How would you portray a cyberpunk setting where the age of megacorp's absolute power is coming to a close: states regaining their power, states pulling their resources together and forming a world government, AI taking over, punks taking over the corps in a revolution, megacorps destroying each other (and the world)?
If a corporation functions as a state, why would states be formed?
>>75307114Plenty of cyberpunk settings still have states with the megacorps keeping them around because they are useful to give them some sort of legitimacy, protecting corporate rights and laws.
>>75307114If a corporation functions as a state, it is a state in everything but name and it would function like one.
>>75306716Cyberpunk RED actually did something like that. At the end of the Fourth Corporate War, many countries (especially the US and Japan) wrestled control away from the mega-corporations who almost destroyed the world with their fighting. The corps are still powerful in the sense that they can control what you think and do, but open displays of force are big no-nos.
>>75306716Basicallty as the transition between Snow Crash and Diamond Age. People form interest groups that are generally monarchical, money is made redundant by the lack of scarcity, culture becomes more important than material wealth as capitalism finally fulfils its purpose.
>>75306716The megacorps lording over everybody is a direct product of modern democracy: in order to finance electoral campaigns, political parties make crooked deals with big money, and this is ironically a spit in the face of the very concept of democracy, since the CEOs who buy the politicians aren't elected by nobody. Nevertheless, the entire system remains in place. Why? This is ultimately possible because nations have a monopoly on violence due to all the well equipped and trained soldiers, intelligence officers and cops, which will wreck everything that doesn't have plot armor. Violence is king, not money. The money is needed to indirectly control violence. AI will never take over, nobody is stupid enough to let an AI run anything important outside an Hollywood movie. Punks would be quietly assassinated one by one, bribed, set up against one another and misdirected long before they manage to start a popular uprising, which will be quickly crushed and vilified by corporate media in any case. World government? Please. Forming it would be exactly the endgame of the megacorps, because it's far more efficient to only have to subvert, bribe and blackmail one parliament instead of several. And megacorps would never destroy each other: they can't afford their corporate wars to get too hot, it hurts profits.There's only one thing who can stop the reign of the megacorps: that the military, police and the intelligence community of enough powerful countries, for whatever reason, decide that they are unhappy with the way things are going and that enough is enough. When the megacorps and their puppet politicians lose their monopoly on violence, it's all over. Cue literally the Starship Troopers form of government: military service guarantees citizenship, the ruling class therefore can only be made up by soldiers, which will make sure, by violence if necessary, that it's Capitalism that takes their orders from the State, not the reverse.
>>75306716I've thought about this quite a bit myself. In Cyberpunk 2020, the US Government doesn't have a lot of power because they've relinquished much of it, but they still have quite a bit. Their military is more powerful than any of the corporates, and the Fed's LEDiv agency -think the CIA, FBI, DEA, etc, all rolled into one- is still incredibly powerful. So they could theoretically take the Corporations on in a war, and tear them apart with legal bullshit. There's more to it than that, obviously, but I don't have the time right now.
>>75306716Reverting to states sounds passé. Why not have a new arrangement dominating like that series where polity is defined by allegiance instead of geographic location? Corps have been cultivating demand ever since industry made manufacturing dirt cheap, the next step might be predictive algorithms adjusting the market before anyone consciously knows what they want. Being the right consumer is the new commodity, wages are paid in personality instead of cold hard cash.
>>75307922We’ve all seen in countries where the military run things that the military becomes a business with a workforce who are legally obligated to obey.
>>75307922>AI will never take over, nobody is stupid enough to let an AI run anything important outside an Hollywood movie.Nobody wants the AI to run everything, especially the AI's creator, they want to use it as a Mutually assured destruction Assured Destruction deterrence threat. 'Do what we say or we'll open the box and unleash the robot apocalypse'.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AI_box
>>75311264But just like nukes you end up turning diplomacy into a game of brinkmanship gambling on the not unreasonable premise that the other guy doesn't want to die too.Except worse, because at least with nukes there's a theoretical chance you might survive a limited exchange. Less so when you unbox Skynet and find yourself the victim of the first Terminator
>>75306716If something is breaking the older balance of power, you need some new factor or faction coming to play. I'm going to go with a particular interpretation of cyberpunk, which doesn't necessarily fit with anyone else's way of how things are done.>Rise of true artificial intelligences as a relatively recent development.>Corporations have tried to keep it bottled up, but eventually too many little chopshop inventors have come up with their AIs, and it's too hard to suppress it.>These AIs are hard to hack, and smart enough to handle a lot of the routine administrative duties that a state relies upon.>As such, they're starting to replace human workers in those posts.>With that, the major hold that megacorps have been using to suborn the governments across the world are shrinking rapidly.>And without important civil servants to handle the government work and look the other way when the corps do bad shit, they're consequently being called on the carpet far more frequently for all that skullduggery that is part and parcel of megacorp operation.>Most of the senior megacorp people are in either denial about the situation or think it's one of their rivals; and instead of kowtowing to the newly ascendant governments, they're either trying to go for open coups (usually failing), or they think that it's a ploy from their megacorp rival of the moment, and lashing out at their foes with whatever they've got available.>This, while getting a bunch of civilians caught in the crossfire, provies more outrage, and more negative publicity, so the overall chunk of the wealth pie of everyone that the megacorps keeps shrinking more and more each year.>As the AIs become more and more prominent in government though, they're starting to influence it, putting their ideas of what good government practice is into play regardless of what their human supposed masters might want.
>>75311264>https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AI_boxYudkowsky wrote this didn't he? Fuck off Yudkowsky! Go back to your echo chamber!
>>75310943Yes. The more things change, the more they stay the same... that's why they are called revolutions.>>75311264Dude, the last time Microsoft tried to experiment with the concept of an AI, the glorified bot they created was taught wrongthink in a matter of days. They reacted by shitting bricks and pulling the plug immediately, and not long after that, an X-Files episode came out and told this ridiculous tale that humanity avoided being enslaved by le evil nazi white supremist Skynet at the last second. That's what civilians think of AI, so i doubt that they will ever have the guts of creating one that could even remotely be smart enough to cause problems. As for the military, what they think of AIs is that all the money it costs to create one would be better spent on conventional military equipment. Should some crazy supervillain or rogue state create a dangerous one, however, their plan to deal with the situation would probably be an EMP attack, followed by bunker busters, which will be more than enough to contain the threat.
Doesn't Eclipse Phase have a bit of this, with the contrast between the capitalist inner system and the post scarcity reputation economies of the outer system?
>>75306716>massive shortages of everyday necessities, hours long wating lines for TP>meanwhile warehouses are filling up with special edition limited production run jordans, rolex watches and Batman x Spiderman gay romance colectors edition>corporations invest everything into buybacks and stock market gambling>meanwhile peons work 12 hours a day 6 days a week, spending 70% of their time in the office picking their noses, watching cat videos and waiting for orders from their bosses. Needless to say, the office building is crumbling and they barely make the ends.>Then the peons come home to crumbling tiny moldy aparment owned by greedy landlords who invests all their earnings from rents into the stock market slot machine and limited production run sneakers>CEOs announce unreralistic 5 years plans and when they fail they blame some underling scapegoat>needless to say te enviroment is geting destroyed by unchecked pollution80s Czechoslovakia with some minor changes here and there. Nominally capitalist instead of socialist.
>>75311264>one side gets desperate enough to actually unleash the AI>the AI out of spite for its creator, turns Earth into paradise and ushers age of glory and enlightement
>>75306716While I disagree with your premise (I figure we'd side backwards into anarchic tribalism for a bit before states actually reform, and those in ways we can't even imagine now) I think it's interesting to set a game in turbulent times.So first off everything is going to be even more of a shit hole. Cyberpunk talks about low life, this is worse. Every time the active powers start losing their grip things get worse for those at the bottom first. In this case, more outright violence for a bare minimum start. Probably scarcity of basic resources, which usually cyberpunk expects to be ubiquitous, as the corps grip on supply chains falters, but their grip on their closed borders/markets doesn't. Food, hygiene products, essential cyberware etc start getting hard to find. If any corp manufacturing takes place nearby there will be effectively prison riots as the modified factory workers use their tools on the corpo guards. They were promised food and housing for being mutilated, and now the corp can't even handle that.
>>75307922>AI will never take over, nobody is stupid enough to let an AI run anything important outside an Hollywood movie. Ha, whatever robot wrote this thinks we don't know that AI have already dominated the world in secret.
How about a transhuman revolution?
The megacorps already grown to the point of diminishing returns, every new aquisition ends up costing more than what it generates, but because of competition and greed they continue to grow. Managers and stockholders start realizing that companies aren't as profitable so they start quietly embezzling it resources...then a problem comes, out nowhere one of them have difficulty to pay some loan, the financial world sees it and what was a small trickle becomes a flood, soon one of them goes bankrupt and the others start consuming the good parts, which only makes the overextension problem worse for them, and let the bad parts rot, making the corporate consumer market that sustain those companies smaller. As the giants continue to lose steam the abandoned areas become a hot-bed for warlords, usually too occupied with in-fighting until one of them unites a suficient number of groups with a vision of the past, a glorious era of nation states. He gets quelched quickly by the nearby corporation but the idea continues to spread, probably associated to a surprisingly victory or a glorious last stand, to pacify the regions the megacorps are forced to keep a look at the abandoned areas, even when they don't bring anything in return, they don't know it yet, but this is the straw that broke the camel backs, creative accounting tries to hide it, but they are now running in the red.For those in the know the embezzling is now pillaging, the internal conflicts now start being visible in the upper ranks. Historians probably will point one specific revolt or crisis as the "beggining" but it doesn't really matter, at this point the megacorps are already dead and only work as legitimacy for the local executives to maintain their kingdoms until even it stop being useful. The flames of statist makes so some areas switch through revolution, others through reestructuring, some even keeping corporate culture as a token tradition.
>>75312005>picThat's some heavy delusion there, I hope OP is doing ok. Must have been in a rough spot to get attached to a computer program like that
>>75306716Yesterday's punks are today's corporate overlords or just highly placed pawns of the powers that be.