Shirerithian Neofeudalism

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Shirerithian Neofeudalism is a term used to describe the phenomena of collectivist-oligarchic rule that emerged in the Imperial Republic following the Auspicious Occasion of 1651, effectively replacing the fractious federative system of governance, where constitutional checks and balances were maintained by the entrenchment of the rights of states, with a new synthesis of familial, corporate and military power directed by numerous diffuse boards of control centrally coordinated by the Imperial Advisory Council, whose powers were further entrenched at the expense of those formerly held by the Kaiser, following the revision and reissue of the Charter in 1653.

As neofeudalism became more entrenched during the administration of Burgrave Waldemar Zinkgraven the key ministries of state were handed to corporations to hold "in-commission". These corporations were in turn primarily owned by the surviving members of the ancient noble houses and the more recently ennobled minor gentry, the so-called untitled lords, to whom the privileges of citizenship, the prospect of a seat on the Landsraad for instance, accrued. This process made citizens stakeholders in the state but also held out to denizens the prospect of advancement through service as technocrats in the institutions of state and the corporate bodies.

The fate of the denizen is also instructive of the nature of the neofeudal society. Although elevation through service was an avenue of advancement for the able, those who, for whatever reason, were unable to sustain themselves through their own endeavour could voluntarily subordinate themselves by a declaration of submission whereby the denizen would become His Majesty's Loyal Subject and receive guaranteed protection and employment, whether from the state directly or through a noble house or corporation at the cost of surrendering theoretical liberty. Such a submission was by no means dishonourable, indeed all recruits to the ranks of the Imperial Forces by their nature became His Majesty's Loyal Subjects and gain status subsequently through promotion through the ranks.

By contrast Community Service Workers did indeed endure the conditions commonly associated with Old Feudalism. Originally the condemned survivors of the Storish community in Shireroth, the male population was viciously and systematically castrated (testing certain theories about the regenerative potential of so-called Vanakarls) and assigned to expropriate their guilt through labour in the mines, factories, farms and lumber yards of Benacia whilst the females of breeding age were distributed as comfort women throughout the Imperial Forces. By these means, and through emigration and natural wastage, the storish population was systematically reduced over time, with active measures targeted against them scheduled to endure until the year 1752 AN. The perforce ethnically mixed off-spring of Community Service Workers were typically removed from the mother at birth, aside from their dubious ancestral culture, the vanafolk were assessed as possessing many genetically desirable traits, and made wards of the Kaiser. Male offspring in the first two generations would be castrated and returned to the Community Service Programme, females of desirable qualities would be adopted into noble households, and the remainder would be raised and educated at the expense of the state with the expectation that they would redeem the cost of their upkeep through work in various public institutions.