liberland

Even if Liberland manages to establish a proto-state on Gornja Siga – or at least squat on the empty land – there remains the question of how such a tiny territory will host potentially millions of new citizens. The quick answer is that it won’t. Liberland would be not only be the first libertarian state but also the first virtual state. It will exist mostly online, its citizens across the globe, enjoying the benefits of membership and doing business using Liberland’s crypto-currency, called merits, modelled after bitcoin. “Everyone who wants to have e-residency,” says Jedlicka, “can enjoy legal status and pursue their business freely.”

One of Liberland’s biggest selling points is voluntary taxation, an idea that has drawn interest from IT companies, financial institutions and private equity firms, Jedlicka says. He rejects the idea that banking might turn Liberland into another Luxembourg, a place to hide money: “Tax heaven”, he says, “not tax haven”. Citizens win merits in exchange for paying taxes – the more you pay, the more you get. “This currency,” Jedlicka says, “can be exchanged for shares. And you become a shareholder of the whole community.”

Is this not a recipe for plutocracy, with the biggest spenders holding greatest sway? Jedlicka concedes a belief in a “system where people have a say according to how much they pay in taxes”. Then he hedges, saying it won’t matter much. Liberland will be a nation with minimal laws “so there should be almost zero things people vote on”. (It will also be a nation with minimal public services, with health care and other areas handled by the private sector and charities.) Jedlicka answers these last questions on Facebook, concluding with a spanner emoji: “We are still in a process of exploration.”

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