The Politics of Super Mario Bros
Via Jason Kottke:
Quora is full of questions college students ask each other while high, except that sometimes they get answered seriously. Case in point: What is the political situation in the Mario universe? The top answer starts out:
Without going into too much detail, Mario generally lives and works in the Mushroom Kingdom, one of the largest geo-political structures on Mushroom World, in the Grand Finale Galaxy in, yes, the Mushroom Universe.
For the purposes of this answer I will deliberately restrict the terms to discussing Mushroom World, as a comprehensive answer on the entire Mushroom Universe would require covering 20-22 (depending on how you count) Galaxies and frankly, I doubt it would be any more fun to read than it would be to write.
Mushroom World contains at least 202 separate zones or jurisdictions. These include (but are not limited to) examples of:
- Imperia, e.g.The Linguine Empire
- Oligarchies, e.g.Mekanos
- City-States,e.g.Syrup Castle
- Proletariat Collectivism, e.g.Robo Land
- Theocracies e.g.Yoshi’s Island. Although NB: you could also argue that Yoshi’s Island is a:
- Necroarchy, or “rule by the dead”, e.g.Boo Woods, which itself is a sub-type of an:
- Absolute Monarchy, e.g. theMushroom Kingdom,Banana Fairy Island and the Beanbean Kingdom. Monarchies are the most common form of political organisation on Mushroom World, with the Mushroom Kingdom representing the main superpower currently, in much the same way that the US fulfills this role on Earth, and with the same precarious dominant status.
- Areas with no political organisationat all, and contested by various warlords, e.g. Big Island.
A variegated planet therefore, analogous to Earth in medieval times with an equivalent variety of types of rule and organisation: think of the kingdoms of feudal Europe with contemporaneous empires in China, Japan, Mezoamerica and theocracies, city states (e.g. Venice) etc.
Of all these jurisdictions, the Mushroom Kingdom is by far the most significant, although it’s prime position is under constant threat.
The answer goes on like this for a long time. It is amazing throughout.
[Note: I left out the footnotes; yes, there are footnotes. A bunch of them.]