A Crazy World Created From Conspiracy Theories and Partisan Politics
When I was developing the world that becomes Path of Angels, I was spending quite a bit of time debating law, politics and culture online. This led me to doing a ton of research about things that I was familiar with, but needed specifics in order to support my opinion.
There was also a lot of jaw flapping about Texas seceding, people relocating to states with other like-minded people, talk of religious persecution and even civil war. It was mostly just hot air. Few people ever did more than talk.
I decided to start exploring the what ifs with all of these ideas. What if Hillary became president? What if the government started censoring religions and/or shutting them down? What if the socialists got the government to provide basic needs for everyone? What if marriage continued on the path it was going and no one got married anymore? These were just a few of the many questions that I asked.
Being a paralegal, I just couldn’t force myself to morph our government into the crazy that I needed for my story. So....I started a war. The Great War happens after Jane Elliot Brown wins the presidency in 2020. She is so incompetent that the economy crashes setting off a chain of events that leads to a complete change of borders around the world. Thirty-five years later the April Compact is signed, restoring an uneasy peace and marking the beginning of the New Era.
I needed to figure out this new world and where the borders would be, what type culture they would have, and what sort of government would function in those countries. The first thing that I did was to take my hostility out on California and have it traded to the Chinese in trade for forgiveness of a large portion of the US debt. Then, I broke the mainland into about 8 or so other smaller countries. In the east is New England. The south rose again in the New Confederacy. Obviously Texas still remained and expanded, North Gates, in the northwest, is a privately owned country by none other than Bill Gates.
The Government of Nacerma
In the heartland is Nacerma. This is where I had my real fun. I started with the basic idea of a country that provides every citizen with the basics - food, clothing, shelter, medical care - in exchange for 5 years of service in an assigned government job. I threw in a bit of fascism by having the government control and monitor all communication mediums, weapons and industry. Then some communism in how certain people are more equal than others. Last, but not least, I throw in some capitalism in two forms. The first being the Council that runs the country, which is loosely based on a Board of Directors. Secondly, there are some “privately-owned” businesses, which are set-up similar to a franchise, except that the owner has to go through the government for everything rather than a private entity.
Thrown into this Frankenstein’s monster of a government are a mess of cultural ideas that are a mix of liberal and conservative. Of course I chose the ones that each side hates the most.
Society and Culture
Children/abortion/euthanasia: There are no set laws on the number of children a mother can have, however the government will only provide for up to two children per woman, who have sole responsibility for their care and upbringing. During a woman’s service with the government, they can either be arrested for getting pregnant or be forced to have an abortion. Abortions are available the entire pregnancy for the asking and infants who are born with defects are aborted. Euthanasia is encouraged and requires nothing more than a person presenting themselves at a medical center and making the request.
Relationships/marriage: There is no government marriage at all. Relationships last as long as any two people decide to have one, which results in almost no commitment between people. Also, there are very few restrictions on what people may do. Age of consent is 18, although there is a Romeo clause, which allows an age gap of up to 2 years where at least one is a minor.
Religion/Speech: Religion of all types is strictly banned and severely penalized. Speech has limits only when it comes to criticizing the government. There is no such thing as hate speech, defamation of character or slander/libel.
Those are the major components of this new country Nacerma. It’s a hot mess, but it works.
Path of Angels is out March 13th at Amazon.com.