I think everyone at some point has been pissed at the policies of their home country (hello fellow Brits), but what do you do when things get so bad you can’t stand it anymore? Realistically you are left with fairly few options. You could A) Run for office/start a political party and try to change things (option not available in all nations), B) Shut up and put up with it (offer available in all nations) C) Move to another country (you will be called an expat or a refugee depending on your race), or D) Start your own country….
If my article on what defines a micronation wasn’t enough for you, here’s our next instalment. YPT talk you through how to start your own country.
Step 1 – Plan Your Country
Whilst you might feel it’s enough to merely name your new nation, that would be ignoring a whole host of other essential things you need for nationhood. A capital city, a language, and a general concept: why exactly did you decide to start your own nation? How will it better than the one you were born into?
Step 2 – Make Sure You Live By International Law
OK, so it might be early days. But no one will take you seriously if you do not respect international law (are you reading this, Trump?) According to the Montevideo Convention of 1933, to count as a country you’ll need the following:
- A permanent population
- A defined territory
- The capacity to enter into relations with the other states
- The balance of the first ten Articles go on to explain that the existence of a state is independent of recognition by other states, and is free to act on its own behalf—and that no state is free to intervene in the affairs of another.
Without these things you will simply be the laughing stock of the Micronational community. Is that what you want?
Step 3 – Land
Now, this is the hard part. Aside from a small piece of land between Sudan and Egypt that neither party want the rest of the world has been claimed. This leaves you with the choices of raising a posse and engaging in armed invasion or buying an existing nation, kind of like what China is doing with America. Now if neither of these is currently feasible a good short-term option is to claim your bedroom as an independent state, whilst also making a claim to part of Antarctica.
Part 4 – Make website and get citizens
Fun fact; whilst Micronations have existed since before Al Gore invented the internet, it this invention that fine-tuned things. So, if you will insist on making your own nation-state, build a plush website, we would recommend a nice cheap host like Bluehost, who have plans from as little as $3.95 per month. Running your own country isn’t cheap, so you will need to be frugal. You will also need citizens. So, let’s get on that one too, perhaps start by inviting a few chums, and perhaps make the process easier than entering post-Brexit Britain.
Part 5 – Select a government type
There are certain rules of nationhood that need to be respected, such as having a government and a head of state (although they can be dead). Now, whilst any government type is acceptable, to be considered a fully fledged bat-shit-crazy member of the Micronational community, we would suggest that you have a monarchy.
Part 6 – Declare yourself independent
There are many ways to do this, although accepted protocol would be to write a letter to the UN. Should this go well, and you are not either invaded, or worse asked to become an associate member of the EU, then you can assume that largely the world has not only ignored you, but you are free to start your nation-building.
Part 7 – Economics
As previously stated, it is not a cheap hobby running your own country. You will need a functioning economy. Many Micronations do this by printing their own local money, making stamps, printing ID cards, or even selling citizenship. Your ability to do this will depend greatly on how good your website looks, and your printing skills. Alternatively, you could be perfect at making $100 bills, and making meth in your bathtub.
Part 8 – Gain recognition from other nations
Ever watched the Eurovision song contest and wondered why Norway always has given Sweden full marks? That is because nations, much like people need friends. Realistically powerful countries such as Canada, or China are unlikely to give you recognition right away, you are also unlikely to get recognition from established Micronations like Sealand, or Hutt River, so why not start with joke nations like the Kingdom of Lovely? Or, simply make yourself an absolute religious monarchy that doesn’t allow women’s rights, and the UK will not only recognise you, but provide you with billions of dollars in arms.
Part 9 – Make a flag and seal
Remember the old Libyan flag? It was basically a green tablecloth. But Libya, as genuine UN nation ruled by kind of comedy Gaddafi, did not need to stand out from the crowd. As a new nation, you do. So make it nice and sparkly!
Part 10 – Run genuine nation
So whilst you may have made your nation, made a flag, claimed land, written a letter to Boutros Boutros Galli, got citizens and created your meth lab, that is but the beginning. Rome was not built in a day, and whilst your nation may well have been, it’s just the start of the long and gruelling process of gaining international acceptance.
For tours to the world’s official unrecognised countries, click here!
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