Temporal Secessionism

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Temporal Secessionism (Also known as Argophylacterism or Disenantiodromism among other polysyllabic terms) is a philosophical framework which originated in the learned communities of Southern Benacia. It holds that the organisation of human affairs in accordance with a given rhythm or cycle of activity will invariably favour those agents which operate with the greatest efficiency and stamina at that particular rhythm - much as sound waves of a given frequency, when generated among a series of different tuning forks, will induce greatest resonance in those forks aligned nearest to that frequency whilst failing to stimulate or mobilise forks of a different tuning. When translated to human affairs, the model states that a given set of rhythmic norms among nations, expressed through the institutions and customs built in resonance with them over the course of generations, will inevitably favour a select part of humanity with greater mobility and endurance who will find themselves with an innate advantage over the rest of the global population. Sufficient cognisance of this advantage by those blessed with it would afford them effectively untrammelled powers in what Raikothin seers have termed the manipulation of consensus reality on a global scale, allowing them to impose their will upon the entirety of humanity in a manner not only immune to, but amplified by, the efforts of the rest of humanity to resist them.

The core of the Temporal Secessionist argument is that the optimisation of rhythmic, institutional and social norms around one's own portion of humanity, in defiance of what might be termed universal standards, not only affords immunity to predatory forces on a global scale but confers the optimised society with complete dominance and command of its own affairs. In reliably closing its existential rudiments to influence by alien actors, no matter how insidious or gradual, a Temporal Secessionist society is often allegorised in computer terms as rendering incoming viruses inert through simple operating system incompatibility, as opposed to expending processing power in a futile attempt to outwit the hostile program which is ultimately to the latter's advantage.

History

Temporal Secessionism as an idea can trace itself back to the extinct House of Metzler in Shireroth, a lineage famed for periodic grumblings across the span of centuries which included the observation that the more frenetic periods of political life in the realm tended to advance the reckless and the treasonous to the disadvantage - even displacement - of the wise and the benevolent[1], and that frequent calls for the acceleration of Shireroth's development were something of a double-edged sword in this regard. Like most of the Metzlers' ideas, the notion became so violently disavowed by subsequent generations of Shirerithian society that its very mention was effectively an act of social suicide, arguably handing the initiative in its exploration and development to dissident elements who disregarded the cautionary intent of the revelation, being somewhat seduced by its destructive potential.

In subsequent years this odious fulmination appeared to manifest itself multiple times with the Elwynnese and Laqi secessions, the Cabbage Crisis and later the Kildari Schism, events which shook Shireroth to its core and proved the ability of an optimally-energised minority to set in motion the most outrageous occurrences, exploiting a favourable pace of events to outmanoeuvre the bewildered majority and actively transmute acts of resistance toward the service of their own objectives. Across Benacia it became clear that a definitive response was needed if the final, fatal compromise of the continent's social and political integrity was to be averted.

Initial attempts at countermeasures were woefully crude - most famously the 'Non-Attention Policy' enacted by Shireroth in the early days of the its confrontation with Jingdao, which signalled the very flattery it sought to extinguish and doubtless inspired raucous laughter in the tea-houses of Daocheng. Subsequent regimes in Shireroth instead sought to appropriate the tactics of their erstwhile tormentors and leverage the stamina of its own political class. This process began internally as the traditionally-febrile political cadres of Elwynn smashed the power of the Imperial Shirerithian centre and ultimately appropriated it to subdue the other states of the realm under a 'Holodomatic-Cedrozurvanist' hegemony - itself incorporated into a global axis comprised of Natopia, Constancia, Raspur and Caputia whose own societies were, in varying degrees, subject to parallel initiatives in a manner broadly coordinated between supranational noble houses and commercial entities.

The sustained intensity of the process, although spectacularly successful for its participants, inevitably sidelined those in Shireroth who nursed a disdain for perpetual imperialist tumult and were disinclined to become the very monsters they had sought to escape. This feeling was most pronounced among the peoples Southeastern Benacia, unwilling recipents of Shirekeep's effluent sewerage in both a political and literal sense. This resulted in the Minarborian Schism, whereby three noble houses - Yastreb, Mortis and Rossheim - progressively dismantled their interests in Shireroth in favour of a migration to the deep Benacian interior. There, it was hoped, their own advantages in necromancy and biomancy would be leveraged to carve out not just a new nation, but a seperate civilisational space.

Thus was born the Kingdom (later Empire) of Minarboria, populated by a mixture of converted natives and immigrant pioneers. Of the latter population, a large number were disaffected intellgentsia who had deemed it prudent to escape the emergent dark apparatus of the New Shirerithian Order while they still could. This gaggle of uprooted philosophers and technicians duly coalesced around the city of &zeter, the site of Minarboria's first university. Here, unstalked by the spies and assassins of the Benacian east, they found themselves able to openly explore philosophies and modalities previously considered heretical. Being largely composed of the undead or the genetically-modified, with an individual longevity far in advance of the human norm, the idea of de-synchronising their entire societal framework from those of neighbouring states emerged naturally to the forefront of their deliberations. Going by the name of Argophylacterism among its undead proponents, this ideal was readily on hand to promote itself as a means of energetic conservation during the creeping breakdown of necromantic ley lines which would precipiate Minarboria's final demise. Argophylacterism reached the peak of its popularity during the short-lived Harvestfall Revolution, where it was credited with effecting a temporary stabilisation of Minarboria's necromantic charge - but ironically the militancy of the Argophylacterist rebels in pushing their ideal, laying waste as it did to several parts of &zeter city, worked somewhat against the foundational precepts of their model and the Minarborian Empire ultimately resumed its trajectory into complete collapse. During this time the term Temporal Secessionism emerged in Shireroth as a satirical shorthand for Argophylacterist thought, although it has subsequently gained more legitimate usage.

The inhabitants of &zeter, being so recently experienced in urban warfare, held out for a period against the inevitable bands of oppurtunist raiders who assailed the city in the wake of Minarboria's demise - their luck was, however, ended with a concerted raid upon the city by several thousand Laqi cossacks in the service of the nascent Kalgachi government. Being furnished with an assortment of purloined modern weapons and some measure of air support, the cossacks charged through heavily-bombed breaches in the city barricades with orders to capture as many Minarborian boffins alive as possible for transport to the Octavian mountains. Although initially shackled and hooded as common hostages, the seized academics eventually found a surprising level of comfort in the fresh-hewn underground sharashkas of their mountain captors including a certain amount of time at liberty, where it became apparent that they enjoyed a higher standard of living than the throngs of half-starved refugees who made up the rest of Kalgachia's early population. Somewhat mollified by their good fortune along with a desire to improve the lives of the shuffling hordes around them, and in the absence of any other source of hope, this cadre of scientists and classicists agreed to re-open their collective well of talents for the purposes of the Kalgachi state.

The Argophylacterists, now a sparse gaggle of living apprentices who had not made the transition to undeath before their lich masters had succumbed to de-animation, initially found the nuances of their creed to be largely unappreciated outside certain covens of the Troglodyti, the order of Kalgachi occultists which had emerged from the remnants of the University of &zeter Arcane Society. Over time, however, the failure of Kalgachi foreign policy to reliably forestall the ascent of the overtly-hostile Nationalist-Humanist Tendency to unchallenged supremacy in Kalgachia's near abroad compelled a re-examination of Southern Benacia's fast-thinning corpus of untainted, unappropriated or unannihilated philosophical traditions in search of a societal solution. First in Kalgachia's deepest underground refuges but later establishing a presence across all levels of Kalgachi bureaucratic thought, the underlying precepts of Argophylacterism were steadily rehewn into forms more relevant to a living, breathing population and factored, office by office, into all manner of state contingency plans - often without official permission by Troglodyte initiates embedded in the bureaucracy.

Present Forms

In latter times the Argophylacterist idea has shifted from a purely temporal to a more broadly memetic dimension - the Argophylacterist name, with all its undead implications, has been steadily abandoned in favour of a wide variety of alternative terms - the most popular being Disenantiodromism. This new strain of thought holds that a reduced ability to disengage one's lifespan-oriented social modalities from that of one's oppressor should be compensated by the wilful de-alignment of all such modalities without regard to their temporal reference. In this manner, the physical and social manifestations of Disenantiodromist society should be stripped of all intuitive utility to those outside it, in every sphere of life from queueing etiquette to the correct operation of light switches. Prime models for such a society are ironically held to be the noble and royal houses of Kalgachia's geopolitical adversaries, seen to be masterfully adept at making their standards of decorum and protocol so alien to the less privileged orders that it is all but impossible to cross from one stratum of their society to another. It is possible, the Disenantiodromists argue, to implement such a cultural cordon across national rather than class boundaries - and to implement it so absolutely that those beyond it would be too confused or bored by those within to pay them much heed, or even to notice their existence. History, it is said, is replete with stories of isolated island tribesfolk who, upon seeing the ocean-going ships of an advanced nation for the first time, were literally struck blind whilst looking at them because their minds could not comprehend the alien detail of such objects, any more than they could gaze upon the surface of the sun. With the right optimisations, it is claimed by the Disenantiodromists that any sufficiently-optimised nation state could wield that precise power over its adversaries and so render itself invisible against the global tumults of the day, whilst retaining the ability to engage with less hostile powers on its own terms.

Despite this broader interpretation, proponents of the Disenantiodromist model retain as great an emphasis as possible on temporal disengagement - particularly in their resistance to that alleged instrument of global archonic oppression, the Norton Calendar. Calls for Kalgachia to abandon its present Anno Libertatis calendar in favour of re-adopting the Minarborian-era Anno Fruticis calendar have, however, been resisted by moderate elements within the Troglodyti as an unconscionable infraction of Rule Thirty-Nine - the same maxim which prevents the Temporal Secessionist corpus of thought from boiling over into overt public policy.

Foreign attitudes towards Temporal Secessionism

A Neo-Mooreian revolt against reality that has seemingly arisen out of some overly hysterical aversion to a conflict that has never occurred except in the fevered imaginings of their own arcanists.[...] All of this points to the paradoxical desire whereby the self-actuating tendency of the liberated phantasmagorical super-ego anchors itself within the reality of a given "meta-narrative-construct" (such is how they might term the material universe we inhabit) whilst seeking immunity from the implicit and explicit consequences of such an association. It is likely that the impulse toward secession and self-abnegating destruction for the sake of "purity" first manifested in the destruction of the libraries of Lunaris will continue to escalate until, ultimately, the veil of occultation has been drawn over everything and - to the outside perspective - it will be as if the heretics never existed.
—Agent "Secundus" of the Vigiles Arcani"Notes on the Argophylacterist Heresy" (1650 AN)
It is a strange species of immortality that hinges upon adopting the lifespan of a mayfly.
Mitradokht of Suren"Conversations with a Kalgachi Merchant"[1] (1664 AN)

Notes & references

  1. ^ Not that the House of Metzler was ever especially noted for the wisdom and benevolence of its scions.