In a series of interviews, we’ll be talking to micronationalists about how they feel the community is doing. Kit McCarthy talks first to Mike Lewis, of Lundenwic.
KM: For those who don’t know you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
ML: Indeed, I am Gen. Lord Mike Lewis, Marquis of New Charter and current Prime Minister of the Imperial Grand Duchy of Lundenwic. I, and the other founders, started Lundenwic in 2013 and I have been a member of the community since.
KM: What is, in your opinion, the best thing about the community?
ML: The best thing about the community is that it is quite accepting. Anyone can join and there is always someone to accept or help you. It is very diverse with many different ideologies and opinions. It is a creative breeding ground for all micronationlists. Arguments are, at most times, respectful and well thought out.
KM: Arguments are, at most times respectful and well thought out. What about when they’re not?
ML: There tends to be a slight backlash from other members. I personally tend to ignore those types.
KM: The Joseph Kennedy Affair was perhaps an example of an argument becoming less respectful. What do you think went wrong there, and how could we prevent a similar situation from occurring?
ML: From what I understood, the Kennedy Affair was a prank that went wrong. It was done in revenge for something Ned Greiner had said. I firstly think the prank wasn’t well thought out or executed. I also think the new members of the community were underestimated as well as the backlash it created. It is possible that the backlash caused will serve as a prevention of similar incidences occurring. It would be brilliant if that were to happen. However, the ‘New Guard’ should do more to help teach and shape newer members of the community to prevent further incidences.
KM: You say that’s the New Guard’s responsibility – what about the Old Guard?
ML: The Old Guard have seemed reluctant to do this. Don’t get me wrong, there are those that try, but they are outnumbered by the ones that seem to treat newer members with contempt. It is like newer members need to prove themselves worthy. I imagine over the years they have seen many weird and wonderful new members come, go and cause heaps of problems. I don’t blame them for the way they are.
KM: The New Guard is rarely recognised as part of the community, with the term “newfag” being more frequently used. What is the New Guard, and what should it be?
ML: The New Guard spontaneously formed during the Kennedy Affair. Members of the Old Guard can sometimes seem intimidating, but the New Guard made quite a few of the newer members feel they had a voice. It brought together all the newer members that had never spoken to each other before. It was quite impressive. Now, it should carry on the work it started. Providing support to the newer members of the community and not being afraid to challenge the Old Guard.
KM: It has been argued that part of the problem with the community is that the newer and older members are growing further apart. Does the New Guard not contribute to that problem?
ML: It does, yes. But at least now the task is to bring two groups of people together rather than each individual member trying integrate themselves with the Old Guard.
KM: What’s the next step, in your opinion?
ML: I honestly don’t know. There are many smart and talented people within the community and I am sure they will have ideas. The way forward seems to be projects like the Bildaut Panel, etc. They bring members of both communities together.
KM: Mike Lewis, thank you.
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