3
$\begingroup$

I am building a world where a country is seceding from Australia.

The country has over 600 citizens interested in the project, and can get tens of thousands more to join once it launches its "gamified" referral system.

Currently, nobody lives within the area it plans to build our city, it is an uninhabited, unused area with a river and forests and some dirt road access.

The country has a constitution, functioning government, citizenship system and is developing digital banking services, business registration services, and planning to settle its claim.

Once the systems are more developed, the nation will begin to fundraise moderate amounts of money from citizens (selling settlement 'packages' to fund infrastructure) and can get the technical expertise to do most things settlement related.

However, the group does not want to go through a process of democratic reform to do this, as it's not easily possible, and there is no legal framework for a new city to be built, nor a viable method to form a new state. The group does not want to rely on 3rd parties to be created, and would rather take its own initiative to become independent.

The goal is to secede peacefully from Australia, within a lifetime

Winning an information war

The nation needs a large number of nations (limited-recognition, and recognised), organisations, politicians, and informational sources to view it as an independent nation. There is a number of ideas to do this.

  • Creating front international organisations, and trying to get limited-recognition states to join, creating notability for all member nations, including ours, and also notability for the international organisation.
  • Getting serious news articles written about our project and working with journalists to make us look like a force to be reckoned with, but appeal to the Australian public too.
  • Building '3rd party' websites with information about nations, and including us in them, so we have enough secondary references to be added to places like Wikipedia, and Google's Knowledge Graph and be referred to as a country.
  • Using our technological expertise, we build open-sourced country data packages that include our country inside them, secretly embedding us in thousands of websites and applications around the world.
  • Creating 'indexes' (eg: Human Development Index) which include us in sources used by educational institutions, politicians and journalists, further boosting our reputation. One specific index we will create will relate to digital governance, giving our nation a highlight, as this is an area we excel in.
  • Seeking diplomatic recognition from other nations, joining as many existing organisations (such as UNPO, ISO, APNIC) as possible.
  • Creating our own news organisations, to increase awareness of our project, and to have some news organisation on our side.
  • Down the track, lobbying support from politicians.
  • Forming a reputable scholarly organisation/university, to promote the political theory and social theory that benefits us.

What else could we do to win this informational war?

The country is exploiting a grey area in law that permits them to build a city autonomously and assume full independence, assume it is fully possible to do what the nation plans to do

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Can you add a map to indicate the exact territory you've got in mind for this? Makes it easier to determine what valuables are in your ground. $\endgroup$ – Hyfnae Feb 9 at 11:04
  • $\begingroup$ Does Australia have to say anything to this or it's just a British thing? for example, Quebec, who have much more rights and history to by independent but is still not. $\endgroup$ – SZCZERZO KŁY Feb 9 at 11:14
  • $\begingroup$ @Hyfnae added the image $\endgroup$ – Dominus Vilicus Feb 9 at 11:16
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ There is a rule here: only one question per post. That rule is very useful for a number of reasons, please try to only ask one question. You can open as many different posts as you like. Try starting with one and then go from there $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Feb 9 at 11:22
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Have you read about the Hutt River Province? "The Principality of Hutt River is an Independent Sovereign State having seceded from Australia on the Twenty First Day of April 1970..." $\endgroup$ – Rebecca J. Stones Feb 9 at 11:27
4
$\begingroup$

There are examples of this, and even current-day movements to secede from the Australia's Federation. It is not inconceivable for what you suggest to happen.

For some while, the Principality of the Hutt River was a self-declared state within a state, inside Western Australia, with a population of around 23 - and you can even visit it as a 'tourist attraction'. However the governments wink and tolerate this, in the end the issue is really recognition by others. (The Australian Tax Office took a dim view on the Principality, and they are currently 'in trouble' for unpaid taxes).

This means you really do need an incentive for others to recognise you and can't really try just self-declaring it, even with the technical prowess and 'information war' points described.

On another note, there is actually a very strong secessionist movement in Western Australia, with a large group of people (notably WA Liberals) wanting to declare Western Australia separate, calling it Westralia. There are strong arguments they say, but they are mostly self serving and debatable:

  • The economy of WA is different to the other states, being based more on mining than other industries
  • In the 'two-speed economy' a mining boom wealth is sent to the Eastern States, much to the distress of WA

However, the Eastern States don't really agree with this. Also, the economic arguments are debatable, as there is also an argument the WA economy is propped up by Eastern States in a mining bust. So in essence it is fair to say the movement has zero chance, because you really need the economic case agreed by everyone.

So given this, you really need the following squared away:

  • A very strong, agreed and rock solid economic argument why secession and separation is better for everyone.
  • A very strong agreement from everyone (including the rest of Australia) that it is better this way. This means all your information points need to be for the benefit of the other states, not yours.

So perhaps some scenarios:

  • The area in the North becomes too troublesome economically, and is dragging the whole of the economy down. Now you have an argument to discard it. It would actually be better to 'talk down' your nation than to talk it 'up'.
  • There is a strong cultural reason to secede. Perhaps an indigenous nation if reconciliation is not successful? Or a place where the government wants to dump undesirables into a questionable quasi-state? (such as Christmas Island, Manus Island, and other islands). This is somewhat akin to the Australian Government shrinking international maritime borders, in an effort to 'discard' islands so it could dump illegal boat arrivals there.
  • Or there is a positive reason to do so, ie. perhaps the nation of Australia suddenly becomes extraordinary pro-UN, has a very strong leadership role in the world, and partitions off a part of itself to headquarter it? (much like the Australian Capital Territory at Federation, but one outside Federation)
|improve this answer|||||
$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ So what incentives would you suggest in this case $\endgroup$ – Dominus Vilicus Feb 9 at 13:31
  • $\begingroup$ So Economic: The area is a drag on the Main Economy. Money keeps being sunk in it and it doesn't come back out. Being independent makes everyone richer. Cultural: The area should be separate for indigenous reasons and it would be difficult to have an argument not to separate. $\endgroup$ – flox Feb 9 at 13:44
  • $\begingroup$ Western Australia (WA) was economically supported for most of its time as part of the Commonwealth. The mining boom is recent. The rest of Australia has good reason to consider gaining a share in that newfound wealth is recompense for propping up WA for many decades. $\endgroup$ – a4android Feb 9 at 21:46
2
$\begingroup$

Depends on the setting of your story, novel, or game.

In a realistic world, forget it. Australia is a stable democracy, recognized by the rest of the world community, and it won't be possible without their consent. As for getting that consent, see what happened when President Trump suggested buying Greenland.

In a suitably cinematic world, start with something like Stark Enterprises. Known worldwide for decades and strongly associated with an ambiguously multinational force that has been saving Earth time and again.

Strike a deal for a special economic zone. Run that successfully, until they can argue that there is a local population, and that this population wants and deserves independence. Having a recognizable population doesn't guarantee independence, see Catalonia, but it is probably necessary.

|improve this answer|||||
$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ This really doesn’t answer my question, just shuts down the possibility. $\endgroup$ – Dominus Vilicus Feb 9 at 11:53
  • $\begingroup$ SEZ is not a possibility, I said this group does not want to go through the democratic process because it is not possible $\endgroup$ – Dominus Vilicus Feb 9 at 11:55
  • $\begingroup$ @DominusVilicus the alternative to following the democratic process is for the legitimate government of the area to round them all up and sling em in jail. People have been seeking independence and statehood since forever, so there are no shortage of historical and present-day examples of how wanting stuff isn't enough to just get it, even if the people doing the wanting are really earnest libertarians and feel like they really deserve it. $\endgroup$ – Starfish Prime Feb 9 at 12:02
  • $\begingroup$ @StarfishPrime the country is not breaking any laws and exists in a grey area of responsibility $\endgroup$ – Dominus Vilicus Feb 9 at 12:04
  • $\begingroup$ @DominusVilicus to obtain independence without the actual government of the area just giving it to you, you will have to break laws. You either work with that government to get what you'd like, or you submit to their laws, and their governance, and pay taxes to them. $\endgroup$ – Starfish Prime Feb 9 at 12:06

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.