The Quadrant Archive
POLITICS AND WORK IN THE QUADRANT: The following terms describe politics
and work in The Quadrant. Choose any link to take you to a description,
or simply scroll down the page.
LINKS:The Director, Quadpolitik,
Telelection, The Nine,
A-Dee/s, Praetor/z ("Big/z"or
"Pryz"), Designer/z, Enforcer/z, Functional/z ("Funk/s"),
Privates, The Underground.
The Director: Top
manager of The system and Chairman of The Quadrant. In terms of normative
Quadrant policies, what the Director says goes (though, this is somewhat
more difficult to achieve than to state, and there are many "Directorial"
styles). The Director is chosen by securing a majority of televotes cast
by the enfranchised inhabitants of The Quadrant once every year (see Quadpolitik
and Telelection Below). Any means allowed by law may be used to secure the
Directorship. The only requirement is that the Director must be a Conzec.
Subject only to general custom, and the guidance of The Nine (see Below),
The Director has the power to declare laws and to set policy, to control
the Purse (see Below), to create and interpret information distributed to
the Quadrant population, and to appoint all top managers to every post crucial
to the day to day running of The Quadrant.
To TOP of Page
Quadpolitik: Practical politics
in The Quadrant. The end, or "aim" of entering and practicing
politics in The Quadrant is to "win," by creating and building
a power group which will enable its builder to one day gain the Director's
chair -- the singlemost influential and powerful position in The Quadrant.
Aside from desire and ability, the two main keys to success in politics
are connections (family and The Inztitut) and wealth. The real key is "quadits"
(money), as "telelections" are customarily bought not won. The
trick is to assemble a group which has the wealth and influence to purchase
the key blocks of televotes necessary to create a majority of votes on election
day (a simple majority is sufficient to win The Directorship). Since these
blocks come chiefly from the more populous Outer Boardz (Recon 3, 4, and
5 Boardz), it is crucial to find Landlords who own large numbers of buildings
in these areas, and who can exchange "rent reductions" for quickly
deliverable blocks of televotes (usually, the reductions are granted only
if the Landlord's candidate wins).
Typically, the winning candidate rewards supporters (Landlords and others)
with lucrative posts, management positions, "Autotithe" (tax)
credits, unofficial influence, large amounts of "chips" (cash),
and sometimes property owned by the Quadrant (conveyable by a "grateful"
Director at deep discounts). Any Conzec can theoretically become The Director,
but to get on the "slate," or to be pubbed or announced as one
of the 2 Director candidates by The Quadrant Information Bureau, takes substantial
influence and "big" chips: Time slots must be purchased for live
speeches (given 2 weeks prior to the telelection), large expenditures must
be made on "Rallypaks" (groups of enfranchised inhabitants of
the appropriate class who are paid to carry placards with images of a particular
Director candidate and shout slogans), and even larger sums must be allocated
to "Telelection Professionals," "Televote Brokers,"
and various other influence peddlers and Privates. The Director serves a
one-year term and must step down for at least one year before running again.
Many do run again, and a considerable number again gain the Directorship
(though few, if any in The Quadrant, can remember or recall that a newly
elected Director may have been a previous Director). To TOP
Telelection: The method
of choosing The Quadrant's Director by means of televotes -- one vote per
person -- cast by all enfranchised inhabitants (using Screen activated transmit
mode) on "Telelection Day" once every year. 2 Director candidates
run and the one who gets the most televotes (by winning a simple majority)
on that day wins the Directorship. To TOP of
"The Nine" (or "Shadow Directorship"):
The Oligarchic "Power behind the Thone"
in the Quadrant, "The Nine" is comprised of a body of 9 men and
women (mostly Wealthy Privates) who use the formal mechanism and facade
of the Directorship (and supporting Quadrant Establishment ) to rule the
Quadrant behind the scenes.
The vast majority of enfranchised inhabitants have no idea that The Nine
exists. They believe that the power of their vote in yearly telelections
demonstrates the democratic principle of "majority rule" which
undergirds the process of choosing a "ruling authority" in the
Quadrant (and The Nine is only too happy to encourage this belief). In Reality,
the telelection process (see above) is heavily influenced and guided by
The Nine, whose competing members/factions "handpick" and support
Candidates for the Directorship, and then, in large part, "pay off"
the electorate (thus assuring that any elected Director is reasonably sympathetic
to their needs and interests).
On the surface of Quadrant Politics, when a Director is elected, he/she
serves for one year, then must step down with the election of a new Director
for at least one year before running again. Inside The Nine, a similar process
takes place with respect to its own membership: A new Director is automatically
accorded a seat on The Nine, and the outgoing Director must leave The Nine
(unless he/she is re-elected the following year). This informal rule is,
in effect, a rudimentary check, both on the surface and within The Nine,
to prevent any one Director from becoming too powerful.
Customarily, The Nine decide things by "gentleman's agreement"
which is essentially a mutual sensing and balancing of their competing interests
in a spirit of comprimise (most have networks of private agents who help
them gather the necessary intelligence so crucial to the "sensing"
process). Also, by custom, when events create disagreements or disputes
among The Nine that cannot be resolved by "gentlemen's agreement,"
a vote is taken and a simple majority (5/4) carries the motion (decision/policy)
which the minority must support.
How one becomes a member of The Nine is not altogether clear. High intelligence,
great wealth, the desire for power and influence, good judgement, and experience
serving in responsible positions in The Quadrant are all factors. Generally,
members of The Nine are not younger than 45, and serve for life or until
they "sense" that it is time (or are forced) to relinquish both
the responsibilities and privileges of wielding true power in The Quadrant.
To TOP of Page
A-Dee/s: Assistant Director/s,
appointed by The Director to help him/her administer The running of The
Quadrant. These are usually Conzecs, and often "cronies" or intimate
friends who the Director can depend on to be reasonably truthful and loyal.
A-Dees sometimes carve out very powerful positions in The Quadrant, especially
in cases where The Director is not by nature a "hands-on" type.
On the other hand, A-Dees who serve strong-willed, power hungry, Directors,
become mere messengers or "tools" for carrying out policies or
actions already pre-conceived by their master. To TOP
Praetor/z ("Big/z"or "Pryz"): Top administrators of the various divisions comprising
the management structure of The Quadrant and The System and overseen by
the Director. These usually number seven, must be Conzecs, and are appointed
by the Director. The divisions headed by the Praetorz are broken down as
follows: (1) Quad Operations, or "QuadOps," which oversees and
maintains all infrastructure equipment, including climate control machinery,
the speedtube (subway) system -- which runs under the Boardz to the outer
edges of the Quadrant Dome -- food origination and distribution, waste disposal,
etc.; (2) Quad Security, which enforces the laws and with the cooperation
of "QuadOps," manages "Downshaft"; (3) The Quad Information
Bureau (public information distribution); (4) System Design and Enhancement
(all upgrades and changes in The System); (5) Entertainment/s (Virtual Entertainments,
holo showz, BloodSportz, chem bars, etc.); (6) Quad Services, which oversees
all Quad Services Units, or "QSU's" (see below); and (7) The Purse,
which regulates and monitors the monetary exchange system and The Quadrant
The Praetorz may each appoint assistants and managers to help them run their
respective divisions (a power with special impact when it comes to appointing
top managers of all Quad Services Units, or "QSU's"-- see below).
To TOP of Page
Designer/z: Those in charge
of inventing and developing Auto Upgrades, composing Regs, and creating
entertainments suggested and/or mandated by the Director and Praetorz. Such
tasks are conceived as "System enhancing" and thus pay far more
in money and perquisites, and have a higher priority or status attached
to them than to functions which merely support or maintain The System. Designerz
tend to come mainly from Conzec and the higher Recon classes. To TOP of Page
Enforcer/z: Those working
for the Security Division charged with maintaining order and carrying out
or delivering Sanctions thoughout The Quadrant, including Downshaft. They
are the only inhabitants of The Quadrant, except top managers and some Privates
(see below), who have screenz with special functions which, if activated,
can alter body chemistry in targeted individuals to make them easily compliant
or subduable. They are also authorized to carry and use (primarily on the
unruly outer "Boardz") a "Brodstik" which is a long
bat like instrument with a strong electrical charge at its end. A few extremely
dedicated (and a number of relatively untalented) Conzecs become Enforcerz,
but most, especially the most zealous, come from the ranks of the often
guilt-ridden Recon 1's (i.e., their first infraction has toppled them from
the elite class, and it wll be their last at any cost). To TOP
Functional/z ("Funk/s"): Those
who operate and service the infrastructure machinery responsible for delivering
services such as climate control, heating, lighting, water, food, transportation,
waste disposal, etc., throughout The Quadrant. These are generally drawn
from the lower classes (Recon 3's, 4's and 5's). To TOP
Privates: Enfranchised inhabitants
of The Quadrant with no official function or designation who, because of
their wealth and influence, may move freely throughout The Quadrant with
little or no fear of sanctions for infractions they may commit. They usually
come from the ranks of the Conzecs and are often former Directors, Assistant
Directors ("A-Dees"), "Bigz" (Praetorz), QSU Managers,
or even Designerz. Sometimes, an occasional, particularly "creative"
or powerful Recon can become a Private. They all own (and continually conspire
to own) large numbers of rental units on the Outer Boardz, or have been
in positions (see The Nine, above) where they have been able to manipulate
top managers, or the Purse (see below), to their own ends. To TOP
The Underground: An unofficial
designation and illegal political movement. Starting with only a few people
immediately after the "Geat Purges" (approximately 30 years in
the past), the Underground presently fields a loosely based organization
of only a few thousand individuals, divided into relatively autonomous "cells,"
of no more than 8 people each (so if one cell is discovered or destroyed,
the rest of the movement will not be impacted). With the goal of reversing
what it's proponents see as a "devolving" direction in the social
and political structure of The Quadrant, the Underground actively pushes
a program of intrigue and terrorism geared to revealing the "evils"
and weaknesses of the present System to the majority of the Quadrant population,
and punishing the "evildoers."
Operating through a number of "havenz" (safe houses and spots)
the Undergrounders organize raids, conduct espionage, and recruit new members
everywhere in The Quadrant, including Downshaft. The mainstream agenda of
the Underground is to humanize the governing structure by making the Directorship
and Praetorz subservient to some sort of people's representative body (a
legislature). It calls for more humane laws, better treatment for Downshafters,
reductions in the autotithe taxes (which most elites don't pay), a special
tax on the wealthy to fund improvements on the Outer Boardz, and some way
to reverse the spiral of downward mobility re-inforced by the present System.
The radicals in the Underground want to destroy the existing System altogether,
round up the wealthy, confiscate their wealth and distribute it to the "people,"
dismantle the security and monitoing networks, and eliminate or send all
Quadrocrats, elites, and their collaborators Downshaft. Some even call for
the elimination of screenz and the dismantling of The System itself, claiming
(like the prophet of a strange cult springing up in Downshaft) that living
in an artificially connected state is unnatural and perverse. To TOP of Page