Flavius Vedius Germanicus (Election MMDCCLIX)

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Flavius Vedius Germanicus


Initial Statement of Candidacy (10/6/06)

After no small amount of thought, and consultation with friends and colleagues in Nova Roma, I once more don the toga candida and announce my intention to stand for the office of Consul of our fair Republic.

Many here are doubtless familiar with my history in Nova Roma. For those who may not be, I am Flavius Vedius Germanicus. Pater Patriae, co-founder of our New Rome. I've served as Consul twice, resigned my Citizenship twice, and served in just about every office we have with the exception of Tribune. I authored (with much help, of course) our Constitution (twice). I've learned much from my experiences here in the New Rome, and would humbly offer my services and experience in its service once more.

I propose three broad programs which I will pursue, should you see fit to elect me to the Curule Chair, all centered around the singular theme of re-energizing our community and making it a much more enjoyable experience, in all its myriad manifestations, for everyone.

First, an emphasis on moving Nova Roma towards being a more real-world community. With some notable (and wonderful) exceptions, most interaction between our cives is online. I believe that the future of Nova Roma lies in the establishment of local groups that meet in the real world, hosting their own events, and building up the bonds of real interaction and community. We did this in New Jersey when I was Governor of Mediatlantica Provincia with great success, and I will do whatever I can to place the tools for doing so in the hands of our cives. Nova Roma can be so much more than websites and email lists; I would like to see it fulfill that potential.

Second, a focus on new Citizens; not only gaining new ones, but helping those who are new to learn about us and figure out how they can get the most out of their Citizenship. For too long we have, so to speak, tossed new Citizens into the pond with the instruction that they had better learn how to swim. There have been some efforts in the right direction, such as the creation of an email list for new Citizens, and the Academia Thules is an excellent resource for cives new and old alike, but I would like to see a more systematic and comprehensive program put in place to allow new Citizens to get the most out of the Republic.In addition, I support the idea of ever more outreach. Ever more visibility. Ever more opportunities to make Nova Roma _the_ place to go for people who share our love of ancient Rome and wish to embrace its modern restoration.

Third, an attempt to focus not on the passage of laws-- which seem to have taken a tendency to become somewhat obscure, unnecessarily complex, and in some cases downright unnecessary-- and concentrate more on the undertaking of actions. Doubtless there are some new laws that will need to get passed, but I will endeavor to ensure that they are simple, reasonable, and add to our collective experience here in Nova Roma. In Roma Antiqua, the passage of laws was a relatively rare thing, and Consuls were men of action. It is my hope that I will be able to act in a similar vein, should I win the support of the People for another term as Consul.

Throughout all of this, I will of course maintain a continued movement of our legal, political, and social institutions towards the splendid example of Roma Antiqua.

May the Gods guide and aid me and our Fair Republic.

Perspectives on Nova Roma (10/10/06)

There is a real difference in people, and this difference is especially highlighted in how they approach, and view, our fair Republic of Nova Roma.

There are those who look at Nova Roma and see problems that are in need of fixing. They see little but flaws, perceived injustices, and abuses of power and procedure. Such people immediately rush to the conclusion that the Republic is inherently broken, both structurally and in terms of how those who are in positions of leadership exercise that authority. They are usually strident to the point of shrillness about their points. Such people usually eschew positions of authority themselves, preferring to snipe from the sidelines. When they do rise to office, they spend their time "fixing" all the myriad problems they find, mostly because with such a point of view, all they see are problems in need of fixing. These people I name the plangerii ("those who bewail"; forgive my atrocious Latin; something else in need of "fixing", no doubt.)

Then there are those who look at Nova Roma and see fertile ground for potential growth, directions into which new movement can take place, and opportunities for change along the historical course that we charted at Nova Roma's founding. They approach problems as opportunities, and have a perspective that invites new and innovative initiatives. They possess bold visions aimed at using our existing structures and assets, and inventing new ones, to move us towards a positive goal. Such people seek out office. When their drive and zeal is recognized and rewarded, they spend their time posing new initiatives and taking the Republic into bold new directions, because they see opportunities and potential. These people I name gaudii ("those who are joyous", I hope).

The distinction between the plangerii and the gaudii is perhaps a subtle one, borne of attitude. But to those who are themselves gaudii, it is a white-hot sigil, emblazoned across every email sent by a plangerii. It is not the content of the proposals which bears the mark. It is the way they are presented. The motive that directs them. One is simply negative and pessimistic, the other positive and optimistic.

Is there a need for more face-to-face meetings? The gaudii propose new supports and structures be put in place to support doing so. The plangerii blame a dysfunctional system and want to "fix" it.

Is there a popular perception that we have too many laws? The gaudii propose to focus on action (leading by example) rather than laws. The plangerii blame the laws themselves and want to "fix" them.

Is there a potential procedural problem with a vote? The gaudii give the benefit of the doubt, see the perceived flaw acknowledged and corrected, and move on. The plangerii see conspiracies to grab power and demand that the Tribunes "fix" the problem.

No one need tout themselves as a gaudus or a plangerus, because it's obvious to all who are observant.

Thoughts on the Religio and Nova Roma (10/15/06)

I can state unequivocally that I am not content with the current situation.

As a sort of preamble, I will point out that our Constitution lays a positive requirement that those who assume the office of Consul (or, for that matter, any magistracy), "All magistrates and Senators, as officers of the State, shall be required to publicly show respect for the Religio Romana and the Gods and Goddesses that made Rome great."

If I am elected Consul, I will perform the rites of the Religio not only publically, but privately. The Religio is the very cornerstone of Nova Roma, and indeed the very reason for its foundation. Should the Will of the Gods, expressed through the votes of the Centuries, lead to my election, I pledge that I will perform the daily rites at my family lararium (which I have maintained, even if I have been remiss in observing the daily rites), and those rituals which the Collegium Pontificum should determine are necessary and proper for a Consul to perform (within the bounds of macronational legality and practicality). I was an active practitioner of the Religio at Nova Roma's foundation, and have gone into varying periods of inactivity and activity since then, but my Consulship will be one marked by a strict adherence to the forms and rites of the Religio.

I invite my fellow candidates for the office of Consul to make a similar pledge.

And that includes, at the very outset, a piaculum offered by myself (with the invitation for my Consular colleague to participate, naturally) to atone for the myriad missteps and mistakes that Nova Roma has made on its journey thusfar. We are but human, and I will be the first to acknowledge that we have not done everything as we should have in our young history. Again, such would be taken under the direction of, and with the advice of, the Collegium Pontificum.

I will now address your specific questions, and I thank you (and other readers) for your indulgence in slogging through my initial statement.

You ask:

> As Consuls, what do you propose to do to revive the revival? What changes, if any, would you make?

My first and foremost action would be to do everything within my power, both overtly through the power of my office (in consultation with the Collegium) and through the power of the "bully pulpit" of the Consulship, to see that Nova Roma moves more into the real world. Real rituals, actually performed by real pontiffs and other manners of priests. In every venue which is practical and appropriate.

The deadlock which you describe, as far as I understand it (not being a member of the Collegium Pontificum myself, but privy to the general currents of its discussions) is that some object to our becoming engaged in the broader modern "neo-pagan community" and that some see that as a recruiting ground for new members of the Religio. While I find Wiccan tree-hugging fluffy-bunnies as odious as anyone, I can still acknowledge that the broader neo-pagan community offers us a fertile ground for demonstrating that a reconstructionist approach to pre-Christian religion is, in fact, a proper path to a more fulfilling spirituality.

What would I do to revive the revial? I would DO more. Personally, and through every power of my office, to encourage others to DO more as well. I happen to think the Gods want their rites actually performed.

What changes would I make? I would require that our appointed spiritual leaders, whether they be pontiffs, augurs, or flamines, actually physically perform the rituals they should do. Perhaps not all at once --there are certainly practicalities to take into account-- but we have gone on long enough with certain priestly offices being occupied by straw men. If our priests and priestesses start actually enacting the rites they are supposed to, rather than just filling spaces on an organization chart, I guarantee you that we will see Nova Roma's fortunes increase as the Gods begin to smile upon us more and more!

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