Totalitarian States and Social Policies

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by Randall Turner, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. Randall Turner

    Randall Turner King

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    I have a character flaw. Like I said in the "Why doesn't Order cancel Freedom/Liberty" thread, there are times when I just want to play the bad guy. I don't think that's the best way to run a country, and I wouldn't ever do that sort of thing in real life - I'd like to think if I were the King of the World that I'd try to do what's "good", ie, makes people happy with their lives (which would probably mean stepping down as King of the World**, darn it.) But this is just a game, I think it's okay to be an oppressive jerk to a bunch of silocone bits.

    We have a number of modern Totalitarian States we could model this sort of anti-social behavior after. The two that leap to mind that we'd like to emulate are the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. (Again, emphasize here that "we'd like to emulate" in game terms.) Both were very successful at the usual "Pinky and the Brain" goal of World Domination - they had very strong militaries, especially for their size and industrial capacities. (The Soviet Union had a moderately strong industrial capacity, but not really exceptional when juxtaposed against comparably sized democracies - unless you just look at military production, which is what we care about here, we don' need no steenking consumer goods, we're gonna Conquer the World!!)

    The problem we have in Civ is that some dumbass has decided that it was a good idea to differentiate between these two modern totalitarian states in terms of Social Policies you'll adopt to implement their systems. They stuck them in separate trees. Genius. As Borkenau says, "Totalitarianism more united the German and Soviet dictatorships than divided them." Without putting too fine a point on it, you have to adopt certain policies like "police state" and "planned economy" (state-controlled production) to make a good evil empire. You can't stick them in separate trees. Likewise, you'll have to have some limits on compatible social policies. There was no "Free Speech" policy in the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany.

    What I'm proposing here is a new, "Totalitarian State" social policy tree for modern, ideologically-based dictatorships that we can take when we want to go Pinky on the rest of the world.

    I think the first step is to take a look at the historical examples of the two Totalitarian State models and determine what's inherently different about them. Happily, this is easy - Communist regimes (USSR, China, Cuba, etc.) have a class-based ideology, Fascist regimes have a ethnic-based ideology. (This isn't some deep insight by me, it's directly from the Wiki article on Totalitarianism, ie..."For Nazism, all history is the history of race struggle; and, for Marxism, all history is the history of class struggle.") This matches reasonably well, the Japanese and Italian versions of Fascism heavily emphasized ethnic (Bushido, Roman) values, and while a few Communist governments had some sparse elements of ethnic/group ideology (ie, Nationalism) they were very, very rare.**

    Consider building our "Totalitarian" social policy tree. We have to deal with "ultra-nationalism" (Fascist) vs. "proletarianism" (Communist) branches - can they exist simultaneously? (Do they in North Korea?) Here's a radical idea - can we ignore them? (Thinking out loud here.) Fascist and Communist ideologies basically supply the rationale supporting the transition from a popular form of government to an authoritarian regime. (Or in the case of USSR, one set of a-holes to another.) What's the actual difference, in terms of results? Let's assume "none" in game terms for the time being - you can think of clicking on the Totalitarian branch as either adopting a Fascist or Communist ideology, we don' care, we're just gonna go kill stuff.


    Then, what's similar? Basically, everything. All we have to do is identify the core set of policies that make up a Totalitarian government and stick them into a tree. I'd propose:

    Totalitarian State (branch root) - Invalidates Freedom and Liberty, but subsequent Totalitarian policies are 1/2 price.
    Police State - buff this up, and don't limit it to "occupied" cities, something like - all cities with a garrison get +4 happiness. (They're not really "happy", they just have a dude with a gun standing next to them.)
    Planned Economy (government directed, if not owned) - increase effectiveness of military production. All units 1/2 production cost.
    Militarism - increase effectiveness of military units. Currently makes them cheaper to buy, I'd change it to +25% strength or some such.
    [need two more policies here. perhaps one to make units cheaper to buy ala current "militarism" and one to increase city defense strength ala "Universal Suffrage", which just doesn't make sense.]

    For the "other" late game branch I'd suggest something like "Socialism", ie, a benevolent form of social class leveling.

    ** King of the World - just think of the cheerleading squad you could put together!

    ** Communist Nationalism - Stalin temporarily re-incorporated Nationalist values during WWII in an attempt to provide martial motivation (emphasizing the Rodina, ie, "Motherland" etc.), but only after it became obvious Soviet ideology wasn't cutting it and only temporarily.
     
  2. mythmonster2

    mythmonster2 BEC NOIR! RUN!

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    One thing I noticed: Would Totalitarian State's effect even be possible? How would the game know whether you're going to get a Totalitarian policy or not? Would you just get two policies if you pick a Totalitarian one?
     
  3. Randall Turner

    Randall Turner King

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    Damn, you're quick!

    I don't understand your question though. The game knows you're picking a Totalitarian policy when you click on it, right?
     
  4. mythmonster2

    mythmonster2 BEC NOIR! RUN!

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    I'm talking about the branch root's effect. If all future policies from the Totalitarian tree's effect cost half, they should take half the time to get. But the problem is that the game doesn't know which policy you'll go for next, so it wouldn't know whether to give you the half time for Totalitarian policies or the full time for anything else.
     
  5. Randall Turner

    Randall Turner King

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    Well, you could say "all culture x2 but no choices outside Totalitarian State branch until completed", and then after the last TS policy drop culture back down to x1 - but that seems more restrictive.

    That's what'll happen until we finish setting up our "Evil Empire" of course.

    I don't think a simple UI modification (ie, implementing a mild form of policy saving while this branch is active) is much of a programming challenge, though.
     
  6. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

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    Not entirely. Italian Fascism (and other Fascist variants) differed from Nazism in quite a few ways. Notably, Italian Fascism emphasized the nation while Nazism emphasized an entire 'race'. Looking further, the Brazilian Integralists were explicitly anti-racism and viewed ethnic differences as being irrelavent.

    Fascism as an ideology differs from Fascism as practiced by the Italians in government. As an ideology, Fascism is a revolutionary program against both the bourgeois and the proletarait. In practice, it is a conservative ideology that derives its support almost exclusively from the 'middle class'.
     
  7. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    Moderator Action: Moved to Ideas & Suggestions. :)

    Moderator Action: Please ensure your posts are directly related to the idea regarding social policies, or Civ5.
     
  8. Randall Turner

    Randall Turner King

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    Note that I'm just quoting Arendt's "Origins of Totalitarianism" with the race thing. I also think you're pulling in states that're outliers, ie, including a Communist state in the other thread that doesn't completely nationalize production, is it strictly speaking a Communist state? It might be for some definitions, but if our game generalization doesn't fit that case, it's not a big deal. A game concept is necessarily a generalization - and you have to admit that the current ingame policy interpretations are much sillier. (more importantly, they don't allow us to put together a decent Evil Empire.)
     
  9. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

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    If your definition breaks down when real world outliers are introduced, is it a broad enough of a defition for a Civ game?
    The social policies from Civ5 give us even more options for fine-tuning our empire then the civics in Civ4. Shouldn't the options represent that?

    Question: Are social policies supposed to represent what form the ideology actualy took, or the ideology of the state? Using Allende from Chile (for example) he was a Communist, but Chile never really had a 'communist economy'. In that case, would Chile's Social Policy be "Communism" or "whatever else they had"?
     
  10. Randall Turner

    Randall Turner King

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    Are you serious?

    You're criticizing this proposal for not matching real-world situations and you don't have a problem with the policy trees as they exist NOW? ie,,

    ...is nonsensical. You're just spamming this thread. Are you one of the brain-dead game designers? One of the people who wrote this crap?

    Camikaze, is this guy a shadow developer poster?

    Thanks for moving this honest but light-hearted thread to the "Ideas and Suggestions" sub-forum to die with your off-topic posts.

    Edit: oh, I see. Checking your posting history. You live over there in the off-topic mudpit.
     
  11. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

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    I'm not saying that, and I really don't like the way policies are handled in Civ5. I thought that when someone is looking to adjust the social policies, it would be in a way to either balence them (of which there are a couple of mods that do that) or made them more historicaly accurate.

    No, I'm none of those things. (Unless you count making a couple Civ4 mods means someone is a game designer).

    My apolagies. I was under the impression that you wanted to fine tune the social policies to better represent authoritarian states. If that is not what you wanted and instead were looking for ideas to create a social policy tree to emulate Ronald Reagans 'Evil Empire', I shall leave.
     
  12. Randall Turner

    Randall Turner King

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    You are a liar.

    I already said that for our purposes it doesn't matter whether you're a Fascist state or a Communist state when choosing Totalitarianism. Of course whether your Fascist ideology is purely Ethnic or Nationalist based is completely irrelevant.

    So either you're too dense to understand the English language (not your first?) or you're integrity-challenged. Not hard to determine which. From reading some of your prior posts, dude, you are a straight-up troll.

    Thanks for killing my thread.
     
  13. tokyochojin

    tokyochojin Chieftain

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    I think that this would be a great idea. It would be great to have a policy tree that emphasised military and economical strength, while playing as a dictatored state.
     
  14. killmeplease

    killmeplease Mk Z on Steam

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    i'd place order to the ancient era
    liberty and honor - to classical
    freedom to industrial
    patronage to renaissance

    so we could have 2 trees per era.
    and autocracy could be renamed to totalitarianism and given aforementioned effects
    also there s no need in separate late game tree for socialism imho as redistribution of wealth is known since prehistoric times and can rest on order tree as a 'collectivism' policy. effects may be faster population growth / combat bonus
     

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