Review: How to start your own country (Erwin S. Strauss)

How to Start Your Own Country – Erwin S. Strauss free ebook download pdf


Its a short easily read book about how to start ur own country. IMO the theoretical chapters wer the most interesting, altho som of the case studies wer interesting as well. i got interested in the topic after having heard about Sealand, and after seeing this TED talk:

3D-printing plays along extremely well with floating countries, since manufactoring items usually require large factories. this is now no longer needed as one can just print whatever is needed. bitcoins makes it possible to trade over the internet. and the internet makes it possible to work over the internet. this makes it possible to hav a floating city that is self-sustaining economically without having to rely on gambling, drug trade, tax-evasion companies, pirate radio etc. to make money. altho these are promising areas as well. especially the area of inventions and online entrepreneurship is an easy area – all one needs to do is get fast internet connections (via satelite to begin with, perhaps, or via airborne drones?), and then dont hav any patent or copyright laws.



The requirements for a new country to be considered to have

achieved the traditional status of a sovereign nation are con­

ventionally thought of in terms of such things as membership in

the United Nations, exchange of ambassadors with other sovereign

nations, acceptance of its passports at international boundaries,

and so on. Actually, few nations completely achieve these goals.

Many nations (Switzerland, for example) are not members of the

United Nations. And for any given country, there are a number of

others that, for one reason or another, do not choose to recognize

it. But a nation that achieves a certain level of these tokens of

recognition is generally regarded as having achieved traditional

sovereignty. At any time, there are usually some entities that are

borderline cases. For example, as of this writing the Republic of

South Africa has declared that certain areas that were hitherto

parts of the republic are now independent sovereign nations

(Transkei, Bophuthatswana and Venda). However, no country

besides South Africa has yet recognized them as such, and the

status of persons holding passports from these nations is unclear.

Their principal source of income appears to be the operation of

gambling resorts in the parts of their territories closest to major

South African cities (gambling is prohibited in the Republic of

South Africa). By the way, this sort of activity shouldn’t be

overlooked as a source of income for any new country.


I looked up the info about Switzerland. it was true when the author wrote this.

On September 10, 2002, Switzerland became a full member of the United Nations, after a referendum supporting full membership won in a close vote six months earlier; Swiss voters had rejected membership by a 3-to-1 margin in 1986. The 2002 vote made Switzerland the first country to join based on a popular vote.



The key requirement for sovereignty is that the country must

have some territory that it calls its own, and hold on to it against

all comers. Traveling potentates may well have what is called

“extraterritorial status,” meaning that whatever premises they

occupy are, for the duration of their occupation, the sovereign

territory of their country. This is certainly convenient. However,

the country through which the potentates are traveling must agree

to this status, and such agreement is rarely forthcoming unless a

potentate’s government holds some territory of its own some­

where. One class of exceptions are the embassies of the Baltic

countries (Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia) in the United States.

The United States has never recognized the annexation of these

countries by the Soviet Union during World War II. The

ambassadors from those lands who were accredited to the

government in Washington at the time of the annexation continue

to be recognized as such, since no competent authority (competent

in the eyes of the United States, that is) has relieved them of their

position. Whatever premises they occupy are the (only) sovereign

territory of these nations. But this status is based on the home

governments having held their own territory prior to World War

II. Thus the precedent they set is of little use to the new-country

organizer, whose country has never held any territory of its own.


interesting, altho not the case anymore, since the USSR has collapsed.



The subclass of international territory covers much of the

seabed (although individual countries are always expanding their

claims to territorial waters, shrinking the international area of the

deep oceans), outer space, and a part of Antarctica. Speaking of

Antarctica, it is a popular misconception that the Antarctic treaty

signed in the 1950’s made all of Antarctica an international zone.

All of the countries who had previously made claims on the

continent merely agreed to hold them in abeyance until the end of

the century, making no further claims and not attempting to

implement existing ones. But for the next century, they have

reserved the right to resume the prosecution of their claims. They

agreed to the treaty essentially because they realized that their

claims would have little practical value until then, and that there

was no sense wasting a lot of time and energy pressing claims until

then, as long as it could be assured that nobody else would use the

hiatus to steal a march on them.


i wonder what happened.



Another temptation is to declare that all settlers will participate

in making decisions about how the new country is to be run.

This approach may recruit a large number of people, but tends to

attract lots of chiefs and few Indians. The people spend all their

time and energy in debating every little point of policy, rather than

in establishing the businesses and other institutions that are to be

the backbone of the new country. Such groups sometimes compare

themselves to the citizens of ancient Athens. But it should be kept

in mind that only a minority of the people of Athens were actually

citizens. While they debated the great issues, their slaves and other

non-citizens took care of the day-to-day business of making the

community work. In turn, the citizens’ common interest in

maintaining their privileged position vis-a-vis the others acted as

an incentive to reduce the factionalism into which such participa­

tory decision-making institutions are prone to degenerate.

great expression! many chiefs and few indians :D



So far we have looked mainly at the problems involved in

getting a new country started and running smoothly. But what

then? What can you look forward to for your children, and your

children’s children? Can you expect them to carry on the work you

have started? Or will the world change so much that your efforts

become meaningless?


Human history changed dramatically when agriculture was

invented. The minority of the people that could be freed from

immediate food production found that the most profitable

investment for this new-found leisure was the conquest of other

people, and control of their agricultural surplus. This has been the

pattern for the past 10,000 years: conquer and tax, tax and

conquer some more. However, in the industrial age war has

become so costly, even for the victors, that the opportunities are

limited for conquest that can produce enough pelf to pay off the

costs involved and finance the next wave of conquest. As weapons

of mass destruction get cheaper, the costs of war to the “victor”

will spiral even higher.


But one shouldn’t be too complacent that this will mean a world

in which nation lives with nation in peace and harmony. The

resulting peace may well be the peace of the grave. In the coming

centuries, it will likely be possible to build doomsday machines

that can destroy all life on Earth. For example, a small rocket

motor on an asteroid a few miles in diameter could change the

planetoid’s orbit just enough to hit the Earth, and effectively

homogenize the outer few miles of the Earth’s crust. From an

astronomical point of view, this might be a minor event. But for

the sentient life on Earth, it could be essentially equivalent to

atomizing the entire planet.


Once such means of destruction become generally available, it

can only be a matter of time until some individual or group is faced

with the collapse of their position — an Adolf Hitler, an Idi Amin,

a terrorist group like the IRA or PLO, or even a business firm.

People in such positions commonly contemplate suicide. Com­

pared to this, threatening to play the role of Samson in the Temple

if the world does not accede to their demands seems eminently

reasonable, if the means are available. The first few people trying

this can be appeased. But eventually the demands from such

blackmailers will become too numerous, too large, and too

contradictory to be completely satisfied. Many desperate people

committing suicide have tried to take as many people with them as

possible. As the weapons available to them increase in power, it

can only be a matter of time before they are able to fulfill their

ambitions of bringing the whole world down with them.


If humankind is to survive, I see no alternative to expanding

outward into space. And this doesn’t mean just settling on other

planets and moons. They will be just as vulnerable to doomsday

weapons as the Earth, and there aren’t enough of them to insure

that some will survive an Armageddon. Only a large number of

communities well dispersed in the volume of space seems likely to

have a chance to escape the fury of a frustrated blackmailer or a

suicidal grudge holder. Such people will be able to destroy a few

communities, just as today terrorists can fairly easily destroy an

airplane with hundreds of people aboard. Such an act is a disaster

for those on the plane, and is hardly cause for celebration by their

friends and relatives and other supporters of the things they stood

for. But the human race survives. The continuity of the cultures of

the world is not broken.


he is right about this. we see the beginnings with 3D-printed weapons. that will becom possible soon. thus making gun control laws rather moot. after that, mor powerful weapons will be able to be made, explosivs cant be too far off in the future.


it is easier to destroy than to create, and as the power of technology inevitable rises, this will becom a larger and larger threat if humanity is populated densly.




During the American Civil War, the county of Callaway in the

state of Missouri sympathized with the Confederacy, but was

facing occupation by an overwhelming Union force. Col. Jefferson

Jones mounted an impressive display of force, complete with a

dummy cannon of wood painted black. Unaware that Jones had

only 300 old men and boys, Union Gen. John B. Henderson signed

a mutual non-aggression treaty with Callaway, which then became

known as the Kingdom of Callaway. Of course, as soon as the

Union decided it was time to move into the area, the treaty meant

nothing. This reinforces Machiavelli’s dictum, “Put not your faith

in Princes” — nor in their scraps of paper.


tru story




This is a mouse-that-roared operation on Key West in Florida.

Because of the high incidence of illegal immigration and drug

smuggling into the United States in that area, a roadblock was set

up in April of 1982. This caused a 19-mile-long traffic jam, and

incensed the local tourist industry. On April 23, 1982, they

declared themselves to be the Conch (pronounced “konk”)

Republic. A silver commemorative medal was produced, and the

first anniversary of independence was celebrated by a Festival

Weekend. Conch shells were sent out to the media to promote the

event. The spokesman seems to be George Tregaskis, of Key West

FL 33040.


very funny! continues to this day!




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