Opinion: Well-meaning Eastwood reforms will harm St. Charlian society

Alexander Eastwood is an ambitious man.

Having become a citizen of St. Charlie in mid-2012, within six months, he led the New Socialist Party government as the republic’s fourth prime minister. He has remained in this office for two-and-a-half years, and in this time, he has overseen the enactment of a series of policies intended to better his country.

A craftsman of bold policy, Eastwood is finally seeing his efforts to mold a highly-efficient government come to their logical conclusion: a transformation of St. Charlie into a presidential republic, fusing the political powers of the former presidency and premiership into the new office of Chancellor of the Federal Republic. He has apparently done this with the best of intentions; addressing his nation’s parliament, he explained such a reform as “com[ing] out of the necessity to simplify our bureaucratic apparatus…in order to remain active.” Changing the nature of the country’s leadership certainly fulfills that aim.

However, there is another part of the latest reform package that, while also aimed at simplifying St. Charlian government, sharpens a long-standing cultural divide. Eastwood is sorting his people into two subdivisions based on their language and culture, admittedly aiming to return to an Italophone state. The way he intends to go about this is through a systematic, anti-democratic betrayal of his citizens, and this will harm St. Charlie domestically and in the eyes of other nations.

The policy in question is that of reducing the number of federations constituting the republic to two. One is to absorb the Italophone territories, with all others becoming part of the other. At this time, there are four federations in Italy, one in the British Isles, and one in Denmark. In the past, cultural and linguistic differences have been serious issues for St. Charlie, causing problems both socially and in administration. In response to foreign critics who claim that the new policy will worsen these tensions, Eastwood offers no refutation; instead, he spins his decision as a way to solve the language problem. “Many people abroad fear that the Federal Republic will become too italophone,” he said in his parliamentary speech. “I sincerely have intention to give life to their fears.” He attempts to justify his position with an appeal to history: St. Charlie was founded by Italians and was always Italian at heart.

In saying so, Eastwood actually reveals ignorance of his nation’s roots; St. Charlie’s early days can only be described as a study in cosmopolitanism. Within a few months of the November Revolution that established the republican state, the British territory, New Branson, was established, with one of its purposes being allowing non-Italians to participate in St. Charlie (source). Early government documents and news sources were in English (note that the nation’s paper of record, the Observer, is still published exclusively in that tongue). The project’s movers and shakers in the “Golden Era” were of multiple nationalities, and many had met in international schools around Europe. Despite the fact that St. Charlie was always multicultural, Eastwood asserts that “St. Charlie was founded…with Italian traditions,” and suggests Italian culture is the source of St. Charlian identity. Although the first citizens were Italian, these claims of tradition cannot be the case when those who joined the nation did so with the understanding that they were part of something international and new.

Since the secession of Koss, there are relatively few non-Italian citizens of St. Charlie, but they are citizens nonetheless, and as their leader, the chancellor has a solemn duty to mind their concerns and needs. By trying to make St. Charlie the all-Italophone nation it never was, Eastwood is denying that these citizens are as valuable as those in the new Italian federation. Instead of striving for reconciliation and social integration, he is segregating them and attempting to engineer national society into something he approves of, but which alienates a fair number of his fellow citizens. This will only serve to strengthen the cultural divide that has caused the republic so many problems.

Of course, this is what Eastwood wants. There are three ways for him to make St. Charlie purely Italophone: teach everyone to speak Italian (which he cannot do), expel those who do not (which he will not do, as even that is a touch too authoritarian), or drive those who do not to leave. Treating those speakers of English, Danish, and who knows what else as undesired citizens will have exactly that result.

Yes, St. Charlie’s cultural problems stem primarily from a divide between the Italians and everyone else. Yes, this should have been dealt with sooner. Nevertheless, exacerbating divisions instead of bridging them will not help St. Charlie. Eastwood is trying to tear St. Charlie’s true traditions – those rooted in cosmopolitanism – apart and replace them with a nation in his own image, turning his back on what his republic was always meant to be. Foreign leaders will not take Chancellor Eastwood seriously if he does so, and St. Charlie will be left lethally efficient, Italian, torn, and isolated.

The views expressed in this editorial are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of the Occidental Chronicle or the policies of the governments of Überstadt or Doria.


Opinion: I stopped exploiting him

In October, my kingdom ratified a new constitution. Some major changes were made to the way Überstadt works. Parliament became a direct assembly (only the High Chancellor being excluded). The monarchy ceased to be hereditary. Finally, much to the ire of the micronational right, money was abolished and the foundations of a socialist economy were established.

I was once a believer that a market system was the best way to develop a micronation’s economy. This proved to be untrue – if not for all micronations, at least for Überstadt. The market system did not empower all citizens, having a natural bias in favor of those who lived in Rosewood, the economic as well as political capital.

I have discussed before the practicality of socialism in my state. Evidence for it comes in the increased productivity of everyday citizens, stronger economic plans (for democratic planning is key in Überstadti society), and increased flexibility. But today, I wish to relay an anecdote that should illustrate to you the ethical implications of my country’s socialist economy. Some do not believe that the sorts of moral issues that underscore macronational economic ideologies are irrelevant to us as micronationalists; I do not think this is true at all.

Several months ago, my brother was doing homework on a Saturday. Being fifteen, he had no job. Just as all young people do, despite of a lack of income, he had goals and desires that required greenbacks to fulfill. I had no homework to do that day. Saturday is the day that the common bathroom of the Royal Residency is cleaned. I wanted to do something interesting, rather than spend half an hour doing my half of the cleaning. Being employed, I had money. I approached my brother and offered him some small sum – it had to have been less than five dollars – to do my half of the chores as well as all of his own. Naturally, he obliged. In a moment of laziness, I took advantage of his lack of funds and bought him, preventing him from concentrating more on his job as a student.

Recently, I had some extra cash in my wallet, and was tempted to pull a similar stunt. But then I realized that such behavior had since become illegal. The new law did not take away my freedom to do what I pleased with my money. Instead, it gave my brother freedom from my tricky attempts to skip doing my share of household tasks.

I began to envision an Überstadti welfare system to reward citizens who work for the nation’s benefit not just with our new labor vouchers, but with American currency if they are poorer than most others. Should not a micronation see to the welfare of its supporters, even if it can only do so in the smallest things? I decided to begin drafting a statute that would accomplish as much.

I stopped exploiting him.

On the Sector: Our foreign relations do matter

There are two main categories of governmental responsibility: internal affairs and external affairs. Domestic policy and foreign policy. Dealings with citizens and dealings with other states. All micronationalists are aware of these two major roles of their governments. What is often not recognized, however, is the fact that these two areas of micronational development are not in opposition to each other. Our foreign affairs do indeed matter, and help encourage the internal development not only of one’s own nation, but of all others with which they come in contact.

Sôgmô Will Sörgel of Sandus recently addressed intermicronational media following the congress of the Citizens’ Communist Party of Sandus. A representative of Überstadt National News was present. At one point, the Sôgmô discussed Sandum foreign policy, more specifically the controversial Libera policy, used in the past as the political basis for frequent and lengthy communiques regarding perceived offenses against his state. This policy led to several of what have been termed “media wars,” aggressive back-and-forth arguments between micronational state media. When asked about how the media wars affected Sandus, the Sôgmô replied that such international incidents sometimes, as in the case of the Kozuc agricultural issue,  helped Sandum philosophy develop. What Sörgel told the press was, in effect, that intermicronational relations can impact internal affairs positively. I wish to discuss how this occurs.

When we expose our nations to others in a setting like MicroWiki, we are making our creation available to be publicly critiqued. The people of our sector represent a host of differing ideologies, philosophies, and experiences. Our uniqueness is reflected in the nations we have built. By putting our projects out before this hundred-strong diverse jury, we are bound to receive feedback. Sometimes, this feedback is not what we want to hear. That is a good thing. Any nation active in international affairs on MicroWiki will be criticized, not only on their foreign policy, but often on the domestic policies or cultural traits that either give rise to disputes or are remotely involved in some way. A micronational  community is full of people ready and willing to give each other ideas on how to develop their nations. The experience of other micronationalists is important to take into account, for we all have differing strengths. Not everybody can build a culture like Daniel Anderson can, and nor everybody is a politician of Alexander Reinhardt’s caliber. The experiences of others are just as important as their ideas in this way- they learned over time through effort what makes a micronation function. It is in everyone’s interest to expose their micronation to others.

Some micronations feel that they have obtained all that they can from the community, and so they leave. This is disappointing. A nation that is so developed that it has gotten all that it can out of MicroWiki should not leave, because their accomplishments make them an ideal mentor figure for the micronations still on the road to prosperity. Does a man who finally receives a long-sought medical degree sit on it for the rest of his life? No, he uses it to help others. Even if a nation has no room to benefit from the community, it can improve micronationalism as a whole by helping others develop. This is a noble task worthy of noble nations.

Überstadt would not be where it is today if I had not brought to my people ideas for our development that were inspired by my involvement with the good people and nations of MicroWiki. Our foreign relations do matter and do benefit our internal affairs. Everyone benefits from constructive criticism the the advice of others more experienced than they. Diplomacy, which is the basic platform for the more formal varieties of such discourse, is therefore not a distraction from what happens within one’s nation, but a tool to improve what happens within one’s nation. The community matters, and we all owe it our best, for the sake of micronationalism as a whole.

On the Sector: Kozuc compromise

The Federal Republic of St. Charlie has a problem right now, and that problem is the Federation of Kozuc. The Kozuc issue is a significant one, for it presents the first real threat to St. Charlian union. Kozuc, like the other micronational  groups originating in the Monterey subsector, has historically been politically shaky, and that political shakiness has not stopped during its time in the Federal Republic.

Sôgmô Sörgel, the leader of the State of Sandus, recently published a list of provisions that he believes can help integrate the Kozuc people into mainstream St. Charlian culture, as well as promote political stability in the province. For reference, I summarize his proposals here:

  • Replace Kozuc generals with other St.Charlian generals.
  • Codify the chain of command in both the military and the civilian government and bureaucracy.
  • Create office hours for each office in both St.Charlie and Kozuc and their timezones, to facilitate communication.
  • Make all Kozuc officials  pledge allegiance to the Federal Republic.
  • Make the Kozuc army do constructive and civilian works.
  • Purge citizens of Kozuc, under the authority of the Federal government, who are in Kozuc in name only or only because of the military.
  • No longer engage in wars without the order of the President of St.Charlie.

I fully endorse points 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7. They will aid Kozuc’s cooperation with the federal government while simultaneously contributing to cultural integration and the transfer of importance granted by the Kozuc people from military to civilian affairs.  A major issue that still remains, however, is whether to go to such lengths as have been proposed to get the military out of Kozuc. I am of the opinion that such is not necessary.

The solution I propose to the military problem is a compromise. It is without question that Kozuc has a deep military history. Although I neither support nor condone military actions by micronations, I believe that integration into St. Charlie must be balanced with preserving the local culture of new federations. After all, Egtavia was not asked to give up her eggs, and Koss was not asked to give up her national myth. The stability of the union can be preserved by preserving some aspects of the Kozuc military culture. I propose the following points of my own to do this:


  • Enacting all of the Sandum points I endorsed above.
  • Allowing St. Charlian federations to keep small security forces analogous to the National Guard maintained by states of the United States. This will allow at least some continuation of the old Kozuc culture.
  • Having such national guard answer ultimately to the central government, whether the president, prime minister, or cabinet. This will ensure federal supremacy.
  • Having the national guard place a special focus on such projects as outlined by the Sôgmô, aiding the construction of an infrastructure and economy for Kozuc. A Kozuc economy, being strategically located close to two other micronations and whithing easy shipping distance of many others, would make St. Charlie an economic powerhouse. As these projects become completed, civilian positions to continue their maintenance will become necessary, thud allowing thehr military culture to be used to promote the prevalence of civilian power.

I invite the intermicronational community to comment on this compromise proposal, and encourage St. Charlian politicians to consider it.

Being a diplomat (editorial)

There seems to be confusion in the community about what makes a good diplomat, or even about what a diplomat does. Perhaps this will help a few people.

A diplomat is an official representative of a state in international affairs. A diplomat is a negotiator, a messenger, and a communicator. A good diplomat will  reasonably assess issues of importance to their nation’s foreign policy, calmly negotiate issues with foreign governments, and act sensibly in response to developments made in negotiation. Additionally, a responsible representative of a government will focus on issues of tangible importance to their state.

Here are some things a diplomat should not  do:

  • Act rashly. A diplomatic conflict should not become a personal conflict between the messengers of the involved governments. Business should remain strictly professional, and personal grudges should be cast aside during formal discourse.
  • Be rude. A diplomat is an official representative, and is to behave respectfully toward those with whom dialogue is underway. As international negotiators, diplomats need to exercise tact and courtesy.
  • Be nitpicky. Not every single tiny criticism of one’s country is worth a full-blown official response. A good diplomat can tell what is actually important to their state, and act accordingly.
  • Jump to conclusions. To be an effective diplomat, one must be informed of the matter which they are speaking of. Rumors do not constitute facts- do your homework!

I hope this cleared a few things up. Working on internal affairs will always come first, but is is still very important, and must be done right.