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Old 08-08-2016, 01:00 PM   #31
William
 
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Default Re: Question about Infinity, Centrum, the Cabal...

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Originally Posted by Kale View Post
I would assume this could lead to some sabotage attempts among people who are vying for sparse promotion slots. The competition could get very cutthroat, which would be a wedge Infinity would be more than willing to use. :)
The promotion competition on Centrum is probably about as vicious as interbusiness competition on Homeline, since it would serve much the same psychological and many sociological purposes.
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Old 08-08-2016, 02:20 PM   #32
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Default Re: Question about Infinity, Centrum, the Cabal...

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
One big reason is because Marxism is theoretically oriented toward giving the workers an equal share in the bounty produced by the industrial revolution. Centrum would reject that out of hand.
Not actually true on that first sentence.

Marxism, whether "ideal" or real-world, has always been about giving to workers according to their need, not according to equal shares. If communism is "From each according to their ability, to each according to their need", then Centrum is "From each according to their ability, to each according to their merit".

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
... And an ideology that extols revolution is anathema to Centrum.
People focus so much on the revolutionary aspects of communism primarily because as an outside (to our daily lives) ideology, that is the side that it will of necessity present to us foremost. But it is in fact no more revolutionary than Centrum's own ideology. Which is to say that both ideologies are quite revolutionary, and see nothing wrong in overthrowing a socio-economic structure that is at odds with their own. And further, both have clear theories on how a post-revolution society should function.

The ONLY thing that tempers Centrum's own revolutionary aspect is that uncontrolled revolutions may have a tendency to shift timelines in ways undesirable to Centrum's long-term goals, or worse, cause a timeline to drift away from Centrum along the quanta. But make no mistake: in the one timeline in which this was never a concern (their home timeline), they had zero qualms about staging revolutions or anything else to overthrow local power structures in order to emplace their own socio-economic model.

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

It may be worth examining the differences between capitalism, communism, and Centrum in a bit more detail (and noting where appropriate that capitalism has both social-democrat and laissez-faire flavours, communism has ideal and OTL real-world flavours, and Centrum has dark and light flavours).


Welfare State? Vulnerable Adults? How does society treat its weakest?

This may further divide to the following groups:
  • Elderly/pensioners
  • Unemployed/underemployed
  • Disabled/handicapped
  • Work-shy/lazy/wilfully idle
Cap.: There may or may not be a welfare state sufficient to meet basic needs. Even if there is, the work-shy need not apply. Pensioners aren't likely to have more than basic needs met unless they planned for it (which in turn requires a decent job during their prime years). In highly specific circumstances, you might hope for a big insurance/lawsuit payout if you become disabled through corporate malpractice or employer negligence.

Com.: Basic needs for everyone will be met, subject to available resources. The work-shy may find that being too work-shy is a crime punishable by forced labour. Highly-successful party officials can hope to enjoy a comfortable retirement.

Cent: Basic needs for everyone will be met, subject to available resources. The work-shy may find that being too work-shy is a crime punishable by forced labour. Highly-successful workers (as defined by merit and promotions) can hope to enjoy a comfortable retirement.
How do you get a job? Or a promotion? What is job security like?
Cap.: Employers typically advertise their jobs, or pay an agency to advertise for them. You can last and/or get promoted as long as you are useful to your employer. Promotions tend to be by switching employer as often as not.

Com.: If you demonstrate no initiative in getting a job, a menial one will probably be assigned to you. Once you have a job, you are unlikely to lose it unless you demonstrate gross incompetence. Promotion is by a mix of competence, seniority, and/or party loyalty. Promotions tend to be towards the capital if they require relocation at all.

Cent.: If you demonstrate no initiative in getting a job, a menial one will probably be assigned to you. Promotion (and demotion) are both based on merit. It is quite conceivable that a promotion (even from burger-flipper to burger-flip supervisor) may entail a required relocation to another city on the other end of the continent, in which case a billet in a worker barracks would be provided.
What happens if you invent something?
Cap.: It's yours to profit from as you please, unless you signed away your rights as part of an employment contract, in which case you get your usual salary and nothing more.

Com.: It belongs to the state. You can probably gain a promotion or a gold star in the party's eyes if you play your cards right.

Cent.: It belongs to the state. You'll almost certainly gain merit and probably a promotion though.
What can I buy?
Cap.: Anything, if you have the money for it!

Com.: Generally, only the basics are available, although party members in good standing may have access to luxury goods. In more "ideal" forms of communism, a wider variety of goods will be available.

Cent.: It's a command economy. You don't buy stuff so much as requisition it. And how much you can requisition is largely a function of your rank in society.
So while there are differences between Centrum and communism, it does to my mind resemble communism more than it does capitalism, at least from the citizen's-eye perspective.
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Old 08-08-2016, 02:38 PM   #33
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Default Re: Question about Infinity, Centrum, the Cabal...

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Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
People focus so much on the revolutionary aspects of communism primarily because as an outside (to our daily lives) ideology, that is the side that it will of necessity present to us foremost. But it is in fact no more revolutionary than Centrum's own ideology. Which is to say that both ideologies are quite revolutionary, and see nothing wrong in overthrowing a socio-economic structure that is at odds with their own.
Centrum did not come into existence from a lower class revolt and does not subvert new acquisitions by inciting such revolutions. Instead it takes over and remakes from the top down, the opposite of what Marxist theory extols. They are acutely aware that creating a new regime through successful rebellion only increases the likelihood of future rebellions. It's not that Centrum isn't functionally a lot like an idealized communist dictatorship. But ideologically it's significantly different

Last edited by David Johnston2; 08-08-2016 at 02:43 PM.
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Old 08-08-2016, 02:44 PM   #34
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Default Re: Question about Infinity, Centrum, the Cabal...

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
Centrum did not come into existence from a lower class revolt and does not subvert new acquisitions by inciting such revolutions. Instead it takes over and remakes from the top down, the opposite of what Marxist theory extols. They are acutely aware that creating a new regime through successful rebellion only increases the likelihood of future rebellions.
It still came in by revolt. Just because it's a different group planning the revolt and for different reasons, doesn't mean it's not a revolt. They are both revolutionary ideologies. (For that matter, Guy Fawkes had a revolutionary ideology too, but his was a very monarchist ideology; he simply disagreed on who the monarch should be). In any case, the most successful communist country , the USSR, came about at least as much from an intelligentisia-led uprising (the so-called vanguard) rather than directly from a peasants' revolt, which again demonstrates some inaccuracy in your claim. There were also peasant-led anarchists present in that revolution, but they were yet another force, not always on the same side as the communists.

And in-universe at least, it's not actually proven that one revolt inevitably raises the odds of a later revolt. It is certainly plausible that at least in some timelines, it has no effect, or even has a dampening effect on potential future revolutions. It is after all, firmly established that the laws of physics, magic, and social dynamics can and do vary across timelines.

Last edited by Ashtagon; 08-08-2016 at 02:49 PM.
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Old 08-08-2016, 02:47 PM   #35
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Default Re: Question about Infinity, Centrum, the Cabal...

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It still came in by revolt.
The rulers deciding "we're going to do something different from now on" is not a revolt.

Last edited by David Johnston2; 08-08-2016 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 08-08-2016, 03:08 PM   #36
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Default Re: Question about Infinity, Centrum, the Cabal...

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The rulers deciding "we're going to do something different from now on" is not a revolt.
Except that Centrum was not the rulers. The rulers were an Anglo-French aristocracy. Centrum was a military-technical cabal.
"Centrum perceives itself as a radical break with the past"
That suggests a rather revolutionary attitude in and of itself.
"A typical Centran knows rather less about his own history than a typical 20th century American."
It's quite plausible that Centrans don't recognise how similar their society is to communism (any kind) because a) they have no real education of history, b) probably even less of political theory, and c) their own history never had any communist revolution, let alone a communist state, and d) it's questionable if they even had a Karl Marx.

Actually, given the dates, it's conceivable that alt-Karl Marx's theories may have ended up being instrumental in some parts of Centran thinking, such as the idea that a stable state is needed for the good of everyone, and that each should work according to their ability. Marx did after all spend a considerable amount of time living in London (1818-1883).
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Old 08-08-2016, 05:39 PM   #37
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Default Re: Question about Infinity, Centrum, the Cabal...

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since they can rely on indentures to hand the bulk of the scutwork.
Kind of reminds me of a greek play I once read.

Quote:
Praxagora: I want all to have a share of everything and all property to be in common; there will no longer be either rich or poor; [...] I shall begin by making land, money, everything that is private property, common to all. [...]

Blepyrus: But who will till the soil?

Praxagora: The slaves.
but yea, saying a society isn't dystopian becouse they have slaves isn't really a good answer.
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Old 08-08-2016, 06:47 PM   #38
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Default Re: Question about Infinity, Centrum, the Cabal...

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Originally Posted by Minuteman37 View Post
Kind of reminds me of a greek play I once read.


but yea, saying a society isn't dystopian becouse they have slaves isn't really a good answer.
...I never even came close to hinting that Centrum wasn't a dystopia.
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Old 08-08-2016, 07:05 PM   #39
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Default Re: Question about Infinity, Centrum, the Cabal...

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Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
Not actually true on that first sentence.

Marxism, whether "ideal" or real-world, has always been about giving to workers according to their need, not according to equal shares. If communism is "From each according to their ability, to each according to their need", then Centrum is "From each according to their ability, to each according to their merit".



People focus so much on the revolutionary aspects of communism primarily because as an outside (to our daily lives) ideology, that is the side that it will of necessity present to us foremost. But it is in fact no more revolutionary than Centrum's own ideology. Which is to say that both ideologies are quite revolutionary, and see nothing wrong in overthrowing a socio-economic structure that is at odds with their own. And further, both have clear theories on how a post-revolution society should function.

The ONLY thing that tempers Centrum's own revolutionary aspect is that uncontrolled revolutions may have a tendency to shift timelines in ways undesirable to Centrum's long-term goals, or worse, cause a timeline to drift away from Centrum along the quanta. But make no mistake: in the one timeline in which this was never a concern (their home timeline), they had zero qualms about staging revolutions or anything else to overthrow local power structures in order to emplace their own socio-economic model.

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

It may be worth examining the differences between capitalism, communism, and Centrum in a bit more detail (and noting where appropriate that capitalism has both social-democrat and laissez-faire flavours, communism has ideal and OTL real-world flavours, and Centrum has dark and light flavours).


Welfare State? Vulnerable Adults? How does society treat its weakest?

This may further divide to the following groups:
  • Elderly/pensioners
  • Unemployed/underemployed
  • Disabled/handicapped
  • Work-shy/lazy/wilfully idle
Cap.: There may or may not be a welfare state sufficient to meet basic needs. Even if there is, the work-shy need not apply. Pensioners aren't likely to have more than basic needs met unless they planned for it (which in turn requires a decent job during their prime years). In highly specific circumstances, you might hope for a big insurance/lawsuit payout if you become disabled through corporate malpractice or employer negligence.

Com.: Basic needs for everyone will be met, subject to available resources. The work-shy may find that being too work-shy is a crime punishable by forced labour. Highly-successful party officials can hope to enjoy a comfortable retirement.

Cent: Basic needs for everyone will be met, subject to available resources. The work-shy may find that being too work-shy is a crime punishable by forced labour. Highly-successful workers (as defined by merit and promotions) can hope to enjoy a comfortable retirement.
How do you get a job? Or a promotion? What is job security like?
Cap.: Employers typically advertise their jobs, or pay an agency to advertise for them. You can last and/or get promoted as long as you are useful to your employer. Promotions tend to be by switching employer as often as not.

Com.: If you demonstrate no initiative in getting a job, a menial one will probably be assigned to you. Once you have a job, you are unlikely to lose it unless you demonstrate gross incompetence. Promotion is by a mix of competence, seniority, and/or party loyalty. Promotions tend to be towards the capital if they require relocation at all.

Cent.: If you demonstrate no initiative in getting a job, a menial one will probably be assigned to you. Promotion (and demotion) are both based on merit. It is quite conceivable that a promotion (even from burger-flipper to burger-flip supervisor) may entail a required relocation to another city on the other end of the continent, in which case a billet in a worker barracks would be provided.
What happens if you invent something?
Cap.: It's yours to profit from as you please, unless you signed away your rights as part of an employment contract, in which case you get your usual salary and nothing more.

Com.: It belongs to the state. You can probably gain a promotion or a gold star in the party's eyes if you play your cards right.

Cent.: It belongs to the state. You'll almost certainly gain merit and probably a promotion though.
What can I buy?
Cap.: Anything, if you have the money for it!

Com.: Generally, only the basics are available, although party members in good standing may have access to luxury goods. In more "ideal" forms of communism, a wider variety of goods will be available.

Cent.: It's a command economy. You don't buy stuff so much as requisition it. And how much you can requisition is largely a function of your rank in society.
So while there are differences between Centrum and communism, it does to my mind resemble communism more than it does capitalism, at least from the citizen's-eye perspective.
Wouldn't the "weakest" include those who might be subsidized for the collective benefit? Such as retirees from Centren service who would have more of an incentive to serve if they knew that they would in fact get treated well should they survive?
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Old 08-08-2016, 07:24 PM   #40
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Default Re: Question about Infinity, Centrum, the Cabal...

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...I never even came close to hinting that Centrum wasn't a dystopia.
That was my entire point.....
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