Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Start Your Own Country Day

November 22nd was, apparently, Create Your Own Country Day.  I can’t find a site talking about it specifically (yet), but I did find this site that talked about the idea started at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York, of creating these autonomous entities that offer freedom from whatever the creator is seeking freedom for.  It’s fun to scroll down and read the different ideas of sovereign localities, or even mobile ones.  I think the idea is mostly for fun and posterity, but I’m sure there are those who are more serious about it.

It brings up some interesting ideas of what people are thinking regarding this.  You’re always going to find people who want to live where they live, but don’t want to live under the construct of current government (whether it be dictatorship or democracy).  But how does that work.  If you and some others declare independence from a country, in general, how much do you have to think through to make everything work correctly.  For starters,  you have to think about all the services you now receive from the government in one form or another, like police, utilities, armed protection from external threats (not that you’d always need that, but the larger the country you are, the more of these things you’ll need.

Police for instance.  If I declared my block an independent country, the police and fire departments wouldn’t automatically be obligated to protect me if someone crossed my borders to rob my house, or set it afire, or whatever.  That stuff is paid for by the taxes you provide, but it’s assumed that you wouldn’t be paying those taxes anymore.  Or would it?  I suppose that you could work out an “international agreement” with the local government  you were surrounded by and offer them a fee for providing services to your tiny country.

Also, although some of these countries identify vast freedoms, like this one called Freedom Ship: ” A city that floats around the world and allows freedom from restrictive government.”  But unless you want your citizens to eventually start killing or cheating each other, there have to be rules.  A society without rules will eventually destroy itself, thus our Constitution and rule of law.  So you can never get completely away from “restrictive” government.

A more serious question.  If a group of people really disliked a country, say the U.S.A., and wanted to secede, would the U.S. let them?  How resistant would our country be if someone wanted to separate on their private property?  At what point do you claim that this is overtly restrictive on the part of our government when you might argue that the Kurds should have been able to separate from Iraq under Saddam or from Turkey and Iran.  If you think that Tibet should be it’s own country, how can you argue that people can’t unite to form their own country out of a portion of North America where they live?  And conversely, if you don’t support that type of thing here in America (a-la President Lincoln, Civil war, etc.) can you argue for Tibet?


PS.  There are also books out there on how to start your own country.

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