Ave, Sandum Citizens!
Every year around this time, a disparate league of micronationalists join together to criticise Sandus for celebrating Remembrance Day: a league of Conservatives and Leftists who purposefully misconstrue the cultural celebration of Remembrance Day for political ends. This year, the criticism is fewer and less people are voicing their opposition – likely because, in the past, we have noted that Remembrance Day is a wholly Sandum holiday inspired by the Soviet example of Victory Day. However, the criticism this year remains despite clear the State’s explanations to the contrary and the behaviour of some micronationalists is both nonsensical and highly inappropriate for statesmen whose argument rests of a moralist interpretation of the Sandum Remembrance Day in light of events not pertaining to Sandus.
In the history of Sandus, Remembrance Day was decided to be held then because of political and cultural reasons in making the Socialist Nation of Sandus in the cultural expression of Socialist peoples under the Soviet Union with Victory Day: because the USSR was Socialist, it was decided that a Socialist-inspired holiday should be celebrated for Sandus – which, at that point, was highly based on Marxist-Leninist ideology and was involved in the Great Ideological Conflict of 2010. Over the years, however, the holiday became a Sandum tradition and an important holiday in terms of Sandum culture — 9 May became one of the most important State holidays — and, more important for our explanation here, its importance was expanded to include the remembrance of all war dead and those who have died prematurely by violence, accident, etc. In Sandus today, Remembrance Day is the primary festival day held during the Lemuria, a Sancta festival descended from the Roman festival for expiation of the lemures — or malevolent spirits of the prematurely dead. While Remembrance Day’s importance in Sandus has been expanded to include all dead, its cultural history as a holiday originally for the Soviet-derived Victory Day continues to play a role in Sandus’s Remembrance Day, where one can see St.George’s Ribbon and the Order of the Great Patriotic War on celebratory memorabilia.
This is the history of the Sandum Remembrance Day so far. As for the criticism Sandus received from foreign micronationalists pertaining to Remembrance Day, they are represented by M. Frederic Bayer and M. Daniel Anderson.
M. Bayer’s argument is that Sandus, by celebrating Remembrance Day on 9 May, either explicitly or implicitly supports the Soviet atrocities before and after the war – an argument he has made for some years now. However, this is certainly not the case: Sandus has, in the past, acknowledged Soviet atrocities during and after the war but has noted that all Allied powers — or, rather, all belligerents in wars — committed atrocities. As belligerents in wars, all parties commit violence and infringe upon the sovereignty of legitimate states: which, considering the definition of atrocity as a subjective wicked or cruel act especially in terms of violence, all wars are these. This explains the reason why Sandus, upon becoming sovereign in February 2011, did not reinstate the Sandum Defence Forces as most sovereign micronations assert. If all wars are atrocities and create suffering and the Sandum State’s philosophy is to act both professionally (read: “interdependently” or “synergistically”) and to allay suffering, all wars are ultimately atrocities.
The reason why Remembrance Day remains celebrated on 9 May, then, is the fact that it marks the day when peace was restored after the last great war that involved most of the world. However, this does not explain why Remembrance Day was first celebrated on 9 May, and it was for the same political reason mentioned above that it was chosen to be our Remembrance Day and remains our Remembrance Day. The reason why Armistice Day, as an example, was not chosen was because, at the time, it was not a politically related commemorative event: 9 May was as Soviet Victory Day.
Finally, we must critique M. Bayer for believing he has either the privilege or the right to discuss a Sandum cultural holiday when he is neither a citizen nor an outstanding friend or ally of Sandus. The matter can certainly be discussed by other micronationalists, but it is ultimately not his place as a foreign micronationalist to impel Sandus and her Sovereign People to change our culture and our national holidays for his outrage, especially against our common will. These are matters that are ultimately answerable by Sandum citizens and their sovereign and conscious decision to change their culture: something that we as the Sovereign People have refused to do for the past four years. Yet, for years, M. Bayer has continued voicing his outrage and, for years, we have responded and will continue to do so.
M. Anderson, on the other hand, believes Sandus to be ignoring the contributions to the War by other Allied powers. While this argument may be true in the past, especially in 2010 (under the DPRS) and 2011 (under the early State), the modern trend has been to use the example of the Victory over Fascism in WWII by all Allied powers for an invigoration of Sandum pacifism. Especially in the past two years, an emphasis has been placed on the Victory as a bringer of peace and a respite from world-wide war — an event brought about by all Allied forces, as noted especially in this year’s celebration and the same poster M. Anderson commented on. M. Anderson appears to not understand that Sandum culture is dynamic in building upon traditions from our past as a nation-project. Here too, M. Anderson has neither the privilege nor the right to impel Sandus to change her holidays. His efforts to compel us are embroidered with visceral emotions seemingly a result of his Western-centrism in a geographic and political context.
Sandus’s best efforts to be objective and to develop a multiculturalism hailing from many peoples (especially from a historical Socialist culture) are thus attacked for ignoring what, for us, is a wide-spread and normal fact: the West, like the East, was involved in the War. M. Anderson here calls Sandus’s focus on the Soviet celebration as a cultural role-model offensive and a slap in the face to the Western contributors and their families. I pause my narrative momentarily to point out one clear thing: perhaps before M. Anderson had viscerally reacted to our cultural holiday and would try for once in his life to be empathetic and understanding of other cultures by descending his high-horse, he would have sought to understand the Sandum position and my own family (since he brought up the topic of Sandus’s offence to the family of contributors in the War and its Victory). As Sôgmô, I am a member of a family that did contribute to the War in Europe, both on the front and in the war effort. Members of my family fought in the Battle of the Bulge and bombed the city of Regensburg in the War. In the 1980s, my parents lived in Regensburg — the same Bavarian city my great-uncle bombed as a bombardier in the USAAF — where my father did research for his dissertation. The idea that Sandus is offending the contributors to the Victory and the families of the contributors is nonsensical: the Sandum Royal family’s members contributed on the front and in the war effort and contributed to the peace that followed, and this tradition is honoured on Remembrance Day in addition to the tradition of Soviet/Russian Victory Day. I then inverted the question on M. Anderson and asked him what contributions his family played in the war; we are still waiting for his reply.
Both Bayer and Anderson, in public conversation, have shown a lack of level-headedness in their diplomatic dealings, especially in relation to this supreme celebration and holiday of the Sandum People. What is offensive, instead, is the fact that neither respect the cultural integrity of Sandus nor the dignity required by international law to be granted to all peoples and all nations. On the contrary, in this conversation, both have trivialised this sincere celebration of the Sandum People in remembering all dead. It is on this holiday, Remembrance Day and its broader Lemuria, that the Sôgmô will visit the war dead, particularly his cousin Army Spc. David J. Babineau who perished in 2006 at a checkpoint ambush in Baghdad, Iraq. The trivialisation by M. Bayer in assuming that this Remembrance Day is a celebration of Sandus’s sense of nationalism or of the Sôgmô’s ego is both offensive and points to his true political intention. M. Bayer does not want respect for all dead from atrocities, as he purports and as he would respect if he knew anything more than the face-value of the celebrations of Sandum Remembrance Day, but instead is perverted by an alternative reason — one that is unimportant to analyse, except to note that his honourable nominal intentions do not match his actions and his words in diplomatic arenas where the Sôgmô can not defend himself or Sandus. Both M. Bayer and M. Anderson, then, implied that Sandus and the Sôgmô are Stalinist in politics: something that is unequivocally false. Perhaps if M. Bayer would seek to understand the purpose and reason why Sandus celebrates Remembrance Day, he would understand that his “pacifist” leftist self is synonymous with the same reason why the People of Sandus celebrate Remembrance Day — of course, this would take work for M. Bayer and would require him to change his position on the same holiday that he has criticised annually on the same day for the past four years.
If M. Bayer and M. Anderson are to speak of atrocities and of offensive behaviour, perhaps their actions and words behind closed diplomatic doors should match their public words — especially considering this gem of what is true offensive behaviour and an atrocity:
The only good Communist is a dead Communist, but Will [the Sôgmô] will be one of the first against the brick wall.
– Daniel Anderson, Premier of Sirocco
When speaking against the atrocities of war, something that the Sandum Remembrance Day is a holiday for the end of, both micronational leaders propose to kill the Sôgmô, either by firing squad or by lynching.
In conclusion, Sandus has always responded level-headedly to these series of public tantrums and will continue to do so in the future. Whenever 9 May comes around on our calendar, Sandus celebrates and a handful of others are outraged by their own putting of words into the mouths of the Sandum People (fewer others this year than years before); however, whenever Anderson and his league of Conservatives “get [their] own back on December 27,” Sandum outrage is nonexistant and we Sandum Sovereign People never respond in the immature way both Anderson and Bayer have, even if Sandus is offended when such rhetoric on the “Fall of Communism” and the “Fall of Socialism” is thrown in our face at many diplomatic venues. Let this show the true nature of their outrage: when the critics of the Sandum Remembrance Day are outraged for atrocities of war that the Victory celebrates the end of, they propose their own desire for atrocities and celebrate — without Sandum outrage — their own interpretation of our Victory Day, so to speak.
Happy Remembrance Day, Sandum Citizens!
Happy 69th Anniversary of the Victory over Fascism!
This report was published in the defence of Sandum culture and Sandum sovereignty under the auspices of the Central People’s Government and Libera‘s self-defence.
– Sôgmô Sörgel
Note: M. Anderson’s macronational first name was used in the original publication of this article. The article has now been edited to reflect his desired micronational pseudonym.