The National Humanist Imperial Labor Party was a human political party in the Terran Empire. Founded in 3015, it was active until the founding of the Republic. It developed out of populist and human-nationalist political parties and the militaristic culture of the Terran Empire, combining far-right nationalism and far-left revolutionary zeal to create an ideology that exalted humanity and human cultural achievements and advocated for the unification of the human race as a political entity. As an organization, the National Humanist party distanced itself from conservatism and instead defined itself as part of the revolutionary right-wing, and operated in such a way to draw the working class, spacers, and colonists away from Communist and Socialist parties and towards populist, integralist nationalism. Initially, its political strategy consisted of anti-capitalist, anti-communist, and anti-monarchy rhetoric. However, as the party matured and reorganized itself in the 3190s, it adjusted its rhetoric to appeal to middle class colonists and industrial magnates, and gain seats in Parliament as well as cabinet positions.
The NHILP fostered several subsidiary parties in other human nations while it rose to become one of the largest political parties in the Terran Empire during the 3100s and 3200s. At its height, 10% of the Imperial population were members of the party, and it dominated the Imperial Parliament as the leader of a wartime national unity coalition. Its foreign offices and sister-parties were similarly large and partnership with them was necessary for parliamentary coalitions, allowing the NHILP to influence international politics and put ideology into action.
To maintain the purity of the human race and human society, the NHILP proposed and advocated for the exclusionary segregation of alien species from human public life. This was accomplished gradually over the course of the 33rd century during which time the NHILP and its foreign offices became major parliamentary parties and was able to bargain for these policies as part of coalition governments. In the Terran Empire, a National Humanist Party member held the office of Prime Minister from 3237 until the abolition of political parties and the dismantling of the Empire.
The National Humanist Imperial Labor Party spawned from the ashes of a shattered coalition of republican, human-unitary, and nationalist political parties in the Terran Empire, chiefly the Empire of Man Party. Branded as seditious and dangerous, the Empire of Man Party and its allied political groups were banned in 2979 during the reign of Emperor Francis Charles VII and many of its members were arrested. Succeeding political parties formed in the late 2900s, including the National Republican Party, the Colonial Farmer-Labor Party, the Humanist Unity Party. In 3015, these were unified as the National Humanist Imperial Labor Party under the leadership of Gregory Greisler, an academic writer and former political organizer of the Empire of Man Party.
Greisler himself conceived the name: National for its nationalist character, Humanist for its emphasis on human unity and power, Imperial for its identification with the Terran Empire, and Labor for its appeal to working-class people. He operated as head of the Party leadership council, based on Renner, a heavily industrialized Outer Colony world. The Party began agitation by appealing to the world's industrial workers on an economic basis, advocating for workplace democracy, the unity of worker's unions, and opposition to alien guest-workers and traders 'stealing' jobs from humans. Their rhetoric gained them supporters on other worlds, with offices sprouting up across the Outer Colonies and other colonial provinces. Greisler died in 3060, leaving the management of the Party to the leadership council.
Rise in the colonies
As the Party's offices continued to spread throughout the colonies, the issue of Party finances had to be addressed. Eventually, the Party would not be able to fund its expansion through member dues alone and had to seek major backers. Attempts were made to appeal to industrialists, aristocrats, and corporate donors throughout the late 3000s. Its righteous rhetoric, however, appealed little to the economic interests of the upper class. Outside of romanticist aristocrats, the Party was unable to gain major donors and backers on Earth until the 3100s. Meanwhile, it made tremendous strides in filling local offices on numerous worlds, star systems, and provincial parliaments in the Outer Colonies, Outer Rim, and the Marches. It was unable to make serious strides towards Imperial office, however, until an electoral reform in 3092 allowed a lower percentage of necessary votes to attain a parliamentary seat during the reign of Mary II.
In the 3080s, spacer businessman and politician Finbarr McGrady developed political convictions at odds with the Conservative leanings his family had taken in the past centuries. Becoming a committed human nationalist and an advocate for unity, he pushed his family towards the National Humanist party, which had grown popular in the colonies. His son, Teague, continued nationalist agitation during his sixty years as head of the family and brought the NHILP to power in Wallerstein. Teague's daughter Patricia made the final leap towards nationwide involvement in Party politics, making generous donations to the Party national office. Her patronage greatly aided the Party's expansion into the Inner Colonies province and the Inner Sphere Imperial District, and eased the financial burdens it had been experiencing since the late 3000s. In this same era, the Party relocated its headquarters to Earth to place itself closer to the halls of power and to appeal to Earth aristocrats as well as to spacers and colonists. Previously known just as a colonial radical party, the National Humanists quickly became popular in urbanized, middle-class worlds. Party rhetoric shifted from republican, anti-capitalist, and anti-alien to dominantly anti-communist and pro-military. Soon, in every provincial parliament and in many colonial councils, the National Humanists had at least a few members. By the 3100s, they dominated politics in the Inner and Outer Colonies and frontier provinces. In 3130, they changed their headquarters to Earth and in 3132 won enough seats to enable it to become part of a right-wing coalition government. The Party was given minor ministerial offices, and increased its share of the electorate in the elections of 3137 and 3142.
Rise and fall
The year 3147 was a chaotic one for the Terran Empire. Empress Mary III, who had fought the rise of the National Humanists, died. Her royal favourite and Prime Minister, Philip Lighthorse Leigh of the Social Democratic Party was subject to a motion of no confidence, in the midst of a general election. He resigned, deeply hurting his party's ability to campaign. The NHILP was able to appeal to working-class socialist voters through populist rhetoric and correctly identifying alien mercantilism as a source of their woes. The Imperial Conservative Party won a minority of seats as part of the coalition, and the NHILP was able to negotiate. Party Chairman Leon Botha was able to obtain the Premiership and several "minor" ministries while the Conservatives would hold the important ministries of state: Foreign Affairs, War, Treasury, and Welfare. The NHILP obtained control over the ministries of the Interior, Justice, and Education. This allowed the National Humanists significant influence over the direction of nationwide educational programs and the coordinating police and intelligence agencies.
However, Prime Minister Botha was unable to curb abuses by corrupt members of the Party, who used control over police forces to cover up racketeering and prostitution. The scandal broke soon after the death of Emperor Robert VI later that year from untreated and severe syphilis, which was traced to a Party-run brothel. Several Party leaders were indicted; Botha was disgraced and subject to a motion of no confidence, and ultimately committed suicide while being evicted from the Prime Minister's offices. The Party lost a snap election in December by a wide margin, forcing a national unity coalition between the Tories and the Social Democrats. The NHILP received less than 20% of the vote.
Return and continued rise
After 3148, the Party ejected its corrupt, criminal members and began reforming itself. The new Party Chairman, Alberto Fiorini, ruthlessly purged these members as well as his rivals. He instituted a new, centralised organisation with himself as "Guide of the Movement", and strengthened the power of the Party Chairman within the reformed Party Steering Committee. A second, parallel committee was formed as the Party Political Bureau, chaired by a person of the Chairman's choosing, which would make decisions on which members of the Party would be on the Parliamentary list and what place they had on the list. The Party's officials and properties would be defended by a paramilitary group called the National Volunteer Force; it would be run by differing strata of the Party Administrative Corps; intelligence and information gathering would be handled by the Party Security Bureau; and youth involvement would fall under the National Humanist Youth. These were just the first of several paramilitary groups formed by the NHILP to engage its members in a full-spectrum social change. Fiorini devised a hierarchical system of paramilitary ranks and symbols, cribbing from Imperial military imagery. Further, he put the human trafficking ring that had been run by corrupt Party members to use as a public organisation to assist in moving human refugees from foreign worlds into the Terran Empire and its allies. These actions did much to polish the Party's image, and to make it more tightly organised.
The Party suffered setbacks, however. The new Emperor Francis Charles X deliberately made it difficult for the NHILP in government, largely refusing to appoint any Party members to government ministries or other posts in spite of increased share of seats. The NHILP publicly criticised the overly-political actions of what was supposed to be a neutral monarch. The Emperor dismissed Parliament and ruled by decree beginning in 3161, on the eve of the general election. The Emperor further issued in 3169 a ban on military servicemembers being members of any political party, a law that would stand for almost a century. However, the reign of Francis Charles X experienced a wave of revolts and insurrectionist activity from both far-left and far-right groups. In an attempt to rally the population of the Empire to his own nationalistic program, the Emperor initiated an armed conflict with the Republic of Perseus in the 3170s which saw enormous casualties on both sides and the total regime change of the Perseid government. The NHILP led a protest movement against the Emperor's war on fellow humans, attracting even more followers to the Party. In what is widely considered one of the lowest points in Imperial history and in the history of the NHILP, Emperor ordered the arrest and execution without trial of Alberto Fiorini in 3180, accusing the Party leader of treason. Emperor Francis Charles X would die from complications of a stroke in 3182. Fiorini was replaced by his protege Anthony Drendle, who publicly took steerage of the Party after the Emperor's death and the political situation was normalised.
The new Emperor Francis Charles XI called a general election in April 3182. The Parliament was formed with the National Humanists holding 38% of the seats, the Tories 20%, the Social Democrats 16%, the Communists 12%, the Socialist Worker's Party 8%, and the Colonial Home Rule Party 6%. With no majority for any party, and the remainder reluctant to form a coalition against the NHILP due to political differences, the hung parliament forced the Emperor to appoint a member of the House of Lords, John III of Great Britain, as Prime Minister. However, in 3185 the PM fell ill and resigned. Rather than call a snap election, the Emperor just appointed another Lord, this time Emperor Philip XIV of Luna, of the House of Rycon. The NHILP gained ground in 3187, but still did not command a parliamentary majority. Over the course of the next few election cycles, the NVF fought often with Communist 'urban guerillas' and paramilitaries in street brawls. The NHILP made extensive electoral gains in local legislatures and governments throughout the Terran Empire and its allied states, as well as influence in labour unions throughout the Empire. In the 3202 general election, the NHILP gained 50.5% of the vote and of seats in the Parliament. Not enough for a very solid majority, but enough to shape budgetary policy. The Social Democrats split before the 3207 election into a National Government branch that sided with the Tories and National Humanists, and a Socialist branch that formed a coalition with the Communists and other leftist republican parties. This gave the National Government coalition a wide supermajority, with significant credence given to National Humanist policy ideas as they had a 52% majority of Parliamentary seats.
In 3208, Prime Minister Rycon died and the Emperor appointed the King of Newfoundland, another conservative aristocrat, to the Premiership. The NHILP staged a walkout, breaking the quorum and shutting down parliament. As all spending bills had to originate in the Commons, and the National Humanists held the majority in the Commons, the result was a loss of supply. After a year of negotiations, the government acquiesced to Party demands by appointing Drendle to Deputy Prime Minister and appointing NHILP members to the ministries of Education, Welfare, Justice, Culture, Commerce, and Interior, though the Tories still held the chair and the ministries of War, Foreign Affairs, and the Treasury. A new election was called for 3212, in which the NHILP received a 53% majority but the Tories received 31% of the vote after having absorbed the national coalition Social Democrats. Frederik IV, 11th Duke of Nieuwvaalia was appointed Prime Minister after 3217 election, but otherwise the cabinet was the same as the Newfoundland ministry. The Duke of Nieuwvaalia stepped down before the 3227 election, a year before his death. He was replaced by Richard Windsor, 20th Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh, who served from 3227 to 3237.
Under Drendle's steerage, the Party greatly expanded its operations in allied nations. He was replaced as Party Chairman after his 3220 death in a motor vehicle accident with Albert Hennessey. Hennessey was appointed Deputy PM and led the party to further electoral majorities in 3222 and 3227, and continued Drendle's policy of foreign expansion and entrenchment, grooming the National Humanist movement as a truly pan-human nationalist revolution. Hennessey also articulated a party platform that accepted androids as part of the human race, which had previously been rejected by Party ideology. He advocated and pushed for National Humanist policies to be enacted into law, such as the Expulsion Act of 3229 which evicted all aliens from Earth and the Solar System; and the Sedition Act of 3230 which banned the Terran Communist Party as a subversive organ of Soviet influence and terrorism. The onset of the Cruxite War that same year highlighted the Party's identification and confrontation of the sinister web of alien capitalism that was responsible for the conflict in the Galactic Core region. Hennessey served as Deputy PM and as Minister of Justice through three conservative ministries and the death of the Emperor Francis Charles XI in 3231.
The election of 3237 brought a solid 55% majority to the National Humanists, accompanied by their coalition partner the Tories receiving a 30% stake. The opposition Socialist Front had a combined 12% hold. The situation compelled the recently-of-age Emperor Francis Charles XII to appoint a National Humanist to the premiership. He found a compromise candidate in Frederick VI of Luna, who was a member of both coalition parties and head of the aristocratic wing of the NHILP. The NHILP gained the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the cabinet reshuffle. However in 3241 the Emperor's only son and heir died and his wife hanged herself, plunging the Emperor into severe depression. Parliament was suspended on the eve of the election, in which the NHILP was expected to gain a supermajority of seats. The Emperor reigned with the Rycon cabinet alone for ten years, and reconvened it in 3251 with the same composition and membership. The election of 3252 brought sweeping changes, including new leadership and a 60% majority for the NHILP. Colonial members George Francis Rothschild and Henry Addington joined the parliamentary list and advocated for radical republicanism and abolition of the multi-party system on the floor. In 3255, both of these men stood for selection by the Party Steering Committee for the Chairmanship after the death of Albert Hennessey. Addington won the leadership election and instituted a more radical party platform regarding aliens, foreign relations, the welfare state, and the civil service. Addington also began the process of synchronising the Party's ranks and positions with those of the Imperial government, as many civil service positions across the Empire were filled by Party loyalists. These moves shocked the conservative-aristocratic wing of the Party, as well as their coalition partner, the Tories. It is now understood by historians that the civil war in the Terran Empire may have been the only force keeping political cohesion in the unsteady coalition.
The NHILP and its paramilitary organisations increasingly assisted government forces in the fight against these terrorist and insurrectionist movements throughout the 3250s and early 3260s. This was coupled with advocacy of a "final war" against both communist and alien capitalist international factions, and an aggressive foreign policy. However, these policy goals were stymied by the Socialist Front filibustering armed forces appropriations bills. The NHILP fought this by staging walkouts whenever a Socialist MP had the floor, an old and useful tactic that had served the Party well. The situation became resolved only when evidence was brought forth to the House of Lords which implicated the leadership of the Socialist Worker's Party with Soviet campaigns of sabotage, espionage, and covert influence in colonial border worlds, which also connected the Colonial Home Rule Party with the rebellious actions of the Colonial Liberation Organisation. Declared to be terrorist organizations by the House of Lords judicial committee, the SWP and CHRP were formally banned in 3259. The National Humanists continued their walkout tactics until further judicial investigations by the House of Lords demonstrated evidence that all parties of the Socialist Front had knowledge of communist terror activities and implicated them in their terrorist crimes. A bill was passed in 3261 by the National Government coalition that banned all member parties of the Socialist Front. The National Humanists won a supermajority of 76% in the 3262 election and the party's populist leader, Henry Addington, was appointed Prime Minister on the advice of Frederick Rycon, who stepped down to become Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of War.
With all ministries besides the War and Treasury departments held by NHILP hard-liners, Addington began appointing like-minded radicals and organisers to high positions. The Addington ministry attempted to further the existing Imperial welfare state to become a cradle-to-grave system that would keep the Terran people under the guidance of the state. Such policies had already become partly implemented over the past century due to National Humanist ministers in key domestic departments, but under Addington a great deal of effort was placed upon it. Military spending continued to be expanded, with Addington anticipating imminent conflict and thusly increasing military readiness. The ongoing civil war against insurrectionist, terrorist, and criminal forces became a point of obsession for Prime Minister Addington, who sought to end internecine human strife in the face of the impending "final war" against the aliens. Foreign policy issues arose during Addington's early ministry, including the Soviet Republic's expulsion of humans and the United Suns' embargo on superconductors.
The supermajority gained in 3262 also brought several new MPs. Shannon McGrady, already a powerful local and provincial politician from the Inner Colonies, was chosen to be on the parliamentary slate. She would be made chair of the Political Bureau in 3264 and made a member of the Steering Committee. Also in 3265, the Steering Committee admitted the membership of Prince Maximilian Charles, eldest son of the Emperor, who had been a public spokesperson for the Party in the 3262 general election. By this point in time, the NHILP's foreign offices had become the majority party or the head of a coalition in the legislatures of every Terran ally, coordinating the entire network of parties towards the human-unity policy goal.
On 8 September 3265, the Terran Empire and its allies declared war on the Soviet Republic, sparking the conflict that would rapidly become the Great War. Addington remained Prime Minister under the watchful eye of Frederick Rycon, who was made Prince Regent as the Emperor himself departed Earth to lead forces in the war. However, Addington's unpopularity with the Party leadership and the Terran people, despite his able management of the government, were deemed a liability in the next election cycle. He was dismissed as Party Chairman in late 3266 and as resigned as Prime Minister in February 3267. He was replaced by Prince Maximilian Charles, in an attempt to unite the Party with the Monarchy for purposes of national unity, as well as the perception of the Prince as charismatic and able to win elections. The NHILP won an 88% majority in the April 3267 general election. Maximilian ramped up Addington's social and military spending, dismantled the trimetallic standard in favour of fiat currency, instituted land reform, nationalised and regulated industry, and pushed for a more aggressive war strategy.