The Free Republic of Liberland!

If only it was called Freedonia! Then we could all sing “Hail, Hail, Freedonia, Land of the Freeeeee!….” My favorite Groucho Marx moment.

However, this is no joke. It might never turn into a Free Republic or anything else, but the founders are serious enough to come up with a sharp looking website, and they have attracted hundreds of thousands of applicants for citizenship.

read more: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/24/liberland-hundreds-of-thousands-apply-to-live-in-worlds-newest-country?CMP=share_btn_gp

About fafc

The goal of the “Find a Free Country Project” is to research, explore and find a safe and secure free country outside the USA, that is not too large, has a relatively open immigration policy, has a friendly business climate, has a non-intrusive government committed to freedom, and then move to it.

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40 Responses to The Free Republic of Liberland!

  1. Croatian Capitalist says:

    Serious or not, considering it’s small size and the two countries it borders, I can’t see it becoming a real success, at best when Croatia and Serbia eventually agree what to do with the territory it might become an općina (municipality), and even if they both agreed to let the territory have it’s independence and not cause trouble for it, considering the founders comment (“we are an open society for everyone”), I think it would still be doomed to failure, since non-selectiveness/negative selection is a recipe for disaster, as you can see when you look at the various countries which practice such a philosophy.

    • fafc says:

      I wonder. What dooms modern socialist states is the welfare programs that encourage abusers to entire the system and producers to leave. An open society without any social welfare system would be unattractive to most of the current immigrants invading Europe. It could be an ideal little hub of commerce for both Serbia and Croatia to take advantage of without having to change their own systems. Of course there will be rules, and there will be some selection. That is just talk. But what if they accept a bunch of deadbeats who refuse to work? As long as there is no welfare system they will leave rather quickly. It is the socialist welfare state that destroys freedom.

  2. Croatian Capitalist says:

    Even assuming that it wouldn’t ever introduce welfare and thus that the welfare-abusers would stay away, with complete “openness”, it would still be doomed to failure, I mean lets say they accept 100 Armenians and 100 Turks, 100 Indians and 100 Pakistanis, 100 Sunni Arabs and 100 Shia Arabs, etc., you would have ethnic/religious confrontations happening all the time, it would doom such a small country, so this project doesn’t interest me, and even if all of that was just talk to avoid controversy and they decided to avoid the mistakes made by other countries, it still wouldn’t interest me, since it’s just way too small to ever become a serious (and viable) country and is surrounded by two much bigger socialist states.

    • fafc says:

      No doubt you are correct but I can hope. If nothing else it may inspire similar ideas elsewhere. Clearly there is a huge demand for freedom.

  3. Croatian Capitalist says:

    Yes, in in absolute terms, I would guess it is a pretty big number, but percentage wise, it is pretty small in most places, if that wasn’t the case, the World would look very different.

    Anyway, if new communities are to be founded, I think it should be in a remote place somewhere in the big, resource rich countries, such as for example the Far Eastern Federal District in Russia, it is very rich with more or less every resource people need, it is very sparsely populated (one person per square kilometer), so you could found a self-sufficient community far away from the major populated areas, so even if corruption in Russia persists, I seriously doubt that anybody from the government would actually bother going to some remote place in Siberia to bother a small community, then if you want an export business, you have China, Korea and Japan right next door to export to, etc., so the only real downside I see would be the fact that it’s (very) cold for half the year, but some people don’t mind even that, and if (serious) global warming actually ever starts happening, Russia will become the World’s breadbasket: http://www.latimes.com/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-climate-change-russia-super-power-20140311-story.html

  4. fafc says:

    used to be called Free Cities.

    http://www.startupcities.org/about/

    the program looked very promising but seems to have stalled.

  5. Croatian Capitalist says:

    It’s a good idea, but I don’t think that Guatemala is a good place for such a project, and I am of the view that such projects should be organized by word of mouth, not by way of media (among other reasons because I have noticed that in the USA there is a phenomenon that such and such place is named in some magazine as the best place to live, then you get a stampede of non-productive people moving there and ruining the place), or at the very least that is should be started in a place that doesn’t have the laws which forbid you from deciding who will live in your community.

    • fafc says:

      It is being managed by the University of Guatemala because it is oddly enough a little island of libertarian thought in a repulsive socialist basket case of a country. And they don’t have any interest in trying it in Guatemala since the government is opposed to it. They almost had a free city authorized in Honduras, but it fell through at the last minute in the legislature. I would suspect that is the great risk of these venture. In the case of Honduras, the Legislature authorized the concept then changed its mind and refused to authorize the actual project. At least they didn’t change their mind after thousands of people had moved to the free city, invested their time and money in developing it, only to have the rug pulled out from under them. That is why I favor a Free Country, independent, even with flaws. The Free City concept depends upon the goodwill of the host country, which can change overnight.

  6. fafc says:

    To be realistic this project is probably never going to work, but it has shown that there is a huge interest (if not demand) for freedom even if that demand is diffuse and confused. I say interest because no one has paid anything to join. Only if there is a price to be paid will we know what the real demand is.

    Just for the sake of argument, let’s say there is a chance of this working. It would have to depend very heavily on the acceptance/tolerance/(acceptance????) of Serbia and Croatia. As such the initial population could not be more than 10,000 people. I cannot imagine either country being pleased to have a large group of foreigners establishing a “free market” country on their doorstep (or any other type of community that does not fit into the existing culture). 10,000 might be manageable, particularly if those 10,000 were likely to enrich the economies of Croatia and Serbia. As such Liberland will have to become the very opposite of what it set out to be: it would need to be a playground for the idle rich whose needs will be serviced by Croatians and Serbians. In short a Balkan Monaco on the Danube. Perhaps a few oddball billionaire entrepreneurs thrown in to make things interesting. Not the free market haven envisioned.

    Along these lines you would probably want to auction off citizenships in tranches of 1000. It would be interesting what people would pay to become a citizen of a state that as of yet does not exist, don’t you think?

  7. fafc says:

    I have been thinking more about this project and it is clear that it is doable. Not necessarily in the “no man’s” land between Croatia and Serbia without their prior approval, and not as a “free market libertarian” free for all, but it would be possible under different circumstances.

    First of all the territory would have to be completely open either by permission of the host country, neighbors or by circumstances. I cannot imagine any circumstances presenting themselves other than man made islands out in international waters. I think this is possible but it raises the price and technical complexity of such an operation immensely. I think it would be better to look at permission. I am sure it would be possible to set up an independent or at least autonomous system on some remote island or territory at the permission of the country. It might not be initially appealing or advantageous but look at Hong Kong. A more miserable place would have been hard to find. But stability, rule of law, and money attracted people from all around the world.

    The next issue is who to attract/invite. Not the unemployed libertarian philosophy students from around the world (who seem to be flocking to Liberland in the hope of being able to continue talking about libertarianism without actually ever having to get a job). The first 10,000 citizenships should be auctioned off in tranches of 500 to 1000 a batch sometime between some preliminary authorization from the host country and prior to any actual settling. These citizenships would involve a financial risk so only the wealthy would buy them and probably at a discount to what could be charged after the system is up and running. This will give seed money to the organization, and a viable group of entrepreneurs who are willing to put their money where their mouth is while at the same time getting prospective citizenship at a fraction of what it will cost afterward. Through in a few eccentric billionaires, and you could have a real project.

  8. Croatian Capitalist says:

    What do you think of this place as a location?: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Province,_New_Caledonia

    It is 13 times the size of Singapore, but has less than 50000 inhabitants, so there should be a giant amount of land available for expansion.

  9. fafc says:

    I am game if you can convince them to give up even a small portion of the land. I think you really have something here! However, so much depends upon the people themselves. For instance, Gaza would make a wonderful free trade & autonomous zone, except for those pesky Gazans!

  10. Croatian Capitalist says:

    I tried doing a quick search for some uninhabited island, but the problem with them is that they are mostly uninhabited for a reason (cold weather, being used as a site for testing weapons, etc.), then I remembered that New Caledonia has a lot of land that isn’t inhabited for some reason.

    • fafc says:

      I think it is because of head hunting. Oh for the days of Hernan Cortez! We could make short work of them!

  11. Croatian Capitalist says:

    Despite my opinion on the current state of affairs in Russia, I still think that the Far Eastern Federal District would be the best location (unless you hate cold weather of course) for a new community, I can’t imagining anybody bothering to cause trouble for it (if anything, if the community became successful enough, the government would probably outright tell the bureaucracy not to cause trouble for the place, because imagine what kind of a PR coup it would be for Russia if it could run headlines along the lines of “In search of freedom, 50000 Texans/Americans leave the USA for Russia/Siberia”), but If a new country/autonomous community is to be founded somewhere else, I think it should be located somewhere in Oceania, because if you do it in North America, the USA would likely have too much influence over it, if you do in South America, you would get an invasion of illegal immigrants, if you do it in Africa, the same thing would happen, if you did it in Europe, the EU would likely have too much influence over it, but if some nice piece of available land was found in the Pacific for example, it should be safe from those things.

  12. Croatian Capitalist says:

    Of course, but that goes for pretty much every place, it would be interesting to see what Russian law says on the matter of founding new communities and the way they are governed.

    • fafc says:

      Indeed it would be interesting. Maybe we should present it to the Russian government with a few potatoes.

  13. Croatian Capitalist says:

    Even though I mostly mention cold weather as a bad thing, in the case of founding a new community/town/city in Siberia, there would be one very positive aspect to it (apart from the fact of course that the (very) cold weather kills off bugs, rats, etc.), namely the fact that unlike New Caledonia or some other tropical place, there is no way realistically that ” unemployed libertarian philosophy students” or anyone else who isn’t serious about building a quality community from the ground up would move there, so the weather would act as a quality filter of sorts.

    • fafc says:

      My ex-wife came from a town in Brazil called Curitiba. It was in the south up in the mountains and was somewhat cold and rainy during the winter. They called it the “cold wall” that kept the beggars, thieves, and other non-desirables from coming down from the north. At worst they would come during the summer then leave during winter.

  14. Croatian Capitalist says:

    Look at this place for example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chukotka_Autonomous_Okrug

    It’s bigger than Texas, rich in natural resources, etc., but has only about 50000 inhabitants! So if a serious project was started to build a new community there for serious Westerners who don’t like the modern West and it’s direction (and for Russians who like the idea of living in such a community), and it really took off, it’s easily possible that within 10-20-30 years the community would become the voting majority and rule over a territory bigger than Texas!

    • fafc says:

      My only argument against this are these:

      1. I think it is too big. If Russia handed it over to a small band of entrepreneurial libertarians looking to found a new country (with certain obvious stipulations regarding foreign policy and ultimate control by Russia), would it be doable? Rather reminds me of how Mexico handed over Texas to Stephen F. Austin in order to attract immigrants from the USA. It was too much land, unmanageable, and ended up irritating the Mexicans to the point they invaded (and irritated the Texans to declare independence). I think a small area, not much bigger than larger city (maybe with options of expanding if things go well) would be better. That way it will never be seen as a threat to Russia. At most an irritant due to smuggling and other issues that are sure to happen. Small enough to get done, but safe because it can rely on Russia for protection (hopefully).

      2. Russia. Would Russia ever consider such an idea? They have become so nationalist and anti-Everything. If they consider it, will they change their mind after it gets started and start imposing special rules and controls? There are going to be things going on that are going to irritate the Russians (probably going to irritate me somewhat as well). Will they agree to have a hands-off approach?

      Other than those issues, I much prefer cold weather with all its benefits over headhunters and lazy philosophy students.

      • fafc says:

        The more I think about it the more I like it. Okrug is an autonomous regions making it possibly easier to negotiate with. I suspect everything will still have to get the approval of Moscow, but probably on a final say basis, not on a day to day interference nature. Always wanted to go to Nome.

        • Croatian Capitalist says:

          Yes, I think that they would be pretty hands off, as long as the community remained loyal to the government.

      • Croatian Capitalist says:

        1) Well, I wouldn’t put outright independence as a goal in the first place, regional autonomy (which Chukotka already has) is enough, I would also be for assimilation of the settlers into the Russian national identity, that way nobody in Russia would look at the settlers as a threat, and I think that considering the low population density of the Russian Far East and the fact that over 100 million Chinese live close to the border on the other side, Westerners willing to integrate into the Russian national identity and develop the (Far Eastern Federal District) region would be welcomed with open arms. Of course Chukotka (although it is the place where it would probably be the easiest to gain serious political representation, the least likely place in Russia (and probably in the whole (non-third World) World) to face an illegal immigrant invasion, it has the most room for development, etc.) isn’t the only place in Siberia, this whole project would require serious research, and that includes the search for the location of a new community, and even if we concluded that Chukotka is the the best part of the Far Eastern Federal District to start it in, you would still need to do a serious analysis of a territory that is bigger than Texas to find the optimal location.

        2) In my view if the above “lets assimilate and become Russian” approach was taken and autonomy (not outright independence) was the goal, I can’t see the Russians having a problem with it, that’s one of the reasons I think it’s better to choose Siberia than the part of Russia located in Europe, there is way more space available and you are far less likely to encounter any form of opposition, since the Russian Far Eastern Federal District is mostly way behind of European Russia in the way of infrastructure and needs serious development, not to mention that the Chinese threat almost assures that any ethnic Europeans willing to settle there and assimilate would be welcomed with open arms.

        • fafc says:

          Agreed. We are not looking at an independent Duchy or Republic like some of these nuts are suggesting. No one will put up with that. Full integration into the region though might be troublesome. Perhaps a “Free State” like the Hanseatic League arranged with full agreement and right of oversight by the Russian Authorities. The advantage would be that the small community would have automatic recognition from Russia and allies, and probably everyone else too. I know it would be a very fine line to tread, but anything other than “independence” even if it is defined down to not include foreign policy, defense, immigration, etc. would result in incredible distrust. There is already profound distrust of Russia by everyone. Frankly, it looks like you could just fly into the region the way it is and get a visa if you ask nicely. But people don’t because they don’t trust Mother Russia and the oligarchs.

          This was a response from someone on Liberland forum:

          Don’t expect words to have usual meaning, be ready to feel the wind, distinguish important people from the official puppets, choose wisely on who’s hooks you will be and look for a new patronage in advance but carefully. Be more flexible in business, forget about long-term projects on your behalf, instead of protecting your property or zone of responsibility, be ready to take over somebody else’s.

  15. Croatian Capitalist says:

    Another interesting fact about Chukotka is that it is ruled by a Protestant: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Kopin

    And the guy who “ran the show” before him was Jewish.

    • fafc says:

      seems like a part of Russia that has been reasonably run, fairly treated by Moscow, and properly administrated by the local officials. Very rare. Might just be a nice place to settle down with or without a “free city” or somesuch.

      • Croatian Capitalist says:

        Yes, if my other plans don’t work out, then I will probably seriously consider moving there.

        I think that it’s a mistake (and one which I may have also been guilty of) of looking at Russia as if whatever the Russian average (regardless of whether we are talking about wages or corruption or violent crime or whatever) is applies across it’s entire territory, because in truth Russia is a gigantic country with vast differences between the different regions, look at this for example (the data is from 2009, but it still proves my point): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_federal_subjects_of_Russia_by_GDP_per_capita

        Russia has federal subjects which have a GDP per capita equal or greater than places such as Norway, Hong Kong, South Korea, etc., as you can see, Chukotka’s GDP per capita was at the level of Australia in 2009.

        • fafc says:

          If you are interested in trying to start a “free city”/micronation here, I would be willing to help out. It seems interesting. Frankly, I would like to visit the place. What is the difference between “Chukotka” and “Okrug”.

          • Croatian Capitalist says:

            I am not interested at the moment, but that could change in the future, in either case, a prior visit would be needed, both to see if suitable land is available for starting a community, and to see how the existing cities are run, because I see little point in starting your own community if there are properly run cities already in existence in the region.

            Chukotka is the name of the place/region (like Texas is the name of your state), while Okrug is it’s status (like Hong Kong’s status is “Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China”), the word okrug itself means district (not just in Russian, but in some of the other Slavic languages as well).

  16. Croatian Capitalist says:

    Something I forgot to add after the “I see little point in starting your own community if there are properly run cities already in existence in the region.” part of my previous post is that of course that doesn’t apply if the location you consider to be optimal is far away from such cities.

    • fafc says:

      This could be an interesting project to begin in either case. You wouldn’t need to have a signed agreement with Putin’s signature to get this started. In fact, I doubt that will ever happen. But some correspondence with the current governors office, a response other than an absolute NYET, and you could start a project that would involve preliminary planning, getting support, etc. Could be fun, and maybe even profitable if done correctly. There is clearly a demand out there for things like this.

      • Croatian Capitalist says:

        Yes, as I have already written, if the plans I posted on the forum don’t work out, I will seriously start considering Chukotka (and any other place in Russia that seems to have good prospects), I would maybe even get involved in starting a new community/town/city, but it would have to a project done with real professionalism, you would need at least a serious hundred men and a hundred serious women of various professions (doctors, architects, engineers, lawyers (who are legal experts in Russian law) nurses, hunters, financial experts, IT experts, expert people with the experience of living in such a climate, etc.) to sign up for a start, with clear deadlines for completion of the basic infrastructure, which should be started by the beginning of Summer and done by the end of it, because it would be utterly crazy to welcome the Siberian Winter without the proper infrastructure in place.

        Yes, it would for sure be an interesting project, Siberia is truly one of the last frontiers, one of the rare places on this planet where you would have the opportunity to do what your American forefathers did, bring/build civilization from the ground up in a vast wilderness (in Siberia there are only 3 people per square kilometer, and in Chukotka there believe it or not there are only 0.07 people per square kilometer!) where there was none.

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