Upfront: Upfrontia

Categories:      Opinion    News & Politics
Wednesday, September 14th, 2011 at 9:00 AM
Upfront: Upfrontia by Cory Vaillancourt

So I'm starting my own island micro-nation and I was wondering if any of you Reader readers might like to be a part of it. There will only be enough room for a few hundred of you, so act quickly. As the font from whence this brilliant idea hath spurted forth, I declare myself King for Life, not to be confused with Upfront King of Internets 2011 King Jon Glick of Jefferson, Ohio. I will, however, agree to serve as a figurehead, wielding no actual executive, legislative, judicial or military authority.

Since that we have that minor detail out of the way, I am open to suggestions on form of government, laws, qualifications for residency, and even the name of our new island micro-nation. I was thinking ?The Most Serene and Badass Republic of Upfrontia? but I?m not married to that. Now, before you start hollerin? about Jean Jacques Rousseau, maritime law, and the UN, consider this: a few weeks ago, I saw a story in the New York Daily News about a billionaire who donated $1.25 million to the Seasteading Institute to foster the ?creation of libertarian, sovereign nations built on oil-rig-type platforms anchored in international waters and free from the laws and moral codes of any other country.?

Sounds legit, no? Except for that silly Libertarian part, because a Libertarian island micro-nation would end up as a cross between Gilligan?s Island and Lord of the Flies in no time; they?ll be fighting over a seashell and putting each other?s severed heads onto pikes after a few short months, you watch. No, ours will definitely not be a Libertarian island micro-nation. Ours will be better. I promise. I?ve done my research, and you might be surprised to learn that there have been a number of island micro-nations in existence over the years; the Seasteading Institute is not exactly a pioneer in the field of island micro-nation creation. Libertarian island micro-nation creation, yes. Island micro-nation creation, no.

The Principality of Sealand was founded by Englishman Roy Bates in 1967 on an abandoned British gun emplacement in the North Sea. Soon, the British Navy took notice; the dangerously insane Prince Roy responded to their curiosity by firing warning shots in their general direction. After being hauled into court, Prince Roy was released when that court found Great Britain could not exert jurisdiction over the Principality of Sealand. This 1968 courtroom victory codified their de facto sovereignty, which was again confirmed in 1978 when Sealand was invaded by a contingent of Dutch mercenaries working for a dastardly German businessman. Again, the dangerously insane Prince Roy, filled with a combination of rage and patriotism, repelled their invasion and took the invaders hostage. Germany and the Netherlands attempted to negotiate the release of their citizens from Sealand through Britain, who, citing the 1968 decision, stressed their lack of authority over Sealand. Eventually, in an ultimate act of recognition, Germany sent a diplomat to Sealand who was successful in gaining the last prisoner?s freedom. Yes, the dangerously insane Prince Roy is literally a royal badass and a merciful ruler as well, and he accomplished all of this without putting anyone?s heads on pikes. I like that about him. Maybe had I better stop calling him dangerously insane.  

Sealand teaches us two things: that diplomatic recognition can be achieved and having a military is a necessity so long as dastardly platform invaders still prowl the seas. In fact, two other island micro-nations, the Republic of Rose Island and the Republic of Minerva, also teach us about the benefits of a strong national defense. The Republic of Rose Island was founded in 1968 in the Adriatic Sea off Italy, who was apparently having none of that nonsense--the Italian navy blew it up shortly thereafter. The Republic of Minerva was threatened, and then annexed by Tonga. Seriously. Tonga. You know your island micro-nation sucks when Tonga bosses you around then takes your land.

That pretty much covers national defense and the path to nationhood. Now, let?s talk laws. I think we can all agree that the United States has too many--but we don?t want to have too few. We?ll include all the usual ones, like murder and whatnot, but there are a few I would like to see--open container, for one. This is where I need you to chime in with your ideas so I can start drafting that constitution. And, please be very clear in your suggestions so we can avoid those vague time-bombs our founding fathers left for us in the constitution--you remember that whole ?all men are created equal? thing, right? Turns out, they only meant white male landowners, and it took us almost 200 years to fix that, and we still haven?t gotten it completely right.

Here?s your chance to be a part of ?The Most Serene and Badass Republic of Upfrontia.? Drop me a line and let me know your suggestions on location, laws, flag, anthem, policy, international diplomacy, or any old thing that pops into your head. As a royal badass and a merciful ruler, I?ll even consider suggestions on a name, too; although I am starting to become rather attached to ?The Most Serene and Badass Republic of Upfrontia.? Hurry, before I put your head on a pike.

Cory Vaillancourt is a brilliant writer/complete hack and can be complimented/heckled at cVaillancourt@ErieReader.com.

Tags: upfrontia

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