The President of Liberland received a standing ovation from dozens of US state legislators and senators at the American Legislative Exchange Council meeting in Denver, Colorado on July 19th.
Below you can read the whole speech and watch the video from the conference.
Good evening, it is a great honour for me to be here with such distinguished guests!
When I was young I read a book by Frederic Bastiat called The Law. The introduction reads: “The law perverted! The law, I say, not only turned from its proper purpose but made to follow an entirely contrary purpose! The law become the weapon of every kind of greed! Instead of checking crime, the law itself guilty of the evils it is supposed to punish! If this is true, it is a serious fact, and moral duty requires me to call the attention of my fellow-citizens to it.”
These first words in this 160 years old French book changed my life. I began my journey to reduce government influence and power over peoples’ lives. I studied economy and political science, cofounded a political party, and started publishing. I began to look into how economic growth is created and what staggered me how much people overlook the importance of exponential growth and negative effects of regulations and taxation on it. I call them invisible weapons of mass economic destruction.
A George Mason University report determined how much regulation distorts the investment decisions of firms and thus hampers long-run economic growth. They have concluded that if regulatory burdens had remained constant since 80, U.S. economy would have been 30 percent larger now. Put another way, during that time, the economy grew by at least $4 trillion less each year than it could have. That means that new regulations since 1980 destroyed assets in magnitude larger than the whole German economy. It is the economic equivalent of dropping an atomic bomb on California and Texas.
The economy of Europe is stagnating. Last year, it finally reached 2008 levels again. The answer of why is fairly simple: we are overtaxed and overregulated. The European Union alone has produced 200,000 pages of regulations, which makes doing business in the EU harder and harder. European Commission report suggests that regulation hampers EU economy by drastic 3,5 percent a year. That means that the whole economy is every twenty years twice as small than it could have been. People are making half of the money, there are 50 percent smaller houses, we have to work twice more to have similar standard of living. Regulations virtually eradicate fifty percent of the EU economy every twenty years but nobody can see this catastrophe, this self-inflicted wound caused by politicians.
I truly believe if we did not have these economically disastrous policies we would be already colonising Mars by now, visiting the moon for holidays, and running fusion or thorium reactors. Now you can understand why I was fiercely advocating for lower taxation and regulation in Europe for several years. So fiercely that people started to tell me to start my own country.
So I did it. Liberland is the youngest and freest country on earth, located between Croatia and Serbia. It was founded on the birthday of Thomas Jefferson, on the 13th of April 2015. Liberland is a heart-shaped seven square kilometer piece of land, unclaimed until today by any other country. We are the third smallest sovereign country after Vatican and Monaco.
Now, after two years of existence, we have got almost a half a million people interested in obtaining Liberland citizenship. There are now representative offices in more than 80 countries around the world. We have a functional government and legal system under fast construction. Please give hand to our vice president Bogie Wozniak, foreign minister Thomas Walls and my special thanks to our representative to Bahamas and important supporter Rick Holson.
Some media refer to Liberland as the most ideologically empowered nation and country on earth, because we all believe in very limited government and maximum personal freedom. Our government is only allowed to take care of justice, security and diplomacy, nothing apart from that. It aims to be even smaller than governments in Liechtenstein or Hong Kong. We want to be a good example for other countries and we are proud of being the foremost tax paradise on planet earth as we believe in a voluntary tax system. Citizens essentially contribute as much as they want to the cause they support and thus they even become shareholders of the country.
We have taken the best parts of the American and Swiss constitutions and added a bit of corporate governance, as we believe it is the best available governance model for the 21st century. We have upgraded the traditional democratic model, which inevitably leads to large government, into a model of double democracy. Double democracy allows a majority of Liberland citizens to block any decision, but the decision-making process is happening in the second chamber of Parliament where shareholders of Liberland make decisions. We believe that model is much more healthy than traditional democracy, where criminals have no more voting power than hard-working, taxpaying citizens.
Liberland’s foreign policy is based on Thomas Jefferson’s quote: “Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations-entangling alliances with none.” We do do not seek membership of NATO, EU or UN. We plan to be a sovereign and neutral country friendly and open to anybody. We were surprised by direct support that we received from Serbia which stated that they do not oppose the creation of Liberland. Luckily we have issues with only one neighbour, which is Croatia. Yet they recognise there is international border between our countries which they strictly enforce. With more than 60,000 pre registered business in Liberland. We provide enormous economic potential to our neighbours. It is up to us to sell it to them.
Why Liberland? A need for fresh start!
At some point you realize that it is easier to start a new country than to change the existing ones. The number of interest groups that are directly benefiting from existing inefficient systems is simply too big and their power is too concentrated. Democracy itself makes it harder to cause and sustain any significant positive change over time. That is why we see power of governments systematically growing. Only reasonable change can be done through competition and leading by good example. I am big fan of special economic zones but we need to go even further. We need to allow for competition in completely new jurisdictions.
Future is decentralised and stateless
Luckily with rise of decentralized technologies more and more problems are solved by free market. The role of central banking is diminishing with introduction of blockchain and the first cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. With ethereum it is already possible to start companies without need of any particular jurisdiction. Liberland is here to embrace all of these trends and actively promote them. We are on a spearhead of this technological revolution
Liberland is not just about small piece of land between Croatia and Serbia it is about bringing together people that are serious about supporting freedom globally. Liberland is about finding the best social and technological solution to allow for a radically free and prosperous society. It is about a model which can be copied anywhere on this planet. Of course we have a long journey to go, but it is the journey which is so exciting.
Let me again conclude with world from Frederic Bastiat:
The social organs are constituted so as to enable them to develop harmoniously in the grand air of liberty. Away, then, with quacks and organisers! Away with their rings, and their chains, and their hooks! Away with their artificial methods! Away with their social laboratories, their governmental whims, their centralisation, their tariffs, their universities, their State religions, their inflationary or monopolising banks, their limitations, their restrictions, and their equalisation by taxation! Let them end where they ought to have begun — reject all systems, and try of liberty — liberty, which is an act of faith in God and in His work.
Autor: Petra Jirglová, Director of the Presidential Office