by Max Barry

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Aibohphobia — Overview


Coat of arms

Capital (and largest city): Infinite Loop
Official languages: Russian, English, German
Demonym: Aibohphobian
Leader: Dark Inquisitor
• The Dictatorship of Aibohphobia (15.03.12)
• The Recursiveness of Aibohphobia (16.06.12)
Currency: Null (∅)
Date format:
Drives on the: right
ISO 3166 code: AA
Internet TLD: .aa


Aibohphobia is a fairly young nation, nevertheless, its history withholds some of the most wonderful developments.
Throughout its history, Aibohphobia has not embarked on any military adventures, therefore its people were able to build a society with a truly fascinating cultural heritage.

Early periods
Aibohphobia was founded by a group of like-minded isolationists — peoples drawn together by common urge to escape homeland oppression. They thought Aibohphobia island were the perfect place for constructing a new social order, one that would be free and "user-friendly".
Unfortunately, amid them was a traitor of all their beliefs, someone who soon would take over the government, under the pseudonym of "Dark Inquisitor".

Current state
Aibohphobia has long surpassed the tribal-like state: now it is a huge, safe nation.
People have grown more civilised and enjoy the many modern conveniences the state has to offer.


Aibohphobia is a unitary state (it is governed as a single unit, with no autonomies allowed) and a totalitarian autocracy (every aspect of public and private life is regulated by one person).

Aibohphobia has no government, in the common sense, — instead, trustworthy people are utilised by Dark Inquisitor. Such people are placed within society, and each one of them is assigned a role: whether it be managing a particular business or spying for anti-government tendencies among the populace. If they ever step away from the path that must be followed, they are immediately disposed of.
No one has ever seen the leader himself, his name is unknown, as is anything else, except for his gender. Common gossip is that he knows a lot about the citizens of his nation, since he constantly disguises himself as one of them to undertake various tasks. They say, he had even participated in a couple of assasination attempts on him, which obviously failed. This, however, has never been proved.

"We haven't travelled this far only to be submerged by yet another dictatorial form of governing!" shouts Ruby Harishchandra, civil rights activist, while a sniper on a nearby roof aims for her head. "We must be given more rights! Like a right to use peas to write on toilet seats, for instance."

"What are you talking about, woman?" politely inquires Ryan Spirit, one of the last surviving gentlemen. "The Dark Inquisitor genuinely cares for all of us. If not for what he has done, we would have had no hospitals. You might have died of a heart stroke then!"

Foreign relations
Aibohphobia takes a tough stance on the WA, as it is a place of vile civil and political rights propagation.

No matter what, Aibohphobia shall always sustain a political and economical union with the following nations:

The Aibohphobian military is divided into the Police Forces, Air Force, Airborne Troops, Strategic Missile Troops and the Space Forces. They are the only people who are allowed to make use of weaponry.
Every citizen of sufficient age has to serve at least one year in the army.
Generally, members of the military have more civil rights than plain citizens, and that is how Aibohphobia preserves a well-formed, big and happy military force to crack down on subversive individuals and nations.

No weapons are exported or imported.
Aibohphobia has one of the largest stockpiles of space weapons and nuclear missiles in the region, although they have never been used. Yet.


Aibohphobia is one of the largest countries in the world, a valiant upkeeper of 13 national parks and 29 nature reserves.

Aibohphobia has somewhat of a natural resource base as well, including uranium, coal and natural gas.

Most of Aibohphobia consists of vast stretches of plains that are heavily forested.
Mountain ranges are rare and usually run alongside rivers, of which the island has aplenty.

Aibohphobia possesses a dry-summer subtropical climate, with an average temperature of 22 °C in the warmest months and an average in the coldest between 3 to 12 °C.

There are 53 mammal species and 97 bird species in Aibohphobia, most of which are protected from extermination.
Plants and animals native to the island have never been encountered in any other country or region, and, since migration in and out of the country is constricted, the island has been preserved in its natural state since the day of the foundation of Aibohphobia.


All of Aibohphobia's economy is strictly regulated by the Dark Inquisitor, with most essential services (such as healthcare and public transportation) fully owned by the state.
Aibohphobia's economy is all-sufficient: almost everything is produced within the country, so that import practically does not exist.

Agriculture is crippling, since the environment is well-protected.
Resources are only gathered when needed, never for personal or financial gain.

Energy is only gathered from environment-friendly power plants (like windmills).
Although most "green" activists regard nuclear power plants as a shame upon Aibohphobia, their energy is also utilised (the power plants', not the activists', although...).

All Aibohphobian cities have well-developed systems of public transport, with the most common varieties of exploited vehicles being bus and tram.
Aibohphobia's capital, Infinite Loop, has an underground metro system.
Major cities are connected by railway roads.

Science and technology
Science and technology in Aibohphobia blossom.
Half the tax money goes into education, space studies and the development of new weapons and vehicles.


Ethnic Aibohphobians comprise 98% of the population. Due to Aibohphobia's policies for weather and tourism the population is constantly on the rise. Nobody knows why the number of natives is not decreasing at the same rate, but it might be due to that huge electric wall built around the country.

"Science" is counterposed to "religious superstition" in the media and in academic writing. There is a ban on all kinds of imaginary friends in place.

When it comes to public healthcare, Aibohphobia is one of the leading countries not just in its region but in the whole world. Almost all procedures with the exception of cosmetic ones are subsidised by the government. The average life expectancy is 94 years.

Aibohphobia has a unique education in hand, which allows to cater to all tastes a student's mind might have, and everyone takes pride in learning. Intellectually unparalleled, Aibohphobian students have the potential to work in any country they like, but Aibohphobia's borders are closed.


Due to the relatively late involvement of Aibohphobia in international tourism, many aspects of its culture, like Aibohphobian jokes ("If you're using foul language when reading your own code from two years ago, that means you're evolving.") and Aibohphobian art, remain largely unknown to foreigners.

Folk culture and cuisine
In Aibohphobia people are commonly clad in grey inconspicuous garments from head to toe.
The most popular dishes include oy-vey salad, botcht soup and dressed ring.

Fanciness is frowned upon, and Aibohphobian people prefer to live in simple yet functional buildings. Single-storey buildings are considered a waste of space, hence they are non-existent.

Visual arts
Actualism in painting and sculpture is not supported, as the government sees no need in duplicating reality.

Music and dance
Apart from literature, music is the most subsidised art. However, to be treated as such, it has to follow certain guidelines: the variability requirement, for instance, prohibits musical abominations like rap and pop (if those can be considered musical at all).

Literature and philosophy
Compared to visual arts, literature and philosophy are less restricted with regard to depiction of reality. However, material compelling people to have illusions about themselves, each other and the universe (thinking something's real, for example) is against the law.

Cinema, animation and media
"Visual stimuli have been overestimated for quite some time," muses Peter True, one of Dark Inquisitor's closest advisers. "There'll be no cameras, cassettes, cinemas and cocaine as long as I'm alive."
At the same time, cartoonists are encouraged, because their art doesn't strive to be "real", and Aibohphobian animators have developed a great variety of pioneering techniques and aesthetic styles.
The rest of the media is under government supervision as well, with television being outlawed and radio mostly being used for transmitting urgent messages.
All advertising is interdicted.

Organised sports, save for intellectual ones, are banned.

National holidays and symbols
The only celebrated national holiday is Dark Inquisitor's Birthday, for an Aibohphobian is meant to be an assiduous and honest worker.
The most notable symbol is the Möbius Cat, the nation's animal, as it is an embodiment of an Aibohphobian's ability to be flexible and enduring in their everyday life.

Aibohphobia is one of the most often visited locations: tourism is fueled by the rich cultural heritage and great natural variety of the country. Unfortunately (for them), the visitors are not allowed to stay indefinitely and eventually have to leave.