Imagine a nation without a government. A land where people are truly free, where nobody polices their choices or values, where nobody tells them what they can and can’t do. No licenses, no speed limits, no controlled substances, no taxes…
Imagine a nation where people can be truly free. If you can’t, you can see it for yourself – in Liberland.
Libertarianism is a system of government that holds autonomy and nongovernment as critical to the liberty of a nation.
On 13 April 2015, Vit Jedlička planted a flag on an unclaimed island in the Danube and declared the birth of the Free Republic of Liberland. It lies on the Croatia-Serbia border, roughly halfway between Zagreb and Belgrade. The land is unclaimed as a result of a border dispute between the two countries that has gone on for over a quarter of a century. Vit Jedlička was dismissed by governments and media organisations as a joke.
Fast forward a year. Vit – the president of the youngest country in the world – is the one laughing. Libertarianism is traditionally a system most embraced by the wealthy, and Vit has acquired too many backers to be stopped
The island nation is situated on 7 sq. km of wetlands and, as yet, has no buildings other than an abandoned hunting lodge. Liberland has 400,000 would-be citizens, the backing of a range of political movements around the world, and even its own national beer.
With only a five-member government at present, the country is designed to be a tax haven, much like Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Switzerland, and, recently in the news, Panama. All taxation in Liberland is intended to be voluntary. A compromise – no health services.
However, drugs, guns, driving with no regard for a speed limit will all be very permissible. As Vit explains it, they’ll only have 5 laws, and as long as nobody interferes with anybody else’s life or enjoyment of it, there will be no reason for any. The state’s only responsibilities will be with regard to justice, security, and diplomacy.
Liberland was created on 13 April as a nod to the first person to attempt to bring in libertarian principles into government. In the year since Liberland was founded, Croatia has set up a guarded perimeter and has arrested dozens of people for attempting to access the nation. Vit himself has had no access to the land for a year. However, he has but the last year to good use, meeting world leaders to garner their support and setting up a website so people could register their interest in the venture – and donate to the cause.
It was a good thing that Croatia shut the border. We needed one more year to discover everything we have to do in order to take proper care of our own borders, to sign an agreement with a private security agency and also to visualise what we want to do. We kind of appreciate what Croatia is doing at this stage, which is simply protecting our border from others who would like this territory as well.
However, things are getting real now. Vit and his ministers held a conference to discuss Liberland’s future at a Croatian hotel just 5km from the border.
They’re going to march on Liberland soon.
To know more about Liberland, watch this.