Here's a talk by Holmesland on the project.
Tjelland Farm shortly after it was bought in June last year. Photo: Screen grab/YouTube
Liberstad, as the city is named, is selling land at its site near Kristianstad for as little as 75,000 Norwegian Kronor (NOK) $9,400 for 1000m2 and as much as 375,000 NOK ($47,100) for 5,000m2, and accepts payment in 27 different cryptocurrencies, according to its website.
It claims to have already found buyers from Norway, Brazil, Sweden and the UK, among other countries, and aims to be ready to hand over the plots by 2020, after which the first residents will be able to move in.
According to the venture’s website, Liberstad aims to be a “a voluntary, profit-based, private enterprise that offers protection of life, freedom and property within a particular area”.
“A private city is not a utopian, constructivist idea,” the website continues. “Instead, it's just a business model where the main elements are already known and are then just transferred to another sector, namely the market for living together.”
“The only thing we demand for Liberstad is that you respect the principle of non-aggression and private property rights.”
The city’s founders, John Holmesland and Sondre Bjellås, bought Tjelland farm, the site of the project, last June and have been posting about their progress on Facebook and on the city's blog, peppering updates with libertarian slogans such as “taxation is theft”.
Holmesland claims to have been inspired by Atlantic Station, a city within a city in Atlanta, Georgia, and aims to eventually set up private police, fire and water services for the city, or invite other private companies to provide them.
When contacted by Norwegian state broadcaster NRK, the founders attacked the organisation for its mandatory license fee.
“As NRK generates its income by using aggression (extortion/threats/theft) against peaceful people, this is an organisation we do not want to cooperate with,” they wrote, according to the broadcaster.
Kari Henriksen, the Labour party MP representing the local Vest-Agder constituency in the Norwegian parliament, dismissed the duo’s plans.
“It may be that someone comes and settles there, but establishing a state within a state is not realistic,” she told NRK. “They will be dependent on society in many ways.”
The project has already developed a following in libertarian circles, getting glowing write-ups on the Bitcoin news sites Bitcoin.com and Cointelegraph, and a mention on the Facebook page of the utopian Seasteading Institute, which aims to establish floating cities outside the control of nation states.
Here's a video the company made, which has been posted on YouTube: