|“||0.000% of Communism has been built. Evil child-murdering billionaires still rule the world with a shit-eating grin. All he has managed to do is make himself *sad*. He is starting to suspect Kras Mazov *fucked him over* personally with his socio-economic theory. It has, however, made him into a very, very smart boy with something like a university degree in Truth. Instead of building Communism, he now builds a precise model of this grotesque, duplicitous world.||„|
Communism is a political alignment in Disco Elysium.
Background[edit | edit source]
Communists, also called Communards, Mazovians, Materialists, or Socialists, are leftist revolutionaries who follow the writings and teachings of Kras Mazov, a Graadian historian, economist, and founder of scientific communism. Ever since the collapse of the Antecentennial Revolution, communist movements have become fringe and persecuted, and split off into many ideological variants.
Ideology[edit | edit source]
Communist theory, also called dialectical materialism, or critical theory, is a type of historical analysis based on the concept of class warfare, believing that the historic role of the proletariat social-class is to rise up against its bourgeois oppressors, producing, through a process known as the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, a state which protects workers' interests. Although the process contrasts with anarchist theory, the two groups were allies during the Revolution, though anarchist movements have largely been forgotten since.
Although the precise ideals of the communists varied between the major branches of the Revolution, they had some common elements, exemplified by their universal symbol: the star-and-antlers. The symbol was created 40 years before the current century, eventually being adopted by Mazov and the communards. The wreath of antlers represented a society that could both exist alongside and rule over the natural world, while the five-pointed star, a social-democratic symbol, was turned upside down to symbolize the toppling of the old order. The colour white was chosen as it is the colour of peace, also seeming to complement the black used by anarchists.
Parties and Organizations[edit | edit source]
Graad[edit | edit source]
Graad, the birthplace of the Revolution in the year '02, was also the first nation to establish a socialist state. Led by Mazov, Premier of the Communist Party of Shest and Graad and head of the Eleven Day Government, the Graadian proletariat held power over the nation for six years, being known for burning churches, and establishing labour camps for bourgeois opponents in southeast Graad, particularly Yekokataa. In the year '08, the final siege on the State Day Palace in Mirova took place, during which Mazov is said to have committed suicide. The official anthem of the Graadian party was 'Brave Children, Favourites of History'.
After the downfall of the Mazovian government, Graad appears to have been quickly resettled into Moralist International administration, becoming a safe haven for former enemies of the Revolution such as Revacholian King Guillaume Le Lion. By the year '08, Graadian nations had taken part in the Coalition of Nations' assault on the Commune of Revachol. The nation would go on to conceive of Graadian realism, a literary genre known for being dense, depressing and difficult to read. By the '20s, Graad had started a process of economic liberalization known as the Yugo-Graad Spring, though it was considered a failure, resulting in violent riots from '27 to '29. The Post-Revolutionary Graadian state is also known for its proxy war with Safre, committing many atrocities in the village of Co Hoi.
Samara[edit | edit source]
In Samara, communism first sprouted in the Hsin-Yao Commune, located in an industrialized area in the southern part of the isola. The commune was known for its weapon production, particularly the Triangong 4.46, which was supplied to Revacholian revolutionaries as military aid. The commune's official anthem was 'Boy with a Scythe / Golden Sun'. The commune was eventually expanded into the Samaran People's Republic (SRV), following the assault on Graad, during which Ignus Nilsen, Mazov's second-in-command, led an evacuation to the Samaran isola. The state, officially considered Nilsenist-Mazovianist, was never overthrown, though it is considered to have degenerated from its original ideal as a "socialist utopia".
In current times, the SRV is governed by President Sapormat 'Sport' Knezhinisky, a repressive and corrupt leader who has ruled for over three decades. The SRV's government encourages high levels of physical fitness as a means of defense against capitalist aggression, and considers bear wrestling its national sport. The Republic's Ministry of Information is known for producing dubious data, though a lot of propaganda is also produced against it. The state is also known for producing and donating resources to humanitarian aid, but their exports are generally considered low quality. In spite of the nation's distancing from classical Mazovianist ideals, it still utilizes the five-pointed star as a logo, and considers Ignus Nilsen its founding father. It also has a large contingent of infra-materialists.
Revachol[edit | edit source]
In Revachol, communism gained traction as a result of the ruling of King Filippe III, the latest in a series of disastrous Suzerains. The Commune of Revachol was officially established in the 7th of March in the year '02, transmitting its legislative document Le Décret de Mars across interisolary borders using technology seized from the FELD R&D Building in Martinaise. The Suzerain at the time, Guillaume Le Lion, fled the country, leaving his nephew Frissel the First to face the Insulindian Citizens Militia, and the Parti communiste d'Insulinde.
The leaders of the commune were Dual Commissars of Revolution Julia Dobreva and Jean Abadanaiz. Serving alongside them were the political commissars, ensuring that the revolutionary army would answer to civillian control and abide to the commune's ideology, of which one example was Iosef Lilianovich Dros. The army was managed using a hierarchical system known as the Décomptage, which was based on dual-leadership. The commune also counted with the support of a bourgeoise class who wished to overthrow the Suzerain, known as the Ultras, or ultraliberals, though they would come to join sides with the Coalition of Nations in the Commune's later years. The official anthem of the Commune was 'La Revacholière', and the Ace's High and Insulindian Lilies would become its symbols.
After the death of Frissel, the communards would have absolute control over Revachol, building fortifications along the Martinaise Inlet and a number of interconnected underground bunkers. Communards also attempted to build the People's Pile, an amateur particle decay generator meant to provide energy to all, though that project would result in a catastrophic ecological disaster. In the year '08, the Coalition would come to retaliate, leading an attack known as Operation Death Blow, opening fire over Martinaise, La Delta and Stella Maris indiscriminately. Despite this, the Commune would only officially fall two years later, after the disappearence of Dobreva and Abadanaiz, when the Revacholian Instrument of Surrender was signed, turning Revachol into a Zone of Control subject to the Moralist International.
However, conflict would continue even after the surrender. Areas of Revachol West such as Jamrock, Faubourg, Couron and Boogie Street still held active communard cells, resulting in extensive persecution that would last into the '10s, and even the '20s. By the time of the '30s, Revachol had reached a level of stability, with The New helping to introduce free market economy into the region, despite a foreign democracy. Since then, only small communist groups have remained in Revachol, with the ideology being somewhat popular amongst students and union members. The Revachol Citizens Militia, founded by survivors from the ICM, would continue to hold onto revolutionary customs, such as the Décomptage.
Other[edit | edit source]
In Gottwald, the Gottwald School for critical theory believes that intellectuals are a class incapable of performing revolutionary change, only capable of inspiring it in others through critique. They also seem to develop extensive psychological analysis.
The Mazovian Economists, also referred to as Econoclards, though both names are pejorative, are a moderate school of Mazovianist thought, which advocates for a transition to socialism through economic reform, not revolution. Alongside the Gottwaldians, they represent the two largest strands of Post-Revolution communism.
Infra-materialism is a fringe school of communism, developed by followers of Nilsenist thought based on theories developed in his later life. Infra-materialists believe that political thought is capable of manifesting in material reality as ideological plasm, granting advanced enough critical theorists the ability to influence reality by only thinking. Infra-materialists split communist societies into three separate levels of ideological intensity, with third-level civilizations being capable of abandoning the laws of physics entirely. Although infra-materialist thought is largely shunned on a global scale, it is accepted and developed in the SRV.
References[edit | edit source]
- Mazovian Socio-Economics
- KIM KITSURAGI - "A communard. One of the leftist revolutionaries in the Antecentennial Revolution."
- KIM KISTURAGI - "If you wish. At any rate, looks like some Mazovians were hiding out here but left a long time ago."
- STEBAN, THE STUDENT COMMUNST - "I am serious. As materialists we've got to adapt to conditions as they are. Besides, he'll still need to pass the *interview portion* of the entrance process..." He turns back to you.
- DRAMA - Strange. It's as if people don't believe a cop could be a socialist revolutionary.
- ENCYCLOPEDIA - Kras Mazov (nom de guerre), was an economist and a theoretical historian. He was a leading figure in the Graad side of the Turn-of-the-Century Revolution, where he headed the Eleven Day Government. Mazov is considered the father of scientific communism (Mazovian thought or Mazovianism).
- RHETORIC - But it won't be *easy*. Decades of persecution by Coalition authorities have driven the remaining communists of Martinaise *underground*.
- CONCEPTUALIZATION - He will *not* stop now, these dialectical materialist types never do. Exploit it.
- CONCEPTUALIZATION - Oh yes. Under the bed, there is a rather extensive collection of *critical theory* -- that is: dour, life-non-affirming left wing literature -- published by small imprints such as Abattoir Firm and Ousia. It's not exactly light reading.
- YOU - "He, uh... being a Communard probably had to do with it. You know, class warfare stuff."
- THE DESERTER - "You could say I misunderstood the historic role of the proletariat, and thought Mazovian socio-economics were fallible. For a second I doubted the irreducible laws of historic materialism."
- ENCYCLOPEDIA - Samaran trash? That sounds like they're from the Samaran People's Republic, produced under the dictatorship of the proletariat.
- KIM KITSURAGI - "The revolutionaries: so the communards and the anarchists. White's their colour. But the custom started in the Suzerain's army so it held meaning for the kingsmen too."
- JOYCE MESSIER - "Oh, and the anarchists too! They shot them well. So well one forgets they even existed."
- ENCYCLOPEDIA - That isn't *just* a five-pointed star -- it's an inverted white pentagram cradled in a wreath of antlers. The iconography of communism, in other words.
- ENCYCLOPEDIA - The star-and-antlers was developed in the sixth decade of the last century and quickly adopted by Mazov and the communards during the Revolution...
- ENCYCLOPEDIA - The wreath of antlers represents a natural crown. It was about building a society that could exist in accord with the natural world -- and at the same time above it.
- YOU - Why is the star upside down? ENCYCLOPEDIA - To symbolize the toppling of the old order. ENCYCLOPEDIA - Also, some social democrats were already using it.
- YOU - Why white? ENCYCLOPEDIA - Because white is the colour of peace.
- THE DESERTER - "*Real music, real proletkult*." He nods. "That's La Revacholière, not your rock-and-roll misanthropy. *Chanson de soldat* of the black-and-whites."
- JOYCE MESSIER - "The Revolution began in '02, on the isola of Graad, though by the end nearly the whole world had gotten involved."
- THE DESERTER - "God's shithouse." He chortles. "Should've taken it down like they did in Graad; dismantled it for firewood."
- RHETORIC - This seditious talk sounds like communism. (Just so we're on the same page: Communism is basically wanting to kill the rich people or deporting them to a labour camp in southeast Graad. But don't say that out loud if you're a communist.)
- THE DESERTER - "Art is a bourgeois establishment. It's an affront to humanity. Every gallery should be bulldozed and the artists should all be given 30 years of hard labour in Yekokataa."
- The Suicide of Kras Mazov
- THE DESERTER - "In Graad they sang 'Brave Children, Favourites of History' and in Hsin-Yao it was..." He struggles to remember, then gives up. "...some Samaran shit, I guess."
- JOYCE MESSIER - "The real king abdicated and lived out a long and productive life as a venture capitalist in Graad."
- JOYCE MESSIER - "The Coalition of Nations. Graad, Mesque, Vesper, Messina, Oranje and Sur-La-Clef -- the armed centre of the world. They landed here and ended the Revolution. It was the *moralist* thing to do."
- SIXTEEN DAYS OF COLDEST APRIL - You flip through the book. The pages are thinner than you realized, and the type quite small and tightly set. It's nearly 600 pages long. CONCEPTUALIZATION - Real art is dense and difficult. If it didn't feel like you had to wrestle a suicidal bear to get through it, you weren't really reading.
- ENCYCLOPEDIA - The Yugo-Graad Riots took place from '27 to '29, fuelled by ethnic unrest and the state's repressive tactics. These events are often seen as marking the end of a brief period of liberalization known as the Yugo-Graad Spring. Like all such periods, it is frequently memorialised in art and literature.
- ENCYCLOPEDIA - Co Hoi, a village that was the site of infamous war crimes in the South Safre conflict, the ongoing proxy war between Graad and Safre. It has been hot for 12 years, with atrocities piling up daily. Mostly committed by Graad.
- JOYCE MESSIER "A lot of it," she nods. "It comes in from large Samaran factories. In South Safre, Siigay and Hsin-Yao. The literage they must get from this terminal alone must be *oceanic*."
- ENCYCLOPEDIA - They say: 'Triangong 4.46. Hsin-Yao Commune. For Safre -- and for all mankind.'
- THE DESERTER - "It was sent to us by our brothers in the Hsin-Yao Commune. Military aid." He pats the rifle.
- ENCYCLOPEDIA - In Hsin-Yao they sang "Boy with a Scythe / Golden Sun."
- A BRIEF LOOK AT INFRA-MATERIALISM - As Mazov's devoted comrade and leading theoretician, Nilsen was responsible for developing much of the intellectual foundation of communism. But his interests and speculations were famously wide-ranging.
- ENCYCLOPEDIA - Oh, right. During the disastrous retreat from Graad to Samara, Nilsen personally ordered up to 12,000 prisoners of war impaled on sharpened spruce trees in the Samaran backcountry. Thereafter his opponents began referring to him as the 'Apocalyptic Shrike'.
- ENCYCLOPEDIA - The SRV refers to the People's Republic of Samara. Established as a socialist utopia by survivors of the Revolution, it has since degenerated into a bureaucratic workers' state under the decades-long rule of President Sapormat 'Sport' Knezhinisky.
- ENCYCLOPEDIA - Sapormat 'Sport' Knezhinisky is well into his third decade as president of the SRV. Outside Samara he's known for three things: *Brutal* repression of internal dissent, *monumental* corruption, and a near-pathological obsession with physical fitness.
- LA FUMÉE, VOL. 1 NO. 4 - That's very much the idea. President Knezhinisky has long maintained that a strong body is the best defence against capitalist aggression.
- LA FUMÉE, VOL. 1 NO. 4: According to this extremely credulous account, 'Uncle Sport' (as he's affectionately known to his people) has recently decreed bear wrestling the national sport of the SRV.
- LA FUMÉE, VOL. 1 NO. 4: According to the SRV's Ministry of Information, the programme has been a tremendous success. Public support stands at 87%, and youth obesity and alcoholism rates are down 12% and 7% respectively. LOGIC - This is the SRV we're talking about. If you think those are the real numbers there's probably a guy who wants to sell you a bridge in La Cherte.
- YOU - "Don't be too hard on Samara, they're all alone in the world. Half of what we know of them is just propaganda."
- ENCYCLOPEDIA - SRV-made, this machine represents humanitarian aid from a workers' state on the Samaran isola. The *ROO* logo on the engine gives it away -- that and the white five-pointed star.
- Speakers from the People's Republic of Samara
- ENCYCLOPEDIA - Today, Nilsen's reputation has waned in most parts of the developed world, with the exception of the People's Republic of Samara (SRV), where he is recognized as a founding father. His political philosophy is a variant of Mazovianism called Nilsenist-Mazovianism.
- A BRIEF LOOK AT INFRA-MATERIALISM - More like suggestions, according to some of the SRV's leading infra-materialists.
- ENCYCLOPEDIA - Even by the standards of the Filippian kings, Old Sumptuous Filippe was known for his profligacy. YOU - In what way? ENCYCLOPEDIA - Well, he blew through the whole national treasury, starting the decline of one of the penultimate century's greatest superpowers: the Suzerain of Revachol... ENCYCLOPEDIA - His own maladministration foreshadowed the fall of the monarchy during the Antecentennial Revolution, an end to his family line and the monarchy on the Insulindian isola.
- HORSEBACK MONUMENT - A silver plaque on the statue's pedestal reads: 'I am Filippe III, the Squanderer, the Greatest of the Filippian Kings of Revachol; Son of Filippe II, the Opulent; Father of Filippe IV, the Insane.'
- TRANT HEIDELSTAM - "What's the March decree? I mean the radio transmission sent out to news agencies and world governments by the newly-created Commune of Revachol on the 7th of March in the year '02." ENCYLCOPEDIA - A short-lived legislative foundation for a short-lived utopia. TRANT HEIDELSTAM - "It's a beautiful piece of text, actually. A singer-songwriter I know -- Charette -- called it a love poem to Revachol on her political concept album 'Bons baisers d'Insulinde'. You should read it. Every local library in Revachol stocks a copy of the decree."
- YOU - "What did the revolutionaries do with those advanced tape computers?" TRANT HEIDELSTAM - "They used them for military communications," he says, while his son looks up, idly chewing on the corner of his würm-themed colouring book. "But also to write and send out press releases. The most notorious example being Le Décret de Mars."
- JOYCE MESSIER - "Yes, King Guillaume had a nose for bad PR. He ran before it -- what is the expression -- *went down*? Anyway, Gil got out alive and his nephew Frissel got shot in his place..."
- THE DESERTER - "Rock and roll posturing..." He stares at the embers, then into your eyes. "You're the RCM -- you represent the Moralist International, the enemies of humanity, who took this city. I represent their adversary, le Parti communiste d'Insulinde."
- ENCYCLOPEDIA - Wow, this one's a deep cut. Julia Dobreva and Jean Abadanaiz, popularly known as the 'Revolutionary Lovers', served as Dual Commissars of Revolution on the Insulindian front during the Antecentennial Revolution. Their forbidden love, as well as their disappearance during the final collapse of the Revacholian commune only contributed to their mystique...
- KIM KITSURAGI - "His job was to assure the army answers to civilian control -- and follows the ideology of the commune," the lieutenant says softly.
- THE DESERTER - "My name..." He looks across the water, then back at you: "...is Iosef Lilianovich Dros, Political Commissar of the 114th Anti-Aircraft Division of the 4th Army of the Commune of Revachol."
- STEBAN, THE STUDENT COMMUNIST - "It's from them we get the notion of dual-leadership, the *décomptage*, Revachol's truly great contribution to revolutionary thought. I believe it even persists in some form in the RCM, even to this day."
- JOYCE MESSIER - "Some were rich enough to stay with the Constitution; with monarchy -- *big mistake*. Others bet on the Revolution, they were called the Ultras, or ultraliberals. They fared well."
- JOYCE MESSIER - "Yes," she nods slowly. "I am the nether creature of the forbidden swamp. I pushed the king under a *shitwagon* and betrayed the Revolution. My kind surrendered the nation to financial colonists..."
- YOU - "What is La Revacholière?" THE DESERTER - "It is the anthem of the World Revolution." His eyes remain fixed on the sky. "One of three."
- ENCYCLOPEDIA - The Ace's High -- a custom invented by the aerostatic brigades during the Revolution -- is used to celebrate success in Revachol. Especially in sports. The gesture has spread across the world, despite the defeat of the revolutionaries themselves.
- KIM KITSURAGI - "This is the Insulindian Lily." The lieutenant corrects his glasses. "Called 'May bells' or 'Lucille's tears' during the Revolution. Girls used to pin these on soldiers before sending them off to battle.
- THE DESERTER - "The congenitally deformed King Filippe II built it to restrict access to the Bay of Revachol. We captured it in '02, retrofitted the fort with an AA gun to defend against an airborne landing -- against the whole world."
- THE DESERTER - "There used to be a system that connected the bunkers. Tunnels and such. Under the church and... everywhere. Most of them are gone now, collapsed -- just bricks. All the old infrastructure has..."
- BIRD'S NEST ROY - "A bad idea. Some poor leftists built a particle decay generator in hopes of bringing affordable electricity to under-served communities. It malfunctioned. Radioactive waste everywhere, probably some of it in *you*, too."
- ENCYCLOPEDIA - The People's Pile was a Type U particle decay generator that failed immediately after entering service, releasing radioactive waste into River Esperance.
- RENÉ ARNOUX - "Martinaise was used as one of the three footholds in Revachol during Operation Death Blow in '08. The other two are off in Stella Maris and the Delta." He points to the northeast.
- THE DESERTER - "Only the Army. Liberal reactionaries signed it for them. Traitors, who should have been burned alive..." He draws his breath. "I am a political commissar of the Communist Party, and the Party *never* surrendered."
- THE DESERTER - "It was hard in the '10s..." He shakes his head. "I didn't have partisan training, they were searching for stragglers, those bloodhounds..." He closes his eyes. "Floodlights on the water at night."
- JOYCE MESSIER - "The Twenties saw a decade of urban war: West of the river levelled, offshore platforms in flames... Still, it's regarded as an improvement on what came before: '08 to '19 was simply hell..."
- JOYCE MESSIER - "The Thirties? Things settled down in the Thirties. Revachol East transformed itself into the world's largest tax haven -- with the international community's blessing. For the first time in a long time it seemed like things were *going* somewhere."
- JOYCE MESSIER - "The New, a cultural era -- and the name of the decade it ravished, the Thirties. It came out of post-revolutionary Revachol. It was... ultraliberal."
- KIM KITSURAGI - "Millions of depictions of Mazov have been produced. They're not all connected -- besides, that looked like some student. The youths always go for this kind of stuff..."
- ENCYCLOPEDIA - The RCM deploys a self-styled structure called the Décomptage as its chain of command. Every lieutenant is responsible for two sergeants and eight officers. That means the average lieutenant has to deal with quite a few personal affairs. Even you know this.
- STEBAN, THE STUDENT COMMUNIST: "The Gottwald School believe that intellectuals as a class are incapable of sparking revolutionary change, so all they can do is *critique* capitalism from inside itself."
- STEBAN, THE STUDENT COMMUNIST - "They're the most depressing school of communism. They love writing long books with a patina of Mazovian theory to cover up their cheap psychologising."
- ENCYCLOPEDIA - Nota bene: 'Econoclard' is an extra-pejorative form of the already pejorative name 'Mazovian Economists', a moderate school of Mazovianism, which advocates a gradual transition to communism through carefully managed economic modernisation rather than violent social revolution.
- STEBAN, THE STUDENT COMMUNIST - "We've tried recruiting new members, but unfortunately the *current intellectual climate* is pretty hostile to infra-materialist thought. These days, if you're on the left, the ascendent schools are the Gottwaldians and the Econoclards."
- A BRIEF LOOK AT INFRA-MATERIALISM - And yet, his most *fascinating* contribution to history may be the most overlooked: His theory of ideological plasm, from which his followers and successors developed the school of communism known as *infra-materialism*.
- A BRIEF LOOK AT INFRA-MATERIALISM - Certainly. In essence, Nilsen is arguing that thoughts don’t just reside *inside* the brain, they radiate outward *from* it. According to this idea, the brain is an ideological transponder, constantly emitting waves of highly politicised energy, which Nilsen called 'plasm'.
- A BRIEF LOOK AT INFRA-MATERIALISM - Whoa is right! What's more, Nilsen speculated that this plasm, when it becomes powerful enough, might begin to *influence* the material reality surrounding it. Hence the name: *infra-materialism*.
- A BRIEF LOOK AT INFRA-MATERIALISM - Building on Nilsen's basic insight, these theorists reached a startling conclusion: that a sufficiently revolutionary state might begin to exhibit certain *extra-physical* effects based on the amount of plasm generated by its citizens.
- A BRIEF LOOK AT INFRA-MATERIALISM In some of his later writings, Nilsen himself speculated about the potential for an *extra-physical architecture* that disregards the laws of 'bourgeois physics' and instead relies on the revolutionary faith of the people for structural integrity.
- ENCYCLOPEDIA - The Ubi are known for their partiality to socialism and sheep. They come from an island called Ubi Sunt?, drifting in the pale off the coast of Vesper. It's the only place in the world that has a question mark in its name. Things are not well there: It's an island of poverty and entroponetic collapse.