A How-To-Guide For Nation Builders.
The idea of founding a country began as a game of the mind. Like many other micronationalists, we wanted to entertain the idea of how to go about creating our own country. After this initial phase, we slowly began to form an administration.
Being a nation builder, I sometimes need to ask myself why I persist in making flags, creating anthems, and forming governments?
It does not mean I've rejected my old country. I could not have established this nation unless I was lucky enough to live in a part of the world where fundamental freedom still reigns. Sweden will always be my "home country," and nothing can change that. However, I have created my realm, my nation, within a nation, without ever taking up arms or raising my voice. The two kingdoms of Sweden and Unixploria live in happy coexistence.
In a way, we all build nations to make things better. We build countries that we wish would exist. Besides, there is no real difference in quantity between macronation and micronation. If we were 300 million people united under one flag, we could undoubtedly claim independence and form a country, then why not do it even if you're just 10, 5, or 1 individual(s)?
You might be inclined to ask: Why start your own country? From the beginning, our intentions and rewards have been centered around the freedom to build a state where my family's values, traditions, and history could become their own. We did not feel our macro nations offered this and decided to declare our independence.
As for royal lineage, one could argue that all the world's royal families are royal because somebody decided to make them so. Maybe it was due to historical circumstances, possibly because of heroism, and in some cases, even the result of pure coincidence.
We don't try to hide the fact that we are not royal as blood lineage goes, but we are royals in our domain; we are royals in the State of Unixploria. We are, in fact, in the State of Unixploria. The name "kingdom" can, of course, also be applied to neutral statements such as "the Kingdom of Dreams" or "we live in a Kingdom on Earth." Unixplorians, on the other hand, live in the Kingdom of Unixploria, and the royal family has added a bit of regal eccentricity to our great nation.
The Kingdom of Unixploria is a vision that no earthly nation has yet achieved. We are humbled to be that beacon in a world lacking inspiration and ideas. Just as the elected kings and queens of ancient petty kingdoms are now lost in history, we still believe that what constitutes a great king or queen is not just a question of heritage by blood. It is a legacy of individual honor, blood, and an ethical compass pointing to good deeds.
A micronation certainly has support from various conventions, i.g. The Montevideo Convention states that to form your sovereign nation, you must have:
Furthermore, the first sentence of Article 3 explicitly states that "The political existence of the state is independent of recognition by the other states." (The Montevideo Convention, 1933). According to this, we can safely claim that we are a sovereign nation.
Micronationalism comes in many shapes and forms. Some nations are very serious about appearing like any macro national country, and others start their micronations out of curiosity or as a creative project. Unixploria results from all things mentioned, but this nation is about keeping dreams alive more than anything.
I've read quite a few thoughts on various micronational sites arguing about how many micronations there are in the world. I never understood their debate. 900, 1000, or even 10 000 micronations might seem excessive, but is there an actual list with all the real micronations for us to browse? In all honesty, aren't we all just playing games here?
Sure, some put more effort into their micronational projects than others, but as far as I know, we are rulers of unrecognized countries. I intend not to ridicule or offend someone, just stating the obvious. I love micronationalism because it offers new viewpoints and diversity to societal life in our global village.
I can, of course, argue that I run a country just like any other. However, that would be an exaggeration on my part since very few outside our micronational sphere have ever heard of our empires, kingdoms, and republics. There's nothing wrong with building countries you wish existed for real, but creating a recognized nation with all the trimmings would take more than just a website and a flag.
I think of the Kingdom of Unixploria more like a project, a family within a nation without natural powers outside our realm. Our surrounding macronation (Sweden) could invade us whenever they please; we would be defenseless. They could even take parts of our land and do so with support from their legislation. I could argue that they're violating the Codex Unixploria, but it would not hold up in any court.
As long as we behave, we are free to do as we please. There isn't a single micronation in the world that can claim actual sovereignty. There are a lot of separatist movements in the world, some even form nations, but none of them started by saying, "we are a micronation." I'm not picking on anyone who wants to split from their macro nation. I'm just saying that if you are set on creating a particular country, you better prepare for complex challenges shortly.
As micronationalists, we contribute somewhat to that divide, even though we do it out of self-preservation. The latter is also my main objective/concern regarding micronationalism. In my darkest moments, I ask myself, "is it worth it all?"; do we need more separatism when our macro nations are tearing apart from ethnic and religious tensions? Are we contributing to the demise of countries and supporting mass anarchy?
Much of the basis for current nation-building comes from the before-mentioned Convention on the Rights and Obligations of States (1933), also known as the Montevideo Convention. These are the basic rules of Article 1 of the Convention:
The state, as a person with international law, should have the following qualifications:
- A permanent population
- A defined area
- The government
- The capacity to enter into relations with other states
The remainder of the first ten articles explains that a state's existence is independent of the recognition of other states and is free to act on its behalf — and that no state is free to intervene in the affairs of another.
Please note that these are not laws in the traditional sense. You are free to declare yourself a country, anytime, anywhere.
A micronation is an entity whose members claim that they belong to an independent nation or sovereign state but lack legal recognition by world governments or major international organizations.
Most are geographically very small, but range in size from less than square meter to more than a million square km.
They are usually the outgrowth of a single individual.
A micronation expresses a formal and persistent if unrecognized claim of sovereignty over some physical territory.
Micronations are distinct from actual secessionist movements; micronations' activities are almost always trivial enough to be ignored rather than challenged by the established nations whose territory they claim.
This is the hard part. With one exception, existing nations have all claimed available lands. The exception? Antarctica. Even then, should you brave the weather and the lack of "population appeal," Antarctica is managed by the most powerful countries in the world, and it is unlikely that they will let you plant a flag and say, "Mine!" There are, however, still things to try to get around this lack of available land:
At this point, you may think there is no hope, but we have saved the best for last. As land has become a scarce commodity, but the human need for new land continues rapidly, creative (and economically well-to-do) individuals have begun to take to the sea.
No nation owns international waters, and this has spurred interest and activity. Great Britain created a military base in the North Sea off the coast of England during World War II. It is a football-field-sized structure that housed troops and weapons to strike at German invaders. After the war was abandoned until 1966, a DJ named Roy Bates, tired of fighting the British government over his pirate radio station, moved there to set up the business. The station never went back on the air, but he founded a micronation the floating fortress instead: the Principality of Sealand. He hoisted the flag and called himself Prince and his wife, Princess Joan. Sealand resisted court challenges and remains an independent – but unrecognized – nation today.
While the policies of the Seasteading Institute may or may not be your cup of tea, it is a reasonable bet that the ocean is indeed the new frontier. Founded by the grandson of Milton Friedman and PayPal founder Peter Thiel, the would-be libertarian utopian foundation hopes the free market can generate new ideas about governance that will change the world. They promote the goal of building offshore platforms with loose building requirements, no minimum wages, and an abundance of firearms. Proponents see this as a key to the next generation of free enterprise. Critics point to building standards and low-wage workers with lots of guns, driven by a gang of selfish dictators, as a recipe for disaster.
A millionaire activist piled sand on a reef in the Pacific Ocean south of Fiji, creating an artificial island to start the Republic of Minerva. But if you are not rich enough to make land, then make it up — some of the lighter micronations claim land on imaginary continents or planets.
In addition to the traditional territory-based nation, there is an untapped, unregulated and unexplored area that is virtually unlimited because there is only plenty. Call it the cloud or call it cyberspace. People spend more time emotionally and interactively connected with their friends and colleagues via the internet. Virtual worlds like Second Life and Blue Mars create 3-dimensional environments with their currency and constitutions.
One of the essential requirements for a nation — apart from land — will be to build a population. Invite your friends and family to join you in this venture; you will have a small but dedicated population. If the land you conquer or build does not come with an indigenous people, you must bring your own to the party.
You have to decide what you demand of your citizens. What kind of identification will they need: a national ID card or a driving license? Do they pass a citizenship test or follow specific laws?
The success or failure of your micronation will be determined, in large part, by your leadership in management. When defining a constitution, try to make it open to interpretation and further growth as your nation grows and evolves. Without a cohesive constitution, your country may fall into the disarray of dozens of small nation-states rather than a successfully united micronation. Your government, and your political constitution, should be guided by the principles you wish to establish from the outset.
These micronations tend to have strong political views and are often controversial. Some of them have attracted media attention or political interest in the past, but this is rare. Despite their relative inattention, they are some of the most common types of micronations.
Similar to historical projects, these micronations exist to promote a particular culture and tradition. There are many Germanic micronations, such as Domanglia, trying to recreate the culture and traditions of the former German Empire. Many of these also include nationalist and patriotic projects.
By far the most extreme form of a micronation, separatist entities are often much older than other forms of micronations. Notable separatist micronations include the Principality of Sealand, the Hutt River Province, and Freetown Christiania.
Now that you have territory, a population, and a government with a constitution, it's time to announce your independence. One of three things will happen, depending on what you have prepared for the world:
You must create a financial system if you are not trading in dollars, euros, or other currencies. While your word can be counted among your friends, you need some severe collateral for the national debt to be of any use. Will you base your nation's prosperity on gold, securities, or a whim and a prayer?
If you stick to established currencies, you still have to decide how to finance your government, and the best way to do this is by some form of taxation. An option would be to create a Patreon or Fund Me site for fans to contribute to your cause.
It is a fundamental duty of every state (small or large) to be able to defend its citizens from enemies. Whether this is a standing army, civilian guard, conscription, or some other defensive solution, this will be something to keep in mind when creating your constitution.
Then again, if you have no enemies, you won't need to defend yourself and your citizens.
If you block any unfavorable issues that arose during the founding of your country, you will become a micronationalist to be reckoned with in the world. To do this, you need other nations to recognize you. This will require you to be proficient in international law, politics, and diplomacy. If these are not among your most vital skills, you would be wise to recruit skilled politicians to take on the task.
This is perhaps the most challenging step of all. Some nations, such as Palestine, Taiwan, and northern Cyprus, have all the boxes checked but are still not recognized by many countries.
There are no rules here; each country has standards that establish recognition. Things that can affect the result are questions like where you stand on al Queda or communism or capitalism. They can depend on your attitude towards human rights or control over natural resources.
Every country needs a flag, and yours will be different. This is the most prominent of national symbols, but other symbols may also help establish your national identity.
What will your currency look like? Will it have your profile boldly embossed on gold coins and in 3D holograms on paper money, or will you use a symbolic icon? Will you go full-tilt modern, or try to listen back to a time when each piece was cut by hand?
You can create a faux-Latin phrase like "E Succubus Opes" or any other nice-sounding phrase and add some flourishing graphics with a shield, for all indications are that you are descended from royalty - or you can state your mission clearly in your language and have a graphic designer create a logo.
With all the letters you will write to the President, the UN, the Prime Minister, and other Heads of State, you want fine stationery on high-quality paper, embossed with your seal.
The sooner you declare yourself a prince, king, emperor, or Supreme Ruler, the better.
Micronationalism is a hobby and a serious thing that includes people from all different backgrounds. Respect is the key to peace. Intolerance is the key to war.
Study existing and well-established micronations. What made them successful (or what made them miserable failures)? What can you learn from them?
There are a lot of different communities out there. Get out and participate!
It is imperative to create a workable website, possibly with a blog feature used as a news service. It can also be a good idea to create a Wiki article - there are several micronational wikis for you to use, but do not forget that your nation must be more than a website and a Wiki article.
There are a lot of organizations specifically for micronations and people trying to create their own countries. They may be a more general "UN-style" organization, such as the organization of Active Micronations (OAM), or they may have more specific purposes, such as the Micronational Cartography Society (MCS).
A friendly warning
If you take yourself and your micronation too seriously, existing governments may see you as a breakout movement rather than a country for fun. Most countries have a standing army that would shorten the process with a little upstart micronation.