State of the IsokyriansEn
ᚱᛁᚲᚨᚾ ᚨᚠ ᛁᛋᛟᚲᛁᚱᚢ Is
Rikan af Isokiru
「ᚲᛖᛏ ᚨᚾᛞᛖᚱ ᛖᛚᛋ ᛁᛇᛟᚲᛁᚱ」
"Ket ander els Isokir"
"None other than Isokyria"
Anthem: "Ode to the Nation"
96% Isokyrian |
|Government||Unitary single-party Nororist republic|
• President of the Isokyrian National Assembly
|Isokyrian National Assembly|
• Republic declared
|August 13, 1929|
• Current constitution
|January 1, 1935|
|249,796 km2 (96,447 sq mi)|
|GDP (PPP)||2016 estimate|
• Per capita
|Currency||Isokyrian pound (ISP) (£)|
|Time zone||UTC -1|
|Drives on the||left|
|This article contains runic characters. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of runes.|
This article is part of a series on
|Isokyrian Nororist Party|
|Chairman of the Isokyrian Nororist Party|
|First Civil War|
|Republic of Isokyria|
|Second Civil War|
|Flag of Isokyria|
|Coat of Arms of Isokyria|
Isokyria (eye-so-KEER-ee-ah; Isokyrian: ᛁᛇᛟᚲᛁᚱ, Isokir), officially the State of the Isokyrians (Isokyrian: ᚱᛁᚲᚨᚾ ᚨᚠ ᛁᛋᛟᚲᛁᚱᚢ, Rikan af Isokiru), is a country in Northern Europe surrounded by the North Atlantic Ocean consisting of two primary islands in addition to the Faroe Islands to the east.
Formerly constitutional monarchy, it became a republic at the conclusion of the First Isokyrian Civil War in 1931. Prior to that, it was a minor colonial power that held territories in Africa and the East Indies. The Republic of Isokyria was proclaimed in 1929 but it was weakened by a stark division between the Nationalist and Nordic Coaliton (NNC) and various left-wing and socialist parties. A second civil war between the the two sides broke out, resulting in tens of thousands of military and civilian casualties in addition to alleged war crimes. The nationalists, led by Christian Robertsson, emerged victorious and established the modern State of the Isokyrians in 1935. Nororism which was developed by Robertsson, became the state's official ideology with a strong emphasis on national unity, anti-communism, anti-capitalism, gender roles, and family values in addition to a revival of Isokyria's Nordic cultural roots. The Isokyrian Nororist Party was founded, replacing the NNC, and Robertsson became its first Chairman, effectively ruling the country as head of state from 1935 until 1959.
Robertsson then transformed Isokyria into a Nororist state, committing the country to combating "degeneracy, subversives, capitalism, and communism" and other things he believed were threats to the Isokyrian nation. A mixed, national syndicalist, economy was built up, allowing the private sector limited ownership of the means of production under the condition that they served the interests of the nation above all else. The state took control of the financial sector, nationalizing all banks as well as Isokyria's strong crude oil industry. Industries were led by worker syndicates which made decisions democratically while ensuring workers received a fair part of the value created from their labor with profits going to the state. Isokyria de-colonalized, negotiating independence with almost all of its overseas territories, while retaining control of some cities in the Caribbean.
Isokyria's culture, which Robertsson saw as being in a state of decay and neglect, saw a national revival effort in which the Isokyrian language, which had been increasingly abandoned in favor of English, was reformed and returned to the forefront of Isokyrian society. With a new alphabet, the Isokyrian language went from being in danger of going extinct to posed to become the majority native language for Isokyrians by 2025. Other cultural reforms were adopted, including the newfound reverence of Norse religion and its associated mythology which saw success despite the country's predominately Christian population.
The Isokyrian economy flourished under Robertsson, partly owning to Isokyria's abundant crude oil reserves. Robertsson's foreign policy almost entirely consisted of stiff opposition to the Soviet Union and his regime enjoyed large amounts of support from the United States as a result. Isokyria did not join NATO, however. In 1959, Robertsson was assassinated in Hufo by a former communist fighter and Elias Sidgurdsson was selected by the Party to be his successor who largely continued Robertsson's social policies while attempting to enact his own economic reforms, which eventually led to the shift away from national syndicalism towards the modern state capitalist economy.
By the 1980s, the Isokyrian economy bore little resemblance to the national syndicalist system Robertsson had pioneered. Investment by foreign companies, the ease of starting new ventures, the expansion of private property rights, and the creation of NordCorp have all contributed to maintaining Isokyria's economic growth as well as contributing to the ever-widening income gap between the nation's wealthiest and poorest.
The 2010s in Isokyria have been characterized as a period of social and political disturbance of the 70-year status quo. In April 2016, mass protests were organized on Twitter through the hashtag #Frezet2016, vocally criticizing corruption, human rights abuses, and various inequalities. This initially led the arrest of thousands of demonstrators but the government eventually gave in to public and international pressure and released all protesters it had detained. In addition, several measures were passed by the National Assembly that slightly relaxed the government's control on the media. Several months later, a coup was attempted by members of the Isokyrian Army that failed to topple the Nororist government and ended in the deaths of 11 people. Foreign observers state these incidents are major signs that the Nororist Party is losing its grip on Isokyrian society, especially as the world becomes more interconnected. Criticism of the Isokyrian government over its treatment of LGBT persons has intensified in recent years, which has strained the country's relations with the rest of the developed world.
Isokyria is a single-party unitary state with some devolution in place. The country's de facto head of state is the Chairman of the Isokyrian Nororist Party, who is currently Eydis Stefanic, since August 2016.
A developed nation, Isokyria has one of the largest economies in Europe, based primarily on crude oil production. Its gross domestic product was $1.885 trillion in 2016 and its GDP per capita is $65,209, one of highest in the world. It has a very high standard of living and it is considered one of Europe's most modernized nations. Economic inequality, however, remains high and continues to be a concern for the future of the country. It is a member of the United Nations, the Nordic Council, EFTA the OECD, and OPEC. While it is not a member of the European Union, it has a close relationship with it and its member states. It has a population of 32 million who live within its 96,447 sq mi area, 2 million of which live in the capital of Hufo.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 2.1 Early history (pre-1500)
- 2.2 Colonial era (1677-1754)
- 2.3 Enlightenment era (1754-1805)
- 2.4 Napoleonic era (1805-1837)
- 2.5 Victorian era (1837-1929)
- 2.6 First Civil War (1929-1931)
- 2.7 Second Civil War (1932-1935)
- 2.8 Robertsson era (1935-1959)
- 2.9 Sigurdsson era (1959-1969)
- 2.10 Wilhjalmsdottir era (1969-1989)
- 2.11 Agnarsson era (1989-2009)
- 2.12 White era (2009-2016)
- 2.13 Stefanic era (2016-present)
- 3 Government
- 3.1 Nororism
- 3.2 Chairman of the Nororist Party
- 3.3 National Assembly
- 3.4 Current cabinet
- 3.5 Elections
- 3.6 Judicial
- 3.7 Administrative divisions
- 3.8 Social welfare
- 3.9 Human rights
- 4 Foreign relations and military
- 5 Economy
- 6 Infrastructure
- 7 Geography, environment, and climate
- 8 Demographics
- 9 Education
- 10 Culture
- 11 Atlas
See also: Names of Isokyria
"Isokyria" derives from the Old Isokyrian phrase "is og kir" meaning "ice and cows", which originated possibly as early as the 8th century and first appeared in written form in a 1472 poem written by Hrafn Þórirsson about the country:
Fields of green
Mountains like never seen
Ice and cows
For years to come, the field is plowed
The phrase then evolved into its current Latinized form, first used to name the country by English settlers.
The name Helsa was used to refer to the country in antiquity but now only refers to the largest of the Isokyrian islands. Outside of this context, it is sometimes used as a poetic name for Isokyria, similar to Hibernia, Albion, or Caledonia for Ireland, England, and Scotland, respectively. Thule or Þule was a lesser-used name to refer to Isokyria. It has recently seen a rise in use particularly by anti-Nororist groups such as the National Front of Thule. Like Helsa, is sometimes used as a poetic name for the country without any political connotations.
Early history (pre-1500)
Further information: History of Isokyria
Humans have inhabited the Isokyrian isles for at least 7,000 years. Evidence of this is found in the form of arrowheads and other crafted weaponry. In 54 AD, the Romans made a record of an island that existed near Britannia and Hibernia which historians believe is the earliest written mention of what would become Isokyria. As the Romans never conquered or otherwise explored Isokyria, consistent written history of the islands would not begin until the fifth century AD. Since then, historians have been able to piece together a consistent line of events, with some gaps during the seventh and eleventh centuries.
Ulfor and Kingdom of Helsa
Main articles: Ulfor, Sven I Longblade, Kingdom of Helsa
From the late seventh century, Isokyria was divided into several chiefdoms and organized tribes which grew from small trading villages established by Norwegian explorers. Historians hesitate to call these polities "kingdoms" as they were generally centered around a shared kinship, had an elective system of succession, and did not claim the right to rule from divine sources. From written accounts, Ulfor appears to have been one of the more influential chiefs during this period of Isokyrian history. He ruled an area that now covers much of modern-day Fisbae between 914 and 925. A manuscript written by an unknown author, dated around 947, some 22 years after the end of Ulfor's reign, tells how he successfully led his army to repulse a Viking raid, a story which historians doubt is factually accurate. Ulfor's descendants ruled Fisbae and some surrounding areas for several generations.
By the 10th century, some chiefdoms became more hierarchical and more centralized. A feudal system, much like what was practiced in the rest of Europe, developed in these areas. In 1121, Sven I Longblade, who controlled the area Ulfor had two centuries earlier, proclaimed himself to be King of Helsa after successfully assimilating neighboring tribes, establishing the first, true, kingdom in the Isokyrian islands. His reign was tenuous at best and was plagued by competing realms, outside threats, and plots from within his own court. He had six children, four sons and two daughters, with his wife, Hunda. Only two of them would survive past age 24, his son Sven II of Helsa and his daughter Ragna Reiksdottir. His son succeed him upon his death in 1136 but like his father, Sven II had trouble controlling his realm. He was unable to command the respect of his levies and the Kingdom of Helsa fell to rival chiefdoms, the lands being split among the local leaders. The fall of the Helsan kingdom is often to known to historians as the Humbling of Isokyria, as it "Signaled to ambitious men that anyone who is arrogant enough to consider himself a king shall be struck down by the Gods." The Humbling has been discussed in regards to the Nororist Party's rule of Isokyria.
See also: Norman invasion of Isokyria, Heitvelk, List of Isokyrian chiefs allied with Normans
Since the fall of the Kingdom of Helsa, the Isokyrian islands remained politically fractured among competing chiefdoms, each vying for influence over each other and dominance over the islands. In 1205, the southern tribes, known as the Heitvelk, requested the assistance of the southern Normans in the neighboring British Isles, offering a formal alliance in exchange for guaranteed control over the islands. The Normans agreed and they were invited to invade Isokyria from the south, immediately providing the Heitvelk with enough men to begin invasions of the northern polities. Þórir Svkari led the Heitvelk-Norman armies northward, winning decisive victories and was able to secure half of Helsa under his realm within one year. For his collaboration with the foreign Norman armies, he became known as the Traitor, reflected in his epithet Svkari which means "One who betrays". By 1209, most of the island was under Heitvelk-Norman control. The campaign led to a mix and blend of Isokyrian culture and culture from the British Isles.
Colonial era (1677-1754)
In joining with European monarchies at the time, Isokyria established its first, permanent, overseas colony called Hermansania in 1677, located in West Africa, under the oversight of King Herman II of Isokyria. Isokyria did not establish other colonies until much later. Hermansania was followed by the Isokyrian Indies in 1715, established by the North Sea Trading Company (later renamed as the Isokyrian Indian Company), which was granted a 26-year royal monopoly to conduct trade in the region and to compete with the more robust Dutch East India Company. It found little success in doing this, however, as the Dutch had secured more valuable ports and areas. Nevertheless, Isokyria remained in the region despite pressure from the Netherlands. Isokyria chased the Netherlands into the New World with the establishment of several island colonies in the Caribbean, which exist to this day: Dyr Nicolas, Porlamar, and Reiksstor.
Isokyrian Indian Company
The Isokyrian Indian Company (IIG, from Isokir Indie Grangras) was the first state-established company in Isokyria, which was granted, by royal decree, a 23-year monopoly on all trade and commerce within the Isokyrian East Indies. It competed with the Dutch East India Company, who was also heavily involved with the Indian spice trade and was the largest and most powerful company in history. Although they were competitors, the IIG did not reach anywhere near the level of the VOC, which had far more legal grants and privileges granted to it, not to mention far more territory under its control. Because of this power disparity, the VOC was not concerned with the IIG and left it to its own affairs.
Enlightenment era (1754-1805)
Beginnings and secularization
The Enlightenment in Isokyria mirrored much of what was occurring in the rest of Europe and in the young United States. Isokyrian culture began to embrace reason, knowledge, and science as well as criticizing established institutions. As much of Europe was Catholic during that time, it received large amount of criticism from thinkers such as Voltaire in France and Isokyria was no exception as a source of such criticism, even though the country was, and still is, predominately protestant. Protestantism was not spared from criticism either, in fact. The Church of Isokyria was famously lampooned by Isokyrian philosopher and statesman Þoras Bjarnisson in which he wrote in his essay An Institution Examined "The state Church is a weak facade and attempt of melding the state's legitimacy with God's divine orders." The church at that time had no established or agreed-on theology other than being simply Lutheran in nature. Bjarnisson addresses this: "At least the Roman Church can, for all its thoughts, be said to be a coherent assortment of beliefs that have greater chance of leading one to salvation than the state can". Secularization of Isokyrian society became a popular movement but was intensely resisted by factions who were most supportive of the monarchy. These factions where mostly Catholic and originated as a reaction to the French Revolution, which resulted in the mass killings of thousands of Catholic clergy and members. In preventing secularization, they hoped, they would be prevent such a revolution occurring in Isokyria. However, as no other countries other than France fell into a revolution, their movement gradually lost traction.
Napoleonic era (1805-1837)
Napoleon Bonaparte of France rose to power in the aftermath of the French revolution, which was a startling development among European powers. He began a campaign that came be known as the Napoleonic Wars, first starting conflict with Britain which then expanded into a war that involved all the great powers of Europe. Isokyria was unaligned for the start of the wars. It had a trade relationship with Britain and so therefore thought it was prudent to support them in the campaign against Napoleon. For this, Napoleon expanded his Continental System to include Isokyria as well, causing food shortages and a depletion of resources. In response, King Gunar II of Isokyria authorized the deployment of troops to contribute to the war effort on the Continent, receiving tenuous aid from Sweden and Russia.
Victorian era (1837-1929)
The intellectual advances made in the Era of Enlightenment continued into the Victorian age. The communist, socialist, and other proletarian movements that played a crucial role in the development of Isokyrian history had their origins during this era. The Communist Manifesto was published in 1848 in London by Karl Marx and was massively influential in the history of leftist and far-left economics. Like minded Isokyrian authors such as Hammon Karlsson published their own essays on economics, influenced by Marx's theories. In particular, they emphasized a republican sentiment that existed beneath the undercurrent of Isokyrian society, and appealed to successful republican revolutions such as the American and French revolution. He, like Marx, believed a proletarian revolution would inevitably occur and the state would ultimately be abolished and replaced by a proletarian dictatorship. Karlsson also echoed Marx's beliefs on the existence of a class struggle and believed the Isokyrian monarchy was a key component of the ruling bourgeoisie. The thoughts of Rosa Luxemburg resonated with the Isokyrian left. She argued that capitalism, by its nature, must constantly expand to sustain itself and it does this in the form of imperialism. Being a colonial power at the time, this fit in very well with the belief system of Isokyrian socialists and communists, who accordingly sought to see independence be granted to Isokyria's colonies. Criticism of religious institutions evolved into a criticism of religion itself. Karlsson famously wrote "Religion is a farce, an illusion that began as a means of explaining that which escaped base human reasoning. In the age of science and of reason, one cannot justify [religion's] continued existence"; he was persecuted and faced sanctioned for this statement among others but ultimately avoided a prison sentence.
The classical view of the Victorian age, reminiscent of reserved cultural and sexual mores, largely did not occur in Isokyria, but that is not to say it did not exist. Certainly, the royal family of Isokyria in that time modeled their etiquette and manner of rule from Queen Victoria and the elites of the country followed suit. The lower classes on the other hand, did not, and if anything, a cultural backlash occurred which led to an attitude of bohemianism and socially free expression. Free love, a movement which sought to separate love and sexuality from the state and church was very popular in Isokyria. It created a sharp divide in culture and image between the commoners and the elites, the former being portrayed as lustful, unfaithful, disease-ridden deviants and the latter portrayed as uptight, stuffy, humorless nags. Many modern historians believe this divide was a key factor in the rise of the Nororist movement that occurred some five decades later. Historian Megan Cullen writes "This era of sexual liberation in the face of the 'stuffy' and repressive attitudes of the Victorians was the environment needed for Nororism to take control and act as a sort of backlash. Robertsson could easily point to that era and declare a loss of traditional morality occurred in Isokyria and that a restoration was necessary, and indeed he did." Some philosophers at that time (1880s) saw these developments, especially the rejection of religion, as a precursor to what they saw as nihilistic worldviews and wrote what ought to replace God in a post-Victorian world in order for society to maintain a sense of meaning. Their works were not widely appreciated during their time and have only received attention many years after the Nororist revolution.
The Victorian era came to a close by the end of the 1920s and so did the movements that defined them, with the exception of republicanism. In fact, most of the political movements and ideas that originated in the preceding century remained strong while the social beliefs fell out of favor, which, as mentioned above, could be argued to have led to the rise of Nororism.
First Civil War (1929-1931)
Main article: First Isokyrian Civil War
The First Civil War was precipitated by growing societal and economic tensions. The monarchy had nearly bankrupt the nation due to several failed ventures in Isokyria's African and East Indies holdings. Geopolitical pressure from the other colonial powers exacerbated the country's financial woes and a sentiment of anti-monarchism was blooming. The divide between republicanism and monarchism was most sharply seen along religious and economic lines, with Catholics and the wealthy supporting the retention of the monarchy and the poor and Protestants favoring its removal. The Party of Isokyrian Republicans was the largest anti-monarchy party during that time and it won an enormous amount of seats in the Isokyrian Althing. They elected Henrik Petyrsson as Prime Minister and together they created a strong anti-monarchy agenda, aimed at constitutionally removing Grekor II from the throne.
In 1929, the Great Depression began and dragged Isokyria further into economic despair. The Royal Family had officially declared they were bankrupt and made a desperate attempt to sell off some of their assets in order to pay their creditors. Unemployment skyrocketed to 44% and all of these issues came to a head when the Crown Prince and heir apparent, Prince Joris, was assassinated in Hufo by Gustaf Bjarnisson. This initiated the start of the 1929 coup d'etat which attempted to overthrow the monarchy and nominally succeeded. Grekor II was removed from power and imprisoned, along with most of the royal family, save for the children. Petyrsson's hopes for a legal and constitutional plan to remove the monarchy from power was totally dashed and he resigned as Prime Minister until the conflict ended. Catholic loyalists launched a counter offensive to free the disgraced king and the first civil war had begun in full force.
It was a brief conflict, lasting only two years that ended with a republican victory. Grekor II was evenutally released from prison and allowed to live as a commoner. He reportedly moved to Scotland under a new name and most of the remaining royal family joined him or moved elsewhere. The chief factor in the loyalists' defeat was the lack of support from the standing armed forces, whom they expected would side with them. There was no strong consensus among the military, some joining the rebellion against the king while others going absent without leave (AWOL) in order to be with their families. Anti-Catholic sentiment rose due to their support from the monarchy and they experienced moderate persecution in the years after. The response from Isokyria's holdings abroad were mixed. The Administrative Government of Hermansania was strongly opposed to the coup and threatened to declare its own independence. The Isokyrian East Indies had no opinion on the matter.
Rise of the left
Socialist movements across Europe influenced similar movements in Isokyria. Socialist political theorists, such as Anders Karlsson, criticized the monarchy as another layer of the system of capitalist repression of the worker and called for a worker's revolution in Isokyria. The agraian sector of the Isokyrian economy was vital in the formation of Marxist, socialist, and communist thought in the country. Communism, which had been established in Russia a little over a decade prior in Russia, gained traction in Isokyria thanks mostly to the writings of Karla Oskarsdottir who, in 1925 wrote, "Isokyria must be a leader in the world and abolish all classes and reform our society for the worker's benefit." Several left-wing labour parties were formed in the closing stages of the war but they remained small, with the PIR continuing to serve as a big-tent, republican party. These movements and their emphasis on women's rights allowed women a platform in Isokyrian politics in ways that had not yet been seen before. However, these groups were also prone to infighting, due to the various differences between their ideologies, some preferring the complete establishment of capitalism, while others preferring a strong, socially democratic state, within a capitalist framework.
Anarchist movements existed independently of the mainstream left-wing scene in Isokyria. Their primary authors included Sven Jakkobsson who wrote the treatise The Anarchist Mind which explored the rationale behind anarchism and how it applied to Isokyrian society. Anarchism, as an ideology, garnered plenty of sympathy from the mainstream left, but never took a firm grasp in political discourse. Communists were especially sympathetic, particularly communists primarily influenced by Marx. More moderate socialists, however, could not be swayed, and they constituted the majority of left-wing activism in Isokyria. Over time, the anarchist sector would eventually be converted into mainline socialists or communists. Anarchists saw infighting within their own midst, mostly due to disagreement over the use of violence. Jakkobsson and his supporters argued that violence is the only means by which true change can be affected, both in dealing with the far-right and the state as a whole. In Anarchist Mind, he writes: "Politics is and always has been about violence; who is worthy to wield it and for what reason. In that case, we have long surrendered any moral superiority that can be claimed from acting without shedding blood. The state and its allies would not hesitate to kill us if it ever deemed us a threat. I see no reason why we should not do the same. I have deemed them a threat." Other writers, such as Jara Jonsdottir, disagreed and believed an anarchist vision could be accomplished non-violently. She wrote, in A Short Argument for the Anarchists that violence is "...a base method that drags humanity down to the level of beasts. Any results gained through contemptible means are worth nothing."
First republican government
Main articles: Republic of Isokyria, Henrik Petyrsson, Congress of Isokyria
After Isokyria became a republic, the PIR and the right-wing Nationalist and Nordic Coalition merged and re-elected Henrik Petyrsson as Prime Minister which he accepted. Elections were held for the first time on the island nation since the conflict, which resulted in a legislature nearly equally divided between Nationalist & Nordic Coalition (NNC) and the left-wing Social Democratic Union (SDU), Communist Party of Isokyria (CPI), and the Socialist Solidarity Party (SSP) which had all formed from former PIR members who opposed the merger with the NNC. The government Petyrsson oversaw was severely weakened which slowed progress on drafting and ratifying a new constitution. Petyrsson, despite being identified as a moderate, had earned a reputation for being a strongman, and was able to whip the infant Congress of Isokyria into drafting a rudimentary constitution which had provisions outlining the general function of the government, but lacked a comprehensive guarantee of civil liberties. Both the nationalists and socialists objected to the lack of guaranteed rights but bitterly disagreed which rights ought to be secured.
The NNC, previously divided among different conservative and traditionalist factions, became much more united under Nororism, then a new ideology being developed by Christian Robertsson. Petyrsson was skeptical of Roberttson's ideas, believing his social and economic views were too radical. The two men would often have heated debates on the Congress floor and they quickly became each other's biggest rivals. Meanwhile, the left-wing remained divided between the democratic socialists, social democrats, and communists. The NNC successfully deployed agents provocateurs to sow dissent and discord within leftist circles, thus preventing the formation of a left-wing coalition despite the rising influence of Nororism. This gave the nationalists more leverage and they began successfully restoring order to Isokyria, which had become overrun with looters, thieves, rapists, and murderers due to the lack of clear authority. The Isokyrian Police Force, the precursor to the National Police, was established in 1926 and staffed with officers of "Good moral character." This era of reduced crime would not last, however, as the socialist and nationalist sides became increasingly militarized. Both sides began started stockpiling weapons and several politically-motivated acts of violence perpetrated by both sides only exacerbated tensions.
Second Civil War (1932-1935)
Main article: Second Isokyrian Civil War
By 1930, the police's ability to keep the general peace was waning and it was becoming clear that another war would breakout at any minute. The war is said to have begun with the attack on the Young Socialist Front's headquarters, in which nationalist militants shot and killed 57 socialist and left-wing youths. While retaliation was inevitable, the left was still fractured among different socialist and communist movements (the largest of these being the Isokyrian Revolutionary Front). The right coalesced around Nororism, the ideology created by Christian Robertsson which supported unity of the Isokyrian nation around a strong state and a revival of the country's traditional Nordic culture. Petyrsson was powerless to stop the imminent war and resigned his post before fleeing the country.
The Isokyrian Revolutionary Front espoused a Marxist-Leninist ideology, hoping to turn Isokyria into a communist state much like the Soviet Union had become twenty years earlier. The unrecognized People's Democratic Republic of Isokyria was proclaimed and lasted the course of the war until its dissolution.
Nazi Germany supported the nationalist side with limited amounts of monetary assistance, giving them the upper hand early the in the war. Leftist forces managed to hold key cities despite numerous siege attempts by the right, prolonging the war about five years.
The Nationalists began the war with some advantages: they had larger numbers, access to more weapons, and were adequately funded. They began a two-phase offensive on the northern regions of the country which were IRF strongholds for decades. To their surprise and dismay, they were repulsed by the IRF on the first phase, requiring a regrouping and revision of tactics. The IRF's main strategy was to defeat the Nationalists with a war of attrition and guerrilla warfare. They moved into the south, targeting areas in Hufo, Sauifthor, and Kuthor to begin a clandestine bombing campaign. With only a fraction of the manpower, the IRF was able to inflict as many losses as they had suffered with this strategy.
The Nationalists secured victories in some isolated IRF-held pockets where hundreds of prisoners of war were taken. These PoWs were used for labor primarily which offset the labor shortage that was posing a problem for their cause. Once again, they made another offensive to the north, however this time armed with key intelligence that was gathered months prior. This attempt was more successful, but the Nationalists again suffered heavy losses due to the IRF's ability for guerrilla warfare. They seized several cities and continued to advance, eventually taking Austuf and Fisbae.
The IRF never formally surrendered and victory was declared by the Nationalists four months before the fighting ended. The Nationalists returned to Hufo to establish their new state under the Nororist ideology.
Robertsson era (1935-1959)
After the Nororist victory, Christian Robertsson, who had been an influential leader and ideological architect for the right-wing factions, was elected the first Chairman of the Nororist Party by the newly-established Isokyrian National Assembly.
He began his time in office by immediately enacting polices designed to transform Isokyria into a Nororist state. Among the first of these policies was entitled Revival of Isokyria's Nordic and Viking Roots aimed at restoring traditional Isokyrian culture which declined in the decades before the monarchy was overthrown. He re-introduced the Isokyrian language, adopting the runic elder futhark alphabet, mandating it be taught in schools and that all government documents be written in both English and Isokyrian. While Robertsson was a Protestant, he authorized several programs aimed at restoring the pre-Christian Norse folk religion, establishing state-funded churches and temples that worshiped the old Norse gods.
Social cleansing and first purge
Further information: Bureau of National Integrity
In order to consolidate his power and protect the infant regime, Robertsson authorized the creation of the Bureau of National Integrity, a secret police force which be came to be known as the Black Coats. Their mission was to cull the party and general population of "subversives". Subversives, as Robertsson defined them, were people who "Made it their life mission to undermine our nation at every opportunity through literature, actions, and beliefs." Several groups of people were targeted by the BNI: communists, Marxists, socialists, homosexuals, certain Catholics, and people considered genetically inferior. Identifying communist fighters from the Second Civil War was the Bureau first goal. Upon confirming one was indeed a communist, they would be arrested, tried for treason, found guilty, and be executed, all in secret. To identify political criminals, members of the BNI would pose as dissenters and make comments critical of the Nororist regime. They would then arrest anyone who did not report that member to the authorities.
Within the party, the standards for purging were far more broad. Any member who was known to be involved with the previous governments was interviewed and tested on their loyalty. The Bureau kept surveillance on members who were known to have communist, homosexual, or Catholic friends. The Bureau was not above outright falsifying salacious information about party members who had come to oppose Robertsson. Accusations of homosexuality and pedophilia were the most damaging and entailed an immediate death sentence and so were saved for the most "dangerous" members of the party. Members who were simply "inconvenient" would have their moral failings outed to the public; affairs were exposed and alcohol, drug addictions revealed, and gossip came to be treated as gospel.
Numbers surrounding the purges are difficult to ascertain. Low estimates put the number of people executed at around 500. Others put the figure as high as 10,000. Approximately 4,500 people were removed from the party, but it is unknown how many were imprisoned or executed.
The Bureau continued to exist for 38 years after the purges as an intelligence agency in addition to its function as a secret police force. It shifted away from arresting and executing dissidents and instead employed a variety of psychological operations meant to destabilize targets and make them question their sanity. It was eventually disbanded in 1976.
Robertsson's economic reforms involved establishing a relationship between the state and the worker in order to work towards the betterment of the nation. While officially opposed to capitalism, Robertsson allowed private companies control of some industries, under the condition they put the interests of the nation first. Any company that was seen as placing more importance in profit than Isokyria faced being dissolved and its assets seized by the state. Other sectors, such as banking, were completely nationalized and reorganized as "National Worker Syndicates." Trade policy was made almost entirely protectionist with the notable example of crude oil exports, which are credited with Isokyria's relative wealth.
Socially, Robertsson advocated a strong moral code and told citizens to be weary of "degenerate" behaviors. Excessive drinking, gambling, drug use, promiscuity, and greed were all considered "degenerate" and were discouraged by the state. Robertsson's attitude towards homosexuality was especially tough, viewing it as a "serious disorder of the mind requiring the most thorough treatment." It is estimated around 10,000 or more homosexuals were forced to undergo therapy to "cure" their "perversion." Robertsson also placed great emphasis on gender roles. Men, who were seen as the defenders of society, were required to serve in the armed forces for 1½ years. Women were prohibited from holding certain jobs and tax incentives were offered to families with more children.
Robertsson's foreign policy consisted of unwavering opposition to the Soviet Union and he garnered large amounts of support from the U.S. as a result. He never showed an interest in joining NATO, however and made no promises to come to Western Europe's defense in the event of a Soviet invasion. While he received support from Nazi Germany during the Civil War, he distanced his government from Hitler's regime as World War II went on, disapproving of the Nazis' racial policies and treatment of the Jews.
After Germany's defeat in World War II, he forged a friendly relationship with Francisco Franco, dictator of Spain at the time. He visited Spain three times during his time as Chairman, applauding the country for also achieving national unity. Franco visited Isokyria once in 1954.
Further information: Assassination of Christian Robertsson
On March 6, 1959, while walking to the Kanslarin in Hufo, Robertsson was approached by a man, later identified as Jonas Teodoresson. Teodoresson was a communist and former fighter in Second Civil War who detested Nororism, believing it was fascism in Isokyria. He approached Robertsson from the front, shouted "This is for the Isokyrian worker! Long live Isokyria!" before shooting Robertsson several times in the abdomen. Teodoresson kept shooting as Robertsson fell over, landing a headshot, killing Robertsson instantly. The scene caused a commotion; women screamed, others ran to help, and Teodoresson stood before the dead Chairman still, with the weapon still in his hand. He was arrested by Hufo Police and charged with murder. He remained silent throughout the day, not even requesting a lawyer. He was held in Hufo's local jail until the crime could be fully ascertained. Due to an error in communication, the jail that held Teodoresson was not aware he was accused of killing Robertsson, so therefore did not notify the national government. Because of this, the national government thought Teodoresson was still at large, and launched a massive manhunt throughout Hufo and surrounding cities. Only when the arresting officers realized the error and contacted the national government to inform them they had arrested Teodoresson hours ago was the confusion cleared up.
News of the killing came as a shock to the nation. Within hours, demonstrations formed outside the Kanslarin demanding justice.
Sigurdsson era (1959-1969)
After Robertsson's death there was uncertainty as to who would succeed him. Robertsson had never decided on an heir and so it was up to the National Assembly to decide Isokyria's new leader. Within two days of Robertsson's demise, they selected Elias Sigurdsson, one of Robertsson's closest friends and who was credited with coining the term 'Nororism'.
Sigurdsson took office during a period of tense relations between the Eastern Bloc nations and NATO members. The U-2 incident dashed hopes for a detente and this was compounded by several confrontations between Soviet submarines and Isokyrian warships off the Isokyrian coast. In order to posture the country against Soviet aggression, Sigurdsson increased the military budget and increased the draft term, from one and a half years to two for all able-bodied men aged 18-25. He also ordered the construction of several destroyers and asked the Committee Regarding Defense of the Nation to explore the feasibility of constructing an aircraft carrier.
Continuing Robertsson's legacy and work was Sigurdsson's main focus throughout his term. Sigurdsson invested large amounts of time and energy in both creating an elaborate cult-of-personality around Robertsson and advertising the supposed success of Nororism to the world, policy which came to be known as Hikoen or "highlight". Isokyria was selected to host the 1960 Summer Olympic Games in Hufo, which provided a perfect opportunity to put Hikoen into full practice. State-of-the-art athletic venues were built just for the event, employing thousands at a cost of the 2017 equivalent of $23.4 billion. Isokyria, being a Nordic country, was seen as better suited for the Winter Olympics. Sigurdsson sought to challenge that view and invested close to the 2017 equivalent of $60 million into training over nearly 300 athletes. This investment had a moderate return: 14 gold medals, 11 silver, and 12 bronze. Sigurdsson was reportedly disappointed by this result but was still satisfied that Isokyria had shown the world what it was capable of. After the Olympics, most of the venues were re-purposed by the University of Hufo, the sole exception being the Sosir Stadium, which became the home venue of North Hufo FC.
Establishing himself as the true heir and successor to Robertsson's philosophy was also paramount to Sidgurdsson. He conducted a second purge of Party members he deemed as having loyalties to anything other than him, the state, and their family. Many of the purged were also suspected communist spies, sympathizers, or fighters from the Second Civil War that had sneaked passed the previous purge and the mass arrests conducted by the Nororists. In order to affect these purges without resistance, he surrounded himself with men he trusted. Almost all of them were friends he had known since childhood, or were men Robertsson was close with. This group became known as Sidgurdsson's Circle and it represented the first real cabinet of ministers. He drafted a policy for the military, requiring soldiers swear an oath not only to Robertsson, but to him personally as well and soon his own personality cult was rivaling his predecessor's.
Fearing that the forces responsible for his predecessor's death were still at large, Sidgurdsson organized a second purge of not only the Nororist Party, but Isokyrian society as a whole. He utilized the Bureau of National Integrity but reformed their tactics by training them to use an array of psychological attacks against civilian targets meant to destabilize a person's mental state. BNI agents would break into a target's home and rearrange objects ever so slightly as to be noticeable, but not attributable to a break-in. Even simple things like replacing all food of a certain brand with another brand proved to be highly effective at making targets question their sanity. As the harassment continued, the psychological attacks intensified. Threatening phone calls would be made to the target. False late-bill due notices would be mailed even if the target had paid all their bills on time. The BNI was also known to break into their target's automobile and park it a few blocks away to advance mental destabilization. Of course, they were careful never to leave any evidence of their activities to ensure no one would believe the target even if they correctly surmised what was happening. Eventually, many targets would go insane or commit suicide, or at the very least, be so exhausted as to no longer continue whatever activity made them targets to begin with. These tactics were saved for people the BNI believed would be too difficult to arrest without being questioned or raising suspicion. People who were seen as threats to the regime but were not well-known enough in their communities were simply arrested and jailed indefinitely. These people were referred to as "the Forgettables."
As for party members, like before, a ranking party member with any unsightly material in their past risked being blackmailed and forced out of the party if not arrested and jailed however methods for exposing such scandals were changed. The BNI created their own blackmail if they found a party member turned enemy was clean, just as they did in the previous purge. Prostitutes would be paid large sums of money to tempt male party members into infidelity, usually by getting them drunk first. If the target proved to be stubborn, the next course of action was to drug the target then stage photographs of them sleeping with the hired prostitute. These photographs would be distributed across party ranks and used as grounds for expulsion from the party and likely arrest.
Strikes and economic troubles
The economic boom created under Robertsson began to wane and it provided the first real challenge to the Nororist regime. Sigurdsson responded by creating several public works programs, primarily aimed at improving Isokyria's road system which had been severely neglected and damaged by the war. These programs helped save thousands from unemployment but not everyone. Challenges to the Nororist government came from Lino Plant, a factory in Engklar whose work force had been laid off almost entirely. These disgruntled workers took to the Engklar provincial capitol to voice their opposition to Nororist policies. Furthermore, underground leftist groups, remnants of those that fought in the civil war, were preparing to launch an insurgency campaign to topple the Nororist government and the Lino Plant protests provided a good opportunity to strike. Previously keeping a low-profile, they openly condemned the government's authoritarian policies and decried the increasing gap between the politically connected party elite and the impoverished blue-collar worker.
Sigurdsson ordered the arrest of all demonstrators in Engklar which totaled over 2,200 people. They were charged with a variety of crimes ranging from as minor as criminal mischief to as serious as treason. A third of them were tried en masse and sentenced to one to three years hard labor. Another third were eventually freed after obtaining a signed promise that they would not oppose the Nororist government again. The remaining detainees were given lengthy prison sentences for attempting to undermine the state and promote un-Nororist thought.
The state's crackdown on anti-Nororist movements removed nearly all momentum they had built up. Sigurdsson enacted some liberalized reforms, including greater protections for laid off workers which helped to satiate the frustrations of Isokyria's blue-collar force.
Factionalism arises in the Assembly
The protests in Engklar helped to expose the factionalism that was occurring within the National Assembly. Although the Nororist Party was the only legal party, this did not stop members of the legislature from aligning themselves with those who shared similar ideas that deviated from 'mainstream' Nororism. It is not clear how many factions there were at the time but it is generally agreed on there were two primary factions that divided the Assembly and which Sigurdsson found himself in between: the Robertsson loyalists, members who still fanatical in their allegiance to Robertsson and were reluctant to work with Sigurdsson, and the liberal Nororists, members who believed in Isokyrian nationalism but disagreed with the stringently conservative social rules the Party had implemented. In 1966, the Loyalists were believed to outnumber the Liberals but it is not known by how much. Some members openly outed themselves as faction members with open displays of dissent within the Assembly floor. Tomas Rikardsson, a member of the Liberal faction, made an outburst towards Sidgurdsson where he bitterly referred to him as "A pretender, weakling, and disgrace to the name of Robertsson!" before he was removed by capitol police. He was not expelled as Sigurdsson had demanded and was allowed to return to the Assembly on the condition he renounce any allegiance to any "non-Nororist" factions.
Sigurdsson was ideologically in the middle of these two factions; he was a very close friend of Robertsson's but he did not base his decisions on him and rarely consulted his writings and works on such matters. He very much wished to govern independently of Robertsson's influence. He did not fall into the liberal faction either, as he supported the Party's socially conservative policies and believed they were necessary to achieving a 'pure' society. He also realized that the cult-of-personality he had constructed around Robertsson was likely to blame for the existence of the Robertsson loyalists and so attempted to downplay the cult within the state while maintaining it in full force for the general public. He was not successful, however. His centrist views were likely the root of his unpopularity among the Assembly.
Independence movements in Isokyria's African and Indonesian holdings that originated following the Partition of India in 1947 were suppressed by Robertsson but were left to simmer silently. Nororism was unpopular in these areas, despite being mostly exempt from the authoritarian laws being passed on the main island. Although publicly he implied an imperialist sentiment, quietly, Sidgurdsson was sympathetic to the movements (as private letters later revealed) and in fact, believed it would be better if Isokyria ceded these territories. He viewed them as a relic of an outdated era, incompatible with modern Nororism. He came to the negotiation table with national and local leaders in Hermansania and the Isokyrian East Indies to discuss an exit strategy for Isokyria's overseas holdings. A five-year independence plan was agreed to, beginning with the granting of direct self-governance followed by full independence after all economic, political, and logistical matters were sorted out.
Sigurdsson continued Robertsson's foreign policy of anti-communism and committed itself to being an ally of NATO. He maintained Isokyria's relationship with the United States and had close ties to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.
Wilhjalmsdottir era (1969-1989)
By the time Sigurdsson left office, a surge of feminist thought was sweeping across much of the western world. In response, the National Assembly elected Dagnae Wilhjamsdottir as Chairman, the first woman to hold the office. She launched a public relations campaign aimed at Isokyrian women that not only emphasized their roles as mothers, homemakers, and supporters of their husbands, but encouraged them to study science, math, and technology. Thousands of government positions were opened up to women, particularly in military research and development, which utilized these fields the most. The state also offered scholarships to girls who performed at the top of their class.
Wilhjalmsdottir bolstered the government's socially conservative stances. She ordered a crackdown on illegal pornography distribution as well as prostitution saying "They reduce women to their most superficial aspects: their bodies. They teach our young boys that women are only important for their own pleasure and they totally degrade the important role women play in all of our lives." She mandated stiffer penalties for violating anti-pornography and anti-prostitution laws and created several education programs that aimed to teach young people about the merits of marriage and chastity.
She enacted several economic reforms while in office, including liberalizing trade by reducing tariffs and selling off some previously state-owned companies to private managers and allowing them to conduct business with foreign companies. The economy boomed under her term and despite enacting the first-ever tax reduction, state revenues were at their highest. She directed that a large portion of these funds go to youth programs, especially the girl scouts. State-of-the-art athletic facilities were built and her administration promoted healthy eating among Isokyrian children.
Later in her term, she gained a reputation outside the country for having a complex relationship with her detractors, somewhat relaxing the government's approach to political dissidents while still maintaining a strong regime of obedience and conformity. Protests were still restricted, but more diversity in opinion was allowed into the National Assembly, an unprecedented move. This, however, did not materialize into legally allowing other political parties as some foreign observers had hoped.
Visit to Moscow
Main article: 1974 Wilhjalmsdottir visit to the Soviet Union
Perhaps her most memorable achievement was the thawing of Isokyrian-Soviet relations. On October 18, 1974, Wilhjamsdottir landed in Moscow greeted by General-Secretary Leonid Brezhnev, becoming the first Isokyrian chairman to visit the communist superpower. The two leaders spoke privately, discussing trade, nuclear weapons, the United States, and NATO. Wilhjamsdottir then delivered a short speech to the Supreme Soviet before embarking on a tour of major Soviet cities such as Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg) and Kiev. The whole visit, which lasted one week, was compared to U.S. President Richard Nixon's visit to the Peoples Republic of China, which occurred only two years prior. It established a rapport between the two nations that continues to this day, withstanding the fall of the Soviet Union and the recent diplomatic crises regarding Ukraine and Crimea.
Isokyrian Oil Workers strike
Main article: 1985 Isokyrian Oil Workers strike
The Isokyrian Oil Workers was a trade union that represented Isokyrians employed at many of the various state and private-owned petroleum companies across the country. In 1985, the labor contract between the IOW and the Isokyrian Government had expired and was up for re-negotiation. The union demanded an increased salary and more comprehensive health and life insurance plans, citing several fatal accidents in the years prior. The government was unwilling to meet these demands due to the decline of domestic production of crude oil by state-owned companies by 13% compared to private-owned companies, and 17% compared to foreign companies, state and private. Negotiations reached a standstill and the union threatened a strike. No labor union representing public employees had ever gone on strike before and there was debate to its legality. The government once again refused and made a counter offer which did not satisfy the IOW. A strike was declared on the morning of April 7, 1985, with 13,000 workers participating.
Wilhjamsdottir initially was unfazed by the strike, promising that production would continue as normal. The government hired several thousand short-term workers in need of work at drastically lower wages and with virtually no benefits. However, these workers quickly became dissatisfied with their new working conditions and some even joined the strike. This forced the government back to the negotiating table.
In the meantime, production of crude oil by Isokyria went to a complete standstill and gas prices across the world went up. In some parts of the United States, which is one of the largest importers of Isokyrian oil, the price of a gallon of gas went from $1.15 to $3.44 in one week.
After six weeks of striking and an estimated $4 billion lost in revenue, the IOW and Isokyrian government came to an agreement and most of the 13,000 striking employees returned to work.
Agnarsson era (1989-2009)
Agnarsson's term began just as communism was collapsing in Europe. Boris Yeltsin became President of the new Russian Federation in 1991 and Agnarsson was enthusiastic to work with him towards strengthening Russo-Isokyrian relations. He and Yelstin signed the Russian and Isokyrian Pact of Friendship in 1993 which, while doing little in effect, was a pivotal moment in the rebuilding of Isokyria's relationship with the Russians.
Agnarsson pledged Isokyria's full support to the United States after the September 11, 2001 attacks by sending 1,500 troops to Afghanistan and 300 to Iraq. This marked the first time that Isokyria was directly involved in any foreign conflict. After both wars initial missions were accomplished, he pulled back forces, supplying the Coalition with medical assistance and intelligence. At home, he made security a prominent issue and took measures to safeguard Isokyria from terrorism. He strengthened Isokyria's tough immigration standards, all but outright denying entry to Arab and Muslim applicants. Firearms, which were allowed under strict controls, were completely banned in the country. National Police arrested hundreds of individuals accused of having terrorist links.
In order to mitigate the costs incurred from this security fortification, Agnarsson abolished conscription in 2005, making the military a full volunteer force. This allowed the government to control the number of new recruits.
The popularization of the Internet presented new challenges to the Nororist Party that the government was slow to react to. Subversive views and discourse could be shared effortlessly, from the comfort of one's home, and without the state's knowledge. Eventually the state caught on to the Internet's potential to create a disunited country and enacted many restrictions citizen's browsing habits, though falling short of outright censorship. It is believed that this brief period of online anarchy allowed a "Silent Attitude" to take shape; a generation of individuals characterized by an attitude of disillusionment with Nororism and the party but who keep their views to themselves, only sharing them with close, trusted friends.
Establishment of NordCorp
Further information: NordCorp
In 2005, Agnarsson signed into law a resolution that established the state-owned company NordCorp as a conglomeration of all ventures the Isokyrian government had delegated to private operators. The company was granted a 21-year contract and has a near-monopoly in various industries. The Isokyrian oil industry was one notable exception, however. Services and manufacturing are the company's primary economic sectors.
The creation of NordCorp was met with heavy opposition from various sources, particularly labor unions and conservative factions of the Nororst Party. Labor unions, whose power and influence had been greatly diminished since the foundation of the state, were opposed to the company because of radically different changes in compensation and benefits policies. Termination was made much easier and the entry-level wage for new NordCorp employees (or employees of any company under NordCorp's wing for that matter) was decreased from £12.45 to £10.75. Other benefits such as vacation time and sick pay were also cut. In all, about ten unions that had represented workers across seventeen companies had been combined into one. No protests or strikes were able to materialize however, due to, in part, laws that were passed quietly in the aftermath of the 1985 Isokyrian Oil Workers strike. Members were unable to convince their leadership to approve a strike, fearing legal repercussions. They had some allies in the National Assembly and elsewhere, notably future-Chairwoman Eydis Stefanic who was opposed to the creation of the company from the beginning as she saw it as a "Insidious merger of corporate and state power that is un-Nororist to the core." Her's and others's likeminded opposition produced little change and the company is set to operate until at least 2026 unless a motion is passed by the National Assembly.
At 340,000 employees, it is the single largest employer in Isokyria. Although state-owned, it remains privately operated, and in fact, much of the leadership before the consolidation remained unchanged. In 2016, it reported revenues of over £240 billion. It is tax exempt in many areas which also contributed to its criticism although the state is entitled to 35.3% of all net income which as of 2017, was reported to be £4.53 billion. Edward Rake was appointed as its CEO in 2012. Its board of directors has 15 members, 7 of whom are appointed by the government. It is listed on the Isokyrian Stock Exchange as NDC.
White era (2009-2016)
The Great Recession had a moderate effect on Isokyria's economy. Unemployment rose to 14%, the highest in the nation's history and homelessness increased as thousands of homes were foreclosed on in the aftermath of the subprime mortgage crisis. Alexander White was elected by the National Assembly on July 16, 2009 and made recovery his top priority. He was able to enact a number of initiatives and reforms to repair the damage, including bringing criminal charges against large banks and their owners for their role in the crisis, approving a US$5 billion bailout package for NordCorp in order to protect that company from layoffs, thus preventing the further increase of unemployment, and approving a US$15 billion stimulus package for the whole nation, the majority of the money going to support small businesses throughout the country that were risking closure. Some austerity measures were also enacted such as a 0.5% tax increase on petrol in order to cover the costs of the aforementioned packages. Unlike other nations affected by the crisis, Isokyria's public debt-to-GDP ratio remained low, never exceeding 25%. These measures proved to be effective and within a year of White's assumption of office, unemployment returned to pre-crisis levels and the GDP once again saw increases.
European migrant crisis and terrorism
White's government avoided directly commenting on the migrant crisis that has affected Europe since 2015. While Isokyria is not part of the European Union, it received several asylum requests from migrants seeking shelter from war-torn areas. The government did not respond to any of these requests and instead stated it would not be accepting any refugees, officially breaking its neutrality on the issue.
Following several terrorist attacks in Europe including Paris in November 2015 and Belgium in March 2016, White opted to continue the national security rebuff initiated by Agnarsson and were also cited as reason why Isokyria would not be accepting any migrants or refugees. Defense spending was increased by 4% and the government increased its surveillance of electronic communications to identify and intercept possible terrorist plots.
Involvement in the war against ISIS
On July 14, 2016, Chairman White announced that Isokyria would be participating in the war against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as ISIS or ISIL, with limited airstrikes on IS targets. White reiterated that there were no plans for ground troops to be sent in. This announcement marked the second time in Isokyria's history that the country has been involved in a foreign conflict.
Main article: Frezet2016
Beginning in late April 2016, large-scale protests in Hufo and other major cities in Isokyria were organized through social media, primarily on Twitter with the hashtag #Frezet2016. The protests, among other things, were concerned with the ever-increasing amount of authority wielded by the central government, high-level corruption, lack of transparent elections and increasing income inequality. Several thousand arrests were made by police at protest sites but attempts to disperse the demonstrations have been unsuccessful. On May 2, 2016, the Nororist Party of Isokryia stated it would "Look into" possible reforms in order to address concerns raised by the protesters. Chairman White said, among other things, "[Frezet2016] has made it clear that there are issues that need to be addressed and we fully intend to do so."
By summer, most of the original protests had dispersed and interest waned. The National Assembly did, however, pass several resolutions that relaxed restrictions on freedom of the press, allowing journalists permission to report on some government activities without a permit. Many of the protesters that were arrested were also freed without charges.
Coup d'état attempt
Main article: 2016 Isokyrian coup d'état attempt
On July 19, a coup was attempted by a faction of the Isokyrian Army who seized the National Assembly building and took 25 members hostage, including the President of the Assembly, Oskar Leifsson. From there they made their demands, which included the restoration of "Freedoms and liberties the government has ignored for over 70 years" and the resignation of Chairman Alexander White. 10 people were killed in a failed operation that attempted to rescue the hostages and end the crisis. Following this, the Isokyrian Navy pledged its support for the coup. The coup ended in a second, successful, operation that killed the coup's leader, Richard Taumgartner. The Navy was then disbanded for its support of the coup. The Army has taken control of its responsibilities pending a restaffing and restructuring of the Navy.
In the political aftermath of the coup attempt, White announced he would resign on July 31, leaving Eydis Stefanic to succeed him.
Stefanic era (2016-present)
Eydis Stefanic took office in the midst of political and social turmoil. Described as a "hardliner" and "traditional Nororist", she has promised to restore and maintain the status-quo, which has dampened hopes for progressive reform.
Almost immediately after assuming the position, Stefanic was placed under intense pressure from foreign sources to orient the country towards progressive reform, despite being politically opposed to such reforms. In late-August 2016, just under a month into her term, she intrigued international news companies when it was announced that she, and her cabinet, had held a closed-door meeting discussing, among other things, "Moving Isokyira into the 21st century, and drafting policies that address the concerns of our allies." This has led some to believe she may be preparing to concede to the pressure and adopt some liberal reforms.
Election of Donald Trump
The administrations of White and Stefanic remained mostly silent on 2016 United States presidential election. Stefanic broke Isokyria's silence on November 9, 2016, when she personally telephoned businessman Donald Trump to congratulate him on his victory over Democratic contender Hillary Clinton. Stefanic stated she was looking forward to working with Trump and said she hoped relations between Isokyria and the United States will be "renewed".
On January 28, 2017, President Trump issued Executive Order "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States", also known as the "Trump Muslim Ban", which restricted travel from seven predominately Islamic countries and suspended the admission of Syrian refugees indefinitely. The order, which the White House assured would not affect green card holders, resulted in the detainment and deportation of many individuals from these countries. Isokyria commented on the order, being one of the few countries to formally support it. Stefanic, in a statement given on January 30, said "The President of the United States has taken marvelous action to protect his country from radical Islamic terrorism. The Isokyrian people fully stand by Mr. Trump and the United States in the fight against the Islamic State, and all forms of terrorism".
Visit to the United States
On February 27, 2017, Eydis Stefanic visited the United States and met President Donald Trump at the White House, becoming the first sitting Chairman to visit the U.S. The visit was surrounded in controversy, primarily regarding the decision to allow Stefanic to make an address to a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress. Several Representatives and Senators boycotted the address and released a statement which condemned President Trump for allowing Stefanic who "...represents a nation where lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are denied even the most basic of human rights and where a despotic political party, professing a despicable ideology, rules with an iron fist, and denies freedom of expression, both political and personal" to speak before Congress. After discussing NATO, the European refugee crisis, North Korea, and Russia, Stefanic left the U.S. after spending four days there, mostly touring Washington, D.C. and the surrounding areas.
Anti-corruption measures and recent developments
Since taking office in 2016, Stefanic has been taking measures in opposition to corruption within her government. The first major in this effort was the dismissal and arrest of Markus Svensson, the Isokyrian State Prosecutor, who was accused of seeking bribes and kickbacks for favorable verdicts. He held that position for over six years and his removal was considered be a signal that Stefanic was serious about her campaign. Svensson was also a noted critic of Stefanic when she served in the National Assembly. He was put on trial, found guilty, and sentenced to fifteen years in prison. The second major corruption case centered around several party elders who had not officially held office in some time, but were nevertheless very influential in Isokyrian politics. They were accused of receiving inside information from NordCorp and selling their shares accordingly. The CEO of NordCorp, Edward Rake denied passing on non-public knowledge and the state's testimony did not name the source of the insider information, so he was spared from any legal sanction. Still, the party elders, whose names were not released to the public, were all found guilty and sentenced to five to ten years in prison.
In total, around fifty high-ranking Party members, officials, and public servants were charged with various corruption crimes and removed from their posts. Of these, 80% were convicted.
On January 1, 2018, Stefanic delivered a speech to the National Assembly focused on environmentalist efforts and proposals, a revival of her platform that she ran on in the Kologrid City Council and National Assembly. She called for a carbon tax, using the revenue towards the Ministry of Health. She declared that stricter pollution regulations that carry high fines for violators were also necessary. On social issues, she called for drug law reform and for better education on the effects of narcotics. She cited the rising number of deaths due to opioid overdose as a sign a crisis is developing in Isokyria. On foreign matters, Stefanic stressed the importance of the U.S.-Isokyrian relationship and congratulated Coalition Forces on the defeat of the Islamic State. She also raised the possibility of trade agreements with the United Kingdom following their withdraw from the European Union.
Further information: Politics of Isokyria
Isokyria is governed as a single-party unitary state and the Isokyrian government has been described as "highly authoritarian." The Nororist Party dominates every aspect of Isokyrian politics as the constitution defines it as the "Sole party to represent the Isokyrian people and nation." They hold all 250 seats in the National Assembly.
Main article: Nororism
Nororism is the official state ideology of Isokyria, which was formulated by Christian Robertsson between the two civil wars prior to the establishment of the modern Isokyrian state. At the heart of Nororism is Isokyrian nationalism. It calls for all Isokyrians to unite for the betterment of their nation and stands in opposition to capitalism, communism, socialism, and all forces considered harmful to the nation. It was the driving force behind the national syndicalist worker movement that built the early Isokyrian economy.
The philosophy and motivations behind Nororism were summarized in The Manifesto of Isokyric Thought, written by Robertsson over a course of five years. It began as a collection of writings that influenced the Isokyrian nationalists. Robertsson's speeches also proved to be effective in spreading what would become Nororism. Robertsson started to collect all his political writings and condense them into one book, expanding on their ideas and formulating a coherent ideological structure.
In the Manifesto, Robertsson lists three areas of what he refers to as "human organization" and these are the Nation, the Economy, and Society. He includes religion the semi-fourth item but does not expand much on as he does the first three. It is written in first-person, from the perspective of Nororism, and makes the argument to Isokyrians that the previous monarchical system was clearly a failure and that its republican replacement is doomed to the same fate. He posits that the reason for this is that both regimes were weak in size, power, and rule of law. He proposes that power comes from the people and so in order to have a strong state, the people must be strong and unite in Isokyrian nationalism to create such a state that protects the nation from "subversives, capitalists, communists, and degenerates." He then goes on to make the case as to why those aforementioned people should be opposed and offers his own anecdotal experiences and the experiences of his friends and colleagues and calls for a "popular purge" and for Isokyrian culture to be radically revived, including the restoration of the Isokyrian language. Robertssson concludes the work by calling for victory over the communist forces (as he finished the manifesto near the end-stages of the Second Isokyrian Civl War) and declaring that "...our children will either praise us as the heroes who secured them a future, or disparage us as the forgotten failures who were too weak and pathetic to even be worthy of existence."
Robertsson initally found difficulty getting the work published, as the chaos of the civil war essentially shut down operations of all major publishing houses. He was able to acquire several printing machines and had the work self-published and disseminated across the country. Production of these editions was sporadic and only a few hundred remain out of an estimated 5,000 printed, regardless the Manifesto was popular among the Nationalists and helped to maintain morale for their cause. After the nationalist victory, professional publishing houses re-assumed their operations and were able to print the Manifesto on a massive scale. The new Nororist government required it be introduced into every classroom and was made required reading.
Nororism is often included among fascist ideologies, most notably Nazism. Robertsson strongly disagreed with this characterization for several reasons; the primary one being Nororism, as Robertsson envisioned it, never included a racial element in its theories. Robertsson strongly disagreed with Hitler on the Jewish Question and condemned the Holocaust, although scholars often raise the point that most of Robertsson's criticism of Hitler came only after the end of the Second World War, suggesting that Robertsson was merely attempting appease the victorious allies and win their approval; in other words, a public relations move to improve Isokyria's perception and lessen the embarrassment of being aligned with the Axis.
Chairman of the Nororist Party
Main article: Chairman of the Isokyrian Nororist Party
The Chairman of the Isokyrian Nororist Party is the country's de facto head of state. The constitution does not actually define a de jure head of state so this role has been fulfilled by every chairman since Robertsson. This has led to the general perception that the state and the Nororist Party are one in the same (i.e. the Party is the state). Because of its unofficial status, the power the office commands is theoretically unlimited but in practice restricted by the National Assembly as well as the Nororist Party's leadership. The general powers of the Chairman include approving measures that have passed the Assembly, staffing the cabinet-level ministries, appointing ambassadors, and so forth. Isokyria is unusual in that it is the head of state that holds nominal power within the government, as opposed to most countries wherein power is vested in the head of government.
The Chairman is elected by the National Assembly. The Chairman's term is indefinite and so far every Chairman to date has left office by resignation. Eydis Stefanic is the current Chairman, who took office on August 1, 2016. She is the second woman to hold the office and the first Chairman who was elected while her predecessor, Alexander White, was still in office.
Main article: Isokyrian National Assembly
The National Assembly is the unicameral legislature of Isokyria, consisting of 250 representatives elected to represent each district of each province. The Assembly is led by the President of the Isokyrian National Assembly, who by ex offcio is also Isokyria's head of government. Elected every three years, the President is largely a ceremonial role and has no significant powers. Oskar Liefsson is the current President, since 2014. The Assembly meets at the Kanslairn in Hufo.
The National Assembly also functions as a check on the Chairman's authority. Keeping the approval of the Assembly is essential to being able to govern effectively. The chamber has no authority to totally remove the Chairman from power however. Every four years, the Assembly 'reaffirms' their confidence in the ruling Chairman. This is a rubber stamp measure that has no significance other than reassuring the Chairman's mandate to govern. To date, no Chairman has ever lost a reaffirmation vote, however, Chairman Alexander White did lose a motion of no confidence which led to his resignation in July 2016.
There are elections for each level of government; national, provincial, and district. In national elections, which are held every four years, citizens vote for representatives to send to the National Assembly. In provincial elections, citizens vote for the provincial council, which can range anywhere from five to twenty members depending on the province, and the Premier, who acts as the province's head of government. The third level of election is district, in which citizens vote for members to sit on their district's council, which, like provincial councils, can vary in membership size.
The judicial branch of Isokyria consists of two levels of courts: provincial and district. There is one provincial court for each of Isokyria's nine provinces. Judges that preside over the provincial courts are appointed by the provincial council. District courts are one level below provincial courts and only have jurisdiction within their district. There are around fifty district courts, presided by judges appointed by their district council. Each province has a court of last resort but there is no such thing for the entire nation. Therefore, the National Assembly takes the role as a final appellate court when the need arises.
Isokyria has a civil law system in which the law is determined by the legislature and enforced by the courts, district and provincial. All judges are appointed by the Party. The law is codified in the Isokyric Code of Law which articulates three classes of criminal offense: offenses against the person, offenses against the nation, and offenses against the state. Crimes against the state are punished the most severely and include treason, defection, and defamation against the Chairman. Crimes against the nation are less severe but still penalized heavily. They include drunkenness, prostitution, gambling, and promoting un-Nororist thought. Crimes against the person describe offenses against other individuals, such as assault, murder, rape, and theft.
Law enforcement is handled by the Isokyrian National Police which in turn is managed by the Isokyrian Home Office, which maintain local offices in every district. As of 2015, there were a reported 21,800 sworn officers.
The state operates 30 prisons directly and some 340 other correctional facilities are managed at the provincial level. Rildak IP is the largest prison in Isokyria with 15,300 inmates, the vast majority of whom have been convicted of violent crimes. There are also several prisons that are known to exist but the government does not acknowledge. One, referred to as "PP Z" (PP standing for "political prison") as its actual name is unknown, is located in the northern regions of Fisbae and it is estimated that 5,400 political prisoners are held there.
Further information: Crime in Isokyria, Human trafficking in Isokyria
Crime rates vary across the nation with Hufo having among the highest with 9 murders, 37 rapes, 278 robberies, and 487 assaults all per 100,000 residents. Organized crime is a major challenge for law enforcement in the urban areas of Isokyria. The vast majority of violent and property crime in the cities is connected to organized crime syndicates, the most well known being the Ice Boys (Isokyrian: Isg strajun) which run a national network of illegal gambling, extortion, and larceny operations and are believed to have connections outside the country.
Prostitution is illegal in Isokyria which, according to various women's rights groups, makes it a prime center for human trafficking. In 2016, between 10,000 and 34,000 women and girls were trafficked from eastern Europe and even as far as southeast Asia and forced into sex work, usually after being tricked by being promised a high-paying job in Hufo or Sauifithor. Approximately a quarter of these girls are under the age of 18 and many are used in the production of child pornography. In response, the Home Office increased security at common ports of entry where human traffickers are known to bring in victims and changed procedure so that victims are not immediately deported back to their country of origin for visa violations (along with their captor, as was the case in many incidences) and are instead offered recovery care at the state's expense. The penalty for human traffickers who obtain a non-work visa for their victims has also been increased. Hotlines have been in service for over a decade and the government recently unveiled new designs for public service announcements to be posted in ports of entry urging human trafficking victims to alert the authorities.
Outside the urban areas, drug use and addiction is a serious health issue. In 2017, there were 13,451 deaths attributed to opioid usage and overdose. Other narcotics such as meth and cocaine are also widespread, not only contributing early deaths by overdose, but by infected needles and other unsafe consumption methods.
Main article: Administrative divisions of Isokyria
Isokyria is divided into nine provinces (which are subdivided into districts), one Special Autonomous Territory, and three Overseas Independent Cities. Hufo is governed as a city and a province. The mayor of Hufo acts as the de facto premier.
Each province is led by a Premier, who is elected by the provincial council. The amount of authority a premier wields can vary wildly from province to province. Some premiers act as dictators second only to the Chairman while others are nothing more than a figurehead within their province. Pvini is the most populous of the provinces with 6.3 million inhabitants. Hufo is the most densely populated with 2.4 million living within an area of 2,957 km2 (1,141 sq mi). Siao is the least populated, at 1.2 million people.
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There are three cities located in the Caribbean which are governed as Overseas Independent Cities: Dyr Nicolas (San Nicolás), Porlamar, and Reiksstor. These cities are the remains of the Isokyrian colonial empire and are predominately Catholic, Spanish-speaking, self-governing areas that, although under Isokyrian administration, are largely separated by the country in day-to-day affairs. Each of them use the United States dollar as their official currency and have consulate offices in several nations.
Governance of each of the cities is handled by a council led by mayor, who are elected by direct popular vote every four years. Two cities, Porlamar and Reiksstor, are officially non-partisan in their politics while Dyr Nicolas has several political parties; the Nororist Party has no presence in Dyr Nicolas. Politically, these cities are so separated from mainland Isokyria that they can be best thought of as city-states in free association with Isokyria, although no such agreement has been signed between them. Cultural similarities on the other hand between the mainland and these cities can be found and they are a popular tourist destination for Isokyrians and North Americans.
Isokyria maintains an extensive welfare state. Education is provided for free to all citizens as is healthcare. All citizens are universally covered by the Isokyrian National Health Serivce (INHS). Financial assistance, such as the Isokyrian Food Relief Program (IFRP), monthly cash assistance, government sponsored employment programs, affordable housing, and energy assistance are available to all low-income families and needy individuals. The government also provides for new families, offering a tax incentive for women expecting their first child and providing a care package to all newborns which include a booklet informing new parents what to expect during their child's first few months, a three-week supply of diapers and baby formula, and a plastic box that can be used as a crib when fitted with appropriate bedding.
Isokyria's human rights record is one of the poorest among developed nations which has created concern in the West especially following the end of the Cold War. Rights such as freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and due process are guaranteed by the constitution but according to defectors, are largely ignored by the authorities. Criticism of the Party can invite surveillance and detainment by police. Citizens looking to organize political demonstrations must obtain a permit which are almost always denied to non-members of the Party. People accused of crimes are generally afforded a poor if not non-existent defense. There is no trial by jury and a defendant's fate is usually decided by one or more judges. Prison conditions are said to be second-rate but are especially worse for political criminals. Emigration is generally not restricted but the government reportedly makes pariahs of the families of expats who speak against the regime.
The United Nations has looked into complaints of human rights abuses committed by the Isokyrian government. A 2011 inquiry stated "[Isokyria] has much to work on and it is recommended steps be taken at an internal level in order to bring the country's human rights record up to par with its western neighbors".
Internet freedom groups say that while the internet is not censored in Isokyria, the government tracks what sites citizens visit. Using an unauthorized site can result in being visited by the police and likely detained indefinitely. The government publishes a list every month detailing what sites are forbidden and encourages citizens to check it often. The vast majority of these sites are pornographic. Most social media sites, including Facebook, are allowed but the state encourages citizens to use the Nororist-approved alternative, Vinhus.
Main article: LGBT rights in Isokyria
Isokyria has been strongly condemned for its treatment of LGBT persons and some countries, such as Canada, have threatened sanctions over it. According to defectors, being openly gay or engaging in homosexual activity will result in being involuntarily admitted to a psychiatric ward for treatment. This treatment usually involves therapy and medication, though medical experts from outside the country doubt its validity. Dissidents have also said chemical castration is sometimes used for "severe" cases but the government says this has not been in practice for decades and that when it was, it was only reserved for "heinous sexual crimes". It is believed that patients who refuse to acknowledge that their sexuality is "disordered" are typically jailed until they do. Patients are released if a state-appointed doctor is convinced they have been "rehabilitated" to heterosexuality but are kept under watch for some time to ensure they do not re-offend. It has been reported that transgender people receive similar treatment.
Upon taking office in 2009, Alexander White responded to concerns over the treatment of LGBT people in Isokyria by saying his government would "review the procedures" currently being used by medical personnel. White denied that the country's health system was attempting to 'treat' homosexuality but instead asserted that LGBT people are more prone to mental illness, thus explaining their disproportionate representation within the country's health system. He conceded bias against LGBT people could exist within the medical system and stated his intention to investigate such biases.
In 2010, the Human Rights Campaign stated that "[the] Isokryian government has done little to address the egregious treatment of its LGBTQ+ community."
Isokyria's approach to women's rights has been complex. When the Nororist regime was in its infancy, it enforced strict gender roles for both men and women. Women were barred from taking jobs that were deemed too "labor intensive" and discouraged female employment in general, instead promoting an image of a ideal Isokyrian family where the wife stays home and cares for the children while the husband provides. Female sexuality was also heavily restrained. Early propaganda emphasized the supposed value of virginity and girls were often taught that those who were promiscuous would have difficulty finding a husband. However, beyond these social rules, which have been gradually relaxed as the decades passed, women have had the same legal rights as men for most of Isokyria's history. They can hold property, enter into contracts, are able to obtain a no-fault divorce, have a right to education, and have the right to vote. Even during the Robertsson era, the barrier preventing women from entering politics was almost non-existent. As of 2016, there have been two female Chairmen of the Nororist Party and women occupy offices at all levels of government. Of the 250 representatives at the National Assembly, 102 are women.
Reproductive rights groups, however, rank Isokyria poorly. Abortion, while technically legal, is strictly regulated and in effect, only allowed in narrow circumstances. Excessive amounts of red tape surrounding the procedure limits the number of clinics willing to perform abortions.
There have been several cases of journalists going missing with little explanation that has garnered attention in foreign media. Many of these journalists were in the midst of writing pieces critical of the Nororist regime before their disappearances. Naomi Kasperian is a notable example. Her case received large amounts of coverage and attention in the United States after she went missing in Hufo. Kasperian's family accused the Isokyrian government of kidnapping her in order to silence a piece she was writing on voter suppression in the country. The Isokyrian denies the allegations and stated that the National Police had done all they can in search for Kasperian. In response, Kasperian's family filed a lawsuit against the State of the Isokyrians in a U.S. district court on November 18, 2017. The Kasperians allege the Isokyrian government intentionally concealed information surrounding their daughter's disappearance or, at the very least, acted negligently in ensuring her safety while she was in the country and the subsequent investgation into her disappearance. That case is still pending and since then, other lawsuits have been brought against the Isokyrian government in the U.S.
In 2015, two journalists Joseph Dunner, an American, and Ambrosio Valencia, a Spaniard, were found dead in their hotel rooms in Kuthor, Surhor. Isokyrian police concluded the deaths were suicides, a determination that was rejected by both journalists' families, who maintain they were mentally sound and had no history of suicidal ideation nor any motive to kill themselves, especially while in a foreign country. The police declined to investigate the matter further which prompted Dunner's family to join Naomi Kasperian's in a lawsuit that they hope will become class-action suit. Together, the families are seeking between $5 and $20 million in damages and a formal admission of negligence by the State of the Isokyrians.
Foreign relations and military
Main article: Foreign relations of Isokyria
Isokyria maintains a mostly non-interventionist foreign policy which has recently been granted exceptions in the War on Terror and the war against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Isokyria was a founding member of the United Nations when it was established in 1945. For much of the 20th century, Isokyria primarily aligned itself with fascist states such as Adolf Hitler's Germany and Fransico Franco's Spain. However, since the fall of those regimes, Isokyria has found a need to assimilate into the global sphere, opening relations with its longtime rival, the Soviet Union, in 1974. Today, Isokyria maintains relations with most countries in the world. It has a long and extensive relationship with the United States which culminated in Eydis Stefanic's 2017 visit to Washington, D.C., becoming the first sitting Chairman to visit the United States. Isokyria is not a member of NATO or the European Union but works closely with them and their member states. Following the Brexit refrendum, Isokyria has pledged interest in forming a free-trade agreement with the United Kingdom after their exit from the European Union is finalized. Since the end of the Cold War, Isokyria has been considered a contentious member of the international community, largely due to its poor human rights record, particularly its treatment of LGBT persons both historically and presently.
Main article: Isokyrian Armed Forces
Isokyria's military consists of the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force. In 2015, Isokyria's total forces numbered around 120,000 — a figure that has been decreasing over the decades — the vast majority of which constitute the Army. In 2016, the Isokyrian Navy was temporarily disbanded for its participation in the 2016 Isokyrian coup d'état attempt and its entire fleet was placed under the control of the Isokyrian Army. In January 2017, Chairwoman Stefanic authorized the re-establishment of the Navy after a re-staffing was organized and by March 2017 the Navy had completed re-asserting its control over the fleet.
Isokyria spends less than 1% of its GDP on defense, compared to 5% twenty years prior. The global War on Terror was the first foreign conflict to involve the Isokyrian military, followed by the 2016 Military intervention against ISIL. Conscription, which was imposed on all able-bodied men upon age 18, was repealed in 2005. The military has been fully volunteer since then. The United States is the military's primary foreign supplier.
The Minister of Defense is the executive of the armed forces and the Chairman of the Nororist Party is the de facto commander-in-chief.
Main article: Economy of Isokyria
Isokyria's economy was historically a national syndicalist-oriented system with the state retaining ownership of the most important industries. Workers were organized through syndicates and democratically made business decisions. However over the years, various reforms have been gradually enacted which have significantly liberalized the economy, moving away from the national syndicalist system and towards what some refer to as state capitalism. Economic growth has grown in tandem with liberalization, allowing Isokyria to keep up with its eastern neighbors. This evolution has resulted in an economy that is structured in a way similar to the Peoples Republic of China's. Private property rights have been expanded and foreign as well as domestic companies have found it easier to do business in Isokyria. The state still retains control of some of the more "essential" industries.
NordCorp was created by a state charter in 2005 and has played an important role in the Isokyrian economy. As it is a conglomeration of previously state-owned enterprises, it is the country's largest single employer with around 334,000 employees as of 2014. Its existence has not been without opposition, however. The current Chairman, Eydis Stefanic, has been a vocal opponent of the corporation and has supported its dissolution.
Isokyria's economic activity is driven primarily by crude oil production and exportation, generating approximately US$23 trillion in value and employing over one million people across many sectors of the oil industry. Isokyria also has around 5 million barrels of proven oil reserves. The state controls 58% of domestic production and the remaining 42% is split among four companies. Crude oil constitutes 65% of Isokyria's exports and the United States is its largest export partner in that regard. The remaining 45% of exported goods are spread across timber, natural gas, textiles, mining, manufactured goods, and timber. Fishing is the largest domestic economic sector and provides US$14 billion in value for coastal communities that have relied on fishing for centuries. Within urban areas, services are the predominant form of economic activity, followed by healthcare.
The United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Japan and the European Union are Isokyria's most important trading partners. Isokyria was a founding member of the EFTA when it was established in 1960. Full membership into the European Union has been the subject of some national discussion. Supporters of EU entry argue it would give Isokyria greater access to the free movement of goods and provide greater economic stability, which could prove vital for a nation reliant on violate oil markets. Opponents to EU entry argue Isokyria would be required to surrender sovereignty and would not be adequately represented in the capital of Brussels. The Nororist Party does not have an official position on Isokyrian accession to the EU. There is strong opposition to Isokyrian membership from within the EU itself. Countries such as the United Kingdom and Sweden have said they will block any application to join from Isokyria, citing Isokyria's poor human rights record.
Isokyria's currency is the Isokyrian pound which is issued by the Isokyrian National Bank. It is the ninth most traded currency in the world.
Isokyria's agricultural core is in the southern portions of the country in Englkar and Surhor. Wheat is the primary crop grown by Isokyrian farmers. The country's yield is not enough to sustain the population's food demands and so a great portion of food must be exported from other countries, namely France, Italy, and Germany. The labor force available to the agricultural industry is shrinking which poses a problem for future farms. The state has nationalized many farms that would have otherwise failed due to lack of labor. If this trend continues, it is estimated that nearly all farms in the country will be state-owned by 2045.
68% of energy produced and consumed is generated by crude oil. Other sources of energy include wind, hydro, nuclear, and geothermic activity. Isokyria is almost entirely energy independent, relying on no other country for the bulk of its energy supply and in fact, sells about 5% of the energy it produces to other countries.
Isokyria's wind energy production is concentrated mostly by wind farms in the north, where fast consistent winds ensure constant production. Energy produced from turbines in these farms often goes to reserves to be used during peak hours or to be sold to neighboring countries, such as the United Kingdom and Greenland. The hydro energy sector is the smallest in Isokyria, with very few areas suitable for dams. The Yorloni Dam in the south east section of Engklar is the largest dam in Isokyria. Nuclear energy is becoming an attractive option for Isokyria due to concerns that the country's oil production and reserves will decline noticeably within the coming decades. Until 2010, there was only one nuclear power plant, located in rural Sauifthor, near the village of Sontar. That changed over the next seven years with four new plants built across Isokyria, and five more planned in the 2020s. Geothermic energy is the last major source of energy currently in use in Isokyria and is produced by natural heat of the Earth from areas such as hot springs. Other means of energy production such as coal and solar are not used in Isokyria to any significant degree; coal due to various pollution regulations which have made it economically unfeasible and solar due to the low sunlight hours Isokyria receives throughout the year.
Science and technology
Isokyria is a major contributor to the European Space Agency and maintains its own space program. The Isokyrian Extraterrestrial Exploration Agency (IEEA) has sent over 100 people to space, conducted over five-hundred missions, and has partnered with several other national space programs including the United States, Japan, Russia, and China as well as private companies such as SpaceX. Space exploration has spawned countless scientific and technological advancements for Isokyria and has one of the highest returns on investment; it is estimated that for every US$1 the Isokyrian government spends on space exploration, it generates US$5 in economic activity.
A total of US$58 billion was spent by the private sector in 2016 towards research and development of various technologies, over 67% of these relating to telecommunications. The government invests close to US$5 billion every year in the form of research grants to its higher education facilities.
Isokyria has extensive internet connection with a penetration rate of 89% in 2015. Its primary internet providers are IsoCom, Singular, and Mattis.
Despite Isokyria's economic liberalization, foreign analysts have written about Isokyria's "second economy" which comprises economic activity that occurs outside the state-enforced parameters. Much of this activity occurs on the cusp of the 'white' and 'black' markets and some economists say it makes up as much as a third of the Isokyrian economy. It includes unauthorized employment arrangements and the sale of forbidden products such as certain liquors, drugs, pornography and weapons. In the 21st century, much of this activity has moved online in spite of thorough government monitoring. Users looking to purchase illicit products often use software that prevents tracking or sites that the state is unaware about that quickly move to a new domain as soon as authorities become privy to their illegal activities.
Income and wealth
Income and wealth inequality has always been an issue for Isokyria since the Nororist rise to power. In 2015, the top richest 10% of Isokyrians controlled 66% of the country's wealth. The median household income was US$34,322 in 2017. 2.2% of Isokyrians live below the poverty line (defined as less than US$1.50 per day) and child poverty is a concern. Starvation, however, has largely been eradicated due to food banks, charity drives, and state welfare programs that ensure food is available to all citizens. Homelessness, especially among the youth, has risen in the urban areas where the typical rent of a two-bedroom apartment has increased accordingly. The minimum wage in Isokyria is $US9.55 per hour and was last changed in 2011 and wages in general have stagnated since the beginning of the 21st century.
Road and transit
Isokyria's system of roads has been continuously in development since the early 20th century. The first public rapid transit system in the country was opened in Hufo in 1938 and other cities across the country opened their rapid transit systems in the following years. As motorcars became more ubiquitous, the creation of the Isokyrian National Roadway was undertaken, beginning in 1958, with the most recent route constructed in 2007 (Route 15). In 2015, it was estimated that around 57% of Isokyrians drive at least once a month and 59% hold a driver's license. Traffic fatalities peaked in 1986 with 4,318 and have been generally declining since with 1,182 in 2016. Increased safety standards, including annual car inspections, seat belt laws, and improvement in automobile design have all been credited in helping to lower Isokyria's yearly traffic death rate.
Isokyria's public transportation system is well-developed. The Isokyrian National Rail is a public state-owned company that provides inter-provincial trips to all of Isokyria's major cities and hundreds of smaller towns and villages. A standard fare has remained consistent throughout the years, currently standing at £2.50 per passenger for a trip to Hufo from nearly anywhere. Other journeys' fares vary. Ridership has also remained consistent with over one billion rides given in the last ten years.
Isokyria's busiest airport is Christian Robertsson International Airport (HIX) located in Hufo which had over 15 million visitors in 2016 and over 1.5 million passengers. It is the primary hub for Air Isokyria, the country's largest airline which is partly state-owned. The airport is owned and operated by the City and Province of Hufo and receives an annual budget of US$540 million in addition to revenue generated by ticket sales, concessions, and airline licenses.
The first electronic means of communication in Isokyria was the telegraph. Since its invention, communication technology has expanded to telephones, television, radio, and the internet. Telecommunication is regulated by the National Board of Radio Frequencies which, despite its name, is charged with setting the rules and policies of all telecommunication networks in Isokyria, not just limited to radio. It licences three public television networks: Channel One, Channel Two, and RikanTV. There are two main cable companies in the nation who provide an additional 60 cable channels, most of which are Isokyrian localization of foreign channels. Television viewer share has been declining steadily since the advent of the Internet. In 2016, for the first time ever, the NBRF recorded an average yearly share of less than 30% of all households. The rise and ease of internet streaming services are often cited as the cause of the decline of television. Demographic surveys that television viewership is lowest among the 18-35 group.
Each province has its own system of radio, but all radio networks and broadcasters are owned by the state which plays little role in the content that is aired. The exception to this being IsoCon standards which dictates that 40% of content aired on Isokyrian radio must be produced by Isokyrian creators. This applies especially to music in order to promote Isokyrian culture and support Isokyrian artists. However, Josephine Black, who is arguably one of the most well-known Isokyrian musicians, has been blacklisted by the government due to her statements critical of the Nororist government. Colere, another Isokyrian-born artist, has reportedly met the same fate for similar reasons. There are approximately 340 radio stations across the country which broadcast a variety of music, radio shows, and news.
The internet penetration rate was approximately 85% in 2017. The internet is considerably less censored and regulated than other forms of media but restrictions do exist. Pornographic websites, for example, are banned and inaccessible to most users (the block can be circumvented with a VPN, however). Certain political sites are also blocked but sites that are frequent targets for censorship such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, remain accessible. Twitter has even been used to organize illegal protests in Isokyria yet access has gone unrestricted. The government does surveil internet users and searches for certain keywords that can indicate someone is hostile to the Nororist regime. This system has been compared to a "diet" version of the Great Firewall of China.
Print media remains a popular form of news for older citizens. The National Informer, the official paper of the Nororist Party is one the most-read. Regarding freedom of the press, Reporters Without Borders in its 2014 Freedom Index listed Isokyria as a "Difficult Situation." All newspapers are required by law to follow a strict standard of reporting that disallows direct criticism of the state. It also requires that journalists report in a manner that is fair and responsible and legal sanctions are imposed on journalists who sensationalize or publish misleading stories. Isokyria is known to have imprisoned some journalists who refused to obey these standards and went "rouge."
Geography, environment, and climate
Isokyria consists of two primary islands and several smaller islands. Helsa is the 11th largest island in the world and is the most populous of the Isokyrian islands. Immediately to the west is Aslo and in between them is Miljor, the smallest of the islands. Further east is the Faroe Islands which is an archipelago in the Norwegian Sea. In total, Isokyria has an area of 249,796 km2 (96,447 sq mi), the 77th largest country in the world.
Isokyria is located between 60° north of the equator. Greenland and the British Isles are the nearest landmasses to the northwest and south, respectively.
Mount Suljao is the highest point at 5,993 feet. It is an active volcano, the last recorded eruption being in 1785. Geothermal activity occurs elsewhere across the country contributing a significant share of Isokyria's energy production, second only to crude oil.
Flora and fauna
Isokyria is home to thousands of plant and animal species, about 5,400 of which are unique to the country. Well-known animal species species include the Isokyrian black bull (Bos taurus), the white moose (Alces alces alba), and the arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus).
Thousands of bird species live in Isokyria, including the Atlantic puffin who provides a source of tourist revenue for local rural communities as bird watchers will travel considerable distances to observe and photograph puffins. Isokyria is home to many other seabirds as well, including the common merganser, the brent goose, and the Eurasian wigeon
Measures to protect Isokyria's wildlife and biodiversity have increased since the 1980s. Isokyria has seven national parks which are protected by the central government: Jarsa, Titonor, Dyr Ana, Dyr Mattew, Manjor, Sigurdsson, Miljor, and Aslo. In addition, there are numerous public forests which are protected by provincial governments. Settlements in these areas are subject to some restrictions aimed at limiting the human impact on the local environment and all animals within their boundaries are off-limits to hunting.
The Ministry of the Interior is largely responsible for the protection of Isokyria's natural resources.
Urban areas of Isokyria
|6||Dyr Peter||298,970||16||Dyr Marta||134,984|
In 2015, Isokyria's population was recorded as 32,619,547. 96% of the population identified as being 'Isokyrian' and the remaining 4% belonging to other ethnicities. Pvini is the most populous province in Isokyria with over 6 million inhabitants and Siao the least populous at 1.2 million (the Faroe Islands have a much smaller population of just 46,000 but Faroe is a Special Administrative Region, not a province.) Hufo is the largest city and the province of Hufo is the most densely populated.
English and Isokyrian are the primary languages and the nation is officially bilingual. Almost all Isokyrians (more than 99%) speak either language as a first language. As of 2017, 46% of Isokyrians said they speak Isokyrian as their first language. That figure is expected to surpass 50% by 2025. German, French, and Scots Gaelic exist as minority languages, spoken by less than 1% of the population combined.
There exists several dialects of English such as Fisbanese English, which is spoken in the northern regions, Hufo English, spoken in Hufo, and Southern Regional Isokyrian English, spoken in the south. Differences between these dialects are seen in spelling, pronunciation, and vocabulary. For example, the word "whase" in Fisbanese English is a form of "whose" reserved for non-human entities (e.g. "The cars were lined up in a row, whase colour varied between black, blue, and green"). The word death is commonly spelled as deaþ (as are most words containing a voiceless dental frictive /θ/) in most dialects and the word move is pronounced as mo͞of in Southern Regional Isokyrian English. Hufo English is largely similar to British English with a noticeable exception of sounds that would be pronounced as æ in Britain would be pronounced as ɐ (e.g. cat would be pronounced as /kɐt/, similar to how an American English speaker would pronounce cut). The Isokyrian language is far more uniform with only minor differences in pronunciation.
71% of Isokyrians identify as Christian and of those, 81% are members of the Church of Isokyria, the Lutheran state church. The remaining 19% comprise of Catholics and members of other Christian denominations. 28% of Isokyrians identified as atheist or non-religious and the other 1% consisting of religions such as Judaism and Islam. A great portion of Isokyrians say that while they are Christian, they occasionally partake in ceremonies dedicated to revering the Norse gods. Participation in Norse pre-Christian folk religion was upstarted by Christian Robertsson as part of his cultural revival program.
Religiosity among Isokyrians has been decreasing. While the rates of people who identify as members of a particular religion have stayed consistent through the years, fewer people actively participate in their faiths. The rate of people who said they attend services at least once a week has dropped by 32% over twenty years. In 1993, the rate of people who agreed with the statement "Religion is very important in my life" was 55% compared to 31% in 2015.
In 2015 there were a recorded 1,643,002 households in Isokyria ("household" being defined as a parent and one or more child under 18 living in the same home). Among these households, 69% were led by married couples, 21% were led by a single-parent, and the remaining 10% were jointed families (that is, one of the parents is divorced or widowed and re-married to another person who is not the parent of at least one of the children). Among single-parent households, 89% were led by the mother, 75% had been married prior.
Divorce rates in Isokyria are low compared to other developed nations due to the government's promotion of the institution and the difficulty of obtaining a divorce. However, in following similar trends in other developed countries, rates of new marriages have been declining and modern couples have opted to simply co-habitating. The government's attempts at incentivizing marriage have seen limited success.
Isokyria's immigration policy is very strict, using a system which assigns points to an individual based on several factors including education, specialized skills, prior employment, and proficiency in English (or Isokyrian). If approved, the government issues a work-visa which allows them to live in the country for two years and can be renewed if certain criteria are met. Citizenship is harder to obtain and the vast majority (around 95%) of foreign workers do not pursue it. Indeed, it has been reported by The Guardian that foreign workers wishing to marry a native Isokyrian often find it easier to simply move their spouse back to their home country rather than attempt to navigate the citizenship process.
In 2015, Isokyria accepted 2,500 foreigners for specialized work, 78% of them entering tech-related or engineering jobs. Of these workers, 2,075 were from Western Europe and 421 were from the United States. Only four were not from either places. The government says it hopes to expand its horizons and accept more workers from Asian nations such as Japan and China. To this end, it has employed several advertising campaigns in those countries encouraging young workers to consider Isokyria as an employment opportunity. In 2016, its specialized work immigration goal was reported to be 3,300, a 32% increase from 2015's figure.
Health care is provided to all citizens under a single-payer model system through the Isokyrian National Health Serivce (INHS).
Current public health issues are early deaths caused by opioid overdose, HIV/AIDS caused by infected needles, and alcoholism among the rural population. Obesity is on the rise, although still lowest among western European nations. Suicide, for the first time, became the leading cause of death for men under the age of 25 in the year 2014 and has continued to increase. In 1999, 9,833 men committed suicide compared to 23,599 in 2016. The trend is similar for women with 1,433 in 1999 and 8,410 in 2016. A national suicide hotline has been available since 2003 but its effectiveness has been minute. The life expectancy for the average Isokyrian actually declined in 2017 from 80.3 years to 78.9, signalling the growing negative effects of the aforementioned issues. The government's response to these problems has been to increase awareness of the dangers of drug abuse as the state believes the growing suicide epidemic and drug epidemic are related. New anti-drug programs have been introduced in schools, aiming to provide students a thorough look into how drug addiction starts. Clean needle programs have been created in many major cities in order to reduce the risk of HIV/AIDS. Increased funding and awareness of therapy options has also been proposed by the Ministry of Health to reduce suicides.
Isokyria provides all forms of education for free for all citizens. The Ministry of Education sets testing standards and requirements that all districts in the country are expected to abide by. Primary education begins at age 6 and is compulsory until secondary education at the age of 16. From then until age 21, students have the option of attending post-secondary classes which can earn them extra credits when they move on to higher education. These classes are usually career-focused and aim to show students the variety career opportunities available. They are provided for free and are completely optional.
Higher education typically begins between ages 18 and 20. There are sixteen public universities in Isokryia, the largest by enrollment being University of Hufo and the University of Pivni. All other universities are privately operated but there are no for-profit institutions in the country. Attendance to a public university is free of charge for the first two years after which the cost is assessed based on many factors such as desired major, socio-economic status, location, and so forth. The government does not provide student financial aid. Most private universities offer reduced tuition if a student completes a two-year term at a public university studying a "Preferred field". Preferred fields are areas of study that the state has determined are in high-demand, mostly relating to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) but there are many preferred fields that do not fall into these categories, such as skilled trades.
Academic administration is handled at the district-level and each district has at least one primary and secondary school. As stated before, the Ministry of Education annually publishes a set of standards all districts are expected to meet. Districts that do not meet standards are placed under review by the national government. Usually employees from the Ministry of Education are sent to examine why the district failed to meet standards then recommends what course of action should be taken. However, district failures are very rare and problems are usually noticed and handled well before that occurs.
District funding is decided by primarily by population and the estimated number of attending students. District councils then budget funds between institution based on their own standards. In 2016, Isokyria spent the equivalent of US$98 billion on education or 5.2% of its GDP.
For many years, Isokyria used the so-called "Prussian education model". Beginning in 2012, the Isokyrian government has sought to reform this model by allowing districts to implement their own experimental styles of education. Districts have been granted greater autonomy in how they educate their students, the results of which are still being examined. Examples of changes to the current system include the reduction or elimination of after-class work, extension of recess, and reducing the length of the school day. Other schools have allowed for more classroom interaction, allowing students to discuss with each other the subject material at hand, instead of quietly listening to an instructor's lesson. Greater accommodations have been made for both low and high-performing students and some classes have opted to group their students by ability instead of age. Many libertarian groups, particularly in the United States, have praised Isokyria's new approach.
Homeschooling, which was disallowed until 2003, has been receiving attention as a viable alternative, especially for students with disabilities.
99.9% of Isokryians are literate. 94% of Isokyrians have a high school diploma or equivalent certification. Of those, 74% attended some form of higher education, the most common being a two-year term at a public university. 63% of Isokyrians who attended a two-year term either extended their term to four years or transferred to a private university for another two-year term.
In the 2016 academic year, 58% of all university students were females between the ages of 18 and 25. 94% were Isokyrian, 6% were foreign students studying abroad. Of foreign students, 67% were from the United Kingdom, 25% were from Sweden, 5% were from China, 2% were from the United States, and the remaining 1% were from a variety of countries.
Isokyria's culture is the culmination of over one thousand years of Nordic influence. Preserving and promoting Isokyrian culture and history has been the government's top priority since the establishment of the Nororist regime. Over ₤170 billion was spent in 2015 towards this goal, nearly a third of which was put into Isokyria's libraries and museums. Funds have also been allocated to preserving Isokyria's natural history and wildlife.
Nationalism is a prominent attitude among Isokyrians. Isokyrians generally have an intense devotion to their country and express sincere concern for its welfare. Something of a personality cult surrounds the country's founder, Christian Robertsson though some defectors say this is largely perpetuated by the government and that few Isokyrians actually hold such a high level of admiration that the government projects.
Isokyrians have a deep sense of community and maintain strong social networks, especially in the rural areas. Many matters that would be considered an individual or private affair in other cultures would be considered community affairs in Isokyria. It is very common for virtually all residents of small towns and villages to know each other personally. Many Isokyrians are born, live, and die in the same place.
Isokyria has a rich tradition of folklore involving thousands of tales, legends, and stories that revolve cultural concepts and reflect the morality of the Isokyrian people. Perhaps the most well-known Isokyrian folktale is entitled Cuikar's Boat in where a young boy, Cuikar, wishes to build a boat so he can sail down a river and explore the world, but to do so, he must enlist the help of various villagers who become his friends and join him on his adventure. The story is commonly told to children to teach them about hard work, friendship, making and keeping promises, and healthy curiosity. The origin of Cuikar's Boat is uncertain and it is believed to have developed over the course of several centuries, undergoing many iterations and re-tellings.
Cryptozoology has a large scene in Isokyria whose culture is host to many creatures that are said to live throughout the country, some exhibiting supernatural abilities. One such creature, called the weissbear, is said to be a ferocious and monstrous bear that lives in the northern regions of Isokyria. It is described as have pointy ears, black and white fur, sharp teeth, and an "evil gaze." It is a man-eater, and many superstitions have arisen because of its purported existence. For example, it is common in Fisbae never to cook meat after dark or play music after 11 PM, as they are said to attract weissbears. In addition, things such as burnt wood ashes, the smell of cinnamon, and the cry of a wolf are all said to ward off weissbears. These superstitions are generally not taken completely seriously, especially among younger people, but a recent experiment conducted in 2015 showed that 66% of all Isokyrians showed some level of hesitation when doing things said to attract weissbears while 15% refused to do them at all. These figures increase to 85% and 24% respectively for Fisbanese.
After-death traditions are taken very seriously in Isokyria, especially the belief that disturbing one's grave disturbs their spirit and their eternal rest. This belief is so prevalent in fact, that it has disrupted several murder investigations that required the exhumation of the victim. Law enforcement agencies are often blocked by the deceased's family and a few are only convinced after performing certain rituals intended to ensure the dead can rest peacefully again. Cremation was rare prior to the 20th century but has since become a popular and inexpensive way to dispose the dead and typically does not interfere with the aforementioned customs so long as the deceased's remains are buried in the ground, whether at a cemetery or the family home.
Isokyria is predominately a Protestant country with a considerable Catholic minority. Of Protestants, 93% are members of the Church of Isokyria, a state-sponsored Lutheran church with parishes all across the country. The remaining 7% of Protestants are split among various Christian denominations, including Anglican, Baptist, Seventh-Day Adventist, and Methodist. There are approximately 15,000 Jehovah's Witnesses and 9,000 Mormons in Isokyria, according to the 2015 Census.
Catholicism has a long history in Isokyria and was the dominant religion until the Protestant Reformation. The Church divides the country into 7 dioceses and the Apostolic Nunciature is based in Hufo. As of 2018, there are two Cardinals from Isokyria currently living.
Besides Christianity, most of the country is non-religious and religion has been declining in influence and importance since the 1980s. Small minorities of other Abrahamic religions exist such as Islam (with about 5,000 members) and Judaism (about 2,000).
Veneration for the ancient Norse gods was revived following the Nororist revolution and it is common for Isokyrians, religions and irreligious alike, to partake in ceremonies meant to honor the gods.
Freedom of religion is guaranteed by the Constitution of Isokyria and generally respected although the state has come into conflicts with some religious sects over certain issues, namely Jehovah's Witnesses and conscription. After several legal cases, an exception was granted for JWs for Isokyria's mandatory military service (which was ultimately abolished in 2005).
The Manifesto of Isokyric Thought written by Christian Robertsson is easily the most influential work of literature in the country. Not only did it establish the foundation of the Nororist philosophy, but Robertsson's commentary on culture established what it meant to be Isokyrian. Although its political relevance is less pronounced today, its role as a cultural blueprint remains strong.
Besides the Manifesto, Isokyria has a long tradition of poetry and poets such as Hrafn Þórirsson (who has been credited with giving Isokyria its name) have been a primary influence on not only poetry as a whole, but all works of art in Isokyria. A collection of poems by Þórirsson that were written between the years 1433 and 1469 was compiled in 1912 and entitled A Life of Meaning. My Name is Bernard is a notable work of Isokyrian fiction that was written by Johann Hermansson in 1958 which tells the story of a man as he struggles with the banality of life. The story was well known even outside Isokyria mainly for being one of the few popular works of fiction that did not have a subtle (or not) political context.
After the death of Robertsson, authors felt more safe to challenge the Nororist regime and the culture it fostered. Lilija by Hakon Leifsson is one such work that featured graphic descriptions of rape, murder, and drug use, and attempted to highlight the subjectivity and fragility of human morality especially in a stringent society such as Isokyria. While the national government did not pay much attention to the story, some provincial councils banned the work for being 'morally obscene'.
Isokyrian art spans over thirty-thousand years with the earliest known pieces of artwork being discovered in the southern regions of the nation. Over the centuries, various artistic movements have arisen and dissipated which have all contributed to Isokyria's artistic history. Notable painters and artists of the 18th through 20th centuries have been Hono Karlsson, Karina Gregorissdottir, Klas Viktorsson, Jakob Gunarsson, among others. Isokyrian art the last two centuries can be divided into four distinct eras: the Classical Era (1820-1890), the Nororist Era, (1920-1950) the Hufo Era (1950-1970) and the Minimal Era (1990-present). The Nororist movement was largely upstarted by the ascension of the Nororist Party to power and consisted of thousands of works comissioned by the government to accentuate the ideal society the Nororists wished to build. Most artists who created works for the Nororists remained anonymous or released their works under a pseudonym. They borrowed heavily from the aesthetics of Nazi Germany and other fascist countries which typically showcased the "ideal citizens" of their respective countries, often accompanied by contrasting colors meant to be intimidating and fearsome. The movement faded out as the Nororists settled into power and the rate of commissions declined.
The Nororist movement was replaced in part by the works of American Andy Warhol who had a significant influence on a movement that originated in Hufo during the 1950s and dominated the Isokyrian art scene for two decades, peaking in the 1960s. It took a simplistic, near-satire approach to art and focused on a deconstruction of art down to its most base features. Artists who were emblematic of this movement include Jonas Tobiassson, Asar Kolafi, and Dagnae Olafssdottir. The Hufo movement remains prevalent today but its status as the primary mode of expression was overtaken by what has been termed as the Minimalist movement, which has only recently reached its zenith within the last decade, but its origins have been observed much earlier, beginning in the 1990s and 80s. It borrows from the Hufo movement in its simplicity but aims to build up rather than deconstruct using simple shapes and concepts. "Less is more" is a common phrase spoken in regards to the Minimalist movement.
The Hufo Museum of Art hosts a collection of over 20,000 pieces from all over the world and holds an annual contest to recognize the best contributions to Isokyrian art. To promote Isokyrian art, the government since 2009 has offered a £250 "cultural allowance" to qualifying university students to spend towards experiencing and creating art. The money may be spent on admission to museums and art galleries or towards supplies such as paint, clay, ink, canvasses, sketchboards, etc.
Main article: Music of Isokyria
Isokyrian music is a unique mix of traditional Nordic folk tunes and influences from foreign musicians. Isokyrian music has recently acquired its own identity and distinct style. A neo-disco scene has developed in the past ten years, which has started combining elements of classic 1970's disco with modern folk music, creating a genre known as folkco. Notable folkco artists include Sarina Zakkarysdottir, Jaams Albertsson, and Rina Samyulesdottir.
Vaporwave music has developed a prominent scene in Isokyria. 80s-style aesthetics and remixing of popular songs from that era have become a recent furor in the past year, creating a subgenre within the vaporwave scene, called Isowave. Common elements found in Isowave music are a certain aura of melancholy, pseudo-philosophical sayings (e.g. "What you seek is what you are"), incorporation of classical art, and the use of full width (ｆｕｌｌ ｗｉｄｔｈ) text.
Foreign music mostly originates from the United States and other European nations.
Isokyria's film industry has existed as nearly as film itself has. Christian Ludvigsson was an early pioneer of the silent film era who was known for short comedy films. The first sound films produced in Isokyria received little attention until the 1940s when the film The Ice (1942) served as Isokyria's breakthrough film. It received enormous popularity in the United Kingdom, Germany, and the United States, where it established Isokyria as a source of movies in the minds of viewers. Kaposan (1974) was the first Isokyrian film to receive an Oscar (Best Foreign Language Film).
Annually, the Isokyrian film industry produces around 100 feature films. 2016 was the first year in which more films were made primarily in Isokyrian than in English.
The Isokyrian Academy of the Fine Performing Arts (IAFPA) is the country's governing body for all things relating to Isokyrian cinema and filmmaking, based in Austuf, Pvini. All professional Isokyrian actors and directors must register with the Academy and adhere to its guidelines for what it considers good filmmaking. It maintains the the Isokyrian Ratings System which assigns a letter grade to films based on their content to inform viewers if it is appropriate for children. The System's current grades are:
- A (All audiences)
- B-10 (Suitable for children 10 years of age)
- C-15 (Suitable for children 15 years of age)
- D-17 (suitable for children 17 years of age)
- E-18+ (adults only)
The Academy also hosts the Isokyrian Academy Awards which annually recognizes the best of Isokyrian cinema.
Before 1999, the Academy also screened and banned movies that were considered offensive or un-Nororist in nature. Although the Academy has ended that practice many movies made before 1999 remain banned. Now, if a movie is found to be offensive due to its explicit or political content, it receives what is known as a "Non-Commercial Strike" which prohibits the film from being sold commercially; the film can still be distributed for free. Actors and directors associated with the film also receive a note on their record, which can make it difficult for them to find work in the industry.
The IAFPA does not consider pornographic movies to be films and so they are regulated instead by the Isokyrian Home Office, which has prohibited most physical copies of sexually explicit works. Pornography can still be accessed on the internet with a VPN.
Television has contributed an enormous amount to Isokyria's culture since its invention, especially through cartoons. Cartoons are enjoyed by both children and adults. Skugga is perhaps the most popular Isokyrian cartoon character. Created in 1944 by Jacob Karlsson, Skugga originally appeared in a newspaper comic strip entitled Today Tomorrow. Since then, Skugga has been adopted into a variety of cartoon mediums and is considered to be an unofficial mascot of Isokyria. He is typically portrayed as a friendly blue cat accompanied by a diverse array of friends. Skugga went into the public domain in 1996 and since then a wealth of Skugga-related content has been created by both professionals and amateurs alike.
Isokyrian cuisine is based primarily on fish, beef, dairy, and vegetables. For centuries, Isokyrians have developed unique ways of combining milk and fish as seen in fisikolt, a classic Isokyrian dish. Salt, as in most cultures, is a staple in Isokyria and is vital to the preparation of thousands of dishes. Isokyrian cows yield a type of beef with a flavor unlike anything else in the world. Steak made with Isokyrian cows is called Isokyrian-style.
After the colonization of the New World and the subsequent return of various vegetables including tomatoes and potatoes, Isokyrian cuisine has expanded far beyond its traditional realm. The introduction of the potato in particular has had a definite impact on Isokyrian cuisine. Juni, a dish containing fried and battered fish served with a side of cut raw potatoes topped with vinegar, is an example of this. Foreign cuisine has developed its own scene in Isokyria. Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Italian, Greek, French, English, and American food are consumed by the Isokyrian public and are increasing in popularity. Many dishes from these cuisines have been mixed with native Isokyrian cuisine as a form of culinary syncretism.
Tea and water are the most popular non-alcoholic drinks in Isokyria but coffee consumption has risen consistently year by year. Safiblind (literally "juice-mix") is a popular traditional beverage that consists of mixing two or three fruit juices together, chilled with ice. The drink can be made alcoholic typically by adding wine or rum. There are thousands of combinations of safiblind but apple and lemon are a common mixture. Carbonated water or soda is added in some variations to give it a fizzy taste. Among alcohol, beer reigns supreme as the beverage of choice for local pubs and bars.
Football (soccer) is by far the most popular sport in Isokyria, as is the case in most of Europe. Isokyrian football clubs include Hufo United F.C., Dyr Alex F.C., and Pan-Helsa F.C. National Stadium in Hufo is the largest football stadium by capacity in the country at 88,331. Gylfi Sidgurddson is an Isokyrian footballer who plays for Everton F.C, based in Liverpool, in the Premier League. Ice hockey is also a popular sport in Isokyria, especially among children. As of 2017, there are 47 Isokyrians currently playing in the NHL. In international competition, Isokyria performs well in winter sports and most Olympic gold medals won by Isokyrian athletes have been won during the Winter Olympics. Isokyria has participated in almost every summer Olympic Games, except for the 1980 Olympics which it, along with other allies of the United States, boycotted in protest of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
Main articles: Flag of Isokyria, Coat of Arms of Isokyria, Sybilla
The flag of Isokyria is the country's primary symbol. Adopted in 1938, it is a yellow-frimbriated blue cross on a black field, similar to other Nordic flags. The government has spent a great amount of effort promoting the flag among the general public. It is seen on every government building and many private homes.
The coat of arms is similar to the flag: a sable escutcheon charged with an azure cross, fimbriated or supported by two bulls argent. Below is the motto of Isokyria, "KET ANDER ELS ISOKIR", which in English means "None other than Isokyria".
The bull is the most common animal representation of Isokyria. Sybilla is the human personification of the country. Typically depicted as a beautiful woman with long, blonde hair, she has been the subject of many stories, legends, songs, and myths, which paint an elaborate picture of the character with a distinct personality; kind, caring, and loving but wracked by flaws of impulsivity and distrust in other humans. Even to this day, modern artists incorporate her into their works, often as a depressed or confused woman, reflecting the recent social disturbance Isokyria has experienced in the past decade.
Isokyria's national is entitled "Ode to the Nation" and was written in 1940 by Jackob Jackobsson, specifically for the Nororist Party. The anthem is played before the beginning of each session of the National Assembly and when some television stations go off the air for the night. A salute is common though not required nor officialized. The most common salute given is a variant of the Bellamy salute, however, due to the reminiscent imagery of the Nazis the government has somewhat encouraged other salutes. Placing one's hand on their left breast (over the heart) is also a common show of respect for the anthem.
The anthem's lyrics are as follows, essentially unchanged since 1940:
Rise, o nation to whom we sing!
We sow our wheat upon your bosom!
Please, gracious land, home us so that we may live for thousands of years!
Our Lord Jesus Christ, we honor you!
Grant us patience and hope!
Curse our enemies who seek to do us harm!
We thank you, O Lord, for the wisdom you have imparted by the most Honorable Robertsson.
Thank you, thank you!
We are forever in your debt!
There are two categories of holidays in Isokyria: National Holidays, in which nearly all businesses are closed and most workers are granted a paid day off and most government services are closed (save for first responders), and Cultural Holidays, which are celebrated by most Isokyrians but are not considered important enough for mass business closings though some government offices may be closed or close early.
National Holidays are as follows:
|New Year's Day||January 1||The first day of the new year in the Gregorian calendar.|
|Robertsson Day||April 17||Christian Robertsson's birthday (1889) and one of most important national holidays in Isokyria.|
|Republic Day||August 13||Celebrates the establishment of the Isokyrian republic.|
|Labour Day||September 15||Celebrates and honors the labour of the Nororist worker.|
|Thanksgiving Day||Last Thursday of November||Day of giving thanks for one's gifts in life.|
|Christmas Day||December 25||Celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.|
Cultural Holidays are as follows:
|Week of Reverence (Odin's Week)||February 1-8||A week for reverence to the old Norse gods. Robertsson created this holiday during his cultural revival campaign.|
|Valentine's Day||February 14||Feast day of St. Valentine. In modern times, the day of celebration of both romantic and family love.|
|Veterans Day||March 22||Celebration of the veterans who fought in the Isokyrian civil wars.|
|Good Friday||Friday before Easter Sunday||Reflection on the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ|
|Easter||First Sunday after the Spring Equinox||Celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ|
|Yggdrasil Day||April 20||Isokyria's version of Earth Day. Named after the Norse mythical tree that was said to connect the nine worlds of Norse mythology.|
|Mother's Day||Second Sunday of May||Celebration of the Isokyrian mother.|
|Father's Day||Third Sunday of June||Celebration of the Isokyrian father.|
|Halloween||October 31||Day dedicated to things that frighten humans and for the memorial of dead people.|
|Nororist Victory Day||November 22||Celebration of the Nororist victory over the communist forces in the Second Isokyrian Civil War.|
|Christmas Eve||December 24||Day before Christmas. Gift-giving is usually done on this day while Christmas Day is reserved as a day of rest.|
|New Years Eve||December 31||Last day of the year.|