What is Ubuntu?
In 2339, local governmental control collapsed in China and the Indian subcontinent. With vast high-technology sectors and more than two billion workers, the region was heavily dependent on its relationship with the GTA and the war effort. Post-nationalization, the area was effectively owned by the Alliance, but the GTA lacked the political organs to exert effective control. The result was massive unrest, crippling poverty, and social disorder.
Terrified by the prospective suffering in the area, a loose cabal of political scientists, philosophers, psychologists, workers, teachers, scholars, religious figures, and local intellectuals - mostly graduates of the GTA's Human Future Project think tank - began communicating on local networks, searching for a solution to Sol's looming crisis.
By 2342, many members of this group (a few thousand at most) had assumed public office in the most strife-ridden areas of Earth. Applying computer-calibrated models of social and economic growth, they established trade schools, converted munitions plants into shelters, and opened education programs. Rooted firmly in neoclassical economic thought, they struck out against GTA nationalization, returning pockets of free market trade and development to India, China, and sub-Saharan Africa via microinvestment.
They tried their best, and whether their attempts succeeded or failed, they collected data and shared it with their fellows. Surplus military tactical programs helped build comprehensive sociopolitical simulations. Forecasts were made, and the results were dire. Sol, as a coherent human system, was headed for collapse. The outer colonies might soon be cut off from frequent space travel entirely. Sol had the resources it needed, in abundance, but the system was choking on its own detritus.
Faced with a massive demographic crisis that threatened to set civilization back centuries, these former GTA analysts formed the Restoration Project. The first full meeting occurred in Hong Kong in 2343, where members endorsed the Outcomes Doctrine, which established the fundamental mantra of the project: no human shall be unable to achieve her full potential. Six months later the Restoration Project was a formally recognized political party.
Without corporate sponsorship, it had little chance of success, so the Project went grassroots, communicating with spiritual leaders and humanitarians. In 2344 it won its first parliamentary majority, cruising to victory in rural China and India on the wings of its own success. Implementing rigorous scientific modeling alongside charismatic oratory, the Restoration Project promised a scientific, humanist Restoration. They stood for the free market, transparency, heavy investment in schools and infrastructure, scientific exploration, and human progress: appealing ideology in an atmosphere of dissent, disgust, and tangled backroom negotiations.
In February 2345, Professor Martin Mandho, a major Restoration figure with former ties to the Galactic Terran Intelligence, went into closed retreat with certain spiritual figures popular in the Party.
Two months later, Mandho requested a meeting with one of the GTA's most decorated pilots, as well as Vasudan survivors of the attack on the Lucifer.
Whatever happened in that meeting galvanized Mandho and the inner circle of the Restoration Project. Two years later, the Project declared itself the Ubuntu Party (taking on the name of an Afro-Asian populist political party that many of its founding members belonged to) and announced its intent to reestablish a system-wide government and take custody of mankind's future.
The full scope of the Ubuntu Party's success on Earth can only be summarized here. By 2360, the Party had implemented its program of socioeconomic modeling, free market reform, and scientific/technological/educational investment across the globe. Unemployment plummeted as the Party kicked off massive public works projects, commissioning orbital foundries, clean energy farms, the Tools for Schools program, and a new line of intrasystem trade ships.
It must be said that the Ubuntu Party's leaders were masters of human nature. Whatever models they employed to achieve their aims leveraged greed, self-interest, irrationality and factionalism into useful vectors.
But Ubuntu also advocated peace, disarmament, and human reconciliation. It did not formally endorse any religious ideology, but its ideological leanings were non-judgmental and accepting. Some controversy arose around the Party's focus on preventing criminal recidivism rather than implementing harsh punishments - a tactic that was statistically successful but morally controversial.
It took years before Earth's economy stabilized. Ubuntu models failed time and again, but each time the Party bounced back with a new approach and new success. When Mars and Jupiter began requesting Ubuntu advisors, the tide began to turn for Sol.
The ascent of the Party to system-wide control was, by that point, essentially inevitable.Is Ubuntu equally popular on Mars and Jupiter? What are the Ubuntu party's goals? Are these utopian ideals not unobtainable? How did such a government gain power? Why are we at war with it? Why is it an illegitimate organization? What is the relationship between the Party and the Federation? What is the Council of Elders? Who are the Fedayeen? What is the UEF's military history? What are the psychological strengths of Federation citizens? What are the weaknesses? What is our strategy against the UEF? What are the potential consequences of a failure to secure Sol?