 900,000 square feet, a small airport, ports and warehouses, a shopping mall, a hotel, a bank, a government administration center, apartments, condominiums and a world class medical center.
Additional funds will pay interest on the bonds and will cover initial government operations. Over the long term, New Utopia's government will be financed by an import duty on all consumable goods, ship docking fees, aircraft landing fees, a modest fee for tourist accommodations, and fees for various licenses, charters and other permits. There will not be any income tax or value added tax. The constitution also provides that all government levies must be lower than those of the Cayman Islands, which New Utopia considers to be its most direct competitor.
To find out more about New Utopia, check their web site at www.new-utopia.com, or contact the group via postal mail at 2343 E. 71st St. Suite 439, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 74136 USA. You can also phone (918) 712-9980 or fax (918) 712-9981.D
(to table of contents of FNF archives) (to top of page)