Republicanism in Sierra
|Republicanism in Sierra|
Republicanism in Sierra is an ideological and political movement, as well as a socio-cultural community among Sierrans who advocate change in Sierra's government from a constitutional monarchy to a republic. Republicanism has existed in Sierra since the Kingdom's inception, and predates the Kingdom's foundation with its existence within Sierra's predecessor state, California, which was a republic. The development and evolution of republicanism in Sierra is reflective of the political and social changes experienced through Sierra's young history, and has been a persistent, influential force. Political republicanism peaked during the 1870s, which was supported by many disaffected farmers and rural workers, who were Democratic-Republicans in the Styxie. Early political republicanism had strong links with agragrianism, populism, and socialism. Several political events, including the assassination of Prime Minister Ulysses Perry triggered the Sierran Civil War, with republicans uniting under Senator Isaiah Landon with his self-proclaimed "Second California Republic". It is closely and historically related to Landonism, a form of communism advocated by Landon, although most contemporary Sierran republicans do not subscribe to orthodox Landonism.
Although political republicanism, colloquially known as "radical republicanism" lost its widespread appeal throughout much of the Kingdom following Landon's defeat in 1877, "cultural republicanism" persisted, especially in the Styxie, where locals were still defiantly Democratic-Republican party members, formed "republican clubs" (such as the United Farmers' Front) and embraced their own form of regional identity as Styxers. While remaining a minority in society, there has been a recent resurgence in political republicanism, known as dissident republicanism, in Sierra owing to renewed tensions between the increasingly contrasted and polarized Styxie and the rest of the Kingdom, and events such as the abdication of Charles II and the assassination of Prime Minister Steven Hong in 2016. Republicanism is contrasted with monarchism which is the active, conscious, countering ideology to republicanism in Sierra and structural conservatism, which is the neutral or apathetic stance adopted by the majority of Sierrans with regards to the monarchist debate.
Republicans generally support maintaining Sierra's form of federalism, but are divided on how the theoretical Republic would handle the Deseret and Hawaii, which are currently two of the three constituent countries of the Kingdom (the third being Sierra). In addition, republicans tend to be members of the Democratic-Republican Party, which, although has no longer included political republicanism on its platform since 1903, remains a progenitor of cultural republicanism among its large Styxer base. Republicans are also primarily socially conservative and white, but are economically left under Sierran standards. Sierran republicanism is also commonly associated with Ameroskepticism, although a larger portion of Sierrans are also Ameroskeptics, in opposition to American unionism. Nonetheless, republicanism also exists outside of the Styxie in other parts of Sierra, and is represented by a diverse group of people across the entire political spectrum, races, and classes.
Within the Kingdom of Sierra, republicans are primarily concerned with the abolition of the monarchy, rather than the dissolution of the Sierran union (comprising of Sierra, Hawaii, and the Deseret), or the independence of its constituent countries. However, the majority of republicans are strong Ameroskeptics, and strongly support Sierra's leave from the supranational union. Republicans also overlap with Democratic-Republicans, as most are cultural republicans, with generations of families voting along the party. In practice, the party itself no longer includes political republicanism or anti-monarchism on its platform. In addition, although most republicans are also Democratic-Republicans, most Democratic-Republicans are structural conservatives, or individuals who support maintaining the status quo, while some in the party leadership are open monarchists.
There are two forms of republicans: political republicans (sometimes derisively called "radical republicans") and cultural republicans (also known as moderate republicans), with the latter constituting most republicans in Sierra today. Political republicans tend to encompass people of various different backgrounds, who are all unified in their opposition to the existence of the Sierran monarchy for varying reasons. Historically, especially among republicans who followed Isaiah Landon's orthodox ideas, subscribed to a form of socialism advocated by Landon known as Landonism. Today, most political republicans do not hold Landonist conceptions of socialist republicanism. Cultural republicans are mainly concentrated in the Styxie, and are the product of de-radicalization efforts shortly after the Sierran Civil War when the republican forces under Landon were defeated. Although political republicanism was no longer deemed as viable or practical in the Kingdom, many Styxers still identified republican values and ideas as part of the region's identity, and thus, celebrated its rhetoric and tenets as symbols of Styxer culture, traditions, and life. After the Civil War, republican "clubs" were formed, which were organizations of hunters, gun enthusiasts, and other individuals who were symbolically called to defend the "Republican Heartland". In addition, Styxer folklore and mythology often portrayed republicanism and republican leaders in a positive light, and as heroes, years after the war's end.
Although the name of "Sierra" is associated with the Kingdom and the name "California" has historically been tied to the original republic, the contemporary consensus among republicans believes that there is a distinction to be made between the Sierran nation and the current Sierran state. They desire to bring a republican form of government to Sierra, thereby creating the "Republic of Sierra", rather than restoring the California Republic as the Republicans during the Civil War attempted to do. A minority of republicans who believe in restoring the Californian state are known as the "Bear Flaggers" in direct homage to the Bear Flaggers of the incipient Bear Flag Revolt that created California, as well as the republican soldiers of the Sierran Civil War.
The debate and divisiveness between monarchism and republicanism is not limited to Sierra however, as it exists in other parts of the world including the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Within Anglo-America, the monarchism-republicanism issue exists in Superior, the only other non-Commonwealth monarchy in the Americas, and in the United Commonwealth where republicanism is openly embraced, while monarchism is a fringe, minority ideology. The issue also exists on a significantly smaller scale in other countries such as Rainier.
Cultural republicanism is the product of agglomerated collection of common ideas, customs, and practices shared among most self-identified republicans. Sierran cultural republicanism has closely been associated with the culture of the Styxie, and while there are many overlaps, the two are not necessarily always interchangeable. Cultural republicanism emerged and proliferated throughout the Styxie as a means to preserve the legacy of republicanism in the region, and to serve as a common, cohesive bond among Styxers. Over generations, the Sierran republican ideology was passed down by committed families, with certain aspects of cultural republicanism persisted, and became cornerstone in not only the culture of the Styxie by which cultural republicanism is ingrained in, but outside throughout the Kingdom. Those who moved into historically republican areas adopted culture republicanism in order to fraternize and connect with existing republicans in bars, churches, theaters, and other establishments.
While cultural republicans nominally and topically oppose the monarchy, most are functioning structural conservatives, and do not actively press for a serious movement to abolish the monarchy, or have a proactive interest in propagating it. Instead, cultural republicans opt to oppose the monarchy non-politically as an indicator of "republicanism" among other republicans as a form of conformity, group identification, and regional pride. As nominal opponents of the monarchy, cultural republicans tend to conduct oaths, rituals, practices, and other activities suggesting anti-monarchism, to enforce the appearance of republicanism, and reinforce bonds with other fellow cultural republicans. Cultural republicans also vote for Democratic-Republican officials, generally out of traditional support based on the party affiliation, rather than actual, personal beliefs or ideologies. Cultural republicans generally abstain from celebrating holidays clearly linked to the monarchy, such as the Queen's Birthday, and also refuse to partake in ceremonies invoking an oath to the Queen unless provided with a non-monarchist alternative.
The color green has historically been associated with Sierran republicanism, and is heavily featured in various Styxie flags. The Styxie cross is also commonly used to represent republicanism, and can be seen on the flags of all of the Styxer provinces. Since the foundation of Sierra, the number of traditional symbols, banners, and flags that have arisen to become a part of Sierran republicanism have increased, many originating from the Sierran Civil War. The bear, or more specifically, the black bear, is linked with republicanism, and to a lesser extent, the grizzly bear (the original animal depicted on the flag of the California Republic). The number "77" is a reference to the year 1877, when the republicans lost and fell to the monarchist troops, as a reminder for the cause, and to ongoing efforts to restore the Republic. Two axes with the two juxtaposition to form two 7's is a common symbol used to convey the number.
Flag of the United Farmers' Front
The following are common slogans, sayings, and phrases associated or part of cultural republicanism:
- Our traditions will not [never] die
- Bow to no Crown but God
- So as the French
- By and By, Arm in Arm
- The Republic will rise again
- Plow with the heart
- Never forget '77
Clubs and gangs
Republican clubs and gangs are social organizations and groups created on the basis of fraternity and camaraderie bound by common republican heritage and beliefs. The first clubs were established in 1858, originally conceived as political organizations that operated in concert with the Democratic-Republican Party. As membership into republican clubs grew in number, so did republican armed militias, which were quasi-legal defense groups which worked independently from the Sierran Crown Armed Forces or any of the Kingdom's commissioned militias. Private militias were, during the infancy of the Kingdom, common and were largely the result of the various military groups created to fight in the Mexican-American War, and later defend the newly independent California Republic when the Republic failed to provide a standing army. Several militias continued to exist in Sierra despite the creation of the Sierran Crown Armed Forces, which absorbed the majority of these private groups, and among the independently remaining militias were those were the republican militias, which stood opposed to the monarchy. While clearly against the Kingdom, neither the government nor the republican militias would engage in any form of conflict until the outbreak of the Sierran Civil War.
During the Civil War, dozens of republican organizations mobilized in the defense of the Republic, and in capturing Monarchist territory under the command of Senator Isaiah Landon and were often more professionally trained and equipped than the official military mustered up by the Republic, who were primarily inexperienced yeomen with no prior armed training. Collectively, to differentiate from the Republic's forces, the republican organizations which participated in the war were known as "Bear Flaggers" as they often carried the original California flag (which featured a bear on it) to battle.
Social republican clubs have continued to exist in the modern age, often in partnership with local labor unions and guilds, and preeminently known for functioning as essential structures for communal bonds and fellowship. Some have promoted political advocacy for a large range of issues from higher wages to environmental causes, while under the common ideology of republicanism. Other clubs have been purely superficial in nature, simply functioning as a fraternity with no explicit political motivation or agenda (albeit loosely heralding republicanism). In addition to clubs, a recent phenomenon has been the growing prevalence of organized criminal gangs and outlaw motorcycle clubs that espouse cultural republicanism. Often times, such groups are heavily armed, and have open rivalries between even other republican groups with clearly defined territory and identification signs (in the forms of tattoos, hand gestures, uniforms, and flags) to distinguish each other apart.
With two centuries in the making, numerous customs and practices have emerged within the Sierran cultural republican community. There are a number of holidays and celebrations held annually by observant republicans, including Isaiah Landon's birthday (November 5), and the Bear Flag Day (June 14). November 5 is a special day for republicans, and not much unlike Guy Fawkes Day (which is held in the United Kingdom on the same day), effigies of historical and contemporary figures including Queen Elizabeth II are burnt or hanged. The practice is quite controversial and has often sparked violent clashes or "counter-burnings" with monarchists and Jacobites. The Green Bible, a book written by prominent republican Christopher Shepherd, has been regarded as the "authoritative guidebook to cultural republicanism", and includes comprehensive rules and recommendations for observing republicans, including what to eat and how to dress on special dates. Many republican social clubs have imitated secret societies and other fraternal organizations with pledges, oaths, and rituals to reinforce affinity with the republican community as well.
Contrary to popular belief, the popularity and emergence of republicanism was not spontaneous, but rather a gradual development that emerged from the political history of the region. Sierra was the successor state to California, which had a republican government, and was predominantly controlled by Anglo-American settlers who hailed from republican backgrounds. Republicanism was and remains the prevailing ideology in the Americas, and was a response to European monarchism that subjected the Americas under colonial rule. According to Sierran historian Johan Hayek, "Republicanism was a mere fact of life for the American. He was born and raised in freedom, where all men were equal in theory, and attempted in application."
The Sierran strain of republicanism first emerged during the California Gold Rush when monarchists, most of whom were Jacobites who immigrated, began to coalesce as a political front that actively supported the formation of a monarchy. The formation of pro-monarchist groups aggravated the creation of republican groups dedicated to preventing the spread of monarchism, and was prominent in the Styxie where both groups clashed. The most prolific and visible group of monarchists were the Jacobites who believed Smith Charles Miller, an Anglo-American businessman originally from New Jersey with a direct bloodline to James II and the British House of Stuart, was the rightful King of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Miller amassed a cult of personality due to his fame, status as royal blood, charisma, and political acumen. The issues and level of corruption, lawlessness, and inefficiency under the Californian republican government further increased the appeal and romanticization of an American-born monarchy. Sensing the rise of monarchism, a number of informal republican groups, mostly under the patronage of newsletters, formed in reaction to the Jacobite-led monarchist movement. Miller quickly ascended the political leadership scene in California, and chaired the 1857 Californian Constitutional Committee as its president, where he presided and facilitated the development of a new constitution that eventually paved the way towards the creation of the Kingdom of Sierra. While Miller initially rejected attempts to change California's government into a monarchy as his supporters insisted, he eventually switched positions and accepted the Convention's nomination for King of Sierra.
Historically, political republicanism was promoted as a major, mainstream ideology through the Democratic-Republican Party, which was one of the two largest parties in Sierra. After the Sierran Civil War and Sierran Cultural Revolution, the Democratic-Republican Party shifted its emphasis away from republicanism towards other issues, before dropping and omitting any references to republicanism on its party platform entirely in 1903. Today, there is no official, centralized organization at the national-level which promotes republicanism explicitly, with republicans constituting a small minority within both the Democratic-Republican and Royalist parties as caucuses.
- Kaitlyn Baculi, human rights activist
- Mark Bishop, author and philosopher
- Robert Cenizo, former MP (Democratic-Republican)
- Frank Soon Chee, former RBS political editor
- James Nichols Conway, The Bunker Hill Journal columnist
- Rickey Cui, cartoonist
- Carson Davis, MP (Democratic-Republican)
- Sofia Fang, journalist
- Robert Pike Ermert, economist and author
- Bonnie Haryanto, writer and broadcaster
- Mason He, musician
- Joshua Holden, film critic, journalist
- Susan Kwon, leader of the Social Democrats
- Jacob Danon, Republican youth activist
- Gelian Kwon, former MP (Social Democrats)
- Isaiah Landon, senator and political writer
- Ruby Lau, actress, comedian
- Judith Fonseca Lestrange, poet and author
- Daniel Magpily, comedian, campaigner
- Akash Mukhi, actor and playwright
- Felicia Oh, actress
- Ulysses Perry, prime minister (Democratic-Republican)
- G.R. Santiago, trade unionist and activist
- Terry Scott, governor of San Francisco
- Christopher Shepherd, MP (Democratic-Republican)
- Kieran Trigell, former basketball player
- Clarissa Vallarta, professor, author
- Scott Western, spokesman of Republic and blogger
- Jermaine Carter Williams, rapper
- Jay Gu Xia, economist and writer
- Eashan Yang, novelist
- Wendall Yamada, celebrity chef
- Michael J. Wolff, economist and writer
As of 2016, no major political party has advocated or supported for hard political republicanism. While the Libertarian Party has mentioned the abolition of the monarchy on its official party platform since the party's foundation, it has stated, on various occasions by party leaders, that republicanism itself is not a core priority of the aims of the party. It alongside the Democratic-Republicans, the Social Democrats, and the Greens are major parties which have either explicitly or implicitly embraced "structural conservatism", which supports the preservation of the status quo in the monarchy-republic dichotomy, and consequently, downplays the relevancy or worthwhileness of the debate in contemporary Sierran political discourse. The only other major party, the Royalists, alongside a number of other right-wing parties explicitly reject republicanism, whereas a small number of minor parties, particularly left-leaning ones, condone hard republicanism such as the Communists, the Progressive Socialists, and Continentalists.
Prior to 1909, the Democratic-Republicans were the forefront of political republicanism in Sierra, and was created specifically in response to the creation of Sierra as a kingdom. Political republicanism continued to exist within the party well after the Sierran Civil War. The war itself only put an end to "radical republicanism", which, at the time, referred to the line of thought which condoned armed violence, when necessary, to achieve the goals of implementing republicanism. This form of republicanism was vehemently rejected by the party establishment, which supported "moderate republicanism", a form of republicanism which advocated change through democratic, electoral means. This strain of republicanism continued to be officially promoted until 1909, and candidates and party members frequently appealed to voters, and attempted to limit the monarchy. Some Democratic-Republicans tried to proactively inhibit or undermine the monarchy by inserting clauses which would have cut funding, or strip titles from the King in omnibus bills. In the Senate, few Democratic-Republicans went as far as to practice grandstanding, refusing to allow a bill to pass, simply because it provided funding to the monarchy, or supportive bodies.
While the Social Democrats don't officially promote republicanism and have historically only promoted cultural republicanism, the party has seen a major shift on that front due to the election fo Susan Kwon as Leader of the Social Democrats in December 2017 where, as part of her Forwarding the Movement initiative, the party has become more and more supportive of political republicanism with Kwon being vocal in her opposition to the monarchy and being a self-identified republican. The New Democratic Faction has emerged within the Social Democrats which explicitly supports republicanism and abolition of the monarchy and are allies with the New Republican Caucus, a faction within the Democratic-Republican Party that supports republicanism and seeks to undo the decision made by the Convention of 1903.
The Republic is the largest pressure group that advocates republicanism in Sierra. Its mission statement reads "to achieve the abolition of the Sierran monarchy in favor of a democratic republic". It has criticized mainstream media outlets for portraying the Sierran monarch and royals in an idealized image, and pushed towards more neutral coverage, and encourages critical assessment of the Royal Family's actions and business. It has attracted attention for its hosting of the Antijubilee, and a number of other "alternative" celebrations in protest to the holidays and festivities associated with the monarchy. Republic has unsuccessfully lobbied for changes in law on pledge of allegiances to the Queen, royal finances, disclosure of information related to the monarchy, and other issues. It has also criticized the existence of the Sierran peerage system and challenges the influence of the historic Sierran noble families.