by Max Barry

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by The Disputed Territories of CBG-Palisade. . 50 reads.

Old Political/Future Compass and Explanations (OOC, Archived)

This factbook was inspired by Federal Remnants and their own version of the meme. Go check them out, their nation is horrific based.

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As you can probably tell I've changed the scope of this to be a bit more serious; as such regard the first bits as needing re-working until they're a little more fleshed out.

also since i've been seriously flexed on by synne and khoro it needs to be made fancier too


  1. (-2, 2) - Anti-State Thought, otherwise known as "bro, borders are cringe." An ideology formed in theoretical response to the point at (-2, 1), the Automated State, believes that the concept of the state has in space grown to the point it is actively harmful to mankind and should be completely annihilated. A core tenet of its thought is that the state's "purpose" is to stimulate technological development to the point where the state is no longer needed, and that that point was passed when humanity created the Gates, as it then became possible to be completely self-sufficient solely with one's own machinery and become completely untethered from the home planet. Anti-State Thought is considered the logical endpoint of the reaction to the "hyperstate" of Authority powers and represents the terminus of that end of the political spectrum- a complete rejection of the concept of a state, based on what it sees as the corruption of the state's logical end. It is permissible to comment "yo buddy, still alive?", "what have borders ever given us!? BOOKS!?" and "i t ' s t i m e" when in the presence of one of these wonderful fellows. Essentially AST can be thought of as anarchism, but overgrown to the point of believing wholeheartedly that organs of state should be stymied, cut apart, burned down, and removed wherever possible when they appear.

    Under AST the Reach would likely devolve into chaos, not as "anarchy" in the philosophical sense but "anarchy" in the popular sense. The Reach's present instability would mean that an AST power would nearly instantly collapse- the current arms saturation of the territory would practically mean that a victory by any one of the incredibly small and scattered groups professing the ideology would be temporary and a fall to total warlordism without the balancing force of the Interim Government imminent and unavoidable.

  2. (-1, 2) - Superorder Nationalism, of the sort practiced by the Fleet. Its single tenet is that loyalty to one's masters constitutes a sort of "superorder", in the context of receiving orders through a military hierarchy, and that betraying that state or even surrendering the very concept of one's state counts as treason and should be punished as such. Only practiced by the Fleet as it is a unique outgrowth of their artificial psychology and should not be considered a mainstream ideology in any way. In recent years this has been transformed into a sort of rampant independent sentiment as the Fleet begins to recognize that the Confederacy is dead and not being rebuilt any time soon; at least not as long as certain traitors hold office.

    If the Fleet were to come to dominance over the Reach, an incredibly unlikely proposition in the first place, the Reach would find itself drastically reordered; free to operate as it saw fit, guarded by an entirely artificial and independent aegis- albeit one that acted as much as a fence pointing inward as it did outward. That being said, though, the Fleet of 2987 is a far different Fleet from the Fleet of 2995, and it remains to be seen whether or not they even still care about the superorder, neglected by their commanders for so long as they have been.

  3. (1, 2) - Anarcho-Syndicalism, its largely-independent rebirth in the "modern" day known as Stepanovism has by the 2900s undergone immense changes. Originally enjoying a resurgence in the early 2400s until the Stellar Renaissance and the Three Eights reforms cut revolutionary movements in the Authority down at the knees, it was enabled to truly take shape in the wake of the Authority's collapse, as far-flung HAB infrastructures and utilities were no longer held by a centralized power and could be "redistributed" - Bertie's theory about the Man holding onto power permanently in a spacefaring society proved partially correct; it took an incredibly climactic event to take the means of continuing life out of the Authority's hands and break it apart to a scale where a syndicalist movement could successfully organize. Not, of course, that that fact would give him any satisfaction. In a spacefaring setting anarcho-syndicalism has taken on an aspect of homesteader thought, with its most prominent advocates such as the Assembly of Free Unions in the 95th Corridor believing that self-sufficiency of the habitat, which is to be owned entirely by its unionized inhabitants, is a core necessity in guarding against the reemergence of a class of bourgeoisie.

    Unlike other anarchist schools of thought, spacefaring anarch-syndicalism has actually had its day in the sun, and operates a successful "state" in the form of the Assembly of Free Unions. For the purposes of the scenario we would imagine an Assembly dominant over the Reach, perhaps through its connection to the Network. Though such a thing would run contrary to its stated (hah) goals and Speaker Delisle's own ideals, it might be possible, and its effects could not be overstated. It would see a truly independent anarchic state rise in the Reach for at least a while, and perhaps the Assembly could gather to itself enough power to resist the oncoming influence of the Network and van Heerden's statist ambitions, something it could not do with only the resources of the 95th Corridor at its disposal. However it is entirely possible that in doing so it would be forced to give up its anarchist principles- establishments like Hauptmann and the Navy faction would be difficult to overcome within the Reach's society, and anarcho-syndicalism might find itself overthrown from within once more, tossed back to the scabs after overextending its ability to change other states for the better.

  4. (2, 2) - Resiliency, simply named, present on an overpopulated, resource-depleted Earth. Focuses on rampant transhumanist acceleration with the ultimate goal of ensuring the survival of the homeworld and its dwindling population as the home systems start to be depleted. Genuinely benevolent despite its current situation, it rejects Authority states' notions of bureaucratic authoritarianism just in the same manner as it does other, more mainstream (by the standards of modernity) ideologies. Its ultimate goal, if such a thing can be described, is to enable a sentient being to exist within a simulated, electrically-powered environment and to thus completely cut off the Earth and its inhabitants from the stellar community, as it believes that the stellar community has grown too disconnected from their terrestrial counterparts and those peoples' struggles to ever be successfully implemented into the new order and thus considers them "unwilling missionaries" for its cause. This ultimate goal, though, is not at all mainstream and only held by the most radical adherents to the ideology; the more basic practitioners simply preach a general "doctrine of resiliency" focusing on ensuring the Earth's survival through the next phase of the Anthropocene and the inevitable and ongoing third climate-collapse. It exemplifies why the compass is labelled "less bad", aside from the fact I copied that part from FR- Resiliency is still absolutely insane at their highest levels and is only considered "good" as the other options are states literally focused on cutting humanity out of the act of ruling and literal warlord states who only exist because they control the spice fuel.

    While the inner systems hold hardly any control over a place as far out as the Ninth Circuit, perhaps eventually Earth might one day reach its goal and transcend its own biological limiters; if that were to happen, then the Reach would find itself at the outermost wave of a new breed's birth- a primitive remnant of a humanity that cares not to attend to those it left behind. Earth would become even more shut off from the rest of humanity, bringing its aligned states in Sol and Proxima along with it. The cosmos would be left to the Reach, all but the three stars Humanity first reached for, and while nothing would change for the Reach it would hardly be taken as a good omen by any involved party.

  5. (-2, 1) - State Automation, the other endpoint of the Authority spectrum. Began as an abstract theory written by Arlin Bergmann in 2562 in his paper "On Efficiencies" and Bergmann's Hypothesis described within, the autostate took the concept of the bureaucrat state the Authority had largely adopted to its logical conclusion, namely that if the state was to choose to remove the human factor from its governance it should quite literally remove the human factor from its governance. Bergmann argued that the role played by the state- supplier of food, maintainer of life-support mechanisms, constructor and owner of gates and habitats, protection of its people through military might- could be automated by a high-level computational machine, which would in turn lead to increased efficiency by cutting out paperwork and the bureaucratic organs used to mute potential autocratic power. It would quite literally be an incorruptible system, because the micro-level processes influencing inefficiency in bureaucracy was innately human, and humans had no place in the theoretical system. He was right. Before his death he would come to wish that he wasn't, retracting his paper and choosing to instead advocate for his other, more mainstream ideas. While very few autostates were ever implemented, systems similar to them did arise in the wake of the collapse as abandoned mining and construction systems stockpiled fuel, harvested asteroids, and continued the work of constructing infrastructure for the Authority in those places where they remained operational. While most of these networks collapsed within a hundred years of their foundation as a result of inevitable decay, those people who interacted with them in that time reported the experience to be dehumanizing and unnerving, not in the least bit by the notion that the human domain of statecraft might one day be removed entirely from human hands.

    The Reach becoming entirely consumed by an autostate would be... interesting. No "autostates" exist in the present day; certain distributed automated systems conducting the functions colbureau associates with a state do, but they are often largely automated suppliers for gate networks in the out-of-the-way parts of space deployed by the Authority in the 2700s, near the end of its days. They keep the gates running and nothing more. The Reach devolving entirely into an autostate would require the continued existence and dominance of the Interim Government long enough for it to become a colbureau, and then for a faction within its governance (likely the Bureaucrats) to jump the rails and embrace the funi gamer ideology Bergmann's hypothesis in its entirety. It would then work to solidify the bureaucracy, lay off vast swathes of its infrastructural personnel, and throw its back entirely behind the war effort. Once the warlords in the upper corridor had been crushed, it would then begin a generations-long process of obsoleting itself; if it was successful, then by the end of it there would be no human face to its governance. Data would be inputted and prescriptions automatically implemented to ensure the functions of state were carried on. These functions would have no consideration for humans and would quite possibly consider human resources dead weight within its own system; thus the Reach's populace would in all likelihood find itself slowly shuffled out of the region while the state continued its trading with itself, its self-exploitation and self-consumption, all based purely on its input parameters. It would stockpile fuel and ships and logistics material and refineries and everything it needed to meet the qualifiers of "state" in its mind. And it would fall into a dead repetition- a machine with its purpose, its humanity, its reason for existence removed, yet still turning forever nonetheless.

  6. (-1, 1) - Private Military Corporations, while not a new development, have in the 2900s come into prominence along with their counterparts the ice-mafia and the resource state. They in actuality serve as an alternative to that ideology, the PMC having been incorporated into the concept of more standard states long ago as a means of countering and removing the power to wage war from the state. This is ideologically justified on a mass scale by the argument that by acting as an unbiased outside force wholly independent of an ideologically-motivated state a PMC would be better suited to provide protection and avoid unnecessary conflict. In practice this is justified by the fact that most spacefaring powers are relatively small and lack the funds to maintain anything beyond a simple security force and militia, a worry that a PMC alleviates- and ultimately that security is worth more than any ideology to the nations that find themselves pressed to invite their new, heavily-armed friends into their zones of influence.

  7. (1, 1) - Colonial Bureaucracy with Han Characteristics is perhaps one of the oddest mainstream ideologies extant in the 2900s, thanks to the fact it seemingly sprung into appearance without any sort of precursor or impetus for its existence. This, of course, isn't true; it was in fact a rather predictable outgrowth of colonial-bureaucracy states modeled after the Authority experiencing a degree of troubled development. Instead of looking outwards for solutions, or simply ignoring them, this particular flavor of bureaucratic state arose from a look backwards to Han bureaucracy and adopting certain successful traits to take into a modern, starfaring setting. These most commonly included the adoption of a rigorous examination system and the subsequent restriction of the bureaucracy to an intellectual upper-class, the belief behind this change being that such a thing would permit a more efficient system, delegating the grunt-work of a paper-shuffling bureaucracy to automated systems wherever possible while controlling the system with a firm, educated hand from above. Note that those states that adopt this model do not call it by its name; rather it is almost exclusively referred to as a variant flavor of colonial bureaucracy.

  8. (2, 1) - Democratic Exceptionalism, named for its connection to the concept of American Exceptionalism, is the belief that the democratic system is inherently superior to nondemocratic ones, and must therefore be enforced at all costs. It was especially prominent in the defunct Confederacy of Liam's Reach, which believed both in its own superiority as a "democracy" and which ironically enough slipped further and further into authoritarianism in its attempt to secure itself against incursions from its more bureaucratic and authoritarian neighbors. There's not much to say, really; without the sort of conflicts that would lead to a democratic renaissance like the Enlightenment becoming apparent once more, and with the maturing of authoritarian systems of governance in the stellar environment, those remaining democratic spacefaring states large enough to be relevant are becoming increasingly radicalized and hostile to others as democracy becomes less and less feasible.

  9. (-2, -1) - Enforced Segregation and ethnostates are back as well. Well, sort of. In the absence of any real dividing boundaries in space, with nations built along trade routes and ethnic divisions largely rendered meaningless among the spacefaring population, there has been in the wake of the Authority's collapse a small but growing sentiment among some populations that segregating historical enemies from one another or creating "cultural hubs" for ethnic groups apart from each other would serve to reduce the strife that plagues the interstellar community. The essence behind it is a belief that these divisions among humanity, which its proponents admit is artificial, are somehow important to society's function (though they often cannot explain why) and should thus be remade, by force if necessary. The chief banner-bearer for this ideology is the Zion for All movement, born in the 2700s out of the theorizing of wealthy resource-barons in the coreward trade lines and their warlord friends, based around the ideal of providing a "Zion" for every spacefaring culture by forcibly segregating them into ethnostates. It has largely devolved into a vague sentiment against miscegenation that tends to be laughed out of more civilized circles. In fact, after a number of massacres perpetrated by the creed's adherents in the 2860s, it is largely banned outside of a few irrelevant squabbling states in the coreward fringes of inhabited space. Nonetheless, the harm it did for the period it gained influence- ever so short as that was- was immense, as functionally it served as little more than an excuse for violence.

  10. (-1, -1) - Neo-Mercantilism, unlike more esoteric ideologies on this list, is a largely self-explanatory form of economics, and one that isn't afraid to wear its identity bald-faced, either. Hiding behind walls of philosophy is largely unnecessary when one can instead hide behind mountains of transit chits. The most basic idea behind it is the same behind bureaucratic authority-states choosing to adopt a style of government more efficient in terms of resource-distribution- that is, in the modern spacefaring environment, a state's lifeblood is how quickly it can transport fuel slurry and other vital units of commerce throughout its arteries, its gate network. Control of resources and the production of those resources is the sole definition of power in space. As such, a neo-mercantilist state is a state that chooses to explicitly develop favorable trading exclaves and cultivate those lines of trade so as to ensure the flow of resources between its member organs. Often organized along the lines of developmental corporations and protectorate alliances, neo-mercantilists tend to be controlling of their trade routes, rather hesitant to militarize, and favoring of a more hands-off approach to governance. As long as they turn a profit at the end of the day, and as long as their exclusive economic zones remain theirs and theirs alone, they remain fat, happy, and content behind their mercenary armies and assured of their own survival. After all, someone has to operate those superhaulers and ship their several-billion-chit cargoes, and it might as well be those enlightened to the markets' operations. Neo-mercantilism in the modern day enjoys a prosperity that the East India Companies of the past can only dream of, largely thanks to the fact that it has been... tempered by time into a state bearing far more similarities to the sharecropper and the landowner than the trader and the merchant- the new mercantilists prefer to own the ports and to a certain extent the workers rather than the ships.

  11. (1, -1) - Colonial Bureaucracy, the dominant ideology present on the spacefaring stage, is in essence the notion that a state that is well-ordered first and foremost will operate smoothly no matter what comes its way. Colonial bureaucracies are states modeled after the Colonial Authority but not directly descended from it, thus styled after that agency and its manner of directing colonization, albeit modified for a more static rather than expansionist perspective. An authority-state runs off paperwork and acquisitions, on centralized economic planning and quota-setting dependent on accurate knowledge of general trends and available resources in a marketplace; it quite literally boils down a state to a set of boxes, even the old Colonial Authority reconciling absolute authoritarianism with a free market by managing the "injection and extraction" of goods into a black-box "market environment" aboard each habitat or drift under their control. However, to simplify it to "soul-crushing paperwork state" is to both critically misrepresent it and to ignore the factors leading to its creation and its present prosperity. In essence, a Bureaucracy-styled state (or colbureau, to use the short name) is a space agency, or a state modeled after the Agency- the Colonial Authority, remnants of which are still extant today. It is a state modeled to the unique complications and, er, benefits of spacefaring civilisation; namely, that signals take time to travel and that life is maintained only by complex machinery- often owned and maintained by the power that established whatever habitat is being governed. Colbureau's formalized philosophy, where it exists, posits that in such an environment an authoritarian, top-down and yet oddly decentralized mode of government is the only way to ensure the stability of a spacefaring society on any large scale. Thus colbureaus gain their moniker of "paperwork state", as mentioned above- they manage to overcome the issue of light-lag and signal delay in ensuring the upper management's edicts are carried out through force-projection, direct control of life-support, and through using an expansive bureaucracy to manage planning largely automatically. Essentially, the "ruler" does not exist in a colbureau. There is a board of directors, or a directing committee, or even in some cases a single autocrat, but on the whole decisions are made by local governors and by algorithms, paperwork, and other inhuman mechanisms of governance. The basic assumption depends on it- colbureau assumes that humanity is inherently unsuited to sustainable long-term governance, and that the most functional, survivable governances even on old Earth, which it too rejects as an unsustainable home, were the ones that planned ahead and did not permit either the autocrat or the liberal to take root in its society. No single ruler could be perfect, and the will of the people was flighty and stupid; thus, it was optimal to block out humanity from those portions of governance that did not require it, and such a thing could be done through bureaucratic systems and wherever possible automation. These ideas, one must note, were largely conceived during the Stellar Renaissance of the 2400s and 2500s, the main thinkers of colbureau- Bergmann, Ngugi, Pershing, van der Lyn, and a dozen others foundational to the guiding principles of colbureau, Han colbureau, the autostate, demburea, and even to some extent the baronies and ice-mafia states populating the fringes of humanity's cosmos- living and dying during this period.

  12. (2, -1) - Dembureau, alternatively described in the 2990s as colbureau with democratic characteristics or republicanism with colonial characteristics is a means of classifying the result of intermingling democratic traditions and colonial bureaucracies in the interstellar environment. It is the second-most-prevalent large-scale mode of organizing societies, marked by a small-scale democratic establishment operating within a large-scale bureaucratic state. Dembureau is originally Matthias van der Lyn's brainchild when exercised as a philosophy; however, thanks to the material conditions van der Lyn established as being necessary for true dembureau to exist it is in practice largely merely a name used as a facade for falling democratic states or liberalizing colbureaus to justify their actions. In particular it tends to be bandied about as a means to explain the growing influence and dominance of colburea in "galactic west" territory, particularly the Ninth Circuit (Corrs. 90-99) and the Fifth Circuit (Corrs. 50-59). The Colonial Network can be described as a dembureau, for instance, when taken from a high level; its use of a confederated mode of governance with representatives of each member-state voting on how the Network as a whole could theoretically be considered dembureau. That being said, a key point of van der Lyn's theory in On the Synthesis of Liberalism and Functioning Society was that dembureau would involve democratic institutions at a community level, whereas the Network instead operates as a bureaucratic state at a community level and institutes democratic policies in relations between member states. Thus the Network serves more as a microcosm of how dembureau has been corrupted rather than implemented- states describing themselves as dembureaus never reach it, as the institute requires conditions for founding that have not yet been instituted. Thus dembureau has been in the 2990s bent to refer largely to "liberal bureaucracies", states where- for example- the ruling class has instituted bureaucratic protocols in distribution of government resources or nationalized industry, or where the power of the vote as a means of directing the State has been entirely declawed in favor of an analysis of the material conditions colbureau's prescriptions choose to emphasize.

  13. (-2, -2) - The Resource State,

  14. (-1, -2) - The Ice-Mafia,

  15. (1, -2) - Remnant Authority Powers

  16. (2, -2) - And lastly, spacer homesteading; hardly a cohesive ideology, this square merely refers to the concept of independent habitats that exist uninfluenced by the principle of minimum consumption that shapes even anarcho-syndicalist powers. Homesteaders live with enough CHNOPS available to them to ensure that each habitat is self-sufficient and theoretically a world unto itself; they are not in any way dependent on others to fulfill their basic needs. Throughout history spacer homesteading has sprung up at the edges of society and the gaps the states fail to fill in, a prime early example being Miranda-22, an abandoned habitat cooperating with other ignored habitats in a system of no value except as a way-station for freighters. While those stations existed as a part of the Authority's broader trade network they were theoretically only a step or two away from existing as completely self-sufficient powers thanks to their out-of-the-way positioning and their system's status as a flyover region of space not worth colonizing. These voids have always historically been filled by pioneers, and most of the time their communities have persisted for as long as their equipment has; they are purely apolitical and though living conditions vary amongst them they hardly empathize with the oppressive nature of colbureau, the insane extrapolation of AST, or the crushing, grinding gears of the autostate's artificially-driven exploitation. It is a shame, then, that they never could gain any sort of prominence; to grow larger as a homesteading power is to evolve into an ice-mafia or a resource state, to take self-sufficiency and substitute it with a need to exploit outside resources- be that an organized effort or a mere ramshackle effect of the progression of time.

    But what if it wasn't? What if it was possible for, say, the Reach to become entirely overcome by homesteading stations? In that case it would cease to be organized in any recognizable sense; community influence and interpersonal relations would become the extent of human politicking in the region. Trade would largely cease and it's entirely possible that transit rates might drop to Authority-standard levels once more, raising the value of the transit chit and thus its practicality as a universal currency once more. But such a thing would hardly last; like in the implementation of AST, the Reach is so weapons-saturated and such a juicy target for surrounding powers that it would likely be subject to prompt and immediate attempts at subjugation. AST's enforced attempts at bringing about a homesteader scenario might actually serve to enable it to last longer against invaders than an entirely homesteading Reach, in fact; at least there would be some degree of communication between the different habitats apart from informal in such a scenario. Here, though, there would be very little, and a return to 2995's status quo situation of warlordism and colbureau striving against each other would likely be imminent.