How much fun would it be to have your very own recognized nation? We here at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are striving for such recognition for the Temporal Crossover Observer State of Purristan, which is, in the human world, the legal representative of our utopia. Unlike you, an individual, we are a collection of enlightened felines, so unfortunately we have to go about this the old-fashioned way. You, on the other hand, are free to create your own state – not just any state, but one that can have tremendous influence on world affairs. How? Simply by following this handy dandy guide (and some luck).
The ultimate Libertarian
In the annals of political philosophy, there is the libertarian. Some notions within its spectrum of thought include the concept of maximum individual liberty. Some who subscribe to these ideals promote an extreme form of local authority. Others have gone so far as to create communities in remote areas, akin to Ayn Rand's literary vision. There are even those who have constructed floating communities in international waters, or at least have conceived and promoted the development of such schemes. We can go further than this.
What can be more liberating than being Grand Poohbah of a legitimate nation?
In order to achieve the benefits of statehood, such as having sovereign control within your borders to govern your citizens, determine a government, if any, and associated laws, coin money, and the like, is to gain international recognition. This is extremely hard to do. Some humans chose to opt out entirely from even the idea of nation-states, becoming stateless persons. This approach, when successful, complicates life considerably. Yet many have found ways to live well in spite of such limitations. Regardless, there have been and continue to be many unrecognized states in the world. Some states gained recognition from only a few nations, and thus act as sovereign nations only when dealing with those who recognize them as such. A state like Abkhazia falls into this group. My aim, however, is to lead you toward creating a legitimate nation with the full weight of international laws and customs on your side, including the privileges of sovereignty, and achieving membership into the United Nations.
The generic human
This effort will be easier for the gazillionaire. In fact, it is the view of many that the wealthy are already effectively both stateless while also being the ones controlling state power. I am not addressing this to them. For my target audience, I imagine the generic human. You are a human who has a mortgage or rent, other bills, probably living mostly within only a few missed paychecks from potential homelessness. I advise anyone married or responsible parents to not embark on this endeavor, because you must commit everything to it. Effort and commitment is required.
It will be one thing for you to gain territory and claim statehood. If you own property outright (e.g. no mortgage to a bank), you might think you could do this. However, this will not be anything more than a claim stemming from your whim, and will not prove successful. It cannot be just any land. It has to be the right land. After gaining the right kind of land, you will, most importantly, need leverage. Without it, none will pay any attention to you.
The right land
A house in the suburbs, a farm in Wales, or a ranch in Montana, is not the right land. Your nation will be small, so consider successful, small nations, or at least semi-sovereign City-states, as inspiration. Do not consider those that have a curious or ancient history that you will never match, such as Vatican City, San Marino, or Liechtenstein. Macau, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the like are closer models to what you could pull off.
What you thus need is enough land to support an airport, or at least a heliport, and you will need a coast that could support a port (or a dock, at least). The land does not need these facilities; it simply needs to be able to support them if needed later. Because you are starting from scratch, you cannot select land already occupied. Fortunately, there are many privately owned islands out there, and many of those are for sale. This is your target. When shopping for your island, note also that you do not ever have to live there. Once you achieve international recognition, you could appoint yourself ambassador to your current home nation or simply reside there as an ex-patriate. It is certainly preferred that you can maintain a palatial estate on your island, but try not to limit yourself with ideals or purrfection.
Yeah buy an island, but with what?
It is true that you, the generic human, cannot afford to buy an unoccupied island in Scotland, the South Pacific, the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean, or anywhere. In fact, we are highlighting our first serious problem. A nation cannot just have paper currency, especially if a foreign currency like U.S. dollars. To have any chance of success, you need the real deal: gold. Others like silver could help. However, I have a solution to your mini-Fort Knox problem. You need money to buy an island, along with strong, stable financial reserves you control for your new nation. For that, you need gold.
Thar be gold!
Sitting at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, or more specifically, sitting right here, is a Japanese submarine holding some three short tons of pure gold bars. You are welcome. It is yours! A problem is it being internationally declared a war grave. However, you are trying to build a new nation, and under every great fortune, there is an underlying crime. At the time of this post, the dollar value of this booty is around £23 million pounds ($36 million dollars). This is more than enough to get your nation off the ground. Yet there is another impediment, for it is around 5,200 meters (17,000 feet) under water. Fear not! When there is a will, there is a way. Here is your shot! Go get it.
Once you have successfully acquired the booty, you can then sell some for cash. This cash is what you will use to buy your island and other startup costs. You may think of buying islands as expensive, but with all that cash you now have, you will find you have more than enough. For example, there was, recently, an unoccupied 766-acre island, already with an existing port, lodging, and other facilities including a post office – this is more than enough space to add your palace and an airstrip or heliport – on the market for only £2 million pounds ($3 million). If you had bought that island, you would still have over £20 million ($33 million) in gold. This is doable! You can find your island. Once a suitable island is acquired, you can then put your gold on your new island and prepare, later, for coining money, if you so choose, and other matters to get your state going.
You are trying to build a new nation, and under every great fortune, there is an underlying crime.
In addition, an important early goal is self-sufficiency. You cannot be wholly dependent on another nation when making your independence declaration. Some dependency is certainly unavoidable for a state of such a modest size, but you should strive for as much self-sufficiency as practicable. You are only one human, so you do not need a lot. You can use some of that startup cash to build some wind turbines, solar power stations, or whatever, to ensure enough domestic energy production for you to live comfortably, while powering any facilities on your island. Get some sheep, or buy tons of spam. If your island has no local fresh water, erect a system of capturing and storing rainwater.
You have gold and land, now on to leverage
The nations having the most influence on the international stage are nuclear powers. The bomb is the one thing that ensures humans will listen to you, even if you are kooky like North Korea. The Russians can run roughshod all over Ukraine largely because they are such a power. There is no doubt, having the bomb will ensure a tremendous negotiating position. It is critical to keep in mind that you cannot use the bomb, for it will be the end of you. The bomb is just leverage and nothing more. You need your new, thus far undeclared and unrecognized nation to be a nuclear power.
Becoming a nuclear power will surely be the most challenging aspect of your nation-building endeavor. To grease the wheels, I will point you in a direction to make this easier. Earlier, I told exactly where the gold is; now get this: there is a bomb just waiting for you to claim it! You will need luck, and luck alone is the deciding factor on how quickly you will achieve the nuclear power status. Why luck? Unlike the gold, I regret I cannot tell you exactly where the bomb is. However, I can get you in the right spot to begin your treasure hunt.
The Hydrogen Bomb
One of the major cities in the U.S. state of Georgia is Savannah. Near Savannah is Tybee Island. You will soon get very familiar with this island. The United States Air Force lost a 3,400 kg (7,600 pound) Mark 15 thermonuclear (hydrogen) bomb off the coast of this island. To this date, they still have not found it. It is there, somewhere, likely buried under mud. Fortunately, the water off the coastline is quite shallow. In addition to time and luck, you may need little else more than a rowboat and a snorkel. If luck is on your side, you might find this thing on your first try! Let us remain optimists.
Putting it all together
Take your H-Bomb to your new, now self-sufficient island. You have domestically produced power, water, food, and whatever else you did ensuring self-sufficiency. May as well place your bomb with all your gold in your mini-Fort Knox. You may now begin the process of becoming a recognized, sovereign nation! A good starting point is deciding upon a name, and then designing your iconography. You might consider hiring professionals to assist in this if you lack such marketing and design skills. Ensure you are presenting it as a warm, welcoming, harmonious place. You want humans to like you and support your push for nationhood. Once you have your name, public relations materials, and iconography including your flag, you may then formally declare your state as sovereign.
The nation that previously claimed your island will likely protest. You will have several options available to you, depending on who the prior claimant is. If a poorer, developing nation, you could tap into your gold reserves and try bribing local officials to let you go. If a democracy, you may choose the route of public referendum. Using your cash and marketing materials, you could sway public opinion to agree to letting you go. In the worst-case scenario, you could trot out your H-Bomb and use hyperbolic rhetoric that would make even the North Koreans blush. The critical objective here is to get the former claimant not only to let you go, but while doing so, also to formally recognize your nation as sovereign.
Politics is the reason this is a key step to international recognition. Noted earlier were all those declared nations that are not internationally recognized. The nation claiming its recognized sovereignty over the land declared independent carries the full weight of international law. Some states may choose to recognize and thus trade diplomatic missions with the declared state, but without full, international recognition, these states will forever remain in limbo, and certainly not gain membership to the United Nations. It is mandatory that you get the prior claimant of your island to agree to recognize it as sovereign. This instantly nulls any political complications for your new nation. All other nations may freely recognize your sovereignty without fear of offending the prior claimant. Once these dominos start falling, your new nation will eventually achieve full sovereignty, taking its seat at the United Nations and participating in other international affairs. You may open embassies where you like, and appoint yourself ambassador to the nation you prefer to live.
The best part is that your new state is unassailable. It is fully recognized, a member of the United Nations, and participates in international organizations. If you are so inclined, you can send yourself to the Olympics, and impress others with your tales of being an Olympian. None dare attack you, because your state is a nuclear power. Furthermore, owing to your nuclear status, when you have something to say, the world will listen. You could become a deal broker for international squabbles. The options before you are almost limitless.
A sovereign nation of one
As a sovereign nation consisting of only one human, you will eventually run into some problems. It would be good to prepare for them, especially if you choose not to actively reside in your nation. The first problem is one of money. Your gold will not last forever, so it is a good idea to consider ways to generate revenue for your national treasury. A few suggestions may include going the tax shelter route like the Cayman Islands, or perhaps going the casino route like Monaco. Again, you are only one person, so you making millions, however you choose to do it, will surely be more than enough.
You will need money, not only for yourself and for any palatial estates you erect around the world, but also to build, staff, and maintain embassies, offices, casinos, et cetera. You must hire staff to manage compliance with treaties or other international laws, and numerous other administrative needs of the state. Additionally, you will need to control for immigration. This means a policing force of some kind, and bureaucrats to manage these and other affairs. Furthermore, you cannot take your gold or bomb with you, especially if you are an ambassador or ex-patriate, so you will need security at your mini-Fort Knox. Regardless, you need revenue to live lavishly while administering a truly sovereign state in this modern world.
Your state will flourish
By following this guide, you will have your own internationally recognized nation in no time. Or, at least, however long it takes you to get that gold and find the bomb. It could be no time. It may be all time. If you have other ways in mind for how you might acquire tons of pure gold or acquire a nuclear bomb, by all means, follow your own path. Because I know of the precise location of only one pile of gold and know the general location of only one lost bomb, then only one individual can successfully use this guide completely. Nevertheless, now that it this out there, I expect to see a new nation emerge in the human world soon. Good luck. You will need it.