23rd out of 91 books — 80 voters
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How to Start Your Own Country
Can you really start your own country? Erwin Strauss shows you five different methods for doing just that, as well as everything you need to know about sovereignty, national defense, diplomacy, raising revenue and recruiting settlers. Includes dozens of new-country success stories. Why settle for being king of your castle when you can be king of your own country?
Paperback, 170 pages
Published January 1st 1999 by Paladin P.,U.S.
(first published January 1984)
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(showing 1-30 of 205)
Law, including the law of nations, rests on very practical grounds. How do you start your own country? Find a geographic area no one cares about (like an abandoned sea platform). Live off the grid. Mint money, make stamps, draft proclamations. Don't wait for anyone to recognize you -- you have to take nationhood. An enjoyable book mainly for its novelty value and history of micro-nations. But also a useful reminder that every sovereign state begins as a state of mind.
A fantastic passage: "The details of obtaining and deploying weapons of mass detruction are beyond the scope of this book. They are covered in my book _Basement Nukes_ and the United States government publication _Superviolence_.... Such weapons should be planted in likely target areas for remote detonation, as well as stocked in the new country and its immediate vicinity and other locations throughout the world where they will be difficult for enemies to locate, but available in case of need."
I found out about this book from Cecil Adams (the Straight Dope). The concept is a good idea, but the book was sort of disappointing. Strauss' writing is wry at times, but he doesn't give much insightful or practical advice that you couldn't have deduced on your own. His gratuitous cross referencing becomes grating after a while: it feels like a quarter of the word count of this book is taken up by headings like "ANACHRONISM, SOCIETY FOR CREATIVE - see CREATIVE ANACHRONISM, SOCIETY FOR."
It's a real How-To book, but I read it for fun and writing research. As a kid I always wondered how countries got started and why people don't just start their own countries if they don't like the one they're in. Now I know. Other countries won't take you seriously unless you can either a) make them lots of money or b) have the know how to blow them off the map.