Our Ponderings on the subject of nationhood seem to have struck a chord with the patriots of the world.
If you recall, a short time ago, Mr. Gerrit Six put his own country, Belgium, up for sale on eBay.
He had many takers before the project was scuppered like an eBay of Pigs.
After I highlighted his honesty and prescience, Mr. Six was kind enough to contact me to say hello and wish Pond Culture good fortune.
However, I have now had messages from people in other far flung and irrelevant nations claiming that they were the first to at least consider such a commercial transaction.
I have withheld the name of this correspondent, who hails from Croatia, only because I fear for his safety and that of his no doubt stressed family, should his views become known more widely than the confines of his local bar (or asylum).
I have not edited his text (other than to offer some grammatical felicities) and therefore publish it as a sign that there is much unhappiness around the world with the concept of nationhood.
Just one small note, I believe that the Mr. Gates referred to in the text is Mr. Bill Gates, the rather munificent founder of Microsoft, rather than Mr. Robert Gates, the rather magnificently coiffed US Secretary of Defense.
Croatia’s Mr. X writes:
” I did read your column about Mr. Six.
I thought to comment to say that I and my friend Alan were first, only we didn’t put it on the web.
Our intention was direct negotiation with Mr. Gates. We have invented a whole offer to sell Croatia- with or without the people.
If you buy it with the people, then you can use Croatians as dummies for various educational or experimental projects. You can also export them under the brand name Original Croatian Dummy. OCD’s are particularly competitive on the market because they look tremendously like real humans, but they are first class dummies.
If you prefer to get this beautiful country entirely without the people, we created a plan to buy 50 second-hand tankers and board the whole population of Croatia on them. These ships were supposed to float in international waters until the end of the world.
We haven’t finished the deal because we couldn’t agree whether we should organize a real IPO and go with a public offering or whether to do a quiet deal with Mr. Gates’ people. We also became greedy in our temptation to export dummies for our own account… We’re no business people.”
Well, I don’t know about them being no business people. It seems to me that Alan and his friend are far-thinking individuals, with more than an eye for a kuna or two.
I do wonder, however, whether more Croatians feel the same way. Do they truly want to dispose of themselves in one vast garage sale? Or is this a cri de coeur louder and more pained than that of Mark Cuban when he feared he would be voted off Dancing With the Stars?
It cannot be easy to feel so ignored. Indeed, I understand that at various times in the last thirty years Slovenia, Croatia’s richer next door neighbor, was the world’s per capita suicide capital.
I would therefore be very grateful to hear from more Croatians or, indeed, frustrated people in other nations, who would like to express their ideas for their future and, of course, that of the world.
I think that our little Pond might replace Davos as the place where our children’s destinies might really be formulated.
I wonder if I might hear from an Iranian or two, for example.
President Ahmadinejad, you man of fire and gay denier, what say you?