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The Guidebook To Most Serene Celestial Confederation

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The Merchant Republics
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The Guidebook To Most Serene Celestial Confederation

Postby The Merchant Republics » Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:29 pm

The Factbook and Guide to the Most Serene Confederation of the Merchant Republics


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"Every Man Is His Own King"



.......The Most Serene Merchant Republics are a Confederation of Autonomous Interstellar States, Planets, Nations, Organizations and People united under a common banner of liberty for mutual protection and prosperity. Its origin is in a collection of free human states fleeing the fiery quagmire of Earth in their third and final world conflict, at its climax the Free Human States fled to space in a mass exodus, leaving their precious and beautiful world to be consumed in Atomic Fire. They searched 50 years for a refuge only to be thrown into the calamity of Interstellar Warfare once they had found it, as humans courageously defended a homeland that was not theirs for a race of people who were not their own. Here in the bloody forge of the First Contact War, the Celestial Union was born and under her banner the free states of the Union have stretched the stars bringing with them the torch of Liberty, Reason and Sovereignty to new peoples, species and entire worlds. Holding it aloft as a symbol of peace, prosperity and freedom.

The motto of the Merchant Republics is one of voluntary organization, for nothing in the Celestial Union is brought about by coercion, and every action is one of individual choice. That man (and xeno) should never be made to bow to anyone else except by his own personal choice. No state shall be held to the Union except by the will of it's people, no state shall exist without the consent of its citizens, no man shall be made party to a ruling which was not his. These are the ethos of the Union and of the Free Merchant Republics of the Confederation.


Dear Reader,
I thank you for taking the time to learn more about the Most Serene Republics, whether your are Citizen, Denizen or Foreigner, Scholar or Rouge, regardless of your creed, I welcome you to this bank of knowledge as a friend. I will be your guide so to speak to our most Glorious Celestial Union. I shall endeavour to provide you with the most comprehensive and thorough overview of this nation, its people, politics, economics and history to the best of our available knowledge. I will also intend to provide you with more then a guide, and indeed a real voice and insight into our unique nation.

I dearly love this nation and I hope to impart that love on you, dear reader. Through our exploration of the wonders of Mercantorum Society.

Editor-In-Chief, Robert J. Garnet






This holobook was written in cooperation with the Celestial Information Bureau and Mercatorum Historic Society and brought to you free of charge thanks to the charitable donation of Illium Publishing Limited and viewers like you.



Note: The IRL writer of this Factbook has a rather severe assortment of mental issues. So if your wondering why half these pages are half-completed, the reason is probably something to do with that.
Last edited by The Merchant Republics on Tue May 26, 2015 9:25 am, edited 53 times in total.
Your Resident Gentleman and Libertarian; presently living in the People's Republic of China, which is if anyone from the Party asks "The Best and Also Only China".
Christian Libertarian Autarchist: like an Anarchist but with more "Aut".
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We are the premiere of civilization, the beacon of liberty, the font of prosperity and the ever illuminating light of culture in this hellish universe.
In short: Elitist Wicked Cultured Free Market Anarchists living in a Diesel-Deco World.

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The Merchant Republics
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Merchant Republics » Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:48 pm

Section I: Overview


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The Merchant Republics


The Merchant Republics are the direct descendants of the Humans who fled Earth in the event known as the Exodus, when the last free peoples of Earth were forced to leave Earth to the destruction of Socialist Tyranny, the then "Free Nations Coalition" left en mass in a massive fleet built to carry nearly 2 billion people, however the nature of the technology they used to escape Earth was not well-tested, and upon exiting hyperspace the exodus fleet had been scattered across the galaxy. The Exodus ships would spend the next fifty years roaming through space in hopes of finding each other and the large world-ships that would allow them to terraform a new home, some ships remained lost for decades, others happened upon habitable worlds and set up colonies for themselves, waiting until we would rediscover them. To this day there are twelve ships and a total of 30 million people left unaccounted, it is presumed they were destroyed. In 2172 the last of the 4 world-ships were discovered and the Exodus Fleet chose to settle in the Eden Starcluster, colonizing four clustered habitable worlds that would eventually become the centre of the Mecatorum society; Terra Nova, New Zion, Sierrium and Arcadia. It would be here that they founded the New Merchant Republics and together sign the first Celestial Charter in hopes of constructing a society that would not fall to the evils that claimed Earth. A nation that would secure freedom, self-sovereignty and prosperity for all mankind.
It would be only 8 years later that a survey fleet searching for lost ships would happen upon a desperate war between the Orinean peoples and a powerful but savage enemy known only as the Vodar. The fledgling Republics banded together and bravely fought at great risk to themselves to defend the beleaguered alien peoples. The war was costly, but saved the Orinean people from genocide at the hands of the savage Vodar. The culmination of this First Interstellar War would bring about an alliance between the two peoples, an alliance would eventually blossom into the Celestial Union, and herald the formation of the Confederation as it exists today. But this would not be the end of the difficulties that would face our nation, soon the Vodar returned in devoting the entirety of it;s war effort, beginning the second and final Interstellar War, which would see the razing of New Zion before it's end. The Republics vowed revenge and at the end of the war, the Vodar Empire would be utterly destroyed, it's remaining peoples scattered into warbands that continue to raid our frontiers to this day. It would be from the ashes of this war, that the Confederation would rise and ascend it's role as a true galactic power.

Official Name: The Most Serene Confederation of The Merchant Republics/Serenissimi Reipublicae Mercator, otherwise The Most Serene Celestial Confederation
Informal Name: The Merchant Republics, The Celestial Confederation
Capital: Veritium, Arcadia
Demonym: Mercatorum (Plural) Mercatoran (Singular)
Type of Government: Confederation of Independent Republics, States and Free Peoples, united in a constitutional framework of loosely anarchic principles, governed by meritocratic representation and led by an executive triumvirate.
Head(s) of Government: A Triumvirate of Three Positions; The Consul of the Senate: Marcus Antillius Kaine, The Grand Chancellor of the Council: Aiko Samnite Honorious, and the Princeps of the People: Johnathan Tarquin Von Hessenburg

Total Population: 420,000,000,000 est.
Human: 79% 289,100,000,000 est.
Orinean: 8% 82,1000,000,000 est.
Golarian: 5% 16,4000,000,000 est.
Other: 5%

Total Permanently Colonized Planets: 103

    Inner Colonies: 14
    Outer Colonies : 22
    Fringe Colonies: 47
The Mercatorum Proper*: 83
Orinean Commonwealth: 5
    Eridean Realms: 31
    Cydorean Realms: 2

Caovar Alliance: 4
Independent Commonwealths2: 7


* Mercatorum proper is a catch-all term for planets principally dominated by the Mercatorum culture.
1: Their homeplanet, Valinor is shared with the Svardeans.
2: Independent Commonwealths include both planets whose culture is considered outside the Mercatorum norm and those dominated by minor alien civilizations.


The Merchant Republics On:


Overview
Nation name: The Most Serene Celestial Confederation of the Merchant Republics
Nation leader: A Triumvirate of Three Executives, the Consul of the Senate, the Grand Chancellor of the Council and the popularly elected Primarch
Form of Government: Constitutional Republic operating on Anarchist principles.
Economic System: Free Market; mostly Capitalist/Corporate with a minority of Cooperative Firms

Views on systems of government
Representative Democracy: Mostly Approve; prone to corruption and the frailties of a democracy but ultimately a necessity for a secure society
Direct Democracy: Mostly Approve: inefficient and prone to mob rule and the failings of such a system, nonetheless it best approximates the will of society when needed.
Republics: Strongly Approve: All government should be based ultimately upon the consent of it's members, a Republic best approximates a true free society.
Federalism: Disapprove: Federalism places far too much control upon the "federal" state, which runs the risk of allowing a strong centralized state which is the first step towards the tyrannical state.
Constitutional Monarchism: Neutral: The presence of a monarch is not necessarily the antithesis to a free society, so long as the monarchy is restricted in it's powers by constitution. Still it cannot be said to be wholly good either, as no man should be forced to bow before even the most benevolent king, except by his own will.
Absolute Monarchism: Disapprove: An absolute monarch may be benevolent or malevolent, but with the unrestricted ability to utilize the force of arms and control his people it may be said that he should lean towards tyranny and away from freedom, and thus an absolute monarch is in all respects little more than a dictator with blue blood.
Dictatorship: Strongly Disapprove: Dictators lack the nobless oblige and pretenses of ownership which otherwise impel kings to treat their subjects with care, instead because their position is not clear and maintained by force of arms a dictator must always practice tyranny to keep his control. Thus it is abhorrent to a free society.
Minarchism: Approve; If the state is to be considered a necessary evil, it should be kept to it's absolute minimum and relegated to the duties of protection and order. The Merchant Republics are said to tread the line between minarchy and anarchy.
Anarchism: Strongly Approve; anarchy ultimately should be considered the ideal society, being total freedom and total self-determination.
Oligarchies: Disapprove; Rule by the elite has some advantages, the elite are intelligent and being in competition with each other will rarely allow collusion between state and economy, but ultimately such societies will decline into naked tyranny and hostility.
Military Juntas: Strongly Disapprove; Unstable naked tyranny, completely without merit as a system of governance.
Fascism: Strongly Disapprove; Fascism is the antithesis of a free society and thus can be utterly dismissed.
Presidential System: Disapprove; presidential executives are given powers not unlike a king, but have no similar sense of ownership, in stable societies the result will merely be corruption and cults of personality, but in less stable societies little separates a president from a dictator.
Parliamentary System: Approve: The parliamentary system of representation removes the similar cult of personality that surrounds a president by absorbing the Prime Minister into his party as opposed to his own stand out. The Republics however does not operate on such a system.

Economic Systems
Capitalism: Strongly Approve: Capitalism is the natural result of a free market economy, as it represents the most efficient form of capital establishment, any sufficiently advanced and truly free society will naturally become or at least incorporate capitalist features if it wishes to survive.
Socialism: Strongly Disapprove: In it's non-market variants socialism is nothing more than tyranny, regardless of whether it's democratic or despotic, it robs society of all virtue and subjugates it's people to collective slavery.
Mixed Economy: Disapprove: a mixed economy is nothing more than the legal exercise of illegal state powers, that said, they are certainly freer than many so called socialist societies.
Laissez-faire: Strongly Approve; Laissez-Faire is the only sane policy of any state which wishes for the maximum strength, growth and wealth of it's society.
Syndicalism (trade unionism): Approve; Unions so long as they remain voluntary organizations are perfectly legitimate means of worker's representation among their capitalist employers. The dynamic between labour and capital need only be that of any other client relationship and ideally all sides should benefit from their trade.
Planned Economy: Strongly Disapprove: A planned economy is doubly abhorrent, it cannot hope to match the efficiency and just distribution of a market society and in the process of attempting such totally controlled economies can only result in tyranny.
Grassroots economics: Approve; Economies should always be organic and bottom-up orchestrated.
Globalization: Strongly Approve; only fools stand in the way of progress.
Feudalism: Disapprove: an antiquated system of economic tyranny.
Corporatism: Disapprove; The state should never have control over capital or labour and the control of either can only result ultimately in tyranny.
Participatory Economics: Approve; all societies should be dependent upon voluntary participation, that applies to their economies as well.
Gift Economy: Neutral; While impossible to maintain on any feasible level lacking any sensible method of distribution, no one would say that a society with charity should be looked down upon.
Traditional Economy: Disapprove: "Traditional" is a fancy word for barbaric.

Social Philosophies
Authoritarianism: Disapprove
Conservatism: Neutral: One should not seek to conserve for the sake of conserving, and such a philosophy is ridiculous, conserving a free society however should always be preferred
Liberalism: Approve; In it's true classical sense liberalism seeks the ultimate free society, and thus can only be good, progressive liberalism however has divorced itself from such notions of a free society instead courting corporatism and central planning for the supposed "good" of society.
Libertarianism: Strongly Approve
Militarism: Disapprove: A free society that wishes peace must be armed to fight against barbarians who would seek to destroy it, but never fight for fighting's sake.
Pacifism: Approve: peace is the most desirable state among men.
Nationalism: Petty and occasionally dangerous but human.
Internationalism: We are better off for seeing ourselves as individuals above nations and arbitrary lines that attempt to divide us.
Secularism: Approve; the state should never enforce a moral code upon it's people.
Theocracy: Disapprove; the state should never enforce a moral code upon it's people.
Racism: Abhorrent and barbaric.
Egalitarianism: Disapprove; People are not equal and should not be treated as such, we should however treat each other as individuals with respect and care.
Individualism: Strongly Approve; Society is nothing but the collection of many millions of individual wills, it is the most important aspect of humanity.
Collectivism: Strongly Disapprove; for the reason listed above, their is no true collective will or collective good, attempts at finding it will ultimately descend to mob rule.
Environmentalism: Approve; The environment should be respect and cherished as property.
Consumerism: Strongly Approve; Consumerism is the word barbarians use for common people fulfilling their wants and needs. It is a wholly good thing. Mind of course, that everything best comes in moderation.

Freedoms
Abortion: Disapproved of by the greater society but legal in order to keep the mother safe.
Same Sex Marriage: The state has no say in marriage, one can list themselves married to a shoe if they so choose, so same-sex is hardly important, mainstream churches will rarely volunteer to provide marriage services
Polgamy/Polyamory/Group Marriage: ^ As above, the state does not intervene in marriage, except during arbitration.
LGBTQP (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Questioning, Pansexual) Rights: The state has no business in the sexual lives of it's citizens so long it remains consensual and legal. Society at large makes little concern towards non-standard sexual partnership, though monogamy is stressed.
Alcohol: Socially the consumption of alcohol is done only in moderation, drinking to excess being considered a sign of weak moral character, the state does not have any business in it's citizen's consumption naturally
Tobacco: Tobacco products are quite popular in the Republics, particularly cigars and pipes, mostly due to medical technology rendering the risks negligible.
Marijuana: As a mind-altering narcotic marijuana is relegated to the fringe of society and is socially frowned upon, no laws restrict it's sale.
"Soft Drugs": As with marijuana, tolerated but not popular. Legal of course.
"Hard Drugs": Socially abhorred and utterly condemned, usage is rare though legal.
Age of consent: Is 16 or at Emancipation (which can be any point before that age), socially one does not engage in sexual behaviour until marriage, and marriage usually waits one's early twenties.
Gun control: Tyranny, a government should derive it's mandate from the will of it's people, a government which deprives it's people of arms is essentially depriving them of their ability to resist and therefore their consent to rule. The right to self-defence and self-protection with any weapons is considered sacrosanct in the Republics, nearly the entire adult population of the Republics own a weapon, with as much as 1/4 carrying them on their person, daily, it is considered a sign of personal acceptance of responsibility and maturity.
Religion: Conscience and thought are not within the government's control, the Republics is quite religious however.
Private Automobiles: Shirley you jest? Of course our people may own automobiles.
Freedom of Speech: Of course.
Freedom of Press: Naturally, the state may not even own or regulate the media industry
Public Nudity: Within the right contexts (beaches, bathes, water in general) nudity is not just legal but encouraged, however outside of these specific contexts nudity is consider unhygienic and strange.
Animal Rights: Animals occupy a strange position in Mercatoran Law, when unowned and travelling through public property they are essentially treated as individual humans, killing them would be murder (of course with less punishment). However an owned animal or an animal living on a person's private property may be killed legally.
Human Rights: In the notion that every man/woman has the right to their own self-determination and freedom? Yes. In the barbaric notion that one person owes another on the account of their existence? No.
Prostitution: Legal but frowned upon of course.
Flag Burning: Legal

Other
To what extent does racial discrimination exist in your nation? Entirely negligible, totally unknown between humans but some still exists among the Orinean species and between humans and vodar.
To what extent does gender discrimination exist in your nation? Negligible gender roles exist but no significant social stigma exists for being outside them.
To what extent does sexuality discrimination exist in your nation?
To what extent does class discrimination exist in your nation? Almost none, capital and labour are seen as nothing more than any other client/provider relationship, and economic class is understood by all to be a matter of merit and luck not coercion and oppression.
To what extent does religious discrimination exist in your nation? One of the founding tenants of the largest church in the Republics; the Venetian Orthodoxy, is tolerance and peaceful coexistence of all faiths, this social more is well transferred into the Mercatorum.
To what extent does political discrimination exist in your nation? None, there are no political parties in the Republics, representatives are elected by their Republic individually and sent to the Council and Senate were they are to serve without forming any parties.
Do you have a national religion, and if so what? No, the Venetian Orthodoxy actually strongly supports the separation of church and state.
What are some things that are viewed as taboo within your society? Drunkenness or drug use, casual sex, casual dress (A suit with tie and fedora is considered bare minimum for an adult), accepting charity or gifts without offering something in return (more a cultural formality than genuine gesture).
What are some things your society allows that others may consider taboo? Public nude bathing, carrying weapons in public, smoking in general, being rich.

General Political Views
Libertarianism: Very much agree, Liberty is the central philosophy of the Confederation.
Liberalism: In the classical sense, most Republics conform to a classical definition of Liberal governance and it's policies are very much agreeable, however in the Progressive definition it is much hated for it's pro-statist policies and hollow promises of freedom.
Communism: Disagree, Communism as a primary economic system is an infantile dream that leads men to enslave their brothers in the name of an a selfish model of sacrifice of the good to the evil. That said, communists are free to live out this fantasy on their own land according to the consent of their members.
Socialism:
Syndicalism/Market Socialism: Mutualist cooperatives are a common enough economic entity among the Republics, though their relative instability and inefficiency to private firms often prevents them from larger market shares. Most people agree in principle that Mutualism is good, but see that there is no way to bring it about as the dominant economic without forceful removal of corporate entities and such a thing would not be acceptable.
Fascism: Corporatism and other nationalist and state capitalist entities are the lowest of the low in the Republics, it was because of the ceaseless battles between the two camps of "communism" and fascism that the Earth was ravaged and destroyed. Fascism is an utterly reviled ideology and nothing more than naked tyranny and oppression.
Other: We should perhaps explain what our own system is here, we are an nation devoted to the principle of individual sovereignty, essentially we are anarchic society that runs upon voluntary consent, our "Republics" are unlike states, but rather are more free social organizations in which membership is entirely voluntary.

Opinions on Forms of Government: (please write agree, neutral or disagree; feel free to specify)
Monarchy (Absolute): Neutral, every man is a king in the Republics, but further than that a monarch may be good if he allows the freedom of his subjects to live as they please and organize by volition but he may also be cruel and evil, it is thus not safe to trust such an absolute monarchy, as it always at risk of abuse.
Monarchy (Constitutional): A constitutional monarchy has a much better chance at operating under such free lines as an absolute monarch. While not at all desirable in face of voluntary organization and democracy, it is preferable to have a constitutional monarch than a dictator or absolute monarch.
Dictatorship: Naked petty tyranny which removes the lone good of a monarchy; that a monarch may be said to benefit from his people's freedom. It is the utter antitheses of the Republics.
Oligarchy: Rule by the elite few may be said to have advantages, and some Republic choose such systems, but it is not preferred to more democratic alignments.
Parliament: Agreed.
Presidency: Executives are a precarious force, any single president may utilize his influence to take the essential powers of a dictator, thus the Republics operates with a Triumvirate executive branch. All decisions are made by at least two of the three executives and thus it never appears that one man is more powerful than any other.
Direct Democracy: Inefficient and prone to mob rule, we agree with it however as democracy is the system in which the majority can be best heard.

General Economic Views (please write agree, neutral or disagree; feel free to specify)
Free Trade: Strongly agree, free trade is the most effective system
Fair Trade: All free trade is fair, so long as all contracts are followed. Nonetheless voluntary measures to increase the share of money going to the poorer end of the deal are something few people could be said to disagree with it.
Free Market (Completely Un-regulated Market):
Nationalized Utilities: The Republics are banned from holding de jure monopolies in any market, though nationalized industries are not implicitly barred. Private property however can never be seized by a Republic government (except to be held in trust or to sell off for the repayment of tax or judicial debts), national industries must be built from the ground-up, which of course, means that there are very few of them.
Nationalized Trade: A quick route to poverty, mass scale inefficiency and widespread bureaucratic tyranny. Ergo, we disagree.
International Corporations: The Republics have many corporations which operate across the Confederation and wider galaxy. So long as they conform to the laws of their land and do not occupy any undue position of privilege (as under corporatism), they are liked or at least tolerated by almost all Republics.
Emissions Control:
Quality Assurance Control:
Competitive Banking System:
Nationalized Banking System:
Mixed Economy (Nationalised Business competes with Privatised Business): Inefficient wasteful and anti-market. Not unconstitutional, just stupid.
Infosocialism: Disagreed Strongly. Ideas should be owned by their thinkers at least until they choose to share them of their own volition.
Infocommunism: Agreed on principle. Ideas are a non-scarce, instantly transferable and infinitely replicated resource and thus claiming implicit ownership of all similar trains of thought is paradoxical. The only copy-rights that exist in the Republic are those to protect against fraud.

Equality (Please write agree, neutral or disagree)
Gender Equality: Neutral. It is clear that men and women like all individuals are different, it is foolish to then call the same. They are equal under the law but society recognizes the difference.
Racial Equality: Agreed.
Species Equality: Neutral. Species are clearly different, they should be treated as individuals, free to succeed on their own merits. Equality is found in citizenship and under the law.
Age Equality: One is typically considered a minor until 18, but emancipation may grant one all the same legal rights and freedoms as an adult at any age. There are no laws stating at what age a person may drive or eat.
Intelligence Equality: We don't understand the concept, but frankly the whole thing sounds like communism and thus we disagree with it. People should be free to use their talents to better themselves.

Religion (please write agree, neutral or disagree)
Religion should be involved in politics: The religious morals of a nation should never be applied by force, it is a strong Mercatorum ethic that religion should be a personal moral matter not to be tainted by the state.
Churches/Temples/Places of Worship should be tax free: All income of citizens is taxed in the Republics, but other forms of taxation are illegal. So long as the church operates as a charitable organization it will not be taxed.
Freedom of religion: As said above religion is a private, personal belief in the republics, laws cannot bar the conscience of any man, legally.

Civil Liberties and Political Freedom Views
Right to freedom of artistic expression: Agreed. Art is a treasure.
Right to freedom of political expression: Agreed. The state should have no power to censure.
Right to freedom of bodily expression: Agreed. The body is a natural thing, to be covered not out of shame but practicality and civility.
Right to freedom of marriage: union or divorce: Agreed. Marriage is not an issue for the state.
Right to marriage (same sex included): Agreed. Consent is the only factor to be measured in the marriage of two persons.
Right to marriage (polygamy included): Agreed.
Right to travel (internally without visa or papers): Agreed. All Republics must allow free travel of all other citizens and denizens among the Confederation.
Right to travel (internationally without criminal intent) : Agreed. Though registering your arrival is necessary for logistical simplicity.
Right to education (free): We were unaware that education could be free. If you are referring to publicly funded schooling, we disagree.
Right to education (with fees): Does one have the right to bar you from learning? No. Do you have the right to impose the responsibility for your education on another? No.
Right to ownership and inheritance: Strongly Agreed. Ownership is the foundation of civilization and inheritance is nothing more than gift-giving, and the giving of gifts is always acceptable even in death.

Evil Things
Slavery: Never implicitly banned in the Republics as it feel into disuse and was simply forgotten, but in all practical terms it is illegal and slavers are arrested for kidnapping and unlawful confinement and slave freed when discovered. You cannot own other people and as such slavery is an unrecognizable institution.
Racism: Disagree. Race is a ridiculous barrier, we are all but individuals.
Species/Race Superiority: Neutral, most species in the Republics would agree that humanity is clearly superior in technology, culture and ability, nonetheless institutionalized racism is barred legally.
Creationism: Not quite evil, wouldn't you say? Just a particularly non-scientific belief in the origin of the universe, we do not and cannot and would not legislate against beliefs or conscience.

Do you agree with these statements?: (please write agree, neutral or disagree; feel free to specify)
Science is the only truth: Agree though a religious devotion to science seems paradoxical.
Religions are harmful to society: Disagree, they can provide social unity and outlets for personal charity and communities.There is nothing at all harmful from that, harm comes from ignorance and hate, and these are not a trait of religious beliefs solely.
Evolution is fact: Agreed. Even the Council of Faith has unilaterally accepted that evolution is a fact of science. Though disagreement about it's nature still exists.
Capitalism is just another word of economic aristocracy: Certainly, capitalism is the means by which those best at serving the interest of their fellows achieve the highest stations in society and simultaneously through their efforts they raise up the rest, yes, it is a wonderful form of economic aristocracy isn't it?
Astrology is a valid way to predict future events: Disagree. Of course, some citizens may feel otherwise.
Humans are born Evil: Evil is a subjective value.
Humans are born Neutral: Man is not a tabula rasa, though his society shapes him, he can have inborn genetic instincts and predilections toward either good and evil.
Humans are born Good: Good is a subjective value.
Last edited by The Merchant Republics on Sat Oct 31, 2015 3:51 am, edited 53 times in total.
Your Resident Gentleman and Libertarian; presently living in the People's Republic of China, which is if anyone from the Party asks "The Best and Also Only China".
Christian Libertarian Autarchist: like an Anarchist but with more "Aut".
Social: Authoritarian/Libertarian (-8.55)
Economic: Left/Right (7.55)
We are the premiere of civilization, the beacon of liberty, the font of prosperity and the ever illuminating light of culture in this hellish universe.
In short: Elitist Wicked Cultured Free Market Anarchists living in a Diesel-Deco World.

Now Fearing: Mandarin Lessons from Cantonese teachers.
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The Merchant Republics
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Merchant Republics » Fri Dec 03, 2010 8:36 pm

Section I: Political Structure and Philosophy


"The philosophy of Mercatorum Governance is that it is the society and more importantly the individuals within it which are sovereign, and the government is merely a single instrument of the people, the power to govern thus is granted not by sheer force or mob rule but on the consent of each individual to be subject to will of others. We are not a traditional anarchy by any means; having recognized governance, however one's membership to a state is entirely voluntary, it's contractual, one opts to become a citizen of a state and one can just as easily opt out. We like to say we didn't get rid of the social contract we just individualized it."
- John Tarquin Hammond, Prominent Industrialist, Socialite and Philosopher


General Philosophy and Overview


The first key to understanding the make-up of the Confederation's governance is to realize that with exception to the overarching framework of the constitution, the entire conception of governance is bottom-up, starting with each and every individual person. Every individual upon his emancipation*, under the Celestial Constitution is considered to himself a sovereign entity and is designated a "Free Man" or "Denizen" of the Greater Confederation.

As a Denizen, he may choose to live and travel wherever he may please and be free to conduct his business in peace and without interference from the state. Should he choose too, he may completely isolate himself on his own sovereign property, supplying his own needs and living on his own or with those he invites on his property and so long as all those on his property remain free to leave and safe from harm he may live completely outside of all other persons and the state.

However such an isolated lifestyle is hardly beneficial to anyone and is rarely safe. As such it is far more advantageous for individual free men to band together in common agreement to defend their property and person from outside threats as well as to come together for mutual trade. From here of course, we see that society becomes more and more complex, eventually they may reach such a size and complexity that they may be called justly a state unto their own. From here, it is up to the decision of these land-owners whether or not to forsake their free status for the greater protections of a Republic.

Under the Celestial Confederation any such sufficiently large group of cooperating property owners may apply to become a full-fledged Republic, though in order to be acknowledged as a Republic they must prove their worth to the Confederation. To become a Republic is a great feat, one with many benefits and many responsibilities, thus to weed out the fledgling and opportunistic formation of nascent republics that would serve the Confederation no benefit, all would-be Republics must prove themselves in some manner valuable to the greater Confederation. The principle method of which is to provide a worthy tribute or act of service for the Council.

Once acknowledged it receives all the advantages and protections of a Republic including at least one representative seat in the Citizen's Council, the principal legislative house of the Confederation, whose decisions concern the operation, defence and maintenance of law and order throughout the entirety of the Celestial Union and resolving disputes among it's members. The amount of seats and representation a Republic receives is variable, dependent upon the value of their tribute and service to the Confederation. Thus a Republic's representation is decided principally by their dedication and value to the Celestial Confederation, in this way, a Republic with a small but dedicated population may receive a larger voice in the Council than a large but disinterested one. Seats may be traded among Republics, though any such trade must be approved by the Council. Certain acts of service may warrant an incredibly valuable seat in the Senate, the principal judicial and secondary legislative house. The Senate is to be staffed exclusively by great minds, and any new senator must be approved by all previous senators and the Triumvirate.

At the apex of Confederation Government lies the Executive Triumvirate, which consists of three members each representative of an integral part of Mercatorum Governance. The first is the Grand Chancellor of the Citizen's Council is elected from within the Council to serve as the primary voice of the Republics. The Second is Consul of Senate, chosen again from the Senate and considered the Voice of the Senate, Confederation and Constitution as an entity. The Final Member of the Triumvirate is the Primarch, who is chosen to represent the principal voice of the people themselves, the Primarch is elected by plebliscite of every person in the Republics, both citizen and denizen.


* Emancipation will be covered in later sections, but it is important to note that there is no age of emancipation in the Republic, it is established simply by the act of becoming a freeman or a citizen of your own, so long as you choose to be, you could remain under the authority of your parents your entire life or leave as early as you choose.
** Editor's Note: While you may have assumed this already, it is important to note that it is practice in Mercatorum literature; this Guidebook included, to use the masculine gender whenever referring to people in general, a Free Man therefore would encompass also a "Free Woman" and people of all other kinds, the catch all is simply for dislike of the use the "-person" suffix that is considered bulky and excessively inoffensive. This is to clarify, that women just as much as men, may hold this status.


Citizens and Denizens: In Depth

"A citizen is not born, he is made, forged in service and bound in brotherhood. "
- Primarch Gregory Mercati Vincenzo


The concept of the individual as sovereign to himself makes up the foundation upon which rests the bulk of political philosophy and is singularly cherished as the cornerstone to a free and prosperous society. This concept is applied in practice through the distinction of two political classes of Citizens and Denizens.

A Denizen or "Free Man" is the living embodiment of this concept of sole sovereignty, he may choose to live however he may please, where-ever he may please, with whomever for whatever reason, his only limitation being that he may not harm the Citizen of any Republic at which time the Republic may seek amends violently. So long as he refrains himself from this harm, he pays no taxes, services no government and lives only in accordance with his own will. However his status is tenuous, his freedoms exist only at the mercy of others, he has no legal protection nor representation in government, any crime committed upon him is a crime only upon his body and any amends he seeks must be done solely through his own power, he cannot access the services of state except by paying for them himself usually at a premium cost.
A Citizen however is one who has of his own will surrendered some amount of that sole sovereignty over himself and his property in order to receive the protections, benefits and responsibilities of a government. Though the exact terms of the responsibilities and benefits of his Citizenship will vary, principally all citizens can expect the legal rights to redress any harms to himself or his property and common defence of his society. Many Republics also offer to utilize their citizens taxed dollars towards positive social goals like education and social safety nets*, to guarantee the protect and well-being of their least able and unfortunate.
In return however a Citizen must pay taxes, follow the codes of his government strictly and most importantly any person who wishes to receive his own citizenship must undertake some service to his Republic in order to earn his rights, of which the most common is to give oneself as a tribute of the nation to the Celestial Legions for a three year period of service or otherwise serve in the Republic's own military.
This requirement of service is perhaps the strongest division between dedicated free men and citizens, as well as a necessary safeguard against those who might opportunistically attempt to take the benefits of citizenship and leave before they had to pay their share.

While it is said that every man is born free not every person is of course born a denizen. Indeed the majority are born to citizen parents, however citizenship cannot be hereditary in the Confederation, the child of a citizen therefore does not receive the rights of a citizen, he is instead a ward of the citizen and the only benefits he receives are that of his guardians, he cannot vote, he cannot own property and he cannot seek legal redress or sign legal contracts except through his guardian, whom has legal power over him until emancipation. Emancipation is the process by which a ward becomes a free man, leaving his families securities to live on his own, legally this may be done at anytime and at any age as there is no minimum or maximum age for a ward*, however the ward's capability of consent and living on his own may come into play if very young. Upon emancipation many in the Mercatorum choose to live to live several years (even decades) as denizens, enjoying the immediate benefits of their youth freely travelling among the Republics, while others upon emancipation immediately seek citizenship of their own.


*I will make note here, that these concepts are different in the Republics than you may be familiar, for one public ownership of education is strictly forbidden by the constitution as well as public (de jure) monopoly of any single industry, not even law enforcement. A government which helps pay for education will instead guarantee costs or similar schemes.
**Theoretically, one could remain a ward of one's parents until they die or become the ward of another person at any age, however for a capable adult free man status is usually preferable. An odd bit of fact, a citizen may take a companion as a ward and if they are married the couple would share citizenship but if they later divorced only one party may keep it. Fortunately, "citizen-diggers" are generally dissuaded both by social mores regarding marriage & divorce as well as legal bias against giving citizenship to the unearned party without due cause.



Republics and Commonwealths: In Depth

"In the commons were freemen and citizens alike, and one could always tell the difference; the Republic life was worn on their backs with a quiet dignity and pride, yet in their eyes there yearned the lost adventure of a freeman. Though they knew better, for freedom can break a man as soon as liberate him and a citizen was no less strong. For to be a freeman is to trade your peace and security for your freedom, but to be a citizen is to sacrifice your freedom for the peace and security of all. "
- Excerpt from "The Lamentations of A Colonial Thomas" (2420) written by Harold H. Yancy

The Celestial Confederation: In Depth
Last edited by The Merchant Republics on Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:31 am, edited 22 times in total.
Your Resident Gentleman and Libertarian; presently living in the People's Republic of China, which is if anyone from the Party asks "The Best and Also Only China".
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Section III: Notable Documents of the Republics


The Constitution of the New Celestial Confederation of the Most Serene Merchant Republics


Let it be henceforth established here among the free peoples of mankind; in order to recognize and better protect the natural liberties of each individual; over his own person, property and his sovereignty of association; that form the constitution of these newly established Republics. This constitution shall be held as the supreme law between all duly consenting and recognized governments and their citizens. It's articles shall preside over all duties and tolerances of power which shall be granted to civil governments, without exception even to itself.

Article One: Supremacy and Reach of the Celestial Charter

Section I: To secure the foundations of our society upon the common principle of mutual agreement and freedom: let it be written that the authority of the Constitution and the rights and laws which it protects shall apply without exception between every individual who acknowledges and abides by it. The law of the constitution shall not be infringed nor limited except under the voluntary consent of those affected.


Section 2: In recognition that the highest principle of all liberty is that of self-direction; let it be written that no free agent under the authority of the Constitution shall be subject to the restrictions, duties or excises of any state he does not choose for himself to recognize. His wilful consent must be sought before his inclusion in any civil body, and within every civil body he shall retain his right to afterwards excuse himself, subject to the reasonable intervention of justice.


Section 3: Acknowledging that the formation of civil society and government is inevitable in any society of rational people; the Constitution shall recognize, protect and hold accountable any civil body founded upon mutual agreement and who so desires such protection so that in return these Republics may provide together for the protection of the greater Confederation.

Section 4: As acknowledged with men, let the state be acknowledged as well to be held to the constitution only so long as it's body politic agrees to be bound. A Republic may retain the right at anytime to surrender their status, so long as they are clear of debts. Let the confederation itself also retain the right to exclude any Republic which has offended the constitution beyond all reparation.

Article II: Limitations of Freedoms

Section 1: Proscribing the limitations of justice between all free agents of the Celestial Confederation; let it be written that the foundation of justice here rests upon the acknowledgement and protection of an individual's right to his own self-sovereignty and as such the only just limitations which can be imposed upon one man's sovereignty over his person and property occurs when he himself has first infringed upon the self-same sovereignty of another.


Section 2: Acknowledging that unlimited freedom is in itself a perilous balance of restrictions: Let it be written that the constitution shall abide certain limitations of it's articles when judged to be duly proportional and just in the defence of the citizenry. Let these limitations never exceed this balance, and security never put before liberty, but let liberty never infringe on liberty.

Section 3: Recognizing the rights of man to his own self-sovereignty, let no state charge a free man for any service which he himself did not partake in and let the charge not exceed the fair price for it's usage. In the self-same principle let no free man claim as right any service of the state. Let no freeman be held to the regulations of the state without consent, excepting that those regulations held specific to him.

Article III: Rights of Commerce

Section 1: Let it first be established that the supremacy of order and law is but a by-product of the supremacy of commerce in our realms, and that peace of arms is but a shadow to the peace of trade. Let then it be established that the peace between Republics rests upon the free trade of goods and services between all Republics, and that no Republic shall charge excise, detain or otherwise embargo the goods or merchants of another Republic, no tax shall be levied beyond that which is levied upon it's own merchants. No citizen of any republic shall be prevented from purchasing the goods, land or services within another republic.

Section 2: Let it hereafter be established that commerce and the state shall be duly separated, such that no nation shall lawfully monopolize the means of production, neither de jure or de facto, nor shall the state be allowed to unduly prevent private actors from entering the market. The state shall furthermore be restricted from monopolistic protection of any industry, essential or otherwise. Particularly pertaining to Education, Law Enforcement and Health Services, notwithstanding any non-monopolistic involvement.

Section 3: As between states so shall it be between citizens that no state shall unjustly interfere with the commerce of properly consenting and voluntary agents, no good nor service shall be prohibited by the state except that which causes an unknown and unjust harm to either party in a specific and real manner. The regulations of the state shall preside thereafter not as a prohibition of goods but the regulation of those corrupted agents.
In example, the sale and purchase of narcotics and opiate shall not be prohibited, but a state shall reserve the right to restrict it's citizens from the industry itself, provided it can prove such regulations just under the limitations clause.


Article IV: Rights of Citizen

Article V: Rights of State

Article VI: Rights of Freemen


The National Anthem and Other Patriotic Hymns

The Song of the Exodus

The Official National Anthem of the Merchant Republics and Celestial Confederation "The Song of the Exodus", was chosen to commemorate the Exodus Fleet and final years of Earth, reflected in the very solemn beginning, it chronicles the journey from a low and dark beginning to a triumphant rise towards our eventual arrival and establishment of our new Celestial Confederation. It is as you might imagine something not played before sports games. It is reserved usually for solemn occasions and national holidays.




The Oath of the Legionary


As a Legionary, I shall honour my Republic in tribute to the Confederation and with unwavering loyalty serve in its defence and the defence of the people, liberties and ideals for which it stands.
I shall not fail in my duties nor shall I bring disgrace to my Legion and Nation with acts of injustice or tyranny. For I shall bring justice to the oppressed and vindication to the innocent.
I shall not rest while the enemies of the Republics draw near nor shall I falter in face of danger. For I shall always serve with conviction and courage befitting my Legion and Nation.
I shall not forsake the honour and righteousness of my Legion and Nation with acts of cruelty and malice. For I shall bring mercy to my enemies and kindness to the weak.
I shall not stumble into anger and hatred for the barbarian nor shall I bare my sword in mindless wrath. For I shall always serve with the civility and tolerance befitting my Legion and Nation.
I shall never surrender to the enemies of civilization; to barbarism, injustice, cruelty and tyranny. For I shall endeavour always to keep the peace, fight the unjust, defend honourable and liberate the oppressed in all lands for all time.
For I am a Legionary; the sounding instrument of civilization, the herald of liberty, the sword of justice & the shield of the oppressed and until my dying breath I shall defend the Most Serene Confederation, her liberties, her justice and all her peoples.

To this I (Name), do solemnly and freely swear.


The Oath of the Citizen


As a Citizen, I shall honour my Republic by upholding its laws, codes and charters and where-ever I may go I shall seek to uphold justice and maintain the peace.I shall not seek quarrel between my fellows nor rob them of that which they rightly earned and keep. I shall not abide the presence of crime and vice nor falter in the defence of its victims. I shall not harm the weak nor seek injustice. I shall endeavour to benefit my nation and myself through the productive and gainful use of my skills.

To this I (Name) do solemnly and freely swear.
Last edited by The Merchant Republics on Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:07 pm, edited 21 times in total.
Your Resident Gentleman and Libertarian; presently living in the People's Republic of China, which is if anyone from the Party asks "The Best and Also Only China".
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We are the premiere of civilization, the beacon of liberty, the font of prosperity and the ever illuminating light of culture in this hellish universe.
In short: Elitist Wicked Cultured Free Market Anarchists living in a Diesel-Deco World.

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Section IV: History


Part I: Beginnings

The History of the Merchant Republics is a long story which has it's beginnings in the fall of the Western Roman Empire, just before Rome was sacked a series of notable victories in the Po Valley forced the Visigoths and Vandals out of region, allowing most of Italy to retain much of it's Roman Infrastructure and Order as it transitioned into Feudal Europe, a positive boon to the well-being of the average dark age Italian. Though the fraction of Northern Italy into city-states was inevitable the ensuing states were much closer in ties.

This proved advantageous when Charlemagne ascended the Frankish throne, their close associations led to a coherent and effective resistance against his Italian campaign, in 797 a truce was forged and Charlemagne instead focused his troops on Spain where he ended his expansion after a dismal campaign.

In the early 1100's the Venetian Doge Benesuto "Le Argento" Vedicci was elected to the Crown of Venice, Benesuto was a radical Duke who had much closer ties to the merchant class then the nobility and papacy, his reign saw Venice reach ascendancy among the City-States as a rich, cultural beacon and shaking off Byzantine ties. The outrage prompted the Byzantines to invade in an ambitious gambit to retake Italy after their last attempt failed due to the black plague.

The Doge knew he could not stand alone against the Byzantines, so he used his considerable clout in the Northern Italian-States and with Papal Blessing Forged a Coalition of the Italian City-States otherwise known as the Merchant Republics. The First Armies of the Merchant Republics blocked the Byzantine advance up the Eastern Italian Coast and with the help of Sicily defeated the numerically superior Byzantines. This victory forged a long-lasting bond between the City-States. However no single city-state was willing to give up their independence to any other, the struggle for power threatened to break the alliance before Doge Benesuto taking influence from Roman and Greek literature (still quite preserved) proposed a system of a constitutional alliance based primarily on the Delian League. The city-states would be required to pay tribute into a common defence fund or otherwise supply volunteer manpower.

The League of Merchant Republics was established, this coalition kept the peace in the traditionally divided Italian Republics allowing them to expand greatly across the Mediterranean and becoming a regional power of their own. By 1250 they controlled a great swath of Italy and Greece (including Crete and Rhodes) had moved in to challenge the Holy Roman Empire and allied themselves with the similarly independent-minded Swiss.

Their involvement in the Crusades was initially limited but after independent companies of faithful Italians managed to capture strategically convenient trade areas of the Holy Lands, the Merchant Republic became increasingly involved, unfortunately for them the Third Crusades failure forced the Italians out of most of their ports, though they had managed to negotiate with Saladin to keep the Middle-Eastern Trade Routes open to their Merchants, the effect enriched not just the Italians but the Muslims who used the wealth to take out Byzantines and secure Anatolia much earlier then otherwise. Though at the behest of the Pope, the Fourth Crusade was called to defend Constantinople from the encroaching Turks. A move which secured their eventual absorption of the former Byzantine Empire and Thracia into the Republics for most of the next hundred years.

Though in many ways the Empire had never died in the Republics, the Renaissance in the rest of Europe had nonetheless a immense effect in the Republics where wealth and education of the average citizen was now encroaching on the standards of Rome at it's height.

Though the Republics had excellent public sanitation and hygiene the Black Death still managed to take it's toll, the death toll however was half what it was in Northern Europe, this allowed the Italians to expand strategically northward, eventually taking Vienna from the HRE and Badenburgs. This would be the extent of their European growth however, as the papacy frowned upon their taking advantage of their northern Catholic brothers and the later effect of the Venetian Orthodox Reformation forced them against Catholic France and Spain which along with the Turks and Mongols (who had captured Thrace and made many moves towards Constantinople and Byzantine region in the coming years) to the East checked their growth.

The opening of the Americas led to a great deal of warfare with the Spanish who many times attempted to block the Italians into the Mediterranean. Eventually bypassed through an alliance with the Moroccan Caliphate, a move which led to the excommunication of the Merchant Republics and the formation of the Venetian Orthodox Church. The Republics was still hampered by the Spaniards and managed to take only a few Caribbean Colonies in most cases co-opted and defended by their Dutch Allies to their North.

The Republics and Swiss Confederacy formally joined together at the onset of the Thirty Years War in the HRE, having captured Austria the fighting was greatly tilted in favour of the Lutherans.

Like Paris and London, Venice and Milan became centres of the Enlightenment and Scientific Revolution thought. Many famous men like Voltaire and Decartes fled to the Republics to escape the Monarchy and tyranny in France. The Republics managed to pre-empt England to the Industrial Revolution by as much as 7 years, this revolutionized the Republics place in the world, though England took world ascendancy, the Republics remained the Richest and Most Technologically Advanced nation for most of the rest of Earth's history.

Romanticism and the rise of Nationalism severely threatened the power of the Republics, and they suffered many rebellions which led to critical (though mostly temporary) loses of territory. Though art and technology continued to flourish in the Republics. Capitalism was accepted enmasse by the people of the Republics and brought untold riches. However the Merchant Republics wealth soon attracted great envy world-wide, this envy particularly in Germany, Spain and Eastern Europe led to a fantastic boon to Socialist thought which found quite eager followers willing to pin their poverty on the riches of the Republics. Though the movement found little fertile ground in the Republics or Britain or in their American Colonies.

Bismarck's social welfare state comprimise started the catalyst to an inevitable world war as German and French Nationalism drew to a fever pitch. In 1902 Germany declared war on the Dutch bringing the British and Republics into a world-wide war with the German, French and Spanish. The Allies barely managed to achieve a stalemate over the next period of 20 years at an enormous manpower cost. In 1920 a ceasefire was called, The Russian Czar had been deposed and a Socialist Government took it's place, in Germany, Spain and France Socialist Revolutionaries easily convinced a War-Weary populace to revolt, though the revolutions were ultimately unsuccessful it brought a halt to the First World World.

Damaged greatly by the war, Britain and the Republics fell behind the United States of America in economic supremacy, though still vastly more economically advanced then their Real-Life counterparts (to compare the 1930's had almost comparable MT technology, by the 21st century technology had advanced to a similar area of complexity to what we may reach in 2100). In the East, almost all of Europe past the edge of Prussia fell under Soviet Influence, China was conquered in large swaths by Japan and India revolted under British rule becoming a the World second Socialist Republic, revolutions throughout Colonial Africa and America did the same, though the Dutch and Merchant Republics colony were mostly safe, Britain suffered a lose of most of it's colonies, including Canada to America (thankfully not Socialist), Spain suffered the worst, losing it's entire colonial empire to socialist revolution and by the 1950's it was forced to pick the dynamic of socialism or fascism it choose the latter, Spain became the first "fascist state" to succumb their semblance of liberty to protect themselves from the internal pressure of socialism. In 2000 Germany was divided by civil war, the West becoming Freer like the Republics, the left succumbing to Socialism.

In the Early 2010's however a radical fringe developed in response to Nuclear development and Colonial warfare the hippie generation, utterly unknown in the Republics it took Britain and America by storm, this however was not the peaceful hippies of our time, and hippies of the 21st century became siginificantly more warlike as time went on. In the late 2000's America was in full-blown civil war and Britain was battling increasing internal pressure. France had long fallen to socialism and Western Germany was a mere corridor of safe land for trade.

This ultimately culminated in the Great Apocalyptic War, in 2098 America had been lost and a massive influx of refugees began to reach the Republics, having no more room to accommodate the millions upon millions of refugees flowing in from around the world, the Republics began an ambitious project of colonizing space via satellites and moon colonies. These satellite cities became voluminous but it was soon clear that they could not be sustained on the miniscule resources still available to the Republics.
Last edited by The Merchant Republics on Fri May 13, 2011 8:16 am, edited 2 times in total.
Your Resident Gentleman and Libertarian; presently living in the People's Republic of China, which is if anyone from the Party asks "The Best and Also Only China".
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Economic: Left/Right (7.55)
We are the premiere of civilization, the beacon of liberty, the font of prosperity and the ever illuminating light of culture in this hellish universe.
In short: Elitist Wicked Cultured Free Market Anarchists living in a Diesel-Deco World.

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Section II: Notable Nations, Republics and Organizations


Social Guilds
Social Guilds or Orders are a prominent part of Mercatorum Society, they occupy an interesting political niche, acting in many respects like a state of their own but with much different capabilities. The scope, size and activities of a Republic are very restricted by constitutional limits; as NGOs, social foundations can bypass a great deal of these restrictions. Social Foundations are very popular among Denizens, because most offer assistance in crime investigation and criminal apprehension without the necessary taxation and military service. More so social foundations have a power to stretch between Republics and offer a very unifying element to the often decentralized and diverse Republics.



Image
The EQUES Foundation

The EQUES Foundation is one of the most prominent and important social foundations within the Merchant Republics, though their own historians trace their lineage to Romulus and the founding of Rome it's first concrete beginnings are in an organization of chivalric orders of Medieval Italy, the EQVES (or Eques) Foundation espouses traditional knightly values of chivalry, nobility and honour. They are a very exclusive organization with elite membership which gives them power much above their actual representation in the population. Nonetheless their organization is very popular among even non-members in the citizenry for their charitable activities, support of the arts and for their efforts to preserve class and etiquette in the general society.
They have a long-standing, though amicable, rivalry with the Mercator Society and Faborum Union, this three-way rivalry manifests itself in many different open competitions held between the three organizations (among a few notable others), the Society has long been the champions of the shooting, tennis and rowing competitions and Faborum are undisputed as the top competitors in boxing, wrestling and baseball, the EQVES finally have long dominated Fencing, Chariot Races and Polo. Couples dancing, running, swimming, and football (soccer) are usually very fierce battles.



Image
The Mercator Society

The Mercator Society has it's roots in the Merchant Guilds of the Medieval Period of Earth, though it's long expanded beyond that shell. The Mercator Society is much more open then the EQVES, accepting almost anyone who will pay the dues and follow their codes. The principle values of the Mercator Society are described as Innovation, Productivity, and Honesty but they have also come to represent the traditional values of the Mercantilian Middle-Class, with a large value placed on families and strong, loving relationships.

The Mercator Society is one of the most popular Guilds in terms of membership, representing large sections of the nation's blossoming middle class, offering a much wider-field of political and economic protections than the EQVES (whose emphasis is on the social and prestigious elements of a society) but not quite so strongly bound as the Faborum (whose focus is chiefly economic).




Image
The Faborum Union

The Faborum Union most certainly traces it's own formation in labour unions during the Industrial Revolution, coming together much in the same way as the EQVES and the Society, the Faborum Union has come to be a representative of the working class and their values. Pride, Loyalty, Brotherhood and Craftsmenship. While like their fellow organizations the Faborum is involved in community and charity, the Union is perhaps the most involved in assisting it's members, offering not just health and criminal insurance coverage, but also it's own credit service and subsidized dispute court.

Dues are very low and membership generally easy to obtain so long as you abide by the standards.
Last edited by The Merchant Republics on Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:04 am, edited 21 times in total.
Your Resident Gentleman and Libertarian; presently living in the People's Republic of China, which is if anyone from the Party asks "The Best and Also Only China".
Christian Libertarian Autarchist: like an Anarchist but with more "Aut".
Social: Authoritarian/Libertarian (-8.55)
Economic: Left/Right (7.55)
We are the premiere of civilization, the beacon of liberty, the font of prosperity and the ever illuminating light of culture in this hellish universe.
In short: Elitist Wicked Cultured Free Market Anarchists living in a Diesel-Deco World.

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Section VI: Economy & Technology


ImageImage



"Let it be known across the Republics; that The state has no stake in the fair and free transactions of men, no place in our industry. The policy now and forever is Laissez-Passer! Laissez-Faire!"

~Primarch Leonardo Flavius Benevuto, 1857 upon the passing of constitutional amendment XVII barring state intervention in the markets after a costly war between Genoa and Milan.


The Merchant Republics have an exceedingly wealthy, innovative and extremely powerful laissez-faire market economy, driven by expansive colonial development, domestic production and recently an influx of foreign trade. However for the given time the economy while massive is relatively insular, due to little contact with outside nations, domestic production has consistently provided for the entire demands of domestic consumption up until quite recently, this has given the Republics a very wide array of technological, manufacturing and service capabilities.Technological advancement, massive productive potential, ravenous consumer demand and newly open markets all fuel an economy which has not shrunk in three decades and has regularly grown in excess of 5% of GDP per year since the founding of the Four Colonies.

The Republics have a highly innovative and competitive market, with very few firms enjoying a considerable lead over their competitors, even massive conglomerates like Morgan & Caesar Unlimited and Hammond Interstellar only hold about 10% market shares in their most well known fields (banking and starship construction respectively). This constant competitive pressure however has generally dissuaded excessive market jockeying, because official policy has outright refused to grant any corporate privilege or subsidies, companies are largely forced to rely on shrewd growth strategies and marketing.

As a laissez-faire economy the majority of economic ownership and trade among the Mercatorum is private or corporate in nature, but a surprisingly large minority of cooperative businesses exist. These numbers are roughly 30%, 55% and 15% respectively. A rather notable aspect of the Merchant Economy is the surprising lack of trade unions, most corporations consider unions to be unwieldy and have instead opted to give their worker's organizations an active voice within the company by selling them shares of the company. This means strikes are relatively rare in the Republics as most workers have a very good incentive to increase their factories productivity.

The majority of employment in the Republics is in the Service Sector at 61%, but we retain a healthy secondary manufacturing sector at 34%, and at least 5% of the Population is involved in Primary Resource Collection and Farming. The intensity of capital investment in the Republic has led to unprecedented productivity, such that the GDP-Per Capita has reached roughly 25,000 Denarii ($112,500 USD) and the average family income is regularly above that at 32,000 Denarii ($134,000 USD).

Storefronts: Imports and Exports

Chief exports from the Republics are difficult to discern, as data is not quite strictly available to us as to what precisely other nations import, however it is widely known that the Mercatorum are renowned for our high-quality consumer goods, particularly high-end fashions and jewellery, technological gizmos and software, and high-tech manufacturing like starships and high-tension building supplies. A good portion of our money is earned through tourism and artistic production as well.

Several Mercatorum Industries have begun to gain notoriety in the greater universe for their superior quality, workmanship and technology. Particularly in the areas of fashion, starships, pre-fab colonies, professional quality art and certain military goods.

This guidebook will eventually include links to their main pages, at this time these links are:

Trois Demants Fashion Corporation: A Beacon of Fabulosity to the Civilized World (Under Construction)
--Pending Future Storefront Construction--

Banking & Currency


Currency and Banking in the Merchant Republics is different from many nations, largely because the lack of a single centralized banking system and the prevalence of Free Banking. There is no single legal currency in the Republics. Though Republics may establish what they consider to be legal tender in regards to their own debts and taxes. This official coin of government transfers is in the Republic known as the Denarius (plural: Denarii) and is based primarily upon the value of silver and alternatives withstanding is the single most popular currency in the Republics. Other popular currencies include the Aureus, which is exclusively a wealth store (being too valuable to be freely spent) and the Energy Credit, which is based on the fluctuating price of energy (less popular mostly for the heavy fluctuation in prices and for being virtual).

The approximate worth of a Denarius is relatively stable, standing around the average consumer price of a nicely-fixed and toasted submarine sandwich (or roughly $4.50 in present day America). The Denarius is divided into percentage notes, commonly called cents.

Charity and Social Welfare


-----Coming Soon----
Last edited by The Merchant Republics on Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:43 am, edited 24 times in total.
Your Resident Gentleman and Libertarian; presently living in the People's Republic of China, which is if anyone from the Party asks "The Best and Also Only China".
Christian Libertarian Autarchist: like an Anarchist but with more "Aut".
Social: Authoritarian/Libertarian (-8.55)
Economic: Left/Right (7.55)
We are the premiere of civilization, the beacon of liberty, the font of prosperity and the ever illuminating light of culture in this hellish universe.
In short: Elitist Wicked Cultured Free Market Anarchists living in a Diesel-Deco World.

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Postby The Merchant Republics » Fri Dec 03, 2010 9:02 pm

Section VII: Armed Forces


The galaxy is a turbulent and dangerous place, which unfortunately necessitates the constant presence of armed military forces for the common defence of the people and property of the Merchant Republics, to this end there are many different providers of armed defence forces both state-provided and private, from trained standing armies to mercenaries to simple militias, this section will continue brief descriptions of these military organizations, their structure, armour and weaponry.

Civilian authority over the military is considered key to the security of lasting freedom, as such the Citizen's Council ultimately holds the power to authorize all official military operations the Merchant Republics, though the Triumvirate can order emergency action when necessary, subject thereafter to Council and Senatorial Review.

The Celestial Legions

The chief responsibility of the Celestial Confederation is to maintain the common defence of the Republics and it's people, to this end, it maintains a standing defense force and military in the Celestial Legions. Each Legion comprises it's very own independent and usually autonomous fighting force, with it's own leadership, headquarters and responsibilities, a Legion is expected to be capable of performing entire military campaigns unassisted.

Every Legion is drafted from a pool of tributes of both volunteer and professional soldiers from all of the Republics, this is done in a manner like sports training, where the tributes are reviewed and selected by Legion recruitment teams between each other. This allows Legions to competitively vie for the most talented soldiers or simply opt for large numbers of green but easily trained recruits. Most Legions employ a sensible mix of professional and volunteer recruits.

Except in times of emergency the Legions are rarely assigned to missions or campaigns directly, but rather will bid for them from the pool of assignments given out by the Unified Confederation Military Command Council (UC-MAC).

Numbers:


There are hundreds of Legions in the Celestial Confederation each Legion comprising roughly 2 million legionaries, including support and training staff. The total number of Legionaries represents 0.35% of the Mercatorum Population.
Further republic defence forces, active duty militias, mercenaries and auxiliaries represent an additional 0.90%, bringing the total military representation by population in the Republics to 1.25% of the population.

Ranks:


Unified Command Officers
Grand Marshall: Highest Position in all Mercatorum Forces second only to the Commander in Chief
Field/Fleet High Marshall: Highest Position of either LANCOM or NAVCOM, responsible for direction of procurement, appointing new commanders and other grand strategic level decisions.
Fleet/Field Marshall: Appointed to command wherever two or more Legions are engaged on a single front. Otherwise they fulfil subordinate roles to their High Marshalls.

Strategic Officers (Field)
Legatus: Commander of a Legion and any auxillias attached to it, usually has a high degree of autonomy over his command, answering only to the CMCC and the Field High Marshall, unless a part of a front with multiple legions, in which case he is placed under the authority of the Field Marshall.
Prefectus Principalis/First Prefect: The most senior/skilled prefectus under the Legate, his default Second-in-Command
Prefectus: Equivalent to a Colonel, leads a Prefect of the army, roughly equivalent to a regiment.
Questar Equivalent to a Major, leads a Cohort roughly equivalent to a battalion. Likely the closest Strategic Officer to the field at any given time. This rank is also given to any officers involved in strategic administrative decisions like procurement and training. An Auxilia Officer of sufficient rank or commanding a sufficient number may be named a Questar Auxilia.

Tactical Officers (Field)
Centurion Primus: Elected from among the Centurions, the Primus is typically the most experienced officer and makes necessary tactical decisions within the Cohort as well as leading the most experienced or elite Century.
Centurion: Leads a Century (roughly a Company) in all tactical matters. He is the principal point of contact most enlisted men have with the officers.
Optione Principalis: Second to the Centurion within the Century roughly a First Lieutenant
Optione Miles: Other military officers within the Century, advisors to the Centurion.
Optione Auxilia: Any officer of an auxiliary force deployed in the field, is subordinate to all ranks above. Though they may in emergency issue orders to enlisted men.
Optione Immunes: Any officer with specialized duties within the Cohort such as Chief Engineers, Quartermasters, Chaplains and Doctors. So named as they immune from regular service and duties.

Enlisted (Field)
Decanus: Roughly equivalent to a Sargent, elected from his squad to act as a leader and represent them to the Centurion. If incapacitated rank transfers to the next most senior Legionary until a new vote can be held.
Specialist: Any soldier who performs a specific duty within the Cohort such as scouts, cooks, medics, sharpshooters, artillerymen and vehicle crew. They may issue orders to the Legionaries necessary to the accomplishment of their roles.
Legionary: The most basic enlisted rank of the Legion in the field.
Miles Auxilia: Any soldier serving alongside the Legion as auxilia, whether mercenary or militia. They are functionally subordinate to any Legionary, though in practice most will lean on the authority and experience of Mercenaries.
Initiate: Never seen in the field, prior to having completed basic training all soldiers are known as initiates.

---------------------------------------------

Naval Officers (Fleet)
Legate Admiral/Grand Admiral: The Commander of a Naval Legion often called a Grand Admiral for clarity.
Prefectus Principalis The Second in Command of a Naval Legion, usually in command of a secondary flagship in case the fleet needs to separate. Similar to a Vice Admiral.
Prefectus: Command individual battlegroups of ships within the fleet. Rough equivalent of a Commodore or Rear Admiral
Triarchus: Commander of a large ship, usually cruiser-class and above. Referred to as "captain" on board. In some cases may lead a smaller battlegroup or flotilla during long range-patrols. A Triarchus serves as the XO to an Admiral's or Praefectus' ship commanding the ship while they command the battle group.
Captain: Commander of a smaller ship class from frigate down to corvette class vessels.
Optione Principalis: First Officer, serves as the executive officer and second-in-command on board of a ship when commanded by a Triarchus or Captain. In some case the Optione Principalis may serve as Captain while the Triarchus manages the flotilla.
Optione Auxilia: Any officers from auxiliary forces, including the captains or admirals of auxiliary vessels and fleets, fall under this rank and are subordinate to all Fleet Commanding and Executive Officers.
Optione Classiarus: Any ship level officer involved in strategic decisions, including the Optione Volanarius (commander of the strike and launch craft) Chief Engineering, Science and Medical Officers as well as Marine Centurions.
Optione Immunes: Ship officers immune from basic work duties that serve specialized roles; again including medical, science and engineering officers, as well as others like chaplains and morale officers.


Enlisted (Fleet)
Decanus: Roughly equivalent to a Sargent, elected from his section (of crew, marines, pilots or specialists) to act as a leader and represent them in any shipwide meetings. If incapacitated rank transfers to the next most senior Marine or Crewman until a new vote can be held.
Volanarius: Pilots of strike and launch craft, enjoy a rank above specialist due to their exceptional importance.
Specialist: Any soldier who performs a specific duty within the Cohort such as scouts, medics, sharpshooters, artillerymen and vehicle crew. They may issue orders to the Legionaries necessary to the accomplishment of their roles.
Legionary Classiarus/Marine: Troops specialized in exo-atmospheric and ship-borne combat, may press and command crewmen to assist in repulsing attackers.
Crewman: The most basic enlisted rank of the Legion on board of a ship. Fulfilling all manner of roles within the ship and trained to basic military competency in arms.
Miles Auxilia: Any auxiliary serving on board a ship alongside others. A fairly rare sight. More often Auxilia serve on their own ships.
Initiate: Rarely seen on board, prior to having completed basic training all soldiers are known as initiates and hold equal rank. They may be trained on board in some circumstances particularly for marines.

Military Doctrine


Mercatorum Defensive Doctrine is what constitutes the basics of the comprehensive combat theories utilized by the Republics, taking into account the strengths and limitations of the typical Legionary force, these doctrines give Legionary commanders an overarching framework and guidelines* to operate within that is familiar enough to allow even an incompetent commander a basic strategic capability while giving the freedom necessary to allow brilliant commanders to adapt on the go, in addition the strategy allows soldiers on the ground a basic understanding of what to do even when communication with leadership is disrupted.


* I am sure, dear reader that you may have asked yourself, why it is that we are so freely discussing our military strategies with the greater world. I regret that I must inform you that we are not about to reveal any particular secrets, even a cursory reconnaissance of our military capabilities and previous conflicts would provide this information, the framework of these doctrines are at the core, just that frame works and Legionary Commanders are given more than enough freedom to change strategy and tactics to meet the needs of a particular enemy.


Foreign Occupation Doctrine: "The Teddy Bear Stratagem"

A feat of ruthless kindness, the Teddy Bear Stratagem is a unique doctrine that deals an inordinately crushing blow to our enemies' morale by robbing them of any plausible justification for fighting us. Celestial Legionary Commanders are well aware that the enemies we are fighting in any conflict are rarely the true representatives of their entire citizenry and population, who are usually tricked and scared into support or at least submission to their state's war effort, fear, lies and submission which would only be validated by inhumane and dishonourable behaviour by our part. It is from this realization that the "Teddy Bear Doctrine" was first written up.

The name expresses a dual meaning, first and foremost the principle element of the doctrine includes "bombing" major cities as far reachable as possible with the enemy's territory with gifts, among them prominently teddy bears and always attached to pamphlets outlining the Mercatorum ideal for self-governance and freedom sometimes with notes from Mercatorum school children expressing dissatisfaction with war and asking the populace why their mean governments continue to let their people be hurt when all we want to do is help. The effective of this charitable campaign is doubled particularly when our enemies have a particularly weak economy, when your enemy sends you food your government denies you, there is little that keeps you loyal.
The effective result of these campaigns will hopefully sap the war morale of the population and ideally leave their governments defenceless. As the only thing they can do strictly to prevent us from looking like the good guy by continually dropping gifts instead of bombs, is to start making themselves look like the bad guys by shooting us down. And it takes only a few incidents of children coming across the remains of charred stuffed animals addressed to them with love from the Mercatorum people for even the most stringent nationalist to start questioning the war effort. This is of course is where the other meaning comes in, a bear is a ferocious and dangerous animal, but teddy bears make a bear appear cuddly and soft. There is no doubt that the Celestial Legions are a formidable fighting force, but when we are cloaked in the soft cuddly skin of a teddy bear, we make illegitimate any attempts to resist us.

Alongside the massive smuggling, espionage and propaganda and other rebellion-inciting campaigns, this heart's and mind's strategy usually promises that by the time a Mercatorum invasion must occur in earnest, we're being welcomed as liberators and the citizenry of our target nation have all but given up their support for their previous state. Short clean and efficient. Not to mention cheap, perhaps unexpectedly to some, but bombs are much more expensive to manufacture than food and gifts.


Basic Ground Doctrine: "The Hammer & Anvil Stratagem"

In the refining of metal one tempers the slag of a metal by striking it with a hammer against a solid anvil, this process metaphorically becomes the doctrine of the Celestial Legions Ground Forces, to utilize the quick strikes of an agile hammer reinforced a solid anvil, allows us to shape our enemy into a position to our advantage.

The essential beauty of the Hammer & Anvil, is the marriage of mobility and unconventional warfare with conventional defences. The strategy calls for the Anvil, our regular forces (Guardsmen) bolstered by planetary militias and whatever other conventional forces might be available at hand to provide a solid line of defence which enemy forces must expend great sums of resources and manpower to resist, meanwhile serving as a refuge and protecting the supply lines for light infantry and auxilia which are deployed in highly mobile offences targeting hard-points in the enemies defences and harassing their supply lines, when overpowered "Hammer Forces" simply retreat back behind our hard lines of Regular "Anvil Forces" and from there repeat.
This continues until such a time that the enemy begins to weaken, allowing the "Anvil" to make a general advance, moving our lines forward until reaching the next enemy hard point and from there the process repeats yet again.

Basic Naval Doctrine: "The Zweilander Stratagem":


Named for the High Medieval Longsword, which was wielded with two-hands, the comprehensive strategy of the Zweilander Doctrine plays to the difficulty of defending many our many far-separated colonies enough to adequately protect them without stretching our forces to thin. Like the sword, it makes up for it's lack of defensive capabilities with a crushingly powerful offensive.

The Zweilander Doctrine for Naval command essentially decides that where a strong defence to attackers is impossible, the next best alternative is a much stronger response. Thus the majority of Celestial Fleets operate from single massive fortress-stations responding to any attack on nearby colonies with overwhelming retributive force. The strategy calls for any available garrison of the colony to resist their invaders only for the time it takes for the response fleets from the nearest Fleet Headquarters to relieve them, where upon the Navy with full information of the composition and capabilities of the attackers can respond with a force that is capable of easily dispatching the enemy force.
Last edited by The Merchant Republics on Thu Jun 09, 2016 8:12 am, edited 11 times in total.
Your Resident Gentleman and Libertarian; presently living in the People's Republic of China, which is if anyone from the Party asks "The Best and Also Only China".
Christian Libertarian Autarchist: like an Anarchist but with more "Aut".
Social: Authoritarian/Libertarian (-8.55)
Economic: Left/Right (7.55)
We are the premiere of civilization, the beacon of liberty, the font of prosperity and the ever illuminating light of culture in this hellish universe.
In short: Elitist Wicked Cultured Free Market Anarchists living in a Diesel-Deco World.

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Postby The Merchant Republics » Fri Dec 03, 2010 9:05 pm

Section VIII: People & Species



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Species like race and gender before it, is nothing but an artificial barrier of flesh and bone that supports what unites us all. A reasoning mind.
- Primarch Leonardo Crassus Devangelles

The Greater Human (Homo Sapiens Magis)

Greater Man, or Homo Sapiens Magis is what constitutes the Human Population of the Merchant Republics. Humanity has undergone some changes in the last 400 years of human history, the modern Mercatorum Human is the product of nearly 12 generations of advanced genetic engineering, he is significantly healthier, taller, stronger, more intelligent and more attractive then his 21st century counterpart, he has also gained many talents that most humans did not have before, including a receptivity to telekinetic power.

Dear Reader: Of course, I should not assume you already have familiarity with mankind (though one supposes you must, in order to comprehend our language), as such if you require a more in-depth understanding of what constitutes a human being, we shall refer you to this article on our species.

Human-Orinean Hybrid: Homo Sapiens Eulve
Technically considered humans under the official records, Human-Orinean Hybrids are very common in the Merchant Republics, following the First Contact War there was a great deal of intermarrying between the Humans and Orineans in large part due to the close bonds forged during the war. The product of these couplings were hybrid half-human, half-orinean beings. These hybrids are usually fertile or can be made to be with minimal prenatal genetic therapy. Hybrids usually inherit regardless of parentage the long pointed ears, skin tone and vibrant eye colours of the Orineans with slightly stockier bodies and features of humans, though anomalies exist.

Orinean or Eulves-kin (Homosimilius Sapiens)

The Homo Similus Sapiens
, colloquially Orineans or Eulves peoples; are a species of space-faring anthropomorphous xenos, who due to a still unexplained phenomenon are nearly identical not just in appearance to human-kind, but also in defiance of all reason they share nearly 99% of human genetic information and can successfully hybridize with humans.

Orineans; as they refer to themselves, share the same approximate body shape as humans and almost identical body functions, small differences exist, Orineans are visibly more more slender and graceful then a human, their lithe appearance make them appear very attractive to human standards. Most curiously they have pointed, leaf-shaped ears this leads them to look like the classical interpretation of mythical Elves. An moniker which the Orinean people have taken to heart, to the point of the word "Eulve" being adopted into the Orinean Language. The most fascinating element of the Orinean species is their supernatural ability to influence space around them, which they themselves call magic, human science has preferred to call it telekinesis, whatever it is, the majority of Eulves have it. Some Orineans (and gifted members of other races) even dedicate their lives and set up schools to teach the practice of it.

There are three primary subraces of the Orineans.

Eridean (Homosimilus Sapiens Sol)
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Also known as Sun or Golden Eulves, they are the tallest of the subraces, they have very fair skin of a particularly golden to silver hue, one of the more notable results of human-Eridean mating has been the introduction of the quite beautiful purple eyes common in Erideans into the Human gene pool. Erideans are probably the most lithe of the Orinean races and appear very slender. The Eridean Kingdoms originally dotted the Orinean homeworld of Valinor but have since spread across their nearby systems with the aid of Human technology. The Erideans are the most populace of all Orinean Races, though the Cydorean are very close.

Their species was the first to make friendly contact with the Humans during the First Contact War, they were engaged in a desperate struggle of survival against the Vodar, the human aid saved their homeworld and several colonies. Eridean Culture is highly elitist, they consider their culture to be superior to that of most others, with the noted exception of their liberators, humanity. With whom the Eridean Culture has a seeming obsession with, a particular love among Eridean Nobility has developed for the High Human Culture mixed with their own traditions*. Seen in the growth of the massive growth of Eridean Opera and in the simply enormous population of Human-Eridean hybrids. The social strata of the Eridean Kingdoms is that of a very large Aristocracy buoyed by a very larger middle class of artisans and merchants, the underclass especially since the arrival of Industrialism has increasingly been staffed by poorer Svardeans and Cydorean immigrants living in the Eridean nations.

*This obsession, termed the "Cult of Humanity" appears in almost every alien culture we have encountered but the Erideans are probably the most poignant example of a previously civilized and cultured race becoming utterly enamoured with our culture to the point of giving up many aspects of their own.

Svardean (HSS Silva)
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Members of the Svardean claim to be the forefathers of both the Eridean and Cydorean species, a claim backed up by archaeological and genetic evidence. The Svardean Forest Duchies, the homeland of the Svardean people are located aptly in the Great Forest of Valinor which stretches the principal continent. However a great many Svardeans live in the Eridean Kingdoms for work. Svardeans have plainer but pleasant skin, usually of a luminescent white to light tan, their hair varies but quite commonly is blue or black, they are not as tall as Erideans but just as slender.

Cydorean (HSS Luna)
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The Cydorean Sub-Race was said to have developed as separate from the other Orineans because of their use of the dark magical arts, however scientist theorize it has much more to do with the Cydoreans having travelled through unknown means to Valinor's twin planet Daerinor.
Cydoreans are as tall as Erideans but stockier, with dark skin tones of blue, green and purple. The Cydoreans are as the legend says, have a unique ability to manipulate through telekinesis the effects of light and the bodies of other (particularly dead) creatures.

Caovarans (Anthro-Lacertus)

Anthro-Lacertus or colloquially the Caovarans, are a family of Intelligent Humanoids which closely resemble Earth Lizards all of which hail from the planet Caovar, a lush garden world mired by swamps and seas supporting an unimaginable number of xenofauna, they are too many variations between the two major intelligent subspecies to state any traits here and alone.

Sindhar (Anthro-Lacertus Homo Similus)
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The Sindhar are the most human like of the Golaran species and easily the ones most assimilated in Mercatorum Culture. It is hard to quickly explain the Sindhar body, suffice to say it is much like a scaled human in most areas, they give birth to live young and are relatively on par with capabilities of human intelligently.

Tuaton (Anthro-Lacertus Tuataran )
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While at first it may appear as though the Tuatons are no befitting of the term "sapient" their lumbering, paced nature has wrongly cast them in a dim light, while it is true that they do not have the same academic capabilities as their Sindhar cousins, they've have made up for it in longevity and a great capability for independent learning, elder Tuatons compare favourably to the greatest minds of the Republics and were often placed in the elite circles of Caovar government.

Civilized Vodar (Vodar Sapiens)
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The Vodar Sapiens, or what constitutes the small civilized portion of the very brutish and savage Vodar species, they are the few members of the species which are capable of controlling themselves to such a degree that they can successfully live in the greater Celestial Society. A Vodar is roughly the same size as a human, though their savage brethren rarely walk upright and so appear much shorter, they have grey-green leathery skin and rough features.

Savage Vodar culture is based on feudal tribalism and is extremely xenophobic, leaders are chosen by ritual combat among clans and is generally highly violent, this violent lifestyle has left little room for intellectual pursuits leaving Mercantilian scientists to question how this species managed to achieve FTL travel capabilities, it's clear that the Vodar use ramshackle and pieced-together technology so current theories suggest that the Vodar are either the remains of a once more advanced civilization or that the Vodar conquered another now unknown race and used their technology.

There is no clear genetic difference between a Savage and Civilized Vodar, it appears to be largely cultural, for instance several Vodar captured during the First Contact War became civilized after lengthy rehabilitation, after learning human language they provided a great deal of useful data about the Vodar Hordes which allowed for better strategies to be used against them.

In the present day, Civilized Vodar have earned their own place in Mercatorum society, although they face a great deal of distrust and prejudice. Strangely most Vodar have said themselves to be accepting of this distrust, even appreciative, friendliness is something Vodar must work very hard at, that most people give them a wide berth is actually there preference. Still all will agree that outright hatred benefits no one.


The Cult of Humanity

"Go then and seek these angels! They that have descended from on high in ships of fire to deliver us from death and wrought down the hordes in their righteous might and call them Iodean Danann (The Warrior Angels)."
~ King Cyrous of Eridea


Those familiar with the datalinks salvaged from Earth may be familiar with the concept of a "Cargo Cult", these were religions formed by primitive tribes that worshipped the technology and aid of advanced industrial nations. These primitives could not comprehend the technology and capabilities of their advanced peers and in their ignorance believed that pleasing their deities or imitating the rituals of advanced societies could provide them these technologies.

In our exploration of the universe, humanity has come across many races of sentient alien life, the greatest of these like the Orineans have since become stalwart allies and equals among human society, others like the Caovarans were raised by our technologies to form distinct societies of their own, some war-like and hostile species like the Vodar have been humbled by our might, many have simply been too different or primitive to adjust to our society. However across all these varied species of all these many planets, a singular fascination with humanity has arisen. Though the exact nature differs greatly from mimetic flattery to awed thankfulness even to the extreme of devout reverence, this phenomenon has been deemed by Mercatorum philosophers as "The Cult of Humanity".

While the term implies a religious devotion in practice the most common form of the so-called "Cult" is a much more mundane, the conception of the term arose as a term describing the fanatic devotion that developed among Erideans for Human Culture, everything from clothing styles to architecture and music was copied and adapted into the Eridean culture in the wake of the First Contact War. Though it is not without good reason that people ascribe a religious aspect to this devotion, the Eridish word for humanity to this day means "Warrior Angels".
Last edited by The Merchant Republics on Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:51 pm, edited 25 times in total.
Your Resident Gentleman and Libertarian; presently living in the People's Republic of China, which is if anyone from the Party asks "The Best and Also Only China".
Christian Libertarian Autarchist: like an Anarchist but with more "Aut".
Social: Authoritarian/Libertarian (-8.55)
Economic: Left/Right (7.55)
We are the premiere of civilization, the beacon of liberty, the font of prosperity and the ever illuminating light of culture in this hellish universe.
In short: Elitist Wicked Cultured Free Market Anarchists living in a Diesel-Deco World.

Now Fearing: Mandarin Lessons from Cantonese teachers.
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Merchant Republics » Fri Dec 03, 2010 9:06 pm

Section IX: Culture & Society




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"If our society is to be defined by one word, let it be the word of our ancestors "Ego"; Me, Myself and I, for the ego as the extension of the mind is the font of all creation, the conception of self is the most important distinction of intelligence, the necessary foundation for civilization, for art, for all pursuits of the mind and progress. Collectivists may have their soulless ant-farms of brutality and sacrifice. I will take a society built around "man", not "men"."
~Vanessa Honorius Van der Lyons, on Mercatorum Society


To many an uninformed viewer* the Merchant Republics may very well appear as if it sprang fully from the height of the American Art Moderne Movement in the Early to Middle 20th Century, indeed many important cultural elements of the Republics do have similarity to the "Art-Deco" period, but our culture could never be so wholly contained. What follows us here is an analysis of the unique culture of the Merchant Republics.

In a brief description, the culture of the Merchant Republics is one which places enormous importance on individual though, choice, expression, initiative and achievement, celebrating the results of their cooperation towards mutual happiness. However it is so much more than that, the Mercatorum possess an unshakable code of honour and self-responsibility which permeates our culture, a code not imposed as a duty but taken up as a conscientious decision to create a better world.

A world for the individual by the individual. A society whose pillars were built neither on the bloodied bones of the whip-borne many; nor upon the binds and broken-backs of the giant few. Where these great would not be constrained to bloody service in the chains and whips of the jealous small so they might in freedom stand upright and proudly lift the burdensome heavens from the backs of all men. A society based upon the values of reciprocation and respect, not theft and contempt. Where charity is not a duty enforced by the barrel of a gun but an act of brotherly love and compassion, where right is earned not taken, where the service of a man's interest is best made in the interest of others, in creating not destroying.
Yet it is still more than that for we are a society which embraces fruitful industry before wanton consumerism, values the search for epicurean joy over hedonistic pleasure and seeks companionship of the mind and the soul before the flesh. A society where what a man's owns is not his measure but the reflection of his potential and ability to create something greater out of his world. Here is where we find those who believe in modesty not in hatred of their bodies but love of their minds, who know the costs of excess are weighed on a tipping scale, for which every measure of undeserved pleasure is met by it's equal of share of pain. That honour is more than just a phrase to be cast aside at the first sign of adversity but a goal to be pursued to the bitter end. That no might can make right until it is used in the defence of the innocent and the derivation of any authority comes not from force of arms but of the mutual agreement and cooperation of men.

The Mercatorum are a society built principally on the notion that it is trade not the lash creates our wealth, cooperation not violence that rules us, love not duty that binds us, and excellence not pleasure that we find contentment in.

*Of course, for the unwashed barbarian, we doubt that they would even have the mind to comprehend such comparisons and our culture would just appear to them as indistinguishable from heavenly beings surrounded by a world of technology and beauty, indeed many of the minor alien cultures we have encountered in our expansion have treated us thusly. An effect which the Historical Society terms "The Cult of Humanity", which we will elaborate on later

Social Customs & Behavior

"There are three things you should remember when dealing with Mercatorum, your manners, your honour and your wallet."
~Frank Haldabard, American Businessman c. 1956


An important introduction into Mercatorum society is the nature of social custom in the Republics, the often wide differences between Mercatorum values and those of other nations require an explanation of the potential subtleties and differences which must be addressed before even going into the already subtle nature of our custom in specific.

Mercatorum relationships typically follow a basic hierarchy of acquaintance, friend/clansmen, companion/kin, which prescribes a slightly different behaviour at each level, starting from a warm but politely distant treatment of acquaintances, becoming more intimate and jovial as it progresses, to one's friends and clansmen (distant family) to the closest circle of one's companions and kin (near family). While it is very easy befriend a Mercatoran, and most having several hundred clan members. Mercatorans are very discerning about their companions, often only their spouse, immediate family and a small number of select friends are included in this relationship circle.
Greetings:
- Mercatorans consider handshakes (or similar gestures of greeting) to be important not just in first meetings but in all subsequent meetings, this will continue until they are consider each other friends in which case a short embrace is the rule, from there very close friends and family share a kiss on the cheek as standard. Of course on the street a simple tip of the hat is all that is needed for friends if you are busy; "kin" however merit a stop.

-Importantly a man should never kiss a married woman on the cheek without her husband present and vice-versa no matter how close they are, they should instead embrace shortly. Boys should never kiss their girlfriends anywhere but on the cheek in the presence of her male family members.

- On the topic of greetings, it is rude to offer your fist to a Mercatoran, as it is a sign of aggressiveness (foreigners of course are already considered barbarians so we don't take too much offence to their ignorance). Handshakes further are most commonly performed with the grabbing of forearms rather than hands and accompanied by a slight bow.

- Again in the same vein raising your hand in a "high-five" looks vaguely like the Celestial Legionary Salute and thus if you proceed to slap the hand of former legionary who salutes you in return... well it won't be pleasant.

Gift-Giving, Tipping and Charity
-It is customary to offer to pay or trade for any significant gift you receive, to which the customary answer is "your gratitude/respect/love (in order of acquaintance/clan/kin) is trade enough" or some variant upon it. The receiver should always accept the gift after, to do otherwise is a great disrespect. This ritual is religiously followed, even in marriage proposals.

-Tipping is encouraged, practically everywhere, but especially in Restaurants and Hotels. There is no standard amount, generally you are encouraged to give at least 5% of your bill and up to 20% depending on their service.

-When asked over to a Mercatoran's house it is customary to bring a small appropriate gift, such as fruit baskets, chocolates, cigars or wine are all acceptable but anything larger would be obtuse. The above gift-giving rule applies.

-Do not give money to pan-handlers; especially in tourist areas, there are very few legitimate panhandlers in the Republics, most of them are drug-addled, the rest are con artists, usually work in cahoots with pickpockets and muggers. Mercatorum poor are rarely so ignoble as to beg for charity; especially in the open. If you want to help the poor there are many respected charities in the Republics where your money will go to the right place. You are welcome to support street performers however, as it is considered a well-respected profession.

Editor's Note: If you see a person that seems to be legitimately hungry, surprising though it may be we do welcome you to offer food. Just keep your wits about you in regard to your belongings.

Art & Architecture

Look around you at the staggering feats accomplished in the world that surround us, it is a rapturous beauty that envelops us even as it radiantly flows from the font of our own minds. We live now in an age of Eternal Renaissance; where the artist's only limitation is that of his own imagination.
~ Helena Honorius Vandregetti, Artist, Patroness and Founder of the Mercatorum Academy of Art.


Art is no simple hobby in the Republics, it is imbued within the very foundation of our society and culture. To the Mercatorum the act of creating art is one of the clearest expressions of the mind and imagination, upon which we place immense value.

The culture of the Merchant Republics cherishes artists greatly, such that artistry is considered among the noblest of careers for both men and women, art is ubiquitous to the Republics, it is in the parks, it is in the plazas, it is in our buildings, our homes and in the many hundreds of galleries. The art gallery, like the opera house is a staple of any established city worth it's name.

Give me towering cities; filled with those tall temples of commerce and luxury, build them up until they scrape the heavens themselves and the clouds are my balcony. And here among the pulsating masses, I will find a greater serenity then in the calmest meadow.
~ Civil Architect Fredrick Octavius Armati on Mercatorum Cities


There is an immediately recognizable and distinct style in Mercatorum Architecture, influenced by the very strong artistic values of society is notable for the combination of symmetry and streamlined form with highly detailed artistic flairs like friezes, statues and murals. Often with opulent white, gold, brown and ochre colour schemes, that make cities appear as though they sparkle from a distance.

The style is very much influenced by art-deco and greco-roman influences but has developed beyond it, indeed Mercatorum cities are built from the ground up in a way that compliments artistic style, parks and businesses.

The top level of most Mercatorum cities is almost always entirely pedestrian, then there are usually two levels of subterranean highway: one for residential use and one for commercial and industrial traffic. The roadways only merge and return to the surface at the very edges of the city. The pedestrian streets are lined with trees down the centre the sides are filled with cafes, restaurants and stores. There are a lot of street performers, kiosks, street vendors and artists, although not usually too many in a single area due to competition.

Most cities are built around either their space-elevator or the train terminal which leads to one. The obvious practical reasons for that are evident, so I won't elaborate on that. They are almost exclusively built near sources of water to compensate for the massive demands. The presence of water is a make or break for any potential colony unless it is ridiculously resource rich. After that the city tends to flow out modularly. With sections built up in piecemeal. Not many cities grow like they do here on Earth, although it's still quite natural, the skip between low-density and high-density tends to occur instantaneously. The Mercatorum are a very cosmopolitan and urbane sort of culture. We prefer city living.

Residential buildings are usually built as super-complexes: massive structures with built-in schools, shops, gyms and recreation centres for children. These are often built around a large central atrium that serves not only as a lobby, meeting place and secure park for the residents, but also as heat dissipation and a rain-water collector to help. Businesses tend to be built along the bottom-floors facing outside. Activity centres, gyms, schools and dining halls are placed at the next level and residences begin at the third floor.
Commercial areas usually follow a pattern of interconnected massive commercial buildings usually structured around a much larger central square or outdoor plaza, with offices usually built on top of elaborate malls.

There are a lot of green spaces too, although often they are commercially-owned and interspersed with money-making pavillions and plazas. Some are also built in the middle of residential areas by cooperation between the residents to create what is essential a super-atrium shared between all of them. It is also particularly common for roof-tops to be decorated and greened with flowerbeds and gardens. The ubiquity of these manicured gardens and parks has led residential districts to often take the moniker of the city's "green quarters" as opposed to the commercial's "gold quarter".

All recognized republics are required to build a forum where the common citizenry can voice their opinions and argue policy among themselves and with the leadership of the republic. For many Republics, almost all political power is drawn from the forum, in what is essentially a direct democracy. In other cases the former is instead more of a sounding board for policy coming down from higher officials. Though there is no single necessary design most follow a rather simple ampitheatre design and usually occupy the ground floors of whatever government offices the Republic owns.




Religion & Social Mores

"It truly pains my heart to hear the shouts from fervent and pious believers for the establishment of moral laws, for the Earthly punishment of sins, for conversion by force, for the punishment, exclusion and maltreatment of non-believers, Jews, Muslims and Heretics alike.
This idea of theocracy, is wholly abominable; yes, mankind should live piously and reverent to laws of God, but should we not do so for the Love of God? Rather than in fear of our Earthly rulers. If we are to live in a society where every man is made to follow the law of God by force, how should we know the pious from the fearful?"

~Arch-Bishop Antoine I, the Peaceful, addressing the Papal College circa 1541 (mere months before the Venetian Orthodox Schism)

Religion is a very important part of Mercatorum Culture, the majority of Mercatorum follow a religion and most attend religious services regularly, despite this the approach to religion in the Republics is very secular and individualistic, something which is very much supported by the Council of Faiths, the nominal representative and forum of religious thought and interfaith discussion in the Republics.

The dominant and culturally relevant religious belief in the Republics, is that of the Mercatorum Orthodox Church, an Orthodox Christian Church which separated from the Catholic Church in protest for their treatment of Martin Luther and similar reformers among many other grievances . It's formal separation being declared in Venice's St. Mark's Bassilica by it's appointed Arch-Bishop Antoine I, from that point the Basilica became the headquarters of the Faith.
Principally, the Orthodox Mercatorum Church has been a strong supporter of religious tolerance and individual salvation, eschewing much of traditional Catholic dogma, including many much more controversial issues of the traditional church. Most remarkably there is no requirement for clerical celibacy and that woman may join the priesthood. However in most rites and rituals as well as the general interpretation of scripture the Mercatorum Church it is much closer to the Orthodox faith.

Cuisine & Dining
"There is little doubt that greatest among all the motivators of mankind is his stomach, that which brought men to till the soils and hunt the beasts of earth and that which made men brave danger and conflict over pepper and spices is that what drove him to every success, but it's more than survival, it's luxury.
~ Food Critic and Editor for Mercatorum Food Weekly Samuel Cyrus MacKennaheh

Cuisine in the Republics


Dining
- Meals are usually provided as smorgasbord, however you are welcome to take as much as you want right away, expect that people will attempt to trade their food for yours. Generally most meals are three course.

- A toast is to be performed before eating by the person paying for the meal, in casual settings it is a simple "Salute" "Good Friends, Good Food and Good Company" or "Bon Appetite" however more formal meals might have a longer winded speech. This will be followed typically by a quick Christian prayer, it is polite to simply bow your head, whatever your religion, if you are of a different religion, you may be invited to say your own prayer*.

*Editor's Note: There are some humorous anecdotes of atheists visiting from prominently irreligious nations being asked to perform their own prayers and in order to appease their hosts, attempt to butcher their way through a half-concocted prayer to the religious figures of Atheism. These are rather unlikely stories however as atheism is well-known as a philosophy in the Republics even if it is not very commonly followed.

Music & Dance
"There's one difference between music and sound and that difference is swing. without the swing, the head-bopping, the toe-tapping, it's all just sound"
~Richard "D" Scipio Bastelli, Famous Mercatoran Composer and Trumpet Player


When you talk about music in the Merchant Republics, you're talking about Swing and Jazz; Big Band,
Image
Vocal and Traditional have always topped the music charts of the Merchant Republics, to the point of near domination, Big Band Swing is typical at any Mercatorian Nightclub. Though it has been centuries since the first masters of the music started singing Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, Ella Fitzgerald, Glenn Miller and John Coltrane are all household names in the Republics, as well as the the many Mercatorian Masters of Jazz that came after them: Nicolas Vineo Casvanni, Micheal Armand Holt, and Lillian Van Wassel among them. Jazz and the Mid-19th Century Culture are inextricably linked to the Mercatorum Persona. Swing is most certainly the most popular form of dance in the Republics as well, and is widely popular between classes; swing and it's varients are seen from the lowly community centre to the popular nightclubs and high class music halls.

Jazz however does not hold sole monopoly in Republic and many other forms of music are popular. Aurora Music, as it is called, a sort of new age techno, is popular chamber music among some of the equestrian sophisticate. True to it's symphonic origin, Aurora simply mixes newer instruments and digital tailoring, the effect of this music is still quite soothing perhaps more so, if less dedicated in spirit. Its Alternate forms are also popular in the more hedonistic and liberal fringe colonies where it is danced to in what Mercatorum musical historians compare to Rave Music of the 21st Century. While this music is looked down upon it still has a fair level of popularity.

The Mercatorum hold the highest respect for the fine arts and this applies to music with no exception Opera and Orchestral Music is extremely popular not just among the Rich and Influential but across all classes. A Grand Opera Hall is a must have in any self-respecting city and the Republics are well-known in the Galactic community for their superior musicians.

Cinema & Mass Media

"If I've learned anything over my career, it's that the old adage was wrong. It's life that imitates art."
~Director & Producer for Centauri Cinema Antonius Clarus Van Grotten


The presence of Media in the Mercatorum society has reached such a point in which it might rightly be considered supersaturated, from the moment we wake to the second we sleep and every moment in between we are but a second away from the massing pulse of information that exists in the data networks and extralinks which connect the Republics across the Stars. For nearly every Mercatoran young and old owns a personal wrist mounted virtual intelligence matrix (usually called Personal Arm-Band Linknodes or PALs for short), capable of updates in real time on such things as social networking, calls, weather, traffic and other important events.

Ironically in becoming so inundated by the virtual, Mercatorum have found that the constant virtual communication left many hollow and unfulfilled, inspiring many to turn away from excessive use of any technological entertainment. Today's Mercatoran's watch less television and read more books than 21st Century humans, despite boasting the capability to blast it straight into one's brain.
Last edited by The Merchant Republics on Mon May 25, 2015 7:47 pm, edited 43 times in total.
Your Resident Gentleman and Libertarian; presently living in the People's Republic of China, which is if anyone from the Party asks "The Best and Also Only China".
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We are the premiere of civilization, the beacon of liberty, the font of prosperity and the ever illuminating light of culture in this hellish universe.
In short: Elitist Wicked Cultured Free Market Anarchists living in a Diesel-Deco World.

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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Merchant Republics » Fri Dec 03, 2010 9:06 pm

Section X: Tourist Information


The Merchant Republics wrote:The Tourism Guild of the Merchant Republics has several tips for new visitors to the Republics, concerning personal safety, unfamiliar customs, proper dress and leisure advice, of which can be found below.

  • Hitch A Ride On A Star(gate): The Republics maintain key trade stations in just about every major interstellar nation, booking a voyage to a major Mercatoran city should be as easy as making your way to one of these ports and booking a flight. Only trusted allies are allowed to utilize the hyperspace generators that link to our Inner Colonies, so unless you know your nation to be a friend of the Confederation, finding a Mercatoran flight will usually be substantially easier.
  • The Inner Colonies or Bust: While we do appreciate your adventurous spirit in choosing a Mercatoran destination, you must temper your desire to explore, the Inner Colonies are a paradise and perfectly safe for travellers, but as one heads into the fringes, the Outer Colonies become progressively less secure from roving threats like pirates and rogue aliens, if you are willing to risk it, the Outer Colonies hold many wonders, but watch out for shady scam artists and thieves.
  • Planning is Key: Talk to your travel advisor or a Tourist Guild affiliate before making your trip, the many variables of Republic life can mean disaster for the ill-prepared.



  • The Republics are For Lovers: Whether you visit New Venezia, Mevisa, Veritium, Argenople, Ravenna or Caesaria, you will find that the culture, scenery and class of the Mercatorum make it an excellent Romantic destination for any couple. Candle-lit dinners in luxurious restaurants, nights at the Opera, the finest cinema, watching fantastic space oddities or natural scenery from a cruise ship and of course enjoying the breath-taking views of a Mercatorum Skyline, all of these are just a taste of what the Republics has to offer.
  • No Need To Leave The Kids At Home: While romance may be our calling, families will not be disappointed children are much loved in the Republics, popular events like carnivals and circuses, often featuring great acrobats and many wonderful games can be found-year round in most of the major Republics, and trips to zoos, aquariums and space stations will all delight your children. While our mass media characters haven't penetrated far beyond our borders there are many quite wonderful theme parks dedicated to them in the Republics, your local travel adviser or Tourism Guild official can point you to the more foreigner friendly ones like Terraland and Castelloworld.
  • La Vie De La Metropole: Mercatorum Cities can rightfully be called massive, most cities stretch for miles on end and miles up in height, this leaves for many breath-taking views and a nation filled to the brim with activity. You'll never be far from the hustle and bustle, unless you try.
  • The Eternal Renaissance: As we've often coined our unique culture is always alive in the Republics, museums fill to the very rafters with the finest of art and creation that one can imagine not to mention the art shops, operas, theatre shows and symphonies are a nightly affair, the greatest of the Mercatoran Silver Screen and the swingingest swing clubs since the speakeasies. Dance, laugh, watch and enjoy the Republics, you won't regret it.
  • Big Game Reserves: Hunting is a well-appreciated sport in the Republics, whose terraformed worlds are often rife with forests and many enterprises cater to the dreams of big game hunters and nature-lovers alike by offering safari tours. You should always check ahead though, nature preserves and gaming reserves are very different entities, and no one will appreciate you showing up to a preserve rifle in hand.
  • Your Price, Your Pleasure: The Republics maintain a very lax laws concerning substances and services and as such the enterprising person can easily find a business catering to almost any of their desires, though it may not always be around the corner. Whether substance or stimulation we can provide. Of course, don't think us immoral, we have plenty of wholesome services looking to cater to families and other upright and proper people.


  • Dress with Respect: The Republics apparently one of those few nations which retain the common decency to wear more than their underwear in public, as you may well guess from the moment you arrive if you do not want to stand out like a communist at market day, you will require at least a suit and tie for men (a quality fedora will make the look), women have a little bit more range, dresses and skirts will blend you in, but you won't get sideways looks with a nice pair of dress slacks. Of course, why pack all these things when you can buy them here, we fully encourage you to indulge in the local fashion scene, the Republics is one of the premiere fashion exporters in the multiverse and we will love to dress you in the very best.
    If you would prefer to wear your traditional garb, please make sure it is respectful, in most public areas covering at least the sensitive areas, do anticipate many questions, we love the exotic and will want to know what it is and why your wearing it.
  • Bathing Suits: It may surprise after reading the above, but bathing suits are very much optional in any public beach, bath or pool. A strange custom to some, but the Mercatorum think wearing clothes in water is just a waste of good clothing or a sign of some absurd ascetic poverty. That said, keep your hands to yourself, or they'll end up broken.
  • Greetings: A handshake (or to be very apt to our culture a joining of hands to each other forearms) is the standard greeting throughout the Republics followed by a simple "Hello" ("Ave" will earn you points), protruding your fist at a person (as in a fist bump) is perceived as mildly threatening and "high fives" will be misunderstood as military salutes (and hitting a saluting person's hand will not end well for you)
  • Tipping: Tipping is encouraged for any good service, but is expected out of civility not obligation (so don't grumble about it). The standard varies with 5% considered the lowest acceptable and +20% is considered somewhat excessive (not that your hostess will complain).
  • Public Displays of Affection: While not prohibited we ask out of common decency, you refrain from any excessive petting, kissing or (for those less inhibited) sex in public, a hug or peck on the mouth or cheek between lovers and family will never be outside of acceptability. Just keep your kisses within reason.
  • Manners: The Mercatorum are considered impeccably polite and gentile, when possible emulate them, thank you and please, sorry and excuse me are expected whenever appropriate. Open doors for ladies and gentleman alike, but let the next gentleman you see take the door.
  • Conversation: The Mercatorum are well-read, often highly educated and always avid conversationalists. We will love to chat with you about just about anything that you wish, however opinions run deep in the Republics, so avoid politics and economics, unless you're in for a debate. Ask about our culture, we love talking about it.
  • Haggling: Trade is engrained in our culture and the Mercatorum adore bartering, and there is nothing in the market that can't be negiotiated, knowing that watch-out merchants usually aim high with their listed price and you can end up paying almost twice as much as most. Quick advice offer to buy a cheap item for the full price and then ask for a deal on something more expensive, you'll end up saving more.
  • Public Drunkeness: Avoid it, please. It is considered a poor sign of character, and will not reflect well upon you. Drinking until your just a little "tipsy" won't bother anyone though. Just be sure to be moderate. The same likewise with any other narcotics or drugs.


  • Fringe Colonies: While the more hedonistic tourist may be inclined to travel to the Fringe Colonies in search of our so called "Pleasure Cities" the region is fraught with danger for the unwary, as such we encourage all tourists to book their trips to these areas only with a registered and respected travel agency that will provide you with security and personal assurances. If at all possible we do encourage to bring and carry a weapon when dealing in these areas. As they are known for high criminal and pirate activity.
  • On Medical Care: The Confederation has made certain deals with allied nations to tourist's medical and judicial expenses. When that is the case, your passport will be sufficient to cover basic medical expenses. If you are not from such a nation we advise purchasing travel insurance, the tourist guild offers a fair package, but there are others available, check with your travel adviser before leaving for an updated list on this, as well as any possible inoculations you may need.
  • On Crime: As above many Republics will pay for the investigation of any crimes which occur to your person and property during your stay, however some may not, private investigation is usually affordable and crime relatively unknown outside the fringe, you may want to check and choose to avoid these Republics if you worry about possible expenses.
  • Drugs: All forms of narcotics are legal (if rarely used) in the Republics. As such we suggest you be sure to check your bags as you leave the Republics, things that are legal here, will not always be so in your home nation.


  • Travel: Most Mercatorum Cities are highly pedestrian friendly with little to no roadways for conventional ground vehicles, taxis and other personal vehicles travel by air, public transportation in the form of light rail and air-bus are affordable and common-place. Cross-planet travel is almost always by rail and interplanetary travel is fast, though interplanetary by definition and as such not necessarily cheap.
  • Smoking: Is rather common in the Republics, lung cancer is easily treatable here, so the risks of smoking no longer exceed reward, if you are uncomfortable, many restaurants and hotels cater to non-smokers.
  • Blend In: The Mercatorum rightly consider ourselves to be the very shining beacon of civilization and splendour in the universe. We are a very prideful society and will tend towards overt condescension with those we perceive as uncultured or worse yet barbaric, this can be subtle but if the more uncultured you seem the more outright hostile we'll be towards you. However if you know us well enough to blend in like one of us or can hold some claim to being a civilized individual yourself then you should be treated with the utmost respect. Quick tip, know your Mercatorum Art, mentioning the great masters like Richard Vhanerius and Serrini Van Wassel (both intellectuals and painters of great renown) should put you in good, if all else fails simple but educated flattery will keep you in our good graces.
  • Or Stand Out: If you can't fit into our cultural standards, then try to stand out, be exotic, we'll adore it. Though it means fielding a great many more questions and being treated as an oddity, it is a lot better than being cast aside as a barbarian.

    Finally be mindful that while Mercatorans are friendly, welcoming and sometimes even overbearingly polite, we're also prone to arrogance, expect a few unintentional insults directed at pretty much every element of your nation, culture and person until you are well accepted, being called a barbarian is pretty much par for the course unless you're from a well known nation. It's not that we don't like you, it's that we are trying to help you to better yourself. Better specifically; means more like us.


The Mercatorum Tourism Guild always values the opinions of guests in our nation, and while by far most are extremely satisfied, they have over their many years of operation compiled several hundred thousand complaints

"Look, I appreciate that this the fashion centre of the known universe, but can I just walk down the street in my t-shirt and jeans without getting looked at like I just stapled underwear on my head. Jeezus, you need to loosen up. Of course the wife loves it, might as well just declare bankruptcy now.
~Jacob Brown, on Mercatorum standards of dress.

"Oh it was all very wonderful, yes, but why are people so... nice. God, every one of you guys. You can't walk down the street without someone saying 'good morning', you go into a shop and its 'thank you so much for shopping', you sit down in a restaurant and suddenly its 'would you like some complimentary wine, sir', 'would you like some more bread, sir', 'have a blessed day, sir'. You guys sicken me."
Anonymous Complaint, on our being just too damn friendly.

"You're all racist! I'm in a store, and someone asks who did my hair, then tells me she thinks it looks 'exotic', says my clothes are too, then she starts up and we end up talking for an hour about my home country. Sure, she was polite, but who uses 'exotic' as a compliment?"
Shanique Freeman, on our occasionally improper curiosity about foreigners.

So, I was told that marijuana and drugs were legal in this country. Well you might want to have some brochures to the shops that sell them, because little did I know there was only four shops in the entire city that sold the stuff, took me three hours to get a joint. Sure it was good s--t, but what's the point of making things legal, if you aren't going to do them?
"Beansy" on our lack of drug use.

Ugh, your club scene is so lame... I mean I got the concierge at my hotel (the hotel was fabulous by the way and so cheap) to recommend me the best places, every single one of them was jazz. People swinging around dancing, pretty cool to look at, but I wanted to get my grind on. Took me until Friday to find a place with actual dancing... Work on it."
~Jayden Blanche, on our lack of "grinding".

"So like... I like a lot of your like stuff man, it's really liberating and free, and you have so much green space in your cities, but like it's so commercial man, every where I go someone is like selling something, and ads are everywhere. I see a beautiful like painting, and then the guy offers to sell it to me, man... And I'm like why don't you just give away your art man, art should be free. And he like gets all uppity on me man, he says like "I make a good living with my art, bub, that wouldn't be possible without selling them. I only do free work for people I love, not unshaven barbarians with no respect for the value of my hard work!' Harsh man, harsh.
Moonflower Sunbeam, on our "Commercial Oppression.

"Ugh, can you people just keep your religion in your houses. People just praying over their food at a public restaurant, and not just two or three, everyone! I must have heard 'God bless you' a thousand times. I made a complaint in the restaurant, and the owner, he said he was sorry I was offended, and asked me what my religion was, said 'he hadn't ever met an atheist', yeah he gave me my meal free, but then he wished me a "blessed day" too! What the hell is wrong with you people?"
Anonymous, on the ubiquity of religious beliefs.

"You guys really ought to warn people that high-fives are so disliked in this country. I was in a sports bar, watching the game on the telly, they scored a goal and I immediately went to high-five the bloke next to me, he looks at me, confused raises his hand up too and says "Hail, brother", and when I smack it, he mouths something about me being a "bloody foreigner", I walked outside and saw another fella with his hand raised, so I go to high-five this guy smacks me right on the head. Tells me I'm "disrespectful", turns out its some kind a military salute. Would have appreciated that knowledge before hand"
~Brian Cossington, his complaint has since been addressed in our tourist brochures, please don't smack people's hands, we don't get it.

"Alright, so I'm not particularly entertained by the artsy-fartsy culture you folks have in your big cities, so I ask my travel planner, isn't there anywhere in this country a man can enjoy some sleazy entertainment. He tells me to book a ride to this 'Fringe Colony', well soon as arrive right out the gate I notice something's off. Sure, in the Inner Colonies, you'd notice maybe one in every ten or twelve folks would be packing heat. That's a bit weird, but I've seen worse.
Here everyone is, now I should have taken that as a warning sign and gotten right back towards home. Of course, I didn't, got myself in trouble and found myself on the bad end of a pistol and a mugger, lucky for me, some other fella wearing an arm patch spooks him off, calls himself a vigeelee (vigile), tells me it's close enough to a sheriff and hands me his own gun, tells me to keep it. Says he has plenty to spare. Oh, the entertainment there was top-notch, but that's just freaky..."
Rick Samson, listed complaint was "what's with this place and guns."

"So, look it's been a real nice visit and all, but how do y'all go around calling yourself 'Christians'. My travel planner assured me that my children would be safe in you're heathen Republics because you were a predominantly Christian nation with strong moral values. Well you seem to have forgotten a couple of them, because I clearly saw some homosexuals deviants with children in the park and it didn't seem no one cared at all. Now I said to my friend Dorathy-Ann, 'what kind a Christians let homosexuals marry and raise children' and would you believe it, those deviants over heard me and said 'us kind of Christians, ma'am.' Christian gays? Not in my book. Well I had to divert my children's eyes and it seemed the whole park was looking down on me just because I was preserving the 'Lord's Commands'."
~Mary-Sue Strawhat, on our somewhat different scriptural interpretations to many American churches.

"Eugh, I wasn't told how beautiful everyone was going to be in this country. I mean holy crap. Every woman looks she stepped off a modelling shoot, and every guy looked better than I did. Oh sure, the Republics are for lovers, but you better not set your hopes too high on finding one here. I'm not an unattractive man, but I don't stand a chance. What do you put in the water?"
~Jack Wellington, who titled his complaint. "Da'yum."
Last edited by The Merchant Republics on Sat Feb 06, 2016 2:58 pm, edited 5 times in total.
Your Resident Gentleman and Libertarian; presently living in the People's Republic of China, which is if anyone from the Party asks "The Best and Also Only China".
Christian Libertarian Autarchist: like an Anarchist but with more "Aut".
Social: Authoritarian/Libertarian (-8.55)
Economic: Left/Right (7.55)
We are the premiere of civilization, the beacon of liberty, the font of prosperity and the ever illuminating light of culture in this hellish universe.
In short: Elitist Wicked Cultured Free Market Anarchists living in a Diesel-Deco World.

Now Fearing: Mandarin Lessons from Cantonese teachers.
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The Merchant Republics
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Founded: Oct 25, 2010
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Merchant Republics » Sun Dec 12, 2010 12:21 pm

Section XI: The Celestial Union, A Tour In Pictures
Last edited by The Merchant Republics on Sun Dec 12, 2010 12:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Your Resident Gentleman and Libertarian; presently living in the People's Republic of China, which is if anyone from the Party asks "The Best and Also Only China".
Christian Libertarian Autarchist: like an Anarchist but with more "Aut".
Social: Authoritarian/Libertarian (-8.55)
Economic: Left/Right (7.55)
We are the premiere of civilization, the beacon of liberty, the font of prosperity and the ever illuminating light of culture in this hellish universe.
In short: Elitist Wicked Cultured Free Market Anarchists living in a Diesel-Deco World.

Now Fearing: Mandarin Lessons from Cantonese teachers.
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The Merchant Republics
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Merchant Republics » Sun Dec 12, 2010 12:27 pm

Section XII: Frequently Asked Questions and Q&A


OOC: Have A Question You Want Answered? TG me, and I'll get right on it. However Posting Questions On This Thread is For the Meantime not apropos.



1. Wait, are you anarcho-capitalist or just minarchist?
The Merchant Republics are free market voluntaryists, we have no problem specifically joining together to form state-like apparatuses, but we disapprove of the state being able to aggressively coerce people who just happen to live around it, a central feature of the Merchant Republics philosophy is the ability to simply opt out of the state, paying no taxes (except when necessary direct levies for services rendered), and being free to do as they please without regard to state intervention.

1A. So wouldn't criminals just opt out of the state to avoid punishment?
Denizens are free to live as the please, so long as they do not harm a citizen directly, in which case the state may indeed seek restitution.

2. How come you refer to yourself as the Celestial Confederation, the Merchant Republics and the Mercatorum?
Well, as you might have read by now, the Celestial Confederation is the official name of the federal government, the Merchant Republics is the formal name for the collection of the individual republics and the "Mercatorum" is the name for the culture, society and people who live in the Celestial Confederation.

So what, your culture has been in some kind of stasis since the 1940's?
Not at all, many things have changed, a indeed our 1940's was nothing like Real History, our culture has many unique features, the style of dress we wear may resemble that of people from that time, but the actual culture is quite different.
Last edited by The Merchant Republics on Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:25 pm, edited 9 times in total.
Your Resident Gentleman and Libertarian; presently living in the People's Republic of China, which is if anyone from the Party asks "The Best and Also Only China".
Christian Libertarian Autarchist: like an Anarchist but with more "Aut".
Social: Authoritarian/Libertarian (-8.55)
Economic: Left/Right (7.55)
We are the premiere of civilization, the beacon of liberty, the font of prosperity and the ever illuminating light of culture in this hellish universe.
In short: Elitist Wicked Cultured Free Market Anarchists living in a Diesel-Deco World.

Now Fearing: Mandarin Lessons from Cantonese teachers.
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The Merchant Republics
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Merchant Republics » Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:20 pm

Section XIII: A Day in the Life

Of the Mercatoran Every Man:

Wake-up! wake-up! wake-up! You regain your sensibilities as your personal alarm blasts the message straight into your brain accompanied by the pleasant tune of "Summertime" you imagine your VI must have planned that. The time 07:00 that appears on the periphery of your eyelids and you wrench them open, turning to the side you look outside your window balcony as the warm star rises over your residential complex. No bustle in the city yet, just a few solitary airships in the sky, one advertising "North Star Coffee and Breakfast" not a bad idea, you reach for your VI wristband and find it's already got the nearest location. You check your schedule. Work: 09:00-15:00, an important client meeting at 11:00, gym at 16:00, home and then clear until a 20:30 society meeting. You briefly check your wife's schedule, Breakfast for 7:30, Get Kids to School for 8:30, a charity board meeting at 10:00, Tennis at 14:00, Society 20:30.

You turn to your wife, still asleep beside you, she looks just as young as when you first met her 10 years ago, perhaps younger, her bio-age must only be 23-24 tops. You gently rouse her awake. "Sleep in today, I'll set the kids off and then I'm going to grab breakfast from the shop." She kisses you, whispers some approval and vaguely requests a Latte before drooping her head back into the pillow. You rest your hand on her shoulder for a few seconds until you feel her falling back to sleep, then pick yourself up from bed and head for the master washroom to shower and brush your teeth, the bathroom mirror displays the your social network updates, new emails, a couple party invitations, you'll answer them later, you change it to the news and keep tuned until your done.

You head towards the dresser and step in, your VI appears in holograph at your right, she's not much for looks (at your wife's insistence). The dresser's mirror display flickers on with the options of your clean clothes, you look through your typical suit and tie combinations before saying "I've got an important client meeting, V, so I'll need something doubly nice." The VI suggests your new tailored "Demant" Double-breast, after examining the projection, you agree and the dresser begins to dispense the corresponding clothes.

You step into your apartment hallway and walk past your children rooms, your son, Tobias isn't in bed, but the sound of cartoons resonating from the den and a quick look at your VI's monitor reassures you, you head into your daughter's room, she's still asleep, you sit down beside her and gently wake her. "Time to wake up Samantha, you've got school in an hour." "Thank you, papa." she hugs you and then sleepily slips out of bed into her morning ritual as you head towards the kitchen. On the counter beside the neatly placed box of Sunny Brand Fruit & Corn Flakes lies a puddle of spilled milk and sugar flakes, a little smile cracks through before you decide what the proper punishment is for such a trick. You pour a bowl of health cereal - no sugar, and bring it out to the den. His immediate dash to hide the bowl is futile, you extend the bowl in trade. "Don't lie to your father. He's much wiser than you and he buys the food." he understands the gravity in your voice but you give him a reassuring pat on the head, "Already dressed?" good man, you straighten his tie and head back to the kitchen. Samantha hands reach towards the sugar flakes as you step in the room, "Caught red-handed, what am I going to do with you two? You're lucky you're mother is asleep", red-faced she moves towards the health cereal "What do we say when we want something?", she smiles "May I have sugar flakes, father? S'il vous plait?" you present them to her, "Merci!" she cries as she pours them carefully. You motion a whisper "Don't wake your mother, now make sure your brother gets the message, 'thieves never prosper-" you pause, "And courteous merchants profit!'" she chimes in response.

You check your wristband, 07:50, you set the VI to house-sit, as you grab one of your fedoras from the front closet rack (a momentary thought crosses to take your bowler but you don't want to come off pretentious), you reach for the door and look back at the den. "I'm going to work now, don't wake your mother, she needs a rest, your school will want you downstairs by 8:20, cartoons off at 8:00, if you don't V will and I'll know. Je vous aime tant.", they respond "Nous t'aimons aussi, papa". It rarely bothers anyone that in this age of universal translators we still teach children the old languages of Earth, it's a cultural experience, that should not die, Italian is on the docket next year, maybe German or Japanese the next.

The hall way is already busy, but you give yourself a few moments to talk with Thomas from across the hall about the Fights, he collects on your bet, 2 Denarii, you were sorely disappointed by the Retiarius, your still up 13 though, with that bet on the unknown Galli, he hit the big leagues after that 5:1 upset. "It'll be the Venatores tonight, sounds like they're taking off the safeguards and fighting a real lion." ....
"You in for 10:1, they beat it?"
"I'll do 5:1. But they'll probably go running to the Gamemaster after the first scratch, you think your brave when the safeties are on, but when they come off your never the same, just like in virtual training." Tom spoke of a common bond, Legion CXV, Mobile Infantry, only a little deployment, managed to get lucky a peaceful four years on the frontier, only a police action on a pirate raided satellite, and a slave liberation, no colony attacks nothing serious. Made it back with citizenship, a couple thousand Denarii and a new rifle.
"You got that right, and your on, I heard these guys have a Golarus Safari under their belt." You've made it to the elevator by this time and have stopped at the Pedestrian Lobby.
"Well seeing how it is that I just gave you my breakfast money, how about we walk to work and grab some coffee, Tom? I promised Vivian a latte before I left.", "A latte of-" it's clear Tom was on the cusp of making that into a terrible joke before the elevator open and a lady walked in. You pat him on the back consolingly and share a laugh as you walk out the door, the central Atrium of the complex was sun-lit by now, and children we're busily playing on the equipment next to the in-complex school, there's a cleaning robot still skimming the central fountain, but the flowers in the community garden are blooming nicely.

You make your way onto the pedestrian street, you can hear the hum of traffic and trains under your feet, rush hour is starting and the streets are beginning to fill up. You reach the coffee house and order your meal, plus a latte and bagel to be delivered to your apartment. You've got some time, 8:20, so you chat with the other morning crowd about the latest news, a colony effort out in the Theta System went under, no minerals and a whole lot of hostile natives, sounds like a species of semi-intelligent bug, hope's not a hive planet, hive mind species are notoriously poor at diplomatic relationships. Discussed the problems of dealing with sentient life and colonial efforts. 8:50, grab your hat from the rack and head down to the office.

You arrive at work, punctually as ever, you're briefcase opens up to your files, looking at the specs and simulations for the new silent running engines, same speed, higher heat emissions, raised water demand should be acceptable, just fine for commercial passenger lines in the Inner Colonies. Ran some simulations with Richard's new chassis, they fit well, rigged it up for extra heat dispersion, should be comfy. The execs are going to love this design, and you've been eyeing a bigger slice of the corporate pie in compensation. Client meeting went off without a hitch, they said they'd shop around a little bit longer but you know they're just looking for a discount, you'll offer 2%, settle for 5% tomorrow. Wouldn't expect more. Lunch meeting with accounting, worried about the costs of production but the cost is well worth the skilled construction and the price you pay to get in good with a manufacturer like Byron and Silverstone.
Hit the gym after work, keeping up with the Legionary Martial Arts mostly. After exercising you decide to cool off in the public baths, which are unfortunately a little too full today to be comfortable in, you might not have a problem with nudity where appropriate but it doesn't take long for you to start heading for the sauna lest the portly and presumably tourist gentleman continue to "accidentally" brush against your side again, who wasn't quite aware it's not that kind of bath nor you that kind of person. A fact eventually explained by you and a few other disturbed patrons and attendants of various gender and species. You mutter something about peregrinii not reading the signs as you head into the sauna. You take the mag-tube back home, no use working up another sweat on the way home.


Supper advertisements start showing up on the way home, but Vivian has already texted you, she's making steak and fruit casserole, not something to pass up. Your children are in the rec commons playing games, so you send them a text to finish up. You grab a bottle of wine and fresh flowers from the Complex Shop before you head upstairs. You can smell the food as soon as you open your door, Vivian beams when she sees the flowers, you've clearly done well.
Set the table, turn off the television, and pour out four glasses of wine, two de-alcholized, you may legally be able to drink at any age, but you don't want to start them too young, it's not proper.
Sam and Toby crash through the door in a fervour over a must-have game for sale at the local toy-shop, Vivian asks if they've got enough money, they scramble to their rooms to find their minibanks (*don't equate pigs with banking in the Republics, you'll get punched), S5.78 between them, that's S6.22 short, though your proud they saved that much so young. Tobias made most of it working down with the Rec Commons cleaning staff and you strongly suspect he's been betting on the races because he should have more, Samantha has been selling flowers from the balcony pots to the neighbours, the entertainment value of watching her sales pitches is more than worth her asking prices. You strike up a fair loan plan: 0% interest (it's enough that they get the value of money for now), with a generous S2 bonus for being good in school this whole year.
Supper's ready, you say grace before eating as always, there's no insistence on whether the television should be on or not, family comes first. Discussions about the recent community events and the Ricard's baby shower are the talk between you and Vivian, Toby and Sam are lost in their own conversation about the "cool" features of their soon to be acquired game, sounds like a new colony simulator but you're more entranced by your wife's suggestion of getting a babysitter and going with the usual gang after the society meeting for drinks at the new club that's opened up. The next time you listen in Toby is demanding first play for paying the bulk of the purchase, Sam counters with a 50/50 share of ownership, he wants another Denarius from her. They agree. Good kids.
Dinner's done, you've got a hour and a half or so before the society meeting, the family decides to use the time to watch television together in the den, a variety show keeps you entertained, but at this point you're all busy fiddling with your VI's, Sam's playing some penguin game and Toby is apparently writing up a fan work episode of his favourite cartoon with his friend. Vivian at this point is talking with her sister, when you glance over, you see their discussing two apparently very attractive guys they had to play doubles against, you trust her, but you can't help the occasional glance out of the corner of your eye until she reassuringly agrees with her sister that "She's got better at home." She kisses you seconds later, which makes you wonder if she noticed you staring. Meanwhile you noticed you've left Jack's question about the Society's Fencing Tourney unanswered for the last two minutes and hurried respond that it's Wednesday, and that he'll need his own foil.

7:00, the Governess Clara arrives and you greet her at the door, Vivian is getting prepared. She's been working with your family since they Toby could walk, even though all household VI's have basic capabilities for watching and caring for children, the human touch is as much desired by Mercatorum families as it was in previous centuries. You couldn't tell from her outward appearance, but she's got 70 years experience as a teacher, she's doing Governess work while her latest "bundle" (longevity plus fertility means multiple generations of children occur quite frequently in one family) of children are growing up , she occasionally brings them along, but tonight she explains their father, Fraklin is just back from his 10-month Mining Contract and he's taking them to the fairgrounds, you know Clara would like to be with them, but she insists she'll do her job, tonight so long as you'll still give her Tuesday off-with pay, which is more than agreeable. Clara is what one might call the working poor of Mercatorum Society, though she's very far from poverty, the very fact that she must work a part-time job to make their ends meet is surely taxing on her Husband's mind, you make a note to tip her well on her next pay check, your certain she won't accept any money now. You collect Toby and Sam and let Clara take them to the Hobby Room (a staple in all Mercatorum Homes), you can hear her beginning the new lesson, tonight its on Religion & Philosophy: Buddhism. Their Sunday School teacher will be impressed, might even ask them to do a little presentation (not meant sarcastically, Venetian Religious Orthodoxy places a high value on alternative religious understanding and tolerance).
==To be continued, due to pressing events. ===
Last edited by The Merchant Republics on Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Your Resident Gentleman and Libertarian; presently living in the People's Republic of China, which is if anyone from the Party asks "The Best and Also Only China".
Christian Libertarian Autarchist: like an Anarchist but with more "Aut".
Social: Authoritarian/Libertarian (-8.55)
Economic: Left/Right (7.55)
We are the premiere of civilization, the beacon of liberty, the font of prosperity and the ever illuminating light of culture in this hellish universe.
In short: Elitist Wicked Cultured Free Market Anarchists living in a Diesel-Deco World.

Now Fearing: Mandarin Lessons from Cantonese teachers.
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The Merchant Republics
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Founded: Oct 25, 2010
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Merchant Republics » Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:30 am

Section XIII: Glossary and Disassociated Miscellany


A

B
Books tend to be preferred over tablets and other medias, due mostly to the physical touch, but the cost means they are more of a luxury, the tendency is for most families to have a large library, staffed with classics and favourites, but popular novels and magazines tend to be delivered electronically.


C
There is no single "age of consent in the Republics" instead, we have what is called the standard of consent which bars most young children and animals from being considered consenting sexual partners. Indeed the actual act of having sex with a child itself isn't illegal, just as having sex with an adult isn't illegal, it's that that as far as we've seen it's impossible for that act to be consensual, and therefore it is de facto illegal. Same with zoophilia.

Some people however are known to utilize age therapy to reverse their apparent age to such a point that they might cater to pedophiles romantically, sexually, while still technically being adults. Gene therapy offers similar solutions for zoophiles.

In these situations, there is no choice but to legally allow it, as government has no place in such moral issues, even if it might be revolting.


How does your nation treat criminals and what sorts of punishments are used?

We treat them as they are, men and women who have wronged others and thus owe a debt to their victims and to society as a whole. As such they must pay recompense, both in time and money until it is repaid.
Still a criminal is a human being and a member of Mercatorum society, we despise those prison systems which strip individuals of their identity, and assign them collective duties, collective homes and collective food. Our prisons are microchasms of individual merit, though we must limit their opportunities, amenities and choices for safety as well as in sober condemnation for their crimes, we will not dehumanize them. Indeed, it is our belief that the role of prison is to make the criminal even more human than when he arrived; aware of his failing, repentent for his crime and responsible for having repaid his debt to the victims of his actions.

Are criminals given the right to a fair trial?

Yes, all accused in every Republic have the right to a fair trial, though only citizens receive subsidized/free legal representation.

How are the prisons run?

Most prisons are privately operated or run by society guilds, with exception to a few maximum security and prisoner of war facilities under council/senate control for obvious safety reasons.

As to the day-to-day, prisons are set-up around the notion of providing criminals with ways to choose how they repay their debt. To begin, nothing in the prison is provided gratis (with exception to religious services, visitation, counselling, library access and obviously security) prisoners receive a monthly stipend for their basic needs and a payment to their debt, but how much they want to spend on those needs is up to them, they may choose between cheap shared cells or more comfortable private rooms to varying degrees, what food and drink they wish to have and how much (yes even approved amounts of alcohol), extra furniture or entertainment. But these small comforts mean less money to devote to paying off their debt.

Prisoners are also afforded a great deal of ways to raise additional money to pay for their debt including but not limited to:
- Lease-labour to local civil construction, community maintainence and approved businesses.
- Tissue, blood and even organ donation.
- Volunteering for medical or scientific experimentation.
- Extra prison duties.
- Trading services or even operating small businesses like restaurants for other prisoners.
- Even fighting as a gladiator (not fights to the death, just armed combat to injury or advantage).

Debt rewards are also often given for good behaviour like:
-Giving apologies and personal restitutions to victims/family of victims
-Breaking up assaults and resolving conflicts peacefully
-Helping other prisoners
-Assisting security officers and prison staff
-Attending counselling and regular religious service attendance
-Finishing educational or trade programs
-General geniality and manners

Do you have the death penalty and if so how is it used?

Not truly, as a dead criminal cannot easily repay debts. However since several of the means available to raise extra funds do carry heightened risk of death, like volunteering for medical experimentation or most particularly fighting in gladiatorial games. It could be said that for some prison becomes a death sentence, of course all these extra programs are voluntary and the deaths even among gladiators are never purposeful.

Do you focus more on punishment or rehabilitation?

Remuneration and restitution of the victim, actually. Criminals pay their debts to the victim and the society first and foremost. Although the reparation and eventual rehabilitation of the victim is a secondary objective, and the system rewards a prisoner's efforts towards that goal.

Punishment is a decisively less important issue. It's seen as unchristian and barbaric to punish crime, the focus instead being making steps towards forgiveness of the criminal and restitution of the victims whenever possible.

Note: To the likely question arising from reading this, no one can't just buy themselves out of prison, there are limits to how much debt you can pay off per year, what amounts to a minimum time sentence, and the debt owed scales upwards with net worth.


D
The Mercatorum Governments are held to strict standards of public disclosure by the Celestial Council, outright lies, those which prove detrimental to the liberties and safety of their citizenry at large will bring punishment, particularly egregious actions might even be punished with expulsion. Though in practice that is both unlikely and unheard of, simply because few lies could become so large and harmful without good justification or at the very least some exposure.

Freedom of Information, regarding state secrets and public records is entrenched in the constitution, all citizens of a Republic are entitled to know it's finances, it's policies in full, the recordings of all meetings of their ruling bodies and some basic details of public investigation, espionage and military action. That said, the specifics of this clause have been generally narrowed, so that only citizens who can prove themselves trust-worthy, and who themselves promise to keep said secrets may ask and with some vetting must be allowed to view any classified document that the Republic is privy too.

That said the act of asking for such documents without a due cause is potential grounds under Senatorial law for espionage, so asking for documents that are sensitive in nature, may lead to you being branded a spy, which would of course, mean that you must surrender your citizenship, which in turn means that you no longer hold any right to the information of a Republic. So the system generally weeds out the spies from the genuinely curious and right-thinking.


E
Barbarians in all their forms, both the immoral, uncivilized and uncouth. Tyrants and those who support tyranny. Communists, thieves and other parasites. The ignorant and philistine, those who would seek to make their ways through force of arms and those who would excuse evil and surrender their honor and their liberties for promises of safety.

Essentially all those who are beneath the enlightened glory of The Most Serene Republics.


G
29%, at least in most Republics, though it can vary fairly wide, with some colonies as low as 19% and others as high as 40%.
Income disparity is widest in Republics with concentrated industrial development (like mining colonies) and lowest in Republics with high numbers of cooperative industries.
Within the inner colonies where industries are both varied and mostly commercial in nature disparity is low but hovers at a middle ground of roughly 27%.

The Mercatorum have only a few Republics which practice anything that could be conceivably be called "socialism" our relatively low income disparity is entirely a derived benefit of a fully-realized market economy, workers protect themselves, business compete freely and openly and the result has been a wide and relatively equal spread of economic well-being.

That said we still have multi-billionaires who could buy out entire nations, but the wonderful thing about the Republics is that we have massive numbers of them.


I

Islam represents a sizable minority of the Mercatorum faiths, with at least 3% of the nation being known adherents. It is also one of the major non-Christian religions sitting on the Council of Faith.

Muslims in the Mercatorum have over the past centuries all but completely integrated in the greater culture, though Islam is still central to a Mercatoran Muslim, he would with exception to his somewhat unusual prayer schedule and halal eating habits be indistinguishable from any other person.

Islam has suffered some hits in the past few years, particularly the number of schisms in the faith, with two of the five pillars needing dramatic readjustment for the new challenges of space and our Exodus. With Mecca and most of the Earth completely destroyed, Muslims are unable to pray as prescribed towards Mecca, turned to praying skywards. Pilgrimage is noticeably harder as well, with no way to get to Earth, let alone survive on it.

All in all Muslims are treated very positively in the Merchant Republics. Christians and Muslims both tend to see each other as in the Muslim's term "fellow people of the book", and while obviously tolerance can only go so far in mutually exclusive faiths like Islam and Christianity, we manage to coexist without incident.



O

Open carry is legal, if not preferred.

Even though it's safe to assume that a small number of any of the people one sees in a given day were armed, carrying your weapon openly is considered aggressive, especially when around police and military vets. The general rule is no one should see your weapon unless it is needed or you have some sort of duties associated with it. A prime example of this would be the vigiles and other "volunteer policing" organizations are expected to wear openly; they are essentially volunteer plain clothes police, so it's not quite the same.

In regards to the law of the Republics if you're wearing a firearm openly and in public you are by default assumed to be volunteering as a law-enforcer and as such if you are a citizen that means you are legally obligated to assist anyone who approaches you with a problem.


Obesity is rare among the Mercatorum, as active living culture and high-technology medicine leave obesity treated rightly as a severe medical condition and disease in the Republics. As such obese persons; though capable and free to live otherwise healthy lives, will almost certainly choose to undergo treatment as soon as they have become noticeably overweight. This is for a variety of reasons, not the least of it is the high cost of insurance for those with the condition and the Mercatorum society guild's often very demanding criteria for members to be engaged in healthy active living.

Many treatment options exist, most of which are fairly simple some of the more popular treatment regimes include:

- Routine injections of nanocydes, robotic probes which flow through the body re-purposing fat cells into muscle and waste. Taken over a year-long period to allow for the body to adjust to weight loss.
- Liposuction/Metabolic Therapy, a combination treatment which first eliminates a large amount of body waste and then uses gene therapy to change the metabolic capabilities of cells.
- Natural Methods: Exercise and dieting so to speak, a rather easy task in the Mercatorum society, as anyone who's anyone is involved in at least one recreational sport and our food while rich and gourmet is usually delicate in proportion.
-Combination methods: Usually the most successful way to stave off obesity is to combine all of the methods, especially the last. To live healthily and well for the foreseeable future. ]


P

There are no true political parties, candidates instead vie for the endorsement of our great society guilds, but even these aren't mutually exclusive and in fact can be dizzyingly odd. For instance there are no less than fifty senators that are endorsed equally by the Faborum (the traditional voice of the working class) and the EQVES (which tends to represent the rich corporate elite).

The closest facsimile to a ruling political party within the Confederation might best be decided by which society is the most influential or the one which has the most endorsed candidates in the Senate and Council, in which case there is little doubt that the Mercator Society is what comes closest to the ruling political force in the Republics, by a rather wide margin, this is unsurprising as the Mercator Society has the highest membership among Mercatorum, the endorsement of the Mercator is the most sought after by far for candidates, less than 30% of Senators, and only 20% of Councillors have been elected without an endorsement. With that said, a person could read those statistics and take the wrong impression home, as the Mercator tends not to be very exclusive with their endorsements. It is quite frequent for the Mercator to endorse two or more candidates in a single electoral race, this is especially true (and again quite frequent) when several of the candidates are in fact each active Society members, rather than being divisive and creating rivalries with the society, the guild instead chooses to endorse all as equally valid choices and leave the membership to their own conscience.

Which may mean a better measure would be which society candidates work the hardest to receive endorsement from, in that case it would probably be the EQVES, since they represent a very small but immensely influential segment of society, and they tend to produce very few candidates from their own ranks (since politics is considered a somewhat distasteful career for the elites) they are also by far the most reserved in their endorsements; a spotless record of commitment to Mercatorum values, boundless charitable endeavours and proof positive of being a paragon of laissez-faire tradition are just the basics. To be endorsed by the EQVES essentially signals a candidate as worthy of highest office, however it actually does very little for their own election chances, an EQVES endorsement puts a politician on the fast track to the grand committees, but only if he has the popular support to get an office in the first place.

Another means of decoding the society with the most influence to the political process might be the one's whose endorsements most often tip the scale in a candidates favour, a distinction which simply must go to the Faborum, although the working class also tend to associate with the Mercator Society, the Faborum represent the closest thing to a left-wing party in the Republics and as such represent the most likely people to vote differently from the other societies, they are much harder to please but when they do, you tend to be the only candidate who did, and as such are almost guaranteed 10-20% of the votes.


So in short, there is no ruling party within the Confederation, but each of the three great Society Guilds in their own respect decide the political landscape of the Mercatorum through their endorsements. The Mercator make a candidate viable, the Faborum give the candidate the edge, EQVES gives the winners the path to higher office.

Q
"Have any of you ever witnessed a man die from a synaptic overload? Folks you have not witnessed a sadder sight, not in all the heavens and planets in the sky, than a man crushed by the weight of his own mind. Slow, painful and nigh irreversible. And this chip, this one right here. Ladies and gentleman this may just solve everything."
- Dr. Jeremiah Edison Coopers, Chief Medical Officer, Pandorex Bio-Enhancements
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"They came ten battalions strong to disarm the militia, and the militia did not disarm."
Yantz Mercurius Bailley, War Reporter for the Tribune during the Exodus War
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"They had told me that I was trapped under a yoke of labour... and they were not wrong. My hours were long, and my employers could not be said to care whether I lived or died in a day so long as I produced their quota, I made only enough to quiet my stomach and afford some rest before the next day came.So I cheered when the day dawned that these men, who'd thought of me as nothing more than a commodity were strung up in the public square.

Yet no sooner had I thrown off my old chains they then had placed new ones upon me. Before, I had been chained only to my pocketbook and threatened only by the growling of my empty stomach. Thereafter I was bondaged to my neighbour and my neighbour to his, all along a great and terrible chain. Prodded now not by my needs, though my stomach growled no less, but by sharp bayonets held in the hands of men I once called friends.

Could I say I felt sorry for the old bourgeois? They had never spared any sympathy for my struggles, but then nor had I expected it. Their carelessness was a slight compared to the cruelty of my new masters, before only my labour was a commodity, now the whole of my life was owned by the people.

When I had first escaped and came to this land, I saw it as throwing off my chains a second time, but in time I have come to see it in a different light, I had been chained just once. Though poverty limited my freedom, only socialism had truly made me a slave."

- excerpt from the auto-biography of Anthony Minskiroff, "Living under Chains"; one of many refugees that came to the Merchant Republics during the early years of the Revolutions, at the time it was published Anthony was but one of the many success stories, but his eloquent style earned him literary recognition, and in time he became a foremost author in the Republics.
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"There's been much said about the recent innovations in neural-network interfaces, but what I worry most about personally is the possibility for-- Buy Signori Papazaldo's Microwave Pizzas, "Papazaldo's whenever your hungry, reach for the Papaz" -- tampering within the inner workings of our minds."
- Dr. Erik Flavius Von Rutenberg, an unreleased interview concerning the potential problems with having what is essentially an internet link inside your own mind. The bug, a poorly designed virus filter has since been patched.
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"Would you like to know at the core the difference between the mind of a capitalist and a communist? A capitalist finding himself in a village of broken shacks, will think 'I will not leave this town until I have turned every shack into a mansion'. A communist finding himself instead in a village of luxurious mansions thinks 'I will not leave this town until every mansion has been turned into a shack.' "

- Dr. Katherine De Vega, Social Philosopher and Economist In Interview.
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"No, my dear sir, I will not die to protect your rights, I will not die to give you shelter, I will not die to feed you, but Monsieur, I will live for them, as I live for my own and that is what divides us. You promise death to the rich and I promise life to the poor."

- Dr. Katherine De Vega, Prominent Philosopher in conversation with notable Socialist Arnold Groener.
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My greatest advice is this: give generously and freely, because if there's one thing a commie hates more than a capitalist, it's a charitable one.
-Franciso Ostanos Tarantino, CEO for Illumina Research
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"War: the violent clash of different ideas between men.
Peace: the co-existence of different ideas between men.
Trade: the co-operation of different ideas between men."
~Embossed on the reverse of every Mercatorum embassy's seal.
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"If there is a single and fundamental distinction between the civilized and the barbaric. It is to be found in one of the earliest lessons of childhood.

In far too many of these alleged "civilized" societies the teach their children that when they envy the toy of another child they should seek out their teacher; who should in the name of fairness force the other to give up his toy. But in the Mercatorum and all other truly civilized nations, that same child would be encouraged to seek out a trade which makes both of them happy.

They teach their children to satisfy themselves through the misery of others. We teach ours that to satisfy themselves they must also satisfy others. Yet they call us greedy. That is barbarism. "
~Vanessa Honorius Van der Lyons, Prominent Social Critic
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"I can't decide whether it would be more fitting if the hell we're sending all these poor boys to, were poetically communist or ironically capitalist. God love them either way it's better than serving in the Red Army."
- Overheard preceding raucous laughter from the Officer's Club, During the Battle of Alpine Hold, in the last days of the Exodus War, communist forces lost more 830,000 men taking the Alpine line, many of them from starvation and exposure, Mercatorum casualties were significantly lower.
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"Mr. Eliot couldn't have been more wrong..."
- Fleet Admiral Jacob Tarquin Hammond, off-hand to the Admiralty Board,
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"Before you pull the trigger, gentleman. Know this. Right now I have the capability to say just a few words, a few very dangerous words that would if your officers overheard them, mean death for each and every one of you. These words are the truth, gentleman, you silence me today to enforce lies, but I won't speak them to you, because I care for your lives. Can you say the same of your masters?"

~Reginald Octavius "Butter" Ippscotch, Mercatorum Intelligence Agent, captured while coordinating the movement of refugees out of enemy territory during the Exodus War. A quote relayed to the Legionary Command and verified by three of the soldiers and one officer present during the execution that day. Whom all later defected.

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"When you demanded the people be fed, they called you a communist; but when you bring food to feed them, they'll string you up in the public square for being a capitalist. Perhaps they derive some satisfaction if at the end of the day: if while the people are still hungry, the vultures are fed."
~ Excerpt from "Black Market Blues" an auto-biography by a renowned smuggler known only as "The Silent Postman" : and a common joke among other Mercatorum smugglers, a laudable profession (depending on your cargo) in the Republics.

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"The folly of socialism is found precisely in it's artificial nature, the engine burns its all to seek utopia, when what they search for would be found faster had they only followed the wind. In search of perfection, they take from man his beating heart and replace his blood with iron slurry.
-Antonius Meridius, Poet

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"A ship that leaves the wind may move forward many days without ever making progress."
Mercatorum Proverb
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"I'll allow you this, a man may be rightly called exploited whom works tirelessly to improve the well-being of men who are not expected to give him anything in return. But tell me sir, which of our two systems does that sounds most like? "
-Dr Katarina De Vega, social commentator and champion of the free market system
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"There are no poor in the Republics, only those that have yet to be wealthy."
-Mercatorum Proverb, attributed to prominent wit and Mercator Society Guild Master Adrienne Gabriel Cossotani in the 17th Century

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"The poor of our nation, monsieur, do not need to be fed by anyone! They are neither simple pets nor mewling helpless infants, they are quite capable of feeding themselves without burdening any other man. Should they fail, they would not be so proud as to refuse charity. I would caution you to remember that when you try to spread your insipid little ideology in our nation. The lowest man in our lowest gutter would rather die than accept the principle that he is the victim of exploitation by his "betters".
-Dr. Katarina de Vega, social commentator and novelist, to the question by a foreign socialist critic "who will feed the poor in your society?"

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"Our fledgling alliance must be placed on a solid foundation if we shall grow, we are a people devastated by wars that took heart in nations that believed themselves immune from tyranny until tyranny overtook them.
Let us then establish ourselves upon the rock that kept us through the storm, our faith in the God-given freedom and self-sovereignty of all mankind.
-Arch-Bishop Theodorus Arcavi, one of many architects of the Celestial Charter; which marked the founding and philosophy of the Merhant Republics.

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"One pauses briefly, when looking upon the terrible figure of advancing savage, the look in his eyes is so bloodthirsty and cruel, horror stories from the occupied lands speak of their hunger for destruction. Yet, I never thought I could see a man reduced to such... clamouring... chomping at the heels to reach their promised plunder. As I plunged my bayonet into his throat, I couldn't help but wonder if the lash of oppression would ever break my humanity as well"
Journal Entry of Grand Admiral, (then) Decanus Lionel Ostiellio Granger, 3rd Century, Legion MXV "Redbane" defending the Western Alpine Line, 2118
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"On this day gentleman, we commend our brother Centurion Samuel Ortacus Tyranii, of his body to the ground of Terra below and of his soul to heaven above. A loving father, a dutiful husband, a champion of industry and as worthy a gentleman and officer as I have ever met.
Comrade Lenin once said 'A capitalist is no more capable of self-sacrifice than a man is capable of pulling himself up by his bootstraps' Well my friends, while I know our brother is destined for heaven, I'd like to think that God shall allow him a short respite in hell so that he go and kick in that fool's teeth for the slander.”
Legate Marshall Fredrick Ocatavius Samnite, praising Samuel Tyranii for his death in defence of the Octano Line, 2120
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"The chief problem of autocracy is that any single fool may hold the power enslave the many wise; the chief problem of democracy is that every single fool holds the power to enslave the few wise. The problem is not that fools are fools or that fools will follow fools but that fools' can in either system hold power over the wise at all, for one finds power is a commodity that attracts fools."

Gregory Octavius Nachtstein, Former Grand Chancellor and Triumvir
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"It truly pains my heart to hear the shouts from fervent and pious believers for the establishment of moral laws, for the Earthly punishment of sins, for conversion by force, for the punishment, exclusion and maltreatment of non-believers, Jews, Muslims and Heretics alike.
This idea of theocracy, is wholly abominable; yes, mankind should live piously and reverent to laws of God, but should we not do so for the Love of God? Rather than in fear of our Earthly rulers. If we are to live in a society where every man is made to follow the law of God by force, how should we know the pious from the fearful?"

~Arch-Bishop Antoine I, the Peaceful, addressing the Papal College circa 1541

"Look around you at the staggering works of the world that surround us, it is a rapturous beauty that envelops us even as it radiantly flows from the font of our own minds. We live now in an age of Eternal Renaissance; where the artist's only limitation is that of his own imagination."

~ Dr Katarina De Vega
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"If our society is to be defined by one word, let it be the word of our ancestors "Ego"; Me, Myself and I, for the ego as the extension of the mind is the font of all creation, the conception of self is the most important distinction of intelligence, the necessary foundation for civilization, for art, for all pursuits of the mind and progress. Collectivists may have their soulless ant-farms of brutality and sacrifice. I will take a society built around "man", not "men"."
~Dr Katarina De Vega, on Mercatorum Society
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"I'll tell you one thing, it might be the mobile regiments that get all the glory and hoist our colours in the vids, but it's us regulars that win the wars. We're the backbone of the Legions, and friend, this back don't break."
Decanus Matthias V. Cathaway

“Well I’ll tell you something friend, you fellas in the Guard like to think you’re guts and we’re the glory. Let me set you straight then, when the vids recount the exploits of Legio XMVI-whatever, they aren’t going to be talking about the guys who took out the bridges and hit the supply convoy.”
Decanus Nathan R. Legaro
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"Put twelve entrepreneurs in a room with a problem and they'll give you twelve ways to solve it, put twelve politicians in a room with a problem and they'll decide on one way to make it worse."
-Benjamin Antinious Devarre, wit and social commentator
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"Is it truly better you say? This world of "equality" you so desperately wish to engender upon us? You wish to tear down all that we have created for this hollow promise of unilateral brotherhood? If that is the case then I shall say to you, a thousand times and more, that it would be better that we live wealth-stratified in towers, than poor equally in their rubble."

- Dr. Katherine De Vega, Social Commentator in conversation with notable Socialist Philosopher Arnold Groener.
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"It has been said that this war could still be won if we did as our enemies have done to us... They have bombed our families while we defended the fronts, they have slaughtered our civilians, prisoners and even their own people mercilessly, they have crippled our cities with biological weapons and destroyed others with the terrifying power of the atom bomb.
There are those who ask 'Why not use these tactics, if it means victory?', it is true we are on the brink of collapse, we are losing this war, our lines have held these many years, but they will not hold much longer. We cannot win conventionally, we can no longer afford to fight fair.

We possess the technology to take this fight to them, the same defence network that has kept us protected from their nuclear weapons could be re-purposed to wipe their own cities from the Earth, we have engineered biological agents that would cripple their war effort, weapons that could destroy their dwindling food supplies, we do not need to give quarter to our enemies, we do not need to show mercy to their soldiers, we do not need to strain our systems to take in their refugees and deserters, nor do we need be lenient to our own internal detractors.

So today the Legionary Staff has brought this to our consideration, and tonight we ask the same of you, our fellow citizens: are we willing to surrender our very souls to win this war? A secret ballot is being taken across the nation, your voice is appreciated.

Tonight the world will watching and while their governments hide away in bunkers, their people will be huddled in their homes, afraid for their lives as you have been. Today we give you the power to choose our course to give mercy or take vengeance. Remember this, that history will forever mark this day as either the greatest or the bleakest in our history; and our God above will judge us based on this choice.

May God save the Republics and the souls of free men in all nations."

~ Primarch Anthony Cicero Allistair, c. March 3rd, 2120, in his speech during the last year of the Exodus War, the war continued another year, we choose not to use our nuclear arsenal. Sadly, our mercy was ignored the enemy blocked the feed and declared that we had chosen to destroy them, but our missiles were intercepted. In the last days of the war, we were forced to fire our entire arsenal to protect the Exodus fleet, the resulting explosions destroyed most of the Earth. It is marked as the bleakest day in our history and March 3rd, our greatest.
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"So few realize this that it may even qualify as the Mercatorum's greatest secret. Our Guilds, the very foundations of our economy and society, are more or less identical to what would be called Mutualist Credit Unions simply writ large and heavy with cultural attachment.
Here in the bleeding heart of capitalism, beneath towers of marble and glittering gold; we find the bedrock is made of that which is utterly detestable in the minds of the Mercatorum: socialism."
~Faborum Guild Leader Maxine Gracchus DeChamps, from her lectures in "The Balancing Act: Finding Socialist Ideals in a Capitalist Economy."


"Maxine isn't wrong to spot similarities between the credit bureaus of a mutualist society and our deeply beloved guilds. No doubt also that they are a secret to the Mercatorum's particular success. However... Madame DeChamps may need to look closer, for no one sensible banks exclusively with their Guild. Even the best of them discount their lending practices with our dues, and none offer more than a paltry return on investment. They are social clubs first, charities second, and banks a distant third. Our money instead goes wisely to the myriad commercial banks that out-compete them. Scratch the surface of that socialist bedrock: you find capitalism again."
~Dr. Katarina de Vega, novelist and critic of socialism in the Merchant Republics in response to Mdme. De Champs lectures.
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"Do not mourn me brothers, for God smiles upon my work. I have conquered this dark age of war and oppression with peace, I have brought Christianity back to Christ- "
~Arch-Bishop Antoine I, the Peaceful. The founder of the Venetian Orthodox Church, he was stabbed and killed by Rodrigo Di Vera, a Catholic extremist outside of St. Mark's Basilica; his assassin was later pardoned by the Church as an act in keeping with Antoine's teaching.
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"Of these socialists and their radical off-shoots and what they advocate; this universal society of brotherhood and love. This is not the society they will create with their philosophy, the seek to deprive man of his means to love, by making love free. When love and life is free, not valued, not given as a gift but taken as the birthright of every man, then we shall see a world that has neither love nor charity for it will be squandered.
These utopias they have tried to create have not failed because man is inherently too greedy or too evil. No, they have failed precisely because it is the nature of their societies to engender greed and evil. They give birth to the parasite which destroys them."

Primarch Leonardo Flavius Benevuto, 1890 on the Rise of Socialism in the Western World. Earth Databanks
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"Transhumanism? No, I won't hear of that word, we are not in the business of making humanity into something it's not, we are seeking the maximum potential of what a human can become. The body, the body is what we shall change; the soul will remain."
-Dr. Robert Grachus Benevuto, Lead Scientist, Pandorix Bio-Engineering


R
Strategic/Legionary Command/Non-Combat
Immunes - Non-combat strategic level staff involved with: budgets, procurement, equipment, recruitment and other "tail" legionary duties.
Tribunii - Strategic officers assigned with the Legate and/or overseeing Cohorts.
Prefectus - Second in Command
Legate Commander of the Legion


Field Legion

Initiate - New Recruit (rarely deployed)
Miles Auxilia - Auxiliary attached to the Legion
Legionary - Rank and File Soldiers
Specialist - Various Roles: Engineering, Tank Crew, Cooks, Morale Assistants and Medical Orderlies etc.
Decanus - Troop Captains usually Elected
Optiones - Various Roles: Tactical Officers, Doctors, Military Police, Morale Officers
Optio Principalis - First Officers under the Centurion
Centurion - Commander of the Century


Ship-borne Legion

Initiate - Recruit
Classiaries Auxilia - Auxilia attached to the Fleet
Crewman - Rank and File of Various Roles
Classiaries - Rank and File Marines
Volanaries - Pilots
Decanus - NCO
Optiones Classicus - Ship Officers, Various Roles: Engineering, Navigation, Weapons, etc.
Optio Principalis - Captain's Assistants
Triarchus/Captain - Ship Captain


W

Neither the Celestial Confederation nor the Charter restricts women from service in the Celestial Legions, as such it is not impossible for a woman to join the military, however since all recruits for the Celestial Legion are drafted out of a pool of military tributes from individual Republics, and the charter does not explicitly mandate that Republics let women serve (so long as they can earn citizenship some other way), whether or not women actually make it into the tribute pools for the Legions is not always certain.

Several Republics do indeed bar women from military service feeling it is a man's duty to serve his nation in such a way and that a woman can better serve in medical or civilian roles. However many more Republics do not bar women at all. Most however have varying laws about allowing women to serve in front-line combat.

Women are actually well-represented among strategic officers, indeed several notable Legates and Centurions are women. Due to the separate structure for officer recruitment and legion formation. To explain officers are typically recruited from successful mercenary companies and officer's academies rather than tribute pools, and at any time a woman may become a Legate if she can purchase a senatorial commission (to be an official auxilia company) and prove herself "worthy of the banner" (assist in enough assignments to the senate's standards to be raised as a full legion).

However in both militias and the legion proper women are rarely assigned to combat roles, Mercatorum have a strong sense of chivalry and do not agree with putting women in danger, whether or not they want to do so. Women are usually assigned to support and medical corps, even with the Legions. They are also well-represented in the Navy as crew and engineers.

Women may also always try their hand at mercenary work, especially in the fringes where colonies and merchant flotillas often don't have the luxury of caring about chivalry and honour.


The Faborum Union, the premiere organization and voice of the working man and tradesmen in the Merchant Republics maintains the standard of industrial and trade worker safety through their yearly updated "Reasonable Safety Expectation Code", which outlines basic safety guidelines that a worker should expect as a minimum. For any career-minded job seeker, a shop which does not meet these standards is more or less totally ignored.

The Faborum cooperates with the Mercator League to update annually a list of all the businesses in the Republics compliance and their overall safety records. The list is available publicly and most Republics have made the status and overall ranking of their workplace compliance a legal necessity on all contracts.

Though compliance is not mandated by any government body, it is held by Celestial Council as the base legal standard for safety, and as such non-compliance opens one up to lawsuit should any injuries occur, indeed non-compliant managers or owners may even be charged with manslaughter for recklessness.

Workplace investigation is also done by a special branch of the Faborum dedicated to investigating and shaming terrible or excessively dangerous workplaces, which is called officially the Industrial Safety Watch, but have earned a colloquial nickname as the "Sabot Men" for throwing proverbial spammers in the works of dangerous workplaces. Though once again, they have no power to force inspections or close down uncooperative businesses, any business that wants to hire publicly, will submit to one for convenience sake.

Non-Compliant businesses are known as "Brute Shops", while certainly ugly, they nonetheless play their own positive roles employing those unemployed too proud or too untrustworthy to seek charity without turning to crime, as well as in economic crunches.



Notable Nations, Republics and Independent States
The Following Section will outline some important states, nations and free cities within the greater Celestial Confederation and Merchant Republics, including basic overviews of their history, political systems and facts at a glance:





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The Orinean Commonwealth
The Orinean Commonwealth is home to and largely populated by the Orinean Peoples (See Section V: Species for Details) a species of extremely humanoid beings native to the planets Daerinor and Valinor1

Official Name: The Most Illustrious Orinean Commonwealth
Informal Name: The Orinean Commonwealth, The Elven Realms
Capital: Evindiale, Valinor
Type of Government: Commonwealth comprised mostly of Feudalistic and Monarchic Kingdoms
Head of Government: Prime Minister: Eyria Bostira Lyndivirot of Valinor
Cultural Identity: Independent, Orinean
Council Seats: 300
Councillor Selection: Mostly by appointment. A small number are democratically elected.
Senators: 40
Population: 67,000,000,000
Planets: 12 (Homeworld: Valinor/Daerinor)

1How they came to be native to both planets is the subject of a great deal of scholarly debate, Orinean mythology states that the Cydoreans were banished to Daerinor for practicing black magic and transported there using ancient relics of a crashed alien ship, other accounts suggests this may have been more mutual than believed and that the Cydoreans may have simply be fleeing persecution and discovered that the artifact could take them there. The ship itself is believed to be from the same precursors that the Vodar destroyed centuries earlier.



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Caovar Alliance
The Caovar Alliance is a small federation of planets whose population is largely descended from the original inhabitants of the planet Caovaria, a watery, tropical planet home to the the various sub-species of the Golaran Race.

Full Name: The Republic of the Caovar
Capital: Tausaga, Caovaria
Government: Oligarchic Senate consisting of Elders and Wisemen, led by a Patriarch and Matriarch who act as dual consuls.
Head of Government: Patriarch: Res'aad Tyrranus Hasikrr, Matriarch: Tornica Valunis C'yid
Cultural Identity: Independent, Caovarian
Council Seats: 25
Councillor Selection: Oligarchic Appointment
Senators: 5
Population: 36,000,000,000
Planets: 3



Last edited by The Merchant Republics on Sun Oct 23, 2016 6:39 am, edited 22 times in total.
Your Resident Gentleman and Libertarian; presently living in the People's Republic of China, which is if anyone from the Party asks "The Best and Also Only China".
Christian Libertarian Autarchist: like an Anarchist but with more "Aut".
Social: Authoritarian/Libertarian (-8.55)
Economic: Left/Right (7.55)
We are the premiere of civilization, the beacon of liberty, the font of prosperity and the ever illuminating light of culture in this hellish universe.
In short: Elitist Wicked Cultured Free Market Anarchists living in a Diesel-Deco World.

Now Fearing: Mandarin Lessons from Cantonese teachers.
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