Follow TV Tropes

Following

Literature / An Examination Of Extra Universal Systems Of Government

Go To

An Examination of Extra-Universal Systems of Government is a Mockumentary, consisting of entries written by Ephraim Ben Raphael and others on the AlternateHistory.com forum, which examines "different styles of government from throughout the multiverse". Some of the scenarios presented also feature detailed maps expanding on the world of the original entry, made by rvbomally (also a contributor), which can also be found on rvbomally's deviantArt.

Advertisement:

All individual entries follow Aguaribay Chaná, a Guarani man born in a repressive world-state in what is in our world Paraguay, who travels a multiverse of different Alternate History worlds known as the "Nutshell" (present in other works of Ephraim Ben Raphael, such as the novella "Philosophy is Like Big Game Hunting"). The entries are written in a journalistic style, where Chaná arrives in the examined state in question (or at least somewhere near it) and interviews someone from said state who defends its existence and/or ideology, and usually someone who is opposed to the state and/or its ideology (this structure is not set in stone, however). Chaná is usually neutral, and the entries are written from his perspective, with occasional breaks where he explains the history or ideology of the state himself. At the end of each entry there is usually a flag and a small map of the political entity presented.

Advertisement:

The maps made by rvbomally are very detailed, giving a name to the worlds where states of previous entries reside. They contain a coloured legend of alliances, blocs and other entities of interest and a numbered list of impersonal observations based on the entry in question. These flesh out the original stories and explain how those weird states came into being, while introducing new ideas of its own.


Advertisement:

This work contains the following tropes:

  • Balkanize Me:
    • In the War Has Changed universe, the Republic of South Africa fractured violently in a civil war in 1984 and split into breakaway ethnostates (described as Yugoslavia on steroids). Pretoria, Jo'burg and Durban were nuked during the civil war as a last resort on the behalf of the Apartheid government. The successor states are a moderate Cape Republic, a radical Afrikaner Volkstaat, a Zulu Kingdom and a neo-Communist Azania in the Transvaal/Orange Republic area. The Afrikaner Volkstaat engages in the occasional border war with their Communist Azanian neighbors to the north while SADF-backed mercenaries operate all over the former South African Republic to restore their country.
    • China falls to a Second Civil War after an alternate version of the Tiananmen Protests takes place. Taiwan intervenes in the Civil War and manages to snag the southern portion of the former PRC, while a moderate reformist faction on the mainland takes the rest of the state. The current situation is described like a reverse Korean Conflict, albeit it’s moderate liberalism vs autocratic conservatism.
    • In the Iranian Citizens' Republic universe, Iran was split in the early 1900s between the Russian-backed Empire of Iran in the north and the British protectorate Kingdom of Iran in the south. When the latter was invaded by the Workers' Federation (the communist successor to the British Empire), they executed the royal family but the military fought on, eventually turning South Iran into the aforementioned republic, where only soldiers are citizens.
  • Bread and Circuses: The election process in the Federation of Japan works this way. In short, following an alternate World War II Japan was invaded and occupied by the United States, the Emperor was killed and their government was replaced with an American style democracy. However, the presidential elections are popularity contests and the elected politicians are old actors and sports stars. The real powers lies in the Japanese bureaucracy.
  • Defector from Decadence:
    • Francisco Citoyen is the first defector of the Guantanamo Regime after becoming very doubtful of the Butler regime's propagandist teachings and how the Butler regime treated those that defy his rule. Francisco escaped by planning a prison break and allowing some 150 prisoners to flee into Cuban soil.
    • Margaret Pemberton is a defector from the American Union in which she protested against corruption in the Sovereignist Party and their silence on the Population Transfers.
  • Democracy Is Bad:
    • The Federation of Japan was established with an American-style democratic government following a World War II that had Japan occupied by the Americans and the Emperor killed. However, the Japanese people grew extremely restless under American occupation and the threat of nuclear annihilation during the Cold War that almost caused the country to fall into civil war between Communists and neo-Imperialists. Ultimately this led to Japan falling under the rule of its bureaucracies who refused to have frothing ideologues leading the country into ruins. But they couldn't outright get rid of democracy because it had been ingrained in the country for decades and otherwise this would make everyone think they were going back to the old imperial ways. So instead the bureaucracies made the election process meaningless by simply turning it into a game show to please the public.
    • Democracy is seen as utterly flawed by the American Union ruled by the Sovereignist Party. They claim that democracy in a heterogeneous population inevitably leads to ethnic factionalism, and if democracy were to ever work it would only do so after the Union created a more successful homogeneous society.
  • Different States of America:
    • The Republic of New Sparta is the result of the American Revolution that was salvaged by the southern colonies after the north was crushed by the British.
    • The Kingdom of America is the result of the failures of the Constitutional Convention that led to America being ruled under the dynasty of George Washington.
  • Divided States of America:
    • In the Guatemala Incorporated universe, a Second American Civil War broke out in the 1930s, which resolved in a ceasefire between variant claimants to legitimacy — a military government runs the Pacific holdings from Hawaii (though is now a Japanese Puppet State), the Constituent Assembly controls the West Coast and part of the southwest, the British-backed Continental Congress controls most of the center of the continent, the American Soviet Republic controls things from New England to the Great Lakes and down to part of the Upper South, and a remnant of the fascist "White" movement controls Florida. There are also several breakaways — Maine declared independence and eventually joined Canada (taking part of New Hampshire with it), most of the Deep South and part of the Upper South is the black socialist Republic of New Africa, there's a warlord state running things in the region surrounding the Grand Canyon, and the US Navy forces in Guantanamo (while technically loyal to the military government) run it as a de facto city-state.
    • In the Southron Popular Republic timeline, the Confederate States win the American Civil War and successfully break away. But later on, after the CSA ends up on the losing side of the Great War, they suffer a Communist revolution, which results in Texas and the Indian Republic (OTL Indian Territories/Oklahoma) breaking away and declaring independence. And back in the US, a second civil war breaks out in the 1930s due to public backlash against government corruption during the Great Depression; by the time it's done, California has declared its own independence.
  • Eco-Terrorist: The Mother Earth Army, which seeks to bring down the industrialized world and ultimately restore mankind to a primitive, pre-agricultural state.
  • Empire with a Dark Secret: The American Union has the Population Transfers which deported "undesirable populations" back to their "appropriate homelands" and the Americans are not so ashamed by it. What the Americans refused to speak about is the "internal movements" as during the aftermath of the Second Great War; the American government forcibly deported millions of people from newly annexed Canada to labor camps in the Northern Territories in which hundreds of thousands died in the journey and the rest were worked to death. This has often been called a Second Trail of Tears. What is even worse is that the rest of the world go along with the Sovereignist Party's silence because they do not want to alienate a rich nation with untapped resources which they have a huge investment on.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Chana puts up with a lot of nonsense, but one thing he will not tolerate is slavery. When he visits the People's Republic of the Antilles, he's clearly barely able to repress his disgust at the nation's existence, and also notes that the other communist states of that world all reject the Antilles as true communists due to still practicing slavery.
    • The official line in the Free German Reich is that in their timeline, Hitler only ordered the relocation of Jews and Slavs, and had nothing to do with the Holocaust, with his discovery of the death camps being what led to his fallout with Himmler. Other governments in this timeline dispute this, claiming that Hitler knew all about the Holocaust and only stopped it out of Pragmatic Villainy (to maintain a cheap workforce), with his division with Himmler coming over the latter's insane plan to nuke Poland.
    • Frederick Eaton is a Nazi who believes in racial purity and pure-white America. However, he is horrified by the futurist faction of the National Socialist States of North America for its their apocalyptic warmongering, destruction of America's cultural heritage, and willingness to destroy American Christianity.
  • Expanded States of America: The American Union consists of the mainland and Canada except Alaska (still owned by Russia) and Quebec (which also took over Newfoundland and Nova Scotia).
  • Fallen States of America: The United States in the world of the Guantanamo Regime crumbles after the tyrannical President Evil Edward Butler worsens The War on Terror by indiscriminately bombing the Middle East and nuking Mecca and Medina, and violently putting down opposition to his rule which prompted the American people to revolt against the Butler regime. What is left of the U.S. is Butler's Guantanamo Regime in all but name while the former states in the mainland have joined the North American Union.
  • Feudal Future: The Imperial Union of Humanity is a Deconstruction of this trope as the Empire is implied to be in a state of decline with Crown Princess Marcella Danielle being a reform-minded figure.
  • Government in Exile:
    • Edward Butler considers himself the legitimate government of the United States, even after being driven off the mainland and into being holed-up in Guantanamo.
    • One timeline sees a more successful Soviet space program put several space stations in orbit, operated by hardline Communists. When the Soviet Union collapses as per OTL, they refuse to recognize it, and declare themselves the true authority of Russia, awaiting the time that communism retakes control. Only North Korea recognizes them as legitimate.
    • The American Overseas Republic is a collective of oversea embassies, diplomatic missions, and military bases that refuse to recognize the United States that is ruled by a rogue right-wing American government.
    • The Second Polish Republic is based out of Greenpoint, Queens, but due to various arrangements with the US government and the governments of various other countries with large Polish populations, it manages its own infrastructure and standing army, stationed in land holdings all over the world.
    • The hereditary heads of the French Outremer Company are officially also the French kings-in-exile, having taken over direct control of the company and its territories after being overthrown and forced to flee France itself after losing a war with Germany and Lusitania.
    • In one timeline, the military forces in France's African colonies refused to accept the legitimacy of the Vichy regime, allowing for a new government to be set up based in Algiers, which persists to the present after the Axis and Allies negotiated a ceasefire that left the former in control of Europe. This government isn't an outright junta but is still heavily influenced by the military, which aims to one day retake France proper from German control.
    • When the People's Republic of Bangladesh failed to gain East Pakistan independence from the West, their makeshift government and armed forces managed to maintain themselves in the enclaves of Pakistanis scattered around the ill-defined India/East Pakistan border region. Despite only covering a total of 50 non-contiguous kilometers, they still have a fully functional government supported by India, which funds an ongoing guerrilla insurrection against West Pakistan's control of East Pakistan.
  • Hobbes Was Right:
    • The Republic of New Sparta is a stratocracy built on the works of Hobbes, Machiavelli, and idolizing ancient Sparta, Rome and the empire of Alexander which leads to the ideology called "Neo-Laconianism". New Spartan society is heavily modeled after its ancient namesake and stated that the military are responsible for maintaining a "honest democracy" in which only soldiers have the right to vote and govern New Sparta.
      • The British Politea (which was the result of the British Revolution in the 1820s) follows the ideas of Plato's The Republic and is ruled by the House of Aristocrats, a group of "philosopher-kings" who "love justice and wisdom". Not any different from their New Spartan rival, the Politea has a caste system divided between the "philosopher-kings", the soldiers, and the commoners.
    • The European Empire in the world of The Eleventh Crusade is a united, Christian, militaristic Europe which follows "neoreactionism", rejecting the development of the Enlightenment, embraced the idea that men are unequal, and that power should be concentrated in the hands of a few, yet at the same time they would be burdened with the responsibility of ruling.
    • In the world of George III to George I, monarchism is more popular and republics are a rarity. The alternate American Revolution has George Washington becoming king after the Constitutional Convention failed to form a new constitution, leading to a period of political chaos. By the modern day, American monarchists view the Revolution as a war fought by a new monarchy to guarantee the rights of American colonists rather than as a country founded to remove the monarchy. The Kingdom still retains separation of powers, however, preventing the government from infringing on the citizens' rights.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: When the United States started to revolt against his rule, Butler saw the writing on the wall and fled to Guantanamo with his remaining supporters, though not before securing an arsenal of nukes and most of the gold reserve to take with them.
  • Middle Eastern Coalition: The Islamic Confederation in Who Is John Galt?. It was formed in the wake of the nuclear destruction of Mecca and Medina by the tyrannical president of the US Edward Butler. This alliance consists of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Syria, and are ruled under a theocracy that follows more along the lines of Iran (but Sunni) than ISIS and truly loathes America and the West. It is not a pleasant place to live for women, homosexuality is punished by death, and non-Muslims are a persecuted minority.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name:
    • Russia in The Land is the People replaced Nazi Germany's role following a World War I (known as the "First Global War") won by the Central Powers and committed a less organized and bloody version of the Holocaust, which primarily targeted Jews, Poles, Ukrainians, the Baltic peoples, and anyone suspected of working with Germany. After its defeat in World War II, the current Russian regime denies their predecessor's atrocities and has become a rogue state.
    • The Sovereignist Party follows the ideology that Americans are a naturally inclusive race and refuses to allow the introduction of foreign cultures into theirs. They deported people of non-Caucasian descent from the American Union to their "appropriate homelands". As for those that weren't able or refused to leave, the Sovereignists sent them to forced labor camps in the cold wastes of northern Canada to die. They also promote sterilization.
  • One Nation Under Copyright:
    • Guatemala Incorporated is the result of United Fruit taking direct control of the country and absorbing all its government's assets into itself. Though that said, it left private property alone, and there's a limited democracy in place (all citizens are shareholders from birth, can buy and sell more shares, and have a vote-per-share in choosing the Board of Directors).
    • The Federation of Sovereign Voluntarists, on the other hand, is a dictatorial state in all but name.
    • The remnants of the Republic of South Africa, which makes up of the South African Defense Force, became Private Military Contractors and earned the moniker "South Africa Incorporated".
    • The French Outremer Company spearheaded its universe's French colonial empire, which has territory in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. After the French monarchy was overthrown, they fled to the Company's headquarters in the universe's equivalent of Cape Town, where the kings became hereditary heads of the Company as well, effectively merging the colonial and corporate entities into one, lasting to the present.
  • Oppressive States of America:
    • The United States under the reign of Edward Butler had indiscriminately bombed Islamic countries (including nuking Mecca and Medina), tried to make Islam illegal in America, and placed the country under martial law in an attempt to prevent anyone from opposing or impeaching the Butler regime. Fortunately, Butler's regime didn't last long and America fell into rebellion, resulting in the dissolution the United States and the formation of the North American Union.
    • The U.S. in the world of The Eagle in Exile is described as a "right-wing Soviet Union" after a revolution turned the country into a autocratic state dominated by the military and the "Tea Party Coalition". This caused Americans living overseas and in exile to form the American Overseas Republic.
    • The U.S. in Liberty Now Has A Country underwent a massive surge in the Red Scare in which the government fell under the sway of Joe McCarthy (who eventually became President) and became fervently totalitarian in the 1960s and 1970s. This resulted in a massive revolt against a J. Edgar Hoover-ruled regime in 1977 and leading to the birth of the Federated States of America.
    • Founded from the aftermath of a longer and more violent Civil War and the Second American Revolution, the American Union is a one-party state ruled by the racially inclusive Sovereignist Party, which deport people of non-Caucasian ancestry from its country. Under the old guard of the New Founders, the Sovereignist Party forcibly removed millions of "undesirable populations" to labor camps in Canada's Northern Territories, where thousands died from the journey and the rest were worked to death in the cold—the New Founders believed that the "cold could do the work of poison gas." By the modern day the Americans refuse to talk about the "Second Trail of Tears", as mentioning it is punishable with arrest or worse.
    • The National Socialist States of America is the Nazi-American puppet from The Man in the High Castle becoming its own independent nation. After a coup in 1986, a futurist faction came to power that proceeded to obliterate American culture and Christianity, and pursue an apocalyptic and hypernationalist foreign policy.
  • People's Republic of Tyranny: The Free German Reich claims that they're a democracy with a fully transparent government that televises all proceedings. Other nations refute this, stating that the military-industrial bureaucracy is the real power, with the parliament members being carefully selected before being allowed to run, and those televised proceedings all being scripted. Plus, everything is heavily regulated and policed, and eugenics are still a government-sanctioned norm.
  • Pragmatic Villainy:
    • The American Union supports independence movements in Asia and Africa against European colonialists and imperialists. While the Americans present themselves as liberators, in reality they want to weaken their European rivals and set up puppet governments that benefit the Union's interests.
    • While the Free German Reich claim that their world's Hitler had nothing to do with the Holocaust, other governments in that world state that he knew all about it and only ended it so that the remaining Jews and Slavs could be used as a cheap labor force.
  • President Evil:
    • Edward Butler, a living embodiment of the worst traits of libertarians, objectivists, and the Tea Party movement who nuked several major cities in the Middle East including Mecca and Medina, tried to ban Islam, and suspended habeus corpus. This resulted in an uprising that led to Butler fleeing to Guantanamo Bay, where he essentially become an American version of North Korea's Kim family. He rules this tiny state with an iron fist, and has an arsenal of nuclear ballistic missiles to prevent anyone from taking him out.
    • In the world of Liberty Now Has A Country, Joe McCarthy won the the 1968 presidential election (succeeding Richard Nixon, who won the 1960 Presidential election) and persecutes civil rights groups, the Democratic Party, and anyone suspected of being a "communist". He is shortly after succeeded by J. Edgar Hoover, who is senile and unstable and is eventually overthrown in a coup.
  • Private Military Contractors: In the world of War Has Changed, global military interventions have grown very unpopular in some developed nations such as the United States. The governments, therefore, started to rely on mercenaries and private military businesses. The remnants of the South African Defense Force became a global PMC. Cuba also sold their services, and ironically their biggest customer is the U.S.
  • Red China:
    • The United Soviet Republics of China and Manchuria. In this world, the Second Sino-Japanese War ended in Chinese/Soviet victory in 1941 and Mao (allegedly) died of a pulmonary embolism. Following a violent civil war, he was succeeded by his son Mao Anying, who essentially reestablished China's dynasty under the Maos and making Maoist Communism not so different from medieval feudalism.
    • The Heavenly Union of Peasants and Workers is a Christian-socialist state in southern China founded from the remains of a more successful Taiping China. Being a Christian theocracy, the Heavenly Union stringently outlaws vice and sin, and heavily discriminates non-Christian denominations and persecute other forms of Christianity, who are dubbed "bourgeoisie heresy".
    • In the Guatemala Incorporated universe, Stalin managed to get Mao removed as leader of the Chinese communists, so this version of the PRC is much more Stalinist in nature.
  • Renegade Splinter Faction: The Mother Earth Army is the former militant wing of the Mother Earth Movement, which disavowed them after their acts of terrorism.
  • Second American Civil War: The Southron Popular Republic timeline has two different Second American Civil Wars following a Confederate victory in the First American Civil War.
    • Some time after the Confederacy successfully secedes in the First American Civil War, it later has a successful communist revolution.
    • The Union has a second civil war of its own in the 1930s, resulting in California's independence.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil:
    • Slavery is practiced by the Republic of New Sparta, which insists that their slaves are called helots while claiming that they have legal protection from abuse and that many helots are freed by their masters. In reality, however, the New Spartan claims are full of hot air as helots are not given rights and are constantly abused and punished in order to prevent a massive slave rebellion, not unlike how the ancient Spartans treated their helots.
    • The People's Republic of the Antilles arose when the poor whites of Santo Domingo overthrew the rich elite to establish a communist state, but kept the island's black population enslaved. Chana is clearly disgusted when he visits, and notes that even the other communist nations of that world refuse to acknowledge the Antilles as true communists due to them keeping slaves.
  • Take That!: The Guantanamo Regime (ruled by the aforementioned Edward Butler) is EBR's angry response to a very offensive and Islamophobic Objectivist AH scenario.
  • United Europe:
    • The European Empire in The Eleventh Crusade is a right-wing, Christian, militaristic Europe ruled in accordance with a resurgent monarchism following a Third World War between the EU and Russian Federation.
    • The European Union in Serve to Lead is prominently lead by Britain and Germany.
    • In the world of the Guantanamo Regime, the EU is much stronger and more federalized, and the United Nations relocated its headquarters to Geneva after the tyrannical Edward Butler became President of the US.
  • Vestigial Empire:
    • The Guantanamo Regime is all that is left of the United States. It controls Guantanamo Bay, after a popular uprising against the mad and tyrannical Butler regime. It continues to exist because Edward Butler was able to storm off with several nuclear ballistic missiles and most of America's gold reserves. Butler rules as eternal President, the people are under constant surveillance, children are indoctrinated to follow Butler's paranoid ideology, and the prisoners who were in Guantanamo Bay are treated as slaves.
    • The Soviet Union-in-exile consists of lunar colonies and space stations that preserve the Soviet Union and reject capitalist Russia.
    • The last remnant of the Qing Empire in the world of The Last Emperor rules Kowloon where it becomes a Wretched Hive for criminal syndicates, deposed dictators, and espionage intrigue.
    • The South African Republic-in-exile largely consists of the South African Defence Force, which is made up of a 40 ship-strong flotilla, taking shelter in the Portuguese exclave of Cabinda. Although recognized by the United Nations, the SADF's diplomatic and monetary lifeline that was extended to them by the international community lasted as long as the anarchy in South Africa did. The SADF resorted to becoming a global private military contractor. The Apartheid system is still alive in the former SAR, as the non-white populace is too small to vote themselves into power and an open rebellion would be suicide. The SADF are secretly determined to reclaim their old homeland, by any means necessary; they use their vast funds from their "humanitarian" operations to destabilise the South African successor states. Furthermore, they have undeclared nuclear weapons obtained from the former People's Republic of China and are planning to use them to wipe out the successor states.
    • What is left of the Soviet Union in the world of The Army is the Country is Tajikistan.
  • World War III:
    • In The Army is the Country, Operation Unthinkable happened and "nobody won, it just went to shit." Europe is ravaged by nuclear war. Winston Churchill supported the rearmed Wehrmacht, which became outright warlords running much of Eastern Europe until the nuked Russians got their shit together. America went isolationist again; Britain and France fell under shaky socialist governments and shed their empires mostly because of their very disgruntled soldiers outright revolting against their governments meant it wasn't possible to hold on any more. The colonial empires were dumped quickly with little transition, creating a lot of chaos in the short and long term, which by the modern day is being glued back together into something stable. The sudden conflict between the Western Allies and the Soviet Union made Japan, which suffered only one atomic bombing in World War II, refuse to surrender and then fell under the control of neo-imperialists.
    • In the world of The Eleventh Crusade, World War III erupted between the European Union and Russian Federation, resulting in an EU victory. The aftermath allowed the far-right and unified European military to successfully depose the European Union's civilian leadership, leading to the creation of the European Empire.
Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report