While good patriotic Americans were getting their jingoism on and communists were deluding themselves into believing a world with completely economic equality is possible, a small group of people were declaring their independence. These people occupy a small 2.7 square mile plot of land on the border between Croatian and Serbia:
A group of Czechs and self-styled founding fathers of a “micro-nation” on the bank of the Danube River held their own version of Independence Day Friday, christening “Liberland” as a 2.7-square-mile country where taxes are optional and freedom reigns.
Vít Jedlička, a Czech libertarian politician who claims to have found a plot of land left unclaimed in the 1990s border settlement between Croatia and Serbia, told FoxNews.com dozens of would-be citizens traveled by boat to Liberland to toast its birth.
Jedlička, who is a member of the Conservative Party of Free Citizens in the Czech Republic, recently appointed himself president of the new free republic of Liberland, on the tiny patch of land that sits on the Croatian-Serbia Border. Jedlička claims international law allows his claim over the terra nullius—or literally “No Man’s Land.”
Libertarians are cheering this declaration while statists are scoffing. To libertarians the declaration of independence is just as legitimate as any other country’s declaration of independence. Meanwhile statists cannot comprehend the idea that a nation can exist unless it has the permission, err, recognition of other states.
I’m glad to see the people of Liberland declaring themselves independent of neighboring states. My only hope is that this trend will continue in the tiny 2.7 square mile nation. Hopefully a group of Liberland’s people will declare Jedlička’s presidency illegitimate and secede. From there I hope the secession continues until each individual living there no longer recognizes themselves as members of a nation but sovereign individuals.
I’ve heard several statists point out that this declaration won’t last because the neighboring states; who, in their opinion, are the rightful owners of that little chunk of land; will reclaim it. Perhaps that will happen. Yet there’s a chance that their declaration will be considered so ludicrous that neither Croatia or Serbia will acknowledge the declaration as something that needs to be dealt with. That is similar to the story of Emperor Norton. Because of his perceived insanity the federal government never challenged his declaration of being emperor yet the money he issued was accepted at local establishments and his declarations were often adhered to, which made him just as much of an emperor as any other.
Liberland, in the same way, could become an independent nation by function if not recognition. If, for instance, taxes remain voluntary due to Croatia and Serbia simply not bothering to enforce tax laws on that chunk of land then it would functionally be an independent land much in the same way Neutral Moresnet was independent of its surrounding powers.
Liberland will be fun to follow. Even if it doesn’t manage to maintain its independence it could be fun watching Croatia and Serbia bicker about who really owns the land.