Southern Bloc


Regions:

  •  Southern Bloc (180 million pop)

Administrative Subdivisions:

  •  South Asian Zone
  •  Persian Zone
  •  Kurdish Zone
  •  Caucasus Zone
  •  Anatolian Zone
  •  Arabian Zone
  •  Saharan Zone
  •  Guinean Zone
  •  Sudanian Zone
  •  Rift Valley Zone
  •  South African Zone
  •  Niger-Congo Zone

Overview:

  • Despite its late start in both forming as a formal polity and expanding into the solar system, the Southern Bloc retains one key advantage over the other polities of Earth in that alone of all them, it retains a supply - albeit still a dwindling supply - of relatively accessible metals and hydrocarbons. This resource advantage has been leveraged into the economic power necessary to create an industrialized and militarized national polity.
  • Much like the Oceanic League, the Southern Bloc encompasses a vast number of different religions and cultures. Unlike the Oceanic League, however, the Southern Bloc has moved steadily in a direction of homogenizing and unifying its internal culture in a deliberate attempt to create a singular, unified national identity capable of effective collective action.
  • The result of this unifying schema has been a remarkably tolerant, secular nation-state that accepts differences but chooses instead to focus on the unifying elements. In the case of the Southern Bloc, these unifying elements are generally facets of the polity's own geographical, political, and economic realities.
  • Ironically, the Southern Bloc has come to side predominantly with the Eastern Federation in political disputes on Earth and, to a lesser extent, off-planet. The relationship has been thinning, however, as it is obvious to even the citizenry of both polities that the Eastern Federation has begun to stagnate, whereas the Southern Bloc continues to expand.

Primary Industries:

  • Carbonates
  • Silicates
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Metals
  • Moreso than any of the other polities of Earth, the Southern Bloc maintains significant supplies of raw materials
  • Large orbital shipyards that focus on mostly large tonnage dreadnoughts with an emphasis on carrier configurations

 

History:

  • The horrific events of The Great Contraction in the latter part of the 21st century struck Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia harder than almost anywhere else on the globe. Nation-states fell almost overnight as first millions, then tens of millions starved to death or fought a desperate battle for survival in a world gone mad.
  • The Sino-Russian War of 2105 resulted in the annexation of the better part of Siberia by China, a refocusing that also reflected a general withdrawing of large scale investment by China from Africa, an action that eventually indirectly triggered the East African Famine of 2122. Although itself brutally ravaged by The Great Contraction, India nevertheless sent a stream of food and medical aid to the East African port of Mobasa that became a lifeline for a population struck again by catastrophe so soon after the events of the 21st century. While India's efforts merely blunted the effects of the famine, the gesture was not forgotten and opened the door to a longterm expansion in mutual trade and cooperation across the Indian Ocean.
  • By 2140, the People's Republic of China had begun to expand aggressively across Asia, in rapid succession absorbing Kyrgystan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and, most alarming of all, Pakistan. India, alarmed that it would soon become the next target, began to reach out to other polities on the political and military periphery of China.
  • A collection of national polities including India, Iran, Turkey, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa began to be informally known as "the Southern Bloc", as they tended to provide a unified front against territorial and commercial incursions by both Union and the Eastern Federation. At last, in 2353 the informal coalition became a formal political entity.
  • Continuing to expand through the Middle East and Africa, the Southern Bloc has steadily expanded its reach, even to the point of extending feelers to Brazil in South America in an attempt to extend the breadth of the Southern Bloc across the Atlantic. Even more importantly, in recent decades the Southern Bloc has begun to extend its reach into space, attempting to make up for lost time. While the most desirable real estate through the solar system has already been claimed, the Southern Bloc is the fastest growing polity on Earth in terms of both military and commercial power. Several orbiting stations now construct Southern Bloc-designed dreadnoughts and destroyers, and politically and commercially the Southern Bloc has begun to apply pressure to the Asteroid Belt in an effort to make its influence there a reality.

Conflicts:

  • Due to shared conflicts with Union, the Southern Bloc sides most frequently with the Eastern Federation. This cooperation is not, however, total, and the Southern Bloc is less overtly hostile to State than is the Eastern Federation.
  • The Southern Bloc is, as well, willing to cooperate with the Oceanic League on certain matters, though as with its relations with State, the Southern Bloc expects increasing conflicts with both polities if its diplomatic overtures to the remaining independent nations in South America prove successful.
  • The Southern Bloc is contemptuous of both the Mars Republic as well as the Free State of Mars, a deliberately planted social conditioning meme on the part of the Southern Bloc government in order to pave the way for certain very carefully planned future expansion on the part of the Southern Bloc.

Politics and Culture:

  • The Southern Bloc is a blend of local and centralized authority. Local communities have great latitude in the execution of Southern Bloc directives so long as they fulfill fairly modest quotas to be directed at the national effort. The central government in Hyderabad maintains a set of basic principles in the form of a constitution, and a set of more changeable directives framed in the context of lists of specific accountabilities each individual locality is responsible for.
  • The central government maintains specific departments for:
    • Ground Defense (includes wet navy)
    • Naval Defense (includes orbital naval construction efforts)
    • Directorial Economic Administration
    • Foreign Trade Regulation
    • High Justice
    • Diplomatic Offices
  • Although the Southern Bloc has been moving steadily towards a singular cultural and political identity, it remains an incredibly diverse polity including four large religious groups (Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Animism) and some forty languages. Due to the common usage of English in India, South Africa, East Africa, and to a lesser extent Turkey, English is the official administrative and military language used by the central authority of the Southern Bloc, although local communities are free to use other languages in addition where they so choose.
  • Temperamentally, the people of the Southern Bloc feel like their time has at last come. A sense of manifest destiny has begun to take hold, and although they feel their day is still young, the Southern Bloc has a vibrant energy that is less common among the other major polities of Earth.
  • Militarily, the Southern Bloc favors a bold, powerful approach. To this end it has prioritized the construction of a series of powerful dreadnoughts and superdreadnoughts, which represent the highest ratio of tonnage of this class of vessel of any polity in the solar system; while the Southern Bloc does employ destroyers and frigates, these are seen in a far less prestigious light.
  • Culturally, the Southern Bloc prizes not only boldness but courage and a warrior spirit of individual accomplishment even in non-military venues. In military venues, this has also driven a famous culture of fighter pilots such that are used where other polities would prefer to use A.I. or remote controlled drones. The possibility of death is not exactly anticipated eagerly, but its fear is not seen as something that should factor into someone's decision making process.