Tinyism wants a world of 10,000 micro-states (interview with the founder)

Tinyism (also called Tinism) is a political ideology that wants to fracture today’s large nations into thousands, or tens of thousands, of microstates. The movement is in its larval stage — its subreddit has only 83 followers — but it is gathering momentum recently, with writers like Jared A. Brock endorsing its viewpoint.

image by JonahF2014

Tinyism supports secession movements, of course. Its proponents believe democracy would be greatly enhanced via tinyism, and local cultures would be preserved.

To find out more about Tinyism, I interviewed its founder, a resident of Germany, who prefers to only be known by his online name of JonahF2014.

Hank Pellissier: Is Tinyism related to any other ism? Urbism, Localism, Anarchism, etc? Can you explain the relationship?

JonahF2014: Tinyism is very similar, almost the same, as Urbism. The main difference is that it’s more fleshed out, politically neutral, and has better marketing so to say (name, flag, colors, internet presence, etc.). Localism is the root of Tinyism, not the same but very very related indeed. Tinyism is inherently a form on extreme Localism; Localism is not Tinyism however.

Anarchism too, is a big inspiration for Tinyism. The only difference being that in Anarchism there exist no nation-states, them being replaced with loosely defined and unstable commune governments whereas Tinyism aims to (for the most part) preserve this polity. Both also aim to create confederations/unions for cooperation between said polities.

Hank Pellissier: How will ‘tiny nations’ protect themselves from larger nations?

JonahF2014: In an ideal world “larger nations” wouldn’t exist, however it’s obvious that this process is gradual and will take it’s time, until then it’s important that the largest and most imperialist great powers such as China, Russia, the USA, and France, go first. Generally however it has been shown that, at least most, tiny states can prosper even in the current nation-state arrangement due to bigger states simply not caring, especially if said small states conform to the current global order. Examples that come to mind are the European micro-states (San Marino, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Andorra) and Singapore, as well as Hong Kong and Macao to an extend (so far).

China divided into “tinier” states due to language preference; image by King-Bun Hong

Hank Pellissier: Will Tinyist micro-nations band together in large unions for multiplicity of military power?

JonahF2014: Yes, cooperation is important. In most circumstances unions would form around cultural, ethnic, linguistic, geographical, or political lines, these unions then could range from anything between a military alliance to something similar to the European Union.

Hank Pellissier: Will dozens adopt identical currency and open their borders to each other (like the EU) to achieve economic power?

JonahF2014: The economy should, as I especially believe, never be at the forefront of your goals but instead the well-being of the population. But yes, many unions would likely adopt a single currency and perhaps even market. Open borders would likely be the norm for most states no matter if they are in the same union or not, enforcing borders at such a level is impractical and sometimes unsustainable, I thus believe that free travel of people should be extremely easy and go with little to no border checks or entry limitations. This is in no way inherent however, if a state wishes to enforce its borders, it’s in their right to do so.

Hank Pellissier: Will Tinyism bring back ancient traditions, languages, holidays, and cuisines, so 1,000+ nations can each have a separate unique identity?

JonahF2014: Reviving the old, especially the ancient, is a near impossible task, it’s well possible that some old traditions may resurface but I see it more likely that the current evolves into something unique. Ask yourself, what is culture? Is there such a thing as western culture? No, obviously not, there are hundreds of different kinds of people in the “West”, then is there, say German culture? No, sure the people start sharing more commonalities but a Bavarian is still vastly different from someone in Schleswig. The more local you go the more “culture” there is, every city, every district, every village, already has a unique culture and traditions that exist no where else. Logically, removing the false sense of belonging to an overarching group imposed upon us by our current states would eliminate aspects that prevent local cultures from thriving and eventually forming into a thousand unique cultures. Even if this is somehow prevented, what’s the harm in having multiple states with a similar identity?

moderate Tinyism in Europe; image by burritoburkito6
extreme Tinyism in Hamburg, Germany

Hank Pellissier: Will tiny nations have far less racial and religious diversity because people will want to live with “others just like them”?

JonahF2014: It really depends on where you are, how you organize the states, and what you’re aiming for. The USA for example has a huge black and Hispanic population that is spread all around the country, not to mention that the USA (and other post-colonial states), as a nation of Immigrants is inherently diverse, so logically they would also be in almost every Tinyist state. More homogeneous places such as Africa, Asia, and Europe, would most likely and logically remain so. Immigration would still however exist and it’s possible that this can both diversify and reverse diversification if said minority wishes to leave. In the end it really depends on a lot of factors that can/will happen in your area. Important however is that we may never deport people due to their backgrounds, if people wish to come it’s up to them and the state, if people wish to leave it’s exclusively up to them, no one may ever be forced out of their home.

Hank Pellissier: Will the chances of war increase, if the number of nations is 10X more? if not, why not?

JonahF2014: Theoretically possible but unlikely. Current “tiny” states are, like the rest of the world, insanely peaceful on a global level. Many of them don’t even maintain a military, and due to the costs of doing so I feel it unlikely that quite a few Tinyist nations would, either. Also, attacking a state in your union or a different union would not lead to a small skirmish but either a huge war that could lose you half your population or you being attacked from both sides, and all that over a tiny piece of land. That’s a huge discouraging factor. Organization(s) similar to the current UN would also help prevent conflict.

Hank Pellissier: At what number of nations do you think the secessionism of Tinyism will halt? 1,000? 5,000? What is the ideal population?

Tinyism in India; image by iziyan (redditor)

JonahF2014: There are enough states when every group of people who consider themselves a nation and want to secede has one. When everyone is satisfied, and all nations are small enough to be well governed but also big enough to be sustainable. The ideal population again, depends on circumstance. Your village with 100 people who all know each other would be an amazing direct democracy or commune, but will you have open borders? Because you will need them or everyone will be looking like the Hapsburgs in a few years. In general, the smaller the better, however you need to be able to sustain a diverse gene pool, an economy, and a functioning government. Having undeveloped/rural areas for possible expansion of your city/capital may also be a very good idea, otherwise you will eventually run out of space (see Monaco as an example).

Hank Pellissier: What percentage of nations do you think will adopt the following isms? : Fascism, Communism, Theocracy, Anarcho-Communism, etc.

JonahF2014: The world is overwhelmingly centrist, while we may think of an ideologically diverse world this will most likely not happen, at least not to a large extent. With extreme localism however I see the world slowly drifting towards the left, a prospering system of everyone-knows-each-other. Extreme democracy would also lead to egalitarianism, democratic workplaces, and a socialistic economic system. Especially Anarchism (Anarcho-Communism and similar) are extremely compatible with Tinyism and can perfectly exist within the system as simply a more extreme (and stateless) form. Far-Right systems could exist as long as they don’t engage in conflict, due to the inherent nature of Fascism however such systems are extremely likely to collapse. I assume what’s meant by “Communism” is Authoritarian Socialism, such as Marxism-Leninism. While again, yes, such a system could theoretically emerge, exist, and would also be somewhat sustainable, authoritarian systems, are, as mentioned above, unlikely due to the extreme localism. Way more likely is (again, as mentioned above) a true socialist system of democracy instead of one under a dictatorship.

The Tinyism Flag