Istkalen, the Republic of


  • EU

    BASIC FACTS

    Full name: The Republic of Istkalen

    Shortened name: Istkalen

    Motto:

    Demonym: Istkalener

    FORM OF GOVERNMENT

    Type of Government: Unitary authoritarian semi-presidential republic

    Head of State: de jure President Liros Ikomar, de facto President of the Council of Ministers Vistek Rikkalek

    Head of Government: President of the Council of Ministers (Prime Minister) Vistek Rikkalek (formerly Helejtek Vestisz X of the Istkalener Realm)

    Legislature: the National Assembly

    • nonexistent as of present - elected, on a proportional basis, by the state chambers, which are elected by designated "professional associations," "workers' associations," "occupational groups," and "artisans' guilds." Unicameral; however, much legislative authority is held by the individual state chambers, and, to a lesser extent, the named professional associations, workers' associations, occupational groups, and artisans' guilds.

    Judiciary: The Council of Justice

    • the Council of Justice is divided into three courts - the Council of Constitutional Maintenance, the Council of Supreme Justice, and the Council of Appeal. These courts have been separated, into the Constitutional Court, the High Court, and the Court of Appeal colloquially, and the Union of Constitutional Law, the Union of Civil and Criminal Law, and the Union of Appeals legally. The unions, which are regular state occupational unions, have been placed under the Chamber of State.

    Executive: the Council of Ministers

    • the Council of Ministers of Istkalen is composed of the heads of the state ministries, which act in advisory roles but also play key roles in overseeing major projects, especially on an infrastructural nature.

    Censorate: the Council of Censors

    • Istkalen operates under a five-branch system of government, of which the Council of Censors is one. Elected by regional committees, with one representative per region, the Censorate acts as an ombudsman, but also has the power to enact suspensive vetoes on legislation as well as to impeach and remove officials.

    Branch of Examination: the Council of Examination

    • The fifth branch of Istkalen's government is the Court of Examination, whose sole power is to set qualifications for those in all political office. Primarily, it develops exams that are meant to gauge the knowledge of potential officials. Initially limited to only the civil service, the Court of Examination's powers were expanded under the Fourth Republic, and have remained there since.

    Capital city: Líressile (eng. Capital City)

    CULTURE

    National Anthem: Intermezzo

    Official languages: Kitets (an exonym for the actual language)

    Recognized minority languages: German, English, Vardic, Lithuanian, Tatar, Turkish

    ECONOMY

    GDP in Euros: 1,125,272,160,000.00

    Exports as a percent of GDP: 40.1%

    Imports as a percent of GDP: 39.8%

    List of major exports: Lumber, uranium, tungsten, iron, magnesium, rare-earth metals, energy, pharmaceuticals, agricultural and industrial machinery, household appliances, furniture, industrial materials, textiles, coal, biofuels, craftworks.

    List of major imports: Agricultural products, metals, other raw chemicals and materials, lithium, oil, natural gas, luxury goods, specialized electric equipment, vehicles


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    History of Istkalen

    Due to the repeated attempts of regimes through the years to "rewrite' Istkalen's history, any attempt at creating one complete history is difficult, and often flawed. Little information regarding society exists before 1798; information before 1983 itself is often limited and heavily distorted, each regime through the years having attempted to destroy or modify historical or governmental documents as to create a past that gave to it legitimacy. The information below is the "official history" endorsed by the military junta between 1996 and 2002, which was temporarily adopted by the present Republic as an "official history" until being discarded entirely for a new attempt to formulate a more accurate history.

    The State Terror / The Second Empire

    The Terror, initiated in 1798 by Emperor Relem mere hours after his coronation, is the colloquial name for what may very well have been the first totalitarian state to have ever existed.

    The Terror based itself on a distorted interpretation of the principles of the philosopher Liris, who formulated an idea of a highly ordered state, one meritocratic in nature and one that was 'organic' in its functions - that is, based on the 'harmonious' functioning of the human body. Liris's formulation involved the creation of an absolute morality, clearly defined in law, that would define all actions as either right or wrong. The state, centered around and appointed by the Emperor, thought to be the conduit of spiritual forces on Earth, would persecute all that was considered wrong. Subjects of the emperor would have the responsibility of reporting all that was right and wrong around them to a delegate of the emperor; those involved in committing that which was wrong would then be punished.

    Absolute conformity, based upon the edict of the Emperor as according to the formulae of Liris, was the only behavior that was in any way right. Any form of deviation was wrong, and would be severely punished, sometimes by death. Dissent was strictly banned; a bevy of other things which were considered decadent by Liris, including music and art, were as well. Mass killings of artists and musicians, as well as the burning of their work, would continue until the end of the regime in 1910. Any kind of ornamentation was banned; those who attempted to ornament anything would be punished, again sometimes by death.

    More worryingly, to show any type of partiality at all - even to, for example, treat one's young children better than strangers - was penalized. A secret police functioned throughout most of the regime to capture those who failed to conform, as well as those who did not fully report what was right or wrong during the assemblies in which subjects had the responsibility of doing so.

    The state, per Liris, also functioned in a near brutally efficient way. Everyone save for the Emperor, even those closest to him - were treated as little more than resources. They were expected to contribute all that they could under the hierarchial structure of the state, organized into corporate units headed by leaders appointed by those who had preceded them, and in return, were given enough to continue to function. To not contribute well enough was considered, simply put, 'wrong' and would be punished. To not be happy with one's life was also such an offense, for unhappiness was a detriment to the functioning of the state.

    The Social Democratic Party took heavily from the time of the Terror in formulating its eventual plan for governance; however, it provided a further distorting of Liris's ideas, inserting a sense of religion that was not as strong even under the Terror.

    The First Republic

    In 1909, the population rose up in protest against the Terror, resulting in mass killings yet again. The state secret police conducted regular kidnappings of those considered opponents to the regime; brainwashing was sometimes attempted, although for the most part those captured were killed.

    Non-state public meetings were banned and a strict curfew put into place. Public assemblies - the meetings in which all wrong and right would be reported - occurred now twice a day rather than once as before. Stricter penalties were put into place for disobeying the Emperor, who had at that point served only 9 years.

    Those who attempted to protest were simply killed. The protests, however, continued to grow in size; by early 1910, mutinies within the military had begun, and the movement against the Terror had become large enough as to overwhelm the state.

    In March, the Emperor seemingly went mad, and began to order the execution of members of various directorates. Most of his Privy Council was executed; by his assassination in May, over 1/4 of all state officials had been jailed, if not killed, at his order.

    Combined with the ever-growing protests, the state was destabilized. With the assassination of the Emperor, it fell apart completely. The Emperor's sister, Kales, who had been jailed and was due to be executed for allegedly plotting the destruction of the imperial state, was installed as Empress.

    In the vacuum created by the collapse of the imperial state, elected municipal and regional assemblies were quickly elected. On the 13th of June, regional assemblies would elect a 190 member National Assembly, of ten delegates from each region. On Wednesday, 15 June 1910, it would proclaim the Republic of Istkalen, led by Premier Indrek Laul in what was to be an "ultra-parliamentary" system.

    Empress Kales would move to establish a parallel government, with herself as head of state and of government. The constitution she promulgated on 3 July as to define its functions and structure conflicted greatly with the Republic; they were based on the Empress's idea of a "socialist community," which would in theory abolish hierarchy, leaving even the position of Empress as one barely more than ceremonial - a uniting figure with no actual power.

    Kales's proposal was initially ignored by the National Assembly, the dominant force in the country, which drafted a constitution in January of 1911. It was held to a referendum in February, which passed 78,32% to 21,68%, with about 85% of the adult population eligible to vote and turnout at an unusually high 83% when compared to the legally precarious situation of the Assembly.

    Said constitution simply confirmed the political order in the country at the time, although it made all legislative assemblies directly elected through first-past-the-post; elections to the National Assembly it (re)defined were held in April of 1911, on the 29th.

    The elected National Assembly was significantly less 'republican' in political ideology than the previous assembly; delegates would, on the 5th of May, elect the 'Empress' Kales as Premier, albeit of a government that leaned towards the political left and socialism. It was, however, strongly socially conservative, as would be Istkalen, save for the Eighth, the Fifth, and, to an extent, the Fourth Republics.

    Kales (Rejkalech) did not ever threaten the Republic herself as Premier; her primary work was the creation of a program of radical social and economic reform, which has endured to this day, which would give almost full control of the economy to workers and the delegates they would elect, 'de-emphasizing' the role of directorates, re-naming them 'unions' as with the new organizations through which the economy would be organized, to give them what was little more than an advisory role - approved by the Assembly in August of 1911. The seven state chambers, organized on occupational lines, were re-created on so-called 'republican and modern' lines, having been abolished in 1798, as a part of these proposals.

    The Fourth Empire

    In February of 1912, the Republic was abolished by vote of the National Assembly, and the monarchy restored, with Kales as Empress. Governance continued regularly, continuing to lean left until 1973, long after the abolition of the monarchy.

    The economic growth of the Terror continued under the Republic and the Restoration; the country was in theory among the most developed and wealthy in the region.

    The Second Republic

    In 1946, what amounted to a coup, orchestrated by the National Republican Party alongside members of the military, occurred, abolishing the National Assembly and the position of Empress and establishing a republic under a Head of State elected by the seven state chambers. Parties other than the National Republican Party were in theory banned, although most continued to exist, informally and were tolerated, if not openly accepted, by authorities.

    The leadership of the National Republican Party continued to pursue the economically leftist policies of the Republic and the Restoration; however, it also had a program of modernization, which involved the Romanization of the written forms of the five languages of Istkalen, the imposition of controls on religions, a policy of state atheism, and centralization of state functions.

    Politically, the country was softly authoritarian. While oppositional political activity was generally tolerated, restrictions on publications and artistic products, through the state chambers, would exist throughout the period, although most of these were mild in quality. In theory, no organizations could be created outside of state control - generally enforced, save for political organizations.

    The period of National Republican rule, known as the "National Resurrection," continues to leave Istkalen divided politically to this day.

    The Third Republic

    In 1973, the period ended, ushering in a period of highly unstable democracy. Economic stagnation prevailed; between 1973 and the end of the democratic period in 1983, there were a total of 86 governments, with elections being held an average of three times a year due to the repeated formation of hung parliaments.

    The Fourth Republic

    In 1983, Premier Ayros Tiraki seized power in a self-coup. Tiraki re-organized the state into the seven-chamber system; however, she would exert great control over their elections, through the Court of Examination and the Censorate, which she made semi-political appointments to. The chambers were from that point on elected by the unions under them; elections to the unions were restricted by the Court of Examination and Censorate to the point that political activity was effectively halted. Politics became technocratic in nature, although Tiraki held an absolute veto. Organizations outside of state control were banned entirely; Tiraki wanted all activity to be organized through the occupational union and chambers. Despite this, Tiraki strongly believed in the concept of duty in the context of Istkalener republicanism, and thus restored it, demanding that all citizens debate the merits of her regime, albeit through the unions and chambers - to do so outside was, again, a crime.

    Economically, Tiraki attempted to abolish money and organize all consumption and production through the unions; a system of rationing was put into place as to uphold the system. The country continued to engage in limited trade during her two-year rule, although it was largely isolationist. Little economic data is available from the time, although most who lived through it found it comfortable and stable.

    Culturally, Tiraki acted as a patron of the arts and of education, resulting in a massive expansion of artistic output during her rule. No actual restrictions existed on art, although some did on news media, which was held to a strict standard of impartiality.

    Tiraki's rule, despite its authoritarianism, is looked upon generally favorably, as a time of stability, economic growth, and cultural development.

    The Fifth Republic

    In 1985, the Party of Labor, the communist party in Istkalen, seized power in a coup, coming into a role similar to that of the National Republican Party - that is, as the dominant party in a state that, while mildly authoritarian, allowed relatively wide scope for political expression. It returned to the economic and political system of before 1973, while at the same time undertaking progressive reforms into society, including the passing of new, almost revolutionary, family laws, as well as an attempt to abolish marriage and replace it with a system of cohabitation. In its most radical move, it attempted to move responsibility away from the family by establishing collective canteens, nurseries, and laundries, while at them same time expanding the general scope of the educational system in Istkalen, as a part of an expansion of the greater welfare state, which in its last years guaranteed housing, food, and education to all. The Fourth Republic under Tiraki had attempted these things on a smaller scale, but was never able to reach the success of the Fifth Republic.

    It would also further reduce the role of the 'advisory' unions, giving a large portion of what remained of their powers to the state chambers and occupational unions, although they continued to have a prominent role in politics.

    The Party of Labor was an oddity among communist parties of the 1980s and 1990s in its social progressivism and general deviation from Marxist theory, at one point, in 1989, in fact disavowing the ideology. Politically, it was isolated, refusing to associate either with the capitalist or socialist blocs of its time. Declaring itself "non-aligned," it attempted to engage in trade with both, to limited success; after 1991, it would become near-totally isolated , resulting in mild economic decline as the country attempted to re-align itself on autarkic lines.

    The Sixth Republic

    In 1996, mass unrest, which has been exaggerated by some, resulted in the fall of the Party of Labor and the establishment of a military junta. No elections would take place under the junta; all political positions would become appointed by the various ministries. The country attempted to re-engage with capitalist nations, to mild success; the economy began to grow again. Most of the economic and social policies of the Party of Labor government would continue, although it would reduce the scope of the welfare state. Housing and food, for example, were no longer free, although both were heavily subsidized. Education and healthcare, however, did remain as such.

    The Seventh Republic

    In 2002, the junta held elections to the seven state chambers, and handed over power to a civilian government. The government - a coalition of the three parties which had led the country in the past - the Movement for the National Community (the dominant party under the constitutional monarchy and the first Republic), the National Republican Party, and the Party of Labor - would take power, again continuing previous economic policies.

    The First Federation, also known as the False Republic

    The Social Democratic Party, at this time, the successor to the Grand National Movement, a far-right party, began to exert its power over the country. In 2003, it staged a terrorist attack which resulted in the death of essentially all those who made up the legislature, the executive, the judiciary, the national Censorate, and the Court of Examination, before pushing for new elections, which it rigged through box-stuffing, voter intimidation, and bribery.

    The Social Democratic Party reformed the constitution as to benefit itself; it also dismantled the welfare state and replaced it with a universal basic income; while attempting to forcibly deindustrialize certain sectors of the economy while re-organizing those which remained industrial in nature in a way as to make them extremely inefficient. This resulted in general economic decline, which continued until, in 2010, it allowed technocratic advisors into certain positions, resulting in slight economic recovery, which continued until it pushed forward its "Plan for National Rejuvenation' in 2021, which resulted in Istkalen's occupation by Reitzmag and Vayinaod.

    The Eighth Republic

    A technocratic government, made of the non-partisan advisors appointed by the Party as to combat general economic decline, was formed, and interim elections were held; however, both remain largely non-functional.

    The state underwent multiple re-organizations; in the end, many of its advisors were dismissed entirely, replaced with new appointments.


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    Culture of Istkalen

    (WIP - only section headers complete as of now)

    I. The Home
    We are a people free of entitlement. We live simply; we do not waste. We are not like those of the West, who scream endlessly about such ridiculous things as "cheapness" and "over-frugality" and "personal space" and "privacy." We have no concept of any of these. - Helejtek Relem II, c. 1823.

    II. Family Life
    What is the family but a collective, whose individual members come together to support each other? Why must the West demand that it take these certain forms? It is ridiculous - family relationships should be structured in any way as the members desire, so long as they are on the basis of equality of dignity! - General Secretary of the Party of Labor and Premier of the Republic Elspeth Arkalis, 1987.

    III. Work
    Our society celebrates not the bonds of the carnal pleasures, but rather those of pure and virtuous labor. Is that not better, is that not right? That, instead of viewing each other through the lens of our most base instincts, we instead view each other through the most developed innovation of humanity? In a spirit of equality and comrade-ship, rather than of hierarchy and the objectification that we see too often in the "modern society" the West pretends to have? - Head of State Makketis Melitek, 1934.

    IV. In Public
    Our society is founded on the concept of national community. All of us must treat each other in a spirit of respect and equality, in all places, of fraternity, as well as foreigners and visitors. We must be a kind and generous people, but also one that is reserved and dignified. - Head of State Ilisapit Kalises, 1972

    V. In Politics
    We reject the idea of rights that the West, in its typical pretentiousness, has developed. There is no such thing as rights in the West, only privileges, which are taken away again and again in an instant. This is not what we wish for our new state. We instead put forward the idea of a politics of duty, of the citizen who must defend their country, who must work for it and for their own benefit, who must ensure the welfare of others, and who must, perhaps most importantly of all, attack the policies of the state mercilessly, debate them, defend them, or even simply discuss them, so that its leaders may remain informed and knowledgeable. Duties which, innate to the citizen and thus impossible to be relieved of, preserve freedom and the democratic form of government, but which do not engender the entitlement which has paralyzed the rest of the world. - Head of State Makketis Melitek, 1931.

    VI. Towards Culture
    We wish to develop a popular culture from that of the masses, which they actively participate in the creation in. A democratic culture, one could say, one which lifts the people up through the inclusion of what they have made, while at the same time not infantilizing them, instead, perhaps, educating and developing them ever further. A new culture, in many respects, but also one that is old. - Premier Ayros Tiraki, 1984.


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    Culture of Istkalen

    (WIP - only section headers complete as of now)

    I. The Home
    We are a people free of entitlement. We live simply; we do not waste. We are not like those of the West, who scream endlessly about such ridiculous things as "cheapness" and "over-frugality" and "personal space" and "privacy." We have no concept of any of these. - Helejtek Relem II, c. 1823.

    II. Family Life
    What is the family but a collective, whose individual members come together to support each other? Why must the West demand that it take these certain forms? It is ridiculous - family relationships should be structured in any way as the members desire, so long as they are on the basis of equality of dignity! - General Secretary of the Party of Labor and Premier of the Republic Elspeth Arkalis, 1987.

    III. Work
    Our society celebrates not the bonds of the carnal pleasures, but rather those of pure and virtuous labor. Is that not better, is that not right? That, instead of viewing each other through the lens of our most base instincts, we instead view each other through the most developed innovation of humanity? In a spirit of equality and comrade-ship, rather than of hierarchy and the objectification that we see too often in the "modern society" the West pretends to have? - Head of State Makketis Melitek, 1934.

    IV. In Public
    Our society is founded on the concept of national community. All of us must treat each other in a spirit of respect and equality, in all places, of fraternity, as well as foreigners and visitors. We must be a kind and generous people, but also one that is reserved and dignified. - Head of State Ilisapit Kalises, 1972

    V. In Politics
    We reject the idea of rights that the West, in its typical pretentiousness, has developed. There is no such thing as rights in the West, only privileges, which are taken away again and again in an instant. This is not what we wish for our new state. We instead put forward the idea of a politics of duty, of the citizen who must defend their country, who must work for it and for their own benefit, who must ensure the welfare of others, and who must, perhaps most importantly of all, attack the policies of the state mercilessly, debate them, defend them, or even simply discuss them, so that its leaders may remain informed and knowledgeable. Duties which, innate to the citizen and thus impossible to be relieved of, preserve freedom and the democratic form of government, but which do not engender the entitlement which has paralyzed the rest of the world. - Head of State Makketis Melitek, 1931.

    VI. Towards Culture
    We wish to develop a popular culture from that of the masses, which they actively participate in the creation in. A democratic culture, one could say, one which lifts the people up through the inclusion of what they have made, while at the same time not infantilizing them, instead, perhaps, educating and developing them ever further. A new culture, in many respects, but also one that is old. - Premier Ayros Tiraki, 1984.


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    Kitets - the Language of Istkalen

    Kitets is the vernacular of Istkalen, adopted as the official national language in 2021.

    Noun Declension

    Nouns decline for gender, number (of which there are three - singular, dual, and plural), function in sentence, and definitiveness. Declension occurs in multiple classes dependent on noun endings, although there are exceptions, mostly among names.

    Masculine Declension

    Gender can generally be determined by the noun ending. Masculine noun endings include -ek, -es/-ess/-esz, (in "Standard Kitets, -ess and -es")and other variations on spelling and pronunciation, and -mar. Each noun ending declines differently. Declension is significantly more dramatic in Kitets than in most other languages, for reasons that are unknown.

    -ek

    Case Singular Indefinite Dual indefinite Plural indefinite Singular Definite Dual definite Plural definite Example (farmer, melitek), for which the stem is -melit, of or relating to agriculture.
    Nominative / -e -i - é -éré -iré melitek, melite, meliti, melité , melitéré, melitiré
    Accusative -e -en -il -a -aré melite, meliten, melitil, melita, melitaré, melití
    Genitive -ost - ést -ir - é -eré - erí *melitost, melitést, melitir, melité, meliteré, meliterí

    -es/-ess/-esz

    Case Singular Indefinite Dual indefinite Plural indefinite Singular Definite Dual definite Plural definite Example (a farm, melites), for which the stem is -melit, of or relating to agriculture.
    Nominative / -er -ir - id -idí -idé melites, meliter, melitir, melitid, melitidé, melités
    Accusative -se - ed -is -at -atí -ís melitse, melited, melitis, melitat, melitaré, melitís
    Genitive -a - a -ir - at - é - íos melita, melitést, melitir, melitat, melitét, melitíos

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    Political Organization of Istkalen

    (WIP)

    The Executive

    The Legislature

    The Judiciary

    The Council of Examination

    The Censorate


    The National Front

    Cultural Associations

    Occupational Associations


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    Territorial Division of Istkalen

    (WIP)

    Regions

    Divisions

    Municipalities

    Wards

    Autonomous Zones

    Map


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    Nationalities of Istkalen

    Istkalen is divided into three major nationalities (Kitetois, "Estonian," and German), and several other minor nationalities. A negligible portion of the population are immigrants, largely a result of recent mass deportations of virtually all who the former Social Democratic government allowed into the country.

    The Kitetois are the native people of Istkalen, and make up 35% of the total population of Istkalen. Their existence as a single 'nation' is largely artificial, especially considering the fact that they are multiethnic - a result of the violently assimilationist policies of the Relemian period, which imposed a single culture and a single language on all of Istkalen, which had hitherto been an extremely diverse nation. Despite being the native people, however, the Kitetois are the second poorest group, on average, in Istkalen ("Finnic peoples" - descendants of Finnic exiles from Istkalen driven out during the Relemian period, and "Turks" - descendants of Tatar exiles from Istkalen driven out during the same period, are the richest, followed by other minority groups). Few live in urban areas; virtually all are employed in agriculture. Their average income is only ~15.000 ketsel-ir a year, compared to ~70.000 for "Estonians," ~68.000 for "Turks", and 60.000 for "national minorities." While significantly better off than the Germans, who continue to live in an area where technology has not yet passed the level of the Middle Ages, the poverty and austerity of the lives they live are unprecedented in Europe. Unusually, however, they also hold virtually all political power in Istkalen - with the exception of the Social Democratic era, Kitetois, albeit primarily urban Kitetois, have dominated the highest levels of national politics, and have since the crowning of Kales as Empress in 1912 held a total monopoly on political power.

    "Finnic peoples" - again, the descendants of exiles of Finnic descent who fled Istkalen in response to the policies of Relem in the late 1700s and early 1800s, returning only after 1946 - also make up 35% of the population. Their forefathers were the poorest in Istkalen, with the Kitetois on top; now, however, things have been reversed. The reign of Relem left most Kitetois uneducated and illiterate, choosing only a select few to be allowed to become educated; even 36 years after its fall, when the exiles were "repatriated," the effects of it were still felt strongly on Istkalen, which had to depend on an aging and small class of administrators and professionals. The descendants of exiles, however, were on average well-educated and young; bringing with them a culture based on the exaltation of labor that fit almost perfectly with the aims of the National Republican government of the time. They were perfectly placed to replace the Relemian-era Kitetois professionals - the government realized this, and immediately began to work to bring this about. The Finnic peoples, despite the disparate countries they came from, were thrust into positions of importanceThe inequalities produced by this time persist to this day; the "Finnic peoples" remain the richest group in Istkalen. They form Istkalen's burgeoning class of artisans, merchants, professionals, and technicians, but have largely been excluded from government, as well as the civil service.

    "Germans," a mixture of the residents of minor Arian tributary states that were annexed into the First Republic of Istkalen upon the revolution overthrowing Relem II of Istkalen, as well as the German-speaking descendants of exiles of Germanic, but not German, peoples who lived in Istkalen proper and were driven out by Relem, are effectively two nationalities. Making a total of 10% of the population, 60% of them fall into the second category, and 40% in the first. Their socioeconomic status is similarly structured; those in the second category, mostly artists (20%) and professionals (70%), with some "craftspeople," (10%), and a negligible number working in agriculture,are almost as wealthy as "Estonians" and "Turks;" those in the first category are 95% farmers, with the remaining 5% clergy and professionals, with 98% of them living in rural areas, and are the poorest in all of Istkalen, earning an average of 6 ketsel-ir a year. The exile-Germans work mostly in education and medicine, and form up to 60% of all teachers, lecturers, and professors in Istkalen, as well as 70% of all doctors; again, however, a great number of them are also artists, and have been responsible for a significant portion of Istkalen's cultural output since 1946, most notably the wave of innovative cinema between 1969 and 1977. About 60% live in urban areas, and 40% in rural areas; the income disparity between them, however, is small. The Native Germans, however, are, again, virtually all farmers, or professionals (largely folk-doctors and clergy), and effectively live in the Middle Ages, as successive governments allowed the Patriotic Front and its predecessors to rule the region in which they lived with impunity for the terrors that they enacted. Only 3% of them are literate; none of them have access to electricity or sanitation. Western medicine is absent in the region; so-called doctors continue to operate on the theory of humours. Until the invasion, political and civil rights in general were nonexistent; women were not allowed to leave their homes without the permission of their husbands (paradoxically, most of the leaders of the Patriotic Front were and remain women), had to wear veils and non-revealing clothing outside, and could not work; homosexuality and "deviant expressions" were punishable by stoning; witch burnings were also a common occurance. 100% of the population of native Germans are Arians, partially because of the terror used by the Patriotic Front in its continued rule over the region. Part of the region was forcibly modernized as to allow for uranium extraction by the Social Democrats; this area, however, was settled mostly by Kitetois, and, while ruled by the Patriotic Front, fell away from them after a revolution which coincided with the invasion. The Reitzmic government attempted to annex a part of the undeveloped portion of the former Arian states; this was resisted by the government of Istkalen due to concerns over national integrity and the possibly violent response of the Patriotic Front to it.

    "Turks" form 10% of the population, and are officially counted as "national minorities," but are in reality the Turkish-speaking descendants of Tatar exiles from Istkalen. Unlike other nationalities that form the upper class, they are about 50% urban and 50% rural, with 33% of them professionals, 49.5% of them as machinists, technicians, and other related occupations, 16.5% in unskilled manual labor, and 16.5% craftspeople, with a negligible number in agriculture. They have been largely deprived of representation, and while most of them are educated and literate, few know how to write their native language, although they know how to write in the other languages of Istkalen. Most live in mountainous areas, because of their desire to live with their "forefathers," the Tatars, who had fled into the mountains to escape Relem, where many of them died due to the harsh and alien environment. Most are, to some extent, active in agriculture alongside their actual field of work, to provide for themselves to a minor extent, but this is not paid and is done only because the food that reaches the mountains is often not sufficient for survival. They have, for the most part, been responsible for the expansion of mining and heavy industry in Istkalen since 1946, and are also at the forefront of making both "cleaner;" because of the profitability of both of these areas of work in Istkalen, they are also, as previously stated, on the wealthier side of things. Under the Republic, they have fought for greater political power, but have largely been denied it by the dominant "urban Kitetois" clique in politics.

    The remainder of the population - 10% - are national minorities - Tatars, Lithuanians, various Germanic peoples, and various Finnic peoples. Few, unusually, are engaged in agriculture, despite most being rural; most are professionals or craftspeople, and are engaged in providing a source of non-agricultural skilled labor to the rural Kitetois. They, too, have risen to the upper class as a result of this, and have been instrumental in bringing the progress of the cities to the countryside, alongside the rural non-native Germans. Most are well-educated, but, as with the "Turks," suppression over the years have left few of them able to write in their native language.


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    The Arts and Crafts movement in Istkalen, or a History of Industrialization

    The Arts and Crafts movement is long gone in Istkalen; yet, it has left its mark on the country. In other countries, the movement accomplished exceedingly little out of its artistic aims; in Istkalen, however, its lesser-known political ideals allowed for the fall of the Relemian monarchy, gaining it significant influence on the country and continuing to affect it today.

    The movement began in the country in the mid-1880s, as in much of the rest of Europe, and was the result of the country's rapid industrialization at the time. Its "founders" bemoaned not merely the loss of quality brought by industrialization, but also the fact that it had brought exceedingly little benefit to regular Istkaleners. The vast majority of people were still subsistence farmers; the policies of Relem I had worsened life for them in many ways, as it had forced them to work in the cities for a given time without wages to make things which were immediately exported, or given to augment the country's military. On top of that, centralization had come with the reforms. The previously agrarian nature of Istkalen's economy, especially after the revolutions of 1378 and 1701, was decentralized and largely free from state control, with individual farmers in the countryside and, after the virtual collapse of the guilds after 1701, workers in the cities, making decisions for themselves with little outside influence. Industrialization brought with it new state control - a small clique of trained administrators governed the whole of the industrial sector, which by the 1880s constituted most of Istkalen's economic product.

    Thousands, especially the urban craftsmen who objected to being forced into the factories, claimed themselves members of the new movement, whose political motivations were hidden behind a front calling for reform primarily cultural in nature. As conditions deteriorated in the countryside, especially after the famine of 1890, caused by the massive diversion of agricultural workers to work in factories in the total absence of agricultural modernization, farmers, too, began to join. The intelligentsia, almost uniformly against the Relemian monarchy because of its violent suppression of art (most notably its mass killings of artists), its attempts to destroy and rewrite history, and its totalitarian policies, also joined, seeing the movement as the only able to unite the Istkalener people and overthrow the monarchy. A genuine organization for the movement, the Movement for Cultural Modernization, was created, and was tolerated because it was, nominally, not political, nor opposing the policies of the state in a significant way.

    In the 1900s, fearing revolt, Relem II, the newly crowned monarch of Istkalen, reversed some of the policies of his predecessors, Relem I and Listrestesz XXVI, and cooperated with the smaller socialist movement in Istkalen, believing it harmless, in the direction of softly syndicalist reform. Labor unions were given a degree of control over the economy, although elections within them were strictly controlled by the state, and some opposition was tolerated. The reforms, however, did not satisfy anyone. While they had stopped the worst of the terrors of the Relemian monarchy, they did not stop economic centralization, nor help the now aging class of artisans. On the 9th of September, 1909, taking advantage of reforms, peasants, artisans, and the intelligentsia, united in the Movement for Cultural Modernization, began to protest against the regime. Several military leaders, joined by significant parts of the rank and file, joined the protests, out of less than perfect reasons - they were opposed to Relem II's plan to launch a war against much of Europe as to colonize it (tangentially, similar plans were laid out by a minor extremist faction of the Social Democratic Party in 2017 - when rejected by the Party and the military leadership, the extremist faction, which had gained control over the party's paramilitary, at that point much larger than the military, used the paramilitary to violently purge opposition to it, resulting in the deaths of over 3 million in Istkalen, including the vast majority of Party members, and the replacement of the military, all of whose members were killed, with the party paramilitary. The plans were realized in 2021, resulting in the collapse of the SDP government on the 18th of April and the surrender of Istkalen on the 21st.)

    The movement at this point revealed its political aims - for an end to the division of labor in a significant number of vocations, the "recognition of the dignified nature of manual labor," the end of the factory system, a return to an agrarian and craft-based economy, albeit "modernized,", the expansion of the educational system to everyone in Istkalen, and the abolition of the monarchy but the retention of the state-owned workers' union it had created in cooperation with the socialists as the basis of a new Republic.

    Days later, Relem II committed suicide, and was replaced by a "Council of the Realm," whose members began a violent crackdown on the movement, including the deportation of all urban residents into the countryside, as well as the creation of massive state-owned farms to employ these and the former residents of the countryside, to forcibly pacify the country and prevent any opposition. As these policies met resistance, the Council called on an unusual mixture of violent criminals, disaffected youth, and loyalists within and outside of the military, to effect them, resulting in mass killings across the country that may have resulted in the deaths of up to 500,000 between 1909 and the end of the monarchy in 1910.

    This served only to remove alternate opposition, and to strengthen the position of the Movement for Cultural Modernization in Istkalen. In 1910, when, faced with the collapse of the civil service and the near total-defection of the military, combined with the threat of foreign invasion due to the extreme instability in the country, the whole of the Council of the Realm decided to commit suicide collectively. The Movement then rose into power, and began its reforms.

    The first of these was an order for "de-industrialization," which meant little in the context of Istkalen. Corvee was ended, and people were allowed to return to their former homes and continue working as they did under "normal circumstances" - that is, when not being made to perform labor by the state. Machinists and technicians were effectively unemployed; the state attempted to pay them their normal wages (respecting them because they were skilled manual workers, in contrast to the bureaucratic administrators who were left with no support whatsoever) as it tried to restart industry on new lines - in its own words, "making the machine serve the craftsman, and not the other way around" - but could not for an extended period due to the depletion of the treasury during the previous unrest. Programs for the modernization of agriculture and of craftwork (the view of craftwork by the Movement was not of work by hand but rather of work without the division of labor) were begun on these lines, but were not very successful at first. More radically, tertiary education was reformed as to reflect the ideas of the Movement - a significant number of lines of work, most notably architecture, began to be taught in vocational schools, with the idea being that, in the "new society," the architect, for example, would perform both design and construction.

    These reforms were shortlived - Kales was to rise to power soon afterwards - she was, as is well known, an "operetta Relemist." However, they were resurrected by the National Republican Movement when it came to power under the name of the Common People's Union in the 1930s, and would remain until the present day.

    Modern Istkalen, influenced, perhaps, by the arrival of exiles beginning in 1946, embraces a mixture of these anti-industrialist policies with a modernizing outlook. Agriculture and the crafts - still, in Istkalen, defined by the definition of the Movement - remain dominant, but to a significant extent, industrial techniques have been introduced to them- machinery is used to facilitate both in the modern day, albeit machinery specialized to the still fragmented nature of land and the crafts. Even in the factories and the mines, the very images of industrialization, the Movement's ideas can be found - in both, there is very little division of labor, with those working manually in both also involved in their administration - and having the requisite knowledge to do so. An unfortunate consequence is the view of the average Istkalener on the "uneducated," who have largely been confined to menial labor in the service industry, as well as bureaucrats - that is, as leeches.


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    Economy of Istkalen

    (WIP)

    The economy of Istkalen is developing, largely dependent on agricultural and mineral exports, with industry, albeit mostly handicraft and light industry, playing a role. There is a significant emerging service sector, growing largely due to lowered demand for unskilled labor in rural areas, as well as higher demand for such labor in urban areas, primarily in the retail sector. The "information" sector is also prominent, and is more well-established than the service sector, but does not contribute to the economy as significantly as other sectors.

    The country's economy has stagnated in recent years, largely due to mismanagement, and is expected to decline significantly this year. In particular, agricultural output in 2021 is far lower than normal; while the country was previously able to narrowly get by with what it produced, while at the same time being able to export, produce is now far lower than what is necessary to sustain the population on mere survival rations. Mineral extraction has also ground to a virtual halt; virtually all remaining extraction does not contribute to Istkalen's economic output, as it is conducted by the Archrepublic of Vayinaod and the Kingdom of Reitzmag. The light and handicraft industries, without the necessary materials deriving from agricultural and mineral produce, have also collapsed. Supply chains have also been severely disrupted by the destruction of major transportation arteries, several of which remain damaged.

    Prior to the invasion, Istkalen's primary exports were uranium, iron ore, cobalt, various rare earth metals, lumber, and agricultural products , particularly potatoes and other similar indigenous root vegetables, although cereals and poultry were also a significant component. The country also exported, to a lesser extent, light industrial products and handicrafts such as paper, textiles, glass goods, and leather goods. A small amount of steel was also exported; however, most was reserved for domestic use. Its primary imports were refined metals, including steel, cereals, other agricultural products, particularly fruit, and machinery, particularly agricultural machinery.

    Industrial productivity in the country is low. A significant portion of its industry is handicraft in nature; light industrial plants, which also exist on a significant scale, often have no or little division of labor within them, which in many cases hampers production. Agricultural productivity, particularly outside of the cities, also lags behind the rest of Europe, although not as significantly as in industry - this has been attributed to the dominance of smallholdings (the average plot size is about 3 hectares). A significant percentage of the crop is also consumed by their growers, although this has reduced as time has progressed. While what is produced is under normal circumstances enough for the population and some export, there are often visible shortages within the country, coupled with prices that are on average significantly higher than elsewhere. In order to prevent "foreigners" from taking advantage of this, successive governments have imposed virtual bans on the importation of a number of products, as well as high tariffs on many others.

    The country's economic output is largely decentralized. While there are significant concentrations of the population in certain areas, particularly Kirelesile, in reality industry, apart from heavy industry, is decentralized and spread throughout the countryside, as is agriculture and forestry. Cities are mostly self-sufficient, and consume virtually all of their economic produce, although they are largely developed, housing most of Istkalen's "modernity," including attempts to fuse traditional handicraft industry with modern industrial techniques, as well as collective agriculture.

    The country generally exports in the summer months and imports in the winter. Throughout the summer, the country is able to export its primary good - agricultural products - as most of the population is employed in agriculture. In winter, however, as agriculture becomes impossible, the population will temporarily transition from agriculture to other industries, particularly light industry, crafts, construction, and mining. The demand for raw material increases accordingly, eventually requiring importation - largely unnecessary during the summer months.

    Most businesses in the country take the form of cooperatives, which are termed "collectives," "dual proprietorships," which arose by consequence of the development of the "partnership of labor" under the Social Democrats, and "sole proprietorships." Family businesses are nominally permitted, but the family, largely as a result of Social Democratic rule, barely exists in Istkalen anymore. These different ventures are organized through municipal trade organizations, which demand of their members various duties in production, and cooperation in the accomplishment of these duties. The trade organizations are further organized into broader national "people's syndicates," which themselves demand certain duties in production and cooperation from the trade organizations to implement plans set out by local, regional, and national "Congresses of Producers." This has been criticized as inefficient by a great number of economists; Istkalen's government argues that it is traditional and allows for a greater dignity and equality than any other system existing in Europe at this time.


  • EU

    Industrial Organization in Istkalen

    Industrial organization in Istkalen closely follows the organization of society. The country is highly decentralized in this respect, particularly because of land reforms conducted in the late 1700s and the early 1900s which distributed land previously owned by the state, or rather the Emperor, to individual peasants.

    Workers are organized first into "labor partnerships," or "partnerships of labor," composed of two individuals. In the context of industrial organization, the two members of a "labor partnership" are effectively one; they are contracted or find work as a partnership, not as individuals, are expected to make decisions as a group rather than as individuals, and are expected to produce as a single unit rather than two.

    "Labor partnerships" are directly organized into "companies," mutual-aid groups organized on vocational lines "Companies" demand certain tasks to be accomplished by their members for its own benefit. Twice monthly, the membership of a 'company' will gather as an assembly to determine the tasks that must be accomplished, in order to produce goods and income that will be distributed. This is enforced by an "elder" or "head," who is elected by the membership of the "company" twice or once yearly.

    Some of these tasks require collective work. This is usually organized through informal "collectives," managed by an "elder" or "head" who may or may not be elected. "Collectives" correspond usually to workplaces, although not necessarily. Large collectives are further divided into "work-groups," composed of about 5-15 "labor partnerships" and assigned specialized tasks by the elder of the collective. "Work-groups" rarely have a defined leader, instead making decisions by means of direct democracy; however, some instances of them, particularly, in larger work-groups, have appeared in which they do have an "elder" or "head" of their own.

    In light and heavy industry, as well as the professions, it is "collectives" that are organized into "companies," and the heads of the "collectives" that determine the tasks that must be accomplished, not by the individual workers but by the "collectives," as well as elect the "elder" or "head" of the company. However, in certain collectives, the "elder" or "head" is not elected.

    "Companies" are organized into "people's syndicates," organized on sectoral lines. "People's syndicates" ensure that "companies" are performing tasks for broader society rather than merely for their own members; they are governed by 'producers' committees,' which are elected indirectly and consist of five "labor partnerships." In particular, they will assign "social tasks" to the "companies" - for example, textile workers may be directed to produce clothing for a set cost, and construction workers to work to construct public works. If a "company" fails to carry out its tasks, its leadership may be replaced by the "producers' committee." It may, in certain cases, be dissolved temporarily, depriving its members of income.

    "People's syndicates" are organized into "Congresses of Producers," which serve merely to coordinate their work and ensure that they are working in the general societal interest.


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