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The Rest of the World

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 10:20 pm    Post subject: The Rest of the World Reply with quote

The USSR never really continued its flirtation with democracy and retained communism. This led to a terrible economic crash behind the iron curtain too, and only aid from the EU staved off a massive famine. Since then the USSR has moved closer to the euro-sphere, becoming a major military supplier and ally. Eastern Europe has slowly crept into the EU as the Russians loosen their grip. The USSR still has a lot of economic problems, and has a reputation for being willing to sell things on the cheap, especially space-launch capability, nuclear material and military surplus gear. Russian tech is renowned for being bulky, crude and ugly (but then, as the Russians say, "a cyberleg doesn't have to look pretty to kick a hole in a tank".)

The European Union (or "Euros" as they are more commonly known) are the most powerful bloc in the modern world. Western Europe has the highest living standards in the world - negligible pollution, plenty of room and high employment. Europe leads the way in genetic engineering and space manufacturing. The European moonbase Tycho and its massdriver have already cowed the US by "dropping rocks" off the coast of DC in response to US sabre-rattling in space. Now the US and Euros restrict themselves to competing for prestige in setting up outposts on Mars. As far as anyone can see, it looks as if the 21st Century will belong to Europe.

The one big disappointment to the EU is Britain. Great Britain suffers from a continuous spate of civil wars in its outlying provinces (Northern Ireland, Scotland and certain parts of Anglia.) In recent years this situation has stabilised, but Britain remains the only Western European country to have embraced the "Cyberpunk" culture of personal reliance and personal armament. Britain also refuses to "play nice" with the rest of Europe, which vexes the Brussels bureaucrats no end.

Japan is an economic superpower, far outstripping its size as a nation. Japan is still very much at the forefront of the electronics industry, producing the most powerful and subtle processors in existence. They also have a strong presence in space , where they compete against the EU in manufacturing. Japanese corporations have a reputation for extolling the virtues of samurai culture, and are often portrayed as trying to establish a new Japanese empire. In recent years Japan has moved closer to the US once again - recognising their often complementary trade.

China is not the superpower it is in our world, being somewhat balkanised by corporate tactics. China is a major market for corporations, and a military ally of the US.

Africa is still a total mess thanks to corporate-sponsored wars over resources. Some countries have received the benefit of being close to Orbital Air's Kilimanjaro mass driver, which has meant a large proportion of space-labour is done by Africans.

In general, the Crash hit emerging economies such as India and the Pacific Rim very hard. While these countries are now economically resurgent, they have gained vast underclasses of poor and dispossessed. Corporations tend to call the shots in these corrupt lands, stifling democracy in favour of police states.

Worldwide, most nations are small, poor, politically repressive and usually tied to the apron strings of one or more megacorporations. Labour and other resources are traded away to corps for a pittance, while the profits flow to wealthy nations.
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