The Confederate Communalist Union (CCU) is the union of the former lands of Northern Europe (Denmark, Iceland, Ireland, Finland, Sweden, Norway and the United Kingdom of Great Britian and Northern Ireland). Government is based on the principles of the Confederate Communalist Ecology (CCE) movement. As such central authority is quite limited, with much governing taking place over communication networks such as the internet and other more secure networks.
Geography & ClimateEdit
Geographically, much of Iceland, Finland, Norway, Scotland, Sweden and Walves remains unchanged. Norway is still a land of fjords and Iceland is still a geologically active region and so on. However, the less mountainous regions have been radically changed, Denmark is but an island in the North Sea and Englands area has been cut in half.
The other great noticeable change is that the climate of these countries has all undergone a radical shift. The collapse of the Gulf Stream has destroyed the climate that allowed these countries to support the populations that they once did.
The result of these changes is that the CCU is a land of mountains and islands, much of the land will lie under a heavy blanket of snow in the winter and in the summer temperatures can spike at up to 30°C.
Political thought in the CCU is based on the ideals espoused by the CCE movement, based on the writings of Murray Bookchin. As such his writings inform all levels of Governmental organisation.
The Government of the CCU is based on direct democratic ideals. The fundemental functioning unit is that of the municipality. This has had the effect of tieing the people very strongly to the politics of their region. The local institutions have knitted together with the people such that the boundries between the two can be confusing for an outsider.
Confederations of local municipalities join together to form a nested council, which seeks to manage the local economy and other relevant issues. This nesting continues so that local Confederations join together to make states, and these states group together to form nations and these nations form together for the Grand Council. Each of the these councils are represented by recallable delegates from the level below.
Policy and administration are seen as two distinct issues. Policy is defined as being made by local communities or neighborhoods of free citizens, whilst administration is carried out by the councils a level up from the policy making body.
Communalism proposes a radically different form of economy – one that is neither nationalized nor collectivized according to syndicalist precepts. It proposes that markets and money be abolished and that land and enterprises be placed increasingly in the custody of the community – more precisely, the custody of citizens in free assemblies and their delegates in confederal councils. The maxim "from each according to ability, to each according to need" is taken as a bedrock guide for an economically rational society, provided to be sure that goods are of the highest durability and quality, that needs are guided by rational and ecological standards, and that the ancient notions of limit and balance replace the capitalist imperative of "grow or die".
In such a municipal economy – confederal, interdependent, and rational by ecological, not simply technological, standards – Communalists hold that the special interests that divide people today into workers, professionals, managers, and so on would be melded into a general interest in which people see themselves as citizens guided strictly by the needs of their community and region rather than by personal proclivities and vocational concerns. Here, it is hoped, citizenship would come into its own, and rational as well as ecological interpretations of the public good would supplant class and hierarchical interests.
The Economy of the CCU can be broadly split into four sectors; Agriculture, Energy, Industry and Service industries. The largest limiting factor of the economy is the small population of the CCU. At just over 4.5 million people, the population of the CCU is smaller than that of Norway prior to the crash.
Agriculture has suffered the largest set backs of any of the economic sectors. The loss of a suitable climate for the majority of crops caused a crash in food output. This led directly to the population crash of the former CCU nation states. Recently the sector has been seeing improvements as people have become accustomed to the climate and soil conditions. Winter resistant crops have become widespread and livestock breeds that are suitable to the climate have taken off. Breeds such as the Highland cow are able to use land of poor forage and pastures. The Nordic Sheep breed, often simply referred to as "wild sheep" have proven hardy in the face of climate change, although stocks of these animals remains small.
Hunting has become a way of life for many isolated communities, even in the less isolated communities hunting is a productive means of providing food. This is a result of the explosion of Reindeer and Moose populations in Scandinavia. Able to withstand the temperature changes and with their natural predators almost wiped out locally these animals have become a pest for Humans attempting to grow crops.
Fishing has become increasinly important. Fish stocks began to recover when it became too expensive for humans to power their mechanical fishing boats. Even now fishermen don't have access to Biofuels, this has allowed for wind powered fishing boats with smaller nets to be able to capture (relativlty) large catches of fish and feed their local communities.
Lastely Forestry is a huge part of many economies. With huge forests spread out over Finland and Sweden, the Human impact on forests has been limited. Much construction throughout the CCU is done with wood and increasingly electrification is being brought back into the these associated industries. On a more local level many people utilise timber to heat their homes throughout the winter months.
Prior to the Global Crash, the Nordic countries provided a huge amount of energy through sustainable means. Indeed Iceland and Norway were essentially success stories, providing 100% of their energy via renewable resources. Sweden and Finland were able to provide approximately half of their energy needs via hydroelectricity and the other half through atomic sources. Even in the British isles Scotland was projected to be able to provide almost 60 GW of renewable energy, a quarter of the predicted total renewable energy output of Europe.
This has led to the strange problem that the CCU does not lack for energy, even with powerfull citizen groups lobbying to shut down many of the dams as harmful to the ecology of the region, and wind turbines as harmful to birds there is still an excess of energy and a massive amount of energy that could be produced.
Again the limiting factor here is population, without the local community around these powerstations being large enough to use them or maintain them, many have fallen into disrepair, others have been abandoned and the winter weather has begun to erode these structures. The current Grand Council is advocating that this situation is reversed and is looking into development of these powerstations into these areas. The focus has been on those communities that have closed their power stations due to the belief that it is having a harmfull effect on the local environment.
The Industry of the CCU is based around two large Industries Mining and Timber products.
Mining is mostly Iron ore and Copper, although other ores are also mined. Timber is the most developed industry, with towns such as Mänttä, in former Finland producing a wide variety of paper products and carpentered goods, all makeing use of the local hydroelectric dam in the production process. Whilst on the coast what is left of Stockholm (a much reduced town) constructs large quantities of wooden boats, providing a large number of ships which are use to transport goods all over the CCU and abroad.
The CCU people speak a converging Nordic/English langauge. Gaelic has all but died out in Scotland and is shrinking rapidly in Ireland. The Peoples of the CCU are a hardy breed, used to handling difficult climates and uncertain futures. In places the cultures have converged, e.g. whisky is still being produced, although the Edradour distillery is the only one to have survived the shift, and Saunas are now widespread. In others they remain divergent, for instance Surströmming is still only eaten by the people of northen Sweden.