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34


THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 34, December 25, 1997

Vintopia

By Vin Suprynowicz
vin@lvrj.com

Special to The Libertarian Enterprise

         Jerry Cagle in sunny Santa Fe, New Mexico, writes: "What country's government, extant in the world today, most closely approximates the Libertarian ideal?"
         The frustrating search for a "Libertopia" is ongoing.
         Of course, anyone proposing a "Republic" in the early 17th century would have been told that such a thing was obviously impossible. Since every nation in the world was either a monarchy or some even worse form of tyranny, it wasn't even worth trying.
         Sometimes, we have to dream what we haven't seen.
         One problem in your question is the phrase "country's government." The closest thing to a Libertarian utopia may well be found in the outlying provinces of some nation whose official laws look as draconian and repressive as any, but where the distance from the capital allows folks to escape most government interventions ... particularly if one is wise enough to make frequent contributions to the favorite charity of the local "chief."
         I'm not saying that's entirely satisfactory. Relying on the arbitrary favors of some local potentate can be dangerous, and in such environs you may have trouble finding an honest court to enforce a contract.
         Amsterdam is one place where the "official" laws are widely ignored, if you appear harmless, and choose to indulge your pleasures in the proper sections of town. But unfortunately they just don't get it when it comes to an armed citizenry, and they have their own cloying welfare state to support, with the taxes to prove it.
         Switzerland does arm its citizenry, and observes the local autonomy of the cantons under "federalism" better than Washington. I find it stiflingly Germanic, and of course they don't want you there (except for a visit) if you have bags of cash ... but it's worth a look -- they certainly understand financial privacy.
         Guyana, Suriname, Belize, and even Costa Rica may all be worth a look, though again these tend to fall into the "fleeing emigre with money" scenario, rather than the "building a better society for liberty" paradigm.
         Idaho, Nevada, and Arizona offer hope, probably along with Colorado. Some say Chile and even Bolivia and Colombia; I have no first-hand knowledge.
         An easy answer would be to say, "The United States of America ... if it still operated under the 1787 Constitution." The question then becomes: 1) take it back from the statist/collectivists, 2) secede and start again, or 3) destroy it and build again (the option retained by the Declaration of Independence)?
         Suggestions welcome.

         "A well-regulated population being necessary to the security of a police state, the right of the Government to keep and destroy arms shall not be infringed."


Vin Suprynowicz is the assistant editorial page editor of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Readers may contact him via e-mail at vin@lvrj.com. The web site for the Suprynowicz column is at http://www.nguworld.com/vindex/. The column is syndicated in the United States and Canada via Mountain Media Syndications, P.O. Box 4422, Las Vegas Nev. 89127.


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