Asase Lewa

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Bahian Council Republic of Asase Lewa

Flag of Asase Lewa
Flag
Coat of arms of Asase Lewa
Coat of arms
Motto: "Subɔ Ameawo"
"Serve the People"
Screen Shot 2023-03-07 at 4.43.25 PM.png
Capital
and largest city
Edudzi Agyeman City
Official languagesAsalewan
Recognised national languagesAshana
Gundaya
Larong
Lokpa
Recognised regional languagesOver 100 Pygmy languages and dialects of the recognized languages
Ethnic groups
(2020)
41.2% Gundaya
17.6% Ashana
11.4% Lokpa
10.1% Larong
9.8% Anlo
9.9% other[a]
Demonym(s)Asalewan
GovernmentFederal hybrid socialist council republic with party-state elements
• Presidium of the Section of the Workers' International
List
  • Kwassi Kodjo (General Secretary of the Presidium)
  • Deputy General Secretary Name
  • General Name
  • General Name
  • General Name
  • General Name
  • General Name
  • Enitan Abayomi General Secretary of the Theoretical Department
  • Intellectual Name
  • Youth League Leader Name
  • Women's Federation Leader Name
  • Supreme Workers' Council GenSec Name
  • Supreme Workers' Council Deputy GenSec Name
  • CDR/Intelligence Officer Name
  • Kaakyire Peprah General Secretary of the International Department
• Presidium of the Supreme Workers' Council

  • General Secretary Ablà Koranten (General Secretary of the Presidium)
  • Deputy General Secretary Name
  • Name
  • Name
  • Name
  • Name
  • Name
  • Name
  • Name
  • Name
  • Name
  • Name
  • Name
  • Name
• General Secetary of the Section
Kwassi Kodjo
• General Secretary of the Supreme Workers' Council
Name
LegislatureSupreme Workers' Council
Independence from Estmere
• Independence
1951
• Formation of the Bahian People's Republic
May 1, 1953
• Formation of the Bahian Council Republic
May 1, 1969
Area
• Total
828,719.36 km2 (319,970.33 sq mi)
Population
• 2023 estimate
72,237,671
• 2020 census
69,420,396
• Density
87.17/km2 (225.8/sq mi)
GDP (PPP)2024 estimate
• Total
$1.016 trillion
• Per capita
$14,069
GDP (nominal)2024 estimate
• Total
$358.95 billion
• Per capita
$4,969
Gini (2023)21.5
low
HDI (2023)Increase 0.796
high
CurrencyAsalewan cedi (external)
Work point (internal) (ASC)
Driving sideleft
Calling code+963
Internet TLD.as

Asase Lewa, officially the Bahian Council Republic of Asase Lewa, is a socialist middle-income country located in northern Bahia and Coius in Kylaris, bordering Sabaw to the north, Tiwura to the south, and Nahrun to the southwest. The third-most populous country in Bahia after Yemet and Mabifia, the country has a population of 70 million, one-seventh of whom live in the capital and largest city of Edudzi Agyeman City.

Like the rest of Bahia, Asase Lewa is one of the oldest continuously-inhabited countries in the world. The country was largely governed according to the egalitarian, communalistic Sâretic system until the tenth and eleventh countries, when growing Irfanic influences throughout Bahia—artly because of Irfanic conquests of southern Bahia, but primarily because of substantial trade with Irfanic states in Rahelia—led to the development of the first recognizable states in the region, many according to the Houregic system. However, Asase Lewa itself largely avoided Irfanization and remained largely Fetishist until the Toubacterie. Furthermore, even after the development of Houregic states, Asase Lewa witnessed intense competition between state and stateless societies far after states became dominant in most of the world and even Bahia; the presence of stateless societies, supplementing Sâre with organizing principles such as secret societies, age sets, and the ojeṣẹbun system[b], was especially acute in the Asalewan Highlands, where roughly half the population lived before the twentieth century. The division between the Asalewan Lowlands, which boasted exceptional agricultural fertility and whose inhabitants frequently fled to the Highlands to avoid state control and associated issues such as forced labor, and the Asalewan Highlands, avoiding state development and whose inhabitants frequently raided or invaded the Lowlands whenever the Highlands suffered from overpopulation, remained a prominent feature of Asalewan society until the twentieth century.

A center, albeit not the most important one, of the Transvehemens slave trade, the Asalewan Lowlands became a major exporter of the cash crops coffee and palm oil, and later cocoa, spices, and above all sugar, in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. During and after the Bahian collapse, the Lowlands and an increasingly depopulated foothills and fringe between the Lowlands and Highlands were colonized during the Toubacterie in the nineteenth century. Except in majority-Ashana areas in northern Asase Lewa, the Toubacterie had a far more disruptive effect on Lowlander society than elsewhere in Bahia, as the colonial state reorganized Lowlander agriculture and economy for producing and exporting these cash crops under the Asalewan plantation system.

Alongside other Estmerish colonies, Asase Lewa achieved home rule in 1942 and then independence in 1951 under the conservative, pro-Estmere rule of Arko Kwarteng, who established a virtual single-party state by the late 1940s. However, Asase Lewa also saw far more radical anti-colonial movements than other Bahian states. The socialist Asalewan Section of the Workers' International successfully waged the Asalewan Revolution, a thirty-year revolutionary war which emerged victorious in 1953. In the 1950s and 1960s, the new state substantially reduced the Lowland-Highland divide by imposing state controls in Highland areas through collectivization, established a command economy that made significant progress in economic development, healthcare, and education, and achieved one of the largest reductions in economic inequality in history. However, the Section established an authoritarian political system, first under a tripatite power-sharing agreement and then single-party state, and presided over mass popular killings of dissidents and class enemies in the Nutiklɔdzo. In the 1960s, crisis triggered by the Sugar Crash and the collapse of the United Bahian Republic, which Asase Lewa was a member of, led Asalewan leader Edudzi Agyeman to launch the Protective-Corrective Revolution, which caused considerable chaos but eventually led to the establishment of a multi-party council republic, and the reorganization of the Asalewan economy under the framework of participatory economics and labor vouchers, supplemented by a large, generous welfare state and rationing-based subsidies for basic goods.

Commentators usually classify Asase Lewa as a hybrid regime and flawed democracy. Criticism of the socialist system is strictly prohibited and monitored by the Revolutionary Councilist Defence Committees, and the Section, which no longer participates in elections, retains significant power in Asalean society, most prominently the power to veto candidates, de facto total control over foreign policy, and close integration with the People's Revolutionary Army. From 1979 to 1984 and 2014 to 2016, military-backed self-coups led to mass expulsions of Section members and temporary direct Section control over the country, a legally-formalized state of exception ideologically justified through the doctrine of Perpetual-Cyclical Revolution. Nevertheless, elections are considered free and Asase Lewa retains a pluralistic political system, albeit one within the strict confines the Section imposes. Furthermore, the country has—during both colonial and socialist rule—boasted one of the wealthiest, most productive, and most diversified economies in the region, metrics supplemented since the Asalewan Revolution by comparatively high rankings on key metrics of human development such as literacy, life expectancy, infant mortality, and malnutrition, and by one of the most egalitarian distributions of wealth in the world. A member of the Association for International Socialism, the country is closely aligned with other socialist countries, particularly the Brown Sea Community, and is additionally a member of the Community of Nations, International Forum for Developing States, and Congress of Bahian States.

Etymology

Formerly named Odo by Estmerish colonial authorities after the Odo River (a tautological place name, as Odo means "river" in Gundaya), the country was renamed Asase Lewa by the Section of the Workers' International, or "beautiful land" in the two-most common languages of the country: "Asase" means land in Ashana and "Lewa" means beautiful in Gundaya.

History

Pre-colonial history

Colonial History

Asalewan Revolution

Independence and Revolutionary Victory

Bahian People's Republic and the Socialist Developmental State

Protective-Corrective Revolution

Bahian Council Republic

Geography

Lowland-Highland Divide

Climate

  • Highlands mostly tropical and subtropical rainforests
  • Lowlands a mixture of rainforests and savannahs
  • More arid further north in the country

Biodiversity

  • Lots of large mammals; one of the few remaining places where there are mountain gorillas

Deforestation and Reforestation

A reforestation campaign in Asase Lewa.

Asase Lewa is home to some of the most prominent and expansive examples of both deforestation and reforestation in the modern world. Though an estimated 90% of the country's land was covered by forest in 1800, its forest cover declined severely in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, going from an estimated 90% of the country's land in 1800 to 70% in 1900, 40% in 1950, and 30% in 1970. Most forests were felled to grow cash crop plantations, especially coffee, cocoa, and above all sugarcane plantations. To a lesser extent, trees were increasingly felled in the early twentieth century to produce charcoal. Deforestation peaked in th}e 1930s and 1940s, primarily thanks to the invention of the sugarcane harvester, reducing the need for labor and further accelerating sugarcane production. In addition to deforestation, the biodiversity of many existing forests, especially in the Asalewan Lowlands, severely decreased as forests became modified for the purpose of coffee and to a lesser extent palm oil monocultures.

Deforestation and environmental degradation continued after the Asalewan Revolution, with the government's developmental goals involving the continuing intensification of cash crop production and its mass construction of hydroelectric dams frequently resultling in substantial flooding of forested areas. However, deforestation slowed after the Revolution, and halted in the Asalewan Highlands, as the Revolution politically empowered Pygmies, whose livelihoods largely depended on forests and agitated for their protection and were the key supporters of the Revolution in Highland areas.

By the 1970s, the Protective-Corrective Revolution further empowered Pygmies and various other environmental activists against deforestation. In additional to this environmental activism, a number of factors reduced developmental pressures for deforestation: the discovery of oil and natural gas in Asase Lewa, along with industrialization, reduced the importance of cash crops to the Asalewan economy, widespread electrification and subsidization of domestically-produced fuels severely reduced demand for charcoal, substantial agricultural development associated with the increasing availability of fertilizer substantially increased cash crops' land productivity, and Asase Lewa sought to restrict sugar production following the international overproduction that led to the Sugar Crash. Furthermore, broad sections of Asalewan society, beyond just the Pygmy population, took increasing interest in forest protection thanks to fears of desertification and policymakers' attempts to promote ecotourism following advent of mass international tourism in the 1970s and 1980s.

The result of this confluence of increased Pygmy empowerment, reduced pressures for deforestation, and non-Pygmy support for forest protection was Asase Lewa's initiation of an early and ongoing reforestation campaign in the 1970s. This campaign has substantially increased Asase Lewa's forest cover in the past 50 years, with forests now covering approximately 50% of Asase Lewa's landmass, the highest level since the 1930s. Associated with this campaign of reforestation has been other environmental protection measures, including the creation of national parks, nature reserves, and severe restrictions on the hunting of endangered fauna, most famously megafauna that attract ecotourism such as mountain gorillas, Bahian elephants, and lions.

Government and politics

Officially, the Asalewan political system is structured according to Councilist and Nemtsovist-Tretyakist-Adelajist-Edudzist principles as a Council republic under the supervision of the Asalewan Section of the Workers' International. In accordance with Councilist principles, Asalewan adults directly participate in local Workers' Councils, which through an imperative mandate elect higher levels of representation until the national Supreme Workers' Council; these various levels of Workers' Councils control most aspects of Asalewan domestic policy. However, the Asalewan Section also exercises considerable control over the country's politics as it enjoys the right to veto candidates for political office and indirectly exercises great influence over the country's politics through its mass organizations and close links with the country's military and intelligentsia.

Based on these characteristics, observers such as the Valduvian political scientist Algirdas Jancius classified the Asalewan political system as "illiberal Councilism." Algirdas Jancius identified the Asalewan political system as sharing the core characteristics universal to most Council republics, such as the presence of Workers' Councils as the foundation of government, a socialist and participatory economy, a reliance on collective leadership, and an extensive tradition of mass politics and participatory democracy. Jancius identified this participatory-democratic tradition as exercised through mass membership in mass organizations and trade unions, direct participation in local-level Workers' Councils, and alternative participatory mechanisms such as extensive referenda on important national issues, and frequent usage of citizens' assemblies as a mechanism to consult the population on important matters.

However, Jancius also identified Asase Lewa's political system as distinctly illiberal, comparable to Councilist countries such as pre-coup Valduvia, post-Thaw Champania, and Lavana. Most prominently, Jancius cited the entrenched power of the Asalewan Section and the People's Revolutionary Army, and according limits on political pluralism, as evidence of Asase Lewa's illiberal political system and a fundamental limit of Asalewan democracy.

In addition to these entrenched institutions and according limitations on political pluralism, Jancius also identified the Asalewan political system as fundamentaly illiberal in that it identifies civic associations and Workers' Councils, rather than equally-represented atomized individuals, as the basic unit of the state and society. Whereas other council republics such as Lavana and Dezevau have introduced the liberal-democratic principle of direct election to their national legislature, Asase Lewa has maintained the traditional Councilist principle of indirect election of all levels of government beyond the immediate local level, in that way conceptualizing Workers' Councils, rather than individuals, as the basic unit of the state. The Asalewan Section's entrenched political power further strengthens the conception that individuals are not the basic unit of the Asalewan state and society, as seats in the Asalewan Section's Presidium and Central Committee are elected not through direct election by Section members, but through a corporatist system of representation balancing the Asalewan military, Section bureaucracy, the intelligentsia, mass organizations, and elected officials.

Moreover, other political observers—most notably the Estmerish Gary Carter—have further classified the Asalewan political system as a hybrid of a Council republic and a Southern democracy. Though principally identifying the Asalewan political system with other Council republics, Carter also identified Asase Lewa's political system as closely resembling countries classified as Southern democracies such as Senria and Shangea. In particular, Carter identified the entrenched power of the Asalewan Section and the People's Revolutionary Army, and according limits on political pluralism, as more characteristic of Southern democracies than most Council republics. Carter identified the Asalewan Section's ability to restrict candidates for public office and its strong influence over mass organizations, especially, as the most important factors limiting political pluralism; Carter also identified the clientelistic, depoliticized, and consensus-oriented political culture as a further limit on true political pluralism and very similar to most Southern democracies. However, most scholars, including Jancius, have rejected this argument, identifying Asase Lewa's extensive traditions of mass politics and participatory democracy, decentralization of power to Workers' Councils, and entrenched power of mass organizations and trade unions as countervailing forces to the Section bureaucracy and military, as counterarguments to comparisons between Asase Lewa and conventional Southern democracies.

Section of the Workers' International

Powers

The Congress of the Asalewan Section of the Workers' International in Edudzi Agyeman City.

The Asalewan Constitution states that the "Asalewan Section of the Workers' International shall play a leading role in politics, and and in the plitical development and education of the Asalewan masses, as defined by law and by latter sections of this Constitution." The Asalewan Section institutionalized's power in the country's politics reflects this principle; most notably, the Section enjoys the power to veto candidates for Workers' Councils if they do not support Asase Lewa's socialist and Councilist political system, or substantially challenge the Section's role within it. The power to veto candidates is nominally centralized in the Section Presidium, though in practice the Presidium frequently delegates the vetting of candidates to local Section branches and mass organizations, giving these local affiliates substantial political power.

Since the promulgation of the Bahian Council Republic in 1969, the Section has vetoed approximately 10% of all candidates for office, though the percentage of candidates that the Section vetoes has varied considerably by level of government and region, and over time. Historically, the Section has been much more likely to veto national rather than local-level candidates for offices and much more likely to veto candidates in the Highlands—particularly in Lokpaland—than in the Lowlands, particularly in Gundayaland, Anloland, and Edudzi Agyeman City. The percentage of candidates the Section has vetoed historically peaked at roughly 20% in the mid-1980s and mid-2010s, following the Psychological-Technological and Anti-Revisionist Revolutions respectively, and was historically lowest at roughly 5% in the 2000s, subsequent to the Lokpaland Peace Accords in 2000 during the Years of Reed.

In addition to the power to veto candidates, the Section enjoys the power, by a three-fourths vote of the Presidium, to declare periods of Cyclical Revolution, a legally formalized state of exception ideologically justified through the doctrine of Perpetual-Cyclical Revolution that grants the Section Presidium the power to rule by decree and institute martial law, superseeding the elected government; mass expulsions of dissident Section members also frequently occur during periods of Cyclical Revolution. In addition to the Anti-Tribal Revolution and Protective-Corrective Revolutions—periods in the history of the Bahian People's Republic that the Section officially recognizes as periods of Perpetual-Cyclical Revolution—since the transition to a council republic the Section recognizes two legally formalized periods of Cyclical Revolution, namely the Psychological-Technological Revolution, from 1981 to 1984, and the Anti-Revisionist Revolution, from 2014-2016. In accordance with the doctrine of Perpetual-Cyclical Revolution, periods of the Cyclical Revolution may not last more than three years and may not occur within a span of twenty-five years of one another.

In addition to these legally formalized powers, the Section also enjoys considerable informal power through its mass organizations, such as the Revolutionary Councilist Defence Committees, the All-Asalewan Women's Federation, Junior Workers' League, and the Pioneer Workers' League. These mass organizations, which over 90% of Asalewans are members of, exercise great influence in shaping public policy, mediating citizens' relationships to politics and mass politics, and expanding state capacity. The Section also enjoys especially links links to the country's military and to a lesser extent intelligentsia, formalized by granting leaders of these segments seats on its Presidium and Central Committee, and de facto control over Asase Lewa's foreign policy, with its International Department having far more employees than the elected government's Diplomatic Corps.

Structure

Kwassi Kodjo, the General Secretary of the Presidium of the Asalewan Section.

The Asalewan Section organizationally synthesizes democratic centralist, Councilist, and corporatist systems of organization. On most levels, the Section retains a democratic centralist and Councilist structure. In accordance with Councilist models of organization, members elect the primary party organization, with levels of organization electing the level above them up to the Section Congress through the Three Ups, Three Downs system. Decisionmaking on these levels is based on democratic centralism, allowing for open discussion on the basis of complete unity among members. The Section Congress is nominally the Section's highest decision-making body; in between sessions of the Congress, however, the Section vests power in the Section Presidium and Central Committee, which employ corporatist systems of representation. The Section reserves certain propotions of the Presidium and Central Committee seats for leaders of allied segments of Asalewan society, namely the military, intelligentsia, affiliated mass organizations, and elected officials.

Though the Section Congress is nominally the Section's highest decision-making body, the Section Presidium's decision-making power between Congress sessions, and broad-ranging powers over Asalewan society—including, crucially, its power to veto candidates and its power to declare periods of Cyclical Revolution—means that scholars usually classify it, not the Section Congress, as the Section's most powerful branch. Furthermore, because the Section Presidium is arguably the most powerful branch of the Section and is elected according to this corporatist system of representation, many if not all scholars classify the function of Section in Asalewan society as not merely an autonomous political party, either in the vein of other democratic centralist or Councilist Sections of the Workers' International or in the vein of the dominant parties in Southern democracies. Instead, these scholars classify it as primarily a corporatist decision-making body responsible for mediating and balancing different autonomus institutions within Asalewan society, such as the elected government, military, intelligentsia, and mass organizations.

In support of their argument, these scholars, especially, base their argument on the legalization of factions in the Section following the Protective-Corrective Revolution—allowing different institutions and interests to openly advocate for themselves—and on their analysis of the Section's mass organizations. Rather than classifying all of the Section's mass organizations are entirely subordinate to the Section leadership and bureaucracy, these scholars argue that the mass organizations exercise varying degrees of autonomy. Though these scholars largely classify the Section's youth and pioneer wings are basically subordinate to the Section bureaucracy, they also classify the Section's labor and peasant wings are de facto autonomous trade unions and interest groups, and the Women's Federation and Revolutionary Councilist Defence Committees as following the semi-autonomus, "power-sharing" model of party-state, "administered" mass organizations, simultaneously empowering the Section bureaucracy, the mass organizations' internal officials, and mass membership. These scholars argue that, when combined with the representation and autonomous power of the other institutions represented in the Section Presidium, namely the Section membership and bureaucracy, the Asalewan military, the intelligentsia, and the elected government, the Section's role is not so much to exercise power as an oligarchic institution as it is to arbitrate and balance various elite and mass interest groups.

Government

Ablá Koranten, the General Secretary of the Presidium of the Supreme Workers' Council.

Save for the supervision and institutionalized powers of the Section, Asase Lewa maintains the state structure of an orthodox council republic with especially strong participatory and direct-democratic traditions. All adult Asalewan citizens who are not incarcerated enjoy the right to participate in communal, neighborhood-level Workers' Councils that form the basis of the state; these Councils then elect each succeeding level of government until reaching the highest level of the state, the Supreme Workers' Council.

Many scholars, most notably Algirdas Jancius, have described the Asalewan councilist system as a "modified, socialist and illiberal version of subsidiarity," as Asase Lewa has an extensive political culture of decentralizing power to local levels counterbalanced by an extensive, centralized welfare state, participatory-economic model requiring extensive communication between lower and higher levels of government, and the institutionalized political power of a more centralized Asalewan Section and mass organizations wielding large influence and ensuring ideological orthodoxy.

Despite this extensive decentralization of power, the organizational structure of Councils at all levels is similar. At all levels, Councils delegate executive, day-to-day administration to an elected Presidium, organized according to directorial collective leadership; the Councils ultimately hold supremacy over the elected Presidium, and Councils meet frequently at all levels, ranging from monthly meeting at the immediate, local level, to lengthy legislative sessions at higher levels. At all levels, electors elect candidates according to a delegate model of representation, incorporating an imperative mandate and relatively low thresholds required to hold recall elections, if requiring a majority to recall any officeholder. However, there are some prominent organizational distinctions between the immedate, communal level and higher levels; most prominently, decisions and especially elections at the communal level have, since the Psychological-Technological Revolution, theoretically been held according to the secret ballot while higher levels conduct votes according to the open ballot. However, the extensive degree of public deliberation involved in decision-making, including at the communal levels, means that this notion of a secret ballot is tenuous in practice.

In addition to these orthodox Councilist characteristics, the Asalewan political system has gradually incorporated additional direct and participatory-democratic characteristics since its transition to a council republic. Most prominently, Asase Lewa has an extensive culture of public referenda on all levels of government. This referenda takes the forms both of legislatively-referred referenda, wherein the the state calls referenda voluntarily over contentious political issues and proposed laws, referenda usually proceeded by extensive public consultation; and through a modified, Council-based form of initiative through Workers' Councils, as a vote of one-twentieth of all direct, communal-level Workers' Councils to propose a law triggers a referendum on that proposed law. In addition to public consultations, Asalewan councils frequently convene advisory, sortition-based citizens' assemblies to consult on major legislation. Historically, the vast majority of successful referenda are legislatively-referred, thanks to an extensive political culture of submitting legislation on contentious topics to public vote and public consultations ensuring general consensus on the matter before it comes to a vote, whereas no such consensus is necessarily required in popular initiatives.

Asase Lewa's political culture has, since the Psychological-Technological Revolution, emphasized consensus decision-making and deliberative democracy. Councils elect committees and higher levels according to the consensus-oriented modified borda count, public consultation seeks to build consensus with regards to major legislation, and a prominent minority, if a minority, nonetheless, of communal-level councils conduct their meetings according to Witterite-based consensus. However, scholars have largely identified Asalewan consensus democracy as primarily exercised informally, rather than formally. While the Asalewan political culture, especially before the Anti-Revisionist Revolution, has since the 1980s historically emphasized building consensus, most Asalewan decisionmaking bodies—certainly at higher levels—do not empower one member, or a small group of members, to unilterally block legislation. For this reason, these scholars have argued that Asalewan consensus democracy is primarily an element of the country's political culture rather than a fundamental part of its political structure in the same way as the Asalewan Section, Council-based representation, or even referenda.

Politics

  • Divided between the Machete camp (more "hardline," descended from the radicals during the Protective-Corrective Revolution), the Reed camp (more "reformist," descended from the moderates during the Protective-Corrective Revolution), and the Molasses camp (pure pork-barrel)
  • Camps are comprised of more-organized groups that are for the most part clientelistic and non-ideological, support bases depend on who one's family supported during the Protective-Corrective Revolution
  • But more repoliticization since the Anti-Revisionist Revolutoin

Military

  • Mandatory military conscription from 18 to 19 and non-military conscriptio from 19 to 20
  • Military conscription used just as much as a way to install ideological conformity and national identity as for military purposes
  • Mandatory service in popular militias for all citizen aged 20 to 60 (Militias became an important part of counterinsurgency during the Lokpaland insurgency)
  • Between a brown and green-water navy
  • Stronk military has stronk influence over the Section and politics, closely aligned with the Section and sees itself as guardians of the political order like in Turkey

Foreign relations

Kwassi Kodjo, General Secretary of the Asalewan Section of the Workers' International, meeting with Victor Martynenko, the President of Chistovodia.

Since the Asalewan Revolution in 1953, Asalewan foreign policy has nominally been defined by the Three Principles as formulated by inaugural Foreign Minister Adelaja Ifedapo, namely, in descending order by priority, promoting Socialism and proletarian internationalism, promoting Pan-Bahianism, through both political unification or greater economic ties, and promoting anti-colonialism, initially by supporting anti-colonial movements and since political decolonization by supporting South-South cooperation and global economic development.

In this spirit of international socialism, Asase Lewa's closest allies have traditionally been other socialist countries, with the country having been a member of the Alliance of Emerging Socialist Economies until that organization's dissoloution and a full member of the Association for International Socialism since that organization's inception. While forging alliances with other socialist countries in the Global South—particularly the nations of the Brown Sea Community and the neighboring nation of Nahrun—carries a special ideological significance, Asase Lewa has also forged close ties with Global North socialist countries. Since the Asalewan Revolution, Chistovodia and Valduvia have been Asase Lewa's primary trading partners, with both nations importing Asalewan primary sector commodities, petroleum, and, increasingly, lower-value manufactured goods and exporting manufactured goods and manufacturing technologies}}. During the 1950s and 1960s, Tretyakist-era Chistovodia was Asase Lewa's primary trading partner and closest ally in the Global North, with the country providing substantial military and scientific aid to Asase Lewa; however, while the two countries maintain close ties today, the collapse of Tretyakism in Chistovodia and Asase Lewa's much greater proximity to Valduvia has resulted in Valduvia becoming a closer economic and political partner to Asase Lewa in the modern day.

Edudzi Agyeman meeting Zadavana Goube, the first Premier of Lavana.

In addition to an emphasis on ties with other socialist countries, Asalewan foreign policy has traditionally also emphasized support for socialist and left-wing political movements, primarily in Bahia itself. Despite the guiding principles for Asalewan foreign policy remaining nominally unchanged since the 1950s, however, most scholars have argued that post-revolutionary Asalewan foreign policy, especially as regarding left-wing Bahian movements, has substantially changed over time; during the 1950s and early 1960s, the Asalewan state was primarily focused on supporting broad-based anti-colonial, left-wing nationalist Pan-Bahian movements regardless of specific ideological orientation, with the immediate goal of pursuing political unification into the United Bahian Republic. Following the UBR's collapse, the 1964 and 1965 Rwzikiuran coups d'état, and the Protective-Corrective Revolution however, Asalewan foreign policy radicalized substantially. Influenced by Tretyakist theories of regime change and interventionism, the Asalewan state deemphasized support for more moderate Bahian socialist governments in favor of militarily supporting Councilist insurgencies throughout Bahia. Most prominently, this entailed support for the Nahrune People's Revolutionary Front, with Asalewan arms, training camps, and advisors propelling that organization to state control and influencing its addoption of Councilism; this also entailed support for the Tiwuran People's Union, the Front for the Liberation of East Rizealand, and direct military intervention in support of the Mabifian Democratic Republic during the Second Mabifian Civil War.

Following the Recession of 1980 and the collapse of Councilism and socialism throughout much of Bahia and Coius, however, Asalewan foreign policy further transformed during the Psychological-Technological Revolution. In addition to a reemphasis on support for broad-based left-wing Bahian parties beyond just Councilist ones—exemplified by the Asalewan Section founding the broad-based All-Bahian People's Revolutionary Union in 1981—most observers have described Asalewan foreign policy as becoming significantly more less interventionist. In contrast to the highly interventionist foreign policy Asalewan leaders practiced throughout the 1960s and 1970s, since 1981 the People's Revolutionary Army has intervened abroad on only two occasions, namely in support of the Tiwuran Alliance of Peoples during the Second Tiwuran Civil War in 1992, and in support of the Nahrune government during the Masa insurgency, though allegations of the Asase Lewa's support for the Makanian Workers' Army in Mabifia remain.

These observers have also argued that Asalewan foreign policy has become much more realist, with a special emphasis on ensuring political stability in northern Bahia. In tandem with this foreign policy realism, most scholars argue that since the 1980s Asalewan diplomats have primarily conceptualized the Three Principles' historic advocacy of anti-imperialism and Pan-Bahianism in realist and economic terms, with Asase Lewa seeking to foster South-South cooperation so as to promote economic development, regardless of other states' ideology. This shift was most drastically exemplified by Asase Lewa's rapprochement with its traditional adversary of Kitaubani, with both countries maintaing somewhat distant relations but forging ties based on shared interests in Bahian debt relief, opposition to structural adjustment, and attempts to forge alliances between primary commodity producers. Asase Lewa during this period increasingly emphasized its membership in the League of Oil Producing States and joined the International Forum for Developing States in 1985. Though remainiing first and foremost allied with socialist countries, Asase Lewa forged increasingly close ties to ROSPO, in stark contrast with its hostility to Zorasan during the 1970s, when Zorasan supported insurgents during the Second Mabifian Civil War and annexed Asase Lewa's ally in the United Rahelian People's Republic.

Despite this promotion of South-South cooperation and criticism of neocolonialism, critics of Asalewan foreign policy sometimes describe it as quasi-neocolonial itself, arguing that the Asalewan state maintains a paternalistic attitude towards other Bahian countries and that Asalewan relationships with its closest allies in Bahia—primarily Nahrun and, to some extent, Tiwura under Mowiya Sekoni—have been unequal, pointing to the vast differences in wealth between Asase Lewa and friendly Bahian states. Furthermore, in recent years most scholars have described Asase Lewa's favoring of South-South cooperation and de facto lean towards ROSPO as being supplanted by a focus on maintaining the balance of power in Bahia, with Asase Lewa seeking to ensure that neither ROSPO nor the ICD secures the upper hand in the region and witnessing deteriorating relations with Zorasan in response to anxieties over the country's rise, especially following its support for Hacyinia in the 2022_Hacyinia-Lavana_War, in which Asase Lewa supported Lavana. This shift in Asalewan foreign policy has helped contribute to a growing rapprochement with Estmere, long its traditional adversary, a shift that scholars have attributed to anxiety over Zorasan's rise, a shift in Estmerish attitudes towards Bahia under Zoe Halivar, and hope that increasing Asalewan trade with Estmere could fuel substantial export-oriented industrializaiton.

Economy

Economic structure

Sugar refinery workers in Ashianyo discussing and voting on production schedules as part of the workers' self-management present in Asase Lewa's participatory-based economic system.

Since the Protective-Corrective Revolution of the late 1960s and 1970s, Asase Lewa's economy has been primarily structured according to the principles of participatory economics; economic planning is largely decentralized onto a local, council-based participatory level. Though Asase Lewa shares the traditional distincttion between worker and consumer in decision-making essential to participatory economics, the Asalewan economic structure differs slightly from traditional participatory economics—dividing economic decisions between workers' councils and consumers' councils—in that it implements workers' self-management and production decisions, tasks normally devoted to workers' councils, through the institution of industrial trade unions tasked with the dual mandates of overseeing workers' self-management and representing the political and economic interests of the workers within their sector.

However, such trade unions otherwise resemble workers' councils insofar as they are structured according to a council-based delegate model of representation recallable by imperative mandate. As with traditional participatory economics, the Asalewan economic structure accords consumption decisionmaking power to communal, neighborhood-based councils in the form of the workers' councils that are also structured according to a council-based delegate model of representation and recallable by imperative mandate and make up the basic political structure of the state.

However, although Asase Lewa's economic structure is primarily based on participatory economics, the Asalewan economy retains certain aspects of a command economy, a legacy of the central planning of the 1950s and 1960s. Though an institution lacking decisionmaking power in the traditional participatory economic model, most analysts consider the Asalewan Facilitation Board to in fact exercise substantial decisionmaking and planning ability; most notably, the Facilitation Board enjoys substantial power in consulting the Supreme Workers' Council in setting minimum national investment and savings rates, and in enforcing this minimum investment rate. Given national priorities favoring rapid economic development, the Asalewan investment rate is higher than the global average, and the investment rate decided upon by the Supreme Workers' Council and enforced by the Facilitation Board is typically higher than the local savings rates initially preferred by Workers' Councils. In addition to this role, the Facilitation Board also enjoys substantial power in helping allocate minimum and maximum numbers of employees in any given industry, prioritizing the investment of capital and labor into nationally-strategic sectors. The Asalewan economy also contains certain market mechanisms, either formally or informally; in addition to a small, legal agricultural market of smallholder household plots permitted in some Peasant Communes, Asase Lewa is estimated to have a substantial black market comprising roughly 10% of GDP, much smaller than in many other developing countries but nevertheless a substantial infusion of market mechanisms in a country where they are nominally all-but-nonexistent.

Renumeration

As in traditional participatory economics, renumeration within the Asalewan economy is a modified version of labor vouchers, with labor primarly renumerated for the amount of hours put in rather than the nature of labor being performed. However, some exceptions to this rule of renumeration result in a modest amount of wage inequality. Most notably, certain industrial workers, particularly those working in the petroleum and mining industries are compensated much more highly than the general population, puportedly as compensation for the significantly greater dangers associated with these workplaces, additional compensation hard-fought for these workers' politically-powerful unions and strikes that have seriously disrupted the flow of Asalewan capital. Similarly, skilled and educated workers are compensated more highly than their unskilled counterparts, puportedly to account for lost wages due to greater time job training and education.

Nevertheless, wages are highly compressed and egalitarian; Asase Lewa having one of the lowest Gini coefficients, and the highest-paid worker in Asase Lewa is paid no more than three times that of the least-paid worker, with the differences in income between most Asalewan workers being far less than this number. Labor vouchers are supplemented by a substantial welfare state for certain groups of non-workers in the form of old-age and disability pensions and child benefits, welfare benefits largely equivalent in renumeration to labor vouchers. Furthermore, certain goods and services are provided free of charge under specific circumstances; most notably a national policy of making some but not all meal tickets to communal dining halls free is a widespread phenomenon throughout the country. The importance of labor vouchers and renumeration varies somewhat throughout the country, as in certain Workers' Councils—predominantly in parts of Gundayaland, Anloland, and Edudzi Agyeman City—the widespread communal ownership of personal property, and according provision of goods and services for all members free of cost, reduces the importance of individual incomes in securing access to goods and services.

Agriculture

A large sugarcane plantation in Asase Lewa.

Asase Lewa has historically served as a major agricultural exporter, particularly of certain key cash crops. The Toubacterie substantially reoriented Asalewan economy and land use towards the export of cash crops, beginning with palm oil and coffee began to be cultivated for export in large numbers in the late 18th century and supplemented by cocoa and sugarcane also emerging as key cash crops during the 19th century. The production of sugarcane, especially, became a major part of the Asalewan economy and by far Asase Lewa's largest export by the early 20th century. Though initially largely comprised of smallholder producers, cash crop agriculture became increasingly consolidated into large plantations under the Asalewan plantation system.

The mass export of cash crops continues to the present day; both land and labor productivity, and thus production, has substantially increased beginning in the late colonial and socialist periods thanks to the increasing mechanization of farming, exemplified by technologies such as the sugarcane harvester, and new agricultural techniques involving substantial use of fertilizers and pesticides, measures supplemented by extensive agrarian reform since the 1950s. Asase Lewa remains a major cash crop exporter today, though the importance of cash crops to Asalewan economy has declined thanks to industrialization and Asase Lewa's increasing export of petroleum and natural gas, resulting in the Caldish curse.

Amaranth farmers in Asase Lewa.

In addition to substantial cultivation of cash crops, other products substantially cultivated in Asase Lewa, primarily staples grown for domestic consumption, include cassava, sorghum, and amaranth. Amaranth, especially, has become extensively cultivated in Asase Lewa; first imported primarily from Asterian indigenous and Bahio-Asterian communities in small quantities by agronomists sympathetic to Pan-Bahianism in the 1910s and 1920s, amaranth became cultivated in small amounts in revolutionary base areas during the Asalewan Revolution and seen as a supposed superfood and "miracle" crop. Based upon this legacy and views of amaranth as a miracle crop, amaranth became imported from Chistovodia en masse during the 1950s and 1960s as part of Chistovodian aid to Asase Lewa during this period. Amaranth cultivation has only expanded since this period, with Asalewan agronomists and farmers substantially modifying the crop and modifying it through selecitve breeding and, more recently, genetic modification in order to maximize yield and nutritional value. Accordingly, amaranth is essential to the modern Asalewan diet and agriculture; Asase Lewa has become one of the largest amaranth producers in the world, and amaranth today accounts for an estimated 35% of Asalewans' caloric intake.

Both cash crop and staple crops are primarily cultivated in large, collective farms. The historic domination of Asalewan agriculture by large plantations has, further, only intensified since the Asalewan Revolution, and Asalewan agriculture today is dominated by collective farming. Land reform after the Revolution primarily entailed the expropriation rather than breakup of the plantations; remaining smallholder producers, primarily subsistence farmers, saw their lands collectivized, with both collective farms and expropriated plantations consolidated into large Peasant Communes by the 1970s, which remain to this day. However, though the bulk of agriculture is collectivized, a small amount of agriculture remains cultivated for private purposes as household plots, permitted in some but not all Peasant Communes. In most cases, household plots are primarily cultivated by Peasant Commune residents at the subsistence level, supplementing nutrition otherwise derived from collective agricutlure; increasingly, household plots have also become cultivated by nearby urban residents to supplement their nutrition, primarily those with ancestral or social connections to remaining Peasant Commune residents. In a small number of Peasant Communes, agriculture cultivtaed on household plots is also sold in small agricultural markets to supplement peasants' incomes, the only legally-permitted form of market economy in Asase Lewa.

Energy

  • Semi-major oil and gas exporter
  • Hydroelectric dams heavily constructed in the 1950s/1960s/early 1970s before the discovery of oil, still an important source of energy for domstic consumption that supplements oil and gas

Mining

  • Exporter of nickel, copper, and gold
  • But not enough resources to become a commodities-based economy like Yemet or Mabifia

Industry

  • Decent amount of light industry for domestic consumption
  • Most heavy industry is related to things the country produces; nickel, copper, and sugar refineries, etc.

Services

Tourism

  • Decent amount of ecotourism; one of the few countries where someone can visit mountain gorillas
  • Government has tried to promote Asase Lewa as a nearby tropical vacation spot for Eucleans (not super successful)
  • Popular-ish vacation spot for left-wing Bahians in the Asterias who can afford to travel

Demographics

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
19509,706,000—    
196014,093,750+3.80%
197019,385,635+3.24%
1980 25,947,156+2.96%
1990 33,780,507+2.67%
2000 45,006,891+2.91%
2010 55,521,331+2.12%
2020 69,420,396+2.26%

Like other countries in Bahia, Asase Lewa has been one of the fastest-growing nations in the world for the past several decades, with the country's population increasing sevenfold since 1950, the eve of the country's decolonization, owing to a number of factors including vast decreases in infant mortality and concommitant increases in life expectancy and a historically-high total fertility rate. Similar to other post-colonial socialist countries, such as Nirala and Dezevau, Asase Lewa's fertility rate and population growth have decreased considerably since decolonization, particularly since 2000, owing to widespread urbanization, improved gender equality and education, and widespread access to contraception and abortion; however, at 3.5 children per woman, Asase Lewa's birthrate remains well above replacement rate, if low by Bahian standards. Unlike most countries, Asase Lewa's fertility rate has increased slightly since 2015 after sharply falling in the late 2000s and early 2010s, owing to the adoption of widespread natalist policies by the government; these include extensive childcare and child benefits, pro-natalist media and propaganda, and widespread state and social valorization of large families and mothers who bear many children. Asase Lewa has an average age of roughly 23.9, considered high by Bahian standards but low by international ones.

Languages and ethnicity

  • Asalewan is the lingua franca, language of the state and of instruction in schools
  • But most people's first language is the language of their ethnicity, usually not Asalewan

Migration

Tiwuran migrant workers in western Gundayland, near Ajase, in 2008. Contemporary Asase Lewa has one of the highest rates of human migration—immigration, emigration, internal, and transit—in world history.

Perhaps paradoxically for a country with a political and social system designed, in the modern day, to maximize personal and social stability, Asase Lewa has, since the 1980s, had one of the highest rates of human migration in world history. While its migration statistics in any one field—such as immigration or emigration—are not necessarily distinctive, Asase Lewa is almost-unique in that it combines very high immigration rates with high emigration rates, alongside high rates of internal migration and transit migration; the result is that only approximately a third of Asalewans live at or near where they were born, with most living a considerable distance from their hometown.

Alongside Garambura, Asase Lewa has by far the highest immigration rate in Bahia; approximately 10.3% of Asalewans are foreign-born and an additional 11.4% have at least one foreign-born parent. Historically, the vast majority of immigrants to Asase Lewa have been Gundaya immigrants from Tiwura to Gundayaland and Edudzi Agyeman City owing to a common language and culture, liberal immigration policies for those of Bahian descent, and comparative economic development and political stability in the post-colonial period Many Tiwuran Gundaya have especially been attracted to Asase Lewa thanks to Aslawan Gundayas enjoying a significantly more privileged position relative to their Tiwuran counterparts, as Asalewan Gundayas have been the country's ethnic plurality and disproprortionately served in the leadership of the Asalewan state and Section whereas Tiwuran Gundayas, a smaller ethnic group than the Mwo, have suffered from severe ethnic persecution culminating in the Gundaya genocide during the Second Tiwuran Civil War in the early 1990s.

Tiwuran immigration to Asase Lewa has considerably altered the demographic makeup of both countries since decolonization, with the result that approximately three-quarters of Gundaya now live in Asase Lewa and one-quarter in Tiwura. Tiwuran immigration peaked during the refugee crisis caused by the Second Tiwuran Civil War and its immediate aftermath, and has decreased considerably since the 1990s owing to Tiwura's improved political stability, economic development, and improved status for Gundaya, and improved ethnic relations, since the Civil War's conclusion. Nevertheless, Asase Lewa's immigration rate remains high; most Tiwuran refugees have permanently settled in the country since the 1990s, and Asase Lewa continues to witness economic migration from Tiwura and other Bahian countries and has taken in large numbers of refugees from Yemet during the country's civil war. Asase Lewa is also a center of transit migration, primarily of immigrants from other Bahian countries that hope for the country's greater educational resources and closer physical proximity to be a steeping-stone to Euclea. In addition to immigration from Bahian countries, Asase Lewa grants all members of the Bahian diaspora the right of return to the country. While the right of return has led to the formation of retournee communities in Edudzi Agyeman City, the Dama Delta, and coastal Gundayaland, these communities remain small, not least because Asase Lewa is culturally distinct from, and much poorer than, most of the retournees' home countries in Euclea and the Asterias.

In addition to experiencing high immigration, Asase Lewa has, like other rapidly-urbanizing countries, experienced substantial internal migration since independence; while during the colonial and early socialist periods internal migration was theoretically restricted by a comprehensive internal passport system, since the Protective-Corrective Revolution there have been virtually no restrictions on internal migration, resulting in Asase Lewa becoming of the fastest-urbanizing countries in the world since 1970. In addition to simple rural to urban migration, the highly uneven development of the country has resulted in substantial rural-rural migration from the Asalewan Highlands to the Lowlands, especially during the 1980s and 1990s, and more broadly migration across swathes of distance from interior, poorer areas of the country—primarily the Highlands and to a lesser extent Ashanaland and western Gundayaland—to coastal, wealthier regions, especially Edudzi Agyeman City, the Dama Delta and eastern Anloland, Ajase, and coastal Gundayaland. The result of such migration has been substantial change in the geographic makeup of the country—from being predominantly rural, inlander, and with a comparatively even division between Lowland and Highland regions, to being predominantly urban, coastal, and Lowlander—and in the demographic makeup of regions with substantial migration, with metropolitan regions such as Edudzi Agyeman City and the Dama Delta becoming ethnically and religuously heterogenous.

Despite experiencing high immigration, Asase Lewa has also historically experienced high levels of emigration since independence; during and after the Asalewan Revolution, the country experienced the mass exodus of the country's Freemen, Estmerish, and native Eucleanized upper-class populations, primarily to Estmere and to a lesser extent Tiwura and Kitaubani. Especially thanks to the country's education rates being much higher than most countries at similar income levels, Asase Lewa has seen considerable emigration since the 1980s, mostly to wealthier socialist countries, especially Valduvia, Chistovodia, and East Miersa and to a lesser extent Dezevau and Auzance. Asase Lewa has also seen limited emigration to wealthier Euclean capitalist countries, such as Estmere and Caldia. While this widespread emigration has led to remittances comprising a significant portion of the country's GDP and foreign currency reserves, it has also led to substantial brain drain, as Asalewan emigrants are generally more educated than the national average while immigrants to Asase Lewa—consistent with education rates in their countries of origin—are generally less educated than native-born Asalewans.

Religion

  • Officially state atheist
  • About half of Asalewans consider themselves irreligious, about 40% Sotirian, about 10% Irfanic
  • Very few people consider themselves adherents of traditional religions but most Asalewans practice traditional religion in some way, but they don't see it as religious and see themselves as either irreligious, Sotirian, or Irfanic
  • About 25% of the population are actually irreligious

Urbanization

  • About 70% of Asalewans live in urban areas
  • Though large numbers of Asalewans live most of the year in urban areas but spend a few months during the harvest living and working in the countryside

Education

  • Compulsory education from 5 to 18
  • About 10% of Asalewans pursue higher education; getting a college degree is closely associated with Section status
  • College students are selected by local communities (like worker-peasant-soldier students in 1970s China)
  • Decent amount of educational instruction is focused on localized economic practices
  • Ideological and political education also an important part of education
  • Some democratic education aspects thrown in

Healthcare

  • Pretty good single-payer healthcare - "We live live like poor people, but we die like rich people"
  • Lots of doctors and nurses per capita

Transport

  • Very low car ownership
  • Bicycles the main way most people get around
  • Intercity bus service and bus rapid transit in cities heavily used
  • Metro in Edudzi Agyeman City

Culture

Art

To achieve a true classless society, our Revolution must eradicate not just inequalities not just in economic and political power; it must also eradicate inequalities in cultural power. Everyone must make art, but no one will be an artist. Everyone must sing, but no one will be a singer. Everyone must play sports, but no one will be a star. The tall reeds [metaphor for exceptional, ambitious persons] must learn that it is only as part of the field that we can grow high enough to reach the stars.

Edudzi Agyeman, "Message to the Workers of Kbeme concerning the Arts Directive," June 4, 1967.


Clockwise: Pre-colonial eighteenth-century staffs, an example of traditional Gundaya art; a contemporary depiction of an Asalewan Peasant Commune in the Asalewan Style; the Bahian Renaissance Monument, constructed in 1960 and an example of Asalewan socialist realism.

Art historians generally categorize historical, pre-colonial Asalewan art as falling under the broader tradition of traditional Bahian art. Traditonal Asalewan art is similar, especially, to Tiwuran art, as Gundaya people, and thus the Gundaya art tradition, is indigenous to both countries. Thanks to the prevalence of Bahian Fetishism in the country until the Toubacterie in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Fetishist tradition exercises an enormous influence on traditional artforms in the country. Until the twentieth century, Asalewan art deemphasized paintings in favor of art based on sculpture and the human figure. Masks, especially, have had an enormous influence on the aesthetics of Asalewan Fetishism and the traditional Asalewan art more broadly. In addition to this emphasis on human figures, textiles are a historic emphasis of Asalewan art, with Aso oke fabric and Kente cloth serving as popular textiles in Gundaya and Ashana/Anlo parts of the country, respectively. Other important historical Asalewan art traditions, especially among the Ashana, include Adinkra symbols and Ashana goldweights.

Colonial, post-colonial, and contemporary Asalewan art, however, represents a partial break from these historical traditions. During the Toubacterie, Estmerish and Euclean influence and the associated decline of Bahian Fetishism increased the popularity of paintings and decreased the popularity of Fetishist-insired masks and traditional sculptures amongst native, increasingly Eucleanized elites. A more radical break came during the Asalewan Revolution and the early socialist period in the 1950s and 1960s, as the socialist state prescribed socialist realism as the official art style of the new country. The revolutionary government and Section denigrated traditional art as symbols of a backwards tribalist and Houregic past, and prohibited public sponsorship of art—the source of virtually all funding for art in the socialized, planned economy—that did not conform to the socialist realist style. Simultaneously, the state promoted art to the masses by extensive productively of revolutionary memorials, statues, posters, and murals as part of mass agitprop and propaganda campaigns.

During and after the Protective-Corrective Revolution in the late 1960s, however, state-mandated adaption of socialist realism lessened considerably, as the Revolution greatly lessened the degree of centralized—if not decentralized—state control over life, and furthered an extensive populist cultural and politial tradition that was critical of fine art as elitist and glorified the folk art of the Asalewan peasantry and working-class. The Protective-Corrective Revolution and the post-revolutionary 1970s witnessed the development of the Asalewan Style, characterized by a synthesis of Asalewan folk art with socialist and social realist art, the extensive promotion of works by amateur peasant and worker artists, and the use of highly political themes.

During the 1970s, the Asalewan Style became almost as mandatory as the socialist realist style that preceded it, and since the 1970s at least one-quarter of art at any given museum or exhibit is required to come from folk culture, or from amateur peasant and worker artists. However, the Psychological-Technological Revolution and subsequent liberalization of Asalewan society during the Years of Reed lessed restrictions on art considerably, allowing contemporary Asalewan artists to experiment with avant-garde and postmodern techniques, and for more straightforward revivals of socialist realism and traditional art forms. Nevertheless, the state and Section continue to extensively promote the Asalewan Style, which remains the most popular art form in Asase Lewa, and socialist realism and socialistic versions of folk art more broadly.

Literature

  • Substantial residual orality until the twenty-first century because most Asalewans were illiterate until the Revolution
  • Proletarian literature was basically the only allowed literature from the 1950s to the 1980s, still fairly popular
  • Things are more liberalized now
  • The combination of mass literacy and low television and Internet access means there is a thriving culture of printed media and literature

Music

  • Revolutionary songs and folk music heavily promoted from the 1950s to the 1980s, still fairly popular
  • What would IRL be called desert blues is fairly popular

Cuisine

  • Traditional cuisine supplemented by amaranth-based recipes because the government saw it as a miracle cop
  • Asalewans really really REALLY like tea, traditional tea ceremonies are an integral part of socializing

Media

  • Radios are ubiquitous, but television and Internet access is very low
  • However, movie theaters and film are ubiquitous, which combined with the absence of television and Internet access means there is a thriving film culture and industry (socialist Nollywood!)

Sport

Mass games commemorating the centenary of the founding of the Asalewan Section of the Workers' International in 2012 in Edudzi Agyeman Memorial Stadium, one of the largest stadiums in the world.

As in most countries, sports and physical exercise and recreation is very important part to Asalewan culture. Most Asalewan children and adults are members of amateur recreation leagues, swimming and cycling clubs, or gymnastics associations. Besides its primary functions of serving as a popuar source of recreation, the Asalewan state and Section extensively promote mass participation in sports as an important way to integrate mass organizations—which most amateur recreation leagues, swimming and cycling clubs, and gymnastics associations are affiliated with—into daily life, and to promote an extensive, militaristic culture of physical fitness so that Asalewans are physically prepared to defend the nation if necessary. Physical education is a mandatory subject in Asalewan schools and mass organizations extensively sponsor and organize recreation leagues, swimming and cycling clubs, and gymnastics associations.

The Asalewan state and Section has particularly engaged in an extensive project of promoting gymnastics, uplifting the sport from little popularity during the pre-colonial and colonial periods to extensive popularity during the socialist period. A tradition inherited from the workers' gymnastic associations of Euclean mass socialist parties, Asalewan political elites have extensively promoted, especially in its non-competitive form, for its perceived utility in promotings collectivistic and communalistic political and cultural goals. In particular, Asalewan mass games, the largest choreographed events in the world, are an extensive part of Asalewan political, sporting, and communal culture. An estimated 150,000 athletes and participants are involved in the annual International Workers' Festival at Edudzi Agyeman Memorial Stadium in Edudzi Agyeman City, with hundreds of thousands more participants involved in smaller mass games in other urban areas and additional mass games held on notable anniversaries, such as centennials, of other public holidays.

The Asalewan national football team.

In addition to this mass participation, spectator sports are also popular in Asase Lewa. The near-total lack of television and the Internet in the country, and the construction of very large stadiums in large urban areas for the purpose of hosting mass games that are otherwise used for hosting other sports and cultural events throughout the year, means that physical attendance at spectator sports, either in arenas where games are held or broadcasts of games, is high relative both to countries at similar income levels and, in some cases, substantially wealthier countries. Except at the most elite levels of competition, few sports players are professionals, with the country's extensive populist political and cultural tradition contributing to a substantial culture of amateurism.

Forms of folk wrestling, closely related to the Mabifian sport of Inchema and part of the broader tradition of Bahian wrestling, have been practiced for centuries and are the most popular type of sport dating from the pre-colonial era, attracting large crowds and serving as a regular form of physical exercise and recreation for many Asalewans. In the modern era, however, association football has surpassed both gymnastics and wrestling as the country's most popular sport. Except among children, who as members of the Pioneer Workers' League perform the most important roles in mass games, football recreation leagues surpass both wrestling leagues and gymnastics associations as the most popular physical recreation leagues in the country. Association football is also the country's most popular spectator sport and where the few professional sports players in Asase Lewa are largely concentrated. The Asalewan national football team's qualification for, and performance at, the IFF Coupe du monde has become a mass sensation for the country and occassion for extensive displays of Asalewan patriotism and nationalism. The country participated in and extensively sponsored the Games of the Red Star until the 1954 to 1990, hosting the headquarters of its organizing assocation, the Association of Emerging Socialist Sportsmen, from 1965 to 1990. After the Games of the Red Star were last held in 1990 thanks to the Association of Emerging Socialist Economies's dissolution in 1988, the country began to attend the Invictus Games.

Communal culture

  • Asalewan culture is very collectivist
  • Mixture of traditional collectivist values, socialist policies, and relative poverty meaning resources have to be shared to ensure an okay-ish, equitable standard of living all reinforcing this collectivism
  • Communal apartments, dining halls, and bathhouses all ubiquitous, half because of poverty and half because of socialism
  • Radicals tried to experiment with kibbutz-style sleeping in the 1970s but this was largely involuntary and unpopular, but some people still practice it
  • Almost all Asalewans are members of fraternal organizations, usually affiliated in some way with the Section (Pioneer and youth wings, women's clubs, CDRs, etc.)
  • Despite the government's attempts to stamp them out, kinship networks are important-ish, important indicator of political loyalties

Public holidays

Workers gather for an International Workers' Day rally in Edudzi Agyeman City.

As part of the Asalewan state and Section's attempt to establish a new socialist culture largely untethered to either the colonial or pre-colonial pasts, no public holidays in Asase Lewa are either traditional religious or cultural celebrations, and only four holidays—New Year's Eve and Day, Mothers' Day, and Fathers' Day—have a substantially depoliticized character. Virtually all other public holidays in Asase Lewa are either anniversaries of key moments in Asalewan revolutionary and post-revolutionary history, the birthdays of Asalewan revolutionary leaders, or the celebrations of social movements or classes which have mass organizations affiliated with the Section: International Women's Day, celebrating the international feminist movement; International Workers' Day, by far the most important holiday in Asase Lewa; International Children's Day, in Asse Lewa viewed as the celebration of the youth movement and pioneer movement; and Peasants' Day.

In concert with this explicitly politicized orientation, and Asalewan communal culture more broadly, most public holidays in Asase Lewa feature extensive marches, rallies, and demonstrations, usually organized by Section mass organizations. The most important national holidays, namely International Workers' Day and key five and ten-year anniversaries of other major holidays, also feature mass games, usually featuring members of the Pioneer Workers' League. Both cultural anthropologists and Asalewan organizers themselves have described these public holidays as important displays of collective effervescence, in which the crowd collectively displays extreme emotion as part of a conscious effort to unify and politicize the Asalewan population. This includes mass displays of collective joy on holidays such as Revolutionary Action, Theory, and Democracy Days, mass anger and rage on Pan-Bahianism Day, and collective grief on Martyrs' Day and Revolutionary Succession Day. Even during periods of mass depoliticization, such as the Years of Reed from the 1980s to the 2010s, these public holidays remained occassions for extensive participation in, and performance of, mass politics, albeit in a largely controlled format. This exercise of mass politics ranged from these displays of extreme collective emotion to mass games to reminders of the holidays' explicitly political character; International Women's Day, for example, advances feminist activism by being a non-working holiday for Asalewan women but not for Asalewan men, and is conceived of as a women's day off, in which Asalewan women do not perform any work, including housework, of any kind.

Public holidays Date
New Year's Day January 1
Mothers' Day January 7
Fathers' Day January 14
Revolutionary Action Day February 1[c]
Revolutionary Theory Day February 25[d]
International Women's Day March 8
Revolutionary Indefatigability Day March 21[e]
Revolutionary Democracy Day April 11[f]
International Workers' Day May 1-3[g]
Pan-Bahianism Day May 13[h]
International Children's Day June 1
Revolutionaries' Day July 10[i]
Martyrs' Day July 30[j]
Soldiers' Day September 2[k]
Revolutionary Succession Day September 27[l]
Scholars' and Students' Day October 30[m]
Anti-Tribalism Day November 14[n]
Peasants' Day December 7
New Year's Eve December 31

Notes

  1. The Asalewan government officially recognizes certain ethnolinguistic groups, most notably the Awari in relation to the Gundaya, Asuntifi in relation to the Ashana, and the Ajaizo in relation to the Anlo, as sub-groups of an officially-recognized ethnic group that speak a dialect of a language with a standardized variety. Many activists associated with these groups argue that these groups and their dialects should be recognized as ethnicities and languages in their own right, but they are not recognized as such by the state.
  2. Portmanteau of ojeṣẹ, the Gundaya word for duty, and ẹbun, the Gundaya word for gift.
  3. The birthday of Asalewan revolutionary leader Edudzi Agyeman.
  4. The birthday of Soravian revolutionary socialist Yuri Nemtsov, theorist of Nemtsovism.
  5. The birthday of Chistovodian socialist leader Konstantyn Tretyak, theorist of Tretyakism.
  6. The anniversary of the outbreak of the Protective-Corrective Revolution.
  7. The national day and by far the most important holiday in Asase Lewa, commemorating both the international workers' movement and the foundation of the Asalewan state, proclaimed on May 1.
  8. The anniversary of the Conference for the Promotion of the Pan-Bahian Idea.
  9. The anniversary of the foundation of Asalewan Section of the Workers' International.
  10. The anniversary of the 1912 Alààyè Massacre.
  11. The anniversary of the September 2 Statement, widely considered the beginning of the Asalewan Revolution.
  12. The death day of Asalewan revolutionary leader Edudzi Agyeman.
  13. The birthday of Asalewan revolutionary leader Adelaja Ifedapo.
  14. The anniversary of the outbreak of the Anti-Tribal Revolution.