Sôgmô à Vincennes: Verre de paix contre la tempête de Washington

The Organisation of the MicroFrancophonie will meet this weekend in Vincenne to share micronational ideas and to discuss together political subjects about the world, at the same time that the presidency of Donald Trump is heating up for his press conference in Helsinki with Russian president Vladimir Putin and for having invited him to the White House. Between these two sides, the American one and the micronationalist one, one can see that the micronational system can work more friendly, more respectfully, and more diplomatically than a president of a macronation. For “career micronationalists,” it’s probably not a surprise. What is more, a country like Sandus, which is known by several English-speaking micronations as “aggressive” (we never know why), will finally meet the majority of members of an organisation which we created as a founding member, despite the fact that we are not a French-speaking country by upbringing but by education.

Yesterday, I was received well by two micronational heads of state, HSH the Prince of Aigues-Mortes and HE the Minister-President of Saint-Castin. We traversed Paris and the Seine, we dined humbly together according to Sandum custom, and we drank a bottle of rosé wine which came from the Camargue region where Aigues-Mortes is located. Our intimate discussion is confidential because it was between heads of state, but it was very amicable and not at all like that of the fat American prince with his G7 and NATO allies. In the same week that he described Montenegro as an aggressive country that could begin another world war, French-speaking monarchs and presidents will have had a pleasant and productive weekend, where each person can discuss micronational ideas ranging from the ecological role of micronations to the culture of our nations. As pacifist countries, we do not have reason for sabre-rattling.

For us Sandum people, this visit is perhaps a little more important because we wish to distinguish ourselves from Americans and from Trumpian diplomacy. For a country comprised of Americans and totally of English-speakers, it is very important to distinguish between our micronation and our macronation. The former is a polity where one goes according to their accord and their intention, the latter is outside of our control except at the ballot box. For the majority, and it is the same for those who come from the UK, we are not content being our macronationality because of its history, its conservative politics, its xenophobic diplomacy, etc. But it is here in Sandus where, like the lyrics to le Chant des partisans, “each person knows what they want and they are doing”—and we know that we are completely dissatisfied with the American president.

With a light hand, now, we would like to say that we are not American but Sandum, that we are French-speakers because of our education, that we are human like everyone else. (This is perhaps difficult to understand for the racists found in the US and who voted for the worst American president in recent history.) We reject with incredulity the 45th American president’s politics. We stand for Sandum ideals: compassion, socialism, and pluralism. We have stood, we stand now to protest, and so we will stand for strike action against the government of Donald Trump.

Comrade C. Soergel P.

Voice of Sandus

Sandus&PartyFlag

L’Organisation de la MicroFrancophonie se rencontrera ce week-end à Vincennes pour partager les idées micronationales et pour discuter ensemble aux sujets politiques du monde, en même moment que la présidence de Donald Trump se réchauffe pour son discours à Helsinki avec le président russe Vladimir Poutine et pour l’avoir invité a la Maison blanche. Entre les deux côtés, celle-là américaine et celle-ci micronationaliste, on voit que le système micronational peut travailler plus amiablement, plus respectueusement, et plus diplomatiquement qu’un président d’une macronation. Pour les “career micronationalists,” c’est probablement pas une surprise. De plus, un pays comme Sandus, ce qui est connu par plusieurs micronations anglophones comme pays “agressif” (on ne sait jamais pourquoi), il rencontrera finalement la plupart des membres d’une organisation ce que nous avons créé comme membre fondateur, malgré que nous ne sommes pas pays francophone par naissance mais par éducation.

Hier, j’ai été bien accueilli par deux…

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[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.

Solstice Report: Toward a Season of Cultural Growth

Spring2018 website

LET US CULTIVATE DILIGENTLY THE INFRASTRUCTURE OF THE STATE!

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Sandum Charity Taxes Summer Solstice 2018.PNG

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

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

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

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

 

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

Projected Spending:

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

Discretionary Spending:

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

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

 

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

 

AthenaPronoea Emblem

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

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

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

Order of Athena Pronoea - MΑθΠ

PLAUDAMUS IGITUR SISENNAM MELVILLE MΑθΠ

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

 

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

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

Sanôba Consort becomes Gentleman

The Sanôba Consort Oliver Armstrong has been awarded the status of a gentleman, the lowest rank in the Sandum Table of Noble Ranks, after his decision to become a worker in the State Media Cooperative. He will serve as graphic designer for the cooperative.

Oliver Armstrong

As a gentleman, he will now be styled as Oliver Armstrong, Esquire, the Sanôba Consort. His coat of arms is made up of a blue lobster in the national colours of Sandus with four cerulean hearts in an askew formation of the cardinal directions, symbolising his queer identity.

Council approves Law governing Sôgmô’s Succession

The Council has unanimously approved the bill regulating the Sôgmô’s succession, a bill which was submitted by því earlier this session. The law will now regulate the constitutional procedure by which the position of Sôgmô of the State of Sandus succeeds following the death of a reigning monarch. Until now, the Sôgmô’s succession has been a matter of þess private last will and testament; it is now a matter of public law.

This new law establishes:

  • the process of electing an heir
  • a body of five people, the Caucus of the Quinque Interreges, who will create a list of candidates
  • that the Party will select two candidates
  • that the Winter Solstice elections will elect the heir
  • the broad criteria by which candidates will be sought and judged, paying attention to a candidate’s compatibility with the Sandum Philosophy, their political ideology, their character and good faith, and their view on the general administrative responsibilities of the Sôgmô, in addition to others
  • the Office of Heir Elected, as well as the respective functions and powers of that office
  • legatees for cooperatives, authorities and institutions, and honorary orders

Read the new law here.

The most important function of the new law is that it regulates the procedure by which a new heir is elected in the State of Sandus. An heir is elected for a period of five years, though that term can be indefinitely prorogued by the Sôgmô. Every five years, in the December of a year ending in 3 or 8, a new Caucus of Quinque Interreges (five rulers between a king) is established to create a list of desireable candidates who fit the criteria which the caucus and the law specify. By November, the caucus creates a short list of three to five candidates, which will be made public and with appropriate commentary. In November, the Party Congress will convene and will select two candidates who will be the candidates of a general election in December, during the Winter Solstice elections. The first election of an heir is scheduled for 2019, meaning the caucus will meet for the first time in December of this year.

The caucus looks to the following criteria to determine an heir:

  • “The sôgmô-elect must adhere to the Sandum philosophy, must make a statement of faith in the basis of the Sandum philosophy, and must strive to continue to develop the philosophy based on its established foundations; the sôgmô-elect must swear or affirm that það will govern with a view recognising the suffering of this world and the role of a benevolent government, such as þess, to overcome this suffering for the Sandum people and nation and to work within the socialist principles of the State of Sandus and of the Citizens’ Party.”
  • “The sôgmô-elect must decide whether or not to take up the office of Sacer Flamen of the Collegium Sacerdotium. If the sôgmô-elect will take up the office, then það must perform the Tibetan Buddhist and Roman polytheist rites associated with the office; if not, then the triumviri interreges must find a new Sacer Flamen who is a cultor religionis Romanae and a Tibetan Buddhist and who is willing to become a civis citizen of the State of Sandus.”
  • “The sôgmô-elect must become a member of the Citizens’ Party of Sandus and must be a supporter of socialism yet also with a view toward moderation.”
  • “The sôgmô-elect will swear the oath of citizenship and of the office of sôgmô in a simple, candid coronation ceremony, decked in white and assuming the robes of office. The preparations for the ceremony will be þinna [theirs].”
  • “The sôgmô-elect will receive the necessary information to control the administrative functions of the State of Sandus, its websites and public media, et cetera.”

In addition, the caucus considers the candidates’ characters and qualifications for the position.

After an heir is elected, they will occupy a new office: the Office of the Heir Elected. This office has no constitutional powers, except to act as the ceremonial representative of the Sôgmô. The reigning Sôgmô may bestow extraordinary powers on the heir during þess old age and during expedient times. The heir elect may also receive other duties and powers bestowed upon them by the Sôgmô’s will. An heir is automatically eligible for a knighthood, though the heir elect ought to be made the baron or baroness of a substantively entitled barony, such as how the Principality of Wales or the Dauphiny of Viennois are used.

Since the heir is an elected office with a term limit of five years, Sandus could potentially in the future have an heir who will no longer be heir. In the case of heirs sine officio, as the law calls them, they are still entitled to a knighthood, but not to the substantively entitled barony. Disgraced heirs, however, will receive nothing.

In the case of disgraced heirs, the Sôgmô may remove the heir or the heir may be impeached by the Council, and heirs may resign. At times during vacancies of the office of the heir elected, the Sôgmô may appoint a new heir with the approval and consensus of the Party Secretary and the Facilitator of the Council. The appointment must be confirmed by the next appropriate Winter Solstice election.

The law also deals with heirs who are unwilling to take up certain managerial positions the Sôgmô currently has in Sandus, such as over cooperatives, authorities and institutions, and honorific orders. In those cases, the law provides for various arrangements for “legatees,” or people who are delegated to take up the managerial position on the event of a sôgmô’s death. Economic cooperatives will elect a new manager, while non-economic ones can either choose an election procedure or the caucus can elect a new manager. In the case of so-called “royal cooperatives,” a future sôgmô may reclaim the position. The only exception is that honorific orders, like the Most Honourable Order of the Throne of Sandus, must have their sovereign taken up by the heir elect.

Sôgmô’s Oration on Sandus’s Ninth Anniversary

the Creation

The Honourable Sôgmô Gaius Soergel Publicola will give an oration to gathered friends and colleagues on the occasion of the ninth anniversary since the creation of Sandus in the evening of 26 May 2009. Nine years later, the Sôgmô will address both the convened guests and citizens throughout the country, both online and in person.

The speech progresses from topics related to early or juvenile micronationalism to subjects like the Sandum constitution, Sandus’s philosophy, and our independent culture.

Read the oration here, or below.

Chers collègues, messieurs-dames, citoyens, et chers camarades,

On this ninth anniversary of the creation of Sandus as a micronation, one might rightfully look back and reflect upon the history of a small but grand polity such as ours. Our history, our culture, and our politics—as eclectic as they might be—are grounded in a perspective and world view which looks at reality—the reality around us, in our lives, and in the world as a whole. We are a micronation which has seen its share of typical micronational eccentricity—that is, such as our use and insistence on proper titles, our lofty appellations and decorous garb, and our grand cultural and political aspirations or expressions (such as this dinner). But, for us, this eccentricity has been tempered through the years by an insistence on a philosophy, on political theories, and on a politic and culture which is immensely personal both to me and to our fellow citizens.

For those who are what could be called “career micronationalists,” they will at once understand the significance of this anniversary. They could recall the micronations which were flourishing at the time of their birth and foray into the micronational world—I too could recall micronations like Vikesland or St.Charlie, or intermicronational organisations like the Organisation of Active Micronations in which inactive and defunct micronations like A1 or Yabloko once found their mastery. These “career micronationalists” would know that their micronations, which once promised some fun and enjoyment as an eclectic hobby, eventually became a burdensome project with “duties” and “responsibilities,” with work to do, and with actually having to think deeply and extensively about the complexities of legislation and rights, about public policy and social need, or about international relations and diplomacy. Many slink away from this duty, while others (and here I might immoderately be thinking of us) excel and rise to the challenge, even at a young age.

And we have excelled. Our current constitution is the historical product of two years of national soul-searching even on a small scale. It is two years of pondering about political regimes, culture, and social responsibility. It is seven years of working under our current constitution, evolving slowly from a monarchy to our current republic—countless hours of thinking and debating—complete with all the branches of government that Polybius or Walter Bagehot might advise.

But on a personal and ideological level, our micronation demonstrates a national philosophy which, I believe, is really everyone’s philosophy. We believe that every person in this world, that we, suffer in life; that this suffering is the result of desire, anger, ignorance, pride, and envy; but that we can stop this suffering by living a life in accordance with a moral livelihood, such as the one we cultivate here in our tiny country. Though we are few and far apart, we individually strive to live up to the social element in our philosophy, believing that we are our neighbour’s keeper, that we can and do have the means of resistance against suffering, and that compassion—above all else—is the key to alleviating suffering for ourselves and for others. These two categories are what we call, in Sandus, the Sandum Ideal: that we should cultivate an upright and moral way of life, that we should educate ourselves with a correct but critical world view, and that we should foster right intention for ourselves and for others as we face the world. We try to do this respectfully and without error, though—being human—we do sometimes err.

But lastly, we strive and hope for a free and fair society. We believe that the world around us should be open to diversity, that it should be pluralistic and equitable, and that it should be welcoming and free of judgement. We believe in the universal rights of people to dignity, to freedom from violence, and to the right to housing, food, healthcare, education, and a job. We believe in and exercise our political, social, and cultural rights to such things as free expression, privacy, and the inviolability of the home. Finally, but by no means an end of the list (for I could go on), we believe in popular sovereignty and—this will not be surprising to you all—we believe in self-determination for ourselves and for other nations.

In our country, we try to live up to this philosophy through a pragmatic and realistic spirit. We observe ourselves and our surroundings, seeing what basic things we can do to improve our lot in life. But we also seek and staunchly observe our independence and sovereignty as well as any micronation can. Like any nation, our self-help regime tempers a fiery, laconic spirit—a Spartan ethos that seeks to keep us free of warring sides and ardently independent, and we even replicate this political stance in our private lives. That is the extent to which our micronation is so engrained in our individual ways and in our own psyches. But, at the same time, we are open to commerce with others and we enterprise to form peaceful bonds with each other and with others across distinctions and differences of every sort.

Of course we are small and do not have a large impact, but this micronation has deeply shaped personal aspects of my life—and I know it has done the same to others in their own way. In a pluralistic and even multilingual community like ours, Sandus has changed me to take nothing for granted, to question everything, to permit everything.

Et, maintenant en français, si la raison pour que je me suis devenu francophone et pour que j’étudie l’histoire et la sociologie et la science politique et pour que je poursuis mon doctorat en histoire ancienne, si elle est appropriée pour une micronation, pour la nôtre, il faut continuer. Quand j’irai en France, à Paris, ce juillet, je vais représenter un pays qui n’a été pas né francophone, mais j’en vais représenter un qui est devenu francophone en suivant son accorde. Et voilà, en fin, dans le soir d’une journée en mai victorieux (comment on connaît ce mois en Sandus), c’est la force sande, la force d’autodétermination, la force d’un pays où chacun sait ce qu’il veut et ce qu’il fait. La force, elle est proche à celle d’un dieu ou de la mère terre.
[Translation: And, now, in French, if the reason for which I have become a speaker of French, and for which I study history, sociology, and political science, and for which I am pursuing my doctorate in Ancient History, if that reason is appropriate for a micronation, for ours, we must continue. When I will go to France, to Paris, this July, I will represent a country which was not born French-speaking, but I will go representing one which has become francophone by following its own accord. And, look, in the end, in the evening of a day in Victorious May (how we know this month in Sandus), this is the Sandum power, the power of self-determination, the power of a country where “each person knows what they want and what they are doing.” This force, she is near to that of a god or of mother earth.]

Nunc in lingua Latina. Plaudamus igitur civitatem nostram, cui laboramus. Vexillo patriae nostrae, ubi quisque quid velit atque faciat noscit, credimus passionem nostram finiendam esse. Potentia civilis et dignitas nobilis et fides Sande nos cives amplificent atque civitatem nostram. In novem anno genii publici, ego, Gaius Soergel Publicola, Sôgmô Sande, haec verba similia quae Cato in libro De Agri Cultura scripsit, quibus hoc festum « suovetaurilia » cognoscimus, dicam:
Minerva mater, te precor et quaero uti sis volens propitius mihi et familiaribus et comitibus civibus, cuius re ergo civitatem nostram et fundum meum suovetaurilia circumagi iussi; uti tu morbos visos invisosque, viduertatem vastitudinemque, calamitates intemperiasque prohibeas defendas averruncesque; harumce rerum ergo, domo mei atque civitati Sande, sicut dixi, o Minerva mater, macte hisce suovetaurilibus immolatis esto.
[Translation: Now in Latin. Let us applaud, therefore, our State for which we work. We trust in the flag of our homeland, where each person knows what they want and are doing, that our suffering will be limited. May the power of citizens, our noble dignity, and our faith in Sandus increase us citizens and our State. In the ninth year of our Public Genius, I, Gaius Soergel Publicola, Sôgmô of Sandus, will say these words, similar to those which Cato wrote in his book On Agriculture, from which we know that this feast is a “suovetaurilia”:
Minerva the Mother, I pray and beseech you so that you willingly may be propitious to me, to my familiars, and to comrade citizens, because of which matter therefore I have ordered this suovetaurilia to be led around our State and my estate; so that you may prohibit, defend against, and ward off diseases seen and unseen, sterility and destruction, calamities and intemperate weather; therefore, because of these here things, for my home and for the State of Sandus, as I said, O Minerva the Mother, so mote it be blessed with these here lamb, pork, and beef offerings which have been sacrificed.]

Let us eat. Bon appétit.

Sôgmô to Host Banquet for 9 Years of Sandus

The Honourable Sôgmô Gaius Soergel Publicola will host a banquet this weekend on 26 May 2018 to celebrate the ninth anniversary of the creation of Sandus. The holiday will be celebrated by the Sôgmô and a handful of close friends from þess university. Due to the size of the Sôgmô’s official residence, the dinner will only include seven guests. The five-course dinner will be served by a combination of services à la française and à la russe.

The dinner has been called a suovetaurilia—one of the most important Roman religious sacrifices where a sheep, pig, and bull would be sacrificed. Though the dinner will not include the killing of any animals, it will include lamb, pork, and beef as meats. The rite is described by Cato the Elder in his De Agri Cultura, or On Agriculture.

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The menu for the dinner released by the Office of the Sôgmô.

The five courses of the dinner also combine formal French, Italian, and British dining. The first course is an Italian pasta course where það will serve spaghetti carbonara. The second, another entrée, is when Caesar salad will be served, after which an apéritif of Old Pulteney scotch whisky will be served. The third course will be the main course of souvlaki, rice pilaf, and ratatolha (ratatouille). As a part of the fourth course, which will be a cheese course complete with local bread, a digestif of limoncello—produced in the sagamorial palace—will be served. Finally, the fifth course will be blueberry vatrushki, or Russian blueberry pastries. Wines and beers will be served throughout the dinner.

Some musical entertainment will be provided by one of the participants, who will also play the Sandum national anthem. Other music will be provided from the Sôgmô’s Day of Creation and Fête nationale music playlist.

To turn the participants’ minds toward compassion and suffering, the Sôgmô will offer a moderate amount of food and drink during each meal. The Sôgmô has also confirmed that það will wear the robes of state, a symbol of the philosophic nature of the State of Sandus and an visual sign of steadfast humility and altruism. The dinner will also include a speech by the Sandum leader and a small ceremony of offering food according to Cato’s prescriptions in the De Agri Cultura.

The ninth anniversary of the creation of Sandus is a numerically significant event in Sandus, because the number three occurs throughout Sandus and is seen as a particularly auspicious number. Since the ninth anniversary is a cube of the number three (3³), this anniversary is held to be significant and auspicious according to Sandum numerology.

von Friedeck enfeoffed as Baronet of Eliot

The Sôgmô has enfeoffed Sandus’s first baronetcy in the Sandum Table of Noble Ranks to Adam Camillus von Friedeck, who will now be known ceremonially as Baronet of Eliot. He was awarded the noble rank of baronet in accordance with constitutional precedence, as von Friedeck is the chairman of the Commission for the Command Economy (CCE). Von Friedeck’s baronetcy is the first time a baronetcy has been bestowed by the Sôgmô since the Sandum system of nobility was established on 28 April 2017.

Read the letters patent enfeoffing the baronetcy here.

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Coat of arms of Adam Camillus von Friedeck, Baronet of Eliot

Though the baronetcy is the State of Sandus’s first, it will not follow to any heirs or successors of King Adam of Überstadt, as it is not an “entitled fiefdom” in Sandus. The baronetcy is also awarded with three conditions: that Adam be a hospes to the Sôgmô and other Sandum citizens, provide aid during times of distress, and remain a citizen of the State of Sandus.

As a baronetcy, King Adam has the ability to govern Eliot as an autonomous fiefdom within the State of Sandus, in accordance with Sandum law.

Adam Camillus von Friedeck has long served as Secretary of the Citizens’ Party of Sandus, affording him the ability to also receive a barony. He has previously received the distinction of gentleman because of his status as a worker in the State of Sandus. He is also an Elder in the Most Honourable Order of the Throne of Sandus and is a Member of the Honourable Order of Athena Pronoea.