Istkalen Information Service: Rikkalek addresses the Congress of Producers
Head of State Vistek Rikkalek today addressed the Congress of Producers, calling for an end to "Western-style politics" and the institution of an "Indigenous system of government" in Istkalen. In particular, he condemned the political violence and infighting that has plagued Istkalen until recently, arguing that the country must adopt a "system of political cooperation," based on the National Front and the Congress in order to survive.
"Over the past few months," he stated, "our nation has seen some of the highest levels of social, economic, and political turmoil it has ever experienced. Our countrymen have turned against each other, nationality against nationality; ideology against ideology. This is plainly the fault of the system which my predecessors sought to introduce. Istkalen simply is not fit for a system of competitive pluralism; it merely incites intercommunal violence to these levels. In order to cultivate stability, we must turn to an indigenous system of government, a system of political cooperation instead of competition."
"My government has sought, at every turn, to return authencity and stability to this nation, socially, economically, and now politically. In the coming months, as an integral part of the construction of non-aligned socialism and the carrying out of the Internal Revolution, a new government shall be constructed in Istkalen, a government free of partisan-ism, a government founded on the workers of this nation, which shall arise out of the people's syndicates and the National Front. The politicians will all be thrown out, replaced by the moral, the genuine, and the hardworking. We do not seek the abolition of pluralism per se; in fact, we encourage it; we merely desire to do away with the present politics, Western-style politics, for it has brought nothing but misery to us."
This was met with a great hail of applause from the Congress, composed overwhelming of nativists and authoritarians strongly opposed to liberal democracy.
RIkkalek, however, went on to describe his plans for new elections to the Congress, which would occur along more traditional lines.
"We will firstly seek to restore this Congress. We shall do away with the Western methods of election, and substitute them for our own. Companies of workers shall elect the best of their own to serve on the producers' committees that form our ranks, two-by-two rather than one-by-one. Only the qualified, the hardworking, the moral, shall serve. With this, we shall thus create a government of the producers, a native government, a true government, a government that befits this nation," he stated, further speaking about how it would bring industrial organization and the state together and thus further abolish politics as they are.
Rikkalek has always had an antipathy towards traditional politics, as well as an affinity for ideas of merging industrial organization with the state - ten years ago, while relatively unknown, he was a syndicalist who collaborated with the short-lived reformist SDP government in its attempt to abolish the estates and establish a state founded on principles of industrial unionism. This address, as such, is merely a nationalist and statist variation on his previous politics, addressing virtually the same themes - returning power to the workers, establishing industrial self-government, and ending corruption and inequality. While it is almost certain that Rikkalek has moved somewhat to the right, particularly in his abandoning of the principle of socialization, it cannot be said that he truly believes in what he is saying; it is very possible that he is merely attempting to convey it in a palatable form to the politicians of the Congress of Producers. This, if true, would not be something new - while Rikkalek does clearly have specific principles he governs by, he will represent them in radically different ways to different sectors of society and the outside world. To the Congress of Producers, for example, he may, as he did here, present everything in an overly nationalistic light; to the population, in a more 'producerist' light, leaning towards a more moderate socialism or Western-style social democracy; to the West, everything in the most liberal light possible.
This may be made clear by the effects of Rikkalek's proposed reform. By introducing the planned electoral changes in particular, virtually all of the ultranationalists benefited by the previous system of indirect election would be removed, replaced largely with centrists adhering to "non-aligned socialism" in its purest form. Similarly, the transformation implied for government, in which bureaucratic functions would be handed to the people's syndicates, would have the effect of reducing or eliminating the power of high-ranking bureaucrats, most of whom are also either nativists or former "national" Social Democrats, giving it all to competent but ideologically non-suspect and loyal individuals. The reforms planned for the National Front are in all likelihood not to ever be implemented; the parties and organizations that form it are well-entrenched, popular, and at this point support Rikkalek more than oppose him. To abolish or weaken it would merely be a blow to Rikkalek's own power, one which would open a dangerous power vaccuum in Istkalen's politics that could very well lead to far worse - the Northern Radio, for example - gaining power.
In essence, Rikkalek's intention is to continue the "construction of non-aligned socialism," in his own words, in its existing moderate form rather than in the more extremist path he has implied; in doing this, however, he seeks to paralyze and remove the little opposition that continues to exist in the country and fully consolidate his power.