United Republic of Steelgate
The United Republic of Steelgate is the dominant power on Utopia - arguably. They are currently engaged in a deep allegiance with Earth via the CEF, which has allowed them to all but conquer the planet. It is a powerful society, historic in its intensity and ability to motivate its economy and populace to war.
The Unified Republic has a three-tiered society that adheres closely to its political system - outwardly a democracy, but in reality a fascist military state. There are a few elements common to all three tiers; these can be said to be the fundamentals of Steelgate society. Steelgate society has a strong sense of authority. Not all people within the society believe that the right people have authority, but all agree that there should be a strong authority structure. Secondly, all Republicans believe that central authority should provide a minimum of support for every citizen. Some believe that this should be the minimum for life while others believe in a welfare state, but all agree that a minimum standard of living must be granted to every citizen.
The lowest member of Steelgate society is the Citizen. This group makes up approximately half of the population, and are people who have not entered military service. They are the workers and servants of the Republic. Despite their low standing they are afforded a good deal of respect and even a fair amount of luxury (in the communal Utopian terms at least; Steelgate citizens are the most likely to own a good deal of personal property). Citizens, however, have no say in any government policy or elections.
The middle tier of Republican society is composed of the members of the Military, both the enlisted soldiers and the lower ranking officers. These people make up a whopping 45 to 49 percent of Steelgates' population. Most of these are reservists, but even so they are considered members of the military and are afforded greater rights. Most of these expanded rights are political, and nearly all members of the military have an interest in politics. Any member of the military, retired or active, has the right to vote, propose law to the Assembly, or speak publicly on political matters.
Within the military standards of living vary wildly. The average enlisted reservist lives to the same standard as any Citizen, enjoying his political influence as the only perk. Compare this to the officers, where even the lowest Lancer has a large wage, great personal privacy in the form of owning his or her own property, and great prestige. Between the highest and lowest ranks exists a byzantine structure of shifting importance based on military performance and political manoeuvring, growing to its most chaotic within the officer ranks.
The highest rung is the political sphere itself. Many high ranking military officials become wholly subsumed in political affairs, making a division within the upper echelons - one can speak of a Lieutenant General, but have to ask whether he is a political or military officer before knowing his talent on the battlefield. This fact is quietly ignored in polite circles, but if the Republic were not such a military powerhouse it could be quite crippling.
Senior officers within the United Republic enjoy excess and luxury unlike seen anywhere else on Utopia, rivalling even the Emirates of Terra Nova. State media keeps this fact from view of the public, and when it is discovered the source of the leak is quickly discredited.
Republican culture is dominated by the military, as is everything else there. Music is most commonly found in the form of orchestral marches and military pieces, though opera is also popular as a blending of theatre and symphony. Shows are cheap and attendance is always good. Beyond this, there is a lively fiction writing industry. Like all Utopian cultures the arts are commonly amateur, however Steelgate boasts the largest number of professionals. With the war in Sumer starting to wind down there is a great deal of undirected economy, and that has seen a huge explosion in the popularity of the arts.
The CEF has been quietly sponsoring the production of operas and plays glorifying the old Human Concordat, and funding authors to write about the exploits of the CEF (and their Steelgate allies) across the rest of the Gate Web. These productions have been great successes and have spawned whole new genres of artistic endeavour. Concordat is an art piece focusing on old glory and -importantly- a rekindling of that old glory, a return to the golden era. Similarily, there is a growing cosmopolitan movement as the Steelgate art scene carefully experiments with foreign culture. So far it has only been Earth, but the CEF is starting to release a little information on Caprice. Though heavily filtered, it is quickly invigorating the movement further.
Sport is common in Utopia - all amateur teams, and almost all from the military. Citizens aren't kept out, however, instead forming the greatest bulk of the audience (and largest proportion of the state-sanctioned gambling crowd). The most popular game is called Wentogo, a remarkably rough full-contact sport that involves throwing a hand-sized ball through a hoop. It has a good number of similarities to rugby, and the few CEF teams have proven competitive in the sport. Also played is Chase, which a Terranovan would identify as a Fox-And-Hounds style duel in which one lone competitor attempts to outwit and survive against a team of five pursuers through an industrialized maze. Yearly tourneys are sponsored by the state in every City, with informal games played year round whenever an appropriate area can be found and cleared.
Science and Technology
Steelgate is arguably the least technologically advanced nation on the planet. What they lack in acumen they make up for in sheer volume, which is what allowed them to become the planetary rulers they are (asking a member of the CEF that question will likely get a different response, naturally.) Research has generally focused on improving the rate of material extraction from the resource-rich mountains as well as the subsequent processing and use of same. To this end they are highly industrialized and can out-produce all of their competitors on the planet.
One area in which Steelgate does excel is the manufacture of high tech propulsion and the related field of magnetics. The Steelgate monorail system is the fastest and most efficient in the Gate Web, even boasting thousands of kilometres of underground rail linking their cities. Militarily, this has resulted in the Steelgate Army deploying more railguns and hyperkinetic artillery guns than any other army. The Anti-Material Rifle used by the CEF is a scaled-down version of Steelgate's own AMR, which has a tremendous range and punch. Battery technology made by Steelgate is likewise rugged and long-lasting.
Other than these fields, Steelgate tends to lag behind other nations in technology and science on Utopia. Now that Steelgate is the administration of the planet they have been able to cull the learning of other nations, but not as much as they would like. Koglund in particular has been notoriously resistant to sharing.
Industry and Economics
Steelgate boasts the most impressive economy on the planet, dwarfing any of the other three nations in scope. Not only do they have the capacity to produce more goods than almost two other nations combined, they are able to do so at a tremendous rate and for a long period of time. Steelgate territory is highly rich in resources, which has been instrumental in its climb to fame - and also why the CEF chose it to be their ally.
The economy is undoubtably tooled towards the production of military goods, but a growing subset is more and more being diverted into the production of luxuries. With the Steelgate-Terran war ending, greater portions of the economy are moving toward selling real estate, disposable goods, luxury foods and entertainment to a deactivated military class. The primary result of this is a growing middle class and a more complacent citizen caste.
The United Republic is nominally a democracy, though while seniority is used to weight votes it is entirely a militocracy. The Prime Minister of the Republic is chosen primarily by his peers, who then appoints people to his personal cabinet and to the Republican League, which makes most day to day policy positions. Orbiting the League and the Prime Minister are Governors, who govern the cities of the Republic. A new rank is that of Viceroy, which is a governor placed in charge of a conquered city. Viceroys have little power in the League but enjoy great discretion in their seat of power. They are capable of overriding the decisions of local governing bodies without needing reason, and there is no means of vetoing their decisions.
Politics and The CEF
Upon the beginning of the war, the CEF did not interfere much in local politics - they simply assigned a few of their own officers to act as advisors to the Prime Minister and the Republican League and let things continue as they did. These advisors were carefully chosen amongst the best political manipulators that the Fleet had to offer, giving the CEF greater sway in the conduct of the war than might have originally been agreed upon.
This system has slowly changed as the Steelgate-Terran Alliance began to conquer the planet. Currently the planet is considered unified under the name of the Utopian Colonial State. This State is ruled by a Senate, which is presided over by an elected CEF official. As soon as the planet is entirely pacified, this will become an NEC official. Each City sends Senators to this Senate according to its population, giving Steelgate a majority over any other single nation.
Steelgate has enjoyed greater dominion over Utopia with this model, though there is rumbling about the CEF intentionally arranging the Senate in this fashion in order to make it impotent with divisive politics. Since it was Steelgate itself, with the assistance of CEF advisors, who made this model, the complaints are so far ignored.
Steelgate has always made war in one way or another, and its society is uniquely suited to the task - moreso than Earth, even. A huge proportion of their population is trained and ready to be activated, and their industrial capacity is sufficient enough to keep them all armed, armoured and fed through even a protracted campaign.
Steelgate makes use of combined land, sea and aerospace actions whenever possible. Their preferred tactic is to use overwhelming force with a large fast-moving reserve to deal with inevitable counter-attacks. Infantry is used heavily, as is long-range artillery. Drones and Autos of course make the largest proportion of the armed forces, but Steelgate manpower is such that they can field large teams of foot soldiers and armoured vehicles, unlike most of their opponents.
Citizens must pass the Armburge Tests in order to join the military. They are only allowed two attempts before being barred from more. Though the tests are difficult, a good number of retired or reservist soldiers make a healthy living training citizens for these tests, so pass rates are high. From this point they are graded and given several options as to their career paths. Some who excel are diverted to officer's training - this often is because of political aptitude as much as command skill.
Soldiers may opt to join the Infantry, Armoured, Artillery, Autotroop, or Engineering branches of the Army; the Marines, Crewmen, or Autotroop branches of the Navy; the Air, Airauto, Space or Spaceauto branches of the Air Force, or the Signals or Logistics branches of the Support arm. Despite their positions all Steelgate military personnel use the same rank structures. Noncommissioned members are 1st Armsman, 2nd Armsman (or just Armsman), Chief Armsman, and Major Armsman. Commissioned Officers are 1st Lancer, 2nd Lancer (or just Lancer) Command Lancer, Lieutenant Commander, 1st Commander, 2nd Commander (or just Commander), Lieutenant General, General, and High General.