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Legalize secession

If you want it done right, do it yourself.
(+4, -4)
  [vote for,

Government is a peculiar agreement. On the surface, it's a great deal; you pay the government, and in return they give you laws services. However, for some reason nobody can really explain, it's a deal you /must/ participate in. You can't opt out of government, or the IRS will get you. So, if you don't like the government, there's nothing you can do about it!

So, why doesn't some country legalize secession? It would work like this:

1) You and 50 of your friends sign a petition to start a new state made up of the area that the petitionees own.

2) You make all the laws in your state, and participate in a Congress-like conference made up off all of the states in the country, where the federal laws would be made. States' rights would probably be very well enforced at the conference.

3) When someone wants to join your state, they donate the land that /they/ own to your state. (Of course, since it's your state, you decide whether they can join.)

This wasn't possible in 1776, but today, it could probably done if the conference owns a really big computer to track land ownership.

So, if you want a samurai government, or an anarchy, or a Libertarian government, gather up some friends and head on down to the courthouse! It's a political experiment free-for-all!

ashibaka, Sep 08 2002

We seceded where others failed http://www.conchrepublic.com/history.htm
History teaches the fullness of nationalism is reached when one's country applies for foreign aid in Washington, DC. [reensure, Sep 08 2002]

Passport To Pimlico http://us.imdb.com/Title?0041737
Sort of relevant. Sort of. [calum, Sep 08 2002]

Micronations http://www.geocitie...rchive/patsilor.htm
I found this site whilst looking for info to back my anotation. [dare99, Sep 09 2002, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Pictish Free State http://www.buckyogi...footnotes/natpr.htm
Look for "Pictish Free State" [PeterSilly, Sep 09 2002, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Government Franchises http://www.halfbake...rnment_20Franchises
Similar idea [8th of 7, Sep 10 2002, last modified Oct 17 2004]

The Principality of Sealand. http://www.sealandgov.org/history.html
[StarChaser, Sep 11 2002, last modified Oct 17 2004]


       Why not? Because the country you are trying to secede from has a bigger army than you do, it's as simple as that.
DrCurry, Sep 08 2002

       Is, uh, ashibaka from Montana, perhaps?
globaltourniquet, Sep 08 2002

       DrC: I'm hypothesizing. Yeah, it currently can't be done, but what if the U.S. legalized it?   

       globalt: Nope :)
ashibaka, Sep 08 2002

       I think you mean it wasn't possible in 1861.   

       This idea doesn't make a lot of sense, by the way. Secession is as legal as suicide. In America, any body of people have a theoretical right to secede (Wilson's Principle of Self-Determination). But as DrCurry says, the men with guns don't like it, as in Timor eg. There is no EU protocol ("legality") for secession because, well, why would there be? It's like writing a 'in case of fatal runtime error' routine into a program.
General Washington, Sep 08 2002

       And J-Lo is on the dole.
General Washington, Sep 08 2002

       which pole? John Paul II? No wonder he's so shaky.
General Washington, Sep 08 2002

       No, I'm sorry, I've got to strongly disagree with this one. The main reason to do so is that the US is a democracy, where it is the people who count - or to be more specific - the majority of the people who count.   

       Sure, if a helluva lot of people want a different government, pick a representative and get everyone to vote for him. But if (as in your example), only 50 people want to adhere to different laws, there would be the possibility of forcing those laws on people who are not part of the 'elite' fifty.   

       In all, as the person who ripped his name from the first prez said, secession is as legal as suicide, you just need the numbers.
joker_of_the_deck, Sep 08 2002

       I seceded from the UK a few weeks back (Haven’t told ‘em yet!). Unfortunately there was a counter revolution and I am now a fascist dictatorship
dare99, Sep 08 2002

       I believe there's a bloke somewhere in Scotland who's declared his island the Free Pictish Republic or something. Personally, I'd quite like to have a wee word with him about being the Ambassador... embassy in Glasgow, diplomatic immunity and all that.   

       Actually, I'd rather secede completely and be the People's Independent Republic of Guy Fox. But I'd only end up oppressing myself, and then there'd be a revolution and it would all get just too complicated.
Guy Fox, Sep 08 2002

       If I recall, states were originally supposed to have a right to secede. Although I side with the north generally, I'm not sure of the legal grounds they had to prevent it. What I couldn't figure out about Bosnia / Serbia and that whole place: If somebody doesn't want to be part of your union and hates your guts, why keep them in?   

       I really think that it's the people's responsibility to revolt, every once in awhile, say every few hundred years, like cleaning the hard drive. But since we're a 'democracy,' I argue that it will happen much later than it should, and we'll end up worse off than an empire before we realize it. Governments get too much history to them, get bogged down, and slowly die like an old 386 SX with a fragged drive.
RayfordSteele, Sep 09 2002

       I read (in the Fortean Times) a while back, of an artist in Sweden (or possibly Norway), who built a large piece of art on the coast but didn't get planning permission.   

       When the government tried to get it removed he seceded to protect it and now ownership of the country is transferred between himself and a group of friends to protect him from effective legal action.   

       More recently he has had trouble as he has been deluged with calls from India and Africa regarding citizenship requests and banking opportunities to get cash in and out of Europe. I'll try to look up some specifics (like names!)
dare99, Sep 09 2002

       Guy Fox: It's called Sealandia, and it's a decommissioned oil rig. There is a royal family.   

       Rayford: You're right about the illegality of A. Lincoln's war. And he, after all, started it all off by bombing a city, in order to keep a semi-sovereign state under his hegemony. Exactly like Milosevic then. Only different.
General Washington, Sep 09 2002

       //However, for some reason nobody can really explain, it's a deal you /must/ participate in.

I dunno. John Stuart Mill, John Locke, Thomas Paine, David Hume, Jeremy Bentham, Lord Kames and Adam Fergusson (amongst many others) all provided fairly compelling reasons.

General Washington: Its actually an area of roughly 1000 acres near a place called Tote on Skye. It was declared such by a guy called Brian Robertson in 1977. He now calls himself "Robbie The Pict".
namaste, Sep 09 2002

       [GW] - Actually Sealandia is different. The Pictish Free State is an acre on the Isle of Skye. (see link).
PeterSilly, Sep 09 2002

       I am corrected.
General Washington, Sep 09 2002

       The U.S. was set up as a **Republic**, in significant measure because democracies in the past had inevitably collapsed when 51% of the population discovered they could gang up on the other 49%. Unfortunately, the passage of the Sixteenth Amendment (which did away with the requirement that a state's representation in the House was proportional to the total tax paid by its citizenry) and the Seventeenth Amendment (which removed states' check on federal efforts to erode their sovreignty) shifted the country significantly closer to being a democracy.   

       BTW, on a related note, the notion of 'one man one vote' sounds all very nice and egailitarian, except that most laws do not affect everyone equally. If more customers of a restaurant want it to allow smoking than want it to forbid it, why should it matter what the people who don't and wouldn't eat there think on the issue?
supercat, Sep 10 2002

       Democracy sucks.
globaltourniquet, Sep 11 2002

       The US is a democracy? Since when? Last time i looked, if you wanted any form of power, you needed to be:
- White
- Rich
- Christian
- Male
- and in support of the status quo.

       Switzerland. Now they have democracy.
sadie, Sep 12 2002

       Texas is the only state allowed to secede, that was one of their conditions on which they gained statehood.
BinaryCookies, Sep 12 2002

       Switzerland? Yes, it was nice of them to give women the vote back in 1971. Way ahead of their time they are, those Swiss.
Guy Fox, Sep 13 2002

       I hereby declare my room the People's Republic of me, declare it the HalfBakery Homeland, and secede from the union. I'll get straight to work on a customs department and printing my own money.
BinaryCookies, Sep 13 2002

       "if i lived in a perfect world I would spend my days lying in the sun the party never ends in a perfect world, if your life has hit the skids wave goodbye to the wife & kids I'm ready to move into a perfect world. Nacho cheese and anarchy boy that sure sounds good to me every kind of drug is free in the new america, shoot your pistol in the air celebrate a brand new year living leisurely in a perfect world. Everybody's drinking hams good by all you straight edge bands, sit around and get a tan in the new america. When I turn on my t.v. nothing but pornography no more rated "g" in a perfect world. Strung out hookers everywhere have a picnic feed the bears now nobody even cares in the new america. nothing in this worlds for free cause everything belongs to me no more green fees in a perfect world"
Gulherme, Sep 14 2002

       I suggest people consult Garry Wills' book on the Gettysburg Address. One of his contentions was that many states ratified the Constitution with the idea that they could unratify it if things didn't work out. Imagine their surprise when they found out they couldn't!
wgmcg, Sep 14 2002

       Seriously baked! This how countries already work. It is enforcing your agreement that is the trick. The United States and several other countries already allow you to do this even within their own borders. example: The SCA the largest model-country project in the world. http://www.sca.org/sca-intro.html Members even have the right to carry full length doubled-bladed weapons in public as long as they have their armor in their car.   

       Recommended reading: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&q=loompanics+how+to+start+your+own+&btnG=Google+Search   

       Sorry, go fish!
Around TUIT, Aug 13 2004


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