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October 24th, 2017

eyes black and white

Anarchist Restoration

Last night I had this dream of what might make an interesting novel of political fiction. In this timeline, the Republic of China (Taiwan) alone in the world has kept a delegation for the Republic of (South) Vietnam. The RVN embassy is still occupied by an official Vietnamese delegation, reduced to three people living off a small stipend from the Republic of China, that hasn't increased since 1975, with a Chinese guard on duty during the day. One night, a group of Vietnamese revolutionaries break in and take over the delegation, led by a notorious anarchist, a martial artist, and an international lawyer. They carry with them an old drunkard who happens to have a claim as heir to the ancient throne through a previous Emperor's affair, and declare the Restoration of his Dynasty. They somehow convince the old delegates to join their cause. Of course, Taiwan will be taken aback by this revolution, and immediately revoke what stipend and guard they were granting to the delegation; but the RoC will not dare violate the sovereignty of the entity they tried to prop up so long — at least not until and unless it itself violates international law. And so Taiwan will follow a wait and see policy.

The anarchist takes the new Emperor in his Imperial Suite, a reserved suite on the top floor of the building. He leads the other men upstairs with the drunk man on tow. However, an astronomical society has taken over all floors of the building but the ground floor and entresol; the rent they pay is how the delegate made his comfortable living despite the low stipend from RoC. Trying to keep going to the top floor, the men discover that it is only accessible by a ladder leading to the higher levels of the telescope, which is impractical for men carrying a drunkard. However, a late-staying astronomy student explains that they already reached the original top floor, the observatory having been added later. Part of the Imperial Suite was kept, but as an impeccably preserved museum room inside the offices, not really usable as an actual room. The revolutionaries still use it symbolically that night, but in the morning, the Emperor will "decide" that from now on he shall occupy a simple maid's room in the entresol.

When the drunkard wakes up with a major hangover, the anarchist talks to him with deference due to the Emperor, yet explains in no uncertain terms that he is in control as the new Regent. The Regent has one goal for the Emperor: make Him become a dignified figure (no more alcohol) who will become relevant as an assassination target. There only three ways out of the embassy: installed on his rightful throne in Hue, dead, or abdicated in favor of another heir approved by the Regent. His fortune will follow that of the Restoration: ascetic for now; but princesses and concubines, fast cars and private jets if they are wildly successful. And a lot of it will depend on the Emperor's ability to project dignity indeed.

The first appointments of the day are for the new Emperor and his Regency to receive the CEOs of various international companies of mercenaries. The Empire offers that it will setup its Court in Exile; companies can file actions; the Court will decide whether there is a Casus Belli, and then declare war on the enemy and grant the mercenary a letter of marque in exchange for titles in the loot and/or conquest. The mercenaries will however then have to follow the strictures of an official army and be subject to Court Martial for transgressions. Of course most governments won't recognize the Empire and its letters of marque. At least in the beginning. But that's where a mutually profitable relation is born: by respecting international law better than existing governments, the Companies and the Empire can lend Credence and Legitimacy to each other.

Selling flags of convenience, setting up Court, delivering passports, negotiating mutual recognition with odd States, maintaining good relationships with Taiwan, making statements to the press, teaching the Emperor how to be sovereignly (and preparing an online course on Natural Law based on those teachings), preparing a secret contingency plan for when Taiwan turns inimical or falls, plotting against the Vietnamese communist regime, dealing with spooks from various countries and non government entities, improving internal security, drawing an internet fan base as well as government backed opposition from SJW groups, etc., are daily activities of the Regency. All of that until... well, next episode, if any

eyes black and white

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