Technate of Rhand
Motto: "Out of Chaos, order."
|347,000 km2 (134,000 sq mi)|
|114/km2 (295.3/sq mi)|
• Per capita
|Currency||Thermodynamic Credit (THK)|
- 1 Etymology
- 2 Geography
- 3 History
- 4 Politics
- 5 State Ideology
- 6 Demographics
- 7 Economy
The name Rhand originates from a contraction of the old Rhandic "Ra Nedj" which can be loosely translated as "Those protected by Ra". This name underwent significant modification through history, with the largest changes occurring as a result of the First Intermediate Period (circa 1900-1700BCE) during which the Great Paran Migrations saw the establishment of a foreign, semitic ruling elite and the subsequent supplantation of old Rhandic with the language of the new rulers. This saw the confusion of Nedj with the word Ned meaning fortress wall producing "Ra Ned" meaning "Fortress of Ra", this underwent further contraction and phonetic shift ("Ra" to "Rha") resulting in the modern name Rhand.
The majority of Rhand is characterised as a Hot desert climate (type BWh) with a narrow band of Hot semi-arid climate (type BSh) at its southernmost border with Hemahat.
The Lakhesh River runs through the north of the country from the continental interior of Alharu before emptying into the (Unnamed) Gulf. Given to Rhand's extreme desert climate the Lakhesh was the only major source of fresh water for most of the country's history. Due to the Lakhesh and it's tributaries large catchment area the river floods each year during the brief rainy season, this results in deposits of silt washed downstream from the continental interior ensuring the continued fertility of the Lakhesh valley. As a result of this the Lakhesh has served as the cradle and centre of Rhandic civilisation for over 3000 years, it remains today the most populous region of the country.
The Yam Suf (lit. Sea of Reeds) is the Rhandic name for the network of water channels, shallow lagoons, and marshes that form the Lakhesh river delta. This region is particularly fertile and has long featured in Rhandic cultural iconography as paradise. It constitutes the most productive agricultural land in the country, and for much of history was a centre for the production of papyrus paper.
The lands that constitute the modern nation of Rhand have been occupied continuously since pre-history with significant cultural continuity through time, particularly with regards to the indigenous religion and caste based social hierarchy. Across a period of at least 3000 years the country was divided into numerous smaller Princely Kingdoms that vied with each other for dominance of the region.
In the late middle ages both religious doctrine, and social organisation became increasingly formalised and restrictive, leading to the crystalisation of three main castes: the Rajaseen who constituted the ruling elite, the Munsheen who formed a scholarly professional caste, and the Mazadoreen which included peasants and craftsmen.
By the beginning of the modern period society was rigidly stratified under the caste system which controlled all aspects of social life. However, the advent of industrialisation and increasing international trade beginning in the late 19th created pressure for modernisation of society and to an expansion of state bureaucracies, largely administered by the scholar-scribal Munsheen caste.
In order to meet the needs of a growing industrial sector this period saw increasing rates of literacy and education among the lower social castes which led to the penetration of foreign ideas, particularly those of democracy and socialism, in to society. When in the 1930's a series of droughts caused the region to suffer the worst famine in 200 years, public anger led to the outbreak of a revolt by the Mazadoreen caste of labourers and farmers who had been disproportionately affected.
Providing intellectual guidance to this revolt the Munsheen caste rose to a position of leadership, promising to overthrow the Rajaseen, abolish the caste system and replace it with a system of enlightened, egalitarian rule that would develop the nation for the benefit of all its citizens.
It was from within the Munsheen that the technocracy movement was born, and as the caste progressively seized control of the Princely Kingdoms the technocratic faction began to consolidate its power, initially with mass popular support.
Following a period of brutal war in the region lasting through the 1940's and into the 1950's the technocratic movement finally seized total control of the region, unifying the disparate Kingdoms into a single state and declared the birth of the Technate of Rhand.
Officially Rhand declares itself to be a post-political society where the need for parties, elections and other political bodies has been abolished. The technate is instead administered by a number of committees and sub-committees which collectively oversee and control all aspects of national life.
The chairmen of the various committees sit together on the Oversight Committee which acts as a central executive body authorised to approve legislation submitted to it by the inferior committees.
Above the Oversight Committee sits the Teknocrator, the highest position in the Technate.
Officially Head of State, the Teknocrator is claimed to be a genius polymath imbued with a preternatural ability to discern the needs of the State and make major strategic decisions to guide Rhand in its mission to bring about the ultimate victory of Technocracy.
While images of the Teknocrator are common, especially black and white photos from the early days of the revolution in the 1950's, video footage of him is non-existent nor is he known to ever make public appearances, though audio recordings of his speeches are frequently broadcast. The Rhandic media claims this is due to the Teknocrator's seclusion from the everyday administration of the country in order to pursue his vital, high level work.
A particularly intense cult of personality exists around the Teknocrator which is encouraged by all levels of the government and media. Within Rhand the Teknocrator is proclaimed to be Avatar of the State and is treated as a quasi-divine figure under the system of ideological state worship referred to outside of Rhand as "Rhandic Statolatry".
Among those political analysts who make a special study of Rhand the occasional speeches which are attributed to the Teknocrator are heavily scrutinised as they tend to signal significant changes in strategic policy, or otherwise hint at important events occurring within the state.
The Oversight Committee is the central decision making body of Rhand tasked with developing a programme to meet the strategic goals set by the Teknocrator, it is also responsible for approving and authorising legislative proposals submitted from the Inferior Committees. The Committee is made up of the Chairmen of the various Inferior Committees and is headed by Veniak Sharma who in effect acts as the head of the executive branch of government.
The Inferior Committees are those tasked with decision making and administration of specific areas of national activity e.g. the Committee for External Affairs, Committee of Cognitive Orthodoxy.
Appointment to these committees is by sortition from a pool of eligible candidates every 5 years. Eligibility is assessed by applicants undergoing extensive examinations and vetting by security services.
The chairmen of the committees are appointed by the unanimous agreement of the Oversight Committee and are retained in position until such a time as they are released from service by a majority vote of said committee.
Each Committee is authorised to establish sub-committees to address particular areas of work requiring a greater deal of attention.
The State Bureaucracy provides the day to day administrative support in the implementation of legislation, directives and programmes decided at the committee level of government.
Entry into the State Bureaucracy is by examination and membership is for life.
The Panopticon is the main domestic security agency charged with surveillance of the population to ensure the stability of the state. The agency encompasses all branches of the regular police forces, border force, and maintains state records on all citizens. The Panopticon is known for its aggressive use of electronic surveillance, security patrols and document checks to keep the urban population under near total observation.
It is not possible to determine how large the organisation is due to the large number of data processors, secret police, and paid informers; estimates range from tens to hundreds of thousands.
Rural Liaison Office
The RLO operates in the rural hinterlands where government control had not been fully established.
An office in each rural district provides a point of contact between the villagers and the government. It allows the government a way in which to monitor the rural population for potential risks to the state. It is also used to coordinate agricultural production on the local level.
The Technate of Rhand pursues a radical ideology of Technocratic Dictatorship under which decision-makers are selected on the basis of their expertise in their areas of responsibility, particularly scientific knowledge. This system explicitly contrasts with the notion that elected representatives should be the primary decision-makers in government with leaders being selected on the basis of specialized knowledge and performance, rather than political affiliations, parliamentary skills or hereditary title.
The ideology of Technocracy at its most basic level advocates the application of the scientific method to solving social problems with particular emphasis given to sustainability within the resource base, instead of monetary profitability, to ensure continued operation of all social-industrial functions. In the early days of the movement during a period of prolonged economic turmoil, the technocrats proposed replacing politicians and businesspeople with scientists and engineers who had the technical expertise to manage the economy. In its most extreme form, as seen in Rhand, technocrats succeeded in supplanting the old political elite with an entire government run as a technical engineering problem and the application of scientific regimentation to all aspects of national life.
Technocrats believe that governance of the state should be carried out by those members of society who are proven to have the experience and knowledge necessary to understand how to efficiently administer, and deliver results for a particular area of national life. On this basis a key aim of technocratic movements is to ensure that at every level of government and administration decision makers are sufficiently qualified to make well informed, robustly researched policies.
The principle that seniority of office should be determined by the intellectual and experiential achievements of the office holder allows in theory for the formation of effective governments of all talents.
In attempting to apply scientific and technical solutions to the economic sphere early technocrats developed the energy theory of value. In contrast to the labour theory of value favoured by classical capitalist and socialist theoreticians, technocrats argue that as the basic measure common to the production of all goods and services is energy, that energy is therefore the sole scientific foundation for the monetary system. They argue that by using an energy metric instead of a monetary metric (energy certificates or 'energy accounting') a more efficient design of society was possible.
This system has been attempted in Rhand where the Thermodynamic Credit, or 'Tharm' is used for the purposes of monitoring economic efficiency and for facilitating distribution.
One problem presented by the adoption of this system is that it requires the government to monitor and account for the total energy usage of the country. While this works in theory, it does so on the assumption that the state has all the resources, and in sufficient quantity, to satisfy national demand thus allowing for a closed economic system to be developed.
In practice however, the need to import goods presents a problem to a country employing such a model as it requires it to account for the unknown thermodynamic values involved in the production of foreign commodities. This then requires the state to undertake a degree of guesswork in their calculations which tend to create distortions in economic planning.
The rational planning of the economy via thermic accounting necessitates that all areas of the economy be under direct governmental control. This is considered desirable as it allows the management of all sectors of the national economy to be directly monitored and directed by committees of experts in a particular field.
By replacing businessmen and the profit motive with expert administrators tasked with developing a branch of industry to its highest technical level, it is argued that the state is able to create an highly productive, efficient economy capable of meeting all the material needs of the nation while minimising waste in the production cycle.
Also known as Deindividuation or Depersonalisation, Civic Collectivisation is a process where people come to see themselves more as the interchangeable exemplars of the technocratic society than as unique personalities defined by their differences from others. Under these conditions a person directly bases their behaviour and beliefs on the norms, goals and needs of the society and are less likely to act in terms of other potential self-categories.
Technocrats stress that civic collectivisation is not a loss of self, but rather a redefinition of the self in terms of group membership and that a depersonalised self, or social identity, is every bit as valid and meaningful as a personalised self, or personal identity.
The reasons for encouraging civic collectivisation is in order to produce a cohesive society capable, and willing, to undergo regimentation when necessary for the sake of attaining the higher goals of the state. In this way citizens are encouraged to see their identity as one with the state in order that the state's victories and goals are viewed as their own. This collectivisation serves as a foundation for Rhand's state worship and the personality cult of the Teknocrator.