State of the World

Also, this section is obviously under construction, and may see changes as I collect notes and discover that I’d rethought things after the fact. This is the most chincey part of the writing, as I’m accumulating notes gathered over years, gathering thoughts I haven’t thought about in a while, and trying to put them together. Expect to see changes from time to time.

The State of the World

So, there’s all this stuff about history, technology, and things making knocking noises in the nocturnal hours, but you’re asking, “What’s it all about?” Here’s some of your answer.

The Social Climate

Perhaps the most important question to ask involves what the people are doing. Society has changed in a number of ways, and we’re now living in a generation that hasn’t known a world without intelligent nonhuman threats.

Community

Community is a multifaceted thing. In many cases, people have taken on the attitude of “human above all,” a motto espoused by one of the major figures in the various Ku Klux Klans, Walter Donahue. On the other hand, this breaks down rapidly with the realization that anybody could be an enemy, and indeed that they might not even know it. SFS have shown their own knack at finding people willing to side with them, apparently under the principle of “shared intellectual growth.” SFS want to have us around, certainly, and some of them actually seem to care about what happens to us, though perhaps not with any form of compassion or dignity. Of course, any cultist would be one of us, even if they’d rather be Raliite, or perhaps they’d rather not be numbered among any other people at all.

The fact that Raliite hybrids aren’t automatically loyal to Raliites is a known fact, although very few people actually believe it. If any player wishes to react to a Raliite as if they weren’t genetically coded to loyalty to the Raliite causes, it’s perfectly acceptable. Televised interviews with hybrids and full-on Raliites have them talking about how they questioned their place and, in some cases, actively resisted. However, the media paints this as “seeking their own benefit against their own kind,” often framing this in terms of a form of “species disloyalty” that humans aren’t susceptible to (as inane as that sounds). Very, very few people will look to a Raliite and see a rational decision-making creature, no matter how intelligent they think the Raliite is.

This means that the first challenge everyone faces is with their own social groups, their own social circles, and their very neighbors. Simply put, people can’t trust. This lack of trust has led to a slow eroding of the basic structures of our society, and they’ve reformed into a strange, almost Byzantine structures. In any community, each person will have reasons why they might suspect someone of being a “traitor.” Those who meet those standards lose the trust of those people. In general, when a large portion of the community agrees that a particular person is a “traitor,” that person gets shunned until something bad happens. If something bad happens, that person gets blamed, and if the police won’t act then it’s possible the locals will.

This all seems very simple, until you realize that the person who’s raising alarm might be the wolf in sheep’s clothing. This leads to far more complicated tests of trustworthiness, A person who isn’t trustworthy decrying someone else might actually raise that person’s trustworthiness. Indeed, two untrustworthy people decrying each other might cause trust in both of them to raise in a perverse form of Ben Franklin effect. Social positions in the world have become far more complicated and tenuous.

Groupthink

Although groupthink still exists in Death may Die, it takes on a very different form. People aren’t going to engage in groupthink. People in the modern world have a natural mistrust of other people. People have a habit of “counter-groupthink,” which is to say going against a group if they don’t know the people in the group, or don’t know them well enough, or know them well enough to not trust them.

Meanwhile, groupthink sets in extra-quick in a social environment surrounded by people you trust. If a person trusts another person, they will tend to follow along, especially if that person is in a position of authority. Studies indicate that many things can shift under groupthink, including sexual preferences and religious attitudes. One of the pushes of many of the forces of the various wars is to “turn” people who are already influential, in this way to turn everybody who follows them. This can only manage incremental change, but it will still allow for some significant changes.

Thus, groupthink is as powerful as ever, perhaps even more powerful, but it now faces a few obstacles.

If you think this might be the time to reevaluate the relationship between Main Characters and their retinue, then you’re probably right.

The World Condition

This is a very brief capsule summary of each of the different regions of the world.

As I get to them, greater detail will pop in, probably in separate pages linked here, to give greater detail to specific areas.

North America

Coastal areas of North America are under assault. The West Coast was under especially heavy assault for some time in the outbreak of the Oceanic War, but this belied some clandestine operations coming out of the East Coast. The State Guard of the Gulf Coastal states as well as the Ejército Mexicano and Armada de México have been in direct coordination (including some technology sharing) in trying to purge all Raliite presence in the Gulf of Mexico. Canada faces its own trouble to the north, in particular the Northwest Territories.

Raliite beachheads exist in the Northwest Territories, Oregon, Florida, Oaxaca, and Yucatan.

State of the World

Death may Die Pneumonica Pneumonica