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24

Religion would factor in heavily, Take the Amish for example their technological development came to a complete stop due to them choosing not to progress because of their faith. And look at how technology was stunted in times/areas where religion became more important then science. But even without religion culture can have a heavy influence on the ...


20

You don't need to explain it, because that's already happened in Europe not too long ago. While the european nations were running toward WW2, building the Stukas, the V2 and all similar feats, in the south of the continent there were regions still living in conditions similar to stone age: a single room carved in the rock, where parents and 10 kids lived ...


13

Depending on what the threats are the numbers will change so try updating your question with some more information about it. But to give a bit of a ball park that would be realistic if you ask me. No real threats, just a police force ~1% Some military for exploration in possible hostile territory 1.5% Confirmed hostiles in the area but no real war 2.5% ...


10

A modern example of very unequal technological development is the Amish people in North America. They belong to the religious order similar to Mennonites and disdain modern technology, choosing to live without electricity or engines. This culture, which numbers about 342,000 people distributed across the US and Canada, with the largest group of almost 80,000 ...


9

Not exactly The list and positions on the list itself can't be used as currency for a simple reason - they aren't universal, which is something money needs to be. A five dollar bill can be spent at any place to buy any good - food, rent, clothing, furniture, etc. But a list position is only useful if you're giving it to someone below you - and even then you ...


9

Have you ever heard about slaves? They're the worst. They don't speak the language, they're recalcitrant, they need to be feed and drink. And worst think, they have mind on their own and sometimes mumble something under their nose about rebellion. But Worry no longer my friend! Here are the zombies. Calm like a dead body. Because they are a dead body. No ...


7

The world today (and 200 years ago, and 2000 years ago) had extremely un-equal progress between various nations/tribes and continents. The excellent book "Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies" by Diamond is basically an exploration of how inequality developed due to the worldbuilding setting of the real Planet Earth. To hyper-summarize, ...


7

That is unknown ... Nuclear weapons have not been used in combat for almost 75 years. Their existence has loomed over geostrategic thinking, but nuclear strategy are all untested assumptions. Once upon a time, theorists wrote papers where widespread evacuation programs were seen as more significant than localized nuclear use. Others seem to have thought ...


5

If the lack of scarcity is driven by the population limits then trading relative positions on the life list could very well be used as a bartering tool. It could even be systemized. The planet has electricity, water and food provided for by robots for 10B people. You get a house, wifi and you can haz cheezbrgrs. The robots are sure that they can provide ...


5

There's some sort of magic at work. This isn't tagged science-based or anything like it, so blaming unequal tech development on magic is within the scope of the question. As for how it does so, there's a number of possibilities. Perhaps some of the societies might utilize magic to replace or augment technology, like the Iron Kingdoms of the tabletop ...


5

As is so often the case, you should ask yourself what problem you want to solve. Having an army is an expensive and also a dangerous hobby. It means having a large group of well-educated and armed people, that sit around doing nothing while still needing to be fed, clothed and equipped. You have a post-apocalyptic setup, and all of the population of a medium-...


4

A couple ideas. When powerful nations join unions like that they do so for their own benefit and will generally include clauses that are meant to keep their advantages. So perhaps the the price of joining this union for the less advanced nations was that they would not progress enough to challenge the advanced nations. Not quite sure what setting this ...


4

Your system seems ignoring the empirical evidence that we see in our societies: on average the more economically well off is a country, the lower the birth rate is. Extrapolating this to post scarcity would lead to the conclusion that having babies would be seen as something not exactly wanted, thus more of a burden than a reward.


4

I hate to write this kind of answer, but you're taking this the wrong way round. Forget population for a moment: exactly where does DC rule? You suggest neighboring counties. OK, let's start with Fairfax and Arlington in Virginia, and Prince George's, Anne Arundel, Calvert, Montgomery, Howard and Charles in Maryland. This gives a fairly compact area bounded ...


3

The Prime Directive Perhaps The Empire has something akin to Star Trek's Prime Directive, and prohibits one nation from interfering with the development of others. Something like this would almost have to be enforced, because otherwise those high tech nations would be spreading out in search of resources, trade opportunities, or simply out of curiosity, ...


3

Environment The environment in the developed nations have historically been hostile, while the less developed nations have had preferable climate and land. The hostile environment have pushed for technological advances in order to mitigate the dangers of the environment, as well as being needed for comfortable living. If there have been little fertile land ...


3

Trade secrets. The advanced nation has laws against sharing advanced technology, and its inhabitants are generally convinced that all the other nations are inhabited by lazy, stupid people who couldn't possibly build steam engines. If the advanced nation has some kind of feudal guild system, having the guilds keep trade secrets is a fairly natural scenario. ...


3

Hayek's Criticisms of Communism Economist Friedrich Hayek in 'The Road to Serfdom' proposed two criticisms of communism, to which I'm going to add a third that I believe is important. Motivation : for an economic system to work, people have got to want to work. Forcing people to labor eventually requires half or more of the people to be policing the other ...


2

First to achieve Lunar/Space Colony. Say a multibillionaire sets his sights on space exploration. Before the slow engines of states achieve similar success, his country could be lauded SuperPower if they get first De FACTO ownership of celestial bodies. The logistical capabilities that accomplishment grants, the information available to them. And the ...


2

Inflation How this currency cap is enforced is going to be a problem, though I suspect rigorous use of guidelines and trace magic would be helpful. But the reason to keep the production of magical money at a flat rate of zero and prevent any from being introduced is a very simple one - inflation. Allowing anyone to print fiat currency is a one-way trip to ...


2

The Currency is Time Either literally or figuratively, the currency is time itself. Figuratively In this situation, the mages are exchanging favors. Basically, each unit of currency as an IOU, stating that it would be worth 1 hour of work at a later point in time. This IOU could be traded to others, who could come in to redeem it. The value of the ...


2

Commerce In fact, a nation sitting in commerce routes are know to have unequaled level of civilization development. With great commerce then is possible do private (and public) mecenas to finance artistic and technological innovations. To make the nation somewhat isolated, natural barriers or small territories "nation city" will do. In your case, a ...


2

I'm going to throw out two wild ideas. They may not fit your world. Localized tech boom. One or more of your nations could have come in contact with something that allowed their technology to advance rapidly. This could be an alien civilization, ancient technological writings from a previous civilization, etc. This allowed rapid advancement some nations....


2

Lack of conflict For whatever reason, the advanced 2040 group doesn't feel the need to take anything from the 17-1800s groups. Not their land, not their resources, not their people. The more primitive groups don't feel the need to catch up (readily available resources make it unnecessary, no conflict means no need for better weapons/defenses). Why? ...


2

75,000 troopers is plausible, but unlikely As with all things, someone on the internet has done some research on this already. John Savage talks about this in the context of a fantasy/medieval nation, but his work should give us a good first guess. You have a population of 450,000 citizens. Our first pass is to remove people who are not eligible due to ...


2

You don't need a modern military unless you're going to fight against one Fighter and bomber jets are very expensive for a post-apocalyptic scenario when there's no real enemy that they can shoot at -- no other air forces or large-scale targets. It sounds like in your scenario the regime's enemies are "militia", meaning ordinary people and small groups ...


2

As other answers have stated, you need a reason (preferably more than one) why the dragon is tolerated, or your situation will not survive. Given that dragons in that time period are generally seen as raiding farms (disastrous to the peasants), hoarding treasure (sure to draw enterprising thieves), or even stealing away virgin princesses (sure to infuriate ...


1

It is natural for the world to have continents with different levels of technology, for continents to have countries with different levels of technology, and for countries to have regions with different levels of technology, and for regions to have sub regions with different levels of technology. the world has been that way for thousands of years. At the ...


1

Sufficiently Advanced The Technological society spent a very long time being insular before striding onto the world scene. They've had industrial revolutions, digital revolutions and are now well into the nano-tech scale technologies we have today and more! They are simply so far ahead that other societies have no chance whatsoever of catching up. If you ...


1

The Method of Currency Creation is lost The initial creation of the currency was made by the combined lost knowledge of the Magic Users of the ancient times. The unique and complex magical signature that comes off from the currency is not able to be replicated by today's means. No more can be created and it is impossible to fully replicate the complex ...


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