Theocratic Socialism, also referred to as Clerical Communalism, Ultra-Religious Socialism and most often shortened to Theo-Socialism or TheoSoc is a term for a variety of economically left religious movements that span across multiple religious groups. Theo-Socialist ideologies seek to combine a strict religious doctrine and clerical leadership with forms of Proto-Socialism, Socialism and Marxism. While there is only one declaratively Theo-Socialist nation on Urth – being the Holy Peasants’ Republic of Gräntierik – movements with similar ideals exist amongst many religious groups. Many have stated a link between the ideals of Theo-Socialism and Communal Nationalism, with some stating the ideology exists as simply a Clerical version of the ideology. This has been criticised by Theo-Socialists as a strawman argument against their beliefs – stating that they are neither Fascists nor Communists. However, some factions within the Ideology argue that Theocracy and Communism can coexist viably, arguing that a stateless, classless society can be formed upon the basis of religion.Nevertheless, many critics of the ideology on the left and right see Theo-Socialism as a bastardisation of Socialism and Theocracy respectively, with Theo-Socialists being granted the ire of both the Religious Right, as well as more Secular Socialists that make up the majority of mainline Orthodox Marxist belief. General consensus notes Theocratic-Socialism as being enacted before other forms of Socialism by a wide margin, though there is some debate over whether the Theocratic Socialist movement was, for the most part, Proto-Socialist in nature during the 17th and 18th century, with Durakan Socialist Theorist Tarov Hesse writing,
Luterites and Theo-Socialism in Ademarism
Gränseric Ademarists – more commonly known as Luterites - are the most prominent example of Theo-Socialism, being the state ideology of Gräntierik. Luterite doctrine states the need to follow the interpretation of Ademarism made by Borko Luter, an Arkian born under the Asendavian Empire. Luter’s ideas of true equality under the God-On-Urth led him to proto-socialist beliefs of a Holy Republic. He and his followers, the first Luterites, were exiled from Asendavian Arkalrius to North Novaris, in which they would declare the first Theo-Socialist State, the Holy Peasants’ Republic of Gräntierik after a violent takeover of the dwarf-led Republic of Gränser in 1665. These founding beliefs of Equality and Religious Extremism stayed with the state, forming the first and only current example of Theo-Soc ideas on a national scale.
While the Luterites are the largest group of Theo-Socialists within Ademarism, the flexible nature of the religion has seen the movement act as a fringe ideology in certain branches of the religion – although often overshadowed by more socially progressive forms of Ademarism such as those gaining popularity in Cryria or more economically conservative forms such as those dominant in Asendavia and Vistaraland.
Akronist Socialism and the Tavari Communist Party
Theo-Socialism has had a presence in Akronism as early as the late 1800s, when it became popular among a small faction of Akronist clergy that was opposed to the Church's involvement with the harsh colonial regime in Hawa and Zawadi. Akronism places great emphasis on ideas such as the absolute equality of all people, the right of all people to lead dignified and happy lives, and that those in need should be provided for, all ideas that made leftist politics in general and socialism in specific appeal to many Akronists. However, since the turn of the 21st century, Theo-Socialism has significantly increased in popularity to the point where it has become the predominant philosophy among political Akronists. In 2021, the Tavari Communist Party amended its Party Constitution and By-Laws to explicitly identify it as a "Akronist-socialist, or theo-socialist, political organization of the proletariat." Since the amendments, the Tavari Communist Party's official platform has defined Akronist Socialism as "a branch of Theo-Socialist thought in which Akronist moral principles and systems of belief form the basis for law and civil society, complemented by Marxist principles governing the economy." A 2021 survey conducted by the Church asking members to self-identify with a political party showed that 62% of Akronists in Tavaris listed the Tavari Communist Party as their affiliation, though respondents were permitted to identify with more than one party. The Church had not run such a survey since 1971, and in that survey the percentage of Akronists identifying with the Communist Party was 19%, thus representing a 43 percentage-point increase over 50 years.
In addition to Tavaris, Akronist Socialism is present in Ekvatora and Vesienväl, though it does not have officially recognized status in either country. In Vesienväl, Akronism has been present since that country's civil war, when the Church responded with healthcare, food, and development aid. In exchange, the United Workers' Party permitted the Church to operate temples and recruit new members so long as it did not interfere in politics. In many of the country's particularly distant rural areas, Akronist social services cover gaps in those provided by either the state or the Vesienvällic federal government. The Church of Akrona also operates Vesienväl's only private schools.
In Ekvatora, Akronist Socialism in many iterations has found itself on both Pro and Anti-Government lines. Akronism has existed within the country long before the rule of the Ekvatori Petrovist Socialist League (EPSL), and dates back to the mid-1700s, with the formation of the Tavari Vassal of Mulnika-Nykunia beginning the rise of Akronists in positions of power in Mulnika. During the Ekvatori Revolutionary War, Akronists were much more split on which side to support than their Ulvriktruer counterparts, with many left-wing Akronists forming Independent Partisan Units in Opposition to the policy of Cultural Akronism, Economic Capitalism put forward by the Prince of Mulnika in order to placate the Akronist Population. Following the ascendancy of the EPSL in 1962, a period of tension began between the more aggressively Secular groups of the League and the Akronist Socialists. In an effort to avoid further conflict, Direklieter Ivica Petrovich insured Freedom of Worship for Akronists in Mulnika and for Ulvriktruers in Nykunia as an enshrined part of the Ekvatori Constitution, and welcome a few Akronist Socialists in Government.While these actions towards compromise were taken, in took quite a few years for the Akronists to feel a part of the new Socialist Federal Republic, due in part to the Purging of many Akronist Socialist leaders and the Expropriation of Akronist-owned companies. Under the continued rule of Petrovich, however, Akronists were eventually made to feel accepted as an integral part to Mulnika much to the passive annoyance of their Secular counterparts. Tensions lowered throughout the late 20th and early 21st Century, with Akronists being appointed to many positions of leadership in the Governing of the Southern SRs .The appointment of the Arlinthian Akronist Lejla Isaković - nominally presumed to be an Akronist Socialist - to the position of Elder acting as a notable example of how far Ekvatori Akronists have come, despite the lack of Formal Government response due to the doctrine of a lack of interference with Church affairs outside of taxation. According to sources in the Ekvatori Government, however, Direklieter Petrovich offered an informal congratulation to the Arlinthian High Priestess in gaining the seat of Anda. This progress can be attested to, in part, the ideology of Petrovism. Petrovism, while attesting to more Orthodox Marxist roots, is often sympathetic to the Theo-Socialist Theory of the coexistence of Religion and Communism, with Petrovich stating,
Other Theo-Socialist Movements
Certain groups in the Ulvriktru religion have been referred to as somewhat Theo-Socialist in nature, however a majority of these movements branch off from Theo-Socialist beliefs at their very foundation, making their status as Theo-Socialists questionable at best. The main source for Theo-Socialist appealing policy in Norgsveldet has been put forward by moderate political groups such as the Ulvriktru Democrats in a combination of their traditionalist agrarian beliefs with the desire for economic equality amongst the Norgsveltian Social Democratic Centre-Left. However, these parties deny themselves to be associated with the Theo-Socialist movement, with the referral to them as such being more common abroad or as a derogatory notion.
Ernok Revival, a subsection of the National Frontier of Workers in Durakia, is a much more obedient example of the ideology in the Ulvriktru Religion, with certain members of the party referring to themselves as such, seeking a radical return to traditional Ulvriktru social practices while maintaining the economic system of Durakia. This Ultranationist leaning ideal of Theo-Socialism mixes well with the WNF’’s tendency towards Communal Nationalism, with Ernok Revival often blurring the lines between the two extremist ideologies, though the party remains a broad coalition of radicals – facilitating the growth of both movements within it.
In the Northern SRs of Ekvatora, similar policies of coexistence as the ones present in the South have been enacted for the small Ulvriktru minority, however the group has a much smaller influence than the Akronist Counterparts due to both the prominence of Durakan Secularism in the North, as well as the distrust of self-proclaimed "Ulvriktruer Socialists" due to the alignment of Ulvriktruers to the Kingdom of Ekvatora during the Ekvatori Revolutionary War.
The Cult of Martov
The Cult of Martov, a deistic cult within Durakia, has occasionally been referred to as Theo-Socialist in nature, with their totalitarian desire to control social order combined to their worship of leftist principals. Many members of the Cult of Martov state it as a religion, giving credence to Martovism as a Theo-Socialist ideology due to its lack of separation between religious and political leadership and radical leftist economic policy. This is a highly controversial view amongst the already small group of Martovists, with some praising Theo-Socialist principals while others denounce it as an insult to socialism brought upon by megalomania in the religious elite.
The Religion of Milishism, state religion of Durdanini has often been associated with Theo-Socialism since the nation’s independence. This is due to its blend of Theocracy and Democracy that naturally lay the foundations for Theo-Socialist beliefs amongst the urban population of the state, with the Theocratic nature of the state making the ideology a much less radical shift then the secular forms of socialism seen as the typical socialist doctrine around the world. It is not entirely dominant in the state, however, as it struggles to gain appeal in the more economically conservative rural regions, who see it as a departure from the traditional tribal system previously in place.
In Maankijkeland, the Durdish minority population, which resides within the north of the country, is generally represented in the legislature by the Theo-Socialist Torch of Emancipation (Vistarian: Fakkel van Emancipatie), a part actively advocating for Theocratic-Socialist Milishism. The party has generally been repressed by the Maankijker Government, due to suspected links with Durdish terrorist groups, although evidence of such is slim.
The tiefling religion of Duarism, has several movements and organisations which has been theocratic-socialist in nature yet only a few would go as far to call themself theocratic socialists. Mainly comes from fact that many within tieflings circles in nations like Norgsveldet, Atlalandr and the like ally themself with general left wing movements when it comes to economic distribution and social justice, such as aspects of building more religious sites for the duarist religion. As such Duaristic theocratic-socialists within these countries, might define themself more along the lines of species equality and anti-imperialism, rather then the collectivsation of production or creating classless society.
Though the Minister-President of Briaklandr, Sigurd Vesgard identified himself as a social democrat, it has been rumouredhe has put mixture of his left wing ideals with his religious beliefs in Duarism, such as increasing the funding for Duaristic churches and working together with religious figures within Briaklandr to help with ensuring welfare to everyone in the nation. During a speech Vesgard made infront of Church of Soleikenborg in 1st December 2021, he stated that: "Whenever times of largest emergency, when the state might not have the capability to provide for the people, we can often find ourself at home and at care, in the places of worship."
However, in contrast the leadership of the nation of Noraida, who officaly calls themself as a theocratic-socialist state has been often rejected by many theocratic-socialists abroad, especialy among tiefling communities in other countries. Largly because of the religious leadership's decision to ally themself with the armed forces of Noraida, who is considered apolitical. While most of Noraida's government and its decision making is made by the female dominated clergy, foreign policy and military matters is however controled completly by the military. Noraida's ideology often been defined by regionalism, anti-modernism, and decentralisation. With the nation's priests, who make up the legislature, being elected by the people in which the matters of indiviual communes and food security is seen as top priority. Because of their extreme hostility toward any religious minority within Noraida, and their alliance with Blaskog has made them be rejected by tieflings abroad. It also been heavily criticsed for its transphobic policies and its matriarchal hiarchy of society.
Theo-Socialist Ideas in Other Religions
While not directly having a notable Theo-Socialist organisation, it is often stated by Theo-Socialists that many religions and religious groups are aligned to their ideology by the nature of their theology. Tunseism is one of the major examples of this, with an argument that Theo-Socialism and Equality as part of Tunsé are already a big part of the religion, even if not directly referred to as such. A more minor example is the Cult of Fortuna, which has been noted by Theo-Socialists due to its rising influence and traction following its history of oppression and persecution by the state of Fortuna.