A season since the novel coronavirus has become a global pandemic, Sandus has honed its response to this once-in-a-lifetime call. We began this period of uncertainty with a vociferous statement of resilience and of our common belief that healthcare is a human right; today, we reaffirm those commitments and levy our pertinent objections to a system such as the capitalist one—where the working-class, and especially black and brown workers, are left to fend for themselves and put in dire straights.
We object to such a system.
The past three months have allowed us to reflect on the values that guide our country and to be renewed in those commitments to our philosophy even in the face of great peril and uncertainty.
We report that no citizens have yet suffered at the hands of the virus and its disease, but that does not mean that we ought to become complacent and relax. Instead, we call upon all citizens to continue social distancing and, when possible, either to self-isolate or to form social bonds with those whom you know have acted responsibly, have social distanced, and have self-isolated.
We would be wrong not to mention our ongoing struggle against white supremacy and racism. Over a month ago, we commemorated Remembrance Day and the Lemuria by reflecting on the lives of black men, women, children, elders, and queer folks who have been victims of white supremacy, police brutality, and gun violence. Our national holiday, 26 May, was tarnished with the news of another innocent man’s death by an atrocious act of violence devoid of empathy and compassion: the murder of George Floyd. If you have not read our statement on his death and the Black Lives Matter movement, you can read it here. The statement is informed by the philosophical underpinnings of our country.
Normally we end with a call of enthusiasm in our opening message. We do not think that current circumstances calls for that sort of unbridled enthusiasm. Let the enthusiasm flow, rather, from the news of projects and plans below.
Despite Uncertainty, Sandus donates almost $2,000 USD
Like each solstice and equinox, charity taxes continue to trickle in before and after the quarter day. While they may seem perfunctory now, charity taxes in the time of a global pandemic remain a useful economic gauge for our citizens’ wealth and financial well-being, as well as an encouragement for us to remain committed to charity, generosity, and compassion. Never has our charity been the highest than when our citizens fared their economic best to date, and we have been most charitable during times of general public weal. Even in a season mired by economic recession and great uncertainty, Sandum citizens have still donated over $1,000 USD to charity.
So far in our collection, with only 17.6% of declarations in, charity taxes have almost quadrupled from Winter 2019/2020. In the past three months, Sandum citizens have donated $2,167.82 to charitable and philanthropic organisations and funds, including: religious organisations, animal welfare foundations, medical research, drug harm reduction, direct support for others in need, bail funds, environmental activism, and political campaigns—from Black Lives Matter to socialist campaigns.
One citizen donated a large sum of money to the Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project, an inter-tribal organisation that conducts beginner, intermediate and immersion classes in the Wampanoag Language. The organisation also provides translation services and produces educational materials for language instruction.
Despite orders to stay at home and to self-isolate, citizens have also been abundantly generous with their time and labour. In the last season, Sandum citizens have volunteered 442 hours of their time for the benefit of others, acts of charity that take the form of helping others online and virtually, while also supporting those in our direct community who require help and assistance.
One citizen has also donated clothing to a healthcare charitable foundation.
Watch this space as more charity tax declarations are made.
Barnet to reform Tellus
Human & Environmental Health Minister Jacob Barnet Pharmacologus Σαρκαστικός, with the approval of all Sandum leaders, plans to reform Tellus Agrarian Coöperative into a new horticultural coöperative. The move comes after years of inactivity and sets a model for future coöperative reform.
Tellus was founded in 2013 to serve Sandus’s then-goal of laying the foundation for an agrarian economy.
Barnet, however, has argued that this goal is far too narrow and now outdated, and that a broadly horticultural coöperative offers many more benefits than a strictly agrarian one. The range of possible plants to grow will increase with the change, including medicinal and ornamental plants. There is also the benefit of increased human and environmental health and well-being for having plants in and around one’s home.
The plan, which can be found here, reforms the previously organisation-less coöperative with a “Dharmachakra model” by allowing citizens to establish their own autonomous gardens that will make up the coöperative as a worker’s democracy. The model takes its name from the “Wheel of the Dharma,” an important Buddhist symbol of a wheel with eight spokes. Instead of a hierarchical organisation, the coöperative will have a hub and spokes: a centre, named the Kropotkin Centre of Horticulture, will provide advice and support for workers and their “outlying” gardens. The entire coöperative will be interconnected, relying on one another for support, knowledge, and seeds and tools.
The model also provides a idea for how other Sandum coöperatives can be reformed in the future, especially Erganê Artisanal Coöperative that has also been inactive for years. More Sandum coöperatives may adopt the “Dharmachakra model,” especially as Sandus transitions into the Common Economy.
Deal nears to establish Borean Community
After almost a year of planning, leaders from Sandus, Saint-Castin, and Überstadt are nearing a deal to establish an intermicronational community known as the Borean Community. The proposal is driven by a desire for continental solidarity across artificial and linguistic boundaries as well as for the preservation and defence of human rights and democracy.
The community is largely inspired by the French-speaking Organisation de la MicroFrancophonie that seeks to provide solidarity amongst French speakers and to defend human rights. The Borean Community, however, is not specific to one language—though it does stand for language rights—though it is specific to North America. Sandus and Saint-Castin are founding members of the Borean Community.
The proposal developed over the course of the 2019 MicroCon in Hamilton, ON, Canada, when all three nations’ leaders stayed together and discussed the proposal over a working lunch.
After the convention, one proposal was drafted for a more organised body, but that proposal has now been rejected for a less stilted proposal. The main purpose of the first proposal has remained constant, that is, to hold annual and irregular meetings among delegates from members to discuss political decisions, to share information, and to cooperate with one another on projects. The first proposal that has now been rejected planned for the organisation to have a Borean Council with a rotating proposal and several committees. This was rejected as too hierarchical and mechanical, leading to a recent second proposal.
This second proposal retains a rotating presidency and annual and intermittent meetings, but it drops the idea for a Borean Council. The organisation, instead, will be work along largely unofficial lines between member-states, similar to the basis of the Group of Seven international forum.
Sôgmô, Sanôba cancel planned trip to Slabovia
The Sôgmô and Sanôba planned in the last few months to travel to Hamilton, ON, where many Slabovians live and where the 2019 MicroCon was held, to join the empire in celebrating Canada Day (1 July). The move was slated to represent Sandus’s internationalist vision, one that respects today’s forms of peoplehood while recognising the artificiality of human-made borders. The royal trip, which comes after conflicts between American and Canadian federal governments over the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE), would have sought to highlight commonalities and mutual comprehension despite living in two different macronations and having two very different micronations.
Both the Sôgmô and King George 2.0 decided to cancel the proposed visit, however, due to the continued closure of the American-Canadian border during the COVID-19 pandemic and out of an abundance of caution for both micronations’ people. The visit would have been the second visit by the Sôgmô and Sanôba to Hamilton, and it would have been the second high-level state visit between the two countries. King George 2.0 first visited Ann Arbour, Quercus Candida, in August 2018.
Both leaders nevertheless expressed a hope to hold another such visit sometime soon.
« Comrades’ Klatsch » to encourage camaraderie, national development
After years of citizen input and the idea being floated, the Sôgmô has announced the formation of a Sandum discussion and reading group, known as the « Comrades’ Klatsch ». The name refers to a social discussion meeting for coffee common in Germany-speaking countries, where the social institution is known as a Kaffeeklatsch. The « Comrades’ Klatsch » may or may not feature coffee since the meeting will occur every other Sunday at 20:00 UTC, a time that may be too late for some folks to reasonably drink coffee.
To take part, sign up here. A link to a Zoom meeting room will be sent to participants in advance of each meeting.
The first meeting will discuss Buddhism as part of Sandus’s national philosophy. Buddhism is a fundamental category of Sandum philosophy, yet Sandus is also a secular country. The reason why has often been explained as referring to the epistemology of suffering, an epistemology that Sandum citizens are expected to be educated and trained in. Buddhism is thought to be so fundamental to Sandum philosophy because it provides the basis for the philosophy’s other categories, Socialism and Sancta.
The following meetings will address Socialism and Sancta. The Sôgmô will lead the meeting on Buddhism, while the Party Secretary has agreed to lead the meeting on Socialism.
The Klatsch is meant to discuss aspects of our country and to educate citizens, but also to produce knowledge and fraternity in Sandus. The first few meetings will focus on the basic aspects of our national philosophy, while future meetings will likely discuss broader topics beyond those specific to Sandus only.