The McFarlane-McCarthy Accords Explained

With the recent announcement of the creation of the McFarlane-McCarthy Accords and the International Military and Warfare Council, the community has been full of questions regarding the nature and future of the project. As co-founder of the program, I would like to provide some answers to these questions in a hope to educate my fellow micronationalists about what I and others have created.

A few months ago, I was struggling with the idea of micronational conflict. I couldn’t quite seem to put a finger on what it was or how it was carried out. Granted, there had been dozens of these conflicts before my time, but very few of them actually seemed to contain any real engagements, as they were mostly just online flame wars. It bothered me that a community made up of simulationists and secessionists couldn’t find a way to conduct conflict without embarrassing itself. Whether a country is simply trying to emulate macronations or join their ranks as a fully fledged independent state, it should be able to engage in conflict. A requirement for independence is the ability to defend one’s sovereignty, and I couldn’t see this happening with an online argument or with battles taking place via video games.

I needed to find a way for micronations to engage in conflict, and so, I created a thread on the forums to discuss how this could be achieved. Soon, a few other individuals had joined me in considering the idea, and before long, we began a research project to learn more about the nature of micronational conflict. My intentions were to turn the research into a treaty which would set out a basic framework for engaging in legitimate conflict between micronations. However, time constraints caused the project to stall, eventually leading it to fall into inactivity.

That was until Mr. McCarthy published a report on the issue. Much to my content, his report included a lot of my research. Since he had picked up the momentum from my project, I suggested that together we draft a treaty, thus continuing my ambitions for providing the community with a method of engaging in conflict properly. Mr McCarthy agreed, and with the help of several individuals we produced the McFarlane-McCarthy Accords (a special thank you to Lord Taeglan who imparted valuable legal advice to us). Since then, we have received a lot of questions and concerns. Hopefully in this article, those will be put to rest and you the reader will have a greater understanding of what this project is and the good it is going to do for the community.

The McFarlane-McCarthy Accords acknowledge that conflict is an unavoidable part of the human condition, and that due to this, sometimes nations also find themselves in conflicts. With that in mind, it seeks to provide nations with a method of engaging in conflict when all diplomatic solutions have been exhausted and when a nation or its interests are under serious threat.

So what are the goals of the McFarlane-McCarthy Accords? Put simply, they are:

  • To create a system for micronations to safely engage in conflict without bringing their legitimacy, or the legitimacy of the community into disrepute.
  • To uphold commonly accepted community values in conflicts.
  • To monitor conflicts in order to ensure that parties abide by the rules set out in the Accords.
  • Probably most importantly, to encourage peace between conflicting parties, and to act as a mediator if possible.

The Accords achieve these goals by recommending methods of taking part in conflict such as physical battles and espionage. It also creates basic rules for conflict based upon commonly recognised community values and beliefs. This is enforced by the International Military and Warfare Council (IMWC), which is an organisation with the sole mission of making sure that the Accords are implemented and obeyed by signatories.

If you would like to view the McFarlane-McCarthy Accords, you can view it here. Now that you understand what our little project is, there are some questions and concerns that I need to address:

The IMWC is an international body, will it interfere with my nation’s affairs and armed forces?

This has been a very common question, and it has a simple answer. The IMWC is of course an international body, however its goal is not to interfere with other countries and make decisions for them. Rather, the IMWC is simply in charge of ensuring that the McFarlane-McCarthy Accords are upheld by signatories. The Accords itself actually only sets out some very broad methods of engaging in micronational conflict, and provides some rules that are designed to protect more vulnerable members of our community from serious harm, and to ensure that signatories do not break common community principles. For example, conflicts should not put anyone at risk of serious harm or death, they should not destroy physical property, they should leave out non-combatants and should be as moral and ethical as possible. These are some of the major rules that the Accords have put in place. Yes, the IMWC will intervene if a nation breaks any of these rules, but I have faith in the members of our community that they do not intend on breaking these rules. You do not need to fear the IMWC in any way shape or form unless you intend on breaking these rules which I’m fairly sure no one is planning on doing.

To quote Mr McCarthy: “By ratifying the Accords, you are more declaring your support for reasonable micronational warfare than allowing a foreign body to interfere in your affairs.”

I’m concerned that the IMWC is going to be open to political bias.

When a nation ratifies the Accords, it is only making a commitment that if it finds itself in a conflict (which as earlier mentioned, is sometimes unavoidable) it will uphold community values and act properly and reasonably. The Accords simply set out a framework for engaging in conflict in a fashion that does not pose a serious risk to individuals and that is moral, ethical and compliant with community ideals. When we were drafting the Accords, we wanted to ensure that it would not be abused by certain parties with their own motives and so we added several checks and balances. One of these checks and balances is an independent judiciary with the goal of providing an unbiased opinion on whether or not a party has violated the treaty. It shall have the power to investigate breaches of the treaty, and shall be able to make decisions in regards to punishments. This judiciary shall stay totally impartial, and will be respected by all signatories. With that in mind, it’s hard to see how the IMWC could be abused.

The IMWC sounds like it’s going to go YAMO to me.

That’s an easy assumption to make, but let’s take a moment to look at why an organisation goes inactive and becomes YAMO. Firstly, an organisation turned YAMO usually has very broad, vague goals such as “promoting understanding between members”. Because of this, such an organisation struggles to find direction, and quickly falls into activity. However, the IMWC has an extremely specific goal, that being to enforce the McFarlane-McCarthy Accords. At all times, the IMWC shall know exactly what it is doing and why, simply because all it has to do is ensure that the Accords are upheld. That brings us to the second reason why organisations often go YAMO, they simply aren’t required. For example, why have a United Micronations when nations are totally capable of engaging in discussion on their lonesome? On the contrary, the IMWC is most definitely useful, as it provides the community with formal methods of engaging in conflict, a mediation service, courts to prosecute potential violations of the Accords and assistance in monitoring conflicts. The IMWC certainly has a purpose, but it will also be fairly low maintenance. This is another reason why I believe so strongly that it will not go YAMO. Members only have to do anything when there is a conflict, and even then, participation is optional. The organisation will often remain dormant but not dead. It’s expected that it will only have to spring into action when there are micronational conflicts.

My nation is pacifist and has no intentions of ever getting involved in a conflict so it won’t be joining the IMWC or signing the Accords.

Not so fast! In my opinion it’s a little silly to assume that we’re immune to conflict with others. When you sign the Accords you’re not saying that you want to have a conflict or that you ever plan on it. What you’re saying is that IF an unavoidable conflict comes your way, you’ll engage in it decently and in compliance with common micronational values. You’re also saying that you’re committed to assisting other members of the community by protecting them from serious harm, and by ensuring that they too engage in conflict in a decent manner. Whatever your nation’s stance is on war and conflict, it’s welcome in the IMWC. The IMWC is not an organisation that seeks to promote such things, it is instead designed to make sure that IF conflict occurs, it at least happens properly and safely.

Hopefully this article was helpful in debunking some of the concerns surrounding the McFarlane-McCarthy Accords and the IMWC. The project is going to mean great things for the community as it will ensure peace wherever it is possible, and where not possible, it will ensure safe, legitimate and proper conflict. As someone who has worked very hard on this, and who is passionate about the issue, I would personally like to encourage you to consider joining us at the IMWC and to sign the Accords. We’d love you on board, and you really could be part of an extremely beneficial program.

If you have any other questions or concerns, do not hesitate to message myself or any other individual in the IMWC. We’re more than happy to assist you in any way. To ratify the Accords and join the IMWC, please contact Kit McCarthy. Thank you for taking the time to read this article, please enjoy the rest of your day.

Hugh McFarlane

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