Micropolitan Club and Lounge

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The Micropolitan Lounge
Proposed official emblem
FormationNovember 2009
TypePrivate members' club
HeadquartersDiscord (virtual)
LocationGlobal
Membership16 (Micropolitan V), 10 (Micropolitan VI)
Official languagesEnglish
ProprietorsJonathan I, Emperor of Austenasia (Micropolitan V)
Alexander IV, Emperor of Pavlov (Micropolitan VI)
Key peopleDaniel Anderson
Marka Mejakhansk
Sebastian Linden
Will Sörgel
Jonathan I, Emperor of Austenasia
Alexander IV, Emperor of Pavlov

The Micropolitan Club and Lounge, commonly called the Micropolitan Lounge, is the name of two intermicronational virtual private members' clubs: one located on MicroWiki@Discord, and the other being a standalone Discord server. From 2009 to 2018, it was a Skype chatroom. The membership in both clubs is to those micronationalists of the MicroWiki Community who are chosen by its existing members, and it is considered the oldest private clubhouse in the MicroWiki Community.

The Micropolitan Lounge was most influential between 2010 and 2016, when the original five Skype chatrooms were created. Founded in 2009 by Will Sörgel, it was one of the first significant micronational Skype rooms, and quickly became an important forum for the exchange of ideas and the development the community. The restriction of membership to influential micronationalists and its role in shaping community politics meant that from 2010 to 2012 it was nicknamed "the Illuminati of MicroWiki" and developed a reputation for elitism. This changed under the proprietorship of Sebastian Linden, who admitted younger members and in 2014 drafted a charter for the venue, which had developed a new reputation as a sensible and refined alternative to popular rooms like the Yellow Bear Micronational.

Dropping activity across Skype chatrooms from mid-2017 affected the Micropolitan as much as everywhere else, and in 2018 when MicroWiki@Discord was created, the Lounge abandoned its former home and became a restricted-membership channel on the server, the-micropolitan-v. On 6 December 2019 a separate Discord server bearing the name "Micropolitan Club and Lounge VI" was created by Dionisiy I, Prince of Montescano.

Background

The MicroWiki sector was always characterized by a large use of online venues. In 2009, with the birth of the Grand Unified Micronational, diplomats and representatives met and discussed on GeeSee - a free chatroom service. As GeeSee was already being used by the GUM, the original "clubs" were established there as private rooms with restricted access.

Skype took over the role occupied by GeeSee private chatrooms in mid-2009 to some degree, when several micronationalists moved to it, and reached the height of its influence in the Autumn of the same year; GeeSee chatrooms were kept for diplomatic affairs while private rooms fell into disuse. Eventually, the members of the Microwiki community started to feel the need of a chatroom where they could still discuss micronational affairs.

The first chatrooms had no official names and anybody could join them freely. They provided an environment for both micronational and non-micronational discussion, which was not allowed inside the GUM online venues.

History

The first emblem of the Micropolitan Lounge, designed by Alexander Reinhardt in 2010.

Foundation and first Lounge

The "first" Micropolitan Lounge was founded in November 2009. The first Proprietor of the Lounge was Will Sörgel of Sandus, and the Lounge had two notable characteristics of being limited to professional discourse and of having those wishing to join voted in by existing members.

The first Lounge room featured a Martini cocktail glass as conversation picture, which was chosen by St.Charlian Alexander Reinhardt, at the time one of the Masters of the room. The cocktail glass was then featured on the first emblem of the Micropolitan Lounge, also designed by Reinhardt, and became the characteristic symbol of the MPL. To this day, a black and white picture of a Martini cocktail glass is still used in the Micropolitan Lounge IV.

Members and delegates of the GUM used to visit the Lounge throughout the week and eventually discuss intermicronational affairs before the weekly Sunday meeting. Throughout 2010 the Micropolitan became a hub of politics and, although a virtual venue, it was known to be a place where influence could be exerted and diplomatic ties developed. When the Democratic People's Republic of Erusia was revealed to be a one-man micronation at the end of July 2010, Robert Lethler was questioned about his past actions and accused of cyber-bullying inside the Lounge. Another notable event to take place within the Lounge was a proclamation of a communist dictatorship in Austenasia by Emperor Esmond III on 19 December 2010 after he learnt of the Fall of Wrythe, with him eventually being persuaded to redact the proclamation, knowledge of which stayed within the Micropolitan for several months. Several key decisions regarding the functioning of MicroWiki and its related websites were taken inside the Micropolitan Lounge, as most of the Administrators were active members.

The Second Micropolitan Lounge

The original room used for the Micropolitan lasted for almost a year and a half, and was abandoned in April 2011 due to excessive communication latency (a.k.a. "lag"). The members of the original room moved to another, sometimes referred to as the Second Micropolitan Lounge. This room had Marka Mejakhansk of Nemkhavia as Proprietor, and the rules on professional discussion were considerably relaxed to a ban on sexual topics usually enforced only when Mejakhansk was online.

The first MicroWiki intermicronational summit, which took place in London on 24 August 2011, was conceived by Alexander Reinhardt - at the time Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of St.Charlie - and Marka Mejakhansk inside the Lounge.

The Micropolitan Lounge III

Skype was subject to a major update in the first months of 2012. This probably caused some technical glitches inside the Second Lounge: members who were kicked out of the Lounge were still able to join the room without the direct authorisation of the Masters. As a consequence of a former member, Daniel Morris, being able to re-add himself to the room, the Micropolitan Lounge III was established in June 2012 and thus replaced the second Lounge, with Mejakahnsk still acting as Master. A month later, Jacob Tierney of Renasia was nominated co-Administrator due to the latter spending less time online.

The third Lounge is currently the shortest-lived chatroom used by the members of the Micropolitan, as it became inactive after less than a semester of existence. cl

The Casino Micronationale and the fourth Lounge

The original conversation picture of the Lounge, still used to this day.

In late September 2012, Mejakhansk declared his intention to restrict the discussion of adult-themed topics within the rooms of the Club; members who were in violation of these restrictions would be expelled immediately. These measures were met with strong opposition by several members of the Lounge, including a few Masters. Opposition came in two arguments primarily: protests that the Proprietor was violating the Lounge's principle of free speech; and protests that banning was an excessive punitive measure.

At the time, Sebastian Linden had just established the Casino Micronationale, which was smaller than the Micropolitan but had very similar rules. Various members moved to the Casino when Mejakhansk started enforcing the rule, which started hosting most of the members of the third Lounge, including some who were previously kicked because of the ban. At one point, Linden transformed the Casino into the Micropolitan Lounge IV, receiving the support of the other memebrs. For a short time, the MPLs III and IV co-existed, but III soon became completely inactive as most members left, with IV becoming the only Micropolitan, having Linden as Proprietor and Tierney as its Masterful Patron. The ban on sexually-related topics was lifted on the new room.

The fourth Lounge is currently considered the official Micropolitan Lounge, with the official Charter written by President Sebastian Linden and adopted by the Lounge on 30 August 2014, as part of which it adopted the Micropolitan Club and Lounge as an official name.

The Micropolitan Lounge and Googie Bar 5

With the start of 2013, Daniel Anderson of Sirocco established the "Micropolitan Lounge 5" on the first day of January. This is the first time that two Micropolitan rooms are being used at the same time. As a consequence, the Micropolitan 5 is ironically referred to as the "fifth floor" of a hypothetical Micropolitan building. Anderson is currently serving as the Micropolitan 5's only Master.

The popularity of 5 grew rapidly through much of 2013, with IV's popularity falling as a result. As a result of a new logo designed by Alexander Reinhardt, 5 also became known as the Micropolitan Club and Lounge, a name that was initially suggested for IV and eventually adopted by it the following year. A resurgence of activity in IV at the end of the year and in the opening months of 2014 reversed the trend between the two rooms, replacing 5 for a few months before again switching places. Today, both IV and 5 tend to alternate between being the most active room, however by July and August 2015 both rooms had equalised with 5 generally increasing in activity when Anderson is present and IV taking precedence when its Northern Hemisphere administrators are online.

Perhaps born out of its unorthodox creation is a culture of informality in the room more akin to the Yellow Bear Micronational (YBM) than that of other Micropolitan rooms. Room topics will usually contain some form of nonsensical phrase (such as "Nuclear Power Is Good For You"), 'Music of the Now' (parodying the YBM's 'Music of the day') is occasionally featured, its conversation picture has featured Top Cat and Tom (of Tom and Jerry fame), and the room itself claims to have been established in 1945. Anderson's influence of the room has led to it being jokingly named the "Andopolitan" at times.

The Micropolitan V (#the-micropolitan-v)

As the use of Skype as the main platform for 'fandom' communication began to fall away in 2015, the MicroWiki Community became notable for its use of the service, sometimes being called the 'Skype community' by citizens of its nations; by 2016, it was common for the main representatives of nations in the MicroWiki sector to report difficulty in encouraging their nations' members to engage with chatrooms on the platform, and many new micronationalists became involved with the forums but did not join Skype. From mid-2017 onward, activity started to drop in these venues, leading to significant concerns over the community's future. A gradual move to Discord followed, and on 17 September 2018, the MicroWiki administration created MicroWiki@Discord to replace the inactive Skype chatrooms, and the Micropolitan became a channel on the server.

The Micropolitan V (#the-micropolitan-v in the Discord style) was led by Jonathan as its new proprietor, and abolished the Charter signed in 2014. It retains its restricted membership, being a locked channel on the server accessible only to those added by the MicroWiki administration, and formally new members must be approved by consensus.

The Micropolitan VI

On 6 December 2019 the Prince of Montescano Dionisiy I created a new Discord server named "Micropolitan Club and Lounge VI" and declared himself its proprietor. The Micropolitan VI maintains similar rules to those in the V iteration, however, it established the role of "provisional patrons" assigned to new members for the first two weeks. With the establishment of Micropolitan VI, for a second time in the community's history, there are two Micropolitan rooms operating at the same time.

Current status

Although the Micropolitan Lounge is no longer as popular or influential as it originally was, many have seen a significant resurgence in popularity and status in the first months of 2014. With the Yellow Bear Micronational used as a more informal online venue, the Lounge continues to provide a forum and meeting place for those involved in micropatriology. Members from the MicroWiki sector still predominate the micronationalists amongst today's membership in both V and VI branches.

Organisation

Sebastian Linden was the Proprietor of the Micropolitan from 2012 to 2018.

Proprietor

The Proprietor is the title given to the person overseeing the Micropolitan Lounge. He presides over the venue, chairs all of the business of the Club, and can make alterations to the official Charter. The title is granted to the owner of the official chatroom.

The office is filled when the online venue is replaced, though the Proprietor of the old room may become the owner of the new room if all members (or "Patrons") accept the replacement and recognize his room as the official one. In the past, there were a few cases of Patrons trying to invite other members into a new room, but they did not receive enough support and were subsequently expelled from the Club. Therefore, the requirements as to who is eligible for nomination as Proprietor vary from case to case, but the Charter implies that he needs the support of all active members and that the previous room has become inactive.

While the precise hierarchy or order of various officers within the Lounge has varied throughout the years, the Proprietor has always been the owner of the venue and the highest honor to which the Club may appoint any of its members.

Historical organisation

The Masterful Patrons, or Masters, are the second principal officers of the Lounge and the Proprietor's principal deputies. Under the Charter, if the Proprietor is absent then the Masterful Patrons are authorised to act on his behalf and in all matters of Lounge business. Often senior members, they must ensure that Patrons are in possession of the necessary credentials. The Masterful Patrons are regular officers of the Lounge, meaning that the position must be filled.

The current only Masterful Patron of the Micropolitan Lounge is Alexander Reinhardt.

Membership

Formally, the Micropolitan Lounge is still considered a private members' club. The people who are associated with the Lounge are either prominent micronationalists, micropatriologists or people who practiced micronationalism inside the MicroWiki sector throughout a large period of time. As such, membership within the Club is considered very important and highly prestigious.

According to its founding members, the Micropolitan Lounge defines itself as a non-partisan, non-sectarian chatroom. A stringent use of Formal English was strictly enforced until 2012, when members started to use a more colloquial writing but were requested not to speak other languages. It is probably the only micronational chatroom to have contained another chatroom — for a short period of time, a "Micropolitan Bar" was established for informal, late-night talks, and the Casino Micronationale, who later became the Micropolitan Lounge IV, was considered a sub-room of the third Lounge.

Its membership is open to everyone: one can contact a Micropolitan chatroom administrator (or Master) to inquire about membership but can join a room only if invited; there is no provision to join without an invitation as each prospective Micropolitan member requires a sponsor who is an existing frequenter. It was rumoured that some Micropolitan rooms had exclusivist membership criteria: reputation or a professional attitude was seen to be a specific evaluation criterion for issuing invitations to join.

In keeping with its wiki-based roots, it was the main room to discuss the disestablishment of the Wikia platform and the move to an independent server - though Wikia users are now allowed inside the Lounge and can apply for membership. Kyng Fyrst of the Slinky Empyre, who was a member of the MicroUniverse room and later became the first Wikia wiki Administrator after the mass transfer, was not allowed membership inside the Club.

It did not have women as members until 2011, when Evren Filgert of the Republic of Bokonton (now part of Austenasia) was granted membership.

In popular culture

An extract from a 2011 Microball comic depicting the Micropolitan Lounge as an elitist secret society.

"The Illuminati of MicroWiki"

Between 2010 and 2012, the Micropolitan Lounge was sometimes labelled by outsiders as "the Illuminati of MicroWiki" in reference to the then-popular conspiracy theory that high-ranking macronational politicians were controlled by a secret society called the Illuminati. As the Lounge was a restricted-membership venue, some younger micronationalists accused its membership of holding an "elitist attitude" towards the community and of secretly controlling the politics of the community.

The Micropolitan Lounge was accused of being a political machine that played a major role in dealing with MicroWiki states' international politics and helping members of the Grand Unified Micronational become influential. These perceptions were frequently ridiculed by its members as conspiracy theories. It is possible, however, that the Lounge was seen as an engine for graft and political corruption under the presence of Robert Lethler, one of the founders of the Micropolitan and member until his departure from the community in 2010: Lethler often tried to expand his political control by earning the loyalty of G.U.M. delegates through the informal environment of the Lounge.

Allegations of being the "Illuminati of MicroWiki" later waned throughout 2011 and 2012; new members were allowed inside the Lounge, including younger micronationalists from other micronational communities or groups. By mid-2012, the perception of the Micropolitan as a secret group controlling the community had ceased to exist, but would influence later movements against the "elite" of the community, including the New Community in 2017.

See also

External links