by Max Barry

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The Sovereign Corporation of
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Summary of PQ Forge

Name of Nation: The Sovereign Corporation of PQ Forge

Your leader's name: Seven

How many parties do your country have? There are daily spontaneous demonstrations and parties by our employees, voicing gratitude and joy!

Are elections held in your nation? There are elections every 5 years for the Board of Trustees. The board of trustees is overseen by our CEO.

If so, does every political party regardless of ideology welcome to participate in? As we are a corporation, this question does not apply.

Can people ridicule the government in a way that's unharmful? Why would they want to? They are happy to allow our CEO to tell them what to think. This clause is covered by the employment contract that takes effect at the age of majority.

Can people criticize the government through media? We don't understand this question.

Can people assemble and set up opposition leagues? We don't understand this question either. If it means what we think it means, we can terminate any employee's contract (and the employee) for any reason at any time.

Does your nation outlaw any ideology? We do not need to outlaw what our workers do not know exists.

Do people have a right to a fair trial? Trial? What is this thing you call Trial?

Torture? Yes, people have a right to be tortured.

Is slavery state-sponsored? We do not have slaves, we have state sponsored indentured servitude.

Does the government respect citizens' private lives? Our employees have private lives?

Is there media censorship in your nation? If so, how strong is it? What is censorship? Our employees think the way we tell them to.

Does your nation respect LGBT/LGBTQ rights(the rights of gays and lesbians)? Our employees are free to pursue any relationships they choose during their scheduled rest periods as long as they comply with population expansion laws.

Are citizens allowed to privately own industries? Any of our employees are allowed to (and encouraged to) rise through the ranks and aspire to CEO.

Does your nation welcome refugees that are fleeing from oppressive regimes? As an extraterritorial soverign corporation, We happily accept applications for employment from members of any nation in the world.


How much personal freedom, on a scale of 10, 0 being no personal freedoms, 10 being at the maximum personal freedom, would you rate is in your nation?
Why do you rate your nation that way?
[PQ Forge has a mandatory 12 hour workday, with legislated 8 hour rest periods. With an average of 1 hour transportation time each way between home locations and jobs locations, this leaves an average of 2 hours per day for personal time. During that time, employees are encouraged to pursue any activities that are legal within the corporate framework. ]

How much political freedom, on a scale of 10, 0 being no political freedoms, 10 being at the maximum political freedom, would you rate is in your nation?
Why do you rate your nation that way?
[While the nation page may show political freedoms as "rare" at the moment, that was due to a clerical error. PQ Forge is actually a sovereign corporation, and as such is not a political entity in the legal sense of the word. On the other hand, the day to day management of the corporation does closely resemble that of a national government, and employees do have the option to purchase stock in the company and as a shareholder have a percentage say in how things are run. ]

How much economic freedom, on a scale of 10, 0 being no economic freedoms, 10 being at the maximum economic freedom, would you rate is in your nation?
Why do you rate your nation that way?
[Due to more clerical errors during the implementation of several policies, the WA misrepresented our drive for donations to fund certain policies as a tax. Our employees can keep anything they earn, and are encouraged to spend it on anything they can afford. Seeing as PQ Forge is also a monopoly within our own borders, we keep prices reasonable in order to maximize earning/spending ratios. Materially wealthy employees are happy employees!]


*extracted from an interview in Nationstates Fortune 500*

Next month marks your 8th anniversary at the helm of PQ Forge. Did you ever think conditions would be as they are or that the Forge would be in the position that it is?

Seven, Founder and CEO, PQ Forge: Honestly, no. I never expected to end up with this much land, or this many employees. In fact, when I sent a memo to the purchasing department to start buying up land for expanding some of our facilities, I forgot to mention exactly how much land I wanted. It wasn't until 2 years ago when I went out to view my holdings and took a full 3 months to tour them all that I realized that we were up to 1,140,000 square miles and still expanding. In terms of our business model, people are questioning where their future excitement is going to come out of our industries. That's one of the reasons we seceded from our parent country and declared sovereignty 8 years ago, and it's worked - the corporation is thriving.

Did you ever think you'd be running a country?

Well I didn't accept that label at first, though PQ Forge is providing a whole range of services, some of which do have characteristics similar to government. I think the basic fixed line services such as health care and our security infrastructure are in that category, but then you've got business models like arms manufacturing and woodchip exports that have extraordinary growth ahead of them and have no government type characteristics at all. A company as big and complex as PQ Forge is a mix of a different set of business units and we are running it accordingly. Now that we've become a separate player in the world theatre, and with our security forces rivaling world level military powers, it's hard not to think of ourselves as a country.

Reporter: Some of your neghbouring regions are becoming concerned about political stances taken by PQ Forge. What's your position on this?

Seven: It's true that some countries disagree with our internal policies. But they have to realize that the Forge is not a country - it's a corporation, and our decisions are made accordingly. As for my own neighbours, we all seem to get along. There's a thriving regional economy, and our citizens move freely from country to country for business and pleasure.

Reporter: I see. How would you answer the accusations that you appear to be in violation of several international resolutions, many of which are enforced by WA members upon non-WA members?

Seven: The Forge is concerned about it's international image to a point (the countries of the world are our customers, afterall) and we do strive to avoid international conflicts. PQ Forge has an extensive team of highly trained bloodsucking lawyers (some of them are even, in fact, true vampires) who's job it is to evaluate all WA resolutions and assess our compliance with the letter of the law. I can assure you we are not in violation. Perhaps if you could provide some examples...?

Reporter: One one of the specific concerns I've seen raised was that of child labour in your country.

Seven: We simply don't have child labour. What we DO provide are unique youth oriented educational opportunities. They get to learn about trades and careers through an extensive hands-on internship program in our agricultural sector, and therefore do not classify as child labourers. In fact, studies have shown that children enjoy playing in dirt and interacting with domesticated livestock. We have simply combined these natural traits with a first rate educational training experience. While the program is not compulsory, most entry level positions within the corporation require a minimum of ten years prior experience in an accredited pre-employment program. Therefore it is in the child's best interest to voluntarily enroll in an internship program as early as possible.

Reporter: We have often heard the term "Human Resources" used by representatives of your corporation. Do you deny that those "resources" are in fact slave labourers?

Seven: Absolutely. First, let me make it perfectly clear that we do not buy and sell people, though we do have a population of indigent people that are affectionately referred to by our employees as "slave labourers". We simply find it necessary from time to time to transfer workers from one position to another. Occasionally money changes hands to facilitate such transfers, however remuneration is limited to the costs incurred from shipping, handling, housing, and retraining said workers. Secondly, any worker may choose to leave his or her employment at any time. However, since we are the ONLY employer in the country, most workers find it detrimental to their future career path to quit our employ. Lastly, our citizens have the right to freely move about the country at will, and are encouraged to do so as long as that travel does not interfere with their ability to perform their required job functions or in any way reduce their potential productivity. We have put in place legislation which mandates that employees who work 12 or more hours during a shift are required to get 8 hours of sleep per day. As all jobs require 12 hours worth of work per 7 day work week from each employee, this leaves our populace a generous 4 hours per day each day to pursue hobbies and interests including travel. That's 28 whole hours to themselves, every week! I believe that to be quite generous, considering I myself only get 14 hours per week to pursue my own interests.

Reporter: Yes, very generous indeed. But how do you answer the allegation that your citizen-workers are denied access to the legislative process?

Seven: Of course they have access. Each year our workers participate in an employee satisfaction survey, at which time numerous legislative issues relating to employee satisfaction are raised and workers encouraged to rate their level of satisfaction on each issue. In the past, such issues have included how many kinds of soup should be served in the commissaries, whether cubicle walls should be lowered an additional 3 inches to foster a less oppressive work environment, as well as if we should switch to a more pleasantly scented brand of chemical de-louser. In response to our employee requests, we have enacted such laws as the requirement of no less than 3 choices of soup in each food service establishment, enacted legislation requiring that all sectors replace cubicle walls with glass partitions by the year 2012 therefore satisfying both sides of that particular debate, and developing a lindane formula with a soothing chamomile fragrance, but still keeping the unscented product for those with sensitive skin.

Reporter: Well, you seem to have addressed the list of concerns quite handily. I would like to thank you for your time, and hope to interview you again in the future.

Seven: You're welcome. Come back any time.