79

"So, I have a group of 6 small kingdoms (in a medieval low fantasy world) that share a lot of their culture, since they were just one country in the past. In my story, a powerful nation (let's call it P) is becoming too dangerous and has the potential to beat all these kingdoms in a war (and go even further)." To anchor a general world-view I will assume ...


62

The Kingdom that founded Siege has collapsed so it can't officially declare an armistice. Siege don't want to publicly admit this. There is no King to declare an end to hostilities anymore. The people of Siege may think of their kingdom how early medieval Europe thought of the Roman empire: not willing to admit it's gone, occasionally getting behind ...


55

I for one welcome our new robot overlords Who said the dictator had to be human? The robots could be programmed to serve and protect humans and the best way to do that is rule them with a literal iron fist. Everybody is fed and cared for. They want for nothing and are kept safe and happy but they don't run the place anymore. The robots run everything and ...


47

Gated Nation One scenario that comes to mind is Monaco. One in three is a [multi-] millionaire. Most of the working-class do not live in Monaco, but commute from France. The "country" is full of rich people (is that a "rich country"?), but has a small if not non-existent middle class citizenry. "From Each According to His Ability, To Whatever." Another ...


46

This might be possible, but it will take a large amount of time for this situation to develop. For the sake of this answer I will refer to both the town as well as their inhabitants as Caertydin and Siege. What I think is the most plausible explanation, is that the siege started out as a serious assault, but dragged out too long. Siege didn't cut off ...


44

When everything desirable is available to all, the only commodity that continues to have value is the obedience of others. The dictator benefits from the deference of his subjects in a world where no other motivation for such deference will work. You cannot bribe the rich to obey you because they no longer need your bribes and you cannot bribe the poor ...


33

I've read a book series before which had a technologically advanced feudal society in a very believable way. While the reasons for feudalism's developement were complicated, one very large reason was the difficulty of direct control. After the breakdown of the Roman Empire, and with it both its military might and its intricate postal system, it became ...


31

It is already too late. Any decision you make will either be a) one you have been gently guided towards by a posthuman superintelligence (with or without your realisation of this fact) or b) one that the posthumans have noted and decided to be entirely compatible with their other aims. You can't wriggle out from under the unblinking omnidirectional gaze of ...


31

A Government Is Not A Single Unified Entity, Particularly Elected Governments Government priorities change over time, often swinging back and forth between different ends of a particular country's political range. Not every policy put in place under one administration is repealed under the next, even if that policy would not have been passed by the new ...


30

It would use the heck out of that river. Cities have always shared rivers. Rivers are long and they have the things people need. A river is an excellent place to site a city. Look at all the cities on the Mississippi River and its tributaries. https://www.americanrivers.org/river/mississippi-river/ Moving water, air and life can do a lot to clean up ...


27

There have been several proposed systems for supposedly fair, unequal voting rights. The problem is that what some sees as manifestly fair, others will see as grossly unfair. Hence, they will fail the requirement of "the system sounds clearly fair". One example is Ayn Rand, who argued that (1) people who don't pay taxes should not have the right to vote, ...


24

The main feature of a feudal monarchy is the "vassalic contract". It means that one vassal serves it's liege while the liege provide protection. It can be on a small scale : organizing a local police force to protect from day to day violence, or it can be on a huge scale... organizing intergalactic diplomacy to prevent war between the carebear monarchy and ...


23

A Roman engineering solution to the contamination problem would be to build an aqueduct that draws water from upstream of all villages and runs parallel to the natural stream. Citizens could draw clean water from the aqueduct and dump their waste into the natural stream. Dumping waste into the aqueduct would be punishable by drowning. A set of weirs at ...


23

Gambling. The laws of Caertydin prohibit gambling in any form. When the siege wasn't going very well and was entering its second year residents of Caertydin slowly realised they could sneak out at night and go gamble in Siege, as their laws don't prohibit this. The soldiers in Siege let this happen because people from Caertydin aren't very good at poker. ...


22

It would probably dump some wastes in it as well, but this got me concerned: what about those who would use the water further downstream? What!? Dumping our precious waste in the river? Who would be so ignorant to do such a thing? Solid waste is useful. Food scraps feed animals (specially pigs and goats). Human and animal excrement works as a fertilizer. ...


21

What does it mean to be wealthy? If you'll forgive a Frame Challenge, you're trying to define wealth in terms of money and then you want to level out the playing field. That doesn't work. Wealth must be defined in terms of luxury, influence, and power. In other words, a wealthy person is one who can secure the services of others in circumstances when the ...


21

There is no way to filter the voters that isn't open to abuse, suffrage has to be universal to work. Any definition that can be used to exclude people for any reason can be used to disenfranchise a target group. For example, criminals. Select your target group, make something about them illegal and use that to prevent members of the group from voting. ...


20

Power-lust If there is one thing we can see in our current world is that, no matter where a country is in the wealth ranking, the dynamic of its rulers are no different: they crave for the subtle trill of power, some hiding it behind the noble slogans of progress, democracy, equality, etc., some behind fear related arguments (people with 3 nostrils first!). ...


20

They are simply too dull to attract attention from others. Think of ants or of other insects/bugs. As long as they don't become a direct nuisance, we don't really bother with them. We don't kill ants just because they are ants, but only when they start colonize our houses, we don't kill wasps just because they are wasps, but only when they become a danger ...


19

Her strategy invites conquest by P. If P is thinking about attacking, it can do it when these small countries are exhausted and in disarray from fighting each other. The question is whether your canny leader wants to avoid conquest or whether she wants to rule the 6 countries. With the threat of P the latter seems unlikely. If she wants to unite the ...


18

The Land of Abundance So, the biggest issue with an eternal siege is going to be food, both in the city and for the army. So we take this away. Your city is valuable because it's located in a realm with an endless food supply, which also makes a siege a uselessly terrible strategy for taking the city, leading to the present situation. Note, you can replace ...


18

Previous King of whatever country had started the Siege was a rush, loud, warmongering, boasting type. Probably had a red beard. He had sworn a Holy Oath that if he can not capture Caertydin, he would step down and relinquish the crown. However, while the army was on the march, the King finally had to pay for all the years of drinking and reveling: he had a ...


17

This kind of thing happens all the time in the real world. Take Paris and London for example. On the coast of France there is a little island called Britain. The people there have been at odds with the french for centuries. They did wage war at some point, but after the last one it's been centuries of peace. Fast forward to the 20th century. The french ...


16

Siege reminds me to the situation of Calais (France) during the 15th century. The city had been conquered to the French in 1347 and until 1558 it served as an enclave in continental Europe for Britain. The city was called a "jewel" because it served as a trading port for wool, cloth, wine, lead and tin. In a way, it made the trading between French and ...


14

Control The dictator has absolute control over the lives of his subjects. The dictator don't need them in any way as the robots do all the work, but keep them around as pets or such. The people are toys. Through manipulating their lives, the dictator feel significant and can forget his own powerlessness against the larger universe. The dictator can give and ...


14

Old "divide et impera". As long as the two factions fight each other they will: depend on external suppliers of goods and services, in which the government can play a role and get an earning waste their resources in the mutual fight and not dedicate them to some other scope


13

Since she knows all the other rulers and knows that they probably won't work effectively as a group or accept to be lead by a female No medieval armies worked very effectively as a group. They weren't armies in the sense we understand them today, nor even in the sense that Wellington and Napoleon would have. Lords raised volunteers (or levies) from the land ...


13

Yes, of course that can happen. It has happened frequently in our history. How do you think Islam spread to much of Asia and North Africa, for example? Or Christianity to much of sub-Saharan Africa? However, your second scenario doesn’t happen — most people don’t care enough about their religion to face exile, and will just pay lip service to whatever ...


12

Say, that Nation A absolutely destroys Nation B in a battle and annexes them. Can Nation A realistically demand that the conquered people either convert to their religion Sure. Cuius regio, eius religio was specific to Western Europe in the aftermath of the Protestant Revolution, but the concept is very old. or be expelled? If we assume that the ...


12

"Could a society exist with the technological advancement we have today, but not the social or political advancement": a few examples of modern(-ish) societies which cannot be called democracies, and most certainly are not similar to "western" polities: National-Socialist Germany, also known as the Third Realm, 1933-1945. The Empire of Japan, 1868-1945. The ...


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