I’ve just finished Barbara Tuchman’s The Guns of August, and I’m generally trying to get myself better acquainted with the societal and political conditions that surrounded the World Wars.
But who needs real history? For a serious lesson in statecraft and warcraft, check out Domhnall O’Huigin’s explanation of the political context of the universe of Super Mario, as explained on Quora:
The Mushroom Kingdom is currently ruled by Princess Peach who is a member of the minority human population.
As the least numerous faction, humans in the Mushroom Kingdom are under constant threat from within and without.
Internal threats include a significant terrorist faction led by Bowser, the leader of the Koopas; one of the most populous species in the Kingdom.
It is important to note that Bowser does not command the allegiance of all Koopas, but those under his authority are organised into paramilitary ranks or units in a caste-like system. This concentration of political power in a single leader arguably makes Bowser a fascist. Although as he self-styles himself “King Koopa” it is apparent that he claims (or is seeking) parity of esteem with Princess Peach; that is to say that he does not regard himself as a ‘terrorist’ but as a ‘freedom fighter’ or entitled ruler in his own right.
It is precisely this self-contained, quasi-military structure that has allowed Bowser to remain a thorn in Princess Peach’s side for this long, culminating in his kidnap of her, in an attempt to force her to marry him and therefore achieve ‘legitimate’ control over the Kingdom. Only the intervention of the independent oligarch (or ‘warchief’, depending on your point of view) known as “Mario” – see below – prevented this from occurring.
Sounds to me like Mario’s a kind of Genghis Khan, marauding across alien lands. But I’m no historian.