Passport

Independence is just a click away

RAFA RIVAS/AFP/Getty Images Since Kosovo declared independence last week, secessionist fever has gripped disgruntled regions from Somaliland to Scotland, and possibly even Montana. With all these pseudostates pushing to get their sovereignty on, who’s to say when a place actually becomes a country? No less an international legal scholar than Frank Zappa once said, “You ...

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RAFA RIVAS/AFP/Getty Images

Since Kosovo declared independence last week, secessionist fever has gripped disgruntled regions from Somaliland to Scotland, and possibly even Montana. With all these pseudostates pushing to get their sovereignty on, who’s to say when a place actually becomes a country? No less an international legal scholar than Frank Zappa once said, “You can’t be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.” It’s a bit more complicated than that, but Frank was right that the criteria for independence are not always clear.

If you’re planning on starting a state of your own, you’ll want to check out FP‘s new online guide, “How to Start Your Own Country in Four Easy Steps.” These easy-to-follow instructions will make declaring independence, getting international recognition, and applying for U.N. membership a breeze. Whether you’re a freedom fighter or just an aspiring kleptocrat, it’s a must read. Just follow my simple rules and you’ll be sipping your national brew on the presidential jet in no time.

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