How to Handle Politics in a Modern Day World?

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MysteryMan23
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How to Handle Politics in a Modern Day World?

Post by MysteryMan23 »

So, the world I'm working on is based off our modern day. It still has magic and nonhuman species, though.

One major thing I'm concerned about is the politics. You see, while politics is a major part of any world, it can also be kind of, well, depressing. Especially modern day politics, which is both relatively close in time to me and, well, y'know...

Anyways, I'm pretty sure that if I based my world's politics too strongly on our world's, it would make working on it rather unpleasant for me. On the other hand, if I tried to make my world's politics too pleasant to me, it would be totally unbelievable. I want to make my world's politics believable, yet not totally unenjoyable. Any clue how to pull this off?

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Re: How to Handle Politics in a Modern Day World?

Post by Micamo »

Best solution is probably to base things off of our world, but diverge at a critical point: I'm most familiar with US political history so I'll use that as an example. You could base things off of the 20th century, but then say that after WWII the New Deal was never dismantled, the war in vietnam never happened, and the democrats never abandoned the 50 state strategy. After the civil right's act was passed a massive cultural reformation effort went underway and the republican party effectively died off, lingering only as a handful of closet extremists who don't dare to speak their views in polite company.

The democratic party, meanwhile, splits in two with the republicans disintegrated: A center-left (from today's POV) traditional democratic party on the right, and a socialist party on the left. The socialist party has far from achieved its goals of dismantling capitalism entirely but has achieved several important victories: A single-payer healthcare system, the abolishment of utilities companies and their subsequent nationalization, a 100% tax on all wealth over a billion dollars, and perhaps most importantly the breakup of media conglomerates and the early nationalization of the internet. Google, Facebook, and Amazon were never allowed to form, and the modern internet works entirely on open protocols. Our contemporary slide into neo-fascism driven by mass-radicalization on social media platforms is completely unimaginable.
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Re: How to Handle Politics in a Modern Day World?

Post by Backstroke_Italics »

Why are there magical creatures in this world?

If you put centaurs in because you think it would be nice to live in a world full of centaurs, then there's no reason why blatant utopianism would be off the table. Give world leaders a United League of Empathy or something.

If you put centaurs in because you're fascinated with the details of how they would function, then only include the details of politics that you find equally fascinating. There's no need to include things that don't interest you if that's the whole raison d'etre of this world.

If you put centaurs in because you think it will be ironic or edgy to have high fantasy elements in an urban fantasy setting, then include plenty of dark political elements, but frame them in a way that makes it obvious these are exaggerations, dramatic elements to give people something to push back against or overcome.

If you put centaurs in because you just wanted a high fantasy setting but didn't trust yourself to create a believable world from scratch, then write an alternate history with a very recent point of departure, where modern versions of classic high fantasy tropes replace the Iraq War or ISIS.

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Re: How to Handle Politics in a Modern Day World?

Post by Salmoneus »

I think the solution probably has to come through working on your issues. If you look around yourself, see probably the closest humanity has come to utopia - the most prosperous, liberal, tolerant, peaceful and safe that the US has ever been, and nearly that the world has ever been anywhere - and find yourself so depressed about it all that you cannot even bear to think about it, that's not an issue with the world, that's an issue with how you think about things. And with that issue, it's hard to imagine you ever being able to create a utopia that's unambiguous enough to NOT send you into depression (every utopia is also a dystopia, after all).

[On which notes: Micamo's utopia* seems to be describing the UK in the 1950s and 1960s. That's achievable enough, certainly, but I think it's fair to say the situation was not without its own frustrations and flaws... and in addition, the problem with defining any utopia is that either it will cease to be a utopia, or it will be frozen without the possibility of reform - which is both unrealistic and dystopian]

I'd suggest in particular that perhaps you can focus on the positives in your political systems, rather than the negatives - not what hasn't been achieved yet, but what has been achieved.

I'd also suggest examining why you have this issue only with contemporary politics, a relatively 'nice' part of human life. After all, the economics, the sociology, the culture, the technology and medicine, the religion, the wars of your conworld must surely pose even more awful moral obscenities for you, and this problem would surely be even greater - exponentially greater! - in a conworld that was NOT modern? Perhaps identify what it is that allows you to be sanguine about all other topics, and attempt to apply the same anodyne to politics?





*one thing does puzzle me: why would the civil rights act kill off the Republicans, the traditional party of liberalism and reform, and ensure the domination of the Democrats, the party whose members (despite the actions of their leadership) were most ardently opposed to racial justice? The Civil Rights Acts of 1866, 1871 and 1875 were pushed through by Republicans against stiff Democratic resistance; Republicans also pushed through the Civil Rights Act of 1957 (albeit neutered by LBJ and the other Democrats) and 1960 (which 93 Democrats opposed, compared to only 15 Republicans). A Democratic President lead the charge for the CRA of 1964, but it was blocked by Democrats in the House, and only allowed through in the wake of Kennedy's assassination (when it was presented as a 'memorial' to the martyred President); even so, it was only narrowly able to survive filibusters by 18 Democrats (and 1 Republican) in the Senate. In both the House and the Senate, it ended up with the support of over 80% of Republicans, but only about 60% of Democrats. [the Civil Rights Act of 1968 was initially stalled by Democrats, but eventually passed with broad bipartisan support after MLK was assassinated]. Meanwhile, a huge swathe of rights were effectively granted by the Supreme Court ex cathedra - but only once a Republican politician, Earl Warren, was made Chief Justice (his predecessor, Vinson, had done his best to block reform). And when the Republican Chief Justice had secured a unanimous decision in Brown v Board of Education, for example, it was a Republican President who deployed the 101st Airborne to face down a Democrat Governor and his National Guard in Arkansas to enforce it.
It's a good remainder that parties don't stay the same: political disputes are driven (for the most part) not by disagreement between parties, but by disagreements among the public, and where parties do not address public concern, they will either be replaced or be forced to evolve to address those concerns.

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Re: How to Handle Politics in a Modern Day World?

Post by Shemtov »

If you have fantasy races, it might be a good idea to make them analogs for IRL minorities. Viz. X-men, where "Mutants" are stand-ins for African-Americans, and later, LGBTQs (though these minorities co-exist with Mutants) and Harry Potter, where while the focus is on Muggle-Borns, there is slavery for the House-Elves, and the Racist Voldemort uses guile to make Werewolves side with him.
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Re: How to Handle Politics in a Modern Day World?

Post by Salmoneus »

FWIW, that's generally considered the worst thing about these franchises, and top of my recommendations would be to absolutely not do this. Aside from being heavy-handed, patronising, and disrespectful to the reader and the story, it's also disrespectful to real-world groups and very often ends up reading as racist or bigoted.


EDIT: just to go into a bit more detail there...

The big problem with "let's make elves symbolise gay people" or "let's make centaurs represent the Jews" is that it commits you to symbolic representation. And that's dangerous at both ends. At one end, if you want to symbolise a group, you have to create a conception of 'the group' to stand as your signified. And any such conception will be a gross simplification that is liable to offend. The line between "look, the centaurs clearly represent the Jews!" and "look, the centaurs are a racist caricature of the Jews!" is razor-thin.

At the other end, your symbol - the centaurs, say - is in turn beset by problems from two directions, because it has to serve two tasks: it has to symbolise your signified, AND it has to function within its own narrative, within the created world as a whole. Regarding the first, any attempt to symbolise one group with a different group is doomed to (probably offensive) failure, because one group is NOT another group. In saying "these people are the magic-Jews because they share X feature with real Jews", you're also implying "they also share Y feature with real Jews" (you can't in practice specify which features are meant to be analogous and which aren't), and that's going to be problematic, because there are going to be some serious differences between the two groups.

And it's not just as simple as giving your symbolic group some obviously negative trait. The differences can make any analogy fail in a way that causes offense. To take the X-Men: sure, they're gay people. They face undeserved bigotry because they're Different. Except: the mutants actually ARE (in many cases) a clear and present danger to ordinary Americans, and many of the prejudices and discriminations against them are justified, or at least very understandable. The X-Men stories are basically a (usually unintentional) argument for why it's OK to persecute minorities! And certainly, in a world of school shootings and terrorist attacks and right-wing extremist who militantly defend their "right to bear arms", resisting any attempt at weapon-regulation as an infringement of liberties, it's hard to see mutants resisting attempts at destructive-superpower-registration without seeing them as the villains. Which is a problem if the mutants are meant to be Gay People. Because it puts them in a position where the same group is symbolising both Gay People and also Psycho Gun Nuts, which is probably offensive to both groups! [this tension can be the source of fascinating, morally-complicated storytelling, but that's a very hard thing to pull off, and the failures are very, very painful]

Meanwhile, from the other direction, if your group is lashed to the anchor of a clear symbolic function, it's difficult to have them work in a meaningful and convincing way within their OWN world, as independent actors with their own agency. Because to some extent their nature - and hence behaviour - is being imposed onto them by the desire to make them analogous to some group on earth, rather than being allowed to develop as their own internal logic demands. So these expies tend to not really make sense in their own right, as well as being problematic in their symbolic implications.

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Re: How to Handle Politics in a Modern Day World?

Post by Shemtov »

X-men, sure, I can see that, but in Harry Potter, I would argue that there's no one to one correspondence. Maybe the House-Elves are Antebellum slaves, but that makes only partial sense, as there are things that do not match. Werewolves and such, though? Match nothing in the real world, unless you really stretch your imagination. They're just random groups that don't exist IRL, with no exact mapping.
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Re: How to Handle Politics in a Modern Day World?

Post by Micamo »

Salmoneus wrote:
15 Dec 2019 19:47
I think the solution probably has to come through working on your issues. If you look around yourself, see probably the closest humanity has come to utopia - the most prosperous, liberal, tolerant, peaceful and safe that the US has ever been, and nearly that the world has ever been anywhere - and find yourself so depressed about it all that you cannot even bear to think about it, that's not an issue with the world, that's an issue with how you think about things. And with that issue, it's hard to imagine you ever being able to create a utopia that's unambiguous enough to NOT send you into depression (every utopia is also a dystopia, after all).
Honestly, Sal, you're smarter than this. Do you really not know why trans folks are terrified, why muslims are terrified, why jews are terrified?
*one thing does puzzle me: why would the civil rights act kill off the Republicans, the traditional party of liberalism and reform, and ensure the domination of the Democrats, the party whose members (despite the actions of their leadership) were most ardently opposed to racial justice? The Civil Rights Acts of 1866, 1871 and 1875 were pushed through by Republicans against stiff Democratic resistance; Republicans also pushed through the Civil Rights Act of 1957 (albeit neutered by LBJ and the other Democrats) and 1960 (which 93 Democrats opposed, compared to only 15 Republicans). A Democratic President lead the charge for the CRA of 1964, but it was blocked by Democrats in the House, and only allowed through in the wake of Kennedy's assassination (when it was presented as a 'memorial' to the martyred President); even so, it was only narrowly able to survive filibusters by 18 Democrats (and 1 Republican) in the Senate. In both the House and the Senate, it ended up with the support of over 80% of Republicans, but only about 60% of Democrats. [the Civil Rights Act of 1968 was initially stalled by Democrats, but eventually passed with broad bipartisan support after MLK was assassinated]. Meanwhile, a huge swathe of rights were effectively granted by the Supreme Court ex cathedra - but only once a Republican politician, Earl Warren, was made Chief Justice (his predecessor, Vinson, had done his best to block reform). And when the Republican Chief Justice had secured a unanimous decision in Brown v Board of Education, for example, it was a Republican President who deployed the 101st Airborne to face down a Democrat Governor and his National Guard in Arkansas to enforce it.
It's a good remainder that parties don't stay the same: political disputes are driven (for the most part) not by disagreement between parties, but by disagreements among the public, and where parties do not address public concern, they will either be replaced or be forced to evolve to address those concerns.
This is a bad faith argument and you know it: Your history conveniently ignores the progression from Nixon, to Regan, to the Bushes, to Trump. Since Goldwater at least the republicans have been consistently building their voter base from hate-filled reactionaries, first through dogwhistles like "State's Rights" and now they're the party of building concentration camps. Parties *do* change (or are replaced) as the political consciousness of the public changes, but they also in large part drive that consciousness through the rhetoric they choose to use and the policies they choose to endorse.

My alt-history timeline (which is not intended in any way to be utopian, just Not Quite As Shit) posits that this pivot to white supremacy fails and the republican party dies as a result after a series of crushing defeats. It is far, I will grant, from the only alternative outcome, and arguably a highly improbable one: You could just as easily posit that instead of leaning on reactionism, the republicans become (or should I say, return to being) the party of radical anti-racism reform, and attempt to build a Second Reconstruction redistributing wealth and land en masse to black and indigenous populations.

------------

On Allegory: I mostly agree with what Sal has to say here about fantasy allegories being problematic, but there's an additional angle that he left out. Namely, if mutants-with-superpowers are an allegory for gay people, why not just... make them gay people? Too often Fantasy Allegory is an excuse to homogenize fantasy worlds, to appropriate and exploit the real-life struggles of marginalized people while also erasing them from your world.

There are two situations where I think this kind of allegory is defensible.

1. When you're operating artistically under conditions of censorship (either by the government or just by corporate suits) where your work would not be permitted if you had any actual gay people (or other marginalized group) in it, so if you want to talk about these issues you have to disguise them.

2. When the allegory is used community-internally: For example, there's a rich tradition of queer folks writing queer vampire and shifter fiction for queer audiences. It works, because the authors have the necessary life experience to have an understanding of the nuances involved and the readers to know what the allegory is being used to say and what it isn't, where vampires-as-queer-allegory written by straight people falls on its face. (Plus, the vampire and werewolf stuff being an allegory for queerness is in addition to, rather than instead of, the characters being actually queer themselves. This makes a big difference.)
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Re: How to Handle Politics in a Modern Day World?

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I get the feeling this thread is getting close to the sensitive subjects rule. Micamo, I'm not putting words in your mouth, but what you said could be read as all Trump voters are no better than Neo-Nazis or the KKK, but I know of not a few Jews who voted Trump, are you going to say they're Neo-Nazis? Even if that's not what you meant, it's too close for comfort, IMHO. I've also changed my stance on the X-Men as a guide to good conworlding, but you keep harping on it. I brought up Harry Potter as an example instead.
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Re: How to Handle Politics in a Modern Day World?

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Shemtov wrote:
16 Dec 2019 12:23
I get the feeling this thread is getting close to the sensitive subjects rule. Micamo, I'm not putting words in your mouth, but what you said could be read as all Trump voters are no better than Neo-Nazis or the KKK, but I know of not a few Jews who voted Trump, are you going to say they're Neo-Nazis? Even if that's not what you meant, it's too close for comfort, IMHO. I've also changed my stance on the X-Men as a guide to good conworlding, but you keep harping on it. I brought up Harry Potter as an example instead.
There will always be members of marginalized populations who will betray others of their kind for a chance at self-advancement: See shitstains like Milo, who happily hangs out with nazis who call him an abomination right to his face. There are many white jewish folks who are anti-islam, anti-black, anti-palestine, and who believe they will be safe from folks like Stephen Miller who want a second holocaust.

History shows this kind of safety by way of siding with the oppressors against yourself is always an illusion.

--------

As for Harry Potter, it's in fact a perfect example of how this kind of allegory fails: Werewolves are a confirmed, Word-of-Rowling, stand-in for HIV. Most werewolves in the Potterverse are villains, including one werewolf in particular whose life goal is to infect as many children with his disease as possible. Do I even need to explain how hateful that is?
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Re: How to Handle Politics in a Modern Day World?

Post by qwed117 »

Why is there a politics flamewar about conworlding in the Conlang section?

Also, fwiw, I think that having magic in the world gives you the unique opportunity to handwave most problems of the world, for example, free energy from magic = no climate change. So you can choose what issue you would like to critique or tackle and place emphasis on that.
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Re: How to Handle Politics in a Modern Day World?

Post by Shemtov »

That's Rowling's point: If the HIV scare had gone on long enough, without campaigns against it, the wrong people at the wrong time could have manipulated sufferers to evil. That's part of her worldview- unchecked hatred breeds hatred in return. Do you have to accept that view? No, but understanding it is key before critiquing it.
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Re: How to Handle Politics in a Modern Day World?

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Also, if I was bringing examples of Jews who voted for Trump, would I use those who can be compared to Milo? They believe that Trump is actually Semitophilic, but is using Neo,-Nazis for other ends- he's manipulated them into thinking he's on their side. And they believe that there are no concentration camps- the media is exegerating the conditions- to them the prevalence of reductio ad hitlerum means that most comparisons to the Holocaust are suspect.
TLDR the idea that my examples can be compared to Milo is so ridiculous that it's close to putting words in my mouth. It's actually such a ridiculous proposal you're actually putting words in their mouths- people you had no interaction with, who are not active in this conversation
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Re: How to Handle Politics in a Modern Day World?

Post by Backstroke_Italics »

The various interpretations of the X-men in this thread show one way to go about this in your conworld (assuming OP is still listening): be vague. Leave things open to multiple interpretations. I've always thought of the X-men as "you and the other weird kids at school" because, unlike Jews or gays or whatever, they are secretly better than everyone else, just like you and your friends! That resolves the dilemma about the mutants actually being quite dangerous, but it's hardly the only (or the most overt) symbolism in the comics.

The muggle/magical divide in Harry Potter is another good example. It serves a good purpose in the story, and functions as its own thing that doesn't perfectly match any existing social divisions. So you can have the muggles do something good or bad or whatever, and not make the reader scratch their head and wonder "Wait, so are the Seventh Day Adventist analogues now against the repeal of the Corn Laws analogue?"

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Re: How to Handle Politics in a Modern Day World?

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May or may not be time to split the thread...
Shemtov wrote:
16 Dec 2019 15:38
TLDR the idea that my examples can be compared to Milo is so ridiculous..
It's not. There will always be some members of an oppressed group who act against their best interests and will sell themselves or others out for a variety of reasons, like money or acceptance. And they don't have to consciously be aware that they're acting against their or their group's best interests, they can be unwitting dupes, like the "Jews for Trump" you describe who legitimately believe he is actually Semitophilic.
...that it's close to putting words in my mouth. It's actually such a ridiculous proposal you're actually putting words in their mouths- people you had no interaction with, who are not active in this conversation.
You're laying that sense of indignation on so thick it's practically melodramatic.
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Re: How to Handle Politics in a Modern Day World?

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Well, if it's more or less just the real world with slight differences, then you wouldn't really have to go over that stuff in detail except where/when it's relevant. It'd be much more important to note the differences from the real world than the similarities, and if all the differences are positive ones... well, so what? There'd still be a lot of bad things in the world because if it's anything like the real world, there's bound to be a lot of bad things.

I think the default assumption is that unless otherwise specified, everything is set in the real world (or at least a world that's like the real world, except with the differences noted in the work of fiction)? People might be offended by some of those differences, but at the end of the day someone will always be offended by something. I mean, if you had a work of fiction set in a world that's exactly like the real world except Liechtenstein declared war on Switzerland and Austria in 2015 and annexed St. Gallen, Appenzell and Vorarlberg, which were internationally recognised as part of Liechteinstein at the end of the war, obviously that'd piss off the majority of the Swiss and Austrians, and probably also a lot of Lichtensteinians... but that doesn't mean you shouldn't set a work of fiction in a world like that.

If the presence of magic affects politics, then that would be important to note. Maybe your conworld is exactly like the real world except people with magical powers are the global elite who secretly control all world leaders. A lot of believers in conspiracy theories would assume your magical people are a stand-in for whichever group of people they believe to secretly control the world (most commonly the Illuminati, Jews or Freemasons), and the same would probably be assumed by a lot of people who're paranoid about conspiracy theories. It wouldn't matter if you just meant them to be magical people, not even remotely related to any real-life group(s) of people; people will interpret things in their own way because people are people.

Personally I think everything should be ok in fiction, with as few assumptions about the author's intent or agenda or whatever as possible, in part because of exactly the things already mentioned in this thread. Different groups or characters or whatever can be analogues for different real-life groups or individuals or whatever, but they also might not be, and even if they are, they might represent different groups or individuals or whatever than you'd assume and the reason why they're portrayed in a certain way may be entirely different from the "obvious". Even if a work of fiction flat-out includes real-life groups of people, they'd still be fictional characters. That also applies to alt-history scenarios simply posted on a forum in the context of an a posteriori conlang and whatnot, too, not just stories or films or whatever; all the unspecified members of a real-life group of people in alt-history scenarios are fictional characters, not necessarily representative of the alt-historian's view on said group of people.

Taking everything either blindly at face value or with ideological analysis and criticism in mind, anything that the audience view as a dystopia would be assumed to be the author's utopia or vice versa, depending on how they felt about the author. Sometimes taking into account the author's ideology or whatever makes sense, like if the author is openly a proponent of some point of view that plays a prominent role in their work(s) of fiction, though. Like, if an open proponent of fascism writes a story about a war between fascists and communists where the fascists are portrayed as the heroes, the story is probably intended as pro-fascist; however, if an open proponent of communism writes a story about a war between fascists and communists where the fascists are portrayed as heroes, it probably still wouldn't be intended as pro-fascist... but obviously a lot of people would think it was, and nothing the author would say could change their minds.

It's also literally impossible to have any kind of fictional group of people that wouldn't be perceived to be stand-ins for some real-life group of people in some way, and that gets amplified if you have more fictional groups of people and the more complex the interactions between said groups are. People will reflect real-life groups of people onto them. You just can't avoid that no matter what you do. Your conpeople could have the most unique societal structure and cultural practices with a religion that has no parallels with any real-life religions with truly bizarre blue-and-orange morality and speak a totally unique a priori language, they could be six metres tall with a skin colour that the sight of causes the human brain to shortcircuit and even have the body shape of a centipede, but someone would still go "they're a stand-in for [real-life group of people], right?" because people are people.

I'd say that the less like real-life groups of people your a priori conpeople are (or "represent"), the better; obviously a posteriori conpeople are an entirely different matter, though. It's also different if they're just Standard Average European or Standard Average Asian or whatever, I think, as long as the concultures don't include things that couldn't possibly have arisen in a Standard Average X culture without the presence of certain real-life groups (eg. having an Ambiguous European conculture with some aspects that are copy-pasted with no alteration from French culture or an Ambiguous Asian conculture with some aspects that are copy-pasted with no alteration from Japanese culture), unless the Standard Average X culture is set in the future with the presence of said real-life groups of people having featured prominently in its past, but even then it would be weird to have aspects copy-pasted with no alteration from just one culture but not others.

As for the utopia-dystopia spectrum within just the politics of a conworld/conculture/alt-history/story/whatever specifically, I feel like having a lot of variety is good. Maybe you'll manage to come up with a perfect society and also one that's the absolute worst, but it'd ultimately be subjective. There will always be people who view your bad guys as the good guys and your good guys as the bad guys. That's one reason why it's a good idea to make your concultures a mixed bag of good and bad. Also, I'd keep in mind that no culture is a monolith; people are individuals, and there will always be dissidents even in the most homogenous society ruled by the most authoritarian government you can imagine, the prime example of our time in the real world being North Korea. "Realistically" speaking, the only way to avoid that is if they have a literal unimind and are controlled by a singular artificial intelligence and are manufactured as clones by nanobots controlled by an unvarying algorithm or something like that.

If you're concerned about conpolitics getting depressing, then focus on the good stuff. Just because the bad stuff isn't mentioned doesn't mean it isn't there. Of course that depends on what kind of a project it is, though, so it may be necessary to focus on the bad stuff as well to some degree, but even just a passing mention can go a long way. Usually terms like "oppressive" and "discriminatory" are perceived negatively by most people, so if you want to make it clear that there's political bullshit in your conworld, you could just throw around some words like that and most people would get that it's not meant to be all sunshine and butterflies. Again, some would still think your bad guys are the good guys, but those people are probably not the target demographic in any case, so...

You could well have a highly detailed utopia and just a vague implied dystopia. Even the ultimate utopia could be realistic if you explained why it is the way it is well enough and the explanation made sense, which the presence of magic would make a lot easider for obvious reasons. Yes, in the real world there will always be people who want to impose draconian restrictions on others, and in most works of fiction, but that doesn't mean they're necessary to have even if you go for realism because again, you can just imply that they're there if the exact nature of the bad guys' political ideology isn't as important as the fact that they're the bad guys.

Philosophers throughout history have conceptualised their own perfect societies and I'm pretty sure most have considered them realistic enough at least in theory, so there's no reason why you couldn't do the same if you wanted.

Welp, that was a pretty long post that probably somehow ends up offending everyone who reads it...

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Re: How to Handle Politics in a Modern Day World?

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Vlürch wrote:
17 Dec 2019 07:30
Welp, that was a pretty long post that probably somehow ends up offending everyone who reads it...
A good post, IMO. [:P] Much less specific politics and much more general things to consider.

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Shemtov
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Re: How to Handle Politics in a Modern Day World?

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Ahzoh wrote:
17 Dec 2019 05:50
May or may not be time to split the thread...
Shemtov wrote:
16 Dec 2019 15:38
TLDR the idea that my examples can be compared to Milo is so ridiculous..
It's not. There will always be some members of an oppressed group who act against their best interests and will sell themselves or others out for a variety of reasons, like money or acceptance. And they don't have to consciously be aware that they're acting against their or their group's best interests, they can be unwitting dupes, like the "Jews for Trump" you describe who legitimately believe he is actually Semitophilic.
...that it's close to putting words in my mouth. It's actually such a ridiculous proposal you're actually putting words in their mouths- people you had no interaction with, who are not active in this conversation.
You're laying that sense of indignation on so thick it's practically melodramatic.
I honestly misread Micamo's argument. I thought their reference to Milo was specific, saying all Jewish Trump voters are exactly like him. Milo fits Micamo's initial point so we'll, that I read it as them doubling down on that point, instead of using him to say that their are rare exceptions. From my point of view, Milo is acting with intent, that he would agree that Trump is a Nazi, and hangs out with open Neo-Nazis so much, his sexuality or Jewishness aside, he is practically a Neo-Nazi in his own right. Micamo might not agree. On the other hand, making that argument for the people I was talking about would be nonsense, given they don't see Trump as a Nazi, and thus would have a lack of intent.
My point is, that coming from that analysis of Milo, and the fact that Micamo would use him as a response to the idea that "not all Trump voters are neo-Nazis" made it hard for me to think that Micamo would disagree with that analysis.
Many children make up, or begin to make up, imaginary languages. I have been at it since I could write.
-JRR Tolkien

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Re: How to Handle Politics in a Modern Day World?

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Note about X-Men=LGBTQs. The metaphor is confined to two points: Acceptance by relatives of mutants, and, more importantly an idea that even if their powers were controlled for, it would not be enough; that even if being a mutant meant just having weird growths or something, they wouldn't deserve human rights. Often this is portrayed through a religious group that's a pastiche of the Westboro Baptist Church, who could care less about powers but more that mutants are "satanic abominations", who even if not dangerous, should be stripped of rights. This exists only in the comics, not the movies, who use the metaphor for gun control exclusively, but in the comics it depends on the enemy they're facing. I admit the idea is offensive if all you know is the movies, but the comics play both. It's a fine line, and they sometimes mishandle it badly, but sometimes it can work.
Many children make up, or begin to make up, imaginary languages. I have been at it since I could write.
-JRR Tolkien

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Re: How to Handle Politics in a Modern Day World?

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Also re the statement that "most werewolves in Harry Potter are villians": In the sixth book Lupin and Harry have a discussion where Lupin, who is a werewolf states that this is not a normal period in werewolf history, and that the "infect everyone" stance is not normal, but Voldemort allying himself with the one werewolf who does believe that dupes most werewolves into thinking that both are correct, as the alliance is unexpected; one would think they would hate each other.
Many children make up, or begin to make up, imaginary languages. I have been at it since I could write.
-JRR Tolkien

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