Type of Governmernt

Perpetuum is a gerontocracy, an oligarchical state where the ruling class is comprised of people who are significantly older than the average citizen. The idea originally originates from the Ancient Greeks, with Plato saying 'It is for elder men to rule and for the younger to submit'. In a gerontocracy political power accumulates with age, one such example of a gerontocracy is Sparta, which was ruled by a Gerousia. The Gerousia was a council made up of members who were at least 60 years old and served for the remainder of their life. However Perpetuum is also a totalitarian state, for since ascendance to the Gerousia is extremely restricted there is little to no political turnover. This political stagnation causes those in the Gerousia to constantly consolidate their own power and vie for the power of others, at the expense of normal citizens.

Age and Status

Perpetuum is set in a world where procedures to drastically extend ones longevity have been discovered. In Perpetuum anyone who is under the age of 100 is considered an adolescent, meaning that they have diminished rights. Having means diminished rights means that Sub-Centenarians cannot: own property, have the right to a fair trial and much more. Once a person becomes a Centenarian (100+) they become an official citizen who no longer has diminished rights.

Age of maturity

the gerousia

Once a citizen reaches the age of 500 they are inducted into the ranks of the Gerousia. Even with the advances in medical procedures that allow for extended longevity, only a very small fraction of Perpetuum's Centenarian population will live long enough to join the Gerousia. Due to age being interlinked with power in Perpetuum those who are in the Gerousia are all people of tremendous power and influence; such as intellectual entrepreneurs or business magnates with monopolies on markets. Within the Gerousia itself the principle of power being proportional to age also applies, with the most senior of members holding much more power than those who have just joined.

Decisions are voted upon in the Gerousia, the decisions that are voted upon are vague in nature. With government agencies interpreting these orders in their own manner. However not every member has an equal number of votes, for every 50 years that a member survives they gain 2 votes ( starting from 1) and once every 250 years that they survive they gain 7 votes. On the surface this form of decision making may seem idiotically vague to the point that it is detrimental to those in power, however it was designed on purpose to be like that. For members of the Gerousia mainly care about extending their life (and consequently their power), and as long as they maintain their iron grip on Perpetuum they do not concern themselves with the intricacies of rule. Every corporation that belongs to members of the Gerousia has a paramilitary division incorporated within it. These divisions are classified as government agencies, because their owners are in the Gerousia. Therefore after the Gerousia votes upon a matter, these corporations will interpret the decision in a way that benefits themselves (and their owners) and proceed to enforce the warped decision extremely harshly. The corporations avoid from being too harsh with the Centenarian population because they are citizens. Instead they focus on the Sub-Centenarians, enforcing laws that benefit themselves, at the expense of the Sub-Centenarians.

The people's views are barely taken into consideration. While Sub-Centenarians are completely disregarded, Centenarians can, ever so slightly, influence the minds of policy makers. This is done via sending a complaint through one of the Gerousia member's corporations. The higher the total age of those sending the complaint, the more likely it is to be considered.

Age requirement to join the Gerousia

Longevity procedure

The longevity procedures that are essential for this country to exist only need one raw material: refined lead. Therefore in Perpetuum refined lead is a highly valued commodity, always in demand. The Gerousia maintains an iron grip on the state owned lead mining industry, for the procedure is the origin of their longevity (and power). Exorbitant prices for refined lead have created a situation in Perpetuum where only the wealthy can afford longevity procedures. Meaning that the age divide will only increase, since the young (and poor) will die, while the old (and wealthy) will be able to buy more longevity procedures.

Since corporate owned paramilitary divisions are in charge of maintaining law and order, abuse is rife. Centenarians are largely unaffected since the Gerousia does not want to anger their largest supporter base. Instead, whenever a Sub-Centenarian commits a crime they receive a warning. After three warnings the offender is sent to a state owned lead mine and all their possessions are taken by the state. This draconian form of punishment is very beneficial for the corporations, resulting in very egregious persecutions because each member of the Gerousia benefits.

Refined lead

Perpetuum's main form of government revenue is gathered through people undergoing longevity operations using state owned refined lead, since that is the only available source. Since the operations are in extremely high demand the annual revenue is absurdly high. However almost no fraction of this wealth is used to improve the country, and whatever small amount is committed to improving infrastructure and other services is exclusively spent in Centenarian areas. The majority of the wealth is used by the Gerousia to consolidate their own power and to oppress others.

Flag analysis

This flag symbolises the path which people travel as they rise in Perpetuum's society. The black diagonal bottom symbolises the heritage from which every citizen originates. Black also has extremely strong connotations of mortality and death, showing how everyone is born with a predestined end. The blue triangle symbolises the perseverance that one needs to rise up through this society, it borders both sections of the flag, strongly implying that perseverance is the catalyst to success in this culture. The keys in the blue section further strengthen the idea that without perseverance the other side will be unobtainable for a person. Finally the white portion of the flag has strong connotations of purity and immortality, symbolising that at the peak of Perpetuum's society one can live for eternity.


This form of government's only (slightly) general benefit is the extended lifespan that some of its citizens enjoy. (I couldn't think of anything else)


There are multitudes of downsides to this form of government. Firstly the majority of its citizens are disregarded, abused and treated like livestock by the rich. This coupled with the military nature of the police results in a totalitarian state. What makes Perpetuum even more horrendous is the fact that those in positions power use that power to strengthen the companies they own at the expense of everyone else.

The Gerousia also play upon everyone's fear of death to retain their grip on power. The lower class in the state believe that one day they will strike it lucky and be able to undergo a life extension procedure, meaning that they do not revolt. The middle class (Centenarians) are content with the fact that they are not in a bad state, meaning that the Centenarians will not mingle with those younger and no rebellions will ever be created. Meanwhile the Gerousia are busy profiting of everyone in society who is below them, sentencing all those who disagree to the lead mines.


In my opinion the state that is most similar to Perpetuum is USSR. I say this because the USSR became increasingly gerontocratic in the 1970s, with most senior politicians being in their 70s. This embedded gerontocracy was very entrenched, since length of service to ones party is the main qualification of leadership (for example the average Politburo member was 70 years old, as opposed to 55 in 1952 and 61 in 1964).

Another important similarity is that both in Perpetuum and the USSR is that both governments avariciously control the means of production. Although in the USSR everything was controlled, while in Perpetuum only the production of refined lead was controlled (and consequently the life extension procedure), in both states the government controlled what was essential and coveted by the people. In Soviet Russia the people were reliant on the state for their job security and food, while in Perpetuum the state is a necessity to stave off death. This unnatural reliance on the state creates a sort of docile lower class, one who is content with nothing.

A Soviet forced labour camp

Finally both countries utilise the idea of forced labour camps to their own benefit (at the detriment of their people). In Russia gulags were used to silence all dissidents. In Perpetuum miscreants are forced to work in the toxic lead mines. It can be said that in both states the camps are not there for the purpose of rehabilitation, but rather for the systematic oppression of a whole people in a way that benefits the state unconditionally.


Created By
Maximilian Weber

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