note: this question was first asked on Worldbuilding.SE, then on Politics.SE. The basic premises are the same, but you should go look at them, too.

Sovreign nations are, typically, plots of land where certain laws hold. To establish a new nation, one must wrest control of a plot of land from its previous owners (independence) and get other nations to recognize your sovereignty. If there is no current owner, then you can skip straight to step two.

It just so happens that I, being a free person, own my body. Can I establish my physical corpus as a sovereign nation?

  • 2
    You do not own your body. If you did, you could not be conscripted or imprisoned without first having it taken away from you. And yet, when those things happen, it remains your body. At best, you jointly own your body with the culture that produces and protects you. At extreme points, its use must be negotiated with the state and culture. You cannot legally commit suicide most places. How could that be true, if you owned your body? You are bound to a social contract that is stronger than your claim on yourself.
    – user9166
    Feb 28, 2018 at 2:52
  • Even if you own your own body, what about the land or sky or water on which you're placing that body? Who owns that land/sky/water, and can they force you to get off their land/sky/water? By extension, there would be no legal place in which your body could exist.
    – user935
    Mar 5, 2018 at 20:02
  • @barrycarter You forget about land that's terra nullius like Bir Tawil. Mar 6, 2018 at 18:28

1 Answer 1


Perhaps you could establish your body as a sovereign nation, yes, but where would the resources come from that are needed to sustain your body? You would have to barter with other nations (the place you live in) to gather resources, something which you already do through taxes and trading.

Furthermore, while it is your body to decide its fate, you are still in another nation with its own laws and customs, and the state has the authority to use violence because it has majority control over the violence. You would better be off declaring an actual nation rather that pointlessly break the social contract imposed upon you by being in a nation.

  • So... In effect, I am my own sovereign nation already? Could I interpret the social contract as a treaty between nations? Feb 28, 2018 at 3:21
  • If you wanted to, I suppose you could, but you couldn’t get any legal benefit from it. Again, your body falls under the laws and customs of what nation you are in, and so you must abide by them.
    – M. Weber
    Feb 28, 2018 at 3:28
  • Yeah, it's just an interesting perspective on the social contract. Feb 28, 2018 at 3:29
  • You couldn’t, for example, declare you aren’t bound to the laws of the state because you are a sovereign citizen.
    – M. Weber
    Feb 28, 2018 at 3:29

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