An Examination of Extra-Universal Systems of Government

Discussion in 'Alternate History Books and Media' started by Ephraim Ben Raphael, May 19, 2011.

  1. Ephraim Ben Raphael Super Writer Extraordinaire Gone Fishin'

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  2. rvbomally Russian Hacker

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    I have too much on my plate at the moment to get this rolling, but if you or someone else would like to start it, go ahead. :)
     
  3. Tanystropheus42 permanently sleep deprived

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    I've had an idea for a scenario rattling around in my head for a while now, but I've just never found the time to write it down and put it on paper. I'll probably try writing it when my workload's a bit less in a few weeks.
     
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  4. Aqua817 The Means of Production

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    @rvbomally I would totally love to do an extra-universal-religion project, especially if it were collaborative.

    I would love to contribute to it if it were an option too!
     
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  5. rvbomally Russian Hacker

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    I was thinking a format similar to EEUSG, with contributions welcomed but curated to make sure they all match the general feel of the project.
     
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  6. Ephraim Ben Raphael Super Writer Extraordinaire Gone Fishin'

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    I look forward to seeing it- just let me have a look before you post.:)

    I second this- I love alternate religions (didn't I contribute a couple to AAPA?)- and if rvbomally were to start such a thread I'd love to help collaborate.
     
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  7. Evan Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness!

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    @rvbomally , I'd love to contribute too if that's a thing!
     
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  8. President Eternal Liberal American

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    Really liking this thread. Some of the scenarios put forward are really interesting, like Kingdom of America, or the Overseas Republic, or that orbital Soviet Union. Those are my favorites, honestly.

    Hey, how's this for a scenario - Francis II lives longer, enough that he and Mary have at least one heir, thus unifying France and Scotland, which later brings England in as well after Elizabeth's death. Not sure how British parliamentary constitutional monarchism would mesh with French absolutism, but I leave that up to anyone who takes it up.
     
  9. Suvareshkin Well-Known Member

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    The black water lapped at the side of the harbor, and the thematic Baltic gale swept across the Free City of Gdansk. The black silhouette of a vessel could be seen on the horizon, the sharp lines of its artillery puncturing the sky, although the colors were not visible. Some locals whispered that it could be an American, but the majority were confident that the Russian patrols would never let the communists venture past Denmark, let alone veer so close to Gdanski shores.

    As dictated by the traditions of this world, my contact was taking his time, emphasizing his superior position to me. I did not take offense, as such expressions of status were not limited to this timeline, but it had be said that waiting exposed to the wind was starting to become somewhat irksome.

    Finally, a black Dzhugashvili-76, usually going by the moniker of ‘zhug’ or ‘beetle’, gently rolled up next to me, it’s Russian license proudly displayed. A somewhat short, yet broad shouldered man stepped out, his close haircut glistening in the rare spots of sunlight. He wore a double-breasted coat, as was the unofficial uniform for a Russian dignitary, and the only otherwise distinguishing accoutrement of his was a solitary medal, commemorating some battle or other. As he stepped out, the rare characters scattered across the plaza noticeably perked up, confirming my suspicions that I was never far from a member of the legendary, or perhaps even infamous, Sluzhba.

    We quickly exchanged a courteous handshake, and proceeded to begin our walk along the paved roads of the ancient city, never out of sight of the rare agent. “I trust you weren’t harassed at the border?”

    “It didn’t cause me too much difficulty, although the guards did seem somewhat on edge.” The man smiled, somewhat amused by my description of the Gdanski border patrols.

    “I do have to apologize for their manners, but one must admit that they are justified in their behaviour. After all, we can’t ignore the communist threat. You’ve the read the newspapers, I assume,” a curt nod followed from me, “so you’ve obviously heard of those red conspirators in Brandenburg.” At this point his voice become far more impassioned, his gesticulation more expressive. “We preserve their cities, we rebuild their economies, we trust them to manage their own affairs...we even neglected to rid them of their archaic monarchies. And how do they repay us? That goddamn Debsian tripe is still sold in bookstores across the Europe.”

    “Speaking of communism,” I interjected before my companion could continue his diatribe against the evils of the Red Horde, “how is it that your government came to pose such an aggressive stance against Washington?” The Russian seemed to be somewhat stumped by this question.

    “Well, I wouldn’t quite label our relationship with our neighbors across the sea as aggressive. The Gosudardom of Russia is always seeking a detente with the Americans and their allies, and it is only they who constantly seek to disturb the stability of the international commonwealth of nations. However,” The man’s intonation noticeably changed, no longer working off of a government supplied script, “I must admit that Russian culture has an ingrained animosity towards communism and its proponents, a hatred that can be traced to the great revolution of 1917.”


    The world in which I resided today had its characteristic divergence in 1917, as the Empires of Russia, France, the United States, and Great Britain locked themselves in a conflict with the Germans and Austro-Hungarians. Arguably the weakest amongst its allies, Russia suffered under the chains of an oppressive government and was oftentimes burdened with an incompetent and inefficient administration. This very regime lead Russia into an unpopular war, and, struggling against famine, economic depression, and a rightfully indignant population, it soon collapsed.

    The result was extremely chaotic. Several nations declared independence, encouraged by their German allie, and newly created democratic government in Petrograd was shaky and mired by competing factions, specifically between the provisional governance of Alexander Kerensky and the communist Bolsheviks.

    Unfortunately, although the Provisional Government was the more rational of the two parties, Kerensky’s unwillingness to abandon the war effort and his indecisiveness made the provisional government unpopular amongst the people. Fortunately, our exalted Lavr Kornilov was able to salvage the situation when, using his position as the supreme commander of the Russian forces, he liberated Petrograd, assumed leadership, and exhumed all communist influences from the city.

    Obviously, not all agreed with this decision, and the nation soon descended into civil war. Although there were numerous competing factions, the main combatants consisted of the communist Reds, the neo-monarchist and pro-Republican Whites, Kornilov’s ‘Azure Battalion’, and the various anarchist and local militias. It must be noted at this point that Kornilov was nowhere near being the strongest participant, and many regarded him either as a rogue warlord or as an immoral usurper, hoping to promulgate his own agenda.

    However, several of Kornilov’s tactics and administrative decisions slowly yielded an increasing pool of supporters. His unwillingness to continue the war with Germany and his efforts to facilitate the creation of local councils on captured territory quickly swayed the opinions of the greater Russian citizenry. Furthermore, his benign treatment of non-Russians and relative level-headedness compared to other warlords, as well as his anti-communist rhetoric made him a figure which appealed to groups of varying religions and cultural origin, not just the Russian majority.

    By 1921, although Russia had lost much of its territory in the Caucasus, Europe, and the Far East, it once again stood as a united government under the leadership of Lavr Kornilov. Most surprisingly, where most international observers expected Russia to slowly slide into dictatorship, Kornilov relinquished many of his powers to a newly congregated State Assembly. However, fearing a new era of instability that was seen during the years of Kerensky, Kornilov did not allow a full democracy to sprout, maintaining extensive executive powers behind the new position of Gosudar-General, an entity that would hold both military and civil authority. Russia would remain a semi-democratic militocracy, with a legislature beholden to the people that balanced out a nonpartisan, pseudo-civilian executive.

    Thus, a strong, national institution was created, and when the Great Depression hit, Russia resisted, having preserved itself using Tsarist gold and fervent industrialization. In Washington, the hammer and gear rose above the cupola of the White House, whilst black banners swayed over Tokyo and Paris. But in Petrograd, the blue vexillum of morality and decency was never tarnished. Peace reigned in Russia, until it was once again disturbed by foreign enemies.

    Although Russian textbooks tend expunge the subject from their pages, it cannot be denied that the Russian position of neutrality was somewhat cynical and cruel. As the neo-Bonapartist French swallowed Catalonia, Wallonia, and Westphalia, and the Japanese continued to ravage China and Mongolia, Petrograd stood silent, humming to itself the music of subtle modernization. Europe was illuminated by the flashes of bombs and explosions, whilst Russia was for the first time illuminated with wires and cables. Finally, in 1938, Russia entered the war against France and Japan, assisted by its ideologically-opposed yet strategically aligned ally, the United Peoples Cooperative Commonwealths of America (UPCCA). Whilst the American Crimson Army stormed Tokyo and Paris, Russian cossacks liberated Berlin, Munich, and Rome.

    Of course, this tranquility did not last long. Now, the Bear and the Eagle stare at each other across the Rhine and the Yangtze, and although the Russian Gosudardom is mighty, the Americans are in command of not only their hemisphere, but also have allies in the Latin Commune and the Celtic Cooperative Republic, and every day, the protests grow just a little more crimson.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
  10. Ephraim Ben Raphael Super Writer Extraordinaire Gone Fishin'

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    That's a nice flag.:)
     
  11. Suvareshkin Well-Known Member

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    Flag belongs to Xanthoc
     
  12. Drizzly Mary Ordinary Magician

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    Reverse Cold War,nice.

    How democratic or authoritarian are the Americans?
     
  13. Suvareshkin Well-Known Member

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    Depends on the Commonwealth and the level of governance.
     
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  14. Suvareshkin Well-Known Member

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    To elaborate, each Commonwealth within the UPCCA has a fair degree of autonomy when it comes to deciding the true form of government it practices. For instance, Texas and Dixie still practice segregation, with two separate Peoples Assemblies for each race, whilst the Heartland Commonwealth is ruled by several farming collectives, each sending representatives to their Assembly.

    On the Union level, the new government has harkened to the traditions of its Roman predecessor. The Supreme Senate chooses two of its members to become Acting Executives, akin to the Roman consuls, with one having power over domestic issues whilst the other administers foreign affairs.
     
  15. rvbomally Russian Hacker

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    Republic of New Sparta
    Laconia, South Carolina was not the imposing temple to war that I expected. Apart from the statue of King Leonidas - cast in bronze by artisans in the old Sparta - in the aptly-named Leonidas Circle, Laconia was indistinguishable from its many other incarnations in the multiverse, where it is most commonly known as Columbia. It was hard to imagine Laconia as the seat of a global superpower.

    Lieutenant Gregory Hewitt greeted me at a café along Leonidas Circle. Lieutenant Hewitt insisted on sitting outside, and the corncob pipe the lieutenant held in his left hand told me why. He was dressed in a smart business suit, the only indication of his rank being the bars affixed to his collar. Lieutenant Hewitt looked like a regular government bureaucrat, not a military officer. The contrast was so striking that I asked him why he wasn't in uniform.

    "I am in uniform," Lieutenant Hewitt told me as he swirled the coffee in front of him. "Officers do everything in New Sparta's government. I was a professor in the private sector before joining the service."

    I asked the lieutenant why he chose to become an officer.

    "I wanted to work in government, and all government officials above a certain rank are commissioned officers. The rest are enlisted men. In New Sparta, the government and the military are one and the same. It is the neo-Laconian system."

    I liked where the conversation was going, so I asked Lieutenant Hewitt to explain to me the fundamentals of neo-Laconianism.

    "Neo-Laconianism is the logical conclusion of the Clauswitzian principle, that war is politics by other means," Lieutenant Hewitt told me between taking puffs on his pipe. I congratulated the lieutenant for being well-read on philosophers from other timelines.

    "We keep well-informed here in New Sparta," the lieutenant told me with a triumphant smile. "Know your enemy and all that." He continued with his lecture.

    "Neo-Laconianism recognizes that there is no difference between war and politics. Both are expressions of force and power, which are themselves indistinguishable concepts. He who can impose force has power. Everything else is window dressing. Velvet gloves for iron fists. Neo-Laconianism disposes of these illusions and keeps power in the hands of the entity traditionally entrusted with the monopoly on force: the military."

    The Republic of New Sparta began life as part of the Thirteen Colonies, thirteen British colonial governments on the Atlantic Coast of the North American continent. Increased taxation resulting from the French and Indian War led to widespread rebellion among the Thirteen Colonies, a rebellion that was ultimately crushed in the northern colonies but persisted in the south.

    Inspired by the works of Machiavelli, Hobbes, and idolizing ancient Sparta, Rome and the empire of Alexander, the southern rebels created the Republic of New Sparta. The New Spartans quickly expanded across the continent after the fall of the British crown, becoming a global power by the end of the 19th century and one of the two superpowers by the middle of the 20th century.

    Lieutenant Hewitt seemed a level-headed man, so I became more daring. I asked him if he believed that New Sparta was a free society. Lieutenant Hewitt nodded his head.

    "Of course New Sparta is free. We have a constitution that enshrines the rights of all men, from the generals down to the helots. We are not a democracy in the most commonly-understood sense, but we are what I like to call an honest democracy. Our soldiers vote for our leaders - their top officers - and this process is sacrosanct. It is anonymous, and unlike many other militaries, here there are no punishments for voting or expressing a political opinion while in the armed services."

    I asked the lieutenant why only soldiers deserve to have the vote.

    "Only soldiers are true citizens in New Sparta. In order to truly understand the civic virtues necessary to maintain a free and honest republic, a man must place himself at personal risk in its defense. Only a man who is willing to die for the polis can decide how the polis is governed."

    I prodded the lieutenant further, and asked him why he thinks giving only soldiers the vote is an "honest democracy."

    "Honest with human nature. Power belongs to the people who have it in all societies. Even in the so-called democracies, the common man only has power because their military lets them have the power. Any army can seize power at any time, if they so desire."

    Feeling that Lieutenant Hewitt could field any of my questions, I decided to broach what I believed would be the most sensitive topic: the New Spartan class system. Slavery - termed "helotry" in the country - was alive and well in New Sparta, existing at the bottom of the country's social pyramid. I glanced at the patrons of the café, and noticed that they were several shades lighter than the wait staff. I asked Lieutenant Hewitt to explain the system to me.

    "Of course. We have citizens, civilians, and helots. Citizens are the soldiers, and I have already explained their role in our democracy. Civilians are the regular, free people of New Sparta. They have every right a citizen has, except the right to vote. The vast majority of our population are civilians."

    "As for the helots," Lieutenant Hewitt paused to take a long drag on his pipe, "they are, of course, the property of their owners, but they too have legal protections against their abuse. Many of our helots are freed by their masters, and New Sparta is proud to have the largest freedman population of all the slaveowning states on Earth."

    I was a bit unsettled by Lieutenant Hewitt's casual attitude towards chattel slavery, so I asked him about his feelings on the issue.

    "Helotry," Lieutenant Hewitt insisted on using the Laconian term, "is a natural aspect of human social organization. While some helots have flourished in freedom, most of them have failed. Just as some people were born to lead and defend the republic, some were born to serve as helots. Everywhere on Earth, there are slaves. Even the so-called free men of Europe and Canada are slaves to their employers. Like I said, Mr. Chanà, we're honest down here."

    I felt that, despite his claims otherwise, Lieutenant Hewitt wasn't being entirely honest with me, so after our meeting I sought a second opinion. Across the border, in the Republic of Canada, I garnered an audience with Jake Somsbey of the Human Freedom Initiative.

    "Slavery in New Sparta is among the most brutal in the modern world," Mr. Somsbey told me immediately. From his tone, I could tell he was not exaggerating.

    I asked about the rights that slaves had in New Sparta.

    "Slaves do not have rights in New Sparta, their masters do. Any "helot rights" against abuse are directed at third parties, giving masters a right of action against them for damaging their property. The slaves themselves can be, and are, abused by their masters."

    "Abuse is part and parcel of any slave system, but in New Sparta, it is institutionalized. New Spartan society is terrified of its slave population, and it goes to extreme measures to protect itself from a slave revolt. Mass surveillance, forced abortions and sterilizations to control populations, forced drug dependency, extreme punishments for simple crimes such as theft, and punishment of friends and family members for crimes."

    This parade of horrors seemed incongruous with what appeared to me a modern state that perfected its self-preservation. Weren't the New Spartans afraid that such harsh treatment would encourage rebellion?

    "Just the opposite. The treatment of a New Spartan slave, from birth to death, is meant to demoralize the slave and remind him that he is nothing but a slave. Everything is meant to make the slave dependent on his masters, and make the New Spartan state seem invincible. Systematic abuse is designed to break the human spirit."

    NewSparta.png
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2017
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  16. Drgyen Well-Known Member

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    Jeez, possibly the most plausible answer to the Confederated States of America faux-documentary.

    Still interest to see the whole New Sparta world.
     
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  17. rvbomally Russian Hacker

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    That is, of course, in the works.
     
  18. naraht Well-Known Member

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    A question that sort of covers the Republic of New Sparta *and* the Dominion of Southern America. In both cases, they have the American War for Independence fail in part of the colonies and succeed in others. I'm trying to figure out how/why that would have happened, that the English would have successfully brought part of the colonies under control....
     
  19. President Eternal Liberal American

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    Wow. For a moment I thought you were describing an actual functioning and problem-free stratocracy, but then you had to go and bring slavery into it.

    BTW, I couldn't help but notice that the northeastern-most states are colored a lighter shade. Are those just territories?
     
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  20. Whiteshore Defender of Myrcella Baratheon

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    I'd assume they are "independent" puppet states of New Sparta.
     
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