Modern World STGOD Concept

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Re: Modern World STGOD Concept

Postby Thanas » 2014-06-16 04:11pm

Fine by me. Maybe have it an original idea by Orion that Rheinland adapted.
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Re: Modern World STGOD Concept

Postby Siege » 2014-06-16 05:08pm

As far as membership of international bodies is concerned I think San Dorado has observer status as a non-state sovereign subject of international law in bodies that are of concern to it. It would therein be represented by a spokesperson for the mayor.

San Dorado cannot sign treaties as a singular entity because the mayor just doesn't have that kind of authority, but the largest corporations either tacitly support certain international agreements or are in select cases themselves signatories.

Not of things like mine ban treaties though: either there's custom for mines or there isn't. If there isn't then we won't be manufacturing; if there is, well, then regulation of their use is up to the customer, not us. Either way a treaty is superfluous.

Thanas wrote:Could we push the start back to the 30th? I got a major conference on 24th-29th so I don't have time on the 28th.


Sure. I don't expect everyone to post on the very first day by the way, it's not a race. But if the 30th works for everyone then there's no reason not to wait another two days.

Rheinland could have done some nasty things in the past, but I wonder which nation it could have done them to. As I hinted at in the history thread, some of the insulting nicknames of Rheinland are "bloody mongers" and "merchants of death", so maybe we sent the Likedeeler/Landsknechts to some nations to make them agree to some demands in the past, or sold massive quantities of weapons to dictators for use on their own people?


It was more of a general comment with regards to WW2, I think there's enough hooks in your backstory for quesionableness (this being one of them) but all the same this idea sounds swell to me. I wonder if your privateers ever ran into my privateers on opposite sides of a conflict, resulting in a private high seas war.
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Re: Modern World STGOD Concept

Postby Thanas » 2014-06-16 05:24pm

Siege wrote:As far as membership of international bodies is concerned I think San Dorado has observer status as a non-state sovereign subject of international law in bodies that are of concern to it. It would therein be represented by a spokesperson for the mayor.

San Dorado cannot sign treaties as a singular entity because the mayor just doesn't have that kind of authority, but the largest corporations either tacitly support certain international agreements or are in select cases themselves signatories.

Not of things like mine ban treaties though: either there's custom for mines or there isn't. If there isn't then we won't be manufacturing; if there is, well, then regulation of their use is up to the customer, not us. Either way a treaty is superfluous.


So to get San Dorado to agree on one thing is impossible unless one forces a bigger corporation to lead on smaller corps?

Can you see the problem of it being impossible to force a corporation to restrain itself and respect laws without hurting it, but then having the entirety of San Dorado as a whole nation go hard on them because of what they did to one corp? It would mean your nation would get away with breaking treaties and agreements as it likes. IMO if there is to be a whole "you need to get all corps to agree" spiel then every single corp should also be forced to hold its own wars and face its own share of pressures almost like a seperate nation.

Siege wrote:It was more of a general comment with regards to WW2, I think there's enough hooks in your backstory for quesionableness (this being one of them) but all the same this idea sounds swell to me. I wonder if your privateers ever ran into my privateers on opposite sides of a conflict, resulting in a private high seas war.


Probably, what with them being around for close to 700 years, though only 500 of those were ocean-going.
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Re: Modern World STGOD Concept

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2014-06-16 05:54pm

Thanas wrote:Fine by me. Maybe have it an original idea by Orion that Rheinland adapted.


That was what I was thinking.

A few other questions that occurred to me in the pub:

First, are there any PC's that are vehemently opposed to the death penalty? Because we still use it and I figure that a "Brutal Orion execution by firing squad" would be likely to draw some international outrage.

Also, we're deciding GDP is US Dollars, but presumably every nation has their own currency. Are we sticking to USD as a sort of "translation convention?" Or are we going to have stuff about exchange rates in there as well?
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Re: Modern World STGOD Concept

Postby Siege » 2014-06-16 06:30pm

Thanas wrote:So to get San Dorado to agree on one thing is impossible unless one forces a bigger corporation to lead on smaller corps?


Firstly, 'San Dorado' as a singular entity does not really exist. I've been quite open about this from the moment I posted my draft and I've reiterated it several times over the course of this thread.

Secondly, it depends on the thing you're trying to get agreement on. Most issues I can think of don't concern all corporations: taking the landmine ban as an example, there's only one major weapons manufacturer in San Dorado. It's Helix Industries. So you talk to them. International transport standards? SANDEX. Bioweapons? SinGen. Ecological damage done by mining industries? Acheron. Financial boycot of a certain world leader? Axum. And so on.

This should not be significantly more difficult than figuring out which department of state to talk to in a moderately byzantine nation-state.

Can you see the problem of it being impossible to force a corporation to restrain itself and respect laws without hurting it, but then having the entirety of San Dorado as a whole nation go hard on them because of what they did to one corp? It would mean your nation would get away with breaking treaties and agreements as it likes.


You can't break agreements you didn't agree with, because those aren't actually agreements.

Furthermore, being slightly difficult to deal with is the point. What else did you think I was trying to do here? I'm not dreaming up an awkward and highly unconventional by the standards of international law setup just for the hell of it. I want to do something different, and I want it to be an issue diplomats have to deal with.

And yes, from time to time it will be difficult to hold megacorporations to account, because they're really rich and really powerful. But you know how you get people interested in making lots of money to do what you want? Make it worth their while.

Eternal_Freedom wrote:Are we sticking to USD as a sort of "translation convention?" Or are we going to have stuff about exchange rates in there as well?


You can indeed come up with any currency you like, and if you conceive of an engaging story about exchange rates I'm all for it. Until that point though I would suggest we don't complicate the world until it's necessary to do so, and leave exchange rates for what they are for now :).
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Re: Modern World STGOD Concept

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2014-06-16 06:33pm

That was what I thought it would be, hence "translation convention." We're not really all using USD, it's just something to make things simpler.
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Re: Modern World STGOD Concept

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2014-06-16 06:34pm

Eternal_Freedom wrote:That was what I thought it would be, hence "translation convention." We're not really all using USD, it's just something to make things simpler.


EDIT: We Orions have a currency called Saiphs, after our legendary King, and funnily enough 1 Saiph is exactly equal to 1 dollar :D
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Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: Modern World STGOD Concept

Postby Thanas » 2014-06-16 06:51pm

Siege wrote:
Can you see the problem of it being impossible to force a corporation to restrain itself and respect laws without hurting it, but then having the entirety of San Dorado as a whole nation go hard on them because of what they did to one corp? It would mean your nation would get away with breaking treaties and agreements as it likes.


You can't break agreements you didn't agree with, because those aren't actually agreements.

Furthermore, being slightly difficult to deal with is the point. What else did you think I was trying to do here? I'm not dreaming up an awkward and highly unconventional by the standards of international law setup just for the hell of it. I want to do something different, and I want it to be an issue diplomats have to deal with.

And yes, from time to time it will be difficult to hold megacorporations to account, because they're really rich and really powerful. But you know how you get people interested in making lots of money to do what you want? Make it worth their while.


My issue is one of game mechanics. Maybe I am missing something here, but it seems to me that you are forcing players to deal with different companies if they have an issue with one of your companies but somehow all companies will pull together once actual pressure is applied on them. What I am saying is that it seems hugely unfair to have players deal with individual companies when they want to put pressure on them but then have the same players face the wrath of the entire nation when they do actually put on the pressure. And the only way out seems to be to either pay them (in which case every situation San Dorado ends up in is an automatic win win which seems like a giant cheat code) or to start to shoot them (which means that you might just as well start an outright war over every little issue).

This gets even worse when the loophole of "company A only deals with landmines" pops up. What can players do to put pressure on company A in such a scenario? And please don't say they can do nothing because that just makes one state invincible to do whatever it pleases with never having to face up to the consequences.

If you want to force us to deal with individual companies then said companies should actually be different entities. For example, I purposefully set my private merc companies as seperate entities so if players sink them they'll won't have to deal with Rheinland military.
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A decision must be made in the life of every nation at the very moment when the grasp of the enemy is at its throat. Then, it seems that the only way to survive is to use the means of the enemy, to rest survival upon what is expedient, to look the other way. Well, the answer to that is 'survival as what'? A country isn't a rock. It's not an extension of one's self. It's what it stands for. It's what it stands for when standing for something is the most difficult! - Chief Judge Haywood
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Re: Modern World STGOD Concept

Postby Simon_Jester » 2014-06-16 09:58pm

Siege wrote:As far as membership of international bodies is concerned I think San Dorado has observer status as a non-state sovereign subject of international law in bodies that are of concern to it. It would therein be represented by a spokesperson for the mayor.

San Dorado cannot sign treaties as a singular entity because the mayor just doesn't have that kind of authority, but the largest corporations either tacitly support certain international agreements or are in select cases themselves signatories.

Not of things like mine ban treaties though: either there's custom for mines or there isn't. If there isn't then we won't be manufacturing; if there is, well, then regulation of their use is up to the customer, not us. Either way a treaty is superfluous.
Yeah.

My perception is that most San Doradan interests would, broadly speaking, favor the creation of more international bodies rather than less. International bodies tend to stabilize international trade norms and lower trade barriers (good for business). And in general they make random wars of aggression less likely, which is desirable to almost any San Doradan who doesn't want the city-state invaded by foreigners.

And by the way, I am saying this while totally being mindful that for any purpose more significant than maintaining the traffic lights, there is no unified polity of 'San Dorado.'

Sure. I don't expect everyone to post on the very first day by the way, it's not a race. But if the 30th works for everyone then there's no reason not to wait another two days.
Works fine for me. Also, some posters probably want to at least have the chance to launch stories right at game start, and I don't contest that. I actually am hoping for other people to react off of, but that's me.

Thanas wrote:My issue is one of game mechanics. Maybe I am missing something here, but it seems to me that you are forcing players to deal with different companies if they have an issue with one of your companies but somehow all companies will pull together once actual pressure is applied on them.
I see no reason to assume that's the case. If someone's harassing Megacorp X for interfering in their war zone, Megacorp Y might very well be perfectly content to sit on their hands and ignore it, or even egg the harassers on.

Plus, it's not like the San Doradan megacorporations are the only major international corporations on the planet. To pick just one example, I'm sure there are major shipping firms operating out of countries like Cascadia and Thanasia Rheinland and various others. If SANDEX becomes an international pariah because their cargo airline subdivision keeps letting drug smugglers aboard or something, those other rivals will start kicking SANDEX around and eating into their international market share.

So abusive behavior by a San Doradan megacorporation runs into several barriers:
1) The other San Doradan companies may not bother to run to its aid, especially if it did something stupid or conspicuously aggressive. They may be specifically looking forward to watching it collapse, even.
2) The San Doradan firm may face competition by other international firms. The San Doradans have some advantages from not being saddled with a national government, but most of those advantages go away if enough people refuse to deal with them, and they know it.
3) Ultimately, a corporation isn't going to pursue a course of action that hurts its bottom line in the long run, not on purpose. Thus, it is likely to be easier to pressure than a national government of comparable size would be, all else being equal. Nations are willing to go into debt to avoid losing face; corporations usually aren't.

This gets even worse when the loophole of "company A only deals with landmines" pops up. What can players do to put pressure on company A in such a scenario? And please don't say they can do nothing because that just makes one state invincible to do whatever it pleases with never having to face up to the consequences.
They can stop buying things produced by company A. They can threaten to organize an international boycott. They can willfully subsidize their own state arms industry to dump cut-price weapons onto the international market and cut into Helix's market share, because if Helix doesn't make money this year nobody's going to bail them out.

If you want to force us to deal with individual companies then said companies should actually be different entities. For example, I purposefully set my private merc companies as seperate entities so if players sink them they'll won't have to deal with Rheinland military.
I'm pretty sure they are and that he's been aboveboard about that; the megacorps hardly have a 'one for all and all for one' agreement in place, after all. A pissed off SANDEX might be able to pull enough strings to seriously fuck with an entire national economy... but that doesn't mean they're immune to retaliation.
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Re: Modern World STGOD Concept

Postby Siege » 2014-06-17 04:38am

Thanas wrote:Maybe I am missing something here, but it seems to me that you are forcing players to deal with different companies if they have an issue with one of your companies but somehow all companies will pull together once actual pressure is applied on them.


I've explained before that this is not automatically the case. If you threaten the city itself then yes, everyone will damn well band together because that's where everybody is. But otherwise its corporations are competing with each other just as much as they're cooperating.

I completely fail to understand what you're on about when you make an issue about companies 'actually being different entities' too. I gave the Big Seven names on May 5. What more do you want?

Yes, they're massive corporate entities that will on occasion cooperate to achieve certain goals. That's been in the description right from the start. This may make things slightly more complicated than the usual flexing of military muscles solution that seems to be the go-to option in these games. That is the point. But Simon managed to come up with a few ways to do business no problem, I'm sure others can too.
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Re: Modern World STGOD Concept

Postby Thanas » 2014-06-17 08:58am

My apologies, I was under the assumption that the measures Simon would talk about would not work because the companies who were hit by sanctions or price dumping/subsidies would just form shell companies of which they are secret owners. For example, Helix would just form a shadow mine company and wash their hands off it, as in only being the real owners through multiple third parties which would make it almost impossible to target Helix for sanctions as they could just go "who, us?". If this option is not available to them and all San Dorado companies are in fact public owners of all facets of their business (even those illegal in other nations) then I have no problem at all.
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Re: Modern World STGOD Concept

Postby Esquire » 2014-06-17 09:33am

I think it's probably worth remembering that this is a world where giant multinational corporations have a lot more power than they do even in real life - I'd be pretty shocked if the traditional states hadn't come up with some methods of dealing with them. Some kind of anti-shell-company law, maybe? Or just not recognizing the megacorps as limited liability companies, so that the ridiculously wealthy owners are personally liable for the things they get up to?
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Re: Modern World STGOD Concept

Postby Thanas » 2014-06-17 09:35am

Meh, I don't look for some magic pill against them, I'm mainly just concerned about them being very slippery.
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A decision must be made in the life of every nation at the very moment when the grasp of the enemy is at its throat. Then, it seems that the only way to survive is to use the means of the enemy, to rest survival upon what is expedient, to look the other way. Well, the answer to that is 'survival as what'? A country isn't a rock. It's not an extension of one's self. It's what it stands for. It's what it stands for when standing for something is the most difficult! - Chief Judge Haywood
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Re: Modern World STGOD Concept

Postby Simon_Jester » 2014-06-17 11:45am

Well, of course they're going to be very slippery.

Normal countries have armies with powerful weapons, and large territories full of large populations who will (usually) loyally resist a foreign enemy that tries to overthrow the government.

San Dorado has no army, negligible ability to deploy heavy weapons in its own defense, no territorial depth, and a population that would cheerfully sell out any or all of the megacorporations if it were convenient to do so.

Siege has to have some means of protecting himself, because he damn sure can't do it by force of arms.

He's got to have at least a prayer of succeeding in his personal goals against active opposition. Instead of having armies so he can wave MIGHTY CARRIER GROUPS RAR under people's noses to coerce them into backing off, he has the sneaky, manipulative, very very rich, and yes slippery megacorporations. Actually bringing down one of the megacorps would be a serious and difficult undertaking, because these are businesses whose capital assets may well number on the order of a trillion dollars. Stopping a megacorp from doing something you don't want it to do is going to be roughly as hard as stopping a small country.

And I don't see a problem with that. There's nothing in the game rules that says we HAVE to somehow get a land mine ban or whatever in place. Hell, if you want to do so you're not just going to have problems with Helix; there are actual nation-states (Umeria among them) who would object to that too.
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Re: Modern World STGOD Concept

Postby Thanas » 2014-06-17 11:52am

The land mine ban is just one example (I am not going to tip my hand at what I am actually going to end up proposing). What I was concerned about was San Dorado being immune to anything except military action as I outlined in this post.
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Re: Modern World STGOD Concept

Postby madd0ct0r » 2014-06-17 12:01pm

speaking of game rules, what are the objectives?
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Re: Modern World STGOD Concept

Postby Steve » 2014-06-17 12:02pm

The objectives? Have fun. Tell interesting stories. Set your own objectives, really.
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Re: Modern World STGOD Concept

Postby Simon_Jester » 2014-06-17 12:13pm

If a major nation-state decides they have a problem with Helix Industries or Acheron or whatever, there are no doubt all sorts of ways they can make their displeasure known short of threatening to bomb San Dorado.

Even if Helix says "no, the land mine manufacturer isn't us, it's a shell company!"

Because it's not like anyone is going to be fooled for long.
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Re: Modern World STGOD Concept

Postby Siege » 2014-06-18 06:24am

Discussing these ins and outs makes me cranky because it feels like my integrity as a player is being questioned. I know the intent behind them is clarification, not condemnation, but still.

Very early on I stated that San Dorado pioneered the 'run questionable operations through shell companies' method during the colonial period. Simon soon pointed out that his leaders would just smile and ignore that sort of legalese.

I agree. I'm assuming that in the modern era at least your nations all employ forensic accountants of sufficient skill to ensure Helix cannot just disappear a major mine manufacturing operation in a shell company and pretend it has nothing to do with this giant factory spewing out AP-mines. I'm relying on your governments to have the werewithal to say "no, you don't get to do that".

That doesn't mean corporation won't try their damndest to be as obfuscatory as possible, just that there's obvious limits. Maybe the factories are off-shored, maybe they're run through a dozen shell companies, but at the end of the day thousands of mines can't show up somewhere without some kind of paper trail. If a company is heading an industry big enough to attract international attention for treaty violations that's obviously not something that can stay hidden forever.

But if anything, I'd think such an investigation and its ramifications would be an interesting story to tell, not something that should be shut down by game mechanics before we even set off.

There's also inevitably going to be gray areas where corporations might get away with questionable deeds. Maybe Helix works its way around the definition of 'land mine'. Who knows, it depends entirely on how the game develops if it's even worth doing something like that.

Bottom line is, I feel I've put enough limits on my nation by severely limiting its military and physical size that I should not be asked to make even more concessions to what I can and cannot do. If it's expected of me that I won't engage in slippery corporate dodging and weaving I might as well throw in the towel right away. That's an inseparable part of what I want to do, to make it work requires players work with me on it, and that requires a level of OOC trust that cannot be caught in rules or game mechanics.
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Re: Modern World STGOD Concept

Postby Thanas » 2014-06-18 06:53am

Siege, I do trust you and I think you know that based on our past dealings. Heck, even when we fought a war against each other in SDNW3 we did work things out.

I was merely asking what the methods of dealing with San Dorado should be. Rest assured that I will not park some carrier groups outside your nation and start slinging rocks. To be honest, the nation state of San Dorado is somewhat confusing to me and before yours and Simon's post I got the impression it was either ask them nicely or if they refuse to start throwing rocks. I am very glad to know that this is not the case.
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Re: Modern World STGOD Concept

Postby madd0ct0r » 2014-06-18 07:07am

I think the whole point of San Dorado is to encourage players to develop other options then rock slinging, if only in self devfense.
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Thanas
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Re: Modern World STGOD Concept

Postby Thanas » 2014-06-18 07:28am

Yeah, I see that now, previously I thought the options were just rock slinging if San Dorado was not inclined to follow the requests. Which is why I asked about the whole business.
Whoever says "education does not matter" can try ignorance
------------
A decision must be made in the life of every nation at the very moment when the grasp of the enemy is at its throat. Then, it seems that the only way to survive is to use the means of the enemy, to rest survival upon what is expedient, to look the other way. Well, the answer to that is 'survival as what'? A country isn't a rock. It's not an extension of one's self. It's what it stands for. It's what it stands for when standing for something is the most difficult! - Chief Judge Haywood
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madd0ct0r
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Re: Modern World STGOD Concept

Postby madd0ct0r » 2014-06-18 10:09am

I've been reading up on Thai fishing boat slavers recently. We certainly have pirates, what's the status of slavery?
(it's not come up in any past histories yet)
"Aid, trade, green technology and peace." - Hans Rosling.
"Welcome to SDN, where we can't see the forest because walking into trees repeatedly feels good, bro." - Mr Coffee

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TimothyC
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Re: Modern World STGOD Concept

Postby TimothyC » 2014-06-18 10:17am

madd0ct0r wrote:I've been reading up on Thai fishing boat slavers recently. We certainly have pirates, what's the status of slavery?
(it's not come up in any past histories yet)

The only history of slavery on the islands was taking defeated warriors as slaves, but this ended not long after contact with the wider world was established.
Kānāwai Māmalahoe :

E nā kānaka,
E mālama ‘oukou i ke akua
A e mālama ho‘i ke kanaka nui a me kanaka iki;
E hele ka ‘elemakule, ka luahine, a me ke kama
A moe i ke ala
‘A‘ohe mea nāna e ho‘opilikia.
Hewa nō, make.


Translation:
Law of the Splintered Paddle:
Oh people,
Honor thy god;
respect alike [the rights of] people both great and humble;
May everyone, from the old men and women to the children
Be free to go forth and lay in the road (i.e. by the roadside or pathway)
Without fear of harm.
Break this law, and die.
Last edited by TimothyC on 2014-06-18 11:38am, edited 1 time in total.
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Thanas
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Re: Modern World STGOD Concept

Postby Thanas » 2014-06-18 10:43am

madd0ct0r wrote:I've been reading up on Thai fishing boat slavers recently. We certainly have pirates, what's the status of slavery?
(it's not come up in any past histories yet)


Slavers are thrown into the Rhein. Slavery is outlawed and anybody who reaches Rheinland is automatically considered free. The Rheinland Navy regularly conducts patrol to check for slavery.

However, there is a bit of grey area surrounding the Kanzler himself. He can pardon people to service in the likedeeler or Landsknechte. People can voluntarily enter into servitude to the Kanzler, and give up their rights. This was an Imperial priivilege lost to the Kanzler when Rheinland became a republic and is mainly used to create a loyal and uncorruptible staff. Compare it a bit to the Vesta cult of Rome - people give thirty years of their lives to the state during which they enjoy limited to no rights, then get a fat pension and have high status in society.
Whoever says "education does not matter" can try ignorance
------------
A decision must be made in the life of every nation at the very moment when the grasp of the enemy is at its throat. Then, it seems that the only way to survive is to use the means of the enemy, to rest survival upon what is expedient, to look the other way. Well, the answer to that is 'survival as what'? A country isn't a rock. It's not an extension of one's self. It's what it stands for. It's what it stands for when standing for something is the most difficult! - Chief Judge Haywood
------------
My LPs


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