Needs Help: The Republic

Deadlock Clock: 22nd Aug 2014 11:59:00 PM
Total posts: [30]
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1 Rotpar5th Apr 2014 07:00:32 PM from California , Relationship Status: Get out of here, STALKER
The Republic is a trope with no examples and a shaky definition. It has 144 wicks and 99 inbounds.

At some point in the past, a few of us on Ask the Tropers stumbled onto The Republic. We weren't really certain of what the trope is, or should, be about. DracMonster kicked it to YKTTW, and that draft is here. arbiter099 suggested this was really a TRS action and the draft has gotten almost no attention since.

This is the earliest Wayback draft I can find. This page has never had examples. I'm not sure how it gets wicks. I think misguided Star Wars fans might be the culprit. We have The Empire, The Alliance, and The Federation, Star Wars has the they made it a Wiki Word, tossed a description at it, and now people just bluelink to The Republic without reading it. Of course "the Republic" is just like the one from Star Wars, right?

Reading the description, I'm not sure what purpose it serves. It really sounds like The Federation but named after the Galactic Republic. In particular, this part: "The Trope Namer can be attributed as The Galactic Republic, usually referred to as just The Republic. However, in trope terms it's more like The Federation" -leads me to question if the trope has a proper role in our "The Nation" tropes.

As I understand the other related tropes:
  • The Empire is the warmongering villain nation. According to the description, The Republic is the Good Counterpart to The Empire.
  • The Alliance is The Team for nations, usually fighting The Empire.
  • The Federation is a group of "good" nations. It may be incompetent or weak but it's not overtly evil. It may or may not be fighting The Empire.
  • The Kingdom is the hero nation. Often the underdog in a fight against The Empire and in need of rescue.

I think The Republic is intended to be another heroic nation; more unified than The Federation, plus or minus an enemy like The Alliance? With or without internal problems? Larger and less threatened than The Kingdom?

I ran a check through some wicks. They're not looking good and are mostly Zero Context Examples. From these, I've learned the Republic is The Republic, Exactly What It Says on the Tin and also Shaped Like Itself.

This one is more helpful:
  • StarCraft: The Umojan Protectorate, which of all the major Terran states seems to be the only one that's consistently "good".

So, The Republic is the good nation...well, I said more helpful.

I'm not sure what needs to be done with the trope. Is it another "the Nation" trope that we need to flesh out? Is it a duplicate version of The Federation? People are obviously coming to us via this trope...but is it from Star Wars fans, looking for the Galactic Republic?

One thing that can be done, would be to cross-wick examples with proper context onto the page itself. If it is a distinct trope then that's really all the work it needs.

edited 6th Apr '14 10:12:52 AM by Rotpar

"But don't give up hope. Everyone is cured sooner or later. In the end we shall shoot you." - O'Brien, 1984
2 Fighteer5th Apr 2014 08:01:44 PM from the Time Vortex , Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
I seem to recall being part of the conversation that discovered the trope and tried to figure out what the hell it was. I'm all for cutting it or redirecting it to The Federation.

Exceptional OP, by the way.

edited 5th Apr '14 8:02:03 PM by Fighteer

I thought the point of The Republic was that is has ideals that it is fighting to spread. ("Democracy" or "freedom" being the most common). Thus the main difference between the Republic and the Federation is that the Federation is more live and let live. The Republic is more likely to go to war to stop the slave trade or something.

Thus it's usually a good nation, but can alternatively be a Knight Templar (think France and the Reign of Terror). A more middle ground is that it generally tries to do the right thing, but incompetence and corruption tends to make it slow and clumsy about it.

Often the powerful nation that comes in as the counterpart to the Empire and helps save The Kingdom. In these cases the Republic is prone to lots of arguments, discussion, and even corruption slowing it down in mobilizing, and so the Kingdom has to hold on until the Republic can get it's act together and shows up as nation equivalent to The Calvary.

Also very commonly used as the back story of the present state. The nation was good as The Republic, and then it becomes The Empire. Obvious historical examples are Rome, the First French Republic, and even Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. This is how it is used in Star Wars.

Alternatively it's the back story to the current mix of small nations that used to be a larger Republic that combined all the nations.

I'd say that it's often used as the vague "good" nation when writers don't want to go into details. After all, republics are good by default right? Or so the current social standards figure.

edited 5th Apr '14 9:11:41 PM by Sackett

4 SeptimusHeap6th Apr 2014 02:33:52 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
The Federation, per its description, does require a federation. It's not just one state.
5 Rotpar6th Apr 2014 10:12:14 AM from California , Relationship Status: Get out of here, STALKER

Thank you.


Alright, so without making this political, using a Weird World War 2 as the settingnote :

  • The Empire: Nazi Germany. The warmongering nation causing problems and practicing evil ideals like slavery and necromancy.
  • The Alliance: The Allies, the team of nations fighting the Empire.
  • The Kingdom: England and France. Good nations, believing in good ideals like freedom and healing magic, being threatened by the Empire.
  • The Republic: The United States. Has good ideals that it fights for, like freedom and magically feeding the hungry. Has issues; instead of The Good King, it has an obtrusive, bickering Congress slowing it down, or sometimes inflicting its ideals on other countries. It's really trying to be good, but can struggle with corruption, taking the ideals too far, or risks President Evil turning it into the new Empire.
  • The Federation: The United Nations, founded after the war. A collection of countries trying to work together for good ideals, like promoting freedom, healing spells, and feeding the hungry. Just as prone to issues as the Republic, like corruption and slow bureaucracy, though as a group of nations it's less likely to run off and inflict unwanted aid.

edited 6th Apr '14 10:15:33 AM by Rotpar

"But don't give up hope. Everyone is cured sooner or later. In the end we shall shoot you." - O'Brien, 1984
[up]Yup, something like that.

An interesting case is Crest of the Stars.

In which our protagonists are fighting for The Empire against The Republic. You sit and think that you tend to agree with the villain philosophy much more then the heroes.

Essentially the heroes want to dominate the space travel so as to contain humanity and prevent it from evolving. Since evolving would necessitate a lot of war and stupid violence. So obviously we should take the power away from people and have them be ruled by philosopher kings.

The villains want humanity to be free to spread across the stars and work things out for themselves, even if that means they make a hash of things along the way.

If only the The Republic wasn't run by asshats while The Empire rulers we see are generally pretty honorable and nice. You know... benevolent, except for the dictator part.

edited 7th Apr '14 10:13:13 PM by Sackett

7 Lakija8th Apr 2014 11:30:47 PM from Chicago , Relationship Status: Maxing my social links
If it would help, The Republic is a book written by Plato in which he describes a just city-state. I remember it from school. This may or may not help with defining what the page could be, but hopefully it does help. From Spark Notes:

"[In The Republic] An ideal society consists of three main classes of people—producers (craftsmen, farmers, artisans, etc.), auxiliaries (warriors), and guardians (rulers); a society is just when relations between these three classes are right. Each group must perform its appropriate function, and only that function, and each must be in the right position of power in relation to the others. Rulers must rule, auxiliaries must uphold rulers’ convictions, and producers must limit themselves to exercising whatever skills nature granted them... Justice is a principle of specialization: a principle that requires that each person fulfill the societal role to which nature fitted him and not interfere in any other business."
It is what it is.
As interesting as it is, it really isn't relevant. Modern usage of the word is based more on the Roman tradition and then on the use of the world during the Enlightenment era and even latter. Strictly speaking, it simply means a state without a monarchy, but noways most Americans associate it with the idea of constitutional government, liberty, and representative democracy.
9 Lakija9th Apr 2014 08:28:32 AM from Chicago , Relationship Status: Maxing my social links
[up]Ah. Well, this kind of stuff was never my forte. :) The page itself could use some hedge trimmers.
It is what it is.
10 Rotpar21st Apr 2014 12:59:00 PM from California , Relationship Status: Get out of here, STALKER
Since we can view where the inbounds are coming from now, trying to find out what the rest of the Intra-webs thinks the Republic is.

First batch, going down the list:
  • 1 Just links to The Nation tropes as further reading.
  • 2 Private forum group, no idea what they're up to.
  • 3 Circular link
  • 4 Blank Twitter page?
  • 5 World building for a game and they're discussing the game's content in terms of tropes. I'll dig around through other pages here for more context later.
    • "New Aginia" is the Republic, Werace was one that fell to corruption.
  • 6 Discussion of a Minecraft mod/server.
    • The Constitutional Republic of Columbia is a democratic "minarchist city-state" and modelled on the USA.
  • 7 Forum/discussion for the above, not finding mention of the trope here.
  • 8 Blog about a sci-fi setting. Not seeing mention of the trope.
  • 9 No idea.
  • 10 Blockland mod forum. Just mentioning The Nation tropes as being generic names.
  • 11 Same as 9.
  • 12 This may have to be mined a bit. NationStates is a political browser game about diplomacy and governing a country. If anyone is using this trope, it may be this game. This page is assigning tropes to player nations and at the moment has two mentions:

Not much to go on so far. Italicized sub-bullets will be relevant, trope-defining information I can find.

edited 21st Apr '14 1:09:47 PM by Rotpar

"But don't give up hope. Everyone is cured sooner or later. In the end we shall shoot you." - O'Brien, 1984
11 Rotpar4th May 2014 09:43:29 PM from California , Relationship Status: Get out of here, STALKER
More overall unfruitful fun.

  • 13 Forum for a miniatures wargame. Some use, describing a faction as being similar to the Tau of Warhammer40000.
    • Cygnar are a bit like Tau, they are the Good Guys(The Republic hotlink)...They are also the beleagered nation at the center of the setting, barely able to defend themselves against the evil enemies surrounding them on all sides...Cuturally, they are a mix of US and british elements (circa 1850-1920), with both high lords and cowboys among their ranks.
  • 14 No idea. Company website.
  • 15 Another weird Twitter link.
  • 16 Dead link?
  • 17 Changelog for a site about realistic science fact, this may be the site that introduced me to TV Tropes in the first place! Not seeing any links to this article though, there is a lot of topics here to look at. May find something later.
  • 18 Error message, think it's linking to an Livejournal post being edited by the user, heideg from below.
  • 19 Livejournal post by heideg. It's in Russian.
  • 20 More of the same from heideg's Livejournal. The source says it's a counter tracking hits to the above.

edited 4th May '14 9:48:48 PM by Rotpar

"But don't give up hope. Everyone is cured sooner or later. In the end we shall shoot you." - O'Brien, 1984
I think the inbounds are less interesting and relevant than how this is being used on this wiki. Perhaps a wick check would be useful?
13 Fighteer5th May 2014 07:11:42 AM from the Time Vortex , Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
From those inbounds, it seems to be attracting links just on the basis of its title, which is consistent with what we found when we looked at the wicks a while back.
My two cents:

I have a problem with not only The Republic, but also The Kingdom, The Alliance, The Federation, and above all The Empire.

Forms of government are not tropes, and it would appear that all these tropes tend to attract use simply because there is an In-Universe organization/nation with a similar name or formal political structure, rather than because the moral and other storytelling associates spelled out on the trope description page are present.

Now, if it were The Good Kingdom, The Good Alliance, The Evil Empire etc, that might work better.

edited 5th May '14 8:48:02 AM by Catbert

15 Rotpar5th May 2014 09:18:57 AM from California , Relationship Status: Get out of here, STALKER
I'll post more checked wicks later. The problem is from what I've seen is that we have a ton of Zero Context Examples like the ones in the original post. That's why I'm checking the inbounds, I'm trying to figure out what the rest of the Internet thinks The Republic is if TV Tropes is saying "it's the place with 'Republic' in the name, duh".

As a whole, I think the other The Nation tropes are working. I haven't checked them but then they weren't the tropes without examples.
"But don't give up hope. Everyone is cured sooner or later. In the end we shall shoot you." - O'Brien, 1984
16 Fighteer5th May 2014 09:25:26 AM from the Time Vortex , Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Right, proving misuse across the entire swathe of tropes of which The Republic is a part is a much bigger issue. We identified problems with this one precisely because it was misused in stark contrast with the others.
17 Rotpar5th May 2014 01:09:08 PM from California , Relationship Status: Get out of here, STALKER
Have some more wicks.

More of the same really.
"But don't give up hope. Everyone is cured sooner or later. In the end we shall shoot you." - O'Brien, 1984
18 Fighteer5th May 2014 01:51:42 PM from the Time Vortex , Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
So, they are all either not contextualized or are assuming a definition of The Republic as, well, a republic, which is meaningless trope-wise.
Plato's Republic actually does imply a bit of what I identified above as my understanding of The Republic.

It is Plato's presentation of what he believes the ideal government would be - and it goes far beyond forms of government. It's also rather controversial, which is why Aristotle wrote "Politics" as a response and rebuttal to Plato's Republic. Ever since, Plato's Republic has been a symbolic reference for both utopia and dystopia.

The Republic is also strongly associated with Rome, and America (see Battle Hymn of the Republic). Although the country I tend to think of most when I hear "The Republic" is France.

I do agree that perhaps we should look at switching primary names and redirects between "The Empire" and "The Evil Empire" for all of the nation tropes.
Agree with the above suggestion to add a modifier to the 'nation' noun (Evil Empire, Good Kingdom, Long-founded Federation (?) Rising Alliance (?))

IMO, each of those basic concepts carries a 'flavor' (evil, good, revolutionary, etc) that, added to the concept, makes a trope. By itself, though, the concept is NSM a trope. (Again, IMO).
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
That sounds interesting, but what "flavour" applies to The Republic? "Democratic"? "Slow"?
[up] "Representative"? "Free"? (hmmm...I like "Free" - carries a 'positive' tone (which works with, instead of against, the pop culture influence of Star Wars) but is distinctly different from Good Kingdom.)

Let's see - Evil Empire, Good Kingdom, Free Republic, Upstart Alliance...Beloved Country (?) Functional Federation (?) (That last one really doesn't have a good ring to it...)

Universal Union might be an Evil Empire that has been at the job so long that they're really just a Functional Federation without an opt-out clause. Aaaannnddd I might be really splitting hairs here.
23 Rotpar4th Jun 2014 12:08:20 PM from California , Relationship Status: Get out of here, STALKER
Ultimately, that's a subject for a different topic.

But while I'm off-topic: I think the thing with The Empire is that the "evil" doesn't need to be stated. You could call the trope All Empires Are Evil because all empires are evil. Maybe it snowcloned off into too many, half-baked/possibly-malfunctioning The Nation tropes. But "the Empire" is evil because, in media, the term empire is associated with evil, militarism, oppression, etc. It's like changing The Hero to The Good Hero—we don't need to be told he's good, he's the Hero and heroes are good.

One last off-topic bit: the other The Nation tropes have decent inbounds, all around one hundred like this trope somehow acquired. The Federation seems to be the second healthiest of them, with nearly 400. The Empire has three thousand inbounds, so I think it's probably working fine.

I've been busy, haven't checked any wicks, and discussion stalled for a bit. I'm not sure if there's any real hope for this trope. I don't think we can just cut it though, it has inbounds, another dozen or so since I started the topic. I don't know what those weird "The Republic is the place called the republic" inbounds are doing for anyone though.

edited 4th Jun '14 12:15:05 PM by Rotpar

"But don't give up hope. Everyone is cured sooner or later. In the end we shall shoot you." - O'Brien, 1984
Except not all Heroes are good, nor are all Empires evil.

Furthermore the analogy does not hold because the main point of The Hero trope is that the character is the hero, not that the hero is good (we have other tropes for that). While for The Empire trope the point of the trope is not "it's an empire" but rather that the empire is evil. It only makes sense to add it to the main trope name. Since empires are predominantly evil I'm fine with The Empire remaining a redirect (plus we keep the inbounds).

As for the correct modifier for The Republic, I'd say something like The Idealist Republic since that to me keys in on the main thing about The Republic. The Republic is run by ideologues, they have ideals that they fight for, making them generally good, but some times leads them into Knight Templar territory, and can make them slow to do anything since they have to argue about every little thing. It also sets them up nicely as a contrast the The Empire that they might become if The Republic falls.

We probably ought to have a trope for that specific scenario: Fallen Republic.
25 nrjxll14th Jun 2014 11:51:07 PM , Relationship Status: Not war
I always sort of assumed The Republic was the monolithic equivalent to The Federation - an (essentially) positively-portrayed democratic government that either our heroes work for or is more or less on their side, but whereas The Federation consists of a lot of cultures or groups united under a common authority, The Republic is more of an unified nation-state.

Total posts: 30
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