An Examination of Extra-Universal Systems of Government

This thread and Chana as a framing device is awesome.

Reading the thread, I had the idea of the Mandarin system evolving into a bureaucratic government which has dispensed with the need for an Emperor, using modern technology and information access to govern more effectively. Basically a state governed by career bureaucrats who've prepared for their life for rule through study for the civil examinations. Except your merit is shown by your ability to memorise the classics and not a whole lot else.

The result is a bureucratic despotism which is more or less benevolent and open to social mobility, but is intellectually and institutionally stagnant because it's been run by people who think the same way for the last few hundred years. It'd be interesting to see what that would look like in the modern world.

If it's not too similar to a previous entry, I might write it up
It sounds like the Han Empire entry, but it could work!
 
This thread and Chana as a framing device is awesome.
Thank you.:)

Reading the thread, I had the idea of the Mandarin system evolving into a bureaucratic government which has dispensed with the need for an Emperor, using modern technology and information access to govern more effectively. Basically a state governed by career bureaucrats who've prepared for their life for rule through study for the civil examinations. Except your merit is shown by your ability to memorise the classics and not a whole lot else.

The result is a bureucratic despotism which is more or less benevolent and open to social mobility, but is intellectually and institutionally stagnant because it's been run by people who think the same way for the last few hundred years. It'd be interesting to see what that would look like in the modern world.

If it's not too similar to a previous entry, I might write it up
That's an interesting idea. Run it by me, I'd love to take a look.
 
One idea I got was essentially the Mandala model of South East Asian politics somehow modernizing with a maritime South East Asia, Indonesia to the Philippines, being under a united Imperial Federation of Nusantara after centuries of being a decentralized HRE analogue.
 
One idea I got was essentially the Mandala model of South East Asian politics somehow modernizing with a maritime South East Asia, Indonesia to the Philippines, being under a united Imperial Federation of Nusantara after centuries of being a decentralized HRE analogue.
What would that sort of government look like?

@Ephraim Ben Raphael I had an idea, for an hre-like nation that is a singular state, but there's still electors and stuff. How would that sound for an entry?
I'd say that sounds promising.:)

Read the whole lot in a day (slow day at work). The crazy micro-states are my favourites :)
On behalf of myself and all of the other writers who have contributed to this TL, thank you.:cool:
 
What would that sort of government look like?
Probably a weird mix of centralized and decentralized. If the islands were united before Europe arrive or if Srivijaya defeated the Chola and thus not collapse, they might unify under a HRE like situation where you get an emperor like figure mixed with a mix of rajahs and rich merchants.

If they manage to maintain a spice monopoly, rich as well, probably colonial.

Then when the racial theory develops, a pan-Austronesian ideology might develop.

I do imagine a weird hodgepodge of a different branch of Buddhism based on tantric Buddhism before it moved to Tibet, mix with a 'united and diverse but for Austronesians' state, and perhaps it's form of socialism.

It's an odd idea stewing in my head for a while.
 
One idea I got was essentially the Mandala model of South East Asian politics somehow modernizing with a maritime South East Asia, Indonesia to the Philippines, being under a united Imperial Federation of Nusantara after centuries of being a decentralized HRE analogue.
Did you break into my house and steal my notes?
 
Did you break into my house and steal my notes?
Pfft

If you think of it, the Mandala model basically means SEA could work as a HRE analogue.

Austronesians ends up as a sea based Germans, whoever in Indochina gets to be the land based Britain and/or Bohemia analogue, and so on if it works, somehow.
 
Pfft

If you think of it, the Mandala model basically means SEA could work as a HRE analogue.

Austronesians ends up as a sea based Germans, whoever in Indochina gets to be the land based Britain and/or Bohemia analogue, and so on if it works, somehow.
I guess? My version did not really do equivalents, and, although there was a hypothetical Malaya+Sumatra+Java union that was HRE-like, the Mandalas were more unions of city states with overlapping control over hinterlands, with most "imperialism" outside S+E+SEA conducted through diasporic entities acting independently of governments.

"SEA" consists of 5 regions in the TL.
Region 1 (Philippines+Sabah) is quite heavily Sinicized and usually under 1-4 states with clearly defined borders that pay tribute exclusively to China.
Region 2 (Vietnam+Cambodia+Laos+Burma+Bengal+Bihar+Jharkand+Odisha) has states with full control of the "good"/high population density land and cities with decreasing (and often overlapping) influence (through vassalising minor states) over low-population-density (usually mountainous) areas. The major states pay tribute to China and Malacca.
Region 3 (Borneo except Sabah) is basically just Brunei and its sphere of influence. Brunei pays tribute to China and Malacca.
Region 4 (Malaya, Sumatra, Java) is the HRE!SEA. Usually, it is dominated by Malacca, with whatever the most powerful confederation of city-states based in Java and southern Sumatra being the main opposition.
Region 5 (Bali, Sulawesi, Nusa Tenggara, Timor, Moluccas, Birdshead peninsula, Carpentaria, the east coast of Australia) is made up of centralised states with clearly-defined borders, although tributary relationships between these states are common, they are invariably tributaries of China and Malacca and sometimes tributaries of other states.

EDIT : Massive expansion
 
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Imperial Union of Humanity

Shanghai is a cosmopolitan city, a situation which is familiar to me for I have visited similar incarnations of the city in many dimensions. However, Shanghai in this world is the capital city of an Empire which controls humanity and rules over a thousand worlds as the capital city of such an Empire.

I enter the Imperial Palace after the ride on the air taxi with me encountering the stern men and women of the Imperial Guard, an elite military unit tasked with protecting the Emperor and his family. I later learned that the Imperial Security Agency, the Empire’s secret police agency, had checked me thoroughly for any ties to “subversive forces” in the lead-up to the interview to check if I was someone who could be reliably interviewed with.

I then go to Prince Brandon Alexander Edward Musk’s personal office in the Imperial Palace in Shanghai as the Prince greets me in his office in the Imperial Palace.

“Welcome, Mr. Chana!”, the Prince says as he rises from his chair in his office. The two of us begin our interview shortly afterwards as he stands in his military uniform at attention.

“The system of techno-feudalism which characterizes the Imperial Union arose from the need to rule over a rising interstellar power in a stable way. This is something you must understand. A democratic system would be too inefficient as what would the logistics of elections over dozens of light-years would be? Centralization of political power would also be a problem as communications over an empire of a thousand worlds and hundreds of billions of people would be a problem.”

I asked him about how recent advances in communications technology have made democratic institutions and a centralized government feasible in the interstellar empire.

He scoffs “Those communications technologies are recent inventions and therefore untested. Besides, the Imperial order has prevailed for centuries, so, what needs to change in the Imperial Union?”

I reply that the Imperial order, from what I have read and heard, is in the midst of decline as the inefficient nature of its system manifests itself and the outer colonies are increasingly unruly as a result of the dominance of inner-world elites.

“This is a temporary crisis similar to other crises the Empire has faced over the centuries and the Imperial Government of the Empire would be able to withstand these problems much like how the Empire outlasted the War of Imperial Succession three centuries ago and how the Empire outlived the Yao Rebellion.”

The rest of our interview consists of me asking the Prince questions and him answering about how the Imperial System has worked for centuries and that the Empire does not need much change with the Empire being good as it is.

Despite his protestations, the Imperial Union of Humanity is an entity forged as a result of historical circumstance, bureaucratic corruption, and dynastic policies.

The Imperial Union of Humanity’s rise began with the development of the first off-world colonies in the mid-21st Century as often, these colonies were developed by companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin as opposed to national governments. This would be the first seeds of the Imperial Union as these companies took control over their colonies and acted as their de facto governments even if they paid lip service to the United Nations Space Authority, the notional governing body running the off-world assets of humanity.

This problem would gradually grow more prominent as humanity expanded heavily during the Expansion Age, which started in 2215 with the development of a working Alcubierre Drive, which brought about the development of an interstellar empire as corporations and governments went on a “scramble of the stars” which lasted for the next three centuries. As a result of how Alcubierre Drives were the fastest means through which both communication and material could travel, colonial authorities in distant worlds were practically forced to run their own affairs.

Another development which led to the rise of techno-feudalism was how military and political power during the Expansion Age was increasingly consolidated in the same person as colonial governors and business leaders alike both controlled military units and ran the civil administration of colonies.

The year 2331 would prove to be a pivotal one as the governments of Earth and the mega-corporations formally agreed to form the Terran Union, a federated government comprising of all of humanity as a result with the first contact made with a sapient alien race the previous year in the Zlatorki Technocracy. While nominally a federal democracy, the Terran Union would be dominated by a series of political dynasties, bureaucratic and corporate interests, and military units, who would form a ruling elite for the Terran Union, which would gradually grow more dominated by these oligarchs for the new few centuries as humanity’s empire of colonial worlds, orbital habitats, and deep space bases grew larger and larger.

The transition from Terran Union to Imperial Union was made by Charles Musk, a descendant of Elon Musk who was a general of the Terran Union’s forces and one of the most powerful of the regional oligarchs of the Terran Union, being from a prestigious bloodline. After his victory over the Til’ak Hegemony in the Third Til’ak-Terran War from 2621 to 2630, which made him a popular war hero, he was a war hero beyond peer with his fellow oligarchs and most of the masses giving him his full support in his coup against the Federal Council with February 6, 2631 being the day the Terran Union ended as Charles Musk became Emperor Charles I.

Under Emperor Charles I, the techno-feudalism which informally existed over over the past few centuries as dynasties of businessmen, military officers, and bureaucrats was formalized as the Imperial Union’s main administrative titles were made formally hereditary. Despite the death of political freedom, there was relatively little unrest amongst the people of the Empire when the Imperial Proclamation was made. After all, this was more of a formalization of what had been happening de facto? While there were mass demonstrations amongst the intelligentsia and the middle class in many “core worlds” and small-scale uprisings which the newly formed Imperial Army quickly quelled, the Imperial Union’s birth was one many accepted with a sigh.

However, Emperor Charles I would only have a reign of six years, dying in 2637. His daughter Sophia Catherine Musk would become the woman who consolidated the Empire over the next forty years, becoming known as “Sophia the Great” for her expansion of the Empire, her policies of economic growth, and her political reforms which ensured that the Empire would work well over the next few centuries.

These political reforms gave a formal hierarchy to the aristocracy with a single Emperor on the top and a formal system of ranks for the nobility. It also formalized the line of succession which was cognatic primogeniture as well, ensuring stability within the Empire.

Despite this, the War of Imperial Succession would occur in the 2840s as a result of Prince Anthony and Princess Joanne being twins, resulting in a civil war which led to the Empire having its greatest crisis as a decade-long civil war tore the Empire and the 2930s saw the Yao Rebellion, when General Yao Guanyu, married to a niece of Emperor Peter II Musk, tried to usurp the throne when Peter II and Crown Princess Natasha died when their staryacht saw its reactor explode but failed at the direction of Emperor Peter II’s second child, Prince Arthur, who became Emperor Arthur the Great of the Empire after how he rescued the Empire from disaster. However, these two crises had weakened the monarchy as the power of the aristocracy had strengthened as a result of these two crises.

After talking to Prince Brandon, I sought a a more open-minded voice willing to pursue reforms to revive and rejuvenate the Empire and found it in Crown Princess Marcella Danielle Musk, heir to the Empire, currently commanding the Imperial 2nd Fleet.

I met Crown Princess Marcella Danielle Musk while she is in her personal room in the flagship of the Imperial Fleet, the INS Admiral Halsey. From what I had heard of her, Princess Marcella Danielle was a dashing figure with a flamboyant uniform and a deep and impressive beauty with her blonde hair and her sparkling eyes, which, owing to her heterochromia, are green (her left eye) and violet (her right eye). She did not fail to meet my expectations of her as a beautiful and dashing warrior princess who would fight for the Empire but could be sweet and gentle to those close to her, even if it was an image that Imperial propaganda had created of her, defending it from its external enemies while achieving the reforms that she hopes would rejuvenate the Empire.

“The Empire is a regime which faces many problems, something you recognize, Crown Princess, so what do you say are the biggest problems the Empire faces?” I ask the Crown Princess.

She replies “The biggest problems this Empire faces are a lack of power to the Central Government as feudal elites control much of the day-to-day administration of the Empire and the fact that the peoples of the Empire have little participation in the affairs of governance of the Empire, something which has led to both large-scale corruption and popular unrest amongst the inhabitants of the Empire.”

I ask her “What solutions do you propose to solve these problems that the Empire faces?”

The Crown Princess replies “What the Imperial Union needs right now are three things, meritocracy, centralization, and more popular involvement in the government. We need to create a government which is more meritocratic in structure with anyone of any class being able to aspire to the highest positions in the bureaucracy or the military. The Central Government in Earth also needs more control over the Empire as local elites have too much power, a process which can lead to the collapse of the Empire from powerful elites. Finally, we need to reform the government into one more accountable to its people and to its constituents as well with an elected Imperial Parliament set up to give the people a say in the Empire’s affairs as many amongst the rising middle class and minor aristocracy want democratic change and unrest is in the air.”

I reply “Wouldn’t that be something that would face much opposition, especially among the old elites?”

She replies “I am fully aware that my reforms towards the Empire would require great perseverance and that to achieve such reforms, I must need to be a master of political intrigue and be able to know when to compromise on my reformist agenda and when I need to purge those who are my enemies. However, if I am able to maneuver through my reforms, the future of the Imperial Union will be guaranteed as a new Empire, modern, rejuvenated, and reformed, rises and I have broken the wheel of corrupt oligarchs.”

I wish her luck in her reform agenda before I bid farewell to her, wondering if Crown Princess Marcella Danielle would be able to succeed in her reforms when she becomes Empress as her father Emperor Arthur II is dying or whether hardline aristocrats would overthrow her and install a more pliable figure like one of her brothers on the throne.

 
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