Glastieve

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The Celestial Commonwealth of the Ethereal Glastieven Folkdom
Flag of Glastieve
Flag
Coat of arms of Glastieve
Coat of arms
Motto: Glory to the Independent
Anthem: "Our Nation Built on Friendship"
LocationSouth-west England
Official languages
Religion
Joanism, a syncretic merger of Catholicism and "Bibblism", a former communist and satanist new religious movement
Demonym(s)Glastieven
Glastievan
GovernmentDirectorial republic
• High Council
Lyra of Little Skovaji, Pontius of the Holy Road, and Glastieven E
• High Court
Khalia of the Moon Pools and Glastieven ζ
• Keeper
Pontius of the Holy Road (Autumnal Term)
Establishment23 February 2017
Population
• Census
9
CurrencyLuach
Time zoneUTC+0 (GMT)

Glastieve (pronounced /glæstiː'eɪveɪ/, glast-ee-AY-vay; Evonian: Drédrá, pronounced /'drɛdræ/, DRED-ra; Latin: Dredria; Duckish: Makmak), formally The Celestial Commonwealth of the Ethereal Glastieven Folkdom, is a self-declared nation and friendship group of nine individuals on the island of Great Britain. The nine modern Glastievens are Khalia of the Moon Pools, Pontius of the Holy Road, Ves of North Tower, and five anonymous citizens identified in public as Glastieven C, Glastieven E, Glastieven ζ, Glastieven R, Glastieven π, and Glastieven U. Although Glastievens are scattered across the globe, an unoccupied hillside in south-west England serves as a cultural focal point and a gathering place for in-person meetups, and this sacred motherland is claimed by the Celestial Commonwealth as its sovereign territory.

Glastieve is governed by the executive and legislative Lawbey of the Starry Moose and the judicial Lawwall of the Starry Murus, together with an individual Keeper of the Whitecloth, who is randomly selected eight times a year to serve a short term as ceremonial leader and initiate laws and projects. By ancient tradition, Glastieve is described as a directorial republic, and the Moose remains its collective head of state.

Glastieven histories begin in the early 2010s with the social history of the group, including the Republic of Skovaji and the other Acteriendian model countries. The first Glastieven state was established on 23 February 2017, the anniversary of which is celebrated as Star Day. The First Republic fell in November 2017 and was replaced by a more ambitious and sophisticated yet also more lethargic successor, the Second Republic (January 2018 – February 2019). Glastieve's national day, Liger Day, marks the anniversary of a 2018 protest by Glastievens against their school's strict discipline policies. The modern polity was established in October 2019, though the state and most of its civic institutions were dormant from March 2020 until a revival in July 2022. Four periods have been cited as the golden age of Glastieven history: the golden age of Acteriendia in 2016, Khalia's golden age (or the golden age of the First Republic) in June 2017, the 'little golden age' of the Excester Commonwealth from October to November 2019, and the year 2023.

Etymology

The English word Glastieve was constructed in February 2017 from the Irish place-name elements glas (/glæs/) and tieve (/tiːv/). In the Glastieven context, it was decided that tieve would be pronounced /ti:eve/ (tee-ay-vay). Initially, there was no firm consensus on which syllable ought to be stressed and the now non-standard [glæsˈtiːəveɪ] (glast-EE-uhvay) saw some usage until at least 2018. The use of Celtic place-name elements was chosen as an homage to the preceding Republic of Skovaji and the decision to invent an improvised Mediterranean-sounding pronunciation mirrored E's short-lived Republic of Myré.

Tieve is an Anglicisation of the Irish word taobh. Glastieven records from early 2017 claimed that glas taobh was Irish for grassy hillside; no source was cited for this claim. This traditional etymology gave rise to "Grassy Hillside" as a poetic reference to the country—e.g. the national chatroom for much of 2018 was the Grassy Hillside Club and the university set up in 2022 is called the Hallowhouse of the Grassy Hillside—and more recently, to the usage of "the Glastieve" in mythological writing to refer to the literal grassy hillside upon which the First People are supposed to have been born. Research in 2019 established that the true meaning of glas was green and that taobh meant side or flank, and it noted that the traditional Glastieven etymology was given in the table listing place name elements on the February 2017 revision of the Wikipedia page "Place names in Ireland", locating the probable origin of the tradition.

Glastieve has different names in each of its three non-English official languages: Latin, the conlang of Evonian, and the ad hoc "conlang" of Duckish. The Evonian name for Glastieve is Drédrá, and the usual Latin name borrows this as Dredria. However, the official Latin name of the state is Res Publica Sancta Collis Gramineus, meaning "Holy Republic [or Commonwealth] of the Grassy Hillside". In Duckish, Glastieve is Makmak and the name of the state is Guá Quaah Makmak; these are some of the few words that remain consistent between Duckish "translations". Following the Evonian and Latin name, "Dredro-" is occasionally used as a prefix.

History

The modern nation or friendship group is a union of two historical lineages: that of Pontius, C, and ζ's group, and that of Khalia, Lyra, E, N, R, and U's group. Ves and π joined in 2022 after these two halves had merged (and N and U had quit). Each group emerged between 2015 and 2016 and co-founded the First Republic of Glastieve together on 23 February 2017. However, the groups separated in April 2017, leaving the micronation in the hands of Khalia, Lyra, E, N, R, and U. Meanwhile, Pontius, C, and ζ's group disintegrated and was absorbed into a larger social milieu, where the three often saw one another but were associated with different sub-groups. They did not return to the micronation until 2019 and the groups did not merge in earnest until 2023.

The First Republic thrived until the autumn, albeit with regular political controversies, until it became bogged down in inactivity and collapsed in November after Lyra encouraged U to lead a coup d'etat against E and N. It was succeeded by the more ambitious and less successful Second Republic from January 2018 to February 2019. From the winter of 2017-18, Khalia and Lyra promoted a theory of history and an agenda for government that represented the friendship group as a small-scale nation with its own culture. This "New Secessionism" presented the Republic of Glastieve as the government of this small-scale nation and held that its purpose was to provide services that would be practically useful for the group (e.g. organising meetups) and safeguard its culture. Lyra's girlfriend X joined the group in November 2018 during a failed attempt to establish a federal empire across multiple New Secessionist friendship-group micronations. N left shortly thereafter due to conflict with Lyra.

Despite a period of political interregnum in 2019, when Glastieve was slated to be absorbed into the Envardian Republic—a second attempt to export New Secessionism to other groups—a Glastieven identity persisted. Pontius joined Khalia, Lyra, E, R, U and X's group in the spring of 2019. She contributed to a "Glastieven Revival" in September which saw the group establish ties with the modern Territory and establish the Holy Glastieven Commonwealth. The first Holy Commonwealth era from October 2019 to March 2020 saw Pontius, C, and ζ reunite as a group and begin to involve themselves with Glastieve as ζ accepted citizenship and their social circle developed an association with a trio of Lyra, Pontius and E, with Khalia and E's girlfriend η also in the frame. X and U strengthened their individual friendship as R and U drifted away from the new circle. The High Council voted to put the Holy Commonwealth into what it called "deliberate abeyance" in March 2020 after Lyra broke up with X and personal allegations about U saw her leave the group under a cloud.

After COVID, the modern age of Glastieven history began in May 2021 at the Great Meetup of the Outcasts Disorganised, a campfire in the Territory where the two groups moved into a new shared Discord server. Most left their home town for university in the autumn of 2021. The implicit dividing line between the two halves of the Discord group melted away over the next two years. Meanwhile, E's girlfriend π and Lyra's queerplatonic partner Ves started to associate with the group. The landmark case of In re X established in July 2022 that the High Council could revive the state without X's consent, even though she had never formally resigned, clearing the way for the return of structured governance. The national newspaper, The Glastieven, and the mythology were also revived; and new institutions were established, including the Hallowhouse and three quarterly academic journals published under its aegis.

Pontius launched an initiative on the first anniversary of In re X to restore Glastieven participation in the inter-micronational community after half a decade of secrecy.

Glastieven U returned to Glastieve in April 2024. Glastieven E reacted poorly, and the resulting argument briefly split the nation across two polities and saw E claim he was leaving the group until U was re-expelled. The end result saw U remain, E take up an ambiguous position on the fringes of the Folkdom but outside of its shared spaces, and Lyra of Little Skovaji leave Glastieve altogether.

Acteriendia and the emergence of Glastieve

Glastieven mythology teaches that Glastieve was established by the strategic intervention of an interstellar socialist civilisation with roots in Earth's magical past. Speculation about Glastieven origins has converged on two points of consensus: Glastieve is charged with being rebellious and creative to resist attempts by spirits of order called the Solas to keep the Earth boring and drab, and Khalia is an immortal being, a manifestation of a figure known as the Gawyn. Khalia themselves has supported this speculation in an account produced with Lyra and E, arguing that the Evon, a species of socialist scientists descended from humans, gave Lyra a commission as the "fisher of kings" to bring together a group on the Earth that could resist the Solas' attempts to suppress creativity. Pontius has speculated along different lines, arguing that Glastieve is the product of a "Glastievan spirit" which has made itself known repeatedly throughout history, giving the examples of the Duke of Buckingham and the True Levellers.

The mythological narrative converges with the historiographical one. According to Khalia, Lyra, and E's mythological account, the fisher of kings first met with the "Children of the P Bus" (a name for Pontius and C) and "U the Weebwitch". Two other human-descended species used a network of towers stationed around the Glastievens' home town to misrepresent themselves as gods to Lyra and U as children, hence the beginning of their mythological gnosis. Historians explain the same events in terms of the mythology originating in their primary-school imaginative play.

After primary school, these early connections fractured, but undeterred, the fisher of kings initiated their project again by joining with "Sir R of Esher". The gathering of Glastieve continued when the fisher of kings reunited with the Weebwitch, and E―identified as the mythological character Raven Olympia―joined them to show them how to divine the truth about events in outer space using RPs, creating a roleplaying circle called Acteriendia. Historians also affirm the centrality of Acteriendia to the early Glastieven story in 2015 and 2016, albeit not without controversy between Lyra and E about how exactly to interpret the period. Despite these historiographical debates, there is widespread agreement that some part of 2016 can be described as the first golden age of Glastieven history.

The tradition of micronationalism within this social lineage was embodied between 2014 and 2016 by Khalia's Republic of Skovaji and N's Democratic Republic of Howe, both established in October 2014. These micronations were at the centre of the Acteriendian model countries, an umbrella term for three waves of smaller model countries established by Lyra and N's friends. The first wave was at Trains Club, a group run by Lyra and N which has aroused interest from Glastieven historians but has ultimately been evaluated as peripheral to Glastieve's social development. The second wave was significant for involving E, who established the Kingdom of Trebor, and the third wave in June 2016 was explicitly tied to the proto-Glastieven "Chill Group" of Lyra, E, R, and N, with E establishing the Republic of Myré and joining a 'Devon Union'. The third wave was subsequently supplanted by E, R, and N instead joining Skovaji as members of Seanad derinvart hSkovagee, foreshadowing the First Republic.

Shortly thereafter, the chain of causes leading up to the Glastieven declaration of independence began in earnest when Acteriendia (Lyra, E, and U)—which recent historiography suggests R and N saw as leading the Chill Group—started to see itself as part of a social world that had Pontius, C and ζ at the centre. Concerned about the distance between E and R on the one hand and "The Group" of E, U, Pontius, C and ζ on the other, and nostalgic for Skovaji, Lyra canvassed enthusiasm from E and N for a group micronation with themselves, R, Pontius, and C. This became the First Republic of Glastieve, declaring independence on 23 February 2023. Two months later, Pontius and C left and Khalia joined, creating a friendship group that called itself "Glastieve" and controlled the republic. By 2018, New Secessionism had been forumated, and the republic was now seen as the government of a nation composed of Lyra, Khalia, E, R, N, U and their friends.

First Republic of Glastieve (February – November 2017)

The history of the original Republic of Glastieve that declared independence on 23 February 2017 and fell in November of that year is customarily divided into six periods: Foundation, Renaissance, Partisan, Holiday, Reformation, and Project Zeta. In the Foundation Period, Glastieve was a joint venture between the two groups of friends, albeit with the driving force provided by Lyra, R, and N, and Pontius and C consistently less active than the non-leading figures of the other group, E and U. Each member had a ministerial title, and the government operated as a directorial system without a single leader. The territory of the First Republic was the same as the Republic of Skovaji's had been in its latter phase from April 2016 onwards.

The government's early focus was 'development': Lyra and N worked to lay legal and administrative foundations for their departments and C designed a national flag and coat of arms. There was also, loosely, an ambition to win influence in the MicroWiki community. The problems that would be caused by two ongoing issues—friction between N and R and Lyra's willingness to use spin and lies to hold the group together—were foreshadowed in the republic's first political crisis, the Spingate controversy, in March. This was followed by N launching a motion of no confidence in R as recrimination, triggering a by-election. At the same time, the April 2017 controversy represented a breakdown of relations between Pontius, E, C, ζ and U, and the by-election became a de facto referendum on Glastieve's social position in the aftermath of the crisis.

The by-election saw Glastieve elect to separate from the remnants of Pontius, C and ζ's group and focus on recruiting new members. Khalia and Z became new active members of the project, which also made them part of the group. A second period of emphasis on 'development' ensued, known as the Renaissance Period, and Khalia has argued that May and June 2017 should be seen as the "golden age of the First Republic". A historic conversation between Lyra and E, immortalised as the First Mythological Conference, brought the group's roleplaying lore into the micronation as an integrated mythology, with each roleplaying world representing one cycle.

From June, the increasing gap in activity between ministers resulted in Lyra and their associates devising mechanisms to bypass the full cabinet, leaving inactive members out of the loop. This went hand in hand with a period of factional competition between Lyra and E on the one hand and R and his ally S on the other, born of R's anger at E's refusal to help him force U out of the group without Lyra's consent, which he saw as a sign that Lyra had undue power and influence. These tensions culminated in the Matthewsgate controversy, part trolling and part coup d'état by R. The era from the rise of Lyra bypassing the cabinet down to Matthewsgate is conventionally separated from the Renaissance Period as the Partisan Period.

The Holiday Period, synonymous with August 2017, was a relatively inactive time for Glastieve due to the school summer holidays. Glastieven activity was limited to meetups and discussions among Lyra, Khalia, E, and occasionally N and Z. In MicroWiki, Lyra initiated the New Community project, an ill-conceived effort to establish a separate MicroWiki-based community in opposition to a perceived hierachy among members who had joined in around 2015–16, unfairly rewarding those who had Old Guard favour. Glastieve initially tried to navigate the tensions unleashed by Lyra's efforts and support their campaign, but in October, Khalia led efforts to enact an "Internal Affairs Motion" that withdrew Glastieve from the inter-micronational community altogether. Despite essentially being a reaction to Lyra getting the nation banned and ostracised, Internal Affairs Motion was celebrated within Glastieve as a positive step away from the "Wikigate" drama of the summer.

The subsequent Reformation Point was a turning point in Glastieven history, setting the tone for the next two years. The period was characterized by continual reforms and initiatives aimed at increasing participation in the micronation, driven by Lyra with Khalia, who superseded N and E as the project's second de facto leader. It began with the Two-Month Plan, an initiative to write several laws codifying parts of the constitution. A wave of material achievements, including the development of a state website, economic planning, and Glastieven mythology larps, sat alongside increasing unease from N and U at the ambition of new plans and widespread resentment at the social and emotional pressure put on ministers to participate. A major national debate emerged over a proposed National Identity Act, highlighting a divergence of opinion between Khalia/Lyra and E/N on the proper relationship between the government and the friendship group, foreshadowing later conflicts.

The nail in the coffin for the First Republic was the most radical yet of Khalia and Lyra's schemes to increase activity, Project Zeta, which involved shrinking the government to five ministers, running competitive elections, and emphasising non-governmental aspects of national life. Ironically, later history would confirm that the Zeta model for the state was more appropriate. However, in the circumstances of 2017, the competitive elections proved to be a disaster when U defeated the significantly more active N to claim his hand-crafted brief. In a fit of misogynistic indigation, N vowed to force U out, but U got wind of his plans, and connected them in her mind with her resentment of E for not dating her in 2016, accusing E of being involved in N's plot. Egged on by Lyra, U gathered together the inactive ministers and launched a political movement, Reform, which targeted E and N with anti-establishment rhetoric. Lyra's maneovers handed Reform control of the government, and Khalia resigned, mistakenly assuming that Reform sought recriminations for the Reformation Period. The Reform government was unable to maintain activity and the coup had broken Khalia, N, and E's spirits. Reform collapsed on the same day as Lyra's girlfriend broke up with them, so they too reacted cynically, and a consensus emerged that the First Republic had run its course.

Immediately after Khalia conceded the collapse of the First Republic, Z created a chatroom called Glastieve Reconstruction, which became the new social group chat. She declined to join a committee formed by Lyra, Khalia and E to lay plans to revive the micronation and establish a Second Republic. This committee met several times over Christmas, developing New Secessionism in the process. It also took a special interest in stannary law, moving the territory west from Skovaji's land to Dartmoor to take advantage of what it hoped might be legal loopholes that could create something like parallel plane theory within English law.

Second Republic of Glastieve (2018)

The Second Republic declared independence on 1 January 2018, which Lyra loudly proclaimed as the dividing line between past and present, and the beginning of a new golden age—rhetoric they would use repeatedly throughout the period. Activity briefly returned to a cabinet structured in the same way as 2017, with representatives from new outposts in Scotland and Bristol, which were seen as the first seeds of a "constituencies model" that would establish a network of New Secessionist friendship-group/micronations. For historical reasons, this time is known as the "Revived GCA Period". It proved short-lived, giving way in mid-January to the Acteriendia and New Secessionism Crisis.

The Acteriendia and New Secessionism Crisis was a tit-for-tat political conflict between Lyra/Khalia and E with a complex social and ideological basis. It began with a dispute over the claim that Acteriendia had merged into Glastieve, with E opposing this assertion, and it grew into E attacking the policies associated with New Secessionism, arguing they would harm the development of Glastieve and stifle the organic social group. E disrupted meetings to strengthen his point and he put forth his arguments using cryptic and forceful statements, leading to misunderstandings and difficulties in reaching a resolution, and the breakdown in communication utterly paralysed the state and scared off the nascent constituencies. Meanwhile, N struck out at the planning board for failing to communicate with him properly about the nation's terroritorial claims. The Crisis eventually ended with a victory for New Secessionism.

Following the Acteriendia and New Secessionism Crisis, the government was restructed to replace ministers with Executive Councillors and civil servants. U had resigned from the cabinet during the Crisis, signalling the start of a long movement towards only a small minority of politically-minded Glastievens serving in the government.

The next five months were spanned by the Vernal and Quayside Periods. Despite periodic bursts of ambition, with plans ranging from a national museum to an Afternoon Tea fundraiser, the main story for most of the group was one of micronationalism becoming more and more the preserve of Lyra and Khalia. As in the Reformation Period of the First Republic, there were tensions over the pressure they put on others to participate, which N bitterly lamented in the "old dog" peice, published on the occasion of his resignation from the cabinet in May. Glastieve also faced increasing external pressures. Their school had adopted a strict new discipline policy and increasingly emphasised social conformity, which E and Lyra protested by using a tablecloth in the school canteen, prompting R to resign from the cabinet to avoid recrimination from the school for associating with Glastieve, which was increasingly being presented as a resistance movement. U also had another chance to antagonise E in July over the perception that his girlfriend, Beti, was changing him. These tensions culminated in E being briefly exiled by the Treaty of Devon.

In August, Glastievens secured control of a classroom in their school, dubbed the Acteriendian Lounge, a significant victory in the unofficial conflict with the school's leaders. Lyra, Khalia, and friends of Lyra and N's in Manchester also revived the constituencies model of January. Each constiuency, beginning with "Glastieven Manchester" and "Acteriendia" for Glastieve proper, would have a council, a co-ordinator, and would have the option to form an executive. Lyra's insistence that constituency councils should not share members with the central cabinet effectively prevented local governments from being formed, as all the politically-engaged Manchunians and Acteriendians became Executive Councillors instead. Lyra's excessive ambition serving as a barrier to progress became something of a trend in this period, as cabinet meetings ground to a halt after they began to insist on everyone pitching in cash to rent office space for any meeting.

November 2018 represented a pivot to a more optimistic footing as a functioning economy was finally established on the Glastieven Model, which had been proposed since April 2017. Money raised at the Afternoon Tea in June and the availability of the Lounge as a space for economic transactions were significant factors in vindicating the model's predictions at last. Moreover, Lyra's girlfriend X and her friends joined as a third active constituency, Northllando. Concordantly, the period is sometimes known as the "Northllando Renaissance", although the label refers to events in the metropole, not the constituency of Acteriendia. N left Glastieve and the friendship group over his hatred of Lyra.

The Glastieven was briefly split into two newspapers, the tabloid The Custodian and broadsheet Acteriendia Evening Standard, in December. The Custodian initiated what would later become The Glastieven's most iconic selling point: amusing stories about the friendship groups written in journalistic prose. The newspapers' publication helped to maintain the Glastieven identity as the state began to struggle again. Khalia and E were sucked into a protracted argument about ministerial pay and Z promulgated strict behavioural regulations for the Lounge that E was determined to subvert. Over the Christmas holidays, the constituencies model became moribund, although X now seemed to represent a permenant member of Glastieve proper.

Although activity was expected to pick up in the new year, Khalia and Lyra were increasingly fatigued with maintaining the state by sheer force of will, and the rest of the cabinet no doubt found the emotional blackmail equally tiresome. Impressed at X's interest in running the state and still captivated by the ideals of the constituencies model, they decided to let the Second Republic fade out of existence and invited X to join them in a secret organisation that would seek to establish a new micronation altogether, being to Glastieve what Glastieve was to Skovaji.

Starlit Night and Envardian Republic (February – October 2019)

In the spring of 2019, most of Glastieve considered micronationalism a thing of the past, and with the impending end of secondary school, there was a sense that the social group itself was also approaching its end. Remnants of the "independent state" aesthetic persisted, such as referring to the group's classroom as the Glastieven Lounge and recognising the former chatroom director R's authority over the group chat. Emblematic of this period was the Second National Homestuck Day in April. Socially, X became more integrated, and good friends with U. Meanwhile, Khalia, Lyra, and X, with some involvement from E, worked together in secret to prepare the groundwork for the Envardian Republic. Envardia was envisioned as a radical extension of the constituencies model that sought to create a federal micronation based on the teenage counter-culture.

The short period of genuine Glastieven micronational interregnum after February came to an end in May thanks to E, who persuaded Lyra and Khalia that Glastieve should be the ones to establish the Envardian Republic, with a space carved out for them in its "high society". Although this "Starlight Plan" came to very little, it made the Envardian plans public and reminded X and Khalia of the strength of the Glastieven identity. The group also experienced further social transitions from Second National Homestuck Day to September: Pontius joined, or returned, and Z drifted away. A research paper argued in May 2023 that an implicit split in the group emerged between April and September 2019 with Lyra, Khalia, E, U, and X forming an increasingly separate group to Lyra, Khalia, E, R, and Pontius, the former more centered on the group chat and the latter centered on meeting up and drinking.

First Holy Commonwealth period (October 2019 – March 2020)

COVID (2020 – 2021)

Contemporary Glastieve (July 2022 – date)

The Names and Designs Act of October 2023 renamed the state to The Celestial Commonwealth of the Ethereal Glastieven Folkdom, with the definite article capitalised. Together with other changes, the High Council became the Lawbey of the Starry Moose and the High Court of the Murus became the Lawwall of the Starry Murus.

Politics and government

The Holy Glastieven Commonwealth is a hybrid directorial republic with demarchic and direct-democratic characteristics. Its principal institutions are a legislative and executive Lawbey of the Starry Moose, a judicial Lawwall of the Starry Murus, and an initiator of policy and ceremonial leader who is chosen by sortition to serve for approximately one and a half months, the Keeper of the Whitecloth. The state has a fluid hierachy, focusing more on notions of sacredness and propriety than it does on having a clear chain of command.

The Moose is traditionally described as the collective head of state, and as a corporate entity, it shares some features with a monarch—e.g. laws are enacted by "the Eternally Shining Light of the Lawbey of the Starry Moose", formerly "the Most Excellent Majesty of the High Council", and it can enact decrees as well as ordinary laws.  It is elected annually; elections are organised and supervised by the Murus.  The prevailing theory is that the Murus shares the same rank as the Moose, but it has also been suggested that the Moose outranks the Murus.  Moose and Murus both outrank the Keeper of the Whitecloth, who acts "in the name of Court and Council" (Consortship rite, Book of Rites, November 2022).

The Murus has ruled that the Declaration of the Holy Glastieven Commonwealth is an enforceable part of the Law that binds the Moose.  It was long theorised that the Declaration was made by and could be superseded or amended by a legal entity that was equivalent to the whole group, sometimes called an ‘Assembly of Glastieve’, a term which now rings as rather dated.  A weaker version of this theory was put to the test in 2023 when all nine citizens unanimously found that one of the definitions in the Declaration was incorrect; later statute decreed that the Moose had “accepted” the “elucidation of the inner meaning of” the original phrase set out by “unanimous national declaration” (State Religions Act of June 2023).

Glastieve does not have a government.  The traditional term for the notion of a political administration and civil service is ‘the Ministry’, so in Glastieven terms, the Ministry was abolished in 2022.  Many of its historical functions have been taken over by organisations in civil society whose leaders are the modern-day versions of ministers, such as the Chancellor of the Hallowhouse or the President of the National Institute of Letters.  Ambiguous titles have also emerged that are seen as ‘official’ within Glastieve as an entity or structure in and of itself, e.g. the High Priestess or the national scrivener; these roles have an unclear constitutional status because their stewardship of their domain is typically held to be a separate matter to politics and the constitution.  The High Priestess is official on her own terms—her role is part of the fabric of Glastieve.  Despite this ostensible separation between these roles and the state, some are imbued with statutory powers.  Taken together, organisations like the National Institute of Letters and ‘official Glastieven roles’ like the High Priestess may be seen as the modern-day successors to the Ministry.

Theories of the constitution

The first Glastieven constitutional theory was articulated under the First Republic, amending and adapting ideas developed for Glastieve’s pre-eminent predecessor state, the Republic of Skovaji (2014–16).  This theory proposed that all state power was a manifestation of “the Executive”, which was held by the Cabinet of Glastieve (which also happened at the time to be synonymous with the whole citizenry) and could be delegated to other officers.  Legislation was held to be the codified will of the Executive, a sort of special case of executive declaration, and judicial power was the Executive deciding who to punish or clarifying the meaning of its own pronouncements.  Consequently, any decision of a court or action of a government officer could be overturned by a Cabinet vote.  There were also no limits on delegation; the Cabinet could delegate any of its powers to a committee, a court, or an officer, and any committee, court, or officer could delegate their own powers without the approval of the Cabinet.  All lower courts held power delegated from the Supreme Court (which held power delegated from the Cabinet).  Over time, this concept has been amended and changed; a notable shift has been the emergence of a conception of judicial power as separate from executive–legislative power.  However, the distinctive logic of the original model is still discernible beneath divergent modern interpretations of the constitution.

The Declaration of the Holy Glastieven Commonwealth provides a second unifying theme for Glastieven constitutional theory, the New Confucian concept of tripartite legitimacy.  Legitimate governance must maintain three forms of legitimacy:

  • Popular legitimacy: ruling with popular consent and being continually responsive to the preferences of the citizenry.  This is essentially a constitutional obligation to listen to citizens' requests, made unofficially at meetups or through the Discord, or more formally at weekly sessions of 'crying out'.
  • Cultural legitimacy: governing in a traditionally Glastieven form and style.  Since 2023, Khalia and Judge ζ have also interpreted cultural legitimacy as a requirement to cohere with “fundamental Glastieven values”, though this move has not been uncontested.
  • Sacred legitimacy: originally held to mean governing in accordance with our responsibility to future generations and the commandments of the God of the Christian Bible.  The second criterion has been replaced with a requirement of deference to spiritual and sacred precepts without exclusive reference to Catholic Christianity.

When the demands of the three forms of legitimacy collide, sacred considerations override popular preferences and cultural traditions.

The broad ‘Glastieven’ themes of directorialism, emphasis on delegation from a central wellspring of power, a fused executive and legislative, and tripartite legitimacy, are shared by the two main schools of thought on the constitution.  The first school is upheld by Judge Khalia of the Moon Pools, the de facto chief justice of the Murus.  The second emanates from the statements of High Councillors Pontius of the Holy Road and Glastieven E.  Lyra of Little Skovaji has taken responsibility for piecing Pontius and E's fragmented claims together into a (somewhat) coherent narrative, whilst personally charting a middle way on the constitution that skews closer to Khalia.

Among other Glastievens who have expressed a stance on constitutional questions, the only other judge, ζ, has largely sided with Khalia whereas Ves of North Tower shares a middle way with Lyra.  Personal motives were suspected when Glastieven R sided with Pontius and E in a June 2022 constitutional scuffle, ostensibly to challenge the overweening power of the High Court.

Khalia posits a schematic model of the constitution in which the Nation, its will expressed in the Declaration, gave its authority to two parallel institutions, equal in status: the High Council and the High Court.  Legitimate authority cascades down from the wellspring like water trickling down through a stack of wine glasses: legitimate power must be delegated from the High Council or the High Court, or flows directly from the Nation in the form of custom or an Assembly of Glastieve.  In this model, the Keeper of the White Cloth derives their authority from the High Council via the Keepership Act.  Ingeniously, statute can be held to override custom simply because it is all an extension of the Declaration: just as conventional Glastieven jurisprudence recognises that statute overrides mere conciliar declaration, formal Assemblies override custom, and as the Declaration created the High Council, its powers are delegated from a higher source of authority than custom.

Pontius and E subscribe to a more organic view of the constitution that emphasises old habits and the power of the notion of being ‘official’ within Glastieve as an entity or structure (the concept ascribed above to the status of the High Priestess).  Where Khalia treats the Law as internal to a bounded legal entity created in 2019 by the Declaration, Pontius and E treat it as a heterogenous and negotiable inheritance that has grown up continuously since the mid-2010s.  Their vision sees actual usage as more salient in determining the Law than the letter of statute, but they also see the Law as thick with forgotten rights and principles that emerged outside of what Khalia would describe as the proper processes and now wait to be sanctified.  They also view the High Council as superior to the High Court, and consider the former to be capable of binding the latter but not vice versa.

As The Glastieven, written by Lyra, put it:

Pontius and the High Council took a more arcane and mystical approach to legal interpretation than Khalia and the High Court: she asserted the existence of ancient sacred rights and painted Khalia’s focus on the letter of the law as despotism.  Khalia focused on statute, precedent and custom, dismissing Pontius and E’s vagueries as self-interested fictions.

The archetypal conflict between these models of the constitution was over whether Pontius had what E called a “vaguely constitutional right” to be the head admin of the Discord server; the High Court and the High Council issued contradictory public declarations and never accepted each other’s positions.

The Murus

The principal job of the High Court of the Murus is to adjudicate on accused crimes, most of which are enumerated in the Criminal Law Act of October 2019. In such cases a judge of the Murus, known within the case as the judex, will gather the accused and accuser beneath a wall (Latin murus) to determine the guilt or lack thereof of the accused. The judex has responsibility for determining the penalty in each case individually. Where such judgements clarify ambiguity in the law, they are legally binding. If either party is unsatisfied with the judgement, they can appeal to another judge to repeat the case; it is not currently clear what happens when two judges are in opposition.

The judex appoints, in each case, civil or criminal, an actor to prosecute the case and a reus to defend it.  Court procedure focuses on the judex mediating between the actor and the reus to agree on shared facts, followed by a separate phase of the discussion which focuses on points of law—first agree what happened; then argue whether it was illegal.  These are mediated more like logical debates than British or American court proceedings.  Interrogation of witnesses is not a large part of a Murus trial.  Indeed, to date, a witness has never even been called, although it is probable that it would be permitted if the actor or reus requested it.  Mural procedure is ultimately historically derived from the ad hoc conflict resolution mechanisms of the student-led Green Team at Glastievens' secondary school.

The Murus has the power to declare the Law when there appears to be a conflict.  In Kerry Stapleton vs Conciliar Augustissimum, setting what is known as the 'Misogyny Act precedent', it reasoned that this meant it also had the power (effectively) to strike down statute Acts.  The Declaration of the Holy Glastieven Commonwealth asserts that any legitimate government must be possessed of “tripartite Cultural, Popular and Sacred Legitimacy”.  The Murus ruled that the Declaration was an enforceable part of the Law and that it binds the High Council, and it has also inferred that the requirement for public institutions to maintain tripartite legitimacy means that any act which breaches the bounds of any of the three forms of legitimacy is ultra wires and cannot have been done.  Therefore, by establishing that a purported Act of the High Council lacks one of the three forms of legitimacy, the Murus may observe and declare that the attempt to enact it was unsuccessful, and hence that the Act does not form part of the Law.

The Murus also has the power to bar a citizen from standing for election, though not the power to deny them the right to vote, as declared in the Elections Act of September 2023.

The Moose

The contemporary High Council is the historical descendent of the all-powerful quasi–direct-democratic Cabinet of Glastieve.  Successive waves of cultural change, much of them moving away from conventional politically-focused micronationalism towards an emphasis on group culture and not scaring people away, have shrivelled the numbers of this ‘collective head of state’ to those who are interested in politics and restricted its domain to attempting to serve the citizenry by providing them with useful services and responding to their preferences by translating their desires into policies.  Theoretically, however, it retains almost unlimited powers.

It is no longer seen as desirable for the Moose to initiate policy purely based upon its own genius; this falls to the Keeper or the people at large.  Moreover, its executive function has been in decline, with the last four Keepers of the White Cloth providing political direction like Prime Ministers.  However, whilst this does reflect upon a long-term trend, it is also partly a function of a coincidental string of confident and micronationally interested Glastievens being selected as Keeper since April 2023.  A weak Keeper will bring out a more executive High Council: as recently as February 2023, it fell to the Moose to initiate and organise national events and determine its own strategic focus.

Although the letter of a dusty four-year-old statute is hardly the final word on the matter, it is worth recalling the original intention in the Keepership Act of October 2019: “Nothing in this Act shall be taken as an abdication or disparagement of the role of the High Council as the collective head of state of the Holy Glastieven Commonwealth, and nothing in this Act or any other may be interpreted so as to delegate the ultimate right to leadership and supremacy of the High Council in any matters legal, formal or ceremonial, excepting where this leadership or supremacy would intrude upon that of the High Court.”  A November 2022 consortship rite has the Keeper emphasise that they “call in the name of Court and Council”, although perhaps it is notable that the council themselves are not invited up on stage to lead the ritual.

Aside from enacting legislation, specific powers that are reserved to the High Council include granting charters to organisations; approving or rejecting applications for citizenship; approving or rejecting annexations of territory made under the Territory Act of June 2023; and signing international treaties.

The High Council is elected annually between November and January in accordance with the procedure set out in the Elections Act of September 2023.  Before July 2022, Pontius and E maintained that elections were unconstitutional and that they had a default right to rule the group, a position bitterly contested by Lyra in two significant controversies.  After failing to secure elections in 2019, Lyra made the battle for elections the focus of their first keepership in July 2022 and managed to persuade Pontius to concede the issue if she lost an overnight race, which she did; E followed suit on Lyra’s birthday during their second keepership in September 2023, allowing elections to become law.

Keeper of the White Cloth

The Keeper of the White Cloth—also known (somewhat less formally) as the Holy Keeper—is selected by sortition to serve for either a term, a holiday, or for a month in the summer.  All in all, there are eight Keepers each year.  The list of potential Keepers narrows each time someone serves; their name is not added back to the list until everyone has had a go.

Historically, the keepership was established by the Keepership Act of October 2019, and Khalia, together with Lyra, would assert that this is still the source of the Keeper’s authority.  Pontius and E, in this case with the broader sympathy of the nation, ascribe a wider range of powers to the Keeper not enumerated in the Act, such as the right to make law by decree.

It is impossible to state with certainty whether the Keeper has the power to make these decrees.  Judge Khalia issued what they described as an official statement from the Murus that the Keeper could only ever “encourage” or “request” compliance with their decrees, but this statement was viciously excoriated on irrelevant procedural grounds by Lyra and was not issued with Judge ζ’s knowledge and consent, so it has been largely forgotten.  Certainly, several months later, Keeper E III was firmly convinced that he had the power to enact “laws” by spoken declaration and he was never openly challenged.  Some Acts mention the “verbal declaration of the Keeper” being “transmuted” into statute, which may imply that they were already a weaker form of law, though Lyra (the national scrivener) has said she includes these clauses largely to forestall debate because she is not certain herself that the declaration alone would have sufficed.  It could certainly be argued in ‘Khalian’ terms that in every case that has emerged so far, the nation at large has simply made a patriotic choice to bless the Keeper’s will with their obedience, or to sanctify by its own powers those things which the Keeper wishes to be made ‘official’.

All are agreed that if the Keeper can make laws, these are a very weak form of law, capable of being overridden by statute, Mural precedent, conciliar declaration, and probably even custom.

The Keeper is selected through sortition in a process known as ‘box-shaking’.  In its original form, the High Council all put their hands on a box containing slips of paper with the names of all Glastievens who had not served as Keeper since the list was last exhausted, and shook the box until a name fell out.  The Judge of the Murus then announced who had been selected.  In recent times, with Glastievens physically separated, it has become customary for the box-shaking to be done by either whichever Glastievens are together in a group in person—often one of the two couples—or by the outgoing incumbent Keeper. Formally, it is the “Holiness” of the Keeper that acts, similar to the “Majesty” of the High Council; the aesthetics of the keepership include monarchical, papal, and presidential elements.  The Keeper also inherits and absorbs some now-ceremonial historical offices, such as being ‘Lord High Chancellor’ and Chair of the Green Team of Glastievens’ secondary school, which has been cited by Lyra as an argument against Khalia’s model of the Law as having originated with the Declaration.

The Territory

A map of Glastieve and its environs

The sovereign territory of the Holy Glastieven Commonwealth is comprised of three fields on the south-facing flank of a hill on the edge of a town in south-west England. The southernmost of these fields—which is the largest of the three and houses the majority of places of interest—comprises the northernmost portion of an English common called Mincinglake Valley Park. The area is most commonly referred to in Glastieve as "The Territory". It is also called "The Hill", metonymically referred to as "Mincinglake", or less frequently as "Glastieve".

Administrative geography

The Territory is administered as three "fields": New Field, the Field of Starlight Green, and the Field of the Sex Bench. The latter is subdivided into three "counties": County Forest, County Ridge, and County Sexhill.

Historically, these divisions were established as part of a one-tier system which split the Territory into counties based on ancient field boundaries from centuries before the declaration of independence. The modern system had emerged through custom and practice by 2022 and was formally set out in 2023.

Glastieve and the March

Just outside the Territory to the south is a further open field, the south-western portion of which is known to Glastievens as Bilbo National Park; the north-eastern portion as Ardfrack. The name 'national park' does not denote any actual legal protection or framework in the commonwealth. This region shares a rugged character with the Territory proper; includes sites of importance to the mythology, particularly the Fairy Tree; and has been surveyed by Glastievens in detail, leading T to describe it as Glastieve's "future territory". Further away still, somewhat less rugged green space in the vicinity also has significance to Glastievens. A nature reserve to the south of Bilbo National Park is often walked through on the way to the Territory and has been surveyed and given Glastieven toponyms, and a nearby park, accessed via a winding path, is a frequent alternative destination on Night Walks. Taken together, either the Territory, Bilbo National Park and Ardfrack, or sometimes the whole of this wider region, is known as "Glastieve and the March".

Role of the Territory

The Territory is not the home of the Glastieven nation or the practical physical manifestation of the Glastieven state. It is only in relation to a handful of ceremonial actions, such as litter-picks and geographical surveys, that the international border between Glastieve and the UK represents the limit of the state's de facto jurisdiction. Rather like a cyber-micronation, most Glastieven activity takes place outside of the Territory, and the state largely operates on an aterritorial basis. The Murus—Glastieve's criminal court—has criminal and civil jurisdiction over all interactions between Glastievens regardless of their location and it almost invariably hears cases in person outside of the Territory. A wide variety of locations outside of the Territory, including customary in-person meeting places for the Murus and the High Council, have an important cultural meaning for the nation. Glastieven in-person meetups have been organised in various British cities.

However, the Territory is far from a box-ticking de jure claim, and it looms large in the Glastieven imagination. It is frequently mentioned at weekly PowerPoint nights and is invested with a special importance by Glastieven mythology and folklore. Trips to Mincinglake have been labelled "pilgrimages". Some Glastieven rites, such as the consortship ritual (the equivalent of a wedding ceremony), are intended to be performed on the Territory's sacred ground.

Intriguingly, in October 2023, Glastieven C felt that she had to ask the group before it would be appropriate for her to bring her non-Glastieven roommate to see the view from the Hill. A consensus emerged to grant her roomate a visa.

Glastievens T and δ describe Glastieve as a "diasporic nation" with the territory as its "motherland". Moreover, both Glastieven T and Glastieven σ has each separately compared the cultural place of the Territory to the Land of Israel in Judaism.

Foreign relations

Glastieve has recently announced its return to the micronational community after more than half a decade.

Economy

Culture

Mythology

See also

Notes and references

Notes


Further reading