Jan 23, 2015

The Goals of Edan: Being of Service

[From Crown Prince Jonathan on his 18th birthday]
    Edan's goals, both short term and long term, are by choice and necessity very different from those of most other nations, and this is likely to be a source of confusion to many people. Those who already hope that we grow and succeed may be baffled at the seemingly slow-paced approach we are taking, and those looking in from the outside may think that we are trying to become a major, territorial power like those in existence now, which would make them justly suspicious. Even if they recognize that this is not our ultimate ideal, the nature of Edan is, to the modern paradigm of society and governance, rather counter-intuitive, so they may remain confused and unable to see the kingdom as anything other than the endeavour of a madman. So, in order to combat these misconceptions and possible misinterpretations, I shall now undertake a series of articles explaining the goals of Edan clearly and explicitly.
     Now, the ultimate goal of the kingdom is to achieve true independence and sovereignty, so that our citizens may live under Edanian law alone; but this goal is extremely difficult and distant, and if we were to pretend that it was something likely to be realized soon, we would be fools. But this does not mean that we are simply going to bide our time waiting for the opportunity to launch some sort of secession or revolution; quite the contrary. We have a plethora of secondary goals in both the short and long-term, which will serve to advance us towards our eventual independence, to support and aid the citizenry in our present non-territorial state, and to do good in the world at large. Of these goals, the one that is best to explain first is one that is very dear to the King's heart, critically important for laying the foundation of our permanent government, and probably the absolute simplest of them all. It is simply to be of service to our citizens.
     The entire basis of the non-territorial feudal structure of Edan is a relationship of mutual support, solidarity, and loyalty between the governed citizens and the governing nobles and king. This relationship is not merely the exchange of taxes and obedience for military and legal protection that exists within a nation's independent territory, but extends beyond it, to a personal level. It is one of the highest ideals of Edan that the citizens will not simply be put under draining obligations in exchange for the rule of law, but emplaced in a community that supports and upholds them in every aspect of their lives. And one of the easiest and most effective methods of providing them with this support even in our present early stage is to provide them with real and tangible services.
     Thus, one of the immediate goals espoused by the Edanian regime is to create phone, internet, and email service plans administered and made available to the citizens directly by our government. These service packages, created and operated almost identically to similar plans used by various private clubs and other such organizations, would primarily be useful to our citizens by being inexpensive. Even the most capitalistic analysis of the situation shows this; these services would not have the primary end of generating a profit through trade, but of engendering loyalty and support in a group of people from which we are already gaining a benefit. To put it cynically, we would have something to gain here even if we only break even monetarily, and indeed, it would be in our rational self-interest to break even, as that would benefit the citizens most. Furthermore, despite initial appearances, there is nothing socialistic about this endeavour. These services would not be mandatory to the citizens, nor would they ever become so, leaving the citizenry at full disposal of its own property, and leaving the kingdom's service packages in a market competition that would compel us to remain useful to the citizens no matter what. So, all told, we could by this means give the citizens of Edan a real, tangible economic benefit that would last indefinitely into the foreseeable future, and, besides that, we would also be creating a strong precedent of helping the citizens that should last long into our future growth.
     This precedent will mean that as the kingdom grows and we begin to advance towards our mid-term goals, we will also continue to increase and enhance our ability to support the citizenry through other basic services. There is potential here to create myriad plans, institutions, and initiatives, but the real focus and existing plan held by the Royal Family as a mid-term goal is the formation of an Edanian credit union. This would be an independent, self-sustaining banking structure open only, or, at least, primarily, to the citizens of Edan required by its charter to strictly obey the tenets of distributist economics. The emphasis of the services of this credit union would be upon easy, non-usurious loans; for example, as housing mortgages are safe loans upon non-depreciating commodities, the credit union would offer them with no interest, only a small number of flat fees. A car loan, similarly, being a safe loan upon a slowly depreciating commodity, would charge an extremely low rate of interest, probably less than a percentage point. This policy of justly cheap loans would admittedly have the effect of lowering the interest given to savings accounts within the union somewhat, but would still have a solid, positive economic effect upon the citizens. Indeed, under this structure, the Edanian government and the citizenry will both strongly benefit. The citizens will gain the ability to reduce their debt, and the government will gain a greater stability and security in its own savings, which will also be stored in the union, at first, as well as a way to strongly incentivize citizenship. Furthermore, for all the reasons listed in the section on electronic services, the credit union will have strong incentives to maintain this pattern. Its goal will not be to turn a profit, but to build up a civic symbiosis; the better it does that, the better the Kingdom, the citizens, and the banking institution itself will fare.
     And these existing, cohesive plans already mentioned are just the beginning. As the size, influence, and direct power of the kingdom grow, so will its usefulness as a community. Even more programs and projects than the ones listed above will doubtlessly be initiated by both the Crown Government and the local nobility, some of which, such as the institution of guilds that will provide Edanians with training for in-demand skills and jobs, will be discussed in future articles in this series. More important that any active initiative, however, is the foundational concept of Edan: solidarity between all the members of the kingdom, no matter their rank. Even now, in our earliest stage, there are citizens who can attest to to receiving aid from the personal influence and actions of His Majesty the King. The expansion of the kingdom will in turn cause an exponential expansion of this capacity for solidaritous mutual support. With localized communities of citizens operating with unity under subsidiary leaders, a network of Edanians stretching across the globe, and some measure of financial and social power at the disposal of the Crown Government, anything will be possible. It is a great dream of the Royal Family for citizens to be able to go a local noble for advice finding a job, to have a pool of potential spouses guaranteed to share most of their political and spiritual views amongst their local Edanian community, and to receive guidance and financial aid for acquiring a home and basic independence from the King's initiatives; so that the kingdom as an organization and group will be able to aid and strengthen people throughout every field of their lives. Only when we have reached this level of internal support and community strength will Edan truly have begun.

     So, in summary, any discussion of the goals of Edan must by necessity begin with our goal of forging a strong, interdependent community that will truly be a boon to our citizens. We act the way that we do and have the plans that we have because we sincerely hope to never become a burden upon our people. Whether it be through the creation of financially useful services soon, the foundation of organized Edanian institutions later, or the growth of a mutually-supportive network continuously, the Kingdom of Edan will be of use to those within it. That is our first objective.
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