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Jason Holliston
Wednesday, August 11, 2004  
Pick Your Country

This is just a fine site to spend a few minutes reading, simply to marvel at how much time some people put into this stuff. When you were young, did you ever dream of having your own country? I think a lot of kids do -- it's the same impulse that drives them to create their own languages. It makes them feel like they're apart from the crowd; special. It's a natural and normal impulse, well, for kids.

Some people don't quite grow out of this phase, though. Hence, "micronations". Almost all of them don't exist any more solidly than a Web site and some person ranting about their utopian dreams. Some actually have a largish group of people behind them. None, however, go anywhere. There are micronations based on "pure" libertarian principles, on Aryan racist ideals, and even micronations for Mars, as soon as they can afford to get there.

In the early days of the World Wide Web, I remember visiting this site: Oceania -- The Atlantis Project. It was a project to create a libertarian nation in the middle of the Caribbean on floating panels. Very cool and very ambitious -- so ambitious that it never got anywhere, and the project ended in 1994.

Here's one that actually might work: the Freedom Ship. Essentially it's a colossally huge barge with a city on it, circumnavigating the world once every three years, with a population of about 100,000 people. Not for everyone, but certainly groundbreaking. You can buy a small condominium on board for as little as $180,000 -- not unreasonable for a moving house.

Of course, most of these micronations are just crazy, utopian visions from crazy, utopian people. Sometimes they are scary, but usually pretty harmless. At the least, it's fun to take a peek into these people's dreams.

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