It is easy to take one look at Honduras and write it off as an irredeemable mess. The small Central American nation, wedged between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean, is the murder capital of the world, while its average annual income of $4,300 per capita is below that of the Congo. But where most observers see a dysfunctional state, a few dreamers see hope for an experiment that may upend our notions of what a state can accomplish. For the last few years, reports Brian Doherty, libertarians and other futurists have gazed upon this misgoverned mess of mountainous jungle and imagined a clean slate for innovations in political and economic growth. Honduras, they believe, can become a laboratory for creating wealth-producing institutions that can then be replicated worldwide. The only catch: To become a 21st-century trailblazer, Honduras—or at least a small territory within it—must become, well, not Honduras
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