Virtual Nations

The micronations of the Somali diaspora


Good read of the day: "The Somali Potentates of Suburbia," an Awl piece about the various secessionist paper states that supposedly exist in Somalia and are actually run from abroad. A quick excerpt:

Zscout370 / wikimedia

Awdal State wasn't declaring independence from Somalia. It was declaring independence from Somaliland, a secessionist movement that'd declared its independence from Somalia two decades prior. And the Awdalites didn't want their own independence. They wanted autonomy (including their own president) within Somalia. And when I say "Awdalites," I don't actually mean people in Awdal. The hall with all those awkward dancers was in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The government election later that year took place in London. And the president they wound up electing was a middle-aged dude living permanently in Ottawa, whose day job was stuffing flyers into a local paper.

To read the rest, go here. For more on Somalia, go here, and for more on paper nations, go here.

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  1. Sooo … a bunch of wanna-be mafiosas (ooops, I mean government officials)?

    1. The only difference between a government and a mafia is scale.

      1. Badges. The mafia hates badges and uses them only when absolutely necessary. The government loves badges and only foregoes them when absolutely necessary.

  2. Somalia is what all deregulation or (god forbid) anarchism will turn into. Meanwhile socialism will turn out totally different than all the other attempts because we’re smarter than they were.

  3. Do they have a flag?

    No flag, no country.

    1. See above, they apparently have a flag.

        1. Yes, I am familiar.

          I am pointing out it doesn’t apply in this case.

          1. It’s good to know that you still enjoy being the crusty sock.

  4. I do wonder why people continue to want countries to correspond with specific geographic regions?

    I can’t think of any reason that needs to be the case.

    1. The only reason I can see is to avoid legal discontinuities. It’s nice to know what the rules are without having them change at every property boundary. And I say that as an anarchist. The only fundamental rule is self-ownership, with property and non-aggression easily derived from that, but it means that property can set their own rules, such as “you must deposit $5 in the box by the gate before you come on to my property”. But this requires clear demarcation of the property boundary and of the rules, and has to allow for those who can’t read (kids, foreigners) or recognize your signs (the blind). I can see an argument for a geographical government setting up policies for those occasions, but not much else.

  5. Jesse’s got the best job in the world, or at least at Reason. Finding all these crazy corners of literature, music, events, and … stuff …. and writing about it.

    If we were paying writers for articles, I’d subscribe to Jesse’s stuff sight unseen.

  6. Somaliland can’t have seceded from Somallia, because at the time Somaliland was established, there was no Somali state; the former government of Somalia had dissolved without leaving a sucessor, and Somalia was no more than a geographic expression. Would you say that the Boers who established the Orange Free State were “seceding” from Africa? Or that Israel was “seceding” from Palestine?

    1. Well, see, now that’s the sort of disagreement that leads to ambiguity, or vice versa. Consider the current claim of the Dominion of West Fla., for instance.

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