Big Ideas Need Small Places

Who wants to run a micronation?


The desert republic of Molossia doesn't appear on many maps, and it doesn't have a seat in the United Nations. But if you drive about 18 miles northeast from Carson City, Nevada, you'll find it. It's not right there on the highway—you need to take a left at Lafond Avenue. Then there's another left at Wagon Wheel Way, and then you take a right on Mary Lane. "The Republic of Molossia is at number 226, just up on the right," report the authors of Micronations: The Lonely Planet Guide to Home-Made Nations. "Make sure they're expecting you; don't just show up."

Read the rest of this article at The American Conservative.

NEXT: Genetic Mistake

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  1. We’re still working on reliable communications, but a small portion of my temporal lobe has declared independence from the United States of America, and I — in the absence of other candidates for the position — will be acting as the head of its diplomatic corps on a pro tempore basis. I, therefore, hereby declare the free and sovereign nation of Hippocampia to be the world’s first “nanonation.”

  2. Well, there was Waveland on Rockall, but I can understand why you skipped that one.

    For general reference, Wikipedia:Category:Micronations

  3. Ha! You forgot the “libertarian utopia” of Minerva! (Of course, that’s probably due to the fact that it’s defunct. Stupid Tongans!)

  4. Rimfax: I mostly limited myself to the micronations mentioned in the book. There are plenty of others, including at least one more (the Artists’ Republic of Fremont) that I’ve visited.

  5. If you want to visit Hippocampia, you’ll need at least a drill and a pair of very, very clean shoes.

    I hope you’ll choose not to visit Hippocampia.

  6. What happens in Hippocampia, stays in Hippocampia (and in declarative memory).

    Hippocampia is for lovers (of spatial memory).

  7. Nation States used to be a great game for micronation-simulation. Long Live the Republic of The Land Pirates! (If it hasn’t been cleared for non-use.)

    The site is timing out, so I can’t tell if it is still up and running, but I spent a long time playing while I was at school a few years ago. Never read the book.

  8. What ever happened to the bar in England that wanted to become a part of some small island nation (population 1, I think) so that it could sell beer? I recall that the island nation was actually recognized by the UK as a nation.

  9. charming, tongue-in-cheek projects like Molossia

    One man’s “charming” is another’s “unhinged”…

  10. Dangerman,

    I played on NationStates for a while, too, and I did read the book. It annoyed me. The premise was that in the future, privatization had made it so that everyone stayed within one company their whole life, and that company provided everything they needed (including your surname). So if you worked at McDonald’s, you’d be named Dangerman McDonald’s, and your kids would be educated at a McDonald’s school, etc., etc. No realistic explanation of how this had come to be was offered, aside from some Dan T.-esque hand-waving about lack of choices.

    The titular protagonist was a heroic government agent (Jennifer Government) who wished and wished that the tiny, nigh-powerless government had more power and funding to deal with all the Big Evil Guys. If I remember right, it was pretty much a big ol’ “The government would solve all our problems if we just gave it all the money it asks for” screed.

    The author’s failure to grasp such inscrutable business concepts like “competition” and “return on investment” kept jarring me out of the book every page or two.

  11. Oh yeah, I forgot about “Jennifer Government” and the related game. It was a pretty entertaining book, actually, though certainly not philosophically airtight.

  12. I can proclaim that I own the moon, or that I am the emperor of my backyard but if I cannot defend my claims against trespassers then the claims are meaningless. But wait until we enter the matrix. As people spend increasing amount of time in virtual realities, nations will become less important. The end of the struggle to posses resources that are limited will cause eliminate macro and micro nations.

    Get ready.

  13. | November 29, 2007, 12:09pm | #
    What ever happened to the bar in England that wanted to become a part of some small island nation (population 1, I think) so that it could sell beer? I recall that the island nation was actually recognized by the UK as a nation.

    The bar is an embassy of Redonda.

  14. The future isn’t in micro-nations with micro-populations. The future is in non-geographically based nations with large populations.

    With the Internet, why does everyone who lives in the same geographical area need to live under the same government? Let people REALLY vote every two years, and choose which government they belong to.

    People can have different credit card companies, different banks, different health care providers, and different insurance companies — why not different governments?

    Let everyone who votes for Hillary live under her rule. Let those who prefer Giuliani join his country. Let those who want smaller government and sound currency join the Ron Paul nation.

  15. The wing and a fine time.

    Listening to the
    sound of a delicate
    hovel, and recalling
    a wonder, I see
    magic profiles near
    the heart of a
    luminous pine-tree;
    the wind fades
    away, the care of
    a blackbird describes
    and emotion and
    always, in silence,
    your beautiful mind
    returns in the sky.

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