History of the Meritocracy
History of the Meritocracy
as written on June 3, 2003 by Former Senator, Lord Tom from Thomasia
The story is too long for me to tell by myself, so I encourage others to add the details which I will inevitably forget. However, as the senior statesman of the core group that has endured much, I will try to provide some insight into our history. It has been a long journey from where we began, and we have changed significantly, but for the better, I believe. So, for the beginning.
Chapter I: The Meritocratic Isles
The Meritocratic Isles, which are now a satellite region of The New Meritocracy was our original home. The region was one of the first in the game, as I created it about a week into the game. My nation, which is presently fourth oldest, noticed from the onset that there was no home for capitalist nations who tended to have a conservative or libertarian bent. For that reason, the Meritocratic Isles was founded, and it would grow rapidly.
In the beginning, our goal was simple enough. We were a region of like minded nations who wanted to work within the United Nations to promote our agenda. More remarkably, as we had a few friends, like the recently attacked Capitalist Alliance, we were able to make this difference. I used to send out hundreds of recruitment letters, and when the game had about 5000 nations, the Meritocratic Isles had around 130 members. With that sort of clout, we really could impact the United Nations, as our alliances brought us to control about 8% of the vote there. Our crowning achievement, and the glory of the Meritocratic Isles, and my own reign as delegate was the defeat of a mandatory living wage. It lost by about 30 votes, and I controlled 50 at that time. We felt like we accomplished something.
Yet, the Isles were more than a solitary effort as we had a government of our own. To the best of my knowledge, we were the first region to develop a government outside of nationstates, which was a combined effort by several nations. I was proud to work with Xalanzia, Eureka, Britannia, and Sanctuary at the beginning, as we formed our government. The Meritocratic Isles featured a charter, a beautiful mosaic map, a census, and a fifteen member cabinet. The Prime Minister, highest office of that body, was appointed delegate under law and was responsible to the Cabinet to enforce their will. Things were good, at first.
However, as we are not there now, you can safely assume things went badly. As the world continued to expand, we lost our influence within the United Nations. It was especially aggravating because before I left the role of Delegate, I enjoyed 83 endorsements, but I found that we were unable to make any difference as we could neither influence U.N. votes, nor did we have the numbers to win any proposal. For myself, the last straw was when my painstakingly crafted Sovereignty Act was ignored, because it would have limited the U.N. to an appropriate level, but it was impossible to get people to listen.
All institutions and bureaucracies function less effectively as their size grows. This happened to both the United Nations and the Meritocratic Isles. Both lost focus, and descended to petty squabbling, with the U.N. spiraling into helpless oblivion. So, the last great act we made in the Meritocratic Isles was a mass withdrawal from the U.N. in protest, because we felt that our nations sovereignty should not be subject to the whims of an amorphous mass. Some of our members did not feel this was the best course, and many ended up in Capitalist Alliance or Armageddon, as they were determined to continue to try and resuscitate the United Nations. For our part, we thought this folly, even before region stealing became possible, but we retain friendships with many of those region, despite this schism.
Anyway, after we withdrew from the United Nations, the game withered. The change between trying to change the world and creating something altogether new was formidable. Many lost interest, including myself for a good while. Thomasia almost vanished, as many nations did, because we lost our sense of purpose in the world. We did the right thing, but we had all perfected our nations long since, and what purpose was there. I departed.
Chapter II: The Collapse of the Isles
This is the part I know least well, as it was my absence which had precipitated the fall of the Isles. Since I was responsible for designing the Cabinet, I placed myself in a position where my role as arbiter was unquestioned, but when I left, there were massive disputes over the succession. Although Xalanzia had been listed as Deputy Prime Minister to try and alleviate this very issue, the latent rivalries and differences between some of our diverse members led inexorably to civil war, and the fall of the Isles.
As best I can tell, there were two sides in the dispute. There was a side of usurpers with some nation named Beerovia, whom I never knew, and a group of nations led by Eureka on the other hand who represented most of the Old Guard. Beerovia assumed the vacant U.N. delegacy and tried to reshape the Isles through that authority, even though my final act as Prime Minister was to separate the authority of the United Nations Delegate from the execute head of the confederation.
This continued for about a month, as the population of the Isles was halved, and the dream seemed dead. Certainly, I believed so, but in all the effort we had made, an enduring core remained. The few true believers who wanted to make it work left the Isles, as it was in self-destructive disarray. King Justin the Brave, the Senator from Eureka, took the initiative to lead a few people who wanted to rebuild to a new region. I remember this clearly because it was he who drew me, like so many others, back from the edge.
Chapter III: New Meritocracy
The new region was called the New Meritocracy and things went well there. We designed a new government, having learned from our previous mistakes. The members trusted me to design some sort of system, and this time we removed all the superfluous office, and made a Senate composed of equals where all members could reside. Periodically, the Senate would appoint a Consul to serve as executive, a Tribune to interpret the laws, a Praetor to handle affairs of state, and a Censor to handle the membership. Using a loose interpretation of Rome, Marcus Isles, represented in the honorable Consul Kenneth Fox, and I worked to create a document to please everyone.
The charter which you see today is an amalgamation of our ideas and the will of the Senate since that day. Although Marcus Isles is no longer with us, as he is on personal leave, he shall always be remembered and welcomed as a leader. Anyway, things went well, and although we were a small region, we were united in purpose and in belief. All was going admirably, as we were content to remain quiet and enjoy the friendships our nations had forged, with an occasional newcomer entering.
However, as a region, the first issue which clearly divided us concerned the United Nations. Almost all of the members had chosen to leave the United Nations, but a few, most notably Old Carthage, asked if that should be obligatory. As the original justification for this new region and our exodus from the United Nations had been that it was an infringement upon the sovereignty of the state, we debated heartily on whether Meritocrats should be allowed to be in the U.N. and the Senate. Eventually, by a slim majority, the Senate allowed participation in the U.N., with the explicit understanding that the true authority of the region rests with the Consul. At the time this seemed most fair, and though we were all somewhat uncomfortable with this arrangement, things continued well enough. Old Carthage was serving as Delegate, and we assumed that as someone who had been with us for some time, that nothing bad would come to happen during his tenancy of the Delegate position.
Things were proceeding normally, because although we did not agree upon everything, as republics tend not to, relations between all our nations were cordial. The Charter came into being, as we refined the offices and procedures which you now observe. Our forums and features were painstakingly developed through the ideas of the Senators, and the formidable talents of Lord Curzon of Britannia and Field Marshal Robert Isoeph of Winnipeg. All was perfect, but then Old Carthage committed the crime of treason against his fellow Senators.
Claiming that Eureka and Xalanzia were plotting against him, he used the newly instituted capacity to reject members over the will of the Senate, to expel two of the senior statesmen, including the founder of the region. In response, the Senate has banned him from our presence, and we were forced to leave our second home in the New Meritocracy. Old Carthage brought in a number of dummy states, and false allies to gain his position, abusing the U.N. Delegate position in a way which shocked and offended us all. This is the origin of the dispute with Old Carthage, and this also marked the end of the second incarnation of our region.
(For more on Old Carthage, I'll place an appendix at the end.)
Chapter IV: The New Meritocracy
Seeing that we could not regain our region, we chose to move for once and for all to a secure region, where the Senate could choose a founder, and where we could never fall victim to the marauding nations who use the United Nations as a front. Retaining all the forums, the Senators moved en masse to The New Meritocracy, which would not have the ambivalence of the former region. The first act, passed by unanimous accord, was to disallow any U.N. member to the Senate, or even to reside in our region. Given the new threat, we all agreed this was a necessary step.
Old Carthage removed, we have prospered here, and there is no conceivable threat that can harm us here. We have actually served as a refugee station for any number of capitalist states, and as allies for dislocated nations of all stripes. After Marcus Isles left, Winnipeg was elected as the second Consul for The New Meritocracy, and his strong stewardship has seen us double in size, while retaining our character and our integrity. Moreover, given the new threats in the world, The New Meritocracy has this recently updated and beautiful home, and a new sense of purpose.
In an unsafe world, we are a haven where states can work together without conflict between one another. We are certainly not pacifists, as we actively conduct diplomacy with other regions, and are both willing and able to attack those who would practice their aggression upon others. All Senators understand these responsibilities, to the world, and to each other. Ultimately, the reason why we have endured is because we have played the game to the best of our abilities, and all our storied nations should continue for years to come. Both old and new, we are making history together, the states of The New Meritocracy.
Appendix A: Old Carthage
The history of Old Carthage, which was was initially another nation, known as Ole Carthage is almost as long as the game itself. Initially, I recruited that nation from the Utopian Empire because they seemed to be the victim of unjust slander, and were actively trying to build that region. I invited him to the Isles, but unfortunately, another arch-nemesis of the Senate followed him, Evil 4 Life. Basically, their arguing eventually caused such frustration and discord in the Isles as to make everyone go insane. It appeared Old Carthage was the victim, but the truth was later revealed as these two seeming enemies became allies in taking control of the New Meritocracy.
Anyway, Ole Carthage appeared, and was admitted as a Senator to the new region. Shortly thereafter, New Evil 4 Life also arose and started the same problems. These two planned, and tried to divide the Senate through those limited exiles they enforced. However, the Senate stood strong and were united as we moved, and left them. Old Carthage, not content with that victory, moved to try and desecrate the Meritocratic Isles. However, under the direction of the Senate, some of our own dummy states (most Senators keep UN states for reason which will become obvious to other Senators) retook the Isles, visiting what he had done to others upon him.
Now, his whereabouts are unknown, but that nation has been seen to conspire with forces opposed to our region, so we remain vigilant against his threat. However, we are not worried, as the Senate can defend itself.