first published in 2012 by Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technology
Does your vote really count? Is your bio-region dominated by a far-away demographic? Is your community powerless? Is progress in your city halted by small-brained conservative dinosaurs hundreds of miles away?
If your answer is Yes Yes Yes Yes it’s time to Fracture Your Nation. Break it up into little chunks, smaller sizes where the populace shares common goals.
Today there’s approximately 195 nations on Earth. Many are monstrously huge with clashing incompatible creeds, codes, and visions. Instead of marching in solidarity into the future, these dysfunctional polyglot empires devote enormous hours and income to assuaging the public unrest.
What if every society that wanted autonomy successfully… broke away? Would the world become an enhanced place to inhabit if the 195 nations shattered like glass into multiple specks, perhaps 2,000 city-states, independent islands, loose agreeable units of citizenry in free tribes and joyful federations?
Separatists think so. Scores of secessionist movements are fuming today, some peacefully, others violently.
Is this a transhumanist topic? Yes, because H+ is divided on both its value and it’s likeliness. Out of 818 respondents who took the Terasem Survey, 41.8% anticipated “One World Government” in the future, 20.1% envisioned “Abolition of Government,” 15.5% predicted “Thousands of Small Fractured States.”
I vote for the latter, because I support local, decentralized civic management, with every person sufficiently empowered. To arrive there peacefully the Empire-States need to gradually crumble, like blue cheese, sub-dividing into increasingly miniscule units of governance.
Think I’m dreaming? Think separatism is unlikely? You’re wrong, just note events in contemporary history. Singapore freed itself from Malaysia, USSR splintered in dissolution, Yugoslavia dismembered itself, South Sudan wrestled away from northern domination, Timor escaped Indonesia… Dozens of other separatist ideas have also been hatched, schemed, campaigned for, plotted, derailed, suppressed, etc.
I have provided a general overview below from each continent, starting with North America. If I missed any significant movement, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll immediately add your item to the list.
CANADA — This massive, cold, sparsely populated nation could easily be cracked into segments, like a frozen pie.
In Quebec, the 80% of inhabitants with French language, culture, and cuisine have bickered for liberation for decades. In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s the Front de liberation du Quebec engaged in 160 violent acts; today’s Parti Quebecois is more diplomatic, but still avidly secessionist, and their leader is the province’s Premier.
British Columbia has collaborated with the USA states of Oregon and Washington to create an immense bioregion called “Cascadia.”
The prairie states of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba are frequently itchy. In July 2005 a poll by Western Standard reported that 35.6% of residents thought “Western Canadians should begin to explore the idea of forming their own country.”
Newfoundland enjoyed self-governance previous to 1949 as their own Dominion; the decision to join Canada only passed by a narrow 52%-48% margin. The subsequent union is often strained because “Newfies” see themselves as underrepresented in Ottawa. Another option is to go rogue with Quebec, with Labrador also also conjoined.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA — Fifty stars for fifty separate lands?
Should the fifty states of the USA separate into half-a-hundred distinct countries, as radical states-rights advocates suggest? No, not really. A superior digit would be 56, if freedom and fairness was also provided to Puerto Rico, Guam, Virgin Islands, Mariana Islands, American Samoa, and Washington D.C. — the latter has no Senate or Congressional representation.
Who wants to escape the Union the most?
Texas — the Lone Star State has a big enough area, population, income and ego to make it on it’s own. Independent from 1836–1845, it already seceded once, in 1861, joining the Confederacy. In 2009 Governor Rick Perry made secessionist remarks that came back to haunt him in his 2012 Presidential bid. His views aren’t aberrant; a Research 2000 poll reported that 48% of Texas Republicans thought “it would be better for Texas if the state was an independent nation.”
California — The Golden State would be the world’s 8th largest economy if it separated today. Paul Saffo notes that even an autonomous San Francisco Bay Area would rank #25. Subdividing further is likely — in 2011 thirteen officials from largely conservative southern counties advanced a proposal to break away from the liberal north.
Alaska — This immense northern land mass, detached from the bulk of the USA, has an Alaskan Independence Party with many members promoting breaking away from the bulk of the union entirely, like a calving glacier. Founding father Joe Vogler has said, “I’m an Alaskan, not an American. I’ve got no use for America or her damned institutions.” The gargantuan resource-rich land with less than 1 million inhabitants would fare well economically, if freed.
Washington and Oregon — Separatists here seek to form a nation called “Cascadia” — which would also include British Columbia. If successful, it would be the 20th largest nation in the world. Shred interests in Cascadia include environmentalism and concern for human rights.
Hawaii — The languid archipelago has sovereignty movements that seek independent status for either all inhabitants of for just those with native pOlynesian ancestry. Tourism — 8 million visitors per year — would buoy its future success.
Vermont — In 2003 Thomas Naylor, author of Downsizing the Nation, launched a secessionist movement called the Second Vermont Republic. The group employs a “Vermont Manifesto” and the resurrected flag of the Green Mountain Boys. A 2007 poll indicated that 13% of Vermonters favored its objectives. In 2008 Naylor published Secession: How Vermont and All the Other States Can Save Themselves from the Empire. The organization is left-wing and anti-war.
New Hampshire — The state legislature of the “Live Free Or Die” state defined conditions for secession in 2009. The “Free State Project” has also been praised and upheld as a role model by Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson.
Arizona — This “Sagebrush Rebellion” has multiple grudges with D.C.; two issues are immigration policy and control of natural resources.
Colorado — You can buy bumper stickers or wall decals for CO liberation, or enjoy the Rocky Mountain’s WESECEDE Facebook page.
South Carolina — A group called the Third Palmetto Republic favors SC independence, subscribing to Thomas Jefferson’s beliefs in state’s rights.
All The Southern States — The “League of the South” — headquartered in Alabama — seeks accomplishment where the Civil War failed. Composed of former Confederate states, it advocates a Christian conservative culture.
Oklahoma — There’s little love for D.C. in OK. One commenter at a secession website notes that the region contains, “oil and farmland abundant… morals, values, and… more registered guns than people.”
Missouri — State Senator Brian Nieves, a Tea Partyist, proposed the SJR45 measure last spring. The bill mandated that federal laws be disobeyed if they promoted a host of regarded-as-too-progressive measures.
Kansas — Resembles Missouri in its deep distaste for D.C. and reluctance to follow federal rules. One hub of dissent is a blogger at Curmudgeon’s Cave.
New Mexico — In 2000, Charles Truxillo, a University of New Mexico professor, stated that his region would “break away from the USA in 80 years.” He proposed “Republica del Norte” as a name for the forecasted nation. His reasoning was based on projections of a future majority Hispanic population.
Republic of Lakota — This proposed homeland for the Lakota (Sioux) seeks to reinstate the boundaries agreed upon at the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie. A chief leader of the movement, Russell Means, passed away last week after a long double career as both AIM activist and film actor.
Puerto Rico — Multiple political parties espouse independence for this island which has ben an “unincorporated territory” i.e., colony, of the USA since 1898. Puerto Ricans are voting on their future status on November 4th.
LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN
Chiapas — Zapatista rebels declared that highland parts of this southernmost Mexican state were an “autonomous zone” in early 1994. the long-running conflict is primarily about marginalization of indigenous people, who struggle to survive as subsistence farmers in this resource-rich area.
Guanacaste — This northwestern province of Costa Rica once belonged to Nicaragua, before it was annexed by CR in 1824. The region is environmentally rich and a prime tourist and agricultural area, with an international airport in Liberia. The Guanacaste Independence Party promotes its ambitions.
Moskito Coast — The native people of Nicaragua’s Atlantic coast have long pushed for autonomy. In 2009, the council of elders of the self-proclaimed “Communitarian Nation of Moskitia” officially declared their secession, backed up by their Indigenous Army of Moskitia, composed of 400 soldiers.
Martinique — This “possession” of France has an independence movement that seeks liberation from the last-gasping colonial empire.
St. Kitts and Nevis — A nation composed of two islands, with a constitution that states that the smaller isle (Nevis) can secede if its electorate chooses.
Montserrat — This minuscule volcano-stricken isle is an “overseas territory” of the United Kingdom. In 1997, the capital was evacuated when the Soufriere hills exploded with lava. WIth only 5,000 inhabitants, independence will probably remain dormant.
Greenland — The massive, frozen-but-slowly-melting island is still largely controlled by Denmark. Independence will be granted when the 60,000 Greenlanders can afford it. Mining has recently yielded riches in diamonds, gold, titanium and other elements that might secure the region’s freedom in the future.