OWN YOUR OWN ISLAND NATION by ProQuest

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									 BY THOMAS FREY


WHO SAYS THEY’VE STOPPED MAKING REAL ESTATE? ONE FUTURIST
EXPLORES THE ULTIMATE START-UP, THE PRIVATE COUNTRY.
                                                               ILLUSTRATION BY LISA MATHIAS USING IMAGES FROM AYAAZ RATTANSI / ISTOCKPHOTO.COM AND PETIT ST. VINCENT




O
        n a recent trip to the Middle      a distinct advantage when it comes                          trols a stable population in a de-
        East, I was granted the oppor-     to island building, because the Per-                        limited territory.
        tunity to speak at the Leaders     sian Gulf is a far more stable body of                         In the past, we have associated the
        in Dubai Business Forum            water than most other oceans. The                           concept of country with attributes
along with best-selling writer Tom         question I presented to the Dubai                           such as a single geographical terri-
Peters, former New York City Mayor         Leaders who were anxious about                              tory, a common people with a com-
Rudy Giuliani, former World Bank           how the global economic downturn                            mon language, a common govern-
President James Wolfensohn, and            might affect their tourist indus-                           ment with its own currency and its
former McKinsey CEO Rajat Gupta.           try — the question I now present to                         own set of laws and regulations, and
Most of the speakers were address-         you, the reader — is simple: Is there                       a series of systems that tie people,
ing our depressingly screwed-up            any money in this?                                          geography, and property into a func-
economy. I decided on a different            There has always been profit to be                        tional entity.
tack and presented some thoughts           made and lost in coastal real estate.                          The impetus to build or settle one’s
on emerging new systems of govern-         But these innovations in the creation                       own island country would be far
ment power.                                of land could lead to the creation of                       simpler: the freedom of self-rule.
   One idea in particular raised a few     real estate that is unattached and un-                         For each person, the freedoms as-
eyebrows among the Dubai group:            affiliated with any existing nation-                        sociated with any self-governing
selling islands as autonomous coun-        state or indigenous group — land                            country will be prioritized differ-
tries.                                     that can be sold as an autonomous                           ently. Some will see this as a mere
   Dubai and the United Arab Emir-         country. No such opportunity has                            scheme to avoid taxes, while others
ates are on the cutting edge of island-    ever before existed in human history.                       will see it as an opportunity to build
building technology. Their creative                                                                    something great. Perhaps the great-
approach to building Palm Island, a                                                                    est value of an independent island
                                           What Exactly Is a Country?
series of artificial islands in the Per-                                                               nation is as a proving ground for ex-
sian Gulf, along with the coming               The dictionary definition of a na-                      perimentation.
Palm Jumeirah, the Palm Jebel Ali,         tion is “A part, or division, of the
Palm Deira, and The World, have be-        people of the earth, distinguished
                                                                                                       International Recognition:
come an inspiration to other coun-         from the rest by common descent,
                                                                                                       Debacle or Opportunity
tries. In Bahrain, Thailand, and the       language, or institutions; a race; a
Netherlands, new islands are also          s t o c k . ” L a w p ro f e s s o r P a s t o r               Once a new country is formed, the
springing to life.                         Ridruejo defines a nation as an entity                      issue of recognition comes into play.
   Countries in the Middle East have       with a government that totally con-                         The new country would begin life as

30   THE FUTURIST     May-June 2009   www.wfs.org
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a micronation, a term referring to a
newly established small-land-mass
nation seeking to get recognized by
                                                    THE CASE FOR MICRONATIONS AND
other governments around the world                        ARTIFICIAL ISLANDS
(a micronation is really just a small                              By McKinley Conway
nation). Recognition is a primary fac-
tor in an emerging country’s credibil-
ity and often determines the stability        In early centuries, artificial is-   projects are those proposed by cre-
of the new government and the role         lands were built to create home         ators of new micronations. Among
it will play in the international arena.   sites easier to defend against wild     t
								
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