Ives Blackwood, Baron Kavanah (born 6 May 2001, Ireland) is an Abeldane journalist who has served as editor of the Home-made Crown Journal since 2020. He also works to develop micronational economics. Historically, Blackwood has been a micronational politician, and has worked to develop micropatriology.
- 1 Early career
- 2 Abelden
- 3 Theoretical work
- 4 Personal life
- 5 Styles and honours
- 6 See also
- 7 Notes and references
- 8 Further reading
Blackwood joined the online micronational community in July 2015 as prime minister of the Republic of Skovaji, a micronation formed in October 2014 on the basis of a family in-joke and formally led by his younger brother, the "Lord Wesley".[note 1] As Skovaji became a more serious project, the Lord Wesley became less involved, and Blackwood invited his friends to serve as politicians, briefly transforming Skovaji from a one-man nation to a group one. In the community, he became notable in micronational economics; he was a founding member of the Micronational Economic Group and served as its second chairman. Blackwood's initial 2015-16 period of involvement in micronationalism came to an abrupt end in mid-October 2016 due to a family crisis. He formally dissolved Skovaji and Lucas Campos seized control of the MEG in response to Blackwood's inactivity.
In March 2017, he returned to the community, having founded Glastieve a month earlier. This was a group project with a number of friends, including those who had become involved with Skovaji in 2016. Formally, Glastieve was a directorial state with no single leader or founder, but Blackwood was recognised in both the community and within the project itself as the de facto leader and founder. He held a number of government posts, largely in relation to economics and communications. In the community, he founded the Micronational Association for Finance and Economics to coordinate his activities in relation to economics. Blackwood was also involved in Abeldane politics and was an important figure on its left-wing in 2017, initially as communications officer of Edwin Farrar's Labour Party, and after spearheading its merger with SEPA to form Abeldane Social Ecology, as communications minister in the coalition Fourth Renwick ministry. For part of this period, he was also Prime Minister of Legatia.
Blackwood left the community between August 2017 and January 2018, and again between January and October 2019. From his return in January 2018, he focused less on economics and more on micropatriology, developing a position known as New Secessionism and formally defining classical micropatriology. Most of his work in the community was with a view to strengthening Glastieve's position, with the exception of his work in 2019 on The Statecraft Association, an association of individual micronationalists formed with the aim of raising the standard of discourse in the community. Within Glastieve his focus also shifted away from economics and towards statecraft. In both the community and Glastieve, he also worked as a journalist (via The Glastieven, which was at various times both a printed newspaper and a website). After Statecraft failed to take off, his activity in the community declined and his micronational work was almost exclusively focused on Glastieve, which was formally abolished in March 2020 with the Baisser de Rideau.
Between roles: March–July 2020
Blackwood remained inactive in the community immediately following Glastieve's demise but returned following lockdown measures imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic. He marked his return to the community by writing an opinion article for the Messenger arguing for a renewed focus on micronational economics in response to COVID-19. He had become a member of MicroWiki staff in May 2019, and during this period of non-affiliation with any micronation he largely identified himself as "a British micronationalist and MicroWiki administrator." Blackwood became a citizen of the Grand Duchy of Rai, a federal state of the Abeldane Empire, on 11 July 2020 after making an informal request to Emperor Nicholas. He began using the title Baron Kavanah, which had been created for him in June 2017 by Stephen I and II during his previous Abeldane career. On 14 July he passed the bar and became a certified Abeldane attorney.
Home-made Crown Journal: July 2020–present
On 15 July 2020, Blackwood incorporated "Abelden News Incorporated" and founded the Home-made Crown Journal, a newspaper aimed at the wider MicroWiki community (though also intended to be an Abeldane national newspaper). Shortly afterwards, he became inactive in most of the community until November due to an increasing workload outside micronationalism and distaste for the toxicity of MicroWiki@Discord. After Jonathan I, Emperor of Austenasia closed MicroWiki@Discord as a general forum in November 2020, he returned, though at a somewhat lower level of activity due to continuing extra-micronational demands.
On 12 November, Blackwood accepted citizenship of the Kingdom of Brienia. Later that month, he was criticised by various members of the community for strongly advocating the closure of MicroWiki@Discord despite not having been an active member of that server for four months, and he subsequently apologised for "being so loud about supporting the Discord closure", conceding it had made the conversation more adversarial and had not contributed anything. His citizenship was revoked in December for claiming Brienia "sucked Pavlov's dick" in micronational diplomacy.
In addition to his journalism (and historical political career), Blackwood has made theoretical contributions to micronationalism in the fields of micropatriology and micronational economics. Some of his work on the latter was in conjunction with the Micronational Economic Group and the Micronational Association for Finance and Economics, two organisations he chaired at different times early in his career. Blackwood is also an administrator on MicroWiki.
Blackwood is the creator of New Secessionism, a micropatriological position which holds that, whilst micronations will likely never be recognised as macronations and actively striving for that goal is pointless, micronational projects can and should be used as a framework to provide services and protection to a small group of people and build a collective sense of identity. He started developing the theory in late 2017, proceeding from the idea that micronational states could be conceived of as the "governments of friendship groups" in a way that put friendship groups in an analogous position to nations, and developed a rigid early form of New Secessionism in 2018 based on parallel plane theory and influenced by Confucianism. After using in practice both pure New Secessionism and a blend of New Secessionism and soft simulationism in Glastieve in 2018 and 2019, Blackwood returned to the theory in late 2019 and developed a formal definition of a flexible form of New Secessionism rooted in classical micropatriology.
Aside from Blackwood, Ivan of Brienia has been a New Secessionist since July 2020. Blackwood became a citizen of Ivan's Kingdom of Brienia in November 2020, though his citizenship was revoked in December for claiming Brienia "sucked Pavlov's dick" in micronational diplomacy.
In October 2019, Blackwood and Zarel Smith together created the micronational compass, a two-dimensional representation of micropatriological positions similar to a political compass. It shows simulationism—defined as simulating the process of government rather than actually engaging in governance—against secessionism on one axis, and organic culture—based on the memes and traditions of a group independent of the micronation as a project—against constructed culture on the other. The compass enjoyed a brief spurt of popularity on MicroWiki@Discord shortly after Blackwood and Smith released it and several micronationalists placed their nations on it.
When later using a micronational compass in a paper on New Secessionism, Blackwood modified "constructed culture" to "constructed or taken culture" to emphasise that micronations based on particular historical cultures were towards that end of the axis, regardless of whether the historical culture co-opted for the micronation was itself organic.
Defining classical micropatriology
Blackwood was responsible for formally defining classical micropatriology, the paradigm of secessionism and simulationism that has been dominant in the community since the early 2010s. Previously, there was no unambiguous way to refer to that particular set of definitions whilst avoiding confusion with other micropatriological approaches, such as the common pre-classical view that interactive geofiction was "simulationism" and all of what would now be called micronationalism was "secessionism", or such as Blackwood's own New Secessionism.
Along with Adam I, Emperor of Adammia and Henry Clémens, Blackwood is one of the few micronationalists to have seriously considered micronational economics, and his most important contribution to the field is the Glastieven Model, an economic strategy for the governments of micronations whose citizens regularly meet one another in person that aims at creating a functioning market economy by using the valuelessness of the micronation's currency in the local macronation to artificially stimulate demand for goods and services produced in the micronation. It also includes establishing a monetarist debt certificate currency based on reciprocity, and the micronational government raising funds in the currency of the local macronation. Blackwood first published an undeveloped version of the model in April 2017 and then published a final version in November 2020.
He frequently calls for other micronationalists to engage with micronational economics. Currently, he is working on a strategy for creating a functioning economy in micronations whose citizens do not regularly meet in person.
Born in Ireland to British citizen parents, Blackwood holds dual British–Irish citizenship. Blackwood speaks English fluently, has some French, and knows basic phrases in Irish, Latin and Cornish. He has stated his intention to learn French and Welsh to fluency as a young adult.
Blackwood was raised as an atheist but converted to Christianity in 2018 and is now a practising member of the Church of England. He identifies as a "skeptical, self-aware, moderate Anglican" and is critical of non-moderate religion, believing that religious belief is associated with a higher risk of violent extremism, and that critical thinking and progressive social beliefs are important safeguards against this risk. Before the COVID-19 lockdown, Blackwood attended Mass most Sundays. His churchmanship is generally Anglo-Catholic and has said he considers his religion to be "in the tradition of C.S. Lewis".
He is an active member of the Nedlandic Discord servers, though he does not hold citizenship of that micronation. Outside micronationalism, he remains close with Glastievens E, K, R and T. From 2018 to 2020, he was in a relationship with a fellow Anglican micronationalist, Glastieven X.
He is a self-described "wannabe author". He has written one 70,000-word manuscript and is working on a second, in addition to working with a friend on a fiction project.
Styles and honours
Blackwood has been awarded Shorwellese and Essian honours, both in 2017. In the same year, he was also made Baron Kavanah in Abelden; this was during a brief career in the nation that both started and ended in 2017 and has no direct connection to his current Abeldane career, which started in July 2020 after the collapse of Glastieve in March. Immediately after the foundation of the University of Glastieve in December 2019, he was awarded a master's degree with honours in recognition of his work writing Glastieve: A History, a book-length history of the country, and in January 2020 he was awarded a doctorate for his paper Introduction to New Secessionism. Though titled, Blackwood prefers his surname and not his barony to be used when he is being referred to with a one-word name (Blackwood not Kavanah).
As of November 2020, Blackwood's preferred full style is:
- Ives Gordon-Lennox Blackwood, Baron Kavanah, Ph.D. Dred., Knight of the Imperial Feathers in Shorewell, Member of the Essian Order
Or, in abbreviated form:
- Ives Gordon-Lennox Blackwood, Baron Kavanah, Ph.D., K.I. M.E.
- Knight of the Order of Peace, awarded 8 June 2017 by Bilal I.
- Knight of the Order of the Imperial Feathers, awarded 2 July 2017 by Bilal I.
- Member of the Essian Order,[note 3] awarded by Henry Clémens.
- BA (Hons) in Glastieven History, awarded December 2019 by the University of Glastieve.
- PhD in Micropatriology, awarded January 2020 by the University of Glastieve.
The Latin name of the University of Glastieve is Universitas Dredriae, and so the postnominal "Dred." is used with its degrees.
Ives Blackwood is the fifth name by which Blackwood has been known on MicroWiki. When he initially joined the community with Skovaji in July 2015, he did so under the alias Kenneth Postbridge, which he used through to leaving the community in October 2016. In March 2017, when he rejoined the community as a citizen of Glastieve, he introduced himself as Mark Kavanah to distance himself from his previous career; his initial intention was to present Kavanah and Postbridge as different people, but Henry Clémens released that the two were the same person. Blackwood changed aliases again in January 2018, starting to use Will Campbell, which he said was short for William Michael Campbell and claimed was his real name. In 2019, he revived the Kenneth Postbridge alias in the consistent form K.M. Postbridge, using this alongside Will Campbell, to the extent that his MicroWiki entry was briefly titled "Will Campbell or K.M. Postbridge" and used "Campbell/Postbridge" each time he was mentioned. He abandoned both aliases and decided to be known by Ives Blackwood in March 2020.
- 2015–16: Kenneth Postbridge
- 2017: Mark Kavanah (sometimes Mark S. Kavanah)
- 2018–19: Will Campbell, short for William Michael Campbell
- 2019: K.M. Postbridge
In the general Discord server "Brienia Chit Chat", and when he was a citizen of that state, in Brienia, Blackwood used a 'Croatian version' of his name, Ivo Tončiović. There is no Croation translation of Ives, but in Western Europe, Ives is a variant of the name Ivo, which is also a Balkan name of unrelated etymology, so Blackwood chose to use Ivo as a pseudo-translation. Blackwood's father was Anthony Blackwood, and Anthony in Croation is either Anton or Tončio, hence Tončiović.
Blackwood also has a uniliteral code (a letter of the alphabet by which he is known) used in discussions about Glastieve.
- Abelden—the micronation of which Blackwood is a part.
- Glastieve and Republic of Skovaji—Blackwood's former micronations.
- New Secessionism—a micropatriological theory of Blackwood's.
- Glastieven Model—a micronational economic theory of Blackwood's.
Notes and references
- "Wesley" is the second word of the title, not a regnal name; a holder of the office called John would be styled "Lord Wesley John I" or "John, Lord Wesley of Skovaji".
- The image shows the character Chara in The Caretaker of the Ruins, a 2016–19 webcomic based loosely on Undertale, a 2015 indie video game.
- Blackwood was originally made Member of the Order of St Clemens; the name of the order was changed in December 2017.
- Blackwood, Ives. "Opinion: Discord and COVID-19 have revived MicroWiki; Let’s revive micronational economics". Messenger. April 6, 2020. Archived from the original on June 7, 2020. Retrieved July 11, 2020.
- Blackwood, Ives. Introduction to New Secessionism. Starlight Green: Glastieven University Press, December 2019.
- Blackwood, Ives. The Glastieven Model. Self-published, November 2020.
- Blackwood, Ives and Glastieven T. Glastieve: A History. Second edition, Starlight Green: Glastieven University Press, March 2020.