Memnumu

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Memnumu is a nation founded by the Play party in 4151, from the southeastern quarter of what had once been the Anchor Empire. The Play party had just years earlier claimed the entirety of the Anchor Empire, but, surrounded by enemies, decided to abandon all claims to lands populated primarily by enemy parties.

At the time of their foundation in the year 4127, the Player party consisted primarily of small children, and their few adults were mostly young, single women. Moreover, Play ideology required all adult males to devote their lives to the military, and when Dreamland invaded the Players in 4132, the Players sent their entire adult male population, along with some boys, into Dreamland, and the Players became a nation entirely without men.

Prehistory

See Early history of Paba.

The DRG navy that invaded Oyster Island in the year 2175 may have come from an area of Paba out of reach of Paba's central government at the time, and thus could be considered to belong to the history of Memnumu.

Background

When word spread that the Player nation had no adult male population, soldiers from three different and mutually hostile nations invaded the Player territory nearly at once, figuring the Play nation was defenseless even if their army was winning battles against Dreamland far to the north. Though the Players had an all-female police force, the roaming soldiers simply pushed these women aside as they sought to find needy young Play women in search of a husband.

Nonetheless, for multiple reasons, the men of these foreign nations had little success in marrying Player women, and the Player women continued to go without husbands even though they were forced to allow the men to remain in Play territory. Those who did marry often left the Play party and joined their husbands, which meant that the women were no longer considered Play citizens, and were warned that they were subject to removal from Play territory in the future.

Even as the Play women rejected the advances of the men who had invaded them, they soon forced their own soldiers to bring home men from distant territories, chiefly Baeba Swamp, believing that Baeban men would make better husbands. Some of them men who had invaded Play territory warned the women that they would attack or enslave these Baeban men on sight.

Although the Play men dutifully obeyed their orders to help foreign men reach the lonely Play women in Memnumu, this journey was difficult as well, and more unwanted men continued to arrive in their stead. The Play women were still unwilling to marry these men. Instead, they decided to wait for the next generation of Play boys to become old enough to marry. Thus, there was a crop of marriages in which the wives were typically older than the husbands, and the birthrate declined.

Most of the Play soldiers who had won victory in Dreamland never returned home, and the Play homeland in Memnumu continued to live in a situation in which all adult males were illegal invaders, except the very youngest ones, the teenagers who had just become mature enough to marry, but these boys were still required to join the military, and therefore they knew that they would be required to fight against the older adult men around them.

Domestic revolt

Soon, however, trouble came from an unanticipated source. Play territory had early in its history become so difficult to live in that most children ran away from their homes and joined the orphans whose parents had died or abandoned them. Many of these children grew up with no meaningful adult contact, and knew nothing of the world except what older children had told them.

When the runaway boys learned that they would be required to fight the adult male intruders as they became older, various groups of children formed independent nations of their own, mostly along the south coast of Play territory. As the children reached out to the men around them, the men attacked the children, seeing that they would make pliable slaves. This led to a wider civil war that eventually cost the Play party its entire territory by the year 4149.

The winners of the civil war were a party called the Tinks (Neuyubu), representing the adult male soldiers who had returned from Dreamland after the war. They, too, were officially required to fight all of the other men, but had avoided doing so by signing private agreements with the invaders while disguising their activities as border patrol in order maintain their Play membership.

Final Stages of the War (4151 — 4268 AD)

After the Tinks invaded Paba in 4151, Paba's Players formed the new nation of Memnumu. By this time, the population of Memnumu had grown to about 1.2 million people,[1] and again, about 75% of these were children under the age of 13.

Memnumu (4268 — )

After the declaration of world peace, the Player government remained effectively a one-party state, with other parties permitted to exist and hold elections but locked out of power by the vast Player majority, and only allowed to hold votes on issues affecting their own members. Play was the official language of the nation, with the teaching of foreign languages confined to diplomats only, and the capital was henceforth only called Tatūm.

As the Players built schools and acquired knowledge of history, their radical politics became more moderate in many ways. They claimed that they would never reject Play ideology, but only reinterpret it as a freestanding ideology fit for a peaceful world, where the original Players had embraced extremist politics because they were at war with many larger enemies.

Political platforms

As their territory was ignored by outside parties fighting over Baeba Swamp, the Player government based in Paba survived with no invasions after 4190. The Players entered the new Memnumu Era with their party platform intact, and maintained the laws nationalizing the ownership of most types of property and the distribution of food, and tying food and housing distribution to family size only. Therefore the birthrate remained extremely high as couples married very young in order to acquire new homes, and raised many children in order to keep both themselves and their children well fed.

New factions of the Play party arose when the newer generations began attending school and reading literature written by outside entities such as Moonshine. Strictly speaking, these were not indepndent parties, and the conservative faction of the Players did not try to suppress them. They continued to use the inherited terms ŋaŋe and vap to refer to the various political parties of their nation and the world around them, but because only the Play party could hold power, diplomats began to identify these terms with nations rather than parties, and use new terms such as peim to refer to the Play factions that closely resembled the independent political parties of Baeba Swamp, Moonshine, and other distant empires.

Common bonds

The Play constitution of 4152 affirmed the need of the Players to run a one-party state, saying that it was simply natural for a nation to be in charge of its own territory, as any outside party would have a conflict of interest. They allowed dissenting movements within their party platform, but all known foreign parties were banned and Play factions could not endorse tenets of these banned parties.

The constitution was revised over the decades as the Players learned more about world history and politics, and new factions of the party arose. Nonetheless, the core tenets of the Play party were unchanged, as none of the Play factions that had arisen during or after the war had shaken their core beliefs. Among the beliefs shared by all Play factions were:

  1. The Play party has the right and the need to rule uncontested in order to keep the Play nation safe from the influence of outside enemies; multiparty democracies are inherently unstable and doomed to failure.
  2. Play party membership is hereditary.
  3. Players must be loyal to their nation and not participate in conflicts between two foreign parties.
  4. Play supporters living in foreign nations are not Players until they move to the Play nation and acquire citizenship; Players are thus not obligated to defend foreigners who claim allegiance to the Play Empire.
  5. All adult female Players are allowed to vote. Men and children cannot vote. Political office is reserved for adult females.
  6. Men must dedicate their lives to the military; the military's duties in peacetime involve farming, fishing, and other noncombative tasks.
  7. The Play nation's extremely high birthrate prevented foreign powers such as the Leapers and the Raspara from conquering Play territory in the past. A high birthrate is necessary to preserve the Play nation's territorial integrity.
  8. Food production must be collectivized and food must be distributed according to family size.
  9. The early Players' poor hygiene practices helped Players win wars by spreading diseases into enemy territories well beyond the Play soldiers' furthest advance; nevertheless the Players' diseases also killed Players at home.
  10. All Players must attend school during childhood.
  11. Children must not be made to work; the definition of work, however, is a matter of debate. Children shall not be made to compete with adults in any type of labor, whether voluntary or forced.
  12. The Play party is sovereign over all of Play territory, including private property. The Play police force is responsible for rescuing children from abusive parents, and as such, can enter people's homes at will.
  13. Criticism of the Play party constitution is illegal; anyone criticizing the constitution shall lose their Play party membership, and with it, the right to live in Play society.

Effects of the constitution

Because men could neither vote nor hold political office, male-led rebel groups such as the Tinks could not gain legal recognition in the Play Empire, just as societies such as the Flower Bees and Rusted Pearls could not. Likewise, if a group of women proposed granting men the right to vote, they would be immediately banned as a foreign party for violating the Play constitution.

Definitions

Though the Players considered themselves a single political party, their diplomats accepted that outside nations saw the various Play factions as equivalent to other nations' political parties, and that the various non-Play parties were equivalent to other nations' banned parties. The Players continued to use the Play word peim to denote their party factions, but created no translated form of this term and Play diplomats increasingly used the word to refer to the internal political parties of foreign nations as well. Thus it came about that vap was the word that had no proper translation, and Play diplomats needed to identify the various Play parties as an alliance or a union since foreign nations no longer saw them as a party.

Nevertheless, the factions of the Play party were bound together more tightly than the independent political parties of the past. All Play party factions were bound by a military agreement to fight alongside each other in an integrated army, to have a common trade policy, to speak the same language, and to send their children to the same schools. Any groups of people who refused to obey these laws was ruled out of the Play party and therefore also ruled out of the Play nation, and could be imprisoned or killed without penalty, as they would be considered foreign invaders.

New parties

As above, these new parties were identified by traditional terminology as mere factions of the Play party, but as full political parties in international discourse. None of the parties was permitted to support a tenet that went against the Play party's constitution.

Police

The all-female police force organized early on into a closed-entry party, Šeŋumu Ŋenavu, and demanded superior representation in Parliament. This party name meant "family protection (trail)" and also served as their empire's word for the police force itself.

The Play constitution restricted the vote to adult female citizens, but did not specify that all female citizens' voting power be equal. Thus the Police claimed the right to amplify their members' voting power by five, and the right to defend this provision by force, as they were armed and the others mostly were not.

The Police defined their party membership by their occupation, meaning that men were not allowed to join the Police party. The Police believed this would help stabilize their rule, as it meant that the husbands of Police women would by law be required to join other parties, and that therefore the Police would have supporters within the rival parties of their empire. However, as a hereditary organization that shared their empire's traditionally high birth rate, the Police knew that it would be impractical to require their entire population to work in law enforcement as a day-to-day occupation. Rather, they defined the Police as a group of women with the right to own weapons and the duty to work in law enforcement when needed, but where most derived their income from unrelated occupations side-by-side with the members of the less powerful classes in their society.

The Police chose their voting multiplier as 5 because they were slightly more than one fifth of the Play population at the time of their foundation. They rejected an early plan that would have locked in a permanent Police majority in Parliament by untethering voting power from population entirely because they were worried that, if the Police ever acquired a lock on voting power, a ruling elite within the Police would emerge and fire all of the opposing members from the Police, thus ensuring majority status for a much smaller group of people.

Comparison with AlphaLeap

The Police modeled their power structure after the abusive Leaper government that had ruled the Play Empire from 4108 to 4127. The Leapers had taken over the area around Memnumu by force, ruling for only a short time before the then-new Play party threw them out of power. The Police privately conceded that they might someday become as abusive as the Leapers had been, but believed that they would succeed where the Leapers had failed in establishing a common bond with the people they ruled over.

Because the Police restricted membership only to women, they relied on mixed marriage to reproduce, and there was no hereditary Police tribe. The Police hoped that this alone would be sufficient to stop future Police from abusing their subject peoples, but they also established legal limitations on the power of the Police that could not be easily eliminated even in far in the future.

Combs

The conservative Players were pushed out of power by the Moonshine-allied Police faction, even if they remained a majority. The new government structure was no longer a true democracy. The losing party's name may have remained as Play, or it may have taken on a new name to indicate its new status as the weaker of the two main entities. Though they were descended from the Pillows, reorganization had taken place, and a possible new name would be the Magic Combs (Ŋani Taumnui), based on their refusal to comb their hair. That is, they did not comb their hair because they claimed their hair was already in the state it needed to be, and thus had combed itself.

Another name for the party's members was žaya, a well-known word describing physical hardiness, based on a popular saying that the wind combs the hair of the hardy, again referring to their having no need for combs. However, all Players, not just the Combs, shared the claim to physical hardiness, as it was written in the Play party constitution that their hardiness had won them several wars.

The Combs also did not carry weapons. The ideology of disarming one's own people in favor of the Police was denoted with words such as ŋāka. It was the opposite of tīae (sarabism). It could be that ŋāka was the name of a non-weaponous object that supporters were allowed to carry in lieu of a sword.[2]

Although the words ŋani and ŋāka appear close in the dictionary, the Players of the time would likely not have made any connection between the two words. It is possible that the ŋāka vs tīae split existed within the Comb faction, anyway, though the tīae supporters would have been stuffed by the others.

Milk Bottles

The tiny Milk Bottle faction remained in existence, and continued to support the extremist policies of the early Play era, but they had very little support because the other Play factions realized that they had been responsible for the child runaway rebellions and that very few children of the Milk Bottles had remained in the Milk Bottles as they approached adulthood.

Representation

Though the Police led what they called a democracy, votes were weighted unequally, with members of some parties having much more power than others; parties with amplified representation were closed to new members. For example, votes from the Police counted about five times as much as votes from the Players (Combs), meaning that even though the Players were the majority, the Police could outvote them easily unless an issue arose on which the Police were split nearly evenly. But the Players were denied the ability to join the Police and thus gain superior voting power, because the Police were a closed party.

The Police did not want absolute power in their nation because they believed that the weaker parties they ruled over deserved a voice in government. They merely believed that the share in power of these weaker voices need not be equal to their share of the empire's population. Many small parties were assigned even less weight per capita than the Players, and the Players considered themselves a middle class rather than an underclass.

The Police claimed that their system was vastly superior to the traditional Gold parliamentary system, where each tribe was assigned a single vote in Parliament, regardless of their population.

On any issue where the Players and Police agreed, their combined votes totalled nearly 100% of the population, and such policies were unstoppable. They also considered adopting a policy from the Thunder Empire stating that the greater the support for any law at the time it was passed, the greater a majority would be needed to later overturn it. Thus such laws would be effectively indelible.

On issues where the parties disagreed, the Police easily dominated during the first decades of Memnumu because of the massive extra weight assigned to their votes. But the Police knew that in the future, they might become so small a minority that they would be forced to decide whether to cede power to the Players or to further increase the amplitude of their own votes. And they knew that even some Police would be opposed to further increasing the imbalance of the system.

Views on hedonism

The hedonism debate, though mostly centered in the northwestern area of the continent, may have pulled in opinions from the Players. The two sides can be called "hedonist" and "hebetude" in English since they both began with the same letter in most of the languages of their supporters as well.

Ethnic breakdown

Culturebound political issues

Most Players were living in a filth-free environment at least into the early 4170s, and possibly all were. Hygiene laws had been passed in 4150, and may have lasted until around 4170 without any dissent. However, this was not written into the constitution, so it was possible to change, and indeed it did change towards the end of the century. By the late 4270s (sic), at least one Play faction was once again openly pro-filth, reviving all of the early arguments about plagues protecting the Players from invasions and saying physical hardiness, including resistance to plague, was a virtue that all people should strive for.

Child labor and discipline

The Police and Players cooperated on many important issues, and the opinions of both parties held firm for centuries. Both supported the right of children to attend school, and to be free from financial obligations to their parents; they also supported the right of children to run away from home and to stay in government-subsidized foster homes provided that they continue to attend school and obey the adults running the foster homes. Both asserted that children had the right to play, and could not be made to work alongside adults, though they also both agreed that children should be made to work farm labor and to help catch fish, which they no longer considered work. Thus, despite maintaining Play as the name of their party, they now endorsed some activities that the original Players had considered child labor. They did this upon learning that this had been the historical way of life in their territory and that child labor of this sort may have been responsible for the era of economic prosperity that preceded their invasion by AlphaLeap alongside other foreign powers.

Food distribution

Importantly, both the Police and Players supported maintaining the collectivization of agriculture and the distribution of food rations according to family size, meaning that families without children needed to either forage for food in the wild (which was not considered agriculture) or continuously sell property in order to feed themselves. This put strong pressure on teenagers to marry immediately, and to have children of their own as soon as possible. The Police also applied this new law to their own party members, meaning that although the Police tended to be wealthy, they would rapidly run out of wealth if they did not have large families just like the Players they ruled over. This concession set the Police apart from all of the nation's previous occupiers, such as the Raspara and the Leapers, who had always created difficult laws and then exempted themselves from them.

Attitudes towards clothing

The Play people were proud of their physically strong bodies. They claimed that they were immune both to sunburn and to cold, and therefore did not need protective clothes either in summer or in winter, as did the Dreamers, despite Dreamland's milder temperatures and higher latitude. Likewise they said that they did not need clothes to protect them from thorny plants either, as did the Dreamers, though in this case neither side knew that Play territory happened to have fewer plants with sharp thorns than did Dreamland.

The politics of underwear

The Play party had run out of clothes even before they went to war with Dreamland because they had declared that clothes were a luxury, and outlawed the creation of any clothes. Yet, rival parties demanded that the Players put on clothes whenever they left any Play-only territories. Later generations of Players compromised and agreed to wear the minimum allowable amount of clothing, which they called puta, and which other nations considered underwear.

Because bodily decoration was also banned, the only means of expression the Players had was in their choice of what style and color of underwear to wear. As certain difficult colors came to be seen as status symbols, a faction of Players called for the return of nudity so that everyone would again appear the same on sight. These people tended to live in the warmest climates and in areas where nature presented relatively little danger to unprotected human skin; thus, they lived mostly along the south coast, where the economy was based on fishing, as fish was Memnumu's main source of food. The nudists did not create a specific Nudist faction of the Play party because they wanted their idea to appeal to all groups within their society and not tie nudism to a bundle of unrelated political issues such as economics. This meant that the nudists had political divisions of their own, but as they had been mostly of the lower class in Play society despite their access to the sea, they did not mount serious challenges to each other.

Even the nudists accepted the necessity of humans to wear blankets to protect themselves from cold weather, and (unlike the founding Players) admitted that babies should wear diapers to protect both themselves and their caretakers from disease. Both the nudists and the clothed Players agreed that clothes were meant to be cheaply produced, and to have a rough texture similar to that used to make bags for carrying heavy items around. Thus attitudes towards clothing formed a spectrum rather than a two-way divide: some Players insisted that clothes were to be avoided at all costs, while most others believed that clothes should be plain and rough-textured, and only a small group, mostly of the upper class, believed that clothes could be used as a fashion statement.

Territory

In theory, Creamland's territory could expand to take over the entire area that was reserved for Thaoa before Thaoa was defeated. However, it is possible that another power takes over here; remember "Gold people even settled Laba now" and that this territory would be considered as remote as Laba was.

Other information

The early Creamers (and possibly the founders) were racially exclusionary, allowing only Lenian people to join their movement. Thus, they were united by their tribe and not by their political ideology. This was also true of most enemy parties within their territory, and it could be said that Creamland never embraced true political debate and simply remained tribalistic as it had been for thousands of years. Even so, their relations with the outside world depended on all of the tribes working together in their common interests.

Indeed, Creamland's government was remarkably stable despite the violence raging within its borders, and Creamland was one of only three powers which could believably claim to have survived the great war that introduced the Cosmopolitan Age. The situation may have been similar in Tarwas, which had long been a centralized state led by a single tribe but with many smaller tribes living within and throughout it.

The Play party at its peak had tied food distribution to childbirth, such that all childless women and all men were entirely cut off from the food supply, and had to find their own food. The Play empire collapsed quickly, but they were merely building on a long-established cultural tradition in their area, in which children worked farm labor instead of attending school, and the most powerful women were those who had large families. As living standards declined, it became more difficult for women to have such large families as they had had during the Play era and the centuries leading up to it, but the government remained in place, and could have even continued to deny access to food to childless couples and to single men.

Politically, the Creamers were isolationists, refusing to help their ideological partner, Dreamland, against the more powerful armies in Baeba Swamp. Neither did Dreamland participate in the politics of Creamland.

Creamland remained a child-focused culture as the birthrate declined. Many cities were likely already built in the Creamer style, in which houses for families were built facing each other, and had a nursery in the center where small children could play. School was not important; children split their time between the playgrounds and the farms. Nevertheless, the people were well-fed because men were no longer required to serve in the military, and children were no longer forced into jobs they were physically incapable of.

The Andanese people did not survive as a cohesive social group anywhere inside Creamer territory. Thus, the Andanese languages died out, with Late Andanese surviving as a ceremonial language, and the Cream languages likely took in fewer Andanese loans than some other branches. Note, though, that the Andanese people living eastward of Paba fared better than those living within Paba, who had been directly in the line of attack many times over with no allies at their side. They would still have been mostly trapped inland, as the Andanese people were so small they had difficulty rowing boats, and their society suffered any time food production shifted to the sea.


Notes

  1. Note: this needs to be lower to account for the wars of the 4140s, both in terms of deaths and those who fled. Note that Swamp_Kids#Crystals_regain_power claims the population fell all the way to 150,000 by around 4150.
  2. Note that the unrelated word ŋaap "statue; obedient" would evolve to the same B-stem in Poswa, regardless of whether the original word was ŋāa or ŋāka.