by Max Barry

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The Red Tape Singularity of
Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

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Bureaucracy Hub

Imagine, if you will, a document.

A compendium of sorts - a sales brochure for the impartial observer, passing unto them some idea of a world they've never seen.

A world they don't care about, because they don't know it yet.

And the whole point, of course, is to change that.

Now the most logical first thing to introduce in a story is, of course, the antagonist hush, you.

We start with the protagonist

And we start out with a nice, rich maroon.

It's a good color.

The modern Bureaucracy is a great, roiling blob of paradoxes.

Fractured, yet whole. Nationalism built on an ethnic melting pot, rife with libertarian ideals, perpetuated through an internally-omnipotent dictator. It arose practically overnight, and yet its history is perhaps the most storied of any comparable power today. Built on land that has historically served as a keystone of conflict, yet now standing as a nigh-global arbiter of stability; a starched hand, gently wrapped around our throats, for better or for worse.

It is by no means an insular thing. All empires rise and fall. Yet as the global clime grows less and less certain, the Bureaucracy seems only to entrench itself further. Despite the best efforts of many, no fall is in sight.

Whether this is a blessing or a curse for the world at large, only time will tell.

-Henri Arnaud, Bones of Iron - Abridged History of the Yegla Islands

In the opening years of the ��th century, the world underwent a great and sudden shift. It was not an overt thing - indeed, practically everywhere worth mentioning, things kept on ticking along just as they had for all of human history prior. But in the far-flung reaches of a treacherous, broken archipelago, the foundations were laid for something well and truly game-changing. The Federal Bureaucracy of Yegla Islands is very much the newest proverbial kid on the block of hyperpowers; striding over the bones of centuries' worth of colonial overlords, and built upon a people so thoroughly used to a state of constant violence that it has soaked its way into their very culture on a level few could hope to grasp. Its military might has sprung from practically nothing over the course of mere decades, yet it now stands toe to toe with the world's greatest man-made terrors. Its standards of living have evolved, in a similar manner, from a state of patchy squalor to de-facto equals of the very best. Its reach is as great as it is enigmatic, and it all hinges on the beneath.

The Bureaucracy holds a great many beneaths.