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#ActualLorenzoGatti

Posted 03 July 2013 - 02:10 PM

Colonizing planets (i.e. building ships and recruiting people) is likely to be a job for billionaires or megacorporations or criminal syndicates, which are then likely to "own" their colonies and embrace feudalism both downwards (supply chains of smaller corporations, criminal gang hierarchies, delegation to ambitious managers and friends, etc.) and upwards (diffidence towards other colonies, respect for stronger parties, maximum independence from the central government, etc.), as a white collar counterpart of the medieval tribal warlords who built feudal nations in real history.
 
An empire which is unable to impose its authority is likely to institutionalize informal feudal trends, leading to much more feudalism at smaller scales (e.g. a city) where democratic governments would work well enough.

A different good reason for feudalism is that the only things space colonies have in common are likely to be alliances against outside enemies, free trade agreements and other treaties; if there is a war against enemies of the Empire, contributing armed forces to a common cause a large part of economy and daily life.
In such a situation, feudalism offers the fractal organization structure that allows the best compromises between defending one's home and contributing to longer term war campaigns at multiple scales; joining a fleet of peers and submitting to a commander is acceptable, but nobody wants to be the planet that a distant central Fleet Command abandons "strategically" or designates as the test site of a planet-busting weapon program.

Islands of democracy or exotic organizations are entirely possible; even entire democratic planets could fit into a feudal empire as long a they are loyal and pull their own weight.

#1LorenzoGatti

Posted 03 July 2013 - 07:57 AM

Colonizing planets (i.e. building ships and recruiting people) is likely to be a job for billionaires or megacorporations or criminal syndicates, which are then likely to "own" their colonies and embrace feudalism both downwards (supply chains of smaller corporations, criminal gang hierarchies, delegation to ambitious managers and friends, etc.) and upwards (diffidence towards other colonies, respect for stronger parties, maximum independence from the central government, etc.), as a white collar counterpart of the medieval tribal warlords who built feudal nations in real history. An empire which is unable to impose its authority is likely to institutionalize informal feudal trends, leading to much more feudalism at smaller scales (e.g. a city) where democratic governments would work well enough. A different good reason for feudalism is that the only things space colonies have in common are likely to be alliances against outside enemies, free trade agreements and other treaties; if there is a war against enemies of the Empire, contributing armed forces to a common cause a large part of economy and daily life. In such a situation, feudalism offers the fractal organization structure that allows the best compromises between defending one's home and contributing to longer term war campaigns at multiple scales; joining a fleet of peers and submitting to a commander is acceptable, but nobody wants to be the planet that a distant central Fleet Command abandons "strategically" or designates as the test site of a planet-busting weapon program. Islands of democracy or exotic organizations are entirely possible; even entire democratic planets could fit into a feudal empire as long a they are loyal and pull their own weight.

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