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[DRAFT] State of the Nation State

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Candlewhisper Archive
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Anarchy

[DRAFT] State of the Nation State

Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Mon Sep 20, 2021 12:41 pm

TITLE:
State of the Nation State

VALIDITY:
democracy, violetism not the national religion, some military strength

DESCRIPTION:
Twenty years. That's how long the democratic government of Forchanistan lasted, before it collapsed into a failed state, allowing the totalitarian and theocratic radicals known as Ultra-Violet to take control of the nation. Twenty years of @@NAME@@ trying to win the hearts and minds of the Forchanistani people, twenty years of trying to instill values of liberal democracy, twenty years of roadside bombs and terrorist insurgents, twenty years of trying to create economic and cultural ties with @@NAME@@. Twenty years of failure. Now the new rulers of the land are undoing two decades of progress, with summary executions and systematised human rights abuses the new order of the day. However, the Ultra-Violetists know that their grip on power isn't yet secure, and they're seeking international recognition. Are you willing to work with them?

OPTION 1
"Death to @@NAME@@! @@LEADER@@ is the Great Devil!" quotes your Minister of Repetitious Antiquities. "That was the rallying cry of Ultra-Violet not so long ago, and it tells you all you need to know about them. Forchanistan isn't a land we can fix, but we sure as hell don't have to put up with Ultra-Violet being in charge of it! They represent a threat to our national security, a threat to democratic values. We need precision strikes to decapitate the Ultra-Violet chain of command, decisive military action, and application of overwhelming force! Bring them down, and maybe they'll be replaced by someone better."
OUTCOME:
the military makes a desert and calls it peace

OPTION 2
"Can I point out that neither the people of our country or theirs wants war?" interject your Minister of Gentle Simian Capture. "Our voting public don't want to see @@DEMONYM@@ soldiers' blood being spilt in that wretched land, especially when no permanent victory is possible. Likewise, the ordinary people of Forchanistan have seen generations of war, and have suffered endlessly from the chaos. While we might not like Ultra-Violet, we have to acknowledge that they are now the rulers of Forchanistan. We have to formally recognise their government, and begin the long, hard process of building non-hostile relations. Stability, both in Forchanistan and globally, trumps the futile pursuit of a perfect world. Perhaps, given a few decades, we can persuade them of the merits of moderate democracy. Or perhaps not. Either way, let's look to the future."
OUTCOME:
hand-shaking diplomats wash their hands frequently to clean the bloodstains off

OPTION 3
"Military solutions just create problems, but we can't act like this new regime is anything other than monstrous," muses your Minister of Oscillating Digits. "I say we refuse to recognise them, lay on trade sanctions, express extreme disapproval. Beyond that we just ignore them, and leave them to their mess. Yes, it's going to be a rotten time for many Forchanistanis, especially women, pro-democracy groups, non-Violetists, starving families and... well, I guess, about eighty percent of the population. But we're not the world's policeman, and we have neither responsibility nor duty to see to the welfare of foreign nationals. Honestly, if I never have to hear about Forchaanistan again, I'll be glad of it."
OUTCOME:
geopolitics is somebody else's problem
Last edited by Candlewhisper Archive on Mon Sep 20, 2021 12:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Bears Armed
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Postby Bears Armed » Mon Sep 20, 2021 2:25 pm

So it just presumes your nation has been involved like that for the last 20 years? It isn't a follow-up to an earlier issue about getting involved in a project like that?
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Comfed
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Postby Comfed » Mon Sep 20, 2021 2:28 pm

I like the name “Forchanistan”.
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Pogaria
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Postby Pogaria » Mon Sep 20, 2021 5:48 pm

Great issue - very timely. The writing is excellent, as usual.

As is, the validity is going to be tricky. You might have to change it to "Twenty years of the United Federation trying to win the hearts and minds..." That way, you're still deciding the question raised in the opening text ("Are you willing to work with them?"), but without presuming that your nation was involved in a foreign occupation.

Also, which figures of speech do the ministers represent?
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Umbratellus
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Postby Umbratellus » Mon Sep 20, 2021 5:59 pm

I'd like to see some sort of less ethical option; if you failed to win their hearts and minds, why not just take over the region, kick everyone out, and colonize it yourself? Your people, no problems, right? Nation building exercises are very much a product of modern neoliberal flavored imperialism, its somewhat historically anomalous. It's a very "soft-handed" approach to military action. Historical cultures wouldn't usually approach it that way. Take the Babylonian conquest of Judea from the Bible for instance; no playing around with a friendly regime, just kick people out and move yours in. An option to abandon that kind of intervention and go for just straight up old fashion imperialism instead would be nice. Could also do something morbid like justifying it as taking over the region to "save the planet."
Last edited by Umbratellus on Mon Sep 20, 2021 6:19 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Nitaiyan
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Nitaiyan » Tue Sep 21, 2021 11:35 am

In addition to ideas others have suggested, another option that might be worth considering would be to have this intervention be the work of a multinational force. Perhaps, twenty years ago, a groups of nations intervened and now that effort has unraveled. It could be left vague as to whether the player's nation militarily joined in or not, or to what degree that nation might have facilitated or assisted the coalition. Just describing the player's country as having been generally favorable toward efforts at sustaining Forchanistan's previous government might be enough.

You could leave the name of the organization that seized control as Ultra-Violet, or consider something like the Brethern of Violetist Disciples or the Union of Ultra-Violetist scholars.

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Kors
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Kors » Thu Sep 23, 2021 5:07 am

Candlewhisper Archive wrote:

It's very poetic
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Candlewhisper Archive
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Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Thu Sep 23, 2021 11:44 am

Bears Armed wrote:So it just presumes your nation has been involved like that for the last 20 years? It isn't a follow-up to an earlier issue about getting involved in a project like that?


It was a fine balance on autonomy vs narrative necessity. I didn't want to imply that you'd taken military action against that nation, or to specify how closely you were involved. However, equally there's no investment in the story if its one nation having a disappointing outcome in another nation, with @@NAME@@ commenting from the sidelines. I tried a version like that, but it just felt distant.

The way I'm seeing it, most democracies with militaries have had troops stationed in foreign nations at some time or another, and most democracies seem interested in the spread of democratic values. While the scenario here is clearly inspired by the US and Afghanistan, it could equally relate to any number of UN or West African Coalition peacekeeping missions to troubled lands, and the failed attempts to install democratic regimes. Sadly, it's something that repeats itself often enough in history to be somewhat universal to the history of democracies.
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Candlewhisper Archive
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Anarchy

Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Thu Sep 23, 2021 11:47 am

Pogaria wrote:Great issue - very timely. The writing is excellent, as usual.

As is, the validity is going to be tricky. You might have to change it to "Twenty years of the United Federation trying to win the hearts and minds..." That way, you're still deciding the question raised in the opening text ("Are you willing to work with them?"), but without presuming that your nation was involved in a foreign occupation.

Also, which figures of speech do the ministers represent?


Yeah, doesn't have to be an occupation, just the implication you had a presence there. Actually, with the phrasing, the roadside bombs might not have been targeting your own troops, it could just be government forces of the former Forchanistani democracy.

As to the names, they are respectively history repeating itself, gently gently catchee monkey, and finger wagging.
editors like linguistic ambiguity more than most people

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Candlewhisper Archive
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Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Thu Sep 23, 2021 11:48 am

Umbratellus wrote:I'd like to see some sort of less ethical option; if you failed to win their hearts and minds, why not just take over the region, kick everyone out, and colonize it yourself? Your people, no problems, right? Nation building exercises are very much a product of modern neoliberal flavored imperialism, its somewhat historically anomalous. It's a very "soft-handed" approach to military action. Historical cultures wouldn't usually approach it that way. Take the Babylonian conquest of Judea from the Bible for instance; no playing around with a friendly regime, just kick people out and move yours in. An option to abandon that kind of intervention and go for just straight up old fashion imperialism instead would be nice. Could also do something morbid like justifying it as taking over the region to "save the planet."


I like that, will think on it. Seems to me that IRL, it'd not be worth the USA's while to annexe that territory permanently, as they'd gain troubles and responsibilities, but have no real benefit. I could make that work though, I think, if we tie it into some crazy slavery-motivated reason...
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Candlewhisper Archive
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Anarchy

Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Thu Sep 23, 2021 11:50 am

Nitaiyan wrote:In addition to ideas others have suggested, another option that might be worth considering would be to have this intervention be the work of a multinational force. Perhaps, twenty years ago, a groups of nations intervened and now that effort has unraveled. It could be left vague as to whether the player's nation militarily joined in or not, or to what degree that nation might have facilitated or assisted the coalition. Just describing the player's country as having been generally favorable toward efforts at sustaining Forchanistan's previous government might be enough.

You could leave the name of the organization that seized control as Ultra-Violet, or consider something like the Brethern of Violetist Disciples or the Union of Ultra-Violetist scholars.


I did consider that, but as a rule of thumb I like to use NPC nations minimally, and only when their specific presence is key to the narrative progression.
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Candlewhisper Archive
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Anarchy

Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Thu Sep 23, 2021 11:50 am

Kors wrote:It's very poetic


Thanks. I'm trying out new writing styles.
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Umbratellus
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New York Times Democracy

Postby Umbratellus » Thu Sep 23, 2021 11:53 am

Candlewhisper Archive wrote:I like that, will think on it. Seems to me that IRL, it'd not be worth the USA's while to annexe that territory permanently, as they'd gain troubles and responsibilities, but have no real benefit. I could make that work though, I think, if we tie it into some crazy slavery-motivated reason...

Slavery would work perfectly well. Classic Republics like Rome were fans of it after all. It can be quite enriching to an unscrupulous nation. Possibly for the effect you could even mention how your nation parades its slaves and treasures from overseas(?) through the capital?

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Kors
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Kors » Thu Sep 23, 2021 4:25 pm

Well, this should take place after the enemy within, since that's based on the 9/11 attacks and what caused the war in Afghanistan, which I think and pretty much assume the issue is about. 20 years is subjective and doesn't reflect the actual nation's decisions. Assuming 1 day is 1 year, that wouldn't make any sense since no nation would only answer to 3 issues per year. And that would still take around 20 days to reach the player. And by that time it would get to the player, they would have probably had their experience and left the issue chain behind, or even forgot the issue ever happened. This issue needs significant reworking to actually fit the premise of Nationstates and not objectify a specific timespan.

Then again, you're an issues editor and I'm a 14 year old who still can't spell correctly without a chrome extension helping me. Anyways, this is my thoughts and I hope I actually provided real information instead of spouting random shit about objective timespans.

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Trotterdam
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Postby Trotterdam » Thu Sep 23, 2021 8:00 pm

Candlewhisper Archive wrote:It was a fine balance on autonomy vs narrative necessity. I didn't want to imply that you'd taken military action against that nation, or to specify how closely you were involved. However, equally there's no investment in the story if its one nation having a disappointing outcome in another nation, with @@NAME@@ commenting from the sidelines. I tried a version like that, but it just felt distant.
Mainly, it's the way the narrative emphasizes the "twenty years" thing that gives the impression that @@NAME@@ has actually been working hard for that long on the subject, as opposed to just checking in once in a while.

Candlewhisper Archive wrote:I like that, will think on it. Seems to me that IRL, it'd not be worth the USA's while to annexe that territory permanently, as they'd gain troubles and responsibilities, but have no real benefit. I could make that work though, I think, if we tie it into some crazy slavery-motivated reason...
I don't think you need to go that far. Afghanistan has lots of natural resources.

I think the main reason the USA didn't conquer Afghanistan outright is the PR damage that would cause. It's just not something that's considered acceptable nowadays, and would cause massive outrage in both the international community and less jingoistic voting citizens, the fallout from which would likely outweigh any benefit to be gained from the act.

Kors wrote:Well, this should take place after the enemy within, since that's based on the 9/11 attacks and what caused the war in Afghanistan, which I think and pretty much assume the issue is about.
According to #745, the terrorists for that attack were operating from Blackacre, whose role is much more like Russia than Afghanistan. (And option 1 - diplomatically convincing Blackacre to take action against the terrorists in their midst - actually does work despite Blackacre's strained relationship with @@NAME@@, so it's not like the Taliban where religious fanatics run the government and there's just no reasoning with them.)

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Kors
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Kors » Fri Sep 24, 2021 7:17 am

Trotterdam wrote:
Kors wrote:Well, this should take place after the enemy within, since that's based on the 9/11 attacks and what caused the war in Afghanistan, which I think and pretty much assume the issue is about.
According to #745, the terrorists for that attack were operating from Blackacre, whose role is much more like Russia than Afghanistan. (And option 1 - diplomatically convincing Blackacre to take action against the terrorists in their midst - actually does work despite Blackacre's strained relationship with @@NAME@@, so it's not like the Taliban where religious fanatics run the government and there's just no reasoning with them.)

East Lebatuck is Russia, Blackacre is North Korea.
I'm pretty sure there's an option to invade Blackacre in the enemy within.
Last edited by Kors on Fri Sep 24, 2021 7:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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