by Max Barry

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FAQ: Frequent questions, comments, and remarks

Does East Angria have anything to do with East Anglia?
No. East Angria derives from the words Eastphalia and Angria, two historical regions in present-day Germany. It is possible that the roots of both words go back to the Proto-Indo-European root *ang-, “to bend”, “to bow”. But this goes back 5000 to 6000 years and sounds and meanings have shifted significantly since then.

Are East Angrians angry all the time?
No, they are among the most cheerful and compassionate people in the world. “Angria” may share an etymology with “anger”, but like above, the present-day meanings of the words have nothing to do with each other.

Does East Angria lie in the east?
That depends on from where you’re looking. East Angria is in northwestern Europe, covering the Netherlands, parts of Belgium (Flanders and Eupen-Malmedy) Jutland (the large peninsula in Denmark), northwestern Germany (including Sleswick-Holstein, Hamburg, Bremen, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse, Saarland, and parts of Saxony-Anhalt), Luxemburg, and tidbits of France (German-speaking Lorraine and Dutch-speaking French Flanders).

What is your country’s name? Sassony or East Angria?
Both. You’re a cool cat if you use our in-character name Sassony, but referring to us as East Angria is perfectly fine. “East Angria” refers to the two founding territories, sort of like the “13 Colonies” of the USA. “Sassony” is the whole thing, named after the Sassons: this timeline’s version of the continental Saxons.

I hadn’t quite made up my mind about the nation name yet, and I saw that states start out with 5 million population. I thought claiming a smaller territory with the name would be the right thing to do. I also initially assumed I could change the name later.

Do you speak French/Arabic/Old English/Pig English/Bizarro German/an artificial language?
No. The language is Low German, a real-world language that is spoken by about 5 million people in northern Germany, the Netherlands, and a few dispersed communities around the world. The official language of East Angria is a heavily standardized version with a phonemic script, gender-neutral elements, and an extensive vocabulary. This version of Low German is engineered by me.

Do you use Nation States stats?
I use all Nation States stats except for a few that do not make sense because of the special character of my nation. These stats are:

  • Taxation: East Angria has no government and thus no one to levy taxes. The percentage of the Taxation stat instead describes the percentage of services and goods that directly benefit the whole community, instead of being traded freely. In other words, a tax rate of 85.4% means that 85.4% of all goods and services are provided ”from each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs”, while the rest is bought and sold in free trade. By extension, the “Freedom from Taxation” stat does not apply.

  • Population: Sassony has a population of around 73 million. Population is this game is just a measure of the time that a nation state existed, as it is not affected by wars, policies, developments or other factors.

  • Government Size: Sassony has no government, thus this is just a measure of the degree of horizontal organization.

  • Welfare: As almost all goods and services that cover basic necessities are provided by everyone, for everyone, there is no need for welfare of any kind. Take this as a measure of the value of all those freely accessible goods and services.

  • Average Income (of Poor, of Rich): This is but a rough comparison of standards of living. Sassony uses various labor vouchers instead of money. The spliff is a basic good that is worth exactly one standard monetary unit in production. Take this to mean that the average Sasson has the same standard of living as one of your citizens who earns 102785 standard currency units. By extension, the “Income Equality” and “Wealth Gaps” stats do not apply. They measure difference in standard of living between people who only do communal work and those who do additional work or engage in free trade.

  • Business Subsidization: This is just the degree of aid and solidarity that troubled coops, syndicates, and industries receive.

  • Law Enforcement: Sassony has no police force, but instead a system of well-organized emergency assistance services. Thus, this stat is accurate when taken to be about police, but inaccurate when taken to be about those emergency services.

  • Defense Forces: Sassony has no defense forces, thus this stat is accurate as long as it is at zero or below.

  • Crime: Sassony does not have a legal code or courts, so there is nobody here to convict you of a crime, and neither are the laws that would label it a crime. This stat measures anti-social acts such as inflicting physical or mental harm upon others, damaging personal or collective property, or harming the environment. Acts of hate speech and advocating fascism and bolshevism also fall under this statistic. It does not measure victimless crimes such as recreational drug use, trespassing, or taking things that you need, all of which just aren't issues in East Angria.

    I fundamentally disagree with the game's simplified simulation of crime. I just can't believe that not having prisons makes people walk out of the door and rob each other. Just because there is no official punishment for a given act, does not mean that you will go out and do it. Sassons rely upon their own wit to solve difficult situations, and most of them realize that behaving like an asshole doesn't get you anywhere. Sassony's society has removed most basic incentives for crime, such as poverty, inequality and social coercion. People are also very capable of defending themselves against aggressors. The game mechanics simply can't account for all those details.

Is East Angria an anarchy?
Yes. There are no rulers nor social hierarchies here. It is not, however, an anarchy in the sense of Nation States government classifications, as we have a different understanding of “economic freedom”. The “economic freedom” stat should be called “entrepreneurial freedom” or “freedom to exploit” in our view. We believe that no one should be able to act unethically just for the sake of monetary profit. We also believe that the gradual concentration of wealth in the hands of the few is inevitable with high “economic freedom”, and this is something we despise.

Is East Angria a communist country?
Partially yes, but not in the way you think. It has nothing to do with the state capitalist dictatorships of the Soviet Union, North Korea, Cuba, Maoist China, the states of the Warsaw Pact, or anything beyond Leninism for that matter. East Angria is an anarchist territory first and foremost. Its economy is based on a variety of different principles, ranging from communism to collectivism to freed markets to mutualism. It is thus not purely communist, but has a diverse decentralized economy.

So East Angria is an anarchist-communist country. Doesn’t that mean it is terrible to live there?
No. It is actually totally awesome to live here. Look at our stats and ranks. We managed to create all this without a central government or capitalist exploitation – just by sheer will and dedication of our people.
Anarchism does not entail chaos, mindless violence, self-indulgence nor a lack of organization. It simply means the replacement of coercive systems such as the state and corporations by free, voluntary, horizontal organization. Decisions are made by everyone who is affected by them, and if the minority doesn’t like it, they may move elsewhere and do their own thing.

Isn’t Anarcho-Communism/Libertarian Socialism an oxymoron?
No. Look up the definitions of those terms, and you’ll find that they facilitate each other. Authoritarian communism is equality without freedom, while right-wing libertarianism is freedom without equality. We believe that freedom and equality are both inherently valuable, as well as necessary for a happy and fulfilling life.

Your flag is sending me mixed signals. How is pacifism compatible with anarcho-communism?
Anarchism is against all forms of authority and hierarchy. Violence is the most direct means of exerting authority and coercion. You can’t be an anarchist without being against violence. However, counter-violence is sometimes necessary and unavoidable. If violence is the only way to avert greater violence, it can be seen as justified. East Angria accepts counter-violence in self-defense and related situations, but combats structural violence such as invasion, war on a national scale, riot repression, and systematic exploitation.

My question or remark is not covered by your FAQ!
If you have any further questions, comments, or remarks, please send me a telegram in order to let me know.