This article was published in the Autumn 1999 issue of Formulations
by the Free Nation Foundation

Planning a New Nation

Email from Michael van Notten

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[Editorís note: This responds to the questions which we posted concerning our Forum topic, "How Do We Get There From Here?"]

You cannot plan a nation, really. What you can plan is a freeport or a freetown and hope that it will eventually grow into a free nation. Such planning would include the following:

The type of site one wishes to acquire, such as a swath of largely uninhabited land in a temperate climate with an easy supply of water and electricity and ample opportunities to engage in well-known business activities such as commerce, manufacturing, etc. Underdeveloped countries that host a freeport will probably develop as fast as the freeport itself. There are already nine countries that developed themselves in a timespan of only three decades simply because they adopted freeport policies: Puerto Rico, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, Ireland, Curacao, Dubai and Mauritius. Three dozen other developing countries are in the process of doing the same thing.

How to acquire a swath of land and the withdrawal of jurisdiction from those who claim to have such. There are several options here. You can choose to deal with a state, a secessionist movement, or a sovereign tribe, or you venture into no manís land, wherever that may be.

How to lay down the rules that will protect life, liberty and property for settlers on that land.

How to form the company that will own and develop the land. This company should assure that there will be the necessary infrastructure, including security, and attract prospective settlers. Initially the owner will try to attract those settlers who need almost no infrastructure, and those who need lots of it and are willing to supply it themselves.

Resources. It should not be too difficult to raise the capital required for business ventures that promise a quick pay-out and good returns. Problematic will be investments for so-called infrastructures (roads, airports, seaports, health care, education, recreating, water, electricity, communications, banking, insurance, etc.) and funds for promoting the project among prospective settlers. As a rule, these investments start paying dividends only after ten or twenty years after all the initial income has been invested into additional infrastructure.

Number of free nations. The more freeports and freetowns the better. There are at present more than 850 economic freezones in the world, competing fiercely with each other. Some of these come pretty close to the free nation formula that is favored by the Free Nation Foundation.D

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