An Examination of Extra-Universal Systems of Government

Hm, perhaps cross this with the concept of “meritocratic” technocracy, so only the people who pay for the “advanced courses” have any political say.
And as a bonus? Those tests? They have a civics section. Needless to say, the answers required to pass are those in agreement with the ideology of the Dean of the collage-ocracy.
 
EEUSG seems to be limited by near-future tech we could theoretically build/see no reason why it couldn't be built. We know Intelligence can naturally result from computational processes, as demonstrated by existing human brains, so simulating it in artificial computers should logically just be a matter of programming and sufficient processing power. Or I guess, just faking it. Building an AI with the personality and intelligence to be the hypothetical genuinely benevolent absolute dictator of so many thought experiments is difficult. Building an impressive-looking fake Master Computer which is only capable of mindlessly parroting the commands of the programmer who created it is less difficult and I think we can all see how the programmer would stand to benefit from doing so.
The secret known only to the highest-ranking Intermediaries between humanity and the Governance Engine is that their god is an elaborate but nonfunctional prop.
 
That would depend on a few things. I'm curious; what do you have in mind?
I was reading Alan Moore's Miracleman and I started wondering: what would happen if there was a nation run by genetically engineered superhumans. Obviously, these "Miraclemen" would be extremely intelligent, rather long-lived, and raised from birth to become model leaders. This concept could be taken a great number of ways, but I'd like to see an interpretation where the USSR gets taken over by these "New Soviet Men" who guide the nation towards an era of prosperity.
 
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If you can make bioengineered ubermensch, why have them run things as opposed to simply augmenting the entire population? Or a world with a cold war between genetic supermen who believe themselves to be a master race and want to outright replace baseline humanity vs genetic supermen who enjoy the status quo of ruling over baseline humanity in a 'meritocracy' which their objective superiority has turned into an aristocratic caste system with them on top.
 
If you can make bioengineered ubermensch, why have them run things as opposed to simply augmenting the entire population? Or a world with a cold war between genetic supermen who believe themselves to be a master race and want to outright replace baseline humanity vs genetic supermen who enjoy the status quo of ruling over baseline humanity in a 'meritocracy' which their objective superiority has turned into an aristocratic caste system with them on top.
The explanation would be that genetic engineering tends to be expensive and that only the people in power can afford to raise superbabies. Augmenting the entire population, on the other hand, would probably be a recipe for nation-wide bankruptcy.
 
I was reading Alan Moore's Miracleman and I started wondering: what would happen if there was a nation run by genetically engineered superhumans. Obviously, these "Miraclemen" would be extremely intelligent, rather long-lived, and raised from birth to become model leaders. This concept could be taken a great number of ways, but I'd like to see an interpretation where the USSR gets taken over by these "New Soviet Men" who guide the nation towards an era of prosperity.
While an interesting concept, I think that's a little too far for EEUSG.
 
I was reading Alan Moore's Miracleman and I started wondering: what would happen if there was a nation run by genetically engineered superhumans. Obviously, these "Miraclemen" would be extremely intelligent, rather long-lived, and raised from birth to become model leaders. This concept could be taken a great number of ways, but I'd like to see an interpretation where the USSR gets taken over by these "New Soviet Men" who guide the nation towards an era of prosperity.
My first thought when I read this was a TL where Khan Noonien Singh (Star Trek) had been more cautious in his expansion.
 
I was reading Alan Moore's Miracleman and I started wondering: what would happen if there was a nation run by genetically engineered superhumans. Obviously, these "Miraclemen" would be extremely intelligent, rather long-lived, and raised from birth to become model leaders. This concept could be taken a great number of ways, but I'd like to see an interpretation where the USSR gets taken over by these "New Soviet Men" who guide the nation towards an era of prosperity.
Maybe some country goes all in during the Victorian eugenics movement, with their focus being on further uplifting their upper class instead of just maintaining their current old blood family lines or trying to eliminate perceived undesirable aspects from the lower rungs. Granted there will inevitably be the same level of quackery as there was otl early on but a far more dedicated societal focus may allow them to make the necessary breakthroughs to make such a project more viable earlier
 
Maybe some country goes all in during the Victorian eugenics movement, with their focus being on further uplifting their upper class instead of just maintaining their current old blood family lines or trying to eliminate perceived undesirable aspects from the lower rungs. Granted there will inevitably be the same level of quackery as there was otl early on but a far more dedicated societal focus may allow them to make the necessary breakthroughs to make such a project more viable earlier
In the comic Marshall Law the supers all got their powers implanted as part of a military program. Meanwhile, several South American countries "hothoused their populations" (presumably a mix of drugs and eugenics), the generation of super-children realized Marxism was the surest cure for the region's ills, and before you know it you had Banana Vietnam II: Supersoldier Boogaloo. The US won but the supersoldiers have turned into superhuman gangs out of a mix of trauma and the surgically induced inability to feel pain driving them mad.
 
Another possibility could be a society which doesn't have ASB/futuretech yet, but is basing their whole game plan around assuming they'll eventually acquire it. Throwing all available resources into trying to achieve a hard takeoff Singularity in the hopes that they can succeed and have their new pet Artificial Superintelligence solve everything for them before their disregard for other more immediate issues causes their collapse. Or MAD deterrence, but instead of threatening to nuke their opponents, both factions are threatening to unbox superhumanly intelligent AIs given terrifyingly vague directives like 'win the war for our side'.
 
Another possibility could be a society which doesn't have ASB/futuretech yet, but is basing their whole game plan around assuming they'll eventually acquire it. Throwing all available resources into trying to achieve a hard takeoff Singularity in the hopes that they can succeed and have their new pet Artificial Superintelligence solve everything for them before their disregard for other more immediate issues causes their collapse. Or MAD deterrence, but instead of threatening to nuke their opponents, both factions are threatening to unbox superhumanly intelligent AIs given terrifyingly vague directives like 'win the war for our side'.
So basically a society run by lesswrongists with mandatory reading of the Sequences in school, polyamory, and vegetarianism (for Effective Altruism purposes)
 
How about a modern version of the Imperial City system. All the cities are separated from the rural hinterlands with borders. The cities have their own house of congress/parliament and the rural areas have their own.

The cities can set their own immigration quotas and internal policies on guns, taxes, transportation etc and the rural hinterlands have their own laws.

And thinking about how this came about, perhaps as some sort of compromise between urban and rural america to keep the country together but resolve the differences between the two.
 
EBR approved submission

The Union of South Africa

Pretoria is a dusty city packed with honking cars and men on motorcycles shouting at one another. As the sandstorm puts the road at a standstill, vendors pour into the streets, handing out bubble gum and corn puffs. Similar to myself, every vendor I see wears a facemask to protect their lungs from the gritty air. As I trudge through the traffic and the harsh winds, I eventually spot my destination towering over the city. The Union Building is an arcology built to minimize its environmental impact and shaped similar to a silicone termite mound. At the gates of the Union Building, I show my card to a guard behind a glass panel, who in turn presses a button on the keypad. As the door opens, I am greeted with a breeze of cool air and a refuge against the sandstorm.

The guard in the window waves his hand and says “I’ll show you where you need to go, Mr. Chana.” As we walk from one building to another, I notice that my guide has started singing a jaunty tune to himself. “Braaivleis, rugby, and sunny days! They all go together in the USA!”

The Union of South Africa is a large country, encompassing the Namib Desert, the Cape of Good Hope, and the Lake Kariba. Often called the USA by its citizens (not to be confused with the United States of America), the white government would be put to the test during the 1970s, following a series of wide-reaching famines, multiple outbreaks of the Ebola virus, and a rising black population. Inspired by Malthusian ideologies and the writings of Paul R. Ehrlich, one Dr. Wallace Wolfhaardt argued that overpopulation was a major driving force behind societal collapse. To solve this, Wolfhaardt suggested that a system of population control was necessary to prevent future outbreaks of disease and food shortages.

The Malan administration would eventually implement the volkingsbeheer system which taxed families with additional children and utilized sterilization as a form of punishment. Today, the Union of South Africa has garnered criticism from international organizations over allegations of human rights abuses, institutional racism, and restrictions on reproductive rights. To gain a new perspective on the volkingsbeheer system and South Africa’s fight for a cleaner environment, I have decided to meet with the so-called Architect of Population Control, Dr. Wallace Wolfhaardt himself. As I enter his office, Dr. Wolfhaart greets me with a wide grin, while adjusting a pair of coke bottle glasses on his face

“Ah, Mr. Chana, so good to finally meet you! I hope that this world has been to your liking, despite our… less than pleasant weather.”

I decide to ask if sandstorms as harsh as the one outside are a common occurrence within South Africa. The doctor responds with a sad look and a nod of his head.

“You don’t have to be a meteorologist to see the effects that climate change have had on the country. Nuclear war, pollution, overpopulation, they’ve only sped up the inevitable.”

I ask Dr. Wolfhaardt what caused him to correlate those factors with the changing climate. Specifically, overpopulation.

“Well, when I looked at events like the Black Death, the Little Ice Age, and the famines that happened here in Africa, it became clear that societies with large populations are very vulnerable to what we call environmental hazards. They consume more, expand more, and end up creating some of the hazards themselves. To put it simply, the environmental hazards just pile up until the whole society collapses under pressure.”

I then ask how the volkingsbeheer system helps deal with the environmental hazards plaguing South Africa.

“What we try to do is ensure that our country’s population remains at a stable level and prevent future instances of scarcity. Often times, poorer families are unable to sustain themselves because they usually need to feed more mouths. But by promoting birth control and responsible family planning, we’re able to ensure our population doesn’t end up spiraling out of control. After all, what use is a government if it can't provide for all of its people?”

I then refer to accusations that South Africa’s policies on population control are inherently biased against the non-white population. Prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1979, the volkingsbeheer system would only be applied to black families, drawing criticism from human rights organizations across the globe.

“I know that some people can get a negative impression of volkingsbeheer due to its… complicated history. But what some people fail to understand is that South Africa in the 70s was not the same country as it is today. Apartheid ended decades ago and you don’t see any more bathroom signs that say whites-only. And yes, wealthier families tend to be larger because they’re able to feed more children, but in our world, that’s become something of a modern necessity.”

Eventually, I decide to change the subject to another system that survived the end of apartheid: the Bantustans. Large swathes of disconnected land were often set aside for black South Africans and would later be granted nominal independence after the apartheid era. I brought up claims regarding the mistreatment of refugees within the Bantustans, but Dr. Wolfhaart shakes his head.

“Well you see, we don’t really use that term anymore, because honestly, it’s quite insulting to dismiss a recognized independent republic as a Bantustan. And besides, if the tribes of our country wish to govern themselves and decide their own fate, then who are we to deny them that freedom? As for human rights, the government of South Africa has no jurisdiction over what happens in Transkei or KwaZulu. If you want more information about our foreign policy, then I can direct you someone else, because this isn’t really my jurisdiction.”

Before ending our interview, I ask Dr. Wolfhaart I ask one last question regarding the South African government’s stance regarding reproductive rights and the ethical complication created by sterilizing prisoners.

“I would argue that South Africa is very supportive of reproductive rights for men and women. Abortions clinics are easier to access here compared to other countries which, as I said before, has become a modern necessity. As for contraception, most prisoners voluntarily agree to take birth control methods instead of being forced to do so. By giving these people the chance to take personal responsibility, they’re able to reintegrate into society and end up being better off, financially speaking. Some countries in America and Europe have even started implementing this program in their own cities, so we must be doing something right!”

I bid Dr. Wolfhaart farewell before heading to the city center to meet my next contact. I arrive at a sprawling complex of unkempt apartment called Robins Park where I introduce myself to Mrs. Elizabeth Dosini, a party official for the African National Congress. After shaking my hand, she begins our interview with a gesture to the run-down buildings behind her.

“Robins Park was built to give cheap housing for black workers in the city. Of course, the government didn’t care about the people living here, so it fell into disrepair. Now the only people you’ll find here are squatters, criminals, and homeless folk kept down by the system. Apartheid may be dead Mr. Chana, but the government will still do everything in its power to oppress us.”

I ask how the South African government is able to oppress its black population over the course of decades.

“Volkingsbeheer is only one way the nation is able to continue its genocide against black people. The Bantustans aren’t really reservations or homelands for black people. They’re concentration camps the size of entire countries. If you aren’t able to register yourself as a South African citizen in time, then the government will usually deport you to your “proper homeland” where they leave you to die. But not if you’re white or coloured. In those cases, the government is a lot more patient with citizenship.”

I refer to Dr. Wolfhaart’s argument that the Bantustans were independent self-governing republics outside of the government’s control.

“I’m not surprised that Wolfhaart has been trying to fill your head with lies. Truth be told, the Bantustans aren’t recognized by most countries outside of South Africa and they only exist because the government keeps paying them to take refugees. During the Boer War, the Anglos would let the Boers starve to death or die from disease in their refugee camps. Now they’ve found a way to do the same to us on a much larger scale.”

I then ask Mrs. Dosini to elaborate when she referred to the volkingsbeheer system as a form of black genocide.

“Volkingsbeheer was made to control the black birthrate, but at least Malan didn’t hide that from the rest of the world. If you live in a province with a black majority, there’s a chance that you’ll be taxed a lot more for having more children. The government might say that volkingsbeheer doesn’t care about your race or your skin color, but that couldn’t be any further from the truth.”

Surprised by the extent of racism within the nation, I asked if the program to sterilize prisoners was also driven by race.

“Race and politics, Mr. Chana. When I was arrested for protesting against the government, they offered me a shorter sentence and a basic income if they let me operate on my womb. At first I refused, but the conditions in the prison were revolting and the guards nearly beat me to death when I disobeyed them. Eventually the message became clear, let us operate on you or you’re going to die. When I realized that I had no choice in this matter I did what I had to do and I sacrificed any chance of having biological children.”

I quickly apologize to Mrs. Dosini, but she remains collected throughout the interview.

“There’s no need to apologize dear, I already have a daughter who I love as if she were my own. Now, is there anything else you want to ask?”

I ask Mrs. Dosini if she has any words to say before I take my leave.

“In this world, lots of countries see population control as this cure-all solution to climate change. And while it does solve some of the symptoms of climate change, it’s not really a solution for what causes climate change. You see, I believe that the government is doing the right thing by promoting birth control and family planning, but the thing is, they’re not doing it to protect the environment. They’re doing it to protect their own power. Our government is willing to send thousands of people to death in the name of sustainability, but there are hardly any restrictions on pollution or deforestation.

Honestly, it’s horrible what those people in the Union Building are doing to their own citizens. And Wolfhaardt is the worst amongst them. He’s greenwashed the genocide of entire races and always turns a blind eye whenever the issue of human rights comes up. I tell you, that man you interviewed is nothing more than a criminal in sheep’s clothing. All of them are. When you go back to the Nutshell, Mr. Chana, I want you to show them what they’re doing to us. I want you to show them this.”

Mrs. Dosini raises her shirt and shows me a pale scar below her stomach.

“This is what they take away from us, Mr. Chana. This is what they do to keep themselves in power.”


"Bantustans" unrecognized by the United Nations are not shown on the map
 
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