It’s not that there is a lack of people who want to be free. The massive and still growing US American “expat” community shows that tens of thousands have given up on the dream and chosen elsewhere to call home. They have given up their homes, their jobs, and their communities, and they have gone anywhere and everywhere.
It begs the question: why don’t they all go to the same place?
The old adage, “there is strength in numbers,” holds true in this idea of finding a better place. It should not be hard to find a simple consensus among expats on some basic rules. You know, let’s all agree not to murder each other, rape each other, steal, etc. It shouldn’t be hard to come up with some basic form of government, liberties, and responsibilities, and then pick a place.
It is the place, however, that seems to be the big problem. As I write, there are dozens of projects living and dead being evaluated by free thinkers and libertarians around the globe. While some, like the free city projects in Honduras (ZEDEs), have serious merit, nearly all are missing the one thing needed for true liberty: national sovereignty.
A few years back, Honduras underwent a military coup which removed the president, perhaps deservedly so, from power. But what happens when the government above a free city changes via elections or violence and the new administration is not as keen on the idea of free cities or wants a bigger cut of the money? Can a free city stand against a sovereign country’s army?
It is the question that has haunted libertarians and others for centuries: liberty is natural, but how do we guarantee liberty if the country we live in does not?
The only way to guarantee liberty is to do the one thing libertarians are loathe to do, since it requires a bit of bending of the rules of libertarian thought: holding the strings of political power and military power directly. It also means selfishly holding on to that power regardless of the winds of political change.
Given that reluctance, how can we ever be surprised that liberty is not protected or defended by those in power who do not believe in liberty in the first place?
There is a place; there is a plan; the only thing missing is you.
So what’s the plan?
Imagine gathering thousands of expats from various nationalities into one place: eastern Puerto Rico. The target is the cities of Ceiba (which includes the former Naval Station Roosevelt Roads with its port facility and large airfield), Fajardo, Luquillo, and Naguabo. In the last election a total of 23,000 combined votes were cast in those four towns.
Realistically the plan would need roughly 25,000 individuals of adult age who would relocate to the towns, register to vote, and join the movement. Luckily there is a growing libertarian and free society movement in Puerto Rico already, so not everyone would have to be an “outsider.”
Once the total number is there, we would pick candidates to run for the mayor’s offices and city councils in the four towns and then hold a referendum on independence. Since we would already have planned to have “x” number of people, we would win the vote and petition congress for independence.
If congress does not approve, we would hold a second referendum on whether to declare independence unilaterally. The first referendum could be replaced with a petition with 25,000 or more signatures. Using the petition, not everyone would have to be located in the area immediately. Expats could sign the petition and the proposed constitution, regardless of where they were in the world at that time.
No overthrowing governments, no blood in the streets, no armed revolt. Simple democratic process and some balls.
Why this area? Eastern Puerto Rico is already developed, but the old navy base is mostly empty at the time of this writing. A new country needs an airport and a sea port in order to survive. The base has both. The population is small, and there is still a bit of room for development. While Spanish is the primary language, English is widely spoken. The US dollar is the currency, and the Virgin Islands are right next door.
Puerto Rico also already has an independence movement. Unfortunately, the bulk of that movement is socialist. However, being pro-independence in Puerto Rico is not a crime, nor is secession.
By joining together expats and Puerto Ricans who want both liberty and independence, it would not be that hard to come up with enough votes to win a majority in several small towns and establish a new government based on the principles of liberty — jealously guarded by those who actually believe in individual sovereignty.
In essence, the proposal is a partnership between Puerto Ricans who seek sovereignty and Americans and other expats who seek to create a new experiment in government. A government based on individual liberty, free market capitalism (without the cronies), and sensible limited government.
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