Unknown knowns: What we won’t say about Liberland vs Islamic State

by Rashmee

Posted on May 20, 2015



Passport of another wannabe country
Passport of another wannabe country

As we examine language and how we use it, let’s address the question: What’s the difference between Liberland and the so-called Islamic State?

Both are new “countries”, given a name and form (and a social media identity) by freelance country founders. Both receive various levels of support from people – about 250,000 people reportedly applied for citizenship in Liberland in less than two weeks; the so-called Islamic State is cheered by murderous thugs in disparate parts of the world.

Both could be described as micronations, ie not micro in the sense of land but as model countries or new country projects that claim to be independent nations but are not officially recognized by world governments or major international organizations.

They’re pretty similar in many ways, but you won’t find anyone saying that.

Instead, most media outlets had a jolly good laugh (or at least a welcome bit of a so-called ‘curiosity item’ of news) over Vit Jedlicka, “president” of Liberland, April 13 claim to a disputed area between Croatia and Libera. He said he wanted to proclaim a libertarian paradise, the Free Republic of Liberland.

Liberland is obviously very different from the so-called Islamic State, a brutal regime run by extremists.

That said, the comparison between self-declared countries is probably apt.

More soon. Language continues to confound us.

“By using stale metaphors,  similes and idioms, you save  much mental effort, at the  cost of leaving your meaning vague, not only for your reader but for yourself.”           - George Orwell
“By using stale metaphors, similes and idioms, you save much mental effort, at the cost of leaving your meaning vague, not only for your reader but for yourself.”
– George Orwell

Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK

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