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MONTSEGUR FAQS

Why a new country?
Because human rights violations persist in many countries of the world, including the US.
Because individual rights are daily being gradually eroded in the name of “political
correctness,” “traditional family values,” right-wing Christian fundamentalist “morals” and
numerous other collectivist dogmas in the “free” countries of the world. Because gays and other
minority groups are still harassed, discriminated against, and even killed, despite the fact
that if these “free” societies were truly free and truly respected the individual, no one’s
difference from the perceived norm could ever be used as an excuse to deny that person his/her
basic individual and human rights, including the rights to live and to live in peace. Because
the legislatures of the “free” world, including the US, have become so enthralled to the
demands and pork dollars of the special interest lobbies and PACs that the true voice of the
people is drowned out by the political din, thus making any attempt to fix the situation by
“working within the system” impossible. Because the most peaceful and legal way of replacing
governments that no longer work effectively (at least not for who they’re supposed to be
working for) is to start a new one from scratch, in a completely new venue - in short, a new
country.

How was the name chosen?
The name was chosen to honor the Cathars, a Christian sect of the Middle Ages who were
massacred in a “Holy Crusade” in the thirteenth century. Montsegur was the fortress town where
they made their last stand against the Crusaders. In contrast to the religious intolerance and
rigid conformity of their time, the Cathars developed a philosophy and doctrine which
recognized the rights of the individual, including women, that recognized that these rights
were shared equally by all, noble and peasant alike, and above all preached tolerance for all
peoples and religions. Many Jews, Muslims, pagans, and other religious outcasts and dissidents
found safe haven among the Cathar communities, which in time came to dominate all of Southern
France and become a completely autonomous civilization in its own right, separate from the
feudal societies which were the norm elsewhere. Because they were a rival to the established
Church, and their social philosophies clashed with the “Divine Right of Kings,” a Crusade was
called against them. It is honor of their great bravery and love of freedom, as well as their
foresight, that the name “Montsegur” was chosen. (Hopefully, we will fare much better :) )

Where would it be located?
An island would be the most practical solution, since it prevents the problem of borders with a
neighbor or neighbors that could prove bothersome, if not hostile. It would also provide a
degree of isolation that would allow the development of our society with little interference
from the outside world, but at the same time would provide the most convenient venue, the
ocean, to facilitate trade with other nations. Many of the world’s smaller islands remain
uninhabited and undeveloped, although they are quite habitable. Many islands are also available
for sale to private owners, allowing a peaceful, legal, and practical means of acquiring a
site for our little community. One of our links lists several such places for sale. Where we
eventually do settle would be decided by several matters, not the least of which being cost and
majority opinion.

What form of government would you have?
A representative government, similar to those used in the various “free” countries of the
world, with exceptions. Our government would be based on the premise that government is to be
the servant, not the master of the people, that its sole duty is to protect the rights and
safety of the people, rather than impose “nanny laws” upon them. It shall be understood that
the rights of the individual come from the very fact of consciousness and existence, and are
not privileges which society or the government has chosen to bestow upon them. It’s
representatives shall listen to the voice of the people, expressed chiefly through the ballot,
and not through various PACs and special interest groups who seek to impose their own opinions
and agendas on to society as a whole, and they shall also understand the difference between
protecting the people’s freedoms and “doing what they think is best for us.” It shall be a
government and a society based on Libertarian and Objectivist principles and the right of
individuals to be left in peace and to enjoy their own fulfillment and self-determination,
rather than the current collectivist propogandae of “political correctness” or “traditional
family values.” A proposal constitutional charter is being drafted towards this end, with the
final form to be decided by committee and by vote.

What sort of taxes would you have?
We are resistant to the idea of income or property taxes, since this infringes on the right of
the individual to enjoy what he/she has worked for and earned. We instead favor a national
sales tax, which places a fairer burden on all, and which also encourages more investment. A
national lottery is also favored, since it operates on a purely voluntary basis (you don’t
play, you don’t pay), and would also bring in foreign currency as those in other countries
play. (No, I personally do not subscribe to the anti-lottery arguments which claim to be moral
but really come from the same “nanny/we know what’s best for you” mentality that has helped
erode individual freedom in many “free” countries.)
“Sin” taxes on gambling profits, cigarettes, alcohol, and certain drugs (if legalized) would
also be an acceptable revenue source, since these are not really earned property as much as
frivolous indulgences.

What about housing, energy resources, food?
We have links to a possible form of housing that could be used. These houses are specifically
designed to withstand, hurricanes, earthquakes, and other weather phenomena and are also
designed to be energy-efficient. The final location for Montsegur and the amount of funds and
materials that are available for construction will decide the final form of buildings that will
be used, as well as individual tastes and needs. Energy resources which are clean and renewable
(wind, solar, methane extraction, for example) will be favored for development and use. This is
in consideration of environmental concerns, but mainly is made in consideration of the fact
that wherever we settle, we would probably be highly dependent on outside sources for petroleum
and coal sourced fuels, which would leave us vulnerable. Many of us remember the long gas lines
from the OPEC embargo of the early seventies, and are also aware of the shortages, inflation,
and rationing many countries have endured because of wars, embargoes, blockades, labor
strikes, economic crises, and natural disasters in other parts of the world. More importantly,
ours is to be a free society, and no people can be free whose government and economy are
subject to the political or economic whims, fate, or extortion of other nations. For this same
reason, we plan to grow as much of our own food as possible, using advanced greenhouse,
square-foot garden, and /or hydroponics agricultural techniques, with the water supply being
supported though desalination techniques similar to those used in Israel. large livestock,
such as cattle, sheep, and, perhaps, pigs, would probably be impractical owing to limitations
of space. This is just something that will have to addressed when the moment arrives. And BTW,
the disaster at Chernobyl and the near-disaster at Three Mile Island have pretty much made the
decision for us regarding use of nuclear fission as an energy source, not to the mention the
problem of what to do with the nuclear waste. The methane extraction mentioned earlier, on the
other hand, would provide a very useful means of dealing with normal garbage waste and
effluence. The main point is to exploit those resources and technologies that can best insure
our self-sufficiency and high quality of life.


How would you deal with other countries?
With the same laissez-faire policy as would be applied in our domestic affairs. The main
function of our government would be to insure our freedom and quality of life. We would not
become involved in international conflicts unless we ourselves were attacked. We would not
engage in any of the expansionist colonialism or imperialism practiced by so many other
countries. We would not interfere in the internal political affairs of other countries, and
unlike certain other governments, we would never aid or support totalitarian regimes whose
policies and practices are in direct opposition to our own. Part of the proposed constitution
for Montsegur explicitly forbids this, in fact. instead, we would simply not recognize these
governments as legitimate, and convey the understanding that so long they conduct human rights
abuses and violate those international laws which best insure international peace and freedom,
relations of any kind between our nations would simply not be possible. Beyond that and the
granting of asylum to refugees, our foreign policy would simply be one of “mind our own
business.” And no, this is not isolationism, just enlightened self-interest.


What sort of industries would you use to support your infrastructure?
Like many island nations, we could engage in overseas and Internet banking, as well as casinos,
both real and virtual.
Also, new technologies developed towards the exploitation of renewable energy resources could
be traded with other nations, as well as medicine, software, and other commodities. We could
in fact become a major commercial trading center, in the tradition of Byzantium, Samarkand, or
Venice. And of course, like many island nations, we could have a thriving tourist industry.

What about a war or invasion?
Frankly, there seems little chance of this, since we pretty much would stay out of other
people’s business, using our same principle of non-interference to other governments that would
be applied to our own people. It probably goes without saying that since ours would be a very
small country, with a small population and probably few resources, we would probably not
attract the attention of any expansionary powers. (It also goes without saying that many of the
major powers would not be having their current problems with terrorists if they had adopted a
similar “mind Your Own Business” policy towards other countries.) But don’t think for a moment
that if the need arose, we wouldn’t be willing to put up a fight!


What makes you think this could work?
Why should it not work? Bear in mind that the US, Canada, and many other countries had their
beginnings with “misfits” arriving from other lands and setting out to build a new and better
society than the one they had left. Indeed, every city and nation on Earth had its earliest
beginnings with groups of people breaking away from the “norm” and venturing to new lands and
new opportunities over the horizon.

Okay, how do I sign up?
Our community page link to DejaNews includes a means of signing up and providing for you to
contact us and vice-versa. We need people with good ideas on how to get this off the ground and
gather the resources we need to accomplish our goals. We especially need people in finance,
business, public relations, economics, consulting, computer technology, and other skilled and
professional fields to assist us, but we welcome all hose who share this dream to join us.

LONG LIVE MONTSEGUR.




 

Copyright 1998 David Jordan and James Moore...All Rights Reserved