It seemed almost natural for the state that Alexander creates in the universe I helped bring to the public eye be called The Hegemony and that he be the Hegémon, not Emperor. The thing is, it has attracted a little more controversy that I had anticipated. You see, it seems that I didn't do all my research. It also appears that the word "Hegemony" has some controversial and 'anti-American' undertones in today's world. One, of course, knows that the words 'socialist' or 'communist' in America are synonyms for for evil...the idea of equality, I think. Odd things is, as you'll see, that's just where the idea came from. It's changed since then...
So, what is a Hegemony? Well, there are four types, according to most sources I could find;
Cultural; when the culture of the dominant society will influence and become the norm, influencing the development of all societies it is in contact with. Funnily enough, the modern example of this is The United States (more later)!
Political, like Alexander's father, Philip II instituted in ancient Greece and the European Union is aiming for today. A unity of political control and legislature across culturally disparate member nations. Many Europeans will remember the almost comedic conflicts this 'standarisation' led to in the 90's.
Economic, Again the EU is the prime example today. With the introduction of the Euro, the new central European currency, all the member-states of Europe replaced their national currency. They then became economically reliant on Brussels, the European "Capital"
Social, through broadcast and, increasing now, online media. In the USA many will know that it is impossible these days to get news which is not biased in one direction or the other. You have channels such as Fox which skew very much to the Right; CNN and MSBC who skew stories much more to the Left. Who gives you unbiased and honest news? It's amazing how successful Reuters and the BBC have become in America... European sources for American news! But are they truly unbiased enough?
You see, the purpose of a Hegemony is to dominate the nations it rules over, those which have homogenised into it's whole conformed to, at least, it's rule and acknowledged it's primacy.
That is a common interpretation of what Hegemony is accepted to mean. It's not seen as a necessarily positive thing. One thing interests me though, seeing how many academics and thinkers seem to state that Empire and Hegemony are the very same thing. Look at the example above. The British Empire is mentioned. I am British and I know one thing for sure about British Imperial influence, the native culture of the recently 'improved' country was not valued or approved of. In fact there is some similarity between early British Imperialism and the modern American kind (anyone who says America is not trying to build an empire is politically blind). Britain saw itself as "freeing backward countries and their be-nighted natives from the shadows of barbarism and savagery", bringing them the enlightened British kind of 'civilised' brutality and savagery instead. How beautifully generous! This was done in order to achieve a trade hegemony however, to gain direct access to resources the English (or The Queen) wanted without the 'middle man'.
America, on the other hand, is travelling the world delivering "Freedom" to poor and unfortunate countries who thought that they already had that vague and nebulous commodity, only to realise they had the wrong kind. They lacked the American kind of Freedom, which is much better than the competing brands!
Now anyone who can say that the ultimate aim of this type of imperialism of NOT economic has the eyes and brain of an earthworm. If it were not so, Freedom would not come with trade agreements, McDonalds and Coca-Cola. Freedom would not come with a large dose of cultural hegemony, Freedom would not be so expensive.
Here is an example. Somalia. In 1992-1995 the United States was NOT involved in assisting rebels opposing the dominant warlord of the region. They were there purely to deliver aid supplies. So, once Freedom was delivered and the people of that country (who had previously had Socialist government closely connected to Russia) voted in free and fair elections, champaigne was opened all round. Until they abused their Freedom and voted for an Islamist (as a writer, words like these bother me because they are not real words, but popular media-manufactured seratonin inducers) government. That was the Wrong kind of freedom! How dare they use their own free will to not do what they were told? In 2006-2009 a second - aha - relief effort began in order to make sure that ther right kind of Freedom was selected. End result? Somalia is probably still much worse off than they were prior to foreign 'assistance' but, by helping out Ethiopia in it's 'self defense' efforts, some further exports of Freedom are assured. Now, there will be disagreement over my assessment, my use of the facts, etc. but we do live in a world where the War on Information is much more important that the War on Terror.
Let me talk about the War on Terror. It sounds media friendly, easy to make into memes, to fit into headlines, easy to chant at rallies, easy to sound good, right? It's also completely meaningless. My child has a nightmare one night and wakes screaming in - oh no! - terro- twenty black uniformed military types burst into my home to apprehend that unapproved of emotion and take it off to a Humour Rebalancing Center (HBC) for 'adjustment'. That'll show Terror, going around scaring our innocent children and fluffy bunnies!! Ridiculous? You tell me.
I prefer to use a more accurate term called 'Manipulation through Groundless Terror' or willingly signing away our freedom through expert scare-mongering of the uneducated. Read the actual text of the US Patriot ACT HERE and also take at the British Anti-Terrorism ACT HERE to see what we mean. We object to the idea of NOT living in a world of Freedom when we actually don't at all, we just are manipulating in choosing who our Hegémon is. Look around you and you'll see examples of Hegemony all around you. The social kind is the most pervasive and influential.
Let's pursue this one eh? In 2008 something happened which was either the rebirth of the American nation and the world or the death of it, depending on who you listened to and which news channel you watched. A bright, motivated and influential black man became President of the United States. It changed the world but why is that? Ask yourselves how many countries have held elections and someone who may well change that country for the better may well have won said election. Do we know their name? Do we know their policies and their platform? No we don't. Why not? Think about it for a minute, I can wait, I'm here for a while yet....because....and who was it made you think that way? The politics of and who leads another country which you do not live in are that important to you? Now tell me what your child's favourite TV programs are, the brands of clothing they both wear and the ones they actually want, music...tell me how many of those originate in your country if you're NOT American. Do you get it now? Ah good. We have the Freedom to do What America Wants us to DO! America is the Hegémon, for now.
"Ever Their praises, and abundance to the Black Goat of the Woods. Iä! Shub-Niggurath! Iä! Shub-Niggurath! The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young!" Everyone said Lovecraft was crazy, right?
Domination. Control. Influence. Those are what it's all about when you get down to it. Has anyone ever noticed what writers, authors and so forth who are well remembered and celebrated all tend to do? Take Lovecraft for example. While many have been entertained by his work for years, probably even quoted the very phrase I just did, I'll bet a lot of you hadn't ever thought about it in that context before. A thousand tentacles with a thousands hands and a thousand mouths invading each and every home around the world, all the mouths muttering the same phrase over and over....right! He saw it happening before it became popular to talk like that. I believe it was the cargo cults which first made him think about it in that way, though I never met the man so I could be wrong. Of course for every Shub Niggurath there must be a Nyarathotep, another 'crawling chaos' infecting all in it's reach...
So, in the world I helped bring into being we have no Empire across the sea as such. Alexander's Blue Hegemony (a little larger that the illustration) is it. In place of modern North and South America we have;
The Federated Nations of The People.(currently under Navajo dominance for the next three years, when Pawnee Presidency takes it's turn)
The New Inca-Aztec Empire (covering most of South and Central America)
The Archeopelogan Dynasty of the Forth Empire (from Hawaii, around to and down the the Empty Continent, what we call Australia).
Many of these nations met during the Symposium which Lupernikes set up in Alexandria (my version of the Worlds Fair) and were, of course, exposed to hegemonising influences. Of course, there is the emerging new influence in my world, The Council. They hid 'on the fringes' of non-Hegemonic territory. It has been said that the incident caused by Sham in Shoshone territory may have been a major factor in their move to a more Eastern location and to ramp up their operations like they did; a change from irritation into serious threat. Lupernikes, ever the masterful diplomat, used the Symposium to form relations with governments and influencers from other nations so, once Ataraxias started creating problems and got noticed to be abducting Hegemony citizens, well no-one wants to piss The Hegemony off once one sees how useful and helpful they are. I gave The Hegemony an enemy of course because there must always be one, genuine or otherwise; both for real world politics and narrative causality.
Now, there are many who say it is a writer's or a storyteller's job to do the parable's work. To write about reality as it truly is but in ways that people are not conciously aware that is what they are reading about. See, reality scares most people, that's why they need people like us to filter it for them. To take all the scary stuff and the bits which they're uncomfortable about or those which need changing, spirit it off in the middle of the night then repackage, spruce up and apply some make-up to it before we present in barely recognisable form. Like the 'fugly girl' with glasses nobody likes in the constantly recycled Teen Movie; the one who turns out to be the most beautiful example of adolescent femininity to have ever existed. We present them with what they already know, but don't want to admit to, in an entertaining fashion. We don't give them earth-shaking, life changing News though we, to paraphrase the quote, give them Olds. People don't really want new, it frightens them. You give them what they're comfy with. Why do you think all these same-same TV shows, pop stars, movies and books are so popular? You tell me. Tell me why someone trying to different and not conform gets ignored or given a lot of room?
Tell me evolution is fact and that we evolved from a carnivore and not a vegetarian, herd animal, because humans certainly do behave an awful lot like a herd animal don't you think? Independant pack carnivores? When? Just take a look at our teeth...
So, I do repesent then? as that the actual purpose of this seemingly random ideological, intellectual, and nonsensical wandering? To see if you could follow me and realise what I've been suspecting for a long time? Maybe. To unite a seemingly random sequence of events into a sensical destination by the end (like I do n my books)? Perhaps. To make some kind of obscure point? Could be, could be...To self promote and go into some hidden details about my world of which I am, of course, very proud? Well, stands to reason doesn't it.
The fact is I, like all of those with this strange gene which seems to give us the compulsion to write down every interesting thought we have in an appealing form and then wish to share them with everyone, observe a lot about the world. I am often told that I notice things and details which others miss. That I see things in ways others often consider strange. I can take a few words or an image seen here or there - the one people missed of course - and start to form connections, offshoots, sublayers and suddenly I have a story. A story started by noticing how an amusing spelling mistake on a box of cereal changed the entire meaning of the information it provided. A story based on how we see more green things than we do yellow ones. The list is everlasting. I'm just one of that odd species.
I have observed the world for many years and there is a reason I chose The Alexandrian Hegemony and not Empire of Alexander, The Macedonian Empire or something similar. For one, it sounds both suitably grand and also catchy. The other is that I think Hegemony is the natural state of human civilisation and that we are going to arrive at a system of a Hegemonic One World Government no matter what we try to do about it. That nations and peoples will homogenise. That national identity and race will disappear. It's inevitable because it's how we are made.
Humans are herd animals, like I already said. Observe, kids going to school now, practical clothing or the lastest name brands? Fitting in. One of my sons was trying to avoid going to school because he didn't have a decent haircut? Acceptance. Not wanting to tell 'The Group' that maybe they're going a little bit too far? Peer pressure. Supporting a figure of apparent authority no matter how much of his bad behaviour is revealed? Herd mentality. Desperate to belong. Terrified of losing sense of belonging and status. Funny how we who are 'superior' to animals model our every behaviour and our society on them isn't it? We don't like being the one to stand up and speak out. We wait for leader. We wait for the stampede to start.
So, let's just say a powerful leader with his army of immortal and scary looking giants comes along and the armies of the world either put up a token resistence, provide amusing comic interludes or simply throw down their weapons and run. Lets continue with the fact that he then sets up and establishes a government across this wide territory by loyality, strength of personality and the very strongly the implied threat of what the consequences of disobedience would be on the disobedient. He sweeps across the world with this army and effects an almost bloodless conquest. Hegemony is even represented as he travels, in his army.
The birth and evolution of the 'argot', based on the real world evolution of what is known as Koiné Greek, is a parallel of the way the Hegemony is changing the world but also how the world is changing the Hegemony. That the language destined to become Hegemony Standard Greek or just Standard, is made up by an army mixing together all of the languages of it's constituents and somehow arriving at something which makes sense. It is a representation of that very human journey towards homogeny and Hegemony. Towards uniformity and belonging, of not wanting to stand out. The fact that it is realised that a new Hegemony needs a new language (instead of imposing Greek on everybody and appearing ll foreign and imperial), one made up from something everyone will find comforting and familiar to varying degrees, was another of Alexander's masterstrokes! People started wanting to be a part of this exciting new thing. He didn't tell them how to live, who to worship and he didn't force change. That just sort of happened.
To me, it represents something very much of the real world. I do not think that the Hegemonising influence or 'Hegemoniser' can escape influences from those it seeks to Hegemonise. As it changes, so too is it changed. American movies influenced British ones until now American movies resemble what they influenced British movies to become. The changing influence becomes reciprocal; a kind of codependance develops. This is what I see in the world today. America was the great Hegemoniser but now it is accepting input from it's previous 'clients' and being changed in turn.
That is the way of the world because human beings untlimately want to be told what to do and what to believe in by people who are considered to be important or influential. To copy the small-scale Hegemonisers; the rich, the famous, the popular and the politicians. Eventually someone will come and unite the human race entire under one government, it is inevitable because it is the human herd mentality. If a former reality TV star can come along and make a group of supposedly intelligent people entirely divorce themselves from reality in their fanatical devotion, it's not that large a stretch of the imagination is it?
One might even say that a shadowy, hidden, secret government which really runs everything despite what we think has been setting this all up for a very long time now. Maybe since the time that Indian so-called holy man tricked him centuries ago and made him need to rebel against the suffocating and stupid decisons of the Elders...maybe there are secret shadow governments within secret shadow governments;. wheels within wheels within wheels.... maybe...
You tell me, I just write about what I see and my imagination takes over from there....