Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Liberland is the latest micronation to make
headlines, and the one from the BBC
reads, "The Man Who Created a Tiny Country He Can No Longer Enter."
Amazingly, the 1400-word report falls short of the promise offered by
its headline -- which should have gone on to say, "And Debunked the
Whole Idea of Micronations Once and for All."
Why do I say this? Because the idea of founding some libertarian utopia keeps turning up like a bad penny. The last time that silly scheme got my attention, it centered around building artificial islands in international waters. At the time, I noted the following:
One moment's thought about the viability of such islands as states should make the point. Even assuming one achieves a capitalist society on such an island, which is no trivial feat, what of self-defense? How would one stop the pirate island ten miles away from enslaving or laying waste to his? With weapons? Purchased from where? The now-socialist United States one fled? Before or after the pirates strike? Before or after Obama invades your island instead, seeing it as a threat to hope and change? You started out with nukes? How nice: So did the pirates. And Obama.And so it is with "President" Vit Jedlicka, whose grand scheme to build a nation in a bit of terra nullius between Croatia and Serbia is already being thwarted by ... river police. They'll arrest him in no time flat if he so much as tries stepping foot there.
But, as the old Prince Buster song might say, Jedlicka is a hard man fe dead: He's appointing government officials from around the world, speaking to Libertarian conferences, and trying to lose a court case in Croatia. (Yes, lose. Read the article for his "reasoning.") In doing so, he only underscores my previous point and proves another. Despite Jedlicka's flurry of activity, he's only fooling himself, because appearances to the contrary, he gave up on the most realistic chance for winning liberty long ago. I made that point years ago, too:
When dealing with other men, we all have two fundamental choices that technology will never change: reasoned persuasion or force. The island builders aren't even giving reasoned persuasion a chance, and are defaulting to force, and with a poor strategy at that. That is, if they aren't guilty of an even greater sin, which is basically pretending that conflict will pass them by if they pretend that other men don't exist.Like a libertarian candidate for sheriff I recall from my St. Louis days, and the island builders, Jedlicka thinks that he can find some clever way to fly under the radar, to sneak freedom in if he can only trick Croatia into recognizing his micronation's sovereignty. Imagine what someone this energetic could accomplish if, instead of preaching to a choir and working overtime to grab some swampland, he'd improve his persuasion skills, and use what he learned help others in one of the mostly free societies he frequents see why they, too, should value freedom. As I mentioned recently regarding the idea that one man can solve all our problems, persuading others may seem harder, but it is a far more realistic course of action.
Certainly, freedom must be won by guns, as the American Revolution demonstrated, but it cannot exist at all within a society that does not understand and value it -- as the same war and our misguided and fruitless occupation of Iraq both make clear. This is why it is important to make the case for freedom in America, and, incidentally, why fleeing to an island really isn't a guarantee of having freedom even there for very long.