An Examination of Extra-Universal Systems of Government

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

  1. rvbomally Russian Hacker

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    It’s meant to be a mirror of Maoist China, Democratic Kampuchea, North Korea and East Germany. Eaton and Albani both represent Americanized Nazism, but going in different ways. Eaton’s/Rockwell’s American Nazism proclaims that America was always a proto-Nazi society and just needs to go back to that, with “improvements,” and ironically using many of the critiques of early American society (slavery, expansionism) as proof of this point. Albani’s Nazism believes that America was fundamentally liberal, and holds more to the Hitlerian idea that America is “half-Jew, half-Negro,” and must therefore be totally purged and rebuilt from the ground up. Like I said before, it’s a funhouse mirror of East Germany: the current East American regime is very self-conscious about its anti-Nazi past, and wants to “atone for its sins.” And when you have a society that’s constantly self-flagellating for its original sin, you get very twisted ideas and policies.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
  2. General Lemarc Countdown to Extinction Sponsored by McDonalds

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    Out of all the EEUSG so far, this might be the one I want to see a full TL of the most. Either this one or Guatemala Inc.
     
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  3. rvbomally Russian Hacker

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    Certainly. The internal power struggles in the National Socialist States makes for interesting drama, particularly when mixed with the power struggle in the German world as a whole.
     
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  4. Bookmark1995 Bookmark95 Reborn!

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    The "Albani" ideology seems like the Turner Diaries given human form.

    That sounds like the perfect example of Evil vs. Evil, where one can find themselves rooting for cold-blooded fascists, simply because the fascists are slightly more sane then their opponents.
     
  5. rvbomally Russian Hacker

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    That was the inspiration, indirectly.

    Yeah, I deliberately chose to make Chana interview an unrepentant Nazi because it allowed me to show two different kinds of American Nazism, and to show how apocalyptically insane the futurists are.
     
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  6. Bookmark1995 Bookmark95 Reborn!

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    Random Person: Trump is the closest thing to an American Hitler.

    Turner Diaries: Hold my beer.
     
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  7. General Lemarc Countdown to Extinction Sponsored by McDonalds

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    You're talking about extended universe for this one alot more than the others. Could this mean...? Nah, but for real that'd be neat. Maybe one of us could try our hands at it if you didn't want to?
     
  8. General Lemarc Countdown to Extinction Sponsored by McDonalds

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    German-American Bund, American Nazi Party, Turner Diaries: Allow us to introduce ourselves.
     
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  9. rvbomally Russian Hacker

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    I’m only talking about it more because you brought it up. :p
     
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  10. Used-to-be Song Chinese 新建伯兼南京兵部尚書兼都察院左都御史

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    大明衛江軍江北司總部
    The Greater Han Empire

    I was walking on the streets of Chang'an, formerly known as Xi'an. As I have noticed, the name is not the only element the government has revived in this city. The center of the city has been separated by giant walls, protecting what seemed to be the courts, palaces and gardens of the royalty. Those who want to enter the city center have to go through one of the heavily-guarded gates, with each one of them adorned with a big portrait of the face of a man, wearing what seemed to be military attire, gazing towards every onlooker sternly. As I arrived at the meeting location an hour earlier than planned, I took the time to observe the imperial capital. All I saw was a few black cars driving in through the gates. As for security measures, I cannot overemphasize the omnipresence of security cameras throughout the city, with the occasional unmanned drone flying by.

    My interviewee asked me to wait at this crowded noodles restaurant just outside one of the gates. From where I was sitting, the streets were crowded, the buildings were tall, yet everything was surprisingly clean; there were not many litters on the road, and the smell was not that bad. From my experience, cities this crowded and urbanized were usually dirty; Chang’an proved the cleanest of them all. As for the buildings themselves, their style looked as if they belonged on the city’s outskirt, as they were designed in stark contrast to the classical Chinese architecture of the area inside the gates. Everything else outside was rigid, monolithic and massive.

    After a bowl of noodles, Mr. Liu finally appeared. Wearing a black hanfu robe with a white collar and a black hat embroidered with golden lining, he sat down with a sigh. "Being a noble is tiring," he started, as I noticed his fluent English in a heavy German accent. "Especially if you are a Chinese noble." He then poured himself a cup of tea and sipped.

    As we had exchanged our personal information earlier, introductions were unnecessary. We jumped into the topic. "As one of her nobles, please introduce me to your country.”

    "His, not her," he corrected me. "We in China use male pronouns when referring to our country, our nation and our court. As in our companion nation of Germany, if you are more familiar with them."

    I clarified that I am not any more familiar in German culture than Chinese.

    "You should be more familiar with them. China and Germany are two sides of the same coin."

    I asked him to elaborate.

    "We both rule our halves of the Old World. Although coming from different roots, we value a lot of similar things. For one, we value order. Order means boundaries between the likes and the unlikes. Order means hierarchy: the capable at the top, the incapable down below. Anything else is all trivial. The Germans once described their empire as a fortress, I think it also puts aptly to our way of governing. Like a fortress, rid of unnecessary decoration and protects everyone living inside; built to last."

    Is that philosophy how the Chinese designed their buildings?

    "Ha! Yes, of course, the most obvious of all is the buildings." Mr. Liu smiled.

    "You know, we used to have restrictions regarding the heights of structures built and used by the commoners? During the Ming and Qing dynasties, every building on the Peking outskirts could not be taller than any on the Forbidden City, otherwise, it's treason right away. Same as yellow. It could not be worn by anyone other than the emperor himself. Our ancestors could not enjoy the fruits of technologies and institutions we have now, so they had to be crude. Now it gets so much more subtle."

    He pointed to one of the grey monoliths and continued. "You cannot believe how many restrictions and tests this building has to pass to be opening for business, now it has been functioning at its sixtieth year. I think this is the point of everything."

    Then why did the city center not follow suit?

    "Why are there rich and poor? Why is there a center and outskirt? Chinese and non-Chinese? Borders between nations and regions? Because that is what we are. From the Legalist teachings, we are born to be social. As social animals, we form our own communities to protect the ones alike and to defend against the ones unlike. From any of these communities, one has to be chosen to lead to protect and defend and everyone else to follow their lead. The imperial city restored and revived relics of what the past dynasties had built, generations of royalty lived within and are kowtowed by everyone without. Like them, we live within these structures and have done so ever since the late 19th century."

    The mid-nineteenth century was a quick and short disaster for the Qing court. Starting from the Opium War against the British, China was forced to cede some of his coastal cities as treaty ports or colonies to the expanding European empires. Draining imperial coffers led to increasing taxation on all classes. In the context of Qing China, the amount was passed down to the peasantry, considered as the most powerless yet the most numerous. Almost immediately after a defeat against the British and the French, the peasants rebelled.

    "You won't believe our first emperor had been a beggar before," he chuckled. "Of course, that was after his shipping merchant career took a downfall. He had to survive. The Yellow River rerouted itself and every old trading town set up by the old route was affected. So he had to do whatever he could do to keep himself alive. The court, the gentry and the nobility, none cared about commoners like them, so the commoners didn’t care about them when they rebelled. You can say that's our first emperor's next job title: a rebel."

    "The Fu Army Rebellion was a success because our first emperor was a good leader, that's what the old folks would tell you.” Mr. Liu shook his head. “No, the rebellion was a success because of a mass motivated under a good leader. There would not be a competent leader without their complying followers. Not the fleeing Nian Army, not the fanatical Taiping, definitely not the corrupt Qing."

    And how were the followers of the Fu Army different than any other forces at the time?

    "We were most practical of all. While the Qing court was still figuring out whether to allow the Europeans to bow before the emperor or not, while the Taiping dukes were busy killing each other, we built fortifications, we made backdoor agreements with the British smuggling in firearms, we sent spies to Peking, yet most of all, we planned."

    Mr. Liu sipped his cup of tea. "Throughout most of the eras in China, dynasties rose and fell under the seeping influence of Confucianism. Under its tenets us Han people believed in the power of assimilation, that the might of a nation can be radiated peacefully and graciously, far and wide, touching into the heart of even the most ferocious and primitive tribesmen in the most remote locations of All Under Heaven. But the Qing proved to be otherwise. The Manchurians forced us to wear their pigtail and cheongsam, even the descendants of Confucius could not be exempted. Relying solely on assimilation could not work as effective protection when the ones you protected against were more powerful than you. It had to be backed up by force. The Taiping Rebellion took a wrong route when they decided to publicly decry Confucianism by destroying their every temple and burning their every book they had found. No, Confucianism was not to blame, it never is and never will be, it was deep within our culture for centuries already, it would be unrealistic to be rid of it in a generation or two, no. It was due to a lack of force."

    So this was where modern Legalism came in?

    "Yes. We contemplated that only by reviving what was unspoken and unmentioned by every ruler after the fall of Qin could China be rid of decline and stagnation. Legalism taught us only through agriculture and war could a nation defend against his invader and reign supreme. Of course, agriculture was in emphasis here because China at that time being was under a more primitive condition economically speaking, what we believed could be learned from this was that a large and well-fed population could contribute to both a strong economy and powerful military to the nation, which can be used to defend himself and to become a hegemon. We believed it was a better set of doctrines to guide us through our revolution and what's there to come after that."

    The Han Dynasty was proclaimed in 1858, shortly after the Anti-Qing Army garrisoned in Peking followed by the Qing royalty fleeing to Changchun. The British were the first to recognize its sovereignty, followed by the French. Both of the powers believed the new dynasty to be a better representative for China to join in the international community at the time, and that a friendly China would be a useful bulwark against the Russians.

    He finished the post-Qing history of China in a bored tone. "And it was the Warring States all over again. State A allied to State B to defend against State C, State C sabotaged State B then assaulted the unprepared State A. It's all the same is it not? History never ceases to bore you. So what our forefathers did were basically what our ancestors once did during the times of Qin. If we were to become the Shi Huangdi, we have to be strong enough in the game. In the eyes of a Legalist, there's only strong nations and weak nations, nothing in between. The founder of Legalism Han Feizi was a foreigner to Qin, as was the Legalist reformer Shang Yang, yet the kings still offered them offices and prestige to help strengthen Qin. We hired British advisors to build our navy, we hired French generals to train our army, of course, we industrialize and modernize."

    Mr. Liu sounded as if the centuries-old ideology of Legalism could be seamlessly adapted to the modern orders of politics and economy. I asked him directly his opinion on that matter.

    "Of course not. We had to make a few changes to our classics. Consider it an evolved Legalism. Legalism as in the Book of Lord Shang bans commerce in its entirety, seeing it as a dishonest and frivolous business comparing to agriculture and war, but in the modern times, it would be unrealistic to hold on to that position. Trade empires were basically what colonial empires of Europe were in a way or another, and they prospered and conquered pretty much the entire world.”

    Mr. Liu explained the core political tenets of New Legalism. The ideal form of government is a constitutional government, which consists of a parliament elected by the nobility. The nobility’s titles are earned by military services. The emperor remains hereditary, largely inherited from the "Son of Heaven" tradition of older eras of imperial China. This emperor acts as a strong executive figure above the parliament. After the parliament drafts a bill, the emperor determines whether it will be issued or not. To the New Legalists, the utmost responsibility of the government is to defend its people during times of war, if not joining in to reap most of the political benefit possible. Military nobility is the core of New Legalist society, as those who earned a title will be granted arable lands of a certain size depending on their ranks, a right to vote and be elected to the parliament, and – when the rank is high enough – a noble can have his residence in the imperial city and enjoy some forms of entertainment banned from the commoners.

    “The Qin kingdom became one of the competitors in the Warring States by learning cultures and customs from other states, so why not learn from the Europeans as well? If China was to be a cultured state competing for the Zhou throne, he would be the best of them, and if he was to be a westernized trade empire he would also be the best of them. And we are still doing it now. Without our high-end industry, 90% of the world population would not have computers. Of course, about that, we owe the Germans a big one as they lent us their engineers."

    I asked Mr. Liu about the Germans.

    "They are blood brothers to us, and they are competent enemies." His eyes looked to the night sky, staring as if he was looking for something.

    "The Germans were a godsend. After their victory against the Austrians and their swift unification, we quickly changed our partnership. Their military was as exalted as their industry. They also had a strong emperor surrounded by the helpful advisors of the Reichstag and obeyed by a patriotic and productive citizenry. That was what China was going to become. So you could say the Guangwu Reform was partly about being a disciple of Germany, and partly to surpass them. Legalism talked about how the state should enforce laws and regulations and how its people should obey them without question, then we saw the German emperor codify a constitution and issue bills nationwide. Legalism talked about how to let people contribute their strength to the soldiery and be rid of frivolities like music and oration, we also saw how the Germans cheered during army parades while they produce art pieces that embraced their nationality."

    So essentially, Legalism was just localized Germanization?

    "That was why we need to rival against them. We realized if we continued our 'disciple' stage, we would be no more than a German client state. The day will come when we both draw our swords pointing against each other, but before that day came, our strength needs to be tested. So we went to war against the Russians."

    After losing a war to the Russians, China accepted help from the Germans in the form of visiting advisors. However, unlike the previous British and French ones, these Germans were accepted more cordially by the Chinese. Some were even granted Chinese nationality and furthermore rose into ranks of Han nobility. Since then, Han China reconquered most of the old Qing territories, transformed Japan and Korea into vassals, then, under the pretense of helping their foe of Qing, declared war to Russia once more. This time China won; not only did China regained its treaty port lost to the Russians, but he also made a vassal of the Qing Dynasty and proved the credibility of his Germanophilic Legalist reform.

    Mr. Liu ordered for a plate of peanuts. "Legalism does not advocate for wars, but it did admit a nation that can survive in wars, let alone win in one, lasts longer. Every man and woman will work tirelessly to ensure China can and will win every war he started or joined in. The advent of industrialization is a great gift for us. The rules workers have to follow in a factory, the discipline soldiers have to follow in a modern army, these all lead to what Lord Shang described as yi-xin (一心), ‘one-hearts-and-mind’ when the people thinks and acts in uniformity with the state, free of laziness and greediness bred from unnecessary individual freedom, so everyone can put their whole energy to contribute to the nation. Yet, the Chinese were never pesky warmongers driven by bloodlust. The Qin dynasty fell from weak leadership of his second emperor, as commonly known, but if it was not for the unrealistic ventures and conquests by Shi Huangdi, the leadership after him would not need to tackle an unhappy peasantry that would eventually topple down the empire. So China would need to be careful about picking his wars for his strength as a nation while keeping his people from being too weary of wartime living."

    What did you mean by "unnecessary individual freedom"?

    Mr. Liu munched on a peanut before answering. "Freedom to argue and disagree on the directive of the state, to disrespect the ruler with their own uncultivated, silly thoughts, as witnessed in the Upheaval, freedom to make music, drawings or videos that contain thoughts which corrupts the hearts and minds of our people. This was why we banned everything from the United States during the Standoff. Anyone that listens to American music no longer toil their fields or practice their martial arts like the honest folk they used to be. It was devastating."

    What about the Upheaval?

    "The Xi'anmen Upheaval! A couple of students corrupted by American shows and music decided to spread their poison throughout the country, talking about liberalizing the state and what-not. They even wanted to assassinate the emperor! Order has to be maintained and example has to be made. We did what we had to do. They had a proper burial as a show of gratitude."

    Mr. Liu then decided to go on about a political lecture. "Legalism taught the rulers to rely more on punishment than rewards to have their people comply.’ The supreme ruler punishes his people nine times out of ten, with rewarding being the last one.' We punish to teach dissidents a lesson. These gadgets,” Mr. Liu pointed up to a hovering drone, “are a reminder for them that the ruler is always looking, looking for any misdeed up for punishment. But of course, we told them it is for security measure; if we were to expose our intentions, how can we catch the bad seeds? Authority has to be upheld, so boundaries and hierarchy can be maintained, order has to be maintained."

    To learn more about the Upheaval, I took a trip to the Free City of Hong Kong, a now-independent former British colony, where my other interviewee resided. He is a Chinese political critic that participated in the Upheaval. For safety reasons, he refused to name himself, only agreeing to be referred to as the "Hermit of Hong Kong.”

    "The Upheaval or, shall I correct it, the Protest, was no more than a group of students speaking out what they want for their country! They were no less than what the mandarins back at Chang'an know as patriots, they just want a better future for China!"

    What about the assassination attempt against the emperor?

    "It's just fabrication by the government. The way I remembered it, as we sat down on the square in front of the Xi'anmen, trucks came in, unloading the troops, and they just grabbed the students without a word! I swear in the name of the Heaven, my loyalty belongs to the emperor as much as to my parents. But the cabal of rich men desecrating their family names has to be avenged. The emperor was just powerless in all this."

    What was the message the students tried to send during the protests?

    "As a regional hegemon, every move of China will be followed suit by everyone else throughout Asia. If China goes on to be a tyranny, the Asians will suffer under tyrannies of their own. But if China is to be a democracy, as a state that takes care of its own people for purposes beyond making them into cannon fodder to realize any war goals the Chang'an regime wanted, Asia will have a brighter tomorrow."

    The Hermit went on. "The New Legalists once tried to protect China, his civilization, his culture, his heritage. But for us, if the warrior has become the monster he once fought against, it is utmost that we have to destroy the warrior. The constitution has to be reformed. Political parties have to be allowed to assemble, to be elected into the parliament. The emperor has to be assisted by the honorable ones and the humble ones, those who really lived amongst the commoners, not getting everything handed over to them simply because they are nobles."

    But wasn’t noble rank earned through military services?

    The Hermit’s eyes opened wide. "China is a hegemon now, there are no more wars to fight, so they have to make them. What they are doing at Central Asia is nothing but genocide! The khanates are long gone years ago, what's left are just small tribes of innocent people banding together for survival! But they still decide to send in the armies to ‘pacify the bandits.’ Fuck me, who's the bandits now? The Xi'an regime is robbing their right to survive in their ancestral lands and their very own lives! All for the kids of the noble families in the force to take a few titles!”

    After a deep, long sigh, he concluded. "The new emperor has just enthroned now, I hope Emperor Shaoyun is wise enough to contain the corrupted nobility and bring true order back to China."
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2019
  11. DrWalpurgis ha ha ha OH WELL

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    Nice dystopian spin on 'service guarantees the vote' there--if there are no wars, there are no veterans, so for voters to exist, by necessity the state must be at war constantly.
     
  12. rvbomally Russian Hacker

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    Heinlein’s Federation gets around this by counting non-military service. Presumably, this also extends to space colonization efforts, which gives their society a way to create “hardy, deserving citizens” into perpetuity.

    Another, unrelated idea: radical centrism. Not in the sense of an ideology which takes portions of what is considered right-wing and left-wing ideology and being radical about both (these combinations aren’t necessarily incongruous either; libertarianism and National Bolshevism are different mixes and they can have a philosophy that is *internally* cohesive), but in the sense that it believes all political ideologies lead to brutal extremism because their ideas eventually start butting heads with reality, and instead of yielding they deny or change reality and cause pain. The solution? A government that has no principles but pragmatism, and will always shift policy on the basis of the facts of the moment. The supreme irony is that the government also forbids the formation of ideological political groups, because this is a threat to their whole system, so they end up becoming the very monsters they were formed to fight.
     
  13. suul'ken Well-Known Member

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    Oct 29, 2014
    A China that has sucesfully pulled a Meji!
    Well done!
    I presume this replaces the legalist tang?

    An idea a Blade Runner like Japan which attempted to solve it's demographic and financial crises by pioneering radical genetic engineering and artificial reproduction and it now has a class of "replicants" which make up the lower classes. You are probably wondering where are the robots? In the future a saner government will have seen that AI and robots alone cannot be a solution and that they need actual living population if Japan is going to continue to exist!
     
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  14. Miranda Brawner Trans Woman

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    Great post, @Used-to-be Song Chinese . And @rvbomally , your description of radical centrism sounds a lot like Robespierre during the reign of terror, when he thought everyone to the left or right of him was an enemy of the people who needed to be purged.
     
  15. krinsbez Well-Known Member

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    ...

    I once came up with a Future History setting with something like that.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2019
  16. halfcoop Well-Known Member

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    Nov 14, 2016
    Or the French Directory, their whole existence was crushing jacobins/proto-comunist revolts, coups and elections to crushing monarchist/archconservatives revolts, coups and and electionss
     
  17. Miranda Brawner Trans Woman

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    I'm working on writing a entry for this thread. It's set in Pelasgia, a Greek state under a regime with some wacky racial theories. I was wondering if Chana had a canon backstory, and if so, could you link me to it? If not, could you at least tell me his ethnic background, because it will play a role in how he gets treated by the Pelasgians. Thanks.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2019
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  18. Ephraim Ben Raphael Super Writer Extraordinaire

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    Aguaribay Chaná was an uneducated young adult growing up in OTL Paraguay under the rule of a brutal world state when it suddenly linked to the Nutshell and he wandered through a portal into the wider multiverse. He was taken under the wing of a New Msiri charity and went on top become one of the multiverse's more noteworthy academics. He's ethnically Guaraní and his mother tongues are the Guaraní language and a conlang not spoken outside of his home TL.
     
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  19. Miranda Brawner Trans Woman

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    Cool, thank you!
     
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  20. Ephraim Ben Raphael Super Writer Extraordinaire

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    To note: That's the location of OTL Paraguay, not the actual OTL Paraguay.
     
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