The Island: Isolation - Donne Today

Oceania: Modern-day Utopia?

In his Utopia, Thomas More describes a man-made island revolving around his ideals of the "perfect community." His book was written during the Renaissance period, a time period in which people strove to transcend beyond what had been thought about or tried before. During this period, people began to look at their surroundings in a new way. Looking at More's ideals today, we can ask a few questions. Does this attitude still exist today? Do people and small groups living in today's society present models of a new "perfect" community? The answer seems to be "yes." Doing research for this web site, we uncovered a group struggling to create their own society on an island in the Caribbean.

The Atlantis Project began in February 1993, conceived shortly after Tamara Clark was defeated in her quest for the State Senate in Nevada. Clark and her staff felt she had been defeated by massive election fraud. Eric Klien, Tamara Clark's treasurer, gave up on the U.S. after her loss and began looking for other countries with a bright future. He found none, and the Atlantis project soon developed. The Atlantis Project is a group established to create a new country, Oceania, that will supposedly be constructed on an artificial island in the Caribbean. "The project rapidly picked up steam in 1993, getting nationwide publicity on The Art Bell Show, Details magazine, The Miami Herald, and Boating magazine. Worldwide publicity was received as well in Canada, New Zealand, Hong King, England, and Belgium." However, as the publicity increased, the funds began to run out.

After "the project's collapse in April of 1994, the project has slowly been brought back to life. At the moment, the main goal of the project is to pay off past debts of the project, plus keep its supporters aware of the incremental progress that is being made. Once the project's debts are paid off, it will go into full gear again." Eric Klein is said to be currently undergoing numerous financial ventures to rebuild the project's finances.

The purpose of this group is to "break the chains that bind us," and a complete Constitution and system of laws have been created. The Oceanians claim they "have the distinct opportunity of creating a governmental structure from the start rather than being required to revolt and overthrow a previously entrenched regime. We believe the formation of Oceania is truly a peaceful way towards an ideal. Today, every society is hopelessly entangled in bureaucracy, corruption and/or outright slavery, forever muddled in the free-lunch philosophy."

Appropriately named Oceania, the new country will be a floating sea-city. The plan is to build it about fifty miles off the coast of Panama in the Caribbean Sea. Hired architect Sten Sjostrand has supposedly designed this revolutionary new habitation idea so that it may grow almost infinitely. The structure will consist of hexagonal, modular units (each about 1.60 acres). Although they believe the initial layout will be a horseshoe shaped harbor, they claim the form of Oceania will continually evolve, stating that "its development should be as unique as those who become involved in its various enterprises."

"At the outset, Oceania's amenities will include space for light industry, small parks, day-care centers, theaters, schools, libraries, resorts, shopping malls, sports facilities and ports for STOL airplanes, helicopters," and ships. The government of Oceania will be restricted in scope, allowing you to exercise your right to attain and keep honestly acquired wealth and to use it as only you see fit. Genuine free-enterprise (as envisioned by Adam Smith, Ludwig von Mises, F. A. Hayek and Ayn Rand) will be practiced. What the market will provide, according to the group, is limited only by the imagination.

The group says they named the island after the fictional totalitarian state in George Orwell's book 1984. They hope that the name of their country will cause more people to read the book, realizing how similar the country they currently live in is like the country of Oceania described in this famous book.

While it is a possibility that this group is just a hoax, and that Oceania island will never be created, nevertheless this example illustrates the desire of many people to create or live in the "perfect society." Just as Thomas More, disgusted by the society he lived in, tried to make people aware of all the unjust things going on around him, this group is speaking out against injustice and the societies feeding it by trying to create an alternative for people - a utopian community in the Caribbean.

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Click me in the left frame!Is Oceania for real? Why would people go to such trouble to create a society when they don't even know if it will work out? Questions? Please ask us! If this web site has provoked any questions in your mind, or if you're just curious or confused about something you see here, please click on the question mark icon in the panel to the left of this article. Then fill out the form and send your question to us!