Geneticists tell us the entire human race originated from a single tribal group of around 200 people who migrated from Africa into Arabia about 80,000 years ago. About 10,000 years ago, their descendants, by then numbering around 5 million, began to form agricultural settlements, leading to the first kingdoms. In more recent centuries, the earliest nation-state emerged. By 1920, around 1.7 billion of their descendants lived in fewer than 80 countries.
That consolidation has now ended. In the last century, dozens of new nations have been created, mostly formed along religious or ethnic lines. That’s why nearly 200 countries exist today.
There’s a reason for this growing number of sovereignties. When they can, humans often choose to live independently in small and internally cohesive groups.
The UK could be the next example of the end of consolidation. The UK consists of a handful of Caribbean territories, along with four countries: England, Scotland, and Wales, which comprise the island of Great Britain, and Northern Ireland. Menu2019s GlobalEmpire... Buy New $17.98 (as of 08:55 EDT - Details)
In June, UK voters chose to exit the EU. That vote could set off a chain of events that will tear apart the UK. Separatists in Northern Ireland now are speaking of a divorce from Great Britain, and the majority of Scottish voters currently favor separating from the UK. While Scotland’s pro-independence side lost in a 2014 referendum, polls indicate that if another vote were held today, voters would approve secession. That would leave England and Wales as the last remnants of the UK.
Separatist parties in Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Italy, and Spain likewise want to create their own independent states, to name just a few movements across Europe.
But if you’re seeking real independence, why not form your own country, based not on a shared religious heritage or ethnicity, but on a shared set of beliefs?
It’s not a new idea. For at least the last 50 years, visionaries around the world have sought to create enclaves based on the principles of personal and economic freedom and limited government.
Unfortunately, these efforts have mostly failed. There are two almost insurmountable obstacles:
- Getting anyone to take you seriously (diplomatic recognition, etc.); and
- Defending your territory from incursions by more powerful neighbors.
The Republic of Minerva was a classic example. In 1971, Nevada entrepreneur Michael Oliver started to dump barge-loads of sand onto a group of reefs in the South Pacific 250 miles from Tonga and declared the founding of Minerva. Oliver wanted to create a sovereign nation without taxes, welfare, or economic intervention.
Unfortunately for Oliver, the King of Tonga had already claimed the reefs. After a confrontation with the King’s war canoes, Oliver, and his followers left without a fight.
The Principality of Sealand – all six acres of it – was more successful. During World War II, the Royal Navy built a gun platform in the North Sea a few miles off the coast of England. It was abandoned a few years later, and in 1967, Roy and Joan Bates took up residence there. Roy was a “pirate DJ” looking to transmit from outside UK territorial waters to avoid UK broadcasting laws, which established a monopoly for the BBC, the British Broadcasting Corp. In 1975, Bates proclaimed a Sealand constitution and introduced a national flag, national anthem, and began issuing passports.
Britain didn’t think much of this idea. There were discussions in the British Cabinet as to whether to reclaim Sealand by force. The principality tried various ways to support itself, most of which did not work. Now that “Prince Roy” and “Princess Joan” have both died, their son, “Prince Michael,” is Sealand’s caretaker. Sealand stopped selling passports in 1997 and revoked the 150,000 it had issued, but you can support his efforts by becoming a Lord, Lady, Baron, Baroness, Count, or Countess of Sealand. NAKIM 3x5 Ft Liberty O... Check Amazon for Pricing.
Roy Bates established Sealand by declaring it beyond the sovereign authority of any other country. More recently, Vít Jedlička, a Czech activist, did something similar. In 2015, he discovered a wooded parcel of land on the Danube River left unclaimed due to the ongoing Croatia-Serbia border dispute. Jedlička promptly claimed it and proclaimed the Free Republic of Liberland.
According to the Liberland Press, more than 400,000 people have already signed up for Liberland citizenship. If even a fraction of them show up, that would be the first step to getting other countries – especially those surrounding Liberland – to take it seriously. Defending itself, of course, is another matter entirely.
Closer to home, the Free State Project (FSP) is an effort to recruit 20,000 liberty-loving people to New Hampshire. More than that number have already committed to do so. To join, you must agree to the political philosophy expressed in the FSP’s Statement of Intent that government exists at most to protect people’s rights, and should neither provide for people nor punish them for activities that interfere with no one else. Anyone who promotes violence, racial hatred, or bigotry is not welcome.
The ultimate new country, though, would be extraterrestrial. If you’re wealthy enough to launch satellites into space, you could eventually set up your own space station, declare it the “Kingdom of Mark,” and try to set up a self-sustaining economy. That’s certainly plausible; zero-gravity and vacuum manufacturing has numerous advantages over the earth-based industry.
Given time, your space station might even establish limited sovereignty, but it’s hard to conceive of a truly self-sustaining earth-orbiting satellite. Not to mention one that can stand up to death rays fired by whatever sovereign nation you’ve managed to upset.
For real independence, you’d want to terraform a planet. Mars is an obvious target, and it’s far enough away that even the most powerful nations would be hard-pressed to mount an invasion force. All you’d need to do it is imagination, a huge amount of money, heavy doses of cutting-edge technology, and the determination to see it through.
And if someone else gets there first (e.g., Elon Musk and his own Mars colonization plan)? Well, there’s always Proxima b. That’s a rocky planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, the closest star to our sun, about 4.2 light years away. Proxima b is within the “habitable zone” of Proxima Centauri, which means liquid water could exist on its surface.
Though with current technologies it would take thousands of years to reach Proxima b, when humans finally do arrive, our descendants will have the opportunity to establish the first truly free planet in the galaxy.
Reprinted with permission from Nestmann.com.