What should this new "digital country" be called?
June 22, 2022 1:58 AM   Subscribe

The ostensible title is "The Federation for the Ethically Sound Imperative" as in a borderless "country" that is for something ("the ethically sound imperative") rather than simply just providing for its citizens and upholding democracy etc. as most "developed" countries are (i.e. a country with a mission statement other than "infrastructure is functioning, right? Great.").

Notice: I do not have all the details worked out for this country yet (it's something I'm planning on launching while defining it) so please be kind as far as any criticism to the idea and please remember that this question is specifically asking about how to name the country (though other feedback is welcome if given constructively, of course).

The idea started as an idea for an organization then grew into an idea for a country and now is an idea for "the next evolutionary step in civic entities": a civic identity that one actively chooses in contrast with one that was forced upon people at birth (such as "United States" citizen).

The most important thing I want people to "get out of" this "country" is a sense of identity that they can be proud of for once rather than conflicted and even ashamed about (such as "United States" citizen for many, many "Americans").

As far as the title, I'm specifically trying to figure out if "federation" is the most appropriate word or if something more like "nation" is most appropriate. On one hand I thought "federation" because the initial goal is to have this country be the entity which connects people from their currently existing countries (i.e. "Ghana", "United States", "Sri Lanka") to the overarching "federation". "Nation" seems to be more ambiguous term however would be a safer choice, I imagine (though has less of a ring to it as I see it).

Another option is simply "Civic Entity for the Ethically Sound Imperative".
posted by defmute to Law & Government (16 answers total)
[Thinking out loud on my way to name suggestions]

I think you are asking the word 'country' to do a lot of heavy lifting in this concept. As you say, it could be a Federation because it's connecting people who are citizens of other sovereignties. But I think that 'country' is locating the actualisation of the Federation in 'place' rather than in its very existence being dependent on humans connecting with other humans. It would exist as a collective rather than a country; within people not in a place. So the name needs to reflect that it is the connectedness of people, and their commitment to the imperative of sound ethical practices under the auspices of a connected community, that the brings the Federation to life.

You want the members of the Federation to be proud of their membership, of their identity as members. ...

And now I am having trouble with names. My biases are making me read the phrase Ethically Sound Imperative within one framework, when you might intend it in another. And because I don't understand your conceptual framework around the phrase, I have no confidence in my suggestions. Soz.
posted by Thella at 2:27 AM on June 22 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks, Thella.

After reading your response, I realize I ought to have said what I'm trying to have the word "federation" or otherwise encapsulate and that is: "People formed for the expressed purpose of a certain common goal in a civically organized way". So in that regard "collective" works alright however is a bit too loose of a term at the same time.

As far as wanting the members to be proud of their identity as members: yes. ... Something you want to constructively criticize about that?
posted by defmute at 2:41 AM on June 22

Response by poster: Also, I forgot to note that the reason I chose "federation" initially is because it seemed to be the most ethically sound form of government/civic organizational system however if others can find something more ethically sound I'd love to hear it.
posted by defmute at 4:38 AM on June 22

Earth 2.0
posted by mareli at 4:39 AM on June 22

posted by BadgerDoctor at 4:43 AM on June 22

In Ada Palmer's "Too Like the Lightning" non-geographical chosen nations are called Hives.
posted by brainwane at 5:41 AM on June 22

Have you already read Neal Stephenson's _The Diamond Age_? Because this idea is explored a little there. There are multiple virtual countries.
posted by amtho at 6:13 AM on June 22

Response by poster: amtho - No however I will now check them out. Thank you for that suggestion.
posted by defmute at 6:19 AM on June 22

Best answer: Some questions that might help you refine the name options: how does one become a “citizen” of this country/federation/group? What does it mean to be a citizen/member of the organization and what rights and/or responsibilities does that convey? Can one relinquish their citizenship and if so what does that mean and how? Will the organization raise funds and distribute funds? How does the operating model differ from a public benefit corporation, civic nonprofit, mutual aid collective, or public charity? Basically - think about why the terms that would be used for these orgs or for sovereign jurisdictions today feel like they don’t fit - how are those entities different procedurally or structurally from what you’re trying to do?
posted by ohneat at 6:23 AM on June 22 [1 favorite]

Humania :)
posted by jcworth at 6:40 AM on June 22

The Ethically Sound Alliance?

I would be proud of being in an alliance. I think a movement such as you describe should also have a catchy name that people like to say.
posted by guessthis at 6:52 AM on June 22 [1 favorite]

You say it will be for something, but what will it be for? I get that it is for ethically sound principles, but people disagree a lot about ethics, so what are some of the ethical principles are you basing it on? That would help name it I think.
posted by catquas at 8:16 AM on June 22

I think a movement such as you describe should also have a catchy name that people like to say.

This. The two title ideas you gave above are way too wordy and use terms that don't give any particular idea and/or aren't readily understandable. Those names would obstruct rather than facilitate people discussing, learning about, and joining your movement.

It shouldn't be a country, nation, or federation because those names are already taken by greatly different entities. I think "Up with People" is taken, too.

Riffing on the previous posts, how about "World Alliance for Peace and Hope" or something like that? You also need a short mission statement, as catquas suggests.

I'm sure you're also planning to set up a virtual currency so the members can set aside assets to quietly support Peace and Hope without interference from the bad guys. Try to collectivize that so it won't look as if you're profiting off it.

As your plan develops, please invest in extensive PR, so I'll be able to hear about it and join up.
posted by JimN2TAW at 8:42 AM on June 22

I know a marketing guy who does naming workshops for companies, and one of the points he made about naming is that a good name should "give people '2+2', don't give them '4'." That is, the name should be suggestive, it shouldn't be a literal description.

There's something Kantian-sounding about "ethically sound imperative," so maybe riff on that.
posted by adamrice at 9:35 AM on June 22

Derived from various Greek words: Euethica, Ethosia, Ethesonia, Eusebassia.

Take a look at Ubuntu philosophy for other suggestions.

Does your federation inherit it's ethics from a particular historical philosophy? Maybe look to the linguistic roots of that system.
posted by cocoagirl at 9:39 AM on June 22

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions and help, everyone. These were hugely helpful to hear and I appreciate each comment that made it onto this thread. Have a great week, ya'll.
posted by defmute at 3:59 PM on June 22

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