Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Factors for Starting a New Country

Rate this topic


Chris.S
 Share

Recommended Posts

My thinking is that a number of people, or even just one person, can form a country at any time as long as they own the area they want to make the country in.

I don't think these people, or this person, could try to form the country just by forcefully controlling the area without ownership. It may also be possible if people within that geographic area vote to secede (ala Quebec vs Canada).

I ask this in regard to the "Native Americans" thread but mostly with the more recent ending of the Tamil Tiger terrorists in Sri Lanka, and consequently the end of that civil war. It basically it comes down to a whole bunch of collectivism and brute force, however, I think (don't know for sure, I have to read some more) in the 70's and early 80's, the Tamil groups tried more politically than militarily to secede. I don't think they were at all right to resort to force without a) not owning the land they wanted to control and B ) not having had force used against them. My question is basically - at what point can a group or person form a country, and is force (without having force used against) ever necessary to do it? Can it ever be done peacefully? Can it be done peacefully while already in another established country? I think it can be done peacefully, but can't think of any examples.

I realize there's a problem with equating the Natives with the Tamils, but I'm only trying to compare them in the issue of wanting to govern themselves. The Tamils could better be compared to the Yugoslavian war, where it was more of a racial/religious war (same with Rwanda and others).

Edited by Chris.S
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can it ever be done peacefully?
Yes. One example is Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic and Slovakia); another is a subset of Yugoslavia (Slovenia, Croatia, though there was certainly separatist violence). Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia used to be Russian. Iceland used to be part of Denmark.

I don't think that "without violence" is exactly the right question to ask, the question ought to be "is there a proper method of secession?". Yes, there is, and it involves voting. Of course if you are ruled by a dictator, voting would be an impossibility. While there has historically been violence in Quebec, the attempt to secede failed democratically. That is the model of "how to".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes. One example is Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic and Slovakia); another is a subset of Yugoslavia (Slovenia, Croatia, though there was certainly separatist violence). Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia used to be Russian. Iceland used to be part of Denmark.

The story of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania was a strange one. The leading parties of those countries decided to secede and Russia started spitting out propaganda that they are doing it for their personal gain. In order to show approval, people of these countries decided to do it in a different way. It was called 'The Road Of Baltic', the event that has no alternatives up to today. Millions of citizens of those countries, held each other's hands across the greatest roads, from Vilnius to Talinn to show their position and the desire for liberty. Moscow called the demonstration 'A result of Nationalism within those countries' and sent their tanks into Vilnius in order to stop the revolution. On the night of January 13th, the Lithuanian citizens stood against the tanks totally unarmed while tanks were moving to the Television Tower of Vilnius. 14 people died in the event, including one young girl, crushed by the tanks. The liberty was claimed without the freedom fighters spilling blood, since the Soviet Union was shown in it's true image, as a tank trying to quell the blind rebellion of the people in the Baltic countries. They had no choice but to accept the existence of those three countries or always be treated as an offender of man's rights.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They had no choice but to accept the existence of those three countries or always be treated as an offender of man's rights.

That had never stopped them in the past.

I think, fundamentally, Gorbachev was unwilling to be quite as much of a thug as Brezhnev and Andropov (and Khrushchev and Stalin and Lenin). Otherwise the motions to secede would never have even happened. Much less the subsequent events.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
My thinking is that a number of people, or even just one person, can form a country at any time as long as they own the area they want to make the country in.

The question of "ownership" is not that simple. There are many countries that use the leasehold land tenure system so how would anyone form a new nation since essentially the state owns all the land? And it is a sure bet the govt would never allow a peaceful cessation in leasehold country (it would not be in the interest of the politicians who get kickbacks leasing out land).

Ayn Rand taught that any country is morally free to invade a dictatorship. Using the same logic, a portion of a country in a dictatorship should have the moral right to forcefully secede. For example, Eritrea fought a 30 year war for independence from Ethiopia after Haile Selassie forced it to become a province of Ethiopia, having shut down their parliament and dissolved what was then a federation of the two states.

And of course if yo have enough money, you can just buy land from another nation and start your own country (I would love to do that in my lifetime considering the sorry state of current world politics, even in America).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The question of "ownership" is not that simple. There are many countries that use the leasehold land tenure system so how would anyone form a new nation since essentially the state owns all the land? And it is a sure bet the govt would never allow a peaceful cessation in leasehold country (it would not be in the interest of the politicians who get kickbacks leasing out land).

Ayn Rand taught that any country is morally free to invade a dictatorship. Using the same logic, a portion of a country in a dictatorship should have the moral right to forcefully secede. For example, Eritrea fought a 30 year war for independence from Ethiopia after Haile Selassie forced it to become a province of Ethiopia, having shut down their parliament and dissolved what was then a federation of the two states.

And of course if yo have enough money, you can just buy land from another nation and start your own country (I would love to do that in my lifetime considering the sorry state of current world politics, even in America).

Ever considered buying an athol from Vanuatu? It is a failed pacific state, so they would like you to do so.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My question is basically - at what point can a group or person form a country, and is force (without having force used against) ever necessary to do it? Can it ever be done peacefully? Can it be done peacefully while already in another established country? I think it can be done peacefully, but can't think of any examples.

The first example that comes to my mind is Ghandi and India's secession from British rule.

Edited by Zedic
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It depends on how pro-liberty you are. If you support significantly more liberty than other nations, you will be discrediting ideas about the failure of the capitalism, and people will probably try and stop you. Governments are monopolies, and like all monopolies they hate new competitors. Note how the number of nations in the world has been gradually shrinking over the past 1000 years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

It is a dream of mine to overthrow the most illegitimate country in Africa and create New America or a country simply called Liberty. I would like to see what a country with the separation of church, government and economics could really do. Before I could do that though I would need to be able to first of all get clean food, clean water and AIDs medicine. I would also need to find some way to stop the armies from destroying me. Maybe I should talk to the CIA before trying to do something like this, but then again, they might be the ones that are trying to destroy me.

I imagine the closer I would get to fulfilling this dream, the more likely someone with the opposite position would be willing to try to assassinate me. I guess the first thing I would need to do would be to get the people on my side and on the side of freedom and individual rights. Maybe set up some orphanages where the kids would farm the land for their own food and I would teach them basically objectivism along with other vital skills to give them the tools they need to succeed in the world or just their life.

There's a lot to think about. Any thoughts about this dream of mine? I would hope to recruit the Prime Movers in my quest for freedom.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is a dream of mine to overthrow the most illegitimate country in Africa and create New America or a country simply called Liberty. I would like to see what a country with the separation of church, government and economics could really do. Before I could do that though I would need to be able to first of all get clean food, clean water and AIDs medicine. I would also need to find some way to stop the armies from destroying me. Maybe I should talk to the CIA before trying to do something like this, but then again, they might be the ones that are trying to destroy me.

I imagine the closer I would get to fulfilling this dream, the more likely someone with the opposite position would be willing to try to assassinate me. I guess the first thing I would need to do would be to get the people on my side and on the side of freedom and individual rights. Maybe set up some orphanages where the kids would farm the land for their own food and I would teach them basically objectivism along with other vital skills to give them the tools they need to succeed in the world or just their life.

There's a lot to think about. Any thoughts about this dream of mine? I would hope to recruit the Prime Movers in my quest for freedom.

Unless you're a multi-billionaire who's going to get the support of the people of said country (Zimbabwe?), good luck with that. :ninja:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have you decided which country that is? Do you plan to overthrow the whole country, or just the government? Do you have a plan for disposing of the current inhabitants?

Madagascar comes to mind. It's an island, so it's easier to avoid the gangs of looters so common in Africa and is one of the most poorest countries in the world. If you want to spread Capitalism there, you'll just probably need to work, spreading the ideas of individual and invidual rights.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Madagascar comes to mind.
Okay; so what makes it the most illegitimate country in Africa?
It's an island, so it's easier to avoid the gangs of looters so common in Africa and is one of the most poorest countries in the world.
Sorry to have to break it to you, but looters can be found just as easily on islands. And by African standards, Madagascar is pretty well off.
If you want to spread Capitalism there, you'll just probably need to work, spreading the ideas of individual and invidual rights.
That would be really heard to do if you overthrow the country.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As an actual possible rather than a convoluted, ridiculous fantasy, there are at least a handful of places in Africa that combine a very sparse population (<1/km^2 pop density,) natural resources (simply too much trouble to claim for any 'legit' company, who would be forced to play by the rules by their home country,) and de facto no government (and/or conflicting claims by often unrecognized governmental entities.)

Somalia, the epitome of a failed state, is a good example. Its northern coast holds the city of Bosaso, one of the largest ports in Africa. East of that is mostly unpopulated, to all accounts - though of course there hasn't been a census up there in a long time. Bosaso is in the territory of Puntland, which is technically a state within Somalia, but no longer answers to the central government. East is Somaliland, a state that has formally seceded from Somalia - but of course, no one recognizes that it has, so no one deals with it (or cares about it.) Between the two is a large swath of mostly-abandoned "disputed territory." Allegedly, the mountains there are rich in many minerals, along with oil and natural gas.

North Somalia is different from south Somalia in that, other than a couple of "big" cities (the biggest being Bosaso,) there is very little population there. Middle-somalia and southward is where the population density goes up, and with it the presence of warlords, bandits, etc., in numbers. In the north you find little of that - what population there is, outside of the city, are mostly subsistance herders; in other words, not enough loot for a bandit to make a living off of. So other than the occasional clash between Puntland and Somaliland militia in the "disputed territory," there is not much going on there. If you could find somewhere off the beaten path to settle, and if you could, beforehand, set up some way so that you didn't have to live as barbarians (ie drill for oil or natural gas,) then it wouldn't be the worst place in the world to be. There is no one to overthrow, and no one owns the land out there. Of course, if you really want to do that you also have to take responsibility for your own defense, from bandits and militias - I think the police and US Army do a splendid job of keeping the nasties away, in that regard.

Also please understand that the international community looks down on people attempting to overthrow a government recognized as "legitimate." A lot of the international order is based on accepting the status quo and defending it like hell. Not too long ago some mercenaries were arrested for being invoolved in a coup plot down in southern Africa somewhere (I forget the specific country.) They are now spending their time in prison and will be there for a very long time. So if its your dream to overthrow a country anywhere, please also insert into that dream a decade or more in prison, which is where you will in all likelihood end up. Personally I see no actual rational reason to want to do that. Overthrowing a government comes with it the attendant problems of ruling a populace that doesn't like you and isn't interested in freedom. I have better things to do than rule a bunch of illiterate goat-herders, even assuming I had the forces at my disposal to even attempt the feat. Settling in a basically unpopulated area, where no "legitimate" government actors operate, is a different story, and at least in the realm of possibility, both from a success standpoint and from an expense standpoint. Contrary to your games of Civilization a private army is neither cheap nor easy to assemble nor particularly effective.

In the end settling "somewhere" in the barbarian lands in order to establish a free society is not necessarily an irrational idea - once things get so bad that rational people would consider it an alternative to living in normal, Western society - but most people who actually toss the idea around are so far into the realm of fantasy (hey, if your plan starts with and depends on a phrase starting with "Somehow..." then toss the idea out, its stupid) as to make these kinds of threads ridiculous.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The problem is that even though there are places like Somalia without a de facto government, the nations club always defers back to the fact that there "was" or "ought to be" Somali's (or what have you) in control in Somalia (or wherever). they will willfully ignore a stable micronation in favor of gang violence and warlords just to keep their monopoly in force.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Being big enough to need to be ignored seems to me to be a nice problem to have.

Don't go jumping ahead of yourself.

I wasn't clear, when I wrote being ignored I meant that the rights of such a micronation (and all the people in it) would be ignored while the thugs and warlords would receive the backing of the old statists club.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So you expect the international community to secure your rights for you, now?

If not, what do you mean by " the rights of such a micronation (and all the people in it) would be ignored"

As far as "backing," what "backing" do you mean? For the most part the whole of the world stays out of the affairs of other countries, especially failed nations like Somalia.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You all bring up good points which is exactly why I wanted to talk about this here.

Have you decided which country that is? Do you plan to overthrow the whole country, or just the government? Do you have a plan for disposing of the current inhabitants?

I was thinking about Zimbabwe because of the horrendous inflation that is going on there. I really just want to overthrow the government and put in place a system similar to the united states, with a declaration of independence and a constitution that recognizes the individual's rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness. There would need to be a separation of government, church, and economics. My plan would involve educating the local population about the tenets of Objectivism and then leading a campaign against the current government. I would either have to form militias out of the population or hire PMC's like blackwater to overcome their armies. In the ideal situation there would be a bloodless coup when people weigh the ideas out but the chances for that are slim.

But this is all so very risky.

Perhaps my resources would be better spent trying to take the most free State of the United States and pushing it to become similar to Galt's Gulch on a much larger scale. I want to see how it would work out in reality and what it could produce.

Do you guys think that if 2/3 of a US State voted to secede from the United States that they would be allowed to? Especially if the federal government was restricting them from prospering then I think that they should be able to do it. How are you going to bring about greater freedom in the world?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Note how the number of nations in the world has been gradually shrinking over the past 1000 years.

That makes no sense at all. Given the world's population has steadily increased, why wouldn't the number of countries have also increased (even if it wasn't a steady climb)?

Interesting estimation of population dating back to the year dot

The Number of Countries in the World Has Nearly Quadrupled Since 1900

Number of countries, 1900: 57

Number of countries, 2000: 192*

* Per official State Department list.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You all bring up good points which is exactly why I wanted to talk about this here.

I was thinking about Zimbabwe because of the horrendous inflation that is going on there. I really just want to overthrow the government and put in place a system similar to the united states, with a declaration of independence and a constitution that recognizes the individual's rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness. There would need to be a separation of government, church, and economics. My plan would involve educating the local population about the tenets of Objectivism and then leading a campaign against the current government. I would either have to form militias out of the population or hire PMC's like blackwater to overcome their armies. In the ideal situation there would be a bloodless coup when people weigh the ideas out but the chances for that are slim.

But this is all so very risky.

Perhaps my resources would be better spent trying to take the most free State of the United States and pushing it to become similar to Galt's Gulch on a much larger scale. I want to see how it would work out in reality and what it could produce.

Do you guys think that if 2/3 of a US State voted to secede from the United States that they would be allowed to? Especially if the federal government was restricting them from prospering then I think that they should be able to do it. How are you going to bring about greater freedom in the world?

You'd be shot in about 30 minutes in Zimbabwae or anywhere else similar, and uncerimoniously dumped into a ditch.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you guys think that if 2/3 of a US State voted to secede from the United States that they would be allowed to? Especially if the federal government was restricting them from prospering then I think that they should be able to do it. How are you going to bring about greater freedom in the world?

The federal government that exists today would never allow a state to secede, no matter what the state's motivation.

Really, the quickest(And most fun/unrealistic) way to enjoy freedom would be to start some sort of Galt's Gulch-esque community that was incredibly exclusive. Of course, to do this, one would probably have to be extrordinarily wealthy, intelligent, and have a lot of free time to plan this (Not to mention the incredible difficulty of finding prospective members to join).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was thinking about Zimbabwe because of the horrendous inflation that is going on there.
That's a pretty dubious basis, unless you're thinking that that will lead to an open-arms welcoming. I assure you that the welcoming you would get there will be heavily armed, unless you do this by a purely internal revolution. A foreign invasion would encounter particularly serious resistance, and let me remind you that they engaged in a successful guerrilla war against the two most modern armies in Africa (Rhodesia, South Africa).
Perhaps my resources would be better spent trying to take the most free State of the United States and pushing it to become similar to Galt's Gulch on a much larger scale.
If you mean some peaceful & persuasive means, such as trying to persuade a bunch of Alaskans to become Objectivists, maybe.
Do you guys think that if 2/3 of a US State voted to secede from the United States that they would be allowed to?
No. That was tried in the mid 19th century. You would have to first pass a constitutional amendment allowing secession.
How are you going to bring about greater freedom in the world?
Sorry, I don't have the infinite time needed to give you a complete list, but here are starter suggestions. 1: Become a judge. 2: Speak in favor of individual rights whenever possible. 3: Oppose taxation. 4: Encourage long-range thinking. In other words, looking for one grand action that solves all the problems of statism is not a solution. There has to be a broad cultural change so that people begin to understand the proper nature of government, and understand why freedom is a necessity for man.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That makes no sense at all. Given the world's population has steadily increased, why wouldn't the number of countries have also increased (even if it wasn't a steady climb)?
It "makes sense" in a rationalist sense, if you add the fact that the size of countries tends to increase, on average. But I think the question is basically meaningless. There were on the order of 1,000 "nations" in Africa alone a thousand years ago, when each tribe was a "nation" (with a few multi-tribal nations like Benin or the Songhay Empire). Before Temüjin united a huge swath of Inner Asia, there were zillions of piddly little "nations"; same with the New World (well, except that Temüjin never made it to California). As you no doubt noticed, before 1900 there were 150% more "nations", because of a period of nation-consolidation leading to the creation of Germany and Italy.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...