Forum Posts

curradoc
Apr 01, 2020
In Setting Discussions
I actually found the potential of the Mars setting fascinating for a campaign. I came at the idea of Mars with three overarching research questions: A) What would the politics of Mars look like across each of the eras? B) Could the experiences of the isolation during the Occupation era lead to the rise of Mars nationalist organisations or sentiments (Mars First and/or Mars Independent)? C) How would that nationalist sentiment sit in a broader political climate over time? I still haven't quite finished it all yet, but I'll share some of the known facts (from core) and my own extrapolations up to about the Orion War era. Most of the questions I've got from each era are open questions which I refer to backwards and forwards throughout each explanation. Occupation Era Known Facts: * Mars was not occupied by aliens during the Occupation period. This could give rise to a 'never conquered, never surrendered' rhetoric or mentality to any nationalist movement. It'd be applied retrospectively, probably as justification for some later part of the rhetoric and not expressed coherently during the Occupation period. *Mars was isolated and left to its own devices to survive or fail during the Occupation period. Result: 40% mortality and terminal health problems, other health and maintenance issues (failing infrastructure) discovered after contact was re-established during the Expansion era (core 145). 1) What would be the cultural impact on the Mars colony of such a large mortality rate? 2) How would that isolation event shape concepts of Mars nationhood? Expansion Era Known Facts and Questions: 3a) During the Expansion era, what effect would access to media about the PCEG trials on Earth have on Mars? 3b) How much of the PCEG anti-collaborator rhetoric would shape the Mars narrative? 3c) How much of the anti-collaborator rhetoric would be turned against Earth to explain the horrors of isolation? The nationalist reasoning and rhetoric here is: Earth collaborated with aliens during the occupation (we know, we've seen the broadcasts). Earth left us alone to die (lived experience of the isolation). Earth caused this. Death to the collaborators! Never forgive, never forget, never again! Never conquered, never surrendered (from Occupation era). Welcome to hard-line Mars nationalism * The privations of isolation were relieved with food and supply convoys from Earth during the Expansion. 4a) How would that relief effort play into the Mars national narrative? 4b) Too little, too late? Possible line of Mars nationalists (as an extension of reasoning from 3c) 4c) Earth as saviours? Perhaps a polar opposite position from the nationalist line. Reasoning: Isolation happened (lived experience). Bad things happened (lived experience). Earth didn't forget us (to counter the nationalist rhetoric). Probably seen as a naive position by hard-line nationalists (but at least it establishes a possible spectrum of sentiment) 4d) Something in between? There would have to be a moderate middle-ground position, I just can't think what that would look like enough to articulate into slogans. * Mars becomes a space training hub for Earth and Mars. Prestige is attached to being Martian. 5a) Could that 'point of pride' in being Martian become arrogance or hubris? 5b) Would the Expansion era be the first point at which the nationalist pride sentiment is coherently voiced? Orion War era: Things get interesting for Mars during and after the Orion War era. * Increased trend of contact with aliens during this period 6a) How would that increased alien contact trend play against that initial 'never conquered, never surrendered' rhetoric from the Occupation era nationalist? 6b) Is 'contact with aliens' the same as 'collaborating with aliens' from a hard-line perspective? (see 3b and 3c) * The Treaty of Parella and the Return (core 172) 7a) Could the Treaty of Parella be seen as another Earth betrayal of Mars (similar to the effect of the Treaty of Versailles and its impact on the rise of German nationalism during the inter-war period)? 7b) Could the Treaty of Parella be used as vindication by Mars against future alien collaboration? That's all I've got so far. I think there's still more to do with the Orion era and definitely more stuff from Artifact era to go through (Unification Charter and Parella Station Defiant, particularly). I'll get back to it when my brain's not so fried.
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curradoc
Apr 01, 2020
In Setting Discussions
Under the UEN entry, it mentions Somalia becoming a major space power during the Expansion (core 209). 1) How plausible would that be, given Somalia's general lack of industrial infrastructure and resources? Also, given that for a period during the early-mid 1990s, Somalia ceased to be a functioning state (and only remained a nominal 'nation' because it retained a seat in the UN general assembly): 2) How did or could Somalia retain the internal ethnic cohesion required to be a nation state first, then an industrial space power? That early-mid 1990s period in Somalia was a time of rival warlords, anti-state militias and general political chaos, which led to the secession of Somaliland (in northern Somalia) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somaliland and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somali_Civil_War). Somaliland is in a bit of a strange position now, in that it is not a recognized state in its own right, but it does do all the things a state normally does (issues passports, taxation, etc). None of the state documents it issues though are recognized or endorsed by the Somali state. 3) How did the Somali state solve the Somaliland problem? Those questions on Somalia led me to broader thoughts on the concept of African space power in the UEN. For a space programme to be most viable, it'd need to be on the equator. That gives you a list of about 13 countries that looks like this: (https://www.thoughtco.com/countries-that-lie-on-the-equator-1435319) Now, some of those we could rule out straight away: Kiribati, Maldives, Sao Tome and Principe just don't have the land mass to support space infrastructure. I'd also rule out Somalia on two counts (political instability and there isn't as much relative land mass on the equator to make Somalia viable) 4) Would it be more feasible for Kenya to be the primary UEN space hub? Larger relative area on the equator (compared to Somalia), more politically stable and building from a more established tech and industrial base. I'd rule out Uganda, based mostly on the same sort of political instability risks and relative landmass on the equator problems (as with Somalia). Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) looks promising for land mass and equator span, but I'd rule it out for political risk and the fact that you'd need to be putting space infrastructure either near the northern Equateur province, or in the east in North or South Kivu provinces. All those places have the dubious honour of being subject to ongoing outbreaks of Ebola since about 2018 (https://www.who.int/ebola/situation-reports/drc-2018/en/ and https://www.msf.org/drc-ebola-outbreak-crisis-update). Throw that in with some of the nastiness caused by the vaccine issues during the occupation (core 137-8) and things don't look great for DRC as a space hub. 5) Would Gabon and Equatorial Guinea be possible sites for an African space power? That would shift the African industrial space axis more towards west Africa (rather than east with Somalia). 6) Would it be feasible for Tanzania to become an (or the) African space power? Tanzania has a large existing cache of industrial metals, infrastructure and oil. It isn't quite on the equator though, but it does have extensive trade ties to China (https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/tanzania/forrel-prc.htm), so it could have been boot-strapped as a puppet state of either China or Guangdong (my guess would be China over Guangdong, given ease of access proximity). I had earmarked Republic of Congo (Congo Brazzaville) as a Cascade State (along with Indonesia), which would put Cascade into the African space power race, and give them two possible space launch sites. The UEN could definitely have secondary space launch facilities in South America through Columbia.
African Space Power, Somalia and the UEN content media
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curradoc
Mar 31, 2020
In Setting Discussions
In core, '34 non-aligned nations' are mentioned as being part of the Cascade States, but none are really named. 1) Who are the Cascade States? 2) What would classify a region as a Cascade State? Reading through it, I'm a bit confused. 2a) Is a Cascade State an ethnic group within a region that doesn't want to be part of a world government? In this instance, South Africa could agree to be part of the UEN. However, the Boers in the Transvaal, Bloemfontein and Orange Free State regions (all as part of a common White African, Afrikaans ethnic enclave), disagree with the SA state and form a new ethnic nation state (e.g.: New Transvaal), which becomes a Cascade State. Similar 'ethnic enclave' arguments could be made for Zimbabwe (with the resurgence of Rhodesia), the Congo (with a return to Zaire, Leopoldville, Congo Brasserville and Congo Free State as separate national entities), Serbia, Croatia, Kosovo, and Kashmir as Cascade States. 2b) Is a Cascade State an existing nation state that doesn't want to be part of the world government? In this scenario, would it be feasible for Russia to go to non-aligned status? Would India stay in the UEN with the split in China between Guangdong and China? Would the ASEAN nations opt for Cascade State status? 3) Is the Cascade States movement similar to the Non-Aligned movement from the Cold War era? In the formation of the Cascade States, the balkanization of North America is implied, with several former states from the Pacific NW comprising the Cascades. By contrast, Eastern America, New Texas and California are UEN members. 4) What was the vision for the breakup (and breakdown) of the United States? 5) Was the Cascade States movement an American only thing?
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curradoc
Mar 31, 2020
In Setting Discussions
A couple of questions I've had rattling around in my brain, based on some of the stuff that could come up from the China split and the existence of the Guangdong Special Economic Zone. 1) How does the China/Guangdong split happen and what does the end result look like? 2) What would losing a large chunk of industrial capacity (with the Guangdong defection) do to civilian cohesion and the one party state? 3) How much of 'China' survives the split? 4) Does mainland China become a series of warring regional states that then declare themselves as nations? 5) What implications does the instability caused by the Guangdong split have on internal stability within China (e.g.: Hong Kong)? 6) The relative strength of China vs Guangdong might also depend on who controls Manchuria? Does Manchuria become its own nation state in the chaos of the split? 7) What implications does the China instability have on surrounding nations (e.g.: India, Burma, Pakistan, the Korean peninsula, Japan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Philippines)? With the rise of Guangdong, I could see alignment and polarization towards it (instead of 'China') for some of the South and South-East Asian states (i.e.: Burma, Tibet, Nepal, Bangladesh, Vietnam). Pakistan might go either way and whichever way it went (China or Guangdong) would have further ripples for Afghanistan, Iran, India, the Stans and Sri Lanka. The existence of potentially two strong Chinas on its northern border (China and Guangdong) could also cause a fracture in the Indian state along the Northeast Frontier (Siliguri corridor). It'd also have ramifications for the Naxalite corridor (i.e.: Nepal, Tibet, Bangladesh, Burma) and probably Arunachal Pradesh ('East Tibet').
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curradoc
Mar 31, 2020
In Setting Discussions
The closest analogy I can think of for PCEG is something like the League of Nations (as an attempt at world government) that fails. So, just as the League of Nations led to the UN, PCEG becomes the UEN. Would that be a fair assumption? With the PCEG Investigations post-Occupation (2065-2080), would that be something similar to the Nuremberg trials and CROWCASS in tone? Or is it more like the McCarthy era show trials ('Reds under the bed'), rooting out quislings? After its dissolution in 2070, how pervasive are PCEG ideas? Does PCEG become an historical artifact or do PCEG ideals remain a cultural identifier, long after PCEG is 'gone'? As an example, Guangdong was an enthusiastic part of PCEG (but not the UEN) (core 209). What would that mean for Venus colony laws and customs? Would they be 'draconian and unjust' like PCEG (core 208), versus the probably more liberal, individualist, or non-existent laws in Redland, run by criminal cartels? Are the later Orion War protests on Venus (core 175) because Venus opposes any war with aliens? Or is it because the war with aliens is primarily a UEN initiative (a possible cultural hangover from Guangdong pro-PCEG/UEN antipathy, passed down as a cultural bias)? That could also lead to a distinction between the tone of protests during the period. Mass popular uprising based on a firmly held conviction (war with aliens is bad), similar to Vietnam era protests versus state-sponsored protests based on political and economic ideals (UEN bad, trade good- therefore, war bad). Or some combination of both?
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curradoc
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