Wednesday, April 25, 2018
 
 

I made my own state, but I’m short of supporters. What do I do?

The one thing you can trust in this world is that someone somewhere is miserable. Right now, your new country probably looks great to a miserable person in another country. So if you need citizens, invite them over. Immigrants work harder, and love to hate their former homes in a self-justifying sort of way. This is what Manuel Juan Robustiano de los Dolores Rodrí­guez Torices y Quiroz did when his Junta (you may need a junta) set up Cartagena de Indias in 1812. Nowadays it’s a piece of Colombia, but back then Spain and local folk were scrapping over it. It is pretty. He sent out an invite, no doubt on high-quality paper printed with elaborate letterpress, to anyone who wasn’t Spanish to come and live in Cartagena. He even sent some sales reps to Louisiana. Perhaps he reckoned the people there were especially miserable, or at least not fond of Spaniards.

Incidentally, not enough people made it to Cartagena in time, and by 1816 the Spanish had his country surrounded. Rodrí­guez and his buddies tried to skedaddle, but their boat didn’t turn up, and they got snagged like a ‘nana in a monkey pit. He ended up getting his head hung in a cage from a 30-foot spear. But that’s not the point. He was just ahead of his time, and these days you have loads more ways to recruit citizens before some party pooper turns up with a cage and a spear. Facebook, Google Adwords, YouTube. Go wild.

Monkey love,

Daddy Chimp

 

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