A Treatise on Micronational Existence on the Internet and the Resulting Implications

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A Treatise on Micronational Existence on the Internet and the Resulting Implications

As Submitted to the Kay Francess Literature Competition in Lavalon

By Gryphon Avocatio

Along with the Internet came Internet Micronations, a Multitude of tiny fledgling Nations hatched from the Incubator of world-wide Information. They started with E-mail and Web Pages that allowed little Interaction, but as Time grew and complex Message Boards and Instant Messaging became a Reality, so too did the Existence of Plausible Internet-based Governments. Now, more Nations abound in Cyberspace than on the Earth itself. One must only Google for Micronations in order to realize the vast Number and variation that Exist. Yet, it is difficult to determine why they exist and in such a great Number; however, it is not impossible to deduce what has lead to their Creation.

Micronations cannot exist without Citizens, for if they had no Citizens, One could not suppose them to exist. Also, since any Internet Micronation (henceforth abbreviated IMN) requires Citizens and has no Jurisdiction to make the free Individuals of Macronations join it, one shall have to determine that IMNs rely on John Locke's Social Contract Theory. Locke wrote in his "Two Treatises on Government" that "no One could be subjected to the political Power of Another, without his own Consent." This means that a Micronational Government has no Authority without its Citizens' willing Submission, and that calls into Question Whom actually has Power in an IMN: the Government or its Citizens? Since IMNs allow for easy Immigration and Emigration, the easiest Way to rob a Despot of his Power is to simply leave the Nation the Tyrant rules. Since the Power of a Micronational Government comes from its Citizens, the fundamental Power in IMNs lies with the Citizens and not the Governments.

Understanding that Micronations exist because of the Consent of the Governed, One must understand why one would consent to be governed. Certainly we have enough of Politics in the Macronational World; why would we ever drown ourselves in an Internet-based bureaucracy? Simply put, IMNs allow for direct Involvement in a Form of Government. This is a thrilling Concept because it is extremely Difficult to get anywhere in Macronational Politics. With the Abundance of Jobs available in IMNs, it isn't difficult at all to rise to Power. People that hate Politics end up in IMNs because they can have Influence. Ultimately, it is the Ability to have a direct Effect on others that attracts People to IMNs. They allow People to expand their personal Influence and make Decisions that impact other People. They give People a Feeling of Importance and a Sense of Power. Yes, Power. This answers both the Question "Why do IMNs exist?" and "Why are there so Many of Them?" In order to become more Powerful, One must merely found his own Nation and get People to join. In the Process, He gains Power and a Reputation of having that Power.

But why an IMN? It's because IMNs closely resemble real Governments. An old philosophical Question used to be tossed around (or thrown forcefully, in some Cases) in the so-called "Apollo Sector": What are Micronations? Well, the only two Answers that were ever offered up were "Game" and "Hobby." Heated Debates and countless Polls were set up around the Subject, but it is ridiculous to look at Politics in a Non-political way. The terms "Hobby" and "Game" do not accurately describe Micronations because the Words are not political Terms. Hobby implies something that is done to occupy One’s Time, like model Plane Building or drawing Pictures. Generally, Hobbies have some definite Output with Something to show for the Efforts involved. Micronations fit well into this Category, but not entirely because they have an Element of direct Competition. This is where the Idea of a Game comes into Play. In Micronations, one Nation is struggling for something, to come out ahead, to be able to boast "We're older," or "We have more Culture," or "We have the coolest Citizens." However, unlike a Game, there is no definite rule Set. Organizations have been founded to try to define Rules through Treaties, yet they don't define Rules for all Micronations. Ultimately, there is only one Thing comparable to IMNs: Real life intermacronational Politics. Thus, Micronations are not a Game, nor are they a Hobby. They are in and of themselves political Bodies given power by the Members they do consist of, and therefore, they are true Nations.

In Summary of the Above, Internet-based Micronations are political Entities Given Power by People who want to attain some Sort of Power. This is a general Statement, of Course. Some People join IMNs because They like Politics and therefore want to interact in a Government Simulation. But, as stated earlier, IMNs are actual political Bodies, not just Simulations. This introduces a new Concept. Simulated Governments are in and of Themselves Governments because they maintain all the Operations of a Government. Any Simulation that only simulates Part of a Government is not only incomplete but inaccurate as well. Any complete government Simulation with a citizen Base is a Micronation.

Thus, the above Theory that People join IMNs for Power still stands. The ultimate Goal of Politics is to come out on Top, and there would be no Reason to run a Simulation if that were not Part of it because the Simulation would be very inaccurate. Other Evidence supports this Claim. People would not run for Positions or try to get Jobs in IMNs if they did not desire the inherent Power the Jobs gave. People would not develop long Signatures to follow their Posts on Micronational Message boards. All around contemporary IMNs, this Behavior is clearly visible. People gain Power and then flaunt it. Ironically, this "Power" is only valid in Internet Micronations, but it still gives the Bearer of the Titles a Feeling of Importance.

This leads to my final Question: What is the Good of Internet Micronations? Or rather, are they merely frivolous Bureaucracy or shall they amount to something more than that Sometime in the Future?

We can't know that now. Few Nations make it very long before they collapse. The Nations that have developed Culture and Tenure, while being very influential in the Circle of IMNs, have microscopic Influence in the Macronational World. This implies that they have an extremely small impact on the big picture, or possibly, none. Yet, it is too early in IMN history to determine what role they could play in the future.

Nevertheless, Internet Micronations continue to exist. Hopefully all questions will be answered in time.

See also: Gryphon Avocatio