Last weeks’ summary: In 2012 EVT, Everstate (the ideal-type corresponding to our very real countries created to foresee the future of governance and of the modern nation-state) knows a rising dissatisfaction of its population. To face the various difficulties and widespread discontent, in a first scenario, Everstate’s governing bodies implement the Mamominarch programme of drastic reduction of state spending over five years through devolution, privatisation and outsourcing. By 2018 EVT, the result is involution, with a fragilised governance including and implying the rise of lawlessness domestically, an abandoned mastery over international security, an inefficient economy and, as consequence, a rising insecurity for most Everstatans. The first set of tragic events - a tornadoes outbreak followed by a heat wave – that hits the West of Everstate soon becomes a complex catastrophe with dramatic direct and indirect impacts.
(The reader can click on each picture to see a larger version in a new tab – a navigating map of posts is available to ease reading).
Faced with destruction and a difficult and very slow reconstruction, Westerners are definitely dissatisfied with the way their political authorities, entrusted with the mission to ensure their security, have dealt with the complex catastrophe that befell them. Many are forced to leave as their survival is threatened and start moving towards other areas. However, they nevertheless expect recognition of their hardship, help and solidarity when they arrive somewhere else.
Yet, nothing is organised nationally. The way they are greeted varies greatly according to areas and even towns. In some cities, local authorities engineer emergency support for newcomers in the name of national solidarity, while everything is done to help them find temporary shelter and work. In others, only family network, when they exist, are active, and the refugees are not only ignored, but also rejected as they are seen as swelling the mass of the poor, homeless and unemployed, as potential criminals, as people lowering wages when they end up taking any job to survive. In those areas, as the refugees remind inhabitants of a selfishness they do not want to confront and of problems they want to deny, rejection hardens quickly.
All Everstatans, finally, feel unjustly treated, one way or another, which only feeds grievances. Those multiply as central political authorities do not acknowledge problems, give no recognition, and do nothing in a timely way. The victims are not supported in those areas where they are best welcomed and those who help them are left to their own device and funding, while the central administrative machine and policies continue as if nothing had happened, sometimes thus enhancing difficulties. Elsewhere fear is not assuaged, its roots are not dealt with. Notably, no one wants to face the fact that the refugees have become a disturbing symbol of a dysfunctional and outdated model of socio-political organisation, when so much hope had been invested in the Mamominarch system.
Over the summer, oil prices surge, with some spikes even reaching 200$ a barrel, as a result of renewed international tensions in the Middle East. This trend intensifies the overall situation in Everstate, as for most Everstatans, save the richest and best connected, life becomes increasingly difficult. Indeed, whatever the efforts the people have previously made, the result of their actions to improve or to the least stabilise their life is reduced to naught by the severe disturbance implied by the energy price. As, furthermore, the food produced in Everstate has become suspect – and sometimes rightly so – because of the industrial disasters, many Everstatans feel that they are left with only two bad choices: either starve because they cannot afford imported food, or kill themselves with polluted food.
The legitimacy of the Mamominarch system is now overtly questioned, and all remember that the governing bodies that decided to convene the Mamominarch commission were already facing similar problems, which only contributes to further de-legitimize the system.
The rising tension spreads throughout the whole country. If all have grievances, those accumulated complaints tend to coalesce and join along different fault lines according to areas and groups, because there is not anymore one national situation but many, notably as a result of the devolution (spatial variations) and of the privatizations (end of the concept and practice of public good). With time, events and a large variety of responses, the conditions have grown to be very diverse.
External observers are surprised when, building on the tension existing in 2012 EVT, then on those that simmered over the past five years of Mamominarch system, and triggered by the recent events, a Movement for the Independence of the Trueland, a region covering the South-East of Everstate (notably the mouth of the river and the seaside), is created and rapidly takes off. The usual inflow of money that used to bring wealth, and, during the last years, release, to the country with tourism is abruptly halted by the complex catastrophe, as tourists fear coming to Everstate. The inhabitants of the seaside area being relatively richer were thought as much calmer and less likely to mobilise politically. But this is without considering the sudden relative deprivation they feel, which is, furthermore, from their point of view, none of their making. Other small areas, sometimes only cities, follow suit and also start voicing their desire for local independence and direct membership to the Regional Union.
Yet, not all citizens of those areas share the same views, and those who are dissatisfied with the two main political parties, spearheaded by Occupy Everstate, respond by creating a Movement for the Renewal of Everstate, which is soon joined by large parts of the Westerners, by the refugees and many in those towns that put solidarity first. The CEO of Evernet, as reported by international media, decides to join the movement she sees as prefiguring the future. She offers the technical support of Evernet, providing even funding and sometimes directly hardware to the Renewers, as they are soon called, when those cannot afford anymore access to social networks considering the degraded overall situation.
Meanwhile, Novstate and its friends companies make sure they remain officially neutral, offering their services to all, while they continue promoting the system that made their fortune.
Many of those joining the new Movements did not belong, previously, to any political party. They had even often abstained during previous elections. Yet, the two main parties, the conservative and the social-democrat, with still their headquarters in the capital, start losing sympathisers. The classical elite groups remain faithful to the two traditional parties, which have created the Mamominarch system, and start worrying about the evolution of the situation. First, the Western quagmire has marred the international ideological standing of the Mamominarch system, which seriously limits the opportunities offered to the elite.
Then, those new Movements imply a loss of power for the two parties that constitute the usual political framework of the elite, indeed the way its members think and live. The elite groups initially try to dismiss the new Movements because they do not enter the familiar right/left, conservative/social-democrat way to think and thus, certainly, do not correspond to anything serious… yet the political mobilisation is there, as well as the grievances and the tension and altogether they completely deny everything the elite has ever believed in and stood for. The new Movements have not even tried to include them.
The Renewers then pick up on a report according to which a terrorist group has infiltrated a Novcybio laboratory in its home country a few weeks ago, stolen some deadly pathogens and manipulated others, mixing them with some of the genes experimented. Considering the existence of Novcybio Everstate, the news goes viral through social networks, among Renewers initially.