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FROM TIME to time, people complain that they could do a better job of running things than the incumbent politicos. And, for a select few, they do just that. These people set up their own micronations.
MicroCon 2015 took place yesterday, April 11, 2015, in Anaheim, California. Announced as “A Meeting of the Denizens of the Micronational World,” the conference had 24 nations represented.
I’ve never heard of any of these countries before and, indeed, perhaps at least one (the Provisional Territories of F.A.R.T.) traces its sovereignty to a strange sense of humor.
MicroCon 2015’s main event offered attendees opportunity to share 10 – 15-minute presentations on their respective micronations. (I don’t envy the moderator’s task of keeping things on schedule.)
A semi-formal ball, the MicroCon Cotillion, was also held. Noted the invitation, “…if an attendee wears a dress uniform as part of his (or her) office, that would be the best attire for the evening.”
SimanaitisSays.com has long been at the forefront of the micronational scene. Back on October 25, 2012, I reported on the passing of Prince Roy of Sealand, a micronation off the English coast. The SimanaitisSays.com archives also contain a response from a competing Sealand government in exile.
A standard work on the subject is Micro Nations: The Lonely Planet Guide to Home-Made Nations, published in 2006. Indeed, there’s a more recent book, La reconnaissance des micro-nations. One must read français, however, or be really adept at Google Translate.
Hoffmann’s book begins by citing novelist André Malraux, who wrote, “Être roi est idiot, ce qui compte c’est de faire un royaume.” (“To be king is silly, what matters is to make a kingdom.”)
And, indeed, to one extent or another, the 24 micronations represented at MicroCon 2015 have met Malraux’s criterion.
Travis McHenry is His Royal Highness the Grand Duke of Westarctica. It’s likely the largest micronation in the world, because Westarctica is 620,000 frozen sq. miles of Antarctica that no one else has bothered to claim. None of the Grand Duke’s 299 subjects live there; indeed, no one does.
Kevin Baugh rules the Republic of Molossia, 1.3 acres east of Reno, Nevada. He’s also the guiding light of MicroCon 2015. Of the country’s 27 citizens, only Baugh, his wife and three kids actually live there. According to the Orange County Register, April 11, 2015, Molossia “issues passports, has its own railroad, phone system, bank, post office and general store. Phone ahead, and the president himself will take you on a tour.”
There aren’t many countries in the world with such touristic accommodation. ds
© Dennis Simanaitis, SimanaitisSays.com, 2015