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Buying a ticket and storming the station (Semi-Open, WA)

Where nations come together and discuss matters of varying degrees of importance. [In character]
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Uncle Noel
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 107
Founded: Antiquity
Corrupt Dictatorship

Buying a ticket and storming the station (Semi-Open, WA)

Postby Uncle Noel » Mon Sep 19, 2016 2:44 pm

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the easiest way of dealing with a problem was to deny that it existed. This was what every Fiefdom schoolchild had been taught for decades either in school or, if they were particularly unlucky, at a youth camp on a terrible excursion to some scrubland next to an industrial estate which counted as “wilderness”.

And let it not be said that the leadership of the Fiefdom did not practise what it preached. Racism, for example, was a product of class warfare. Everyone knew this. And everyone also knew that, being a classless society, it was impossible for anything as bourgeois as institutional racism to exist. It was, in every meaning of the term, inconceivable.

But if you asked a foreigner, someone who had never worn a red handkerchief around their neck or sung songs about the industrious squirrel, they might not entirely agree for most people only tended to know two things about the glorious People’s Democratic Fiefdom of Anahuac. First, that it was the sort of dreary, centrally-planned place that never really had any right to exist after the fall of the Soviet Union, especially considering it had the audacity to believe the Marxist-Leninism to which so many other brother socialist republics now paid only lip service to. So it continued to make wheezy little two-stroke cars, and televisions that would the season’s top buy in 1992, and tractors nobody wanted and jeans no one would wear. The second, was for all that the Fiefdom had tried its own version of the New Soviet Man, the faces of its Politburo were still remarkably white compared to the rest of the workers and peasants to which the party professed to be its vanguard.
This contradiction between words and actions (by no means unique to those practising a half-hearted authoritarianism) was a product of the Fiefdom’s complicated and contested history, not least the fact that a combined “fiefdom” history was a relatively recent phenomenon. Go 150 years and where today you see a bright red splodge on the map, with its happy murals brutalist palaces of culture, you would have instead seen two countries. The first, larger and older of the two was the great Nahua empire which had ruled since Tizoc had united the lands under the Quadruple Alliance. This empire, once the need for human sacrifice had finally ended, ruled with stability and tradition. It had also stagnated, falling further and further behind those nations over which, by nature of its existence, it claimed dominion over, before it finally collapsed under the weight of its own discrepancy. The second territory clung like a barnacle on this greater entity, it’s precarious existence between the innumerable host within and the unforgiving sea at their back. These later arrivals had originally come from the north coast of Epheron and would, once, have been referred to as Vandals but were instead called Vandels today in an effort to differentiate the once Germanic tribe from those that smash bus shelters. These Vandels brought with their Arian faith which they had preserved for countless generations and, more importantly, guns with which their heavily fortified coastal cities stood as a testament to the futility of those in the larger empire which had attempted to drive this burgher republic back into the sea from whence it came.

A kindly reader would, therefore, not be surprised by the original composition of the Fiefdom’s leadership. The proto-communist party, and related trade unions, had emerged from the industries which were the exclusive preserve of the Vandels. It is therefore understandable, if not excusable, that those first union leaders would fight so determinedly to protect the rights of white labour at the expense of those inland who, thanks in large part to the conservatism of the old empire, remained primarily agricultural. Nor should it be remembered that, as much as the Party doesn’t want to talk about it, but there was no great and glorious communist revolution. The revolution, such as it was, was imposed by the Soviet Union and the new leadership mostly dredged from the expats growing fat in the cafes of Moscow.

It was this which meant that, without much hyperbole, that Huitzilin Naui Quiahuitl was considered by many to be the most dangerous man currently at liberty in the Fiefdom, not that his age (62) or his profession (professor of philosophy at the Calmecac of Yancuitlan) would suggest that. For Naui Quiahuitl knew enough to know that a straightforward demand for democracy and civil rights would mark him as a troublemaker and certainly hinder if not his own career but also the fledging careers of his children. And so, with polite determination, he had begun to ask why the Fiefdom had not lived up to the ideals to which it already professed. Why, if racism was dead, were so many of the Party’s top jobs still taken up the Vandels or other European migrants? Why were some in the workers and peasant state seemingly treated more fairly than in others? Was this what Marx and Engels had proposed, was this what Dialectical materialism said would happen?

Of course, in the old days, it would be an easy problem to deal with. An early morning knock at the door, perhaps a drive around the sleeping city streets maybe a brief sojourn in the Secret Police headquarters before an extended, and compulsory, stay in the distant Pinacatl mountains. But times, as was their wont, had changed.

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Knootoss
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Posts: 4126
Founded: Antiquity
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Knootoss » Tue Sep 20, 2016 12:20 am

The People's Democratic Fiefdom was the Schrödingers cat of Knootian foreign policy. As one of the two communist powers of the Western Atlantic it simultaneously had to be a malicious, inveterate enemy of Freedom and a creaking example of rot, a sort of living museum that showed the failures of communism as a moribund ideology.

Much of the hostility towards Daytanistan and communist powers further abroad was based on the notion that communism (and most especially the Marxist-Leninist variety) was an aggressive cancer that would spread rapidly unless it was excised on the spot. This notion, much though it might apply to Daytanistan and the "socialist" coalitions that would form and collapse in the wider world, was somewhat undercut by the presence of a little nation - not so far away from the Knootian homeland - that for the most part just sat there, gently rotting away in obscurity.

That's not to say that the leaders of the Dutch Democratic Republic were content to just let this rot continue. There was potential in getting the place up and running as a western-oriented partner in various political, economic and military ventures. All it would take to get that sort of cooperation going was the destruction of its institutions and everything that its people ostensibly believed in - to be replaced by its exact mirror image. After the debacle in Iesus Christi there was no question of doing this by military means. But it was still very much bon ton to support the undercutting of the regime through propaganda.

When some of the works of Professor Naui Quiahuitl made their way abroad, they were duly translated and reprinted. Human Rights Organisations received astroturf petitions inquiring about the professors' fate. And of course this would become a major cause on the radio station that beamed Freedomy News back into the country, as well as fodder for expatriate websites and other channels that might be used to 'stir shit' to the maximum possible degree.

Ideological Bulwark #7 - RPed population preserves relative population sizes. Webgame population / 100 is used by default. If this doesn't work for you and it is relevant to our RP, please TG.

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Snefaldia
Diplomat
 
Posts: 781
Founded: Dec 05, 2006
Father Knows Best State

Postby Snefaldia » Tue Sep 20, 2016 12:55 am

"Marxists are humans whom demons have possessed." was the example of one of the loonier talking heads one of the publicity offices of the Snefaldian government was pushing on state-run and state-adjacent news. "Our society will not be free until we destroy capitalism and slaughter the priests!" came the rejoinder a specially-chosen leftist professor who was secretly on the government payroll and thus not subject to imprisonment like any real communist in Snefaldia. The smiling moderators on these news shows dutifully steered the discussion toward the approved moderate position: that socialism and communism were wrong, but it was the wrongness of mistaken philosophy. The Snefaldian system of guided democracy, carefully managed free markets, and civil freedoms was much better!

All of this discussion wasn't really caused by the disappearnaces of any respected professors in communist nations abroad, but was instead the product of a careful campaign to guide public discussion toward "correct" political views. After all, it was much easier to push people in the correct direction than it was to force them outright what to think. A good playwright is able to manipulate the emotions of the audience without them even knowing it; this was the thinking, at least, by those directors running the media.

When Professor Naui Quiahuitl's "disappearance" finally filtered through the international media system enough for it to warrant news, the Ministry of State viewed it as an opportunity to talk about the freedoms afforded to Snefaldians, and how sad it was that communism could be forced on a people through no choice of their own. Civil Servants appearing on the talk shows and writing editorials began to hit on the same theme: civil rights are guaranteed in Snefaldia, and the Supreme Council ensures stability and prosperity for everyone, and every Snefaldian could run their own business, buy what they wanted, worship what they wanted, and study what they wanted. They could even vote! That's a right they don't have in the dictatorship of the proletariat, the civil servants were keen to point out. "Punishing scholars for asking questions is anathema to Snefaldian history," one said, "and we extend our thoughts to the oppressed people in communist states everywhere who lack the rights we enjoy."

This talk did not truly extend into action at the government level, however. It would not do to rock the boat too much, to actually make any overt diplomatic calls for the Fiefdom to respect individual rights or release the professor. That could wait, until the positions of everyone involved were well-known. In the meanwhile it was effective for the state to use the Fiefdom as an example of just how wrong things could go under another form of government, and therefore the citizens should not question the form of government their rulers had been so gracious to give them in the past few years, no matter how rough and unpleasant the giving.
Last edited by Snefaldia on Tue Sep 20, 2016 12:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Uncle Noel
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 107
Founded: Antiquity
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Uncle Noel » Tue Sep 20, 2016 9:53 am

It was, for the inhabitants of the city, a cool September day; certainly one that justified the retrieval of winter coats from the back of the wardrobe. To others, from more northerly latitudes, it would be considered a pleasant and warm day. Warm enough, perhaps, to warrant shorts. A cold day is a relative thing.

It was on such a day that the Professor Naui Quiahuitl parked his Zagreb Peoples’ Car under the stern gaze of Marx and Engels at the university car park. Bumbling his way towards his department, forever dropping his briefcase and umbrella, he seemed the most unlikely of rebels.

The university building itself was the uniform concrete that spoke of the impending (if never quite arriving) communist utopia where architectural design and ease of use were rightly denounced as the frauds they so clearly were. The fact that it was also cheap to build was wholly unrelated. Upon the professor’s desk was a short note asking him to attend upon the head of the department at his earliest convenience.

It was the same old game. Naui Quiahuitl had no doubt gone too far in a recent statement, ruffling the feathers of the cadres of the university and requiring a plea for restraint. It had all been done before and Naui Quiahuitl did not bother to remove his coat before making his way down the corridor.
“Really Yayauhqui,” he said, opening the door of the head of department ‘s office, “Do we have to go through all this again?”
The office was of the same uniform size as the rest of the offices, though perhaps tidier and more conservatively decorated than Naui Quiahuitl’s own. What was different, however, was the small and somewhat threadbare sofa behind the door upon which two men sat.
Yayauhqui Tochtli gave a small, and entirely pointless, cough. “I’m afraid it’s more serious than that” he said, although that much was obvious.
The two other men rose. They were dressed conservatively in grey, double-breasted suits and although they carried no outward sign of authority or rank, only a fool would doubt who they were.
They were both tall, considerably taller than the two academics, and had the neatly combed blond hair and blue eyes that would have instantly marked them as the Nazi villain in a tawdry capitalist film. The obvious superior of the two extended his hand.
“Professor Naui Quiahuitl, I presume?” he said. He made no further attempt to introduce himself or his colleague. Why would he?
“These two gentlemen are from..” stammered Tochtli.
“I know where they’re from,” said Naui Quiahuitl with a surprising determination, “I’m only surprised it took so long.”
A humourless smile spread across the secret policeman’s face. He then looked at the head of department and, although no words were spoken, the academic gathered some belongings and vacated his own office, pausing only to cast a furtive glance at presumably his soon to be former colleague. Once he had left the more senior of the two men took Tochtli’s place at the desk.
“Please, Professor Naui Quiahuitl, do take a seat”.
Naui Quiahuitl knew this day would come, knew that Icarus could only fly so close to the sun before the glue started to melt. If anything he was glad that this wasn’t a conversation he was having at three in the morning.
“So what was it?” he said, mustering as much cool defiance as a man in his position could, “What could an old man like me to warrant such an esteemed visit. Was it my letter to the Red Star, perhaps one of my students was a little headstrong in giving a fair appraisal of the ongoing legacy of Spodeism, or was it something else?”
The policeman gave another cold smile. “Show him Gundahar”.
The second man silently fetched a briefcase that lay at his feet and produced from it a newspaper which he presented to the academic. It was clearly foreign, for Naui Quiahuitl could not read any of the language save for the name of the newspaper, The Tarana Sentinel, together with his own picture beneath the headline.
“To paraphrase Johnson,” said the secret policeman not identified as Gundahar, “No man but a blockhead ever betrayed his country, except for money. But you strike me as one of those drips that did it for ‘principles’”.
“If you’re implying that I’m a traitor then I’m not,” protested the academic, “All I do, all I have ever done, is to hold this country to the ideals to which it espouses. It is not traitorous to ask where the blessing of this classless society are, it’s not a betrayal to ask whether we abide by our own constitution and all those rights which we commit to paper and then subsequently ignore, throwing them aside like so much…”
“That’s….quite enough Professor. This isn’t a third year seminar and the time for speeches is very, very much over.”
He held out his outstretched hand to which the other policeman place the foreign newspaper, to which he read with some apparent interest, though Naui Quiahuitl realised that it was irrelevant as to whether he could read it or not.
“You’re either a fool, in which case I almost feel pity for you, or you’re after some pointless martyrdom, in which case I am happy to oblige.”
He motioned to the other man who slowly reached into the bag.
‘This is it,’ thought Naui Quiahuitl, ‘I’m going to be shot.’ He then, somewhat bizarrely, wondered at the mess this would make on the Head of Department’s carpet. Closing his eyes, he felt a strange, light pressure on his lap and opened his eyes to see a small white envelope.
“What is this?” he began before the man behind the desk cut him off.
“Comrade Naui Quiahuitl,” he began as though he was addressing a prize-giving event or a community fete, “Let it not be said that those who labour in the vineyard are not suitably rewarded for their toils, and I am sure I speak for everyone here in saying that your tireless work at this faculty has been noted and applauded.”
By way of audience participation the other person grunted.
“And for this very reason, I am very pleased to offer you the hearty, socialist greetings of the People’s Commissar for Education and to say that it was his personal wish that you be suitably rewarded for your efforts. For this reason I am pleased to announce your appointment as the Head of the Philosophy.”

There was a small, awkward silence.

“What,” said Naui Quiahuitl, “here?”
The other man emitted a bark of sarcastic laughter. “Oh no no no, at a new university, a shining beacon of socialist learning and the correct application of Marxist-Leninist thought.”
He rose, and in so doing the other man pulled Naui Quiahuitl from his chair. “Let me be the first to congratulate you on your appointment to the University of Huitznahuac.”
The colour drained from the professor’s face, for Huitznahuac was not really a city at all, but rather a state of being. It supposedly sat in the distant Pinacatl mountains, amongst the shifting deserts, but in reality it meant nothing more than internal exile. It was not a state of forced labour, but it did mean being kept and confined in as secure a prison as any man could design.
“But…but..” he stammered
“Really comrade, there is no need to thank me,” replied the other man, though both knew that thanks was the last thing being offered, “It is an esteemed post and you deserve nothing less.”
Last edited by Uncle Noel on Tue Sep 27, 2016 12:30 am, edited 3 times in total.


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