I yearn for the simple days when we were all at each other’s throats.
There is a great significance at the moment for many of us in this community. It was in the latter third of 2008 that many of our nations (Austenasia, the GDR/Sirocco and St.Charlie, to name but three) came to life, and when the centrepiece of our community, MicroWiki, became what we know it to be today. During the past and coming weeks, we are marking our fifth anniversaries together, remembering the good old days and looking forward with cheery optimism toward the times ahead.
Well, if we could.
You see, it’s something that has become increasingly noticeable as time has gone on. Our community is changing, and whether it’s for the good is debatable.
Back when we were younger, we acted more like diplomats. International relations were high on our agendas, and we all jostled for attention and something to make us well-known and liked. Our community really did have a community feel to it, and it was fantastic. When I arrived in the community in August 2010, I was amazed at what I saw – a lively, vibrant community full of life and stuff going on. Projects were constantly underway, high-level talks and negotiations were held in the OAM, and we were all presided over by the ever-stable triumvirate of Alexander Reinhardt, Phillip Fish, and Aldrich Lucas.
When we ditched Wikia in November of that year, we did it as a united community. Everyone had their two shillings’ worth, we all talked it over, and we almost unanimously decided to up sticks and search for greener pastures.
Through 2011 the community stayed vibrant. Things happened, and when the brown stuff hit the oscillator, the community almost exploded from the sheer energy of our rage and utter confusion. But maybe that was the problem – we used up all our energy in one hit.
Since last year, there has been without a doubt a drop in activity in this community. The return of MicroWikia created a schism that is growing, and getting increasingly hostile, to this very day. The growing-up of many of our members has seen the likes of St.Charlie and A1 plunge from being the drivers of the community to mere names in the history books. The replacement of said members with newer and younger members has created religious persecution of homosexuality, a glut of pseudo-communist nations incapable of even spelling Vladimir Lenin’s name correctly, and even legalised slavery of an apparently sexual nature (even though those involved are well under the age of consent).
What happened? Why have we gone from a respectable community of mature, civilised people to a kindergarten? Actions speak louder than words, and Jacob Tierney’s sudden departure should have sent us all deaf. He was right in what he said – the community has dumbed down to the point of irrational stupidity. There’s no spirit here anymore. We have gone from being a group of people exchanging documents, creating things, and publishing a stream of newspaper articles to people who argue and swap jokes in a Facebook group. Is the point of micronationalism not to create a government and a state and have fun? It seems that many of us simply keep our shells of micronations around just to give us a valid excuse to be in the community.
As I noted in the Zealandian Guardian, this community is heading off the rails. At the moment the MicroWiki site is experiencing financial stress and is undertaking the biggest revamp in its history, but it’s not enough. We need to do things as a community. We need to return to the days of diplomacy and of statesmanship, and come back once again to the nations we have forsaken. St.Charlie was once a great power, it is now a mere shadow of a thing, only paid attention to because of its historical association with the great Alexander Reinhardt. There is no reason at all why it should not come back and return to its glory days – in 2010 it was a marvellous beacon of activity and life, maybe it can do it again in 2014.
I warned of this exact predicament almost a year ago:
A micronation is not an easy thing to maintain. Much planning must go into the creation of an independent state, from the writing-up of a constitution to the issuance of banknotes. And even then, after the hard yards have been put in the past, the state must be maintained or it is doomed to falter and ultimately fall apart. How many times has it happened that a micronation has started off with magnificent fanfare and all the promise of something akin to a micronational superpower only to forget itself and slide into the pit of failed states?
-Sirocco Today, 4 November 2012 (SBC National Radio)
Nations expend their energy and then fall flat, never to be heard from again. The long run is ignored in favour of short-term gains, and nations become parts of our memories. Names like Danburnia and the Ohio Empire will spark a twinge of nostalgia amongst those older members of our community still left, while for the younger ones (of which I include myself) the likes of A1 and Yabloko have the same effect. Is this going to be the same thing with the likes of St.Charlie, Wyvern, or the USLSSR to those members of our community that will one day succeed us? The only way we can save our nations is to roll up our sleeves, come together as a group of statesmen, not young people, and work on getting the community going again.
St.Charlie, Sirocco, Austenasia, Zealandia, the USLSSR and Wyvern are just some of the nations facing the same issue most older nations have done in the past – its citizens are growing up and heading off into the world. While it is important that we make names for ourselves out there, we can’t forget the projects and hobbies we started. Wouldn’t it be heartbreaking to think back in our declining years on the countries we started as teenagers and then left to fall apart like an abandoned shack on the prairie? All that promise, that vigour, that life, all gone to waste. Too many great nations of the past have vanished, and it would be terrible to think that the nations of the community today may suffer the same grim fate. I don’t want to think that the new members of the community in 2013 will look back in say, 2016 or 2018, and think “wow, remember Sirocco? They were so cool, I wonder whatever happened to them?”. Many of us have been fortunate to last this long, but unless we act now, our time may soon be up.
We have seen nations slide into oblivion, and now our community is facing the exact same fate. We can stop this, but we have to move fast and soon.