I am an Anarchist. This means I’m against the concept of the Nation-State. This does not necessarily mean that I am against the concept of the Nation, nor am I necessarily against a legal structure that might conceivably be called a State.
There are a lot of problems with Nationalism, which is just Tribalism with a starched collar. You suspend your own judgement, your own morality, for the supposed good of the group. You tend to think of everyone and everything not of the Nation, of the Tribe, as Other, unclean and alien. It leads to sacrifice– either others sacrifice you, you sacrifice yourself, or you sacrifice what you hold precious. Now there may be times when this is a legitimate action, but for a Nation? For the honor of what amounts to a social club? I don’t think so. All of these problems can be laid at the feet of religion as well, of course, which is Nationalism’s main problem- it is a secular form of religion.
So if Nationalism is such a problem, why not condemn it outright?
Anthems. Flags. Capitols. Uniforms. Constitutions. Mascots. Maps. Grand murals depicting great historic and allegoric events. National costumes. National birds, flowers, meals, salutations. The type of erotica identified with a particular nation. The concept of the Nation has been a vast well-spring of inspiration for artistic works. Religion, again, is another such inspiration, and their combination only magnifies the effect. One should live or die for a nation, but living and dying for Art? That’s something else to consider.
So, what we need to do is lift up the art of the nation, the art of Nationalism, while leaving the rest. What I need to is start an art-nation.
This is hardly an original idea on my part. Many of my inspirations, my artistic heroes, have done similar things. Stanisław Szukalski had the Tribe of the Horned Heart. NSK created their own State. Hell, the Situationists participated in a rebellion against France, and help hold Paris as an autonomous political entity for a few days in 1968. As I have said elsewhere, I will not look at other artists doing things I want to do as reasons for frustration, or for giving up. Rather, I will look upon them with gratitude, for the help they are giving me.
Now, a nation without commonly recognized sovereign territory is called a micronation, which is what these artistic nations were (except maybe for Paris and the Situationists. Those guys were hardcore.) I have no problem with starting a micronation. I done a couple before- the Aristocratic Confederacy of Kiribati, and the Triple Caliphate of Zarmina. Those attempts were somewhat abortive, and unsatisfactory. I think it’s because I went too fast with them. This project will be done more slowly, thoughtfully. More open-ended. I have enough on my plate without committing to this right now.
So, the first step of creating a nation, it seems to me, is to give it a name. And given my near-incestuous tendency to reuse certain names and concepts, I’m going to call it….the Nation of Lemuria. Or Lemurian Nation. Whichever. More updates to come.
What do you think of nationalism? Micronations? Want to start your own nation as well? Let me know in the comments.