Political theology of micronations

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Not to be confused with religion in micronationalism.

The political theology of micronations, or micronational political theology, is a critical-micropatriological framework that, adopting theory from political theology, seeks to transcend classical distinctions of secessionism and simulationism, and ultimately, critique and destabilize the ontological separation between micronations and macronations. In short, the political theology of micronations analyzes the micronation as a civil religion, that is, an implicit system of symbols and practices, primarily concerned with the notion of sovereignty. The political theology of micronations can be sloganized as "putting the patriology [as study of God the Father] back into micropatriology."

Micronational political theology is explicitly critical in two senses: (1) in the negative sense of 'criticism,' it is mobilized towards social ends, and (2) in positive sense of 'critique' (interpretation), towards a more fertile, extendable, and potent micronationalism. It is in this sense a productive methodology, not necessarily intended as to "describe" though it recognizes its boundaries in this regard.


Political theology, though possible to trace through back to figures such as Thomas Aquinas, is generally associated with political philosopher and Nazi jurist Carl Schmitt, who coined the term in his 1922 essay Political Theology. The book's title derives from Schmitt's assertion (in chapter 3) that "all significant concepts of the modern theory of the state are secularized theological concepts"[1] — in other words, that political theory addresses the state (and sovereignty) in much the same manner as theology does God. Political theology was salvaged by critical theorists such as Giorgio Agamben in the early 21st century.

The general typology of micronationalism derives from this same modernist theory, in particular, that outlined in the Montevideo Convention. Thus, micronational political theology can be seen as a natural application to micropatriology.

The political theology of micronations was first theorized in private by A. Tarquitius Buteo in 2020, though not made public until 2022. In line with Buteo's background, it takes influence from anarchist theory and the anthropology of religion.

Theological conception of micronations

An admittedly-arbitrary taxonomy of the religious principles of micronationalism provided by Buteo is as follows:

  • Aesthetic symbols, such as flags, coats-of-arms, and anthems;
  • Ritual practices, such as salutes, holidays, and constructed traditions;
  • Texts, such as declarations and bodies of law;
  • Mythologies, in the form of a national history that serves an ideological function;
  • Values, either explicit or implicit, such as democracy, freedom, or egalitarianism; and
  • Sacred spaces, such as capitals, government buildings, and shrines.

In particular, micronations can be seen as analogous to a sort of postmodern theology, which rejects the hegemony of a grand narrative (international recognition) and chooses, instead, to produce subjective and sometimes fractured modes of sovereignty. In Discordianism and chaos magic, two notable examples of postmodern religions stemming from occultism, beliefs are arbitrarily produced and used as tools rather than dogmas. A specter of micronationalism can be seen in the former, as part of Discordian tradition is the notion that "every man, woman and child on this Earth is a genuine and authorized pope" (cf. priesthood of all believers in Protestantism—1 Peter 2:9, "You are a royal priesthood and a priestly kingdom," and Revelation 5:10, "Through your blood you have made us into priests and kings.")

Micronation-macronation distinction

Secessionism and simulationism, from the standpoint of micronational political theology, are seen as axiomatically accepting the distinction between micro- and macronations, which is seen as serving a primarily ideological function (as defined by Roland Barthes), in the sense that insofar as it claims to describe, it reproduces a socially constructed notion as natural or common-sense. It is important to note that while the distinction is viewed as socially constructed, it is still a real distinction (to appropriate both Tsoknyi Rinpoche and Andrea Dworkin, it can be said to be "real, but not true.")

Instead, this distinction is more analogous to orthodoxy and heresy, in which the former community leverages its hegemony to suppress the latter. In fact, both systems, which may be mutually exclusive (though not necessarily,) are on equal footing in regards to cohesion and indeed, validity. Instead, the opposition is one of power.

Critical capacity of micronations and post-secessionism

Micronations, representing a form of subjugated knowledge, can be used as unique tools towards the destabilization of state ideology. A two-fold idiom or heuristic of micropatriology can be described, from the viewpoint of micronational political theology, as:

  • Micronations are just as valid as macronations (Secessionism, political theology of micronations)
  • Micronations are not as valid as macronations (Simulationism)

In this case, micronational political theology differs from secessionism in the sense that it is critical of the very notion of "recognition" and international validity. In this sense, there are no "real" countries nor "fake" countries, only varying ideologies which are leveraged by power. What separates macronations and micronations, rather than a nebulous notion of recognition, is hegemony and power. Thus, it shares with secessionism the stance that micronations are indeed as valid as macronations, however, it remains critical (even antagonistic) towards ideology of the State. Simulationism, unlike secessionism, reproduces such an ideology by preserving the notion of "real" countries. From this viewpoint, micronational political theology can be read as a sort of post-secessionism or new sincerity.

Micronationalism thus can function as a de- and reterritorialization of the State, in which it is decomposed into new, novel, and perhaps even more liberatory forms.

It is in this capacity that micronational political theology is "productive," it can allow for the creation of new modes of understanding and "doing" micronationalism.

See also


  1. Schmitt, Carl (2008a). The Concept of the Political (expanded ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-22-6738840.