Silicon Valley elites have unveiled their vision for the utopian city they hope to build on 55,000 acres in Solano County in California.
Raymond Craib, professor of history at Cornell University, is author of “Adventure Capitalism: A History of Libertarian Exit, from the Era of Decolonization to the Digital Age” – an exploration of the dubious track record of utopian, free-market experiments.
“It should come as no surprise that Silicon Valley’s ultra-wealthy are looking to build a start-up city north of the Bay Area. The California Forever project is the latest in a long line of speculative land grabs gussied up as future utopias for a world on the brink of collapse.
“The libertarian specifics have been scaled back but in the promotional literature there is more than a whiff of the charter city schemes that have plagued Honduras over the past decade – schemes promoted by a ‘who’s who’ of tech-bro venture capitalists, Burning Man enthusiasts, and real estate speculators, aimed at creating private gated communities with their own judiciaries, police forces, and taxation systems, and in which the will of the Honduran voters may not apply.
“California Forever may end up as California Never but its very existence is a reminder that the colonizing aspirations of the ‘pioneer spirit’ whether as sea steads, free private cities, space colonization, or large-scale land-grabs – are still with us.”