It’s only a few days into 2018, and Liberland’s already mentioned in the press.
Belgian channel RTBF talked about Liberland, in French (and about the principalty of Austrasia, that you’ll discover in the video). While subtitling the video, I was amused to hear words that are typical in this French-speaking part of Europe: Ultra-Liberalism…
In the French press, this idiom is incredibly common (in France, of course, but also in Belgium). Actually, it is even a kind of insult to label a person an “ultra-liberal” (note that, in French, “liberal” means something like “libertarian,” whereas in English, “liberal” means belonging to the left wing).
But what never ceases to amaze me is that, sometimes, “ultra-liberal” isn’t even based on a factual libertarianism. I don’t like this law? Ultra-Liberal! I don’t like what this politican has to offer? Ultra-Liberal! A company makes profit? Ultra-Liberal! A new regulation impedes everyone’s freedom? Ultra-Liberal!
I am not even exaggerating this. Many French people tend to use the concept of Libertarianism as an ideological boogeyman, and “Ultra-Liberal” has become, over the past decades, a standard ad-hominem. If two French-speaking politicians debate, “Ultra-Liberalism” (or sometimes, “Neo-Liberalism”) will be used to discredit an opponent, even when both opponents are mostly debating about where freedom should be limited in the first place.
In this Belgian video, Liberland was also described as an ultra-liberal utopia that would probably stay as a utopia, comparing it to micro-nations around the world that were founded for the purpose of making a joke or reviving a local folklore. Liberland’s government was presented as “more or less” credible even though it, in fact, has a genuine team (visible by everyone, in our brochure).
Also, the expert interviewed about the Montevideo convention said that a state has to be recognized by other states to be considered a state, but it actually isn’t what the Montevideo convention says at all : on the contrary, this convention precisely states that “the political existence of the state is independant of recognition by other states”.
Despite these imprecisions, the Belgian team drove all the way to Liberland, and presented it as an ambitious project. And this video also put an emphasis on a really relevant point : there is a political message behind almost every attempt to create an independant territory (be it a micro-nation, or in the case of Liberland, an attempt to create a sovereign state).
We all know for a fact that, throughout recent history, no micro-nation has ever been recognized internationally. But Liberland is a very different kind of project, that has not been founded to revive folklore, or to put a fancy royal costume on a person.
Liberland is being supported by countless people who believe in it, in any way possible: funds, technical support, online presence, and even by settlers on-site., and there have been political events that will increase its chances of recognition (more information about this here).
Personally, I like to think that, in a not-so-distant future, we may be lying on the beaches of Liberland, drinking a Liberbeer, thinking about the amount of hard work that was required to make this dream come true.
DISCLAIMER : this is an opinion article and might not reflect Liberland’s official position entirely.