This Spring marks the tenth anniversary of Sandus’s creation. On 26 May 2009, the Grand Lamate of Sandefreistikhan (as Sandus was known at that time) was born. In the quick succession of several months, Sandefreistikhan became Sandus and a monarchy deeply rooted in Buddhism became a Socialist democracy, a monarchical barony, and a socialist republic. In 2011, after months of uncertainty and foreign rule, Sandus became a sovereign state again and the State of Sandus was founded on 13 April 2011.
Over the next several years, Sandus developed its lofty ideals. Established as a socialist monarchy in April, by September it became an elective monarchy and the Party was enfranchised in December as a national parliament and advocacy organ for Sandum workers. Three years later, in December 2014, the Sandum people unanimously voted to create the direct democratic Council at a national referendum, and the Sandum Republic was born.
Over the years, we have developed our own national philosophy—bringing together our grave concern for human suffering and our socialist ways and means to overcome that suffering and to lift up oppressed peoples. We stand today as a society and culture for freedom and toleration. We believe in pluralism and multiculturalism, and in the belief that we make the world with our minds. We are a peace-loving society and always have been, but we have always stood our ground and have defended what we think is right—even if this has put us at odds with other prominent and influential micronations, even our friends.
We have formulated our own national political theory with key words like Libera, Realism, and Philia—and today we add one more, Autarky. These words to us do not signify an unalterable and unchangeable state: they represent a country constantly changing, constantly becoming better, constantly striving to accomplish something new.
As a micronation, we are widely diverse despite being so small. A country with a majority population who are LGBTQ+ and with religious plurality, the Sandum people comprise a multitude of different political orientations and genders. Our diversity is the like not often seen in micronations at large, and certainly not in such a small one.
A land with a socialist economy, we encourage Sandum citizens to become active with other hobbies that are productive in more ways than just material. We provide for the common welfare by giving charity and volunteering in our communities—far outstripping groups of our size, class, and narrow age-group. We have a basic, rudimentary economic system in place that rewards workers and provides for the needy. In short: our economic system works, and is getting better and more proactive.
Sandum culture is the most widely-known aspect of our micronation, and it is what makes us unique. We have hundreds of holidays, from ancient feriae and cultural ones to commemorative days for political activism and national holidays. We have formulated various ceremonies and crafted a multitude of traditions by the simple virtue that we live the way want. We put on events on a regular basis, and we live our culture in our every day lives. We are free-going and love life—and that life is very much Sandum.
As Sandum citizens, we are not just insular and devoted to our small country. We are constantly looking to the world around us. We encourage all our citizens to get an education, to work hard, and to keep in touch with current events around the world. We are staunchly internationalist in our outlook, and our public policy reflects that.
As a country of native English-speakers from the US and the UK, we have self-consciously become Francophones—et le Sandus est devenu membre fondateur de l’Organisation de la MicroFrancophonie. En 2018, nous sommes allés à Vincennes et nous avons partagé notre culture sande francophone avec nos amis et nos alliés de l’OMF, dont tout le monde là sont engagés pour les droits de l’homme, l’environnementalisme, la culture, la société, l’éducation, la paix. Mais nous sommes francophones depuis longtemps, quand en 2009 la deuxième monarchie a décidé sur notre bilinguisme—et sexto anno occeperunt loqui tertiam linguam quae antiquissima sit et qua utuntur usique sunt plurimi homines. Fiebamus quoque loquentes latine ad culturam Sande augendam, et mittimus hodie nuntios latinos in orbem terrarum compositam loquentibus diversarum linguarum. Sandūs nos incolimus saeculum nostrum et vitae rationem, quae sunt tota nostra.
This season, we will celebrate what it means to be members of our own quirky little micronation. We will celebrate eight years of the State of Sandus, a time which has become a golden age; the royal couple, the Sôgmô and the Sanôba, will celebrate their first year together as a couple, though they first met during momentous days of the State’s foundation; það will celebrate their tenth anniversary since they converted to Buddhism; and we will come together in Ann Arbour, Quercus Candida (Quer), to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Creation of Sandus.
We have every right to be happy and to rejoice in the history of our lives.
— the Sôgmô
Charity Taxes: A Higher Start to the Year
Sandus is, in many ways, based on the philanthropy of our citizens and inspired by the suffering of ourselves and others.
Though down from last season, Winter 2019’s charity taxes were up from the same season last year by nearly $200 USD. In the last season, Sandum citizens donated $1,277.83 to charity including environmental foundations, religious organisations, and cultural societies. In addition, Sandum citizens volunteered 571 hours for the benefit of other people, the highest hours volunteered ever in the State of Sandus.
Sôgmô announces Policy Directive, Sandus to Blacklist White Supremacy
The Sôgmô has published a policy directive for the Ministry of Diplomatic Affairs and the Central People’s Government at large, directed at public officials, bureaucrats, and Sandum workers at large. The policy directive includes a nine-point plan to address rising white supremacy and fascism in the world at large, as well as with micronations in general.
The directive’s nine points read:
- The State of Sandus will not conduct any business with, engage in diplomatic relations with, nor recognise any micronation (broadly defined) known to be engaging in policies, politics, or ideologies linked to fascism, Nazism, the so-called “alt-right,” identitarianism, contemporary traditionalist conservatism, white supremacy, white nationalism, ethnic or religious nationalism, white separatism, “meninism,” “incels,” “MHRMs” and “MRAs/MHRAs,” or right-wing populism and extremism.
- The Central People’s Government, together with a coalition of our friends and allies, will repudiate excuses and apologies for these ideologies and/or attacks committed by those of these politics; all apologies of policies or acts of violence done according to these politics and ideologies will warrant public repudiation and condemnation.
- We will encourage education and activism against both political and systemic white supremacy, as well as into the social and political workings of them.
- We will encourage Sandum citizens to block, to not subscribe to, and to not share media from relevant organisations; we will, rather, encourage them to consume media from other reporting outlets which follow journalistic ethics.
- We will keep a public blacklist of micronations that support the aforementioned.
- We may cease contact with micronations that cooperate with parties on said list.
- Any and all announcements related to the functions of this directive will be published in all three official languages, either entirely or with a summary in the other language(s).
- The Central People’s Government shall execute these functions summarily and without room for redress by other micronations except through indirect routes of communication.
- Chargé·e·s d’affaires, public officials, and workers of the State of Sandus will make every effort to conform to the spirit of this directive.
The policy directive is the first major change to Sandum foreign policy since 2012, and strikes a chord between concerns about the role of white supremacy in micronationalism and micronational politics and Sandum citizens’ concerns about falling back into historical enmities. The directive simply states that Sandus will respond unilaterally and summarily when confronted with fascist and racist micronations.
New Sandum Politic: Autarky
With the new season, during which we will celebrate the momentous occasion of the tenth anniversary of Sandus and its creation, the Sôgmô has announced the foundation of a new Sandum politic. In the long and venerable tradition of both Libera (independence and self-determination) and Realism (realist politics and decision making), Autarky represents both a new political ideal like Libera and Realism and also a practical and political policy like Philia but with an emphasis on economic production.
Derived from the Ancient Greek word meaning “self-sufficiency,” Autarky in Sandus refers to the political theory that advocates for Sandum citizens to become self-sufficient and self-reliant in economic matters. But, unlike Sandus’s tried path of encouraging production done by Sandum economic cooperatives, it instead advocates for the sharing of knowledge and educating Sandum citizens on practical knowledge. In this way, the new politic encourages a revitalisation of the Sandum economy.
Now, instead of focusing exclusively on physical economic production, cooperatives will also focus on the production of knowledge—knowledge that will be useful for the development of home economics and other basic fields of microeconomic production. This will require some restructuring and revitalisation of cooperatives, but cooperatives will now focus both on the production of materials themselves and also on the sharing of techniques, skills, and methods or recipes.
Through economic and knowledge production, Sandus will become a more independent and self-determined country. Independence through Production and Knowledge Work!
Provinces Receive New Coats of Arms, Flags
Every province will now receive new coats of arms and flags in an effort to encourage regional but unified identity. Only Quercus Candida, Sandus’s current capital, will keep its same coat of arms.
Kremlum Sandus, our oldest province, has received an updated coat of arms (left). The new coat of arms has removed the Sandum Sovereign Eagle from the top of the “kremlin” on the shield, changed the stone texture to a verdant one, and made the field one of ermine. The new coat of arms represents Sandus’s royal past, since it is still the seat of the Sandum royal family, while also celebrating the natural beauty of the province. The bottom of the shield represents the Patuxent river, on which Kremlum Sandus is located.
The new coat of arms of Sandus Ulterior (right) continues with the symbolism of being Sandum while outside of Sandus’s traditional heartland. It plays on the natural symbolism of that of Kremlum Sandus: the azur representing the Patuxent river has been flipped to represent the province formally for all citizens outside of the former capital. It is topped with the State Flag.
Finally, the new coat armorial of Sandus Europāi (left) has been simplified to depict just the snatching of Europa by Zeus and the twelve gold star emblem of Europe. This province is for Sandum citizens who reside in Europe.
All provinces have also received, for the first time, their own flags. These flags are based off of the heraldry of the individual coats armorial. For example, the flag of Kremlum Sandus (first row, left) features the ermine found in the field of the blason, while the flag of Quercus Candida (second row, left) is bears the gleaming white oak found on the shield. The flags of Further Sandus or Sandus Ulterior (second row, right) and of Sandus Europāi (first row, right) do not feature prominently the Sandum national colour Prussian Blue, though Sandus Ulterior’s flag features the national bicolour in its canton. The flag of Sandus in Europe (the translation of the province’s Latin name) refers to the European twelve gold star emblem and also bears a corona civica with the words “sacred love of the fatherland” in white in Latin. The phrase is a Latin translation of the opening line of the Marseillaise: « amour sacré de la patrie. »
Caucus of the Quinque Interreges Goes to Second Phase
The first phase of the Caucus of the Quinque Interreges, or the five interrexes, will finish at the end of the month. During this phase, the caucus came up with a final list of candidates that will be published by April. These candidates come from citizens to Sandum-affiliated people all the way to praise-worthy and famous people like Bernie Sanders.
During the second phase, the caucus will come up with interview questions revolving a wide range of opinions and problems, and interview candidates. After this, the caucus will report on the interviews and hold any necessary public meetings or discussions about them.
Finally, the remainder of the process will be out of the caucus’s hands. In November, the Party will select a handful of candidates to put on the Winter Solstice ballot. During that election, citizens will elect the new heir.
The list of candidates so far includes Sandum citizens or friends of citizens, in addition to famous politicians like Bernie Sanders. Friends include people who come from the Sôgmô’s university who are interested in constitutionalism, political theory, and philosophy. They also include friends of citizens who were nominated by members of the five interrexes.
The next step is for the caucus to come up with questions for interviews to be scheduled in the later part of the season and the beginning of next season. Citizens with suggestions can send them to the Sôgmô, in the Council, or via KremlumSandus@gmail.com.
Fraternal Annonary Order Established, Invitations to be Sent
At the Winter Solstice, the Sôgmô announced the future creation of the Fraternal Annonary Order of the Wooden Bowl, a chivalric and charitable order, but efforts have been slow to establish the order because of issues writing the founding ordinance in French. (It was based off of a similar mid-14th century French chivalric ordinance.)
The Fraternal Annonary Order of the Wooden Bowl is meant to be a chivalric order that will, on one day a year, donate money to charity. It will be comprised of members from a variety of different religious faiths who have been initiated into the creeds of their religions.
The order will have two seigneurs, four chevaliers bannerets, and eights chevaliers. Each member can also appoint an écuyer, or squire. As a part of the order’s mission, members must give money to charity in proportion to their rank. Seigneurs will give the historical equivalent of 25₣ in 1945 (about $16.79 USD) to a charity of the order’s choosing on Chökhor Düchen, a Tibetan Buddhist holiday, while chevaliers will give 15₣ ($10.07), chevaliers 10₣ ($6.71), and écuyers 5₣ ($3.36). All together, if the order’s ranks are full, members will donate close to $175 per year to a charity of the order’s choosing.
The Chökhor Düchen is a Tibetan Buddhist holiday that commemorates when the Buddha Shakyamuni, Siddhartha Guatama, began teaching the Buddhist dharma.
So far, the order only has two members, the Sôgmô and King Adam of Überstadt, as seigneurs. Work over the season will focus on inviting members into the order, but only people who qualify according to the founding ordinance will receive invitations. The list of invited members so far includes five Sandum citizens, one Sandum-affiliated person, three members of the OMF, two interested non-micronationalists, and three historical and cultural friends of Sandus.