Note from the Editor: This is an opinion piece written by His Imperial Majesty the Emperor in his capacity as Monarch and does not necessarily represent the views of the Adammic Express.
The concept of Imperium is fairly well-known in the micronational community. Originating in the Austenasian Civil War over seven years ago, it is a worldview popular in Austenasia, Reyla and the Wyvernian Holy Roman Empire, and is represented by the tri-lateral agreements of recognition which exist between those states. It essentially holds that the only “legitimate” empires are those which can claim descent, via the concept of translatio imperii, from the Roman Empire. Austenasia claimed to have achieved this after being recognised by Sebastian Linden’s revived German Empire in 2011, and later extended the status to Reyla and the Holy Roman Empire by recognising them in turn. In a similar vein, the Holy Roman Empire claimed succession from the historic Holy Roman Empire due to King Quentin’s descent from Charlemagne.
I have been aware of the concept of Imperium since my earliest months in micronationalism, and have always viewed it with a mixture of interest and irritation. During the first year or so of Adammia’s existence, it was a given in Adammic foreign policy that we would eventually directly seek recognition from Austenasia partially for the purpose of attaining Imperium status. In recent years, this has effectively ceased to be an objective of the MoFA (although we would be willing to discuss such matters were Austenasia or another member of the Imperium “club” to approach us).
The reasons for our disinterest in the Imperium worldview are two-fold. Firstly, the whole concept of Imperium is profoundly un-Adammic. By this, I mean that Adammia has always been about self-sufficiency and shaping our own destiny; my claim to use the title of Emperor has always been derived from my sovereignty over an Empire which has been built from the ground-up, independently of foreign interference. It is this philosophy which has driven Adammia to create what is arguably the most successful economy in the MicroWiki community. Under our philosophy, the notion that we must prove descent from a historic entity in order to legitimise our own Imperial Majesty is an implied weakness, as it forces us to rely on other emperors – who have their own empires and their own agendas – in order to validate ourselves.
The second reason is that Imperium arguably has a negative effect on smooth diplomatic relations. It has not escaped our notice that Austenasia very carefully avoids referring to either myself or the Emperor of Paravia as emperors; Adammia has, of course, opted to ignore this in good faith. The reality is that empires are no longer rare in the MicroWiki community. In fact, I would go so far as to argue that we are in an era of great empires dominating the community: Austenasia, a military and diplomatic superpower; Paravia and Abelden, the two territorial superpowers; and, to a lesser extent, Adammia, an economic superpower. Adherence to the Imperium doctrine, and more specifically the Treaty of Wrythe, means that the Imperium nations will not treat the other empires of the community as equals in diplomacy, and will not even grant them the recognition accorded to nations with heads of state of lower diplomatic rank. It may well be that Austenasia would be willing to persue negotiations with other empires so that they may be admitted to this “club”, but the more empires are recognised, the more difficult this would become as the map of the Western Roman Empire becomes increasingly divided in increasingly awkward ways. Here this presents a quandary for Adammia – in the event that discussions as to mutual recognition did ever take place between Adammia and Austenasia, would we have to agree to similar terms as the Treaty of Wrythe meaning that I wouldn’t be able to recognise emperors without the consent of the other Imperium emperors, as I already have done with Paravia and Abelden? Or would Austenasia have to sacrifice its effective monopoly over the entire doctrine? A win-win outcome looks impossible. Certainly, Adammia would flat-out refuse to relinquish its right to recognise foreign empires without relying on the consent of other Imperium empires – this would go against our philosophy that I described earlier.
There are two solutions as I see it: firstly, we continue as we have done for the past four years, and Adammia simply dismisses Imperium as pretentious; secondly, a multilateral treaty involving all of MicroWiki’s active empires be drawn up, so that everyone is put on equal footing. Given the amount of work the latter option would take, I suspect the status quo will remain for the time being.