To refine the question:

Goal: a society/government capable of lasting centuries. This takes place somewhere within a technological time period (1000BCE to 1000CE). No gunpowder or explosives. I'm imagining warring states in China or Greek city-states.

General idea: people not from the government consistently have the power to fight the government. I'd say perhaps every one or two centuries one has the power to overthrow it.

Personal ideas: ONE: protege/apprenticeship, leaders passing down power as they age to a promising, powerful and younger follower? TWO: democracies? (possible, because a small army could overthrow a tyrant in a revolution, especially if the secret police is weaker than a newly born strong kid)

Refinements that can be ignored, written to clarify what I want:

People get powers at birth, strength can vary from "normal human" to "small army, 1 thousand humans can probably beat the strongest person".

Powers from birth are COMPLETELY random (in terms of strength), perhaps not random in terms of nature (speed, strength, magic, etc.)

Power-balancing exists. Country A won't randomly get a thousand super-strong people and dominate the world. If it has a thousand super-strong people, the rest of the people will have very weak (or no) powers. If a super powerful leader dies, a super powerful kid gets born, or instead five regular powerful kids, or a thousand slightly strong kids. The effect is geographic, so if a war is waged almost at the heart of a country, that country will have the strength of both old armies combined from its new generation (dead people's powers "reincarnated" near that area).

Good luck at making my nonsense work, and thank you if you succeed!


closed as primarily opinion-based by Shadowzee, clem steredenn, We are Monica., bukwyrm, Rekesoft Mar 15 at 10:25

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ Hello and Welcome to worldbuilding Firemorfox. This question is very open ended because as it is currently, no government is going to be 100% stable if people get super powers randomly. If anything, most governments today are going through some unrest, even in 1st world countries (US, UK, France off the top of my head). The biggest issue is execution because many governments work in theory, but become undone because they are never executed properly (looking at communism here). $\endgroup$ – Shadowzee Mar 15 at 4:52
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    $\begingroup$ To be honest, I'm not sure why any form of government wouldn't be able to handle this. To parahprase Syndrome from The Incredibles, "If every class is powerful, then no class is powerful." Yes you could have lower class people who are really strong, but adding in your power balancing means you essentially end with the same real world dynamics because the power is evened. So I don't see any reason why everyone being able to get superpowers would upset the overall balance. All I'd imagine is some commotion at first as people tried their new powers before things went back to equilibrium. $\endgroup$ – mVitus Mar 15 at 5:03
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    $\begingroup$ Sandbox: worldbuilding.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/7183/… (it's on the sidebar) $\endgroup$ – Cyn says make Monica whole Mar 15 at 5:08
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    $\begingroup$ @GiuPiete The Sandbox allows you to post up questions and have them peer reviewed to fit the stackexchange format. It can catch errors like asking multiple questions, asking too broad questions or opinion based questions and can help users refine their question so that the question they are actually asking makes sense to other people $\endgroup$ – Shadowzee Mar 15 at 5:08
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    $\begingroup$ Could you point to a real historical example of a society (without supers) that you consider 'stable'? (i.e. are the Swiss an example, even though their last civil war is less than 200years distant, and they gave women the right to vote in 1970 (which could be considered a major upheaval of a system, giving the vote to 100% more people than previously)) - without a definition of what you consider stable, it will be impossible to answer. Btw: the geographic reincarnation rule would bring the evil strategos in me to depopulate whole regions with a host of indoctrinated pregnant women in tow.... $\endgroup$ – bukwyrm Mar 15 at 7:02

Government with a strong ideology that creates loyalty is what you need for longevity.

People with weapons that overpower others (one or more people with super strength/etc count as weapons) might focus on local injustices (or create local "empires") but won't try to overthrow a large political structure if they feel it is useful or important. Not to mention that they don't know which other super-powered individuals might fight back.

Religion is the tool most governments of that period used to engender loyalty, and religions easily last centuries. But non-religious ideals and philosophies can work also. Countries united by hate of "the other" don't tend to hold to that for as long as you're looking for. Usually it's a positive force like expansion or building technology or the pursuit of learning that goes for centuries.

Combining multiple things with religion is your best bet. Think of the Renaissance in Europe, which spanned about 300 years. Art, science, technology, education, and great social change. With religion well in the mix.

People with superpowers can be weapons or they can be tools. Want to expand trade by digging a canal to connect two seas? Get it done in a year instead of 50 years. Increase security from attacks by other countries/kingdoms both by using walls or other barriers (built faster than usual) and by making sure tales of your superheroes are well known.

A government that promotes literacy will help. If printing presses are too much tech for you, how about people with super-speed creating enough books or broadsheets so every town has a copy?

A government that promotes the arts will help. Songs and plays and puppet shows and traveling carnivals all spread the word. A strong system of roads and police/soldiers who make it reasonably safe to travel does so as well.

So what you want is a strong central government, ruling a large area, that takes on public works, and creates loyalty through religious doctrine.

  • $\begingroup$ 'more often' might be more appropriate than 'easily,' as the overwhelming majority of religions do not, we remember them(at best) as sects. Other than that, due to Q's proposal of the 'Sith' doctrine, could point out that real world examples of this don't tend to work for even one generation, let alone multiples. And contra's to other probable(?) examples. Rewarding the population can be done in other, better ways than real world governments can offer: The Q states the potential for capturing foreign mutants and [ritual?] sacrifice within the geographic bounds will literally offer people $\endgroup$ – Giu Piete Mar 15 at 7:49
  • $\begingroup$ the potential of having their children 'blessed' in a very real form, if they support a government which successfully pursues such a policy. $\endgroup$ – Giu Piete Mar 15 at 7:50

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