The Standard One-on-One: August Charles II

The Coprieta Standard has the opportunity to sit down with Gotzborg’s King August Charles II to reflect on the past year in Gotzborg and what 2014 has in store for the micronation.

CS: Your Royal Majesty, thank you for taking the time to sit down with us for this year-end interview during the hectic holiday season. To start, I was wondering if you could tell our readers what you consider to be the accomplishments – or high points if you will – of life in Gotzborg during the last year.

ACII: Thank you for having me. Well in answer to your question, I think the first thing I can mention as accomplishments of the last year is the pace and scope of activity which Gotzborg saw. It may not be the most glorious answer to start, but I really think that the significant amount of posts and activity that all of that interaction generated really helped to propel things back to a place where Gotzborg is an attractive destination for visitors and newcomers alike.

Looking deeper though, I think there were accomplishments as well in the quality and focus of the efforts that were made. Significant investment was made in stadiums throughout the Kingdom, hosting baseball. I must say that the people of Gotzborg really seem to have been taken by this game so far, I am looking forward to next season.

Additionally the studied and careful pace of growth in the area of economics as well made up a portion of accomplishment. Gotzborg as you know has always been keen on leading into new and unexplored areas of micronational economics, it really is a difficult and deep area. I have great respect for the amount of work being done in this area in the sector and while I think we as a larger community have a lot of structure and value here, I still think that what we have can be done better. Gotzborg has been doing well to try and find these new avenues and approaches while at the same time always looking for ways to integrate into the larger economic zone.

Finally, as a high point I would have to say that the foreign relations portfolio has seen more activity and success in reaching out across the world than it has in a number of years. The Foreign Office chappies have simply done a bang up job in getting out there and connecting with people. And truly that is what this is all about no? Connecting and interacting with others remains the top goal going forward as it has in the past. Without that constant focus, we lose all forward progress.

CS: This year marked a renewed start for the former Kingdom of Victoria within Gotzborg. Can you share with our readers your thoughts on the place of Victoria within Gotzborg and what the future has in store for this newfound relationship?

ACII: I am extremely excited about Victoria and Gotzborg together, I think there are vast amounts of exciting and rewarding potential waiting to be tapped. It is truly an honour to have Gotzborg support a re-vitalized and rejuvenated Victoria. As to the future of this relationship, it all started with Gotzborg’s claim to Micras territory in the same region as Victoria once held before it closed up. My intentions at that time were simply to occupy the same space as we had before (for the sake of consistency) however a significant portion of our former territory was held by, at that time, Elwynn. So the land where Victoria once sat was taken and it was at that point I felt that it would be proper and respectful to re-line the Victorian borders to what they were before. We didn’t have the full area, some of the Victorian lands were cut off by Elwynn occupation however it was enough. It was well received by the community, those that knew of and appreciated the unique dynamism Victoria brought.

From that point Dr. Bjorn Olsen, the founder of Victoria who had been macronationally focused since the closure of Victoria, reached out to me and proposed that the best course of action would be to re-introduce the Kingdom under Gotzborg’s umbrella. It was just a good fit and right to honour the history of that micronation.

Since then we have been in ongoing discussions about what that is going to look like, we will have at some point a document that will outline this relationship and what it will mean. What I can tell you about the future is that Victoria will be a part of Gotzborg but retaining the majority of its own pre-Gotzborg identity. Basically it will be a constituent county of the Royal Kingdom. This will give everyone the best bang for the buck, forgive the slang. Persons interested in joining Gotzborg will have, as they always have, the freedom to choose their home and in Victoria, they will still be able to experience that Victorian experience as they did before. Stay tuned for the end result.

CS: The downfall of the amicable diplomatic relationship between Gotzborg and Stormark many years ago is perhaps the elephant in the room to many veterans in both micronations. This past year saw both attempt to revive that relationship, and a treaty proposal is now on the table to foster renewed cooperation. What are your hopes for the Gotzborg-Stormark relationship in the New Year?

ACII: I think as we have all moved through our lives to this point, we have all matured. Things that were of great importance in the past are not as much so nowadays. So much the same with Stormark. Frankly I can’t say that we’re not interested in relationships with other micronations, because we can’t really afford not to support one another. Sometimes nations take unusual directions and we have to continue to evaluate relationships. Just because we need to stick together doesn’t mean have to stick together if someone’s actions may cause risk to the reputations of others. But in the vast majority of them, this is not the case. In the past, both Gotzborg and Stormark have taken actions that we would now consider inconsiderate or immature. I think now we’re years past that and the opportunity and responsibility to build community rests with everyone involved.

So as to the new year, I don’t really have any hopes, frankly I am not going to put much more than simple hope and effort for amicable relations and interactions. As with any relationship, we see where it goes and how it goes and when the time is right to explore an opportunity to expand on that relationship, we’ll talk it out and make a move.

CS: What do you think are some of the challenges facing Gotzborg in 2014 and how does the micronation plan to tackle them?

ACII: Well I always sound like a broken record when you ask this question, but I can’t fault you journalistic persistence dear sir. People still remain the number one. We’re losing the marketing war as a micronational sector and community, more so than ever before. You look about at the MCS, even compared to four years ago, the landscape has changed, and it has changed significantly. So many old nations….gone. Babkha, Ashkenatza, Antica, Attera, Cyberia, Alexandria (not officially gone, but no heartbeat currently), the list goes on. Shireroth is and continues to be a pillar of the community and the longest lived, but the overall count puts us all in a bad way.

All of Gotzborg’s other challenges stem out of this one. Both you and I have tried to be the sole generators of activity, and with little success. I personally gain joy from the interactions with others, whether in Gotzborg or out, it doesn’t matter.

As to action plan, I wish I could outline for you the 10-point plan which has been secretly developed in Cabinet, but alas we’re not there yet. Our 2014 agenda is upcoming and even then, our annual plan and goals will be wholly dependent upon those citizens who desire to participate.

As is always the question though, and I put it to your readers (since the CS has a wide range of them from all over the sector) how to we market ourselves to the wider outside world of the internet? What can we do to get the micronational message out to the thousands of potential young, keen and eager micronationalists that ARE out there, looking for the next neat, creative and interactive thing? Maybe we have to look at having an inter-micronational conference to address just this question. Now I know what you’re thinking, back in the day any intermicronational conference (and there were a lot of them) didn’t seem to accomplish much, but I think the last one of such significant mention was….well I can’t even remember how long ago or what it was about.

CS: Any final thoughts?

ACII: I have been in this community and participating with people here for over 10 years now. I think I am safe calling myself an ‘old-timer’ now. When I started in this sector, I found it out of pure luck. While I had been running Gotzborg on paper and in the early days of the internet, it was only when I was putting my first webpages together that I found that there was a whole world out there (in here?) that I didn’t know existed. That changed everything for me.

Some days I wonder why I am still here, but the thing that keeps me coming back is the relationships. I have friends in this micronational world that I haven’t even MET in real life! What does that say about the world now? But the point is that I consider people here friends and that’s important to keep those friends and those things your passionate about doing close. We all need to keep balance from work and the real world, and this is one of those great, unique and creative ways to do that.

So I leave you and all your readers with these thoughts. Enjoy your time here, make it fun, be passionate, and be fair. Be creative, don’t look to cut and paste but instead look at how you make something ‘yours’ and unique to you or your micronation. Don’t let it turn into work, as soon as that happens you’ll be gone. And finally, build relationships with others in your country, and others, it will open up new avenues to explore and try out things.

Mr. Sinclair, I thank you for the opportunity to share some thoughts with you and I appreciate this discourse. I hope your 2014 is excellent!

Liam Sinclair

Liam Sinclair is the founder of the Coprieta Standard and the Royal Institute of Micronational Antiquities. As one of the longest-active micronational journalists, Sinclair's dedication to quality micronational journalism has earned him and his publications several community awards since he first began reporting in 2001.

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