Zeitgeist Magazine, for the story behind the news
Issue 14,
Volume 7,
28 August 300 AP

The Story behind the news.
Burovianism - A Westrian Empire?

History of the Burovian states in the world.


Other nations join the Burovian fold.


Baben Bay...



and Oost-Otago.

And then non-Westrian nations joined the Burovian movement

How the Burovian nations are better off.

Sometimes some leave the fold.

The "Burovian World Assembly" is born.

Burovianism - a political philosophy

What is the attraction of Burovianism?

The Burovian motto: Peace, Freedom, and Prosperity to All.

Capitalism, of what form?

Occasional 'brokering' by the BWA to ensure that Realm businesses collaborate...

The development of 'underdeveloped' regions is mostly driven by individual and cooperating corporations aided by incentives, such as tax cuts.

Burovianism - government by "brains trust"

The key of the BWA's success is, that we are an amalgamation of highly qualified professional experts.

Democracy... is a very faulty system


Crime and Punishment

If an individual is found guilty of two violent crimes, such as rape, assault, etc., they are subject to permanent removal from society through execution.

Zero tolerance for: drug crimes, drink-driving, child abuse and firearm offences.

Left or Right wing?

Protectionism or Free Traders?

The BWA believes in small but qualified government.

How does the BWA fight politics from within?

One of our foremost rules is open communication.

We appoint (to the BWA) the entrepreneurs, the bright professionals who are driven to success

More Left vs. Right wing

There have been somewhat cash shortages, in which case additional loans were taken.

But every opportunity for (the needy) to become self-reliant as soon as possible is provided where we can. Private industry also plays an important role in this.

Taxes and economic management

Development loans to non-BWA states

Loans are never given for military purposes outside the realm.

Indigenous people movements

Burovian policy is always pro-autonomy.

Democrats or Dictators?

The BWA is essentially a management firm

Burovianism and Religion

Religion is no consideration when it comes to the Commonwealth

The Path to becoming a Burovian state.

Certain policy points, declaration of neutrality, hardening on crime, beginning of economic collaboration with the Realm, could certainly be implemented the instant they take over.

On the issue of integration into the Realm itself, that would be put to referendum (and)... Would be repeated at a yearly interval, until... evident that Realm membership support... grows

It is a government for the people and with the people

A series of very detailed polls is given... each week (and they) guide us in addressing issues that are important to the people.

Accepting anti-development movements

We do not FORCE it upon them, rather begin a process of gradual education...

ANNV Membership

Our military is primarily oriented to be a defensive force

Self-Correction within the Common-wealth

If the Assembly determines that a decision taken by a local BWA is too far from the Burovian ideal, a challenge may be issued, and in extreme cases, the HQ could actually overturn the local decision.

Probationary period

We also strive to have "locals" take responsibility as soon as possible.

Surina overruling autonomous states

An example would be when the BWA Kikikira and HoSt C.H. Lee were overruled in their quest of reverting the name of Westermarc back to the controversial "Terramarc".

Restoring recalcitrant states.

Utania's obstacles to joining the realm

All members are independent, or semi-independent, free to join or leave the Commonwealth, and collaborating amongst each other according to the Burovian ideals

©Zeitgeist Magazine, 300 AP.

©Mike Ham and Max Suchy, 2000. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)
The Complete Burovian Philosophy
Interview with Naahi Bennett and Patrick Firlefenthz,
by Lawrence Sable for Zeitgeist Magazine.

Utanians have been kept largely from world events over the past few years, and many will know there is a Burovian Commonwealth, but simply assume that it is a kinder way of saying "Empire" in the same way that the "Guwimithian commonwealth" simply became an empire under the Tsar. IS the Burovian Commonwealth simply another phrase for "Westrian Empire"? If not, then what does the Commonwealth stand for?

It is a common notion, or should I say, misconception, that the Realm is associated with being "Westrian"... The reason for this is simple, namely that the Realm originated in one single entity, not a nation, but an organization. The organization which is directly responsible for the creation of the Realm, and is the single most important factor for what it stands, is the BWA. I will have to sum up the history of the BWA briefly to explain the intricate path this commonwealth has taken. As you know, the Westrian people have lived for centuries in a very unique Diaspora, after losing their original homeland, whose whereabouts are disputed, and dispersing all over Vexillium (the "Exodus") - after centuries of living amongst other peoples all over the planet, and interacting with them, it became more and more evident that the Westrian culture, language, and way of life were slowly being assimilated to the cultures the Diasporians were living amongst.

To counteract the loss of the Westrian identity, the BWA was founded as an organization for the preservation of such a national identity. The BWA, at that time the "Bureau of Westrian Affaires" became the central cohesive agency for all Westrians on the planet, headquartered in Christiana, and with 16 BWA offices all over the planet (thus the 16-prone star, the symbol of the BWA). When the Westrian "state" was reborn as owning its own territory on the Nuarmian continent, due to the gracious generosity of the Republic of Armatirion, the BWA not only remained as an advocate for Westrian issues planetwide, but also became the administering authority over the new territory Westrians were allowed to settle in. It was then that the BWA laid down the ground philosophy of government, which then was known as "Westocracy" - a nation administered by a group of highly qualified individuals instead of career politicians chosen in a money-driven popularity contest. Philosophies such as the neutrality approach, crime intolerance, and "partisan free market" were created by the professional people who worked for the BWA.

The growth of the new territory was so impressive, that it attracted the attentions of the Vexillium community of nations. The first other nation to aspire this sort of highly effective no-nonsense approach to administering a nation was Terramarc. Itself having broken apart, its waning despot leader failed to forcefully hold on to power, and was overthrown by the people. With no effective government organization in place to assume control over Terramarc, the BWA was summoned by the people to take over as administering authority to the model of "Westria" - since there was also a very large ethnic Westrian minority living in Surin, this transition became even easier. As the people desired to rid themselves of the ghosts of the dictatorship, the name "Terramarc" was first replaced with "Territory of the BWA", and later, "Westermarc" for lack of better ideas, signifying the link with Westria though being administered by the same entity, the BWA. The territories that were added to the Realm subsequently are a mixture of ethnic Westrian enclaves desiring to separate from their foreign government to join their Westrian bretheren in the newly created BWA national structure. Baben Bay is a Westrian enclave that was first leased from Northern Gronk, and later transferred to the Realm by treaty. Sanx was another Westrian enclave obtained through land swap with Maryport (the Von-und-Zu-Otto-Treaty). Lombriga was a Westrian enclave which joined after the disintegration of the Free Confederacy of Lendian Republics (FCLR) - at the same time, the Glaciarian territory was obtained from the FCLR. Solanchatka was a very large Westrian enclave in Angliyaa, which was allowed to join the Realm after the disintegration of Angliyaa. Polaria was discovered and rightfully claimed by Westria. Oost-Otago was a mostly unpopulated territory purchased from TDCorp.

So much for the mostly ethnic Westrian territories, with the exception of the millions of Chakri and Zipangi living in Westermarc, most people living in these territories were "Westrians" - though often intermixed with other races and cultures, but still with a common ancient lineage.

That brings us to the subject of the territories of the Realm which are "not Westrian" - the first was Ras Lanarch, but these citizens were almost expatriates anyways, essentially cut off from their original home state. Ras Lanarch was a sparsely populated colony of St. Kilda, which established vital trading links to Westria, and who voted to leave their union with the St.Kilda commonwealth in favor of joining the much more prosperous and promising BWA Realm.

Deucoland was next. It was joined to the Realm after successful intervention by Westria to expel Djerigan invaders from Deucoland. It was the BWA which exposed the Djerigan scheme with the help of the Deucoland Resistance. The Resistance became the government of Deucoland, and called a referendum. The people of Deucoland voted overwhelmingly for the security and economic promise the BWA could provide, and Deucoland was annexed peacefully.

A similar deal was struck with Niokolo Koba, which was in economic dire straits in spite of their rich natural resources, after years of Phenixian colonial rule, and needed heavy development aid.

The two most controversial members are Kalesthesia and Udan-Woo. Kalesthesia came into the Realm by arrangement of the Westrian monarch. He was about to enter wedlock with the Queen of Kalesthesia, and we both utilized the opportunity to reach mutual goals - the BWA granted the monarch semi-official status as royalty of Westria, while Ingo I. introduced Kalesthesia into the Realm in return with the approval of Kalesthesian Queen Jinja I.

Udan-Woo was a secret clause in the Oost-Otago land purchase deal, according to which any territory to the north and east of a given line in Oost-Otago would be turned over to BWA administration, should it ever fall into the hands of TDCorp - I am sure you are all familiar with the events in Udan-Woo that led to the TDCorp takeover, and the subsequent signoff to the BWA. Do not forget that in both cases, Kalesthesia and Udan-Woo, referenda were held soon thereafter, showing overwhelming support amongst the population.

The BWA's track record spoke for itself, and people considered themselves fortunate, or at the least better off, to be a part of the BWA administered Realm, in comparison with the alternatives which faced them, or haunted them from the past - war, chaos, extremist fractions, invasion from foreign nations, economic weakness, poverty, etc..

I would like to point out that every member of the Realm joined at their own free will. If ever a region desires to leave, they are free to do so. In fact, this happened recently with the former Kalesthesian provinces Ašures and Northern Rivaliu, who seceded from the Realm and joined Armatirion!

With so many members of the Realm not-Westrian, the only politically correct thing to do was to eliminate what had now become a misnomer. It was no longer the "Westrian Realm", which indeed reeked of imperialism by Westrians, but instead the "Burovian Realm", "Burovian" being the term which had come to describe the BWA's philosophy and approach to administration and government. Since the BWA was no longer merely in charge of "Westrian Affaires", the acronym's meaning was changed to "Burovian World Assembly" signifying a coming together of nations under the Burovian umbrella. The Realm was also decentralized - the capital moved from Westria to the central point of the Realm, and Vexillium's most international city - Surina. And all members were given independent or semi-independent status, shifting responsibilities to the local capitals, and giving each member the freedom to leave the commonwealth at any time.

So you see, what started as a successful venture to promote Westrian interests on Vexillium has turned into an ideological free commonwealth of many nations. Quite a success story!

So, "Burovianism" is a political philosophy rather than a link by culture or regionalism?

You are right about the philosophy versus culture issue. Burovianism has long outgrown the notion of being something "Westrian" - it has become a worldwide movement, an ideology more successful than some of the other, infinitely more harmful philosophies, such as Fascism and Communism.

So, "Burovianism" is a political philosophy rather than a link by culture or regionalism? What is the centrepiece of Burovianism, in your opinion, that attracts so many nations to this philosophy?

What is Burovianism's central attraction?

Freedom - people live with the freedom to assemble, speak, worship, publish and think freely. Human rights are at the forefront of Burovianism. Discrimination and injustice are completely unacceptable.

Prosperity - rapid economic development and a capitalist "partisan free market", close collaboration between regions stimulated beneficially by the BWA's economic geniuses. This has taken economically depressed or under-developed areas such as Westermarc, Niokolo Koba, Udan-Woo, etc., and turned them into contributing members of the Realm's economic powerhouse, bringing prosperity and development to all its citizens.

Peace and security - the neutrality approach, which means leaving others to destroy their nations in war and conflict, while the Realm focuses its powers on development, education, and scientific research for the better, while maintaining a zero tolerance policy on crime, which allows our citizens to live with the peace of mind they need to be at their most prosperous.

These are the three leading principles that make life in the Realm so attractive, that are the secret to our success, if you will. That is why the official motto of the BWA is "Peace, Freedom, and Prosperity to All."

Explain what you mean by "Partisan free market".

It's an economic model where free trade and the distribution of Realm goods and services are encouraged on a global basis, with as little government encumbrance as possible, including deregulation of certain sectors and tax benefits to entrepreneurs and especially industries who establish trade with overseas, contributing to our trade balance sheet.

The "partizan" part involves occasional "brokering" by the BWA to ensure that Realm businesses collaborate in a matter that builds a solid foundation for our economy, and that eliminates politically motivated decisions to involve out-of-Realm goods and services. For example, the BWA has been actively brokering deals with all major Realm airlines to buy exclusively Klagstein Airliners as opposed to foreign. Thus, Klagstein gained a very broad solid customer base, while the Airlines received negotiated discounts and extended warranties on their purchases. Another example would be brokering Realm car manufacturers, such as Schnysna, Saqlain or Satosan to deliver new vehicles outfitted only with tires made by Realm companies, such as Messing and Silas, for the same reasons.

To follow-up on the second "attraction" to Burovianism, prosperity, I take it there is some form of central planning of resources and capital, albeit at a local or individual state level, rather than allowing the crown to follow where the returns are best, as in free-market capitalism? For presumably, the under-developed regions within the GBR have had as little economic attractiveness as most other under-developed nations, boasting, principally, poor returns on investment. And if not, how has the GBR ensured that such development capital has been used as effectively and efficiently as possible WITHOUT a level of centralised control?

The development of "underdeveloped" regions is mostly driven by individual and cooperating corporations, aided by, and there you are correct on the centralized influence, incentives, such as tax cuts. For example, if a corporation were to invest in Niokolo Koba or Udan-Woo, they will receive additional "encouragement". But this is not as centralized as it seems. The local BWA's have been very effective in brokering local deals.

So, if I may summarise the Westrian government model, we're essentially talking about a meritocracy, where the "brains trust" govern. There is no semblence of democracy in that, so how do the people accept such rule, and how are the "brains trust" selected? Surely that must be a politics-mired process?

Since the BWA is not a political institution, but a management agency of sorts, appointments to the "brains trust" are made as executive decisions, not through political maneuvering. Appointments are based upon qualifications, relevant experience in the respective subject area, merit, and a genuine enthusiasm to serve the Realm in a professional manner. The top members are appointed by the High Officers of the BWA including the President, the Hosts, and key ministers) - then, each leadership position is responsible for the appointment of their staff, for which they also answer to the High Officers and the President. The key of the BWA's success is, that we are an amalgamation of highly qualified professional experts, not party crony appointed through political motivations and internal vies for power.

Do all nations within the GBR also have this "Meritocracy"? Which is to say, is democracy counter to the aims of Burovianism?

Democracy is a polularity contest that is driven by money given by special interest groups. More times than not, a candidate is elected on terms of their popularity and their pocketbook, which allows them to advertise and to increase their visibility. It is a very faulty system as people assume positions of power without having the proper training and expertise for what they are about to do. No simple corporation would hire someone if they did not scrutinize their resume and make sure that that person is qualified for the job though interviews, and through monitoring their performance.

Why should the most important "corporation", the one that actually runs the fates of the Realm, and with it, hundreds of millions of people, be any different? Why are governments around the planet not being held to the same standards as your local accounting firm? It just doesn't make sense.

In a democracy, everybody always complains about the government and how they are clueless, and often times they are right. In the Realm, people may still complain, but for the most part, they know that the Realm is managed by most qualified professionals who act in their and in the Realm's best interests.

Under the banner of freedom, are there NO barriers to this freedom, no limits to anti-discrimination fervor? I ask this as there is significant controversy in Luka at the moment over same-sex couples (in this case, obviously women) having the right to government-funded artificial fertilisation treatment. Most political parties in Utania, lead particularly by the Cruis-Democrats, have stated they are against these couples having such access. Now, in Utania, the majority support this. Would this constitute a violation of the "freedoms" under Burovianism?

Since same-sex couples have the same rights as mixed couples, they receive identical benefits. I do not understand why there would be a controversy... all citizens have equal rights. Unless they are criminally convicted, of course.

On that topic, how does "Crime intolerance" work within the GBR?

The BWA has implemented the very rigorous "Two Strikes You're Dead" policy, which is specifically aimed at removing criminal elements from society systematically. Obviously that means that the death penalty is implemented within the Realm. "Two Strikes" means that, if an individual is found guilty of two violent crimes, such as rape, assault, etc., they are subject to permanent removal from society through execution. Murder convictions may carry a death sentence on one count. Pardons from the death penalty can be given under special circumstances.

The BWA does not believe in the removal of criminals though lifelong or long-term imprisonment, due to the extreme costs associated with giving these criminals shelter, food, health care, etc. - this is money down the drain that we can much better utilize though investing in education or families - why would a convict live in a warm home, getting served three square meals a day, and free health care, while hard working families often struggle to be able to afford the same each day? We estimate the cost of sustaining a prisoner at about 55,000 Christiana Crowns (~Û165,000) per year... an insane amount!

Note also that our laws provide zero tolerance towards drink driving and child abuse... both these charges can often count as "one strike" against a person, if found guilty.

Inside the Realm, we believe in protecting the rights of the victims, not the criminals. The obvious question is: what if the courts are wrong? What if an innocent person goes to the gallows? Well, it is a risk we have to take in order to achieve the level of internal security and crime free lives that over 250 million people can enjoy. And after all, it takes two convictions to be sentenced to death - I would say that, if one is convicted of a violent crime TWICE, it becomes rather obvious that that person has criminal tendencies which are undesirable to society. But, as I said, pardons can also be given in cases where there are extraordinary circumstances.

Prohibited in the Realm are also any illegal drugs, and the possession of firearms. Illegal drug and firearm possession can often count as "one strike" as well.

Is execution of the worst (or any) offenders tolerated within the GBR?

Certainly. The populous overwhelmingly agrees that keeping a criminal warm, full, and healthy in prison is a waste of money. Certainly, groups like International Amnesty and others are unhappy, and have some following, but it's only what makes sense. We do not waste our resources on individual who are not worthy by their own actions.

In your opinion, on a scale of one to ten, where one is rampant communism, and ten is rampant nationalism, while five is centrist philosophies, and, say, two and eight are strong left and right wing, where do you propose "Burovianism" is?

Burovianism has been called "the New Left" by some in the past, and it's relatively fitting. The official position there is, however, that it's really vertically off the horizontal left-right scale, or at the very least, it warps the scale. If I had to chose, I would certainly hang left, as Burovian policy is extremely liberal and internationalist. On the other hand, ideas like a strong support of the death penalty and toughness on crime, as well as decentralization, heavy tax breaks, and small government are more on the right side of the scale.

In your opinion, on a scale of one to ten, where isolationism is one, and ten is pure free trade philosophy, and, say, three is straight-forward protectionism, where does the Burovian movement sit on this scale?

Ten. We are all BUT isolationist. It may seem that way some time, simply because the Realm keeps itself from Vexillium's political stage, due to our strict neutrality. But the trade links the Realm has, internal as well as external, are tremendous. The Realm is the largest international trading entity, and the largest economic power on Vexillium. But you already knew that. Our neutrality also allows us to trade and collaborate with more nations than any other entity can. Our unique regional spread with members all over the planet allows us to draw upon special regional relationships that other nations do not have available. For instance, Solanchatka's economic ties to Davenport are historically very strong. Lombriga's ties with the former nations of the FCLR are historically strong. Kalesthesia is very influential on the Melanian continent, etc. - it all combines to further contribute to the Realm's economic prowess.

What is Burovianism's approach to the size of government?

The BWA believes in small but qualified government. Since we have professionals tackle each of their specific areas of expertise, and there is no lobbying and special interest, all that fluff you find in traditional democratic governments is eliminated. If you don't pull your weight working for the BWA, you are replaced, or eliminated as an employee, it's that simple. There are no "posts" for "party cronies" and the like. Only enthusiastic, hard-working, qualified professionals.

Under the non-democratic government system of Burovianism, how is performance measured such that there is no possibility of reviewers who have a political or other grudge against a certain government employee? I mean, humans being what they are, do not stop being political beings simply because the system says "Don't do it".

Well, I must stress once again that the BWA is NOT a political entity, but a professional agency. Everybody's responsibilities are clear, everybody has a job description. Power struggles and grudges can never be ruled out even in this system, however. But cool heads usually prevail. One of our foremost rules is open communication. If anyone notices an inconsistency or an act of spite, or the like, it can be brought up for open discussion, and often times will go to the next higher level for mediation. Decisions are made on a common-sense approach. It has worked well. It's not perfect, but certainly better than the lobbying and vying that goes on in more democratic forms of government, where popularity and smoke and mirrors rule the opinion of the masses.

Furthermore, how does Burovianism motivate employees to be "hard-working, qualified professionals"? In most public services there is nothing short of waste, and corruption of good governance principles, because of a variety of human weaknesses. How does Burovianism overcome these?

If you think of "government employees" in most countries, you think of mediocrity... individuals with no drive, who would rather rely on the security of their jobs with steady pay, little accountability, and superb benefit packages. People like that are not what the BWA looks for. We appoint the entrepreneurs, the bright professionals who are driven to success. Working for the BWA is not only an honor and a prestigious career move, but the BWA also pays salaries that are appropriate to the important job these professionals are doing. And everybody is accountable. Everybody reports. The dialogue is always open within the structure. If there is a corrupt element, or a slacker, they will be noticed and probably not last very long. But since the hiring standards are very high to begin with, this seldom happens. One of the tests given to candidates is a detailed personal profile, a sort of aptitude test which maps the individual's character, motivation, intelligence and attitude (this is given in addition to several interviews). This is very helpful in eliminating candidates who may be putting up a show in order to get the job.

What is Burovianism's approach to debt versus balanced-budgets?

The financial strategy is one of re-investment. Revenues are immediately re-invested in development, and new economic opportunities. Since the defense budget is low, we have more leeway to operate flexibly. There have been somewhat cash shortages, in which case additional loans were taken. Economically, it makes more sense to lend and reinvest while growing rapidly and developing infrastructure, instead of stagnating without activity. There has been criticism on the... (pause) less cautious approach on finance, and there are concerns as to what happens when the growth stops one day. But I neither see that coming anytime soon, nor won't we be able to compensate. The net worth of the Realm's economy will be too significant by that time to be seriously affected. Natural resources are another asset we can always draw upon. And keep in mind, the greatest portion of the Realm's economy is in private hands. Nevertheless, we keep a close eye on "national" debt issues. We will be fine, as we are always flexible and changing according to current needs.

What is the movement's belief on welfare?

While charity is an important component to the Burovian principle, welfare really isn't. Instead, heavy policy is in place to ensure the productivity of each citizen. The less fortunate or somehow needy who are not contributors to society are of course taken care of, but every opportunity for them to become self-reliant as soon as possible is provided where we can. Private industry also plays an important role in this. It is one of their contributions to the "partisan free market" principle, taking some social responsibilities off the shoulders of the state. The same goes for charity - private industry has numerous incentives to be charitable, as the Realm itself is the largest charitable contributor of Vexillium. Let's face it, when it comes to developing places which have no infrastructure, most of your initial investments are essential charitable contributions, until the time the beneficiaries become self-sufficient contributors to the common economic cause.

Small government means that the health and social security budgets are small, and, as you have indicated, a share of the responsibility for caring for the "less productive" members of the community. What incentives exist for corporations to get involved in this, and are they responsible for financial support of, say, the unskilled, the mentally or physically handicapped, and the single mother?

Charity is a concept that is engrained into the Burovian ideals. Tax write-offs encourage contributions from corporations and individuals, often in exchange for publicity and advertising opportunities. The BWA itself is a non-profit organization. But keep in mind that we still place great emphasis on supporting the less fortunate in a way that will allow them to take charge of their lives and become productive members of society.

In terms of the reinvestment of revenues, what revenues are these? Government raised revenues? If so, are there income or consumption-based taxes in the GBR, and in what balance? Are income taxes, if they exist, progressive or flat? Are taxes levied by each nation within the realm, or at the highest level?

Taxes are a complicated issue, and highly localized. Basically, there are regions who offer every sort of variation on taxation, so there is something for everyone. Take Oost-Otago, for example, the Free Trade Zone, where the taxing of corporations is scaled back to a minimum, but the initial investment tariff to establish a business or plant there is substantial. Corporations will need to gauge whether or not they can risk the initial investment and then cash in later. We could have a whole day-long interview on the taxing structure. To be short, there are Realmstaxes, and then each individual Dominion also has the option to implement additional taxes in agreement with Surina. Part of the strategy is definitely though to redirect some of the revenues into the lesser developed or more needy regions, and THAT is a centralized process.

How can the central state simultaneously diminish its role within the economy, yet simultaneously "keep a close eye on national debt issues"? Furthermore, how can a small government maintain control over the general good health of the economy, ensuring that economic crashes do not occur?

The government represents only about 10% of the total Realm economy. Essentially, the BWA and the economic entities of the Realm form a giant "round table", an open discussion forum which the BWA uses more to monitor the progress than to interfere. But this is how we keep informed, and when it may be necessary to intervene or become involved in an issue, we are ready to do so.

In which case, where does the Burovian movement stand on development loans to nations such as Utania? Are there special concessions made to nations within the commonwealth (as opposed to those outside) with regard to trade or development loans?

Loans within the Realm always have priority. Members of the ANNV enjoy special privileges. A nation like Utania is likely to receive loan benefits as long as it demonstrates its good standing in the international community as a moderate nation. Loans are never given for military purposes to any nation. General policy of the Realm is rather to develop joint-ventures, and/or directly invest into the foreign market (for instance with a Burovian corporation setting up shop there, stimulating the local economy and job market with the capital that is invested in the economic infrastructure).

You state that the rule is that "loans are never given for military purposes". How then would a militarily under-developed nation, such as Utania, develop its defensive capability using the slow spending of small quantities of government revenue (as you've already stated that little money is given to defence spending).

Well, no loans means no loans outside the Realm! Since the Realm forms one united defense entity, obviously this does not apply. Monies would need to be invested on Utania to reach an acceptable level of defensive capabilities, although with the existing resources, that may not be a major undertaking. Keep in mind that the Realm entertains weapons strictly for defensive purposes, this is what keeps our costs low. High-tech machinery such as the F-1 "Banshee" Stealth Interceptor and the B-1 "Sea Urchin" Stealth Attack Submarine are highly effective in relatively small numbers. Certainly the contingent would need to be increased if our Realm to be defended was to increase. The largest expense I see would be to expand the realm's own Electra Mundi system to be all inclusive.

What is Burovianism's approach to indigenous movements? Is Burovianism nationalist, ethnicist, culturalist or pro-vexillium-ist (internationalist)? Would aboriginal movements within Utania be considered the opposition in Utania if the Burovian movement won power?

Internationalist. we are all citizens of Vexillium, and celebrate our differences as much as our similarities. In Burovianism, people have found a greater idea than often petty nationalistic, religious, or ethnic separations. Burovianism is for all nations, cultures, and religions - each are encouraged to preserve their identities while exploring the idea of "one planet". When you think about our little blue world floating in the never-ending universe, the notion of differences amongst humans becomes absurd.

As you can tell from the decentralization of the Realm, and the independence or semi-independence of all free member-states, Burovian policy is always pro-autonomy. This is why we have special BWA Ministers for certain ethnic minorities within certain member-states, such as the Ursulan in Deucoland. The Kongren, formerly part of the Westrian state, are today of course an autonomous nation again. Any nation is given the opportunity for autonomy, and offered membership in the Realm as such. If they wish to leave it, they are also free to do so. The history of the BWA in dealing with living without autonomy has left a very strong imprint. For so long, we had NO autonomy, and it is no one's place to deny autonomy to those who seek it.

How would Burovianism rate on a scale of one to ten, where one is pure Lendosa-style democracy, seven is centralised Republicanism, while ten is a benevolent dictatorship?

Well, obviously, the Realm is NOT democracy in its conventional form. People have called it Plutocracy, our opponents have even mentioned the term dictatorship, although not in such benevolent context as you mention. The truth is, it's a little bit of everything, and as such once again very difficult to put on a conventional linear scale. The people who work for the BWA are recognized experts and professionals in their respective area of responsibility.

The BWA is essentially a management firm, an agency, perhaps even a sort of corporation of sorts. The people filling key positions are very carefully chosen by the leadership of the BWA, which is itself a group of highly qualified people, all holding advanced degrees, most with very distinguished academic and professional careers.

What is sad about the traditional forms of democratic government is, that the people who are actually the most QUALIFIED to administer a nation, rarely ever make it there, due to the special interest corruption / campaign contributions, party-cronyism, and dirty tactics usually deployed during election campaigns. Most democratic elections are popularity contests controlled by the parties with the most money to spend, usually on negative advertisements against their opponents. And people tend to be very influenced by money and its power in an election campaign. Give a guy a free Trinka Nuss Beer, and he's impressed when you tell him some boulderdash story about how you are going to change government, and he'll vote for you, even though all you do when you get to office is the same all before you did: pay back your debts to your special interests campaign contributors who gave you the millions to get the exposure to become popular enough to get elected. And nothing ever gets done for real. It's a viscious cycle. And on top of that, most of the candidates who make it are not the top-professionals or intellectuals, the leadership elite of a nation, but career politicians, or party brown noses!

The BWA does not waste its resources on this useless process, but instead employs professionals who must pull their own weight around. Each position has clear job requirements and if performance is not up to what is required, a better qualified individual will be retained for their services as a replacement. It's as simple as that. We have a very stringent performance review program in place - no BWA official, no matter how high up on the ladder, is exempt from the scrutiny of their BWA peers. The key is a team approach. And besides the already considerable competence the overall BWA think tank brings to the table, we also employ consulting expert advisors in areas we need to expand upon our own limitations.

Is there a primary religion within Burovianism, as there was with the Guwimith Empire? Utania is a strongly Cruistian nation without actually being a theocracy - do you perceive this would provide difficulties if Utania was a Burovian Commonwealth member?

Burovian ideals strongly separate state from religion. There is a TOTAL freedom of religion in the Realm, and we range from Helorism, the more traditionally Westrian religion, to Cruistianity, Biruism, Totemism, Mounism, Chakrism, the countless home-brewed religions of the Zipangi, etc. - the reason Cruxism is so popular, and this is in part due to the doings of the BWA in some respect, which is semi-officially in Cruxism's corner, is,... well, that is includes all and no religions... As you can read up on at http://www.anasuya.com/westria/prov.html (Cruxsylvania section), Cruxism is an approach which gives all religions equal status. It's followers may chose to pray to any different or all deities of any religion, or even chose not to believe in a deity at all, as long as they try to respect and understand the history of other religions, and different beliefs, and/or take a more individualistic meditative/spiritual approach to this, where the Cruxist Temple becomes a center for personal healing, enlightenment, or exploration, without necessarily making the existence of deities a fact... This is VERY much in a nutshell. Of course there is much more to the concept.

To answer your last question, religion is no consideration when it comes to the Commonwealth, as you can see by its diversity.

Setting the scene, if the UBM won absolute power (as opposed to being in coalition) in August, what would be the first five action items on the list for the newly elected government?

My colleague, Naahi Bennett, the secretary of the UBM, who is of course much more familiar with the unique circumstances facing Utania, will be able to elaborate better than myself. Some of the issues that come to mind at once, however, are proclamation of a neutral nation, accelerated economic development, helping Utania to take a more prominent role in Vexillium on the leading edge of technology and science, economy, environment, education, etc., and addressing the situation with the various tribal entities within Utania.

Um, Naahi?...

Before we allow Mr Bennett to answer, we're more interested in what actions the UBM would be oblidged take, if it won absolute power. Would it immediately dissolve the system of government and allow Surina to assume command? (Although, that would require a coup of sorts.) Would it commence with a referendum to seek dissolution of the instruments of democratic government, and incorporation into the Burovian Realm? Or would it merely begin a publicly-funded, determined campaign of public education to the benefits of Burovianism? In short, if it won power, without compromise, would it and if so, how would it begin the integration of Utania into the GBR?

Any new political entity which comes to power in a nation typically begins implementing their agenda at the instant they take over. Certain policy points could certainly be implemented like that, such as declaration of neutrality, hardening on crime, beginning of economic collaboration with the Realm, etc. - Utan Krysaror would retain the same regional controls as all members of the Realm. On the issue of integration into the Realm itself, that would be put to referendum, as has been in all Dominions where this has previously taken place.

Keep in mind that integration into the Realm is not a final step: every member-Dominion has the liberty to leave the Realm at any time, even parts thereof, as we could see with the Ašures & Northern Rivaliu split not long ago. Furthermore, the Realm today is a free Commonwealth of independent or autonomous and strongly localized Dominions, with the exception of some Westrian polar colonies. Integration into the Realm is of course a step which would be consistent with the platform, and if people vote for it, it can be assumed that they at least to some degree agree with such a measure. Nevertheless, a positive referendum on that issue would be needed in order to proceed.

After an integration, the referendum would be repeated at a yearly interval, until it becomes evident that Realm membership support in the population grows. Should it go the other way, the referendum will be conducted every year.

Let me at this time make another point, that being the involvement of the people in their government. Democracy has its pitfalls, as you know - a wise man once said, "Democracy is five wolves and one sheep voting on what to have for dinner"... (laughs)... think about that. What the people think is best is not always necessarily what is really best for the Realm.

However! Many have a notion that the BWA is a totalitarian regime of some sort that runs on its own, and do not understand how the people are represented. But this is not so. It is a government for the people and with the people. First off, only the best professionals are appointed to the job, and their performance is monitored closely. But the other thing is, a series of very detailed polls is given to a representative selection of the populous each week, including approval ratings, public opinion on issues, etc. - these polls guide us in addressing issues that are important to the people, which is who we work for in the first place. Countless policy adjustments and changes have been made already, based on consistent polling results taken. BWA staff have been moved or replaced based on approval ratings in a few cases. We always want to ensure that the people feel their government is doing the right thing for them. This is how we stay in touch on a weekly basis: If there is an issue, we will certainly hear about it. Flexibility is our strength.

And, did I mention, anybody can participate directly in government by applying to join the BWA as a staff member. Anybody. It does not mean that everybody will be accepted, but if the individual is qualified, they can and will have a part in the BWA. Also, we employ community representatives, who brief their locals on the goings-on in their local BWA and the BWA Surina, as well as brief their local and the Surina BWA's on what issues are at the heart of the people. Two-way communications for the good of the people as well as our own. We want to serve the people, and this helps us in determining what is important.

With that answer in mind, Mr Bennett, would you care to provide your "local" answer?

[Naahi Bennett] Certainly. The clearest needs of Utania are economic development, extension of freedoms and bringing the rest of the country into a standard of living enjoyed by the east coast. The first actions would be a zero tariff policy with the GBR, and extending an invitation to any Burovian Realm corporations to commence setting-up in Utania, paying particular attention to Utani B'yan and Savana.

If I may stop you there, Mr Bennett, and perhaps allow you to also chime in an answer too, Mr Firlefenthz, numerous activists, even rebels, in Savana, as well as political parties such as the Yannists, the Free Green Collective and, to a lesser extent, the Utani-Sædaj Party, reject the notion of development. They say that cultural issues, the family, people and protecting the relaxed, spiritual lifestyle of the Utani people is more important than development, profits and "every home having a VCR". Where does the GBR stand on such issues?

We have encountered similar trains of thought in some regions of Niokolo Koba, and Udan-Woo. The BWA prides itself in being culturally correct, in providing a just form of government for all the diverse cultures of the Realm, that is why we employ distinguished community-appointed advisors to work closely to protect the cultural integrity of each group. We have taken great care to keep "development" low-impact where cultural needs mandated. That is why you will still see the elders gather under the 1000-year-old Banyan tree in a Niokolo Koban village, like they have done for hundreds of years, to discuss their views on the world, and to pass on their ancient myths to the young listeners. Meanwhile, they can enjoy the benefits of improved medicines, clean drinking water, fertilizers to boost their crop, and widespread electricity. But we do not FORCE it upon them, rather begin a process of gradual education and infiltration. At the same time, we take great care not to disturb the cultural environment. We always encourage all peoples to celebrate their heritages, languages, religions, traditions. After all, the BWA was originally founded to do just that for the Westrian people, who were beginning to lose their national identity in the centuries-long diaspora!

Burovianism is clearly a "pacifist" movement, as the Burovian Commonwealth is a member of the ANNV. Do members of the commonwealth automatically belong to the ANNV? Do they automatically belong to a mutual defence pact? In other words, do members of the Commonwealth have independence within the Burovian Commonwealth or are they to be subservient to the rules of the Burovian Congress?

One of the conditions of Realm membership is that you sign on to the Realm's ANNV membership carta. For ease of administration, the Realm holds single membership in most all international organizations, representing all its member-states, or Dominions.

Defense within the Realm is of course mutual, as there is a common defense policy to which each Dominion contributes as good as they can. Since our military is primarily oriented to be a defensive force, we are able to have effective defense policy without overloading the budget with military expenses. Some elements, such as the aircraft carriers are remnants of predecessor nations. For example, the FCLR, Terramarc, Angliyaa, Northern Gronk, etc., all had advanced weaponry which to varying degrees fell into realm ownership as territories seceded and joined the Realm.

As far as participating in the ANNV and in the mutual defense arrangement, Dominions do not have an option not to participate. The Realm will never have any outside defense pacts with any entity, as this would severely violate our principles of full neutrality and jeopardize our good standing in the ANNV. However, in the despicable eventuality that a fellow ANNV member, also a fully neutral nation, is attacked or threatened, the Realm may act to preserve the rights of a neutral nation not to be violated by aggressors. A good example was the Ordland-IWK naval blockade standoff.

How do the wheels of self-correction work within the commonwealth? If, say, one nation "steps out of line" with the Burovian ideal, what does the greater Burovian Commonwealth have at its disposal to "reprimand" such a state?

Since the decentralization, each Dominion is given as much leeway as possible to run the affairs which concern them directly as possible. There is a general understanding of the Burovian ideals and policy, which are generally adhered to by each local BWA very well. There are always certain local considerations that affect how the Burovian ideals are applied.

These local differences, and the local know-how is very important to govern effectively. No Kalesthesian would like to have people in Aurelius making decisions that affect their nation. Thus the decentralization. Generally, decisions made by the local BWA's are upheld and unchallenged. In some instances, they come up for debate in the BWA HQ in Surina. If the Assembly determines that a decision taken by a local BWA is too far from the Burovian ideal, a challenge may be issued, and in extreme cases, the HQ could actually overturn the local decision.

This has, however, only happened once so far, and that was when the BWA Kikikira attempted to change the name of Westermarc back to Terramarc, which resulted in an international outcry due to the association with the rule of dictator-for-life Tom Koh. The decision was reversed, and instead the historic term "Chakrazipang" was re-introduced, which was ultimately the best overall decision, and everybody was happy with that.

In the case that decisions from a particular local BWA are overturned with great frequency, the BWA HQ and the Dominion in question must ask themselves lots of questions on whether membership of that Dominion in the Realm is still to the benefit of both. Dominions have the option to leave the Realm if they desire, and if it turns out that the local Zeitgeist steers away from Realm membership, then it may be most beneficial to mutually terminate the membership, and perhaps continue collaboration on a more informal level.

Sorta like breaking up with your girlfriend, but remaining "friends". A mini-version of that happened, as you know, in the splitoff of Ašures and Northern Rivaliu.

Is there a probationary period in which nations that do not yet have a comprehensive understanding of Burovian ideals, are governed by Burovian "corporates" or "management" from other Burovian nations before the best of the "locals" are allowed to govern?

The Burovian principles come natural and as such, we have had very little issues concerning this. There are brilliant and qualified individuals anywhere you go on this planet, and we take pride in harnessing this wealth of talent and intellect. We also strive to incorporate "locals" into the greater structure and to have them take responsibility as soon as possible. If you look at the structure of the top levels of the BWA, you will find people from all over the Realm, representing all sorts of nationalities, ethnicities, religions, etc. - we want the BWA to look like the Realm itself, a diverse mix of freely collaborating Dominions!

So, it IS possible for the Surina executive to overrule the local governments. How does the Burovian movement prevent this becoming political? For example, a local director somehow humiliates an executive member, who then privately campaigns with other members to have that Director's most cherished and prized decisions overturned because they "do not conform to the Burovian ideal". This is an example of politics at their worst, and it can happen within an authoritative state as easily as a democracy, because the people involved are still people. Granted, if the "right" people are chosen from the start under Burovianism, then there is less chance of this, but the chance remains. So, if the executive are the guardians of "Burovianism", the watchers, then who watches the watchers? And who watches them, in turn?

Once again, I remind you that the BWA is not a political organization, but rather a professional management agency. We do not have "watchers" - in a way, it is all an open forum, where people communicate and interact with each other. You could say, we all keep an eye out for each other. Keeping the dialogue going is always the most important principle of our combined leadership. Generally the local BWA's are given much free hand, although they report to Surina. Only in rare cases does Surina need to step in, and that only occurs after a consensus is reached on that issue by the BWA Surina (which consists of the High Officers as well as the assembled HoSts). An example would be when the BWA Kikikira and HoSt C.H. Lee were overruled in their quest of reverting the name of Westermarc back to the controversial "Terramarc".

Assuming a state becomes too recalcitrant and mutual termination of membership is agreed upon. That state remains under the control of an executive of little democratic influence. Does the GBR attempt to restore democracy before "mutual termination" begins? Otherwise, if one state is under the control of a single maniac, and they are "mutually terminated", that maniac remains entrenched in dictatorial control of the state. Is this not desirable, and, if so, how is it prevented?

In such cases, the BWA will establish a temporary election commission, which will temporarily govern the territory until free elections are held. Usually in a case where a Dominion will want to leave the Realm, you will find that an opposition has build up enough support to become a legitimate form of government. People will hardly vote for a madman to take over their nation after the benefits they enjoyed from Realm membership, after all. Once the free elections are decided, the BWA will act as a mediator for coalition talks, if necessary, and once a ruling entity has been formed or determined according to standard democratic principles will step down and overturn government to the new powers that be. The commission will then work closely with the new government to ensure a smooth transition.

I can not really tell you exactly how all that would work in practice, because it has obviously not yet happened, and I hope it never will. I would also imagine that the local BWA will then begin to once again gather support, and to hopefully regain a majority vote in a future election once more.

Clearly, the Utani Burovian Movement would seek to introduce Utania into the Commonwealth. What would be the obstacles to admission for Utania?

It is not necessarily a given that a Burovian administration will seek Realm membership, although with the tremendous benefits that come with membership, usually that is one of the goals of the respective Burovian movement. Nevertheless, detailed negotiations usually precede an application, the most important part of which is a public referendum on whether or not the people are in favor of membership. Since the Realm membership does not mean a loss of national sovereignty as it did previously under the "Westrian Realm", this step has become easier to swallow for persons concerned about their national identity, or pride. All members are independent, or semi-independent, free to join or leave the Commonwealth, and collaborating amongst each other according to the Burovian ideals.

Obstacles for Utania, I see few or none. The Realm welcomes each unique opportunity every one of our Dominions presents and brings to the table, and Utania would be no exception to that.

We thank you Msrs Bennett and Firlefenthz for your time and in-depth answers. I am sure this will contribute significantly to the understanding of Utanians, indeed all people of Vexillium, of the Burovian movement that has swept the globe.

Indeed, thank you.

[Naahi Bennett] Yes, thank you.