California Forever plans prove ‘colonizing spirit’ still exists

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 in the College of Arts & Sciences, 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 new city north of the Bay Area," says Craib. "The California Forever project is the latest in a long line of speculative land grabs gussied up as eco-topian private solutions to what ails us. The specifics, predictably, are vague but there is more than a whiff of the “company town” lingering around the project, not to mention the charter city schemes that have attracted tech-bro venture capitalists and real estate speculators over the past decade in places such as Honduras.

"Given the pushback from residents and public officials, 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 seasteads, free private cities, space colonization, or large-scale land-grabs — are still with us.”


For interviews contact: Becka Bowyer, cell: (607) 220-4185,

Image by Mikesclark/Creative Commons license 3.0

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A large hill dotted with green foliage under a blue sky
Mikesclark/Creative Commons license 3.0 A view of Solano County, CA