Micro-Describing Ourselves

Many people complain about labels: “I hate labels. Don’t let labels define you! Labels are hurtful”. What we often mean, though, is that we dislike inaccurate labels, limiting labels, labels intended to restrain our rightful freedoms. After all, we spend all day — and much of the night, if we’re dreaming — labeling things. That’s what language does, that’s how we go about our days. We want to know if the fruit we’re eating is imported, locally grown, and so on; if the hotel where we’ve reserved a room is pet-friendly or not; if the fuel we’re pumping is gas or diesel; if the speed limit is in miles or kilometers per hour; if the weather on the day of our family picnic is forecast to be warm, cool, rainy, windy. We depend on labels to make sense of our world, and so understandably we want to take control, as much as we can, of the labels we use and rely on, and that are used to describe us.

Micronational labeling systems are often imposed from outside, in an attempt to make sense of the sprawling range of micronations, to provide an objective guide for insiders and outsiders both, so that we can, for example, distinguish elaborate and extensive simulations like Molossia and Talossa from movements and organizations that seek macronational political change, like secessionist movements. Scotland is an active example of the latter, with intermittent referendums on whether to exit the United Kingdom. Regional movements around the world — Basques in the Pyrenees, Tibetans in China, Bretons in northwestern France, Texans who desire independence from Washington, Californians angling for a referendum on Calexit, Tamil separatists in Sri Lanka — seek varying degrees of autonomy around issues like language, education, taxation, borders, legal status and local authority, and so on.

But there are also cultural micronations that express the wishes and interests of tens or hundreds or thousands who have no wish to secede from anyone or anything, but simply want to be left alone to pursue their pursuits, such as Denmark’s Christiania, the Conch Republic in Florida’s Key West, or Maryland’s Maritime Republic of Eastport. And these need to be distinguished from micronations that represent one person’s disgust at relationships with government policies and representatives, like the Principality of Hutt River, and those which are a young person’s first attempts at political role-playing, like the scores of micronations on Twitter which have no existence beyond the electrons assembled there.

And so we might provide a self-ranking system comprised of a series of, let us say, a dozen aspects that micronationalists specify for their nation on a scale, (1 low, 5 high). And a system that indicates not only the present status of a particular aspect of micronationalism but adds future goals permits micronationalists to indicate a trajectory for their focus and attention.

1) creative expression: current status | future importance
2) physical location others can visit: current status | future importance
3) political recognition: current status | future importance
4) annual community festivals, holidays, events: current status | future importance
5) cultural practices that distinguish and help identify community members: current status | future importance
6) participation in micronational events: e.g., Microcon, micronational olympics, etc.: current status / future importance
7) service to micronational community: current status / future importance
8) potential for macronational engagement: e.g., emerging currencies, NGOs, migration of population (whether physical or cyber): current status / future importance
9) political simulation and experiment: current status / future importance
10) documentation of activity for 1-9: current status / future importance
11) your own category (1):
12) your own category (2):

Here are Sovermia’s self-rankings at the time of this post:

1) creative expression: cs2, fi5
2) physical location: cs1, fi3
3) political recognition: cs1, fi1
4) annual events: cs2, fi5
5) cultural practices: cs2, fi5
6) participation in micronational events: cs2, fi4
7) service to micronational community: cs2, fi4
8) macronational engagement: cs1, fi1
9) political simulation and experiment: cs3, fi5
10) documentation of activity: cs2, fi5

* * * * * * * * *

NOTE: Individual posts express the opinions and perspectives of the author and do not necessarily reflect official Sovermian policy or practice, unless explicitly indicated as such in a particular post.


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