“without Essexia, I would know barely even one tenth of the people I do now thanks to Essexia, let alone represent or debate them in a democratic chamber upheld by a Constitution I in turn aided in creating.”
For a micronation only just turning three years old this Christmas, the Commonwealth of Essexia (Previously a Federation, Kingdom, Queendom and Empire) is remarkably advanced, both when compared to other micronations as well as macronations. It is this very advancement that places us in a strange place, between a career and a hobby; a project and an organisation; a movement and a revolution.
But let’s backtrack to those two ends of the scale: Micronations and macronations. In this article, I will refer to micronations as small, barely legitimate countries, such as Sealand, Molassia and Austenasia. On the contrary, macronations shall be internationally-recognised UN member states, such as the United Kingdom, Brazil and
Taiwan Japan. With nearly 200 macronations, and arguably thousands of micronations, we have a fair few examples to compare Essexia with.
Put against the ‘old guard’ of online micronations, such as Austenasia and Adammia (Also coincidentally British), Essexia is of course not quite as developed or lore-rich. However, it has a citienship-base on par with, or even in some cases exceeding, that of these micronational celebrities. It has legislation, history and talent that even projects years behind Essexia can only envy. Yet we’re still on our way. There seems to be no question as to whether we will become a micronational superpower, merely a ‘when’. Additionally, dare to place Essexia alongside smaller or newer states, such as Somcow or Poplar Nerva, and you’ll see a level of complexity and innovation far beyond these freshman, naturally.
As someone involved in Essexia from the start, it purely amazes me just how far we’ve come – to compare the innocent beginnings to formal present and promising future Essexia contains, it just baffles me how a group of compatriots could have achieved this so quickly. And yet we did. In three years, we built a unicameral Parliament from the ground up (Including researching the definition of unicameral). We wrote three and a half constitutions. We drafted and debated over fifty individual pieces of legislation. We developed a unique culture, open to all people of the World. And we learnt whilst doing it. In my upcoming book chronicling the history of our great nation, it is made even more evident that Essexia was more of a learning experience than anything else, stemming from days of model UNs, simulated political parties and wasted hours of strategy gaming. And over the course of around six years of these combined experiments, we (Or at least I) have learnt considerably more about economics, politics, leadership and teamwork than I would’ve have done doing literally anything else – A few years of Essexia and projects with my school mates has done more for me than any course or degree could have in a decade.
From the experience that is Essexia, how do the skills I have gained (and am still learning even today) compare with those required in the modern, British way of life? Well, let’s look at an obvious example: Politics. In a recent conversation with a good friend, I remember claiming that confidence is more important than any degree. When looking at politics, this is especially true; It is almost a necessity to exert an abundance of confidence and self-righteousness to advance anywhere in the political landscape, and Essexia proves to develop this required trait in almost every active politician. The Parliamentary debates, frequent emergencies and constant political bickering has fermented a resilience and charismatic ability in most of us, or at least developed it to a far more significant degree. Trust me, I don’t need to tell you that I’m no FDR or JFK for you to believe it, but I know for a fact that, without Essexia, I would know barely even one tenth of the people I do now thanks to Essexia, let alone represent or debate them in a democratic chamber upheld by a Constitution I in turn aided in creating. But looking beyond politics, even in the average office, these skills of confidence, problem solving and negotiation most Essexian politicians have gained can go a long way towards more productive work, or even a respectable promotion. My point among all of this jibberish, is that Essexia has given me, and us, skills that are vital and beneficial for us in the workplace, society and beyond.
So, after establishing Essexia’s middle-ground in the micronational stage, and it’s ability to promote skills useful in the modern, first-world macronation, how do we compare to a fully-fledged nation? Of course, as you would presume, nowhere near. We have no basic economy, no effective law enforcement, a broken judicial system (For now…), a lack of any truly distinctive culture and around as many active politicians as there have been people on the moon…we’re a long, long way away from a truely respectable nation. But, even though our Government offices have barely enough people to sustain them, and despite all the other obvious flaws (listed or not), we are not ‘nowhere’. Essexia, despite it’s shortcomings when faced with reality, has real potential towards a progressive movement – It’s a simulation that is far from the real thing, but far from the opposite. As it stands, and as I see it, we will never be a true and independent macronation. However, we have demonstrated the skills and knowledge necessary to making one, and perhaps our most useful cultural development is the ability to progress where others have failed; to learn from our mistakes; to take what works, and make it succeed. From proportional representation to independent technological advancement, Essexia has proved to be a proving ground for innovation and experimentation.
But this is not why I consider Essexia a blueprint for a utopia. Nearly as old as the idea of a utopia itself is the reality of one – That a world where everything is perfect, is a world that is itself flawed. Whilst Essexia possesses many ideal values (Including a more democratic democracy, higher minority representation and a state closer to eradicating racism and inequality than. almost any macronation), it is this idea that Essexia is close to perfection that would be its downfall. The lack of challenges that real macronations have face, and continue to face, in Essexia has led to legal loopholes and broken systems that would transform Essexia into a state more broken than Liberia. Although in concept our State is near perfection, it is this hubris that defies this perception.
Am I saying Essexia is hopeless? That we should abandon ship because we’re not perfect? Absolutely, positively not! As I said earlier, we learn from our mistakes, and as such we must make mistakes to learn anything. Essexia is not perfect, but then again quite literally nowhere is. We should not be concerned with making Essexia perfect, as that is what leads to false utopias and dystopias. We should focus, in my eyes at least, on three key concepts:
- Development. Essexia should grow to become even more realistic, through active citizenship growth, legislation drafting and enforcement and continued education.
- Innovation. Our technology surpasses that of many micronations, and is only improving. In an ideal future, we would be able to truly cultivate this innovative growth to actually benefit Essexia, through impressive feats and continued understanding.
- Entertainment. Essexia began as a weekend project at Christmas, and although in our quest for true simulation we travel further away from this initial concept, it always has, and hopefully always will, stay with us.
Even Earl Finn, someone who I haven’t disclosed this article to yet, and who I have too often debated and disagreed with, shares a similar idea of how Essexia is beneficial for us. In a conversation today, he expressed that, to him, “There’s been a lot of negatives in my eyes especially early on, but as Essexia’s developed so have we all.” From mistakes, come lessons, is what I perceive Finn as discussing with me. He continued, explaining that he believed Essexia has been a lesson in learning our limits but also furthering our ambitions. He believed he invested much of himself into Essexia, stating that one of the realities that he’s come to terms with is that he “would take stuff way to personally…when something I’ve invested time into fails I would be upset.” He accepts that he hasn’t overcome this, but believes that, in learning these emotions and feelings from Essexia, it “will help me in general life as it means when I receive criticism on work I’ve invested a lot into I can see their points even if I disagree with it and not take it personally.” Whilst I normally disagree with Finn, I cannot do anything but agree entirely with his expressions and opinions on Essexia as a beneficial force. He concluded with a heartfelt statement that I too wish to emulate someday in the future; “Essexia has helped me and I look forward to attempt to return the favour to continue trying to help Essexia.“
Does this article provide anything of value? No, because the way that I see Essexia is different from the way you see it, and both perceptions are separate from the way someone else sees it. As such, we all have different perceptions, different blueprints, and different experiences. But hopefully, what this article has incited, is that Essexia is just a hobby, but it’s a beneficial one, and a meaningful one. The Emperor once said to me, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks or how you feel, as long as you’re having fun, that’s all that matters.
I believe we should adopt an Essexian Dream, a dream of progress through mistakes, of advancement despite race and circumstances, and appreciating the grand portrait over the insignificant brush stroke. Thank you.
Jack is a British citizen, and a previous First Minister of Essexia.