NATION

PASSWORD

A Collection of Essays (Anemos|MT)

A place to put national factbooks, embassy exchanges, and other information regarding the nations of the world. [In character]
User avatar
Anemos Major
Postmaster-General
 
Posts: 12682
Founded: Jun 01, 2008
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

A Collection of Essays (Anemos|MT)

Postby Anemos Major » Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:17 am

OOC: This stupid voice at the back of my head told me that it might be a fun idea to write short essays concerning different aspects of the Anemonian state, and unfortunately I ended up listening to it. I'll be adding essays every so often to this thread, so if you have any interest in the operation of the modern Anemonian state and society, do feel free to read through them.

If you have any feedback or ideas (or questions), feel free to pop them over to me via TG. Thanks!




Challenging Assertions: A comprehensive study of the modern Anemonian political state
The Basis for Rule: The Anemonian Crown and its sources of legitimacy
Last edited by Anemos Major on Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Anemos Major
Postmaster-General
 
Posts: 12682
Founded: Jun 01, 2008
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Anemos Major » Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:18 am

Challenging Assertions: A comprehensive study of the modern Anemonian political state

The single, near-unchallenged assertion in the modern study of Anemonian socio-politics is that which places the decline and fall of the First Empire and its colonial, absolute monarchist system of not only governance but dominance with the moderated monarchic and part-democratic tendencies of the succeeding Second Empire in 1951 as the single most important political event of the past century and that which defined the development of the Anemonian state in the direction which it was to take over the following half-century and beyond. During the course of this study, I aim to challenge this fundamental assertion with the suggestion that, in fact, the most significant renegotiation of power occurred between the 1960s and 70s during the early reign of Ilfir Erenthi III, and that the establishment of the oligarchic state administrative apparatus under his rule was a far more significant and deciding event than the fall of the First Empire when viewed in both a wider global and narrower political context.

It is perhaps the simplicity of placing the fall of the First Empire at the centre of a modern interpretation of Anemonian politics that has endeared it for so long to the contemporary political scientist. Certainly, in terms of nominal change, the replacement of the absolute monarchy and court-based system of imperial rule with a democratic system of everyday governance superseded by the authority of the monarch is without doubt the most clearly visible and structurally significant change to befall the Anemonian state over the past century, in that it overtly rewrote the nation’s pattern of governance in a highly comprehensive fashion. In theory, these changes were to reduce the nation’s reliance upon the leadership of the monarch by introducing a mostly elected legislature (the Three Houses of State) that required the reorganisation of virtually every state apparatus to reflect this change to the governance of the nation; the 247 separate offices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for example, were all individually removed, relabelled and replaced during the 1951 reforms and refounding of state. These changes were not merely restricted to political institutions; at a local level, the hereditary administration of the Baronies was replaced by increased local level participation in administrative politics, perhaps best manifested in the elected federal governments that largely took over formal administrative duties in these areas. These local level administrative changes naturally led to the establishment of local political apparatuses, encouraged local level political participation, and led to what is widely known as the ‘empowerment’ of citizens and the growth of individual initiative.

Furthermore, from a global point of view, the removal of the national focus placed upon the colonies and the adoption of an isolationist stance in accordance with the internal reform objectives of the following twenty or so years in place of the radical expansionist imperialism of the preceding First Empire created an instantly recognisable power vacuum in place of the imperialist hegemony once exerted upon the global stage by the colonial power than Anemos had once been. As such, it is clearly observable that the 1951 reforms, as far as the scale of their immediately observable effect is concerned, were significantly more far reaching, globally and domestically, than the political reforms of the 1960s and 70, which largely consisted of the illegalisation of formal political parties, a renewed participation in foreign affairs and little else at an overt level.

However, the significant and unjustifiable unchallenged flaw with the interpretation of contemporary Anemonian political development presented above is its reliance upon the overt and clearly observable effects of the political changes experienced during the two periods to lend it credence; to depart from strict theory from a moment, the inability to comprehend the highly nuanced and covert nature of Anemonian political conduct, together with the reality of the relative rigidity of the social mindset and structure, make this long-held interpretation of contemporary Anemonian politics untenable. Firstly, it is vital to understand that the changes that were brought about in theory by the 1951 reforms were neither as sweeping nor as effective as overtly suggested. It is easy to understand that much of the 1951 reorganisation was nearly entirely nominal; with over 95% of the Imperial Bureaucracy remaining intact, albeit under different names (referring to pre and post reform employment records, with margins of error included to reflect lost records) following the reforms, their effects on the single most influential branch of the pre-reform government short of the Crown itself were minimal, something that would go on to amplify the effects of the 1960s-70s reforms. As far the dismantlement of the Empire and the introduction of democratic accountability to the Anemonian monarchical system of governance are concerned, the effects of these reforms at the time are virtually undebatable; the Empire was indeed dismantled, greatly decreasing the Second Empire’s global presence and influence in comparison to its preceding power, and the power of the democratic apparatus was reflected in its ability to restrict the Crown’s attempts to involve itself in foreign affairs for a full fifteen years until the shifts of the 1960s and 70s began to occur under the newly acceded Ilfir Erenthi III.

But to what extent can these changes truly be viewed as unique? The concept of the democratically accountable government and the end of imperialism were both globally sweeping during this particular era, and their effects were by no means restricted to the Anemonian state. The suggestion that they were unique in any way could only be done with a flawed and incomplete understanding of contemporary geopolitics and global political development; the similar ideas affecting national governance during this period require the political scientist to understand that the Anemonian political reforms of the 1950s were not ‘significant’ in a wider, global context, whereas the covert effect exerted by the later reforms on the democratisation of the Anemonian state and its adoption of isolationist tendencies in the 1950s lead us to the conclusion that, in fact, these later reforms made on the back of globally orthodox changes to the Anemonian political establishment were primarily responsible for its highly unique development as a nation, particularly in terms of the creation of a political establishment that can be seen to have reversed the trend towards democracy and introduced a unique system of semi-monarchical, semi-bureaucratic governance aided by democratically elected entities.

As mentioned earlier, the two major reforms instated during the 1960s and 70s were the illegalisation of organised political parties (on the basis of organised extremist violence) and the renewed entrance of the Anemonian State, now as the Second Empire, into geopolitical affairs. Though seemingly innocuous at first, the former not directly influencing the power of elected members of the political institution and the latter a natural development of the Second Empire into a fully-fledged state developed beyond the initial framework of a successor entity to the First Empire, the two acting in conjunction led, in fact, to the single biggest realignment of power experienced during the past century within Anemonian politics, let alone the post-war (1947-) period. It is vital to understand that, though federal level administration was largely dominated in the post-war period by federal entities, and though the democratically elected areas of government were dominated by large, well-funded and constantly combating political parties, a combination of strong centralised leadership (albeit not always by the monarch) and a highly streamlined bureaucracy carried on from the last Empire with institutional know-how preserved almost entirely from the last generation allowed for the retention of high levels of central, Imperial authority through to covert exertion of influence through the role of the Imperial bureaucracy as the single source of technical expertise concerning legislation and as the sole executor of national level legislation, together with the social respect and deference afforded to the monarch and his technical retention of the absolute power enjoyed by his predecessors. As such, though local level politics was indeed shifted radically by the democratic system introduced in 1951 onwards, national level politics was still largely dominated by a centralised government built around a streamlined bureaucracy and monarch. The situation observed during this period could largely be described as ‘deadlock’, as shown by the inability of the monarch to push through the re-entry of Anemos into the field of foreign affairs throughout the early 1960s against the inability of the state legislature to regain control of the bureaucracy (which still operated through Imperial appointments).

However, this state of deadlock was arguably broken in the 1960s-70s period, and this decisive shift of power away from these democratically elected entities is perhaps the single most decisive moment in modern Anemonian politics. With the ban on organised party politics implemented in the aftermath of the 1960s popular unrest initiated by these very organisations, the parties were of course disbanded, but this in turn led to a rapid decline in the power of the state’s democratic institutions, with the power previously exerted by organised, funded entities now split up amongst individual legislators (the volume of laws passed through the legislature following the division of power and the removal of an organised whip system was said to be a quarter of that passed prior to this). Naturally, this led to a power vacuum of sorts on the political stage. Ultimately, it can be argued with little doubt that it was the re-entry of the Anemonian state into foreign affairs through its entry into the Ragnosian Crisis in 1972 that was largely responsible for the realignment of power at this stage; the fact remained that politicians had very little influence over a Ministry of Foreign Affairs still largely controlled by pre-1951 long serving bureaucrats, and this shift in influence towards the Anemonian bureaucracy in a single but key re-explored policy area had a domino effect on the entirety of the Anemonian government and the nature of administration within the nation. This shift in the power balance towards the aristocracy can be observed clearly in the main source of decision making in the 1970-1975 period, when the figure of unofficial ‘implementation orders’ made within the bureaucratic system rose by nearly four hundred percent alongside the decline of formal legislation to nearly a quarter of its previous volume; with the scale and scope of the implementation orders continually increasing as the Anemonian involvement in the Ragnosian crisis dragged on, the influence of bureaucratic decision-making was readily observable throughout the Anemonian government during this period, with the vast majority of decisions being made in small, high level committees centres around the monarch. This system of governance has remained largely intact up to the present day, with similar, small committees meeting on a regular basis, showing a remarkable continuity and health in a system originally ‘shoehorned’ through on the back of already questionable legislation.

The nature of this system of rule has been made readily apparent in this concept of the ‘small committee meeting’; unlike the Imperial Court system of the pre-1951 period, the inclusion of and influence wielded by policy area experts within the system due to the reliance placed upon the bureaucracy as the advisory and implementing body of state, together with the presence of a select number of individuals who are able to wield influence over both the legislatures and the monarch, create a system where a number of individuals (including an active monarch) are present at the top of the political system by exerting authority over a powerful bureaucracy. This is often displayed in the fact that certain powerful figures tend more often than not to have their policy lines implemented in the long run; the influence of Baron Amandyr Sailis, for example, over the monarch has led to the adoption and retention of Keynesian economic policies in the face of staunch opposition for nearly twenty years by the state (as readily admitted to by several members of the implementing bureaucracy in the controversial Heserin Tapes of 2005). However, to call this an entirely monarchical system of rule centred around favour rather than power would be incorrect; those who are present around the monarch are in such a position due to their place as the ‘best and brightest’ (again, a term drawn from the Heserin Tapes) of their bureaucratic branches; in a way, therefore, the system that currently exists in Anemos can be described as a meritocratic oligarchy with democratic input, with a select number of individuals exerting disproportionate influence over the administration and conduct of state at a broad, national level (with federal level jurisdiction still remaining more or less in the hands of locally elected governments).

The assertion that the 1951 reforms were the most significant in recent Anemonian political history can, therefore, be seen to be incorrect. Though their effects were the most outwardly visible, many of the ‘reforms’ seen during that period can actually be proven to have more similarities to ‘rebranding’, with the almost wholesale retention of existing administrative systems under different names in areas. Furthermore, where the reforms did have an effect, they tended to be in line with contemporary global political shifts and not particularly exceptional in its nature or effects. Rather, it was the realignment of powers towards the bureaucracy in the 1960s and 70s under Ilfir Erenthi III that was largely responsible for the unique and surviving system of meritocratic oligarchy observable in Anemonian politics today.

A. Henserin, 2007, Challenging Assertions: A comprehensive study of the modern Anemonian political state.
Last edited by Anemos Major on Sun Jan 19, 2014 12:20 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Anemos Major
Postmaster-General
 
Posts: 12682
Founded: Jun 01, 2008
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Anemos Major » Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:37 pm

The Basis for Rule: The Anemonian Crown and its sources of legitimacy

The theoretical system of political rule in the Second Empire of Anemos in the post-1951 period up to that of the modern day is one that, with little doubt, serves to differentiate from contemporary political models in an easily noticeable fashion, blending seemingly irreconcilable concepts such as absolute monarchy and democracy with a powerful bureaucracy, federal prevalence over domestic policy and a focus on social egalitarianism in an entirely non-constitutional system derived largely from disparate texts and convention. During the course of this brief study, the multifaceted basis for the existence of one of the most contentious aspects of Anemonian polity, the absolute monarchy, will be explored and analysed in depth, drawing from both texts and precedent-derived convention to explain the reasons behind and for the retention of can potentially be described as a backward element of Anemonian society in a modern, democratic world.

At first glance, the single, defining factor behind the legitimacy of the Pronged Crown lies in its establishment as the cornerstone of the Anemonian state at its foundation by the first High Lord and Wyvernking, Ilfir Erenthi the First. The most widely taught facet of the basis for monarchical rule in the Second Empire, the basic understanding of this factor is that the Crown was established as the central authority within the newly created Anemonian state (or First Empire, as it is now known), acting as its unquestioned absolute monarch in a fashion similar to many contemporary monarchs. Understandable as this assumption is (in light of global developments during the period that generally leaned towards the establishment of such absolute monarchies), this is, in fact, a flawed understanding of the factors which contributed to the initial legitimacy of the Anemonian Crown; in fact, a more thorough analysis proves that the basis for its legitimacy at the time was both different and no longer relevant in a modern-day context. Unlike many absolute monarchies of the time, the Pronged Crown lacked a basis for rule established upon hereditary or divine grounds (the derived divinity of monarchs being a prominent feature of many monarchies as a means of stratifying society so as to provide the monarch with a justifiable reason for his place in society), and as such, further exploration is required to comprehend the factors that contributed to the initial legitimacy of the Anemonian Crown.

An analysis of contemporary texts, notably the Tomes of the Golden Sun's Dawn, a collection of first-hand records, and the verified paraphrasing of the Writ of Establishment (the document that is said to have laid down the foundations of the Anemonian state at its inception) contained within the Fierei Barony’s archival records, show that the basis for singular and absolute rule by the Anemonian Crown of the time was by no means a system established upon its own merit, but as a compromise agreement of sorts between contending powers. Prior to the foundation of the single Anemonian State and the absolute monarchy that was to rule it, the Anemonian landmass was one that, in political and partly ethnic terms, featured prominent subdivisions with no significant single coherent identity tying together these divisions short of their presence on the same landmass; aside from the three large kingdoms of Fierei, Sailiei and Myrstirei, further divisions could be observed in the form of the many smaller princedoms and city states that peppered the geographical area that now constitutes Anemos (reflected in the federal system of baronies that now features prominently in the modern Anemonian state). Reading into relevant texts shows that the passing of sovereign authority to the monarch was done on the basis that the monarch’s position as an absolute ruler derived not from any inherent right to rule, but rather the responsibility of acting as the central, unifying force within the Anemonian polity, bringing together a number of disparate authorities under a single, higher unifying authority. As such, the legitimacy of the Anemonian monarch’s right to rule at the point of its foundation stemmed from a ‘common cause’, that being the need to unite the fragmented authority of several monarchs under a single banner. In this sense, the Anemonian Crown was, though in theory absolute, far from that in concept; rather, it was established as an institution that would serve the state and its people by acting as its central authority and unifying force, deriving authority and sovereignty from that purpose, as opposed to exerting influence over the state through right of rule.

However, as a basis for the right to rule, the concept of the Anemonian Crown acting as a unifying force for a number of disparate monarchical authorities is one that has been long redundant. Though federal level authority has been retained in the modern Anemonian state apparatus, it has been done in a fashion that unifies federal level authorities at the state level independently of the monarchical institution. The independent powers once exerted by the independent monarchies and nobility of the pre-Anemonian landmass have been long superseded by a model of governance that was able to assimilate regional loyalties into it by maintaining federalism in such a form that ensures the primacy of central government whilst nonetheless providing local government with sufficient powers to call them federal governmental entities. As such, it must be concluded that the basis upon which the Crown was established is no longer that upon which it rules due to the simple fact that it no longer exists. Furthermore, however, no formal texts concerning the role of the Anemonian Crown exist short of the Writ of Establishment itself; this makes the analysis of its current role infinitely more difficult, in that this means by default that it has followed a developmental path independent to formal legislation and thus hard to record. To some extent, it is this unbound flexibility that partly explains why an outwardly anachronistic mode of governance like absolute monarchy has been able to survive, and indeed flourish, for so long.

In light of the fact that the initial basis for the Anemonian monarchy’s right to rule has been rendered void by the progression of events, it is important to understand the fashion in which the Crown’s legitimacy as a sovereign institution has developed since its establishment beyond the contemporary concerns of the period in which it was created. The first source of the Crown’s current authority derives from the concept of ‘tacit approval’. This is an easily understood concept, and simply entails that popular acceptance of the Crown’s position is taken as a form of popularly granted legitimacy to the officer; that said, republican entities suggest that the lack of any full, state-wide plebiscites concerning the issue mean that this source of power is based on assumption at best. Rather, it is generally used by political scientists to explain the relative lack of transparency or comprehension in the public stage concerning the matter; the lack of any demand for such clarification seems to suggest a general lack of hostility towards the established status quo. In general, this lack of hostility is not necessarily characterised as ‘approval’; rather, it reflects a combination of factors including approval within Anemonian society that lead to the lack of opposition to the established political regime including, as recent studies (Telemar & Molanyr, 2008) indicate, apathy.

One significant modern legitimising factor of the sovereignty afforded to the Anemonian Crown is derived from the interpretation of the documents involved in the refounding and restructuring of the Anemonian state in 1951. This national restructuring did not, as was initially suggested at the time, lead to the establishment of a fixed codified constitution as the sovereign political entity within Anemos; rather, a number of decrees outlined the structure of the Anemonian state in a strictly legally non-binding fashion. Within this series of decrees, however, it was clearly stipulated that “the authority of the monarch will be represented henceforth in a number of appointed elected bodies…” This statement, leading to the creation of the three houses of the Anemonian legislature and the formal federal system of governance employed today, does not strictly discuss the concept of sovereignty in itself. However, by referring to the ‘authority of the monarch’ without stipulating in clear terms that said authority will be altered beyond its existing form, the document appears to imply a sense of continuity. As such, the restructuring orders of 1951 are widely interpreted as tacitly acknowledging the continuation of the Crown’s sovereignty, unchanged from the foundation of the state, and thus providing a modern anchor for the Crown’s authority independent of the contextually reliant Writ of Establishment. The authority of the Crown from this source was further cemented in the late 1960s, when the independent Imperial Judicature ruled in favour of the Crown’s power to illegalise the existence of political parties within the confines of the Second Empire; this landmark ruling, advisory as it was, nonetheless entrenched the Crown’s sovereignty by ruling in favour of its authority on the basis of the Writ of Establishment and the 1951 Restructuring Orders.

As can be seen above, the primary reason for the significant ambiguity surrounding the role is the lack of any codification of the basic principles of the Anemonian State; the only formally accepted codification is widely understood to be outdated and is treated as such, and the result is the legitimacy of the Crown’s position as an absolute monarchy, does not carry the same weight as a similar monarchy whose authority is enshrined elsewhere, such as within a constitution of sorts. This lack of a codified constitution stems primarily from the legal implications of transferring authority to a distinct codified document; though it would clarify the roles and relationships between state institutions, granting the document the primacy it requires to function effectively as a document with underlying authority would undermine the sovereignty of the Crown itself. As such, though a codified constitution would clarify what is undoubtedly a highly nuanced and interpretation-dependent political system, it would only be able to do so by undermining one of its basic tenets.

Befitting a political arrangement of this kind, the single most decisive and powerful force supporting the absolute monarchy of the Second Empire is, accordingly, not enshrined in any document; rather, it is a concept arguably derived from both practicality and the natural development of theory and political hierarchy. Since the foundation of the First Empire, and up to the present day, it is a simple and provable fact that state institutions have operated under the authority of the monarch; from His Majesty’s Diplomatic Service to the Crown Army, a significant number of governmental bodies operate by definition as extension of the monarch’s will. At the highest level, for example, it is the Imperial Cabinet that is responsible for executive decision-making within the Anemonian state. In a highly tautological fashion, therefore, it is because the Crown has been sovereign that the Crown is sovereign; a difficult concept, it is one that nonetheless holds a significant amount of authority within Anemos. On a practical level, the understanding that the Crown’s sovereignty is the legal basis upon which the vast majority of Anemonian socio-political constructs are erected (in lieu of the base normally provided to a nation by a constitution) has led to the acknowledgement of its primacy through the comprehension of the difficulties that would be posed to the Anemonian nation if that sovereignty is challenged. However, beyond this, the majority, and certainly the critical, operating branches of state authority within Anemos derive from the authority of the monarch. Even independently of documents such as the Writ of Establishment, this fact alone establishes that the vast majority of the Anemonian state itself, as a series of institutions, has derived itself from the authority that is the primacy of the monarch. As such, regardless of any independent documents, the state in its entirety, whether directly or otherwise, is by definition subordinated to the monarch from which it derives, thus granting tacit sovereignty to the monarch.

To nations in possession of a formal constitution and a clear, codified hierarchy of authority, the discussions of authority presented above may seem both inane and questionable. However, it is only upon understanding the Anemonian state’s need to exist independently of a sovereign constitution and placing the system within this context that the complex system of legal interpretation and tacit understandings can be fully comprehended; at a basic level, it is the sovereignty of the monarch that serves as the basis for the existence of the Anemonian state both at its foundation and in the modern day, thus necessitating the existence and acceptance of the monarch’s sovereignty to permit the existence of the Anemonian state. This sovereignty is, however, absolute in that it exists in the service of those above whom it stands, and it is this interaction between the primacy of the monarch and the prioritisation of state that allows it to remain an effective system of governance retained despite its obsolescent overtones up until the modern day.

S. Morenthei, 2009, The Basis for Rule: The Anemonian Crown and its sources of legitimacy
Last edited by Anemos Major on Sun Jan 19, 2014 12:20 am, edited 1 time in total.


Return to Factbooks and National Information

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Austria-Bohemia-Hungary, Greater Malayan Confederation, MSN [Bot], Nebelhalbinsel, Pooshland, United Earthlings

Advertisement

Remove ads