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World Factbook: Gotham Network

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Founded: Apr 17, 2010
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World Factbook: Gotham Network

Postby Gotham Network » Fri Apr 30, 2010 2:46 am

Formal Name: The United Socialist States of Gotham Network
Short Name: Gotham Network
Common Uses: Gotham, The Network

WA Classification: Scandinavian Liberal Paradise
Government Type: Distributist Technocratic Federation
Capital City: Goat Ham
National Animal: Duck-Billed Platypus
National Anthem: "Rise and Demand a Fair but Modest Share of Your Nation's Productivity, O Comrades"
National Motto: "United, We Stand; Divided, We Argue"
National Dish: Pergnungian Two-Soup Soup

GEOGRAPHY

Gotham Network's primary territory is a secluded valley of between 500 to 2500 square kilometers, depending on whether you ask the citizens of Gotham Network or the nearby governments of Pergnungia and Flargonia. It is surrounded by the vast and largely unexplored Pergnung mountain range in the south, inhospitable arctic tundra in the north, the foetid and disease-ridden Flargus Fen to the west, and the ocean to the east. The valley is filled with lush boreal forest and is fed by two rivers, the Grune and the Gnurgle, which flow out of the mountains to the sea. The capital city and principle population centre, Goat Ham (so named for the large local population of semi-feral goats), lies at the confluence of the two rivers and is its major centre of trade and industry. In recent decades, approximately 170 scattered distributist syndicates worldwide, most comprising no more than a few hectares of territory and some no more than a few city blocks in population centres belonging to other nations, have joined Gotham Network's sovereign federation. Though nearly 100% of these 'Networked' affiliate syndicates consist of urban and agricultural land, the primary valley remains largely undeveloped, with most of its forests and mountains protected by severe environmental legislation.

HISTORY

The Democratic Distributist Commune of Success Ham was founded approximately a century ago by a group of dedicated Pergnungian distributist-anarchists fleeing political persecution. This city, now known as Goat Ham, was re-settled a decade or so later by a group of slightly less dedicated distributist-anarchists after a violent schism, concerning whether the title of the community's official anthem should read 'a Fair but Modest Share' or 'a Fair and Modest Share', claimed the lives of all but 12 of the original colonists. After the settlement of various other such communes within the region, including Cow Ham, Ox Ham, Swine Ham, Goose Ham, and Duck-Billed Platypus Ham, an official Federation of Socialist States was founded and a constitution negotiated over a 19-year period, during which civil war broke out 7 times. Originally known as the Federated Socialist States of Goat Ham Valley, the official name of the nation was changed to Gotham Valley a little over 3 three months later after the ambassador was laughed out of a meeting of local diplomats down at the pub. Gotham Valley's constitutionally mandated policy of solidarity with other communities willing to officially adopt the charter has led to small distributist settlements worldwide seeking entrance into the federation; once restricted only to those within convenient travelling distance of the valley, the internet age has led to a sudden and disconcerting expansion of federated syndicates within the last decade, and the official adoption of Gotham Network as the nation's name. Gotham Network has participated in only one international conflict, the Great Pergnungian Invasion, during which a brigade of Pergnungian Irregular Infantry sent to execute the breakaway state's leaders and stamp out the distributist factions settled in the valley got lost crossing the mountains, stumbled into the Flargus Fen and was decimated by the fuscia plague, got lost again and mostly starved to death attempting to march through the boreal forests to the coast, where the remnants were killed by a group of Flargonians who mistook them for a gang of bandits which had been operating in the area. Unfortunately, Gotham Network has neither the military forces nor the transport capability to send assistance to the various communities which raise its flag, and has already lost several of its farther-flung partner states to military and police actions by states which refuse to recognize the sovereignty of territories within their own borders (and, in some cases, their own capitols). In each such instance, a sternly worded letter to the government of the nation involved has been swiftly forthcoming. Gotham Network has had a longstanding policy of accepting all refugees willing to spend a several months studying the colony's 700-page, byzantinely detailed constitutional charter and then pass a 12-hour exam regarding its regulations, which has led to a continual but modest influx of population.

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL STRUCTURE

The government of Gotham Network is nominally organized along anarcho-syndicalist lines; each affiliated 'Syndicate' (a community or small region containing about 50 000 people) is given great leeway to manage its own affairs, provided that it abides by the minutely detailed rights and regulations of the constitutional charter. Syndicates are governed by direct, participatory democracy, which means that in practice most affairs are left to the Federal government. The government consists of five official branches: the Primary Council, a 5-person executive body elected by single transferrable vote of the entire adult population; the Legislative Assembly, composed of elected representatives from each officially incorporated Syndicate in the Federation; an appointed Judiciary consisting of Syndical, Appeal, Administrative, Circuit, and Constitutional Courts; the People's Assembly, a little-used system under which any proposal gaining the support of over 10% of the population may be brought to a referendum; and the Economic Directorate, an unelected and unaccountable bureaucracy which manages the immensely complex system of taxation, regulation, social welfare, and enterprise subsidies. The government is officially atheist and grants no advantages of any kind to religions, save the right of individuals to worship freely in private. Popular political parties in Gotham Network include the Socialist Party, the Communist Party, the Anarchist Party, the Green Party, the Pirate Party, the Satanist Theocratic Party, and the Liberal Party, which is considered part of the extreme right wing.

ECONOMY

Gotham Network operates its economy as a distributist market with strong socialist overtones. It is sometimes stated that private enterprise is illegal in Gotham Network. This is mistaken; private enterprise is in fact highly encouraged, with an active system of government subsidies and grants earmarked to finance small-scale tradesmen, entrepreneurs, farmers, micro-manufacturing operations, and worker-owned collectives. However, the combination of punitive corporate profit taxes and corporate social obligation laws, minutely detailed regulation of most industries, and income taxes reaching 100% for any individual making over 5 times the national average wage make most forms of large scale corporate and privately-held capital enterprise unworkable in practice if legal in principle.

The national currency of Gotham Network is the Share, which is considered to represent one 'share' of the nation's productivity, and which is backed by the collective valuation of the country's assayed natural resources, agricultural production, and ecological environment. This is a deliberate move which creates an imperative for the government to maintain stringent environmental protection laws, discourage wanton exploitation of national resources, and encourage sustainable farming practices. Mining, manufacturing, and beef-based agriculture are among the industries most heavily regulated. It is illegal to sell Gotham Network Shares to citizens of any other nation; all foreign trade is conducted in Universal Standard Dollars.

The constitution of Gotham Network guarantees all citizens a basic social wage, free collective housing, free education, free childcare, free health care, free dental care, free clothing, free food, free water, free access to information (which the courts have recently interpreted to include broadband internet), security of their person, and freedom from government interference. Recent progress on many of these fronts has been promising.

MILITARY

All citizens of Gotham Network are required to perform one year of full-time service in the military or a non-combat civil brigade, and to participate in the nation's military and civil protection reserves. Members of Gotham Network's military are highly trained and renowned worldwide for their courage under fire and keen supply chain management skills. However, the nation maintains a full-time standing army of less than 6000 people at any one time, and relies for protection on various cleverly negotiated defense treaties and its immensely inaccessible borders. Most of the widespread syndicates which have joined Gotham Network in the last decades were already heavily armed and have remained so, though this does little to reduce the constant threat of their re-annexation by the states which consider them part of their own sovereign territory.

PEOPLE AND POPULATION

The population of Gotham Valley is composed primarily of ethnic Pergnungians, with a 15% minority of Flargonians and small communities of people from many other races and nationalities. Gotham Network is deeply proud of its growing ethnic diversity, and sponsors constant Ethnic Faires in which the arts, handicrafts, and traditional cooking of every imaginable cultural group are put on display. Of course, the nature of the numerous cultures in the widely scattered syndicates which have recently begun to join Gotham Network is intensely difficult to catalogue and has led to the rapid expansion of the Department of Cultural and Ethnic Categorization. Most Gothamites are employed as farmers or small tradesmen, with a significant portion running micro-manufacturing plants from their homes, and a growing number employed in the information technology industry. They are an outspoken people who care strongly about their individual rights, but feel a strong imperative to protect the environment and provide for the general social welfare. Political debates can often be heard ringing through the streets of Gotham Network's cities; election campaigns and Syndicate legislative meetings grow even livelier, with violence and riots neither infrequent nor seen as irregular. Gothamites are dedicated to physical fitness, and vegetarianism is a majority lifestyle choice; the valley is also seen as a haven for bisexuals, transvestites, and heavy metal enthusiasts. Public nudity is a common sight, all recreational drug use is legal, and private automobiles have only recently come back into favour but bicycles and tricycles are still the most common mode of transportation. Gotham Network's dominant religion is Satanism, followed by the Cult of Thor and Crystal Dragon Jesusism.

COMMUNICATIONS

Though traditionally lacking, the addition of new communications capability has become one of the Economic Directorate's primary missions since the coming of the internet has made contact with far-flung regions increasingly simple. Broadband internet cables are presently being laid to even the most remote communities of Gotham Valley, many of which do not contain even a single telephone or television. A large server farm has been set up in a secret location in the Pergnung Mountains, through which all government communications and data services are coordinated, and extremely secure encrypted protocols have been developed for official communications over the internet with Gotham Network-affiliates syndicates worldwide. Gotham Network has a single state-sponsored television channel, Network Television, which produces nightly news and a number of well-received musical programmes, soap operas, and science fiction dramas in a strongly socialist-realist vein. There are also a few privately operated TV and radio stations, and many community stations operated by individual syndicates. The state is the only official telephone and internet service provider. Gotham Network's postal service is a national disgrace, with even the most routine missives often taking months to arrive at their intended destinations if they arrive at all.
Last edited by Gotham Network on Fri Apr 30, 2010 2:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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United, We Stand; Divided, We Argue

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