Umbrellix Left politics, programming, and self-hosted Internet services: experiences, lessons and hope

On the occasion of the draft release of His Imperial Majesty, Emperor-Autocrat William Lehman 1 of the Empire of Lehmark and the Imperial Commonwealth of Lehmark’s Decree relating to the Imperial Commonwealth of Lehmark

Initially written starting the 13th day of September, 2022 a.d., at 11:14 UTC.

Datum Value
Release type Commentary of the General Secretary, in hir capacity as Minister for Foreign and Intercommissional Affairs
Writer Lightning Bjornsson (they, he, xe/hir)

A new decree on a constitutional matter is soon to be released by the Empire of Lehmark. In this journalistic (not legislative, executive or judicial) entry in the Evdonia Gazette, I cover what it means for fellow micronationalists, especially ones who entertain diplomatic relations with Lehmark. I also compare Lehmark’s new proposed structure to the structure of Evdonia’s government.

Background

On the 13th day of September, 2022 a.d., I, Lightning Bjornsson, General Secretary of the Commission of the Republic of Evdonia and of that republic’s Commission on Republic House, obtained, in the personal capacity of the Bjornsdottirs (see the Lightning’s Space Home Page for more info), from the Empire of Lehmark’s Senatorial Hansard (in that nation’s Discord guild), a draft copy of William’s decree relating to the foundation of the Imperial Commonwealth of Lehmark. Out of respect for the unfinished nature of His Imperial Majesty’s affairs, as well as for his copyright in the document, the draft will not be released, and this article will be edited to include a link to the final version on Lehmark’s official website when it is decreed.

Notes on the usage of terms

Amended the 14th day of September, 2022 a.d., starting 03:34 UTC, to correct a factual inaccuracy, on the urging of the subject of the article. Deleted portions are shown struck and added portions are shown bold.

In the Empire of Lehmark (hereafter, “Lehmark” - not to be confused with the Imperial Commonwealth of Lehmark), the Senate is a consultative body whose full membership is appointed by the Emperor and Autocrat. The Emperor and Autocrat calls it for discussion on matters of national interest, such as constitutional amendments, ordinary Imperial Decrees, as well as treaties and budgetary matters. The Emperor and Autocrat may legislate on the full range of state matters without calling the Senate, although discussion on legislation being part of the Senate’s purpose, suggests that the Senate is at least quasi-legislative and the Senate lacks any legislative authority, beyond possibly being persuasive to the Emperor-Autocrat.

Analysis

My understanding of the facts in the decree

The Imperial Commonwealth of Lehmark (hereafter, “the Commonwealth” - not to be confused with the British-led Commonwealth of Nations, or with Lehmark) is an unequal federative constitutional monarchy with an Emperor as its head, defined as the same Emperor-Autocrat carried by the Empire of Lehmark, a specially-privileged member state of the Commonwealth. Its legislative body, the Council, a true legislative body unlike Lehmark’s Senate, consists of the “Heads of Commonwealth State” (we’ll use the term “Heads of State” for convenience) of Member States. It may also consist of other members, if that is decided by that Council or by the Emperor (who the Commonwealth calls “the Head of State” as that is factually his position in a Member State). The Emperor has the right of absolute veto over any law passed by a Member State as well as by Council, and the Emperor may remove members of a Member State’s government at will, as well as perform some executive actions in a Member State’s name.

While a state is a member of the Commonwealth, it accepts the Emperor of the Commonwealth (which is in personal union with the position of Emperor-Autocrat of Lehmark) as its paramount head of state, ahead of its head of state which it retains (and retains the processes for changing). Its independence in matters of foreign relations is suspended - the state may not establish diplomatic relations with other states (question: is that absolute, or is that abrogated if given the express consent of the Commonwealth?). It retains substantial autonomy in internal affairs, but is subject to Imperial assent to its laws, and Commonwealth law restricting the application of its laws. It recognizes as legal tender Lehmark’s official currency, a Stellar Network token called Lehmark Digital Token.

While this decree is mostly an administrative document, it does state that the Commonwealth has an ethical imperative upon its member states, that they respect freedom, respect and acceptance - this, I think, means that you may not join if you contravene the rights charters in Lehmark’s constitution, although that’s not explicitly stated.

Ambiguities

So, member states have an absolute right to secede which the Commonwealth cannot by its laws infringe (interestingly, this aspect is similar to the Republic of Evdonia - a territorial general Commission may not be bound by the republican Commission to remain part of Evdonia, even by limiting powers) - couldn’t removing members of cabinet (I’m assuming it’s cabinet?) or MPs, if that’s permitted by the Commonwealth constitution, be construed as infringing on the right to secede if those members were organizing the secession?

In the event that a member state is infringed upon in some way that is counter to the Commonwealth’s goals, how does it act to secure its right to unsuspend its independence?

A member state recognizes the Stellar token LDT, Lehmark’s official currency, as legal tender - is this to the exclusion of all other legal tender (e.g. CAD in Republic House, the house in Canada which is the only territory controlled, to the extent permissible under shorthold tenancy in BC, by Evdonia), or in addition to it?

Implications for the constitutional status of Lehmark

At this point, we recognize the dependence and leading role of the Empire of Lehmark in the Imperial Commonwealth of Lehmark, and would like to congratulate the Emperor-Autocrat on this development. We asked the Emperor-Autocrat and he said that the ICL doesn’t constitute the successor state of Lehmark on an international basis. With the leading role of Lehmark, it would be able to conduct its own diplomacy separate from the Commonwealth.

Legislative implications for Evdonia

Please note: this is not an expression of legislative or executive will, only an analysis of legislative implications.

While we align with the values of the Commonwealth in terms of social progression and equalities (believing in rights for queer, racialised and indigenous folk), the terms which would apply if we joined are onerous to us, and we will not be joining the Commonwealth. We salute no Emperor as above us, although we do salute him as an equal as a head of state.

Evdonia does, in practice, though not formally, practice absolutism. The executive, legislative and judicial functions, of the republican Commission and of that of Republic House, are unified in the joint and several person of Ellenor, Reinhilde, Amelia, and Melanie Bjornsdottir, Sarah Malik, and myself. This is because we’re the only subject, so there’s only one person to do all of that. Umbrellix IRC, and the shell service, also practices absolutism. The same joint and several person is the network administrator, and is responsible for most of the day-to-day operation of the network, and all of that of the shell service. We seek the advice of our nobles, who are the people we trust and respect (one of whom also runs a server), but at the end of the day it’s our way or it’s the information superhighway.