Regional Theory and NS Basics
By: The U.D.S.R. and Letskia
“A Specter is haunting NationStates - the specter of Democratikism”
Nationstates has many ideologies: from Communism to Capitalism, Anarchism to Fascism; Monarchists, Socialists, Inoffensive Centrist Democracies, Father Knows Best States, Psychotic Dictatorships, and everything in between. However, these ideologies are but the political beliefs of single nations. Regions, on the other hand, by their very nature work differently. You can find regions housing both leftists and the far right with minimal tensions in some instances because even though worldly political theory is fun to discuss those views have no real meaning on a regional level. Yes, regions have some typical characteristics of real world societies, however, ultimately dictatorships are the most secure regional systems within NS, but not objectively the best. The Regional Founder has the authority to do anything they want, total unchecked power and any checks and balances put on them by the regional community are essentially pointless if the founder does not follow them. At the same time, members can at will decide to move to another region or start their very own so such actions by the founder (this is known as Founder’s Syndrome) are not too effective. On the other end of the spectrum you have founderless regions, where executive power is given to the World Assembly Delegate: an elected position. These regions specifically are susceptible to other regions sending over their members en masse to execute a coup d’etate. These coup attempts are referred to as raiding. With all this being said, there are a few regional administrative systems that have been developed over the years. This paper will try to identify the unofficial NS political ideologies and try to diagnose what makes an NS region successful.
Basic Terms and Their Meanings:
Founder’s Syndrome: many have experienced young regions full of promise begin to grow, only to have the region to deviate just enough from the founder’s intended purpose to warrant a radical reaction from them. It is in such moments does the founder try to take matters into their own hands to force the region back onto its intended course, causing a mass exodus of members to search for more promising places to call home. Founder’s Syndrome is categorized by the founder justifying unpopular changes with the excuse “because I’m the founder” more often than naught.
Raids: when a group of nations en masse move to a targeted region followed by all members in the group endorsing a designated nation to get them elected as WA delegate. This blitz tactic is most effective when the WA delegate in the targeted region has executive powers, causing the newly endorsed raider nation to have unchecked power over the region allowing them to do as they please.
Raider Region: a region dedicated solely to grow and train new members in the art of raiding, allowing for large experienced groups to form, dedicated to taking over other regions.
WA Delegate: the world assembly delegate has power to vote on WA resolutions, having every endorsement from another nation count as an extra vote which they can use. WA delegates are the only regional officers that can be handed executive power by a regional founder to allow them to help build the foundation for a healthy region.
Note: as of this paper’s publishing these are the only regional ideologies, many more may have arisen but have not been listed
Foundership: just like dictatorships in the real world, an NS dictatorship sees all executive power in the hands of the regional founder. However, an NS dictatorship has many benefits such as making sure a region is 100% raider proof, having stripped the only mandatory elected position of all powers apart from WA status.
Constitutional Foundership: The Constitutional dictatorship sees executive power held by both the regional founder and WA delegate, having regional power held by both the founder a democratically elected member of the region. This allows for member nations to have a voice by allowing them to elect one of their own into office to enact legislative changes.
Founderless Democracy: some regions may wish to - or have no choice but to - get rid of their founder and hand over executive power solely to their WA delegate. This can be a show of integrity as the law of the land is the people’s will. If members dislike their currently elected executive they can just as easily unendorse them and endorse another for the position.
Officer Autocracy: when a group of officers mutually agree to make a puppet account and use it to create a region. The founder then acts as a puppet for the officers, having every officer hold onto the puppet account password. This way several individuals hold the power in a region instead of one.
Democratikism: the philosophy that a region must balance politics and fun by holding non political discussions alongside civil, Socratic discourses to provide the largest amount of member enjoyment. This is to be done by trying to cause regional membership booms alongside massive, sweeping reforms to put the region on par with other regions of equal size. Constant reform and maintenance is seen as the optimal way to increase activity. A Democratikist region must establish a regional think tank to help promote out of the box thinking.
Regionomics: Use, Practice, Theory, Development
Regionomics refers to the study of regional activity. It tries to solve the issue of having a theoretically unlimited number of regions while having a limited number of NS players. There have been many attempts at creating the optimal system of advertising and holding onto regional members, however no comprehensive theories are known to have been created, or lasted long enough to gain traction.
Popular Regionomics: the majority of regions on NS use telegram stamps to attract newly founded nations. Recruitment telegrams usually have a small paragraph or two outlining the characteristics and events found within the region. Once a nation joins, RP (roleplay) and regular polls are used to keep members interested and, therefore, incentivize them to stay. This is the most basic template for regionomics found across NS with many different additions and amendments made later on in a region’s life.
Advanced Regionomics: the use of a telegram api (a recruitment bot) to send out a constant stream of recruitment telegrams, having one send every three minutes as by NS rules. Alongside the api, the telegram itself is written in point form to catch and hold the attention of either a newly founded or refounded nation. Alongside the popular regionomic practise of having a regional RP, the use of an offsite meme page helps balance serious political discussion with a lighter tone to reach out to a broader audience. This theory’s largest complaint about Political centric regions is that seriousness can get out of hand and sew discontent amongst members by pitting players against others too often to sustain healthy attitudes of others.
Trickle Down Regionomics: The idea of establishing regional embassies with larger regions to promote one’s own region. In theory, members of the larger region would look at the list of embassies and stumble upon an effective enough World Factbook Entry that it would siphon out the larger region’s member count.
Regional Supply And Demand: regional supply and demand refers to content within a region. Unlike economic supply and demand, regional supply and demand works in the complete opposite way. The larger supply of content there is in a region the larger demand there is for said region. The issue is that supply is difficult in increase after a certain point, as content slowly dries up. A region’s first step to increasing content usually begins with either regional polls or roleplay. From there it depends on the officers what they consider to be key within their growing community.
Regional Currency: some regions may wish to focus on telegram stamps as their largest source of advertising, but will find funding an issue in the majority of instances. This is where regional currency comes in, as having in-region rewards tied to a currency which you can both earn and buy through official donations can be an effective way of procuring funding. This is in theory, but in practise it has the same success rate as recruitment telegrams themselves- you may in the end only get 1% of projected funds through this method.
Region Hopping: another NS favourite is region hopping - the practice of sending one or more members of a home region to other regions to promote the prior. It is in most cases looked down upon and it is unknown how effective this tactic is. More research is needed.
Offsite Chat Extension: it is no secret that the NS RMB is not as dynamic as other communication services. This is why many regions opt in to also getting a discord or website of their own. Offsite chats allow for smoother discussions and allow for larger prospects of content supply.
Supply Through Anarchism: even though it has been only considered in theory, if a larger region were to establish their own forum outside of NationStates and allow for content to be solely produced by members instead of relying on officer support to execute such demands, content would be pitted against other regional content through member creation, management, and sponsorship. This way, through competition, the best activities in the region would prosper while the less popular ones abandoned.
Confederation: regions will often pair up with like minded regions to establish confederations, usually characterised by sharing an offsite forum or chat. This, theoretically, is supposed to form closer bonds between regions as well as promote growth for all.
NS Political Theory Volume 2:
The Art of Raiding, Regional Governments,
and Advanced NS Political Theory
By: The UDSR, URHR, Saint Ryvern, and Confedracy
“Centrism of action: an important distinction from centrism of officers.”
To know your enemy is to have a full dossier. To know your ally is to have them first in it. The politics of NationStates ranges from regions solely dedicated to memes all the way to intriguing Realpolitik filled with backstabbing and hidden alliances. Some regions go as far as to create essentially their own version of the FBI or secret services to monitor potential threats or raiding targets. No matter what region you are a part of, raiding will come up in your NS endeavours one way or another. This is why within this volume there will be a deeper look into types of raids and raider tactics that have been taken from first hand raider veteran accounts as well as additions to the previous volume’s political theory.
Feeder Region: One of the regions that created regions flow into. They are large by design, as many nations never leave their beginning grounds. They have incredible power on the inter-regional stage.
The Rejected Realms: the land that many spurned nations go to, a region for castaways and rejects that has flourished on the international stage thanks to good management and a steady flow of ejected nations
Lazarus, Balder and Osiris: similar to feeder regions but these are places where refounded nations go. they have a unique regional culture and government and offer many services and opportunities for activities
User-created: this category is the largest category on nationstates, provides many opportunities, but they rise and fall regularly thanks to the inter-dynamic play of regional politics, the lack of a continual source for growth, and inactivity from the few nations that may join
Roleplay-centered: regions like Geopolity and the Commonwealth of Liberty that are founded on the premise for high-quality roleplay, their members often maintain a high quality of writing and frequently post on the forums, RMB, etc
Government-centered: regions that draw their primary source of activity from the regional government structures that original members and founder put in place. The Western Isles is a good example of this type of region
Mixed approach regions: regions that blend roleplay and government. Usually there are factions of members that prefer each type of activity, but there may be regional positions dedicated to roleplay that create an intersection between the two activities
Casual regions: regions created to provide chill atmospheres for people who just want to hang out on NationStates. They do not roleplay or have a government. They're just chill places to relax and maybe have some discussions
Types of Raids in NationStates:
A raid most commonly consists of a group of nations (referred to as raiders) moving to a targeted region en masse and endorsing one of the group’s members to gain WA Delegate status. Since some WA Delegates have executive powers or some other privileges, this allows for the new WA delegate to do as they please. These are the three major type of raids.
Tag Raid: the tag raid consists of executing a coup d’etat within the target region to take control of it long enough to put up a new tag or World Factbook Entry before closing all embassies. This is the most common raid and arguably the most frustrating for smaller targeted regions.
Occupation: it is like the tag raid except the group of raiders stay and take control of the targeted region for as long as they can. These types of raids take a lot of resources as the occupying force needs to hold against other groups, defenders, and locals. This is unless the occupying force decides to ban or eject anyone not with them. Many smaller raider regions refuse to do these kinds of raids.
Stealth Raid: a stealth raid is a long term commitment which takes a raider to infiltrate a region and gain the trust of the locals. The idea is that - if done properly - the raider is placed in a position of power, such as becoming an officer or WA Delegate. These can take mere hours to years depending on the size of the targeted region.
Regional Governments and Government Structures:
Along with regional officers and a WA delegate, regions over the years have come up with interesting new ways to get regional members involved, or flesh out the democratic process. This section looks at the different additions to government structure which regions over the years have established alongside the vanilla positions.
Parliament: most parliaments work by having regional members apply for a position, and depending on the prerequisites, only a select few to almost anyone would be admitted in and allowed to propose new regional laws. If a law gets through parliament it would go through the officers to be approved before becoming law.
Supreme Court: larger regions or inter-regional federations may have supreme courts, where members can become lawyers or attorneys to look over cases such as banning or ejecting other members, or keep an eye on officers to make sure they are doing their jobs.
Regional Military: regional militaries usually consist of establishing a separate region for puppet storage and have members of the military create a puppet nation to store inside of it. This gives regions closure that they have something in place to protect either their region on an ally’s. Federations usually have one unified inter-regional military but some may opt in to having both a federal army and a separate, smaller regional army.
Additions to Volume 1 Political Theory:
Refresher- Democratikism: the philosophy that a region must balance politics and fun by holding non political discussions alongside civil, socratic discourses to provide the largest amount of member enjoyment. This is to be done by trying to cause regional membership booms alongside massive, sweeping reforms to put the region on par with other regions of equal size. Constant reform and maintenance is seen as the optimal way to increase activity. A Democratikist region must establish a regional think tank to help promote out of the box thinking.
Akareanism: nation retention in a region sees it a necessity that officers participate with other members in the region to keep regional cohesion. It points to Democratikism having such good nation retention specifically because it does not segregate the admin from the public.
Regional Unity Theory: as stated by the nation Confedracy, regions filled with like minded people (politically like minded or otherwise) show greater loyalty to the region than ideologically diverse regions. In theory, factions within diverse regions spring up and hold greater loyalty to themselves than the region itself, and therefore, cause instability.
Socratism: the theory that ideologically diverse regions are healthier than regions of one specific ideology, as diverse regions hinder the creation of ideological echo chambers. In theory, diverse regions are ultimately better because each individual will be able to bring something new to the region to help it grow as well as decrease the chance of radicalizing members.
Kachowism: the theory that ultimately the most socially cohesive regions have either a strong presence of, or only, memes to make sure no one leaves over political differences with others. In theory nation retention is maximized by keeping serious discussion to a minimum.
Regional Monarchism: the theory that a strong leader must be in control of the region at all times and that having one sovereign of an inter-regional federation is non-negotiable.
NS Political Theory Volume 3:
Classifications, Letskian Dynamics, and The Region Statement
By: The NS Political Theory Community
“Having a voice for a region is crucial for effective communication.”
Regionomics plays a vital role in a region’s future as it spans the studies of player retention, inter-regional and inner-regional relationships, as well as much more. As regionomics is still young, there is only a handful of theorists who continue to develop its ideas. It all started with the officers from the Democratika discussing different ways that the region could attract new members. The Federation of Letskia, the father of regionomics, had suggested establishing embassies with the sinker and feeder regions, as well as the 10,000 Islands and the Communist Bloc as they had members in the quadruple digits. This was the start of Trickle Down Regionomics. The term trickle down regionomics (and subsequently enough regionomics itself) was coined by myself, the UDSR, jokingly as a response to what I personally found to be a disagreeable idea. However, in the past four days this one off joke had become a fully fledged new study of regions which attracted two other officers to pitch in their own ideas. The purpose of this volume is to, firstly, outline classifications and regional structures; and secondly, to inspire other nations across NationStates to propose and write down their own regionomic theories to ultimately help grow newer, less informed regions.
Final Terms and Classifications:
Catcher Region: a coin termed by Reploid Productions to separate The Rejected Realms from other sinker regions as it has mechanical differences from other sinker regions but is still tagged as one.
Further Additions to Regionomics:
Lardistic Regionomics: a theory proposed by Captain Lard from the region Lardyland which states that regions that heavily encourage aggressive self-promotion tend to gain members quicker, and that regions with more embassies tend to be more popular.
Letskian Dynamics: even though Letskia had first created regionomics, Letskian dynamics is more of a school of thought. Letskian dynamics refers to the study of inter-regional movement and the flow of nations between regions rather than what occurs in any one region. Such as the strategies and techniques that regions use in recruitment telegrams and marketing tactics. This includes push and pull factors, such as RMB activity, albeit a little expanded on how the balance of activity between outsourced methods of communication and the RMB could be achieved, as well as other factors such as regional forum advertising. Letskian dynamics also analyses the perspectives of new nations and how they make their decisions on which regions to join despite their limited understanding of NationStates and what makes regions unique from each other. This further digs deeper into the mindsets of older nations, particularly, refounded nations and how their perspective is radically changed from that of a new nation and how they make their decisions on which region to join; albeit from a more experienced standpoint.
Forum Interactionism: forum interactionism is the study of how the forum coincides with, and influences; the main NationStates website, and vice versa. It is not limited to just looking at the flow of nations, but also how it affects things from regional administrations to roleplay. Forum interactionism also studies independent forums created for specific regions and how that influences the administration and functioning of a region.
The Region Statement Introduction: By the UDSR
As up to this moment, I would like to say that I am done classifying and categorizing terms, ideologies, and theories. Most likely, if need be, I will add finishing touches to any term or philosophies I had accidentally glossed over, but now I am to write about my own theory, as how I believe a region must be run. In the first volume I had essentially declared there no need for terms such as communism, fascism, and so on when speaking of regions. However, after careful deliberation, some noticeable ideologies and practices popped up such as dictatorship, monarchism, democracy, and Anarchism. As any reader can tell by my name; I will, indeed, be trying to create a theory which strives for regional Utopia. For this I will gain much opposition as well as many sympathizers, and I ask for both those that agree and disagree with me to write and publish their own papers on NS political theory as this has been the ultimate goal of these three volumes as well as the final volume to come out: to spur NS political debate and create an atmosphere for Socratic discourse. I will still continue to write NS political theory after this project is completed but in different works, and I will try to establish NationStates’s first ever Think Tank, where anyone interested in philosophy and science merely has to create a puppet and move it to a secure puppet storage region open to all ideologies, so long as individuals behave. However, I am getting ahead of myself and must outline my outlook on a perfect NS region.
-The founder should be the sole nation to hold executive status to make sure the threat of raiders if minimized
-The region should get rid of the founder in exchange for an executive WA delegate if the region hits around half the size of the smallest sinker region
-There must be a regional military
-Power should be equal amongst regional officers including the founder. The only exception would be holding executive status for security
-There should at least be an effort made to create a regional, if not an inter-regional, think tank inside or outside the region to discuss philosophy, political science, and regionomics
-There should at least be a meme section or a section of the region or offsite forum to balance out serious discussion with silly discussion
Never settle on one theory but rely on the best current information out of the think tank or any other credible NS think tank to establish the most active region possible.
Allegiance to a political ideology region wide may seem like a good unifying factor, but Socratic discourse, empirical evidence, and unity through familiarity I consider to be far better. Division is not inevitable unless due to humans listening to their gut reaction to not change when given new information.
NS Political Theory Volume 4:
Final Additions, Regional Utopia, and Progression Methods
By: The UDSR, and Gullonede
“The development of NS theory is now in the hands of the NS community,
you have nothing to lose but your chains and boundless knowledge to gain”
- The UDSR
This is the final volume of the NS Political theory paper, and soon an abridged dispatch will be made to unify the other volumes. The fate of future NS theory solely now lies in the hands of the NationStates community. I will publish smaller writings in the future, but I presume none will be as noticed; since by the time I begin my in depth analysis of regionomics or regional sociology and anthropology, I hope that bigger regions or greater thinkers will overshadow me and lead NS to the greatest culminating of developed thought it has ever seen. This volume will cover one last definition as proposed by the nation Gullonede as well as explain what a regional Utopia is and why such a goal must be set for all regions to come. Since if a region does not strive to be the best it can be, it will surely fizzle out unspectacularly, and no founder ever wishes to admit to themselves that their goal to create a thriving community will never be met. Such sad truths must be destroyed at the root, through dedication and excitement. If what is left cannot be salvaged by the original leadership, the torch must be passed on to a new generation ready to take on the daunting task. If NS is to grow, it will only do so with the help of the inspired and dedicated.
Family Region: a region that won’t accept new members if they are not directly friends or acquainted with the founder.
When people consider Utopia they consider the objectively best society imaginable. This can only be a false definition as everyone has their own views on what utopia looks like. That is why there must first be a settled upon way to quantify “the best” society. Though this may be difficult if not impossible in the real world there is a way to do so in NationStates. With the exception of sinker and feeder regions, the most popular regions on NS can be considered as the best relative to other regions found on the site. Even though their systems may not be perfect, that is not the point of a regional utopia.
When trying to create a regional utopia you are not striving for perfection, but for popularity of your system. If a founder owned region were able to gain more members than the smallest sinker, that region would have groups to call itself a utopia by the NationStates definition as it was able to surpass both all non sinker and feeder regions, but at least one sinker region which was designed specifically to automatically get members without the need for recruitment. In theory, any region could reach such goals as it solely depends on the majority of NS players to deem what is the best region for them.
I do not declare by any means that such an event is likely or will happen anytime soon, what I am stating that it is merely possible and that if regions already strive to get the most amount of members it does not seem silly in the slightest to dream one step further. What will be interesting to see is if any region will fervently pursue such a goal and if the incentive to become the first Utopia class region will push individuals to hypothesize anything that would be put into practise and succeed above all other regional structures.
We right now stand on the edge of what may become considered the end of NS feudalism, and great thinkers will soon be struck by the awe of sophisticated, unique theories the magnitude of which will push to recreate the site into something two years ago, or a year ago would seem unrecognizable. There are a few places to start, for instance, the importance of memes, a strong leader/federation laying down the infrastructure for the next expansive region, or the unrelenting power of ideological unity. From these, the search for regional Utopia must start, and if nations are willing to put the time and effort to usurp the throne of a sinker, perhaps it will be in our nation's’ lifespan that we may see what the website can accomplish. Then again, that was all talk and no substance, and so I will end this off with the different methods a region may reach or come close to reaching the goal of becoming a regional utopia.
Regional Progression Methods:
Confederation: some regions may have a difficult time gaining new members, as stagnation in growth may occur due to inefficient nation retention or inefficient region advertisement. Another issue for regions may include vulnerability to raiders. This sometimes culminates to regions forming a federal body which meets on a server or puppet region mutually owned by all federation members. The ultimate goal of these federations is, if not openly, to unite all member regions into one body, creating a diverse community owned by a body that keeps checks and balances on its individual parts.This can easily become the way the first regional utopia forms if enough massive regions unite under on government comprised of previous smaller governments’ members.
Growth Through Time: this is the slowest, and least likely way a regional utopia would form since as the site gains more members, the more solidified a sinker region’s position at the top becomes. As of writing this document the largest sinker region is close to hitting 10,000 members.
Growth Through Conquest: vague tales and whispers across the site emerge once every blue moon that if a raider region were to unite all others under the strong leadership of its one government, theoretically a raid on a sinker could be managed through large logistics projects and shear force of will, solidifying the new region’s status as the greatest power in NS. How credible these ideas are to be taken with a massive grain of salt at this point.
Growth Through Innovation: if a region were to dedicate itself mainly to the development of new ideas some overlooked idea, practise, or quirk of the website may reveal itself to be the holy grail to regional Utopia.
I thank everyone who helped pitch in to make this Anthology a reality. I am glad there are so many people on the site wishing to help further the understanding of others here which tbh is radical, bodacious, tubular even! There's a new puppet storage region called NS Think Tank that has the main goal of publishing and spreading the works of NS political theorists for the sake of spreading ideas. If you wanna help out I'd be happy to meet you via a puppet in the region and establish a website-wide symposium on NationStates politics, regionomics, and any other new fields of study.