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. Hassan-i-Sabbah Well-Known Member

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    Btw guys I'm putting Kritarchy and a Machine cult in a story (or entry?) I'm writing so I call dibs. /s
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2019
  2. Chrispi Byzantine Logothete

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    Charles Fourier and I have the same taste in world capitals. :cool:

    Or do you mean Joseph Fourier of wave analysis fame?
     
  3. TRH Tyrannosaurus Rex Handler

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    The one who inspired intentional communities.
     
  4. MetalSlimeHunt Well-Known Member

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    I have to disagree with giving the Soft Dominionists good entries. It's important to remember that while the Soft Dominionists are left of the Hard Dominionists, they're also right of all but the most extreme members of the mainstream Religious Right. Their vision necessitates tyranny and genocide to carry out, it is impossible to "reset" otherwise. The great mass of a post-Sexual Revolution population, even early on, would not permit such a reversal and so would need to be taken at gunpoint. And if we take it as referring to the modern day then it's beyond impossible without killing, at a minimum, tens of thousands and terrorizing the rest.

    I don't mean to bash your write-up because it's quite good, but like other inherently genocidal ideologies I don't think there's a need to try and remold Dominionism into the full format.
     
  5. PachPachis Danish Literature

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    I wasn't quite sure about Dominionism, because it's not a self-proclaimed ideology, but instead a pejorative label that opponents of a collection of extremist beliefs have given them. However, I subjectively do believe these collections of beliefs constitute an ideology, and Dominionism is as good a name for it as any, so I'll allow it.
     
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  6. Scorpio Retindar Monarcho-Socialist (somehow)

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    I know I'm going really fucking far back, but this is legitimately a really fucking interesting and underrated ideology. I'm thinking of doing a TL where it's much more popular that mixes some elements of Collectivist Good Guys and Collectivist Bad Guys to create a really weird, dynamic, and interesting, but morally grey faction.

    Also, I'm surprised nobody's connected this ideology to Huey Long yet. I don't think Huey was *that* close to being a Yellow Socialist at all, but he's close enough that I could see him becoming one in a TL where it's a much more prominent ideology.

    Just a thought... ;)
     
  7. Threadmarks: Neo-Vedic Republicanism - Indicus

    Indicus Stuff

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    Neo-Vedic Republicanism

    [​IMG]

    Swami Dayanand Saraswati (1824-1883) was a Hindu religious reformer in colonial India. He was the founder of Arya Samaj, a Hindu religious sect which among other things believes in rigid monotheism, anti-idolatry, strict belief the Vedas and a few other Hindu religious texts, non-hereditary caste, cow protection, women's rights, reconversion, rationalism and anti-superstition (including astrology, oddly enough), and a host of other things. He believed that Hinduism had been corrupted from its original Vedic lines over time, and he believed that this old system needed to be restored. The formation of Arya Samaj in the 1870s was a highly important event in India and especially in Punjab, where its conversion of a few Sikhs and its arguments that Sikhism was a corrupted form of Hinduism spurred a Sikh religious revival in reaction to the sect. It also antagonized Muslims likewise as well as "traditionalist" Hindus, likewise spurring revivals. It's a very interesting sect, and while by and large most Hindus aren't members of it, it has had an enormous impact far larger than its small numbers would suggest.

    Here, however, I'll focus on his constitutionalism. He wrote a book called Satyarth Prakash in 1875 (from which all quotes below come from), which it a full and complex interpretation of the Vedas as well as a critique of most other religions. Because of the latter part, it is banned in the Sindh province of Pakistan, and Delhi Muslims tried and failed to get the book banned. Most relevantly to this, however, is his description of the state described in the Vedas. His opinions on it were that it was a perfect state:

    Q. Is the ancient Aryan system of Government perfect or imperfect?

    A. Perfect; because all other systems of Government, that prevail at present or shall prevail, have and will have for their basis the Aryan System of Government. The laws that have not been declared expressly have been provided for by the text. "Let the Parliament composed of scholars, frame such laws as are just and beneficial to the rulers and the ruled."​

    To go over it, he believed that a state needed a single head - he called this head the Raja (King), or Head of State, or simply "Chief". This figure is to also be "the president of the Assembly, and the Assembly itself should be inter-dependent on each other. Both should be controlled by the people, who in their turn should be governed by the Assembly." It is for this reason - the control of the "king" by the people and the election and his presiding of the assembly, that I would call this a republican head of state imbued with popular sovereignty strangely justified through Hindu religious texts. He also believed the king should be dependent on the people:

    If the system be not followed and the king be independent of the people and have absolute power, "He would impoverish the people, - being despotic and hence arrogant - and oppress them, aye, even eat them up, just as a tiger or any other carnivorous animal pounces upon a robust animal and eats it up. A despotic ruler does not let any one else grow in power, robs the rich, usurps their property by unjust punishment, and accomplishes his selfish end. One man should, therefore, never be given despotic power." SHATPATHA BRAAHMAN 12:2, 3, 7, 8.​

    But he believed that the true king of his preferred state was the law, which is again a strangely republican sentiment:

    "The Law alone is the real king, the dispenser of justice, the disciplinarian. The Law is considered as the surety for the four Classes and Orders to discharge properly their respective duties. The Law alone is the true Governor that maintains order among the people. The Law alone is their Protector. The Law keeps awake whilst all the people are fast asleep. The wise, therefore, look upon the Law alone as Dharma or Right. When rightly administered the Law makes all men happy but when administered wrongly, i.e., without due regard to the requirement of justice, it ruins the king. All the four Classes would become corrupt, all order would come to an end, there would be nothing but chaos and corruption if the Law were not properly enforced. Where the Law - which is likened unto a fear-inspiring man, black in colour and with red eyes - striking fear into the hearts of the people (evil) and preventing them form committing crimes, rules supreme, there the people never go astray, and consequently live in happiness if it be administered by a just and learned man.

    He alone is considered a fit person to administer the Law by the wise, who invariably speaks the truth, is thoughtful, highly intellectual and very clever in the attainment of virtue, wealth and righteous desires. The Law rightly administered by the king greatly promotes the practice of virtue, acquisition of wealth and secures the attainment of the heart-felt desires of his people. But the same Law destroys the king who is sensual, indolent, crafty, malevolent, mean and low-minded.

    Great is the power and majesty of the Law. It cannot be administered by a man who is ignorant and unjust. It surely brings the downfall of the king who deviates from the path of rectitude.

    The Law can never be justly administered by a man who is destitute of learning and culture, has no wise and good men to assist him, and is sunk in sensualism. He alone is fit administer the Law- which is another name for justice - who is wise, pure in heart, of truthful character, associates with the good, conducts himself according to the law and is assisted by the truly good and great men in the discharge of his duties." MANU 7: 17, 19,24, 28, 30, 31.​

    Going lower, there are four chief offices - the Commander-in-Chief, Head of Civil Government, Minister of Justice, and the King, to all be held by scholars knowledgeable in the Vedas, as well as seven or eight ministers. Strangely the king was to follow the opinion of the majority of this cabinet, which is also very strangely modern.

    And, of course, assemblies are a big part of this. There are three - the Religious Assembly, the Legislative Assembly, and the Educational Assembly. He also believed in a Political Assembly with the King as its president (as described above), but it seems to be executive. These three assemblies are all elected by the people, and are to consist of people well-learned in the Vedas, and each to be focused on specific tasks described by their names.

    And here's a description of the subdivisions:

    Let the Lord (i.e., the administrator) of one town daily apprise the Lord of Ten Towns privately of all crimes committed within his jurisdiction and the Lord of Ten submit his report to the Lord of Twenty. Let the Lord of Twenty notify all such matters to the Lord of one hundred every day and the Lord of one Hundred, to the Lord of one Thousand, in other words, five Lords of Twenty, to a Lord of one Hundred, ten Lords of a Hundred, to a Lord of Ten thousand, and the Lord of Ten Thousand to an assembly which governs the affairs of a hundred thousand townships and all such Assemblies, to the Supreme International Assembly representing the whole world.​

    And there's also an internationalist element - Dayanand believed the Vedas were not just for Indians, but people of the whole world.

    Another element to this is its belief on punishment. He believed in extremely strict and harsh punishment for crimes, but most curiously he believed that as rulers were to serve as examples for their citizens their punishments were to be much harsher - the king punished eight thousand times for a crime than an ordinary citizen, and these proportions were to reduce for lower and lower officials. And the king was to be tried by the assembly (which is also something he mentions)

    And, of course, standard Hindu reformist stuff like allowing widow remarriage and banning suttee and child marriage were to be put in place. He also believed in Hindi as India's one official language with Sanskrit having a prized status.

    So to summarize - an elected head of state dependent on an assembly, three more assemblies with different functions, popular sovereignty, supremacy of law, and all officials to be learned in the Vedas.

    Yet, most of this has been forgotten. Even Hindu nationalists today don't put such a focus on being learned in the Vedas as Dayanand has. Stuff like popular sovereignty and supremacy of law is pretty important in India's constitution, but it's justified by secular ideals rather than the Vedas. However, the word Swaraj (self-rule), which was used by Dayanand to refer to an India ruling itself, saw use well beyond his death by Indian nationalists, most notably by Gandhi who used it to name his own political manifesto.

    As villains: The requirement for all officials to be learned in the Vedas results in the formation of an Iran-style "theocracy with democratic elements", and the harshness of punishments in this system gets dirty quickly. Minorities are naturally excluded by the requirement to be learned in the Vedas. As this system is believed to be the perfect state of the infallible Vedas, any attempt to reform it is viewed as contrary to God's will, stopping any such reforms in its tracks.

    As neutrals: Legitimacy from the Vedas is important to this state, but most people also believe in the whole differing interpretations. The result is that some of the stranger elements of the system are eliminated, but it's not perfect. India today is a democratic place, however it lacks secularism and its legal system is filled with flaws.

    As good guys: This state successfully reforms itself, and as Dayanand IOTL attempted Muslim and Sikh outreach and inclusion, this state does the same. It perhaps doesn't have that whole requirement to be learned in the Vedas. The ties of the state to Hindu beliefs results in the Hindu idolization of celibacy resulting in most politicians being bachelors, thus reducing dynastic politics, and it dismantles the caste system by successfully making caste non-hereditary using its ties to Hindu institutions. Furthermore, the legitimization of democracy and the supremacy of law on Hindu lines gives them more legitimacy in the eyes of the Indian public.
     
  8. CountPeter Apparently the anti-christ.

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    Tell me about it. I think the thing most intruiging about them is that untill the fascists absorbed them, they were a significant presence which seemingly vanished almost overnight but left a shadow in one of history's most awful movements.
     
  9. Threadmarks: Sicilian Fasci (Crying)

    Crying Your ideology is shit, SHIIIIIIIIT

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    Sicilian Fasci(sm), aka Fasci Siciliani
    [​IMG]
    If you think that a socialist movement using fasces symbolism was as confusing as this would get, boy are you in for a surprise.


    What it is
    To give a brief history: In the late 19th century Sicily was, if not outright feudal then at least highly influenced by its recent feudal past. A whole lot of wealth, land and political power was still highly concentrated in the hands of the (former) aristocrats and what wasn’t was often owned by the new middle-class which descended from the old middle-class. The peasants were, understandably, pretty unhappy with this and the worldwide agricultural depression going on at the time certainly didn’t make them less angry.

    At the time left-wing solidarity organisations, known as worker bundles or fasces, were enjoying some success and popularity in mainland, center-north Italy so when the Sicilian peasants began planning their protest against both the aristocrats and the government that supported them, they organised themselves as a fasci. Like most other labour actions in history, it ended up being violently put down by the government – nothing special there, history moved on.

    But what makes the Fasci Siciliani notable, and different from other failed labour movements, is that it effectively represents a halfway point between the more traditional/primitive, reactionary and largely unideological peasant revolts of pre-modernity and the modern, ideological, organised worker revolts of socialism.

    One thing to note is that the Fasci was never officially insurrectionary – for its entire (short) existence the movement’s goal was pressuring the government into reforming taxes, agricultural legislation, land distribution, etc – but many of the individual members had a greater scope vision of it.


    So the Fasci Siciliani had a melding of millenarian Christian beliefs and revolutionary Marxism. They just as often shouted “Long live the King and Queen” as they did “Down with taxes”, they carried crucifixes and images of saints with them, they supposedly treated visiting Socialist leaders as if they were bishops and they still seemed to fundamentally believe that the King was fair and, if he was made aware what injustices were done in his name, he would not tolerate them – the widespread and active participation of peasant women played a key role in this.

    Despite this, they explicitly wanted a communist society, one where food, property and land was held in common, where everyone worked and where they were all equal and united in fraternity.
    The Fasci members thus came to view socialist as the ‘true religion of Christ’ which had been corrupted in the past by priests in alliance with the rich. Quite a lot, but not all, Sicilain priests opposed the Fasci and tried to excommunicate anyone who joined one – the peasants responded by either abandoning the priests/churches or protesting & boycotting them. There were even some examples of people having their babies baptised at the Fascio (meeting hall, essentially) rather than a church.

    Millenarian Religion was key in how they Fasci peasants viewed socialism and expressed it, but ultimately wasn’t especially influential in shaping their political actions – most Fasci were largely content to play politics and attain small concessions while they waited for God’s new world to come on its own, and those who weren’t never managed to come to power. The main strategy for broader change, insofar as it existed, seemed to be grassroots parliamentarianism; the Fasci would unite the lower classes and get socialists elected in provincial elections, and so on until there was a socialist majority in Rome who could do away with all the ‘bad laws’.

    The Fasci movement that managed to survive past the Crispi government’s ‘state of siege’ had fluctuating membership but was never completely negligible, and came to favour collective farming. The poor township of Piana dei Greci (or Piana degli Albanesi), descended from a number of Albanian clans fleeing Ottoman conquest in the 15th century and located within the historically near-impossible-to-effectively-administrate island centre, was always troublesome due to it keeping its Albanian language, religion, culture alive – this tendency to come into conflict with the greater Sicilian/Italian authorities didn’t disappear as time went on, as it was a centre of revolutionary Fasci in Sicily, briefly declared itself an independent communist republic after the fall of fascism in Italy and still, today, is highly involved in socialist politics in the region.

    Wow, this ended up being a bit more of a history lesson than an analysis of the ideology, but with something as specific as this it’s difficult to avoid that. Key note are:
    • Millenarian Christian Socialists, believed that socialism was the original Christian religion before it was betrayed by priests and the rich
    • Radical beliefs but very reformist in practice
    • Mixture of pre-modern peasant revolts over specific issues and modern worker revolts for societal change
    • Potentially not opposed to monarchs

    As individualist good guys
    See Bfoxius’ entry on Christian Anarchism/Tolstoyism, basically. The Fasci Siciliani were more influenced by Marxism than Anarchism, unlike some other peasant-movements-turned-socialist-movements, but it probably wouldn’t be that dissimilar as ‘good guys’.

    As collectivist good guys
    The Fasci’s plan of grass-roots-up electoralism is not only successful, but unlike every other reformist socialist movement in history they actually remain radical. It might not be peaceful exactly, it seems unlikely that there wouldn’t be attempts at coups or even an outright civil war over something like this, but the Fasci do manage to come to power in Italy and establish socialism without a violent revolution.

    The new Fasci regime favours political structures – collective agrarian villages in rural areas, worker’s councils in urban areas – and retains a mostly symbolic monarchy, serving as a kind of “crowned soviet republic.” Controversially, they strongly influence the Catholic Church into electing a socialist-friendly, if not outright socialist, Pope who starts trying to radically reform Catholic orthodox teachings – chances of Antipopes being established elsewhere are high.

    As neutrals
    The Fasci’s plan of grass-roots-up electoralism is not so successful. They struggle to get elected in anything higher than provincial governments, and they’re increasingly ideologically de-radicalized until they eventually split into a more left-leaning than usual Christian Democracy party and a more religious than normal Labour or Social Democrat party.

    The Fasci themselves, as an institution, don’t fair much better than any other labour organization when union-busting, laissez-faire capitalism (what we might known as Neoliberalism in our timeline) starts coming into power.

    As villains #1
    As it turns out, people with a literally religious devotion to their political ideology aren’t particularly stable. The Fascio become cult compounds rather than offices for labour organizations, more and more people become convinced that the new kingdom of god must be ushered in by His true followers and those who don’t start to have their views shift from simply being millernarian to being apocalyptic, and as the violent insurgency in Sicily is crushed those who remain behind break out the Kool Aid equivalent.

    If they actually manage to come to power, well... I guess they might look like a version of the Khmer Rouge who are inspired by Christianity instead of a vague cultural Buddhism?

    As villains #2
    They’re kinda like the Italian edition of the Mladorossi. The Fasci Siciliani, or a distorted version of it anyway, take part in a larger, more general communist uprising in Italy and somehow manage to be the faction that comes to power.

    They’re fondness for agrarian socialism remains but takes the form of a Soviet/Maoist-esque farm collectivization and the Fasci as worker organisations are done away with and replaced with the Part-State in much the same way as the Soviets were in the OTL USSR.

    A puppet is placed upon the Italian throne – or perhaps the dictator takes the crown for himself? – and the Catholic Church is outright abolished and replaced with the “true religion of Christ” which looks an awful lot like party doctrine.


    …As always, let me know about any typos.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2019
  10. Forbiddenparadise64 The Great

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    I’m guessing by this, you mean they both moderated their views in emotional reaction to the regimes that exiled them, and to get more PR from others?
     
  11. CountPeter Apparently the anti-christ.

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    Surely that was part of it, but mostly in the sense of “I wouldn’t have been a monster like X!” despite having been a monster in every given opportunity (more so Trotsky).

    It is very easy to say you would be less violent and extreme when you are no longer in a position to do so.
     
  12. Earthallias Who TF keeps liking but not replying?

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    Was the Venus project ever elaborated on
     
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  13. Crying Your ideology is shit, SHIIIIIIIIT

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  14. Hassan-i-Sabbah Well-Known Member

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    Pardon? Why not just make your own update?
     
  15. Crying Your ideology is shit, SHIIIIIIIIT

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    I'm alerting the thread creator so they can add the new entries to the thread index. Not asking for updates from them.
     
  16. Hassan-i-Sabbah Well-Known Member

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    Ohhhhhh that makes sense.
     
  17. PachPachis Danish Literature

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    Crying likes this.
  18. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    The Code of Hammurabi says, “The first duty of government is to protect the powerless from the powerful.” Of course, this has been more honored in the breach, but what if a government was really serious about it.

    And furthermore, they respond to crimes which are even partially property crimes by busting the person down in social level?
     
  19. Hassan-i-Sabbah Well-Known Member

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    I don't think that's possible. As Ibn Khaldun says "[government is] an institution which prevents injustice other than such as it commits itself". The government cannot protect the powerless from the powerful because the government itself is powerful and ruled by powerful people. For a government to truly protect the powerless from the powerful, there would have to be no hierarchy at all since hierarchy is the core reason why there is the powerful-powerless dichotomy at all.
     
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  20. Alienspacebats Dēmokratía is people's will

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    Yeah, the logical answer is once again Anarchism
     
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