Apollo Sector lecture

01Abr08

In: CAVA, Bruno. Micronacionalismo Lato Sensu. Reunião: Fundação Teobaldo Sales, 2006.

APOLLO SECTOR LECTURE.
Scott Siskind

Hello, and thank you for welcoming me here. I’m Scott Siskind of Shireroth, and it’s an honor to be able to address such a well-organized and well-informed class. I apologize for my lack of fluency in Portuguese – if there’s anything I say in English that you don’t understand, just tell me and I’ll try to rephrase it.

I’ve been asked to talk to you about the Apollo Sector. A lot of different people use that term in a lot of different ways. Since I don’t know what your other speakers will be covering and would hate to intrude on their territory, I will go for the strictest possible definition, and discuss only the Apollo Sector until the end of the UAS, with some added commentary on possible significance today (which I’m afraid I’ll have to limit to the Anglophone world, since I know absolutely nothing about Lusophone micronationalism).

Bruno tells me that you’ve already read a lot of information about this and other topics, so I’m going to try and do only a *very* brief summary of the actual history involved and concentrate on my commentary, which is the only thing I can provide that a good book on the subject couldn’t.

The Apollo Sector was a group of closely linked micronations founded by people from the Apolyton Civilization Site forum. The first of them, Apolyton, started up in August 1999, and was soon forced to change its name for copyright reasons. The country became Audentior and the sector become Apollo, as the word closest to Apolyton that no one could object to.

Audentior was originally a parliamentary republic, albeit not a very good one. A political party led by John Sager, Automatic For The People (AFTP), eventually got fed up with the leadership and led a revolt, leading to a cold war between Audentior and AFTP that lasted through early 2000. It was during this period of high activity that a few other nations sprang up – the Flying Islands of Jasonia, a split-off group from the AFTP, the Republic of Blackrock, a group of Irish people who showed up and associated themselves with us, the and United Demesos, which had been founded a bit before but began to pick up citizens and importance around this time. Eventually, militaristic pressures led to Audentior declaring itself an Empire under Emperor Evan von Christoph; this lasted all of a week before it burnt itself out and Audentior fractured. This only led to the Sector becoming more diverse, though – a few ex-Audentes, including myself, founded Hyperborea, and a few Jasonians founded Shireroth. All of these countries joined together in a loose group called the Apollo Confederacy to discuss issues and ensure peace throughout the region. This eventually ended in four of them – Tapfer (the United Demesos, renamed), Hyperborea, Shireroth, and Jasonia – deciding to put aside their differences and merge into a new Audentior, which they did. This one lasted two months before it was torn apart by internal conflicts. There was a brief struggle for supremacy, after which Jasonia came out on top, and enjoyed a few months of “Golden Age” – a flowering of culture. This period was also marked by a few small wars started by annoying terrorists – these ended with the Sector developing a united policy to prevent such things, and this unity eventually led to a sort of second merger, between Jasonia and a successor of AFTP with a Polynesian theme called Hauóli Éna. Once again, this merge lasted about two months before internal conflict tore it apart. There was another brief struggle for supremacy, which was won by a revived Shireroth, although Jasonia remained in existence for a while. Shireroth managed to absorb most of the Apollo Sector and hold onto it through the Tymarian age, and is probably the closest representative of it to last into the present.

This is all a *very* brief summary. For a much more complete history, I recommend http://www.geocities.com/giantsquid1_1999/temp/ApolloHistory.doc (you will have to copy and paste the link into your browser; Geocities doesn’t allow direct link-clicking).

What do I consider the significance of the Apollo Sector many years after the difference between it and the rest of the micronational community dissolved? I believe it helped establish a new sort of paradigm not seen before, at least in the Anglophone community. The Apollo Sector was a group of different nations that were so closely linked as to function as one community. In some cases, these links were through double citizenship – in happier cases, they were through nations that had strong alliances and ties with one another and a deep understanding of one another’s workings. While foreign affairs has existed in micronationalism for a very long time, this sort of shared history is, as far as I know, something that the Apollo Sector certainly shared in the development of. It is my thesis, although I think many people would disagree with it, that the Apollo Sector was, along with a few other places like Thomas Leys’ micronation site, the first nucleus around which the current Anglophone sector arose. The interlinked group that originally included only the Apollo countries was joined by other countries, such as Babkha and Attera through their foreign relations with the Apollonians, until eventually we developed the sector known today as Micras, where at least ten or twenty English-speaking nations are all more or less aware of each other’s existence and able to interact by discussing matters, forming alliances, and helping each other out.

Aside from helping out the cohesion process by simply existing, the Apollo Sector had a number of innovations and institutions that sped it up. The first of these was the Micronational Cartography Society, founded by Shireroth and Hyperborea in the days just after the collapse of the Union of Apollo States. The Society is an attempt to form a map on which all countries can be represented in relation to one another, and has been very successful. The map’s very existence makes countries more aware of their “neighbors” and encourages certain types of interaction like recwars and storytelling. In case you haven’t already seen them, they can be found at http://www.geocities.com/microcartography/. The second such institution was the Apollo Fireball, which I’m proud to say I was a part of. As one of the only micronational newspapers that published on a consistent basis, people interested in keeping up to date on micronations were eventually attracted to it, it started to cover other countries outside the Apollo Sector and thus to “expand the limits of the known world”, and bring more micronations in close contact with one another. The end result of a lot of this closeness was Tymaria, in which non-Apollonian countries like the Rasinate and Interland joined a tradition established in the very early days of the Apollo Sector and participated in a major merger. Although this eventually failed, it was responsible for causing even more unity among Anglophones, as everyone noticed a place as big as Tymaria and ended up interacting with it in some way, whether as participant, enemy, or interested bystander.

What really sealed the existence of Micras as a “sector” and a focal point for the community was http://www.micronations.net, the brainchild of Apollo Sector latecomer Iain de Vembria of Treesia. The MNN forum there provides a central space for people from all over to talk, and a number of institutions now hosted there like the MCS, the Apollo Foundation – a group that works on preserving history – the FNORD awards that reward excellence among micronationalists, and many other things draw people in.

The Apollo Sector is gone, but its legacy, in the form of the Micras Sector to which Shireroth, Babkha, Attera, and other well-known and interesting countries belong, survives. In the future, I foresee the Micras group “capturing” a higher percentage of Anglophone micronations in its orbit, as countries gradually come to see the advantage of having a strong and active community to work within. It would be great if someday we could have most if not all of the world’s micronations actively in contact with one another and working together on matters that concern all of them. I can’t really say what the future holds, although the Scheheradze Convention assures that we can look forward to continued peace, and MNN assures we can look forward to being informed in ever more interesting ways. I think the trend is toward more unity, in spirit if not in the form of mergers, and I think that’s a good thing.

I hope this has been the sort of lecture you were looking for, and if not, then I’d be happy to expand on anything I didn’t mention, although the book I linked to should talk about it in more detail than you could possibly want. While I’m thinking of it, is there any book describing a short history of the Lusophone sector in English? I just realized how little of your history I and other Anglophones really know, and it would be great if there were a way to change that.

Thank you for listening,

Scott



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