Central MicroWiki figure announces step-back

A prominent face of the MicroWiki Community, Kit McCarthy, has announced that he is stepping back from his wide-ranging duties and projects.

“I’m afraid I’m absolutely addicted,” announced McCarthy in an address to the community, reflecting on his one-year involvement in micronationalism. It was during that year that he developed a strong appreciation for the community and its participants, describing a sense of belonging that he latched onto as a result of shared interests. “I love it,” he said of micronationalism and the MicroWiki Community.

With major changes at home and at school, however, McCarthy has decided to invest time in other aspects of his life as a means to achieve a balance. The “multiple hours a day” he has spent in micronationalism, where he has headed up a plethora of projects from journalism to education to economics, was nonetheless without regret. “One year … has taught me more than nine in school,” he admitted, “but I want to put that learning into some sort of real world context.”

McCarthy will not be a stranger to the community moving forward, despite the reduction in his participation. He hopes to continue to attend meetings of the Grand Unified Micronational organization and the Mercian Parliament, as well as to continue his work on some of his more established community projects. “I just won’t be starting a new organization every week,” he commented cheekily.

Mercian politician seeks green reforms

Mercia’s political spectrum has expanded with the announcement by the former leader of the Humanist People’s Alliance that he will seek election as an independent “Green-Socialist”.

The election bid was supported by the roll-out of a detailed political manifesto by Callum Newton on March 28 in which he reflected on his past success as a reformer and parliamentarian for the Province of Wibertsherne. “I successfully implemented a broad set of policy [sic] … Mercia doesn’t have to stop here. Our focus should be to attach ourselves to a sustainable, peaceful, and more prosperous future,” he said in launching the expansive six-page document.

A need to ensure that the government has a clear official stance on climate change and for it to prepare for its effects headline Newton’s environmental policies. Those policies also include the implementation of Mercia’s first ever Carbon Tax, the expansion of the micronation’s agricultural capacity, and an increased focus on recycling. Such policies, Newton argued, would ensure that Mercia “grows as a sustainable, environmentally conscious nation”.

To spur economic development alongside side environmental reforms, Newton would focus on increasing green energy capacity within Wibertsherne through providing subsidies for those who make the switch from non-renewable energy sources. He would also create a local recycling service in the province that would support job creation while underpinning his related environmental policy.

With the Mercian Parliament’s term having expired on March 22, Newton’s policies will soon be put to the electorate to determine their popularity.

New IGO sought for MicroWiki Community

MICROWIKI – Two months following the overwhelmingly supportive vote to cease operation of the Grand Unified Micronational as an active intergovernmental organization, the MicroWiki community is discussing if a replacement is needed.

The re-tasking of GUM, now an Internet chat room, has caused a void in that community’s intergovernmental scene, prompting Zenrax’s leader, Thomas Tiberius, to propose the creation of a new organization, or otherwise a reorganization and reactivation of GUM’s former mandate. “What are we to do about it?” said Tiberius, referring to the negative impact on community solidarity caused by GUM’s re-tasking, suggesting that a replacement was needed to help welcome and orientate new micronations with the community.

Those in favour of Tiberius’ efforts have generally grouped themselves into a movement to create a new unique intergovernmental organization as opposed to seeking to exist under the GUM banner as he proposed.

Kit McCarthy, the President of Mcarthia, suggested that any new organization address the failures of GUM, most notably in his view its inactivity, its lack of organization and specific goals, and its excessive professionalism.

The President of Nedland, Ned Greiner, suggested a comparatively-complex United Nations type organization that would include both secessionists and simulationists, which would make the organization one of the few since the League of Secessionist States and League of Micronations in the early 2000s to cater to both streams of micronationalism. Noting that such an association would be a non-starter to most secessionist micronations, which have a negative view of simulationism, Greiner pointed to the fact that not all United Nations memberstates recognize each other. “Everyone can be in the same organization as long as everyone is cordial, but not everybody has to recognize each other if they don’t feel comfortable,” said Greiner.

Greiner further suggested that any new organization should take a more regulated but varied approach to discussions, with moderated “ultra-casual” chats scheduled, in addition to more formal discussions regarding governance, so that memberstate representatives can build valuable rapport. He cautioned that any moderation of discussions would need to balance seriousness, as he foresaw a risk of turning individuals away if “very serious content and severe regulation” became the norm within the new organization.

There is nonetheless much stated opposition to the creation of a new intermicronational organization, with several individuals suggesting that the inherent failure of GUM indicates that a similar organization will meet the same fate. “The reason (GUM) died was because it was no longer needed, after all,” said Richard of Mercia. Covanellis’ President Bailey McCahon further opined that “micronations are fine to … form treaties and trade agreements independently and don’t need an organization to help them do that.”

Whatever the fate of Tiberius’ initiative, it will not be using the GUM banner, if only because many senior members of the MicroWiki community have made it clear that GUM will continue as the chatroom it has become and that the name will not be lent to any intergovernmental organization that manifests itself from the ongoing discussions.

Micronational religion – a perspective

OPINION — Whether it is a micronation that seeks independence from a real country, or one that simply desires to simulate the workings of a real country as a hobby, it is common onto both models to seek the development of a unique cultural identity. Often this is through the creation of a unique flag, coat of arms, settlement names, etc. In thriving for that unique identity, some also seek to create their own unique religion, or at least establish their own interpretation of an extant mainstream religion, as a means of solidifying that identity.

Such an undertaking, I think, provides a unique glimpse, focused within this small microcosm of the Internet, into the motivations of those individuals who, throughout human history, have created the religious dogmas that have taken hold of billions of human minds.

In the near-fourteen years that I have participated in micronationalism, I have been fortunate enough to observe all the spectrums that this dynamic community has to offer, or at the very least, the Anglophone sector. I’ve watched as dozens of micronations seek to create their own religions over the years, though as an atheist I have never directly dabbled in such mystical undertakings. Yet, I cannot help but be intrigued by how religious development in micronationalism has been motivated. In a community of only hundreds, largely isolated from one-another except for a digital medium, the undertones that have led to the creation of the wide range of religious dogma through human history is no less evident. It’s fascinating, I think, whether your opinion about the nature of the universe is derived from mysticism or science.

Perhaps the most fundamental motivation for founding a religion in this community that I’ve observed has been the individual (or group of individuals) dissatisfaction with the dogma or management decisions of existing major religions. This dissatisfaction has invariably been directed toward the Christian religions in the Anglophone sector, as most participants were largely encoded into those sects by their respective parents.

In micronationalism, it’s never hard to find a person who thinks that he or she can “do it right”, “do it better” or otherwise believes he or she already does everything both right and better. This personality trait, along with the festering dissatisfaction, invariably leads some micronationalists to try to “fix” the failings of their religion by founding their own version of it. Many will use their micronation as a platform to re-think or re-tool their personal religious beliefs into a religion that “gets it right.” To be fair, when you’re often comparing “getting it right” to what the Vatican’s track record is, they’re probably off to a better start. These new dogmatic beliefs are created in localized “Churches” within the micronation, with many being officially adopted as the state religion, especially when the micronation is led by the disaffected believer, as many micronations are nothing more than one’s lonely kingdom.

This fundamental motivation is often combined with a desire to create, or add to, a unique cultural identity for the micronation, sometimes as a rallying point for its participants. The beauty about micronationalism is that you can dabble in any subject you wish to explore and this in turn contributes to the uniqueness of the micronation in which one participates. I’m a terribly boring bureaucrat myself, but much more creatively-inclined individuals in the community, spurred on by their dissatisfaction with the religion of their parents, have created backstories underpinning their new religions that are quite interesting works of mysticism. Whether or not these religions are ever intended to be treated serious is immaterial; what’s important is how their dogma is created.

I’ll share two brief examples of micronational religion. First, the Church of Alexandria, predominantly inspired by Catholicism, has developed its own foundation story (based on a Saint Natsnet, who was taught by Jesus Christ) complete with a concise version of the Old Testament as its ‘Holy Scripture’. Second, the Mercian Christian Church aims to fuse certain Protestant and Orthodox beliefs as a means of creating not only a cultural identity and state religion for its namesake micronation, but to also provide a “conscience” for the State (herein enters the political aspect to religion that impacts the world on a daily basis).

This employed “pick-and-choose” approach to defining beliefs, with a dash of uniqueness by focusing on a certain founder or foundation story, combined with political backing, is reflective of how every mainstream religion today was created and defined throughout their respective histories. Yet, here in our little corner of the Internet, individuals who would be classed as “common folk” by the “holy leaders” of the world have shown that with a little education, creativity and motivation, they can create their own “holy books” and religious dogma. Give these individuals a little charisma, some money and a desire to propagate their personal beliefs mainstream, and we’ll have a new upstart religion in no time, with its roots right here in micronationalism. Move aside, Mormonism, Jesus Christ really lived on Sealand and his holy words were found buried in the data haven servers!

Archmidias, the King of Archmidian, which is a founding State of the Mercian Christian Church, said it best when he was encouraged to abandon the plan to found the Church by another person. “I have every right to form a church or any number of churches if I so desire,” he said. And right he is. People just like Archmidias are responsible for every religion that human society has ever embraced, though some have obviously been more successful than countless scores of others.

Given the small size of our community and the digital divide, it’s unlikely that any of these micronationally-founded religions will ever survive let alone thrive. It does however underpin a reality, I think. That being that religious dogma can be created by anyone, no matter what class or country from which they herald. Perhaps the micronational experience can provide a cautionary tale: what many consider “divine” and “the word of God” is, at the end of the day, merely a human construct.