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Jack (of all trades) is starting a fictional micronation and wants it to go viral and have a burst in citizenship applications, how should he approach this?

Jack promises all citizens a lack of political dogma, where the main focus is technology, scientific advancement and safety and stability for all citizens, as long as they help him build and create it as time progresses.

Notes

  • Citizens aren't required to live in the country
  • The nation is willing to take controversial approaches
  • International Diplomatic recognition is a bonus
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closed as too broad by anon, JBH, L.Dutch, Vylix, Bellerophon Dec 10 '17 at 19:53

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ If this is about a real micronation, then I'm not sure it counts as world-building. If you edit the question to make it about a hypothetical micronation, it might be more on-topic then (though maybe a little broad). $\endgroup$ – F1Krazy Dec 4 '17 at 13:38
  • $\begingroup$ There you go @F1Krazy $\endgroup$ – mateos Dec 4 '17 at 13:42
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    $\begingroup$ Who is the "I" in this? Who are the "we"? What would people gain by having citizenship in this nation? Honestly, this feels like the seed for a decent question, but it probably still needs a fair bit of work... $\endgroup$ – a CVn Dec 4 '17 at 13:44
  • $\begingroup$ What does Jack stand to gain from this? Does he want power? That implies he wants to be able to make demands from his "citizens" and they follow them. Does he just want technological advancement? He could achieve this by providing incentive for technological discovery. I think it's important to state Jack's motives for doing so. $\endgroup$ – Neil Dec 4 '17 at 13:56
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    $\begingroup$ To demonstrate why there's background missing from this question: Jack could (a) execute a computer program that randomly assembles names, assigns them an ID number, and boom... instant population in the billions or (b) since controversy isn't an issue, Jack could steal identies and make them citizens. Population problem solved in seconds to days. What now? VTC until background is provided. What does Jack want and why should anyone risk losing current citizenship to join his nation? $\endgroup$ – JBH Dec 4 '17 at 22:36
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The biggest motivation I could see is providing some obvious benefit for those joining.

Some possible benefits (with lots of caveats about the difficulty and unlikeliness of getting recognition of his nation by other nations and establishing treaties)

  • Taxes, as in not paying them. In the U.S. Certain foreign workers employed by the foreign government don't have to pay federal income taxes on this income (think embassy workers). So Jack can have people work for him (an employee of the micro nation), and he can pay them wages tax free. This would be a hugely complicated tax dodge, but seems no less complicated than existing international tax avoidance strategies.

  • Diplomatic Immunity, certain members of the micro nation could be designated as official ambassadors and receive immunity from prosecution for crimes committed in their host nation.

  • Smuggling or extreme data protection, closely associated with diplomatic immunity is the concept of a diplomatic bag or parcel, namely a container designated for transmission of sensitive materials between an embassy or diplomat and their home government. These parcels are exempt from customs or any other inspections and usually contain tamper evident seals. They have been used for espionage as well as drug and cigarette smuggling in the past. Their use for conveying cryptographic keys for a secure information channel could be very useful for an internet connected micro nation.

A less concrete, but more likely way to promote it and get lots of applicants, is as a semi-joking online viral marketing fad. Start with a catchy name, make up a pretty flag, record a hit national anthem and buy some advertising space, get celebrity endorsements, make special image overlays for your citizens to use on their social media sites, send out official looking collectable ID cards. In the age of Boaty Mcboatface, people are more than happy to click through your EULA citizenship application without reading it for as little as a laugh.

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    $\begingroup$ Worth noting, diplomatic immunity (and it's related friend the diplomatic bag) are only applicable when dealing with countries which recognize diplomatic relations with your micronation. You still have to manage that (and convince them it's worth it) $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Dec 4 '17 at 18:54
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Why non-geographic nations (micro or otherwise) cannot work;

Back in my days on EVE online, I actually answered this question on their forum when someone suggested that EVE declare itself a nation. That idea (and by extension this one) cannot EVER work, for one very simple reason.

Humans consume stuff.

Sure, the idea of having to pay no tax sounds great, but nations have taxation regimes (not primarily for wealth redistribution as many think) but for the infrastructure and services that's not economically viable for others to provide.

Roads. Police. Hospitals (at least here in AUS, sorry USA). Schools. The list goes on.

You can't just claim in (say) Australia to belong to be a citizen of another country and continue to live here without paying taxes, for instance. Non-Australian citizens who work here still have to pay taxes (after all, they're using the roads, hospitals, etc.) and even Australians abroad pay the difference in tax between their resident country and what they'd pay in Australia. This covers their right to come back at any time and use the infrastructure already in place.

Another important reason to belong to a geographical country is mutual defence. A part of the national budget goes into building a military force whose function is to protect the citizens of the country from attack by foreign actors.

The thing is, if you give up your local citizenship for a micronation, you lose access to all the benefits that your citizenship affords, including residency. That's a problem, because a micronation that doesn't charge tax doesn't give you a viable alternative to those benefits.

So; perhaps you're joining to allow you to claim that local laws regarding online activities and the like don't apply. After all, you're a citizen of another country, so online or import restrictions don't apply to you, right?

Wrong.

Australia (like many other countries) doesn't differentiate between citizens and non-citizens when considering import or online violations. Technically, these are the same thing as when you look at a site, the data for that site caches on your desktop or phone, meaning that you've 'imported' that data. But, I digress.

You can't get around importing restricted items (digital or otherwise) by saying that you're not a citizen. Some laws, like import regulations, apply to anyone who interacts with your nation. This means that the act of commissioning a restricted import is already an offence, regardless of your domestic status.

The only reason I can think of to become a citizen of a micro nation is so they can hold stuff on your behalf. This is almost the exact business model of Sealand, which affords a digital 'safe haven' for websites and other data holdings that are considered illegal in mainstream jurisdictions, like gambling websites targeting countries where this is illegal.

So; if you want to get a lot of citizens quickly, offer them free web site hosting, and emphasise your lack of legal oversight on servers within your sovereignty.

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People want quality of life. Good schools, parks, variety, solid infrastructure, social values. Add affordable housing to that mix and you're good to go.

The tax dodge isn't a foundation for gaining citizens, just corporate offices. I live in Oregon and we got screwed by the "attract businesses and jobs by lowering business taxes" ploy that many states (and the country) were duped by. Businesses that require lots of people preferred to open facilities or relocate to places attractive to their workers and their families like Washington and Colorado that had not gutted their social services, that have funding for schools, libraries, medical care, etc. California cities with all their taxes are still growing, real estate through the roof due to demand (and profiteering).
Current methods of attraction like the Arab Emirates do offer infrastructure but at the cost of heartbreaking inequality and are unsustainable without massive financial injection vulnerable to world economy. Libertarian dream nations do not answer basic needs (food, safety, medicine, infrastructure) and are dependent on outside sources to ship things in including workers and pretty much require a private jet to visit a hospital or go shopping.
Burlington, Vermont is a neat example of how a community can increase the quality of life in preference to financial gain. They've increased their diversity taking in refugees from around the world, created a "food shed" where much is grown locally by eliminating obstacles (taxes, fees, over-regulation) between farmers and local stores and restaurants with the net effect that prices are the same as elsewhere but the quality is outstanding. There's a culture to keep prices fair (though housing is still a problem). Very busy walking areas while getting around by car is still easy.

People will flock to a place that is fair meaning the burdens are shared equally. Monaco, while not having income tax, has a 33% tax on profits in addition to a sales tax. This puts a curb on profiteering.
Housing is the real difficult problem: 78% of economists in the US say rent control doesn't work mostly because it disincentivizes new building. Affordable housing incentives are gamed by investors - I saw all the new apartment buildings where I lived begin as affordable units and get all the tax breaks and waived permit and inspection fees and then after all the infrastructure was completed and buildings mostly done, the "builder" would file for bankruptcy and the building get sold to "another firm" that turned them into luxury condos. Both the builder and the other firm are fictitious shell companies and it was their plan all along (the Trump model). Legally there is nothing the city can do about this serious moral problem. When I was in LA my building was sold (kept apartment, just wrote check to someone else) and I found out from long term tenants that it had happened many times. Rich people trade the buildings between each other to write of depreciation from their taxes.

In Santa Fe and other parts of New Mexico, there are plenty of rentals right in the heart of things that are ultra-cheap where families haven't raised the rent in many decades. These are the old families that have been there for hundreds of years. It's not in their ethics to raise prices just because they can get it. And that leads me to the point: your micronation must include a solid moral culture that appeals to families and workers not just the elite if you want sustainable growth.

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Why Jack want to gain citizens? And what power does he have?
Is his only reason is to have the best R&D nations? If yes then why nation? Regular corporation works as good if not better.
Does his need is to have country free of any dogma but not required to live there? So only place when they can post things? Nice, I miss the old 4chan.

What Jack have is a blurred fantasy. He need to have a reason behind his need. If there is none then only a handful of people will follow him. And it will be people that are not the right kind to start a country with.

Take a look at few micronations. Filettino declared it's independency as a protest to Italy politics. Ladonia (a micronation with the largest amount of citizens) is a result of artist vs. society.

If the only reason is "just because" then Jack can stay in his mother basement and start Patronite.

Also the answer is: start a chanell on youtube where for money he say stupid things and then proclaim Kekistan. Best viral ever.

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm writing this comment from Low Quality Queue. I'll click "Looks OK" or "Skip" because it does attempt to answer the question, but I admit that it reads more like a comment than an answer most of the time. Consider rewriting it, because I wouldn't be surprised if others will click "Delete". And because if it looks so poorly to the quality robot, it probably looks poorly to many readers, too. After all, it is not that easy to trigger quality robot to put post in the queue. $\endgroup$ – Mołot Dec 5 '17 at 10:16
  • $\begingroup$ I think motive is addressed, popularity being the only one given and the tone being "I made this" in a kingly fashion. The 4chan reference is delightful shorthand as is youtube comment that basically asks what the builder really wants out of it. The stated principles of science, safety, stability don't jive with people not living there. How does a diplomat represent an empty piece of land? There are no union or society(club) representatives in the UN and that defines the "international diplomacy" requirement by OP. Bonus for SZCZERZO KŁY not being snarky. $\endgroup$ – Hebekiah Dec 9 '17 at 19:06

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