1. animagus_kitty

    animagus_kitty Senior Member

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    How would you organize a galactic government?

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by animagus_kitty, Jul 24, 2017.

    In my book, the Constellar Imperium is overthrown and replaced with...something. I'm not entirely certain that it precisely resembles an empire, but I'm even less certain how government will be organized going forward.

    Currently, the Imperium is led by 10 Constellates, one among them being premiere and referred to as 'Constellator' instead. There are those, however, who believe that this group of ten does not rule collectively, but rather answers to the sole Constellator, who is always a direct descendant of the man who founded the Imperium, and they merely play at being a diverse body. (These people may be correct. *cue Shrug of God*)

    Immediately below them, there are two similar but separate ranks. First is the High Admirals and their Fleet Admirals. These men and women are responsible for the military, and protecting the general populace from piracy.
    Then you have the actual governing hierarchy that spans from as small as countries, to the planetary and system-wide representatives, all the way to Sector Command, who regulates things like inter-system treaties and trade deals on behalf of smaller governments (which are run in whatever style best suits the inhabitants of the planets).

    ----------------
    Having said all that (and I think I've said enough to make sense, let me know if I need to elaborate): if you were of a mind to eliminate the current rulers of a galaxy whom you believed to be too brutish and high-handed (and also possibly racist, but w/e), how would you go about reorganizing a galactic government who means to represent not just the issues of the dozens of space-faring species who insist on being heard, but the people themselves? Is it possible, I wonder, to be so grand in scope that you can represent a galaxy in one room, even if it has to be as big as the Senate chamber from Star Wars, and yet still have the attention to detail that each planet and star system might require?

    On a similar note, if you've never left your home planet and never plan to, would you notice or care about the people on the other side of the galaxy calling the shots? If the war never fired on your home, and supposing important supplies were never limited, would you even notice there was a war on if you weren't told?


    I keep trying to write one of my other in-universe projects when inspiration stalls on this story, but without knowing what I'm actually putting in place of the Constellature, I really don't know what to do.
     
  2. IHaveNoName

    IHaveNoName Senior Member Community Volunteer

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    It could be, but how effective would it be? Look at how well the Senate worked out. The Senate's basically just a model of the United Nations anyway - each country has a representative at the world council.

    Not sure about the first, but I can answer the second easily. Think about the war in the Middle East right now. Put yourself in the place of that hypothetical person, and pretend the "Middle East" is "the other side of the galaxy". I think that'll answer your question.
     
  3. animagus_kitty

    animagus_kitty Senior Member

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    I see.
     
  4. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

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    Part of government organization relies on communications tech. Slower comms will often lead to a more powerful, singular governing authority. It's part of why big republics weren't very common until relatively recently in human history. Even those that did exist, like Rome, handed out provincial authority to one man. There often simply wasn't time for a governor to send a dispatch to the Senate in Rome, let them decide on a course of action, and then wait for their reply in a crisis situation. With this in mind, what is your tech like? Are communications almost instantaneous, perhaps via some sort of FTL beacon system, or are you stuck waiting for news until a courier starship arrives from wherever?

    On to your questions. Honestly, were I overthrowing rulers for the reasons outlined, I wouldn't be too concerned with the state they'd been in charge of staying in one piece in the aftermath. This verges into your next question. I highly doubt it would be possible to balance the interests of so many disparate groups in one government. In the end, some people are going to have their way (people with wealth to lobby with and large demographics) and some are going to get ignored (people who can't lobby as effectively and smaller demographics). Frustration with having your issues ignored or on the back burner could easily bubble over into war. Best way to short circuit that problem is to let the big state devolve into more localized ones that can better advance the interests of their people.

    Depends what you mean by "calling the shots". Tying in with earlier, the government on the other side of the galaxy may make a policy that is advantageous to key supporters, but harms you. Obviously you'd notice and care then.

    If fighting never touched your soil, if there was no rationing or draft, if you didn't have neighbors in the military coming home in coffins, then yeah, you might never know it's happening outside news reports and conversation with outsiders.
     
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  5. Dr.Meow

    Dr.Meow Contributor Contributor

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    I don't think anything would be put in to replace that government, it's most likely going to fall into smaller ones with none actually being in charge. I would imagine some planets would remove themselves to govern separately, and some would join larger groups, maybe with certain planets in proximity that happened to get along before. Generally, whenever an empire falls, the places that were under its control go back to governing themselves. This is what has happened with every empire we've had in Earth's history. An empire rules over multiple nations, and when it collapses, those nations simply revert back to ruling themselves again. I don't know of any example of an empire being replaced. Usually the members of that empire are pretty sick of their former rulers and wouldn't want it replaced with anything, whether it would be better or not.

    Actually, not really.... In the US for example, no one ever votes in their interest, it's always voting in line with their party, and they do not care how badly they're screwed. My state in particular makes great effort to make sure it's populace will always vote against its interests, and yeah, it even costs lives, like we're talking really bad. "We'd" rather die and vote for our party, than to prosper if it means voting against that party. I'm talking literally, that could be written on the fucking ballot and they'd still choose death. And they have...there's a body count to prove it, and it's rather high...
     
  6. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

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    Saying "no one" votes in their interests is hogwash. Especially since they may have different interests than you feel they do.

    Aside from that, I wasn't talking about voting. I was talking about an instance where you could you might notice or care about galactic governance.
     
  7. Spencer1990

    Spencer1990 Contributor Contributor

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    I would caution against turning OP's thread into a political debate, guys.
     
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  8. Dr.Meow

    Dr.Meow Contributor Contributor

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    I wasn't being political, never mentioned any party lines or anything. My point was that a powerful, influensive government could make some far away planet support their interests by way of propaganda. They wouldn't even be aware they were being manipulated, or at least most wouldn't. Not everyone votes against their interests, but it is pretty clear that the majority do when properly indoctrinated or brainwashed.

    Edit: "Voting" is irrelevant. Whether it's voting, supporting, caring, etc. These are essentially the same things. Caring or not caring about something is a vote cast, because that means you have an opinion. If you don't care about a galactic government, then you're probably not going to do anything one way or the other. That decision is made. ;)

    For the OP, I don't think creating another galactic government is the answer to the ruins of the old one. My main point is that most likely a lot of planets would want their own government, or even multiple planets might band together to form a larger one, but I doubt they'd want to try another galactic ruling body after the first one failed.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017
  9. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

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    Theoretically they could, in practice propaganda has its limits. Especially if standards of living are directly reduced because of the government's actions. Hearing reports from North Korean defectors, many in the DPRK don't buy state propaganda, but go along with it because making your true views publicly known is a good way to land you and your descendants in a labor camp. Similarly, I doubt Ukrainian peasants who were starving because of Soviet collectivization policies bought the propaganda that there was no famine in Ukraine, or that those policies were all sunshine and roses. There's a reason many Ukrainians initially greeted the Nazis as liberators, and some even fought for them.

    So yeah, propaganda might work for some, but its effectiveness is limited if you're trying to convince the people who face the contradictory reality every day. Better to use it on everyone else. "Nope, there haven't been any pirate or slaver raids on the outer sectors since we cut back naval patrols to save money. None at all." That'll work for someone in the nice, safe heartland worlds with no reason to believe otherwise. It won't work on the person whose entire settlement got kidnapped.
     
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  10. Dr.Meow

    Dr.Meow Contributor Contributor

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    True, it depends on the extent of the propaganda. Usually though, one thing is told to one group, and the other hears something else. I can't think of a great example right now, but playing one side while using the other certainly has some effectiveness. If the people in that sector, being raided by pirates, are told that "X" is the reason that they don't have protection, then they won't turn against the government, they'd just hate whoever it was that was blamed for it. Then you go tell the wealthier, safer colonies that there is no pirating and that sector is safe. Both are likely to believe the lie. Redirect people's anger or hatred toward your enemy. I almost feel like there's a Sun Tzu quote in here somewhere. haha
     
  11. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner Contributor Contributor

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    How fast is communication/travel? I'm probably not going to recognize a galactic government if it takes them fifty years to learn that I've declared my independence, and another fifty for them to respond.
     
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  12. animagus_kitty

    animagus_kitty Senior Member

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    I've actually managed to avoid answering this question directly so far, but I vaguely remember mentioning in one of my note documents that it takes three weeks to cross the galaxy in the fastest ship that actually uses magic/interdimensional travel to do so; a standard trading cruiser could probably do it in just under two and a half months...although this is subject to change, since (as mentioned) I haven't actually answered that question.
    Communication, though, is generally done in messages, but when someone needs to contact someone immediately, video communication can be set up to be a live event.
     
  13. AustinFrom1995

    AustinFrom1995 Active Member

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    Interesting government set-up! In my story there is a vaugly similar set-up, while all worlds in the Ashira Collective are represented in some capacity, it is the representatives of the "Core Seven" who wield most of the power. The "Core Seven" is the term given to the first seven worlds to form the alliance that would later evolve into the nucleus of the Ashira Collective. As of (Earth year) 2083 the Ashira Collective is composed of a little over 300 worlds, with Myra'Dwin being the seat of the Council.
     
  14. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner Contributor Contributor

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    Are all of your species at about the same technological evolutionary step? How long ago did the first couple get together? Are there species that have been space faring for a million years? They'd care little about the opinion of a species traveling through space for five generations.

    Governments revolve around economy, what is the economy like in your future? How do goods get from one world to another, what controls the supply and demand? The government will evolve to whatever is required to make all of that run smoothly. What are the resources they even want to trade? Any conceivable raw material is far closer than the nearest star so it'd have to be service based somehow. What does an economy with a quadrillion individuals in it even look like?
     
  15. 33percent

    33percent Active Member

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    I have a Galactic Government in my story, there has to be some warp drive so the government can rule, support and communicate with other neighboring planets. I played the table top game Warhammer 40k, the Imperium is a great example of galactic empire rules by a Emperor who is a corpse sitting on a throne. I've been studying numerous of previous past governments and today to get a visual how of an actual galactic government would function. Quite honestly majority of history will be either erased or destroyed because it is a threat to their ideology. We have world powers today using proxy wars in the middle east fighting for their resources like oil.

    Only difference is having a warp drive technology we will continue killing each other for dominance on other planets for it's resources. It's human nature for people to be obedient and to just rule over each other. Still today we have "Landlords" and Tenants as "Sefs" generally speaking. Corporations are reflection of an monarchy set up, King(CEO), Management(Nobles),etc.. Companies will be even more powerful among trade well mainly because they can space travel to different planets, buy up large amounts of land, real estate. Govts can hire contractors to provide protections for other colonies.

    Only reason Roman Empire ruled for so long was for it's disciplined military and strong economy. It was more political corruption and power hungry politicians were the ones that brought down Rome. There is has to be a central core reason despite the political problems which makes people loyal to their government. America is "Land of Free" or Romans fought for the "Glory of Rome". Common people on poor planets will be the best for recruiting, they're likely join the military for travel space, decent pay, adventure and serve their government. If a Roman served the army for 25 years they would get pension for life, plot of land(hell of a deal). I can say that myself which I did, I wanted to get out of Nebraska, joined the army ended up being stationed in Italy, visited thirteen countries.
     
  16. RWK

    RWK Member

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    I would approach a interstellar government by first looking at its communication. If communications move only as fast as starships, then copy the British or Spanish Empires pre-telegraph. There is no reason to re-invent the wheel.

    If communications moves faster than ships, first you'll have to explain how, and then you can set it up like any large modern state. I would take a look at the USSR because of its size.

    Again, invention is unnecessary: file the serial numbers off of history.

    Do not bother with titles or ranks until you have settled this issue; governments are built atop communications, not the other way around.

    Governments run on data. Militaries run on logistics.

    Always address the foundation first.
     
  17. animagus_kitty

    animagus_kitty Senior Member

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    I am still watching this thread, and here's what I'm considering.

    Following the elimination of the Constellature, the racial governments decided that no one spoke for them collectively. Especially not the Thorans, who find themselves falling from a position of power. The other races, the Nimians, Chouk'mir, and several groups referred to as 'human-like', have decided they've had quite enough of Thorans telling them what to do. In the redistribution of 'Imperial' worlds--that is, worlds that were never under a single race's purview and belonged solely to the Imperium--the other races tend to vote for any interests that aren't Thoran.
    I'm imagining a very sour collective of representatives from all races; far from the peace that the rebellion had in mind. I've also yet to decide what to do with the Imperial military, mixed as it is with races from all corners of the galaxy, with many of its members being almost fanatically loyal to a no-longer-existent government.

    Also, science side of WFO: is the space between galaxies functionally any different than the space between stars, or is it just a bigger distance between stuff?
     
  18. Abishai1000

    Abishai1000 Member

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    Pragmatism

    I like the Star Trek model of the 'Prime Directive' and respect for group sovereignty.

    I think a 'galactic government' has to respect both the instinct to survive as groups and the natural curiosity to explore other worlds and make contact peacefully and profitably.

    There would therefore need to be a self-determined governance respect policy as well as an enforcement procedure for peaceful first-time contact between species/groups.

    Finally, to avoid the problems of fascism (e.g., unquestioned authoritarianism), a galactic government could consider the practicality of formally discussing applications of fashion and school uniforms and trend-marketing. We see how such a seemingly 'pedestrian recreational consideration' has serious impact on our modern Earth of commerce-driven social relations (e.g., Facebook, Ralph Lauren, McDonald's, etc.).


    :oops:
     
  19. Myrrdoch

    Myrrdoch Active Member

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    With myself at its head. That's how I'd organize it.

    It is as close to a pure vacuum as you can get. There is basically nothing (roughly 1 hydrogen atom per cubic meter) except strands of ionized hydrogen that tie galaxies to each other. This "intergalactic medium" is very hot (10^5 to 10^7 Kelvin, according to Wikipedia, which is two to four orders of magnitude hotter than Sol) and emits X-rays.
     
  20. animagus_kitty

    animagus_kitty Senior Member

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    So...NOT the same as intra-galactic space? Because if there's one thing I learned from Wrath of Khan, it's that it's very cold in space.
     
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  21. Myrrdoch

    Myrrdoch Active Member

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    Welp, now people in the coffeeshop are eyieng me for bursting out laughing, so thanks for that.

    But no, for the most part it's terrifically cold. The WHIM are just strands that tie galaxies together into superclusters (and the correspondingly larger structures in the universe), but on the scale of a person, most of intergalactic space is cold and black and empty. Like, just the worst.
     
  22. animagus_kitty

    animagus_kitty Senior Member

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    Sorry, I'm rubbish at science. Bear with me for a moment.
    So what you're saying is, if the universe were a spider-web, galaxies would be where the...the...circular strands and the straight strands cross; the intergalactic medium is the strands themselves; and the space between them is the empty inter-galactic space.
    And the strands are very very hot, and everything else is very very cold.
    And if a galaxy were a spider-web, the same logic applies, except scaled down?

    (maybe I shouldn't be writing a space fantasy novel if I don't understand how space works)
     
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  23. XOXOwriterXOXO

    XOXOwriterXOXO New Member

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    I've spent a lot of my life being taken care of by these massive, diplomatic groups that get absolutely nothing done. I mean, I'm all for equality, but 300 voices are more likely to be contradicting one another than, say, 12. If you have 12, then at least everybody gets a chance to speak.

    Therefore, if I were part of an uprising against a government, I would set up a kind of Lord Protector who communes with leaders over each planet every 10 rotations of the 'Capitol Planet' or something. The 'leaders' of the planets can be voted on like Prime Ministers/Presidents. I realise this isn't much different to the original government but having a monarch to look up to and then leaders to select can allow the population to have a face they can respect and trust.
    -----
    On the note of war: personally, if it were me, I probably wouldn't. But if I were a protagonist/antagonist in a story, I might be encouraged to rise up if say I found important documents claiming foul play or if something happened directly to a friend or family member. If I'd never heard of the war and never wanted to leave, then I suppose I wouldn't have a reason to care.

    But it's like the wars around the world at the moment: there have been terrorist attacks and destructions of countries that I've barely noticed until my friends bring it up. I don't notice because I feel safe. I don't feel a need to keep an eye on these things.

    What I do dislike is the way people are treated because of it, such as an article I read for an essay. The article was about Islamophobia in Britain when Isis first began to draw attention. People were throwing dog's FECES at muslims and many muslims were afraid to go out in their hijabs in case they were targeted. That sickened me. That made me look out even more for my friends. I decided that from that day forward if anybody says anything racist towards them or treats them differently because of their religion will hear from me.

    Fortunately, I live in a very open and accepting society. I haven't experienced any offensive behaviour during my years.
     
  24. Myrrdoch

    Myrrdoch Active Member

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    Ummm... yeah, that sounds about right.

    I bring you resources:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warm%E2%80%93hot_intergalactic_medium
    http://www.caltech.edu/news/intergalactic-medium-unveiled-caltechs-cosmic-web-imager-directly-observes-dim-matter-42699
    https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Radiation_astronomy/Intergalactic_medium
    https://www.universetoday.com/30280/intergalactic-space/
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outer_space#Intergalactic_space
     
  25. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner Contributor Contributor

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    Wait, there are a lot of science words being thrown around without a lot of context to know exactly what those mean. When a scientists says that something is extremely hot, they are talking about the amount of kinetic energy in it. You'd still freeze to death very rapidly, the "temperature" of the universe is 3 Kelvin.

    The "hot" particles though are extremely hot, and mostly traveling close to the speed of light. This makes them very dangerous to creatures composed of DNA and even the hardest radiation shielding will likely not be enough. The reason only hot particles exist in this space is because the colder stuff has all consolidated into galaxies.

    The space between the galaxies is not that different than the space in the galaxy. The amount of hydrogen drops, but it's still not a hard vacuum. There are much less dense places in the universe than intergalactic space (called voids.)

    Dark matter forms a web-like structure on the grandest scale, but each "strand" is millions of light years across, and contains hundreds of galaxies, so the largest scale structure is probably not interesting to you.

    In between most galaxies there are dwarf galaxies, which tend to orbit larger galaxies. Both Andromeda and the Milky Way have dozens of them. They also have millions of rogue planets and stars, ejected by close encounters with black holes.

    What you see is a small part of what's actually there. Galaxies actually exist in a giant blob of dark matter. The dark matter outweighs the regular matter by a factor of 6:1, so the idea that the dark matter forms halos around galaxies is backwards. It's actually the dark matter blobs that attract galaxies. Galaxies are like corks bobbing around oceans of dark matter.

    I talk to cosmologists and astronomers on a nearly daily basis, so if there is anything else you'd like to know, ask away. If I don't know the answer personally, I'll probably know someone who does.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017

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