kaigou: the kraken stirs, and ten billion sushi dinners cry out for vengeance. (3 the kraken stirs)
[personal profile] kaigou
(No, this has nothing to do with any plans for world domination. JUST ASKIN', really.)

What happens if more than 50% of your country's tangible property -- land -- is purchased/owned/occupied by nationals of another country? I mean, is there any scenario in which you could visualize or rationalize or imagine buying out a country? Or maybe just causing significant political shifts (assuming it's a multi-party and/or non-authoritarian regime)? Or... what happens when refugees from another country completely overwhelm the existing population (numbers-wise)? Could you end up with such chaos that the country ends up in a state of quasi-claimant by the nationals of a second country?

Feel free to reference books, movies, other fiction that's addressed such ideas, or your own experience and/or theories, academic or just fantastical, or real-world political, economic, financial, etc.

[Consider it purely curiosity on my part, but probably a curiosity that's buttressed by my own culture's assumptions that a nation is made up of its people & its land, which is where the foregone conclusion resides that a massive paradigm shift of people & ownership would have to, therefore, affect the nation as a whole.]

Date: 29 Jun 2011 07:45 pm (UTC)
tiercel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] tiercel
I don't have any personal knowledge, but something about your question trips my memory. Leaving aside just straight-out imperialism, I would look into the histories of island nations, particularly Hawaii. Somewhere in the back of my mind, there's a vague memory of Japanese folks buying up large section of Hawaiian real estate back in the... 80s? Maybe? Alas, I don't know what kind of effect that had on Hawaii, but I'd be surprised if someone hadn't written a book or two about it.

Date: 4 Jul 2011 09:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] l-clausewitz.livejournal.com
Oh, that Singaporean "land-stealing." For me, this is one of the issues that shows the colossal incompetence of the Indonesian government, since much of the mining and trade in sand and gravel is actually done by poor Indonesians digging up single boatloads (and the boats weren't even very big), rowing them over, and then selling them rather cheaply in Singapore. When the government is confronted with the fact that this trade stemmed from its inability to stimulate the economy and create more productive employment opportunities, it just starts mouthing off vague promises and excuses.

Date: 29 Jun 2011 08:40 pm (UTC)
phoebe_zeitgeist: (Default)
From: [personal profile] phoebe_zeitgeist
Well, I imagine there are situations where you could have something like your buyout. You'd have to set it up carefully, though, because the outcome will depend on a huge number of variables, or so I should think. How does the country in question treat property rights in land? (In Anglo-American law at least, land is very different from personal property.) What sorts of immigration rules are in place, and how well enforced are they? (Just because I own a bit of real estate in another country doesn't necessarily mean I can occupy it, or bring in fellow nationals to occupy it.) Technical ownership aside, who has physical control over the property? Is this country one where the existing population has a strong sense of national identity, that it would work to keep? Do the buyers think their home nation would use military force to secure what they consider to be their rights? And so on, and on, and on.

If a nation feels threatened enough, and isn't worried about the equivalent of the Marines swooping in to support the buyers, it can do anything from restrict the way foreign nationals can use or transfer real property to expropriating it back again, with or without reasonable compensation. Doing things like this would have consequences, of course, but so does defaulting on sovereign debt, and nations have been known to do that, or to threaten to do it when strategically necessary. On the other hand, if it doesn't feel threatened, or doesn't have enough power or protection from other powers to resist, I imagine eventually you could find a consensus in favor of some sort of merger with the country the buyers hail from. Or something less than consensus, but sufficient to force the affiliation -- although in that case I think you can expect that there's going to be a terrorism issue for rather a long time as a consequence.

Date: 29 Jun 2011 11:30 pm (UTC)
hollyberries: (Default)
From: [personal profile] hollyberries
I could be completely wrong, but I think one branch of Zionism had this idea re: the establishment of Israel? Whether it worked or not, well...

Date: 30 Jun 2011 12:11 am (UTC)
hollyberries: (Default)
From: [personal profile] hollyberries
It's very much an awkward point in conversation and pretty much the elephant in the room, but the fact is that Israel did some pretty illegal things and are still doing them, and I don't much feel like going beyond saying this. I'm not Jewish or Palestinian, and I have no personal stake in the whole conflict, so it maybe un-PC for me to bring any of this up.

It remains that the entire affair, from 1900s onwards, leaves a terrible taste in my mouth.

Date: 30 Jun 2011 03:51 am (UTC)
nagasvoice: lj default (Default)
From: [personal profile] nagasvoice
Annexation is a common result of large-scale immigration and property rights changes (not the same things, but often overlapping).
Also, "Our nationals are in your country and you're treating them terribly!" is always a grand excuse for an invasion.
The Ottoman Empire deliberately and consciously uprooted and replanted big populations of ethnic groups and tribal people (expected to be loyal to the Empire) into territories where the bordering country's enforcement was weak, where the Empire had some sway over what happened (tribute etc.), or which they owned but did not feel secure in that ownership. This was often by offering the people rewards of some kind to move in there; sometimes full citizenship was enough reward, meaning they weren't getting direct money or title to the land in the country where they were going, to do any of this.
The result, hundreds of years later, can be seen in border-crossing populations of Turks, Afghans, and so on. The Balkans have been in this state since forever. I'm not as sure about the history of Eastern Germany or Poland.

Date: 30 Jun 2011 08:27 am (UTC)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
From: [personal profile] edenfalling
Or... what happens when refugees from another country completely overwhelm the existing population (numbers-wise)? Could you end up with such chaos that the country ends up in a state of quasi-claimant by the nationals of a second country?

I think this is a fairly accurate general description of European colonization of the Americas, though at least some of the "refugees" would be better described as adventurers and profiteers. :-(

Date: 1 Jul 2011 02:45 am (UTC)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
From: [personal profile] edenfalling
Fair enough!

I find this discussion an interesting contrast to the history of German settlers in Europe. Various rulers had been in the habit of inviting Germans to come create towns and farms in their territory, since they felt that Germans were more orderly and productive subjects (and therefore a better tax base, I suppose). There were significant ethnic German minorities all through eastern Europe, western Russia, and the northern Balkans. (For example, there's a reason Bram Stoker thought German was a useful language for a visitor to Transylvania to speak.) This diaspora was probably useful from Austria-Hungary's point of view, and if that empire had survived, those German populations might be an example of the kind of ethnic and political shift you're talking about.

Except Austria-Hungary broke up, WWII happened, and those ethnic German enclaves pretty much vanished -- the people either died or migrated to Germany (often against their will), despite having resided in their "foreign" homes for generations. I suspect some of the bad feeling that triggered the expulsion of ethnic Germans may have been caused by a fear of the process you're postulating... especially since, IIRC, "protecting" an ethnic German population was Hitler's excuse for taking over parts of Czechoslovakia -- which, incidentally, he did with the agreement of other European nations.

Date: 1 Jul 2011 08:42 am (UTC)
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)
From: [personal profile] mishalak
"All power comes from the barrel of a gun."

What happens if nationals of Country A purchase 51% of Country B? Not a lot unless Country B just completely fails at the whole national defense thing. If the owners from Country A are absentee landlords then it would be a simple matter for Country B to expropriate the land and unless Country A is willing to go to war that is the end of the matter if done according to laws and rules of Country B. Sure, there could be trade sanctions and whatnot, but unless Country A is incredibly dominant in Country B's trade that will not work. It is not as if the rest of the world would jump in to help Country A.

Likewise with refugees and migrants. Unless they are given citizenship they do not get to vote and most countries, unlike the United States, do not automatically give citizenship by birth within the nation's boarders. What it would come down to is if the refugees or immigrants can force the issue by moral force or martial force. If the refugees are unarmed what is to stop Country B from returning them to Country A?

If, to use the perilous real world example, what if the United States of America were willing to spend the money and take the economic hit that finding and deporting all illegal immigrants were to entail, what would happen? There would, due to the lapse of time, be a lot of uncomfortable edge cases, but would any of the other countries stop the United States from doing so or even contest the legality of the action? On the other hand what if the United States were to do nothing and, even, to throw open the gates to everyone from Mexico and given them the vote, what then? Would the migrants actually try to reunite with Mexico as in the paranoid fantasies of the nativists or would it be a whole lot messier and more complicated? I suspect that a great many of the people willing to go would have a personal agenda different than what the leaders of any movement would hope.

My favorite real world example of an attempt is the "Free State Project". Libertarians pledging to move to one state to give themselves more influence over politics and to take over. So far it has failed to find enough people willing to actually migrate for libertarianism. I doubt it will actually come about due to politics not being a primary motivator for the vast majority of people (see also liberals moving to Canada due to conservatism of the US). The only way it could happen would be with subsidies on the part of some government to move people and then I suspect Country B would take action to stop the move or a mass migration due to economic issues.

Date: 1 Jul 2011 11:54 pm (UTC)
majoline: picture of Majoline, mother of Bon Mucho in Loco Roco 2 (Default)
From: [personal profile] majoline
I will have to look it up, but for a long time at Gulfport Seabee base there was a multiple ton pile of raw aluminum from a country that did buy freedom from the US. I don't remember the details exactly however.

I don't know if I gave you enough details to google either.

Date: 5 Jul 2011 11:54 am (UTC)
majoline: picture of Majoline, mother of Bon Mucho in Loco Roco 2 (Default)
From: [personal profile] majoline
Nope, it most certainly wasn't Panama, it was a Caribbean country. Or an island nation in the Pacific, that much I do remember.

My googling isn't finding anything, but I don't know if that's because that was something on the mild down-low and I'd have to look the file up at work, damnit or if I'm not remembering enough. :(