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

[SC] Greeting & Addressing the Sôgmô and the Sanôba Consort

Like most heads of state and of government, the Sôgmô has a specific style of address when one greets það, and for the first time the Appartements du Sôgmô (the current seat of sagamorial power) in Sandus’s capital province, Quercus Candida, have clarified the ways to address the Sanôba Consort.

There are no obligatory manners of addressing and greeting the Sôgmô, but there are distinguished and traditional ones which are considered to be respectful if one uses them. In Sandus, however, it is traditionally and (in the case of titles of nobility) legally forbidden to correct another individual if they have mistaken one’s style of address. This means that, while the correct use of our styles of address are appreciated and considered respectful, not using them is not offensive.

Other titles and style of addresses in Sandus, as well as their rules and regulations, can be read about in the Decree on the Sandum System of Nobility.

 

37758471_2066971610229449_1642316646980780032_o-e1533919117374.jpg
© UniCORN, Thibault Plaire

the Honourable Sôgmô Gaius Soergel Publicola

Coat_of_Arms_of_SoergelCoat_of_Arms_of_Sandus

There are no specific physical gestures that must be made to the Sôgmô, and bowing or prostrating is specifically discouraged. The Sôgmô may bow their head slightly and place their right hand over their heart, but the most common action is just to shake hands in the common modern way. If the Sôgmô is meeting with French-speakers, they might perform a bise.

When meeting the Sôgmô, the correct form of address is ‘the Honourable Sôgmô,’ and subsequently either simply ‘Sôgmô’ or ‘Comrade Sôgmô.’ When referring to the Sôgmô in a spoken conversation, the Sôgmô’s pronouns in the third person are ‘he,’ ‘they,’ or—especially when referring to the constitutional office—’það.’

‘Your Excellency’ or, when referring to the Sôgmô, ‘His Excellency’ are not traditional in Sandus, but are still appreciated as tokens of respect. Referring to the Sôgmô as ‘Your’ or ‘His Majesty’ is expressly discouraged.

 

Sanôba Consort Oliver

the Faithful Sanôba Consort Oliver Armstrong

Oliver ArmstrongCoat_of_Arms_of_Sandus

As with the Sôgmô, there is no specific physical gesture that is traditional when meeting the Sanôba Consort, though a simple handshake may be exchanged.

The Appartements du Sôgmô have recently clarified that, when meeting the Sanôba Consort, his style of address is ‘the Faithful Sanôba Consort’ and subsequently ‘Sanôba’ or ‘Sanôba Consort’ afterwards. His third person pronoun is ‘he.’

As a member of Sandus’s gentry according to the Sandum Table of Noble Ranks, he may also be addressed as ‘Mister Armstrong’ and ‘Oliver Esquire.’

 

[SC] It’s a Sandum Life: Ceremonial Alternatives to Life Events

Sandus’s prime focus has long been on culture, and a culture reflecting its philosophical rationale at that. It has long had celebrations for its Socialist leanings, like celebrating the National Day of Socialism on 7 November or Labour Day on 1 May, and for its social liberalism and progressivism, such as this week’s celebration of LGBTQ+ Pride Week. Its holidays come in a variety of different flavours, such as the more cultural Sancta holidays to the rather political and activist “days of recongition.” But apart from a few holiday traditions—the cleaning and lights on the Armilustrium, the little clay knick-knacks (more properly, the sigillaria) for the Saturnalia, or the early-morning/late-night viewing of the parade on Red Square for Remembrance Day—few ceremonies and celebrations have been considered for momentous occasions in an individual’s life. For example, Sandus has never, like St.Charlie, had an occasion like a wedding.

Until now. Recent conversations between the Party Secretary and the Sôgmô have focused on filling this gap in Sandus’s cultural repertoire. Of things to consider, the Sôgmô has focused on everything that runs the gamut from birth to adulthood, such as civil baptism or name-giving ceremonies to weddings and even to house-moving parties. Inspired by former East German traditions like the Socialist wedding (Sozialistische Eheschließung), the naming ceremony (Namensweihe, also similar to a baptême républicain), or the youth celebration (Jugendweihe) still celebrated today by German youth as “Jugendfeier,” the Sôgmô has started to consider similar ceremonies and traditions that Sandum citizens can use as alternatives or duplicates to other macronational ceremonies. Here are a few major ceremonies in the course of one’s [Sandum] life:

  • Naming Ceremony: Are you having a baby and want to raise them up in Sandus? Skip the gender reveal fad and have reveal their name instead. At a Sandum naming ceremony, a Sandum official gives a solemn speech and the parents and other guardians (or godparents) solemnly swear or affirm that they will protect and increase the child. The child may then receive a Sandum name and become a Sandum national, though they cannot become a Sandum citizen until the age of majority.
  • Citizenship Ceremony: This coming of age ceremony happens anytime after the age of 14 for Sandum nationals (i.e., those born into Sandus) or for those who are being naturalised as full citizens (cives) and wish to celebrate it. The ceremony may be as elaborate as one wishes, but in its simplest form it is celebrated by swearing or affirming the oath of citizenship.
  • Graduation: Academic achievements are very important in Sandus, a country where more than half of the population is pursuing or has received a college degree. This ceremony is celebrated as one normally celebrates graduation, but with the added benefit of receiving either membership or a promotion in the Honourable Order of Athena Pronoea.
  • Commitment Ceremony: Have a white dress? Add some blue—or some of the other national colours! A Sandum commitment ceremony is the counterpart to the white and regalia of a wedding, and it is a ceremony that officially promulgates a wedding in Sandus. At a Sandum commitment ceremony, a Sandum official gives a solemn speech on the values of marriage, a home, and a shared life in common, and the spouses are welcome to wear whatever they please—though a deep red is recommended (for good luck and love). A commitment ceremony is not necessarily an alternative to a religious or macronational wedding, but it is the ceremony at which Sandum citizens are officially recognised as “married” in the State. It can, like in the St.Charlian example, take place long before any other wedding.

There are expected to be no alternatives to funerals, though one may proudly incorporate their Sandum identity into a funeral.

Of course, these ceremonies can be customised as one wishes, but the important role is to keep these ceremonies as a tradition. The most important element to a Sandum ceremony, however, is to reaffirm the civic values and national philosophy of Sandus.

Up Close: An Image of a Sandum Commitment Ceremony
One way to encourage these alternative ceremonies is, of course, to have examples—either of real events or of ideas for one. Here, let us offer one such example: the Sôgmô’s commitment ceremony.

On a brisk autumn afternoon, during the weekend the royal couple have decided to get married, það and the Sanôba Consort gather together between their wedding ceremony and the dinner in a quiet room in the University of Michigan’s Rackham Building. Both wearing dark blue with white accents, they are joined by a select group of their chosen family who act as witnesses of the ceremony. The Sôgmô’s doktormutter and the Sanôba Consort’s adviser jointly preside over the ceremony, speaking of the times they met one another and both jointly make speeches on the value of sharing one’s house. Þess doktormutter, even, gives a speech in Latin known as a commendatio which finishes as an ovatio.

Finally, at an appointed time considered auspicious, the officiants ask the royal couple if their love is ingenuous and true. When both have answered “yes,” both role models ask the royal couple to exchange vows made specifically for the ceremony that evoke Sandus’s national philosophy. Both may exchange an item, like a gold ring, or they might decide to exchange some other object important to them, like a blue feather. Finally, before the couple are presented to the selected witnesses, the royal couple signs a formal Sandum marriage contract, thereby formally uniting their houses together as a couple in Sandus.

Focus!: A Digression on Sandum Home Altars
In Sandum history, altars have long been an important part of our physical and material cultural expression. In the Office of the Sôgmô at the Palace of State, there were once two altars (since decommissioned), Buddhist and Pagan. The National Buddhist Altar, as it was called, was created in the country’s early history—in 2009—and was renovated in June 2015; the State Polytheist Shrine was dedicated in September 2012. Both were the site of many religious rituals, including the joint focus (with the National Buddhist Altar) of a religious ceremony officiated jointly by the Sôgmô and King Adam I of Überstadt during his state visit in July 2014. An altar for us, however, need not be dedicated to a deity, but is rather a non-profane space where one can present the elements of their philosophy or the most sincere parts of their culture.

This is, in fact, better known perhaps as a focus. The Latin term was originally the term for the hearth or fireplace and, in time, it became a poetic synonym for the family and household. The hearth was the location where many Greek and Roman families would worship domestic gods, such as Hestia or the Lares. The English term, of course, means the centre of one thing, the poignant mental direction or intention of a person, or a central point (such as where light rays merge). The importance here is not the religious attitude of many altars, since many Sandum citizens are not religiously inclined or are atheists, but rather the quality of the space. In a spatial sense, Sandum foci are important as “sacred” space (i.e., not profane), or space which is set apart for reflection, thinking, meditation, and even prayer (if an altar or focus is religious). So, for example, a Sandum focus could also be a shelf of a book shelf where only one’s most important and cherished books are kept and shown off.

Many Sandum citizens already keep altars. The Sôgmô still keeps a Buddhist altar, which has not yet been commissioned as a formal Sandum altar, and það is working on another polytheist altar. Both the Party Secretary and the Facilitator of the Council maintain altars, and frequently pray at them. Several other citizens have altars, as well. In the future, we hope to detail more of such altars or foci, and to encourage more Sandum citizens to own and maintain foci—regardless of their religion or religiosity.

Do Sandum ceremonies replace other ones?
Not necessarily, though they can—and it would represent the meaningfulness and importance of one’s Sandum citizenship if they did. Some Sandum ceremonies could certainly coincide with macronational ceremonies, such as graduation parties, but others represent a slight departure from other macronational ceremonies or from religious ceremonies, such as the Sandum naming ceremony versus a religious baptism. But it need not be an “either-or” decision. One could certainly have duplicate ceremonies—one micronational (Sandum), one macronational or religious—as was the case with the example of þess commitment ceremony. An obvious exception, however, would be the citizenship ceremony. Lest one of us emigrates to a new country, it seems unlikely that many of us will have a citizenship ceremony, though Sandum laws forbid birthright full citizenship.

(Sandum nationals have to become citizens through a process like everyone else. This is to avoid the growth of excessive nationalism.)

Finally, the list above is by no means conclusive. It and all the information in this brief discussion are a single template, but this work of consideration is a wake-up call and a manifesto for Sandum citizens to think of new ways to incorporate ceremony and sacred space, even in secular and non-religious ways, into our lives. Doing so can make our lives more rewarding and make us all happier.

[SC] Yes, Confederate Statues are Racist

Unless you have been living under a rock, Confederate Statues in the United States have become increasingly politicised over the past several years in the wake of fresh racial wounds and divisions. Opponents to these statues claim that they are racist and deserve no place in public squares and national, state, and communal veneration. Defenders of the statues argue that they represent tangible evidence of the Civil War historical period and that removing them means we will forget our history about the war. Other defenders of the statues recite white supremacist slogans, arguing that removing the statues is tangible white genocide.

Public historians in the past several years have examined the problem and have come up with some interesting analysis of the history and contexts of these statues. I will use a few examples of recent statues taken down in Baltimore, Maryland, from near where Sandus is located.

In April 1861, after several states had seceded, Southern and Eastern Marylanders—those who owned slaves—advocated for Maryland’s secession from the Union. The governor at the time, Thomas H. Hicks, called a special session of the legislature, but it voted overwhelmingly (53-13) to remain in the Union. Later that year, in September, the Federal government declared martial law, disbanded the state government, and withdrew the right of habeas corpus in Maryland—a still controversial and unconstitutional move.

Key to this issue is the debate over memory and history. While memory and history often go hand-in-hand, memory is not the same as history. We remember events differently from how they happened, and tend to make history one-dimensional when, in fact, history is complex and complicated. This seems to have been the case with how contemporary people see the statues. They appear to us as remembrance of the war itself, when they are in fact artistic symbols. They are “receptions” of the war and people’s later memory of the war, not symbols of the war itself. They are realistic idealisations of what the war meant.

bal-bs-md-statues-soldiers-then-bs0056541845-20170816.jpg

Image by Jerry Jackon of the Baltimore Sun, after protesters doused the statue in red paint.

Take, for example, the Spirit of the Confederacy statue, also known as the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument, in Baltimore. The statue depicts the goddess Victory holding up a dying Confederate soldier, the CSA’s battle flag falling toward the ground, and the goddess crowning the soldier with glory. The base of the monument reads Gloria Victis, “Glory to the Vanquished”—I am sure other ancient historians appreciate the irony of the text! They will know that gloria never goes to the vanquished—it is always vae victis, “woe to the vanquished.”

There are many problems with thinking that these statues are the history of the Civil War. First, they are not history of the Civil War. The history of the Civil War involves battles and battlefields, real physical strife, not statues extolling the onlooker’s memory. Second, these statues were not produced during the Civil War or even after.

Many historians have recently pointed out, however, that these statues were constructed and placed in public during the post-Reconstruction period, when segregation and Jim Crow laws were replacing the integration of freedpeople during Reconstruction. They belong to the resurgent, idealised memory of the “Lost Cause of the South” (i.e., white supremacy) and to Plessy v. Ferguson, which made segregation and the legal practice of “separate but equal” the law of the land. They belong, in other words, not to the history of the Civil War, but to the history of a resurgent, pernicious racism in the United States.

Lee-Jackson Monument.

Image by A. Aubrey Bodine, 1948, held by the Maryland Historical Society.

For example, the Lee-Jackson memorial, which was taken down quietly in Baltimore early Wednesday morning, was erected in 1948 by J. Henry Ferguson, whose father was a friend of Confederate president Jefferson Davis. It depicts the two generals, Robert E. Lee and “Stonewall” Jackson riding horses, an art historical tradition reserved for victorious generals.

The Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument, the one mentioned above, was erected in 1902, more than 37 years after the war ended. It was erected by the Maryland Daughters of the Confederacy—a group, like other “Daughters of the Confederacy,” which promoted the “Lost Cause” idealism. Maryland, moreover, a border slave state divided between staying in the Union or seceding and joining the Confederacy, contributed some 30,000 troops to the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia; more than 80,000, however, decided to join the Union army.

Statues are not the only public symbols which were used as tools to further the notion of white supremacy in the segregation period. Before the political debate was about statue, it was about the CSA’s battle flag. This symbol, which is not the flag of the Confederate States of America, saw a resurgence during the Civil Rights movement and the onset of desegregation. Between Reconstruction and up to the 1950s, the battle flag was not a public symbol. But, with cases like Brown v. Board of Education, the flag was out in broad daylight being waved for the first time since the Civil War. As Becky Little has put it, the flag’s popularity and tool as a symbol “has more to do with the Civil Rights Movement than the Civil War.” It was a used then, as now, as a racist symbol against integration and for segregation.

Even phrases and alternative names for the Civil War, like “War of Northern Aggression” and “War between the States,” absolve the South from responsibility for waging a war for slavery. “Northern Aggression” has become a euphemism, when it was in fact the Confederacy which fired the first shot of the war. Some argue that the war was about “states’ rights”—but they forget that it was about states’ rights…to own slaves and to be slave states. Slavery and the preservation of slavery was the key objective and cause for the war.

Some argue that removal of these statues from public veneration will mean that people will forget about the history of the Civil War. That is an interestingly fallacious argument, especially since—even though visible signs of Nazi Germany, Tsarist Russia, or the Roman Empire may remain in ruins or may be utterly destroyed—we still know much about subjects of history which have since “disappeared.” Furthermore, many—especially the protests who advocate for the monuments to be removed—have advocated for their conservation, not their destruction. Current plans for the statues recently removed in Baltimore include donating them to museums, historical societies, and even Confederate cemeteries. These monuments are not necessarily being destroyed: they are being removed to more appropriate public settings, and out of the place of public veneration because of their segregation history. They are being put into museums as testament to the Civil War, of which the monuments sought to venerate and alter memory, and as testament to segregation and racism.

Therefore, if you think that destroying post-Civil War monuments which venerate the “Lost Cause of the South” means we will forget our history, then I would recommend you pick up a book and engage in that history, not its faulty memory. History, historical knowledge, and memory do not fade so instantaneously, but racism lingers.

C. Soergel Publicola

This article relied significantly on Cindy Kelly’s Outdoor Sculpture in Baltimore: a historical guide to public art in the Monumental City.

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.

13 Reasons to Celebrate in January

January is the beginning of the Gregorian Year, but it is also the beginning of the new Administrative Year in Sandus. But January also has 13 Sandum holidays in it which give even more reason to celebrate, especially as this month is known in Sandus as the “Month of Peace.”

festivals-of-pax-and-concordia

The Collegium Sacerdotum’s annual poster for the festivals of Peace and Concord, which give reason to January’s nickname “the Month of Peace.”

1 January: the Kalends
Every month in the Sancta calendar begins with a Kalends, a remnant of the old Roman calendar. On the Kalends, the Roman pontifex maximus would announce the holidays celebrated in the upcoming month and how many days remained until the next Kalends, or the new month. This day is always dedicated to Juno, the Queen of the Gods, and to Janus, the god of beginnings and of doors. In January, however, Aesculapius is also propitiated for good health in the new year.

5 January: the Nones
Every month also has its own Nones, another remainder from the old Roman calendar, which originally marked the first quarter of the moon. On the Nones, the Lares or the domestic gods are propitiated, but in January the minor god Vica Pota is also propitiated. She is a very archaic Italic goddess equivalent to Victoria, the goddess of victory, and who was the mother of Dis Pater, an early Italic god of the underworld.

9 January: Agonalia
An obscure Roman holiday, the Agonalia is celebrated three times per year. The purpose of this festival was obscure even to Romans, but it appears to be dedicated to the gods of state.

10 January: First Policy Projection
This minor State holiday commemorates the first policy projection issued by the Sôgmô on 10 January 2012. Policy projections are one means of holding the Central People’s Government responsible and accountable in the State of Sandus, since the government sets goals for policies to complete in a [hopefully] timely manner.

11-15 January: Carmentalia
Originally two feast days, 11 and 15 January, the Carmentalia is celebrated by Sandus from 11 to 15 January. The goddess Carmenta was known as “Antevorta” and “Postvorta,” meaning she looked both ahead to the future and behind in the past, which is an apt holiday for a country which is so focused on history and academia. The goddess appears to be related to the noun carmen, which can mean both a “spell” or a “poem.” This holiday can certainly be celebrated for Sandus’s close affinity with scholarship, intellectualism, and the academe!

11 January: Festival of Juturna
This holiday is dedicated to Juturna, the spirit of a small spring that once flowed into the Forum Romanum in Rome. It was at this spring that the gods Castor and Pollux supposedly watered their horses after the battle of Lake Regillus, which secured the continued existence of the Roman Republic. In Sandus, this minor festival is known both for environmental and republican connotations.

12 January: Compitalia
The Lares Compitales, or the domestic gods of the neighbourhood and of the crossroads, are celebrated on this day. At each crossroad and in the districts or curiae of Rome, an altar to the Lares Compitales would be set up for members of the borough to worship. In Sandus, this minor holiday is notable for encouraging the awareness of provincial government in the State—from Kremlum Sandus to Sandus Ulterior and Sandus Europai.

13 January: the Ides
The Ides is another monthly Roman holiday which marks the full moon. This holiday is dedicated to Jupiter, the King of the Gods, and to the Lares, the domestic gods.

16 January: Concordalia
The Concordalia is, of course, a holiday dedicated to the goddess of concord. It is one of three holidays in the State of Sandus dedicated to peace in the month of January, which is also known in Sandus as the “Month of Peace.” Concordia is unique in her connotations with peace, since she is more known for harmony between peoples. The Latin adjective concors means to be in agreement or to be of one mind, so this holiday is known for this aspect of peace.

17 January: Festival of Felicitas
Felicitas, or the goddess Felicity, is known for the effects of peace, which are fruitfulness and prosperity. This holiday is one of the three holidays that gives reason to January being known as the “Month of Peace.” Her name comes from felix, which means both to be happy and to be prosperous. She and her festival are to celebrate good fortune, success, fertility, and happiness.

24-27 January: Paganalia & Sementivae
These festivals were not celebrated in Rome but elsewhere in the pagi, or rural districts. They were days of sowing seed, appointed not by the calendar by annually by the magistrate. So, while the two holidays were not fixed in the Roman calendar, they are known in Sandus to be in celebrated later in January on these days when the semen (seed) would be sewn. Perhaps one could draw similarities between this holiday and the Festival of Felicitas?

30 January: the Festival of Pax
The Festival of Pax, or of Peace, closes the month of January this year. The festival gives reason for why the month of January is known as the “Month of Peace” in Sandus and it is during this festival that we celebrate peace in general. So, hang your olive wreathes and let the doves fly—and hope for peace. Happy Festival of Pax!

Some extra reasons:
Since the Collegium Sacerdotum has recently adopted Buddhist holy days onto its Sancta calendar, the holy days are as follows:
5 January: Medicine Buddha Day
7 January: Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) Day
12 January: Amitabha Day
22 January: Dakini Day
26 January: Dharmapala Day
27 January: Shakyamuni Buddha Day

The Council’s First Intercalary Session in the Administrative Year 2017 will end on 12 January. The First [regular] Session of the Council in the Administrative Year 2017 will last from 12 January to 10 February.

[SC] In Defence of Cultural Production

Jacob Barnet’s 31 August Sagamorial Consideration discussed the creation of a new politic called “Matter Realism,” based off of the broader political theories of Realism and Philia. The politic envisions a Sandus which will encourage the creation of physical elements of the State of Sandus. His concern lies primarily with material production and characterises micronations today as “shells of diplomacy with, if we are lucky, a cultural filling.” In his own words, Matter Realism seeks “to create the genuine material condition of nationhood: production.” Though in private Barnet has informed me that this politic does not include cultural or academic production, the text of his Consideration does not preclude those forms of production, invoking material production and “its overlap with more abstract forms of production (such as cultural or intellectual production).” In other words, Barnet is reluctant to include cultural and intellectual production in his new Sandum politic.

Barnet’s suggestion that Sandus refocus its efforts on material production are admirable, but show a decisive break from Sandum policy established at the last CPS Party Congress in November 2015. At that Party Congress, it was decided to scale back Sandus’s economic policies in favour of a restoration of our cultural policies. At the conclusion of the 2015 Economic Goal, Sandus had laid the groundwork for building an economy in the future, without any decisive deadline or timeline. Barnet’s policy encourages us to reconsider the Party’s decision of November 2015.

We should indeed reconsider our policies. There is something Sandum about the self-criticism which we exercise on our own policies and political decisions. In fact, our political system has long been created to encourage dissent and analytical self-criticism. Since the foundation of the State of Sandus in April 2011, every citizen has had the right to petition the government to reevaluate its decisions and its policies: this has translated into a more thoughtful and analytical form of government, from all constitutional organs.

I feel that I must, however, defend our decision reached at that time — and to exercise the soft spot in Barnet’s Matter Realist politic: cultural and intellectual production. This decision was made in November 2015 because those sorts of production in cultural and in academic knowledge by Sandum citizens had stalled by that time. Few treatises had been published in that time, from 2013 to 2015, before the Party decided to reaffirm our intellectual and cultural roots as a micronational project. The Armilustrium, which we hold as our most sacred cultural holiday, was moved in 2015 from the date of its celebration, 19 October. To this day, we markedly celebrate fewer of our holidays in the name of Sandus — though this is slowly changing.

Cultural and intellectual production is historically valued in Sandus, and Barnet — our former closest friend and ally and now a revered comrade citizen — knows this. Of many micronations, Sandus stands in the vanguard as astutely gregarious in its efforts to discuss and to construct Sandum culture through dialectical and didactic means. Many, if not all, of our citizens approve of these methods and of these ends, encourage them, and even use them in labouring to improve Sandus and its weal. This is not just a matter of egotistical self-reflection, to fill us with haughty pride, but it is a matter of public welfare. Barnet conceived material production as the cornerstone of nationhood (paragraphs 3-5), but rather I would argue that a nation — as a sociological and anthropological construct — often is intangible and immaterial. In other words, a nation is conceived more in the intangible and immaterial culture and academic constructs of a people, less so in its material culture. That is not to say that material culture does not show an indication of nationhood, but that is more in the anthropological and archaeological symbolism of that material culture and less so than in the literal and tangible material produced. Consider, for example, the pignae d’esti, an established Sandum material symbol. Furthermore, our citizens enjoy this cultural and intellectual form of production of knowledge in the Foucauldian sense: it consistently and tangibly improves their welfare and their affect. Rather than making Sandus a diplomatic “shell” with some cultural fluff, as Barnet seems to suggest, this work has improved the gross national happiness of Sandus.

This does not mean that I disagree with Matter Realism or with its implementation. I intend to do my part as an ardent worker of both Tellus and Erganê and as a loyal member of the Citizens’ Party of Sandus under this new politic. I encourage Barnet to introduce it formally at the Citizens’ Party of Sandus’s 2016 Party Congress, and to work with and even to antagonise Party Secretary Adam von Friedeck to incorporate it into the Party’s unwritten platform. But I disagree that it should come at the expense of, in opposition to, or as tacit dismissal of Sandus’s policies for cultural production. Rather, I believe both should be encouraged — even if I partially believe cultural production should be encouraged more.

This should spur an interesting dialectical discourse over the focus of the Sandum Nation-State. I look forward to a response from Barnet and also to other considerations from other Sandum citizens.

C. Soergel Publicola

[SC] Matter Realism

Recently, there has been talk in the corridors of Sandus about a new policy, for diplomacy, economy and development. This policy, under the working title Matter Realism, has not been laid out in any kind of detail. So allow me, in this article, to elucidate for both Sandum citizens and for our intermicronational peers what is meant by Matter Realism and how it will shape Sandum policy.

To begin, Matter Realism is an attempt to address something lost in this community in recent years: production. Specifically, material production and its overlap with more abstract forms of production (such as cultural or intellectual production). However, the basis for the production discussed in Matter Realism is material production.

It seems like the times when micronations engaged in major projects of building, creating and producing have been left behind in favour of a period of micronations as shells of diplomacy with, if we are lucky, a cultural filling. The problem with this is that it is easy to maintain such a structure with minimal participation of citizens and effort. This is not reflective of a real nation.

Moreover, it leaves open the easy escape from having to work on complicated issues of state like creating a useable currency, instating rules for internal and external trade and developing a sensible economic policy. For as long as these things are not addressed, a micronation is a caricature of a real nation; a two dimensional simulacrum of what it aspires to be.

Thus Matter Realism is an attempt to create the genuine material conditions of nationhood: production. Be this production the production of necessities, of knowledge or of art, the fact is that a nation without production is still not fully addressing the realities of nationhood. We thus, through Matter Realism, seek to establish production as the true third pillar of micronationalism, alongside the well-established and well-worn pillars of culture and diplomacy.

What this will entail in the coming months is the stimulation of Sandum production; beginning with revitalising the co-operative system and the minting of a set of Persumae coins; from there towards a system of grants to incentivise citizens to create means for their own production; and a drive in diplomacy to develop joint projects in a number of areas.

This interest in joint production development will affect our diplomatic policy in the future: both the establishment of trade and the establishment of projects to improve the production capacity of our nation and her allies will play key roles in Sandum diplomacy. This will not be limited to just the common modes of production (artisanal, horticultural and industrial) but will extend to the more modern means (digital and scientific).

Ultimately, a summation of the policy of Matter Realism in the shortest terms would be this: Matter Realism is a policy which sees production and technological advancement as inseparable from cultural and social development in a micronation. This recognition drives nations who adopt Matter Realism, both individually and collectively, to advance their production in all areas with their cultural and diplomatic development.

[SC] On the Sandum Family

The considerations surrounding the view of Sandum Family reflect the considerations of Sandum nationality and the view which reflects a coming of age based on volition in the Sandum context. In other words, just as a Sandum young adult must decide to become a Sandum citizen even if a Sandum national and if born or raised into the nation, so too one must be a member of a family based on volition. This results in a bifurcated view of the Sandum family: one based on blood and lineal relations, another on close relations between familiars. The result is a family based more on home and household (domus, οἰκία) than one based on innate blood relations (genus, γένος).

This view of the Sandum family is distinguished by the experiences of Sandum citizens due to a variety of lived experiences: from the study of the Classics and the relatively fluid definition of the family, to the postmodern context of LGBTQ+ families. In the Classical tradition and in a heavily legalistic world without effective birth control, ancient Romans were accustomed to adoption and to exposing children in their families. The fluidity of the family became more solidified during the Industrial Revolution, when the nuclear family became both the new ideal and the new mode of family life with only parents and children in the home. Only recently, under postmodernism, due to the rising cost of living and due to a lack of family support and to family disownment, has the model of the family become increasingly fluid.

While many mourn the loss of the nuclear family, namely far-right conservatives, the new moral model of the family provides new benefits and new limits. For one, the home life of the family is now one which should be based on mutual appreciation, communication and agreement, and should stress the equality and self-determination of all participants who are of the age of majority. However, this new model of a family is no light matter, for now it is a matter of quality of life of all involved that agreements are explicitly made and now the division of personal and familial property is brought to the fore. Furthermore, one must take this new model gravely and consider meditatively all those who are to become members of the family and not to remove one from the houseful over a light dispute.

In other words, this model of family requires much more communication and attention, but it means that all might have a loving and supportive family. It rests conclusively on the view of the Sandum nation as one based on volition as a matter of self-determination of both individuals and of the entire community of the nation-state of Sandus.

[SC] Recipes for a Sandum Holiday

Over the years, a variety of recipes have been used in Sandum holidays and Sandum traditions — lending themselves to a diverse gastronomical background, as well as cultural. Since the Day of Secession is coming up, we were thinking “Why not publish some of the recipes to our most common dishes!” Here is what would be a fairly festive (i.e., full of eating) Sandum national holiday with foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

All measurements will be first in American Imperial units and then Metric units.

5Secession

Crêpes
Crêpes are, needless to say, very French. But, here in Sandus, we like our pancakes, our blini, and our crêpes — so this is merely a part! They are a very thin pancakes and, in Sandus, we typically make them for breakfasts and not for a snack (alas, there are few crêperies near us). So, on the morning of the Secession, feel free to fire up the stove and get cooking!

What you need:
Two bowls, one larger than the other
1 large, flat-bottom pan
1 cup (125g) of flour
1/2 cup (62.5g) of sugar
2 eggs
2 cups (240ml) of milk
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp. (30ml) of oil (vegetable, olive…)
Butter to grease pan

What to do:
1. In the smaller bowl, beat two eggs, sugar, and around half of the amount of milk; combine. In the larger bowl, add the flour, salt, and oil. Then, combine the contents of the smaller bowl into the larger bowl, add the rest of the milk, and mix until no large pockets of flour remain.
2. (Optional) Place the batter in the refrigerator for an hour or more. If you make the batter at night, you can also leave it overnight to make in the morning. This will help the small flour pockets to dissolve and the batter will set and slightly separate; you will want to mix it again briefly.
3. In a large, flat-bottom pan, put in a bit of butter into the bottom of the pan and turn on heat to medium-high heat. You can change the heat as it cooks in order to slow down the cooking process — once it gets going, it starts going fast.
4. Once the butter has melted, place a ladle-sized portion into the pan and swirl it around so that the batter distributes evenly and is as thin as possible. Flip. Once it has turned golden-brown, take the first one off and put onto a plate. Eat this one. By tradition, the chef should eat the first crêpe since the first one never turns out quite right.
5. Repeat step 4 until you are all out of batter and you and others are full. We recommend toppings of sugar, butter, and other assorted jams or preserves. Enjoy!

Sandum Tahdig
Sandum citizens have historically always loved rice. The S8gm8 used to eat rice constantly as a child and other Sandum citizens appreciate its cultural background but also its ease of preparation — and it’s often very cheap, too. The S8gm8 keeps a large 5lb/2.25kg bag in his apartment at all times, and has often considered buying a 20lb/9kg bag instead. Needless to say, we eat a lot of rice.
Tahdig is a Persian recipe. Typically, if one prepares rice in Iran, they place it in a large pot and leave the tahdig (meaning the ‘bottom of the pot’) to brown and crispen. This Sandum recipe is a version of this dish, and it is often made for lunchtime.

IMG_2529

What you need:
Rice Cooker
1 pan
1-2 cups (185-370g) of rice
2 tbsp. (30ml) of butter
Selected spices (suggestion: cinnamon and turmeric)
Salt
Pepper (Optional)

What to do:
1. Cook your desired portion of rice in a rice cooker, or on the stove.
2. In a pan, place all of your rice and turn on medium heat. Beat down the top of the rice so that it is flat.
3. Chop up the butter and place around the dish so that it will permeate as it melts; you can also use olive oil but we prefer butter. Place the spices, salt, and pepper around in consecutive circles (like above).
4. Go read a book. Literally. This thing should cook for about an hour. For about 40-45 minutes, leave the cover of the pan on the rice and, for the last 15-20 minutes, remove the lid.
5. When finished, the bottom should be firm, crisp, and golden-brown. Make sure it is! If not, cook longer. When done, flip a plate over the top of the pan and turn both so that the tahdig should fall out onto the plate too; you can run the bottom of the pan under cold water, too. Cut into sixths and enjoy.

Spaghetti Carbonara
In Italy, pasta tends to be a course in a much larger meal; in Sandus, like in America, it is a meal in and of itself. Plus it’s cheap! To be quite honest, this is more of an everyday meal in Sandus because it is so cheap. The S8gm8 is accustomed to spending at most $5USD for this dish and it lasts him three days (one dinner, two lunches).

What you need:
1 large pot
1 pan
1 strainer
1 bowl
1 box of pasta
2 eggs
1/2 (225g) lb of bacon, cut into squares
Salt & Pepper
1 clove of garlic, chopped (optional)
Pinch of bacon salt (optional)

What to do:
1. Fill the pot with enough water to retain all the pasta but less so that it won’t boil over, so about 3/4 of the pot. Put a moderate amount of salt in this pot; if you’re going for a more Italian flavour, put in a lot of salt. Turn on high heat.
2. Meanwhile, begin cutting up the bacon into squares. Cook the bacon on a medium to medium-high heat in the pan, letting the bacon cook. The S8gm8 does not like the body of his bacon to crispen, preferring to cook the bacon for a shorter amount of time. But, you being you, cook it for as long as you damn well please. It is at this point, with the bacon in the pan, that you can chop up garlic to put in, or you can simply put in garlic powder.
Note: some people contend that you should chop the garlic before the bacon to avoid cross contamination, but you are also putting the garlic into a scalding hot pan. If you’re really worried about germs, this dish might not be for you anyway (see below).
3. Allow the pasta to cook. In the meantime, in a bowl, beat the eggs and add both salt and ground black pepper. You might be amazed, but such a thing as bacon-flavoured salt exists in the United States; if you’re going for a more American taste, you can add this too.
Now, get on your running shoes: these next few steps need to happen quickly, within a minute, so you’ll be moving like on a basketball court. The idea is to cook the eggs simply with the heat of the pasta and the bacon.
4. Once done, strain the pasta and keep about a cup of the pasta water for good luck. And also to put it into the pasta if it becomes too dry. Place the bacon into the pasta pot. Take the pasta in the strainer and put it into the pot again. Take the bowl of beaten eggs and put into the pot. Mix so that the eggs evenly coat the spaghetti and are cooked by both the pasta and the bacon fat. If the pasta is too dry (you will know by sight), put in a little bit of the pasta water into the dish, as much as necessary; discard this. You don’t need good luck any more — now is the time for good eating.
5. Season appropriately to your desire. Plate. If bourgeois, grate parmigiano-reggiano cheese atop the pasta; if you are a proletarian on a budget like we often are, use store-bought parmesan. Enjoy.
Some people prefer to scramble the eggs by putting them into the pot before everything else and return the pot to the stove so that they scramble. We find this to be unnecessary: the hot pasta and the scalding bacon and bacon fat seem to do the trick for us.

Apple Compote
Some envision compote to be a dessert; we think it’s a drink. The French say “compote” while Russians say “компот,” where it is a drink. Since the Sandum Royal Family is known for its eponymous apple orchard, we mostly use apples — but you can use whatever fruit you want.

What you need:
1 pot
1 lb. (450g) of apples, or other fruit, quartered
2-3 quarts (1.9-2.8l) of water
1 cup (200g) of sugar (optional)
2 sticks of cinnamon
Ground cinnamon
Nutmeg

What to do:
1. Fill the pot with water and put on high heat; bring to a boil. Meanwhile, since it will take it a while to bring to a boil, quarter the apples and drop into the pot (before it boils).
2. Add the cinnamon sticks, a dash of nutmeg and cinnamon, and sugar. The sugar is only option if you or your family has a history of diabetes; we recommend it. Stir slowly until the sugar dissolves.
3. Once the pot comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium or medium-high heat. Cook for at least 30 minutes.
4. (Optional) Some suggest straining the drink once it is done cooking. It is true that you don’t want to drink the cinnamon sticks, but those are relatively easy to find. We have never strained it, but you can line a sieve with cheesecloth, a dish towel, or paper towels and strain it that way.
5. When done cooking, drink either hot or cold. We do both, but definitely store it in a pitcher in the refrigerator. If you did strain it, we commend placing the fruit back in so that you can eat it when you drink.

Dessert Suggestions
If you have leftover crêpe batter from the morning, make some more. In Sandus, however, that is normally a breakfast meal. For dessert, we would suggest three options for your feast: make vatrushki, Ancient Greek biscuits, or tarte tatin.
In Sandus, we are known for making blueberry vatrushki; for this, we recommend Elena Makhonko’s Russian Food & Cooking, pg. 117.
We also make Ancient Greek biscuits and Roman placenta (with a hard C…). For biscuits, we recommend Mark Grant’s Roman Cookery: Ancient Recipes for Modern Kitchens, specifically the recipes for Glykinai and Enkrides on pg. 102-103 (based off of Ath. 14.645d-e).
For the placenta, see Pass the Garumor for a placenta “perfecta,” see here too.
For tarte tatin, see this nifty recipe plus cute French chef here.

Enjoy, and happy Day of Secession!