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Hard Times 02

by Roger Bourke White Jr., copyright January 2016

Mikipedia Entry

Mikipedea entry on Glugistan

Glugistan was a country established in Central Asia as the USSR collapsed in 1989. It centers around Lake Moodock, a large salt lake which is surrounded by high mountains and has no outlet to the sea. It is fed mostly by the Lagang River which flows in from the east across a wide, fertile valley.

Those people living in the Lagang valley and east of Lake Moodock are the Glugi people. To the west of the lake, and living a life based mostly on sheep raising on semi-arid land, are the Blabi people. These groups have little in common, but when the dotted lines were drawn on the map following the USSR collapse, these two peoples were united into one nation.

Relations between these two groups were traditionally rocky -- the Blabi were hill people, and the Glugi valley people whom the Blabis periodically raided for women and loot. In turn, the Glugis would periodically march across Blabi lands and round up herds of sheep and goats to take back to their valley. In the Soviet era the central planners decided to turn Lagang Valley into a cotton-raising breadbasket. They succeeded, but at the cost of drying up Moodock Lake -- it steadily transformed from a large salt lake into a smaller and smaller lake surrounded with a larger and larger mud flat. The Blabi people saw no benefit from the cotton boom, and became subject to periodic and increasingly intense dust storms as the lake dried up.

Glugistan was ruled by kleptocrats who took power as the USSR collapsed. They had been backwater provincial leaders before the collapse, and they proved poor at rising to the nationhood challenge. The governing style remained provincial and corrupt, and the Glugi rulers did little to improve the lot of those even more country-bumpkin Blabis. (in their eyes) The hard feelings between the two groups intensified.

In 2047 the issues between the two cultures came to a head and a referendum was called for. The Blabi people won their independence and two nations were created. Lake Moodock could have been split evenly between them, but the Glugistan ruler saw no benefit in the worthless mud flat it now was, so he gave it all to newly created Blabistan nation.

Then karma struck. It turned out those worthless mud flats were rich in the rare earths used for modern battery construction. Blabistan now had a windfall on its hands, and the challenge of the 2050's decade is for Blabistan's new rulers to exploit it... and learn how to rule their nation so it doesn't become a failed state.


--The End--

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