Progressive Harmony

Guided by Nguyet Cam, the Great Conductor, and her Progress Cadre, the political philosophies of Progressive Harmony are unique and offer a counterpart to both capitalism and communism. In the world of Progenitor, the Cold War that shaped the latter half of the twentieth century was a three-way ideological battle between the USA, the USSR, and Vietnam (later the IEG).

Progressive Harmony was first officially described in Nguyet's book Social Harmony and Social Dissonance. To quote from the Progenitor setting book, "One principle of the free market is that “if you build a better mousetrap, the world beats a path to your door.” Communism’s counter-principles are “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” Progressive Harmony (or ProgHarm, in its shorthand form) holds that if everyone can be induced to build a better path to the door, everyone can get mousetraps according to his needs."

Principles of Progressive Harmony

There are three central principles that underpin ProgHarm.

  • Belonging is Essential: No one likes to go it alone and outcasts hurt both themselves and the community. ProgHarm harnesses the desire to belong by offering the established Castes and also ease latent tensions in a community by establishing state-wide relationships between various groups.
  • Inspiration Is the Best Reward: Rather than looking at existence from the position of material rewards, ProgHarm seeks to nurture the brain by providing an individual with the work that will best satisfy their mind. Happy workers cause less trouble and have fewer wants, creating a feedback loop.
  • Individual Revenge is Counterproductive: The burr that derails most social programs is individuals seeking justice and looking to the government to punish others. ProgHarm labels this unhelpful and it's justice system focuses on rehabilitation over punishment. Criminals are reshaped into productive citizens rather than done away with, thereby also helping their victims who know that they are themselves a part of the force that stops their hurtful behavior.

Castes of Progressive Harmony

There are five castes in ProgHarm, each of them on equal footing with the others. Citizens of ProgHarm countries are filtered at a variety of times in their lives into a particular caste which determines their role in society and relationships to others. Castes can be changed and very often are as the needs of society and individual evolve.

  • Toilers (Vietnamese: Công Nhân) are the workers and laborers of ProgHarm society, protected by a number of important protective measures. Toilers are the first to eat even through food shortages, they are guaranteed twelve hours of sleep for every twelve hours of work, and the Attitudinal Engineering or ProgHarm holds them as the backbone of society with all of the benefits and pressures that involves. Toilers follow the directions of their particular Term Holder (or just Holder for short) who is part of another caste and has nearly complete authority with their Toilers. Toilers only work in this caste for a finite amount of time. Some are even sentenced to Toiling for crimes. Eventually, according to Progressive Harmony, there will be no more need for Toilers.
  • Representatives (Vietnamese: Đại Diện) are the bureaucrats of the government: ambassadors, city managers, mayors, economic coordinators, etc. Representatives are elected to their positions, but there are no re-elections and Representatives cannot engage in campaigning of any sort while in office. Representatives good at their job, however, can move from position to position within the branch of government that interests them most. Before one can serve as a Representative, they must serve as a Toiler or Risker for a minimum of five years to gain the amount of life experience necessary to be trusted with society.
  • Riskers (Vietnamese: Người May Rủi) are ProgHarm's answer for those with aventurous and risk-taking spirits. Firefighters, soldiers, spies, and EMTs are among those who bevome Riskers. Anyone can become a Risker except those sentenced to Toil for crimes as they have broken the trust of society and shown a tendency toward destructive behavior.
  • Citizens (Vietnamese: Công Dân) are the bulk of society and the least supported in terms of government subsidies. While they are not given government food stipends (unlike Toilers, Reps, and Riskers) they are able to keep all of the money they earn and so are the most entrepreneurial of the castes. Some sign up for a Toiling contract to gain startup cash to being their own companies and live off the proceeds thereafter.
  • Intellectuals (Vietnamese: Sở Hữu Trí Tuệ) are those intellectually-gifted individuals who put their efforts toward research, design, or inventing. Free education is available to all so Intellectuals are only those who want to make a career of learning. They start as probationary Intellectuals for a year before the rest of the Academy votes on whether they were a useful part of the caste or not. If the individual gains a majority of the vote (not counting abstentions) they are fully inducted into the Intellectual caste.
  • The Culturia caste (Vietnamese: Văn Hóa) is the only caste that can be held simultaneously with another. Culturia are the artists and creators of ProgHarm, but they must be Culturia/Citizens, Culturia/Riskers, etc. The exception is musicians and composers, owing to the high opinion of music as an integral element of society, which can be a permanent calling.
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