What Aristophanes can tell us about Micronationalism

To more practical people, the study of history or of classical literature appears to have little import. Interest in the study of the sociocultural and political systems of other peoples seems to be waning in comparison with the more “practical” sciences, though this is certainly not the case in our humble micronation. For us, the study both of classical literature and of history is informative for more than just the aged anecdote about how “history repeats”: instead, the study of these offers us a philosophical training to challenge and change our own public discourses. There is no place where this is as true than in micronationalism.

Old Comedy, represented by the extant playwright Aristophanes, contained in it elements of political satire, commentary on civic leaders and institutions, and dissidence to specific policies and communities. In one area of public policy, Aristophanes lambasts the Peloponnesian War, the Athenians’ war doctrine, and paints his characters — whether with Lysistrate or with Dikaiopolis — as being leaders of a political dissident movement against the state and its policies. It is with the latter, however, that I am most concerned.

The character Dikaiopolis from the Acharnians shows the desperation of the rural Acharnians under the Periclean war doctrine to make Athens like a ship, as has been described in John Hales’s Lords of the Sea: in other words, to relocate all the inhabitants of Attica inside the city walls of Athens. In the play, Aristophanes produces a character who goes from taking part in the collective governance of the Athenians’ democracy to negotiating peace privately, as an act of protest, with the Spartans and the Peloponnesian League. Following his private peace, Dikaiopolis celebrates the Rural Dionysia with a procession at his own home in Athens.

This play is more pertinent to micronationalism and the study of micronations — polities which some individual or group founds but whose sovereignties are not seen as legitimate — than that of the Lysistrata. Aristophanes makes an obscure character and constructs him in the trappings of an independent state by depicting him as the leader of a force which has the power to negotiate for peace, and which later trades independently with Peloponnesian League merchants — though no Athenian can do so. In short, Dikaiopolis has become someone other than an Athenian: he has become a micronationalist.

This is by no means a concrete paper dealing with these concerns, but the prospect of this study I intend to perform is one which shall contribute to the young interdisciplinary study of micropatriology: contribute to understanding of the dissenting social power a micronation can have. This is a historical and literary concern within the micropatriological tabula rasa, and the Acharnians provides an interesting perspective for micronationalists and those who study this decades-old (if not centuries-old) social and political phenomenon. This new historicist perspective can be applied to this piece of literature to understand the mentality of the Athenians about dissidence and civic protest, and certainly has applications extending to political and social history and philosophy; my concern however is simpler and related exclusively to what I know as a micronationalist and as a student of history. Moreover, I do not intend to discuss how the play compares to broader philosophy belonging to the Fifh Century BCE in relation to micronationalism: such is a more serious and more critical endeavour than I have the expertise for at this time. The classical reception of the Acharnians is likewise beyond my expertise, though I hope to engage resources in order to broaden my understanding of how this play might have been received by contemporaries and by later peoples. Finally, a close micropatriological study of this comedy by Aristophanes can critique the definition debate around what a micronation is — a debate which is so engrained in the study of micronationalism. Any close study of the Acharnians can reexamine our understanding of micronationalism’s origin: the answer may not be Emperor Norton, but Aristophanes.

Autumn Equinox 2015: For the Cultural Economy

Ave, Sandum Citizens!

Autumn 2015

The changing of the seasons that this equinox abruptly depicts reflects, in metaphorical ways, the changing political emphasis of Sandus. Prior to this season, establishing the basic economy in Sandus was the primary concern; however, in preparation for the 2015 Economic Goal’s completion, this concern is molting some levels as the trees are to molt leaves. In the upcoming season, greater emphasis will be placed on the Sandum cultural economy: instead of striving for higher economic models than befit our small State, emphasis will be placed on the economic mode established through our cultural activity.

This past season has been a time of greater diplomatic development, which has come to a head under the most recent efforts to gauge international and micronational public opinion. We celebrated — rather in the face of our opponents — the first anniversary of the ground-breaking if controversial Denton Protocol. Continuing with this theme, we have continued to strive for LGBTQ+ rights throughout the world, and have even celebrated Bi Pride today on the Equinox. Furthermore, and along the same process of strengthening relations with LGBTQ+ micronationalists, we have established greater relations with Francophone community — to such an extent that we await the arrival of an addendum to the environmental accord reached at this year’s PoliNations gathering in Alcatraz. What has been wrestled out of several months of passionate work, however, has also seen its problems — especially in regards to the “new” socia systema. Even though these plans have been put on hold for the moment, the negotiations that worked towards this plan were ground-breaking and achieved a new level of intimacy and trust between the three states that compromise the “socius system.”

Constitutional matters have waned, though not always for the best, largely since the addition of the Council was completed previously. This season marks the first anniversary of the beginning of the movement towards that great and revolutionary constitutional change, but even more work must be done. Activity in the Council has waned, to such an extent that it is largely de facto run by the Sôgmô. Changes to the rules of the Council, however, have thankfully prevented the Council from any possibility of complete royal control, as now motions without assent by popular opinion and approval are not binding as decisions by the Council. However, the Sôgmô now sits as the Acting-Facilitator of that democratic body and no decisions have been made in many months: efforts must be done to create a vision and a succinct identity for current and future Sandum citizens so that they may be encouraged to take an active role in the Council.

Let us, however, now turn to the bulk of our report.

Charity Taxes — an effort of continued philanthropy:
The nature of the charity taxes have remained rather constant now, so that they now take the form of philanthropic acts rather than donations of money. However, donations of some sort or another have remained, as well. $121.77 USD has been spent for charity and φιλανθρωπία (philanthropía). This is not any sort of meagre sum explained in the last solstice report. Instead, it is a complete reversal of the ‘decline’ discussed before — though we project in fact a return to prior levels because of the bulk of the ‘working year.’

Moreover, Sandum citizens still take a tremendous charitable part in their deeds. Sandum citizens volunteer and tutor at great proportional levels; they act as custodians, in many ways, of others who are at some sort of health or psychological risk; they act as social activists and advocates for a variety of causes; they serve their faith communities, no matter their diversity of faith — even those in some crisis of faith; finally, they give voiced to oppressed and marginalised peoples. Sandum citizens are still dedicated, in remarkable ways, to the policies envisioned in the Sandum Founding Law, written more than four and a half years ago.

Summer 2015, bringing Sandum Identity into the “real”:
More work must be done towards developing the cultural and social conditions necessary for more citizens — across a diverse geography, both literally and socially — to take part and be active in Sandus. More work ought to be done towards the anthropological and sociological study of how groups and identities form, as well as Marxist perspectives towards the development of class structures posited in Marx’s Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy (1859), in the theoretical history posited by E.P. Thompson, and in Michel Foucault’s work. These works will help enable the Sôgmô to understand how class interests are formed and how these interact, theoretically, to form cohesive sociocultural groups.

Using group formation theory, the hope is to bring the Sandum Identity into ‘real’ life. In other words, the hope of several years ante hanc is to be given an academic and micropatriological focus towards affirming the Sandum cultural identity in our citizens so that they might become more active. This is part of a larger trend in Sandus to reflect developments in Sandus in a corpus of micropatriological essays, exemplified by the idiomatic saying: “theory improves practice; practice improves theory.” This will breathe new air, if this is done, into the intellectual movement of Sandum Realism, which has recently seen only modest developments.

Preparing for October — emphasising our Cultural Economy:
Finally, efforts must be made towards the first CPS Party Congress following the great constitutional changes adopted by the previous Congress. Already, Party Secretary Adam von Friedeck is working on preparing for the Party Congress, which will include a conference for intermicronational members. This Party Congress is an auspicious occasion, as it will be held on the actual days of the National Day of Revolution and the Day of the Ways & Means of Revolution; the last time these two days were on the Gregorian weekend was in 2009, when Sandus was first created. This Party Congress, however, will ought to be remembered for a different reason.

The consensus is, in government, that the effort to make a working economy begin on their own out of the basics that have been established has largely proven false; instead of being invigorated by the laying of the basics, work has slowed on the economy. This is not to paint this progress as a failure, however: we now have a systematic understanding of the theoretical workings of the economy. But the direction of the economical developments were in realms that were unpopular for us and our culture. And this conveys the importance of the upcoming Party Congress.

This Party Congress will discuss, at its heart, both economic and cultural matters, but it will also discuss the cultural economy — the economy of culture. The focus of economic developments in Sandus will change, in effect, to see that cultural developments can be economic developments. More must be discussed, however, on how these changes will be made in the future and in what direction, especially as it concerns general involvement from more citizens.

Sancta: the final part of the Philosophy

For some time now, the Sandum Philosophy has recognised a third, final member of its national philosophy; for some time now, that final part of our tripartite national philosophy has been left misunderstood. That third and final part is Sancta, a so-far undefined category of the national philosophy. The two other parts of the three-part philosophy — Buddhism and Socialism — are understood very well and are found in the politics, culture, society, and history of the Sandum nation-state. The third, however, has hardly ever been defined except as some sort of ethereal ‘miscellaneous’ category — for other elements of Sandum culture remotely linked to a national philosophy or ideology.

Each nation has its own philosophy, its own guiding ideology. The clearest example is the former Soviet Union, which was without a doubt very ideologically based in terms of government, society, and culture. Another clear example, and on the opposite side of the spectrum, is the United States and the ideology it presents in current political discourse and in the founding documents of its republic. To assume that Sandus does not have one is wrong: ours is codified and a fundamental part of the running of our government, the work of our society, and the cultural achievements Sandus has seen in these past five and a half years.

Sandus is further along the path of defining and understanding its national philosophy than many other micronations. However, without being deluded by nationalism, all nations have a national philosophy and are capable of actualising one, so we should not be misled by a sense of national pride. From our position, we should feel glad that we have come so far as a nation-project — particularly one that is smaller and has a smaller population than many other micronations. As a small nation — even as a small micronation —, Sandus has achieved much for itself.

This past Party Congress spoke a lot in terms of the plurality and pluralism of the State of Sandus. It spoke widely about the diversity of thought here in Sandus, guided by the principles of our national philosophy. Comrade Akhil Indurti, speaking at the Congress, spoke of socialising the Sandum Philosophy while yet encouraging diverse thinking and accepting and encouraging Sandus’s pluralism. Defined in various ways — “a condition in which two or more groups, principles, etc., coexist”; “a form of society in which the members of minority groups maintain their independent cultural traditions”; “a political theory or system of power-sharing among a number of political parties” — pluralism is undoubtedly at the heart of what the Sandum People discussed at the last Party Congress.

As a part of diversity and pluralism, the Office of the Sôgmô has spent the past year appointing liaisons for matters concerning minorities and less-privileged groups in broader society. From racial communities to religious and gender minorities, in and out of the State of Sandus, these liaisons are the experts which the Sôgmô goes to for guidance on matters affecting their communities. Sandus, as a Buddhist-Socialist country, as well, has spent much effort on social activism, social justice, and social equity of diverse populations in and out of the State of Sandus.

Diversity and pluralism is already a major way in which Sandus thinks and acts. When considering Sandum holidays, Sandus has so far looked to ancient examples and to modern events. We have relegated ancient holidays to be cultural holidays under the Collegio — however, more should be done to prepare for a more diverse sort of holiday traditions. Sandus ought to take into official consideration for cultural holidays under the Collegio (1) Christian and Mormon holidays, (2) major Buddhist holidays, and (3) to provide for ways in which Sandus extends cultural holidays to less-privileged citizens within our population and in broader, macronational society. This is what pluralism means: to extend the same rights and privileges to all members of Sandum society equally. The areas of holidays derived from modern events have a tradition of diversity, however: we celebrate LGBT Pride Week, the Day of the Annexation of Hawai’i, Indigenous People’s Day, and — soon to be added to the calendar — Hispanic, African-American, and Asian-American heritage and pride weeks.

Pluralism is more than an ideal or a behaviour that Sandus has triumphed for years as a part of its other philosophical, political, and sociological practices: it has become an ideal unto itself. As an ideal of ours, it promotes a behaviour and a way of thinking to the objective level. In Sandus today, we ought to recognise this calling of ours for diversity, pluralism, and equality. This has become the call of Sancta.

“Sancta,” the third and final element of the Sandum Philosophy, is a synonym with the Latin root word sacer, denoting something that is sacred and dedicated to the gods. Sacer is related to the verb sancio, from which we get the ending of sacrosanct and our term Sancta from the neuter plural perfect passive participle of the verb sanciosanctum, sancta; sancti, sanctorum. The term we use, Sancta, with emphasis on the word being capitalised and italicised, is one derived from the spirit of cultural independence built in Sandus since the foundation of the State of Sandus in April 2011 under the terms of Libera and Philia. This cultural independence has invoked an old maxim that is inspired from an old Latin motto from Virgil. E pluribus unum, which translates more accurately to “one out of many more” as opposed to the traditional translation “one out of many” (pluribus, the ablative plural of plus, is the comparative adjective of multus, meaning many), is the phrase and motto often used and invoked in Sandus for including a diverse array of sociocultural expression from around the world and across cultural and regional boundaries to form an independent Sandum culture. In this way, Sandum culture becomes an independent national culture derived from a process of multiculturalism, while being divorced from the national and geographical contexts that that original culture has brought it up.

In other words, this higher calling for Sandum culture (“sancta“) is unequivocally linked with the need for it to be diverse and pluralistic.

Some would argue that this is cultural appropriation, to take cultural and social elements from a culture, divorce it from that culture, and to appropriate it to Sandum culture. However, that is not entirely the case for us here in Sandus. In Sandus, we have long taken ideas for sociocultural elements from a diverse array of origins yet we have made them “uniquely Sandum.” In so doing, Sandus does not linearly pull sociocultural elements, aesthetic motifs, or symbols from other cultures — but, instead, uses those cultural elements as inspiration for making a unique and wholly independent sociocultural element. Take, for one example, the upcoming Athena’s Day. This holiday is inspired from the ancient Athenian festival of the Khalkeia, a festival dedicated to Athena Erganê and to Hephaestos as the patron deities of workers, smiths (particularly bronzesmiths, from which the festival derives its name), and artisans. Sandus might celebrate this holiday for Athena, our cultural patron, but this year it is to be combined with the American and Canadian celebrations of Thanksgiving in November and October, respectively. Sandus’s “Athena’s Day” takes place on a holiday entirely independent of all three holidays: the Khalkeia – dedicated to both Athena and Hephaestos as patrons of bronze-working and held on 29/30 Pyanepsion, the first month of Autumn, in the Attic calendar; the Canadian Thanksgiving celebrated on the second Monday in October; and, the American Thanksgiving celebrated on the last Thursday in November.

Other examples include: the Armilustrium, a Roman festival originally dedicated to the expiation of blood guilt from returning legions now turned into a Sandum fall festival for ‘fall cleaning;’ the Sandum Remembrance Day, originally the Soviet and former Soviet holiday of Victory Day now made into a memorial celebration, and the Lemuria, originally a Roman festival at the same time as Remembrance Day that has become associated with it; the National Day of Socialism and the Day of the Ways & Means of Revolution, two Soviet holidays of the Socialist October Revolution which we now celebrate in Sandus as a pan-Socialist holiday; and, as one final example, Saturnalia, a Roman festival dedicated to Saturn (Kronos) and has now become a Winter festival with many of the elements of a secular or religious Christmas. On other days that are entirely Sandum, we have accepted foreign traditions and applied them here — such as with the decision to incorporate red poppies into the National Days of Truth and Harmony (15 & 24 November).

In conclusion, we have, after all these many months and after the Party Congress, discovered the true meaning of Sancta. The third and final element of the Sandum Philosophy, which has long been considered a miscellaneous section that includes a number of things, is in fact a miscellaneous section but with a greater purpose: Sancta for us is and shall always remain the ideal of Sandum society to support and strive for diversity and pluralism. For us, these two words are not buzzwords but reflect how Sandus actually works and exists. And it is now time that we recognise the role and function of Sancta in the running and existence of our Sandum Nation-State.

C. Sörgel P.

Republic in Transition — the role of Micropatriological Realism’s «Activation Energy»

The following essay has been written by C. Sörgel for a macronational academic course. «Activation Energy» theory related to the transition from the Roman Republic to the Roman Empire, or Principate, at the end of this essay.

In the period of the Late Republic, surviving sources point to the great constitutional concerns of the Roman Republic at the time. In 67, this was surrounding the lex Gabinia that would give Cn. Pompeius command of the entire Mediterranean and 50 miles inland in all coastal regions — provinces of Rome or not. In 66, it was the lex Manilia, that would transfer command to Pompey in the final Mithridatic war. From Cicero, we have the concerns of Quintus Hortensius who spoke on behalf of all senators but one – C. Julius Caesar and M. Tullius Cicero – and argued that one person should not possess such an immense amount of power. Cicero argued, however, that Pompey should be given command of such a large territory because the practical needs outweighed the constitutional concerns raised by Q. Catullus and Q. Hortensius. Both men were right in doing so. Hortensius made a position based on principle, whereas Cicero made the expedient and short-term decision based on the populace’s needs. Both arguments were correct, but not mutually exclusive.

When the auctoritas senatus was legitimate and the Republic was healthy, republican political culture permeated the classes of the Roman system. The Republic was government by the whole of the Roman polity, where all three classical positive political systems coexisted in one state. According to Polybius in Book 6, republics require the inclusion and involvement of all political institutions and all socio-political levels of society where all three of them have power (kratos): the dēmos, the aristoi, and the officials with power (basileos, tyrannos, strategoi…). All members of one order of society must accept the power of the others, that is — all must respect the rule of law. All healthy republics require the respect of the rule of law and, likewise, the respect for a republican political culture or, stated differently, the “respect for existing traditions.” This republican political culture translates into the limitation of unlimited conduct without self-control and is particularly exemplified by members of the senatorial aristocracy.[1] This political culture is inherent in Roman society, which from the time of the secessiones plebis had developed as a cultural paradigm: to act with restraint and to respect both traditions and the law. Another way to say this, as Professor Arthur Eckstein has, is to call a republic a rule by mediocrity, shown by the senatorial aristocracy’s belief in common leadership where the auctoritas senatus is upheld by politicians who show both self-restraint and also great care in advising the Roman people in their legislative assemblies. Giving one outstanding man, therefore, the power to wage Rome’s wars undermined that political culture and called into question the legitimacy of the Senate, the single most powerful institution in the Republic. Whereas there were two consuls, there were no unitary positions such as Pompey’s power as privatus cum imperio proconsule. Granting power to one person, as Hortensius says, would be to prepare Rome for regnum.

Cicero, however, argues that the festering crisis of the pirates and the delay of the Mithridatic War was more exigent than the concerns for the constitution. He explains, “when the safety of the entire community was at stake, our people preferred to be guided by its own distressed feelings” for the destruction of the pirates (Cic. Man. 19.56). In advocating for the lex Manilia, Cicero raises the situation before the lex Gabinia when Roman officials were kidnapped and killed by pirates and when Rome was cut off from her provinciae (17.52-53), and even chased off the Via Appia (18.55). Cicero looks back to precedents in Roman history when addressing Q. Catullus’s argument, as well, and references the command of C. Marius in the Jugurthine Wars and to the distant past when P. Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus Africanus conquered Carthage and Numantia (20.59-60). Clearly there is precedent in the Republic for the command of one man over such sorts of campaigns. As Eckstein summarises Cicero’s argument, the constitution of the republic is flexible and able to bend for those with extraordinary money, prestige, or vitality to take on added and extraconstitutional powers outside of tradition. The best example of the flexibility of the Republic can be found in the legendary Hannibalic War, when P. Cornelius Scipio Africanus major was commander in Spain and then at Zama when he defeated Hannibal. Elected consul in 205, Africanus was elected both younger than the traditional age and served as commander for three years.[2] Though the powers of privatus cum imperio proconsule granted to Pompey in 67 with the lex Gabinia or imperium maius with the lex Manilia in 66 were not traditional and contradicted Roman political culture, it was the people’s liberty to grant Pompeius these powers by law.

Both of these arguments are not mutually exclusive when concerning the running of government. While in this context both are opposed politically, there can be limits to both arguments. In Hortensius’s and Catullus’s cases, Pompey can be given this power yet with greater restrictions than the lex Gabinia allowed for in 66 or even for the command against Mithridates in 67. In true republican fashion, the command for both campaigns could have been shared by Pompey and L. Licinius Lucullus as had been shared many times before. In Cicero’s case, there is a clear constitutional concern for granting one man such power equal to the consuls: the imperium maius, the power that would be attained by future emperors. No matter how flexible the Roman constitution is, it is especially important to defend the constitution of a state which has no firm basic law, such as that of written constitutions. However, it appears that no politician advocated for this middle way between the senatorial and the Pompeian approaches to the issue of the war against Mithridates.

In the narrative of history, the Roman people agreed with Cicero, and for clear reasons. The Romans had already given Pompey command against the pirates with the lex Gabinia, and now another threat had emerged in the East where Mithridates had slyly recaptured Pontus after Lucullus’s best efforts and fair tactics in granting the citizens of Asia Minor reduced interest rates and forgave debts — against the desires of the equites. In this case, the Roman people had chosen expedient government that solved the issues facing the Roman state over the “bumbling along” of the government led by the senatorial aristocracy. Pompey returned to Italy amongst worries of a new Sulla, though he quickly dismissed his army after his return to the Italian mainland.[3] The precedent of the senate granting one man control of his own private army to be sent on consular-like missions extends back to C. Marius, but it will likewise also be a part of the imperium maius that will form part of the legal basis for the Principate.[4] Though one should not consider this as a countdown to the Principate, it is a logical way to consider it as the foreshadowing and quickening of the bringing of Polybius’s anakyklosis.[5] As the aristocratic running of the Republic becomes victim to democratic methods of the populares, the hastening of Polybius’s cycle of political states aptly leads to the beginning of the transition from the Late Republic to the Early Principate. The significance of Cicero’s and Hortensius’s arguments will become all the more valid in only two decades time with the arrival of C. Julius Caesar as dictator — especially as Caesar is so unlike Pompey by not laying down his arms when he returns to Italy from Gaul.

These arguments are likewise important for moderns, as it enables us to reflect on the decay of our own constitutions and the changes in our most fundamental laws and political culture.[6] These concerns were at hand when the United States Constitutional Convention met in 1787 to draft the law of the land that would replace the Articles of Confederation. The drafters, familiar with the classics, would have been familiar with both Polybius and Cicero and the events of the Late Republic would be their utmost concern. With the creation of a document such as the Constitution of the United States, rather than another founding law in addition to the Articles of Confederation, the United States is less concerned with the matter of political culture and instead with the written words and the interpretation of the legal document and the subsequent 27 amendments.

These arguments are also especially important for micronationalists and micropatriologists — id est, people who study micronations. Micropatriology is especially concerned with the development of political systems and how the polity should best be constructed both in law and as a system in regard to how developed demographically the state is. The “activation energy theory” specifically posits that certain political institutions and organisations can be too advanced or too primitive depending on the conditions of the state.[7] This theory can be seen at work in the Late Republic. Whereas most micronations possess too advanced a political system for such basic conditions, Rome’s political institutions had the opposite problem beginning in 133: Rome had too basic a political system for such advanced and imperial conditions that it found itself in by the mid-2nd century.[8] When the constitutions and political institutions do not fit their geopolitical or intranational situations, there is bound to be conflict on the internal sociopolitical level until the constitution of a state is reformed to fit within the conditions of that state. A similar theory is found in international relations theory, where the power dynamic between states becomes distorted and can be rectified only with a transition of power either with peaceful reforms to the international system (that is, with international law) or by resorting to war, the ultimate test of interstatal power.[9] However, activation energy theory attributes these similar issues to the intrastatal level, not the interstatal. In the case of Rome, a city-state with institutions for a low “activation energy” has catalysed through its unique political system to become an imperial city. The transition under study, the Late Republic to the Early Principate, covers the intrastatal transition crisis as Roman institutions begin to reflect the need of change in the constitution of the Republic. As a result of direct imperial expansion by the mid-2nd century with the Third Punic War, Fourth Macedonian War, and the gift of Asia Minor by the Pergamine king Attalus — in addition to Rome’s provinces in Sicily, Sardinia & Corsica, both Cisterior and Ulterior Spains, and both Transalpine & Cisalpine Gauls — Rome’s low-level city-state required reforms to a more developed and advanced system.

[1] Arthur Eckstein, “How Polybius Analyses the “Constitution” of the Republic of Rome,” in Course Packet: Rome from Republic to Authoritarian Rule (n.p., 2014), 7.

[2] Arthur Eckstein, HIST326 Course Packet, (lecture, University of Maryland, College Park,2014).

[3] Arthur Eckstein, “The Age of Pompey, 78-62 B.C.,” in Course Packet: Rome from Republic to Authoritarian Rule (lecture, University of Maryland, College Park, 2014), 15.

[4] Arthur Eckstein, “Food for Thought,” in Course Packet: Rome from Republic to Authoritarian Rule (lecture, University of Maryland, College Park, 2014), 16.

[5] Arthur Eckstein, “How Polybius Analyses the “Constitution” of the Republic of Rome,” in Course Packet: Rome from Republic to Authoritarian Rule (n.p., 2014), 7.

[6] Especially political culture when discussing Westminster systems such as Britain or Israel.

[7] William Soergel, “Activation Energy: Political and Scientific,” Veritum Sandus, 3 June 2012, accessed 11 October 2013, https://sandus.org/2012/06/03/activation-energy-political-and-scientific/.

[8] Arthur Eckstein, “The Age of Pompey, 78-62 B.C.,” in Course Packet: Rome from Republic to Authoritarian Rule (lecture, University of Maryland, College Park, 9 October 2014), 15.

[9] Arthur Eckstein, “The Anarchic Structure of Interstate Relations in the Hellenistic Age,” in Mediterranean Anarchy, Interstate War, and the Rise of Rome, (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2006), 79-117; on the role of international law or the “international society of states”: 82-83; on Realist analysis and power-transition crises: 104-106.

Report on the Filipino Community Crisis: Combating Aggressive Expansionism

Ave, Sandum Citizens!

The State of Sandus was contacted this morning concerning a grave situation of political and diplomatic pressures being built up by multiple sides in the Filipino intermicronational community. Our response to appeals from both sides to the State of Sandus will be methodical in its attempt to resolve the situation in the Philippines. Furthermore, accompanying this methodical approach to resolving the situation in the Filipino intermicronational community, the State of Sandus shall apply the same methodology to the deference of both parties in this conflict to our State.

First, this analysis of the situation in the Philippines requires a basic historical understanding — especially from the Sandum perspective, as both parties have called upon Sandus to resolve the situation by aligning itself with one party over the other. Over the past few months, Sandus has recognised the growing tension between the Filipino nation-states, whereby Sandus has often been called upon to act as arbitrator. Sandus has, in these past months, accepted this calling with hesitation: we have insofar provided minimal oversight of the situation while we have provided for general advice in terms of our understanding of the situation. It is not the duty of Sandus to act as the partial arbitrator between states, siding between sides to favour: indeed this goes against the Sandum vision — and the possibly panmicronational vision — of anti-imperialism. This question of «imperialism by invitation» is one which some micronations would hold up and seek to expand their prominence through political means; this is not the path of Sandus. Sandus outright notes that it is not the hegemon of the Filipino intermicronational community and, if Sandus were to take up that role for this particular community, it would make Sandus no better than Spanish and American imperialists who sought to meddle in the native affairs of the Filipino people and state. Sandus is, in brief, aligned with none of the parties in this present situation. Nonetheless, Sandus has travelled down similar paths of territorial expansion and territorial “wars,” meaning that our experience provides a necessary historical analysis for the situation at hand.

Second, the way in which the statesmen of these micronations — which, I digress to note, means that they are polities aspiring to sovereignty and the duties connected with it — has reflected poorly on the parties involved. From what has become apparent from the sides is that this old conflict — the root of which having been lost to outside observers — has meant that the Daikoku Federation, in the interpretation of the Realist paradigm of international studies, has sought for more security by the act of claiming large segments of territory so as to counteract, as it seems, the attempts of Ariana, Kaleido, and their aligned states to undermine the security of the Federation. Ariana, Kaleido, and their aligned states (APM?) — some states which Sandus has never diplomatically interacted with — have begun an operation named “Occupy Daikoku” to present a media campaign to dissuade Daikoku’s citizens from being members of the Federation. In reality, what this represents is characterised by inappropriate and unprofessional on all accounts from these micronationalists:
(1) that Daikoku has expanded its territory without looking beyond the simulationist paradigm this community has created (see: the Fire of the Central Hearth) and seeking to resolve the conflict in Realistic terms of micropatriological study;
(2) that Kaleido, Ariana, and their aligned states have effectively begun a media campaign directed against Daikoku in highly public areas where nonmicronationalists — macronationalists unaware of the very existence of our common micronational phenomenon or of the parties themselves — will misinterpret our common phenomenon;
(3) that Kaleido, Ariana, and their aligned states have begun a generally-worded media campaign seeking to bring citizens to itself for the sole purpose of aggression against Daikoku, an action which reflects poorly on that party and which violated the panmicronational principle of respect for sovereignty of states — a fundamental principle for all micronationalists;
(4) that Kaleido, Ariana, and their aligned states have nefariously contacted other micronational sovereign states (including Sandus), calling on them to divorce themselves from Daikoku, thereby underlining the fact that this media campaign is not as much about Kaleido receiving more citizens as it is about a political and diplomatic game of one-upping the other; this act of calling upon other states to divorce themselves from Daikoku represents that party’s violation of the sovereignty of Daikoku in addition to the violation of the sovereignty of other states, Sandus included.

Without being an unnecessary propaganda piece for Realism, this event underlines the diplomatic faults inherent in a system of simulationist micronationalism. In a system where both parties are divorced from diplomatic and political realities — in other words, where micronations are an independent subset beneath the macronational world —, these sorts of states are prone to the failure of conjuring up respect or legitimacy and of making decisions appropriate for the running of sovereign states by intelligent and sane adults. The very fact that micronationalism exists — that there exists a social phenomenon of people who understand the world of social constructs in relation to the formation of polities and sovereign states — has the inherent implication that its members are adult-minded and mature enough to grasp the understanding of statecraft and the basic needs of diplomacy, and that they move beyond basic understanding to garner an advanced learning from their first-hand projects themselves. In sum, simulationism and hobby micronationalism is the bruise of our entire movement, of all our states and nation-projects: the political and diplomatic failures of simulationism harm all micronations with higher aspirations than just fun and amusement.

In the past, Sandus has been lampooned for its harsh words concerning simulationist and hobby micronationalism, especially for calling those respective practices of micronationalism the scourge of our movement. As Sôgmô, perhaps this interpretation hails from my mentorship by M. Robert Lethler as a micronationalist — a man who certain combated the simulationist and hobby micronations of his day (though, these labels did not exist in his day). As a controversial figure, many disdain his later actions, but the implicit teaching he gave to me was that micronations have the pragmatic potential to change the lives of ourselves and of our communities: micronations are vehicles of social change and of public leadership. This is how simulationism harms micronations as a whole, by misrepresenting our common causes and instilling an image of conflict an hostility into the wider world.

Both states ought to aspire to peaceful cooperation for meeting common goals. These states inhabit land next to each other — making the need for cooperation much more compelling. Sandus is a micronation with no other micronation along its borders and, while this may explain why we have no major rivals in our local diplomatic system, it also means that there is fewer to no fruits for cooperation and interaction between micronations. If both parties were to resolve these disputes and finally come to an agreement on borders, with no desire or impulse for expansion onto another party’s territory (consider condominia?), the possibilities for cooperation are nearly boundless. This cooperation can begin with reducing the territorial size of all the micronations in the system: certainly the population of the states in the Filipino intermicronational community does not inhabit all 87,025,135m² that we have been led to believe these states claim. This responsibility falls to the Daikoku Federational clearly, yet it also falls to Ariana as well (Kaleido’s claim is much more understandable). However, all parties must quit these unnecessary hostilities — the only threat here is not from Sandus or from each other party, but from the deprivation this causes for each state itself. This entire case study, however, proves prominent points in relation to Realist theory for international studies and Realism for micropatriology. 

— Sôgmô Sörgel

Pignae d’Esti — Sandum symbols of Power

Ave, Sandum Citizens!

Over the past several months, we have discussed the Sandum pignora imperii. The original pignora imperii (“tokens of rule”) were instrumental symbols of Rome’s rise to power and its rising dominion over the known Mediterranean world. Suffice to say, these were Roman symbols of Roman imperium, the Roman term for power from which we derive the words “imperious” and “imperial” from in English. These were instruments both archaic and attributed to Rome’s legendary periods:

From Aeneas and Rome’s legendary Trojan ancestry, the Romans had the Palladium, the sceptre of the Trojan king Priam, the veil of Priam’s daughter Ilione, and the ashes of Agamemnon’s son Orestes. From the Romans themselves, they had the ancilia — shields from the pious reign of Numa Pompilius who is accredited with much of Rome’s religion-building. Later, as Rome began to conquer and expand its dominion, a terracotta chariot commissioned by the last king, Tarquinius Superbus, was taken from Veii in the Roman siege of the city in 396 BCE and installed on the roof of the Temple of Iupiter the Best and Greatest on the Capitoline hill. After Rome expanded its dominion to nearly all of Italy, during the Pyrrhic invasions of the 280s BCE, the baetylus stone of the Great Mother Cybele was brought from Phygria to Rome, where it was installed on the Palatine Hill.

Unlike Rome, however, our emphasis is not on dominion, expansion, or power. In fact, the Sandum ideal is much more like the Roman traditional ideal: small-scale agricultural settlement that is humble, where economic class is not a matter (as it was not to the early Romans, except for the order of patricians though some scholars argue the division was not economic). While Sandus may share some of Rome’s traditional outlooks on its identity and self-perception, Sandus differs vastly. Whereas historians such as Livy record Roman history as Rome consistently and relentlessly dominating Latium (and of course Livy is biased here), Sandum history has shown the opposite. From a historical trajectory of moving away from the desire of power or imperium, Sandus has relented and moved towards a new era of peace — the Pax Sande — and has striven for a general era of state and nation-building since the foundation of the State of Sandus in Aprilo MMXI (April 2011). Instead, our focus has turned from being a powerful and strong micronation to being a surviving nation at all.

Therefore, the importance of Sandus’s version of the Roman pignora imperii is not for power or imperium, but for the development and survival of the Sandum Identity and the Sandum People. Thus, for Sandus, we ought to have pignae d’esti (“tokens of being”), not pignae de forço (“tokens of power”). Another variation in our pignae d’esti is that some of our pignae are not defined to a certain object: whereas the Romans might have had only one Palladium, we may have numerous books that represent our existence — as in the case of the books used at the time of the Armilustrium. The following are our Pignae d’Esti — our Tokens of Being:

  • the Sandum Flag — The Sandum tricolour has often been discussed and used as a symbol of the Sandum Philosophy.
  • the Statue of Athena on the National Altar — Athena is often regarded as the mother of the Sandum nation-project.
  • the Dharmachakra — This universal symbol of the Buddhist Dharma is represented by an eight-spoked wheel.
  • the Pavorio — This is a unique symbol of the goddess Juno, the Roman Queen of Gods who was brought (according to tradition) from the sack of Veii to Rome.
  • the Books of Armilustrium — The books lustrated as the arms of the Sandum People during the Armilustrium. These can be any book on a topic relating to the topics of the Sandum Philosophy.

Future pignae d’esti may be considered in the future, but these are essential elements of the symbolic survival and existence of the Sandum people.

The Dharmachakra "pigno" on the State Altar of the Buddha in le Palaso d'Etato.

The Dharmachakra “pigno” on the State Altar of the Buddha in le Palaso d’Etato.

The Pavorio pigno, a blue and white vase filled with peacock feathers representing the goddess Hera or Juno.

The Pavorio pigno, a blue and white vase filled with peacock feathers representing the goddess Hera or Juno.

Anthology of «Realism»

Ave, Sandum Citizens!

As we celebrate the second anniversary of the beginning of the Realism politic today, we have created a short anthology of all Realist treatises with summaries that are roughly 100-150 words long in each case. As we prepared to celebrate the Day of Secession, the day of the beginning of Realism, we send good wishes for the advancement of Realism!

The flag of Realism

The flag of Realism

The Fire of the Central Hearth:
This treatise established the concept of Realism as a politic that focuses on achieving real and pragmatic achievements for micronations. In doing so, this treatise focuses on the fact that there are multiple categories of micronations, but the ones Realism is concerned with are secessionist micronations – both passive and active – which have their roots in many of the micronational phenomenon’s “elders.” Secessionist micronations do not create their own reality like other micronational categories (virtual, hobby, simulation): they actively work and intend to better themselves according to the general reality of the world, often by recognising themselves as masters of their states and leaders of their people. For many micronations, there is a process of development towards Realism.

Cybele – the Magna Mater:
This treatise argues that the scale applied closely to individuals and the common body of a micronation but that it failed to assess the culture of a micronation, hence the treatise opens to discussing the Active Micronational Cultural Development theory.[1] Here, it was argued that politics can not be the sole basis of a micronation: a micronation must be a political and cultural entity. The culture of a micronation ought not to be too closely linked to the culture of one or a few macronational cultures but it should exert its cultural independence, otherwise it risks being too dependent and inflexible to one culture. The treatise concludes by arguing that politics can shape the development of culture.

The Realistic Application of a Micronational Socialism:
This treatise introduces micronations as, in essence, self-created independent countries. The treatise takes a sharp turn, then, from the introduction to a focus on the topic of socialism elsewhere in the world, focusing especially on the Incan Empire and American “sewer” socialism. In many regards, the successes of sewer Socialists and the Incans as “basic socialism” reflect various micronations’ basic socialist virtues, especially the socialist basics of Sandus. Taking a focus on Realism as a spirit, the treatise concludes with the focus on Sandus as possessing the basics of socialism and entering the path of both of these important proto-Socialist and pragmatic Socialist movements.

Activation Energy: Political and Scientific:
This treatise focuses on a scientific analogy between micronations and the chemistry concept, which the treatise does not delve into out of respect of the basic division between natural and social sciences. It does, however, focus on the concept of a necessary energy for the correct collision and development of chemical compounds: an energy that one can find in micronations that restrict their attributions according to their size, activity of their citizens, and the attachment to a micronation’s system. The treatise examines several case studies – including St.Charlie, Kozuc, Zealandia, and Sandus – and the various attributes of their “activation energy.”

The Soaring Glaucus of the Sovereign People:
This treatise focuses on the various attributes sociology grants to culture, whose importance to micronations was discussed in Cybele – the Magna Mater. In so laying out these attributes, the treatise establishes where both Sandus and micronations in general can improve. These are:
Attitude – dispositions or behaviours characteristic of a society or culture;
Beliefs – the empirical truths or moral and religious convictions of a people;
Customs – the habitual practices of a people;
Traditions – the customs of a people preserved over time;
Art – activities or objects to emulate reality that are made special and aesthetic;
Clothing – the habitual garments of a people;
Food – the typical foodstuffs eaten by a people;
Language – the way of communication of a people.

The Heart of the State:
This treatise is important for the codification and identification of various elements of the Sandum Philosophy: in sum, it answers the question “what is Sandus’s philosophy?” The treatise examines the Four Noble Truths, Eightfold Path, and the Middle Way theories of Buddhism and how these maxims of the Buddhist Dharma influence Sandum Socialism as a socio-political and economic term. The “heart of the State,” as it were, is the intent to eliminate suffering for Sandum citizens, based upon the poisons described in Buddhist Dharma and activities in a turbulent world: the focus is on education and social work to counter the many instances of suffering.

On the Sandum Government and its Definition:
This treatise establishes the concept of the “dual definition” of Sandum government as either an elective monarchy or a republic. In recognising Sandus as an elective monarchy, the treatise points to monarchical elements in Sandus — all power being to the Sôgmô, the Sôgmô as fount of honour¸ and the historical past of elected monarchs that is revered in Sandus. The treatise then points to how Sandus is not a monarchy — all people are equal, the Sôgmô’s power is checked by the People, there are democratic institutions in Sandus but is without the correct “activation energy” to develop a democratic civil society. The treatise concludes that Sandus is, in many ways, its own unique republic “which 1) guarantees the equality of the people, 2) affirms the role of democracy, and 3) is socialist in virtue and nature.”

Adonis & Hephaestos of the Phygrian Mother:
This treatise examines the fine difference between secessionist micronations and hobby or simulationist micronations in terms of virtual worlds, such as Second Life. This treatise examines whether or not these virtual worlds would make a secessionist micronation into a simulationist one – which it concludes would not, given that sovereignty is not claimed on virtual worlds but that it is used as a tool of the micronation. The benefits of virtual worlds for micronations include greater visibility, for cultural development (especially in ways micronations can not normally develop, such as architecture), and for a greater democratic civil society.

Achieving Nationalism: the Voluntary Association to Nations and States:
In the post-modern world, many people are returning to pre-Nationalist modes of thinking out of dislike for Nationalism and for Imperialism. Micronationalists, in many ways, are the perfect example of those people. This treatise, therefore, seeks to analyse micronational and macronational nationalism. In doing so, the treatise concludes that Nationalism is a dividing force between peoples and, as a result, concludes that it is better to enforce a micronational Nationalism without regard to innate qualities in a person but based upon the achievements of a micronation and its people. In doing so, the treatise also reconsiders the process of nationalisation whereby one is a citizen at birth; in disagreeing with this process, the treatise argues that micronational children are best suited to be non-citizen residents where they can choose – at a later date – whether or not to be a micronational citizen.

Sandum Perception of Land:
In analysing legal concepts of a state’s claim to territory, this treatise regulates the Sandum definition of its claim. While not necessarily a Realist treatise for its universal impact or appeal, it does nonetheless display a new concept of land claim: the gradient-sovereignty condominium claim. In this sort of claim, there is a strong sovereign metropole and its periphery, whose sovereignty in the state diminishes in distance from the metropole(s). Furthermore, as micronations typically “share” sovereignty, they are in effect condominia, whereby two powers share sovereignty and legitimacy over a territory. This territorial concept has used in Sandus since 2 September 2013, when the treatise was authored.

Liturgies for the People:
In examining the roots of the word “liturgy,” this treatise focuses on the historical root of the word in ancient Athens, where important cultural functions of the polis would be the prerogative of rich members of society. In examining the basics of this sociocultural function, the treatise concludes that important liturgical (which the treatise uses its ancient word, leitourgía) functions can be met by the citizens of a micronation in order to develop the micronation’s culture.

— Sôgmô Sörgel


[1] This is originally a concept of the Rennie-Gaffneyism communist ideology of the former micronation of Erusia,

Liturgies for the People

Ave, Sandum Citizens!

The Theatre in Dougga, Tunisia, from the Sôgmô's visit to Tunisia in 2010 as Chairman of the Revolutionary Council of the Democratic People's Republic of Sandus.

The theatre in Dougga, Tunisia, from the Sôgmô’s visit to Tunisia in 2010 as Chairman of the Revolutionary Council of the Democratic People’s Republic of Sandus.

As our Nation-State begins to prepare for the Second Philia Advance, the history of cultural advances take a renewed importance. In the most recent studies of history, the State has become aware of a cultural system of liturgies, or leitourgía (λειτουργία), which represent many major innovative cultural achievements of the Athenian Golden Age. Liturgies in Ancient Athens were commissioned by the Assembly (Ekklēsia, ἐκκλησία) and were delegated to the rich for their performance and construction, which inflated the rich citizens’ esteem. These liturgies, which often resulted in plays held for religious festivals such as the City Dionysia, were financed at the expense of commissioned citizens and yielded many wonderful plays which are still famous today: Sophocles’ Oedipos Tyrannos and Antigone; Aristophanes’s Lysistrata and the Acharnians. These plays represent the system of commissioning cultural projects by the collective community.

In Socialist Sandus, we can yield similar results. Indeed, in a way, this sort of system is already found here in Sandus as the Sôgmô takes his own private initiative to advance the Sandum culture often times and works to encourage other citizens’ to take part in the construction of the Sandum culture. It is as a result of our own sort of proto-liturgical cultural system that Sandus has created some key aspects of its culture. Sandus is known throughout the world for its cultural achievement — a distinction we accept with humility — and a formal system of liturgies will yield even more advances.

When one questions if the liturgical system is capitalist or socialist, it can yield unclear answers. Some may consider that the products of the liturgies represent private enterprise and would be a shameful mark for Socialist Sandus. However, is this truly so? When the Sôgmô asked the Renasian Meritarch, Jacob Tierney, the same question, both yielded the same conclusion: no, not if the product is collectively owned by the nation, attributed to the author, and free for use. Furthermore, in the case of the rights of life established in the Founding Law of the State of Sandus, the right to cultural expression is entrenched in the law.

If Sandus is to replicate the Ekklesia’s commissioning of cultural projects, how then should Sandus form and operate its own liturgical system? The Ekklesia of Athens chose rich Athenian citizens because of the costs involved, and this yielded honour (timê or τιμη) for the rich citizen. In Sandus, however, we do not honour wealth but the meritocratic value of the Sandum Value, the Sandum Philosophy, and Sandum Socialism. Instead, we ought to possess a liberal liturgical system by opening the liturgical system up to all citizens and encourage all to take part, perhaps even commissioning the honour for those who show high esteem in their work. By doing so, the average citizen’s dedication to the Sandum Nation-State shall grow and the State shall accomplish the newest objection of the State: “Open Sandus to the World”. By portraying the Sandum culture and the Sandum Philosophy in cultural means, others can begin to understand how the Sandum Philosophy can be applicable to all and the benefits of the Sandum Nation. Not only shall this benefit the Sandum Citizens’ resolve but it shall also work to further grow our culture and define the Philosophy.

Already liturgies are being planned under this now-defined system. The Sôgmô has just recently completed the 2013 Armilustrium Musical Concert and is preparing new cultural innovations for this upcoming season after the Armilustrium. The Sôgmô is preparing, as well, for a new line of plays based off the tales of Cadmus of Thebes, such as Sophocles’s Theban plays, which shall explore important values of the Sandum culture and the Sandum Philosophy. The first of these plays shall be on multiculturalism, autonomy, and the value of independence and shall be presented from the point of view of Cadmus of Thebes; this first play shall be prepared for Athena’s Day. Noncitizens are even taking part in perpetuating the Sandum Philosophy through the liturgies. One narrative piece is being prepared for XX Novembro (20 November) when the State commemorates its first Transgender Day of Remembrance. With this new day of recognition, a former lover of the Sôgmô will publish a narrative article in Veritum Sandus on being transgender. Already the universal values of the Sandum Philosophy and the Sandum culture are being perpetuated and expressed by the new liturgical system.

How, then, should liturgies be prepared in a manner appropriate for the Sandum Nation-State? The personal initiative of citizens is esteemed, yet so is the commission by the appropriate authorities for cultural projects. In this way, citizens may either raise their own personal liturgies or be commissioned by the People for their liturgies. As being commissioned reflects the ownership of the liturgy by the city and for all posterity, so too should a private initiative be so. Both the personal initiative and the commissioned initiative be dedicated to the People, to the Sandum Philosophy, and to all. The individual citizen who organised and creates the liturgy is attributed and honoured for his work, as is the case in all Socialist work – where the workers are attributed and honoured. Finally, the liturgies should be a reflection of the People’s held values and should encourage the citizens to reflect and analyse them from disciplined or partial points of view. Further guidelines ought to be established and respected according to the times.

As Sandus begins its trek into the time of the Second Philia Advance, the Sandum People ought to dedicate themselves to a general liturgy, a general cultural project, in which we define the Philosophy, advance the Culture, and make public and open to the world our Nation-State. For this, a liturgical system itself must be commissioned by the legitimate sovereign authorities of the State of Sandus.

— Sôgmô Sörgel

Sandum Perception of Land

Ave, Sandum Citizens!

In the time of the existence of our country, our territory has often changed and claims have morphed upon our maps. Several times now, the Sandum territory has been increasingly growing and growing and our concept of sovereign territory has become open to new ideas. It is for this reason, for ever-changing land claims, that we most redefine and expand our perception of land.

For Native Americans in North America, land was not to be owned: it was to be cared for as a living being and should be lived upon with a rather Roman principle — do ut des, or “I give so that you may give”. This principle shaped the concept of land ownership vastly. As the land was no longer an inanimate object that could be claimed, it was an animate object that should be respected and also lived upon without charge of claiming it. Of course, in international law today, this is not the case, but it becomes a guiding principle for our perception of the land upon which we live as a nation.

As the Central People’s Government of Sandus, the State must come to understand how our claims of land are now before we attempt to redefine them. At various times and at various governments, we have increased and decreased, shaped and reshaped, the claims of Sandus. At several times, the claim existed as only the territory of le Palaso d’Etato; at other times, it was the area immediately surrounding le Palaso; now, as it has been only a few times before, it is a swath of land. Our borders, like many other principles in Sandus, have changed over time so that now we must further define what our claims mean to us and also how they operate in international law.

Two concepts arise to define and clarify Sandus’s sovereign territory. The first is a wholly micronational concept and originates from the Austenasian concept of gradient spheres of influence. This, for many reasons, is important to Sandus, as we are without an absolutely or authoritatively sovereign land: the best of this is the territory claimed solely around le Palaso d’Etato. As our State’s borders have grown, they have become increasingly larger and far-fetched. In line with the Austenasian concept of gradient spheres of influence, Sandus has partial sovereignty up to the shores of the Patuxent and Patapsco rivers — shores which could be considered our least possible area under our influence. Therefore, the State of Sandus shall set forth maps and claims of these sorts of “gradient” claims.

Another concept arises, one which already stands in international law. This is the concept of condominia, where there is a territory over which two sovereign entities exercise legitimate authority over. This is precisely the case in Sandus, without distinction of whether both entities recognise each other — a point which is unimportant once one considers the right of self-determination and that our existence is real no matter if a larger authority does not recognise us or our Nation-State. For this, another graphic is useful: one which shows Sandum sovereignty being de facto encompassed by the sovereignty of the United States, which also possess its own sovereignty. This complete overlap is due to the disparity between micronational and macronational sovereignty and it is in this disparity that recognition is important. However, for practical purposes, one could consider Sandus a condominium from the perspective of our Sandum Nation-State.

In sum, Sandus is a gradient sovereign condominium, which means that our borders gradually expand in sovereign authority and extend beyond our completely sovereign land which is — in practicality — managed by legitimate authority and power by two sovereign entities.

Achieving Nationalism: the Voluntary Association to Nations and States

 

The State of Sandus, its Central People’s Government, and the Office of the Sôgmô have been questioning much lately, especially when it comes to the upcoming reforms concerning Socilivae. How does Socilivo citizenship, or its proposed changes, relate to Imperialism and Federalism? Are the changes moving closer to both? In a Socilivo-Sandum relationship, would both states be equal in their influence or would Sandus be a hegemon? Is hegemony always imperialistic? Today, another questioning guiding citizenship has been added: is Nationalism — the personal identity as being a member of a nation — always bad?

M. Jacob Tierney, Meritarch of Renasia, and the Sôgmô held this discussion in the Grand Unified Micronational, which was initially an argument on Right vs. Left Nationalism. The two, however, began to delve deeper into the more profound regions of the topic. With the Sôgmô taking the side that Nationalism is not always bad and the Meritarch believing that all Nationalism is inherently bad (unless if that identity is voluntary), both statesmen entered the conversation, which initially focused on macronations and later, more profoundly, on micronations.

Both agreed that Nationalism is mostly, but not always, negative in result, due to the rising collective-ego of the nation. Nationalism gives way to superiority, to conflict of nations, and to an ego of the individual for being born into a particular nation. However, this ego is unfound and often negative because it is seldom the result of the individual’s own person or work: one is linked to a nation at birth, given clan-like socialisation in supporting it (and those who discern from that political socialisation are often shunned), and lives a life ignorant of other nations as a result of his own — to a degree, of course. Nationalism yields the individual to the power of the landed-elite of a country, and gives one up to those who hold the wealth, prestige, and power of both states and nations; it does this because one’s identity becomes that of a macronation whose own identity is held captive at the hands of the rich bourgeoisie and all such members of the elite. Of course, in our modern age, we must contend with being of a different nation than a state (as they may over lap or be subject to another). Identity established on either yield the same results.

For micronations, our nationalism (the identity) is vastly different, both statesmen agreed. For one, it is power: in a macronation, a citizen or national has little power over his own state or nation; in a micronation, however, a citizen or national wields much power over their micronation. Micronations are much smaller, much more fluid; whereas, macronations are large and rigid to be effectively influenced by a citizen. Most importantly, a micronation’s nationalism is chosen, whereas a macronation’s is ascribed at birth; the Sôgmô noted that this too is an extent of an individual’s “power”, as they have the power to choose. The grandeur of creating one’s own nation, of their own work, therefore, becomes their identity, whereas the identity of a macronationalist is given out of exploitative relationships from the power of the elite to the individual.

Consider, then, micronations, such as Molossia and Sealand, who have individuals born into citizenship. Whilst these citizens may still be born into a smaller nation, whereby their own work is magnified, did they have the choice to? Both statesmen considered that the power of choice of micronational citizens was important, as it gives them incredible power over the nation and state. Both agree that once the micronationalist identity passes from achieved status to ascribed status, nationalism becomes untenable as it is the choice which maintains independence from the power of elders, the rich, and all other elites. The Sôgmô suggested, then, that citizenship in micronations should always be a choice: nationals are not born into citizenship but, rather, into a non-citizenship class. Once they reach the age of maturity, then they may decide to become or not to become a micronational citizen, a chance for a sort of rumspringa for micronational children. Citizenship and national identity would then become a choice, a sort of voluntary association, rather than given at birth.

Citizenship in a micronation, then, becomes far more realistic to an individual’s capabilities than it does in macronations. An individual frees oneself from the ascribed identity of a nation, whose rank in a nation is always subject to the power within the nation or state (noted before as the elite), by making it a choice to join. This choice gives the individual some leverage over the hierarchy of a nation or state: they can hold the system hostage from then on, as citizenship and nationalism become achieved. In the upcoming citizenship reforms, it shall be made law that all those born as Sandum nationals shall be restricted to the Peregrae status and shall only achieve Civilae citizenship at the age of maturity — which, too, shall be established in this law.