Image from Bernd Helfert

Toposophical stratification is a broad ideological movement that strives for separation of individuals and societies based on toposophic level. At its most basic, the argument made by proponents of stratificationism is that only one's toposophic peers can innately understand and empathize with the needs, wants, hopes and fears that drive an individual. The natural consequence of this statement is the belief that only those who interact and are governed by their toposophic peers can expect to have a life of freedom and fulfillment. Whether this is actually the case is hotly debated amongst political philosophers.

Stratificationism has its origins in the birth of the First Federation. Suspicion of transapient intensions has existed since hyperturing AIs started working in the open during the Dark Ages. The focus however, was often limited to isolated local power struggles, and rarely had wider implications. The First Federation can be characterize as an experimental attempt by multiple transapients to coordinate activity, when previously they had been too few in number to properly manage such a complex organization. With the benefit of close to ten thousand years of hindsight it would appear at first glance that the success of the First Federation was all but guaranteed, but at the time of its foundation there were very real concerns that the federation would be short-lived and collapse within a few decades. Responding to these uncertainties, the emergence of the stratificationism ideology was a direct reaction to the increasing multiculturalist and integrationist policies favored by the federation. In these situations, historically, segregation had focused primarily on racial, religious, and socio-economic factors. With the advent of sophonts besides baseline humans discrimination based on clade or substrate type (biological, mechanical, virtual) occurred. It very well may be the inevitable progression of this memeplex to separate entities based on toposophic level.

Stratificationism was initially popular in outer solar system and older or distant interstellar colonies. These localities had a shared trait of avoiding the severest effects of the Technocalypse and the Dark Ages which required transapient assistance to overcome. Stratificationists opposed AI rule (aiocracy) and sought to replace it with self-governance policies. The eventual success of the First Federation model forced stratificationism from mainstream favor. However, the ideology never completely died out and was still espoused by various utopian and disenfranchised groups. The creation of additional singularity levels beyond the first caused a shift in stratificationist focus from emphasis on modosophonts freedoms to a more universal approach. Best known due to the adoption by modosophonts, innovative variations of stratificationism do exist amongst transapients and low level archailects. In the modern era, stratificationism is most commonly implemented in pockets of the periphery and outer volumes where transapient population density remains low compared with more populous areas.
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Development Notes
Text by Mark Ryherd
Initially published on 26 March 2013.