One-on-One: Primo de Aguilar

CS: Thank you for sitting down with us, Primo. It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly 4 years since we last talked! A lot has happened in that time, but perhaps nothing more significant than the end of Alexandria, your long-time micronational home where you were a fixture of political and national life. Would you tell us about how you learned of its fate and your initial reaction to the news?

PdA: My initial reaction was shock, followed by sadness. I suppose since one puts a lot of effort and emotion to a character (at least I do; I suppose I am living vicariously through my characters) I went through a sense of what it feels to be suddenly stateless.

CS: Now, just over six months later, with the shock well settled, are you disappointed with how things worked out in Alexandria? What would you change if you had the time back?

PdA: I like continuity and closure in my narratives. It was sad to see Alexandria go, what with its history and culture and semi-stable postmodern urban constitutional monarchy with a pan-European flavor. There was a point when things were starting to get a little too predictable, though. I liked how the parties and personalities developed. Losing the First Consulship was expected, but I also got the feeling that Primo would have tried another final run (or a last gasp) for the office before finally retiring from public life. He’s had an amazing run from backbencher to First Consul.

CS: When Alexandria ended, you became a refugee of sorts and landed on the shores of Constancia where you’ve taken a leading role in its government and development. What drew you to that micronation?

PdA: It looked interesting and seemed to have a lot of areas where development could occur.

CS: What areas for development particularly interested you?

PdA: Constancia didn’t have a very detailed history – that was something I wanted to try my hand with, not to mention the fact that just about everything in Constancia could have used further detailing. There were some fascinating questions that could produce far more fascinating answers: why settle in the middle of Eura, for example; what were their cultural influences that remained to the present day, how did previous nation-states influence the evolution of the Free and Associative Kingdom?

CS: I think its safe to say that despite the Alexandria stressor, you and Edgard remain as close as friends as ever. I understand that you’re participating in his latest micronation, Caputia, as the Minister of Reconstruction and Infrastructure, under the moniker of Gerhardt Seydlitz. Would you tell us more about what you hope to accomplish in Caputia?

PdA: Well, there is the part of fixing the administrative and economic structure through legislation, and with the ruined cities, there is something of a sandbox to play with. I view this as a lens of seeing how differing personalities and factions can attempt to come together after a civil war to rebuild and form cohesive policy, it’s having a front seat to seeing how interpersonal dynamics play out into sociopolitical outcomes. Remember that this is a country struggling to pull itself together after a civil war, with all the pressures that brings. Can Seydlitz get things done while in office, or will his youth and relative inexperience be his downfall amidst the fickle attention span of the Parliament and public? We’ll see how that goes.

CS: While Caputia is not the successor state to Alexandria, I can’t help but feel the Alexandrian “vibe” in its structure and operation whenever I visit the forums. Is there a sense of “this is our chance to fix what went wrong in Alexandria” amongst the participants?

PdA: It’s entirely possible; let’s not forget that there is still a substantial in-game Alexandrian diaspora which may be an in-game factor, but I don’t necessarily agree with the premise that Caputia is Alexandria 2.0. There may be similarities, but they have separate histories and influences that lead both nations to separate paths.

CS: Can you provide an example of the differing histories/influences behind Caputia v. Alexandria?

PdA: Alexandria had a very (primarily Western) European flavor – Franco-Belgian-German – with the attendant love for French-style socialism and hard-right nationalism (Alexandria’s had governments of both extremes). Alexandria better exemplifies the Septum Juncta in Uno principle: Individuals identify more as Alexandrian first, and regional or provincial second, with the monarch not just as the head of state, but the continuing personification of the Empire.

Caputia doesn’t have a specific reference, although it could be vaguely similar to Europe. Whether the existing “moderate” administration, or government of national unity will soon split into various ideological parties still remains to be seen. Both countries have had very bloody civil wars, but in Caputia, I see individuals identifying first with their regions or provinces or even cities, and as subjects of Caputia, second. I foresee that the abrupt demise of the crown (death spare the Queen!) without clear issue or a generally-accepted heir would lead to the immediate fragmentation of this latest national experiment. The existing Queen is essentially a compromise candidate, after all, the sole Caputian whom the disparate warring factions hate the least. It’ll probably take a generation to bury the blood-feud enmities, or it may only cause these deep-seated grudges to fester. Only time will tell!

CS: You’re a busy man on the intermicronational stage these days as well in your role as the Secretary-General of the Micras Treaty Organization, which has suffered from spurts of inactivity over the last year. Can you explain for our readers how you see the Organization remaining relevant in the community?

PdA: The General Treaty requires an overhaul, what with most business focused on admittance of members. It also exercises very little power over its members, which essentially makes it a global, somewhat exclusive, debate club and YAMO. An organization is only as strong and as relevant as its members want it to be.

CS: Are there any personal reflections and wisdom on your last four years in micronationalism that you’d like to share with our readers?

PdA: It’s a hobby, it helps pass the time, it enables people to come together to co-create interesting things, whether it be narratives or govsims, or to express personal frustrations with national policies. Some have fantasy sports leagues, this is fantasy statecraft. It is also a good entry-level for those interested in real-world political or governance work, although on a considerably smaller scale.

From a civics perspective, it is a great educator, because ultimately, the fate of the country rests on you, its citizen (or subject). Your participation and contributions, as well as engagement with others, determines and reflects the strength and vibrancy of the nation.

One-on-One: Primo de Aguilar

Micras loses significant micronation

GENEVA –  Since its foundation more than 15 years ago, Alexandria has played a central role in the Micras community, building its reputation from a shaky start under the name of Madland to one of community leader. Its story has now been consigned to the history books.

In an open letter to the Micras community on July 25, Alexandria’s founder and first-and-only monarch, Edgard Carrillo, announced its sudden dissolution. “I feel creatively constrained and bankrupt. The focus on creating something fun and engaging for myself was shifted towards winning petty squabbles with other Micran participants,” explained Carrillo.

Recent years arguably saw Alexandria’s core activity decline into persistent squabbling, contributing significantly to Carrillo’s stated loss of focus. Largely sustained by election campaigns and parliamentary debates in which political parties sparred, often over repetitive issues, Alexandria’s ability to focus development on other aspects of its identity became impaired. That squabbling translated to the intermicronational community where it found itself primarily involved in rival alliances, the resulting conflicts, and very much motivated by an imperialistic desire to expand its Micras world map territory.

“The time for judging Alexandria’s strength and progress by post counts and pixels is over,” said Carrillo with an implied sigh of relief.

Yet, as with other micronations that have made similar announcements in the past, there remains the possibility that Alexandria may one day rejoin the community. Such a decision, according to Carrillo, will be guided by his ability to regain the passion and creativity necessary to create the Alexandria that he always wanted, as opposed to the one it became.

As for Carrillo’s personal involvement in the Micras community, he will remain a contributor to other micronations and efforts.

Read more about Alexandria’s history by visiting our archive of 295 related news articles published since 2004.


Micras loses significant micronation

2015 FNORD Awards bestowed

[dropcap]A[/dropcap] much-muted version of the FNORD Awards culminated yesterday with only eight of fourteen categories being awarded to deserving candidates, the result of a comparatively tepid two-week nomination period versus previous years.

That nomination period had a rough opening when two citizens of Jingdao – Jezza Rasmus and Jonas Windsor – suggesting that the awards were no longer relevant. The former described the awards as “embarrassing” while the latter suggested that the process should receive the lighthearted “’Tis but a Flesh Wound,” inspired by the Monty Python Black Knight.

The sentiments of Rasmus and Windsor failed to garner popularity, though much of the nomination period was spent by the community discussing how to make the awards, which have celebrated individual achievement within the Micras community annually since 2002, more relevant. Most proposals involved paring down the number of categories for future iterations of the awards, and making those that remained more relevant to the current make-up of the community.

The overshadowing discussion on reform aside, several micronationalists nonetheless participated in the nominating process, though not all categories received nominations this year, nor did the judging panel commit to naming a recipient for each regardless.

In the end, eight of the categories were awarded, with the most prestigious award, the Odlum Award for Overall Achievement, being given to Emperor Edgard II of Alexandria. “Emperor Edgard II has steered Alexandria through almost a decade and a half, and made Alexandria a country of repute and with a unique cultural identity and history,” said Ric Lyon, the chair of the judging panel, in bestowing the honour.

The Award for Cultural Development went to Gerald Ruze, who has invested considerable time and effort into expanding Gerenia’s presence on the MicrasWiki in recent months with a wealth of information on its political and cultural identity.

Nathan Waffel-Paine received the Award for Leadership for his role in two of Micras’ oldest micronations – Shireroth and Natopia. In Shireroth, his reign was recognized for pulling the micronation back from the brink of failure due to inactivity. He was also recognized for his various initiatives to lead Natopia, a micronation he founded in 2002, into a period of renaissance.

Entering into his fifteen year of reporting on micronational news, Liam Sinclair was recognized with the Award for Journalism, “for never ceasing to give us articles from all over the microworld, insight on matters we had no idea about, and interviews with people from all parts of Micras and beyond,” said Lyon. “We are forever grateful for his contributions to journalism.”

Rounding out the awards were Hallbjörn Haraldson and Waffel-Paine, receiving the Award for History and the Award for Literature, respectively, while the Award for Sport went to James-Robert Knight. The afore-mentioned “‘Tis but a Flesh Wound” Award went to Krasniy Yastreb, in recognition of his return to micronationalism this year after a bitter personal disagreement with several local micronationalists.

2015 FNORD Awards bestowed

2014 FNORD Award recipients announced

HUB.MN –- Following a week of sequestering, the judging panel for the 2014 FNORD Awards have announced the winners from across the Micras community.

In the three-way race for the community’s most prestigious award, the Odlum Award for Overall Achievement, Harald Thorstein edged out fellow nominees Edgard Carrillo and Jezza Rasmus, joining the group of a dozen previous recipients of the award.

Thorstein’s micronation of Stormark also jointly received the Beard Award for Conflict Resolution, along with Natopia, for their role in convening the ongoing Tapfer Conference that seeks to define a new relationship between the two micronations, as well as the Empire of the Alexandrians, all of whom hold territory on that continent of Micras.

The Coprieta Standard was also honoured with the Iain Jacobson Award for Micronational Journalism, marking the third consecutive year that it has received that Award. The Standard faced stiff competition this year with the upstart Micras Observer having garnered much attention and praise for its unique editorial content.

The awards for Best New Idea and Most Promising New Micronation were not named this year, as the judging panel was unable to come to a consensus on the nominees in each category.

This also marked the first year that a historic award was renamed, with the Tony Au Award for Economics, named for the Micras’ community’s founding economist, being renamed in honour of its most recent prodigy in the field, Andreas the Wise.

The full list of this year’s recipients is as follows:

[table th=”0″]
The Shane Odlum Award for Overall Achievement, Harald Thorstein
The Liam conToketi Award for Most Promising New Micronationalist, James Knight
The Iain Jacobson Award for Journalism, The Coprieta Standard
The Erik Mortis Award for Leadership, Nathan Waffel-Paine
The Jeremy Bellamy Award for Literature, Shyriath Bukolos
The Bill Dusch Award for Cultural Development, The Apollonian Confederation
The Charles Beard Award for Conflict Resolution, The Governments of Natopia and Stormark
The Rebecca Panks Award for the Graphic Artz, Bjorn Olsen
The RIMA Award For Micronational History, Krasniy Yastreb
The Craitman Pellegrino Award for Sport, Barnaby Hands
The Andreas the Wise Award for Economics, Pallisico Sinclair
‘Tis But a Flesh Wound Award for Refusing to Give Up in the Face of Failure, Ryker Everstone

2014 FNORD Award recipients announced

Brettish Isles imposes punitive tariff on Alexandria

WESTMINSTER (CS) | Following the rejection of his citizenship application in Alexandria, Brettish Isles Treasury Secretary Thadeus Lange has imposed a punitive tariff on transactions originating from that micronation.

Lange, who has historically also used the identities of Gustave Chevalier, Giles Melang, or originally Xon, re-applied for Alexandrian citizenship on September 28 and was immediately denied by Emperor Edgard Carrillo. That denial stemmed from Lange, when he was using the Chevalier moniker, leaving Alexandria in bad taste and proceeding to insult the micronation throughout Micras while even trying to incite his native Shireroth to declare a war against it.

Lange plead to have the decision reversed, stating that his previous actions were “in-character” and not reflective of his latest intentions to participate honestly in Alexandria. Despite his plea, Carrillo’s decision remained unchanged. Said Carrillo, “We’re simply not interested in adding a citizen that won’t be committed, will simply try to plunder what he can out of Alexandria (again) and then get up and leave.”

The blunt rejection apparently served to incite Lange, who quickly, through his authority as the Brettish Isles Secretary of the Treasury, ordered that all transactions originating from Alexandria into the Brettish Isles would have a 25% tariff levied. That tariff would, according to Lange, be used to fund upgrades to the Royal Navy and to erect a monument to former Lord Protector Jack de Montfort.

Alexandria’s economy is presently not very active and there is no formal trade relationship between the two micronations, indicating that there is little financial impact from the tariffs, except for Lange’s personal satisfaction in light of the citizenship spat.

Brettish Isles imposes punitive tariff on Alexandria

Alexandria recoups lost Micras lands

GENEVA (CS) | More than half-a-year since inactivity caused nearly 50% of Alexandria’s Micras territory to be chopped, the micronation’s health has rebounded, allowing it to recoup much of the loss.

The expansion request, filed yesterday by Emperor Edgard Carrillo, has quickly received the blessing of two of the Micronational Cartography Society’s Administrative Council members and is expected to pass without significant opposition given the micronation’s recent high-level of activity. Once implemented, Alexandria will recover its lost territory on the Micras continents of Cibola and Keltia, which represents the bulk of its historic lands which were lost in the January 2014 reduction.

Also included in the expansion request is the founding of the Imperial Colony of St. John in the Barbary Straits locale of Western Cibola. The Imperial Government expects that Alexandrian control of the Straits will strengthen the micronation’s economy. Possession of the Straits, which were the scene of a bitter dispute between Alexandria and Jingdao in 2012, will also allow Alexandria to control important shipping routes, especially if other micronations seek to expand their claims along the currently vacant shoreline in the area.

Alexandria recoups lost Micras lands

Speech from the Throne commences new sitting

GENEVA (CS) | During a ceremony full of traditional Alexandrian pomp today, Emperor Edgard Carrillo proclaimed a new constitution and laid out the government’s upcoming legislative agenda.

The 2nd Imperial Assembly since the constitutional crisis of earlier this year commenced with a prayer from the Archbishop of Geneva, Louis Lafayette. The Emperor then gave Royal Assent to the newly amended Constitution which was hurriedly passed by unanimous consent in the dying hours of the previous sitting on May 30, before he made his Speech from the Throne.

The Speech from the Throne laid out the legislative agenda for the next three months and touched on several areas of concern for Alexandrians, whose micronation continues to recover from a prolonged on-and-off activity crisis in its government.

The Emperor renewed the government’s commitment to improving the economic stability of the micronation, which had been a significant focus of Second Consul Primo de Aguilar in the last sitting. Further regulatory measures are anticipated with respect to the economy, to “ensure a level economic playing field,” said the Emperor.

A push to empower local governments will also be made, this as a result of a successful amendment to the constitution by Paco Baez that limits the jurisdiction of the national government. The “immediate” rescinding of the seemingly-unending state of emergency in the province of Luthoria, which predates recent memory for many Alexandrians, was committed to by the Emperor.

The government will also turn its focus to the reinvigoration of the Imperial University of Alexandria, with a Board of Regents being convened and a President to be chosen during this sitting of the Imperial Assembly. The University was recently the subject of legislative reform, the first since 2011, and the Board, once assembled, will be responsible for determining its structure.

Other areas mentioned in the agenda include improving infrastructure, appointing a Board of Trustees for the Alexandrian Broadcasting Corporation, and reviving the Imperial Cultural Institute.

Speech from the Throne commences new sitting