10

You can use science without knowing it's science. Men made bread, cheese, wine, beer well before understanding the science behind it. Men selectively bred horses, cows and sheep well before understanding the genetic behind it. One can empirically find that doing A then B will happen. This is also how superstition got engrained in our brain: I danced and then ...


4

Two thoughts: Elections at the top, then expand membership. Many communist parties learned the hard way that a single leader can be deadly for the people just below them. A Stalin or Mao fears rivals and lashes out. So they learned the benefits of collective leadership. A junta, not a dictator. If your character is sufficiently certain of the adoration of ...


4

/how do I make sure that the people in this world don't turn to science to win the war?/ They promptly lose. The nonmagic users are terribly outmatched. Their only advantage is the superhumans who somehow are on the nonmagic user side. The magic users coopt the superhumans. They ask "why, given your powers, are you allying yourselves with these ...


4

Sufficiently advanced devices inhibit magic. Magic, unknown to the people, relies in the subconscious beliefs of the population. Sufficiently advanced technical materials tend to imbue belief in their operation, and draw in magic to power themselves. This makes them operate better and gain some degree of sentience, and has lead to several terrible machine ...


4

Zombification as a Cure for Death: Scientists make a breakthrough, a biological treatment for aging. It is so effective, that government agencies can't resist the pressure to approve it, OR the elderly are willing to travel to foreign countries to get it. Elderly politicians override organizations like the CDC to get the treatment. Those who get treated stop ...


4

The law of 'Divide and Rule' Yes! The law of 'Divide and Rule' has been a very effective way of governing the police state. Install local rulers who are power and wealth hungry, with no passion like mercy or humanity. Give then enough money to maintain a small army to snub their people. Create rivalries among local rulers and groups. In case of a fight, ...


3

In most cases, people who have power do not give up that power without a struggle. (Just try to take the car keys away from an elderly relative.) Attempting to force the issue will only make the struggle bigger and messier. The best way is to give them a new position with the semblance of greater power, but actually has less. Give them a position with a lot ...


3

You don't police the population, you let them police themselves. Make them look up with jealousy, and down with disdain. It's a tried and tested method of controlling behaviour and preventing dissenting thought from ever effectively blooming, and is at the root of most religious organisations, and even things like the Indian caste system and the British ...


3

Hedonist and irresponsible These type of zombies aren't really undead, they are very much alive. They only look dangerous. In fact they are not really that dangerous. All zombies all skinny, because they don't eat much. And their faces look gruesome. What happens: your zombies infect people, a small bite, or a scratch with a nail, out of friendship or ...


3

Start with elections for local officials. Do it for something like mayors, governors, and the like, then work up to positions with more power over several years. By the time you hit about 50% (WAG) of the government (total), the ball will be rolling and unstoppable. Citizens will see how much good the elected officials are doing and how much they are being ...


3

Promote the ignorance that does not make any distinction between the two. “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” OR “Any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology.”


3

Mismatched Tech levels: You don't. You are thinking that 20th century tactics and values are going to work for your army, and that skipping ahead to the more 'advanced' approach means your army will be better. It won't. At early 19th century tech levels, shoulder to shoulder is still the way your army controls large numbers of troops with a generally low ...


3

Just execute them The nice thing about being a Soviet-style head of state is that if you don’t care for how someone in the party behaves, and you’re above them, you can just have them executed. And their replacements. And theirs, until the right people are in place A show trial with a confession extracted by torture will be helpful for maintaining a ...


3

Force invention into overdrive and hope for the best I'm not going to delve into the isekai element because I've become pretty disgusted with the genre, it started alright at first but now it's just over-saturated with poorly written, self-insert power-fantasy. As far as your problem of putting education before brute force goes, there's really no definitive ...


2

Hmm. If I was an artist-like society, I would try convincing them the importance of science by showing them soundwave art; the beauty of different celestial objects; or the poetic tragedy of life. Something like that xd So maybe something similar for this warrior society? Painting and turning the otherwise uninterest studies of science, philosophy and ...


2

Logistics Looting (aka foraging) goes hand in hand with the absence of a working quartermaster system. When troops have to "ask" peasants for fodder and food, they will "liberate" any bottles of wine they can find, and take liberties with the farmers' daughters. So make the troops expect that there will be food, in decent quantity and ...


2

Bureaucracy and religion. Everything is done according to proscribed standards. Procedure becomes ritual, habits dominate, every spare moment is take-up with prayer and incantation allowing no room for creative or de-facto subversive thought (reasoning beyond the allowed limits). Politeness and social ritual dominate every encounter, ceremonies of greeting, ...


2

Leaders are always power hungry, there is no exception Throughout history, it has always been the most ambitious people who have risen to power. Not the smartest, not the kindest, not the most qualified... to take one of those limited seats of power in your society, you must want it. Why you want it varies, but people who don't want it never get it. Even ...


2

Make a democratic presidency. Military dictatorships are loathe to give up their power, but they also often fuck up and run out of money. Running a government is hard, and the military is often pretty bad at it. In the same way though, they don't want a bunch of civilians defunding them and stopping them from doing what needs to be done. As such, they want a ...


2

America First. https://dabrownstein.com/2016/12/05/mapping-the-new-isolationism/ The very America First doctrine that catapulted Trump to the White House stands, for all its championing of national self-interest, to be best embodied by the removal of the United States from its role on the global geopolitical map. And the removal of the United States and ...


2

There is historical precedence for this. For example, the Hasburg Monarchy in Austria established a secret police force (Geheime Staatspolizei) in the late 1780's. They monitored internal and international mail, hired/bribed domestic servants to spy on their employers, and secretly detained and tried people suspected of 'political crimes'. They also vetted ...


2

Considering this statement 'The state in question is mostly concerned with using its police apparatus in its capital city, which has just over a million people.', there is no real need for modern communication technologies to manage a described police state effectively. Preindustrial cities were rather small when it comes to land area. For example, the known ...


2

The important point is to control what gets printed. Make printing into a "Crown Service" where anyone else printing something gets executed. If you can control the information flow, then nobody else can organize resistance. Yes, you can have unorganized resistance, but organized force can almost always beat unorganized. (The few times it can't are ...


2

The Non-Magic Users Already have a significant technological advantage Since all civilizations are somewhere between that of 1000 and 1500, just put these two civilizations at either extreme. The civilization with magic has a lot less reason to invest time in learning crafts like blacksmithing, masonry, carpentry, etc. As a result all of the stuff they do ...


1

Tertiary COVID When a person gets syphilis, there are multiple stages. First there is a local sore at the site (primary syphilis), then a rash all over the body (secondary syphilis), and much later, madness, nose rotting away, all sorts of unpleasant things. With chickenpox, there is a rash and fever for a short time, then late in life there can be ...


1

You can justify many different systems. The per capita GDP means they have a decent "pie" to share out. That means they can afford to have some "inaccuracies" in the rules -- people getting welfare who might possibly find a job. But that's also psychology. Taxpayers resent it if they perceive some to be freeloaders, even if the ...


1

The ruling class blocks the development of technology that undermines their power, at the expense of society as a whole The ruling classes in your nonmagical societies have the foresight to suppress advancements that could threaten their dominance. It's in their short sighted interest to do so, but the cumulative effect over the centuries is to slow ...


1

They are Friends Taiwan is officially part of China (according to China that is). Unofficially the countries are separate but allied. The motivation behind China not conquering Taiwan is (a) We can do it whenever we want because we are much bigger and stronger than them. There is no need to conquer now and we'd rather save the expense. (b) A lot of our ...


1

Other answers have suggested revolutionary or violent solutions, and that makes a lot of sense because that's the most common way to replace ruling elites in human history. However there are a few counterexamples of more or less pacific transitions worth looking: Britain in the XIX century. It started the century being a very restricted kind of democracy, ...


1

Appeal to self interest. This can be either dirty (bribes, threats) or friendly: For example more benefits for their people, enforced cooperation on bigger projects, for example expanded markets and enforced rules on trade between Party Cadres that will increase their market reach. Relating to the modern USA, the national project to create the Interstate ...


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