Mikronationer – på besök i hemgjorda nationer by Johan Joelsson and Jonatan Jacobson

“Micronations – Visiting Homemade Nations”

This book has not yet been translated into English, but since the topic is of interest to all micronationalists, a short review may be of use to the community.

The book is beautifully bound, and the layout is also pleasing with two-column pages on quality paper. The preface is somewhat centered around micronationalism in Scandinavia, but also gives general information on what it takes to form a nation, i.g. The Montevideo Convention.

The following nations are covered in the book: The Principality of Sealand, Ladonia, the Kingdom of Elleore, the Principality of Seborga, Sweutschland, the Republic of Molossia and Elgaland-Vargaland. The book also contains a review from PoliNation, an international conference on micronations.

The author, who works as a freelance reporter, seems to have done his homework. He has done several interviews with leaders of mentioned countries, and also visited all of the micronations covered in the book. The presidents and kings of the various micronations come through as they are, not portrayed as mere nut jobs nor are they ridiculed.

The pictures are excellent, and add another layer of information to the text. I understand that the author wants to portray the vast variety of micronations in the world. That is, however,  also my main concern. The examples in the book are highly selective, and may not be representative of the micronational world as a whole.

Elgaland-Vargaland is more of a conceptual art project than a micronation, and Sweutschland is a techno dance music festival. These creative projects may not be considered to be micronations per se among the community, but they are great examples of how diverse the world of homemade nationalism is.

On the whole, this is a great introductory book for anyone interested in the somewhat obscure world of micronationalism. The book is not intended as a comprehensive work* on aspirant nations, but rather a taste of the high degree of individual freedom and creativity that can be found among the founding fathers of these nations.

* For a more in-depth book on contemporary and historical struggles for independence, I highly recommend Christopher F. Roth's encyclopedia Let's Split! A Complete Guide to Separatist Movements and Aspirant Nations, from Abkhazia to Zanzibar (Litwin Books, 2015).

What is Racism?

WHAT IS RACISM?

A racist worldview assumes that human beings can be divided into different races. It is based on an idea that people’s appearance, skin color, and other physical differences, would decide how talented we are and how we behave. Based on such alleged links between the presence and racial characteristics, scientists used to rank human races. Historically, the white or Aryan race, according to a racist ideology, was considered to be the highest standing race.

HISTORICAL EXAMPLES

The most famous example of how a racist ideology has been used in practice, was when Adolf Hitler ruled Germany. Hitler believed that the Aryan race would rule the world and that the Jewish people were a threat to the survival of the white race. His solution was to gather all the Jews in camps. Other minorities were also included, such as gypsies, homosexuals and people with various types of mental illnesses. Those not killed at once had to work and live in camps in slave-like conditions.

South Africa also ran a racist policy between the years 1948 and 1990. In the so-called system of apartheid people with different skin colors were kept separated in all parts of society, from park benches to hospitals and schools. The white people of South Africa had both the economic and political power in the country, while people with different skin colors had little or no influence at all in the community.

RACISM TODAY

Racial biology has now been rejected as a science. There are no longer valid, scientific ideas which support ideas of superiority because of race. We read about people who support a racist ideology. We now use the concept of racism in a wider meaning, i.e., a hostility towards certain groups or cultures that involves describing people in a negative, derogatory way without considering individual differences. The latter is sometimes referred to as cultural racism. Sometimes we also talk about xenophobia, which means that you have a negative perception of strangers in general.

::::::::::::::::::::

The Unixplorian government stands behind rejecting the idea of racism. We also think that there are very few people who believe in the own racial superiority. Human beings must never be measured by race, but rather for the individual skills and traits we all have.

We do, however, see cultural differences as part of the problematic clashes which occur when migrating minorities meet a culturally different majority population. We need to establish standard rules to meet the challenges of globalization. We do not believe that all cultures are equal. Some cultures have evolved more than others and must aid cultures that are less developed. 

Master Photographer Lennart Nilsson Dead

A 14 weeks old baby. Credits: A Child is Born by Lennart Nilsson.

He became world famous with his pictures of the book “A Child is Born” which was released in 1965.

The book A Child is Born gave the world a whole new insight into the process from when an egg is fertilized until a child is developed. It took Nilsson a full twelve years to work on the images used for the book that was released for the first time in 1965.

As a pioneer of scientific photography, Lennart Nilsson worked tirelessly throughout his career, with a large number of prizes and books as a result. He was an accomplished artist and inspirational individual. He had an amazing career that has spanned decades.

Lennart Nilsson must have passed away on Saturday morning in the presence of his family at the age of 94.

In addition to his cutting-edge science, Lennart Nilsson was also a Court Photographer for the Royal Family of Sweden. He has documented the Royal Swedish Court since the 1940s. Among other things, Lennart Nilsson took the official wedding picture of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia.

::::::::::::::::::::

We believe that Nilsson’s photos of unborn babies were a milestone in the way we look at human life. The pro-choice movement cannot seriously look at these pictures and still claim that the lives of unborn babies are debatable.

The state of Israel and its conflict-ridden origins

The period between the proclamation of the state of Israel in 1948 and up to the Six Day War in 1967 is a time of great concern and strong conflicts over boundaries.

May 14, 1948, is the date that Israel proclaimed its independence. The Israeli Declaration of Independence, which guarantees equality and freedom of religion to all its citizens, regardless of ethnicity (Article 13) is especially interesting. It appeals to the indigenous Arab population not to flee but to stay and peacefully work together to build a common future (Article 16); a proposal for Israel’s neighbors to extend their hands in the hope of peace and acceptance to work together to advance the Middle East (Article 17).

Despite an attack of five Arab countries, the newborn state of Israel came out victorious. The boundaries of the land of Israel were based on UN Resolution 181, even though the Arab side rejected a private Arab land in Palestine. This means that the part of the country that could have been a Palestinian Arab country now becomes a mandate country – a state that no one can claim.

To avoid such situations, which in the future could create huge problems, there is legislation called Uti possidetis  (an International principle of international law which provides that newly formed states should have the same borders that their preceding dependent area had before their independence). In Israel’s case, it means that the boundaries of the British Mandate (the latest political entity) draw boundaries to what they looked like in May 1948. Thus, including the Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria (the so-called West Bank).

The absence of this legal fact is conspicuous due to its lack in the international debate regarding Israel. At the end of the war in 1949, Samaria and Judea were illegally occupied by Jordan, and the Gaza Strip was illegally occupied by Egypt. The Arab countries that attacked Israel without provocation, and with the intent to destroy the country, refuse to make peace with Israel, only a mere ceasefire agreement. The agreements are therefore temporary until the borders were negotiated and approved by the parties involved in the conflict. Legally, these temporary borders, therefore, have no relevance regarding future contracts, they are only the line where they stopped shooting at each other.

Since the Arabs rejected all proposals for peace, this status continues to apply. Judea and Samaria came to be called the West Bank as these areas are west of the Jordan River regarding Jordan. The West Bank did not exist before the end of the war in 1949. The boundary line to Judea and Samaria is often referred to as “the green line,” a name it got because they happened to have a green pen when drawing the temporary ceasefire line on the map in 1949.

The war in 1948 -49 created two refugee waves. The Arab wave was about Arabs who were asked to give the mandate before the war started and the Arabs who fled or were forced to leave during the war. Altogether there were about 472,000 to 750,000 Arabs, who would later be known as the Palestinian refugees. They fled to the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt. Most of these refugees were refused inclusion in the respective countries or regions, and continue to be refugees to this date.

The roughly 160,000 Arabs who choose to stay in Israel did, however, receive Israeli citizenships and became fully integrated with the new state. Today they constitute 20 percent of the Israeli population, with the same democratic rights as all other Israelis. The Jewish refugees, the Jews living in Muslim Arab countries, become more vulnerable to pogroms than before, and the immediate confiscation of possessions and livelihoods took place almost immediately.

Approximately 850,000 were forced to flee, about two-thirds of them fleeing to Israel and one third to other parts of the world. All these refugees (which were never classified as refugees by the UN) were directly integrated in Israel, or to the other (mainly Western) countries they fled.

During the years 1949-67, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt, encouraged terrorism against Israel and thus breaking the ceasefire agreement they signed in 1949. During the Arab League conference in Cairo in 1964, they agreed on wiping out the Sea of Galilee by diverting its tributaries in the north thereby destroying Israel’s only freshwater reservoir. They also decided on creating a united Arab military force with Egypt as the leading nation; to form the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) as the representative of the Palestinians and their militant liberation from what they refer to as the Zionist threat (one of many Arabic names for the nation of Israel).

Above all, the Arabs did not wish to create a private Palestinian land. In the summer of 1967, Egypt mobilizes large military forces at the border to Israel, while they order UN peacekeepers to leave the Sinai Peninsula.

Egypt also closes the Straits of Tiran to Israeli ships and thus makes itself guilty of Casus Belli. A short time after Egypt then proclaims a declaration of war towards the nation of Israel. During Egypt’s command, mobilized Arab forces (Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Saudi Arabia) moves to the borders of Israel while proclaiming the annihilation of Israel.

On June 5, 1967, they began attacking Israel with full strength. Israel retaliates by bombing the Egyptian air force in a defensive action. After six days, Israel stood victorious from this defensive war with a geographical area that was twice as large as before the war.

Israel occupied the entire Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights and regained the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. To start a war in self-defense – a defensive battle – is a legitimate legal action recognized internationally in the UN Security Council, Article 51. Everyone has the right to defend themselves.

Internationally, however, the Six Day War is the only defensive war that has been questioned. Regardless of what you might think about Israel’s right to protect itself, it is still equality before the law that applies.

::::::::::::::::::::

The Kingdom of Unixploria will always stand behind Israel’s right to sovereignty. We believe that Israel has been neglected by the civilized world, but we also think it’s time for real peace negotiations if Israel’s neighbors are up for the challenge of unilaterally accepting Israel as a sovereign nation. So far we have seen little of the latter. 

Winter Weather?

The weather in Unixploria has not been kind to us. Most Unixplorians love snow and look forward to snowy days on the slopes.

Wintertime usually equals snow and cold weather on mainland Unixploria, but this has not been the case for the last years. The small amount of snow we received a couple of days ago is almost gone, and the only thing left to remind us of Winter is the bare trees in our fair kingdom.

Don’t feel bad, though, spring is but a month away!

Christmas Sales Reached an All-Time High

Unixplorians spend more and more of their hard earned money on Christmas gifts to friends and family.

According to several shop proprietors in Stronghaven, they have never wrapped more Christmas gifts than they did last year. Almost a third of their annual profit now comes from their Christmas sales. The most common gifts in Unixploria for Christmas this year were books, fountain pens, clothes, and movies.

Lock Up Criminals – Not Fireworks

The government in our neighboring country, Sweden, has once again shown its incapability to handle the increasing criminality in its suburbs.

After several incidents on New Year’s Eve, involving fireworks, the interior minister of Sweden is now considering a ban on the sale of rocket style fireworks.

The proposal follows the criminal acts perpetrated during New Year’s Eve in several Swedish cities. Young thugs shot fireworks into crowds, rockets were even fired at the police and trains.

The Government of Unixploria is appalled of the fact that decent people will get their freedom limited just because law enforcement can’t do their job. Fireworks is not the issue at hand, locking up criminals is.

Decent citizens shouldn’t be punished for having fun, the criminals (well known to the police) should be penalized. Using fireworks as weapons should be equal to attempted manslaughter, and the criminal sentences should be lifetime imprisonment, no matter what age the perpetrators had.

Climate Change is a Real Threat to Humanity

The vast majority of the scientific community stands behind the fact that climate change is real, and it is not caused entirely by natural variations.

Human beings are responsible for increasing their impact on the climate due to environmental misuse that has led to a change in the global environment.

Overpopulation and the increasing use of fossil fuels are mainly responsible for the change apparent from the mid to late 20th century. Climate change is primarily attributed to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of mentioned fossil fuels.

::::::::::::::::::::

The position of the Unixplorian government is that climate change is occurring, and it is mainly because we as human do too much to disturb the ecological balance. Natural changes do occur, but the rate by which this is going is far from natural. Nature will always survive, Homo Sapiens may not.