Revolution

Living Free: Libertarian Utopias

Libertarians always have a special place in their heart for getting away from it all and doing your own thing. There have been numerous attempts at starting libertarian countries, cities, communities, and other ways to live free. None of them ever seem to get anywhere, probably because getting libertarians to agree on something is like trying to herd cats.


Free State Project

"The Free State Project is a plan in which 20,000 or more liberty-oriented people will move to a single state of the U.S. to secure there a free society."

By September 2003, 4,500 people had signed up for the idea, and the next month the group announced that New Hampshire had been voted the state of choice.

The [WWW]The Free State Project Web site has details.


KHICCS

The "Kindred Haven Integrated Community Care System" is a collection of libertarian, socially conscious individuals who wish to form an intentional community. It combines libertarianism with environmentalism.

The [WWW]KHICCS Web site has details.


Port Watson

In March 1993, a group called Port Watson Ltd. announced a new development on an "out island" of the Bahamas, catering to libertarians and free-thinkers.

As the group's 1993 promotional brochure put it, the Bahamas is "the perfect no-tax haven . . . No personal or corporate income tax, no sales tax, no capital gains tax, no withholding tax, no business tax, no estate tax, no gift tax, no inheritance tax, no death duties, no employment taxes, no probate fees, (and, in the case of Port Watson, a generous exemption from property tax.)"

Clove Cay proved to be a poor choice, with a high tide harbor depth of only 5 feet, and a DEA training camp as one of the nearest settlements. Further, the local surveyor kept insisting on more money before allowing the group to subdivide the land. The Clove Cay experiment was abandoned in June 1993.

The Port Watson group investigated alternative locations, and later eyed a Caribbean island archipelago north of Panama, near the Costa Rica border. Founder Kevin Bloom hoped that the Internet will enable enough like-minded people to come together and make the libertarian paradise a reality, but a Web site set up for the project seems to be gone.


Oceania

Eric Klien was the guiding force behind the Oceania Project, an attempt to create an independent floating city in international waters, with a libertarian constitution. The project ended "due to lack of interest" in April 1994.

The [WWW]Oceania Project Web site has details.


Terra Libra

In the mid-1990s, Terra Libra was a multilevel marketing program focused on libertarian products. (Multilevel marketing, or MLM, has always been too close to pyramid scheme scams for my taste.)

Participants in Terra Libra, according to a May 1995 post to Libernet, sold "freedom technology" which was basically information about libertarianism combined with some libertarian-oriented services such as gold-based banking, offshore trusts, offshore credit cards, etc.

I don't know whatever happened to Terra Libra. I do know that in the early 2000s the IRS started to crack down on using offshore credit cards as a means of hiding income.


The Phoenix Foundation

A libertarian named Michael Oliver formed the Phoenix Foundation, which began construction on a platform in the south Pacific in 1971. On January 19, 1972, Minerva declared its independence as a libertarian country, for use as a tax shelter. The nearest country, Tonga, invaded and annexed it.

Undaunted, Oliver later attempted the same thing on the Bahamanian island of Abaco. In June 1973, a month before the Bahamas was to gain independence from Britain, Oliver provided financial backing to attempt to make Abaco an independent country (with the help of local white supremacist types). It fizzled.

He gave it one more try: when the island nation of Vanuatu gained its independence in 1980, Oliver got involved with a secessionist movement in its island of Espiritu Santo, which declared itself the Republic of Vemarana. The nearby nation of Papua New Guinea help crush the rebellion.

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