the Building of Micronational Capitals
an historical meditation on the inspiring future
[Recently, we observed the Septimontium, which celebrates the uniting of the city of Rome into the seven hills from the villages which were atop each hill.]
All great things begin at one point in time. Settlements are no different. As micronationalists, the concept of civilisation is imperative to us; we all wish to see our states expand, grow, and prosper. This fact is no different from the countless capital cities before us that grew by imperial and majestic hands: St.Petersburg, Washington D.C., and Rome. Whereas the nation had been built before the capital in Russia and in the United States, Rome stands out in this example of a self-created city as a city that catapulted a civilisation into empire.
Indeed for Sandus, our role model is Rome. Of course we have influences from Washington D.C. (which is located very close to Kremlum Sandus) and from St.Petersburg (Sandum architecture has Baroque influences), but it is the history of Rome — the uniting of seven separate villages by Romulus into the city of Rome itself — that inspires the State of Sandus. As micronationalists, we can view these cities with greater grandeur and awe. We can begin to realise, more so any any other people, the amount of work and dedication that goes into the creation of the Hermitage, of the Capitol, or of the Basilica Iulia and Basilica Aemilia. When we realise that we stand in the place of Romulus, of Peter, and of Washington (these realisations indifferent to politics), we can understand that we have their potential. Like the architects of Rome, of St.Petersburg, and of Washington D.C., we too must utilise our positions and our resources for the construction of a pragmatic capital.
In micronationalism today, there are many plans for the creation of micronational capitals. There exist a few micronations which serve as standard-bearers of this concept: Atlantium, Molossia, Vikesland. However, within our more immediate community, most of these plans are cross-border and unite multiple micronations. Is this the model for success? Though it would lower the economic burden, does it make sense to forego the cultural independence you will lose by uniting other nations into your project? In the case of Molossia and Atlantium, there existed no such project — they compromised nothing. One will also realise that these micronations have created their own physical land, their own capitals, without grandeur; the projects in which many nations unite to form an idea for a capital (and then quickly disperse) are instead filled with grandeur. Perhaps this Atlantian and Molossian model is most correct: do not be caught up on the concept of grandeur. No, and nothing in our State — which has ever been considered grand — was created with want of grandeur: the altars of the State are not grand, but are admired throughout the State and the community; the past Armilustrium altar was not grand, but was admired as being beautiful; the past Athena’s Day rite was full of technical errors, but was admired as well. Alas, this concept of grandeur is difficult to forget and abandon.
Make do with what you have. Rome was not built by Trajan, Augustus, Julius Caesar; it was built by Romulus and added on to by Kings, Consuls, and Emperors. In Henry V, Shakespeare observed that Kings are not higher than the common man: the difference, though, is in their ceremony. So too is the micronationalist’s. Of course many will seek ceremony in bizarre objects — the Legos one uses to build a micronational monument and so on — but is that the way? Sociologically speaking, no: Legos are symbols of childhood, amusement, and immaturity. Do we wish to be made fun of or to be taken seriously? I imagine that few of us admire the jokes made at our expense when we tell others that “I run my own country”. But perhaps not all bizarre objects are forbidden from being given new purposes. A metal trellis stands in the Molossian garden as a symbol of their achievements: but this metal trellis is no different (quite literally) from that in the garden of the Palaso d’Etato in Kremlum Sandus. The difference, however, is in the ceremony.
Did temples grow into being sacred or were they always sacred? It is the ceremony that changes the purposes and visions of a building or place. What was the swamp around the Lacus Curtius became the grand Roman Forum; so too, if I see my bed room as my bed room and not as my micronational office, I will give it the mental vision of my bed room. No, but when I display it, my bed room is my office — my throne room. It stands out in this way.
Of course none of us have the wealth to create our own modern Rome, to be the modern Romulus. But that which came before us was not grand at first. Washington D.C. and St.Petersburg were both swamps before being built in the 18th century; Brasilía was a cerrado before being built in the 1950s and 1960s. And so do not despair when you have only a bed room or a dorm or an apartment. Give it the ceremony it deserves, build up your national culture. Invest in the ceremony of that palace you may have. When you start there, to build up your culture and the ceremony of your palace (and give it the fortunate sociological symbols it needs), then worry about building that commune. But remain faithful to reality, as Romulus, the Kings, the Consuls, and the early Emperors did, and do not lose touch of what matters: building a nation, from the ground up, one step at a time.