List of economic and political systems

For what's not in 'Top Priority Game Design'. Post your ideas, visions, suggestions for the game, rules, modifications, etc.

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Prokonsul Piotrus
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List of economic and political systems

#1 Post by Prokonsul Piotrus »

Inspired partially by some of our previous discussions regarding government in FO, I have been working on creating the necessary lists and definitions on Wiki. While it is not finished, it may provide some framework for our discussions, as we are getting closer and closer to those topics:

Definition of economic system
List of economic systems
Definition of political system
List of political systems
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Impaler
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#2 Post by Impaler »

You have some nice material their I will work over it and try to come up with an expanded list of goverments/Economy stuff in the SMAC style.

I am thinking that we will actualy have fewer simpler catagories by breaking down the rather high level catagories into smaller units that try to answer focused questions like "who picks the goverment" "who desides what is produced" "how is the productivity of society divided" ect ect. All real world system would be represented by some combination of these choices but their would be combinatons possible that have no real world corolation (great for Aliens).
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Prokonsul Piotrus
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#3 Post by Prokonsul Piotrus »

HoI2 is out for 2 weeks now and I thought I'd post info on their new social policy/government sliders for your convinience:

* Democratic - Authoritarian
* Political Left - Political Right
* Open Society - Close Society
* Free Market - Central Planning
* Standing Army - Drafted Army
* Hawk Lobby - Dove Lobby
* Interventionism - Isolationism
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#4 Post by Daveybaby »

Hmmm... any more detail on what they mean by 'political left' and 'political right'? Usually these terms would be used as a shorthand for describing a combination of stances on the other sliders.
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#5 Post by Ablaze »

Yes! Go into excruciating detail!

And not just about this left vs right conundrum, but also on how a slider based government in implemented.
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Impaler
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#6 Post by Impaler »

What if we broke up the catogories along the lines of our Tec Tree catagories? We have 5 catagores Growth, Production, Construction, Economics and Learning.

Each catagory would have its own Social Enginering area that it focuses on, Geoff already layed out a plan for the Economics Tec tree inwhich each Theory is a differnt economic "system" their would presumably be an aplication under it for each type of Economic system you can use in the game.

Following a similar line of reasoning the "Growth" catogory could hold all kinds of Social Enginering that determines how procreation/reproduction/family planning is conducted in a society. Construction and Production could cover industrial methods and Learning covers methods and practices of Research like Inductive vs Deductive.

Ware the realy basic stuff like Goverment aka "Who is in charge?" might go I am not shure.
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Government Categories

#7 Post by Black_Dawn »

Here's another simple way to categorize governments which I stole from Plato. GOOD governments are those that rule in the people's best interest. BAD governments are those that rule for the interest of the rulers.

Govn't type 1: Ruled by a single individual. Good: Monarchy. Plato thought this was the best, but least stable govn't type, as the "benevolence" of the rule depends completely on the ruler. Bad: Dictatorship. Taxes go to palaces and harems (or whatever) for the dictator.

Govn't type 2: Ruled by a small group of people, perhaps a group of merchants, titled lords, etc. Good: Republic. Good laws don't depend on the whims of a single person. Bad: Aristocracy. Rulers try to extract as much wealth from their subjects as possible.

Govn't type 3: Rule of the citizens. Good: Constitutional democracy. Plato said this COULD be the best, if the constitution was strong and people obeyed its principles. Bad: Rule of the Masses. This is what happens when you give majorities too much power: they crush minorities and can be swayed to do stupid things by charismatic leaders (eg Nazi Germany). This is the worst possible type of govn't. Plato thinks it destroyed Athens.

Govn't type 4 (not Plato): this one was added in recent years: Lex Regis (the rule of law). This can be applied to any of the previous categories: are the laws applied equally to everyone? How easily can the law be changed? Who benefits from the laws? If you have strong, evenly distributed laws which most people agree with, then you probably have a GOOD government. ANY govn't type can be good with Lex Regis, including ones we normally think of as "bad" like Feudalism and Theocracy (rule of the priests).

So what we have here are 3 basic categories of government types, those governed by 1) one being or familiy of beings 2) a small group of unrelated individuals 3) the people themselves (or at least a majority of them). You also have an easy way to determine whether your government is "bad" by looking at levels of tax, repression, internal spies, and the flouting of galactic law. If these indicators are high, you can increase unrest and make other races respond to you badly (diplomatic relations go down, votes in Galactic Senate tend to go against you). There would, of course, be benefits to being bad :twisted: .
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Bug / Thoughts and governemnts

#8 Post by guiguibaah »

I often wonder what other forms of government have yet to be decided based on what humans have not discovered or invented...

A) Issac Asimov's postulate that giant computers make the big decisions based on the 3 laws - the cybernetic society in alpha centauri choice, if you will. (Not to be mistaken with the Movie I-Robot, which was silly)

B) A giant colony of space bees living in a unitarian type of government. There is no desire for self-advancement because each individual serves the colony as a unit.

C) An entitiy that has one mind.
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#9 Post by METhomas »

I like so many of the ideas expressed here! I particularly like the idea of the sliding rule between types of government (authoritarian through democratic) and government policy (standing army or drafted army), etc.

Anyway, here's a suggestion of my own, and its similar to both SMAC and Galatic Civilizations.

I was thinking (for the humanoid races) there should be four primary goverment types:

1. Despotism (the leader rules absolutely)
2. Monarchy (the leader rules as sovereign, but may be subject to a constitution, and a parliament)
3. Republic (government rests on consent of the governed, but the government is made up of the people's representatives. Such a system may be more democratic or more oligarchic)
4. Democracy (government of, by, and for the people, may be more republican, with a system of proportional representation, say, or a direct democracy),

and four primary economic systems:

1. Despotism (the leader's economic policies are law)
2. Feudalism (the land, productive properties, etc. are owned by a titular nobility)
3. Capitalism (the means of production and distribution are owned privately or by corporations)
4. Socialism (the means of production and distribution are owned by the nation, communities, or workers, or some combination of these).

Certain governments might only work with certain economic systems. For example, a despotic government would work only with a despotic economic system, a monarchial government might work with either feudalism or capitalism, and republics and democracies might work only with capitalism and socialism.

With each political and economic system there might be techs that would improve its efficiency too.

Additionally, the player might also choose (and change) a political party, and if that political party happens to be in power, then bonuses are given to the player. Further, the political parties in power might attempt to change the form of government or the economic system if in power long enough.

Political parties:

Royalists (proponets of monarchy and feudalism, thus absolute monarchy)
Constitutionalists (proponents of monarchy and capitalism, thus constitutional monarchy)
Conservatives (proponents of republicanism and capitalism, more or less laissez-faire, say, like the USA in the 1870s)
Liberals (proponents of democracy and capitalism, thus liberal democracy and social-market capitalism)
Socialists (proponents of democracy and socialism, thus social democracy)
Communists (proponents of republicanism and state socialism, thus a socialist republic, emphasizing industrial build-up. Such a system may result in despotism, think Stalin. Industrial bonuses for 'x' number of turns, but unhappiness due to repressive state structure.)
Fascists (ardents nationalists who support either a monarchy or republic and state-organized capitalism. Such a system may result in despotism, think Hitler. Military bonuses, but unhappines due to repressive state structure)

The central government would have a parliament (if not Despotism), and the number of seats held by each party might be shown. Constitutional Monarchies and Republics might have a 'winner-takes-all' system, and democracies might have a system of Proportional Representation, or something similar showing the public's present leanings in a direct democracy. Coalitions might be formed between like-minded parties, say, the Liberals and Socialists because of their desire to have a democratic state, or Constitutionalists and Conservative because they want a capitalist economic system, etc.

Anyway, each colony has its own preferences (due to existing conditions for that colony), and a large state/federation/empire might collapse or splinter if a colony has political or economic preferences that differ from the central government, unless the player enacts a system of federalism. In a federal republic or democracy, each world would have its own parliament too.

Just a thought.

Thanks for your attention. :)

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yaromir
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#10 Post by yaromir »

* Democratic - Authoritarian
* Political Left - Political Right
* Open Society - Close Society
* Free Market - Central Planning
* Standing Army - Drafted Army
* Hawk Lobby - Dove Lobby
* Interventionism - Isolationism


Modern terms are mish-mash of meanings so the real issues are obscured by rhetoric and propaganda

Opposite of Authoritarian, for example, is not democracy, but Anarchy or lack of issued governance of any kind.

Opposite of Central Planning is not Free Market, but Free-Enterprise which in reality is all but extinct (I suppose Free-market is also dead)

The actual issues down at their core boil down to this:

A) How diluted is the power of decisions-making?
(*)1 man ------------------ 100% of Population (direct democracy)

Any one-man systems at their core boil down to theocracies (i.e. god wills so, I am descendant of the gods...etc. Military dictatorships are NOT one-man systems.)

B) How distributed is the power of decision-making?
Centralized----------------------Local

Does decision-making process take place in the house next-door, or in the capitol 1000km away?

That's political power.

Economics is simpler

Regulation----------------Free-Enterprise

It can be regulated to support large businesses. Or to pass money down. Or to pass money up. Or to pass money to farms/military...


All this, however, is hardly aplicable to FO, where resource-centric aproach would work best, though I did like SMAC's social-engineering. What was good about it, is that bonuses and penalties were actually felt.
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#11 Post by METhomas »

I agree that political terms are confusing. 'Free' is the most subjective and confusing of all of them. For example, truly, what is a free-enterprise? Is it a capitalist or socialist institution? What makes an institution free? Is it free because there is no external institution which regulates or controls it, or is it free because its participants are free within that institution?

Yaromir, I agree with you that the opposite of Authoritarian is Anarchy, but Plato and other Greek critics of democracy claimed that democracy was, in fact, a kind of anarchy because each member of a democratic polity desired to increase his own freedom. In fact, most anarchists refers to the institutions which they would establish as democratic, but not in the traditional sense. Many anarchists have asserted that democracy without the state and government simply is the means by which anarchists cooperate socially as there are no laws to transgress.

On the other hand, I'm not sure what to make of the opposite of a centrally planned economy. A free-market could very well be the opposite because it is the means by which enterprises interact; they interact in the marketplace. Whereas, it is the state which plans interactions between enterprises in a centrally planned economy. (A corporation might centrally plan its own operations, and if it is a very diversified monopolistic corp., it might centrally plan a national economy in the absense of state regulation.)

Further economics is a political matter, a very specific one which deals with the allocation of resources. The issue still boils down to "how diluted is the power of decision-making." Are economic institutions centralized? Who determines what decisions are made? By what means are economic transactions regulated? By direct government control? Regulation? Taxation? The price mechanism? A cost mechanism which does not involve money?

Theocracy! Yaromir, thanks for reminding me. I'd like to suggest the addition of a Theocratic Party to those I mentioned above. While I agree that a theocracy could be absolute despotism (one god, and I am his rep. on earth) it could also take a oligarchic form. Hierarchy, after all, means 'rule by priests'.

I'm just making some suggestions because I am very new to this and am trying to familiarize myself with this project by reading your posts.

Thanks again.

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#12 Post by Dreamer »

Govn't type 4 (not Plato): this one was added in recent years: Lex Regis (the rule of law). This can be applied to any of the previous categories: are the laws applied equally to everyone? How easily can the law be changed? Who benefits from the laws? If you have strong, evenly distributed laws which most people agree with, then you probably have a GOOD government. ANY govn't type can be good with Lex Regis, including ones we normally think of as "bad" like Feudalism and Theocracy (rule of the priests).
That sound like a great idea. I would mix it with yaomir's perspective... keep reading...

I see 2 separate factors:

1.- Political choices:
a.- distribution of power (1 man ---- all). Corruption, waste in empire control, elections and other factors like that depend on this.
b.- general measure of how "good" is the law (humanitarism, level of individual rights, freedom, etc). Morale, the level of freedom on goverment desitions and others depend on this.

Some examples:

Democracy: power for all / good law
Republic: power for some / good law
Anarchy: power for all / bad law (abuse of freedom, etc)
Monarchy: power for one / good law (one ruler guided by some principles to maintain, think of guidelines or limits).
Despotism: power for one / bad law

2.- Social behaviour.
a.- individualism (egoism): Interest in other species, open/closed society, good or bad feudal behaviour (or corporations) and such aspects are governed by this.
b.- participation: this tends to define how apathyc a society is. This affects the level of activity in the social aspect. An apathyc population will be easy to control, but will not strive

Examples:
comon human beings: individualist / participative. We tend to fight for things we want but mostly for our own good. F
zerg: community / apatic: bugs that obey instantly, but have almost no initiative, invention, etc.
some brotherhood (enligthned race): comunity / participative. All work and strive for the good of others and a better community. This could be seen as the ideal "good" society but it can have some penalties in political and economic choices.


The economic model should arise from the elections in all the factors mentioned above. A certain society under certain government will develop a very specific economic model. I could detail it a little more but I really need to sleep now (as you have probably noted while reading this post)

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#13 Post by yaromir »

what is a free-enterprise? Is it a capitalist or socialist institution? What makes an institution free? Is it free because there is no external institution which regulates or controls it, or is it free because its participants are free within that institution?
:lol: Yeah, politicians treat that word as a flag-waving device. :lol:

Free-Enterprise would essentially mean absense of meddling by the pesky politicians, bleeding-heart activists and blood-thirsty military. :lol:
Of course, as technology progresses, mere initial capital investments make free-enterprise impossible. You want to open a refinery? cough up 25 million :lol:

So it becomes indirect Capitalism (meaning Capital flows towards most profitable ventures) ruled by Corporate Oligarchy. This is the system we have now.
Many anarchists have asserted that democracy without the state and government simply is the means by which anarchists cooperate socially as there are no laws to transgress.
That's very interesting. I always thought that 'natural' human laws would emerge instead ;)
The issue still boils down to "how diluted is the power of decision-making."
I suppose you are right!

Economy:
Decision-making
Organizational----------------------------Individual
<- Large economic modules -> Small economic modules(granular)
(1 Sprawl-Mart).......................................(100 mom&pop)


I liked HOI2's system of political affiliation (curse the sliders!). Besides the sliders, it gave the system a name. 100% Dem & 100% left = social democrat. 100% Auth & 100% right was National Socialism...etc.

It would be nice to have a 2D plane, diamond shaped:

.............../1 man\
............./............\
.........../................\
Local../..........X.......\ Centralized
.........\.................../
...........\................/
.............\............./
...............\...all.../

Centrist.

I hated moving sliders every 10 years or 6 months, so you should be able to set the target, and the speed of movement. System will inform you of the effects, including unrest, and then every turn, you move closer to the goal.
general measure of how "good" is the law(humanitarism, level of individual rights, freedom, etc)
But what is really 'good'? That is a term even more subjective than Free.
For most people if somebody adheres to the same ideals, they are 'good' and those who don't are 'bad'

I think the granularity would be a better choice.

All/Local would be Anarchy = 'good'
All/Centralized would be Mobocracy = 'very bad' (how would you like the other millions of your co-nationals voting on what you have for lunch)

One/Local would mean Tribalism (clanism)
One/Centralized means Theocracy (despotism...etc)

Anybody wants to talk currency? :)
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#14 Post by METhomas »

Well ... I've read enough on the forums now to know there are few ideas I might present which haven't been suggested and otherwise already mulled over.

I was going to suggest religion ... done already, and apparently rejected. There might still be value to it though, for it might account for one reason while a nation will split apart or even fall into a state of civil war.

My political party suggestion is not too unlike the factions suggestion.

I'm not surprised, but I'm hoping some of my ideas and reasoning are interesting enough to consider. Perhaps for future mods.

The idea of money and currency has been suggested and discussed extensively. But I'd like to add that both a money economy and non-monetary economy should be included in the game and each is tied to the economic system which the player chooses.

If a money-system is chosen, then the player should be able to determine the standard that his/her state's currency is related to. Options should include:

an International Standard Currency, your nation uses the currency generally accepted by other states.

an Industrial Standard, basing the value of your state's currency on your general productive capacity (agricultural, industrial, scientific).

and a Valuable Resource Standard, basing the value of your currency on your nation's store of a valuable/rare resource, like a gold standard, say.

This all relates to a market economy, upon which the value of currencies are compared from state to state. Varied exchange rates might prove valuable to a player that has chosen a capitalist economy.

Generally, I'd think that socialistic economies might utilize a 'cost-mechanism' rather than a 'price-mechanism,' but not always.

A 'cost-mechanism' takes into account production points, food, level of technology, and labor costs, but does not generally include money.(However, I'd like to add that money might be accepted in a trade between nations if one nation does not need any raw materials or commodities the other has to offer, but does want/need money).

I'll post more later.

Thanks all!

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#15 Post by Geoff the Medio »

METhomas wrote:I was going to suggest religion ... done already, and apparently rejected.
None of the social / political / cultural type aspects of the design have been decided yet. Religion could be incorporated, as its own subsystem or as a type of content in another system. The only officially decided things are those in the design documents. Postings or perceived popular sentiment on the brainstorming forums are not finalized decisions, so if you have ideas, (continue to) post them.
The idea of money and currency has been suggested and discussed extensively. But I'd like to add that both a money economy and non-monetary economy should be included in the game and each is tied to the economic system which the player chooses.
A good point... but take it further and broader. Is it reasonable to model all possible alien societies in terms of historical human economic and political systems? Aliens have totally foreign biology, psychology and biology. Even if some alien examples can be mapped roughly to historical human concepts, we shouldn't necessarily be limited to historically practiced (or preached) systems and ideas.

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