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Playing With / Good Republic, Evil Empire

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Basic Trope: In a story involving a conflict between two nations, the one you're expected to root for is a Republic and the one you're expected to root against is a Hereditary Monarchy.

  • Straight: The Voterton Republic and The Crownburg Empire are at war. The former is a a democratically elected republic, the latter is a hereditary feudal monarchy. The Author expects you to root for the first one.
  • Exaggerate: WITHOUT EXCEPTION, every Emperor-King to ever rule Crownburg has been an irredeemable tyrant, and everyone who supports the monarchy is Always Chaotic Evil, while everyone who doesn’t support the monarchy is an oppressed citizen who hates thier government. Meanwhile every official and citizen in Voterton is Always Lawful Good.
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  • Downplayed: Despite being shown to be more prone to arrogance, Crownburg still abides by a form of gentlemanly honor and like the Romans does stuff for people. Likewise, Voterton is shown to have some corrupt politicians of their own, and are not able to get infrastructure done because of party-politics and corporate influence.
  • Justified: The author believes Democracy is better on the basis that it allows the best and brightest to rise to power despite their birth, that dissent and political in-fighting doesn't have to lead to a bloody Succession Crisis, it has freedom of speech and none of the censorship in Kingdoms and an independent judiciary which is mostly missing from the Empire and the main cause for the problems faced by people living there.
  • Inverted: The Good Kingdom of Crownburg is fighting a defensive war against The People's Democratic Republic of Voterton. While the former and its armies at least follows through with it's treaties and abides by The Laws and Customs of War (or at the very least an old form of Chivalry), the latter commits war-crimes like it's going out of style and violates treaties under the guise of "liberation".
  • Subverted:
    • The Republic is Good (i.e. people inside are happy and it has a better human rights record), the Empire is Bad (i.e. rulers are bad and it has a poor human rights record) but the Republic has consistently violated treaties and international obligations and starts a War for Fun and Profit that oppresses the lives of the Empire, far worse than the Empire does.
    • The Republic and the Empire only appear good and evil respectively because of Voterton’s Propaganda Machine to cover up the fact that it’s a communist dictatorship invading a peaceful empire.
    • The so-called republic is in fact an oligarchy with limited suffrage and deep inequality, it supports and advocates slavery (“reperations”), practices segregation (“diversity”), and is warmongering and expansionist (in the name of “liberation”) while the Empire is ruled by an Enlightened Monarch with a centralized bureaucracy that protects minorties from the Tyranny of the Majority.
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  • Double Subverted: It is revealed that The "Republic" is actually a dictatorship (there are technically elections ... but voting for anyone other than the incumbent results in getting thrown in a work camp) while The "Empire" has a freely elected Parliament and a Monarch who only fills a figurehead role.
  • Parodied: Literally the moment the first vote is placed into the first electoral ballot, all of the Wretched Hives turn into Shining Cities and the tattered rags the peasants are wearing turn into suits and designer dresses. And it's not a montage either; this change happens mid-sentence.
  • Zig Zagged: Everyone thinks that the Republic is "good" now but it wasn't always so. For nearly a century after the first revolution, the actions taken by radicals were so controversial that moderates made compromises with reactionaries to back-down from the original scope of the revolt. After that there were restorations of monarchies/coups/failed revolts, and some Republicans co-operated with conservatives to stiffle the radical ones who wanted to do crazy stuff like give every man the vote or *gasp* possibly women, and this led to that election where the people "voted" for the Emperor because they didn't see any difference between them and the moderates. It's only recently that the original national anthem in the first revolution has become consensual and everyone agrees that the Republic is truly better than the Empire, and even now you have people whining about how the Empire had better art, better music while the Republic has no culture.
  • Averted: Both forms of government are shown to have strengths and weaknesses. While Crownburg is old-fashioned and is currently lead by a a tyrant, its government is at least stable with a low crime rate. While Voterton has more freedom, the nation has a large crime rate, and the government is often busy squabbling one another over petty differences, rather than actually ruling.
  • Enforced: Voterton is promoting national holidays, with many field tours, documentaries and public celebrations discussing how it won its freedom by overthrowing the Empire. Expect to get no mention of the fact that many people who served the Empire, willingly, now serve the new order and unironically propagandize the new regime, that war criminals were pardoned and absolved and that while we are meant to think of the Empire as evil, the architecture, art, street-planning, education and legal systems built by them are fine and dandy.
  • Lampshaded: "People sure like to think that democracy is pure and good, and kingdoms and empires are tyrannical."
  • Invoked: The People's Democratic Republic of Voterton sent in cells to incite a rebellion on The Good Kingdom of Crownburg by spreading the propaganda on the Royal Family as tyrants. With Voterton being seen as their liberators instead of conquerors.
  • Exploited: "Enlist and Buy War Bonds! Save Voterton from The Tyrant Kings!"
  • Defied: The Empire actively takes steps to keep a high quality of life and cooperate with The Republic.
  • Discussed:
    Alice: "The King executed the stable boy for winning his daughter's heart? What right has he to do that?!"
    Bob: "He's the King, he has the divine right to do that if he so wishes."
    Alice: "This would never have happened under the old republic ..."
    Bob: "We're better off under a Monarch."
    Alice: "How? We get no say in our own country's laws!"
    Bob: "The old Senate was a pack of greedy liars who care more about their own pocketbooks than about the people they claim to represent. I hope every one of them burns in Hell! I spit on the old republic!"
    Alice: "You old fool ..."
  • Conversed:
    Cal: "Hey Diane? Ever notice that our country is always at war with Kingdoms and Empires? Like, we never fight against another republic or another democratic nation."
    Diana: "Huh? You know I've never thought about it like that before?"
  • Deconstructed: The conflict between Voterton and Crownburg initially seems to be about values as to which is the better government; but then it turns out that Crownburg was once a democracy that was toppled by Voterton, who installed the present Emperor as a puppet dictatorship because the Crownburg revolutionaries wanted to nationalize its industry and negotiate equal trade with Voterton. Voterton itself was not always as free and equal, as it believes itself to be and likewise internally promotes reform and gradual change while denying Empires and moderate reformers inside the Empire, the right to change gradually; and while there is freedom of dissent, powerful people are protected by several Loophole Abuse and a corporate-financed propaganda campaign indistuinghishable from the propaganda put out by the Empire. In other words, it’s a Morality Kitchen Sink where nobody disputes that a Republic is the better form of government, but they dispute the context and background in which the trope is employed and the justification of this trope for nationalist bickering.
  • Reconstructed: Voterton is reformer into a true Republic where people are happy and free, while the supporters of the old regime take control of Crownburg and declare war on the new government.

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