Sôgmô issues First Economic Command for the Armilustrium

Armilustrium 2015

The Armilustrium is Sandus’s oldest and most important cultural holiday.

The Sôgmô has issued Sandus’s first economic command, thereby inaugurating the Sandum command economy, since the Commission for the Command Economy’s meeting this past summer on the economy. The command calls upon workers of the Collegium Sacerdotum, Tellus Agrarian, and Erganê Artisanal Cooperatives and interested Sandum citizens to celebrate the Sandum fall holiday, the Armilustrium, on 19 October and from then to 22 October 2017. If the State and the worker agree to terms, the worker will receive $10 USD plus be reimbursed for up to $20 USD in costs.

The command asks that they provide a description of their activities related to the holiday and of how the activities can be used in the future as a Sandum tradition.

The Armilustrium has long been considered Sandus’s most important cultural holiday. A Roman festival, of the same name, was held outside the walls of the city of Rome, where returning legions would wash (lustrate) their weapons in a ceremonial way—as if removing blood guilt from their arms. As Sandus does not have a military and is a pacifist nation, Sandum citizens instead customarily wash their books—symbols of Sandus’s own sort of intellectual combat—and clean their homes. In the evening, they then enjoy a feast. For the first time, the holiday is being extended by the government to encompass the Gregorian weekend.

The results of the Sôgmô’s first economic command will be shared by Veritum Sandus after the Armilustrium.

ECONOMIC COMMAND 2000260920171

TO: members of the Collegium Sacerdotum, Tellus Agrarian, and Erganê Artisanal Cooperatives; interested citizens

1. PURPOSE: to celebrate the Armilustrium, the Autumnal festival

2. DIRECTION:
Be commanded that the Armilustrium should be celebrated in anyway you please on 19 October 2017, or from then until 22 October 2017, whether by arts & crafts, food, or otherwise
Be commanded that you draw up a brief description of your proposed festivities
Be commanded that your festivities point to possible future traditions to be shared in common by the Sandum People

3. REIMBURSEMENT: In accordance with the decision of the 18 June 2017 meeting of the Commission for the Command Economy, this command is a contract between individual workers and the State of Sandus.
If you will do as commanded, you will receive $10 USD plus the operational costs (not exceeding $20), or other reimbursement of equal value.

4. ARBITRATION: We are obliged to inform you that the Citizens’ Party of Sandus and its secretary oversee questions related to equity of work and reimbursement.

C. SOERGEL PUBLICOLA, SÔGMÔ

Equinox Report: A Season of Changes, A Lifetime of Sandum Traditions

The vernal equinox marks, in Sandus, the beginning of the cultural season—the winter, when our “doors are kept shut.” It is a moment of time when Sandus prepares for its most important cultural holidays: the Armilustrium, the Party’s Congress, Athena’s Day, the Winter holidays. But it is also a time of self-reflection and an inward turning toward Sandus.

The summer is always a very much diplomatic period for us. But this past season saw tremendously significant diplomatic and international events. The Sôgmô attended and presented at MicroCon 2017 and was awarded not an insignificant number of medals. One of our Sandum citizens publicly came out as a trans woman, and the entire country celebrated her; on the other hand, Sandus—along with several allies—condemned the US president’s decision to ban transgender servicepeople from the American military. We significantly reshaped our conceptions of the Sandum constitution, and formed the State Media Cooperative. The Sôgmô published a Sagamorial Consideration of the United States’ controversy over Confederate statues, especially after the attack in Charlottesville. On the more decorous end of our public work, we also created four instances of gentry among Sandum citizens.

The time now is to turn toward Sandum traditions and our culture, however. Yesteryear’s Philia Plan for the Major Societal Shift encouraged the move toward a cultural state. The constitution of Sandus will remain unchanged, but the conception guiding Sandus shall now be more focused on culture and less on our own state-building. Now, more than ever, this is needed for Sandus.

Pour la construction

BREAKING: Sandus breaks another Charity Tax Record
Sandus has broken yet another tax record, a year after its extraordinary record. The cornerstone of Sandus’s philanthropic mission, charity taxes, have significantly grown in the past season. This season’s charity taxes are rather more than those of the seasons in the past year, that is, those seasons since last Summer’s extraordinary donations of $1,118 USD. This season, $1,462.41 USD have been donated to charity, while 92 hours of work has been done in volunteering.

These numbers significantly surpass, and even double, the last year’s donations, with $604 and 99 hours in Spring, $395 and 62 hours in Winter, and $677 and 74 hours from last Autumn. Volunteering trends have continued, encompassing tutoring, organisational volunteer work, and other small acts of philanthropy.

Coat of Arms of Quercus Candida

The Coat of Arms of the new Sandum province, Quercus Candida.

New Province, New Capital:
Kremlum Sandus, the traditional heartland of Sandus since 2009, is no longer the official seat of power in the State of Sandus. Quercus Candida, Sandus’s new capital, was established this morning, on the Equinox, one month after the Sôgmô moved to þess new university to pursue a PhD. in ancient history.

MicroCon7

La Microfrancophonie ensemble: le Sôgmô est avec le ministre-président de Saint-Castin, Dominic Desaintes-Bellemare, et le prince d’Aigues-Mortes, Jean Pierre IV.

MicroCon 2017:
In this past season, the Sôgmô travelled to Atlanta from MicroCon 2017 with the President-Minister of St.Castin, a close Sandum friend and ally who is also a member of l’Organisation de la MicroFrancophonie. While there, það met with Sandus’s close Francophone allies and partners, including the Prince and Princess of Aigues-Mortes, met new micronationalists, and formed new friendships on behalf of Sandus.

Trans Rights, a Summer of Despair and Liberation:
The Summer has been tumultuous in terms of LGBTQ+ rights in the United States, our close partner in the condominium, but Sandus has cause to celebrate. Sandus and a throng of its allies condemned the decision of the US president to restrict transgender servicepeople from the US military. One of our citizens came out as transgender, reminding us of the immense bravery it takes to take such a leap—especially in such a political and social climate. An editorial was published, as well, listing Sandus’s own trans history.

Yet, this upcoming season is a time to remember our politics and the humanitarian mission of the Sandum State. In November, we have celebrate Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) since 2011, when the State of Sandus was founded. In Sandus today, trans history is Sandum history, and we are ever cognisant of that fact.

CCE & SMC—Developing Sandus’s Economic Framework:
The economic framework of the State of Sandus was updated in the past season to now reflect a new model of employment and work in the State of Sandus. The Commission for the Command Economy (CCE) met for the first time to approve the new appointment-based employment in the State of Sandus, whereby a citizen may be a worker of multiple organs at once and receive a basic salary of 8¶c from each appointment—a salary which can be used to purchase products based on conversion to other currencies from the Sandum circulatory persuma. The CCE also established a basic system of commands, whereby the Sôgmô may issue an economic command to be completed by Sandum workers of a particular cooperative. The CCE also approved the Sôgmô’s budget, which encourages Sandum cooperative to help to contribute to Sandum culture through specific initiatives.

In addition to the CCE, the Sôgmô established a pan-media cooperative, the State Media Cooperative. The SMC will undertake management of media organs in the State of Sandus, whereas those media organs derived from other cooperatives (Sacerdotiumthe Voice of Sandus, etc.) will have their editorial management overseen by the affiliated cooperative.

Future Plans: Affirming Our Culture through Holidays & Traditions
Following in the developments of the CCE this past Summer, the Sôgmô has signalled that the first economic command will be send to members of the economic cooperatives and the cultural cooperative of the Collegium Sacerdotum to plan for celebrating the Armilustrium (19 October). Following this, and pursuant to the budget approved by the CCE, more projects will be enacted to encourage participation in other significant Sandum holidays—from the Armilustrium to Athena’s Day and the Winter Holidays.

throneofsandus_emblem

Awarding the Most Honourable Order of the Throne of Sandus—Addressing the Backlist:
Awards of the Most Honourable Order of the Throne of Sandus (MHOTS) have been on a backlist since 2011, when the order was established. Some recipients have received their awards, while many others have now. Finally, the Sovereign of the order, the Sôgmô, will work to address this backlist and to send out the medal and associated paraphernalia to recipients of the honour. After MicroCon 2017, we have seen just how significant and important these marks of distinction and honours are.

In addition to the order, other honours are being planned for the State of Sandus. There are, in addition to the practical awarding of instances of nobility, the awards to be given by the Party and Council, as well as a new order for Sandum citizens only in recognition of their academic achievements.

Solstice Report: We shall never let up!

This past season has proven to be further evidence and testament of Sandum perseverance and of the persistance of the Sandum spirit. Sandus, its state, and its nation have continued collectively through the most difficult periods yet in some of our citizens’ lives. Three Sandum citizens, in the highest positions of authority and power in Sandus, either completed a thesis or a degree, and one both, in their respective fields. Others returned to higher education, while some others grappled with significant personal decisions. The contemporary world has proven to be erratic, with much stress and anxiety about its future. But, one thing is clear: Sandus, under our current government, is here to stay.

Despite tremendous personal work, Sandum citizens have remained committed to Sandum culture and the ideals of the Sandum Philosophy. Today, we are even more aware of the suffering of all people—Sandum citizen or not. The risk for failure and for crisis is all the more greater, both personally and nationally, but Sandus has shown it can and will succeed. This quarter is further historical proof of the persistance and endurance of our courage and strong will.

Tremendous work has been completed in this past quarter, and the prospects are all the more promising for the next quarter. Significant changes to the Sandum economy have been completed; new Sandum workers are preparing for their work; the Philia Plan for the Major Societal Shift has been accomplished; and, the Council and the Party are courageously forging new paths of development and the Sôgmô is at þess post.

Summer2017

Charity Taxes: Above Average, but Trends continue
Charity taxes over the past Spring season have increased since the Winter season, and this past season has come close to breaking records and was the fourth most charitable season in terms of donations. $604.16 USD were donated to charity in the Spring season of 2017, up slightly from the $395 given to charity last season in Winter 2017. The amount, however, is less than half of the most money ever donated in Sandus in Summer 2016, when Sandus donated more than $1,000 to charity.

When compared to hours volunteered, Sandum citizens volunteered more than 99 hours for philanthropic causes, the highest in recent years. These causes included working for animal shelters, mentoring and tutoring, working on service projects, and helping others in dire straights and mental crises.

Trends related to charity taxes have continued to show that taxes are slightly up. The average charity taxes for each season so far is $273.14, meaning that the State of Sandus has donated more money ($136.02) in the past season than the average. Charity taxes, we suspect, will continue to rise because of a few factors. First, there are more Sandum citizens than when Sandus started doing charity taxes, and there are more than twice as many citizens from when Sandus suffered its citizenship crisis in 2013. Second, Sandum citizens are more increasingly more prosperous and are working more hours and more jobs, while their wages are increasing with their age. In terms of volunteer work, however, there have been no significant changes.

The First Annual Sandum Budget: an optimistic forecast
The national budget, the second to be proposed by the Sôgmô, has been approved by the Commission for the Command Economy (CCE). The budget proposes that the State of Sandus spend $1,050 USD in “hard” expenses falling into four categories: website upkeep, salaries for Sandum workers, cooperatives’ expenses, and cultural expenses for holidays. Hard expenses include those for which economic activity is planned, while “soft” expenses—a planned budget of $950—are for reserved funds. Soft expenses include a Special Philia fund for cultural development, a Matter Realist fund for material production, a Trans*ition fund for trans* people’s transitions, a Health Reimbursement fund to help cover healthcare costs, and a flexible spending account.

Most planned revenue will be from voluntary taxes, with the Sôgmô’s personal contributions covering the hard expenses with monthly contributions of $90 USD per month. Approximately another $400 in individual voluntary taxes will cover soft expenses, while a final approximate revenue of $100 might come from cooperatives’ profits.

The First Salaries are Deposited 
By now, the first annual salaries have been deposited in CivBanca by the Bureau of the Treasury. 88¶c in total was deposited in five citizens’ accounts based on their work appointments in Sandus’s cooperatives. Of those five, the average Sandum worker has 2-3 appointments, while most Sandum citizens do not work in Sandum cooperatives at all. In the future, these salaries will be able to be redeemed for goods and services in and outside of Sandus through a conversion system to be set up by the Commission for the Command Economy. The Central People’s Government hopes, as well, to push citizens to join at least one cooperative as a worker.

Sôgmô’s Constitutional Project
Work has started in earnest on the Sôgmô’s Constitutional Project, a project envisioned by the 2016 Philia Plan for the Major Societal Shift. The project is meant to develop a coherent, comprehensive view of Sandus’s constitution and all its component parts and to educate citizens on the constitution of the State of Sandus. This project will be completed in the future through a complex virtual model describing Sandus’s constitution and a variety of other infographics and visual media. The first part of this project will come on 24 June when the Sôgmô presents þess lecture on the Sandum constitution at MicroCon in Atlanta, GA, USA.

A New Capital for Sandus: 
With the Sôgmô’s move in August, concerns are being raised about how Sandus will respond to þess departure and living permanently away from Kremlum Sandus Province. How will Sandus cope with the Sôgmô’s departure?

The location of the seat of power will have to change, that is certain, and it will follow það to the peninsula of Michigan. We can perhaps find precedent in the monarchical history of Europe, where the seat of power was located wherever the king was. This is compelling, and, since the Gradient Sovereign Condominium Theory proposes that Sandum sovereignty is wherever an individual citizen is, the State of Sandus will already follow the Sôgmô. In some way, the theory makes this a nonissue. But the key, perhaps, to the Sôgmô’s location of power and capital should be the placement of the Sandum pignae d’esti.

The pignae d’esti (the name was never officially translated into Latin) contain the Sôgmô’s Dharmachakra on þess altar, the statue of Holy Athena the Mother, and the so-called “Pavorio pigno”—the vase of our national colours filled to the brim with peacock feathers. To these should be added the national tricolour and the Books of the Armilustrium, the compilation of all the books washed in Armilustrium ceremonies. Finally, future pignae should be developed to meet future circumstances and to encompass future citizens and all citizens’ experiences, as well. In the future, perhaps a specific work-group in the Collegium Sacerdotum should be developed to maintain the pignae and to develop even more ones.

throneofsandus_emblem

Most Honourable Order of the Throne of Sandus & the new Nobility
Medals for recipients of the Most Honourable Order of the Throne of Sandus will hopefully arrive in time to be given at MicroCon. If not, they will be sent by mail at a later date. This will include medals for Olivia-Eugenie and Jean Pierre of Aigues-Mortes and Dominic DeSaintes-Bellemare, as well as a couple extra medals which can be kept or given at the convention.

Escutcheon&Helm - Charles Edward Wright

In addition, in May, the Sôgmô awarded Sandus’s first knighthood to Charles Edward Wright, of Indian Head, Maryland, who is þess former coworker and supervisor. The knighthood is the first grant in the Sandum Table of Noble Ranks, though more are planned for the future. In addition, in the coming months, the Sôgmô will collectively grant all members of the Most Honourable Order of the Throne of Sandus the status of “gentleperson” in the Sandum system of nobility.

Finally, the Sôgmô is considering establishing more medals and decorations in the future, but such decision shall be taken with much gravity and with the advice of the þess advisers and counsellors.

CCE approves the Sôgmô’s proposal, new economic powers

Voice of Sandus

Sandus&PartyFlag

The Commission for the Command Economy concluded its first meeting yesterday and affirmed the Sôgmô’s proposed economic developments with a few alterations thanks to the help of the Party Secretary, Adam von Friedeck. The changes affect cooperatives and workers in Sandus, establish a national budget, and found a state bank in Sandus. The proposals were passed unanimously on consensus by the Commission, comprised of the Sôgmô, the Party Secretary, and the Minister for Diplomatic Affairs.

The first proposal concerned workers in Sandus, also known as “functionaries” in the new economic chain of command in Sandus. The Sôgmô noted that significant changes had been made to Sandum workers and that the way in which Sandus employs workers for the cooperatives must be reformed to give workers salaries of 8¶c per annum. In addition, the Sôgmô lobbied for new economic powers, namely for the power to issue economic commands to workers to…

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Sôgmô, Party Secretary to convene meeting of the CCE

Voice of Sandus

Sandus&PartyFlag

The Sôgmô and the Party Secretary will convene the first meeting of the Commission for the Command Economy (CCE), a commission in the Citizens’ Party of Sandus, on 17 June 2017 at 12:00 SLT (UTC-5). Established in August 2015 near the conclusion of the 2015 Economic Goal, the CCE is responsible for directing the development and administration of the Sandum economy. It became an organ of the Party in November 2016 as a result of the 2016 CPS Party Congress.

The Commission’s first meeting will focus on three interdependent agenda points meant to drive the development of the Sandum economy:

  1. Employment Reform & Functionary Positions
  2. Annual Budgets & Voluntary Taxation
  3. Formation of a State Bank

The first proposal on the agenda is to discuss the changing employment system in the State of Sandus, from voluntary employment to state-run functionary appointments. These mean that the State of Sandus will do…

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Sôgmô announces shortened Election this year

The Sôgmô Gaius Soergel Publicola has announced that the annual Winter Solstice election will be shortened this year than most year. The election season will take place from 15 to 20 December, as opposed to the tradition period of 10 to 20 December. The decision to shorten the election duration is to accommodate the Party’s drafting caucus for the Party’s platform and constitution documents as a result of discussions held at last month’s Citizens’ Party of Sandus congress.

The platform and the constitution will be included on the ballot this year under a section designed for CPS Party members. As citizens, members will have to use an identifiable string of random characters in order to vote on the proposals, which will be completed by 15 December when the election begins.

Citizens’ Party concludes VI Party Congress

congress2016

The Citizens’ Party of Sandus has concluded its Sixth Party Congress on 5 November 2016 under the slogan “Securing the Party’s Future and the People’s Prosperity.” This congress has been considered important for its role in establishing the Party’s platform and constitution. These two important by-laws for the Party were meant to be drafted earlier in 2016 after the Fifth Party Congress in November 2015, but were not due to the Sôgmô’s and the Secretary’s busy schedules. Now, these documents will be drafted ahead of the Winter Solstice election in December.

Also a matter of important concern was Jacob Barnet’s Matter Realism and how it is to be reflected in Sandus. The discussion however was not concluded, meaning that it is a discussion bound to continue in the future. It was decided however that the Party would receive certain select policy decision-making powers, especially taking over the role of the Commission for the Command Economy (CCE).

Sandus&PartyFlag

The Congress was opened by Party Secretary Adam Camillus von Friedeck at 11:12 SLT. The Internationale was recited at 11:13 and was followed by a statement by the Secretary on the role and work of the Party. Discussion began by 11:32.

The first matter on the agenda was the Party’s platform. Attendees of the congress were asked about the role and functions of the Party in the Sandum constitution, what the platform would say about the Party’s role, and what the constitution of the Party might include on this subject. All agreed with the long-held view that the Party exists as a think-tank and planning organ. It was agreed that it should develop a central committee to bring continuous governance to the Party both in its meritocratic function as a advisory body and as a planning organ. In addition, it was decided that the Party should take over certain policy areas, especially concerning the economy and security. The Party will take over the functions of the CCE, will perform state security functions, and will also have a limited diplomatic role — for example, both now and in the future, the Minister of Diplomatic Affairs should be a member of the Party.

Next the Congress considered the matter of ideology. It was decided that the Party would continue to abide by the broad and wide-ranging Socialist view established by the Fourth Party Congress in 2014. In addition, the Party denied liberalism to be added to the platform, instead giving preference to Socialist personal liberties.

Third, the Party determined that a select group of Party members would draft the platform and the constitution of the Party. Next, it was decided that both documents would be ratified at the Winter Solstice election ahead of the Winter Solstice on 21 December.

The Party then moved from considering the platform to the constitution, saying that the constitution would not be a long document but would be authored in the vein of the Sandum Founding Law. The constitution would include sections on the Secretary’s role, the role and composition of the Central Committee, and also the procedure for developing Party policy.

The last section to be discussed was on Matter Realism, with a recess from 13:07 to 14:25 SLT. No decisions were made from this discussion, though there was some reconciliation amongst the two factions of Matter Realists and Cultural Realists.

Finally, at 15:12, the Party Secretary began the electoral process for a new secretary. Adam Camillus von Friedeck nominated himself as a candidate for the next term. At 15:22, the Secretary moved to vote and, at 15:23, he was unanimously elected by acclamation.

At 15:38, the drafting committee was composed by those in attendance.

The Sixth Party Congress was adjourned at 15:44.

Palace releases Statement on failed GUM Application

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The Palace of State in Kremlum Sandus Province, Sandus, has released a statement from the Sôgmô on the failed Sandum application to full membership in the Grand Unified Micronational.

The statement is attached in full below this article.

In the statement, Gaius Soergel Publicola lambasts the GUM Quorum of Delegates’s decision to reject the Sandum application as a result of “irrational and baseless” concerns over Sandus’s status as a signatory to the Denton Protocol. He argued that the GUM Charter “already possesses provisions which would make the Denton Protocol irrelevant in the organisation and to any possible Sandum delegation,” citing the provision in III.2.b of the Charter. He briefly discussed the history and exigency of the protocol before turning to discuss the decision itself, arguing it was “inconsistent with the provisions of the GUM Charter and the principles of the organisation itself.”

The Sôgmô raised the differential treatment of the Wyvernian and Sandum applications and how, despite Wyvern’s history of racist and Islamophobic hatred, “turning a blind-eye to their radical far-right politics in the name of objectivism,” the Quorum shooed in Wyvern while Sandus was rejected.

Soergel Publicola added that “[this] decision will necessitate a re-examination of our relationships with [the states which were Sandum allies yet voted against the Sandum application,” narrowing out the Empire of Austenasia. “The time has come, instead, to re-examine our relationship with the Empire of Austenasia,” the Sôgmô stated.

He also added that Sandus should reinvigorate its commitment to l’Organisation de la MicroFrancophonie, a Francophone intermicronational organisation which has a better record than the GUM. “[The] member-states of the organisation reflect in their actions our foreign objectives for professionalism,” Soergel Publicola argued. The concern with micronational professionalism was a key driving force for Sandus’s desire to become a GUM member, which was initially hailed in multilateral discussions last month with Austenasian Emperor Jonathan Augustus and Überstadti King Adam I.

Read the Statement below.

Good evening, Comrade Citizens.

As Sôgmô, I must regrettably inform you that our application for full membership to the Grand Unified Micronational has been denied, following a vote in the organisation’s Quorum of Delegates.

Sandus has not been voted into the status of provisional membership necessary for the application to full membership, which we applied for as a result of the unanimous and democratic decision of the Council of the State of Sandus. The vote was a result of concerns raised over our adherence to the Denton Protocol, an intermicronational agreement which seeks to extend diplomatic decorum and protections to transgender micronationalists. The GUM Charter, however, already possesses provisions which would make the Denton Protocol irrelevant in the organisation and to any possible Sandum delegation; in other words, the concerns were irrational and baseless. Specifically Article III, Chapter 2, sub-section b is a provision which, in the history of the organisation, has necessitated respect for other micronationalists’ styles of address. Sandus has repeatedly abided by this convention when asked to do so, especially towards those who have fought against the Denton Protocol. It is this same provision upon which Sandus has historically built its foreign policy initiative which developed historically into the Denton Protocol in the summer of 2014.

The Denton Protocol was first drafted at a time when some micronationalists — including Bradley of Dullahan from Wyvern, a nation whose application was accepted today — refused to address transgender micronationalists by their preferred names and pronouns. It was, and still is, the ardent belief of the Sandum State that this contravened diplomatic decorum which necessitated respect between diplomats: decorum which stands at the heart of the GUM’s own provisions towards respecting another person’s style of address. Instead, many of these arguments against this display of respect and human dignity were based on irrational arguments which instead sought to provoke and undermine the lives of micronationalists these detrimental efforts would affect. The micronationalists at the helm of this informal movement narrowly applied the provisions of generally agreed upon notions of decorum, used them for their own benefit, and yet refused that same respect to others on the basis of their gender identity and gender expression — citing instead their social conservative politics. The Denton Protocol was the forthright and principled response to these micronationalists who, in the case of Sandus, asked that Sandus respectfully follow their styles of address yet refused to do the same with transgender micronationalists. As a highly philosophical and principled nation, this was unacceptable to the State of Sandus. We therefore sought to rectify this discrepancy through a diplomatic coalition of states.

In response, Sandus and Zealandia drafted the controversial document which precipitated diplomatic upheaval in July and August 2014. Sandus, however, defended its case and made it clear, through its communicable reality, that the Denton Protocol was an extension of already established diplomatic convention: just as some had requested that Sandus not use the “M.” prefix, so too we requested that they respect the sincere requests of transgender micronationalists to the same effect. Despite extensive demonisation and negative backlash, Sandus’s interests and actions were based on sincerely-held beliefs about intermicronational diplomacy and diplomatic ethics and decorum. To this end, Sandus finally concluded several bilateral diplomatic agreements with multiple parties by mid-August 2014. It is our intention to preserve and to maintain these diplomatic agreements, regardless of the outcome of the GUM vote.

As Sôgmô and former Chairperson of the GUM, I believe the result of this vote to be inconsistent with the provisions of the GUM Charter and the principles of the organisation itself. The Charter stipulates that the organisation will not interfere in the domestic and foreign policies of its member-states, citing Article II, sub-section b, point ii and Article III, Chapter 3, sub-section b, points i-ii. Indeed the Quorum of the organisation had reaffirmed that principle with a rather literal reading only minutes earlier when it voted to approve the application of the Kingdom of Wyvern, a micronation which has often expressed irrational racism and Islamophobia. The Chair and others argued specifically that the organisation should seek to work with other micronations without regard to their domestic politics and to respect the inviolability of their sovereignty. Not so for Sandus. Only minutes later, Sandus was voted down by a vote with four oppositions, three supports, and two abstentions for objections raised concerning the Denton Protocol and Sandus’s sovereign foreign policy.

Despite my private concerns with our application, mostly as a result of concerns arising from the Philia Plan for the Major Societal Shift, it was my opinion that Sandus should seek membership as quickly and forthrightly as possible as a result of the unanimous decision of our direct democratic Council. After all, it has seldom been in the history of the Council or our republican constitution when a poll so conceived has resulted in a unanimous decision such as this. Instead, the democratic hopes of the Sandum People have instead been thrashed and cut short by the Quorum of Delegates. We in Sandus had in fact hoped to be a beacon for democracy in the organisation once more and to raise the standards of micronational professionalism. Unfortunately, that is no longer an option with this decision by the GUM Quorum.

It is unfortunate, furthermore, considering those who abstained and opposed our application. Among them are states which Sandus has known for a long time and have been Sandum allies. This decision will necessitate a re-examination of our relationships with these other states, especially those states which fervently defended the application of the Kingdom of Wyvern — turning a blind-eye to their radical far-right politics in the name of objectivism — and yet voted down the Sandum application.

One of those states is the Empire of Austenasia, a micronation which Sandus has considered a close friend and ally since 2009 when Austenasia joined the Grand Unified Micronational. It is our dismay that the Emperor himself, as the delegate for the Empire to the GUM, decided to abstain from the vote and not to defend Sandus’s application. While the Empire’s vote is not necessarily an opposition, it is not an action that would have been believable under the former “Troika” association of Austenasia, Renasia, and Sandus. In recent weeks, Sandus and Austenasia, with Überstadt as a neutral arbitrating party, has sought to rectify the divide between both nations since the departure of Renasia. Indeed, it was our hope that a new troika friendship would form and that a renewed, cooperative close friendship would strengthen following Sandus’s admission into the GUM. That is, however, no longer expedient nor proper.

The time has come, instead, to re-examine our relationship with the Empire of Austenasia. In discussions between King Adam, Emperor Jonathan, and me, I have fervently raised the issue of the distancing friendship between Sandus and Austenasia — a distance which has now been further exacerbated to the extreme by this vote and the Austenasian delegation’s lack of willingness to defend the Sandum application. This is not behaviour befitting a friend.

The decline in the Sandum-Austenasian relationship has reached an all-time low. I urge Emperor Jonathan to consider carefully their program of side-lining the interests of and no less hurting a once-close friend, lest the divide cause a prolonged diplomatic conflict which will certainly negatively affect us both.

In addition, I announce publicly and unequivocally that I am not in favour of and will strongly oppose any effort to reapply to the Grand Unified Micronational. Sandus is in fact already aligned and strong friends with members of l’Organisation de la MicroFrancophonie. Though as native Anglophones we have a large language barrier to cross, the OMF has made a strong mission and history to achieve the same objectives as the GUM. Indeed, Sandus and its Francophone allies in the organisation have already achieved much more than the GUM, and the member-states of the organisation reflect in their actions our foreign objectives for professionalism. Though the GUM and the OMF are not mutually exclusive, this decision will have the result of aligning Sandus more with our Francophone allies throughout the world — especially at the expense of the hopes we had for our GUM membership. Our relationships with some of our closer neighbours will undoubtedly falter.

Finally, I would like to extend my thanks and appreciation to Bee Rodgers Albina (peregrina), Facilitator of the Council, for her dutiful support of the Sandum application and her faithfulness to the Sandum State. She is, as both a citizen and a friend, a strong and fervent defender of the Sandum Philosophy — and we appreciate her work and her defence of Sandum policies which, though before her time, protect her today. I would also like to thank the Chair, Shane Cahill, for his level-headed discussion with me following the vote. Though we may not agree politically, I appreciate his forthright stance to speak truthfully yet also with respect to his duties as Chair. Finally, I think my constant adviser and close friend Adam von Friedeck, Secretary of the Party, for his level-headed examination of the diplomatic situation, his willingness to enter “emergency mode” soon after news of the decision broke, and his faithful allegiance to the State of Sandus.

This is a sad and distressing day for the State of Sandus and for the Sandum People. As always, however, we shall respond to these events in a principled manner, being faithful and diligent to our convictions yet remaining dialectically flexible. As has always been historically true, we are always strongest and show the greatest resolve during stressful times.

Today and the days to come shall be no different.

Gaius Soergel Publicola
Sôgmô of the State of Sandus
Kremlum Sandus, Sandus

Solstice Report: Administrative Work, Plan continue

Each summer, the State of Sandus opens both its gates to economic production and its ports to diplomatic interaction. This season is no different, but the past spring season has shown itself to be a lull in activity while still affirming and reaffirming Sandum cultural traditions. The work of the State of Sandus in the past season has dropped so that relatively little profound governmental work has been done, but it has been shown that the traditions of our country have nevertheless persisted. All administrative work has been completed in accordance with prescribed traditions and some profound changes have been made in the realm of the Council so that, for the first time in that democratic assembly’s history, there has been a transfer of power between two elected facilitators.

The statement that little profound work has been done might let red flags abound, but rather it shows that Sandus can remain being Sandum and still do the basic administrative and clerical work of government without altering the State in profound ways. Indeed the State of Sandus has entered a period of stagnation, but it is by no means inactive or at risk of collapse. In the past season, national holidays have been celebrated, diplomacy has been done, a new facilitator has been elected, the backlog of Sandum citizenship applications has been redressed, and the need for a new plan has been discussed. This work is perhaps most profound in post economically-focused Sandus, where emphasis now is on the culture, society, and politics of the Nation-State of Sandus.

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“Whether in Summer or in Spring, let’s further our Republic

Charity Taxes — furthering recent trends:
In the past season, Sandum citizens have continued the trends established in the most recent seasons in furthering the philanthropic work of the State of Sandus. Work has been done to further philanthropic causes without necessarily donating money to charity, and this has been more thoroughly the case in the last week of the season with the attack in Orlando. More than $166.49USD have been donated to charity, but a large amount of philanthropic work has been done with helping others, tutoring others, and increasing loving-kindness.

Philia Plan for the Major Social Shift:
The Sôgmô has announced the beginnings of a five-point plan to increase the efficiency of administrative work of the Central People’s Government and to reduce the burden of work on the Office of the Sôgmô. The layout of the Philia Plan for the Major Societal Shift is as follows:

  1. Vision of the Plan: The plan envisions a future for the State of Sandus which encourages diversity on an intranational level that will facilitate the broader social and political aims of this plan.
  2. the Gens System: The plan envisions a new system of “gentes,” or families, to replace the monolithic system of provinces. The province system shall continue to exist as broad administrative regions loosely based on geography and location, but the gens system will add the role of familial and domestic lineages between relatives and familiars.
  3. Simplification of the Anthropological Polity: The plan hopes to change the model of Sandum society from one based on a state to one based on tribal society, while retaining the plupart of the current Sandum constitution.
  4. Decentralisation of Sagamorial Functions: The plan foresees the functions of the Sôgmô to be both reduced and decentralised to other functionaries in the Central People’s Government of Sandus.
  5. Adherence to the Constitution: The plan ardently stresses the continued adherence to the Sandum republican constitution.

A complete plan is expected no later than mid-July.

Sôgmô announces concerns, plans for Major Social Shift

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