Saxber Lennox Blackwood, formerly Ives Blackwood, was a Glastieven writer and statesman who was active in the community from 2015 to 2021. Blackwood co-founded the Republic of Skovaji with their brother in October 2014 and three iterations of Glastieve with their friends between 2017 and 2020. After Glastieve was temporarily dissolved, they considered the Abeldane Empire their main micronation until leaving the community in March 2021. Blackwood was a noted figure in micronational economics from in their earlier career, and later in micropatriology. They were also a wiki admin from 2019 to 2021 and a MicroWiki@Discord moderator in 2021. They left the community following a widespread negative reaction to a joke/troll wherein they had controlled a fictional persona called Beti which they used to start arguments. Since the revival of Glastieve in July 2022, they have been national scrivener and one of three High Councillors.
Skovaji and economics, 2015 – 2016
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 their younger brother, the "Lord Wesley".[note 1] As Skovaji became a more serious project, the Lord Wesley became less involved, and it began to evolve into a one-man nation. In the final months of Skovajan history, Blackwood invited their friends to serve as politicians, briefly transforming Skovaji into a group project.
They were invited to MicroWiki by Ned Gunderson in July 2015, and Skovaji became an ally of Nedland. It also became an autonomous republic within the Empire of Paravia, although in January 2016, the Lord Wesley insisted that Skovaji reassert its independence. After making themselves known on the MicroWiki forums, Blackwood was invited by Anthony Clark to the micronational Skype rooms where most community activity then took place. In the community, they showed an interest in micronational economics. They became a peripheral figure in the 2016 intermicronational economics boom after opening a Skovaji Stock Exch*nge, and they were invited by Henry Clémens to become a founding member of the Micronational Economic Group.
In the summer of 2016, Skovaji gained a second ally, the Shorewellese Empire, and Blackwood won election as the second chair of the Micronational Economic Group. However, their ambition to establish an academy for micronational economic theory never came to fruition, as their activity in the community came to an abrupt halt in response to a family crisis. Lucas Campos seized control of the MEG in response to Blackwood's inactivity, and Skovaji was dissolved in October 2016.
Glastieve, 2017 – 2020
First period of involvement
In March 2017, they returned to the community, having founded Glastieve two weeks 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 its de facto leader and founder. They held a number of government posts, largely in relation to economics and communications.
They continued to persue an interest in micronational economics, publishing a white paper on the MicroWiki forums arguing that the inherent valuelessness of micronational currency could serve as an incentive to participate in a small m*rket economy, a strategy they labelled the Glastieven Model. They also founded the Micronational Association for Finance and Economics. In this era, Blackwood became involved in the Abeldane Empire and was a figure in left-wing Abeldane politics, 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, they were also Prime Minister of Legatia.
Blackwood attracted widespread mockery and burned their bridges with the community in August 2017 by attempting to organise a breakaway from MicroWiki, styled as the New Community. Attacking a perceived "class structure" where more experienced micronationalists looked down on newer members, and ostensibly in protest against the negative reputation of Nedland, Coria, and Mahuset, who distanced themselves from these claims, Blackwood tried to organise a movement to establish a more egalitarian community. By October, it was apparent that these attempts had failed, and Glastieve withdrew from the micronational community.
Glastieve returned to MicroWiki in January 2018 and apologised for the New Community incident. Blackwood subsequently came to focus less on economics and more on micropatriology, developing a position they called New Secessionism. They also wrote as a journalist in both Glastieve and the community, in both cases through The Glastieven, which was at various times both a printed newspaper and a website. Most of their engagement with the community in this period was focused on trying to improve Glastieve's reputation, negotiating a recognition treaty with the influential Empire of Austenasia and promoting New Secessionism and the Glastieven Model as intellectual exports. In June 2019, they tried to create an organisation to improve the standard of discourse in the community, The Statecraft Association, but initial interest failed to amount to anything, partly because Blackwood snobbishly insisted on using a "more traditional" Skype lounge despite most micronational activity having shifted to Discord in 2018.
Blackwood retreated from the community after the failure of Statecraft, focusing instead on a revival in Glastieve. Whilst this was successful, it was also short-lived, and Glastieve was effectively dissolved in March 2020.
Abelden and micropatriology, 2020 – 2021
Home-made Crown Journal and micropatriology
Blackwood remained inactive in the community immediately following Glastieve's demise but returned following lockdown measures imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic. They marked their return by writing an opinion article for the Messenger arguing for a renewed focus on micronational economics in response to COVID-19. They had become a member of MicroWiki staff in May 2019, and during this period of non-affiliation with any micronation, largely identified themselves as "a British micronationalist and MicroWiki administrator".
Four months later, Blackwood became a citizen of the Grand Duchy of Rai, a federal state of the Abeldane Empire. They revived the title Baron Kavanah, which had been created for him in June 2017 by Stephen I and II during their previous Abeldane career. Blackwood also founded the Home-made Crown Journal, an Abeldane newspaper aimed at the wider MicroWiki community, and made an effort to recruit staff writers, including by absorbing Daniel Hamilton's MicroWeekly. However, they were inactive until November due to an increasing workload outside micronationalism and distaste for the toxicity of MicroWiki@Discord.
After Jonathan I, Emperor of Austenasia attempted to close MicroWiki@Discord as a general forum in November 2020, they returned, and were briefly involved with the Kingdom of Brienia before being expelled for using profane language to insult its alignment with Pavlov. Blackwood became a Discord moderator in January. Their micropatriological work in this period attracted some interest, with several people publicly praising it, but some more experienced members of the community complaining behind closed doors about Blackwood's tendency to give too much weight to Glastieven examples and present their own opinions as fact when writing about general topics. Together with Zabëlle Skye, they created a micropatriological version of The Political Compass, the micronational compass.
Beti and Anthea
Meanwhile, Blackwood wrote and released a fictional spy report to MicroWikiLeaks, hoping to establish a ludibrium (a hoax constructed as a puzzle to be solved) about a conspiracy theory in the community. They subsequently had Beti, a persona they had previously used to troll the Homestuck fandom, discover micronationalism. Beti created the Good and Holy Quadripartite Kingdom, but their main interest was in starting arguments by being obnoxiously 'woke' but clearly narrow-minded and bigoted beneath the surface. Blackwood used the Home-made Crown Journal to 'unmask' Beti as author of the spy report and encourage speculation about their true identity, again hoping to use the troll as a ludibrium.
Their final project was the 2021 attempt to create a community micronation, a collaboration with several others—including Sertor Valentinus—that yeilded the short-lived Glorious Anthean Republic. Newton von Uberquie critised the project for copying Abelden and for granting 'passive citizenship' to everyone in the community. Beti was a member of Anthea, founding a radical left-wing political party called "Raditrans" and antagonising other members.
Beti was permanently banned from MicroWiki in March 2021, at which point Blackwood revealed that Beti had been a persona controlled by them, expecting people to be amused. Instead, there was a strong negative reaction, and Blackwood was sacked as Discord moderator and wiki admin. Brooklyn Hewitt dismissed them as fundamentally a troll, pointing to their relationship with Gunderson, and said they would never change.
They came out as non-binary in October 2021, taking the name Saxber. Glastieve was revived in July 2022. In August, Blackwood briefly decided to become involved with the community again, but realised they would not be welcome there after overseeing a conversation in which two other micronationalists wished they wouldn't return. The Glastieven national academy, the Hallowhouse, published an article in January 2023 which explored the role that opposition to New Secessionism within Glastieve in 2018 played in shaping the version of the ideology which Blackwood advocated in 2021.
Born in Ireland, but growing up in south-west England, Blackwood holds dual British–Irish citizenship. They are a self-described "wannabe author" of both fiction and non-fiction.
Styles and honours
Blackwood was awarded Shorwellese and Essian honours in 2017. In the same year, they were also made Baron Kavanah in Abelden; this was during a brief career in the nation that both started and ended in 2017. Nonetheless, they revived the title when they returned to Abelden in 2020.
The University of Glastieve, reorganised as the Hallowhouse after Blackwood left the community, has awarded them a PhD and the title "The Honourable Societarian". This was originally awarded as "The Honourable Gentleman", changing when Blackwood came out as non-binary in 2021.
In November 2020, Blackwood's preferred style was:
- 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 was the fifth name by which Blackwood was known on MicroWiki (so, inasmuch as anyone has cause to refer to them in retrospect, Saxber is the sixth).
When they initially joined the community with Skovaji in July 2015, they did so under the alias Kenneth Postbridge, which they used through to leaving the community in October 2016. In March 2017, when they rejoined the community as a citizen of Glastieve, they introduced themselves as Mark Kavanah to distance themselves from their previous career; their 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 they said was short for William Michael Campbell. In 2019, they revived the Kenneth Postbridge alias in the consistent form K.M. Postbridge, using this alongside Will Campbell, to the extent that their MicroWiki entry was briefly titled "Will Campbell or K.M. Postbridge" and used "Campbell/Postbridge" each time they were mentioned.
They abandoned their prior aliases and decided to be known as Ives Blackwood in March 2020. After leaving the community, they came out as non-binary and changed their name to Saxber. Several months later, when briefly hoping to return, they updated their MicroWiki page to use their correct name and pronouns.
- 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 Brienia, Blackwood used a 'Croatian version' of their 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 they are known) used in discussions about Glastieve.
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