Sandum Philosophy

Since the Foundation of the State of Sandus on 13 April 2011, Sandus has developed a national philosophy simply called “the Sandum Philosophy.” It is a set of beliefs represented by the Buddhist Dharma and the teachings of the Buddha, Socialism, and Sancta – an other category that represents additions to the Sandum Philosophy falling outside Buddhism and Socialism. All states have a specific frame or ideology that they see their existence through. For many post-Enlightenment republics, such as the United States or France, they see their ideology as classical liberalism. Some micronations see specific traits as the leading identity of their micronation: for instance, science was the central focus, frame, and trait of former Scientopia and New Scientopia. The Sandum Philosophy is a unique example of a micronational philosophy, as few micronations conduct their activity around a specific set of beliefs: Sandus, however, is one those few micronations that have created micronational traits and have created a national philosophy and ideology out of them.

Some centuries before the birth of Jesus Christ, the Buddha was born as a prince of the Shakyas in Northern India. His name was Siddhartha and he had been raised to see no suffering. His father, the king, kept his son inside the palace constantly and tricked him with many luxuries. However, when Siddhartha journeyed out with his companion Ananda, he witnessed an elderly man, a sick and dying man, a corpse, and – finally – an ascetic. Upon learning that suffering exists, the Buddha left the palace, his father, his wife, and his newborn son, and journeyed to find the end of suffering. Along his paths, he met several other ascetics who had thought that, by enduring extreme suffering and tempering the mind to feel suffering, one can end their suffering. He starved himself and worked to temper his mind to suffering; one day, however, Siddhartha overhead a musician on a passing barge explaining the Middle Way: the understanding that one should neither be too lax nor too strict, neither too poor nor too rich, and that all actions should be taken from the perspective of the Middle Way.

Siddhartha quickly left his companions, ate moderately, and travelled to a deer park in Bodh Gaya. There, the Buddha awoke to the cause of suffering after sitting and meditating for many days and nights. From Bodh Gaya, the Buddha first taught his dharma at Sarnath. After having taught the Middle Way, the teaching he had discerned from his experience with the other ascetics, the Buddha taught his Four Noble Truths, the basis of the Buddhist philosophy.

  1. First Noble Truth: Suffering (dukkha in Sanskrit) is the common bond of all sentient beings. Birth, old age, sickness, love, clinging: these are suffering, the five categories of desire.
  2. Second Noble Truth: The Origin of Suffering is attachment to desire: the desire of sensual cravings, the desire of being, and the desire of getting rid of.
  3. Third Noble Truth: Suffering can cease if one removes the attachment to desire, abandons desire, and attains the mental state of a Buddha.
  4. Fourth Noble Truth: One can remove their desires by following a solemn life displayed by the Eightfold Path.

In Sandus, we live according to these teachings. While we are lay people and live in a secular country, the Buddha’s dharma is the central focus of the State of Sandus. We recognise that all people suffer and that removing one’s own suffering is a personal responsibility, not one of a state or a nation. While this may be, Sandus is motivated to do its part in subduing the suffering we observe as a result of broader macronational society. This is the domain of Socialism.

Socialism is the view that all private means of production, enterprise, business, and industry should be owned and governed by the people. There are varying definitions of the people in this case: some consider it should be done by the workers themselves through cooperatives and communes, others consider the state that maintains popular sovereignty and legitimacy can govern the means of production. In Sandus, we view this political ideology through the lens of a national philosophy where we believe in both the power of workers to govern themselves and their cooperatives (worker’s democracy in Sandum cooperatives; bottom-up) and the role the State of Sandus has in governing the individual cooperatives within Sandus (top-down). In the Founding Law of the State of Sandus, ratified on 13 April 2011, Sandus accepted the constitutional basis of Socialism through cooperatives, governed both by the workers themselves and by the Central People’s Government of the State of Sandus. All micronational enterprise in Sandus must be done through cooperatives, though this does not extend to macronational enterprise.

In addition to the economic theory behind Socialism, Socialism also impacts Sandum Philosophy through liberal and progressive social policies. For instance, the Founding Law notes that the basis of Sandum society is an alliance between the workers, the farmers, and the intellectuals: in the rise of the Sandum Philosophy, an ideal – the Anticosti Ideal – redefined this to mean that all Sandum citizens should live as the embodiment of this alliance. In Sandus, it is stressed that we all do our part to be more independent by growing food and subsidising individual food costs by gardening and being active in Tellus Agrarian Cooperative; we should all work, both in and out of Sandus (excluding Tellus); and we should all strive to become better individuals by pursuing education. In Sandus, the Founding Law specifies several constitutional policies for the development of education, healthcare, social welfare programs, and activism and exercising political power for liberation and social progress. All of these segments represent both economic and sociopolitical Socialism and are Sandus’s political and systematic ways of combating suffering.

Sancta was the last element of the Sandum Philosophy to be discerned. It was seen any cultural or social ideology that is independent of Socialism and Buddhism yet is still a member of the Sandum Philosophy. In many ways, the cultural and social expression of the Sandum political theories of LiberaRealism, and Philia can be represented here, though they are often seen as being the political counterparts to the sociocultural Sandum Philosophy. Other Sancta elements include Classical and Ancient cultural philosophies, the agrarian Anticosti Ideal (see also above), and Sandus’s various cultural inspirations from around the world – often represented by the motto derived from Vergil of “e pluribus unum” or “from many, one.”

In 2014, Sancta was clarified by the Sôgmô as being more than “anything else in the Philosophy outside of Socialism and Buddhism.” Existentially, the Sôgmô clarified that Sancta is fundamentally the Sandum social and cultural drive for pluralism and multiculturalism. Therefore, Sancta is more than just “anything else” — it is the plurality and multicultural elements of the Sandum Philosophy excluded by Socialism and Buddhism. Today, Sancta has become another name for the plurality and multiculturalism the State of Sandus represents.

The Sandum Philosophy in summary.
The Sandum Philosophy in summary, circa 2014.
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