Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by willbell, Oct 5, 2012.
1. *shudder* Kids never know what they want.
2. Sounds like a dictatorship?
Social Avatarism: A high tech form of direct democracy. Each citizen has as a basic right an expert system designed to evaluate information, seek new resources, and make decisions based on that citizen's preferences and thought processes. Government is a direct democracy in which any citizen can call for a vote on any subject. That vote is placed on a national board and evaluated by all citizens avatars. Avatars exchange opinion and information and reach a collective democratic decision without actually involving any people. There is a national holiday, "Adjustment day" in which everyone is supposed to analyze their avatar's voting record and adjust parameters to match how their opinions have changed. "Avatar hacking" is a federal crime up there with voter fraud.
No thoughts on what I laid out.
But seriously, here's an idea.
What if there was an Meritocracy where the skilled really ruled? Yes, I suggested this already, but I consider it interesting because,
A. Unlike technocracy, many countries had elements of this, like China.
B. Many countries want to believe success is determined purely by skill, like the United States, showing meritocracy even today is quite popular.
So, what I mean is a country that does everything in its power to do this. I'm not sure how different this would be from technocracy, if at all, but it's worth considering, as it could appear far earlier.
For a more unique ideology? Okay, what about a country that hates its past? A lot. And I don't just mean a part of it like Germany does, I mean ALL of it, the country despises. Hence, an ideology based on destroying remnants from the past as much as possible.
In a way, radical anti-nationalism.
One thing I find it interesting to play around with is how different ideologies arise in reaction against and imitation of each other. Maybe, instead of trying to create a novel ideology from scratch, create some cultural and religious predecessors or a different general cultural context and try to figure out what might arise in response to them.
E.g. let's say instead of a background like the European Middle Ages where you have a missionary monotheistic religion and a seperation of Pope and king, have a polytheistic religion with no strong inherent missionary impulse but a church that is intimately connected with government in which religious and civic responsibilities are intwined (e.g. via an Emperor cult). Now, what does this culture's indigenous equivalent of (say) classical liberalism or communism look like, and how would it likely be different from the ones here because of the different background way politics, religion, and morality is concieved of?
Aside from that, one idea I had:
What about a society that has a similar attitude to economic power (i.e. money) that democracies have toward political power? Not communist or socialist in the conventional sense (although there might be a lot of socialist wealth redistribution involved), but consider it dangerous for too much economic power to be concentrated in too few hands, because then those people would have dangerously disproportionate influence (can use the money as a carrot to get people to do what they want, fund lots of advertising etc.).
One thought I had was they would democratize NGOs. The workers at Wallmart/General Motors/what have you would vote on the company's leaders and policies in the same way citizens in a democracy vote on its leaders and policies; subjecting big NGOs to the will of their members would be considered similarly important to subjecting the government to the will of the people.
Ankh-Morpoks government is actually quite close to a technocracy, in that the city is largely governed (when not by Vetinari) by the guilds - that is, skilled professionals, in a similar manner to a technocracy.
What I'm getting at here is an oligarchy which is passed on through descent, but where individual freedoms are all sancrosanct. Most oligarchic governments have been quite restrictive when it comes to personal freedom, except perhaps the Roman Republic. What differentiates this from the Roman Republic is that Rome had the people's tribunes to keep the aristocratic Senate in check - this ideology doesn't.
Yeah, thats basically what I was thinking of. Except institutionalised and codified, with more individual liberty.
If you've ever met hereditary Lords, as I have, you might be less so!
the ideology you describe here already exists and is called Distributism. I guess this is another example of the problem with coming up with new ideologies, as long as people can imagine it, someone somewhere else came up with it before.
Why not peronism or gaulism outside there native countries. Argentina art lest in the 90, was a nation whit out a conservative party or communist party, peronismm hold the booth nishes.
Kraftism - An authoritarian ideology that captures the essence of communism and fascism, as well as being custom tailored for the English people, and leading an insurrection against the government. Similar ideologies spring up in Scotland and surrounding dependencies.
Ironically, Kraftism hastens the fall of the British Empire, constructing national identities in 'Anglosphere' nations, while assisting those already in place. A small problem was that the royal family was still strong in Canada, India, and New Zealand. The ideology didn't end well, after its assets outside of the British Isles were used up completely, the isle of Britain was blockaded off by the combined British Fleet, the American Navy, as well as, ironically, the German Navy. Kraft got deposed, hanged by the British People, but the monarchy wasn't well received and is currently under joint occupation.
Christian Socialism - another idea I am toying with for my TL is Christian Socialism which promotes a socialist ideology but deals with one major problem (human greed and laziness leading to reduced productivity) by having a strong New Testament focused happy-clappy Christian focus.
It does not promote the violent overthrough of governments but instead seeks to propagate through gentle persuasion/conversion. Imagine the Bolsheviks are alot more like gentle Mormon missionaries than revolutionaries, and instead the ideology seems to prosper in countries with a strong evangelical Protestantism culture or an activist Catholic clergy.
But there were Christian Socialists. Back in the 19th century, and early 20th century. Remarkably close to what you suggested, though with an additional wrinkle--many of the Central European ones were horrifically antisemitic. As in 'major influence on Adolf Hitler' horrifically antisemitic. (In fact, when Nietzsche was complaining about antisemites, he meant these guys. And I'll add his big problem with them wasn't the whole 'hating Jews' thing--Nietzsche was a pretty bad antisemite himself. No, his big problem was that they hated Jews for the wrong reasons.)
The Christian Social Party in Austria was not a Socialist Party, Oddity, quite the opposite in fact.
Oh, I'm well aware of what an incoherant ideological shambles they were--a strange blend of reaction and demagoguery and populism, and all sorts of awful ideas that were floating around at that time--pretty much what you'd expect from a bunch of proto-Nazis.
And yes, they hated the Socialist Socialists, and Internationalism, and a whole lot of other things. Because it was all a Sinister Jewish Plot(tm) to bring down the German/Austrian man, and Purity of Essence, yada-yada-yada-yada...
No, it is a short form of the United States Postal Service Creed, itself a successor to a quote from Herodotus.
Now this really sparks my interest, I might try to incorporate it somewhere.
I've recently been rereading Asimov's Lucky Starr novels, and liked the plausibility of his version of technocracy. It's just another cneck and balance in a mostly denocratic UN, just used for technical innovations and research and certain high-tech action. And the terms are either long or life (can't remember). That avoids the specialization problem that simple technocracy has.
Remember, though all the plausible systems are old hat, impossible new wrong's all too triv. Just within the last century, there's only been Randism and the extreme versions of Libertarianism. I've been too depressed by OTL's to introduce new ones myself, though, though no doubt I'm unrealistically optimistic about that.
Free oligarchy's been done lots. The Shia Caliphate's and, I think, Ottomans, were the undemocratic kind; the Roman Republic, Sunni Caliphate, Norse governments, Britain before its vote went far are democratic examples.
One thing I have been thinking of is a sort of western nationalism, an ideology that seeks to unite all western countries under one government and expand the cultural western world whenever possible. It would be be non racial but consider western culture "the direct lineage of the enlightenment" and consider it its duty to spread this culture whenever possible and once a country has become westernized to unite them under the greater western government. Or maybe it could hold that decentralization is a fundamental part of the western identity and not be interested in one government but simply want to gradually spread western ideals to all non western countries and encourage western nations to work together and be hostile to non western states.
Back when I was thinking a lot about how history might have turned out if the American Revolution failed (Saratoga PoD), I could actually see modern political thinking splitting into two major ideological camps by the end of the 19th Century (in lieu of "liberalism" and "socialism" as OTL):
Aristocratic Republicanism, or simply known as "republicanism" TTL, which advocates republican structures for the purpose of empowering the "better sorts" -- in most societies to be taken as an elite of property owners (a la Locke's conception, early America, etc), though there are nations that conceive it more narrowly (eg the Republic of (Southern) Africa, which sets the white settlers up to rule over the native Africans).
Social Monarchy -- or simply known as "monarchism" TTL, which sees the role of the monarch to intervene in government (or simply rule it in its absolutist form) in the interests of the most vulnerable -- the poor over the rich, women and children over men, etc -- and thus serve as unifier of the country. And of course, connected to the idea of a paternalistic monarchy is that elites (political, economic, and otherwise) should be paternalistic and devoted to those below them, etc.
"Civicism" -- If these two come to emerge as the primary movers of the later 19th Century, they could also see a form of synthesis between them emerge as a powerful force, potentially dominating the 20th Century. Where TTL saw "Republicanism" seek an enforced unity through horizontal power structures among a (more or less) meritocratic *elite*, and "Monarchy" seek an all encompassing unity through vertical structure of a strong executive, this new approach seeks to bind all elements society hierarchically and meritocratically, through expansions of institutions like the military. (This comes to share many similarities with OTL's fascism.)
Liberal Democracy would, TTL, be an intriguing, but largely untested (and thus considered fringe) concept, akin to OTL's anarchism or syndicalism...
In my TL (Time of Crows), I have two major alternate ideologies/religions coming out of Europe.
One is called Veritianism. It's a religion and political philosophy combing Enlightenment/Radical French Republicanism and the supreme being deism of the same era. As I move along there was going to be several branches, varying from a pure faith based version to more secular forms.
The other was Repenter Christianity, which came out of Iberian Catholicism. Sort of an embrace the poverty of Jesus, liberation theology. In the TL the Catholic Church is going to shatter and be completely unrecognizable, with this ideology gaining a firm hold over one of the largest branches, at least in what was planned out so far.
I also have some other ideologies/religious movements coming out of Asia. The biggest being a new sect of Buddhism emerging from the White Lotus sect of China.
Separate names with a comma.