Criticism of the GUM

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Anti-GUM poster used by Emiel Sebastiaan Hardy's campaign for election as vice-chair in the Konmalehth.

Criticism of the Grand Unified Micronational has encompassed numerous arguments regarding various aspects of the organization, such as policy, ideological bias, administration, and the ability to enforce rulings.

Modern criticism comes from typically newer and younger members of the MicroWiki community, claiming that the GUM is elitist or un-useful and does not do much,[1] also claiming that it would not benefit their micronation if they joined.

There has also been criticism made over the GUM recognising aspects of micronational warfare, such as the Austenasian Civil War. The GUM was formerly heavily involved in mediation between disputes over Antarctic claims, which was also a point of criticism.

History of Criticism

Historical criticism

From 2009 to 2012, the GUM was subject to criticism from several micronationalists.[2][3][4]

Criticism has come from such people as Gordon Freeman[5] and Heinrich Schneider, mostly about the policies on professionalism held by the GUM. They argued that micronations being constrained or condemned for being non-serious or unprofessional is against their idea of micronationalism being whatever its creators want, pointing to such famous micronations as the Republic of Molossia, one of the most famous and respected micronations in the world,[6] having non-serious characteristics, such as describing themselves as a 'dictatorial banana-republic'[7] and waging war against the defunct state of East Germany since 2 November 1983.[8]

This criticism was refuted by GUM members on multiple occasions, using examples of GUM member states Juclandia counting toys as citizens and Wyvern waging an annual "fireworks war" against the Netherlands - they countered the example of Molossia by pointing out that despite its tongue-in-cheek domestic features it is known for acting very professionally in regards to its interactions with other nations. The GUM attempted to encourage formality in intermicronational relations (something which has been supported by most members of the MicroWiki community several times),[9] and criticised instances when a member state acted in an uncharacteristically informal manner, such as when the then King Håkon of Zealandia announced an alleged "coup" by posting a short video in which he pretended to be a character with a comical voice and fake dreadlocks, and then refused to impart further information on the event.[10] There is no record of the GUM having ever attempted to directly interfere in a nation's domestic affairs, but the organisation did encourage foreign affairs and diplomacy to be conducted in an appropriately formal fashion and expected member states to act relatively professionally on the intermicronational stage.

2016

On 3 July 2016, Sandus's application to join was rejected by the Quorum, as Sandus was a signatory of the Denton Protocol.[11] Zealandia later announced they would not seek membership, stating: "If this is how they treat a signatory of the Denton Protocol, then I'm deeply concerned about how they may react to a nation whose whole acting collective executive and majority of the population are transgender".[12] Sandus later complained in a statement that Wyvern was accepted despite having a "history of racist and Islamophobic hatred".[13] However a few days later on 18 July, Sandus announced it would no longer adhere to the Denton Protocol.[14]

Modern criticism

On 23 May 2019, a micronation called Empire of Lehmark made headlines when it was accepted as an observer state, despite having claimed Earth. The claim was previously not public knowledge. Adam I, Chair of the GUM at the time, said Lehmark would be expelled unless they retracted their claims.[15]

On 3 July 2019, the National Convention of Mahuset approved a proposal by President Emiel Sebastiaan Hardy to formally prevent any current or future Mahusetan administration from applying to the GUM. The main reason for this was due to recent controversial incidents within its membership.[1]

On 29 July 2019, Shiro of Zenrax brought the Great Micronational War to the attention of the GUM (as well as the MicroWiki community) and suggested they try to mediate the conflict. Shiro, admitting his opinion may be biased, sided with Etukan. This was met with heavy criticism, regarding the fact that the so-called "war" was not actually a war, and mainly consisted of mass-pinging and Discord raids, and had other unverified claims. Etukan had also supposedly started the conflict. The GUM decided not to take action and stated that the so-called war was "pathetic".

Also in July, the OAM under the leadership of Charles Ross and James Ellis began a campaign to lesson the GUM's influence over the organisation. During this campaign, both Ross and Ellis (along with other OAM member states) openly criticized the GUM for it's bureaucracy and at one point, even accused the GUM of being YAMO. These attempts to antagonize the GUM mostly failed and (ironically) upon the OAM's dissolution in August of 2019, many of the group's former members emigrated to the GUM.

On 12 January 2020, the Ponderosan legislature voted unanimously to leave[16] after the Chair Thomas Bainbridge suspended Ponderosa Hills's representative Leon Montan after swearing and not using decorum language in the lounge channel. In an earlier press conference, Leon Montan said that Thomas is an "imperialist" and "egomaniac", and that he had banned Leon for "rules that are't applicable",[17] referring to the lobby rules which did not say they apply to the lounge.

Responses to criticism

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 National Convention of 2019 votes to prevent Mahuset from seeking GUM membership
  2. 'GUM talk page exchange between Gordon Freeman and Robert Lethler', 16 November 2009
  3. 'GUM criticised for voting procedures'[dead link] A1 News Service, 27 July 2010
  4. 'GUM under fire as Anderson admits leaking logs',[dead link] A1 News Service, 31 August 2012
  5. Micronationalism is serious business, A1 News Service, 5 September 2011. Archived from the original on 26 November 2011.
  6. 'Lonely Planet' Explores Micronations, National Public Radio, 1 November 2006
  7. 10 of the world's most bizarre micronations, the Republic of Molossia, The Telegraph. 16 February 2017. Retrieved 14 January 2020.
  8. "The War with East Germany". Molossia.org. Retrieved 2017-10-18.
  9. 'Suits and ties.',[dead link] MicroWiki Forum, 16-31 May 2011
  10. 'Olof Olofsson reporting', The Zealandian Gazette, 4 February 2012
  11. https://sandus.org/2016/07/03/sandum-gum-application-rejected/
  12. https://sandus.org/2016/07/03/zealandia-will-not-seek-to-join-gum/
  13. https://sandus.org/2016/07/03/palace-releases-statement-on-failed-gum-application/
  14. https://sandus.org/2016/07/18/sandus-will-no-longer-adhere-to-denton-protocol/
  15. https://sites.google.com/site/theglastieven/microwiki/empireclaimingwholeearthwinsgumobservership
  16. Ponderosa Hills leaves the the Grand Unified Micronational, Retrieved 12 January 2020
  17. http://news.ponderosangovernment.ml/2020/01/12/ponderosa-hills-suspends-its-delegation-to-the-grand-unified-micronational/