An Examination of Extra-Universal Systems of Government

  • The Roman Republic, formed in the early 20th century as a nationalist union of Italian states, is the first real democracy in the world (in a modern liberal model, but is very corrupt and tends towards kleptocracy). Democracy is seen as a bit of a weird European thing in China, though it has its adherents.
I wouldn't say that this is really relevant to the scenario as a whole, but the colors for South Rome in the legend and the map proper are mismatched.
 
The Loneliest State
My cover of my own EEUSG entry, The State of the Church.

  • The PoD is 1802, where the Cisalpine Republic is never changed to the Italian Republic to allow Napoleon I to be its consul. Butterflies occur and Napoleon succeeds in winning the Napoleonic wars.​
  • Britain focuses its energies on colonial expansion elsewhere, trying to build a global empire that can challenge France's European hegemony. While this wasn't entirely successful - France secured footholds in North Africa, Southeast Asia and the Caribbean, they did lock down much of the Indian subcontinent and Africa below the Sahara.​
  • Latin America goes into chaos in the wake of the Napoleonic Wars, with reactionaries fleeing from Spain clashing with liberals inspired by Napoleon. At the end of the day, Spain's American empire becomes independent of the metropole, falling under the control of various political factions.​
  • America loses an alt-War of 1812, and is forced to cede some territory near the Great Lakes to Britain's Amerindian allies. The American government is bolder in sponsoring filibusters, leading eventually to a war between the United States and Mexico over the fate of both the territories directly to America's west and the Yucatan. The Americans win the Mexican-American War, but this turns out to be a poison pill: these states are admitted as slave states, tipping the balance in favor of the South in the federal government and eventually pushing the more militant abolitionist states to secede from the Union. With British support, the Confederal States of America succeed in their war of independence. Although initially rivals, the two states have become allies in the 20th century.​
  • France defeats Prussia and Austria to guarantee its hegemony in the mid-19th century, and later fights the Great War against predominantly Britain and Russia. The Great War ends in total defeat for the Anglo-Russian alliance, with both states being totally dismembered by the victorious Entente. The British monarchs flee to Canada, forming an independent kingdom there, while the Russian monarchs flee to Siberia.​
  • Japan and China modernize together, with the Chinese eventually throwing out the Qing dynasty with the support of the Japanese. The two countries form their own Asiatic alliance, shielding themselves from the rest of the world.​
  • The Ottoman Empire becomes a French ally, eventually getting back on its feet once oil solves its revenue troubles. The Ottoman Empire is a rather modern, cosmopolitan, secular country, with its cities comparable in development to those of France.​
  • A major revolt in India in the late 19th century leads to the establishment of the Islamic State of Asia, led by a commander whose skill and success are comparable to Napoleon I and under a new branch descended from Sunni Islam. The Islamic State attempts to become a new caliphate and foment Islamic revolutions against both the apostate Ottomans and those under the European yokes. The Islamic State does join the Entente against Britain during the Great War, and has become a rival with the Ottoman Empire for control of the Islamic world.​
  • While Karl Marx never pens his works, similar ideas are popularized in response to the Industrial Revolution. This ideology, which also takes the name socialism, becomes popular throughout the 19th century, and eventually takes control via slave revolt in Brazil. This event also prompts America to finally abolish slavery.​
  • The totalitarian Social Republic of England was formed in the wake of the Great War from the smoking ruins of England, and pretends - with varying degrees of failure - to be the sole superstate in the whole world.​
  • Scandinavia falls to the ideology of Folkism, an ultranationalist authoritarian ideology which opposes multiculturalism and cosmopolitanism, but has taken economic ideas from socialism. While it has some popularity in Asia and Africa, only the ultranationalist Empire of Afrika - an English-speaking state under the control of Africans - has the ideology as the governing party.​


TheLoneliestStateFinal.png
 
The Loneliest State
My cover of my own EEUSG entry, The State of the Church.

  • The PoD is 1802, where the Cisalpine Republic is never changed to the Italian Republic to allow Napoleon I to be its consul. Butterflies occur and Napoleon succeeds in winning the Napoleonic wars.​
  • Britain focuses its energies on colonial expansion elsewhere, trying to build a global empire that can challenge France's European hegemony. While this wasn't entirely successful - France secured footholds in North Africa, Southeast Asia and the Caribbean, they did lock down much of the Indian subcontinent and Africa below the Sahara.​
  • Latin America goes into chaos in the wake of the Napoleonic Wars, with reactionaries fleeing from Spain clashing with liberals inspired by Napoleon. At the end of the day, Spain's American empire becomes independent of the metropole, falling under the control of various political factions.​
  • America loses an alt-War of 1812, and is forced to cede some territory near the Great Lakes to Britain's Amerindian allies. The American government is bolder in sponsoring filibusters, leading eventually to a war between the United States and Mexico over the fate of both the territories directly to America's west and the Yucatan. The Americans win the Mexican-American War, but this turns out to be a poison pill: these states are admitted as slave states, tipping the balance in favor of the South in the federal government and eventually pushing the more militant abolitionist states to secede from the Union. With British support, the Confederal States of America succeed in their war of independence. Although initially rivals, the two states have become allies in the 20th century.​
  • France defeats Prussia and Austria to guarantee its hegemony in the mid-19th century, and later fights the Great War against predominantly Britain and Russia. The Great War ends in total defeat for the Anglo-Russian alliance, with both states being totally dismembered by the victorious Entente. The British monarchs flee to Canada, forming an independent kingdom there, while the Russian monarchs flee to Siberia.​
  • Japan and China modernize together, with the Chinese eventually throwing out the Qing dynasty with the support of the Japanese. The two countries form their own Asiatic alliance, shielding themselves from the rest of the world.​
  • The Ottoman Empire becomes a French ally, eventually getting back on its feet once oil solves its revenue troubles. The Ottoman Empire is a rather modern, cosmopolitan, secular country, with its cities comparable in development to those of France.​
  • A major revolt in India in the late 19th century leads to the establishment of the Islamic State of Asia, led by a commander whose skill and success are comparable to Napoleon I and under a new branch descended from Sunni Islam. The Islamic State attempts to become a new caliphate and foment Islamic revolutions against both the apostate Ottomans and those under the European yokes. The Islamic State does join the Entente against Britain during the Great War, and has become a rival with the Ottoman Empire for control of the Islamic world.​
  • While Karl Marx never pens his works, similar ideas are popularized in response to the Industrial Revolution. This ideology, which also takes the name socialism, becomes popular throughout the 19th century, and eventually takes control via slave revolt in Brazil. This event also prompts America to finally abolish slavery.​
  • The totalitarian Social Republic of England was formed in the wake of the Great War from the smoking ruins of England, and pretends - with varying degrees of failure - to be the sole superstate in the whole world.​
  • Scandinavia falls to the ideology of Folkism, an ultranationalist authoritarian ideology which opposes multiculturalism and cosmopolitanism, but has taken economic ideas from socialism. While it has some popularity in Asia and Africa, only the ultranationalist Empire of Afrika - an English-speaking state under the control of Africans - has the ideology as the governing party.​


View attachment 554364
How did the French get any colonies in India and SE Asia if the Royal Navy ruled the waves
 
How did the French get any colonies in India and SE Asia if the Royal Navy ruled the waves
They didn't have a full monopoly, although the British tried to have one. The French Navy was able to have access to the Indian Ocean via the Suez Canal (built by the Ottomans and French, financed by the French, and something that pissed the British off), and that helped their expansion in Asia. Prior to that point, the British monopolized African ports and charged the French an arm and a leg to sail there.
 
That's a very solid scenario, @rvbomally! I do like the sheer variety of post-Russian statelets, the alt-War of 1812 (and the American Indian Republic), and the concept behind the Islamic State of Asia.

  • Scandinavia falls to the ideology of Folkism, an ultranationalist authoritarian ideology which opposes multiculturalism and cosmopolitanism, but has taken economic ideas from socialism. While it has some popularity in Asia and Africa, only the ultranationalist Empire of Afrika - an English-speaking state under the control of Africans - has the ideology as the governing party.​
Come to think of it, that's quite a few states up there with "Africa" in their name. Was the Pan-Africanist movement much stronger than in OTL?
 
Come to think of it, that's quite a few states up there with "Africa" in their name. Was the Pan-Africanist movement much stronger than in OTL?
It was a result of more centralized control on behalf of the colonial governments, leading to colonies that were called "British Africa" or "French Africa." Afrika is the major pan-Africanist state, and they're not popular.
 
Iranian Citizens’ Republic

According to the South Iranian government, the city of Kermun is a wartime city, and it looks the part. Once the center of the British administration in southern Iran, the city’s population ballooned when it became the capital of a new sovereign state. The state could do little to manage the expansion, so Kermun was surrounded by slums bearing the decades-old scars of the failed Red invasion, as I saw in my drive from the airport to the city center. The streets were cramped, filled with vehicles and even animal-drawn carts moving every which way. Propaganda posters and banners were up alongside advertisements for the newest soft drink or prepaid cellular phones.

But judging from the propaganda, the invasion never ended, and the second wave was soon to come. The posters were typical for a military dictatorship: brave Iranian soldiers holding the line against animalistic caricatures of Russians and Indians. The captions proved more interesting: “The Sons of Darius stand alone! Ensure your citizenship today!” and “Help preserve eight thousand years of civilization. Only citizens are eligible for state benefits.” On the taxi radio, every other advertisement was from a military department, asking listeners to enlist.

My taxi made it past the slums into the “new city,” the area once bombed to rubble by communist forces. The center of Kermun was nothing like the outskirts. Here, the streets were wide and clean. Because the government banned motorcycles, trucks and most public transportation in the city center, there were no traffic jams. Uniformed soldiers swept sidewalks, cleaned windows, and even sold food from the few street carts permitted by the state. But the propaganda remained, and indeed escalated. Large banners extolled the virtue of not only military service, but civil service, and all of these calls to service came with the promise of benefits.

I met my contact, Colonel Mahmoud Lashgari, in one of the Department of the Army’s many office buildings. It was a massive structure for the city, nearly thirty stories tall, and Colonel Lashgari told me that this building primarily housed is department: Recruiting.

The Iranian Citizens’ Republic, known more colloquially as South Iran, originated with the First Great Game of the 19th century. At the time, the British and Russian empires considered one another to be the greatest threat to the other’s empire, so the two fought an intense competition for influence in the Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia. The unification of the German Empire in 1871, and Russia’s defeat to the Japanese Empire in 1905, changed this calculation. The two empires realized that these new players could be greater threats, and so discussed a negotiated settlement to end their mutual enmity. The Partition of Persia was finalized in 1907, cleanly dividing Iran into north and south: the former going to Russia, the latter going to Britain. This division was initially one of influence, with Iran maintaining its nominal independence. The Persian Uprising of 1911 changed this, when a popular uprising against the Iranian Shah and the two European powers threatened the interests of Britain and Russia. The uprising was crushed, and Iran was divided in two: the nominally independent Empire of Iran to the north, backed by Russia, and the rival Kingdom of Iran to the south, a British protectorate.

I asked Colonel Lashgari about the omnipresent recruitment effort.

“We want to extend service throughout all of Iran.” Colonel Lashgari told me over a cup of tea. “There is so much work to do on Kermun alone, to clean up the city and put it on par with Ankara or even Baghdad. Other cities have it worse, especially near the frontiers. Hospitals, police stations and courts are understaffed. We need more soldiers for these efforts.”

I asked the colonel to clarify. Why were soldiers doing the work of civilians? Colonel Lashgari looked offended.

“Civilian work? These are important functions! They deserve the care and attention of a citizen.”

I was confused at the distinction. Weren’t civilians citizens as well? The colonel shook his head.

“That may be the parlance in foreign states, but in Iran, only those who have served the Iranian state and people after a certain period of time and in a certain capacity are rewarded with citizenship. Non-citizen Iranians, we call civilians.”

British rule in South Iran ended with the fall of the British Empire and its violent replacement with the communist Workers’ Federation. British forces in Iran retreated to India, where they either worked to suppress or joined the communist revolution there. Administration of South Iran was transferred fully to the pro-British Iranian king. This arrangement did not last, as the new Workers’ Federation invaded South Iran in an effort to spread the revolution. The communists succeeded in taking Kermun, destroying the Iranian royal family in the process, but the South Iranians fought on. Aligning themselves with the North Iranians and the Russians, the South Iranian military proclaimed a republic, and franchise to any who would join the fight.

I clarified my question. It seemed to me that Iran’s soldiers were doing jobs that are not military in nature.

“Not all service is directly martial in nature, and not all citizens served in the military. Those you would call civil servants or bureaucrats, they too become citizens, but their path is longer because their jobs are less dangerous and demanding. But it is true that the military has taken on many non-martial functions. A more prosperous, orderly Iran is a stronger Iran, so every service contributes to the defense of the country. This is why the military is responsible, in part, for these functions.”

I asked about how the Iranian military encourages service. I already knew that service guaranteed citizenship, but why was citizenship so desirable?”

“Citizens have greater privileges than civilians, of course. Civilians have rights, protected by our constitution, but only citizens are eligible for state benefits, and they have the exclusive right vote and run for office. Civilians are limited in political participation to supporting citizen candidates.”

Wasn’t the right to choose leaders an inalienable human right? The colonel laughed.

“You are starting to sound like an American! They can believe whatever nonsense they want, but we are not going to throw away eight thousand years of history for a stupid idea. Before men can lead, they must learn to follow. Service teaches the citizen how to serve his country and his community. Only afterwards does he have a true appreciation for what a ballot means.”

I asked Colonel Lashgari to elaborate.

“A ballot is force. When a man votes, he is choosing who among his countrymen has the authority to use force legitimately. Because that is what politics is, Mr. Chana. It is force. Like a gun or a bomb, political power is a dangerous thing in the wrong hands, but essential and beneficial in the right ones.”

To get another perspective, I stayed in the new city, but my contact was a civilian. Dariush Gilani was the founder and sole owner of Gilani Industries, the largest company in South Iran. Mr. Gilani was the richest man in South Iran, but he had no right to vote and was vocal in his criticism. His office reached out to me once he got wind that I was covering his home country in this book. He met me at Gilani Industries headquarters, the tallest building in Kermun. We sat together at a restaurant near the roof of the building, overlooking the city. The Presidential Palace and the buildings of the different military branches were all visible. I asked him to give me his criticisms of the system in a nutshell.

“The leaders of this country claim that their system is the only one in the world free of corruption, but that simply isn’t the case,” he told me over a glass of pre-revolution French wine.

“Most citizens are poor and uneducated. They join the military to become eligible for state benefits, and have no interest in any high-minded ideas. Iranian democracy is no less flawed than any other on the planet. It makes no sense that I, and millions of other educated Iranians, cannot vote because we were too busy building businesses, inventing new technologies, and improving the lives and economy of this country. This is not to say that service should be looked down upon, but it should be its own reward.”

Doesn’t service teach soldiers how to be good citizens?

“Mopping floors and wiping windows doesn’t teach a man how to be a responsible political actor. It teaches obedience, how to never ask questions, how to accept the system as it exists.”

But doesn’t Mr. Gilani have a voice? Surely, with his billions, he has more say in Iranian politics than the citizen voter. Mr. Gilani shook his head.

“I have campaigned and lobbied for an expansion of the franchise. I am not a radical who wants universal suffrage all at once, I understand that is constitutionally impossible. For years, I campaigned for expanding the franchise to taxpayers who pay above a certain amount per year, because do we taxpayers not serve the Iranian state and people by filling its coffers? That does not require a constitutional amendment, just a change in the definition of ‘service’ in Iranian law. But the Citizens’ Assembly has rejected it. They do not want their own power challenged.”

But what about the people? Why didn’t citizen voters elect politicians who promised to expand the franchise?

“The same reason! The ‘citizens’ in this country have a sense of superiority over civilians. They believe the right to vote is theirs alone, and they are loathe to share it. No politician who has voted for expanding the franchise has ever been re-elected. To make matters worse, much of the Citizens’ Assembly are ex-military officers, and they still hold power over their former subordinates.”

Did Mr. Gilani have any hope for change in the country? He shook his head again.

“I used to. I have spent millions of my own money to try and give basic human rights to my fellow Iranians, who are deserving of the label ‘citizen’ as much as those who served the state. But I feel that there is no changing the system, and I am close to giving up. I only ask to speak with you so that word goes out to the rest of the multiverse about what is going on here.”

IRanianCitizensRepublic.png
 
To be clear, this idea was based on Starship Troopers, right? In any case, I liked it, and I look forward to learning more about this universe (how far the Workers' Federation expands, for one).
 
Iran as a former British protectorate is an idea that has'nt really appeard in many timelines so the Citizen's Republic is unusual in this regard.
 
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Hello friends

I have started a discord for this thread. Anyone who is a member of AH.com is automatically welcome to join, including mods.

Note that this is a different discord from the one that people are banned from disseminating invitations to, and that doxxing behavior or advocacy of doxxing will not be tolerated- this is a place to discuss contributions to this specific TL and nothing more.

Invitation; https://discord.gg/M2JtUB
 
One State, Two Systems
A world map cover for @tehskyman's EEUSG entry, the United States and Cities of America. He produced the map, points of interest and all of the text below. All I did was translate his material onto my usual style.

---

No COVID-19 pandemic leads to Trump winning in 2020. The continual erosion of democracy and xenophobic politics led to another Trumpist winning in 2024 and 2028 and greater isolationism and tension between the rural areas of America and the cities.

Eventually the Democrats came back into power aboard the decoupling movement where America would separate itself the States and the Cities. In 2040 a new constitutional convention was convened and America split into States and Cities. For most of the 2040s America was reorganizing itself and dealing with the aftermath of the decoupling. It wasn't until the 2050s that America re-emerged onto the global stage.

In the 2050's America's cities really began to reassert themselves as they exited the first few confused years of existence. Europe has welcomed them as a buffer against India and China, a call back to NATO. Together they're competing with India for second. China's still number one but the gap isn't quite as large as it used to be. A collection of middle powers have developed stronger ties so they aren't subsumed by the big powers.

The oil market collapsed in 2025 and never recovered when electric automobiles really took off. It destabilized much of the world but most of all it affected Russia. Russia really struggled when the majority of their national income disappeared. Putin held it together as well as he could but when he died in 2029 the oligarchs couldn't agree to a successor and the military was divided over what to do. A quick civil war ensued. After a nuclear weapon wiped out Omsk; Europe, China and America occupied parts of the country to ensure that the nuclear arsenal was accounted for. They couldn't decide on how to restructure the country and America wanted out immediately so they partitioned Russia based on their respective occupation zones.

The European Union wasn't in the greatest shape for a while. Urban unrest across the continent and Chinese and Russian influence in Eastern Europe pulled some of the countries there away. Though now that China has retreated, Europe is reasserting itself in Eastern Europe.

The 30's and 40's were a turbulent time. The effects of climate change really started to hurt as crop failures and droughts began to impact much of the world. Not to mention the withdrawal of America from the global stage and the collapse of the oil market. Many countries struggled to hold it together and a lot of governments collapsed. South Africa limped along until 2038 when the Great African Drought hit and the country couldn't handle it.

Central Africa was hardest hit though. The Congo was torn apart by drought, famine and ethnic tensions. This led to the 3rd Congo War, which became the Great African War as different sides competed for influence. Ultimately, many central African nations were reshaped to acknowledge the reality that the borders that European Colonial empires drew were unworkable.

AI was a bit of a bust, it turns out that Moore's law and the limits of transistors meant that creating a general purpose AI was limited to states and megacorporations. No personal AI assistant for you. As researchers unfortunately discovered, human-like AI were very dangerous if allowed to roam free. They were prone to sudden mood swings and had a nasty habit of being extremely manipulative if allowed to interact with humans face to face. Considering that their cognition is orders of magnitude faster than our own, it should have been obvious in hindsight. As a result, most AI have been “lobotomized.” They can do a few tasks very well and are programmed to not care about anything else. Nowadays, AIs are treated like nuclear weapons, secure and airgapped from the internet. Researchers must obtain high-level security clearance and psyhological briefing to interact with one, let alone build them.

Climate Change was and still is one of the most pressing issues concerning states today. However, the world did not end in 2030 and emerging technologies like the hydrogen based economy and fusion power helped saved the day. CO2 levels peaked in 2040 and have slowly declined since then thanks to Carbon capture. The effects of Climate change are still being felt as global temperatures continue to rise to a peak of 2 degrees above preindustrial levels.

Around the world, China became the number one player, simply because the internal security system was so effective and they were the only ones available. Much of Latin America, Africa and Asia came under Chinese domination. However in the mid 50's, China began to decline as the stresses of running a global empire caught up to it and rivals like India and America came back into the picture. Political reforms had to be enacted, tamping down on the police state and with things like the social credit system stopped being publically used to punish people. Another blow to the Chinese system came as hub tributaries like Brazil, Indonesia and Ethiopia became more independent, taking minor allies with them. China has chosen to consolidate its control on the allies it has now, creating a defensible global system so it can focus on domestic issues and the real prize, space.

Space has become much more crowded. All the big powers have thousands of people in LEO and bases on the Moon and Mars. Space has also become incredibly militarized with 30% of the population offworld being active duty military members. Most of that is China's fault, all of their early missions were military in nature. Chinese taikomarines and Indian vyomanauts have shot at each other in skirmishes on the moon, but information about these are limited in nature. There's some chatter that we could displace into other universes and use that as superluminal travel but the research is in its infancy and very theoretical right now.

altUSAWorld.png
 
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Have we ever done any physiocracies here? Because I've recently had the idea of one founded during the violent collapse of France's colonial empire, so some ideologues took control of a section of it to build their agriculture dominated society. Problem is it's in the middle of the fucking Sahara, but they're already in too deep so they're trying to use science and foreign investment into greening the desert and turning it into the bread basket of Africa. Maybe they're getting support for their crazy dream in exchange for using the desert to launch nuclear powered space ships or dump toxic waste
 
Have we ever done any physiocracies here? Because I've recently had the idea of one founded during the violent collapse of France's colonial empire, so some ideologues took control of a section of it to build their agriculture dominated society. Problem is it's in the middle of the fucking Sahara, but they're already in too deep so they're trying to use science and foreign investment into greening the desert and turning it into the bread basket of Africa. Maybe they're getting support for their crazy dream in exchange for using the desert to launch nuclear powered space ships or dump toxic waste
I don't believe anyone has.
 
Have we ever done any physiocracies here? Because I've recently had the idea of one founded during the violent collapse of France's colonial empire, so some ideologues took control of a section of it to build their agriculture dominated society. Problem is it's in the middle of the fucking Sahara, but they're already in too deep so they're trying to use science and foreign investment into greening the desert and turning it into the bread basket of Africa. Maybe they're getting support for their crazy dream in exchange for using the desert to launch nuclear powered space ships or dump toxic waste
This is a really fascinating idea though when I heard of it, I'm now thinking of some grand physiocratic system over in Russia or the Ukraine instead of the USSR?
 
This is a really fascinating idea though when I heard of it, I'm now thinking of some grand physiocratic system over in Russia or the Ukraine instead of the USSR?
Makes sense, the latter is a breadbasket and the former is generally agrarian. I just didn't want to play it straight the first time
 
Have we ever done any physiocracies here? Because I've recently had the idea of one founded during the violent collapse of France's colonial empire, so some ideologues took control of a section of it to build their agriculture dominated society. Problem is it's in the middle of the fucking Sahara, but they're already in too deep so they're trying to use science and foreign investment into greening the desert and turning it into the bread basket of Africa. Maybe they're getting support for their crazy dream in exchange for using the desert to launch nuclear powered space ships or dump toxic waste
Bruce Sterling's Ivory Tower?
 
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