SLP417 Titus Gebel – Free Cities & Parallel Structures For Liberty
Titus Gebel, author of Free Private Cities, and CEO of Tipolis rejoins me on the show to talk about updates with Free Cities, and why we need to create parallel structures for liberty:
- Name change
- Free Cities projects
- Elements of a Free City
- Making it work for the long term
- Liberty In Our Lifetime Conference
- Twitter: @titusgebel
- Site: free-cities.org
- Site: free-communities.org
- Site: lifetimeliberty.com (code LIVERA for discount)
- Prior episode: SLP161 Titus Gebel – Bitcoin Citadels as Free Private Cities
- Relevant prior episode: SLP340 Peter Young – El Salvador On The Ground & Free Private Cities
- Swan Bitcoin
- Unchained Capital (code LIVERA)
- CoinKite.com(code LIVERA)
Stephan Livera links:
- Follow me on Twitter @stephanlivera
- Subscribe to the podcast
- Patreon @stephanlivera
(Note: There are some errors in the transcript that have not been corrected)
Stephan Livera – 00:00:01:
Titus, welcome back to the show.
Titus Gebel – 00:00:03:
Hello Stephan. Good to be here.
Stephan Livera – 00:00:05:
Yeah. Now, it’s been a few years since we last spoke, I think it was maybe two and a half years ago. It was around the start of all of this hysteria at that time. And things have come a long way since then. And obviously I’m excited about what’s going on with the well, now it’s the Free Cities Foundation and some of the work that you and the team are doing. Do you want to tell us a little bit about, I guess some of the big updates? I know. So recently there was this name change from Free Private Cities Foundation to Free Cities Foundation. So do you want to just tell us a little bit about that?
Titus Gebel – 00:00:36:
Yeah, of course. So the reason for that was that we wanted just to cover a bigger area, not only the free private cities types of models, the free private city types of people or projects, but also there are a lot of intentional community efforts out there. There are some things which are half free private city’s idea, but half other. And this is something we are also interested in because you know that what I wrote in my book is that the main issue is that we should have more competition in the market of living together. And that has not necessarily to be exactly my Free private city model. There are DAO ideas around there and all kinds of stuff. So I think as long as people want to achieve the same goal as we, this is create a place where you have more liberty, more self determination. You are in our team, right? So we want to cover all those projects, all the seasteaders and everyone who is kind of I want to create a better place for me and my children and as a model for the rest of the world. This is what we want to cover. And so far we have just said, hey, just call it Free Cities Foundation. That covers more than just free Private cities, covers also prosperity zones and autonomous zones, intentional communities. And there will also be a directory where it’s called Free Communities Directory, or will be called like that, where people can look it up. What’s available? I mean, it’s not so many available, right? I mean, this is still a new, I would say market. It’s a new movement, but it’s coming. The momentum is there and the need is there.
Stephan Livera – 00:02:23:
Absolutely. And so I had a quick look on the Free Communities website, so that’s free-communities.org. And there’s a few examples there we have. So there’s probably Prospera , which is probably the one that most people would have heard of, or if they’re familiar with the Free Cities Foundation, that’s probably the one that most people know of. But there’s a few others listed there that we’ve got Liberstad, I believe that’s the one in Norway, DIFC, which is interesting because I actually live in Dubai. So DIFC is actually interesting and we’ve got the Free State Project which I think a lot of libertarian people understand or at least American libertarians know about the Free State Project. So I think it’s interesting that we’ve got a few different ideas, a few different projects. I’m curious I guess from your point of view what are some of the best examples in your view of something that’s going to meaningfully increase the amount of liberty for people out there out of some of those communities that we just spoke about?
Titus Gebel – 00:03:18:
Yeah, I think what’s happening in Honduras is clearly standing out because they have the legal basis to do that. But I would also mention the DIFC because the DIFC is in so far not a typical product what we would cover because they are more for let’s try to increase business. But to do that they had to offer more liberty and they had to offer a different legal system. They even had to offer a different court system which makes it relatively close to what we are proposing. Right? And in so far other international financial zones have copied that model in Astana for example in Kazakhstan then we have other even in Africa there are some things trying to copy that in Abu Dhabi. The Abu Dhabi global market is a little bit modeled after that concept but this is more from coming from the traditional Special Economic Zone side and say hey, what can we improve to make it more attractive than a normal Special Economic zone? So people coming from that side, from the business side and we’re coming from the liberty side people want to create free places and there certainly Honduras is outstanding because over a relatively long period of nine years they may have made this ZEDE law happen. They have made the constitutional amendments so that there is or there was in theory possibility to create a new society from scratch with global best practice legal ideas or government ideas whatever. And that happened already in three cases. This is Prospera, Morazan, and Akidaya is more standard Special Economic Zone. They are mostly just only one company producing there. So I would say if you want to go for the Liberty project it’s Prospera first and foremost and Morazan came second. Both have slightly different models but extremely interesting and there are others who want to following in the footsteps it’s the Guanaja Hills International Community, Coral Beach Village intentional Community. Both are on Honduran Islands, one on Guanaja and the other on Utila. And you might have heard that the socialist government now has stopped theZEDE the law has basically canceled it. But that does not mean that the existing ZEDEs which are grandfathers and have guaranteed for 50 years are immediately touched by that. But it means that you cannot create new ZEDE type of autonomy. But nevertheless we have two out of these projects that are very in my view look quite interesting. This is the Guanaja Hills on Guanaja Island and Decoro Beach Village on Otila because on these islands they already have a kind of autonomous status. They already have low taxes, free trade zones. It’s called a tourist zone, I think. And they have a factual autonomy because they’re just on the island. So you basically left alone. And this together makes an environment what freedom loving people probably like. And it’s nice weather, of course, and you can see that it’s especially the islands, right, which are interesting. You have Sark Island in the channel. In the English Channel. They already have an autonomy and now they are opening up to the more freedom oriented people and also want to offer something to them. We have seen this before, I don’t know, 3 or 400 years ago when your first European immigrants go to the Caribbean islands, right, and later left them again to the when the US wasfounded and they went there. But this is a development that is not so I would say surprising that people are looking for islands for greater liberty and more independence.
Stephan Livera – 00:07:27:
Yeah, interesting. There’s a few concepts we’ve gone through there. So as you were just saying, it’s like setting up different structures that enable this parallel society in a way, in a sense. And so I think when we’re talking about these and it’s actually interesting, perhaps it would be interesting to talk about some of these. Also, even just from seeing the free community site, we can see the different projects that are listed against different things. So as an example, it’ll say status guarantee. So as you said, the ZEDEs, these are those special zones, the ones that have already been created in Honduras, as they’re saying have that guarantee. Whereas in other instances maybe that’s not there. Or another example here is criminal justice, autonomy. So the idea, as I understand that is you might have this zone which has your own rules and laws around business things. From a criminal perspective, it’s still based on the broader country or the, I guess, sponsoring area.
Titus Gebel – 00:08:30:
Yeah, but you have two things here too. I mean, it may be that, like in Honduras, they have to take over Honduran criminal law, but still they have their own authorities to deal with that. And this is already a big improvement. Right? I mean we have seen that especially in Russia and former Soviet Union countries, they were using this criminal law to black mail business people from foreign lands. They’re saying, hey, you are accused of doing harm to the environment according this is a criminal case. Right. But if you give us 10% of your company, you’re not going to follow that up. Right. And so far this is important that you don’t fall into that trap. And ideally you have your own criminal law, but this is often not politically feasible in a country that is your host nation. But if you take over their laws and applying my own people, that is already a big step forward. Right. Because you can then avoid corruption, you can increase efficiency, you bring people from the outside which already has the advantage that they are not related to decision makers, they don’t have some favors to give back. Right. Especially in small countries, very difficult, where everybody is somehow related or known to each other and then being the chief judge right, who is the brother of the president, things like that is very, very difficult. Really. I mean, it would be the same for us even in first world places like Monaco, right. The judges are not from Monaco and the Presidential Guard are also not right. I mean, for a reason, you need independent decision making, you need independent dispute resolution and it’s very difficult if you are related or friend of half of the government. Right. And then so far, the idea to bring people from outside or leave them where they are, like the Prospera Arbitration Center is a great idea. You have judges or pension judges from all over the world from reputable places and they’re sitting at home and they’re making these online trials, but there’s absolute guarantee that they have no stake in whatever happens in homeburse. Right. Because they’re not there, they have no relations. And I think this is a model for the future and other countries will pick that up. And by the way, that was the reason for the diec, to import judges from London and Singapore so that they can show to the investors, to the investment community. And these are not some bodies of the prince or whatever, of the Shake or Suns, but these are independent people from other countries and I think this is a good model.
Stephan Livera – 00:11:18:
I see. And so the idea then is to try to slowly build up some momentum that let’s say businesses might want to come and set up there so that there are jobs and opportunities here and then also people might want to come because they want to live there, because they want to try out this model for a living. So in terms of things like Prospera as an example, can you give us an idea how big is that in terms of people today and what are some of the pathways that you see that it might grow?
Titus Gebel – 00:11:51:
Yeah, I think they’re still in the beginning they have several hundred people or several people that are living there or at least working there. But now that they have acquired this insolvent golf resort, this is going to grow significantly. I think we can have several thousand in the next year. And that was also the planning for Morazan, the other city, so that you would say several thousand on the size, which is about four to 5. It’s not too big, but it’s enough to build a kind of a city and have some physical activity there. And then for Prospera, there’s another option. This is to become an e resident. That means an electronic resident. Even if you’re not there, you can apply for a kind of residency that enables you to come there for 30 days and found a company. So that can be very interesting, and especially if they combine it with a banking system. Because this is the problem today, setting up companies and having a bank account and then don’t be overwhelmed by red tape or taxes. So this could be a real competitive advantage. And Prospera is really focused on this kind of let’s create some businesses, let’s make business easy. And then people are mostly from home doors have relocated there, the ones that are already there. And they’re interested, right? Because I think many of the employers are companies from the US that are looking for remote workers who are qualified. So my observation is Prospera is really targeting middle class of Honduras and of course, experts, whereas Morazan is more the lower class unskilled workers and not so much experts. But both have their justification and both show that this is not just for the rich, right? Like people say, hey, private city is only for the rich. No, it’s not true because this is just a new governance model, right? And private does only mean that private company that is running the show, but doesn’t mean that you have to pay more, normally even less, and you get a better quality of service. And I think they have shown that. And now, interestingly, they were destroyed or they wanted to destroy them. Two places on earth where they’re really trying out new governance models, where they are really trying out innovative solutions. And the people who are wanting to shut this down call them self progressive, right? This is really a joke, right? Because this is something where you could have proven to the world, even with your leftist woke models, that it works, right? Just competition. We have free cities already and each of them has a different governance model. So this is the best proof that this is not just for the rich or by just crazy libertarians from the US. Or Europe. No, this is a model. This is an alternative model. It’s a competing model. And people should vote with their feet and they should just see how this is unfolding and the so called progressive people there. The main argument was Honduras is not for sale. Right? I mean, this is populism at its best, but this is how the world is. And this will not have been the last fight. But I think we must make it clear that this is progress and that this is voluntary participation. And before there was nobody living there, so there’s no indigenous people have been robbed by the land. It’s just untrue. Yeah, it’s not true. Nobody has lived there, has been acquired on the free market by private property owners, as it is usual in that country, right? According to the rules of that country. So we are now used to that and it will probably be the same in the next project and the projects after. But I think it’s important for people like you and your audience to understand that what we are offering, nobody’s forced. It’s a voluntary product you can buy by being there or just reject like anything in the market, in the supermarket. You decide by yourself what you want and the roots are known in advance. If you don’t like it, stay where you are. Right. But in my view it’s extremely necessary that we are having more and more of those projects because some will fail. Undoubtedly. Right. But the learning curve has to start. At the moment we have just one model. This is top down state and the differences are is it the king, is it the president or is it kind of a democratically elected government? But they have the same powers as the king. So actually this is one model, top down model. I don’t want to be subject to that model any longer. So that’s why I came up with the free private city idea. Other people have other ideas and the interesting thing is that we are now really it’s going to happen. Right. And the free communities directly that you mentioned, it’s just a beta version, but I know there are many more intentional communities out there and I hope that the hard thing is really to negotiate a kind of autonomy with governments that is normally year long affair and I’m doing that currently in Africa and in the Caribbean. Other people are doing the same and we hope that in the next, let’s say one to two years, two or three no projects are popping up that have a similar autonomy than Honduras. So far it’s only Honduras and maybe the IFC that is granting with certain autonomy, others are only intentional communities. There’s one idea, there’s a sea steading that is maybe also something very interesting or Liberland becoming a real estate. But you can see there’s a big momentum and I think the most promising thing is if you have an agreement with the government that gives you autonomy for a certain period of time. And if this is there has been there before. Right. So then I would say this is then the next level of living together.
Stephan Livera – 00:18:18:
Sure. Also obviously many listeners here of my show are interested in Bitcoin. So perhaps you can tell us a little bit about the Bitcoin story with Prospera. I understand they have Bitcoin legal tender and if there’s anything you can tell us a little bit about how that came about and what that’s looking like today.
Titus Gebel – 00:18:37:
Yeah, I have been part of the Prospera team. I’m also an investor, or my company is an investor and I’ve been part of the team to create a legal framework back in 2017 to 2019. And then when the framework was approved, I withdrawn, went to other projects which I’m working on now. So I’m not up to date, I’m not part of the management, so I cannot make official announcements for Prospera. But as far as I know, it’s what you said, right? They have made Bitcoin legal tender, or at least you are allowed to use it. I think legal tender is difficult because they’re still subject to Honduran sovereignty, but they are allowed by law that they can introduce on currencies. And that’s what they did. They say, hey, Bitcoin, you can pay everything with Bitcoin, especially the taxes that must be paid according to the city law. And this means they can already transfer, if you want, the whole economy on Bitcoin. And this is also what we are at. My company is called Tipolis, that is also working as a for profit company on making such projects happen. We also advising some projects and we also want to have Bitcoin, or want to let’s say we want to promote Bitcoin as a currency. We are not going to make anything legal tender. We say that’s free banking, you use whatever you want, but you can pay us in Bitcoin. And we have a Lightning node maybe for our free private city or prosperity zone. And we are encouraging you, even for the small businesses, to use this app, to use this wallet and to make the payments. And it’s much easier, especially in places like Africa or the Caribbean, where many people do not have yet access to real bank accounts. They can leapfrog that development and say, hey, I don’t need a bank account, I have everything on my mobile. And that is certainly something which can be very interesting. You can also produce your own electricity if possible. For example, hydro power. Sometimes it’s possible. And if you start a free private city, you have an abundance of energy in the beginning, right? Because there are only 100 people there and you have already 1 MW or whatever up and running because the turbine is just a certain size. And then you can use that for Bitcoin mining, right? And then also counter the claims, which you will get a lot of attention in the upcoming months with the energy thing. Because of the energy crisis, right? The government has fabricated the energy crisis by putting all their eggs into the renewables which are not reliable. Okay? So now they have created an energy crisis, but they are using that crisis to go after Bitcoin and other things and say, you are using too much energy. We all have to save energy. So Bitcoin is evil and a lot of people go for that, right? The real answer would be as more civilized a society is, the more energy it uses. That is a rule, and it has ever been a rule. So if we value a not manipulative currency high like Bitcoin, we are willing to spend some energy on it. And that’s a fair thing, right? And there’s an abundance of energy could be there if you would just use nuclear energy for everything in the future. Right? So there’s not a problem. You have created this problem by yourself.
Titus Gebel – 00:22:05:
The reality is people suffer from the energy crisis. They see Bitcoin is using a lot of energy, so they go after Bitcoin and politics will basically push that move. Right? So this is what I fear for the next months or years. And so if we can make a claim that we have an abundance of energy out of hydro power, then you can get away with that. But I’m expecting some attacks against Bitcoin from that angle, of course.
Stephan Livera – 00:22:35:
And also coming back to that question around setting up free cities in different formats, I guess one idea is that you’re making different jurisdictions available for people. So as an example, it could be that one free city is setting up and saying you can set up with us and incorporate your entity here with us, and we’ll give you low taxes or easy set up of entity. So there’s a little bit of a jurisdictional arbitrage game that people can play there. So as an example, it could be that there are Bitcoin entrepreneurs who want to set up and incorporate their entity in one of these free cities. I’m wondering if you could offer any comments on that and the possibilities for that going forward.
Titus Gebel – 00:23:18:
Absolutely. We are even thinking about establishing a kind of a Bitcorp so that is accompanied based on Bitcoin. So, because I think we need new types of entities, what we’re having now is normally the stock corporation or the personal entity. And now that new things are coming, like the DAOs, we might also see if there’s something that can run completely on Bitcoin, including the capital of the company or whatever. So these are things we are definitely considering and also want to create an advantage, a competitive advantage for the free city that is created or the zone that is created, so that people who are in the crypto business, they have an incentive to come. But at the same time, we have always to look what is politically feasible, first of all in that particular country and second, worldwide, right? So you cannot just say hey, there’s no zero, know your customer AML. And then you get cut off from all international banking. So that’s a problem. Somehow we have to make compromises. But what you can do if you create a new free city environment, you can, for example, look what is already existing in the world. So which are the places that have most freedom when it comes to financial transactions, when it comes to crypto transactions? And then you can say we are adopting that. And if people come after you and say, but the Cayman Island is doing the same, this country is doing the same, Hong Kong is doing the same, singapore is doing the same and then it’s more difficult for them to come after you and say these are evil capitalists from libertarian, whatever, right? We can say. Hey. We just copied the model of this country and so this is the way to go at the moment where you have to remain within the framework that is there to a certain degree. But you can try to be pushed the borders to what is elsewhere possible and you make a combination of the freeze models everywhere and then combine it to a new model. So there’s a lot of things are already possible and I think this is what you said this is a kind of a regulatory arbitrage competition between these new zones. Yes, definitely. And that it should be like that. Right? So that is to your advantage, right. Who’s offering the most freedom? Well, that’s exactly what I want to that I’m treated well and not who’s more basically creating more centralized global surveillance. Right? This is the other trend and people think this is a great thing. No, it’s not. It’s the absolute opposite. World government will be hell, right? No more excise, no more competition, no more comparisons. We have really to do the people who are interested in thinking that freedom and self determination is not only a philosophical thing but it’s also on a philosophical preference, but it’s also the only way that the whole world can be lifted out of poverty and create new things. We must fight against these centralized ideas. And fight does not mean violently. Fight in my proposal means creating better models that work better and better than in demand, even from states who see, hey, like the Special Economic Zones, right? Every special economic zone is a confession of the state that obviously their own rules are not the best, otherwise there would be no need for creating a special economic zone. And what we are doing is to say next level special economic zone plus. And that can happen that if these things in Honduras maybe are very successful then neighboring countries in Central America might say hey, we are copying that. And then suddenly you have worldwide competition and that cannot necessarily take 100 years. Right. If you see in the 1960s there were a handful of special economic zones and now we have 5000. I mean, not all of them are active, but you can say at least 500 are really active and why shouldn’t we be able to repeat that again with free cities, of course.
Stephan Livera – 00:27:42:
And so yeah, hopefully we do see more of these things come up. And as you mentioned, there’s this idea and I think that’s really the theme of the upcoming conference. So let’s chat a little bit about that. So it’s called Liberty in Our Lifetime. And the theme is called Parallel Structures for Progress. So do you want to tell us a little bit about why that theme?
Titus Gebel – 00:28:01:
Yeah, because we wanted to show that it’s not only about free cities and liberty in our lifetime means can we not just dream about a free society, but make it happen? And it’s not only the political sphere, the governance fear, it’s many other things. And we thought better than to fight the existing systems is just to create something new, a parallel structure. And the most successful parallel structure that we have seen in the last year is Bitcoin blockchain, right? Has been created out of nothing, but without any permit, without any announcement and vote on it. No, it’s just been created and now it’s there and it has been successful, right? I mean, if something is there for a technological innovation, is there for ten years and longer, it will remain, right? Because otherwise it had been already proven that it’s dysfunctional, there’s no demand for it. And the fact alone that you have thousands of follow up products, or me too products, that shows that this is a success. And now I said, okay, financial bitcoin is only one part of the financial sector. What about decentralized finance? So this is a big thing. Then you have the media, you are an example, you have your own channel, which is an alternative to the existing mainstream media. Why is this? Because you and other people said we got only the same message out of the mainstream media, but we want to talk about other things, we have other ideas, we want to hear about new ideas. And that’s why probably, I assume, right, you started your channel and your podcast. And I said that is a powered structure in the media. Media is very, very important in today’s connected world. Next is then finance. We have bitcoin culture, we need films. Education is another point in our conference because today in universities, this is not what you expect from a university, that there’s free thought, that there’s free debate. No, there are safe spaces. And people who have not the right opinion, they are kicked out. They’re not even allowed to speak on university. So we definitely need also private structures in that regard. And then on top of that, this is the most difficult one is systems of living together, right? This is the governance, the political, the system side. And that is what free cities come into play. And we are following. And we want with this conference this conference is the third time, but only the second time for the public second year, where we want to bring together all these projects who are interested, but most are to present themselves, to answer questions, critical questions from the audience, to maybe promote their projects, to win settlers, investors and businesses. So this is the idea. And to become bigger every year, to create a market of living together. So this is of course the cornerstone of the conference. Are the free cities intentional community projects. So both ZEDEs will be represented in person. The chief of staff of Prospera will be there. President Joel Bonga will be there, or at least online. Trey Goff, the chief of staff, will be there in person. Maximum Mazzona will be there. The chief of the Morazan ZEDE. The president of the Sea Steaders Institute, Patrick Friedman is there in person. Even Doug Casey is dialing in and telling about his stories about how he wanted to make to convince African governments to bring their country public in the last 30 years. And newcomer projects are there, like the ones I mentioned before in Honduras. But we have also even one in Germany. We have another one in Montenegro. So interesting things are coming there. And then we have on the other days, we have discussions about the future of finance because it’s very linked to this free city model. How can we make business and finance in our world? And of course, Bitcoin is a very big topic that we will have Jeff Booth and other people there. You will be there, Stephan. Then we have from the education side new models Daniel Prince, Michael Strong. So I think for everybody who is really not just complaining and analyzing that everything is bad, but has passed this level and say, okay, now what can we do? Say, okay, this is your conference, right? Because we’re only talking about what we can do. And of course there will be some analyzes, but this is not the focus. The focus is really we want to reach liberty in our lifetime. And if it’s not in our lifetime, it’s in the lifetime of the next generation. But if we are not going to start something now, who else will? Right? I think the creation of Bitcoin alone is that this was possible and that this was so successful. It’s fantastic. It’s nearly unbelievable. And if this is possible, why should not other things be possible too? So we have to create parallel structures for progress, because fighting existing system is not enough. And it’s also you cannot force people into something they do not really want. Right? And then, so far I say different model. We create a new structure. Some people like it, they come, and then the others watch from the outside and see, hey, maybe it’s not such a bad idea. Maybe what people told us about libertarianism was propaganda. It’s not true. Even the poor people have a better living in those places. So this is my hope that this is coming out like that.
Stephan Livera – 00:33:53:
Yeah. And I think it’s really good to see these ideas in practice. So I think that’s also important to see that there are people actually trying it now. I also understand that maybe in certain circumstances or certain ways of looking at it, you could say, well, actually it’s hard to build that. How do you get people to sort of commit to it and actually live and go to it? Right. So, as an example, I’m sure, you know, years and years ago, with the Free State Project. So there was this idea that all these libertarians in the United States are all going to move to New Hampshire and they’re going to set up there and hey, I’ve never been, but I’ve heard it’s cool. I heard that they got Pork Fest and they’ve got a whole bunch of libertarian people there. But then at the same time there might be some libertarians who are like, oh, I can’t be bothered moving there. How do you sort of get enough people into the same place? Because here’s the thing, right? All around the world, right, there’s 8 billion people on earth and of course there’s probably 95% of them are statists or maybe even more. But hey, there’s that kind of one to percent, five who might hold some kind of broadly libertarian view. And how do we get those people together?
Titus Gebel – 00:34:56:
Yeah, that’s an absolutely justified question. I think the Free State Project was a good attempt to say let’s first collect who might be interested. But you can see out of the 20,000 that opted for yes, we will move, only 6000 have moved. Right? But I mean, that’s how people are and 6000 is still a significant number. And then so far one of these ideas is you have heard about the network state, right? So the idea is we first meet on the Internet and then we find the territory. This is one attempt, right? The other is that I would say let’s take a country like Honduras, right? If you put up a zone based on libertarian principles, which is the case with Prospera and Morozan, then most people who are later work there are not necessarily libertarians, but just see, hey, this is a place that’s working the average Honduran, better salary, better security, no corruption, fair dispute resolution and it’s nice and clean. Hey, I like it. And without having all these libertarian viewpoints, they probably cannot repeat them, but they’re there for the results. And I think there will be also the defenders of such a system when it comes to attack by the host nation or political party, then these people will say, no, we like it. We want this to stay. And so far it’s not necessary to convince the majority that libertarian principles are right. But you will over time will achieve that because people would say, okay, if I compare where I now live in the zone with the other state around me, I want to stay here. I like this model more. And over time they will understand. We might teach them why this is the case, right. And then people will find out for themselves. So I think it’s definitely enough for the moment if we have say, 5% of people who are really convinced of the model. Because I mean, 5% of 8 billion people, right, is 400 million. Correct? 400, extremely high number. It’s enough, right? This is a good news is we don’t need to convince the majority. If we have 1000 people in a small state, they can make a difference. They can make a difference of a state of 500000 people or so. So you can see that we have a good chance. Like the free cities in the Middle Ages. They were also small, minority. But they were like Venice, Genoa, Florence, Hamburg, the Hansenic League, Lubric I mean, these were very powerful players at that time, despite just being a city, right? And we could also what’s already starting and also with the conference, we could talk to each other, we could exchange concepts, we can exchange goods, we can exchange ideas, we can support each other. And this is recognizing that the other model is maybe not exactly the same, but we are all driven by the same. We want to be allowed to try out new things. We want to increase freedom and we want to increase prosperity for everyone. And the other people who are thinking the same, they are allies, natural allies. And so my hope is that we have a tiny fraction of what’s happening in the world. But starting with Honduras, there’s more to come. I know that other people are there rumors here, although I’m one of those projects that might come up hopefully in the next year or within the next twelve months. But there are other groups that also working in Africa, in the Caribbean, where I have heard that they are very advanced. So we might get two or three new Honduras type of models and then we have real competition. Then it’s not just within one country, but then we have real competition. And then people can start, like you can start to compare and you can invite all the leaders of those projects and say now make your pitch, tell me why I, Stephan Livera, should move. Right? And that’s exactly what I mean. It’s not easy to move, right? You are where you are and you have all made your arrangements there and maybe people have their family in the ancestry there and now you tell them move in the US. To New Hampshire even. This is difficult, right? They were telling me to move to another country, continent, even more difficult. So that means we have to really offer something and this is good. We’ve have to try to find new customers and not the other way around. The state just says you do whatever I say and if I need money, I raise taxes.
Stephan Livera – 00:39:45:
And I think I would say over the last few years, perhaps there are more people who have opened their eyes to this idea that hey, you know what? Maybe I would move overseas. I’m an example, right? I was living in Australia and I left because of the hysteria of the last few years and thought, you know what, maybe there are other people out there who are in a similar camp and maybe they’re like, you know what? I’m open to this. I’m open to finding some other jurisdiction that I may set up and do business there or do whatever. So I think that’s really interesting. Obviously, I’m looking forward to going I’m going to be a speaker there, and I’m also looking forward to meeting a bunch of people. So there are some people who have only spoken with online. So like yourself or Jeff Dice, I’ve only spoken with him online. I love to actually meet him in person, so I know he’s coming as well. And he’s been big on that whole idea, as well as smaller is better. This idea that even the Mises Institute and others have been talking about this for decades, and it’s not a new thing. They’ve been saying, you know what? What if we let these larger states split up into smaller states and maybe there’s more freedom that can be achieved in that way? And so I think it’s a mix of people and ideas. And you need enough people out there who are actually sharing some of these ideas to get just people brought on board to your point as well, around. Maybe there’s something here as well that I’ll give you an example. I think a lot of people who came into Bitcoin later learned about Austrian economics and libertarian ideas from that. And so it might even be the case that actually people come in and start holding Bitcoin, using Bitcoin, and then getting exposed to more libertarian ways of thinking and then thinking, yeah, you know what, actually there is something here. Maybe we really could build some kind of more libertarian based society. So I think there’s an angle there of where people might first start with Bitcoin or start attending a conference like this and then later realizing, oh, okay, yeah, actually that’s something I can do in practice.
Titus Gebel – 00:41:55:
Absolutely. And my personal observation is that I would say from the people who really following what we are doing, the Free Cities movement, half of them are probably coming from the libertarian side, but the other half are coming from the Bitcoin crypto side. Why is this so? Because these people immediately understand, at least the ones that are following us immediately understand how that could work because they have seen that it already worked once, creating a parallel structure with Bitcoin against the fiat currencies, which were supposedly not working right, otherwise there wouldn’t be no demand for Bitcoin. And the same is true with our systems of living together. So people realize that. And I would say what you said before, it’s also true in the last two years, with all the lockdowns and all that, a lot more people have come to us and say, hey, when are you starting? Where can we move? We want to get out. And especially in countries like Germany who are deliberately destroying the industrial basis, they make energy so expensive that businesses have to close and to move out. So now it’s not only people who are pissed off the state, but even businesses, whole business, whole companies want to move out and they don’t want to move into a state where they say next year they might get similar ideas, like a German government. And this is what many people do not understand. It’s not only about taxes, company can pay taxes, but it’s much more about long term security. Right. You have to rely upon the fact that the rules are not going to change significantly in the next ten to 20 or 30 years because you’re making investment on that assumption. And that’s one of the main points of the free city or the free private city model, is that we are offering your contract and we cannot change the contract unilaterally. And that’s what Prospera doing, right? Prospera you don’t have only the protection by the charter. We have an additional protection by a resident contract which says these are the rights that we cannot take away from you and you’re not going to change the rules. So this is great because this is exactly what I mean. If you hire somebody to paint your room now in another color, you don’t want this guy then to come later and say, by the way, I used a much more expensive color and I repaired your car as well. I didn’t order that. Right? But it’s exactly what the state is doing. And so far I think our model is superior. We just need some time to deploy it and there will be some setbacks, no doubt about that. But at the end, people go where they are treated best and that’s what we want to offer. The conference is last year’s conference. Like you said, some people have met for the first time, but they were in contact before. And I can tell you that at least two new projects were coming out of those people meeting at our conference. And I hope that will repeat this year, that good. People are meeting each other and saying, hey, let’s do something together. They’re helping each other, they’re creating even a new project. So it is also extremely motivating to see people in physical presence and all intelligent people, they have all ideas. They are not just repeating secondhand opinions. They have all their own opinion, right? And they can argue that opinion. This is kind of it makes me feel very well, this is the place I want to be and I thought it was lost, but it’s still there. It’s there again and this is really giving people and most attendees felt like a really good feeling and I hope we can repeat that in October in Prague. Right?
Stephan Livera – 00:45:43:
And I think it comes down to it’s just a big world out there. And so even though there’s a lot of status out there, there’s also a small number of libertarians and bitcoiners out there who do want to do something about it. And it’s a matter of connecting those people, right? Because when you add that up, that could be 100 million, 200 million people. And if you could get a critical mass into one or a few liberty friendly locations, that could really move the needle, that could really change things. And so people come along. I’m obviously excited to be going. We should mention do you want to just chat a little bit about the details? And so it’s October 21 to 23, it’s in Prague. The website is lifetimeliberty.com and I’ve got a discount code as well. So code “livera” gets you a discount there. So listeners, make sure you check that out. Teach us anything else you want to mention just as I guess a final message or any final closing thoughts for people?
Titus Gebel – 00:46:41:
Yeah, if you cannot attend the conference, there’s a possibility for an online attendance at a much discounted rate. And in any case, if you are interested in this whole development, especially maybe you’re considering moving to one of those new places, then my proposal would be that you subscribe to the newsletter of the Free Cities Foundation, freeminercities.org because any new project will be presented there. And if we think that makes sense, then there will be a link and then you can go to the website of the program of the project and say, hey, maybe this is the place for me to go. So we are starting this community and I think, as you said, Stephan, we need a critical mass of people who are willing to relocate. And if you listeners are interested in that or can you think about that, then I invite you to subscribe to the newsletter, learn about the projects and then make you a call.
Stephan Livera – 00:47:45:
Fantastic. Well, great chatting with you Titus, and looking forward to seeing you soon.
Titus Gebel – 00:47:49:
We’ll was a pleasure.