Difference between revisions of "Meᵹelan"

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==Economy==
 
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Meᵹelan has a major advanced distributist mixed economy, in which the ownership of the means of production is spread as widely as possible among the general populace, rather than being centralised under the control of the state or a few large businesses or wealthy private individuals.  
 
Meᵹelan has a major advanced distributist mixed economy, in which the ownership of the means of production is spread as widely as possible among the general populace, rather than being centralised under the control of the state or a few large businesses or wealthy private individuals.  
  

Revision as of 10:33, 16 August 2019

Community of Liberty of Meᵹelan

Comunità della Libertà di Meſiolano
Flag
Coat of arms
Motto: "Tiremm innanz" (Insubric)
"We carry on"
Anthem: "La bella Gigogin" (Insubric)
"Teresa the Beautiful" MediaPlayer.png
File:MGLNMAP150.png
Location of Meᵹelan (green) in Tyran
CapitalNone (de jure)
LargestAlba
Official languagesTuscan
Recognised national languagesInsubric
Orobic
Recognised regional languagesAlemannish
Emilian
Ladin
Ethnic groups
(2019)
86.2% Meᵹelaneſe
13.8% Other
Religion
(2019)
34.9% No religion or undeclared
32.1% Folk Christianity
29.4% Modern Paganism
3.6% Other
Demonym(s)Meᵹelaneſe
GovernmentConfederation
• Prior
Luisa Bianchi
• Vice Prior
Giuseppina Gabrielli
LegislatureGeneral Council
Council of Credenza
Council of Nine Hundred
Establishment
• Foundation date
14 August 1447
Area
• Total
34,112.37 km2 (13,170.86 sq mi)
Population
• 2019 estimate
5,136,854
• Density
150.5/km2 (389.8/sq mi)
GDP (PPP)2019 estimate
• Total
$271 billion
• Per capita
$52,862.5
GDP (nominal)2019 estimate
• Total
$304 billion
• Per capita
$59,183.5
Gini (2019)31.3
medium
HDI (2019)0.912
very high
CurrencyScudo (𐌑) (SCU)
Time zoneUTC+1
• Summer (DST)
UTC+2
Date formatdd-mm-yyyy (AD)
Driving sideleft
Calling code+42
Patron saintSaint Guglielma
ISO 3166 codeCLM
Internet TLD.clm

Meᵹelan, officially the Community of Liberty of Meᵹelan, is a country in Tyran; it consists of 10 states, and spans a total area of 34,112.37 km2; the Meᵹelaneſe population of 5,136,854 people is concentrated mostly in the flat, level east of the country, where the largest cities are to be found, but is nonetheless evenly distributed.

The establishment of the Communitas dates to the late medieval period, resulting from a series of military successes against Nordkrusen that brought the rival city-states of the country together under one banner; the confederation rose to great prosperity through shipping, commerce and banking, enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Tyran.

Today, Meᵹelan is considered, in spite of having experienced long periods of intense social and political turmoil, to be one of Tyran's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with a very high level of human development and life expectancy. Despite a history of armed neutrality - having waged only one offensive war in its entire existence - Meᵹelan pursues an active foreign policy, being frequently involved in peace-building processes around the region.

History

Prehistory and antiquity

The area of current Meᵹelan was settled at least since the 2nd millennium BC, as shown by the archaeological findings of ceramics, arrows, axes and carved stones; in the following centuries it was inhabited by different peoples, who founded several cities and spread the use of writing; those cities, starting from the 5th century BC, were taken over by several Gaulish tribes, that founded a confederation, whose constitution was described in detail by early geographers and historians.

Each tribe was divided into cantons, each governed by a chief of its own with a judge under him, whose powers were unlimited except in cases of murder, which were tried before a council of 300 drawn from the cantons and meeting at a holy place, written in ancient sources as 𐌌𐌄𐌕𐌉𐌏𐌋𐌀𐌍𐌏𐌍 or Mediolanon, "in the midst of the plain": the name of this place, originally a sanctuary to the Gaulish goddess Belisama, would eventually be given to the country as a whole.

This society was oligarchical in nature: it was dominated by the priestly class, and the druids acted as political advisors to the chiefs that led the confederation.

By the 2nd century, the Gaulish confederation had been conquered by and divided between several Cacerta-based seafaring polities, that subsequently introduced measures to wipe out the druids, enacting laws banning not only druid practices, but also other native soothsayers and healers.

Over the course of the next several centuries, the locals adopted the culture and language of their conquerors, and Meᵹelaneſe technology, economy, art and literature flourished; Meᵹelan was evacuated by those conquerors in the 6th century, due to the devastating malaria epidemic that had left their country in ruins.

Middle Ages

Cacertan military withdrawals left Meᵹelan open to invasion by pagan, seafaring warriors from Æsthurlavaj; Their advance was contained for some decades after a Meᵹelaneſe victory, but subsequently resumed, over-running the fertile lowlands of Meᵹelan and reducing the area under Meᵹelaneſe control to a series of separate enclaves in the more rugged country to the west.

As a result of the foreign advance, the Meᵹelaneſe peasantry was released from the duties and obligations to their feudal lords by the feudal nobility itself, in order for the Meᵹelaneſe people to be able to better defend itself against the seafaring Vikings. In the late 9th century, the Meᵹelaneſe were able to drive the Vikings permanently out of the country, although Meᵹelan remained under constant threat.

Over the next few centuries, whilst feudal lords reigned elsewhere in Tyran, no aristocratic structures emerged in Meᵹelan; the nation was represented abroad by priors who were elected from among the wealthier farmers, or from elected representatives of the autonomous rural municipalities, where all decisions were made by communalism, and the settlements were founded, governed and defended by cooperative decisions.

By the 10th century, Meᵹelan was divided in a multiplicity of small, autonomous city-states, or civitates, that spearheaded a significant boom in the country's economy, due to improved trading and, mostly, agricultural conditions - the nascent arms industry contributing to the local economy to a significant degree as well. The enterprising class of the communes then extended its trade and banking activities to the whole of Tyran; Meᵹelaneſe vessels had reached Akashi and Gylias by the 13th century.

However, due to the resulting increase in population, it had become increasingly difficult to take decisions through direct democracy, and part of the original functions of the old gatherings were given to several representative bodies; those councils eventually relegated the ancient assemblies to a purely ceremonial role, and the reins of governance were taken by an increasingly small number of patrician families, turning the city-states into oligarchic plutocracies; only the rural communes kept to the communalism of old.

Due to its wealth, Meᵹelan was targeted by Nordkrusen's Southern missions; the struggle with the crusaders backed by the northern state lasted several centuries: and while they were successful in introducing Christianity to Meᵹelan, the Christian faith was interpreted by the locals through an anti-authoritarian and anti-feudal lens, in defiance to the invader.

The casus belli for the invasion was the bankruptcy of a Meᵹelaneſe patrician; after they had become unable to pay the Nordic mercenary company they were employing in a war against a neighbouring foe, said mercenary company declared war on them, seizing territory in lieu of their pay and sparking a chain reaction of alliances and counter-alliances that eventually resulted in an actual invasion of Meᵹelan.

A first pan-Meᵹelaneſe league (Societas) against foreign aggression was formed in the 12th century; it was followed by another league in the 13th century, but it would be a third league, the Communitas Libertatis Meſiolani - founded on 14 August 1447 - that put a decisive end to foreign designs in Meᵹelan, with a contingent led by the 23 year old Agnese Meravigli defeating the foe near the city of Papilia.

In the end, Æsthurlavaj and Nordkrusen left evidence of their respective periods of partial sovereignty over Meᵹelan through several aspects of the local culture and language, but their genes became quickly diluted into the Meᵹelaneſe population, owing to their relatively small number and their geographic dispersal in order to rule and administer their fiefs.

The parts of Meᵹelan in which the laws of Æsthurlavaj and Nordkrusen held sway and dominated those of the Meᵹelaneſe, in the northeast of the country, became known as the Legg Danés, the local culture and language displaying Nordic influence to an even greater degree than the rest of the Communitas; those individuals born in Æsthurlavaj and Nordkrusen that headed west towards the sparsely populated valleys of the Meᵹelaneſe Alps, on the other hand, preserved their culture and language in full, those valleys becoming known as the Tèra Gualser.

Early modern period

File:MGLNWARPIC.jpeg
Meᵹelaneſe mercenaries

Meᵹelan then grew into a major political, economical and military force, also due to the Cornaro Civil War in neighbouring Cacerta - Meᵹelaneſe merchants and bankers filling the gap that used to be filled by their pre-Centuries War Period Cacertan equivalents. Meᵹelaneſe culture and works of art were highly regarded, and many Meᵹelaneſe served privately as mercenaries in the rest of Tyran, acquiring a reputation of invincibility.

During this period, in the 15th and 16th centuries, Meᵹelan was a relative oasis of peace and prosperity in war-torn Tyran, mostly because all major powers in the region depended on Meᵹelaneſe mercenaries, and would not let Meᵹelan fall into the hands of one of their rivals; however, during this era, the patrician families decreased in number, but increased in power: in the cities, council members were increasingly able to fill the councils with relatives, and seats in the councils became increasingly hereditary. However, the aristocracy remained generally open, and in some cities new families were accepted if they were successful and rich enough.

Eventually, pestilences and the generally declining conditions of Meᵹelan's economy in the 17th and 18th centuries halted the further development of the Communitas; a financial crisis led to a series of tax revolts in several rural districts of the confederation, and in the urban districts there were uprisings against the patrician families; although the authorities prevailed, they did pass some tax reforms, and the incidents in the long term prevented the creation of an absolutist state in Meᵹelan.

19th century

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The repression of the food riots

The restoration of the status quo was only temporary: a period of unrest with repeated violent clashes turned into a rebellion on the 3rd of November of 1847, after the urban patriciate of the Communitas proposed a constitution for the country that would have led to a centralization of power in their hands. The rebellion lasted a year, ending on the 22th of March of 1848, when the city of Alba fell to the rebels.

The pan-Meᵹelaneſe Council of Nine Hundred, that had until then been controlled by a self-perpetuating patrician, urban oligarchy - also due to the fact that the members of the Council of Nine Hundred were chosen by a body of electors of around 50 people, representing other such bodies, and so on and so forth - was turned into a legislature elected through universal suffrage.

The grand coalition of the centrist Moderate Party led by Melchiorre Sangiorgio and the leftist Action Party led by Giuseppe Micontelli lasted until the former's death, in 1869; and while Meᵹelan was primarily rural, the cities experienced an industrial revolution, focused especially on textiles. The golden age of alpinism in the 1850s and 1860s lay the foundations of the local tourism industry and, by the 1890s, extensive industrialization and the building of a modern infrastructure was well underway.

The political and social movement that consolidated the different states of the Cacertan archipelago into a single state under the House of Sarissita found adherents in Meᵹelan as well but, in the end, the Communitas did not join the Unified States: both the socialist Micontelli and the classical liberal Sangiorgio, despite their differences, were uncompromising republicans and federalists, harbouring a violent dislike of the monarchy of the archipelago.

The end of the grand coalition was taken advantage of by the nascent industrial élite that, uniting behind the Liberal Constitutional Party, was able to gain control of the Council of Nine Hundred by the last decades of the century; in 1898, the repression of widespread food riots and the arrest of the leader of the Meᵹelaneſe Labour Party, Baldassarre Costa, caused a sizeable amount of the population to go on strike, moving from the working-class neighbourhoods in the outskirts of the cities towards the city centres; the Meᵹelaneſe Labour Party won the subsequent elections in a landslide, with Costa and his partner, Anna Rosenstein - an Ashkenazi Jew born in Acrea - gaining control of the Communitas.

Early 20th century

The character of Meᵹelan during the socialists' tenure is open to much debate, and opinions vary as to whether it remained a democracy, or as to whether it was one to begin with; on one hand, the socialist governments never imposed official censorship, never banned any political parties, and non-socialist and even right-wing parties could and did win individual elections. There were always cities and towns with right-wing mayors, voters could punish ineffective deputies, maintained the right of public dissent, and could speak and organize in favor of non-socialist causes; another factor favoring openness was that there were never fewer than three socialist parties in the legislature, and sometimes as many as five.

On the other hand, government benefits were often doled out politically, companies with actively right-wing owners were denied government contracts or loans, rightist newspapers received no legal advertising, and much of the media was owned outright by the government or by the ruling party, with even the private media practicing widespread self-censorship in order to avoid loss of benefits; the public education system was explicitly socialist in emphasis, and competing influences were largely absent.

At first, socialist Meᵹelan was led by Costa and Rosenstein's Meᵹelaneſe Labour Party, and their policies were generally moderate: the MLP encouraged the formation of self-managed factories and workers' cooperatives through public investment and tax preferences, but engaged in only a limited amount of outright collectivization; religious institutions were left alone as long as they abstained from secular politics, and private education was discouraged but allowed. A split then occurred: the radical wing of the party seceded, as the Communist Party of Meᵹelan, and eventually gained enough influence and power to be able to sideline the moderate wing of Meᵹelaneſe socialism.

Where the prior government had been content to marginalize right-wing and centrist organizations but otherwise leave them alone, the new government moved aggressively against them: the CPM financed hundreds of planned communities on the outskirts of Meᵹelaneſe cities, which it advertised as workers' cities with full physical and cultural amenities, but those new towns were deliberately used as means of social control, isolating workers from non-CPM media and putting them under the surveillance of party-appointed block wardens.

Moreover, through selective use of corruption investigations, non-socialist local governments were suspended and replaced with appointed managers; even the self-managed factories and farming cooperatives founded by the MLP were labeled as inefficient, and put under central ownership and management. The party leaders also castigated the more profitable of the workers' cooperatives as a labor aristocracy that had pitted itself against the remainder of the working class.

By 1919, the social conflict between reformist and revolutionary socialists had left the Council of Nine Hundred, with supporters of both sides clashing throughout the country; taking advantage of the chaos, financed by several captains of industry and supported by the far right, Futurist artist and thinker Enrico Grolli then staged a coup, turning the country into a de facto one party state under the Futurist Political Party, ruled in a totalitarian fashion by a cadre of unelected technical experts.

The Futurists glorified modernity, and aimed to liberate Meᵹelan from the weight of its past: historical relics and artifacts were destroyed, and cultural and religious sites were ransacked; many artistic domains, such as painting, sculpture, ceramics, graphic design, industrial design, interior design, theatre design, textiles, drama, literature, music and architecture, were made to follow guidelines penned by Grolli and his followers.

Rural youth was transferred to urban regions, to contribute to the industrial effort; and the aforementioned urban regions were built, or rebuilt, according to the view that every aspect of life was to be rationalized and centralized into one great powerhouse of energy. Moreover, babies and children were taken to and raised in state nurseries and schools, where they were taught to follow any order without hesitation.

Futurism had from the outset admired violence, and was intensely patriotic; pacifism was deemed by Grolli as a materialistic vice that made people comfortable and weak, and war was glorified; indeed, the political goals of war were seen as mostly irrelevant, what made it a good thing in the eyes of the regime, was that it aided the warrior in his path of spiritual self-realization.

In 1940, Meᵹelan joined the Great War on the side of the Common Axis; the Futurist regime was responsible for some of the most notorious war crimes carried out during the conflict: Meᵹelaneſe researchers performed tests on prisoners with bubonic plague, cholera, smallpox, botulism, and other diseases, leading to actual biological attacks during the Great War itself - infecting agriculture, reservoirs, wells, and other areas with anthrax, plague-carrier fleas, typhoid, dysentery, cholera, and other deadly pathogens.

By 1943, the FPP had lost control of half of the country to Meᵹelan's resistance; in 1944, the Futurist leadership disseminated linseed cakes infected with anthrax spores onto the fields of this internal enemy, wiping out the majority of the country's cattle and causing the deaths of millions of Meᵹelaneſe citizens, to no avail - by 1945, the resistance had prevailed, and Meᵹelan had suffered catastrophic losses in population, with almost 70% of its adult male population having died.

Modern day

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The popular Isa bubble car

Resistance to the Futurist regime started as soon as Grolli took power, beginning in those rural districts that had been ruled through direct democracy since the Middle Ages; their advance into the rest of the country lasted decades, and the transition of power from the Futurist institutions to those of the resistance in the liberated areas was just as gradual: the resistance intentionally maintained the structure of the previous political bodies, until they had been weakened enough that the parallel bodies they had set up could replace the previous order entirely.

Said institutions were patterned after the communalist, mutualist institutions that had held their districts of origin together since the Middle Ages, updated for the 20th century with the help of anarchist and socialist dissidents: while the reckless and those who favored sabotage were killed or imprisoned, those who had taken advantage of the gray areas where organization was not forbidden - the ones that used education, working conditions and purely local injustices as organizing principles - were able to survive and to grow in numbers and depth.

Francesco Galli, a Patarine bishop, was responsible for drawing together the disparate experiences of the various cooperatives and friendly societies of the country into a coherent political ideology which specifically advocated widespread private ownership of housing and control of industry through owner-operated small businesses and worker-controlled cooperatives, attracting many former radical socialists who had become disillusioned with socialism after the authoritarian CPM period.

The Communitas that emerged from the ashes of the war was therefore a country ruled through communalist and mutualist institutions, and voting was replaced by direct democracy, with sortition replacing direct democracy whenever or wherever direct democracy was not feasible or possible; the Meᵹelaneſe fought food shortages by growing vegetables on any available patch of land, and by creating enclaves in the burned rural and ruined urban districts characterized by subsistence agriculture, home preservation of food, and the small scale production of textiles, clothing, and craftwork for household use or sale.

The country enjoyed prolonged economic growth beginning in the early 1950s; just as the resistance had spread from a few pockets of dissent to the rest of Meᵹelan through a calculated, slow process taking several decades, said enclaves spread from a few pockets of arable land to the rest of Meᵹelan through a campaign of reclamation, reconstruction and resettlement of the country that took several decades, but that created opportunities for the survivors of the war and their descendants, as well as intense socio-political and socio-cultural change. This process of reclamation, reconstruction and resettlement was helped by the country's accession into the Common Sphere in 1957.

From the late 1960s until the late 1980s, just like neighbouring Akashi, Meᵹelan experienced economic crisis as well as social and political turmoil. This period saw the rise and fall of the Ligéra, a kind of banditry whose members were often unemployed people who resorted to crime to survive, or artisans who sought in crime a way to supplement their income; because of this, and because bandits and cops often came from the same social milieu, they avoided violence, and tried as much as possible not to hurt anyone: in fact, the numerous robberies, kidnappings and murders of Osvaldo Costantini in the 1970s resulted in the Ligéra being officially disbanded by its own members.

Eventually, the nation recovered its economic growth - albeit at a slower pace than before - thanks to a development model characterised by strong export-oriented entrepreneurship in traditional economic sectors and close social cohesion, eventually resulting in the growth of the services sector and in the deepening of cultural and economical relationships with other countries in Tyran. As of today, Meᵹelan has gone 25 years without a recession.

Geography

Meᵹelan covers a surface area of 34,112.37 km2, and is characterised by the presence of three distinct belts: a western mountainous belt, a central piedmont area of mostly pebbly soils of alluvial origin, and a plain region in the easternmost part of the country, dotted by spring waters rising from impermeable ground. Mountains cover 40.5% of Meᵹelan's surface area, plains make up 47.0% of it, while the remaining 12.4% of the country's territory is hilly and rolling.

Flora and fauna

In the plains, intensively cultivated for centuries, little of the original environment remains. The most commons trees are elm, alder, sycamore, poplar, willow and hornbeam. Around the lakes in the foothills, however, grow olive trees, cypresses and larches, as well as varieties of subtropical flora such as magnolias, azaleas, and acacias. Numerous species of endemic flora include some kinds of saxifrage and garlic, groundsels bellflowers and cottony bellflowers.

Meᵹelan counts many protected areas with typically alpine wildlife, such as red deer, roe deer, ibex, chamois, foxes, ermine and golden eagles.

Climate

Meᵹelan has a wide array of climates, due to local variances in elevation and proximity to inland water basins; the climate of the country is mainly humid subtropical, especially in the plains, and the winter season is normally long, rainy and rather cold. The foothills are characterised by an oceanic climate, and numerous lakes exercise a mitigating influence, allowing the cultivation of typically Mediterranean crops.

In the hills and mountains, the climate is humid continental, ad while in the valleys it is relatively mild, above 1,500 metres it can be severely cold, with copious snowfalls.

Politics

The Meᵹelaneſe state is united not by a single pact, but by overlapping pacts and bilateral treaties between members; the parties generally agree to preserve the peace, aid in military endeavours and arbitrate disputes. These pacts and treaties are founded on the principle of subsidiarity, and each higher body only exists to fulfill those needs that cannot be sufficiently met by the lower body. This has resulted in a situation of de facto asymmetric federalism: the different constituent bodies of the Meᵹelaneſe state possess different powers, as detailed by each pact and treaty, and the division of powers between these bodies is not symmetric, although they have the same constitutional status.

Legislature

The Meᵹelaneſe regard elections as inherently aristocratic, since only those with money and status can win; to the Meᵹelaneſe, selection by lot is an essential feature of democracy, as are the principles of isonomia, the equal right of all citizens to exercise their political rights, and isegoria, the equal right of all citizens to be heard, speak and make proposals. For this reason, in the lower house of the country's legislature - the Council of Nine Hundred - the functions and powers of lawmaking are divided among multiple bodies whose members are selected by lot among interested people; through sortition, all citizens who wish have an equal chance and high likelihood of serving in public office.

The Agenda Sub-council is made up of 150 paid volunteers selected by lot; they serve 3-year terms, with one third of members replaced each year, but they are not allowed to serve consecutive terms. The Agenda Council creates and updates a list of issue areas; then, it decides which topics in each area need new laws written, or which existing laws need changing - but doesn’t draft bills or vote on them.

The Interest Panels are made up of 12 unpaid volunteers each; they only serve long enough to draft a bill, but can serve consecutive terms. There is one Interest Panel for each issue or topic highlighted by the Agenda Council, and their duty is to produce one draft bill for each of those issues and topics; the panels can either be formed by lot or be self organized: self-selection at the level of the Interest Panels allows experts who would be unelectable (due to their appearance, class, personality, or other traits) to contribute to governance.

The Review Panels are made up of a total of 150 paid individuals selected by lot out of all the country's adult citizens; those who accept to serve are then split according to issue areas; they serve 3-year terms, with one third of members replaced each year, but they are not allowed to serve consecutive terms. They don’t choose what issue area they will be assigned to, in order to avoid possible domination of the panels by special interests, and their duty is to review draft bills from Interest Panels, amend and combine bills, and produce final proposed bills that will go to a vote - but they don’t initiate bills or cast the final votes.

The Policy Juries are made up of a total of 400 paid individuals selected by lot out of all the country's adult citizens, to be as statistically representative of the whole people as possible; they are then split according to the number of bills. Jury service is nominally mandatory, though with reasonable hardship excuses. Each Policy Jury hears pro and con presentations about one bill, and makes the final decision, in a week or less - but the members don’t set agendas or write bills.

The Rules Sub-council is made up of 50 paid volunteers selected by lot out of all those who have previously served in the legislature; they serve 3-year terms, with one third of members replaced each year, but they are not allowed to serve consecutive terms. The Rules Sub-council handles work that is not part of making laws, but that is about the lawmaking process - for example, deciding the procedural and ethics rules to be used by the other bodies.

The Oversight Sub-council is made up of 20 paid volunteers selected by lot; they serve 3-year terms, with one third of members replaced each year, but they are not allowed to serve consecutive terms. This body handles oversight of the lawmaking process, including the work of support staff. It also evaluates implementation of laws by the executive.

The upper house of the country's legislature - the Council of Credenza - is instead tasked with the implementation and preservation of direct democracy: abrogative, confirmative and legislative referenda, petitions, popular initiatives and recall elections are all present in Meᵹelan; the General Council, made up of 150 paid volunteers selected by lot out of all those who have previously served in the legislature, has as its only duty to regulate and oversee all these processes.

These legislative bodies are assisted by a permanent support staff for tasks such as researching issues, setting up testimony from experts and members of affected groups, documentation of deliberations and actions, and providing technical support for electronic communications.

Executive

The executive of Meᵹelan is founded on the principle of collegiality; there are two people in each position of the executive - dividing power and responsibilities among several people, both to prevent the rise of authoritarian personalities and to ensure more productive members of the executive.

The chief executive and their deputy - the Prior and the Vice Prior - are appointed by a Hiring Panel whose members are randomly selected from the citizenry; they serve as long as necessary to make a hiring decision, and then disband. If someone is chosen and they don't want to serve, they can opt out and be replaced by another randomly selected person. The chief executive is primarily an administrator and a policy advisor, not a policy maker; most policy decisions are made by the legislature instead.

The Prior then appoints Meᵹelan's department heads and their deputies, but these appointments require review and confirmation by other randomly selected, one-time Hiring Panels; while chief executives and department heads can be removed from office at any time, there are no term limits, and good executives can serve for decades.

In order to hold the executive accountable, a randomly selected Performance Review Panel periodically reviews the performance of the chief executive, and similar panels review the performance of each department head; if a Performance Review Panel initiates a firing procedure, a randomly selected Accountability Jury hears the arguments, weighs the evidence, and makes the final decision.

There are 6 government departments in Meᵹelan, and each one is headed by a minister and their deputy.

Portfolio Minister Deputy Portfolio Minister Deputy
Premier
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Prior
Giuseppina Gabrielli
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Vice Prior
Luisa Bianchi
Minister of
Home Affairs
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Consul
Leonardo Rocco
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Vice Consul
Silvio Musati
Minister of
Foreign Affairs
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Tribune
Anna Greghi
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Vice Tribune
Costantina Illia
Minister of Defence
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Praetor
Antonietta Scolari
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Vice Praetor
Wanda Patelli
Minister of Justice
File:MGLNOMB150.png
Quaestor
Giacomo Omboni
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Vice Quaestor
Silvio Dall'Oglio
Minister of Finance
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Censor
Giovanni Capra
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Vice Censor
Federico Martinelli

Judiciary

Legal pluralism - the existence of multiple legal systems within one (human) population and/or geographic area - is at the heart of the judiciary of Meᵹelan; each of the vast number of political and social units in Meᵹelan can interpret and apply the law. Law in Meᵹelan can be subdivided into two broad subcategories:

  • Customary law, developed organically over extended periods of time; has no single known origin.
  • Privately produced law, fully developed in accordance with the intentions of known parties.

If the defendant and the plaintiff in a trial fall under different jurisdictions, the law of the defendant takes precedence; a 27-member Senate acts as the country's supreme court, whose decisions are not subject to further review by any other court. Meᵹelaneſe legal proceedings are informal, and there is no professional legal class - lay people are instead chosen to adjudicate, through a process of selection by lot and replacement identical to that employed by the sub-councils of the legislature, and the courts decide by majority vote.

Government finance

Government is funded entirely on a voluntary basis: the Communitas and all other subdivisions in the country are denied any powers of taxation, and can only request money from the subdivisions they are above of: the Communitas to the states, the states to the cities and shires, those to the civil parishes and quarters, those to the hamlets and wards, those to the neighbourhoods and the neighbourhoods to the families.

The responsibility for tax revenue collection in Meᵹelan is assigned to private citizens or groups, and each neighbourhood is able to select its source of revenue; land value taxes and property taxes are often used.

Moreover, businesses which are sole proprietors, crafts, or small independent farms are not taxed at all; businesses from two to ten employees pay 5%; ten to fifty employees, 10%; fifty to one hundred, 20%; one hundred to five hundred, 40%; five hundred on up, 80%; and so forth. Taxation on larger businesses grows exponentially in relation to the size of the business, to the point where businesses which are too large have to devolve themselves into multiple smaller businesses, to avoid being taxed out of existence.

Foreign relations

Traditionally, Meᵹelan avoids alliances that might entail military, political, or direct economic action; its accession to the Common Sphere in 1957 is the exception that proves the rule, in that it was a necessity dictated by the need to rebuild the country after the Great War. The country has especially close ties to Cacerta, due to the cultural and geographical closeness of both countries, and Gylias, due to a long history of cultural and social exchanges - often taking place through Alscia - since the advent of the Age of Discovery and the Age of Sail.

Meᵹelan maintains diplomatic relations with almost all other countries as well, and has historically served as an intermediary between other states.

Military

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A Meᵹelaneſe platoon

The Meᵹelaneſe armed forces are composed mostly of conscripts, male and female citizens aged from 20 to 34 (in special cases up to 50) years. Men and women born in the country usually receive military conscription orders for training at the age of 18; for those found unsuited, and for those not willing to serve in the military, various forms of alternative service exist.

The structure of the Meᵹelaneſe militia system stipulates that the soldiers keep their issued equipment, including all personal weapons, at home; gun politics in Meᵹelan are unique in Tyran in that the ratio of civilian guns per capita is of 39.1 guns every 100 people.

Within the Communitas, each state is responsible for maintaining certain units - a contingent of 2% of their population - to be put at the disposal of the country as a whole in case of conflict. When operating together, the units are known as the Citizens' Defence Force. In peacetime, the armed forces are led by the Praetor - the Minister of Defence - while in times of crisis or war, a Dictator is appointed; the rank is distinct and particular, as it is associated exclusively with wartime fighting or a national crisis due to wartime fighting among the neighbours on the border.

Controversially, Meᵹelaneſe citizens tend to be overrepresented in private military companies providing armed combat or security services for financial gain, both as employees and as employers, and Meᵹelaneſe firearms manufacturing companies have supplied weapons for every major war in Tyran since the late Middle Ages and the early modern period.

Law enforcement and crime

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A local militia in western Meᵹelan

Law enforcement in Meᵹelan is primarily the responsibility of peacekeeping associations of armed individuals and protective municipal leagues, with the national gendarmerie providing broader services.

The former evolved from medieval origins, and work as local militias to protect the towns they come from; the latter are a military component with jurisdiction in civil law enforcement, and are therefore a branch of the armed forces responsible for internal security, with additional duties as a military police for the armed forces. The members of the gendarmerie are often nicknamed remolazzit, from the local name of a species of turnip, due to the colours of their uniform: green and white, with the first being prevalent.

In spite of high rates of civilian gun ownership, Meᵹelan still has one of the lowest crime rates in Tyran with a murder rate of 0-1,5 per year; the yearly number of break-ins and cases of theft are below 500 for the entire country; in Meᵹelaneſe law, the death penalty is absent, but criminals can be withdrawn all legal protection, so that anyone is legally empowered to persecute or kill them.

Administrative divisions

Meᵹelan is subdivided into 10 states; they have a high degree of independence. The states' cities are further subdivided into quarters, that are subdivided into wards; the states' rural areas - the shires - are further subdivided into civil parishes, that are subdivided into hamlets.

Below the hamlet and the ward, there are neighbourhoods, and then there is the family: in accordance with the aforementioned principle of subsidiarity, higher orders of communities in a society only exist to fulfill social needs that cannot be sufficiently met by the family; therefore, individual families in Meᵹelan can enter pacts and sign treaties with each other, if they belong to the same hamlet or ward, and the hamlet or ward in which they reside.

The country has no fixed capital; the executive, judiciary and legislative branches of the Meᵹelaneſe government are hosted in three different state capitals, where they reside for 3 years; each year, one branch of the Meᵹelaneſe government moves to another state capital, through a process of selection by lot and replacement identical to that employed by the sub-councils of the legislature and by the Senate.

States

Meᵹelan consists of 10 states; they are governed by institutions not unlike those of the Communitas itself.

Code State Code State
      
AB
Alba
      
CO
Coloniola
      
AT
Altilia
      
LA
Laudicia
      
AR
Aria
      
MO
Mosa
      
BA
Barra
      
PA
Papilia
      
BR
Brimonia
      
VI
Virgilia

Demographics

Meᵹelan has 5,136,854 inhabitants. Resident foreigners make up 13.8% of the population. Cacertans are the largest single group of foreigners, with 15.6% of total foreign population, followed closely by Gylians (15.2%), immigrants from Akashi (12.7%), Acrea (5.6%), Syara (5.3%), Æsthurlavaj (3.8%), Nordkrusen (3.7%), and Ruvelka (2%); around 10% of the Gylian citizens belong to the Ŋej ethnic group.

Citizenship is not granted at birth; those descended from two Meᵹelaneſe parents are granted citizenship when they have completed a period of civil service or military service, while those descended from one Meᵹelaneſe parent and a foreign parent or two foreign parents have to demonstrate that they are well integrated, familiar with life in Meᵹelan, and have both oral and written competence in one of the national languages of Meᵹelan, in addition to completing a period of civil service or military service.

Meᵹelaneſe nationals are citizens of their neighbourhood of origin, their hamlet/ward of origin, their civil parish/quarter of origin, their city/shire of origin and the Communitas, in this order; the civil and political rights of the citizens take this into account - it is not possible for a citizen of Meᵹelan to hold office in a subdivision they do not reside in.

Urbanisation

Only 17.3% of the population of Meᵹelan lives in urban areas, since it is spread across most of the country, and industrialisation has been remarkably decentralised; the country has therefore maintained quite a viable rural culture. Large, medium and small towns are complementary, resulting in a coherent economic and cultural sphere that covers almost 90% of the population - the importance of the country's urban areas is therefore stronger than their number of inhabitants suggests.

Largest towns

Rank Name State Population Rank Name State Population
120px
1
Alba
Alba
267,621
7
Coloniola
Coloniola
31,260
120px
120px
2
Altilia
Altilia
56,878
8
Laudicia
Laudicia
26,054
120px
120px
3
Barra
Barra
44,765
9
Aria
Aria
25,144
120px
120px
4
Brimonia
Brimonia
43,614
10
Modicia
Alba
24,499
120px
120px
5
Papilia
Papilia
33,965
11
Mosa
Mosa
15,975
120px
120px
6
Virgilia
Virgilia
33,783
12
Casale
Brimonia
12,738
120px

Languages

Meᵹelan has five national languages: mainly Insubric in the west, Orobic in the east, and Emilian in the south; The fourth and fifth national languages, Alemannish and Ladin, are spoken locally in a few valleys in the north. Aside from the official forms of their respective languages, the five linguistic regions of Meᵹelan also have their local dialectal forms.

The language of instruction and government is Tuscan, but the various dialects are used in newspapers, television, and radio, are used as everyday languages, and learning one of the other national languages at school is compulsory for all Meᵹelaneſe pupils.

Religion

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Modern Paganism in Meᵹelan

Religion has never played an important role on the political or ideological battlefield of Meᵹelan; ever since the forced Christianization of the country by the crusaders of Nordkrusen, the Meᵹelaneſe people have been historically characterised as tolerant and even indifferent towards religion; the Futurist policy of state atheism further broke the chain of religious traditions in most Meᵹelaneſe families.

According to the 2019 census, 34.9% of the population stated they had no religion.

Christianity in Meᵹelan is traditionally divided into three different confessions: the Dulcinians, the Guglielmites and the Patarines. All three were born as heresies of the Catholic Church, and their leaders defied the rich, secular, aristocratic landowners and the simoniacal and nicolaitan clergy, seen as tools of Nordkrusen. Today, 32.1% of the population adheres to these churches.

Since the fall of the Futurist regime, there has been a revival and spread of new religious groups and alternative spiritualities; these religious movements are diverse, and no single set of beliefs, practices or texts are shared by them all. Many follow a spirituality which they accept as being entirely modern, while others attempt to reconstruct or revive the indigenous, ethnic religion as found in historical and folkloric sources as accurately as possible. 29.4% of the population currently practices these faiths.

A small minority - 3.6% of the population - follows other religions, notably Meᵹelaneſe Jews and the descendants of refugees from Gylias.

Family structure

Meᵹelan has a marriage rate of 3.1 marriages per 1,000 inhabitants, and 73% of births were to unmarried women; abortion is legal throughout the country, and the teenage birth rate is of 5.4 children per 1000 women. The total fertility rate is of 1.5 births per 1000 women, but adoption is common and relatively easy from a legal point of view. Same-sex marriage is legal nationwide, and it is also legal for same-sex couples to adopt. Polygamy, on the other hand, is illegal.

The basic family unit in Meᵹelan is the extended family - a family that extends beyond the nuclear family, consisting of parents like father, mother, and their children, aunts, uncles, and cousins, all living in the same household; child care responsibilities are shared between all members of the family: male relatives help in raising their children and other children, and the workload is shared among the members of the family in the same way.

To a large extent, individual families handle their own internal affairs; it is not unheard of for especially prominent families to be associated with a certain district, and for the heads of those families - usually, their oldest surviving member, whether male or female - to exercise a kind of authority over that area.

Health

The Meᵹelaneſe state does not have a universal public healthcare system; however, medical professionals in Meᵹelan can form guilds with the power to grant various licenses. They are the sole judges of the qualifications required, and they set the practice standards and prices; the guilds can establish their own clinics, their own training and education programs, their own pharmacies, labs, administrative structures, and whatever else is necessary to medical practice.

These guilds treat people for a fixed annual fee, and are required to devote a certain amount of their resources to free or low-cost care for the impoverished or indigent; the duty of qualifying people as eligible for such reduced-cost treatment falls to government institutions, that can also pay a part or all of the cost of such care.

Since the guilds are the sole judges of the qualifications and practices of its members, there is a great diversity of practical approaches; however, the guilds are also responsible for the competence and good conduct of their members - that is to say, when a patient has a complaint, they sue not the doctor, but the guild - and outright quackery is forbidden.

In 2019, life expectancy at birth was 80.9 years for men and 85.0 years for women.

Economy

Meᵹelan has a major advanced distributist mixed economy, in which the ownership of the means of production is spread as widely as possible among the general populace, rather than being centralised under the control of the state or a few large businesses or wealthy private individuals.

Owners of small productive property are grouped into guilds, federations of autonomous workshops, where the owners - the masters - normally make all decisions and establish the requirements for promotion from the lower ranks - journeymen or hired helpers, and apprentices; however, property and equipment can also be co-owned by local communities. Guilds normally forbid overtime work after dark and sometimes limit the number of dependents a master can employ; this also serves to maintain substantial equality among masters and to prevent overexpansion of the craft.

Guilds take on many of the subsidiary functions usually performed by government, such as pensions and health insurance, they own their own industrial banks or credit unions to provide financial services to guild members and their families - especially financing for those starting out in the field - and they act as trade associations to represent the trade to outside interested parties; these rights are however dependent on the discharge of social obligations in the form of sourcing, training and living wages.

Guilds have their chief loci of activities in one particular city or district, but, depending on the industry, the technology employed, source of raw materials, et cetera, there also are regional and national federations. These federations of local guilds are also the first place in which disputes between guilds are adjudicated, with appeal to civil courts as a last resort.

The national currency of Meᵹelan is the scudo (𐌑); it is subdivided into 6 lire, each of 20 soldi or 240 denari.

Primary sector

File:MGLNCOUPIC.jpeg
A traditional square-yarded farm

Fields, farms and woods in Meᵹelan are either owned by small local family farmers, or are under the common ownership of individual neighbourhoods; because of this, the agricultural sector of Meᵹelan, even though it is among the most productive in Tyran, is still characterised by an intensive use of labour rather than capital.

Rural Meᵹelaneſe villages are characterized by the presence of square-yarded farms acting as isolated, semi-autonomous settlements with sometimes as much as one hundred inhabitants, including public buildings such as churches, inns, and schools. Farms located close enough to larger urban areas and cities specialize in cultivating fresh, perishable vegetables, that are very profitable in urban markets.

The productivity of agriculture is enhanced by a well-developed use of fertilisers and the traditional abundance of water, boosted since the Middle Ages by the construction of a wide net of irrigation systems. Lower plains are characterised by fodder crops, which are mowed up to eight times a year, cereals - rice, wheat and maise - and sugar beet. Productions of the higher plains include cereals, vegetables, fruit trees and mulberries, while the higher areas produce fruit and wine. Cattle, pigs and sheep are also raised.

Moreover, sericulture has been an important cottage industry in Meᵹelan ever since the 12th century.

Secondary sector

File:MGLNFACPIC.jpeg
Young workers in a co-op

The industry of Meᵹelan is especially made of small and medium-sized businesses, which are active in several sectors: food products, wood and furniture, leather and footwear, textiles and clothing, gold jewelry, but also chemistry, metal-mechanics and electronics. Production is decentralized, and fulfilled through owner-operated small businesses and worker-controlled cooperatives under the aegis of the guilds.

The country's secondary sector is therefore characterised by a smaller number of global multinational corporations than other economies of comparable size and a large number of dynamic small and medium-sized enterprises that are often focused on the export of niche market and luxury products; even though it is less capable to compete on quantity, it is nonetheless capable of facing the competition from economies based on lower labour costs with higher quality products.

Meᵹelan is also a center for the manufacture of weapons, and Meᵹelaneſe firearms are used throughout Tyran for a variety of civilian, law enforcement, and military purposes.

Tertiary sector

Meᵹelan's development has been marked by the growth of the services sector since the 1980s, and in particular by the growth of innovative activities in the sector of services to enterprises and in credit and financial services. Enforcement of interest-rate contracts - usury - is not legal, and credit unions - financial cooperatives controlled by their members - have largely replaced the private bank system.

Meᵹelan has low tax rates by Western World standards, and a strong cooperative sector, with the largest share of the population employed by a cooperative in Tyran outside Gylias. Therefore, the duties of the public sector in Meᵹelan are often carried out through outsourcing, either to non-governmental organizations or privately owned businesses.

Widespread protectionism limits the country's ability to attract multinational companies from abroad, but the country has nonetheless been able to become a major world fashion centre, with the international fashion business having become a significant employer in Meᵹelan. Tourism, too, is an increasingly important part of the country's economy.

Education and science

File:MGLNSCHPIC.jpeg
A school in the state of Coloniola

Education in Meᵹelan is very diverse because the authority for the school system is delegated to the states; typically, the pupils' parents, as a body, own primary and secondary schools, running them as charities or co-operatives for the benefit of the children, free of government control. Just over 2% of children are homeschooled.

Universities, on the other hand, are actual guilds owned and run by groups of teachers and students; classes are taught wherever space is available, even in churches and homes - since universities are not understood as a physical space, but as a collection of individuals banded together as a universitas.

The biggest universities, however, rent, buy or construct buildings specifically for the purposes of teaching, and it is also characteristic of teachers and scholars to move around: universities often compete to secure the best and most popular teachers, and popular teachers often bring students with them.

Through the centuries, Meᵹelaneſe citizens have made important contributions to a variety of fields: Anna Pinottini (1718-1799) was the first woman to write a mathematics handbook and the first woman appointed as a mathematics professor at a university; Filippo Inzaghi (1745-1827) is credited as the inventor of the electric battery and the discoverer of methane; Benedetto Rozzo (1811-1885) created a prototype typewriter that let the user see the writing as it was typed. Scientific research and development remains important in Meᵹelaneſe universities, with many establishing science parks to facilitate production and co-operation with industry.

Energy, infrastructure and environment

File:MGLNFERPIC.jpeg
A train in western Meᵹelan

The energy sector in Meᵹelan is, by its structure and its importance, typical of a developed country; apart from hydroelectricity and biomass, the country has few indigenous energy resources - renewable energy has therefore developed rapidly over the past decade, to provide the country a means to lessen its historical dependency on imported fuels.

All Meᵹelaneſe states have deployed some source of renewable energy, with hydroelectric power being the leading renewable energy source in terms of production; rapid growth in the deployment of solar, wind and bio energy in recent years led to Meᵹelan producing over 40% of its electricity from renewable sources, but an important share of electricity still comes from import, mainly from Acrea.

Meᵹelan has a well developed transport infrastructure - if an uneven one: Meᵹelan has the least dense road network and the most dense rail network in Tyran. Both of these are co-operatively managed and financed by permits as well as taxes. Meᵹelan has one of the best environmental records among nations in the developed world; the country is heavily active in recycling and anti-littering regulations and is one of the top recyclers in Tyran.

Culture

Historically, while the culture of Meᵹelan has been heavily influenced by that of neighboring Cacerta, it has nevertheless managed to develop a unique cultural identity that is distinct from its larger neighbor. Meᵹelaneſe culture can be seen to build upon a heritage of comparatively widespread egalitarianism out of practical reasons and the ideals of closeness to nature and self-sufficiency.

Meᵹelaneſe are known for their deep sense of community: this high level of social cohesion is attributed to the small size and homogeneity of the population, as well as to a long history of mutual aid and mutual defense, first expressed in the medieval commune and its guild system.

Architecture

File:MGLNALBPIC.png
A street in Alba

Meᵹelan has a very broad and diverse architectural style, and its cities are characterized by a highly diverse and eclectic range in architectural designs; Meᵹelaneſe modern and contemporary architecture can be however understood as a reaction against the kind of architecture advocated by prominent Futurist Political Party figure Antonio Panzilla - his ideal city was highly industrialized and mechanized, not a mass of individual buildings but a vast, multi-level, interconnected and integrated urban conurbation of vast monolithic skyscraper buildings with terraces, bridges and aerial walkways.

The demolition of significant portions of the historic centers of Meᵹelan's cities during the Futurist era was followed by their complete reconstruction after the Great War, that restored their pre-war appearance; subsequent development was influenced by New Classical architecture and New Urbanism, leading to the creation of walkable neighborhoods containing a wide range of housing and job types, built in visual styles that consciously echo the styles of previous architectural eras.

Urban agriculture, forestry and horticulture - legacies of the vegetable, fruit, and herb gardens planted at private residences and public parks during the Great War - are widespread in Meᵹelan, green walls and rooftop gardens being especially ubiquitous in the country's post-Futurist planned communities.

Visual art

The art of ancient Meᵹelan was characterized by overlapping Celtic, Romance and Germanic influences; during the Middle Ages, the country became one of the places of origin of the Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles. The 18th century and 19th century were characterized by the prevalence of foreign art styles, until the early 20th century saw the birth of two antithetical local art styles, Futurism and the Novecento.

The former was an artistic and social movement that emphasised speed, technology, youth, violence, and objects such as the car, the airplane, and the industrial city; the latter lacked a precise artistic programme and included artists of different styles and temperament, but rejected avant-garde art and wished to revive the tradition of large format history painting in the classical manner.

Literature

The first works of Meᵹelaneſe literature, often didactic or religious in nature, date back to the 13th century; the Renaissance, on the other hand, saw the birth of Meᵹelaneſe secular poetry, noted for its whimsical and bizarre character and for its references to Orphic theology, Kabbalah and natural magic. The 17th century was characterized by the work of several playwrights, but Meᵹelaneſe literature would have its golden age in the 19th century instead, with the creative and literary peak of poetry and theatre and the birth of the Meᵹelaneſe novel.

The 19th century was also known for the rise and fall of the Scapigliatura - a movement that first developed through literary cenacles which met in taverns and cafes, whose members attracted attention and scandalized the more conservative circles of the country with many pamphlets, journals and magazines that challenged the status quo artistically, socially and politically - indeed, a wing of the movement became politically active, and was central to the development of both the socialist and anarchist movements. They were also famous for erasing any difference between art and life, and for often recurring to the aid of alcohol and drugs.

Another genre that reached its peak in the 19th century is that of the bosinada - a traditional, popular poetic genre featuring works that were usually satirical in content, sometimes explicitly designed to hold someone up to ridicule or to debunk certain social habits or circumstances, written or printed on sheets of paper and recited by story-tellers rather than poets; in any case, they were the expression of the naive but sound good sense of the common people.

Modern literary figures in Meᵹelan are known for their blunt and frank delivery - even in the past, Meᵹelaneſe authors often regarded their language as more sincere and expressive than the literary and classicist one employed by their analogues in Cacerta, that treated Meᵹelaneſe authors and Meᵹelaneſe literature with contempt and scorn.

Society

Meᵹelaneſe society is characterized by a politically engaged citizenry, good social indicators and an absence of deep poverty, combined with relatively low income and slow growth. The safeguards against an oppressive centralized state that were established in the post-Futurist era, as well as local autonomy and cooperative economics, created a state where absolute poverty is nonexistent, but material prosperity is low, at least by the standards of a developed, First World country.

Due to the influence of Cathar theology - that had been adopted by the Patarines - Meᵹelan has historically been one of the most socially progressive countries in Tyran: due to the belief that men could be reincarnated as a women and vice versa, as well as the belief that procreation enslaved more angels in human bodies, gender is deemed meaningless, marriage is deemed worthless, contraception is regarded with approval, and there is no condemnation of any form of non-procreative sex.

Especially devout Meᵹelaneſe refuse to eat animal products - or anything that results from intercourse between two living beings; controversially, the belief that death represented an opportunity for the soul to escape the early Hell represented by the Earth resulted in suicide being viewed in a favorable light: the practice of endura - death through voluntary starvation - is alive in Meᵹelan even today, and the country is Tyran's principal destination for suicide tourism.

Meᵹelan has often been described as either the most conservative revolutionary nation in the world, or the most revolutionary conservative nation: Meᵹelan today is one of the countries most transformed by the emancipatory ideologies of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and by three traditions of reformist Christianity, but it also ranks high in religiosity and reverence for tradition; it has a rural avant-garde, but also an urban folk culture that is a vibrant work in progress rather than a fading survival among peasant-born migrants; it is among the most radically democratic countries in the world, but also one governed by a relatively narrow cultural consensus.

Clothing

File:MGLNCLOPIC.jpeg
A traditional Meᵹelaneſe dress

Meᵹelaneſe handicrafts are mainly based on materials available to local villages - mainly silk and wool; there has recently been a strong revival of interest in Meᵹelaneſe knitting, with young people knitting and wearing updated versions of old patterns emphasized by strong colours and bold patterns. This appears to be a reaction to the loss of traditional lifestyles, and as a way to maintain and assert cultural tradition in a rapidly-changing society. Many young people study and move abroad, and this helps them maintain cultural links with their specific Meᵹelaneſe heritage.

Meᵹelan has established a long history within the fields of fashion, textiles and design in general; the Meᵹelaneſe approach to fashion is devoted to sobriety, simplicity and the quality of the fabric. This results in a generally sombre and simple style, that is moderate in terms of decoration and ornamentation, and that emphasizes the quality of tailoring and the different fabrics and textiles.

Therefore, the country's numerous boutiques sell both elegant and everyday clothes, and Meᵹelaneſe designs are known for their practicality and simple elegance. The city of Alba became one of Tyran's capitals for ready-to-wear female and male fashion in the 1970s, and started to become an internationally successful and famous fashion capital towards the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Music

Music has always played an important role in Meᵹelaneſe culture, and holds an important position in society and in politics. The oldest surviving Meᵹelaneſe folk song dates back to the 5th century and, since then, the country has produced a rich repertoire of folk tunes, that can be subdivided into four categories: ancient epic ballads not unlike those found in Ossoria; religious and ritual music, born out of popular devotion; love songs; songs related to crafts, agricultural labour and, later, industrial labour; pub and tavern songs.

Opera became immensely popular in the 19th century, and was known across even the most rural sections of the country; most villages had occasional opera productions, and the genre also spread through itinerant ensembles and brass bands, that used instruments to perform operatic arias - with trombones or fluegelhorns for male vocal parts, and cornets for female parts.

The figures of the barbapedana and the turuteutela date back to the 19th century, too: they were buskers that toured pubs and taverns, entertaining diners and hosts with doggerels and songs; eventually, they started touring the first cafés-chantants as well, adopting a look not unlike that of the foreign chansonniers of that period.

Recorded popular music began in the late 19th century, with the first Meᵹelaneſe song festival taking place in 1891; popular performers were able to travel abroad, bringing back with them new styles and techniques: elements of harmony and melody from both jazz and blues began to be used in many popular songs, whose rhythms often came, on the other hand, from Latin dances like the tango, rumba and beguine.

After the Great War, singer-songwriters who focused on topics of social relevance, going as far as to sing about the criminal element and the underworld of the country, became quite popular; rock and roll, on the other hand, first broke into Meᵹelaneſe audiences with the arrival of Gylian band The Beaties in the early 1960s.

At first, Meᵹelaneſe rock acts and bands relied heavily on Gylian Sound influences, but in the mid-1960s musicians began exploring local musical roots, creating a local sound that came to be known as rock nazionale, or national rock; it was widely embraced by the youth and, since then, it has become part of the country's musical identity as much as traditional music.

The establishment of the Studio of Musical Phonology of Radio Alba in 1955, as a facility for experimental electronic contemporary classical music, would prove to be influential for the development of electronic music, first in Gylias and then in Meᵹelan itself, with the birth and eventual success of Italo disco in the 1970s, Eurobeat and Italo house in the 1980s, and Italo dance in the 1990s.

The Meᵹelaneſe dance music scene is driven by producers that incorporate synthesizers and drum machines into a mix of experimental music with a classic pop sensibility, and work alongside singers to write tracks for nightclubs; the songs produced are sold to the public, through various labels, only later.

Film scores, although they are secondary to the film, are often critically acclaimed and very popular in their own right.

Cinema

Meᵹelan is the birthplace of the art film, and the stylistic aspect of film has been the most important factor in the history of Meᵹelaneſe movies; in the early 1900s, artistic and epic films were made as adaptations of books or stage plays, while one of the first cinematic avant-garde movements, Futurism, took place in the country in the late 1910s. After a period of decline in the 1920s, the local film industry was revitalized in the 1930s with the arrival of sound film, but while Meᵹelan's Futurist government provided financial support for the nation's film industry, it also engaged in censorship, and thus many films produced in the late 1930s were propaganda films or comedies with glamorous backgrounds.

The post-Great War period saw the rise of the influential neorealist movement, that declined in the late 1950s in favor of lighter films; the Polenta Western - a genre featuring the tropes of its parent genre, but set in the anthrax-laden, post-apocalyptic scenario of those parts of Meᵹelan that had been hit the hardest by Futurist reprisals - achieved popularity in the mid-1960s, while erotic Meᵹelaneſe thrillers, produced largely in the 1970s, influenced the horror genre worldwide. During the 1980s and 1990s, several directors brought critical acclaim back to the country's cinema through glossy blockbusters and creative genre films.

Meᵹelaneſe films enjoy the greatest share of the domestic market, due to the existence of screen quotas requiring cinemas to show Meᵹelaneſe films at least 73 days a year, but Cacertan, Miranian and Gylian films are quite popular as well - indeed, joint ventures between Meᵹelaneſe production companies and their Common Sphere equivalents are frequent.

Sport

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Scherma tradizionale fighters

Sport plays an important role in Meᵹelaneſe culture; aside from traditional Meᵹelaneſe sports such as bocce, pallone, scherma tradizionale, several cue sports variants and the annual Palio athletic contests, Meᵹelan also has a rich tradition, good representation and many successes in other sports of foreign origin, both individual and team.

The several professional sports league organizations in Meᵹelan abide by rules and specifications dictated by the Athletes' Guild, rules and specifications that have resulted in a hybrid kind of league structure sharing characteristics of both the franchise and minor league system and the promotion and relegation system, and notable for the high level of influence of supporters' groups and supporters' trusts.

Folklore

Folklore plays a major role in Meᵹelan's cultural life: the country has a comparatively high number of processions, cavalcades, parades and other local festivals, nearly always with an originally religious or mythological background; interest in the local folklore was a result of national and international trends in the early 19th century, based on the belief that there was a relationship between language, religion, traditions, songs and stories and those who practiced them, and that common roots encouraged a country's inhabitants to share the concept of a modern nation.

Ancient customs dating back to pre-Christian times have survived in the form of dance, art, processions, rituals and games, especially in the relatively isolated west of the country; unlike in other parts of Tyran, healers and sorcerers have survived to the present day, largely due to the fact that inquisitorial prosecution of witches and magic users in Meᵹelan was first conducted by authorities close to the occupying forces of Nordkrusen, therefore turning witches into folk heroes.

Cuisine

The cuisine of Meᵹelan is heavily based upon ingredients like maize, rice, beef, pork, butter, and lard. In many aspects, Meᵹelaneſe cuisine has much in common with that of Acrea, being being more meat-based and buttery than the cuisine of neighbouring Cacerta and lacking the presence of tomato and olive oil typical of that cuisine.

In general, the cuisine of the various states of Meᵹelan can be united by the following traits: prevalence of rice and stuffed pasta on dry pasta, butter instead of olive oil for cooking, dishes with prolonged cooking, as well as widespread use of pork, milk and dairy products, and egg-based preparations.

Rice-based food is highly common throughout the country, and is often served with saffron or sausage; maize-based dishes are are also common parts of the national cuisine. The most ancient Meᵹelaneſe dish is however cuz, a stew of mature sheep meat cooked in its own lard.

Media

Meᵹelan has historically boasted the greatest number of newspaper titles published in proportion to its population and size; almost every city has at least one local newspaper, but the most influential one on a national level is the centrist Evening Courier.

The government exerts greater control over broadcast media than print media, especially due to finance and licensing: the Meᵹelaneſe Radio Broadcasting Corporation, or Società Meſiolaneſe di Radiodiffusione - commercially styled as SMR, and founded in 1931 - is charged with the production and broadcast of radio and television programmes. The SMR has a federally orientated structure, where several private radio and television stations cooperate to produce programs for the national channels.

Radio - and not television - is the most accessible and used medium in Meᵹelan, with 83% of Meᵹelaneſe citizens saying they get news and information from radio, a consequence of the relatively low cost of broadcasting and producing radio content; radio drama remains popular in Meᵹelan: the aforementioned factors allow radio stations to take chances with works by unknown writers, and the lack of visuals also enable fantastical settings and effects to be used in radio plays where the cost would be prohibitive for movies or television.

75,3% of the population uses the Internet; the Meᵹelaneſe Internet is decentralized, and founded on blockchain, cryptography, and peer-to-peer: to browse a website hosted through a Meᵹelaneſe protocol, each user connects directly to the website owner's computer with their own computer, using their PC to further strengthen and decentralize the files that make up said website - taking advantage of the same seeding processes that are used to download, host and upload torrent files.

Symbols

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A modern depiction of Belisama

The flag of Meᵹelan was officially adopted in 1998, but the device it depicts is an ancient one: the rising and setting sun indicates the beginning and the end of rural activities, while the moon, with its phases, is linked to pruning, sowing, rains, tides, and births. The national anthem of the country, on the other hand, is La bella Gigogin, a 19th century patriotic song based on several old folk tunes.

The national personifications of the Communitas are Domenico - a witty servant characterized by honesty, sincerity and a strong sense of justice - and his colleague and wife Francesca, cheerful and smiling, able to solve domestic problems thanks to her imagination, her good will, and her ability; they were created and popularized as characters of the 16th century Commedia dell'arte, an early form of professional theatre representing fixed social types and stock characters.

Another popular representation of the nation is the Gaulish goddess Belisama, later identified with Minerva and with Mary, the mother of Jesus; her name can be taken to translate to "the brightest one", and she was worshipped as the queen of light and heat; by extension, she was also known for her influence on those arts and crafts related to fire and, consequently, on craftsmanship as a whole.

A popular folk theory links the goddess to the solar device depicted on the national flag.

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