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Press release

10 December 2008 by Mike Gogulski
Posted in diary | 49 Comments »

Welcome, new friends and new visitors. If after reading this article you would like to trace the story back to the beginning — at least, to the beginning of this blog — please click on the diary category link. Enjoy your stay!

Just sent to every relevant Slovak media outlet, a few others besides, plus a bunch of personal contacts. Anyone got a big list of editorial contacts for American media?

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Bratislava resident renounces American citizenship, becomes stateless person

BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA, 10 December 2008 – Citing US war, human rights abuses, rapacious state capitalism and hypocrisy, Bratislava resident Michael Gogulski announced today that he has renounced his United States citizenship and become a stateless person as a means of “political divorce”.

Gogulski, 36, renounced his citizenship on 8 December 2008 at the American embassy in Bratislava, surrendering his US passport and culminating a two-week process and months of personal preparations. He currently awaits a Certificate of Loss of Nationality of the United States confirming his loss of American citizenship. As Gogulski has no other citizenship, he is now a stateless person.

“I was disgusted to be associated through citizenship with the most dangerous gang of criminals in the world, the United States government. Renouncing my citizenship is a means of achieving a political divorce with that vile institution,” Gogulski said. “American politicians extol their state in terms of liberty, human rights, free markets and the rule of law. Examination of the country’s history and present actions reveals nothing but lies and hypocrisy. The genocide of Native Americans, slavery, nuclear slaughter at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, support for brutal dictators, the torture of innocents at places like Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib, the massive robberies for the benefit of big business in the name of ‘rescuing’ the economy, the world’s biggest prison population, the growth of a domestic police state and the brutal wars of oppression underway in Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia paint a rather different picture. America, via its government agents, is truly exceptional – exceptionally evil,” he stated.

Gogulski says that when he receives the Certificate of Loss of Nationality he will apply to the Slovak Interior Ministry for a Travel Document – similar to a passport – under the 1954 Convention on the Status of Stateless Persons, which Slovakia signed in 2000. He says that he has no plans to leave Bratislava until then, and that he recognizes that his life without citizenship will be more difficult, especially with respect to travel. But, “if the Schengen Zone is to be my cage,” Gogulski states, “I think it’s large enough for me. There’s enough to explore within Europe to last a lifetime.”

On his personal blog, Gogulski indicates that he works as a freelance translator and editor. He also writes about anarchism and supports the revolutionary theory called agorism, which posits that free-market service providers will compete with and eventually supplant states, giving rise to a voluntary society. “Governments pride themselves on notions of ‘equality’ and ‘rule of law’, but fail to apply the same standards to themselves that their subjects must endure,” he says, explaining his political philosophy. “The foundation of state power, taxation, is robbery. That the robbers have fancy uniforms, impressive titles and the sanction of law does not in the slightest way change the basic formula for extortion: pay us, or we will kill you.”

Michael Gogulski’s blog can be found at www.nostate.com.

###

TLAČOVÁ SPRÁVA

NA OKAMŽITÉ VYDANIE

Obyvateľ bratislavy sa zrieka amerického občianstva a stáva sa osobou bez štátnej príslušnosti

BRATISLAVA, SLOVENSKO, 10. decembra 2008 – s uvedením dôvodov vojny vedenej USA, zneužívania ľudských práv, nenásytného štátneho kapitalizmu a pokrytectva dnes obyvateľ Bratislavy, Michael Gogulski, oznámil, že sa vzdal svojho občianstva Spojených štátov a stal sa osobou bez štátnej príslušnosti ako prostriedok „politického rozvodu“.

36-ročný Gogulski sa vzdal svojho občianstva 8. decembra 2008 na americkom veľvyslanectve v Bratislave, odovzdal svoj pas Spojených štátov amerických a zavŕšil tak dvojtýždňový proces a mesiace osobných príprav. Momentálne očakáva Osvedčenie o strate občianskej príslušnosti Spojených štátov, ktoré bude potvrdzovať jeho stratu amerického občianstva. Keďže Gogulski nemá inú štátnu príslušnosť, je teraz osobou bez štátnej príslušnosti.

„Bol som znechutený tým, že mám byť spájaný občianstvom s najnebezpečnejšou bandou zločincov na svete, vládou Spojených štátov. Vzdanie sa občianstva je pre mňa prostriedkom dosahujúcim politický rozvod s touto podlou inštitúciou,“ povedal Gogulski. „Americkí politici ospevujú svoj štát, pokiaľ ide o slobodu, ľudské práva, slobodné trhy a právny štát. Preskúmanie histórie krajiny a súčasných krokov odhaľuje len klamstvá a pokrytectvo. Genocída amerických domorodcov, otrokárstvo, jadrový masaker v Hirošime a Nagasaki, podpora brutálnych diktátorov, mučenie nevinných na miestach, ako sú Guantanámo a Abú Ghraib, obrovské krádeže v prospech podnikania vo veľkom v mene „zachraňovania“ hospodárstva, najviac väznených občanov na svete, rast domáceho policajného štátu a brutálne vojny útlaku, ktoré sa dejú v Iraku, Afganistane a Somálsku, vykresľujú skôr odlišný obraz. Amerika je cez svojich vládnych zástupcov skutočne výnimočná – výnimočne zlá,“ uviedol.

Gogulski hovorí, že keď získa Osvedčenie o strate štátnej príslušnosti, požiada slovenské Ministerstvo vnútra o cestovný dokument – podobný pasu – podľa Dohovoru o štatúte osôb bez štátnej príslušnosti z roku 1954, ktorý Slovensko podpísalo v roku 2000. Hovorí, že dovtedy nemá v pláne opustiť Bratislavu a že uznáva, že jeho život bez občianstva bude zložitejší, najmä pokiaľ ide o cestovanie. Ale „ak sa má Schengenský priestor stať mojou klietkou,“ hovorí Gogulski, „myslím si, že je pre mňa dosť veľká. V rámci Európy má človek čo objavovať počas celého života.“

Na svojom osobnom blogu Gogulski uvádza, že pracuje ako prekladateľ a redaktor na živnosť. Zároveň píše o anarchizme a podporuje revolučnú teóriu nazývanú agorizmus, ktorá predpokladá, že poskytovatelia služieb na voľnom trhu budú súťažiť so štátmi a nakoniec ich nahradia, vďaka čomu vznikne slobodná spoločnosť. „Vlády sa chvália pojmami, ako je „rovnosť“ a „právny štát“, ale sami zlyhávajú v uplatňovaní rovnakých noriem, ktoré ostatní musia strpieť,“ objasňuje svoju politickú filozofiu. „Základ sily štátu – zdaňovanie, je krádež. To, že títo zlodeji majú elegantné rovnošaty, pôsobivé tituly a odobrenie zákonom, ani v najmenšom nemení základný vzorec vydierania: zaplať nám, lebo inak ťa zabijeme.“

Blog Michaela Gogulskeho nájdete na adrese www.nostate.com.

###

  1. 49 Responses to “Press release”

  2. By azraelsjudgement.blogspot.com/ on 11 December 2008

    That is sweet

  3. By Azrael on 11 December 2008

    I uploaded this to youtube in text form to show it off lol

  4. By Azrael on 11 December 2008

    Never mind it wont upload dam youtube maintenance.

  5. By Jerry on 11 December 2008

    Good for you Mike.
    I hope to have your courage some day.

    Try here for a list of newspaper editors.
    http://www.easymedialist.com/usa/top100newspapers.html

  6. By MCLA on 11 December 2008

    Bravo! Finally an anarchist who really, really walks the talk. All the best, Mike!

    Cheers!
    MCLA

  7. By Peter Kovar on 11 December 2008

    mike i tried to search some slovak media but no trace of that. did you find smth?

  8. By Aaron Kinney on 11 December 2008

    Cryptogon posted your press release. I’m gonna do it to at my blog. Awesome job, Mike!!!!!!! :-D

  9. By Mike Gogulski on 11 December 2008

    Thanks, Aaron, and everyone else. Kevin hearts me, I guess :)

  10. By Dave Eriqat on 11 December 2008

    Good for you! I’ve entertained the same notion. You’ve given me some courage.

    Dave
    http://daveeriqat.wordpress.com/

  11. By Mike Gogulski on 12 December 2008

    Delighted to hear it, Dave. Stick around a few months, though, to see how I fare ;)

  12. By Cork on 12 December 2008

    Hahaha, this is too awesome! Good job, man!

  13. By Tibor Holoda on 12 December 2008

    Impressive, i must say.

    I’ll send a link to your press release via Twitter, as there’s nothing in the local media.

    Good luck!

  14. By Mike Gogulski on 12 December 2008

    @Tibor: Thanks! Looks like a few folks have starting posting it on Slovak blogs and forums anyway.

  15. By rhyddid on 12 December 2008

    Mike — I’ve been RSS’ing your blog for a while, (found you through a couple other agorist blogs) — just wanted to say congrats, and I deeply, deeply admire your commitment to your principles here.

    May your life be long and stateless!

  16. By Mike Gogulski on 12 December 2008

    @rhyddid: Yeah, you commented or emailed me something a while back as I recall. A name like yours simply *must* be Welsh, and therefore memorable. Thanks for keeping in touch, and thanks a bunch for the wishes!

  17. By Rorshak (1313) on 12 December 2008

    Congratulations, and good luck to you sir!

  18. By Kevin Dean on 13 December 2008

    Congrats on renouncing citizenship. That said… I find it a little odd that you’re renouncing citizenship with a nation, and then applying for national documents under a supra-national organization which (by definition) requires compliance with the laws of the government you’re surrounded by at the time.

    It’s my opinion that to really “walk the walk” of agorism, one must renounce all ties to coercive monopolies – not use any documents of any state. Granted, that’s next to impossible today, which is why I think the Free State Project is so important. With that high concentration of liberty-activism, we might see a society that respects no nation’s requirements and simply allows people to live free.

  19. By Mike Gogulski on 13 December 2008

    @Kevin: Thanks. Fair enough, though in my case the point is to divorce the American state far more so than to make any attempt at living completely undocumented. Frankly, I doubt that I’m up to that challenge.

  20. By Kevin Dean on 14 December 2008

    Good on you then. :) Hopefully this drastic step will get someone to think critically for a bit and introduce them to something powerful.

  21. By Joe La Sac on 14 December 2008

    Wow Mike, this is amazing – congratulations! It would be great if people still stuck here in the US could renounce US citizenship and still live in the borders of the US. There’s over 30 native tribes in Washington State, for example, and most of the territory here is owned by them. Treaties, while signed, have not been honored. In British Columbia the settlers never actually made treaty with natives, so they have an even better case.

    But who honestly stands a chance in court?

  22. By marek on 14 December 2008

    i think this step could be evaded if you studied history more honestly …

  23. By Mike Gogulski on 14 December 2008

    @Marek: Do explain…

  24. By Gabriela on 14 December 2008

    Ever heard of Dean Reed? Crazy American who decided to stay in the GDR. Wonder how he took it when it crushed… maybe moved to Pyongyang. Feel like joining him down there, Mike?

  25. By Mike Gogulski on 14 December 2008

    I’m pretty sure that “crush” is a transitive verb, but, no, sorry, I’m not much into Korean food? Got a story you’d like to tell?

  26. By Gabriela on 14 December 2008

    Sorry, of course I meant “crashed”.

    For the DR story visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dean_Reed

    If you were here 20 years ago you’d see the hypocritical statesmen on-line. Of course, you can see them in first rows again. Take a seat and feel free to enjoy…

  27. By Mike Gogulski on 15 December 2008

    @Gabriela: Thanks for the link. I think you can rest assured that any superficial similarity between Comrade Reed and I is just that — superficial. At least, I don’t see myself settling in Bratislava as a means of living the great Commie dream, and I’ve never played a guitar in my life.

    Still, you seem to be right on the point of letting something out, something, perhaps, that you really need to say. Let it flow, súdružka

  28. By Joe La Sac on 15 December 2008

    Oh no, he’s not like us! He doesn’t have a state! Traitor! It’s ridiculous that people could possibly be that offended about this Mike.

    … So, Dean Reed was not raising the issue of statelessness. The only connection is ‘notoriety’ if there is a connection. (I’ve looked into getting old episodes of CBS’s 60 Minutes program, but it’s very difficult. You would think they have the old episodes archived somewhere but they don’t.)

    So how is it that you decided to learn Slovak? I’ve been thinking Greek would be interesting to learn. But I studied Latin in college, why!? (It was worth it at the time, but not useful to me now.) When I visited an EU center in Strasbourg they said they were hiring people who can translate any of the 23 languages within the EU. Just for kicks I wanted to apply thinking that they translated documents for the Vatican. They don’t.

  29. By Rado on 15 December 2008

    I prefer Doug Casey’s recommendation: “I suggest you really internationalize yourself. I think what you ought to have is your citizenship in one country, your bank account in another country, your investments in a third, and live in a fourth.”
    Another option is to have multiple passports.
    Internationalization gives you a lot of freedom. It does not send out the anarchist message, though.

  30. By Mike Gogulski on 16 December 2008

    @Joe: Heh, I studied Latin also and never regretted it. I decided to learn Slovak immediately after I decided to come live here. I wasn’t much interested in being among the typical expat and backpacker crowd who just float through places hanging with their own and never touching the place through its language.

    @Rado: On a personal benefit level, I agree with you completely, and if someone came to me suggesting they might want to pursue a course like mine I would encourage them to explore taking the PT route first, in preference. My Why Slovakia? post discusses, a bit, why I abandoned the PT dream.

  31. By Rado on 16 December 2008

    I don’t think that what Doug Casey recommends is really PT. You don’t have to travel every 6 or so months to avoid taxes. Just spread your assets around the world and be flexible. Stay whereever you like and game the system.

    If you just renounce your citizenship, it sends out a message, but you still have to obey the laws of the country where you are located and it will limit your mobility greatly.

    The personal disadvantages are too big. The state screws you as a citizen and it screws you even more if you are a non-citizen.

    Btw, could you write something about your international mobility as a stateless person?

  32. By Mike Gogulski on 19 December 2008

    Rado: The suggestion you quote from Casey is a part of PT praxis, without question. Also, I see that he has many articles up at escapeartist.com, a site that at least used to promote the idea (and which influenced me as far back as 10 years ago).

    The personal disadvantages issue to being stateless is certainly something I have grappled with in coming to this point, and likely something that I will battle a great deal more in the future. As issues arise, I’ll write about them here. For now, I’m not attempting any travel beyond the Bratislava area, at least until I get my stateless person’s Travel Document.

  33. By Haas on 29 January 2009

    Mike,

    You have done something I can only dream of…

    I despise the United States of America like no other.

    Without boring detail, I am a convicted felon (drug poss.; no sales – arrested once in my life).

    Since my conviction 16 years ago I have been perpetually unemployed and discriminated against in every possible manner one can think of.

    It is human scum such as FBI Special Agent Ivan Crespo, The Norwalk Connecticut Police Department, etc, etc. that ensure I remain relegated to forever suffer a “punishment not commensurate to the crime”.

    Unfortunately Mike, I have grown very tired of the “fight” and made a firm decision to leave this life by my own hand.

    I only wish I could have acomplished what you have.

  34. By Mike Gogulski on 30 January 2009

    @Haas: Don’t let the bastards get you down. Thought about starting your own business?

    Norwalk, eh? I nearly bought a condo there once. Glad I didn’t; I really had no love for the town.

    There’s a book that I keep on my LibraryThing list in the sidebar here called “Shattered Lives”, which details a number of personal stories of tragedy from America’s War on (Some) Drugs. Back in 1999, with the help of the author, I and a friend put together an exhibition at New Haven’s public library that put faces and personal stories to people like you, caught up in the nanny state’s net and having their lives ruined by the drug warriors. It was quite a thing to survey the photographs of 100 families blown apart by these needless arrests and prosecutions, and something altogether more horrible to realize that number could be multiplied by any you’d care to think of, and there’d still be more. The even deeper tragedy, of course, is that few really care.

    Good luck.

  35. By outlaw on 25 October 2009

    Mike, I blasted your reading of the new libertarian manifesto all over the airwaves…go to my site to hear it…be well

  36. By Mike Gogulski on 26 October 2009

    @Outlaw: Delightful! thanks both for doing that, and for stopping by :)

  37. By shagy on 12 December 2009

    Hi Mike! So could u get ur citizenship.
    I am a stateless too. I never had a citizenship and I suffered alot coz of this. Finaly I could come to EU and hope here I will get citizenship after 5 years. Trying to get a legal residence at least.
    Good Luck
    Shagy

  38. By Mike Gogulski on 12 December 2009

    Hello, Shagy,

    Well, I might get a citizenship (probably Slovakia) at some point, for convenience.

    How did you become stateless?

  39. By baliheart on 17 June 2010

    there is a company in guatemala that sells legal african passports that allow u to be a national for a prescribed period of time or other countries that allow immediate permenante residence along with travel docs of course all for a fee usually for $5,000 …panama is one that offers immediate docs for purchases of property …in any case the point is there is a whole economy and world out there which deals in individuals who want to legally hide there identities or simply want to creat a new one…us citizens are so brainwashed into thinking that no alternatives exist

  40. By Mike on 7 July 2010

    Hi Mike,

    Why would you want Slovak citizenship, or any other citizenship?

    Every country is the same.

    What I mean is that people at any country are mostly unaware of most shit done by their governments, the only difference is in the scale – dependent on the size of the country.

    Politics is a dirty business and can be done only by dirty people, other would simply fail.

    So why would you associate with it again?

  41. By Mike Gogulski on 7 July 2010

    @Mike: Pure convenience. The Schengen area might be a comfy cage to live in, but visa-free travel to many places outside it would be a plus.

  42. By HC on 13 January 2011

    How on earth did the US Embassy allow you to renounce your US citizenship, when you will be rendered stateless?

    Were you a permanent resident? (where you currently live)

    Thanks. Please reply.

  43. By Mike Gogulski on 13 January 2011

    @HC: The US is not a state party to the treaty on statelessness which bans signatories from accepting a national’s renunciation if they do not already have citizenship of another country. Thus, they simply followed the law in the Immigration and Nationality Act.

    I was and still am a resident of Slovakia on a temporary residence permit. In 2013, I should be able to convert this to a permanent residence.

  1. 7 Trackback(s)

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  5. 11 December 2008: Rabbit Creative » Pay us, or we will kill you.
  6. 13 December 2008: Rad Geek People’s Daily 2008-12-12 – Gogulski becomes stateless
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