It's been a long period of silence since my last post. I've done a lot of thinking and dreaming since then. I recently learned my rather bizarre dreams may be a side effect of quetiapine, a prescribed antipsychotic I've been taking for years now. One recent dream I was in some kind of underground train station, rotting corpses were scattered about, they looked like they were people fused incorrectly with mechanical appendages. A few of them were even still alive, unable to move as the dysfunctional machines fused into them rendered them immobile. At one point in the dream I somehow gained control of this electronic circuit network, but by "gain control", I mean, it literally became a part of my nervous system. It was difficult controlling the circuit using seemingly unmapped muscular commands, like trying to squint with a third eye.
Anyway, concerning more relevance to Above the Catacombs, I have decided to change several aspects of the alternate history. For starters, I have made the world divided purely by imperialist nations, rather than divided between regional powers. Originally, the pre-war world (before the Seven Hour War, in which the Universal Union invaded) was much more optimistic and included several ideal communist societies. I have decided that those societies did not fit the overall theme of the canon, which deals with corrupt ideologies that have pushed societies to the extreme.
The pre-war world can be described as being divided by two main ideologies:
Corporate fascism: Power and wealth is centralized in the hands of a few corporations, with some competition being permitted on a small scale between small businesses. Independent labour unions are effectively illegal, workers' rights non-existent. The poor are viewed as lazy and incompetent, worthy of their poverty and ill health. The rich are viewed as enlightened and industrious and receive ample tax breaks and subsidies. Any and all opposition is attacked with slander and or routinely imprisoned. This ideology commonly disguises itself as "capitalism", "democracy", "freedom", "conservatism", and or "common sense". In the real world, this ideology is typically known as "neo-conservatism", "neo-liberalism", or "crony capitalism".
Welfare fascism: Power and wealth is centralized in the hands of a few government officials, with virtually all forms of economic activity under state control. Independent labour unions are effectively illegal, workers' rights non-existent. The poor are viewed as humble and industrious and are provided the bare necessities for as long as the inefficient economy can afford to. The rich are viewed as parasites and greedy and are either eliminated or exiled. Any and all opposition is attacked with slander and routinely imprisoned. The state seeks to expand its influence and power over other countries without their consent. This ideology commonly disguises itself as "socialism", "democracy", "equality", "communism", and or "liberation". In the real world, this ideology is typically known as "Marxism-Leninism", "state socialism", or "state capitalism".
It should be of course noted that the ultimate purpose of both ideologies is to mislead their subjects and dilute the meaning of their opposing ideologies. Under corporate fascism, capitalism's free market axiom becomes inseparable from an economy dominated by private feudal oligopolies. Under welfare fascism, socialism's axiom of workplace democracy becomes inseparable from an economy dominated by a bureaucratic "party" that consists mainly of military and secret police officials.
Under both ideologies, the economy is centralized and the governing class obtains their wealth from the working masses, who work for meager pay and are subject to inhumane working conditions. There is no democracy, there is no equality, nor is there any real competition. If anyone outside of the elite class benefits it is purely accidental or used as a means of bribery to ensure continued complacency. If any considerable opposition arises, it is either bought out or eliminated through force. Crimes committed against poor people are largely ignored or considered evening entertainment, while crimes committed against elite members of society are considered tragic and disproportionately serious. The jails are subsequently crowded by the poor, who rot in squalor and poison themselves with "recreational" drugs in effort to escape a reality that does not offer choice.
Anyway, back on track...
Above displays various propaganda billboards from the Protestant Republic of America and the International Workers' Republic. Some of them will be used in the introduction, which has been revised slightly since the last newsletter. Fortunately, I managed to make a fairly solid outline for the beginning of the modification, so hopefully I will be more productive in the future.
For now on, I will be posting newsletters monthly (every 4 weeks) - at least that's the plan.
This is the Earth in Above the Catacombs. It looks almost like an antique globe. Its oceans have been drained by the Combine, resulting in global desertification and massive dust storms. You may see an outline of its former continents. This view of Earth will be visible in the introduction sequence.
Read more: Freedom4gamers.com
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