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About Mike Gogulski, future stateless person

26 May 2008 by Mike Gogulski
Posted in diary | 38 Comments »

Welcome to nostate.com, I’m Mike Gogulski, future stateless person.

I live in Bratislava, Slovakia, where I work as a translator, editor and proofreader. My professional activities are detailed on my main website, www.gogulski.com.

Mike Gogulski

I plan to renounce my American citizenship in protest of what has become an American Empire, a nation that I see riding an express train to police state dictatorship with flags flying, anthems blaring and deluded, complicit masses cheering it along the track. Hopefully, others will be motivated to do the same by my example, though I recognize inertia as the most powerful force in human affairs.

My political philosophy — which could be variously termed anarchism, anarcho-capitalism or individualist anarchism — informs this decision, but it is my disgust over what America has become — in bloody, murderous, thieving contrast to what it professes — which motivates it.

I have not attached a specific date yet to my renunciation, but I have lately (mid-May 2008) decided to no longer make it conditional on the US government opening its next atrocious act on the world stage. I had told myself as long as two years ago that I would renounce when the US attacked Iran, exploded a nuclear weapon, deployed a bio-weapon, declared martial law, annexed a territory or canceled an election. I became very involved for that reason in watching the news closely for signs that any of those eventualities might be approaching. In doing so, however, I’ve come to the realization that I need no more justification. The United States’ record, as a domestic and international governmental entity, is beyond appalling, and I need no further reasons to denounce it and renounce my association with it. Perhaps I am late in doing so.

Loosely, my plan calls for me to enter the US Embassy in Bratislava sometime between late August and early October 2008 and renounce my citizenship. I have some things to put in order meanwhile, both personally and to minimize or acclimate myself to whatever horrors await me on the other side of becoming an official unperson.

This website is my chronicle of the journey, my release for the disillusionment and rage I feel and, perhaps, my support group and sounding board. Stay tuned.

You can find full contact information for me on my professional site. Instant messaging from people I don’t know will be largely ignored. Flames will be responded to in kind. Donations to the cause are accepted graciously via my commercial data page, or via the various advertising and affiliate crap you’ll find around the site.

  1. 38 Responses to “About Mike Gogulski, future stateless person”

  2. By Kent McManigal on 8 June 2008

    While I cheer your actions if you feel it is important to do this, I also see it as giving more importance to “citizenship” than it deserves. I say, ignore it.

  3. By anon on 9 June 2008

    Hello. I am a fellow anarcho-capitalist. A few things struck me as odd in your post.

    1. Canceling an election was once part of your criteria for canceling your US citizenship. That would make it appear that you find an objective difference between a large amount of people using force on someone and a small amount of people using force on someone. Why?

    2. Slovakia is a State. You will not be stateless once you renounce citizenship. Furthermore, Slovakia resorts to the same methods of violence the US does domestically. Namely, imprisoning tax evaders and shooting them if they attempt to escape.

    3. Renouncing citizenship really accomplishes nothing, either in principle or in effect. You will still be supporting another system of violence with your tax money. Of course, I am using the word “support” loosely here because the reality is that paying tax money is essentially a form of self-defense.

    In effect, I’m willing to bet you’ll be paying more taxes in Slovakia. I’m not so sure about this assertion though.

    4. Renouncing citizenship is actually quite hard (especially US citizenship).

  4. By Mike Gogulski on 9 June 2008

    Dear anon,

    Thanks for writing.

    1: I don’t personally believe that democracy as practiced around the world today is a good thing. That said, most people do, and canceling an election would reveal American democracy for the sham that it is. It would also be a historical event to pin my own little crusade to. As for the second part of your question, I don’t really follow what you’re asking. In general terms, though, I believe we can look at human actions and classify them in binary terms (good or bad) but also in relative terms (less bad or more bad).

    2: Though I live in Slovakia, I am not a citizen of the country. By renouncing my sole citizenship, I will in fact become stateless. And of course I’m aware of the nature of the state here, as everywhere.

    3: Arguably true in an objective sense, but my motivations are primarily subjective. We’ll see what is accomplished. As to the second part of this, yes, it’s yet another system of violence which I am compelled to support through taxation. I happen to believe, though, that if I am to seek that my taxes go to support lesser rather than greater evil, that the lesser is to be found here.

    4: I know. It promises to be quite a ride.

  5. By Mike Gogulski on 9 June 2008

    Dear Kent,

    Perhaps you are right, but this is a subjective thing, the motivation for which I described elsewhere thus:

    Citizenship of a state carries with it both duties and privileges. We can likely both agree that the duties are odious and shedding them would be a delight. As for the privileges, the main ones that concern me are the right to be physically present in its territory and a claim to the state’s protection. I do not want the empire’s vaunted “protection”, certainly, and I don’t need it. Being unable to visit the country to see family and friends is a sacrifice however, but one that I am willing to make.

    The motivational story goes something like this. I grew up as nearly every American child does subjected to the standard public-school brainwashing program of American exceptionalism, and it took long years to begin waking up from that, and even longer years to see the full extent of the monstrosity that America’s perversion of “liberty” has created. America is indeed exceptional: it is exceptionally evil. Must I list the empire’s crimes, at home and abroad? They should be well known to those reading this already.

    Note that the usage of the words “America” and “American” here are directed at the institution of the state, not the majority of the American people, and certainly not at the territory itself.

    So, I seek to divorce myself from the evil that I see and which lays claim to me by means of citizenship. It’s nothing specific now, it’s the whole bloody, thieving, murderous history. I had been telling myself for a time that I would renounce when missiles started flying toward Tehran, or when the US detonated a nuclear weapon in war, or declared martial law at home. As I’ve worked closer to this act, though, I have had to realize that I don’t need some *new* imperial horror to pin my protest to, there is plenty going on already, and a blood-drenched historical record as well.

  6. By Kent McManigal on 9 June 2008

    I accept no duties except for those I explicitly agree to, from the state or from any individual. I do what I must to keep the state from killing me, just as I would when dealing with any insane aggressor. I also make a distiction between “America” (the people and the ideals) and the “United States” (the government which illegally occupies America).

  7. By Acumensch on 11 June 2008

    To the first comment about giving more to “citizenship” than it deserves – but renouncing this symbol, or showing that it is possible, is exactly what is needed.

  8. By Ozzy on 14 August 2008

    Mike

    Kudos to you. Much of what you wrote here and in your blogs resonates deeply with me; indeed, I have experienced identical thoughts, including the desire to renounce my US citizenship, though my timeline is tied to my family and personal obligations rather than to external events. Just wanted you to know I understand understand what you are doing and why, and I also understand the amount of courage – both physical and intellectual – this will take. Well done and fare thee well.

  9. By Doug on 12 December 2008

    I toyed with this very idea back in early 2003, not long after arriving in Europe with my native German wife.

    I was encouraged by a friend and media-type in the München area, who was interested in managing the ensuing media circus he surely wished to have a part in creating. I was alternately discouraged by my wife, who’s practical concerns (travel, especially) ultimately won out at the time as I performed the required “homework” — and realized exactly what the limitations would be at the time.

    That said, I must offer up my sincere congratulations at your having decided to run the gauntlets of state with your head held high. Let’s just hope it’s small enough not to attract snipers, right…? =)

    Came across your story via Kev’s link from Cryptogon, and I’ll be keeping a weather eye on your story as it unfolds, for certain.

  10. By Mike Gogulski on 15 December 2008

    I hear ya, Doug. Not a road for everyone, and thanks, I’ll keep my head down :)

    If your media circus ringleader has some free time on his hands and an ongoing interest, drop him a tip for me?

  11. By Haas on 13 February 2009

    Mike,

    I applaud you and envy what you have accomplished. you have the gift of being bilingual which has greatly facilitated your goal.

    I have only suicide Mike and will be gone before you have even reviewed my post.

    You are living what I had dreamed of for more than 17 years…

  12. By Kent McManigal on 13 February 2009

    Haas,
    on the off-chance you are still alive, if things are that bad, why not just grab a backpack and start walking? Leave everything behind and start a new life from scratch. You have nothing to lose, right? Think about it, please!

  13. By Mike Gogulski on 14 February 2009

    I’m with Kent on that one.

  14. By Seth on 14 February 2009

    That, or take an especially murderous and well deserving criminal cop out with you.

  15. By rama on 9 April 2009

    Well, Mike, Haas, and friends, I thought of a similar thing in 1998. I am from Europe but studied extensively the colonialism and industrial enslavement that has lead to this tragedy of errors that we all now face. I can empathise with you Haas, I think many of us feel so disturbed by the injustice that we are getting to breaking point, frequently, and, of course, that’s what the jobsworths want us to feel. My own emotional drag came after 911, and as the corruption gathered pace, circumstances in my own life mirrored and still does, the betrayals, theft and destruction wrought upon us all. I keep on looking for a place to create justice and renew energy, but I can’t find anywhere, especially with the increasing restriction on immigration, everything!

    I’ve been fighting authority, (morally), all my life.

    tired but keen

    rama

  16. By Mike Coll on 10 April 2009

    Hi MIke, very interesting to say the least.I am a Minister of the scriptures.The scriptures make it quite clear that the devil is the god of this world, or the god of this system.He is the god of the nations,He is the deceiver of the whole world.He is the god of politics, He is the god of commerce, and He is the god of religion, and these three make up his visible organization on the earth. This is why there is such madness,such insanity.The governments are beasts, they are arrogant, haughty, twisted and incapable of administering justice.They are the great oppressors of the earth.What is the future for the hateful nations? As the scripture states in Zephaniah 3 verse 8 My determination is to gather the nations,assemble the kingdoms that I may pour out upon them the indignation of my wrath. All the devils governments will be wiped off the face of the earth. Is anyone familiar with the temptations of Christ? The devil offered him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory if Christ would fall down and worship the devil. You cannot offer something that is not yours, I cannot offer you your neighbors car but I can offer you my own, the devil offers the nations because He is their ruler and controller. He controls the people through lies,deceit,propaganda, the media, through fear, through intimidation, etc..the greatest uprising the world has ever known , the greatest rebellion, the greatest rejection of the devil and his twisted system is rapidly approaching. The scriptures describe it as one shall become a thousand I will hasten it in its time, or a nation shall be born in one day. Nice chatting with everyone

  17. By HKA on 26 April 2009

    Is it actually possible to just renounce US citizenship? In my country it is necessary to show proof of other citizenship or it can not be revoked.

  18. By Mike Gogulski on 28 April 2009

    @Rama: Fight on!

    @Mike: Quite a perspective… not one I share, but powerful.

    @HKA: Well, yes.

  19. By john brown on 20 August 2009

    For Mike Gogulski

    Love your take on the whole subject of citizenship renunciation; it’s very interesting and informative!

    Do you know of any decent country an american “minority” could immigrate to that would treat him better than america?

    I would like to know since a friend of mine is giving citizenship renunciation a lot of thought after being charged and convicted (by plea bargain) of a “statutory” felony.

    (no actual violence took place but in amerikkka if you point a stick at someone in self defense it constitutes statutory assault with a deadly weapon; after this he said to himself: “enough is enough!” i want out!)

    I think my friend is on to something with his idea and we would both like to know your thoughts on this.

  20. By Mike Gogulski on 20 August 2009

    @John:

    Tricky bit, this.

    Legally, you (or your friend) can go to any country outside the US and renounce at a US embassy or consular office.

    However, with a (presumably) felony conviction on your record in the US, you’re going to have trouble obtaining legal residence under your “official” identity anyplace else.

    Now, the US law does not say that convicted felons can’t renounce, or that people without legal residence in the country where they intend to renounce cannot do so there, but these are factors which may lead the consular officer and/or State Department to reject the petition.

    Now, a big part of me says “fuck the legalities”. However, remaining in a country with no residence permit and unable to renounce US citizenship means you’re not eligible for protection under any of the international treaties on refugees or stateless persons, and are thus deportable back to the US at any time.

    If you’re really going to do this, get into one of the countries with the more favorable laws on stateless persons. Present yourself at the embassy or whatever calmly and seeming knowledgeable about what you’re doing. Hope for the best. Assuming that you’re unable to obtain legal residence/citizenship in that country (likely), avoid any contact with the local authorities.

    Eventually, however, you’ll probably end up arrested — at the very least. Depending on where that occurs, you might be released almost immediately, or jailed indefinitely. Do your research, and choose your destination very carefully.

  21. By Fukyiro on 11 October 2009

    Aloha Mike,

    I appreciate your sentiments regarding the current condition of the US. I also feel the same way.

    I have studied enough domestic & int’l law to know that asking for ‘protection’ from your home State for specific political reasons is enough to classify you as a ‘refugee'; it sounds like you qualify. ‘Refugee’ status is not a ‘Stateless’ classification, however.

    By asking for legal protection in a foreign state, one must have necessarily chosen to be subject to the rule of another State. How could this be construed to be ‘stateless’?

    You are 100% correct about the ineffectualness of your ‘renunciation’ as long as the State is choosing to accept/deny your application.

    The proper legal term for what you have accomlished is ‘expatriation’. It is not becoming Stateless.

    There is only one other way I could be wrong on all accounts, but you have not indicated anything that would cause me to suspect you were withholding an essential element to you claims. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then yeah, you’ve merely ‘expatriated’.

    Wasn’t your goal to truly obtain a Stateless condition?

    Peace

  22. By Fukyiro on 11 October 2009

    Aloha Mike,

    I just looked at the scanned pics of the docs you provided. I am taken back. You are ‘stateless’ after all.
    http://translate.google.com/translate_t?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&text=osoba+bez+statnej+prislusnosti&sl=sk&tl=en#

    What I don’t get is why/how the Slovak Republic is issuing you a ‘stateless’ document under it’s State’s name? Are they required to? How is that possible without some sort of nexus being created?

    I’m quite curious now. :)

    Peace

  23. By Mike Gogulski on 11 October 2009

    Fukyiro: One of the treaties on statelessness that Slovakia is party to (see my “renunciant resources” page above) requires the government to issue stateless persons legally resident with travel and identity documents, and that’s what I have.

  24. By Fukyiro on 12 October 2009

    Mike,

    Thanks for the resources.

    http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/stateless.htm

    28 September 1954 Convention

    Article 26. – Freedom of movement

    Each Contracting State shall accord to stateless persons lawfully in its territory the right to choose their place of residence and to move freely within its territory, subject to any regulations applicable to aliens generally in the same circumstances.

    Article 27. – Identity papers

    The Contracting States shall issue identity papers to any stateless person in their territory who does not possess a valid travel document.

    Article 28. – Travel documents

    The Contracting States shall issue to stateless persons lawfully staying in their territory travel documents for the purpose of travel outside their territory, unless compelling reasons of national security or public order otherwise require, and the provisions of the schedule to this Convention shall apply with respect to such documents. The Contracting States may issue such a travel document to any other stateless person in their territory; they shall in particular give sympathetic consideration to the issue of such a travel document to stateless persons in their territory who are unable to obtain a travel document from the country of their lawful residence.

    ***

    I keep reading “lawful/lawfully” and “habitually resides/residence” but thinking “subject/subjection to”, specifically to the “Contracting State” (Slovak Repub).

    Could you explain further how your status isn’t ‘subject’ to the laws (“shall accord to”) the State? I mean, you asked them permission to ‘reside’ there, didn’t you? What am I missing?

    Peace

  25. By Fred Concklin on 19 October 2009

    dude ur totally my background now.

  26. By Mike Gogulski on 19 October 2009

    @Fred: Send cash please, no more flowers!

  27. By liz on 31 January 2010

    Hello. just found this wonderful site by accident =] i love it.

    i was wondering if you wrote the anarchists declaration or if it was from somewhere else. i think i’ll be re-posting it if that’s alright =]

  28. By Mike Gogulski on 31 January 2010

    Hi Liz, and thank you. Yes, I wrote it, and you’re welcome to repost it anywhere you like.

  29. By Nathan on 6 August 2010

    Mike, I saw you being interviewed by that statist who was basically calling you selfish and evil for leaving… mere projection on her part.

    Anyway, I thought I would suggest Freedomain Radio if you’ve not already heard of it. Great podcast that might give you more philosophical principles that back up your reasoning for leaving.

  30. By DJ on 12 August 2010

    American Citizenship/nationality is very unique for those of us born in a state of the union. It has become more complicated since U.S. Inc. took over the states after the civil war, leaving us in the police state we still have today. Today everything is federal. The STATE OF ________ is a federal corporation. Domicile/residence is what ties you to their statutory law. A resident of Illinois has a domicile in federal territory etc. The 14th amendment is not the problem. All U.S. citizens under federal law are aliens which is what we all are assumed to be through fed franchises like Birth Cert., Soc. Security, etc. There is case law of someone being a citizen under the constitution but a national and not citizen under federal law and stateless, nonresident alien but not an alien. This means you can abandon U.S. citizen status and keep non-citizen national, transient foreigner status if you were born in a state because the states are foriegn WRT the federal gov. This is the best of both worlds. Google Declaration of Intention to Change Domicle/Citizenship and Divorce the “United States” or SEDM.org.

  31. By Mr. Holipsism on 19 August 2010

    Peace Mike! Question…what is the percentage of African Americans in this movement. I know some people are weary of hearing questions like these but I’m weary of looking at pictures of people celebrating freedom and independence and not seeing anyone that looks like me. Whether or not anyone else trivializes that need is of little importance to me as much as it is important for me to know. Thank you in advance. ONE LOVE!

  32. By Escapee on 29 December 2010

    DJ above has some things right, but not right enough to be effective. I challenge him to show any legal basis for “American Citizenship/nationality” for starters.

    Mike, I admire your walking the walk. I’ve been openly SS-less for over ten years. I even have a US passport without an SSN, believe it or not. It’s because I am not a citizen of the US, per the 14th Amendment “subject to the jurisdiction” clause; I’m a Citizen instead, not a resident, of my state.

    It’s really that simple.

    I encourage you to study http://www.constitution.org/cmt/jswise/citizenship.htm Especially the parts clarifying the concept of primary state citizenship.

  33. By Gods Creation on 26 May 2011

    You do not need to renounce your citizenship anywhere. That amounts to seeking governments permission to be free.

  34. By Fukyiro Pinion on 3 June 2011

    @God’s Creation

    If not renunciation & statelessness, what do you propose?

  35. By Fukyiro Pinion on 3 June 2011

    @Escapee

    There is no political change in your status & standing just because your passport does not have a SSN. If you are a Citizen, then you are SUBJECT to the State. Of course, you do qualify for a US passport – unlike those who are NOT subjects/citizens of the US or any of the 51 States.

  36. By Anna on 9 November 2011

    Hi Mike,
    Looks like there is more and more people leaving America. Unbelievable!
    You should look up Aaron at “StormCloudsGathering”. He lives in France now.
    Unfortunately, Slovakia is sucked into this Euro mess too. But no worry, the Rotschilds opened a bank now in Bratislava. And Geroge Sros owns the oil refinery and oil distribution, hahaha.
    Who would have thanken!

  37. By Ryan on 7 September 2012

    It’s easier to secure citizenship of another nation and then renounce US citizenship, and then conceivably in time announce that of your new home, if you want to go truly stateless. The U.S. will cling to you like a fly on shit unless you’ve lined something else up and you renounce as if you’re just relocating rather than an asylum seeker. The U.S. likes to play Hotel California to its expatriated asylum seekers, and remind them it’s like the Hotel California: “You can check out any time you like but you can never leave.”

  38. By milburn smith on 6 February 2015

    saw your book review on Amazon. Brilliant Sir!

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