On April 16th, 2015 Cevro Institute hosted the Free Market Road Show in Prague. Two panels that focused on the economic growth, entrepreneurship, freedom and creativity engrossed more than 100 visitors. Among them a former Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek and also a recently elected president of the Free Republic of Liberland, Vit Jedlicka.
It was pretty funny when an Austrian Ambassador to the Czech Republic, Ferdinand Trauttmansdorff, started his opening address by greeting the crowd and singling out “the presidents of the New State” and then the Chief Economist of Roklen, Lukas Kovanda, started his speech by saying “Ladies and gentlemen, dear president Jedlicka”.
Some people maybe did not understand why they greeted an unknown president. But I am pretty sure, that in just a few days they understood.
But what is Liberland all about? And why should we even care?
Briefly – the new president is a Czech citizen and libertarian activist, who with the help of abunch of his friends found out, that at the western bank of the Danube, there is 7km² of land on the Croatian-Serbian border, which has remained unclaimed by either.
Jedlicka believes that the land is therefore terra nullius – a no man’s land. So he came there and declared the founding of a new sovereign nation, the Free Republic of Liberland.
In the end it’s not important if the land is really terra nullius, as some lawyers argue against, and if there’s a chance for Jedlicka to be ignored by Croatian authorities to start the building of his utopia.
What is important, is Jedlicka’s message having a chance to be heard:
“The taxes will be voluntary. Government debt will be constitutionally forbidden. We think there should be just a minimum of offences the state will penalize: Police will be there only for securing order and security, not for punishing people for example for doing business, not for forcing thousands of regulations on citizens. We are going to allow people to use any currency they want for their transactions on our territory.”
These are revolutionary ideas, which deserve to be heard.
And it looks like the ideas are really appealing to people, this can be seen by fact that there will be around 1 million citizenship applications by the end of this week.
And it’s really wonderful that the media are listening to this message of small government and freedom. Even if it’s just for a short time.