It’s not some half-baked attempt to create a new country. It’s the real deal.
Best of all, it’s a country founded on staunch libertarian and free-market principles.
But I don’t blame you if you’re skeptical. I was too. That is, until I spoke with Vit Jedlicka.
Vit is the founder and president of Liberland. It’s a slice of land on the edge of Serbia, Croatia, and the Danube River. Neither country has ever claimed it due to a border quirk. Under international law, that opened up the opportunity for Liberland.
Surprisingly, the reactions of Croatia and Serbia have been cordial instead of resistant.
Vit is in the process of securing diplomatic recognition.
More than 300,000 have applied for Liberland citizenship.
Serious investors have indicated they’d immediately put tens of millions of dollars into the new country.
Liberland has real momentum. Soon it could reach a tipping point.
This is why I reached out to Vit. You’ll find our discussion below.
Until next time,
Questions or comments? Send them to email@example.com.
Nick Giambruno: Tell us a bit about your background
Vit Jedlicka: I’ve been a member of the Free Citizens Party, which is a libertarian party in the Czech Republic. Frederic Bastiat, Murray Rothbard, and other free-market thinkers have been very influential to me.
Nick: Why did you see a need to create a new country?
Vit: I tried hard for five years to affect political change in the Czech Republic. No matter if there was a left wing or a right wing government, we still had more regulations, more taxes, and more corruption.
So I decided I had to do something different. In the end, that led me to set up a country to prove that the ideas of liberty work. That is how Liberland was born.
Nick: How did you choose the location for Liberland?
Vit: We needed terra nullius, which means “nobody’s land.” It’s a term used in international law to describe territory that has never been subject to the sovereignty of any state.
When Yugoslavia dissolved, none of the successor countries claimed this land. It’s one of the very last pieces of unclaimed land on Earth. That allowed us to come in under terra nullius.
Liberland is on the Danube River, which is international waters. No country can restrict access to it. This means we have free access to Liberland no matter what is happening with our neighbors. Nonetheless I believe we will open the land borders soon, first with Serbia and then with Croatia.
Nick: Are there any countries that will officially recognize Liberland?
Vit: We have direct connections now with 15 heads of state, and it’s growing rapidly. We have diplomats active in almost every country in the world. We have yet to fully use that potential. As far as I can tell, no other similar project in the past has generated as much support as Liberland. I think we have a great chance to get international recognition in the coming months.
Nick: What will the role of government be in Liberland?
Vit: We want to find the minimum amount of regulations that are necessary for a limited government to work. To be able to take care of security, justice, and diplomacy, and that’s it. The constitution will prohibit the government from doing anything else.
This is like the United States as it was at the very beginning. The American Constitution was a great piece of work, but it unfortunately didn’t last. Today the US has turned far away from the concept of limited government.
Nick: So how do you prevent that from happening in Liberland?
Vit: Unfortunately it’s impossible to prevent. But we can try to be more effective at slowing the erosion of liberty.
To do that, we took the best parts of the American Constitution, the Swiss Constitution, and the Estonian Constitution.
No matter who rules Liberland in the future, it will be hard for them to change anything. To change the constitution, it has to be a unanimous decision by the legislative body. And after that the people can veto it with 50% of votes in a referendum. This is the part that we borrowed from the Swiss Constitution.
I used to say that we are building Liberland to last for 100 years. Now I think it’s going to last even longer than that.
Nick: What about taxation?
Vit: Taxes will be completely voluntary.
We are also developing a system where investors will be able to invest in all of the government’s assets and possibly receive dividends. Shares of the state’s assets will trade on a stock market. Anybody will be free to buy or sell at any time.
Nick: That’s very interesting. Doug Casey has proposed something like this to a number of governments before.
Vit: I’ve been following Doug’s work for many years. To be honest, I didn’t know he was doing this. But I’m glad that we came up with a similar idea.
Nick: Speaking of tax issues, the US, EU, and OECD consistently pressure low-tax jurisdictions. It reminds me of what they did to Andorra, another small, low-tax country in Europe. Andorra never had an income tax in its history. But recently the high-tax countries pressured it into adopting one. How does Liberland expect to cope with these pressures?
Vit: We always try to be positive and would try to use the pressure to our advantage. Such pressure could motivate even more people to join us and dissuade other governments from trying to install tax hells all around the world.
Nick: If you look at history, one of the main areas where the US went wrong was with issues relating to money and currency. Abandoning sound money turbocharged the malignant growth of the state. What does Liberland plan to do here?
Vit: We really want to separate money from the government. There might be a currency of Liberland, but it will not be mandatory to use it.
Nick: What do you say to the people who say that Liberland is just a fantasy or that it has no chance to succeed?
Vit: I was speaking to a bureaucrat in Croatia who told me that Liberland is something that is just in our heads. I replied that Croatia is also just in our heads. All governments are just concepts in our heads. I think this is terribly important to realize there are no real borders between countries. There’s just imaginary lines in our heads.
Editor’s Note: To keep up with the latest on Liberland and other ways to maximize your personal freedom and financial opportunity around the world, be sure to check out the free guides and resources on the International Man site.
My general rule of thumb when it comes to legislation is that the more high-sounding the name, the more insidious the law.
Exhibit A: the just-passed USA FREEDOM Act.
“Freedom”. It sounds great.
So great, in fact, that they stuck it in the title and built an absurd acronym around it– the real name of the law is “Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ensuring Effective Discipline Over Monitoring Act of 2015”.
And without fail, the media has bought in to the myth, praising the government for heralding in a new era of liberty with headlines like “Congress Reins In NSA’s Spying Powers” and “NSA phone program doomed as Senate passes USA Freedom Act”.
Unfortunately this is simply not the case. And shame on the mainstream media for making such thinly-researched, fallacious assertions.
If anyone had actually taken the time to read the legislation, they’d see that most of the ‘concessions’ made by the government are entirely hollow.
Secret FISA courts still exist. Lone wolf surveillance authority and roving wiretaps still exist. They can still grab oodles of other data like medical and business records.
And the US Attorney General has even been awarded new ’emergency powers’ to use in his/her sole discretion… just in case the secret courts might be uncooperative.
The big victory being cheered by the media pertains to the collection of phone records. This one is actually hilarious.
The USA FREEDOM Act prevents the government from seizing and storing ‘call detail records’, the so-called meta-data information like your phone number, the other caller’s phone number, the length of the call, etc.
But section 107(k)(3)(B) of the new law specifically states that ‘call detail records’ do NOT include the *actual content* of the call itself. Or your name. Address. Financial data. Cell-site location. Etc.
So basically they can’t archive your phone number. But everything else is fair game. Congratulations on your freedom.
Lawmakers also managed to sprinkle all sorts of other worthless provisions into the USA FREEDOM Act.
For example, the Inspector General (IG) of the United States is required to issue a report discussing what civil liberty violations may have occurred over the last few years.
Great. Except that IG reports are just that– reports. They have no teeth. And Congress can do with this one precisely what they do with every other IG report that gets issued: nothing.
(Seriously, when was the last time you heard any ruckus about an IG report? Probably never.)
They also stated that a panel of ‘advocates’ (whoever they may be) would attend and observe any secret FISA court hearing in which profound legal issues might be at stake.
Again, sounds great. Except that, like the IG report, a panel of advocates has no teeth… no power to stop the court or spy agencies.
Bottom line, these concessions may look good on paper, but they don’t amount to any real concession.
This is a classic negotiation tactic. When working out a contentious deal, the stronger side will invariably offer some irrelevant concession that has no material impact on what they want.
We did this several months ago for our Chilean agriculture fund, pushing through a substantial price reduction on a 2,000 acre property by ‘conceding’ to let the seller stay in the farm house for a few months.
He felt like he got something, but for us the concession was pointless and ceremonial.
The same thing happened here. And the American people just got played.
The government has spent the last 14 years turning up the heat on the boiling frog. They increased the temperature by 100 degrees over that time… and have now turned it down 1 degree.
Yet people are treating this like it’s some sort of victory.
It’s not. And this is a sad reflection of how low people’s expectations have become of their own government and liberty.
It’s a mistake to rely on a government to solve the problems that they themselves created.
It’s a mistake to expect bureaucrats to voluntarily give up the power that they have awarded themselves… and have spent years abusing.
It’s a mistake to wait for politicians to give you back the freedom that they’ve taken away.
They don’t give a damn about your freedom. And they’re certainly not going to give it to you.
But it still exists. It’s out there for anyone who cares enough to do something about it.
When I was in the military everyone used to say ‘freedom isn’t free’. And this is totally true.
Freedom starts with the individual. No one is going to give it to you. Becoming free means you have to put forth just a little bit of effort to take some common sense baby steps.
Let’s discuss some of these tomorrow.
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We interrupt our regular programming (I know, I know, the programming hasn’t been regular for a while, I’m getting to that) to bring you this very important message…….
This one is for Rara, the well-loved blogger whom you may know as Rarasaur. As you may already know, Rara has been serving a prison sentence for the past year—we don’t have to get into the details here—she has written about her situation in detail on her blog. Suffice it to say, she was given a bum rap. She’s scheduled to be released in a few months.
A few weeks ago, her beloved husband, whom you may know as Grayson Queen (also known as Dave), died suddenly. He died way too soon and way too young. His last posts are haunting; he wrote of not feeling well and described some troubling symptoms. And then the posts stopped.
DJMatticus took on…
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Some old school hip hop back in the day, on Arsenio Hall:
Artist:The Beastie Boys
Song:So What’cha Want( Cypress Hill Remix)
Album: Check Your Head