In terms of natural resources, the citizens of the Lagoder system have never wanted for anything. Their home world, Finmaer (LAGODER-3), epitomizes the term “garden world” being a diverse cradle on which life has flourished.
The Lagoder system was colonized during the Third Wave. Infrastructure put in place during colonization insured a stable civilization during the Long Dark. Nation-states arose and consolidated into a single world government on Finmaer some 300 years ago. 100 years ago Finmaer reached T1 and established colonies throughout the Lagoder system. It has only been within the last 50 years that the Lagoder Union of Planets arose and T2 was reached.
Much like the pre-2200CE United States of America on Old Earth, the Union is a democracy in name and something of an oligarchy in practice. Citizens of the Union believe in the concepts of freedom and individuality with an almost religious fervor while still practicing a fairly narrow-minded morality. Going hand in hand with this is the belief that their capitalist marketplace is above reproach, self-correcting, and that profit motive will ensure things work themselves out in the best way possible. Many citizens essentially see the role of their government as ensuring that the market “flows” unimpeded across galactic civilization and otherwise leaves them the fuck alone. Needless to say, the “union” in question is becoming less a union of states or neighboring planetary governments and more a union of corporations. Loyalty to one’s corp. is largely seen as compulsory these days. Most “public goods” within the Union have been privatized, including law enforcement and the military.
The Union believes they have gotten it right – that the way their society has developed should stand as an example to a fractured galaxy. It is their duty to show the rest of civilized space the true light of civilization. Citizens of the Union find the A.I. enforced “socialism” of the Ascendancy abhorrent and many secretly hope for what they see as inevitable war against them.
- Shining Light on the Darkness of the Universe
- The market is self-correcting
- There are no Bad Citizens (because those who misbehave are no longer citizens – prison colony worlds being the order of the day)
Slip Knot Connections:
Planets in the Lagoder System:
- Sumpter (LAGODER-1)
- Parijuta (LAGODER-2)
- Finmaer (LAGODER-3)
- Ameretat (LAGODER-4)
- Mantith Belt
- Cheridan (LAGODER-6)
- Irminsul (LAGODER-7)
- Vangirr Belt (LAGODER-8)
- Shimmer (LAGODER-9)
Officially the Union is a direct democracy and all citizens are allowed to vote on all issues brought before the government. On a daily basis, however, there is typically no business brought to the government as essentially all functions of the government have been privatized. Therefore, the defacto government is actually corporate boards of directors which set the company charters and bylaws, nominally approved through shareholder elections. Nation-states boundaries have limited impact on geo-politics and instead power is distributed by a system of fiefdoms dominated by a handful of exceptionally large corporate entities. Controlling voting shares for these corporations is held by an interlocking network of elites who through inheritance over generations has ensured that real power remains in the hands of the oligarchs.
System of Law:
The Union believes in free markets as the only way to organize all social activity, which has proven to be somewhat difficult when it comes to codifying a uniform system of laws since they also believe in ultimate personal freedom. Contract law and torts is of course of immense importance to corporate governance, so each individual contract embeds within it the system of laws that govern it. The free market has produced a number of incompatible systems of laws, and businesses tend to shop around for the one that serves their interests at the time.
Since contracts are immense documents, the legal system in the Union has streamlined and privatized the judiciary to make resolving legal disputes efficient. Because there is no single system of laws in place, human lawyers are woefully ill-equipped. Therefore, all contracts have mandatory arbitration clauses which means all disputes and civil cases are settled through expert system AIs. Cases are settled by machine-to-machine adversarial representation, with fines assessed in moments. Appeals are usually a matter of sinking more money into the problem until one side or the other relents, and the arbitration system is funded by a fee-for-service. While the profession of ‘lawyer’ does not exist in the Union, a collection of specialties such as ‘arbitration optimizers’ flourish.
The criminal justice system is equally efficient, if somewhat harsh. Misdemeanors—there are only a few related mostly to identify theft and forgery since the Union believes strongly in the ‘light-touch of government lest it infringe upon personal freedom’—are typically resolved through administrative actions and fines. If the individual lacks the resources to pay the fines, they are remanded to indentured servitude typically to the corporate entity wronged until the fee is paid.
Capital crimes (primarily murder which is a violation of another’s personal freedom) are handled by a three-person panel of established business leaders which is required to reach a verdict within 1 business day. The majority of cases are resolved in under an hour. Any ‘technicalities’ in the case are handled through the civil arbitration system, and the sentence is being stripped of citizenship and remanded to one of a number of “offsite commercial centers” (a.k.a. “prison planets”) for a period of years. Restoration of citizenship is based on “good behavior and full reimbursement”, which in practice means only the rich have a chance at redemption. Extremely rich individuals also have the option of hiring a stand-in for their punishment, but the threat of corporate demotion is usually strong enough to keep the majority of elites out of such situations to begin with. Non-citizens are “offered” banishment from Union space on the condition they immediately pay any associated fines.