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I am currently trying to resolve a problem of heavy anachronism in the story/world I am "building".

I will start of by giving a small summary of the story/world, and why there is an anachronism. (Also, I am terribly sorry for the lack of detail here. The problem is that I myself am not sure of the details yet.)

Basically, the setting is about two nations on a same continent. These nations have been at war since their dawn of existence. I yet have to find a good reason. Maybe it originally was one nation that was split. I am not sure.

The state of things are alternating between real warfare and periods of extreme tension, "cold wars". The nations should be equally matched, otherwise one could simply overpower the other and there would not be a reason for two nations to exist.

My story itself follows the life of the main character, and how they are affected by the consequences of that war — orphaned, struggling to survive and fit in with society — without being directly involved in the war. The character is born shortly before the start of another "cold war" period.

I now have two main issues within that story/world, and both deal with anachronisms.

  1. I want a bigger part of one of the nations to be quite developed, at least up to our standard, if not more. Planes, technology such as smartphones, skyscrapers in the bigger cities (only a few though, for reasons of aesthetics), and especially: huge advances in the medical field.

    Example: Easy & fast disease recognition, at least.

    The whole world should not be too advanced either, I believe that the period we currently are in would describe it best.

    Now, here comes the anachronism: I imagined the small secluded village the main character grows up in like a very medieval looking village.

    enter image description here

    Small buildings made out of stone and wood, and so on. Same with the life in the village. A priest is playing an important role, most villagers are sustaining their lifestyle by farming, etc.

    But there should still be a school, and I want that one to date of a period of around ~1800.

    The real problem is the contrast between this "old-ish" village and the rest of the "modern" cities, society, etc. I don't think that seclusion alone is enough of a reason to justify this difference, and neither is the existing time-difference (The developed cities and parts of the country only appear around 10 years after the destruction of the village), which is just way too short.

    Summary of the first problem: I can't find any reasons that would justify the huge difference between the village I dreamed up and the developed rest of the country.

  2. Here comes the bigger issue, that is also stated in the title. For my story, modern warfare is way too "boring", and simply not fit — bio-weapons, mass-destruction weapons, even combat planes — all that simply cannot exist.

    Preferably, I would like the warfare to be similar to European warfare in the "modern period": 17th-19th century. Inaccurate firearms such as muskets; close-quarters weapons still have their use; bayonets and spears are something I'd like to be useful in my story.

    And here is the problem. I just simply cannot have a modern and developed society with long dated warfare, that does not make sense. With advances in consumer technology, warfare technology advances as well, mainly because consumer technology often comes from warfare technology, and not the other way around.

    I thought about using some kind of excuse like "The two nations have a pact prohibiting them from developing their weapons as to not increase the casualties an further", which just seems stupid, however, and is nothing more than an "ass-pull".

    Summary of the second, most important problem: I want my society to be quite modern, with modern technologies, all the while keeping the warfare dated. The biggest part of the story is set in a period of cold war, meaning that the last real warfare takes place about 10 years before the story. But, again, that is way too short of a time to justify my problems. Also, the farthest I can go with compromise's as of right now is having a WWI warfare technology and a ~1980 society.

As you can see, there is quite a bit of anachronism here. And I just cannot seem to find a solution to this.

If you think any detail of my story could be helpful in potentially resolving this issue, I will gladly add it here. I just do not know of anything that could be helpful here right now, which is why I haven't written it down.

Help is greatly appreciated. Thanks a lot!

(I did already ask that question in writers SE, but was told that here would be a better fit)

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    $\begingroup$ The first part of your problem could likely be resolved via a societal/cultural ideology, such as the Amish in modern society. Off-hand, I can't think of anything to solve the second problem. You don't state explicitly the technological level of the other country. Supposedly they are equal? (Also, welcome to the site.) $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Mar 5 '17 at 22:44
  • $\begingroup$ Are there any other countries, specifically powerful, neutral countries? If so I may have a solution. $\endgroup$ – Bellerophon Mar 5 '17 at 22:52
  • $\begingroup$ Inaccurate muskets are not quite possible in a world with good understanding of aerodynamics. And their manufacturing is precise... Whatever reasons, it won't be technological. $\endgroup$ – Mołot Mar 5 '17 at 23:14
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    $\begingroup$ Is making your "humans" live 500 years acceptable? There is a saying that "science advances one funeral at the time". Good look at WWI and WWII shows that in many cases old-fashioned generals/admirals were single-handedly responsible for idiotic levels of anachronism (Britain was especially egregious - methods of Empire worked well for centuries so why change them? well, duh). You would have to slow down rate of advancement, and come up with good excuse why science community is not completely crippled, while military is, but that's the only thing I can imagine. $\endgroup$ – M i ech Mar 6 '17 at 0:52
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    $\begingroup$ "Small buildings made out of stone and wood" That's actually a pretty good description of a large fraction of what you'll find in the countryside even in modern, western countries. If you are willing to include brick houses, then even more so even within many cities. Stone and wood are cheap materials that are relatively easy to work with; building a reasonable log cabin from scratch is actually pretty easy, especially before you add amenities like running water, electricity, etc. Not really so for concrete. Not an answer, but maybe there is honor in living in a home that you built yourself? $\endgroup$ – a CVn Mar 7 '17 at 6:35
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Set your story in a place with a very rigid caste system.

The Techno-Caste and the Retro-Caste. The Techno-Caste are the rulers of The nation, and they live in tightly controlled enclaves. Members of the Retro-Caste are only allowed into the enclaves if they work there, meaning menial jobs. For the most part, members of the Retro-Caste are left to fend for themselves. They are not formally educated. The Retro-Caste are the farmers, and they are only given technology advanced enough to help with that. The rest of the Tech is prohibited, as the Techno-Caste does not want the Retro to get ideas above their station. This is how one part of the nation can be that much more advanced than the other.

This dovetails into the warfare thing. The RC are also your cannon fodder. They are not allowed anything resembling decent/modern weaponry. They only use what they can make themselves. They'd have enough metallurgy to make some firearms and other melee weapons, but would lack the ability to machine anything too advanced. Precision manufacturing would be prohibited. Since only a handful of the TC would even want to look at warfare, beyond occasionally declaring it, you would not get a great deal of Modern weapons making it onto the battlefield.

So, a very Rigid Caste System is how you explain the anachronism. Add to that the accepted religion of the region is similar, but those in one nation genuflect by falling to the right knee, and the other to the left, and you get a method to keep the caste system in both nations with a nice religious argument to keep tempers simmering nicely for a long, long time.

The religion thing sounds silly, but look at the Troubles in Ireland. On the surface, to an outsider, it looks like protestants and Catholics killing each other. Two variants of the same faith. I know it goes much deeper than that, but after a very short period of time, the last atrocity becomes the excuse for the next atrocity.

Have fun with this

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    $\begingroup$ Wow, that's actually one nice idea you got there, thanks for that! Since this would have quite a huge impact on my whole story in general, I'll really need to see how such a system could play out, but I will definitely take some time to think this through, thanks a lot! (Only worry I have is that it'll have to be pulled off extremely well to not seem cliché) $\endgroup$ – user2065501 Mar 6 '17 at 18:25
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    $\begingroup$ What is slightly sad is there is historical precedent for most of this. Medieval Europe had the Serfs (like the retro caste) and then the Nobility (the techno caste) where only the Nobles had anything resembling decent technology and the serfs had to fend for themselves. Serfs were conscripted for war and seldom had access to much more than a sharpened stick, as opposed to a knight with sword/armor/horse. Just make sure the bulk of the Techno Caste are both arrogant and Ignorant and you would be half way there :) $\endgroup$ – Paul TIKI Mar 6 '17 at 18:49
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    $\begingroup$ True, but then again most sad stories have a real parallel in history. To be honest, I can't really make most of the "techno cast" arrogant, because my story would barely hold up anymore - However, I can try to make all of them minus the government a little bit ignorant of the issues, or at least have it ingrained in their education or something. Well, as I said, I definitely got to think about this for a while longer to really see how I can use it! $\endgroup$ – user2065501 Mar 6 '17 at 18:54
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    $\begingroup$ I always come to archetypes in my head and the Arrogant and Ignorant Nobleman is one that is tried and true. So is the Ignorant Noble with a good heart. I don't know if you have ever read Huxleys "Brave New World". That book actually has something similar going on. The bulk of the high level society just has no idea about the other society and are self involved enough not to care. Not so much Arrogant, but self absorbed. $\endgroup$ – Paul TIKI Mar 6 '17 at 19:00
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    $\begingroup$ Yeah. I'll still have to make it seem quite different however, since I (sorry for not mentioning this earlier)'d like the countries, or at least one of them, to actually have schools similar to ours. Military academies, etc, but all for the "upper cast" then. In addition, the "lower cast" would be quite small - And still be led by a few "upper class" people. So keeping the balance between knowledge, ignorance, tolerance, etc, is going to be really hard. But as of now this is the most interesting idea, so I'll try to think more about it and see how it works out :) $\endgroup$ – user2065501 Mar 6 '17 at 19:02
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Here are some ideas why modern warfare is suppressed:

  1. There use to be many more countries. These two were the least developed and in a non-strategic location. So, they survived, barely, when everyone else committed suicide through stupidity. Such an event could have deep cultural effects.
  2. There is actually a third, much more advanced, party that likes things the way they are and actively suppresses any modern warfare weapons.
  3. As has already been mentioned, the politicians stay in power because they are "fighting the enemy" and the businessmen get rich building weapons. On both sides. Neither side wants this to end. They may or may not have formed an alliance to keep this going. The hostility is a sham that the powers that be promote to say in power. Just like the Democrats and Republicans in the US.
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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the answer! (1) Could be interesting. However, that wouldn't truly explain the developed society of the two remaining countries, unfortunately. (2) Definitely also something I'll have to think about! But again: The main problem lies therein that the inner lands of the countries are really developed, meaning that it'd be weird if they could still be controlled that much by an other party. (3) Why keep outdated armory then? The industry would still benefit from more advanced weapons, if not even more so... But thanks for your input, I'll think about it! $\endgroup$ – user2065501 Mar 6 '17 at 19:00
  • $\begingroup$ @user2065501 The reasons for the outdated armory could be economical. Why retool the factories when you don't have to? Remember, in this scenario, they don't want to win, they want to keep fighting. A new weapon is an unknown that they and the "enemy" would have to figure out. The fear is that, with a new weapon, they might accidentally win. For a political reason, you don't want to automate the process of war. The more men on the front line, the fewer men you have back home to express dissatisfaction. $\endgroup$ – ShadoCat Mar 7 '17 at 20:28
  • $\begingroup$ @user2065501, for comment #2, my assumption (that I forgot to state) is that the 3rd party was operating through stealth and infiltration. Maybe they cherry pick scientists. Scientists or anyone else that looks promising or likely to produce different weapons is recruited or just disappeared. $\endgroup$ – ShadoCat Mar 7 '17 at 20:31
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the answer! Well, the problem is that the war isn't going on 24/7: It's interrupted by periods of cold war; ie many men are back home, and there wouldn't be any reason to develop better weapons in that case. Or maybe I'm just too stubborn? I'm not sure, but I'm really trying to find a scenario that would justify the problem without seeming like an ass-pull to the reader later on. $\endgroup$ – user2065501 Mar 13 '17 at 14:40
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I think you have decent suggestions for the first problem, so I'll skip it. One village really can simply choose to live without modern technology. And there doesn't seem to be anything in your background preventing the Amish solution.

For the second problem of using "obsolete" weapons, I can start by answering the open question you chose not to ask. Why has the war been going on forever?

This can be because both sides have reached a stalemate. But such state is not stable and normally both sides would be working hard to break the stalemate in their favor. They would be trying new tactics and new weapons. Not necessarily at breakneck pace if the society is conservative, but gradual improvements would add up. So this would not at all fit your wish for static level of military technology.

The alternative is that neither side wants the war to end. Under that condition spending resources to improve weapons would be pointless waste. It would be practical for both sides to not deploy aircraft or artillery as long as the other side doesn't either.

The agreement could be simple economics, why spend resources to build military industry, if you do not need to? Or politics. Why arm thousands or millions of commoners with advanced weapons and train them in their use, if you do not want them to be powerful? Or religion. If killing is supposed to be wrong, why develop ever better ways of killing people? And the agreement doesn't need to be formal, if it is really agreed on.

So why would both sides want near constant war and not want to unify the world under their own banner? (You need both.)

I see some plausible reasons for wanting warfare:

Religion The people may worship God of War which would make constant state of low level war desirable. There would also be no incentive to make war more efficient and less personal by developing better weapons. Wars have been used historically as a method for getting human sacrifices. People in a culture like this would see peace as decadent and stagnant. This is actually surprisingly common ideology in the real world. Just make it universal truth.

Entertainment If peace is decadent and stagnant then surely war is exciting and dynamic? Positively heroic. The stuff of epics, story tellers, movies and television miniseries. The best reality entertainment there is. Your musketeers and pikemen might come complete with attached television crews and fight with camera drones swarming overhead.

Politics All societies have discontent. Discontent turns easily to violence and hatred. Smart rulers channel the violence away from scenarios with kings and guillotines. A constant war at a carefully managed level of intensity and cost, for example, would help any member of political elite sleep easier. War gives malcontents something to do without causing collateral damage. You just have to be sure the war only uses obsolete weapons...

Economics Food production is capped by available land. Population growth is capped by people starving to death. A stable society needs a way to control population. Contraceptives are an obvious solution, but if they are not practical the only way to avoid collapse is to kill off the excess population. Your choices are sending them to war or using something similar to the gas chambers.

Suddenly constant war seems much more human, doesn't it? And a pro-war society would see sending people to war to die or survive based on their luck and ability as rite of passage to adulthood while "killing" off some potential new humans with contraceptives before they are born is not really giving them a fair chance is it?

Personally I would mix all of the above since they are synergetic and giving more than one reason is always better as it gives the society and people more depth. A religious man may be all about the God of War and passing the test of war, but not everyone is religious. And even individual people look at things from different perspectives at different times. The religious man might still enjoy watching television or care deeply about the dangers of overpopulation to ecology.

As for not wanting to unite the world... I see this as a culture of competing city states with shared culture and rapidly shifting alliances. Such as the Greek city states without Persians, Macedonians, or Romans. They would have a strong sense of global culture with shared values and history. Maybe common places of pilgrimage and events, such as temples in Delfoi or Efesos or the Olympic Games. But they would have no real concept or need political entities beyond the polis. They would see the state of one polis ruling another as unnatural and unstable.

As such there would be no real sense in conquering your enemies after you have forced them to admit defeat and pay for giving the rewards for the winning soldiers.

Note that even in this scenario advances in civilian technology would eventually lead to instability. But IMHO it could be stable from muskets to modern technology which was all you wanted?

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  • $\begingroup$ Awesome, great answer, thanks a lot! I'll take some time to think each of your points through. I'll first try to get myself some more detail on my world, and then will try to apply the different concepts I got in the answers to solve the problem. Thanks! $\endgroup$ – user2065501 Mar 13 '17 at 14:45
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Summary of the first problem: I can't find any reasons that would justify the huge difference between the village I dreamed up and the developed rest of the country.

Make the area privately owned, as in this island on Hawaii. Just because our society by and large wouldn't allow this in a setting that isn't an island, doesn't mean that there aren't societies like this, privately owned pieces of land that are governed by the owners, and are anachronistic because of it.

I thought about using some kind of excuse like "The two nations have a pact prohibiting them from developing their weapons as to not increase the casualties an further", which just seems stupid, however, and is nothing more than an "ass-pull".

It's not nations that should agree to this--it's businessmen on both sides, who are actually running things. They want to sell more, they want control--this has been traditional. If there are pockets of anachronistic societies built by men or women like these, it follows that they might also seek to apply that to warfare.

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  • $\begingroup$ Interesting idea. However, privately owning land like this implies that the world is much bigger than the actual continent I'm talking about - Which I kind of wanted to avoid. The only difference between the two countries is the political system and some kind of ancestral conflict I haven't thought up yet. And the problem with the businessmen is, that they'd make more money with more advanced warfare technology + it can get statefunded, like it's always done =S $\endgroup$ – user2065501 Mar 6 '17 at 19:13
  • $\begingroup$ @user2065501 But take a look at the island on Hawaii--that isn't about money, it's about a particular philosophy. War profiteering is one thing, but if they are following a different method of thinking--they could see the profit in this KIND of warfare. You'd need to intertwine business, politics and an agrarian philosophy furthered by the governance. It doesn't have to work in the same way as our society. $\endgroup$ – Erin Thursby Mar 6 '17 at 19:54
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Resources/land plain and simple. Start out with us, and the Amish.

Either their land would have the metal,trees,water, or etc we need or we simply need more land because of over population. Since they are primitive they need way more land for farming, and thus we have WAR!!!

  1. Sense of honor, we must fight them fairly on their level.

  2. Resources like metal are too precious. The metals are needed for your cities infrastructure for the millions of people. You can get a 1000+ swords for 1 tank.

  3. Another idea, the Amish, or similar, are attacking, but they are so primitive we simple don't care. Sure we counter their attacks, but we don't go on the attack. It simple isn't worth the effort. Maybe we have a 5 miles exclusion zone, and their best weapons can't reach us so they can fire in our general direction to no avail.

  4. If we didn't want them to truly know how advanced we are.

  5. We setup the planet as a civil war, or whatever, re-enactment.

  6. An advance 3rd party is forcing it. Take Q from Star Trek TNG, Q force the bridge crew to appear in King Arthors time period, and go on a quest. Q is a member of the continuum who is omnipotent race, and after eons of doing whatever he wants he gets bored and does thing kind of thing for fun.

  7. Computer "Start holodeck simulation Amish vs 20 century" Train exercise #4 play at their level. Winning team gets 1 month of vacation.

  8. Maybe the war is more like a cold war. How about a 5 mile border area where we fire at each other simply because they fired at us. The weapons are out-of-range of the other side so few if any actually die. Maybe both sides are self sufficient, and so we don't actually need to invade and wipe them out. The Amish like race has so few people, and have to do so much more work per pound of food,water, and etc that they can't afford to have too many people die per year.

  9. Maybe the whole war is a sham. The military people want more money in the budget for them, to get it they must instill fear of some kind to justify the expense. So they setup this elaborate ruse to get it. Maybe original 99% of the military budget was going to be cut because their are no threats. The remaining 1% was diverted to create the Amish people. Also there could be a secret organization who wants to divert the funds, and the Amish are the best they could do with 10% of the diverted funds to maintain them. Again the people who setup the Amish must now make a good show of it, but are diverting most of the money to Area 51(or wherever). So they mount a proportional responds to demonstrate the money is well spent, and the rest of the money goes into someone else's coffer. Maybe these events happened 100 or 1000 years ago and nobody is alive who remember this, but the people live on in these 2 different groups. Now after generations of fathers/mothers passing on this myth of hating the modern people to his sons/daughters it is now ingrained in their culture. In addition, maybe accountable comes into play and the modern weapons are held in a secure facility, and would be immediately detected if they went missing. Where as wood and spare amounts of scrap metal would not be missed. The secret organization would then control both side of the playing field, and use this leverager to increase their budget while still diverting most of the funds to their own project.

  10. This region has been set aside for a prison,mental asylum,outcast, and/or people who hate technology. Many of the residence would simply be violent lack the skills or mental capacity to develop advanced technology. If any smart people end up their, most of them will be killed by the violent people, and the rest won't be able to setup the necessary factories to produce modern weapons. Modern people will have no or few hunting skills(when thrown into said prison), no grocery stores = starvation and illness from improperly prepared food. Additional modern people would suffer from emotional mental scaring as the women get claimed by the alpha males. The men either die because they are too weak, or in attempt to become an alpha male. Maybe high walls are erected to isolate them. In the meantime, the modern cities advances unabated and culture has advanced to the point war fare hasn't happened in a ### years. No resources or development had happen in ### years. All other resources devotes to other causes the health care, maybe a space program, or some other peaceful goal. At some point something happens.

     A.  We need more land, or the land the prison is on has valuable mineral deposits and we need to reclaim it.
    
     B.  The population of the prison is exploded, and now we have to deal with it.  The need for periodic population control would mean you would have to fight them every so often, and probably be perfect for your story.  The population could explode because natural breeding or maybe too many rapist doing their thing.  Maybe their is an alpha male, or several, and they get all or most of the women to themselves.  
    

    Your story would begin approx at this point in history, or maybe a couple generations in.

    The first iteration of warfare the advanced people would be desperate, and willing to fling anything at them to kill them or keep them at bay. Eventually war fare would advance to the leave you require. Now if the social advancement project was paramount to the advance culture, they might not want to spend any more resources developing weapons for this project. They see that the weapons developed are effective enough against the primitives, and good enough.

    The population of criminals is back under control so back to our original project. We will have another purge in ## years.

    One of the alpha males who has enough power or control could manage to setup and defend a primitive village. Particularly if he finds a isolated or defended-able part of the prison. Maybe cliffs on 3 sides, or some other natural occurrence. Your main character who grow up here, and the alpha male could enforce whatever rules he sees fit. Surely, even some of the alpha males would realize the benefit of some education. Even if its is basic hunting,fishing, farming, and raising and caring for his children and clan.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the answer! (1) In my opinion, "sense of honor" is a pretty "cheap" reason, unfortunately. There is no such thing in reality. (2) But you could get more land with more metal with 1 tank than a 1000 swords :/ (3) But then the country could invade the other really easily, which would kind of be a problem, right? (4) Hmm, don't know about that. (Same counter argument as for 3) (5) Sorry, I'm afraid I didn't quite get what you meant! (6) The 3rd party is definitely an interesting idea, but I'll have to be really careful with its "Implementation" as to not make it seem cheap. $\endgroup$ – user2065501 Mar 6 '17 at 19:07
  • $\begingroup$ (7) Unfortunately impossible, since my story really is about the collateral damage of the war, and this would be kind of weird in such a situation =S (8) Actually, that war is a cold war. But only shortly after the story starts, meaning there was an actual period of conflict beforehand, which has the problems explained in the post. In any case, thank you so much for the reply - I'll think about each idea you gave in more detail! $\endgroup$ – user2065501 Mar 6 '17 at 19:08
  • $\begingroup$ regarding #5 The whole continent is setup as an experiment, possible by a 3rd party. Today we have civil war re-enactments where people dress up in period gear, and use period weapons. Now of course in today's world they don't use real bullets as they don't want to actually kill anyone. #2 tanks have no mobility if there are frequent hills/cliffs >8ft approx. Also quick sand,swamp.dense big trees. #3 the invasion would be easy, but they are so inconsequential why bother. $\endgroup$ – cybernard Mar 6 '17 at 19:39
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    $\begingroup$ Also maybe in the last war they annexed all the land they figured they needed for 10 (or whatever) years, and so now they are in a passive holding pattern. Also if the government of the modern race is busy dealing with other issues like infra structure on the land they just annexed, resource shortages, social unrest,natural disasters, plague, major change in government, a naval(air force) fleet from another country or continent then the Amish will have a very low priority. $\endgroup$ – cybernard Mar 6 '17 at 19:51
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Your semi-medieval village really isn't that far distant from the place I grew up - yes, it was in the US, and not THAT long ago :-) Nor Amish, just a ways back in the hills. Most people were farmers: even the non-farmers had large vegetable gardens, and many people got a good share of their meat from hunting. (I was 18 and off to college before I ate my first fast-food hamburger.) Didn't have television until I was in my teens, phones were single land-lines per household, on party lines, and reserved for important stuff, not socializing.

As for military technology, just keep civilians (who insist on inventing new weaponry) from interfering with the military. Even in the real-world military, most of basic training (as of a few decades ago, and for all I know still today) involved learning tactics that were outmoded by the time of the American Revolution - like learning to march in neat formations, line up in straight lines to repel calvary charges, &c.

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  • $\begingroup$ Interesting! Also, the problem with keeping civilians from interfering is that I actually want them to interfere - Many schools of my world are converted into military schools, etc etc. So I'm not so sure about that... $\endgroup$ – user2065501 Mar 13 '17 at 16:10
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I think the key to making this work is going to be redefining war. If war is anything like it is in the real world, there's no way two nations could be at war since the dawn of their existence, be technologically advanced, and yet not modernize their warfare approaches. There's no reason to use antequated tactics which were designed for inaccurate rifles when you have modern machining techniques back home. It simply wouldn't happen. The only way to make it happen is going to be to redefine "war" to be something sufficiently ritualized as to prevent anyone from even thinking about introducing technology. You need to make sure the concept of "total war" never occurs within this populace's mind, and only the overly romanticized war of TV shows and B-rate movies makes any headway.

Religion may be a powerful tool for making this happen. Religion could cause people to only face each other with the most primitive tools, purified of all technology. One reason might be to keep the aggression of warfare away from the technological advancements that could cause serious damage. Perhaps one must undergo a pilgrimage of sorts to the front lines, ritualistically abandoning your technology and being indoctrinated with religious fervor until, at the front lines, your true warrior self is permitted to shine forth on the field of battle.

What could cause this? Well, I don't know if there's any realistic situation that could cause this. However, perhaps this was not always the way it was. Perhaps, at one time, the nations did engage in total warfare, and the cost was too high for either nation to stomach. Falling into disarray, they both reorganized with a religious structure in place preventing the bombs of yore from ever falling again. Human ferocity decoupled completely from technological aspiration. May we never again see the bright lights of nuclear weapons striking out turning the night into day for just a brief moment before plunging into unending darkness.

It'd be a heck of a world to write to, with a true sense of yin and yang to it -- two extreme polar opposites eternally yielding to one another. The ferocity that leads humans to war is also essential for technology to advance, so those in the technological areas could not simply abandon the warriors. And yet it would be essential to purify this ferocious essence as it regained sight of technology long lost to the battlefields and their rage. It could certainly yield itself to eddies of calmness, regions devoid of technology and ferocity. Regions where a simpler life could prevail, balanced in the eye of the maelstrom.

I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones. -Albert Einstein

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  • $\begingroup$ This is indeed very interesting. The only problem I see with it, is that pulling out the "religion card" is often badly done and can thus really easily regarded as being an ass-pull. $\endgroup$ – user2065501 Mar 13 '17 at 16:12
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I think the lack of war should be - can only be - because the heterosexual persons in each country find that persons of the same sex in the opposite country are tremendously attractive and great smelling. Straight individuals fear encountering same sex foreigners because of the repressed emotions such encounters invariably stir up. This leads to internal conflict, anger and a continuous simmering cold war. However the other side is just too sexy to kill outright, especially when you get to see them up close.

Conflict is channeled into ferocious hand to hand combat, Olympic style sports and other aggressive interactions.

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