By the end of the 20th century, no government was a self-contained economic unit, but each was completely dependent upon the economic health of the rest of the world’s governments. In the lack of central economic authority, there was no power to enforce financial prudence on the world; the policies and agencies that sought to remedy these issues proved ineffective as they were also dependent on the regulated governments. Early 21st century saw nations were forced to sacrifice prudent economic safeguards in response to some local or short-term need or crisis, only to result to more such crises.
The leaders agreed to form compact economic organizations that could restore (and enforce) order to the economy against any destabilizing forces, and offer relief from civil disorder and poverty. Such were DOMO, followed by North American Alliance, the Europa Economic Interest and the African League of Nations big continental economic organizations. These started to absorb former national governments that were so weak and decentralized, as their own populations forced them to join an alliance. Remnants of the original national government remained purely as ceremonial courtecy, such as the monarchies of Denmark and Kuwait, and elective ceremonial offices like the Mayor of Chicago and the Governor of Texas.
Indeed members of those alliances enjoyed reduced hunger, unemployment and improved medical care and education. Scientific 21st century breakthroughs led to atomic manufacturing plants, teleportation, fusion power and highly sophisticated robots.
The alliances obliged their members to capitulate entirely to them, in order to eliminate the isolationism that had destroyed the first global economy. Ethan Singh commented that the real reason was an imperialist ambition: the alliances actively pursued the economic subjugation of the member states and indeed some regions yielded to them as conquerors and not saviors.
Social orders were breaking down with ineffectual or absent national authorities. Crime was the de facto government for neighborhoods, communities or whole regions, and even these, were more stable and less corrupt that the remnants of the traditional government.
Economic downfalls forced these coalitions to merge into a super coalition. The merge was complete when the Asian Alliance, under the burden of its failing economic empire, agreed to join them in 2147. They combined into one super coalition with five economic states: America, Europa, Asia, Africa and a blanket state for all ETs.
The WEC was founded in 2150 following 3 years of talks among the major coalitions. People saw the WEC as a means of unification, the end of war and international strife.
A massive world-wide computer network handled all electronic interactions, monitored credit accounts for suspicious transactions, analyzed videophone calls for matches of known felons and so on. Privacy was surrendered a small amount at a time to the ever-encroaching government.
WEC corporate alliances almost destroyed the developing nations at the fringes of a developed first world. Such alliances strip-mined whole sections of Earth to exhaustion in order to fuel themselves.
The leaders who presided over billions enjoyed special privileges, covert dealings, and had immunity from the laws. The primary goal of the elected few was to maintain the status quo, contrasting the general populace's wish for a change. The enormous waste and corruption that resulted made people to lose all faith in the current government and resolved to requent rebellions, leading to violent pacification. Soon many troopers refused to turn on their own people and the governments resolved to mechanized warriors, starting to disassemble the traditional military.
Between 2167 and 2173 there was over a 7% rise in income garnishment leading to public demonstrations and rioting, the first organized resistance movement in WEC history. Garnishment was reduced below 50%.
In 2176 the cartels became administrtive sub-units, replacing the five original states.
Now the WEC was not seen any more as the only alternative to the former chaos of the 21st century, and people now proposed viable alternatives to the WEC. To avoid public accountability, the WEC started to claim “Scientific Administration” in its propaganda, using scientifically established, and proven optimal policies. One of the concept's cornerstone was Chen's Predictive Economics The WEC never revealed the algorithms and proofs of these functions, and intellectuals and scientists became sceptical. Those who supported the WEC's claims were rewarded, but those who challenged them were disgraced. That was the case n 2186, when four senior Economics Cartel analysts attempted to refute Predictive Economics. The WEC responded by censoring it, purging all records of their work and eliminating them.
Although the WEC was boosted for some time after the "Scientific Administration", people started to complain because of the rising monitoring of citizens, and the garnishment, which in 2189 rose over 75%. Other intellectual dissident cells began to reach out to the general public. For the first time there has been food shortages and rumors spoke of communities without work or pay. Once again there were violent protests and they were suppressed. Another dissident phenomenon was the refusenik anti-registration movement which surged during the late ’80s. More than 75,000 dissidents were incarcerated or assassinated between 2190 and 2193, and countless more were harassed or demoted for Resistance activities.
The Resistance was so successful that gradually influenced WEC administrators and civic authorities. New policies (often in direct defiance of WEC policy) begun to formulate and seemingly sheer concentrated public will restrained the WEC from taking extreme reactionary measures. The WEC promised to evaluate possible reforms along Resistance lines, but the few efforts that were made, were eventually stalled, or turned in reports supporting existing WEC policy.
In 2194 the industrial city of Petra after a landslide vote, declared its independence from the WEC and ceased tax payments, followed by other cities. The WEC silenced the rebels by devastating Petra. There are two accounts about the destruction of Petra. The first version describes Petra being destroyed by nuclear bombardment from 300 stratospheric fighter-bombers out of a MilOps air base in Brasilia. This version is confirmed by Sergeant Shannon Brooks mentioning "Petra being flattened" to the Captain. In the second version the WEC sends killing machines to cut down men, women, children, armed and unarmed alike. Within a few short hours much of the city had been reduced to rubble. Regardless, the city of Petra was destroyed and intended as an example to other cities worldwide.
This polarized the populace and city after city began to rebel, only to meet with the same fate in the course of just a few days. 12 more cities lay in ruins. Any talk of rebellion was punishable by imprisonment, and robots enforced martial law. The people quickly submitted under confusion and fear of government retaliation, and any form of organized uprising was without question. Scattered bands of people around the world began to organize via the massive electronic networks and resolved to common ineffective small attacks against the government.
The government seized control of the world's media and began a massive propaganda campaign.
Still, by 2196 the economy worsened and public dissatisfaction grew, and Resistance opposition became more and more effective. Its fall seemed inevitable.
Eventually the WEC dissolved after a civil war.
The WEC was the de facto governing body of the world as it functioned as one with all its authority. Despite this, the WEC disclaimed any responsibility for governmental reforms because it is not a government, but an economic regulatory body. This didn't stop it to claim the prerogatives of a national government. WEC maintained its political authority, and always criticized all compromising policies for being somehow "bad for business".
Under the WEC, all its citizens had the composite capacity of "citizen/partner". Since their economical wellfare depended on WEC policies, they could be considered "stock holders".
The WEC is a tyrannical entity with taxes well over 90% and with military forces controlling the populace. However through propaganda, the WEC makes the world look peaceful and prosperous. The WEC claims to rule in an efficient, scientific way, as scientifically trained professional administrators see to the needs of the populace, and place each citizen-partner in the role where he can best contribute to the general good. The WEC claims to have eliminated poverty, disease, hunger and crime, obsoleting the outdated unscientific and unproductive theories of democracy.
The WEC was always a scientific meritocracy, seeking out the most gifted scientific minds and rewarding those who contributed most to its interests.
All citizen-partners are required to register their identity with the Registration Division of the Human Resources Cartel. According to the Citizen Productivity Cartel, every citizen-partner's goal is to meet their quotas and enhance their Personal Productivity Index. Overzealous citizen-partners who are injured by ignoring safety regulations are held liable for all repair costs and the years of lost productivity.
Employees are required to put the efficiency of the cartel ahead of their personal wishes. Before being permitted non-work-related fraternization, employees in the same facility are required to get authorization up through several levels of management (cell supervisors, department manager, and Facility Personnel Office) in order to evaluate the task-impact potential of the relationship on the basis of the personalities of the individuals themselves, and according to the objective policies of the facility.
The Resistance estimates that 70% of all prisoners currently detained by the WEC are imprisoned for political (as opposed to felonious) activity.
Behind the scenesEdit
- WEC in the Wing Commander wiki.