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I tried to claim citizenship in a made-up new country
All hail Liberland.
I’m a patriot.
I like my stars striped, my pies appled, and my liberty statued—but I’m not too happy with where this country’s headed. It’s a present-day dystopia, and I’m not about to stay on a sinking ship.
This country isn’t the America my parents taught me to love. Nah. It’s become oppressive to men of my ilk who value the hard-earned dollar and other bootstrap stuff. It’s time to go, to start anew. I’m leaving you, U.S.A. We had a good run.
In my search for a new homeland, I discovered the Free Republic of Liberland, the recently established micro-nation that sits between Serbia and Croatia. Now, I’ve never been to Eastern Europe, but the politics of Liberland are a far cry from both the Communist inclinations of neighboring countries and the capitalist greed of the States.
The politics of Liberland are a far cry from both the Communist inclinations of neighboring countries and the capitalist greed of the States.
President Vít Jedlička, also Liberland’s founder, is a member of the Party of Free Citizens and originally from the Czech Republic. He set up Liberland on a 7-square-kilometer (2.7-square-mile) patch of unclaimed land, and he vows his country will be the world’s “foremost tax haven.” The infant nation’s motto is “to live and let live,” and that’s what I intended to do.
All I had to do was sign up.
Liberland.org is an incredibly navigable site, and it was accepting applications for Liberland citizenship. Roughly 160,000 people applied in the first few weeks of its existence.
The application itself was simple and straightforward. No bureaucratic hoops to jump through. Just basic info like:
Are you or were you a member of an extremist group? If yes, please specify which one.
Do you respect religious beliefs of other people? If not, please state your reservations.
Do you respect private property of other people? If not, please state your reservations.
Do you want to invest in Liberland? If so, in which industry and what amount? (in USD)
Are you willing to move to Liberland?
I completed the application in full. Even uploaded my résumé. To test out the process, however, I used an alias the first time around. I waited a few days and heard nothing from the country. So I applied one more time—truthfully. No aliases, no false investments in textiles, no fake intention to start a news organization. The application went through.
Thank you for your interest to become a citizen of Liberland. If you have any interest to speed up the process of establishing Liberland, please donate to us for administrative and diplomatic purposes. Thank you.
Since I didn’t have the extra cash to donate to the cause, I figured I’d wait for my citizenship to go through. How long could it take? Two weeks, tops.
What sort of infrastructure already exists there? What is the predominant political affiliation of the citizenry? Is there a proper gun store? If not, can I bring one of my own firearms with me, and is there a maximum?
While my citizenship was still pending, I thought it’d be wise to get to know my Liberlandian cohort through the forums offered on the nation’s website. I didn’t want to walk blindly into this new country.
I had questions. What sort of infrastructure already exists there? What is the predominant political affiliation of the citizenry? Is there a proper gun store? If not, can I bring one of my own firearms with me, and is there a maximum?
Most importantly, do they have Crossfit?
Surely a fellow Liberlandian knew the answer. Fitness was definitely my number one concern—after taxation, of course, but we know where the Liberland elite stand on that issue—so I thought I’d peruse the forums and find out what my future neighbors wanted out of their new sovereign state.
Maklad1986 was curious about plans for local and national security.
ILoveLivberland assured Maklad1986 that the “idea is to not have an army, but provide every citizen to have a weapon [sic].” (ILoveLivberland is a proxy organization speaking for Liberland, although the country maintains they post no official announcements in the forums. Nevertheless, ILoveLivberland supports the formation of the new land, and sells merch that say as much.) So when do we get that gun, again?
Another pressing matter among Liberlandians, however, is basic infrastructure. Is Liberland just an empty plot of land? What about roads and sewers? Frankdrebin, named for the savvy lieutenant of Police Squad, gets down to business:
I think, the first order of practical business in [Liberland] will be to built [sic] a dam.
Safety first for Frankdrebin.
“And because Prostitution and drugs are harmful to people and ‘others’ they mustn’t be legal. If you think otherwise, I would suggest immigration to some other socially-sick countries.”
The more I read the boards, though, the shadier everything got. The first thing everyone wants to know outside of basic amenities: Where can I get my drugs, and is prostitution legal?
Mandrasi provides a response: “If it is a free society, then its government should have no business in telling people how to live their lives and go about their business as long as they mean no harm to others or property.”
But wisamzaqoot doesn’t agree: “And because Prostitution and drugs are harmful to people and ‘others’ they mustn’t be legal. If you think otherwise, I would suggest immigration to some other socially-sick countries.” Hear that, Mandrasi? If you don’t like it, you can get out.
Then came another burning question for future Liberlandians: the age of consent.
“I think the minimal age should be 16 years. We are civilized people, not some barbarians,” distinguished user d99 replied. Some monsters suggested the age of consent be lowered to 15, 14, and even 12. The group reached a consensus at 16, to which I said, “Smell you later.”
Liberland was starting to sound like a haven for perverts and degenerates. I knew it was too good to be true. I canceled my citizenship request and moved on. I think I’ll stay here in the United States, at least for now. This place may be going down the toilet, but at least I’ll be here to watch the crooks lose at their own game. Like I said, I’m a patriot.
Feliks Garcia was a reporter and essayist whose work for the Daily Dot focused on social justice issues, internet culture, and the Rock. He was a staff writer for the Independent when he passed away in February 2017 after suffering a heart attack. He was 33.