Sign in to follow this  

Worldbuilding help: Micro-countries of the future!

This topic is 4547 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

If you imagine most of the countries of future Earth splitting up, what would they split up into? Assuming that a couple of wars, civil collapse, and a "benevolent" reorganizing power allows many groups to form their own "micro-countries" (districts), what new territories do you think could emerge? (Extra points for non-Western micro-country ideas that have historical flavor, like Chung Kuo for China!)
Here's a bit of what I have already:
  • India and China suffered a limited nuclear war
  • Chung Kuo has emerged as a micro-country (district) in China
  • The cure to AIDS and extensive deployment of nanotech has lead to an economic revival in Africa (modeled on the Black Death & Renaissance, btw)
  • America split into a Western States Alliance, Jubilee (fundamentalist Christian states in the south), a nanotech ravaged Eeastern Seaboard, and several other tiny nation-states such as the Michigan Free Territories, Ozark and Green Idaho
  • By law, ethnic groups within territories are allowed to form their own separatist territories

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would be bad at making these, so I will make an excuse why I shouldn't. [grin]

I don't see countries breaking up as much as I see them changing (thought there are a few exceptions). If there is a force large enough to break the United States apart, there would have to be a war. The winner of the war would end up taking all (I don't see both living happily side by side after the bloodshed).

[Edited by - Daniel Miller on June 24, 2005 12:45:49 PM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Neo Edo
Japan weathering the initial crisis far better then its neighbors quickly reverted to its old ways and enter a period similar to the Edo period in its history during this time it assimilated, by force, and economic pressure all of south east Asia into a single greater Japan. The annexed countries had their old borders abolished and where divided into hundreds of smaller territories. Territories where kept off balance and occasional boarder skirmishes where allowed to keep them all subservient and dependent upon Japan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
May I suggest something?

According to most predictions, the raising of temperatures will cause the level of the seas to rise by as much as seven meters in the next fifty years, which would reduce the arable land of Japan by approximately 60%. Given this premise, what do you think would most likely hapen in Japan?

Here are some possible answer, each non exclusive, and combinatory.

First possibility, most of the Japanese try to flee their soon overpeopled country, and seek refuge in other countries. The most likely scenario to this is that approximately 1/3d of the Japanese population will try to spread in other asian countries (although these will soon overflow too), and the rest of the overflow population (approximately 1/4) will try to get some ground in both European Union and in USA? or at least Northern America, including Canada and Mexico.

Second possibility, given the very particular sense of honor and respect towards ancients, Emperor begs the ancients to commit mass suicide, to give way to youngsters, and limit food supply. Japanese enforce a law forcing on suicide beyond 55 years of age. This reduces the needs for food, while approximately doubling the Gross Income per Habitant. Japan becomes once ahgain the new economic force in this devastated world. And to get back in the race, the other "civilized" northern hemisphera countries soon pass the same laws about age limit, but with less success.

Third possibility, the Japanese understood that their country would either drown or be destroyed by earthquakes long before limit time, and started modifying their islands so that they would FLOAT!!! They have been digging caves, and have saturated them with lighter-than-air gases, they have modified the bases of their islands by including balasts, and have made Japan mobile. This is the biggest enterprise ever done on earth, and it will engulf all riches on this island, therefore, the work of everybody is requisitionned, by order, in order to save the future generations and the Japanese way of life. Emperor is seen working in the galeries just like anybody else, trying to raise the morale. The evolution in sciences and in economy led the country to the verge of ruin and beyond. But because of their new floating country, they have been forced to modfy their diet and rely even more on fish. The Japanese are being sought by most of the industrial nations, for their working qualities. None of the "saving" generation wishes to leave "native sol".

Fourth posibility, needing money to save their fellows, most of big-money earning engineers have gone abroad, and are living in poverty where their work called them, because they send all they can spare back to Japan, in order to help the remnants. Their diasporah is still holding, because of their spirit of sacrifice, and they are able to finance a project of dams, just like in Nederlands, to gain back their soil. A very dangerous one, but worth the work. It should allow things to get back to previous state in a matter of three to four generations.

What do you say?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fournicolas, thanks for the scenarios. The most plausible one would be water control and evacuation. I find it hard to reconcile a society with decades of democratic tradition returning faith to an Emperor. It clashes with a people who should be cosmopolitan in the cities and at least innured to the steady wash of Westernization in the rural regions.

The floating islands problem would involve gases that escape despite the best container methods money can buy. I don't want to even try to calculate what it would take to keep replenishing something like hydrogen to hold up a piece of a continent, but instinct tells me that it would cost more energy than you could reasonably produce on the surface area you're sustaining.

Out of curiosity, where are you getting your sea level rise projections? I think I'd like to go with an Earth 2105 that is MUCH worse than we predicted, due to chaos & complexity. So I'm imagining things like a higher instance of Category 4 & 5 hurricanes and storm cycles that last for months as a further justification of why much of humanity takes to the shelter of armored cities. It would be nice to know which cities to mark on the map as "flooded ruins" (great for exploring) and which to mark as "sealed aqualogies"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Daniel Miller
If there is a force large enough to break the United States apart, there would have to be a war. The winner of the war would end up taking all (I don't see both living happily side by side after the bloodshed).


What about the breakup of the Soviet Union as a model? You're always hearing about "red states and blue states" (though we're really purple, i.e., mixed within each state).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by TechnoGoth
Neo Edo
Japan weathering the initial crisis far better then its neighbors quickly reverted to its old ways and enter a period similar to the Edo period in its history during this time it assimilated, by force, and economic pressure all of south east Asia into a single greater Japan. The annexed countries had their old borders abolished and where divided into hundreds of smaller territories. Territories where kept off balance and occasional boarder skirmishes where allowed to keep them all subservient and dependent upon Japan.



Thank you! Hmmm... I'm wondering how this squares with being right next to China, though. Storywise, China takes a big hit fighting with India for the unipolar superpower crown. I have an OK feel for Japanese history, but I wish I had a better feel for Japanese culture in order to determine how deep the imperialist instinct runs.

With America, I know we can go fundamentalist Puritan in a second (well, a few decades anyway), because that's a constant historical theme with us.

Any Asia Studies folk out there? [grin]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Wavinator
Quote:
Original post by Daniel Miller
If there is a force large enough to break the United States apart, there would have to be a war. The winner of the war would end up taking all (I don't see both living happily side by side after the bloodshed).


What about the breakup of the Soviet Union as a model? You're always hearing about "red states and blue states" (though we're really purple, i.e., mixed within each state).


Good point.

However, the USSR didn't break-up because its citizens decided to form smaller countries, it broke up because it could no longer be controlled.

Still, I am sure there are cases where a country split apart (I don't hink losing a colony counts), but if there isn't it doesn't take away from whatever design you have going.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As a matter of fact, Japan has NEVER been so keen on democracy. It has accepted to pretend, for a while, that it could do so, but in fact, it is just as Emperor-faithful as your Belgian or Englishman are to the crown. Even more so, in fact. They are completely convinced that the emperor is the heir to Amaterasu, the first goddess, who shed four tears and created the archipel. Plus there is nothing from stopping him to do whatever he thinks will do his ancestors honor. The japanese commercials are rather Westernized, since most of their contacts will be with Western industrials, and will do whatever it takes to get money, including talking to some white person, even if they are considered ghosts among the living. Basically, the word is "Gaijin" in Japanese and something like "gwaï - loh" in Chinese, and it means "white specter" or something equally close.

As for the projections, I can't remember where they came from. I remember first hearing about them on another forum I attend, a political one, which has a special part about Ecology , and there someone pointed to these figures. The prevision about the world population tripling in about a century came from the same place. But for the life of me, I couldn't give the adress, even if my daughter's life hung in the balance. maybe you can google it, hopefully? Or try with Copernic, it is much more reliable...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As usual, I cannot resist pointing you out to one of my numerous roleplaying readings... [wink]

I am pretty sure I have mentioned it before, but hey, you know how I am: nag, nag, nag until somebody appeases me by noticing...
anyway, in Transhuman Space,
Earth has evolved towards a more moderate version of your typical cyberpunk environment.
The few blurbs from the webpages really don't give justice to the depth of the political analysis (for a roleplaying game, eh. I am not a political science students).
Some interesting changes:
with the globalisation, regionalism has increased dramatically. regions like Catalonia or Quebec that demanded their independance for decades finally have it (with the amusing note that Montreal itself is independant from the Quebec state, finding it too conservative). Some Canadian provinces and former US States have asked admittance in the EU.
Some formerly Third World nations have now become very rich : Quito, Ecuador and Kenya. Both are right on the Equator, and as such make prime locations for spaceports (it's a gravity thing, if you wonder). Kenya is the planned site for the first Earth Orbit Space Elevator (the first in the system being the Mars-Deimos one IIRC)
Kazhakstan is home to an old style dictator using modern technology to realise his dreams: almost immortal, with an army of brainwashed cybershells all controlled by shadows of his ghost (partial copies of his mind). And just like in the past, as long as he doesn't bother his neighbours, the world community doesn't really dare do anything too drastic.

The really big players in this settings are China,
the TransPacific Alliance (a gathering of former third worlds countries like Indonesia, Thailand and Peru. All gathered around the idea of nanosocialism, essentially an open source utopia, where copyright doesn't exist)
Europe, the remains of America (which has lost quite a few of its states, who simply left as a result of the general independantism trend), the Pacicif Rim Alliance (Japan, Australia and some others IIRC).

The beauty of the setting isn't the originality, but rather the believability of it all. It's all so logical, so just out there, that you can't but wonder...

Think Ghost In Shell, if you want ot get a feeling for the level of politicking and technology.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The idea of tiny nation-states, given current technical development, is unfeasible. I don't have much time to get into it and I'm rushing, so excuse the lack of detail.

The number one limiting factor (given nanotech) would still be food. Food is too expensive for most real-world nanotechnological predictions to synthesize, so it'd likely still be grown as we do it. Good so far, except for this--what would happen to all these little nation-states?

Look at the Great Plains and the Corn Belt of North America. It's huge, wide-open land that can support a large population. However, these days, that population doesn't live there. It lives in urbanized areas, mostly on the East and West coasts. Postulate for a moment that nation-states form from a fragmented United States. That population is still on the East and West coasts, and it doesn't control the food sources. Someone else (an enterprising schmuck from Nebraska, perhaps?) does. That group controls everything. You can't invade them; they'll destroy the food sources. You are forced to pay their prices, and they basically take over.

Economically, I just don't see a way for it to work. There's not enough farmland to go around if things fragment. Hell, Maine, where I live, couldn't support the 1.2 million people who live here on its own resources, that's for sure, and the same goes far more for cities and suburban areas such as those.

There are other factors that limit this, too. For example, there's a lot of military power in the United States, and it wouldn't exactly be divided up equally. But I'm out of time, so maybe I'll touch on that later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For inspiration, may I suggest the great micro country sci fi classic, Vanishing Point, by James Blish. It has a lot of well thought out ramification structures of a micro world. it takes into account the food problem, as well as complete culture on the micro level. It's also a helluva old time radio drama, and these old sci fis, like x-1 and other old shows, are an amazing reseaerch source of the best of the best. Since the recordings are audio for radio drama, you can listen to them while you are working.

Adventuredesign

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hmm, maybe I'm just being too critical, but I can't help thinking that a lot of your recent ideas have been a bit too fractured. You have a timeline with a dozen events you want to have happened in your game, but there's really nothing to tie them together, or give you a sense that they actually happened in some chronological order, or depended on each others, or even happened in the same universe. The same goes here. Your game needs a bunch of smaller pseudo-countries, but there doesn't really seem to be much to tie it all together, other than the requirement you're imposing that they have to become small micro-states. [wink]

Sure, people can use this thread to think up excuses for each individual micro-country to exist, but there still isn't much to tie it into the rest of the game. It doesn't really happen as a logical consequence of any of the other stuff you've posted.

Maybe I'm missing something, or maybe you've got it all planned out so this won't become an issue, or maybe I'm just being much too critical, but to me it just seems too much like a bundle of disconnected ideas, rather than a coherent universe.

Maybe it's time you make a thread asking for suggestions for the overall timeline, like "Construct a logical and coherent history that can explain how my nanotech-crazed and fractured world came to exist"
[wink]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Edward Ropple
The number one limiting factor (given nanotech) would still be food. Food is too expensive for most real-world nanotechnological predictions to synthesize, so it'd likely still be grown as we do it. Good so far, except for this--what would happen to all these little nation-states?


In the final world (2105), most food comes from space. But before that, I'm seeing mixes of synthetic bases drawn from soil and the sea, as well as (by mid-21st century) widespread use of GMOs and cloning.

Quote:

Look at the Great Plains and the Corn Belt of North America. It's huge, wide-open land that can support a large population. However, these days, that population doesn't live there. It lives in urbanized areas, mostly on the East and West coasts. Postulate for a moment that nation-states form from a fragmented United States.


In this world, the Eastern Seaboard has been heavily damaged by nanotech WMD, and the upper regions of the US & Canada (and the rest of the world) are experiencing debilitating effects from climate change.

Quote:

That population is still on the East and West coasts, and it doesn't control the food sources. Someone else (an enterprising schmuck from Nebraska, perhaps?) does. That group controls everything. You can't invade them; they'll destroy the food sources. You are forced to pay their prices, and they basically take over.


But what do they need? They can't eat that food without petroleum resources, and by mid-2150 the US and several first world states only have a fragmentary alternative energy infrastructure (varies by country).

Quote:

There are other factors that limit this, too. For example, there's a lot of military power in the United States, and it wouldn't exactly be divided up equally.


Right, I don't expect it to be equal. It will cluster around the best civil organizers and strongmen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by adventuredesign
For inspiration, may I suggest the great micro country sci fi classic, Vanishing Point, by James Blish. It has a lot of well thought out ramification structures of a micro world. it takes into account the food problem, as well as complete culture on the micro level. It's also a helluva old time radio drama, and these old sci fis, like x-1 and other old shows, are an amazing reseaerch source of the best of the best. Since the recordings are audio for radio drama, you can listen to them while you are working.


Nice, I'll look for this. Thx for the ref!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Spoonbender
hmm, maybe I'm just being too critical


Yup, that's it. [lol][lol][lol]

Quote:

Maybe it's time you make a thread asking for suggestions for the overall timeline, like "Construct a logical and coherent history that can explain how my nanotech-crazed and fractured world came to exist"
[wink]


If you're having trouble with THIS timeline, wait 'til you see how I plan to still keep this tied to galactic events! [grin]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Wavinator
Quote:
Original post by adventuredesign
For inspiration, may I suggest the great micro country sci fi classic, Vanishing Point, by James Blish. It has a lot of well thought out ramification structures of a micro world. it takes into account the food problem, as well as complete culture on the micro level. It's also a helluva old time radio drama, and these old sci fis, like x-1 and other old shows, are an amazing reseaerch source of the best of the best. Since the recordings are audio for radio drama, you can listen to them while you are working.


Nice, I'll look for this. Thx for the ref!


Just wait for the part when.... heheheh

Happy 4th

Adventuredesign

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This topic is 4547 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this