The Conseil of Workers’ Systems is the premier communist state in the Milky Way. It is one of the galaxy’s three superpowers and finds itself constantly butting heads with the Coalition of Western Republics. It is currently the leader of the Allied Powers, a counter to the Coalition’s Springfield Pact.
The Conseil Systems is very much a child of the Collapse. When the United States and Soviet Union destroyed almost ninety percent of human infrastructure, many colonies suddenly found themselves alone. With terraforming technology still in its infancy, many colonial governments had trouble feeding their own people. Soon, radical groups of all stripes arose throughout the colonies, especially in those colonized by the now non-existent Western European powers. Many were founded by officials from the defeated Soviet Union, who needed to flee the wrath of the various American remnants. These groups promised the people that they would never go hungry again and all they need was the power to be able to help. Fearing for their own power, the colonial authorities began to clamp down on these revolutionary organizations. As governments began spending more of their resources oppressing their people rather than helping them, mass protests and violent revolts began to spread. Several governments collapsed. Some had their dictators empty the coffers and flee for their lives, while others were violently overthrown. The former German colony of Wilhelmswelt, the most powerful of the former European colonies, was taken over by former Soviet commissar Nikolai Bulganin and his “Red Brigades.” Bulganin soon renamed the world to Karl-Marx-Welt, and declared that the Soviet Union was reborn and he would liberate the stars from capitalists and imperialists. Bulganin’s revived Soviet Union saw the most support in the former European and American colonies, while the former Soviet colonies resisted against him.
As word of Bulganin’s revolution spread, colonies were plunged into anarchy, as various groups of all stripes jockeyed for power. Nationalists and democrats fought communists, religious fanatics and government loyalists on the streets. Weapons of mass destruction from the war were sold by opportunistic pirates and were used indiscriminately. Cities burned in atomic fire, entire colonies choked on chemical and biological weapons of all stripes, and some worlds were rendered uninhabitable by asteroids repurposed as kill vehicles. To make matters worse, some of the remnant governments tried to take control of their former colonies, or take systems they couldn’t before the Collapse. In the unimaginable bloodbath, untold billions died, either through direct conflict or the famines that followed. The Soviets emerged from the conflict victorious, having considerably more support from the starving people than the other competing groups. Once war ended, the paranoid Bulganin initiated a massive purge. Any enemies, real or imagined, were imprisoned and placed into forced labor units which would help rebuild the ravaged colonies. These prisoners were meant to be worked to death and regularly abused by prison officials. Meanwhile, Bulganin oversaw the expansion of the Soviet military, fearing another invasion from beyond.
After Bulganin’s death, the Soviet Union was again plunged into war as he had failed to name a successor. Generals and intelligence officers attempted to manipulate each other’s units. Navy captains depressurized the cabins of rivals who had foolishly trusted them. Although the Soviet Civil War was at risk of dragging on for years, first contact with the Coalition of Western Republics put a temporary halt in the rivalry. At first, the Soviets attempted to simultaneously give off an image of strength and friendliness, but after both sides heard of one another’s histories hostilities began. The Soviets believed they could spread their revolution to the Coalition still recovering from its Endless War, while the Coalition believed it could crush the disunited Soviets and dominate the region. The various Soviet factions united against the Coalition threat under the banner of Marcel Dijon, a general and war hero from the days of the revolution. Although the Coalition made early gains against the Soviets, it soon became clear that its population would not stand for another bloodbath, and an agreement of mutual avoidance was reached. Dijon used the war as a way to get rid of his enemies and solidify his power base. After personally killing the General Secretary on Karl-Max-Welt, he declared a new government: the Conseil of Workers’ Systems. He justified this new revolution by saying the Conseil would abandon the corrupt, imperialist ways of the USSR, and that it was a true socialist state. Dijon spent the rest of his days building up the Conseil military, knowing that the war with the Coalition could restart at any time. He was later proved right in 2741, when after centuries of bitter border conflicts, the Galactic War began.
Although the Conseil Systems, like its Coalition rivals, presents itself as a bastion of freedom, it is in truth a totalitarian state. The Conseil economy is managed by supercomputers, but given the sheer size of the Conseil state they do not run it very efficiently. Incidents where settlements being accidentally deleted from the Conseil’s records and starving to death have happened more than a few times. Although the Conseil Systems' communist ideology dictates that the state's resources be distributed equally, much of the state's resources go to the military or the leadership.
Ironically, the staunchly communist Conseil Systems has degraded into a pseudomonarchy. The so-called “People’s Dynasty” reigns from the General Secretary position with an iron fist. The Communist Party has become nothing more than a corrupt court, filled to the brim with the descendants of Dijon loyalists from the Civil War and other friends of the “royal family.” Conseil children are taught from birth that the General Secretary is the “perfect Marxist,” and that anybody who says otherwise is a Coalition-friendly imperialist. The current General Secretary, Louise I, gained the position when her father was poisoned. Much more idealistic than her predecessors, Louise believes in the inevitability of the revolution’s victory, and her insistence on opposing capitalism wherever it arises is, according to her opponents, a major cause of the Galactic War.
The dominant form of left-wing ideology in the galaxy, Dijonist Communism is one of history’s greatest ironies. An ideology originally drafted to create perfect equality instead became the justification of one of the strictest hierarchies in the galaxy. An ideology that originally opposed religion instead became one, for all intents and purposes. Dijonism has become the face of communism, both within the Conseil Systems and outside, and is widely emulated throughout the galaxy. Adherents to Leninist or Marxist interpretations are few and far between, and if they are not particularly useful manage to earn the ire even of the Conseil Systems. Dijonist Communism, like its Leninist predecessor, claims to be Marxist but branches off from orthodox Marxism in that it doesn’t consider industrialization a necessary component for communist revolution. Dijonism believes communism can be exported, but it also believes that Conseil communism is the most perfect form. Therefore, annexing capitalist and “false socialist” entities is justifiable: it is the integration of an imperfect society into one that is closest to perfection.
Dijonism only formed in the aftermath of the Soviet Civil War. It was apparent, according to the victorious Dijon, that the old Soviet system was unable to keep the people together. A new unity must be forged within the Conseil state. Therefore, the state must take even greater measures to control the lives of its people. A massive intelligence apparatus: the People’s Gendarmerie, Red Army Intelligence, the Commission for the People’s Safety, and others were founded to keep check of the people one another. Central planning was left to “infallible” computers, which in the early stages were nothing more than consoles for Dijon’s favored economic commissars. The problem of inequality was also targeted: the Soviet system was unable to address the issue properly by allowing differentiation within the people. This would have to be rectified by the state. But while every man is equal under the red banner, there must still be enlightened heralds of communism leading the liberated masses. The events of the Soviet Civil War proved that, without the leadership of proper men, the proletariat become disunited and selfish. It is upon the shoulders of these men that the burden of leadership is placed. And in order to ensure that every prole plays his part, the state must be willing and able to take any means necessary.
According to Dijonism, a source of disunity within the “reformed” Soviet Union was nationalism. The new Soviet state had formed mostly over the abandoned colonies of old Europe. Many ethnic rivalries on these worlds ran for millennia and many Civil War-era groups were nationalist in nature. In order to properly unite the people, this nationalism must be controlled by the state and used as a binding agent. Massive population transfers were instituted, separating certain groups from their rivals. Mandatory state education focused on taking pride in the Conseil people and Comrade Dijon, not German, French or Spanish identity.
Of course, this nationalism was not enough. The nation may now serve the state, but so must the hearts of men. And what better way to control the people than to use what Marx himself called the opiate of the masses? Dijon and his line were deified in Conseil propaganda and education: did Comrade Dijon not use the mystical powers granted to him by the will of the proletariat to wipe the Coalition fleets from the stars? Icons, ranging from pins of the General Secretary’s face to statues of him heroically crushing the skull of a Coalition Marine beneath his boots were necessary for every citizen. Refusing to venerate the Architect of the Infallible State, the god that raises the sun above every world’s sky, is one of the most serious crimes one could commit. Of course, this divine spark can only be passed down through blood: only the descendants of Comrade No. 1 can be fit to rule the Conseil people (although which of his descendants is up to debate).
To further unite the proletariat and make them dependent on the state, the “oppressive” traditional structures that the Soviets foolishly allowed to continue must be destroyed. The family, for example, can be a loyalty an individual owes that supersedes the state. This must not be the case, so the family unit must be eliminated. Every child must be conceived in communal “comfort centers,” born in state-mandated hospitals. No child can know his parents, no parents can know their children, but this is not a problem: every Conseil citizen is a child of the state. When a child becomes fully trained (normally in their early teens), they become a true worker for the glorious state. These workers are shipped from continent to continent, world to world, to do whatever work the state requires. There is no consistency in the life of the prole save for devotion and service to the state.
The Conseil Systems has a well-defined class structure. The lower class, the proletariat are praised as the backbone of society but are only rewarded for it with hard labor. The bulk of the Conseil’s labor force and military are proles, and are treated by their commanders as essentially expendable. Those leading them, the “lower” Communist Party members, are specially trained to lead the proletariat. They are perhaps even more watched than the proles; most dissent may be powered by the proles, but these lower Party members are normally the catalyst. Above them, the actual Party members that hold office in the Conseil System’s massive bureaucracy, are allowed to live a life of relative privilege. Unlike their subordinates, they know their fathers and mothers, and in fact most likely gained their seat by having it passed down to them by one of their parents. This class essentially forms the Conseil’s “nobility” and is the source of most infighting within the system. Despite their (hidden) hedonistic lifestyles, they are venerated by the proles as semi-divine beings representing the concept their office specializes in. Assassination among “upper” Party members is not uncommon. Lastly is the “People’s Dynasty” itself, the Dijon line. The General Secretary is a virtual god to the Conseil people; the omniscient, omnipotent leader of the galaxy’s most perfect society.