New secessionism

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New secessionism is a strand within the secessionist school of micropatrology based around the idea that cultural groups have inherent sovereignty, analogous to the sovereignty of nations, and that micronational governments should have a meaningful responsibility to the cultural groups from which they are formed. The philosophy differs from classical secessionism, which holds that the primary goal of a micronational government is to gain international recognition of that micronation, in that new secessionism holds that a micronational government should aim to provide protection and services (e.g. organising meetups and cultural events, managing an economy) to its citizens, and in the idea that micronations derive their sovereignty from organic cultural groups.

Background

The term "new secessionism" (originally capitalized as New Secessionism) was first used in 2017 by Tom McMillan at a meeting of the Glastieve Planning Board to describe the integration of the principles of the Resolution on Micronational Sovereignty, a document laying out the parallel plane theory, with the traditional Glastieven emphasis on the importance of the micronation being based on the organic culture of its citizenry. Will Campbell and other Glastievens (including McMillan and Robert Catcheside developed the theory further throughout 2018, eventually abandoning its attachment to the parallel plane theory and placing the movement within the mainstream of secessionist thought.

Culture

New secessionism places particular emphasis on the importance of culture to a micronation's sovereignty. The conventional micronational view, as expressed by Richard Hytholoday (the former Chair of the Grand Unified Micronational) in March 2015, states that:

Micronational cultures are usually one of the purest examples of what we in the political community call an ‘inorganic social construct’: they are created by individuals for a purpose (to provide a shared cultural narrative for their Micronations), and they are totally driven and engineered by the will of their creators and are not shaped by natural processes in the psyche of citizens, events surrounding the Micronation and so forth. If the culture came into being naturally, as a result of a community of people banding together and being molded by what happenings came their way and not by direct tempering or social engineering, then it would be an organic social construct; the cultures of the macronations we know and love such as the United Kingdom, the United States of America, or the Republic of France.

This is a viewpoint contested by new secessionists, who instead hold that the culture of a micronation should be the culture of the cultural group from which it developed - what Hytholoday calls an "organic social construct". In the First Republic of Glastieve, for example, an imaginary world used as a setting for roleplaying and writing by Acteriendians was made into Glastieven mythology, and in the Second Republic the traditional "wall courts" used by the friendship group to resolve disputes became the Murus of Glastieve (the central court - murus is Latin for wall). In new secessionist theory, micronational governments only derive their authority from the sovereignty inherent to the organic cultural groups that become micronations, and so the creation of an "inorganic social construct" to serve as the culture of a micronation would suggest it was instead a model country without sovereign authority.

Integration with other principles

Confucianism

Some micronations that identify with the New Secessionist movement, such as Glastieve, combine the philosophy with elements of Confucianism, taking the Confucian notion of li to be equivalent to the New Secessionist emphasis on the organic culture of cultural groups. Within Confucianism, li is an all-encompassing term for the traditions and "pattern" that characterised Ancient China as more civilised than the stateless societies outside. Confucius includes in his discussions of li such diverse topics as learning, tea drinking, titles, mourning, and governance. A contemporary Chinese scholar attempting to explain the principles of Confuciansim, Xun Kuang, cites "songs and laughter, weeping and lamentation...rice and millet, fish and meat...the wearing of ceremonial caps, embroidered robes, and patterned silks, or of fasting clothes and mourning clothes...unspacious rooms and very nonsecluded halls, hard mats, seats and flooring" as vital parts of the fabric of li. Despite the broad definitions of li given by these important figures, presumably to emphasise the all-encompassing nature of tradition, the word is most frequently translated as "tradition" or "ritual" and was most commonly used to refer to the aspects of tradition and ceremony that distinguished China from other, similar, nation-states and provided a link to its often distant past.

Will Campbell, the Glastieven Minister for National Identity, Culture and Language, has stated that he considers the "traditions and observances" of Acteriendia mentioned in the Declaration of Independence to directly correspond to the notion of li. Confucius envisioned proper government being guided by the principles of li, and some later Confucians proposed the perfectibility of human beings with learning li as an important part of that process. Campbell claims that he considers this an important part of New Secessionism as well as Confucianism, and that micronations are only capable of being meaningful governments for cultural groups and therefore being considered states on the micronational plane of sovereignity where they incorporate traditions into their governance. His predecessor, Robert Catcheside, did not ever compare New Secessionism and Confucianism, but placed great importance on the preservation and even restoration of traditions that had existed since before the Glastieve Cultural Association.

The Glastieven Model

When the Minister for Public Finance and Economics, Will Campbell argued that the Glastieven Model, an economic model first publicly announced in April 2017, was the economic equivalent to New Secessionism. The Glastieven Model is based on the principle that Socialism and Capitalism are both inappropriate to a micronation and that, within the micronational context, a new economic model should be created. This model was initially proposed as a "Three Pillars Strategy." The three pillars focus on transactional exchange of currency to develop value, fostering supply and demand, and the state’s participation in the intermicronational and real-world economy.

However, after moving to a separate department in January 2018, Campbell changed his mind and said he no longer considered the principles to be interrelated, although they remained mutually compatible. According to his later explanation, his claim that it was the economic equivalent to New Secessionism was founded purely on the idea that a micronation should be treated differently to a macronation and incorrectly implied that a New Secessionist micronation could not use a version of a macronational economic system like Socialism that would achieve very different results from the market-orientated Three Pillars Strategy.

Criticism

New Secessionism has been subject to a variety of criticism.