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How about a society with the genetically engineered catgirls Elon Musk tweeted about before? I was surprised the Elon Musk Empire entry didn't discuss it. It would've been an interesting addition.
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Close. They share the franc (distinct from the French State, which uses the reichsmark like every other European state under Germany’s control) and both have military regimes, albeit more conventional military dictatorships.
Is it neocolonialism if it's an outgrowth from actual colonialism?
I'd assume, given that the regions are still under colonial control that is based on a bureaucracy facilitating resource and labor extraction, the physical infrastructure won't decay like IOTL, and you won't have the effects of the "spectacularly crazy" figures like Bokassa, but the region will still be ruthlessly exploited.OTL French policies and actions have led to many French West Africans remaining so poor, even as nations like Nigeria and Rwanda make baby steps toward prosperity. In many respects, these nations are still being plundered of their wealth.
Are French West and Equatorial Africa going through something similar ITTL?
OTL French policies and actions have led to many French West Africans remaining so poor, even as nations like Nigeria and Rwanda make baby steps toward prosperity. In many respects, these nations are still being plundered of their wealth.
Are French West and Equatorial Africa going through something similar ITTL?
I'd assume, given that the regions are still under colonial control that is based on a bureaucracy facilitating resource and labor extraction, the physical infrastructure won't decay like IOTL, and you won't have the effects of the "spectacularly crazy" figures like Bokassa, but the region will still be ruthlessly exploited.
I was being cheeky with my response. What you described is exactly what’s going on.
Very unlikely that Germany’s “allies” would use the Reichsmark. The German state would want to be able to set relative prices to allow for cheap imports and vacations for its citizens, which requires puppet governments to have puppet currencies.Close. They share the franc (distinct from the French State, which uses the reichsmark like every other European state under Germany’s control) and both have military regimes, albeit more conventional military dictatorships.
Very unlikely that Germany’s “allies” would use the Reichsmark. The German state would want to be able to set relative prices to allow for cheap imports and vacations for its citizens, which requires puppet governments to have puppet currencies.
Futarchy?Democracy of AthensThe stunning megalopolis of Athens is the heart of the Eastern Mediterranean world. Watching over the Saronic Gulf, it has been the center of trade in the region for over three thousand years. Its cosmopolitan culture reflects this history: the city has robust communities from as far away as Koriee and the Sunset Isles. The daimondrachma – the Athenian term for their digital currency – is accepted as the reserve currency by states as large as Serika. But Athens itself is miniscule; while it covers the whole of the Attica Basin, and is gigantic compared to most other cities, it remains just that: a city-state. The world’s first and oldest democratic city-state, as my contact, Mr. Androkles Papanastasiou, took care to remind me at every opportunity.
Mr. Papanastasiou is a ballot administrator for the Athenian Democracy. His responsibilities include monitoring the daimons – digital applications and programs – which manage how, and on what issues, the Athenian people vote. He was more programmer than politician, and his generally disheveled appearance and choice of meeting place – a board game store – gave me that immediate impression. Nevertheless, Mr. Papanastasiou immediately impressed me with his knowledge of the Athenian system.
“Athens is the first democracy in the world, as our tourism industry has doubtless already told you through advertising. But what is truly unique about Athens is that we are the only true democracy in the world. Many countries around the world claim to be democratic, but Athens alone allows every citizen of age to vote.”
Athens has long considered itself the center of the Greek world, and for much of its ancient history, that meant it was the center of the world as a whole. After defeating its old rival, Sparta, in the Attic War, Athens enjoyed complete dominance over the Greeks until its defeat by the Persian Empire centuries later. While it would experience periods of foreign occupation, Athens would continually regain its independence as a democratic city-state. Its most recent bout of independence began in the year 1287 of the Gregorian-Common calendar commonly used in the Nutshell, but Athenians still date the beginning of their society to the city’s founding thousands of years ago.
I asked about the logistical issues of Athenian democracy.
“The small size of a city-state mean a true democracy was always a possibility. We have fewer issues to contend with than the large empires, and of course counting votes is easier when the electorate isn’t divided by continents. Population growth has caused issues, but our system adapted. At the beginning, citizens were able to participate in the creation of laws in person, in a body that was known as the Ecclesia. Later, as citizenship was extended to women and slavery was abolished, personally participating in the Ecclesia became too impractical, but placing their vote on clay tablets or paper strips was enough. As technology caused our population to grow, so did it provide more efficient means to count and record votes. When the first thalic semagraphs“ – he meant electrical telegraphy – “were developed, Athens quickly saw the advantage and established semagraphic voting stations around the city. This reduced congestion during hotly contested votes significantly. Technology has only improved, and today we use the latest daimonic technology.”
I then asked about what gets put to a vote.
“Any citizen can propose a vote on an issue, which is tabulated by a daimon designed for the task. There are limits on what the system will accept for votes. For example, major issues such as our participation in the Hellenic League will not be voted on until twenty years after the last referendum, which happened eight years ago.”
But who filters the issues? The daimons? Mr. Papanastasiou shook his head.
“No. Ballot administrators, such as myself, select the issues for voting by the citizenry. Citizens may then vote for or against the proposal, or they may select one or numerous options on a poll. We are very parsimonious with our selections, as many referendums are very specific and do not concern Athens as a whole, are repeats of existing referendums, or were made for clearly illegitimate reasons.”
Is there anything that is not up to a vote in Athens. Mr. Papanastasiou paused before answering.
“Ultimately, no. Every policy can be reversed by a vote, but the city’s Boule can craft regulations and rules without putting the change up to a vote, because these matters are often very clerical or specific and thus do not concern the average citizen. But any citizen may propose a referendum on these changes.”
I then asked Mr. Papanastasiou if the Athenians can vote to change the democratic system. He laughed.
“Absolutely not. Moving away from democracy is something our democracy will not permit. I understand that it sounds hypocritical, but it is necessary to prevent demagogues like Kokkinos from destroying our democracy from within. I and the other
I explained the possible merits of a representative democracy, but Mr. Papanastasiou stopped me before I could finish.
“The so-called ‘Italian model of democracy’ touted by men like Kokkinos is not democracy. Even the Latins themselves admit this! They call their system a ‘respublika.’ Talk to them about democracy, and they say it is an Athenian invention! They claim their system is better, of course, and for a people as pigheaded and corrupt as the Latins I can believe it. But not for we Athenians. At the very least, their ‘respublika’ is openly unresponsive to the people. Kokkinos would have us adopt this system, yet call it democracy. We may as well be ruled by tyrants like the Lakedaimons!”
I challenged Mr. Papanastasiou on this point: weren’t ballot administrators and members of the Boule democratically elected representatives? He shook his head again.
“I don’t know where you got that idea, but this is definitely not the case. My office, and those of the Boule, are not elected. These are administrative positions, and we are hired by our predecessors.”
I was unfortunately unable to speak to Cleon Kokkinos in person during my visit to Athens, but he did entertain my questions via text correspondence after I returned to the Nutshell. I asked him why he supported the introduction of ‘Italian democracy.’
“The modern Athenian model of democracy suffers from an inherent gatekeeping problem which makes it incapable of being as responsive to the needs of a people than an Italian-style democracy.”
I asked Mr. Kokkinos to clarify the point. Did he mean that ballot administrators serve as gatekeepers?
“Ballot administrators select which issues are voted on from a pool of possible issues, which practically means the sole power to decide issues. Ballot administrators have been caught in the past taking bribes from interest groups and ensuring that certain issues are never put up for a vote, such as tariffs on certain goods or the foreign corporation tax. Ballot administrators are citizens themselves, so theoretically a particularly corrupt administrator can put only his own proposed referenda up for general voting. Fortunately, such obscene abuse of power hasn’t happened since the adoption of the daimonic voting system.”
And what can be done about these crooked administrators?
“Nothing, which is exactly why I am proposing the adoption of a representative system. Ballot administrators are not democratically selected, when a position of such importance would be democratically selected in any other democratic system. While those who buy into the lie that Athens is the ‘only true democracy’ don’t recognize it, Athens is already a representative system. But it is not a representative democracy.”