The Sôgmô of the State of Sandus has sent a long letter to Sandum citizens in the Council of the State of Sandus about his concerns of his future ability to discharge the duties and responsibilities of the Office of the Sôgmô. Citing his future academic and career plans, the Sôgmô has made public his concerns that he may be unable to carry out fully all of his responsibilities of Sôgmô of the State of Sandus.
The Sôgmô has announced a five point plan in order to lessen the responsibilities of his office, to change the social nature of Sandus to be more conducive towards its size, to encourage popular involvement in the running of the State of Sandus, and to stress the legal and political possibilities of his failure to discharge completely his duties. Though not a complete or finalised plan, the Sôgmô’s plan will tremendously shift Sandum society. The plan seeks to decentralise further the power of the Sôgmô which has been successively decentralised since the establishment of the Council in December 2014.
The plan includes a plan to realign the vision of the State to a new anthropological model of polity, more in line with chiefdoms, tribes, or segmentary societies than with the modern nation-state. Furthermore, the plan would replace the provincial system with a gens system which individual houses and families. The functions of government would be further decentralised with the establishment of a scribe position, the increased role of the facilitator, and with greater individual power over the direction of the State of Sandus.
Below is the Sôgmô’s message.
Good evening, comrade citizens.
I hope this message finds you well.
For almost seven years now, I have led Sandus as its founder and leader. Despite some periodic setbacks, I believe my leadership has brought to Sandus a tremendous leap forward for our people, a leap which stands out as a principled revolution in the micronational world. Instead of doing our business for attention or for amusement, our business of state has always been one based on the principles found in the Sandum Philosophy of Buddhism, Socialism, and “Sancta.”
This philosophy was first introduced into Sandus as a unifying factor in 2011 and 2012, during which time the State of Sandus was first forming as Sandus’s cohesive constitution. Over the years, Sandus has also stressed its similarly tripartite political theories of Libera, Realism, and Philia. The philosophical and sociocultural life of Sandus has, in my opinion, especially grown stronger since 2013, when some of Sandus’s former citizens left the State of Sandus or micronationalism altogether. That is, especially with the resurgence of the socia systema with Kumano and Überstadt, with Akhil becoming a full citizen, and with Bee becoming a peregrina or auxiliary citizen.
I am, however, growing older and my professional life will become more of a hassle in the future. Already my attention to the duties of this office has slipped and no longer is Sandus my first and primary concern. It is at this point in my professional career where I am beginning to decide on post-graduate Ph.D. programs in history, which will require a minimum of 4-5 years (if not longer) to complete, during which time micronationalism shall be on the back-burner — not even to say anything of any possible professorships in the future.
I should note, admittedly with some pride, that I have already surpassed the time when most micronationalists my age would have given up and called it quits. And I should also make clear that I am not (at this moment) stepping down from the Office of the Sôgmô. The constitution of the State of Sandus shall continue to exist — and I hope it shall continue to exist for a very long time. But, as the leader of the Sandum State and Nation, I believe that I must make all my fellow citizens aware of the nature of their leader’s life, my thoughts, your liberties as citizens.
(1) My vision for Sandus’s future is to create a diverse, multi-national state under the present constitution. I believe that Sandus should ideally become a more cultural rather than dogmatic micronation, wherein we adhere strictly to cultural practices and leave politics to certain occasions (elections, congresses, meetings, etc). I have had problems in the past trying to encourage others to take part in cultural building, but I hope that some changes will spur you and others to take part.
(2) I believe that provinces should be replaced with a system of “gentes,” or families, based on one’s location and area. Much like the gradient sovereign condominium theory, where the territorial claim of Sandus is conceived of as a gradient, this new “gens” system will allow (and I hope encourage) people to become cives peregrini, or auxiliary citizens, like the status Bee Rodgers Albina has. Furthermore, I believe that the names of our citizens must be proudly displayed on our website, rather than away in a Google spreadsheet, to encourage pride in Sandum identity and to augment the national identity. This gens system will also be able to fall along national lines, to facilitate those who are socii cives, or partial or foreign citizens.
(3) The future of the State of Sandus is not in being a state so conceived, but rather to explore anthropological alternatives to the nature of a state. For this, I require much more research into anthropological societies and polities, but this is to say that the emphasis should not be on the politics of Sandus but on the Sandum national identity. To put this into comparative micropatriological terms, I believe Sandus should strive to be more like the Formori.
The Formori are a Francophone international micronation without any political organs but with many prevailing cultural traditions and institutions. Although I think we should not neglect the Sandum constitution of the State of Sandus, I believe we must go back to basics. We should strive to ritualise the functions of the Sandum State and to encourage the development of Sandum culture, and this is in part where the gens system comes in.
(4) I believe I will still be able to fulfill the basic obligations of my office, but I will have to find people to replace some of my duties and to decentralise some of the functions of my office. To date, very few have exercised the ability to publish to the Sandum website. I publish many of the periodic publications of the State of Sandus. In the future, I would like to hire a scribe to take over this function from me, to publish the policy projections and the monthly decisions of the Council. I would also like to see the facilitator of the Council take more initiative in the governance of the Council, to act independently of me.
In the Sandum constitution, my position is supreme. I believe most will recall that the Founding Law says that, “All power is to the Sôgmô.” But, our constitution has changed and has added new functions and responsibilities since the Founding Law was ratified in April 2011. Admittedly, I will need help in the future to remain on top of these responsibilities and to begin to decentralise my power.
(5) I should note, as well, that it is an element of our national constitution that Sandum citizens should decide the future of our State. You all have self-determination and popular sovereignty over the direction of our micronation. If in the future I am irresponsible in the performance of my duties, I encourage you all now to vote that my reign as Sôgmô is illegitimate and to institute a new wholly democratic constitution for Sandus. It is, however, not my hope to fail you in the exercise of my duties. As Sôgmô, my position rests somewhere between benevolent philosopher-kind and elected president, but I would like to reaffirm my commitment to the Sandum constitution.
In conclusion, I believe the nature of the Sandum society must be radically changed in the next year and a half. I encourage all of you to take more of a proactive role in the running of our micronation, even if it is not your primary micronation. I hope that, after having read this rather long message, you will respond below with your thoughts, comments, and/or question on each of the five points I enumerated above, even if simply to let me know that you read this message in its entirety.
As Sôgmô, I do not wish to abdicate or to err in the discharge of my duties, though I fear that the direction of my life ahead of me will make my involvement in micronationalism rather difficult. Therefore, I turn over the discussion and ideas to all of you, so that together we might resolve the future constitutional challenges which may plague our State.
In the Name of the Three Jewels and the Benedictions of All the Gods,
Gaius Soergel Publicola
Sôgmô of the State of Sandus