A State Is Born
Forget seasteading and private cities. The libertarian utopia-in-progress that's getting all the buzz now is a tiny patch of terra nullius dubbed the Free Republic of Liberland. Founded in April 2015 by the 32-year-old Czech activist Vít Jedlicka, the aspiring micronation comprises 2.7 square miles of woodland nestled on the Danube riverbank between Serbia (with which it shares a land border) and Croatia.
A "constitutional republic with elements of direct democracy," Liberland's guiding principles are individual rights, voluntary taxation, and limited government. "We have decided to start from scratch and show how little state is needed to make society work," Jedlicka—who identifies as a libertarian and anarcho-capitalist—told The Guardian last April.
There's just one problem: No one's allowed in. While Serbia has certified that Liberland is not situated on its territory, and Croatia doesn't claim the land on official maps either, Croatian police have been stationed around the area to prevent people from entering. Jedlicka has been twice detained by Croatian authorities for trying to get in, as have several journalists and some would-be settlers.
For now, Liberland has established a headquarters nearby in Serbia, where it has been hosting visitors, including its first citizens. Anyone can apply online for Liberland citizenship (and hundreds of thousands have), though only around 100—those who are "able to significantly contribute" to Liberland's creation and visit the base camp—have been approved thus far. Over the summer, Jedlicka and other Liberland "ambassadors" began traveling around Europe and America to promote the fledgling state and its philosophy.
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "A State Is Born".