Political Developments in the wake of the Revolution
After the transfer of power from the Radical Regime to the Mistrala-led coalition, the Democratic factions reunited in the Constituent Assembly to write a new constitution to serve as a blueprint for a libertarian socialist democracy. Socialization of industry had already occurred in the Revolution's first days when the workers took over their factories and shops. The revolutionaries had to design new, stable and workable socialist institutions. Since they had committed themselves to a system of law, writing a new constitution was the first step.
The constitution was approved by the convention in December 1934, and on 30 April 1935-- the national holiday-- 77% of the voting people approved it by referendum.
The next day the executive committee ordered angeneral reprieve for most remaining political and civil war prisoners, including most middle-grade K-N commanders and leaders, especially those who had been active with the Conservative and Liberal parties. These people on home confinement were freed, and those who were imprisoned went to home confinement. No Communists, however, were released. Even Pierisin was moved from a prison to house arrest These grants were not amnesties, and the former detainees still carried their designations.
1935 & 1936 -- The First Elections
The new constitution included "Articles of Transition" that scheduled the first elections for full terms under the new constitution for the summer of 1936. But they also contained provisions for a "short term" transition, as if a dry run, by calling for elections to a new congress and president for shortened terms, and the Articles scheduled these elections for first saturday in August, with the run-off three saturdays later. Thus everyone linked the amnesty with the political campaign.
The revolutionary factions had, during the campaign leading up the 30 April 1935 referendum, settled down to the business of form political parties, in anticipation of the constitution's approval and the resulting system of electoral politics. This process, in the particularly Bergonian style, consisted of winning the allegiances of the local political clubs. The Rosists became the National Democracy Party, and the Mistrala organized the Socialist Freedom Party. Bergonia in essence became a two-party democracy, with two small parties, the Socialist Country Union (formed largely from farmers, woodsmen and herders associations) and the Communist Party, and a few local ethnic parties.
SFP victories in the first elections: The Socialist Freedom Party, the post-revolutionary political vehicle of the Mistralistas, won the transitional "short-term" elections in August 1935 by capturing 55% of seats. The Rosist, now the NDP, won 25%, with small parties gaining the rest. Acuila was the SFP's candidate for president, and no one would run against him. In the first full-term election, Acuila again ran unopposed and the SFP won 58%. The NDP, by twice endorsing the uber-prestigious Acuila, great hero of the revolution, started out the two-party competition at a serious disadvantage. Taming the Revolutionary Militias: The militias associated with the local political clubs often reconvened and displayed their weapons, and indeed throughout 1936 and early 1937 there were some spectacular outbreaks of militia violence, either intramural or against the local police. In 1937 the new Congress legislated an order for all militias to disband, although there was heated debate about what "disbanding" actually required, while nearly all the militias stashed their arms and turned ostensibly into political clubs. A few clubs, most NDP affiliated, made a great show of refusing the order, and invited swift and terrible retribution from the reconstituted Army. Public order improved markedly when the band when into effect, while everyone, including the government, accepted the tacit understanding that the militia organizations could remain intact, as long as they ceased acting like militias. People were anxious to make the new system work, and reclaim a measure of stability in their lives. The government worked hard to get the court system up and running. While the 1935 and 1936 elections had been quite rambunctious affairs, with come collateral violence between local political clubs and militias, the 1938 voting occurred very orderly-- what would be called "free and fair" in the current jargon, except that any party advocating a restoration of capitalism was barred.
1936- 1937 -- War with Britain and the United States:
Acuila had just won reelection after the run-off in Aug 1936. He and the new Congress were installed on __ September, and the next day he ordered the Navy and Army to go onto war alert. He and his executive committee had had enough of British and American demands for reparations, to compensate British and American citizens, banks and corporations for the loss of their property seized by workers during the revolution. These capitalist giants were using the issue of reparations to test and isolate the new revolutionary regime, just as they had against the USSR. The lesson was not lost on Acuila and his battle-hardened leadership. Acuila made the issue a public one, and a patriotic one, and a revolutionary one, and the people responded.
Dislike of Great Britain had by 1936 become utterly engrained in Bergonian thinking, but enmity toward the US was a relatively new thing. The US nevertheless provided something of an excuse for war. Although Franklin Roosevelt's 1993 "Good Neighborhood" signaled the end of US direct military invasions of Latin American nations, the US did not cease other forms of crucial support for tyrants and class oppressors. So Bergonia directly opposed the flagrant US support of Anastasio Somoza's rise to power in Nicaragua in 1936, and Acuila lionized the late Agusto Cesar Sandino, whom Somoza as National Guard Commander assassinated in 1934 in connivance with US ambassador Arthur Bliss Lane. Soon the revolutionary clubs, militias and parties were all plastering Sandino's picture everywhere.
on 12 November 1936 the Bergonian Navy initiated a series of attacks against US and British Navy vessels at sea. On 23 November 1936 a Bergonia destroyer ironically named the Lincoln sank a British cruiser.
The apogee of the war approached. On 1 January 1937 Bergonian marines stormed over Bermuda, depriving Britain of its one port close to Bergonian waters. A Bergonian squadron took up position outside the entrance to Chesapeake Bay, tying up American naval vessels anchored at Portsmouth, and isolating them from American vessels at sea. Bergonian warships appeared of the coast of Miami, visible to everyone on the beach. In late January the Bergonian Navy had engaged US and British warships in numerous confrontations on the open sea, and both sides lost ships. This was a war that no one wanted.
On 13 May 1937 Bergonia signed an agreement with Britain and the US that established a permanent cease fire. The Bergonian marines left Bermuda, and peace returned to the seas. The parties set up a commission of reconciliation to consider the claims the parties had against each other and recommend solutions.
Washington and London recognized that they could contain Bergonia without directly engaging her, and so the Atlantic powers reached a pact that freed America and Britain to address the expansionism of Nazi Germany and Japan. Subsequently, Roosevelt and Churchill negotiated the Lend-Lease agreement that allowed the US to take operation control of most British bases in the Western North Atlantic in exchange for the transfer of older american shipping for use by the British, and in doing so they consulted with the Bergonians, as part of a new strategy of pacifying the Bergonians.
1936-1940 -- Domestic Policy:The number one task at home for the commonwealth government was to establish the new socialist institutions, including the National Health Funds, the Socialist Pay Law, and the Guaranteed Income for everyone.
1940 -- PresidentAcuila retires: The bearded Acuila, the revolution's George Washington, chose to retire from public life at the end of a single full term and declined to run again in 1940. He stated he was bound and determine to live like a good pensioner in a common flat
Meno Julzen, a strong Mistrala leader during the revolution and a colleague of Acuila's, as well as his second prime minister, replaced him and won the presidency as the SFP candidate by a big majority, with SFP winning a stunning 64%. The NDP this time did run a candidate
Julzen, from Kai-Tanla in Sacamota, had been a political organizer and a journalist in the years leading up to the Revolution, and during the Revolution he participated in many street battles. During his two terms he solidified the new socialist institutions. He won acclaim for his strict adherence to the new constitutional norms, and his biographies recount numerous incidents where he restrained his subordinates who wanted to abuse state power, although he personally could be very domineering, impatient with others' opinions, and vengeful. He and Acuila were famous for their fishing retreats along the marshy coastlines of Bunamota.
Like Spain, Bergonia stayed out of WWII. During the war, Bergonia enjoyed peace and tended to the long task of reconstruction. Bergonia stabilized its socialist institutions in the 1940's while the rest of the world fought.
Julzen won reelection in 1944 by a reduced margin. In 1947 Bergonia joined the United Nations.The NDP became a stout and healthy opposition in Congress. Moreover, the National Democratic Party dominated many state governments during this period. Throughout the 1940s the electoral trend favored the NDP, diminishing the SFP's majorities.
The constitution prohbited Julzen from running for a third term, so the SFP nominated Corofei Nitlanao, another revolutionary leader, and most recently speaker of Congress, for the presidency. He won soundly, even though the SFP lost its absolute majority in Congress. Thereafter the SFP governed in coalition with the Socialist Country Union. Nitlanao was tall and handsome, extravagant by revolutionary standards, extremely eloquent, and given to cronyism. Sadly the very popular President Nitlanao contracted cancer in the third year of his term and had to resign.
1952 - 1960 -- Split Government:The NDP finally won the presidency in 1952. Nitlanao's successor, Itraiman Manichorano, a technocrat who turned out to be an aggressively effective campaigner, but by this time some of Nitlanao's simmering cronyism began boiling over into public scandals involving preferential property leasing, second homes, and misuse of state workers for personal benefit, and finally a link was uncovered to the deceased Nitlanao and to Manichorano himself in the middle of the campaign, and Manichorano was defeated by the NDP candidate Etlao Cordan.
Nevertheless, SFP, still in coalition with the Socialist Country Union, retained control of Congress, winning again in the 1954 by-election. This, the first occurrence of divided government, tested the constitution. Fortunately, the parties were able to collaborate within the mechanisms of the constitution,, using the Executive Council effectively.
The election in 1956 gave a plurality in Congress to the NDP, with only 21 seats shy of a majority, but the SFP formed a coalition with the SCU and its old enemy, the Communists (who had five vital seats) and kept control of Congress. Moreover, the SFP candidate Esfram DiFortunato beat incumbent Cordan in the race for president in the run-off by a mere two-tenths of a percent. SFP's alliance with the Communists created a firestorm of controversy. American conservative alarmists made an unproductive ruckus that united all Bergonians around DiFortunato, but then allegations that he help cover up a bribery scandal erupted, and public opinion turned against him.
The 1958 election left the NDP only 11 votes shy of a majority, and both the Communists and the SCU again found themselves in pivotal positions. Both parties wanted to negotiate with the NDP, but the SCU beat the Communists to the door, and the NDP later let the Communists into the coalition with most of its bargaining strength gone. Now it was the SFP that was in opposition.
1960 -- the National Democratic Party won the entire government:
The NDP finally won an outright majority in Congress in 1960 for the first time, at the same time putting Cordan back into the presidency, gaining control of the government for the first time. This was the ascendancy of the post-revolutionary generation. Cordan himself had fought as a foot soldier in the Civil War, but came into prominence afterwards. He and his attractive, stylish and hugely photogenic wife, Amariton a former nightclub singer, symbolized new aspirations within a stable socialist society. Amariton drew comparisons to Jackie.
Cordan had been criticized as rash and immature during his first time, but now he had found his mature voice and built a wider consensus. With an absolute majority in Congress he pushed through an aggressive industrial development policy, and a long-range defense policy that included ICBMs, a few nuclear warheads, and a new generation of aircraft carriers, fighter planes and bombers. He matched Kennedy's dedication to manned space exploration, and Congress approved creation of the Space Flight Commission. The Icarus spaceport was lavishly inaugurated in 1962. The venture bore fruit when, on 18 October 1967 the SFC launched into orbit two astronauts on the Bergonia's first manned orbital flight was on .
Bergonian delegations to the Soviet Union returned depressed and duly cautioned. Stalin frightened them. Perhaps Stalinism agreed with the Russian temperament and culture, but Bergonians were disposed toward something far looser and calmer. "I suspect the Bolshevik ice-man would melt in our sunshine," said one Bergonian visitor. Indeed, while Marxism (and indeed all other western economic systems) preached the primacy of economic forces in shaping social forms, most Bergonian theorists preached that economic and political considerations followed cultural values. Bergonian psychology of the time (which absorbed some German psychoanalytical theory and flatly rejected American behaviorism) held that values determine behavior (both individual and group), and that shared values motivate social cohesion and ensure behavioral conformity.
Thus, the idea was to remold the culture along revolutionary lines by encouraging a new set of values. First and foremost they encouraged people to join and actively participate in local groups-- the peasant village or the work collective, then the local community (city ward, town or village). This required propaganda and conscious social engineering.
In the search for new values, Bergonian revolutionaries reached back into their pre-Columbian past and reclaimed the traditions of mannered civility and propriety, as well as the Tanic egalitarianism. They learned from their past to cultivate a degree of maturity in their socialist debates.
In 1944 Congress declared a final amnesty for all prisoners and detainees of the war. Pierisin, finally free of house arrest, went to his old home, and in time received a conciliatory visit from Acuila. The losers of the civil war, once they swore loyalty and forswore violence, won release from prison and received civil liberties. All political crimes were swept off the books, except for organizing to promote capitalism, race superiority, or hatred toward any ethnicity or religion.
The constitution and an independent judiciary protected free political speech, save for talk that incited race and ethnic hatred, and citizens were often successful in protesting against police. and censors and winning court orders. The Bergonians however didn't worship at the alter of freedom so excessively that they forced themselves to tolerate all forms of offensive or harmful expression. Indeed, during this time anyone who advocated a return to capitalism was vigorously denounced, harassed and marginalized-- just as Americans have treated socialists-- and they too grumbled, "but it's your right to squawk such trash." The Bergonians treated racist and capitalist speech in much the same way that the Federal Republic of Germany has prosecuted Nazi speech and expression. But among themselves the revolutionaries permitted an open arena for free debate. While the various tendencies in Bergonian socialist/anarcho-syndicalist politics have bitterly denounced each other with horrible insults, they've all learned not to try to cut off the debate.
Fortunately the power of the local revolutionary institutions (workers enterprises, ethnic associations, political clubs, regional militias, and anarchist clubs) prevented excessive centralization. It was a pluralistic revolution. The demand for decentralization had, after all, become the decisive issue that brought down the Radical Regime. "The New Culture," therefore was not the dictate of a central committee, though it did entail a huge propaganda campaign designed to appeal to and stimulate the local groups and the masses. Groups, clubs and individuals competed with each other in revolutionary ardor. At first the groups competed in the earnestness of their parades and rallies. When they prospered in the post-war peace they competed in campaigns to clean up cities, building new projects, establishing scholarships, apprenticeships, rest homes and the like. Being a revolutionary was a matter of conscientious pride among many citizens.
There was a growing tendency to fear & suspect devious counter-revolutionary and American plots during the 1950s. Matters were not helped when descendents of the plutocrat Warren Douglas Dean (see the Book of Dreams), living in the U.S., made statements about wanting to finance a cabal of exiled counterrevolutionaries. There was a great deal of speculation about plots by Americans, communists, and surviving Kilitan. This fear reached ridiculous proportions from time to time, resulting in many unwarranted criminal investigations. There was not much more behind this wave besides a general xenophobia, increasing along with Bergonia's isolation.
The Upbeat Mood
The 1940 and early 50s were a time of great optimism and excitement (at least for those classes that sided with the revolution).
While in the Soviet Union the leadership raised the ideal of "Socialist Man," the Bergonian revolutionaries promised a "New Culture," an effort to eradicate capitalist money values and replace them with something else. After revolutionaries seize political power and triumph over their adversaries, they turn their attentions to changing cultural norms. The French revolution produced the worship of reason, and the Chinese Revolution culminated in the Cultural Revolution. Likewise, the Bergonian revolution had "the New Culture." This involved "the socialization of the arts, the culture and the intellect."The science of psychology exploded into prominence, and Freudian concepts entered the lexicon. Psychiatrists and psychologists publicly addressed the "psychological improvement" of all men and women through eradication of the "neuroses of capitalism." "Fetishism" and "bossism" became the big pejorative terms applied to old capitalist habits of thought, the products of infantilist arrested development, and therefore associated with Freudian oral and anal stages. The mass media -- which was then coming into its own with radio, movie houses and cheap printing-- advanced the "New Culture." It seems that historians have not fully realized the connection between the sudden explosion of totalitarianism in the world after 1920 and the sudden advent of instant communications, mechanization and mass media. The new wave of magazines flooding the country were full of articles by "experts" and "testimonials" on how to become a better, i.e. socialist, person. A motto summed it up for many, "Improve our Bergonia, Improve your collective, improve yourself."
The various professions-- law, accounting, medicine, architecture-- all very self-consciously reformed themselves to new socialist norms. Typically some of this was brown-nosing by natural-born conservatives who were making well heard proclamations of loyalty to the new regime, and some of it was over-stated sloganeering with less real substantive change.
So much was done during this period to remove "bossism" in the arts. Artists cooperatives and unions ran things. Orchestras, opera companies, theater groups, colleges, universities, art galleries-- all such institutions democratized with active noisy assembly and council debates. Many new "open galleries" appeared. Artists formed cooperatives and produced great quantities of collaborative drama, writing and journalism. There was a very active avante-guarde, associated with the anarchists, who generated an electric revolutionary futurist style. Mainstream political groups very quickly denounced and marginalized a lot of this, while popular tastes (like the popular tastes of every age) ran more to the romantic, maudlin and traditional. This was the era of popular romantic revolutionary drama & adventure in paperbacks and movies and radio dramas.
In the mainstream Bergonians (somewhat like the Japanese) have always revered beauty and harmony, and so they already had an appreciation of beautiful objects and arrangements, and they had always been somewhat pragmatic and utilitarian in outlook. The new regime conformed to this predisposition by placing a high premium on craftsmanship and good design. This included both scientific and aesthetic achievement. Frank Lloyd Wright found acclaim there, while Le Corbusier and other "Internationalists" and modernists met a more wary reception. Expressionism and Expressive Realism became the idioms of the revolution. Bergonia never suffered anything as sterile as Soviet "Socialist Realism." The painting of Diego Rivera and the photography of Paul Weston and Tina Modotti paralleled Bergonian revolutionary realism. Likewise there was a lot of vivid romantic painting & illustration, sometimes hyper-realistic style, similar to pre-raphaelites & art nouveau, only more muscular, ruddy and straining.
Competitions in the Arts and Sciences:
The newly recognized craft sydicals (like guilds) and professional associations conducted contests for everyone from architects to engineers to painters, in which the winners received highly publicized honors. No society escapes human mendacity, and one can usually tell what a society truly values by what its most evil members will cheat at getting.
While Americans swindle each other for money, Bergonian newspapers now related stories about how competitors occasionally try to fix the outcome of the contests. So deeply has money-worship infused American thinking that Americans can't understand that other cultures have existed which disdain material wealth in favor of other values (e.g. honor in warrior societies, holy sacrifice in Aztec Mexico, religious monasticism in traditional Tibet, and the afterlife in medieval Christendom).
Athleticism and Public Health:
As in other revolutionary states-- the USSR and Nazi Germany-- athleticism became an idiom for the revolutionary "new man." The various institutions of society sponsored runs, track & field meets, soccer and football games, wrestling and martial arts competitions, archery, sword fighting and stick fighting competition. Intramural leagues and classes were formed everywhere. Bergonia became a major Olympic contender. Proper nutrition and hygiene were encouraged in public propaganda and at schools.
The nutritionists and doctors were put in charge of product development for the entire food industry, since the food industry was on the verge of mass-producing brands of cereal products, condiments, and canned vegetables and fruits. The socialized public health system was established. In one draconian move the people were told by the government in 1941 that annual health check-ups were mandatory, though free. The old scourging infectious diseases, including smallpox, influenza and polio, were in steps eliminated. By 1950 purified running water and central sewer systems reached 85% of the homes in the nation, and electrification was almost 100% complete. A lot of idle hands were recruited by local governments and formed into construction collectives needed to build the water and sewage systems, the power plants and hydroelectric dams, and then to dig the water, sewer and power lines.
1950-1965-- "Bullish Bergonia"
As the veterans of the revolution aged, their sons, nephews and little brothers came to the fore. A new post-revolutionary generation came to dominate the cultural, economic and political life of the country. These were the "Big Picture" men and women, who were proud of their revolution and their science and technology, and who were defensive against the supremacy of the USA, NATO and the West all around them. There was triumphalism in their speeches writings and art. This generation committed the country to big impressive industrial-style projects-- stadiums, giant subway projects, hydroelectric dams, weapons, aircraft and ships, aeronautics and space-- that tended to reinforce state power and hierarchical functioning. Bergonia was a huge steel producer, and determined the get on the cutting edge of all scientific and technical fields. There was a very conscious effort to improve the schools and turn out qualified technical people. Bergonia rushed a manned space program to the fore to compete with the US and Soviet endeavors. This was the first generation that wholeheartedly embraced the values of gender equality, and women begin running for office and winning elections. A journalist mimicked the Wall Street jargon of "bullish" and "bearish" by bragging on "Bullish Bergonia," and it became a prideful slogan of the times.
Dirty Filthy Industrial Bergonia
Of course the robust bull was by no means sparing with his shit, and pollution was spewing everywhere and getting getting worse. Water quality was especially bad. There were many industrial cities located in enclosed valleys that invited frequent air inversions, making smog horrible. It took little time for the now quite large public health establishment to focus on environmental health hazards. Of course the nation's industrial syndicals stiffened at any expensive controls on waste; the new economic stability was putting extra money into workers' pockets, and they were loath to part with it.
But once the public health sector documented many major industrial diseases, e.g. pneumonoconiosis and silicosis, the worker themselves realized from their own experiences that disease was caused by industrial pollution and waste. Moreover, while workers chaffed at safety requirements for hardhats, goggles and other matters of personal inconvenience, in time they came to understand the need for change. Once workers, particularly those handling chemicals and heavy metals, or working in dust, realized that many of these substances were making them sick, they earnestly wanted change. Workers got additionally agitated in their alarm when they and their families lived next to their plants, which in Bergonia is often the case.
But the workers' cooperatives did not have the funds or means to make the necessary changes.Industrial workers marched on capitals demanding capital from the government and development banks to expeditiously install all the newly necessary safety equipment. The same industrial workers resisted many demands for pollution abatement improvement, and there were some noteworthy scandals of the industrial enterprises bribing local and state regulators. But the disparate parties ultimately reached a compromise -- the workers within the heavy industries would share with society as a whole the combined costs of improved workplace safety and improved environmental practices that benefit society as a whole, with the development banks advancing the costs-- a good trade-off. Thus both the commonwealth government, the state governments, the syndicals and the individual plants all split the costs of new equipment upgrades.
Beginnings of a Counterculture rebelling against Modernism
Many saw the country becoming bureaucratized and over-regulated. The anarchists and other extreme leftists had been enervated after the revolution, as people wearied and sickened by the years of turbulence wanted "normalcy." But the extreme left now had new things to find offensive. There were too many forms to fill out. There were legally-mandated waits. The syndicals and the state governments laid down a lot of petty regulation that rankled free spirits. There were now a scattering of rebels who wanted no part of the big structured industrial society-- the "satlicoi" were the domestic version of pot-smoking, poetry-scribbling, anti-materialist, wandering beatniks who later became the equivalent of hippies, often rejecting "bourgeoisie" values of monogamy, heterosexuality, prudence and propriety.
Such was it inevitable that every society in the latter half of the 1900s experienced the wave of opinion away from religion-based traditional morality toward whatever we want to call the new paradigm of human & sociological relations: gender equality, women attaining a piece of the pie, break-up of nuclear family patterns, youth culture, open sexuality and hedonism, acceptance of homosexuality and alternative sexuality. There were many good socialist revolutionaries with old-fashion values & tastes who were scandalized by divorce, new fashions, aggressive women, and dirty pictures. Some of the most fierce political battles during this time had to do with abortion, pornography and divorce.
The Economic System:
There were no "Five Year Plans" in Bergonia. The plan, approved by Congress in a 1938 resolution, was to have a decentralized system of worker-owned, small industries that would engage in a free market exchange of goods and services in most realms, with certain monopolies established to assure the infrastructure. The monopolies in electricity production, railroads, and telecommunications were all formalized that year.
in 1939 the government did establish an Economic Development Authority to finance, organize and promote new industries and increased production in existing industries. It summoned the capital and the workers necessary for a new factory or plant, and after its opening the workers take control.
The government during the first 15 years experimented with different degrees and types of price and wage controls. But largely the government stuck with a system of price caps. This assured that every enterprise's costs were contained. Under this system the coop enterprises to set their own wages within what income they could get. Most of the planners intended for the price controls to be temporary, enacted in order to stabilize the economy to a degree of price equilibrium where the price caps would no longer be necessary.
The government controversially adopted tight monetary policies, which theoretically took into account the concept of interest. This eliminated inflation as a risk to the socialist market. Very quickly the government's budget scruples were mirrored in tight fiscal policies where every government agency and enterprise had to live within its budget.
Collective village farming was strong in the Berg historical tradition, but many individual had their own farms. A lot of peasants ended local inequalities by communizing local agriculture, which for the most part the government enforced. Communizing was not mandated by either national or state governments, but large private farms or plantations with peons, peasants, sharecroppers or wage farmers were forcibly busted up. Many individual small owned by individual families survived. The government sponsored a series of county and regional associations to supervise the purchase of essential grains, plus cotton, in order to stabilize prices from peasant coops & private farmers. In years of good harvests the associations bought and either warehoused the surplus or sold it abroad, thus insuring a market and keeping prices up. In lean years, when consumer prices edged up the associations sold their surpluses or bought commodities from above, thus insuring a supply and keeping prices low.
What the Bergonians built during the late 30’s and the next two decades resembled Yugoslavian market socialism in some respects, but they also embraced many ideas of the Spanish anarcho-syndicalists.
First came the establishment of a central bank in 1935 to restrain and control the currency. Employees of the previous central bank were given jobs in the new bank. The government and the bank together calculated an amount of currency to issue, and then set basic prices for the essential commodities of the monopolized industries-- power, rail, coal, telephone & telegraph. This was all figured to insure an adequate amount of currency to allow for an adequate income for every person. Around this "skeleton" the rest of the socialist economy was formed in a healthy, stable manner. Monetary stability became an obsessive concern of the new state. But in the absence of inflation, the merits of monetary stability became self-evident.
The idea of money was not challenged under precepts of Bergonian socialism, though the anarchists denounced it. Money was an accounting tool, a way of providing everyone a common frame of reference for rationalizing economic exchange. Socialist money circulated like capitalist money, but socialist money was (at least theoretically) different from capitalist money. Socialist money was just a way of comparing value, not a thing of value itself, much less the only thing of value, the captialist fetish (as Marx saw). Thus, the accumulation of money and other forms of value was a socialized function.
A carpenter uses a ruler to measure for a house, just as traders use money to measure trade value, but if length (e.g. a high number of units) becomes a fetish to him, he will want only big houses, to the exclusion of all other considerations. If wealth (e.g. a higher number of units) becomes a fetish, in the same way does the trader only want money. Both men suffer from the same form of fetishism, which in turn is no different from the glutton's fetishism, and all three share the addiction for raw excess, the idea that superlatives themselves are things of value, "most, biggest, first." Curiously virtually every civilization abhors gluttony, but capitalism is where an entire civilization takes it on faith that the gluttony of money is good.
Capitalist money theories tied money to gold and silver. When Bergonia had its revolution, capitalist nations still had gold standards. The issue of Gold vs. Silver had only a few decades below dominated American politics. Bergonian money is theoretically based on labor. Here the prevailing theory holds that money chases labor. Labor produces value, which is translated into money. When men and women labored, money occurred in response. Theoretically, objective units of labor existed, so labor was all comparable by use of money, and exchange became objectively possible. Loans were made by the central bank to stimulate labor. Because money was held in anticipation of future labor, money was thought of primarily as an accrued credit for labor, where in exchange for one's own labor already expended, one obtained a credit which would be redeemed in the future for someone else's labor.
Interest presented great theoretical difficulty to the Berg-Socs-- they justified it on (a) the basis of future value, (b) compensation for loss of the use of the money, (c) compensation for the time and effort (labor) the lender expends in the transaction, (d) compensation for the lender's risk of getting stiffed, and (f) rent, as if one rented money the way one rents a house or a tractor. But in any event they realized the immediate necessity of "socialist capital," and the role that interest plays in generating capital. Coop and socialist industries need capital in a money economy, no less than capitalist ones, unless they get subsidized by the central planners. Capital, by this argument, is an ideological neutral function. Theoretically, capital (accumulated money) has the potential of summoning up labor in the future. And since present money itself is generated by past labor, we can say that, by way of capital, labor generates more labor-- labor expands labor.
A system that raises capital only through the investments from a hierarchy of hyper-rich banks and families is not necessary an efficient way of either amassing or expending capital. A new system of massing capital out of the existing stock of circulating money is by borrowing money from the workers, through banks offering bonds and certificates of deposit to workers.
The Bergonian solution to these serious issues has not been universally accepted. In fact it was altogether ironic that the revolutionary state adopted rigid fiscal and monetaryalmost immediately after consolidating political control. many militant leftists, including the anarchists and some radical decentralizers in the SFP and radical socialist tranformationalists in the NDP have not been happy with the hard money policies of the government.
They have all advocated a move to a post-money or limited-money economy, but of course no one knows what they are talking about. The idea of the "end of money" goes hand in hand with the idea of the "withering away of the state." It makes one wonder about the Marxist idea of the post-revolutionary socialist phase (with its "dictatorship of the proletariat") to be followed by the communist phase and the withering of the state in the communist version of the New Jerusalem. The sense of a transitory phase was widely accepted, and even many of the SP hard-money men freely and even cavalierly talked in interviews about a post-money future.
The clash between Bergonia and the US and Britain left a bad taste in American mouths for most things Bergonian. Fortunately US attentions were forced toward Japan and Germany for a while, but after World War Two the US looked warily toward both the USSR and Bergonia.
But quickly Bergonia let the US know that it intended no adventurism and no offensive intentions toward any other country. So during the Cold War Bergonia walked an independent path. To counteract the proximity & power of the US & NATO, Bergonia opportunistically flirted with the USSR. As long as Bergonia did not actively "export revolution," the US's policy was "containment and mutual accommodation," and the two nations developed healthy habits of coexistence and trade through a series of special treaties. Their navies and air forces evolved special protocols which help avoid confusion, collisions and conflict.American conservatives, of course, have hated everything for which Bergonia stands. This website is about Bergonia, not the US, but if Bergonia, a nation of dark-skinned people, did really exist, one can imagine how much racist invective Americans would have directed toward them, especially after the socialist revolution. What's worse than a bunch of darkies? a bunch of commie darkies, "Red Darkies," "Commie-wogs" or something of the sort. From the very beginning Americans would have invented a creative string of racist slurs for Bergonians.
The US Congress would have never allowed Native Bergonians (atrei) to legally immigrating to the US.
There would no doubt be some ugliness in American-Bergonian relations. In October 2002 Trent Lott remarked about Iraq resistance to the US occupation, "Let's just flatten the place and see what happens." No doubt people like him would loath Bergonians.
The atrei for their part have always been proud of their ancient culture, and have looked down their noses at Americans for their loud, aggressive mannerisms, bad food, and commercialism, hucksterism and chest-pounding. Bergonians have always looked more admiringly to Europe.
Bergonians has consistently refused to reimburse American corporations for their considerable assets appropriated during the revolution. This was one of the issues underlying the 1936-37 Atlantic War. American conservatives have insisted for decades that Bergonia agree to reimburse the corporations for their losses as a condition for opening up full relations. Bergonia has for its part refused to let American corporations in for any purpose, though European and other nation's corporations are sometimes allowed in for joint ventures with native coops. This bar continues to this day.
And yet both cultures would have found things to like about the other, since they both enshrine personal liberty, respect for law and pragmatism as crucial values.
Bergonia (would have) supported the Non-Aligned Movement in the1960's. Bergonia (would have) promoted socialist revolution in Latin America and elsewhere. (It would have) countered American influence in places like Central America and Africa and perhaps even places like India and Indonesia. If Bergonia existed as described here, it would most certainly have influenced leftist movements and revolutionary struggles. It would have provided a non-Soviet, libertarian model for world socialism, and the world might now look a lot better than our reality. At least that's the fantasy. Who knows, perhaps Bergonia and the US would have had an ugly war, leaving the Soviet Union to dominate the world.
CULTURE HISTORY LAW DAILY LIFE