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The Community: Straylight's Future Society

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Lately I've been trying to rival Gene Roddenberry here! [lol]

In worldbuilding for Straylight I've been working on how The Community, the future society you start in as a result of the game's timeline (see below), fits together. What's cool is that it suggests some interesting missions and gameplay, which makes the effort a bit of a payoff.

The Community is supposed to be a people who pride themselves on fusing together opposites using technology (AI, nanotech, consciousness sharing). They're part libertarian, part socialist, with an ethical bent toward pacifism-- yet won't hesitate to frustrate threats against them using covert action("viral peace" using volunteers on the other side who agree to share perspectives electronically), misdirection and force if necessary.

Below is my first stab at how they might work:

  • Direct Democracy

    • At the highest level, government is divided between elites called Pillars elected every 10 years, and AI that enables popular oversight and direct democracy
    • Population broken up into hundreds of districts (counties) worldwide
    • Citizens have dual citizenship: Community (global) citizenship, and citizenship within a district
    • Districts may reject who they choose, and expel who they choose (but must pay for resettlement)
    • Majority vote determines laws and mores within a district, as well as rights concerning district laws
    • Districts may have police but no military
    • Right to vote in Community affairs granted by military or volunteer service of 3 to 8 years; must also pass election-related civics test
    • Citizens have the right to move from any neighborhood
    • Districts rely on technology and basic resource grants, which are determined by population
    • Districts free to organize however they like so long they don't infringe on Community Law, which includes civil liberties

  • Federal Global Government Functions

    • Security (terrorism, intradistrict, interdistrict, external)
    • Minimal mandatory taxation of and basic resource grants to districts
    • Research
    • Intellectual property law enforcement (vital to controlling nanotech, nuclear fusion, cloning and AI development)
    • Dispute regulation between districts
    • Group and individual asylum (constitution has right to mobility clause, but no district must accept a group)

  • Private Enterprise

    • Economy has shifted away from manufacture to research and services, aided by automation, nanotech and AI
    • Districts grant companies (called combines) charter on a per district basis
    • Charters, by Community Law, automatically expire based on the industry (forcing combine to campaign for its continued existence)
    • Combines can be privately or district owned
    • To check power, no combine can own another
    • Regulation, rules and taxation up to each district
    • Community reserves right to form hypercombines for large scale projects such as colonization and defense (charter subject to periodic per district funding approval) as necessary for human survival
    • Wealthy elites are those who own patents on nanotech, keeping society in state of artificial scarcity / pre-nanotech revolution

  • People and society

    • Jobs: People are either independent contractors, work for districts or work for Community federal bureaucracy or hypercombine projects
    • Education: Basic digital literacy, schooling free; professional training costs
    • Law: Citizens must obey Community Law and district laws but can move; conflicts between district and Community law are often resolved by voluntary exile / asylum to another district for the individual or group
    • Mobility: Citizens have constitutional right to mobility. Community subsidizes global vaccuum train and shuttle networks encourage this, helping to dilute ethnic identity; some, however, may be too poor to exercise this right
    • Free accomodations per citizen are stark and minimal (often considered low status)
    • Many districts in the West rise and fall based on individual contractor talents; people are highly mobile between districts
    • Many districts in East still have strong traditional group ethic, with districts rising and falling on trading ability and organizational skills; district populations are highly static

  • Conflict

    • The Community's Common Culture movement has called for reinventing human society, in part by destroying identity artifacts such as the Pyramids at Giza or Great Wall of China (most people live in armored megacities, so don't care / aren't aware)
    • Unresolvable conflicts often result in strongly ethnic / nationalist cultures being assisted into expanding into space (gets them off earth, balkanizes them into space habitats, reduces / delays conflict)
    • Federal government is rumored to have covert peacekeepers who use volunteers to exchange thoughts, creating "viral peace" through shared perspective
    • Extreme cases of interdistrict conflict may call for The Community to evict both groups into space
    • Offworld colonies must either accept Community rule or agree to military spending caps and periodic inspections
    • The Community can and does act with force against rogue powers, nanotech / AI IP violators and militarizing colonies-- but often as a last resort, as the people must approve war

  • Misc.

    • Mass media, data networks privately owned but transmission infrastructure regulated by rules of each district; Community reserves right to censor material for security or IP protection purposes
    • Freedom of religion exists by Community Law, but religions may not use mass media
    • Combines may not use mass media (no mass advertising)

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Lately I've been trying to rival Gene Roddenberry here!
You've been banging Nichelle Nichols?

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