Most of us know what we don’t like about our current political systems. When we share our frustrations, we hear the inevitable question: What can you do about it? I think we’re getting closer to answering that question. Soon, it’s going to be time for you to decide which path to follow.
When I’ve talked here in the past about potential alternatives to sticking it out under the current system — or even worse systems, in the case of the places some of you are reading from — the answers have had to be pretty theoretical. We’re at a point at which the theoretical takes halting steps to become the possible and then the practical. And that’s when it gets exciting.
One of the most exciting projects in the world right now is going on in Honduras. It’s not the final goal of complete independence that I’d like — when people can build their own countries as easily as they can start companies today — but it’s a huge step in the right direction. It has the potential to be a game-changer for those of us who believe that economic and other freedoms can give people a chance to bring themselves out of poverty and find a better way to live.
In late July, Honduras approved a constitutional change that’s going to allow groups to petition to start new cities — charter cities or free cities, for instance — on undeveloped land in the country. In the new cities, the applicable law will be Hong Kong law and economic freedom (or better), according to Michael Strong, who is working closely on the project.
I’m telling you about this now because there’s something coming up later this week that I’d like to encourage you to watch. (And you know that I don’t watch television, so it has to be special for me to encourage it.) John Stossel has a show on the Fox Business Network looking at the question of “What if Libertarians Were in Charge.” As the final segment, Strong and his wife, Magatte, will be discussing how free cities will reduce poverty and create jobs, hope and prosperity in the developing world.
I’ll mention it again later this week, but here are the times: Thursday, Sept. 29, at 10 p.m. eastern; Saturday, Sept. 30, at 9 p.m. eastern; Sunday, Sept. 30, at midnight eastern; and Sunday, Oct. 1, at 9 p.m. eastern.
Sometime later in the week, I’ll also be directing you to a new website that will go live explaining all about free cities and their potential to bring much higher levels of freedom and prosperity.
So now that there’s an alternative to work toward — one that’s about to get off the ground as a real, pragmatic alternative in Honduras — we’re much closer to answering the question of what can be done. It’s just a first step, but it has the potential to be an interim step toward something much bigger that can bring real competitive governance in the long run.
No matter what your motivation, this has the possibility of being a game-changer. It’s a chance to show that more economic and social freedom can create prosperity, but it’s also an opportunity to lay the foundation for changing an entire country. Honduras is poor and has many people with little hope of a better future economically. The free zones will create jobs and wealth that will change their lives and create tremendous opportunity for those of us who would like to work with people’s social and spiritual needs. Any time a society is undergoing huge changes, people are open to considering things they wouldn’t have considered before. It will be an exciting time and it will require people who are willing to sacrifice and work hard — in a place that’s not going to be terribly developed at first — in order to build new enterprises and help change the world for the people who live there.
Most people aren’t going to want to go be a part of it. I understand that. (It’s something that I probably will want to be a part of if I can.) But even if you don’t want to directly be a part of it, it has the chance of having a ripple effect in the rest of the world — by showing what can be done when you allow people to be free.
This is a future I can be happy about — helping work to build a free society and also working to meet the needs of local people who are desperate. I don’t know whether that appeals to you, but it makes me a lot more excited than staying here in my nice little suburb and wishing I could change things.
I’ve always wanted to change the world. This seems like a good small way to start, in a way that can meet physical, financial, educational and spiritual needs of poor people who can be set free in many ways.