A Guide, Resource, and Repository of Could-have-been Ideologies for your Alternate History

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by PachPachis, Feb 20, 2017.

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  1. Crying Your ideology is shit, SHIIIIIIIIT

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    Well there's still a ludicrously popular Stalin personality cult amongst Marxists-Leninists*, but I've yet to see it get infused with occultism/mysticism.

    The only things I can think of that really qualify as "esoteric communism" would be the personality cult that Pol Pot had amongst the Khmer Rouge, Jim Jones' Peoples Temple and, arguably, Posadism. I guess that, even if you think dialectical materialism is a bunch of crank, it at least tends to keep Marxists away from spiritual kookiness?

    *Seriously, the amount of twitter threads I've seen where Tankies are 100% buying into Stalinist propaganda or even just blatantly making up shit about how good of a person he was is sickening.
     
  2. CountPeter Apparently the anti-christ.

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    Thats why I suggested Raelism like stuff, or science woo linking his beliefs in telepathy
    Personally I am more troubled by the veneration Lenin still gets by even the anti-stalinist left, but my thoughts on that can be found in the radical left thread
     
  3. Max Sinister Retired Myriad Club Member

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    Oops, I misread this as "millennial" and wondered "WTH? There are many things you can blame Millennials for, but I never noticed that they were particularly into esoteric stuff."
     
  4. CountPeter Apparently the anti-christ.

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    That made me laugh so loud that I woke up my son. I hope you are happy :p
     
  5. Threadmarks: Demarchy - Neoteros

    Neoteros Dux Mediolani

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    Demarchy

    [​IMG]

    A kleroterion - a device used in ancient Athens for the purpose of sorting the members of the polis' government.

    What it is:
    a wide variety of proposals, by a wide variety of people, concerning the replacement of elections with sortition. Those who support such schemes identify several issues that plague elective democracy; they have been handily summarized by a certain Vermont politician named Terry Bouricius, who I will quote here:

    It is not truly representative, since "elected legislatures usually include a combination of perspectives that is very different from the perspectives of the people they are supposed to represent. They are wealthier, better educated, with fewer women, fewer working class people, fewer people of color, and so on", and since "there is an overriding homogeneity of perspectives, even among elected legislators from opposite ends of the political spectrum".

    There are very few opportunities to take part in it: "most citizens (including people who might make outstanding citizenlawmakers) have virtually no chance of becoming legislators".

    The legislators do not have enough time and attention to do their jobs well - "Elected legislators typically spend a large portion of their time on fundraising, campaigning, constituent relations, and cultivating the media [...] In addition, representatives in all-purpose legislatures have too many tasks to do, about too many bills, to pay significant attention to more than a small portion of them. That’s one reason why legislators often vote on bills they haven’t even read".

    "Holding elected legislators accountable is crucial", and "having one opportunity every 2-6 years to "throw the bums out", when legislators may vote on hundreds of bills each year, is an accountability mechanism that cannot possibly work.

    "Elected legislators face heavy pressure to vote in ways that will satisfy campaign donors".

    "Elected legislators face heavy pressure to speak in ways that “score points” for themselves and their allies".

    Bouricius' solution is simple, and has already been summarized here:

    [​IMG]

    But could it really work?

    As good guys: the mechanism works, due to having been implemented in a country where the population is highly informed and highly involved: depending on whom the RNG gods favour, the demarchic state could lean more or less to the left or to the right, but everyone feels like they can have a voice in how the country is run.

    As bad guys: the mechanism does not work - there are too few volunteers, either because the population is apathetic or because those with means buy the people's silence with gold. A new ruling class forms, and even though the makeup of the governmental bodies is random, the randomness is only apparent, since the Demarchy shares a common disdain for the masses, and the government's bodies become nothing more than a rubber-stamp parliament for the private interests of the demarchs.

    Or, plainly incompetent every(wo)men are randomly chosen to run the country, leading to horrifyingly embarrassing results.
     
  6. CountPeter Apparently the anti-christ.

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    As much as I am not keen on representative democracy, a big issue I have with Demarchy is it's potential limitations RE progress. I.e. something like a gay rights bill can be introduced as part of a party platform so that said policy can potetially get through where small population samples might vote it down. In demarchy, this seems hard to achieve at all considering how many layers of random people have to be ok with something, turning even a potentially popular policy into something statistically hard to get through.
     
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  7. Skallagrim Not the one from YouTube. Different other fellow.

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    Cool post, @Neotoros! Demarchy is one of those things where it could go very right or very wrong, and we just don't know which it'll be until/unless we test it. That said, I do imagine a 'neutral outcome' -- where it works out great some of the time, and leads to a mess in other cases -- is very realistic, too. sometimes you happen to randomly get the right people randomly selacted, sometimes the exact wrong people, and most often just... a mix. An average. (Which is, after all, the idea.)

    I imagine there are also other ideas than that of Bouricius, although I'm not really familiar with them. The whole thing with specially-instituted panels and juries etc. seems to be his particular spin on the concept, and not really inherent to the idea. (I've also heard people simply saying: "keep everything the same as it is now, but instead of having elections, just select one of the existing eligable voters for the position... via lot".)
     
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  8. BigBlueBox Well-Known Member

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    I think sortition would be a pretty terrible replacement for a proper legislature, but could be a great replacement for referendums. Referendums are often criticized for being unrepresentative due to low turnout and voters being uninformed. If sortition is used , referendums could work like jury duty. The government summons a random sample of the population, both sides can send representatives to make their case, and then those chosen can vote after hearing each side.
     
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  9. Neoteros Dux Mediolani

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    Yes, there are many other proposals, including the one you mentioned, but Bouricius' is the most out there one, so I picked it. And yes @CountPeter might be right, but I think the many bodies he conceived might be a way to get, more or less, assembly line politics: since the average citizen could never do the ungodly amount of work the average career politician does, he split the legislative process into several distinct tasks to make it easier for the average person to contribute something. The legislatures of those Renaissance states that employed sortition were similarly byzantine, even though they all turned into oligarchic merchant republics anyway - the amount of work that went towards accomplishing a task as seemingly straighforward as electing the Doge of Venice was... well, quite something. And Milan's brief experiment with republicanism, well, I made a graduation thesis out of it and I still haven't quite grasped how it worked. Spoiler alert: it didn't.

    Good idea. :3
     
  10. Crying Your ideology is shit, SHIIIIIIIIT

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    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019 at 11:37 PM
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  11. Born in the USSA Well-Known Member

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  12. Alexander the Average Anti-lion tamer

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  13. Neoteros Dux Mediolani

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    Seconded.
     
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  14. Max Sinister Retired Myriad Club Member

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    A short explanation for each of them would have been nice. I guess Egoism is Stirner's, and I'm pretty sure we had that already, and I could look them up on WP, but yeah.
     
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  15. Miranda Brawner Trans Woman Donor

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    I enjoyed the look at sortition, @Neoteros. I had an idea lately for a variation on sortition. Suppose that when it comes time to elect a representative, everyone gets a ballot with no candidates listed on it. They each get to write in one name. But instead of giving the office to whoever has the most votes, the winner is chosen randomly from everyone in the adult population who received zero votes. So instead of voting for whoever you think would be the best person for the job, you get to decide who you think should definitely not be handed any power, and disqualify them from winning. The rationalization for such a system could be to prevent anyone too extremist from gaining office, even if that person has the support of the majority. The system would tend to filter out the most extreme candidates, as well as famous people in general, since people with more radical ideas are more likely to have at least one person who dislikes them enough to vote against them. I don't personally support such a system, since sometimes radical change is needed, but I think a system like this would be interesting to explore in a fictional setting.
     
  16. Crying Your ideology is shit, SHIIIIIIIIT

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    Situationism: Communist ideology that tried to update Marx's theory to account for consumerism, was pretty influential on the May '68 events in France. Focuses around the 'Society of the Spectacle' and is basically a radical art movement.

    Dominionism: is kinda the christian equivalent of Islamism, its a surprisingly powerful (in some ways) movement in the US which wants to turn the country into a theocracy that follows (what they think are) the Biblical laws.

    British Israelism: a 19th/20th century ethno-nationalist pseudohistory which holds that the British race/nation is descended from one of the lost tribes of Israel, it was disturbingly powerful at its height and is something of a precursor to the even more horrendous Christian Identity movement in the US.

    Sicilian Fasci: a radical social movement thats somewhat difficult to quantify according in modern conceptions of politics, it was a kind of millenarian christian & 'peasant communism' movement in 19th century Sicily. No relation to fascism, fasci was just a word used in Italy at the time to refer to groups or leagues.

    Egoism: its Stirner, but my own take on him because I find the current one somewhat lacking.

    De-Leonism: its Marxism-De-Leonism, but my own take on it because I find the current entry somewhat lacking.
     
  17. Crying Your ideology is shit, SHIIIIIIIIT

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    [​IMG]
    Vote is currently tied, don't know what I'll do if it still is by the time I get back on tomorrow.
     
  18. Crying Your ideology is shit, SHIIIIIIIIT

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    Right, well, vote's closed I guess. I'm doing the Sicilian Fasci.
     
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