The Great Dinosaur of the Petroleum Era
As the days of the Petroleum Era and the Resource Wars neared their end, there was a massive consolidation of power and resources within the first and second world nations. Economic fortresses and bastions were raised, and whomever controlled the resources and provided the utilities had the means to become the new law of the land, especially as the federal superstates collapsed. In many places, that position fell to major corporations, as they had the money, materiel, and manpower to take over. And in many places, they did.
What is N.C.?
- A political paradigm, in which members believe the basic unit of society and the primary concern of the state is the corporation rather than the individual, and that the interests of the corporate group are the same as the interest of the nation.
- The national good should work mainly for the corporation, rather than the good of their state.
- Corporations should be protected from foreign ownership
- Public systems should (may) be incorporated.
- The state is biased towards corporate interests
As mentioned above, in many places, the corporations took over the daily operation of utilities, sanitation, and provided funding and support for essential services like police, military, and medical services. In many areas where this happened, there was an upswing in quality of life that was balanced out against the loss of democratic process. Lacking the checks and balances, oversight, and concern over the political consequences the new corporate system moved quickly and efficiently.
During the Second Renaissance, the corporate states held a great deal of power, and with their collected resources and stranglehold over assets like the arcologies and labs where arcanotech was pioneered, this was not successfully challenged for a long time. The arcos themselves were often to property of said corps and megacorps. Few other organizations had the power or funding to erect such colossal structures, and cash strapped cities and states were certainly unable to fund them. The few that were not raised by corps were raised in capitols around the world at the expense of the populace. While these often fell into disrepair due to funding problems, the corporate towers did not. A tower that couldn't be supported by it's parent corp would be sold, and taken over by a new entity, and this mega real estate exchange did a lot to grow the power of the megacorps and megabanks that grew through the Second Renaissance.
Population Control and Redistribution
As the Second Dark Age progressed, the corporate states husbanded their resources, and made conscious decisions about the health of it's 'human resource'. Medical technology was advanced with an eye towards reducing cost and drain on resources rather than generating profits. A healthy population is a productive population. These corps continued medical research, often at a reduced rate, from programs started in the previous eras. Genetic modification and manipulation were well under way before the advent of arcanotech.
Likewise, research and development in energy production and exploration was what broke the barrier between what was slowly evolving hypertech and arcanotech. Rather than one massive breakthrough, a number of different research firms found different inroads into dimensional science, and arcane mathematics. These various technologies and pioneered sciences wouldn't be brought together until the Second Renaissance and the Oxygen Depletion Incident.
One of the reasons that the MegaCorps were able to exist as they did was reliant on the phenomenon of arcopolarization, which kept the desirable elements of society insulated inside the arcologies, the vital elements protected inside the urban fortresses, and pushed the criminal, derelict, poor, and otherwise undesirable aspects of the population into the favelas and the urban rims. Strong police and military departments kept the cores safe, and the arcos peaceful, while simply forming a barrier against the crime, violence, and the economic drag created by maintaining non-productive members of society.
Rather than housing criminals in detention facilities, most serious crimes were handled with exile from the city, forcing said offender to live in the slums, barred from reentry. Rather than facing the issues of poverty, it was easier to create physical barriers to keep the homeless out of the city cores. Vagrants and derelicts found in the Corp controlled cities were exiled from the city, some were tagged and otherwise tracked, but all were kicked out the doors. There were outreach programs, where the military and law enforcement agencies would recruit from the favelas, and doing time as a Corp security contractor could grant a slum dweller citizen status. Church groups did charity work, and there was 'humanitarian aid' delivered.
The Corporate States
The MegaCorps had the strongest hands in the wreckage of the Federal Superstates, where the collapse of national level government was much more severe. As such, most of the true MegaCorps rose in Europe, North America, and China. The Chinese culture and tradition rose and prevented the MegaCorps from overwhelming that nation, in much the same way that the Emperor of Nippon forced the zaibatsus to serve him. The most prominent and heavy handed corps were those that rose from the ruin of the United States of America.
Union Aerospace Corporation
Union Aerospace rose to prominence as a coalition of factories, foundries, and shipyards. These entities coalesced in the Resource Wars and became a military contractor powerhouse manufacturing aircraft parts, electronics, weapons systems, and providing repair and rearmament to American warships in the Atlantic. After the lights went out, UAC retained it's local dominance and it picked up where the federal government collapsed. The Corporation 'incorporated' the former state of New Jersey, raising it up as a new nation, founded under the aegis of the corp, proud and mercenary, militant, and heavily armed. A large portion of the history of the Commonwealth of New England is the struggle over the balance of power between the Megabank owned city of New Nuyork, the UAC, and the Hanseatic league style 'commonwealth' states. Even after these powers merged to form the Commonwealth of New England, UAC retains legal possession of the entire state of New Jersey, as well as the cities of Philadelphia, Baltimore, and technically the radioactive ruins of Washington D.C.
OCP has a colorful history in it's brutal domination and subjugation of the Great Lakes region. While the MegaBanks would eventually become bigger, OCP had it's hand in arco construction and military contracting when the banks were still cowering in fear of a city now reduced to glowing slag. The corp oversaw the reindustrialization of the Rust Belt, and the raising of new cities. The city of Detroit was split into Old and New, and once the multiple phases of construction were complete, a civil exodus left both to be infested by the an influx from the surrounding urban blight while Delta City rose as the new capital of OCP, and the nascent Republic of the Great Lakes. Other pro-OCP cities rose in prominence and power, like Pontiac, and cities that attempted to retain civilian control faltered and one by one were eventually bought out/bailed out by OCP. This shift in the balance of power saw the American Corporate Party become a powerful factor first in the nation, and then in the Federation. Those cities that opposed OCP took decades longer to recover from the Second Renaissance, due to their resistance, and due to the corporatocrats not being in a hurry to make the lives of their opponents better. Chicago and Cleveland, battered by war with the Commonwealth and civil war within their borders were among the last to rise up from the ashes.
Formerly a computer tech company and an ailing aerospace company, when the two merged in the late petroleum era and started producing military drones, they became a powerhouse in the former American industrial military complex. CG would survive the Second Dark Age by being local society activists in the Pacific Northwest and formed a benevolent dictatorship that was committed to being environmentally friendly, socially responsible, and profitable for its shareholders and investors. The smart design technology pioneered by CG and it's creation of the first AISCs would cement it a place of power, and ensure that the cities of Cascadia would be paragons and models for the rest of the world to follow. All of the soy latte prog rock feel good environmentalist corporatism is based on the sale of military skeletrons, variable frame aerospace fighters and advanced components for mecha, military AIs and Cognet equipment. Cyberdyne's relocation to Cascadia from California placed that state in a position of prominence, and in the ensuing I-80 Border War. Both states contested the ownership of North California, and while the Republic had a stronger legal claim, Cascadia had a much stronger military claim, and it ended with the cities of New Reno, Sacramento, and San Francisco being annexed by Cascadia. San Jose remains the northern most city in the Republic of California and the border between it and San Francisco is a stark. San Fran is bustling and vibrant, San Jose is overrun by the favelas and controlled by crime lords.
The Non-corp backed states saw the division, political rancor, and inefficiency of government as they struggled to face the challenges of the Second Dark Age without any sort of effective and efficient government. These states would either suffer and fall further behind compared to their neighbors or would find another thread to draw them together. Examples in North America include the Confederation of Southern States adopting a theocratic government based out of a common Heritage, or the Republics of Texas and California rising out of existing state level governments that had strong identities and internal functions. These states would still lag behind those that had Corp cores.
Corporatism and National Corporatism are common and largely accepted legal and political systems in the Cosmic Era, as one of the hallmarks of Modern America is an insistence on God given rights, and democracy. While it was demonstrated in the past that rampant industrial power destroys human lives, the residents of the Cosmic Era look back on the Democracy project as the error that almost destroyed the world. They are willing to accept leadership from AISC masterminds, corporate boards, and other non-elected, or nominally elected officials because these individuals and the governing systems they represent are seen as being efficient and effective, and with the strong power of Media and news spin, even the most monstrous domestic megacorp is seen as at worst, apathetic and aloof.
The average resident of the first world in the Cosmic Era is okay with the idea of giving up self governance.