President Jedlička has spent most of this past month travelling throughout Europe on diplomatic missions to raise both awareness of and support for Liberland. Each visit allows the Liberland team to meet with local government officials, members of the press and future citizens face-to-face. It also offers proof of just how serious and determined the President is to make Liberland a true success. It is hoped that with each nation checked off the list, the events will spark continued growth and further Liberland activism at the local level.
Many diplomatic missions also result in the President choosing an ambassador, a go-to person who will serve Liberland’s interests abroad in each nation. We aim to introduce you to some of these amazing diplomats with a regular series called Meet Liberland’s Ambassadors. Today we will bring you interviews with Pierre-Louis Boitel, Liberland’s ambassador to France and Balázs Magyar, Liberland’s ambassador to Hungary.
How did you become involved in Liberland?
Pierre-Louis: I have long had a libertarian heart and mind, that is to say, I’m inclined to think against the grain of most of my fellow citizens. In France, the statist and collectivist thought dominates all the great currents of opinion. The French media, which is generally statist and politically correct, uses a relatively small and recognizable vocabulary to talk about everything that is wrong in their eyes, and libertarian movements are a perfect example of this. So when it comes to talking about genuine libertarians, they always say “ultra-libertarians”, the term “ultra” representing an unacceptable idea about which no questions are allowed. But this is really convenient for me because when I see a press title speaking of “ultra-libertarian”, I know that the article will be really interesting, provided of course you know how to read between the lines. This is how I came across a small article seeking to denigrate Liberland in an online French media article.
Balázs: I also found out from an article, mine on a Hungarian website explaining that a new country was being declared which really impressed me. I started to get information about this new nation, joined a Liberland forum and got to know people who were also interested in it. It wasn’t until 5 am when I realized that I had spent the whole night awake searching for all available information about Liberland and my exam was about to start at 8am! That was a really memorable day for me not only because I passed my exam with only 2 hours of sleeping but that was the day when I got addicted to Liberland. I determined that I not only wanted citizenship but I want to help build and raise up this nation! I made friendship with other Hungarians and we started planning and meeting with other Liberland supporters.
Liberland aims to be a libertarian society. What about Libertarianism appeals to you?
Pierre-Louis: Libertarianism is simply common sense and logic. When you read libertarian economists, you know what they say because it makes sense. Their competitors are incomprehensible, and for good reason; what they say has no connection with reality. The French are generally unaware of the basic principles of libertarian philosophy and have no proper concept in economics. Did you know that in France, opinions on economic issues are no different between the average man on the street and a university professor? Imagine what would happen if this was the case in nuclear physics or medicine!
Balázs: The essence of libertarianism is freedom of the people and the market. It’s an economy and society based on self-regulation by the market and individual responsibility instead of government regulation. The main idea is freedom of individuals, in which I totally believe.
If the state has a say in the workings of the economy, then it eventually comes to 60 percent of the salary should be paid for taxes. And what do you get for that? Huge bureaucracy, corruption and unemployment. In Liberland we need only a minimal government, everything else will be taken care by the market.
Both of you have had a chance to spend time with Liberland’s President Jedlička, what are your impressions of him?
Balázs: I had just finished my university classes when I got a text message about a dinner with future citizens in Liberland starting in 1 hour. I literally dropped everything to be able to get there in time and that was my first meeting with Vít and Jana. They are very friendly and are a motivation and inspiration to the others. Vít has excellent leadership qualities. He has built up all that hype around Liberland but unlike other politicians he is still that friendly and enthusiastic guy who also cares about the opinions of others.
Pierre-Louis: President Jedlicka is an exceptional leader, both simple and warm, but also lively and decisive and I am very happy to work for him while defending the ideas that I hold closest to my heart. When I went to the Danube to meet the team there, I had the feeling of finding a family. For all libertarians of the world are one family. We all have so much in common!
How would you describe the interest level in your nations? Are there many people aware of Liberland? Is there a lot of support?
Balázs: It can be said that anyone who knows Bitcoin is also aware of Liberland. Mainly it’s young entrepreneurs and students who have the courage to build up fantastic things from zero. I have received plenty of e-mails from individuals and from companies as well. I can tell that the interest is pretty big in Hungary and we are very happy about that.
Pierre-Louis: The French do not have many registered Liberland citizens at the moment; we represent only a tiny fraction of the list, unrelated to the natural weight of France in Europe. Not surprisingly, these are more citizens from the freest countries in Europe, such as Switzerland or the Nordic countries, which are advanced and better informed and better able to understand the issues. Czechs are over-represented, of course, since this is a Czech initiative.
France has a strong and historic libertarian tradition (Bastiat, Tocqueville, Turgot, Say, were all French), by which the French liberals are extremely competent. I think of Francis Guillaumat, probably one of the greatest thinkers of our time. The French therefore can surprise us. Moreover, faced with a concrete project, people will become much more curious.
Taxes are famously high in France, and there have been reports of many wealthy people relocating to Belgium and other nations in recent years because of them. Do you see great potential for French citizens to relocate to and/or invest in Liberland for this reason?
Pierre-Louis: Taxes are indeed outrageous in France. This situation is a direct consequence of the economic and philosophical illiteracy that I mentioned. The worst is that the rich themselves, while fleeing France, are still good statists just with a bad conscience!
My wish is not specifically the French to invest in Liberland, although I think they should be able to and will ensure to the best of my ability that they will be able to. But it is the opposite that I wish: that the success of Liberland will come by thinking differently than France and the French. That the innovations of the future of Liberland free citizens, not just technical innovations, but also cultural, social, educational, institutional, will all come to affect the French mentality.
Balázs, in common with Liberland your nation borders both Croatia and Serbia. What do you think Liberland will mean to the region?
Balázs: I’m sure that Liberland will be the biggest success story in the next years. Despite its small size it will attract many investors and entrepreneurs to the area. Croatia and Serbia can also profit from that via tourism, transportation, etc. We will build up the most popular place in the Balkan area where everyone will want to go.
Thank you both for your time and your very interesting answers. Your passion and dedication to Liberland is very much appreciated.