Long-Awaited Constitution Project issues first edition

The Sôgmô’s Constitution Project has issued the first edition of its literature and graphics on Sandus’s unwritten and republican constitution. The project was planned by the 2016 Philia Plan for the Major Societal Shift, a plan that anticipated the Sôgmô’s departure from Kremlum Sandus for graduate school. Now, a year and four months after þess departure, the project has begun.

Read or download the project’s first instalment here.

The plan explained that the Sôgmô will work “to make an interactive infographic of the structure of the Central People’s Government and of the interconnect web of relations between the constitutional organs of the State of Sandus.” That graphic, the plan continues, should “reconstruct the relationships between the many organs of the State of Sandus, their relative hierarchy, and their powers, duties, and jurisdictions.” The graphic will be made available for all Sandum citizens, applicants for citizenship, and individuals interested in Sandus.

SCP1-1 Our Republic's Three Branches

The first graphic in the project is about the general structure of Sandus’s three branches of government, divided into the Citizens’ Party of Sandus, the Central People’s Government, and the Council. It even includes the hypothetical Senate, an emergency body comprised of necessary leaders from each house of Sandum citizens that was planned for in the 2016 Philia Plan for the Major Societal Shift. The body does not exist.

(Note: the Central People’s Government sometimes refers to only the Sôgmô’s branch and also to all three branches, but never to provincial governments.)

SCP1-2 the CPG & its Division of Powers

Next is the Central People’s Government and its division of powers. All three have some form of legislation in Sandus: the Party (and the Sôgmô) has state planning, the Sôgmô has decrees, and the Council has its decisions (i.e., resolutions) and laws. In turn, these four types of legislation affect the Sôgmô’s branch, as is made clearer with the next slide.

(Economic commands are treated here and in the next slide as specific economic plans.)

SCP1-4 the CPG & the Command Economy

The Sandum command economy, with its coöperatives and workers, falls under the direction of the Sôgmô. Both the Sôgmô and the Party can draft and issue plans and economic commands (both derived from plans and from citizens’ individual or collective needs), which then are sent to coöperatives. Commands flow down the chain of command in coöperatives to individual workers or whole work groups who produce a product that goes to the recipient (an individual, collective, or another coöperative if in an economic chain). That recipient directs CivBanca, Sandus’s bank, to send circulatory persumae to the coöperative to redistribute.

SCP1-3 the CPG & the Heir Election Process

The May 2018 law on succession institutes Sandus’s first law on the succession of the Sôgmô. In it, a process begins with the creation of a caucus of five interreges who are the three top-most Sandum politicians and leaders of the three branches of government (the Party Secretary, the Sôgmô, and the Council’s Facilitator) plus two appointed interreges: one from the Sôgmô and another from both the Party Secretary and the Facilitator.

This caucus creates a long list of candidates in the spring of ever fifth year since Sandus’s creation (2019, 2024, and so on). In the summer, the caucus interviews candidates and creates a final short list of three to five candidates, which is sent to the Party Congress in November to review and to select its top two candidates. Both candidates, then, wage campaigns for the Winter Solstice Election, where Sandum citizens with suffrage (i.e., cives and peregrini who meet the requirement) elect the Heir elected.

SCP1-5 the 'real' Office of the Sôgmô

The Office of the Sôgmô, which is the top most office of the Central People’s Government, is divided into three major categories: functionary (or ministerial) government, provincial governments, and cooperatives. This slide shows what bodies do exist alongside the three hypothetical divisions.

In the functionary side of the CPG exist one ministry (Diplomatic Affairs), one independent bureau (the Treasury) with its one division (CivBanca), and a separate body of individual chargé(e)s d’affaires (i.e., bureaucrats with specific charges and duties).

There are four provinces in provincial government. They are technically not part of the Central People’s Government but are under the Office of the Sôgmô since Sandus is a unitary state. There are, however, no praetors—either elected or appointed by the Sôgmô.

At the bottom is the “economic branch” of Sandus’s government, since Sandus has a Socialist command economy. Sandus has three economic coöperatives (Tellus Agrarian, Erganê Artisanal, and State Media Coöperatives) as well as one cultural/religious coöperative (the Collegium Sacerdotum, or the “College of Priests”). Only the Collegium Sacerdotum has internal subdivisons with two work groups (known in the college as “sodalities”) and a chain of command of workers (the Sacer Flamen, the major Flamines like the Bishop of the church, and individual members or sacerdotes).

SCP1-6 Sandum Table of Noble Ranks

The final slide of the project’s first edition is a rehashing of two appendices of the Sandum system of nobility. In the future, when more entitled and enholden barons and baronets exist, the project will include those titles and all the different decorations in the State of Sandus

Solstice Report: Sôgmô’s Legitimacy Unanimously Supported, 88.9% Participation

The Autumn season is one of the busiest times for Sandum citizens, and this has certainly been the case for us this year. We have celebrated the Armilustrium with much fanfare and joy, we have held a successful CPS Party Congress, and we have just finished an election that was the most participated in our history. Sandum citizens are becoming more and more committed to our humble micronation and are more and more interested in its independent cultural and social message.

A successful Autumn will mean a busy Winter, too. As this report discusses below, Sandus and her citizens will have much on their plates in the New Gregorian Year: a new government official will have to find her way to plan holiday celebrations and share holiday spirit; a body of five interreges will interview and select candidates for the position of heir who will take up the position of Sôgmô when það passes; and, new honours, awards, and prizes will be given and established in the New Year.

It is the Brumalia season in Sandus, also known as the “Halcyon Days.” Taking part in the spirit of the season, we are pleased to announce that Sandus has passed another major milestone in the history of its charity tax system: in 2018, Sandus has donated more than $5,000 USD to charitable foundations (sometimes to individuals themselves) and volunteered more than 1,000 hours!

Winter Solstice

Charity Taxes: Sandus has donated more than $5,000 in 2018!
Sandus has donated more than $5,000 USD in the past administrative year of 2018. After donating $1,095 in the winter, $2,174 in the spring, and $1,628  in the summer, recent reports are showing that (with only two citizens reporting) Sandus has donated $1,543.65 in the autumn—putting Sandus more than $1,400 over the $5,000 milestone! Never before have Sandum citizens donated so much money in one year alone. Sandum citizens donated to religious organisations and communities (Buddhist temples, Christian churches), museums, human rights organisations, wild life and environmental charities, organisations dedicated to LGBTQ+ equality and anti-Semitism, and other political charities.

History of Sandum Charity Taxes (2011-2018)

Sandus has earned $6,441.62 in 2018! This number may increase as more citizens declare their charity tax contributions.

Sandum citizens, likewise, volunteered more time this year than in previous years. 136 hours were volunteered for the benefit of others in the last season alone, with Sandum citizens volunteering time to political campaigns in the United States, serving as officials in student organisations, providing education, and going beyond the expectations of their job titles to serve others—without financial reward.

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Election 2018: Sôgmô’s Legitimacy Unanimously Supported, 88.9% Participation
The Sôgmô has received the unanimous support of the Sandum people to continue to govern and reign the State of Sandus. 88.9% of eligible Sandum voters turned out to vote for the Sôgmô’s reign, the highest turnout ever recorded. Eight votes in total were cast.

Five of those eight votes cast were also ballots for members of the Citizens’ Party of Sandus. They voted in the election on the Party’s Platform which was recently drafted by Party Secretary Adam Camillus von Friedeck. The ballots cast unanimously approved the Party Secretary’s platform.

Read the new Party Platform here.

Two petitions were cast, as well. One concerned diplomatic relations with the country of Aabaro, while the other petitioned the Sôgmô to review citizenship law to make it easier to become a Sandum citizen. This petition will be addressed by því over þess winter holiday.

Quot estis in convivio: Sôgmô creates, appoints Feaster
At the November 2018 Party Congress of the Citizens’ Party of Sandus, Party members focused on encouraging cultural cooperation and integration between citizens. A variety of solutions were discussed—encouraging “Sandum-adjacent” people to apply for citizenship, giving gifts to Sandum citizens, encouraging participation in holidays and online discussions—but one solution focused on creating a functionary, bureaucratic office to hold joyous events for all Sandum citizens involved.

On 20 December, during the Saturnalia, that position has now become the “Feaster,” or epulo in Latin after the Ancient Roman college of priests. The Sôgmô created the position yesterday in a decree announced on Sandum media.

Sisenna Melville, who is also the Bishop of ἡ Ἔκκλησία τῆς Σανδῆς (the Church of Sandus, a sodality of the Collegium Sacerdotum cooperative), has been appointed the first Sandum feaster.

The feaster is broadly charged with performing holiday duties, such as planning events and sharing information on the holiday—as well as sharing the spirit of the holiday! Special tasks include preparing for and celebrating important Sandum holidays, whether with other Sandum citizens or non-Sandum people, and consulting one-on-one with Sandum citizens on how to share the holiday spirit.

Melville will be compensated with the standard worker’s salary of 8¶c, and is entitled to (but does not automatically receive) a knighthood. (She already has one as virtue of her bishopric.) As a knight, she will as feaster receive a special charge of a patera or chalice on her coat of arms, and Feasters also receive an official carol.

Heir Needed: Caucus of Quinque Interreges to sit in 2019
The search for the Sôgmô’s heir has begun.

According to the May 2018 law on succession, the process for finding an heir lasts one year. It begins in the December before the anniversary of Sandus’s creation divisible by five (2019, 2024, and so on) with the sitting of a caucus of five interreges. The caucus is comprised of the three major Sandum officials in our republican constitution (the Sôgmô, the Party Secretary, and the Facilitator of the Council, also known together as the “Three Grand State Officers”). The Sôgmô appoints one interrex, while both the Party Secretary and the Facilitator appoint the fifth.

The caucus is comprised of the following members:

  1. The Sôgmô: Gaius Soergel Publicola
  2. The Party Secretary: Adam Camillus von Friedeck
  3. The Facilitator of the Council: Hatsu Ryuho
  4. Fourth Interrex: Sisenna Melville
  5. Fifth Interrex: Jan DeWitt

The caucus will meet for the first time in the New Gregorian Year.

Over the course of the next year, the Caucus of the Quinque Interreges, as they are officially known in this capacity: draw up the relevant criteria for someone to be a Sôgmô; brainstorm a long list of candidates; perform interviews and hold public meetings, if necessary, and reduce the list to about three to five candidates. The caucus then presents the list to the Party Congress of the Citizens’ Party of Sandus in November, and the Party then selects two candidates to be put on the ballot of that Winter Solstice’s election.

The winner of the election becomes the new heir.

But the position of heir only lasts five years or at the Sôgmô’s pleasure, since það can choose to prorogue the heir’s five year term and can be sacked by the Sôgmô. At any moment the Sôgmô may meet þess demise, however, and the heir elected will automatically become the Sandum monarch for life or for as long as they reign legitimately. The idea is both to have a flexible political system where there can be contingencies while also allowing for the heir elected to train and to learn how to be a Sandum monarch appropriately.

Former heirs who have honourably resigned (that is, are not sacked) receive the title of “heir sine officio” for life and are entitled to a knighthood.

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The Sanôba and the Sôgmô

Sanôba will visit Quercus Candida for January 2019
Sanôba Oliver will visit the Sôgmô next month for several weeks before his university returns to session in February. He will live at the Appartements du Sôgmô in the capital for three weeks and will later return to live with the monarch for the summer. It will be the second time he will have visited Sandum land since becoming Sanôba in April, two days before the Day of Foundation. The Sôgmô recently visited Minnesota in the United States, where the Sanôba is from, to celebrate American Thanksgiving with him and his family.

The royal couple met online several years ago in 2010 through a mutual friend, who was at that time a Sandum citizen. Both kept in touch over the years and they first met in person in March of this year, when the Sanôba visited the Sôgmô in Quercus Candida. They began dating a month later, two days before the Day of Foundation, on 11 April.

New Fraternal Order, Honours, and Nobles to come in 2019
In the upcoming year, the Sôgmô has announced þess intention to found a new fraternal order, to establish new honours, and to create new nobles and knighthoods.

New Order: the Fraternal Annonary Order of the Wooden Bowl
The Sôgmô has announced that they will create a new chivalric order dedicated to the purpose of philanthropy, charity, and almsgiving under the title of the Fraternal Annonary Order of the Wooden Bowl (Ordre annonaire fraternel du Bol en bois). The order will be comprised of members of three ranks: Chevaliers, Chevaliers banneret, and Seigneurs. Each member, too, is entitled to a squire who will receive a ribbon. The order’s official business will be done in French, and members may communicate in any language they please so long as it is translated into the record in French.

The name of the order refers to the wooden bowls carried by Buddhist bhikkhus to receive alms. Companions of the order, as members will be called, must pay dues according to their rank so that the order can donate the money to a charitable foundation. (The amount will be determined by an arcane formula tied to the value of French francs in 1945.) The order will meet to collect money, make decisions, and donate the money to a specific charity on the Tibetan Buddhist holiday Chökhor Düchen, or the ‘Festival of Turning the Wheel of Dharma,’ which occurs on the fourth day of the sixth Tibetan lunar month. This will be 6 July in 2019, the first time the order will meet.

Table of Dues by Rank

Rank Francs due (1945 value) Conversion (1₣ = 0.6714$)
Seigneur 25 16.79$ USD
Chevalier banneret 15 10.07$ USD
Chevalier 10 6.71$ USD
Squire 5 3.36$ USD

Membership will be capped at fourteen, not including squires: two seigneurs, four chevaliers banneret, and eight chevaliers.

New Honours: Commendationes, Ovationes, and Party and Council Honours
The Sôgmô will award new, extemporaneous honours in the form of commendationes, Latin letters of recommendation. These letters patent will be awarded for extraordinary actions on the part of Sandum citizens and non-citizens alike to reward and acknowledge outstanding character and virtue.

Commendatio example
An example of a commendatio given to the Sanôba.

Some commendations may be awarded with ovationes, meaning that they will be accompanied by a speech or a public statement. These commendations and ovations may be presented and given at public intermicronational events, such as next year’s 2019 MicroCon in Hamilton, Ontario, in Canada.

Other honours are possibly in the works for the Party and the Council. Already, the Council awards a laureate prize to important and significant artists and craftspeople, effectively making them national artists. But other honours may include a prize given by the Party Congress in recognition of outstanding achievement for the betterment of Socialism and Socialist and proletarian peoples. An award from the Council may recognise work done on behalf of the State of Sandus and may praise the work of particular citizens.

New Nobles: One Knighthood, Two Baronets, and One Baron next season
In the New Gregorian Year, there will be four new nobles in Sandus. One knighthood will be awarded to a non-Sandum citizen who has been a sound adviser to the Sôgmô on matters of constitutionalism and on thinking of new micronational alternatives. Two baronets will be awarded to the Sôgmô’s longstanding advisers and veritable friends—both of whom are Sandum citizens. And, finally, one barony will be awarded to the Sôgmô’s most trusty adviser and friend.

Adam Camillus von Friedeck will become Sandus’s first baron in the New Year, in recognition of his long and dedicated service to Sandus and to the Sôgmô. Although he will not receive an entitled and inholden barony, his personal grant of the rank of baron reflects his long tenure as Sandus’s second Grand State Officer, the Party Secretary. He already holds a baronetcy as Baronet Eliot and is a member of the gentry.

Hatsu Ryuho will become Sandus’s second baronet and will be known as Baronet Wexford. His entitled grant of a baronetcy reflects his service to the Social System as former premier of Kumano and his long-term service as Sandus’s third Grand State Officer, the Facilitator of the Council. This will be his first noble rank.

Oliver Armstrong will become Sandus’s third baronet. Although he will not receive an entitled grant of a baronetcy, his close proximity to the Sôgmô as the Sanôba and as the Sôgmô’s boyfriend are the grounds for such a high Sandum noble rank. He is already a member of the gentry.

Jan DeWitt will receive an offer for knighthood on account of his close and intimate discussions with the Sôgmô on Sandum constitutionalism. A scholar of Roman constitutionalism and political culture, DeWitt will be Sandus’s second non-citizen knight.

Sôgmô & Slabovian King meet, MicroCon registration expected in September

The Sôgmô and the King of Slabovia, George I & II, met Friday to visit, share dinner, and to discuss micronational news and events. Both monarchs visited a local restaurant in the Sandum capital province, Quercus Candida, and walked around the province’s only city, Ann Arbour.

The Sôgmô was joined by the Sanôba Consort, Oliver. It was the Sanôba’s first official micronational engagement.

Both leaders primarily discussed planning for the 2019 MicroCon in Hamilton, Ontario, as well as local, international, and intermicronational politics.

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(L-R) The Sôgmô and Sanôba Consort of Sandus with King George I & II of Slabovia.

Veritum Sandus sat down with the king in a local café in Quercus Candida, Sandus, to ask him a few questions.

Slabovia (est. 1984) sees changes since 2015

Slabovia is a micronation founded officially in 1984 which today now has around 50 citizens. King George’s first coronation was in 1998 and his reign lasted until 2010, when another king, King Penny, briefly ruled before George returned to the porcelain throne in 2011 as “George 2.0.”

The country began, like many micronations, as a running joke on a forum between four founding friends—George, Rankin (now Slabovia’s chancellor), Pat, and Dave. The latter two have taken a step back from running the nation in recent years.

In 2015, Slabovians became increasingly aware of the existence of micronationalism beyond their own borders and proceeded to make contact with other micronationalists in time for the first MicroCon in 2015, which was organised by Molossian President Kevin Baugh. When interviewed by Veritum Sandus, King George reported that since 2015 Slabovia has become increasingly interested and inspired by the intermicronational community, leading the country to develop along more serious lines. Or, as he put it (in the typical Slabovian manner of wordplay), “we’re upping our micronational standards, so up yours.”

Since then, Slabovia has seen development along more serious and realistic lines. Foreign relations was one of the starkest differences King George described, saying that the nation was not even aware of other micronations existing before 2015 in the lead up to MicroCon. Now, a little over three years later, Slabovia has taken up the mantle of organising the 2019 MicroCon in Hamilton, Ontario, a distinguished international honour for an otherwise well established micronation which has made itself stand out in micronationalism in such a short time.

King George stated that it was at least partly due to their history of almost thirty five years of existence that convinced Kevin Baugh of Molossia that the country was ready to organise the third MicroCon.

Next, King George remarked that Slabovia now has its own law of succession because of this change toward a more serious micronationalism, where the king selects the heir who is thus ratified by the people, while the king can remove their heir from succession at their own will.

However, as a micronation made in humour, especially Canadian humour, the country remains a primarily amusing nation project. The nation identifies as somewhere between British dry humour and the blatant, bombastic comedy of the United States, the King described, and he continued that due to this light-hearted history there has been some push-back on some of the more serious and realistic projects the King has suggested since 2015. In other words, think Family Ties and Michael J. Fox, we were told.

But Slabovia’s newest project is delving into one of the micronation’s cherished areas. As philately, or the study of stamps, is to Padrhom, so is phaleristics to Slabovia. The King revealed that he had been in talks with his chancellor to establish and to unveil a new micronational phaleristics institute or museum, where micronations can present, explain, and exchange information about their medals and honours.

MicroCon 2019 will take place 19-21 July 2019

King George 2.0 announced to Veritum Sandus that MicroCon 2019 will take place on 20 July 2019, meaning that events will begin on 19 July and last until 21 July in Hamilton, Ontario. The specifics about the hotel will be released in September, when the information and website for the convention and conference will be set up online and be made public. Hamilton is centrally located near Niagra Falls, close to both Toronto and Buffalo, NY. The city also has its own international airport, serviced by Air Canada, Sunwings, Swoop, Westjet, and even Norwegian (starting 31 March 2019 from Dublin).

The conference and all major events will take place in the same hotel, unlike the 2017 MicroCon which had events in separate locations in Dunwoody and Tucker, Georgia, United States.

Both the Sôgmô and the Sanôba Consort have stated that they will attend the 2019 MicroCon. King Adam I of Überstadt, both a Sandum social citizen and a close Sandum ally, said he would also likely attend.

King George expects the convention to have 50-100 participants coming from across North America and Europe. At least half a dozen micronations have already committed to attending. All signs point to the third MicroCon increasing in size from the second, which was already larger than the first.

At the recent 2nd OMF Summit in Vincennes, France, almost half of the organisation’s members stated that they would attend the 2019 MicroCon in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Sandus will be joined by its French-speaking allies from Saint-Castin, Aigues-Mortes, Angyalistan, Flandrensis, the Formori nation, and possibly others like Padrhom.

The first few days of the convention will include one or more day excursions with transportation arranged by the United Slabovian Empire to the environs of Hamilton, such as a winery tour, a tour of the local zoo or aquarium, or a Toronto Blue Jays game, all followed by an evening reception at the hotel.

The second will see the conference itself, with talks, a catered lunch, and a meet and greet session at the end, before a short break for dinner and dance. At the dinner, medals are expected to be exchanged, as has become customary at previous MicroCons.

Finally, on the third day, there will be open time and possibly other planned events, though the king informed us that other details have not yet been finalised. At the 2017 MicroCon, the remaining participants who had not left by then went to enjoy a bowling contest.

Some have already asked where MicroCon will be in 2021. After the 2017 MicroCon, however, a committee was set up of former MicroCon organisers and they will decide what nation will organise the 2021 MicroCon. This decision will take place at the 2019 MicroCon, however. The committee, he said, would ask for bids to organise future MicroCons, meaning future organisers must submit a proposal to the committee. “A bit like the IOC (International Olympic Committee),” the king said, “minus the corruption.”

REPORT: Sôgmô participates in the 2nd Summit of the OMF

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The Sôgmô has participated in the second summit of the Organisation de la MicroFrancophonie, a major intermicronational organisation for French-speaking micronations with members from the Americas, Europe, and Africa. The meeting was organised by the Empire of Angyalistan for the organisation near the location of their embassy in Vincennes, France. The Sôgmô attended the summit representing our country, which is a founding member of the organisation.

PRÉPARATIONS: Það receptum est

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The Sôgmô with Grand Duke Niels of Flandrensis, Prince Jean Pierre IV and Olivier de Constance of Aigues-Mortes, and Minister-President Dominic DeSaintes at the Aigues-Mortes embassy in Paris.

The Sôgmô met first individually with Minister-President Dominic DeSaintes of Saint-Castin on the evening of Thursday 19 July, after það had arrived from Reykjavík. Both toured the districts of Le Marais and Saint-Germain-des-Prés before returning to share a bottle of wine with Prince Jean Pierre IV of Aigues-Mortes in the evening. The following evening, on Friday 20 July, það returned to visit Jean Pierre IV with all other participants for a reception at the Aiguesmortais embassy in Paris.

DAY ONE: Saturday 21 July 2018

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Sandus was front and center at the meeting of the OMF.

The summit began on Saturday with remarks made by General Secretary Olivier, Emperor of Angyalistan, and by High Commissioner Jean Pierre IV, Prince of Aigues-Mortes. These were followed by a formal introduction of participants including some well-known Francophone micronations which are not members of the organisation, like the Principality of Laàs or the famous Republic of Montmartre which was founded in 1921. A short teaser for an upcoming documentary by the society Vie des Hauts was shown to the audience, which included clips of various micronations and interviews with many well-known micronationalists from around the world.

Next, the OMF held a lively general assembly to discuss a resolution concerning fake news, though discussion was bogged down because of competing purposes for individual micronations who were present. A resolution which focuses on education for a critical attitude toward media, however, was supported by the Sôgmô and by many of the delegations involved in the debate.

Following the debate, participants left for a lunch session which provided an opportunity for the Sôgmô to speak individually with more participants, including General Representative of Padrhom and the Grand Duke of Flandrensis, about matters ranging from micronational politics to amicable person topics. The Sôgmô, unaccustomed to the lack of air conditioning found throughout France, left the dining hall twice to speak individually with other leaders, like the Minister-President of Saint-Castin and the Prince of Aigues-Mortes.

Upon leaving the lunch, delegates left to see and observe a local exhibition of micronational stamps at a local hair salon.

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Participants received a complimentary gift.

Arriving back at the summit location, delegates met with Léo Delafontaine, author and photographer of a book on micronations. He had previously photographed the Sôgmô and many other participants in 2012 at the Second PoliNations conference on micronations in London.

Finally, the first day of the summit concluded with individual papers given by three speakers and micronationalists. Olivier de Constance of Aigues-Mortes gave a paper entitled, “Micronations, Fiction or Reality,” arguing that the micronational mentality is a way of life and thus real. Grand Duke Niels of Flandrensis spoke on the history of the internet on the growth of micronationalism and the effects of different digital platforms on micronational business, ranging from Skype to Facebook, as well as highlighting the growth of provocative diplomacy on social media platforms; his talk, given in English, was translated into French by Olivier de Constance. Finally, Prince Vincent of Hélianthis presented the results of surveys given over a week under his capacity as Assistance Secretary of Human Rights on topics related to bioethics, ranging from genetic modification of food to matters of reproductive health.

In the evening, participants had a private dinner in Paris.

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© UniCORN / Thibaut Plaire

DAY TWO: Sunday 22 July 2018

Attendees of the Sunday session of the summit were exclusively OMF members, allowing for the day to begin with a debate on the work of the secrétaires-adjoints of the OMF. Participants not only critiqued the work of the deputy secretaries, but also discussed solutions about the business of the organisation as a whole. During this session, some thought was given about a commemorative week to promote the organisation’s values of human rights, human dignity, and pluralism. Discussion on the deputy secretary of diplomacy prompted the Sôgmô to offer þess services in acting as the OMF’s representative to the Organisation of Independent States, an intermicronational organisation of Russophone micronations.

Finally, the Summit ended with an exchange of medals, the signing of bilateral treaties, exchanges of protocols, and photos with micronations’ flags.

The summit was followed by a brunch which was well attended and provided an opportunity for the Sôgmô to be interviewed by a local TV station, Vincennes TV. In the afternoon, participants attended a tour of the local castle, its keep (le Donjon), and the Sainte-Chapelle of Vincennes where a manor was first built by the French king Saint Louis—founder of Vincennes and of Aigues-Mortes.

PROVINS: Sôgmô with heads of Angyalistan and Saint-Castin

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Inside Angyalistan’s Imperial Car

On the Monday following the summit, það informally visited the Angyalistani imperial residence and went with the Emperor and the Castinian Minister-President to Provins, a medieval town and former capital of the Duchy of Champagne in the Middle Ages. All three had lunch in the town and learned more about the role of the town in 12th century fairs and the role of the fairs in the European economy of the time, as well as the town’s downfall because of changing trade routes by the 13th and 14th centuries. All three enjoyed their time climbing the Tour Césare and making music in the Saint-Quiriace Collegiate Church, a fantastic example of an unfinished Romanesque church with Gothic and Baroque features.

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Angyalistan’s Imperial Couple

THIRD TIME’S A CHARM: Þess last dinner

At last, in Tuesday evening, the Sôgmô visited with the Minister-President of Saint-Castin in Le Marais before returning back to the embassy of Aigues-Mortes in Paris for them to enjoy a bottle of wine together with Prince Jean Pierre IV. Later in the evening, they were all joined by the Imperial Couple of Angyalistan at a local restaurant, before það returned back to þess accommodation near Vincennes. While at the restaurant, discussion centred around social and cultural topics, as well as topics about LGBTQ+ life in all appropriate countries. At last, the Sôgmô bid all four farewell and mounted the train back to Vincennes, only to begin þess 13 hour trip back to Quercus Candida, Sandus, the next day.

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The Sôgmô with the Sandum Bicolour

ANALYSIS

The Sôgmô’s visit to Vincennes to take part in the second summit of the OMF is a real representation of where Sandus’s international loyalties lie. Increasingly alienated from the old MicroWiki community, Sandus has been received more amicably by Francophone micronations than by its old friends and allies who are or were historical members of the GUM. Pushed out by the diplomatic efforts of countries like Austenasia, Sandus has turned its back on the MicroWiki community for the greener pastures of the OMF—where micronationalists are older, more Realist, and more practical about the aims and goals of their micronations. This change reflects the general Realist outlook of Sandus on micronationalism, that micronationalism ought to have a practical end and is accompanied by a change in mentality and culture, as opposed to the goal of the GUM to educate younger micronations and to (historically) represent a bloc of “Old Guard” micronations.

The growing diplomatic movement, however, has not been completely of Sandus’s volition. On multiple occasions, Sandus was forcefully ostracised from some historically significant micronational venues to the nation. In June and July 2016, only a month after Sandus helped to form the OMF, Sandus’s GUM membership application was denied because of what the Central People’s Government has claimed was false reasoning and misled politicking. When the State applied again in January 2017, a second application was denied. Finally, in January 2018, the State opted for observership, but many GUM members voted for Sandus because a delegate other than the Sôgmô, who later became inactive, was promised to chair the Sandum delegation. While the Sôgmô was meeting with OMF leaders on Sunday, the GUM voted to recognise that Sandus’s observership had lapsed without contacting the country’s delegation or government to prorogue membership, unlike what the previous chair had done.

These actions have been done because some MicroWiki participants see Sandus as a pariah, an image shaped by misleading media and conversations made by several micronationalists who have historically been opposed to Sandus. The 2013 media project, “Is Sandus Aggressive?,” examined the problem, analysing and comparing the diplomatic situation with Sandum laws and policies. It concluded that the rise of the importance of the Armilustrium after 2012 has nipped in the bud any legitimate claims of Sandum interference in a nation’s domestic policies. That project and the State have argued that disapproval or discontent with a micronation’s internal politics is not an intervention into a micronation’s sovereignty, but is instead Sandus’s sovereign right to manage its diplomatic affairs, to levy complaints, and to opine. Thus, Sandus’s disapproval for Austenasian imperialism has been construed as an attack on Austenasia, rather than a disagreement over the role of imperialism and federalism in micronations.

Now to the OMF in particular.

While the members of the OMF maintain their independence in diplomatic policy, þess visit and the summit represents a growing, broader platform upon which OMF members can collaborate on diplomatic and significant political matters. This is somewhat paradoxical. The role of the organisation as a single diplomatic force was discussed and disregarded during debates at the organisation’s summit, opting instead to work broadly on “micronational affairs” versus “diplomacy.” But, at the same time, the organisation discussed specific points on which members can cooperate and collaborate together to provide a single message on a problem, as the organisation has done before with projects like #PasdePlanèteB or with blocking communication and diplomacy with nations like Pavlov and Lostisland. Internal discussions still focus on providing a concerted effort to achieve aims, as was the case when a member posted a provocative and inflammatory image in April and members of the organisation—while defending the organisation as a bloc on the outside—condemned such flagrant behaviour in the privacy of the OMF.

The OMF, moreover, is a site in which micronations can collaborate despite differences in micronational attitudes and systems of government. Micronations which have jocular and light-hearted roles, like Aigues-Mortes, can still collaborate with serious micronations, like Sandus or Padrhom, on topics related to fake news by finding common ground. In a part of the general assembly, Olivier de Constance mentioned that the Principality cannot rightfully tell its citizens not to consume or to share fake news, but did appear to agree that the Principality could encourage a critical attitude toward media. Instead of controlling member-states’ sharing of fake news for fear of restraining freedom of expression, as the initial draft for a resolution suggested, members noted the right of citizens to respond to fake news and to write media in response. The assembly’s debate found common ground amongst member-states by suggesting a common platform to encourage expression in media while also educating citizens on the necessity of a critical and discerning attitude toward media.

In addition to responding to fake news, the organisation also sought a new project to laud pluralism and diversity, and even encouraged tongue-in-cheek alternatives in order to do so. One such project seeks to encourage the organisation’s values of human rights and human dignity, while playing to a real world perspective on micronations in an effort to jump-start debates and discussions. More about this soon. This project and others are examples of the way in which the OMF acts as a common discussion platform and as a platform for a common message, despite our many differences.

The OMF’s biennial summits also encourage real cooperation between individual micronations. In one case, the Sôgmô agreed to phone periodically with Prince Vincent of Hélianthis to simply share news and to discuss contemporary politics, while also serving as a way for það to practice their French. In another, Sandus, Saint-Castin, and Aigues-Mortes are planning a joint media platform, about which more information is coming. In yet another, the Sôgmô and Grand Duke Niels of Flandrensis talked about their common role in the OMF as members whose native languages are not French. These are but more examples of how the OMF can lead to Realistic solutions for its common micronations and members.

Time will tell where the third 2020 OMF summit will be located and if a Sandum delegation will attend, but already multiple members have promised to be present at the 2019 MicroCon in Ontario, Canada, with the Sôgmô. Until next time — À la prochaine fois.

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© UniCORN / Thibaut Plaire

Solstice Report: Toward a Season of Cultural Growth

Spring2018 website

LET US CULTIVATE DILIGENTLY THE INFRASTRUCTURE OF THE STATE!

The first half of this year has witnessed great cultural and administrative achievements. In January, a law was passed regulating the system by which applicants for citizenship can become citizens, a law which thoroughly renewed the application system and gave power to the Sôgmô to approve and reject applicants on civil grounds. In February, the Robes of State worn by því during important ceremonial occasions were replaced, putting aside the robes which have been used for state occasions since the country’s birth in 2009. In March, Sandus began a cultural laureate program to recognise important artists and musicians who have significantly affected and built up our country. Since April, we have had a new consort and, in that month, the first baronetcy was enfeoffed and entitled to Adam Camillus von Friedeck, Baronet of Eliot. In May, the Sôgmô held a lavish five course banquet to celebrate the ninth anniversary of Sandus—before the Council voted to approve the law regulating þess succession before the end of the month. In June, despite the relative quiet, news has been shared that the Sôgmô is working on a project of laconic life advice slogans to cover all aspects of home affairs; in addition, the Sanôba Consort became a gentleman in the Sandum Table of Noble Ranks.

The coming summer will be a momentous occasion for Sandus and the construction of our infrastructure and culture. In July, the Sôgmô travels to Paris to take part in the 2018 OMF Summit in Vincennes, the first time Sandus will take part in exclusively French-speaking micronational diplomacy in person. In August, the Sanôba Consort will visit Quercus Candida for the first time as a Sandum citizen and as the Sôgmô’s partner, just in time for the Vinalia and for the festivals of Consus and Ops. In September, the Sôgmô will take part in a training on restorative justice in anticipation of becoming a university juror, a concept of justice which may take a larger role in Sandus’s planned judicial and philosophical system over which the Central People’s Government has been mulling for the past season and more.

The coming season will be one of deeper thought given to cultural institutions of our country, as well. Through habitual practice, the Sôgmô has made clear that the limoncello season in Sandus shall last between the two Vinalias, that is, from the end of April to the end of August. Later in the summer, það also will release the book of homespun life advice, entitled the Sandum Oeconomic Ethic, and a book of popular recipes from each Sandum domus. This summer’s activity also includes the medium-term projects and plans, like the log of Annual Media announcements, the reform of the Council, and the language initiative.

All of these will form the basis of improving the infrastructure of the State of Sandus.

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Le Sôgmô ira à Vincennes le 19 juin en anticipation du sommet de la MicroFrancophonie.

 

Charity Taxes — New Infrastructure for Easy Declaration
For the first time, Sandum charity taxes will now be filed by an online form, instead of the Sôgmô contacting individual citizens. The bilingual form in both English and French is intended to speed along the process for the government in asking for information about charity taxes and for citizens in reporting charity taxes. In addition, for the first time, the form asks respondents if they have given any belongings away to charity.

Sandum Charity Taxes Summer Solstice 2018.PNG

At the time of writing, only six responses have been submitted and already another record has been broken—a common theme of Sandum charity taxes today. Since the Spring Equinox, Sandum citizens have donated $2,174.10 USD to charitable organisations like the ACLU, LGBTQ+ advocacy and rights organisations, suicide helplines, ecological organisations, political parties, religious institutions, academic and professional organisations, and private individuals. This is up from the Winter’s $1,095.18. The previous record was $1,462.41 in Summer 2017.

Sandum citizens have donated clothes and books to charitable organisations this season.

Since the Spring Equinox, Sandum citizens have volunteered a total of 100 hours, down from the Winter’s declared hours of 794 hours and the Autumn’s 190.

In addition, the new charity tax form asked for some information about citizens’ income, asking whether or not citizens earned a living wage in the previous year. A living wage is defined as a basic income that covers basic necessities, such as housing and food. Out of those who answered, two replied that they were uncertain. Of those who were certain, 50% said that they did have a living wage, while the other half said that they did not.

 

Sôgmô to Submit New Budget for 2018-2019
The Sôgmô has proposed a budget for the new budgetary year, to be submitted to the Commission for the Command Economy (CCE), which will see a potential rise in spending for the State of Sandus in the lead up to the country’s tenth anniversary. The budget will cover at least $2,000 USD worth of projected expenses, in addition to another $1,000 in discretionary spending.

Projected Spending:

Sandus.org $40
Salaries $100
Work Expenses $360
Cultural Expenses $500
10th Creation Celebration $1,000

Discretionary Spending:

Special Philia Fund $200
Matter Realist Fund $200
Trans*ition Policy $100
Health Reimbursement Policy $100
Flexible Spending $400

Projected as a part of the budget’s spending over the next year includes work expenses for Sandus’s cooperatives, cultural expenses covering a variety of different holidays, and a large celebration for the 10th anniversary of the Creation of Sandus next year. That celebration’s budget will include money for a travel and accommodation stipends, events, decorations, memorabilia, and other expenses. Discretionary spending covers costs related to cultural development, gender transitioning, emergency healthcare, and miscellaneous expenses deemed necessary for the State and Sandum Socialism.

 

State Planning: Medium-Term Projects for the Summer
The Central People’s Government will begin work this summer on a variety of stated projects announced on Sandus.org earlier in the month. Of the most significant importance is the initiative by Facilitator Hatsu Ryuho to reform the Council, followed by the Sôgmô’s initiative to present a theoretical guideline for a philosophical and judicial branch in Sandum government. Following these, some important projects include flags for citizens of Sandus paid for by the Philia Fund, a pamphlet of information on every Sandum holiday by month, and bestowals of nobility on the remaining deserving recipients. Finally, the Central People’s Government is looking for journalists for Veritum Sandus as well as looking to establish a long-term project to encourage citizens to learn Sandus’s three official languages: English, French, and Latin.

 

AthenaPronoea Emblem

ἉΜΗΟΙΔΑΟΥΔΕΟΙΟΜΑΙΕΙΔΕΝΑΙ
“I do not think to know that which I do not know.”
(Plato Apology 21d)

Honourable Order of Athena Pronoea: Recognising Our Intellectualism
One Sandum citizen recently graduated from university with a Bachelor’s degree of Arts in English Literature with Honours, two minors in Technology Entrepreneurship and in Religious Studies, a certificate in entrepreneurship, and she received a citation of honour in entrepreneurship and innovation. During her time in undergraduate studies, she completed an honours thesis in her department, entitled “Children of God: Understanding Marilynne Robinson’s Home as a Mode of Religious Literature.”

She was a copy editor for a creative writing periodical at her university, as well as a research assistant for the associate director of the Center for Literary and Comparative Studies. She served for two and a half years as an editor of a women’s college periodical and as a coordinator for Greek Life at her university. Fitting for her role in Sandus as the bishop of the Εκκλησία, she was an intern at her church’s university chaplaincy for three years, from 2015 until recently when she graduated, and administered the chaplaincy and oversaw preparations for an ecumenical memorial service for the Pulse shooting massacre in June 2016. Given her background in the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA), she is an inquirer in the National Capital Presbytery seeking candidacy, as well as recently being elected as member at-large of the PCUSA’s Advocacy Committee for Women’s Concerns.

Order of Athena Pronoea - MΑθΠ

PLAUDAMUS IGITUR SISENNAM MELVILLE MΑθΠ

Let us applaud, therefore, Sisenna Melville MΑθΠ, who has been promoted to the rank of Member of the Honourable Order of Athena Pronoea.

 

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Fides in Patria
“There is trust in our fatherland.”

Most Honourable Order of the Throne of Sandus: Update on Addressing the Backlog
The Sôgmô has begun to take steps to address the backlog of recipients of the Most Honourable Order of the Throne of Sandus. A cache of new medals has been purchased, in addition to the appropriate paper and mailing pouches for sending out the medal and certificate to recipients who have never received their medal. These materials will be used to address the historical problem, where recipients and members of the order have never received their appropriate medal entitled to them by the constitution of the order.

Equinox Report: For a Spring of Improved Infrastructure

The winter brought with it more than just the cold this year. Sandum citizens, ever diligent in their multifaceted responsibilities, have been toiling away in their private lives, while the State of Sandus has been working away on the behalf of all of us. At the end of December, Sandus celebrated its traditional cultural events—from the Solstice to Christmas. And let us not mention that the past season has seen more than three New Year celebrations!

January brought with it her annual peace and concord—so that Sandus could labour away for the People’s weal. Sandus joined the GUM as an observer, while we set out to make plans for the momentous occasion of the tenth anniversary of Sandus in May 2019. What is more, the Sôgmô proposed to the council a new law governing the infrastructure related to citizenship and to immigration in Sandus—and this bill became the very first law passed by Sandus in the Council. In March, the first applicant under this new system became a Sandum citizen, raising our population to 13. February likewise saw the momentous occasions of the familiar festivals of the Parentalia, the Feralia, and the Caristia, the first occasion of Sandus celebrating African Diaspora Day, and the seventh anniversary of the Secession.

The past season has seen the increased institutionalisation of Sandum government with members of the Republic taking a diligent part in governance, in pursuance of the spirit of the Plan for the Major Societal Shift. Today, Sandum citizens take an increasingly active and diligent role in their government, and Party members are working carefully yet diligently to complete the Party’s platform. Moreover, Sandum faithful are today diligent in the fulfilment of the free and social endeavour of the State of Sandus—imbuing our State with compassion and diligence in accordance with our duties. With this experience of the budding of Sandum power, we ought to fertilise the ground of Sandum infrastructure and further develop the Sandum nation by all possible means.

We shall diligently cultivate the infrastructure of the State!
Nous cultiverons diligemment l’infrastructure de l’État !
Colemus diligente structuram Civitatis!

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A Record of Hours in Winter 2018: Sandum Charity Taxes
The past few years have seen multiple records made on behalf of the Sandum institution of charity taxes, the requirement all citizens have toward donating money or time for compassionate activity toward others–or philanthropy. Derived from the Greek word which means, literally, “love of mankind,” this Sandum institution represents the literal fulfilment of our vows and duty as Sandum citizens—which we undertook the moment we became citizens.

Today marks the third season Sandus has donated over $1,000 USD to charity. Last winter, Sandus donated only $395.60 to charity, while this winter we have donated $1,095.18 to charity and philanthropic causes ranging from religious to environmental, humanitarian, and cultural nonprofit organisations—as well as smaller, individual events.

In addition, the past season has seen a remarkable event for volunteer work in Sandus. One of our citizens, Aaron von Friedeck, has dedicated the last three months to his religious calling, as he will do for the next two years. Aaron’s dedication to his convictions and to the betterment—spiritual and material—of other people recall Sandus’s own philosophical underpinnings. Our philosophy is predicated on the belief that all people in this world suffer. This precept of the Sandum Philosophy is not restricted to any one ideology, people, or religion, but is instead a maxim all people of the world can and should hold on to. It is not a nihilistic maxim, where all our actions are futile, but rather one where we, as one Sovereign People and as individuals with free will, can shape the conditions of our individual lives and of the society and culture around us.

Aaron’s charity does not stand alone, however. All Sandum citizens, from the oldest citizen to the newest, take part in it. This season saw Sandum citizens volunteering 794 hours of their own time to philanthropic causes, ranging from animal welfare organisations and political organisations to museums and shelters. This is the single most amount of hours volunteered in Sandum history, and is greater than the sum of all hours volunteered in the last two years combined. Even without von Friedeck’s mission, this season would have been the second greatest number of hours volunteered on behalf of our love for humanity.

Significant Improvements made to segments of Sandum Infrastructure
As mentioned in the introduction to this report, this past season saw the introduction of a new Sandum law to revamp the processes by which individuals become Sandum citizens. This law did away with the forms that once existed, creating new ones which would weed out applications contrary to Sandum laws. These forms have already had a great effect in significantly reducing the number of applications that must be denied. Moreover, this new law also adopted new mechanisms in Sandus to speed the process along and to ensure that Sandus was bringing in only the most committed, diligent, and intellectual citizens to our national philosophy.

But this law is only one of several actions to revamp Sandum infrastructure. We should also add that efforts are being made to improve this website, develop its pages, edit its information (if it is out of date), and to further clearly explain information related to our country. The website is not the only thing, however, which has been affected by these movements. Sandum media, too, has taken on a new aesthetic form and music popularly used in Sandus has been shared for important holidays. A greater effort has been made to translate Sandum media into all three official languages, in whole or in part, while more media has also been written in languages other than English.

The Council has also been the recipient of the State’s recent drive, and this will likely continue in the coming sessions. The Facilitator is taking over more administrative functions from the Sôgmô, while also encouraging new additions to the Council’s administrative rules—such as his idea of adding a quorum rule to motions passed by the Council.

Sandum government is also developing with more officials underneath the three leading offices of the Sandum Republic. The Sôgmô reorganised, in this season, the chargée d’affaires from the Office of the Sôgmô to the Ministry of Diplomatic Affairs, while also answering directly to the monarch themself.

Like the Sandum functionary, the State’s economic apparatus has also seen an increased interest. The newest Sandum citizen has actively taken an interest in Sandum economic affairs, while also showing an interest in Sandus’s political system. But other citizens, too, are interested in cooperatives. The Collegium itself, Sandus’s oldest cooperative tasked with religious and philosophical affairs, has demonstrated a renewed impetus for new work toward the Sandum Church as well as the newly established Sandum Sangha. Sandus is following the model of countless Socialist countries which have come before us, but is guided by our own philosophy—the bulwark of the Sandum State.

In addition to work done, there is work to do. In the new season, we plan to adopt a rigorous media campaign, revamp Sandus’s propaganda production, and further develop Sandus’s economic potential. It is important here to note that, as it is not guided by capitalist goals of maximising profit and squeezing labour out of workers, Sandus is primarily interested in providing these material and cultural benefits for the integration, development, and advancement of the State of Sandus and the common good. Last of all, the Sôgmô is also planning a new Sagamorial Consideration where það will explain the planning and theory behind an idea of a Sandum judicial or philosophical branch.

Ten Years of Sandus

Let the Planning begin! Preparing for the 10th Anniversary
Sandus’s tenth anniversary of existence will be on 26 May 2019, and the Sôgmô has invited all Sandum citizens, those both now and once upon a time, to come visit Quercus Candida and to celebrate Sandus’s first decade of existence. There is also an open invitation for interested friends and allies of the State of Sandus.

Planning will clarify the schedule and the best location for visitors to stay, but dates have already been chosen: 24 – 26 May 2019. Events will include dinners, discussions, tea, and a tour of the new Sandum capital.

Tax Titles: Hatsu Ryuho and Aaron von Friedeck
By a June 2012 decree, the State of Sandus bestows an extra name (agnomen) or title on individuals who have demonstrated a passion for charity and philanthropy. Only once before has a Sandum citizen taken an extra name, Adam Camillus von Friedeck. (Sisenna Melville was also offered one but declined.) Today, the Sôgmô offers two Sandum citizens the distinction of a tax title, one the offer of an agnomen and the other the offer of the title “the Caring.” This notice will be updated if they accept the honour.

Soergel: of Dullahan’s solution on the GUM fundamentally correct yet flawed

More than a month ago, Bradley of Dullahan wrote an op-ed in the Austenasian Times. In it, he explained how both he and the Austenasian emperor, Jonathan, had agreed that the intermicronational community fared best when engaged in active, and sometimes heated, intellectual debate. Both hold that the community was more active when engaged in the Great Ideological Conflict from 2010 to around 2012, with remnants continuing on even to the present day, and that today fewer such ideological conflicts happen to such an ardent and intellectual degree. But, while these conflicts were at times over things of little importance, as Dullahan notes, they were significant to us young micronationalists. Social scientists have long been aware of the positive side effects of conflict, such as those which happened during the GIC, and it is no wonder that we too would consider them productive. In retrospect, these conflicts were not terribly intellectual and both sides mostly rehashed ideological jargon and arguments used in the Cold War and those made by contemporary socialist/communist and libertarian politicians. Unfortunately, this includes me, too.

But it would not be right to downplay the importance of these intellectual discussions, especially at the age at which we had them. When I was in my teenage years, as many micronationalists start, these intellectual debates were incredibly formative—not just for Sandus, but for me personally. They opened me up to a wide range of intellectual viewpoints, from political and social ones to religious and to those covering even minute topics, and I had these conversations even with those with whom I agreed. In my case, I have found that discussing one’s point of view—whether or not controversial, whether or not my own view is completely fleshed out per se—is helpful to understand the complexities of social and historical reality. Often, these realities cannot be reduced to a single statement or argument. Discussing one’s point of view unabashedly, nevertheless, helped to introduce me to increasingly robust thinking and debate over time—and micronationalism was my forte into this realm of thought.

The textual form of this line of argumentation was also helpful, too, even if conversational in the form of a chatroom, because it made me think about my prose and liberated me from anxieties about others’ interpretation of and likely scorn towards me. Learning to debate orally—and to debate well—is something which I am still working on as I grow older where it has become increasingly important, but I have our ideological conflicts to look up to as examples.

Many know that I count micronationalism and, in particular, my micronation Sandus as the reason for my increasingly higher education. I mentioned it in high school in several projects, and these projects and points of view freed me from the monotony of secondary education and made me an independent thinker. My university entrance essay was on Sandus even, and, since I was passionate about how Sandus had changed my analytical thinking, I believe I was admitted for that reason. And, when I went to interview for my Ph.D. program, I again brought up my micronation (though with some prodding by the professor who was interviewing me). My fellow graduate students, too, had interrogated me about Sandus. Taken aback, I explained how micronationalism was the basis for my intimate inquiry into classical constitutionalism and into Roman religion. So, even though I may disagree thoroughly and ardently with Bradley of Dullahan’s personal ideology or that of Jonathan of Austenasia, I respect both and their ideologies whenever I have found it based on sound argumentation. Here more than ever. However, we have much more than micronational activity at stake here: we have the coming generation of micronationalists, their micronations, even their education, and the ultimate shape of the movement.

In other words, we three would agree that the intermicronational community fares better when made up of heterogeneous ideologies and with a certain amount of intellectual debate.

This does not mean that I encourage another “Great Ideological Conflict,” or anything like it—nor do I think that is what Bradley of Dullahan suggests. Rather, I encourage intellectual discussion—perhaps purposefully seen that way—meant to build up our micronations and to make us think about the ideas and theories that go into their physical and metaphysical (i.e., intellectual, spiritual, et cetera) construction.

Moreover, there has long been a misconception that heated intellectual debate and even heated diplomatic discussion can border on violation or infringement of a micronation’s sovereignty. One might believe, wrongly, that voicing opposition to a nation’s internal policies is a violation of a micronation’s sovereign inviolability. This is certainly not the case, as states can legitimately voice diplomatic opposition to other states’ internal politics without violating that state’s sovereignty. There are valid cases for arguing that a violation of a state’s sovereignty has occurred, but registering private and even public disapproval is not one of them. Many are to blame for this misconception and, sadly, I must include myself there again.

Instead, I understand—as I believe Bradley of Dullahan and Jonathan of Austenasia do, too—that a robust intellectual discussion on the part of micronations is a healthy and constructive element of micronationalism. Rather than switching to and fro’ one micronational project to the next or having little allegiance to one micronation alone, these conversations should encourage one to develop their own exclusive project and their own personality, and to defend it reasonably. The result is more than just a more developed micronation, it is also an increased sense of belonging to one’s micronation and to the group of friends one forms in the course of these debates. I still count Jacob Barnet (Tierney) and Adam von Friedeck as some of my two closest friends because of them.

This point is true of the intermicronational community broadly, and even in some successful intermicronational communities and organisations. While the community can be broadly or narrowly conceived (based on differing scales from the broad compilation of all micronations to one specific site), one exclusive community (like MicroWiki) or organization (like the GUM) fares better with unlike-minded people. The result includes more conflict and division, sure, but conflict is bound to happen anyway.

L’Organisation de la MicroFrancophonie, the intermicronational organisation of French-speaking micronations, is one such community that does not shrink away from conflict. Instead, even the leading members argue and disagree with one another, despite otherwise being close friends. The result has meant a robust community full of French-speaking micronations, Francophile micronations, and other such observer states. The OMF has an astounding presence, as well, that goes relatively unrecognized among many English-speaking micronationalists. Since having been founded in May 2016, the organization has hosted close to or more than half a dozen in-person events across Europe and will hold its second plenary convention in July 2018. At the 2017 MicroCon in Atlanta, too, there were so many OMF members present that at times more than half the attendees were speaking French. And, yet, the organization thrives because there is a certain degree of disagreement among its membership which polemicises its business with respect to internal and external affairs. It makes its business all the more active, all the more serious, all the more important.

Yet the GUM is not the OMF, that is for sure. The average age of members is different, as is their purpose (the OMF lacks an educational purpose as found in the GUM), but their micronations are overall as professional and realist as the GUM aspires to be according to its principles.

Thus, I am convinced that the rationale undergirding Bradley of Dullahan’s opinion is fundamentally sound, yet what he suggests is flawed. His point in his op-ed was that debate yields micronational activity, yet he concludes that the GUM must decay and be revived again. I do not quite understand what new advice he suggests when for a fifth time the GUM is supposed to be reborn. Non sequitur. It does not follow. Is this the state which Sandus’s adversaries in the GUM wish to accept passively—one of fatigued withdrawal? These are certainly not the staunch and difficult-to-deal-with opponents of mine I recall.

Perhaps Duke Bradley and Emperor Jonathan ought to follow their own advice and encourage the sort of heterogeneous ideological membership found during the times when the GUM thrived, rather than waiting for the GUM to expire terminally for a fourth time. Next month will mark one year since Sandus applied to be an observer in the GUM, after Sandus’s membership application had been previous rejected in earlier in June 2016. These two rejections came after all assurances had been made to members that Sandus would respect the principles undergirding the GUM Charter, and yet a majority of GUM members rejected Sandus for political reasons—with the same Duke Bradley of Wyvern and Emperor Jonathan of Austenasia spearheading the offensive.

What strikes me is that both have apparently and expressly seen what would make the GUM be lively again and be revived once more, but they both seem to ignore the obvious solution and prefer instead to see their pet organisation whither away. That is, both seem to be adamant that Sandus should never reclaim its rightful place as a participant in the Grand Unified Micronational, even though we have demonstrated as early as June 2009 that she is deserving of participation in the GUM. I say both as Bradley authored the piece, while Jonathan presumably edited and published it.

Today, a new grassroots movement is growing in Sandus which seeks that we apply for observership once more, almost a year after it was rejected. This movement will undoubtedly make the same assurances as before. (1) Sandus and Sandum foreign policy forbid doxxing, as much for transgender micronationalists as for the micronationalists who are worried by Sandus’s possible presence. (2) Sandus abides by the protocols established in the GUM Charter with respect to recognition of names, styles, and titles—and this goes both ways. (3) Sandus will not be represented at the GUM by the Sôgmô as a primary delegate and, (4) if we are accepted as an observer, Sandus will have no administrative capacity or voting rights in the organization anyway since we will not be members.

Allowing Sandus into the GUM as an observer does not magically absolve either party of what each sees as attacks against it, nor does rejecting Sandus mean that we will be simply willed away—never to be a problem again for Austenasia or Wyvern. Sandus is resilient, but so are they—and so too should the GUM be. I think all parties agree on that. Yet both statesmen have seen what is beneficial for the GUM at this stage in its inactivity: intellectual, ideological debate. If the Council of the State of Sandus should approve a decision to apply for observership in the GUM, then I anticipate both Austenasian and Wyvernian delegates will acquiesce to what they have foreseen as beneficial for the GUM: letting in a heterogeneous micronation like Sandus. Our record, our long experience of participation in the GUM, and our profound constitution approve fervently.


Finally, I feel the need to respond to our critics who will undoubtedly wonder why we keep trying. The reasons are multiple, and I can express my own personal reasons—such as above—as well as some of Sandus’s national interests.

The GUM is an organisation with an incredibly important legacy for the State of Sandus. It is an organisation in which Sandus “grew up,” an organisation which Sandus and the Sandum delegation helped to administer for several terms and at various times. But, moreover, it is an organisation whose purpose and message—of professionalism, of realist micronationalism, of educational potential for new but tried micronationalists—Sandus endorses and embodies.

But Sandus has also wanted to be a member for other reasons historically. The useful experience of the GUM was most important for Sandus’s development, and even today I revel in the idea that Sandus and Sandum diplomats might be able to engage with similarly- and dissimilarly-minded micronationalists in one convenient, discursive venue. Others exist, sure, but none advance the same rationale for professionalism and seriousness as that historically found in the GUM. This is useful for state-building, as I have tried to made a (simple) case for above.

Why now, though? Sandus has a new generation of micronationalists who are wholly unfamiliar with diplomacy or intermicronational politics, but it also represents a new challenge to the Sandum citizen. One of the citizens of this generation, though a diplomat in her own right, is otherwise new to Sandus’s diplomatic affairs. Moreover, there is still a state-building need for Sandus: though Sandus has a Ministry of Diplomatic Affairs, there is no clear system by which diplomats conduct business. So far, Sandus has operated as an “in tandem” system, whereby diplomats conduct business one after another, together, never alone. Diplomats have not had the sort of autonomy necessitated by true diplomacy. This goes for all Sandum officials, too, not just diplomats.

There is also another, simple, and practical reason for why now: this citizen in particular is an employee of the Central People’s Government of the State of Sandus, but she has requested a change in her official responsibilities—from clerical “scribal” work to diplomatic work. As a chargée d’affaires, i.e., a functionary, she is meant to operate independently in a centralised governmental system, which means she is the perfect candidate to represent the State of Sandus as an observer in the Grand Unified Micronational. As she receives a salary, too, for her work, we are more committed to finding her a diplomatic mission—whether as the primary delegate of the State of Sandus to the GUM or as a liaison with the MicroWiki community. Plus, this should resolve the individual personality issues involved with Sandus’s previous rejections. While I would anticipate some involvement of my own, being a professional academic rather leaves little time to handle the minutiae of intermicronational politics.

It is becoming more and more apparent why Sandus must develop a healthy system with centralisation, worker’s democracy, collegiality, and worker’s autonomy within our republican constitution. But, as I advise others to pursue intellectual debates, it is only fitting that I should follow my own advice. The same is true for Bradley of Dullahan and Jonathan of Austenasia, who seem to be aware of what path is needed for our community at this point in time. I hope that they do as they say.

C. Soergel Publicola
Sôgmô

Solstice Report: 75% Participation, Sôgmô’s Reign Unanimously Legitimate

Sandum citizens today are busier than ever before. There are more citizens who are active and engaged in the work of the Sandum government, from the Sôgmô to other workers in the Central People’s Government of the State of Sandus. Sandus, however, does not simply affect their micronational lives: it is also integrated with their quotidien and personal lives.

This Solstice has always marked one of the more important seasons for the State of Sandus. During the Autumn season, citizens take part in the nation’s most important cultural holiday, the Armilustrium, and engage in one of the most important democratic assemblies in our country: the Party Congress of the Citizens’ Party of Sandus. Moreover, it sees significant political and state holidays like the National Day of Socialism, Transgender Day of Remembrance, and Athena’s Day. But most significant of all administrative days is today, when the Sovereign People conclude their annual national referendum—the sixth, in today’s case—and vote on the legitimacy of the Sôgmô’s reign.

But, because of the tripartite Sandum Philosophy, Sandus lays claim to the spirit and message behind the peaceful and joyous winter holidays. We celebrate the social equality of the Saturnalia and we go beyond the progenitors of the holiday of yore in social equality—even striving to further and further than them. We remain mindful of the Christian message of the sort found in the venerated Victorian Christmas carol Good King Wenceslas:

Therefore, Christian men, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye, who now will bless the poor,
Shall yourselves find blessings.

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and Io Saturnalia!

Sôgmô C. Soergel Publicola

Winter Solstice

Annual Charity Taxes Up, 2017 Most Philanthropic Year Yet
One of Sandus’s most notable administrative features, and one which is always reported on the quarter-days between the different seasons, is the report on charity taxes. Since March 2012, Sandum citizens have been required to donate to charitable foundations or volunteer for philanthropic causes. Each one has to report the charity which they do as private citizens, and this report always includes the work which they do in the past three months since the previous solstice or equinox.

The past season’s monetary donations are down from those reported during the Autumn Equinox, but the hours of volunteer work have more than doubled. In the past season, we have donated $929.26 USD to charity, compared to the Summer’s $1,462.41. But, on the other hand, 190 volunteering hours were completed since 22 September, compared to the average 94.5 hours in the history of Sandus accepting charity taxes in the form of volunteer work. Sandum citizens have volunteered at houses of worship, animal shelters, and environmental programs—amongst others.

History of Sandum Charity Taxes by year

Charity taxes in 2017 are up to the highest they have ever been. While part of this increase is due to the rise in the population of Sandum citizens, it is also due to the fact that most Sandum citizens have grown older and have begun accepting higher paying jobs or are more financially secure. More and more Sandum citizens are working toward or have attained a higher education than secondary education.

 

Election 2017 Poster

Election 2017: Participation Up, Sôgmô’s Reign Unanimously Legitimate
Polls were open from 10 to 20 December 2017, with participation low for the first half and picking up significantly in the second half of the voting duration. By 15 December, only one vote had been submitted, representing a participation of 12.5%. By 20 December, six votes had been cast, or 75% of eligible voters.

Of Sandus’s population of 12 citizens, 11 are technically eligible, while three members of the Royal Family refuse to vote though the Sôgmô does submit a ballot. Sandum citizens have three voting options when voting on the Sôgmô’s legitimacy: yes, no, and abstain.

Of the six ballots cast, all voted in favour of þess legitimate reign. Five ballots were written in English, while one was in French; there were no extraordinary Latin ballots cast.

In the last section, the ballot turns to easement of the right to petition and to the election process itself.

What policies or concerns do you wish the Sôgmô to enact and conduct?

  1. I think the government is addressing issues in a healthy, productive manner. Further, the government seems to be handling the chaos caused by America’s current government very well. Sandus is weathering the storm well.
  2. Continued expansion to new members. Good job with that!

— Two petitions submitted in the 2017 Election

Sandum citizens are always given space, as well, to petition the Sôgmô confidentially and privately. Two petitions were given, one which was congratulatory and another which suggested that Sandus should continue expansion of citizenship. When asked how the voting process went, three ballots commended the electoral process for its ease.

The Sôgmô expressed a desire to expand Sandum citizenship to more people at the 2017 CPS Party Congress, so it is expected that Sandus will work to explain the naturalisation process for non-citizens, ease the citizenship process, and to approach others who share the values of the Sandum Philosophy.

 

throneofsandus_emblem

Most Honourable Order of the Throne of Sandus: One New Membership Awarded, Four Upgraded
The Sôgmô, in þess capacity as Sovereign of the Most Honourable Order of the Throne of Sandus, has awarded membership to one person, updated the citation for several current members, and has upgraded three members to the rank of Commander and one Commander to the rank of Elder.

Order_of_the_Throne_of_Sandus_3rdThe recipient of membership in the Order has run a micronation since 2001 which, in 2014, became an official nonprofit public benefit corporation in California in the United States. His micronation’s primary political mission is ecological and environmental. Their friendship with the State of Sandus was demonstrated in this past year with this new member meeting with the Sôgmô and becoming close friends with other members of the Organisation de la MicroFrancophonie. His reign, moreover, has seen thoughtful developments in the arts and an implicit dedication to LGBTQ+ micronationalists, while his government maintains three ecological campaigns, two of which are focused on Antarctica: Global Ecocide Prevention, Preserving and Monitoring the Ice Sheet, and Advocacy through Occupation. The Honourable Sôgmô, in þess capacity as Sovereign of the Most Honourable Order of the Throne of Sandus, has awarded the rank of Member in the order to Grand Duke Travis of Westarctica.

For their roles in developing the Micronational Declaration on Ecological Stewardship, the Honourable Sôgmô, in þess capacity as Sovereign of the Most Honourable Order of the Throne of Sandus, has instructed that the citations for four current members to include language “for the Declaration on Ecological Stewardship” in recognition of their service to micronational environmentalism:
Adam von Friedeck EOTS
Jean Pierre d’Aigues-Mortes COTS
Niels von Flandrensis MOTS
Thomas Harris MOTS

Order_of_the_Throne_of_Sandus_2ndIn recognition for their close friendship with the State of Sandus and for their role in the successful and diplomatic governance of the Organisation de la MicroFrancophonie (OMF), the Honourable Sôgmô, in þess capacity as Sovereign of the Most Honourable Order of the Throne of Sandus, has promoted the following Members of the Order to the rank of Commander:
Dominic DeSaintes-Bellemare COTS
Jean Pierre d’Aigues-Mortes COTS
Olivier d’Angyalistan COTS

Order_of_the_Throne_of_Sandus_1stIn recognition of his role as Facilitator of the Council and the former leader of another Social State, the Honourable Sôgmô, in þess capacity as Sovereign of the Most Honourable Order of the Throne of Sandus, has promoted the following Commander of the Order to the rank of Elder:
Hatsu Ryuho EOTS

 

AthenaPronoea Emblem

Honourable Order of Athena Pronoea: Party Secretary Promoted
The Honourable Order of Athena Pronoea is a recently established order of honour in the State of Sandus, established to laud and to recognise the high academic achievements of Sandum citizens in a country inspired by intellectualism and scholarship.

Order of Athena Pronoea - MΑθΠOne Associate of the Order has recently graduated with a Bachelors of Arts cum laude in History and Political Science. In recognition of his venerable academic achievement and the honour bestowed upon him for this accomplishment, the Honourable Sôgmô, in þess capacity as Sovereign of the Most Honourable Order of the Throne of Sandus, has promoted the following member to the rank of Member of the Order:
Adam Camillus von Friedeck MΑθΠ

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.

Our Trans* History: from the Transition Policy to the Denton Protocol

On Wednesday 26 July 2017, the American president Donald Trump announced that the United States Armed Forces “will not accept or allow Transgender individuals” to serve in any capacity, citing “the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender (sic) in the military would entail.” The decision comes after months of talking about the costs of transgender people serving in the military and focusing predominantly on healthcare costs, although most estimate that 0.005-0.017% of the military’s healthcare costs of $49.3USD billion would cover transition related costs. Trump’s presidential announcement, as well, marks a clear break from the presidential candidate, who promised to be the “best president for LGBT (sic)” during the campaign season. Instead, his administration has removed protections for transgender students in schools, undone employment nondiscrimination executive orders for federal employees and contractors, and instated this most recent ban on transgender service-people in the US Armed Forces.

The decision to renew a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy for American transgender service-members is starkly different from the State of Sandus, the other condominium partner according to Sandus’s Gradient Sovereign Condominium Theory.

Since 2012, the State of Sandus has offered a policy to help cover the costs of starting one’s transition by covering the cost of chest binders for transgender people up to $50USD. This policy also covers cosmetics and other necessary undergarments and garments for transgender people who have started to transition and need essential clothing for the process. In 2014, the policy was funded by Sandus’s first budget and has been funded again this year by the first annual budget.

TransgenderDayofRemembrance

An official poster for Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Sandus also marks several transgender days of recognition, including Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) and Transgender Day of Visibility. On 23 November 2013, to commemorate Transgender Day of Remembrance, Sande Amici, a Sandum focus group on Second Life, held a discussion “Gender Identity in the Ancient World” on analogues of transgender identities in classical antiquity.

Sandus has drawn criticism from conservative micronations for its out-spoken stance on transgender issues. In March 2014, after months of recurring attacks and slurs against transgender micronationalists, Sandus and Zealandia jointly condemned transphobia in micronationalism, but refused to single out specific micronationalists. Finally, in response to refusing to use transgender micronationalists’ appropriate names, styles of address, and office titles, Sandus promulgated the Denton Protocol in order to exert diplomatic influence on those unnamed micronationalists to address transgender micronationalists correctly. The move drew the ire of conservative micronationalists and the frustration of their more moderate partners, but the Protocol worked: by the end of the year, transgender micronationalists started to be addressed appropriately and the diplomatic crisis was resolved for the time being.

But Sandus has even been ostracised from segments of the intermicronational community for its pro-transgender stance. In July 2016, after Sandus had applied to become a member of the Grand Unified Micronational, the GUM Quorum of Delegates, championed by the then-GUM Chair Shane Cahill and Austenasian Emperor Jonathan, rejected Sandus’s application while citing concerns over Sandus’s adherence to the Denton Protocol, despite assurances that the protocol would be irrelevant to Sandus’s activity in the organisation and despite the fact the protocol had not been used in two years. And, when Sandus applied to observe the GUM again in January 2017, Sandus’s application received the same result: rejection. This time, however, others began to take note of the absurdity of the decision and Sandus received the support of the Lord Spiritual of Mercia, an opponent of the Denton Protocol, who stated that the GUM’s accusations were “baseless and sensational.”

GovermentLogo S8gm8

The Office of the Sôgmô’s logo includes the Sôgmô’s official pronoun, það.

That Sandus should be a strong proponent for the transgender community is obvious given that LGBT people comprise a majority of Sandum citizens. The Sôgmô, who is both bisexual and androgynous, uses the Icelandic neuter pronoun “það” as a gender neutral pronoun for því personally and officially for State business. Some micronations, moreover, have responded more positively and respectfully than others. Exempli gratia, when the Sôgmô visited the Emperor of Angyalistan in Vincennes, France, the Emperor addressed the Sôgmô by þess official pronoun. Sandum citizens, as well, have historically been congratulated by their comrade citizens and by the Sôgmô personally for their bravery in coming out as LGBTQ+, such as with peregrina citizen Artemis Baca.

According to a March 2015 poll held on the occasion of International Women’s Day, a super-majority of Sandum citizens thought that Sandus was a postgender society.

Although a majority stated they believed in traditional gender roles, 67% of Sandum citizens who responded to the poll stated that they thought that Sandus is a postgender society, that Sandus should be a postgender society in their opinion, and that they believe their macronation (the United States) should be more of a postgenderist society. Sandus’s policies towards postgenderism in Sandum society and culture appear to be seen positively by Sandum citizens according to this poll.

Postgenderism is a sociopolitical and cultural movement for the voluntary elimination of gender-based discrimination and of gender in human species through the application of biotechnology and the undoing of socialised psychological gendering. By comparison, 59% of foreign micronationalists responded that their micronation should be a postgender society.

With this history and public opinion in the State of Sandus, it is no wonder that Sandus is a prominent proponent of transgender issues.