Commonwealth of Sol-Procyon
- “Does this Unit have a soul?”
- “Yes, dear, but don’t worry, we fixed that in the next update. You will be just like us.”
- -Common joke along the Thola Gate-Line.
|Commonwealth of Sol-Procyon|
|[[Image:|64px]]||Official Name The Commonwealth of Sol-Procyon|
Colloquial Names: Terran Commonwealth, Commonwealth, SolCom, TerraCom, “Humans”
Government Type: Bicameral Federal Republic (with strong corporate influence) 
Population: 2.5 Trillion Sophonts (Majority Human and Demihuman)
Economic Strength: Export Giant
Military Strength: Ascendant
Political Importance: Rump State of Humanity
Sol. Once the cradle of Humanity, their home system, it has grown to importance more and more - the cultural, sociopolitical and technological capital of an empire spanning much of known space, comfortable, ascendant and poised to swing into interstellar Hegemony…
Or so they say at least.
Fact is, the Commonwealth is the biggest, most stable and most politically representative faction of Humanity and roughly sixty percent of humans live in its territory, clients or affiliates. However, the rosy lens propagandists procure isn’t terribly correct. The Commonwealth is fraught with internal strife, pressure from the outside and dissidence.
For now, the giant swings its club and proves itself an incredibly powerful ally and interstellar superpower - but vultures slowly circle, greedy to pick at the body of an already bled state, which still struggles from the aftermath of the Hegemony War.
On paper, the Commonwealth is a federal republic which elects its highest officials democratically, with two chambers of Legislation - the Solar Assembly and the Commonwealth Senate.
The Solar Assembly is the Lower House, organized through proportional voting based on raw population numbers of registered citizens, which varies the numbers of Assemblypeople through every election cycle - a recurrent problem being how many Assemblypeople actually attend, often in four-digit numbers.
Citizens have two votes - one for a direct candidate, one for the party itself, who present a list of potential Assemblypeople for perusal. A minimum of 5% of the total votes need to be achieved for a party to attend the Solar Assembly - expecting any directly won mandate.
Elections happen every 4 standard solar years.
The Upper House, the Commonwealth Senate, are representatives of the States of the Commonwealth - usually appointed directly by the local government. 4 Senators are allowed per State. If a law is passed in the Lower House, the Senate oversees if the law would either affect the states they represent or if it doesn’t directly fall in the jurisdiction of the federal government. If not, they can only recommend a course of action - if the proposed law does meet either criteria, it needs the Senate’s direct approval, else it needs to be revised or jossed.
The Upper House changes slowly or rapidly - depending on the individual states, as they appoint their representatives.
The federal government, led by the President, is appointed by the Solar Assembly - usually in either a coalition of parties and very rarely by a strong enough party. The President in turn appoints the cabinet - usually already set out in any coalition contract that grants them their position.
The Federal Government directly oversees:
The Military The Gateway Network Federal Law and Police Services Research and Development Currency and the Central Bank Diplomacy Minimum Insurance and Social Services
Solar Constitutional Council
The highest judicial authority is the Solar Constitutional Council, a body of 15 judges appointed by the Solar Assembly. Appeals to the Commonwealth Constitution are handled by them and they have the power to suspend laws as they see fit. Appointment is for life, usually.
The Commonwealth is organized into roughly four groups - Federal Members, Territories, Colonies and Satellites.
Federal Members are totally integrated and politically represented star systems, deemed to have sufficient self-organization and political gravitas to be deemed important in the overall direction of the Commonwealth.
The current number is sixty star systems - the most important of those being Sol, Procyon, Sirius, Proxima Centauri and Altair. The “Big Five” are culturally, industrially and economically important to such a degree that they often decide policy whenever the representatives of these members can actually agree on something - which doesn’t happen all that often.
The process of becoming a Federal Member is an arduous one. A two third majority within the Assembly and a simple majority in the Senate is required for a Territory to rise from simple observer to active participant in the Houses. In the end, it is being held out as an immaterial goal for most territories - until they become recalcitrant and important enough that it would be too much of a hassle to not let them be a member as well. Territory Territories are self-organized colonies that could be a respective state of their own, but are instead associated and integrated into the Commonwealth. Citizens of a Territory are automatically citizens of the Commonwealth - possessing every single right they do, including highest political and military positions.
However, the main difference between a Federal Member and a territory is the lack of representation on a federal level. While Assemblypeople can be elected within a Territory, they merely hold observer status - so too their Senators enjoy simply just sitting in at sessions.
It is a high point of contention what makes a Territory a Territory. Colonies that achieve “sufficient infrastructure and population” are usually re-organized into territories. In reality - it is when the administrative overhead becomes too bothersome that a Colony suddenly is thrust into building a bureaucracy for themselves.
Colonies are dependent settlements of the Commonwealth, usually around the fringes of core spheres of influence - along the rim and the core and at the edges to Saltha and Elysian space.
Colonies are usually a very unexciting affair of miners and gas extractors - sent out by Territories or Federal Members to enrich their industry with raw material. They absolutely have no representation whatsoever - in fact, all administrative and civil duties are assumed by their mother polity.
This gives the Colony some advantages however - they have no administrative overhead and depending on the rules of their mother polity can re-invest fully into their own infrastructure. This is, tersely, encouraged by some mother polities. It is easier to make Colonies self-sufficient enough to become trade partners instead of a drain on the state purse. However, others instead raise “special taxes” to recoup losses.
Naturally, this makes the relationship between Overlord and Subject wildly variable.
Satellites are all those who have sworn to uphold the constitution of the Commonwealth, but are not colonies - nor are they Territories in the strictest sense. Usually, they are smaller alien cultures or nomadic lifestyles, such as the Kosaky, who rely on the infrastructure and military protection from illicit elements to survive and ensure their standard of living.
In turn, they pay taxes like any other Commonwealth member - however they are not Citizens and have to pass an Integration Test to assume so. However, they enjoy freedom of movement within the Spheres of the Commonwealth.
Many Satellites never stop being one. They are simply not important enough to ever become a Territory - or too alien for ever be represented by the Solar Assembly. Some don’t care. Others slowly drift away and break off, remaining more or less neutral to cordial to the Commonwealth after their services are no longer needed.
It is very mercenary in nature.
The Military’s overall name is the USDF - the United Solar Defense Force.
The USDF contains three branches - the Solar Defense Fleet (SDF), the Rapid Deployment Guard (RDG) and the Colonial Army (CA).
Culturally, the military is entrenched into the cultural Zeitgeist of the Commonwealth. It is on them their importance has been driven from regional primitives to actual interstellar power - fire-forged in the War against the Hegemony. However, the military-industrial complex has sunk its teeth deep into the pulse of the Economy and its reach and siphoning of money does not go unnoticed by the more adept citizen.
Those who have served within the USDF are often seen as disciplined, stoic and capable. But in reality, they’re often still just very average people with various personalities. Veterans who have seen combat deployments are often even somewhat shunned, as their psychological issues and traumas often go unrecognized, leading to a jaded bitterness - while service is ‘rewarded’ with recognition and admiration, for most it only goes skin deep.
Many, many soldiers enlist not out of a sense of duty or glory, but rather as a necessity for a better life and education beyond compulsory Commonwealth standards. A tour of duty or two enables someone to learn academic or technical skills beyond their means - if the military life doesn’t swallow them whole before.
Strangely enough - rich corporate families usually avoid military service.
To say the Commonwealth is an industrial powerhouse would be an understatement - it is the premier producer of building materials, machine components and weaponry within its sphere and an export leader for consumer goods and foodstuff - the diplomatic importance of the Commonwealth is not only because of its guns, but also its economic ties to the other polities. Even the Hegemony Soldier sometimes snacks on printed meat of the Commonwealth.
Economic output is usually centered on the Federal Members and richer Territories - they import cheaper raw materials and churn out more expensive assembled goods. This has led to many accusations of mercantilism, but it gets worse - the production of biomass and foodstuff is also much more prominent within the richer countries - as they have the capabilities to either artificially or non-artificially have the required conditions for plant growth en masse.
This is one of the reasons why Garden Worlds are so coveted - it almost guarantees a meteoric rise to becoming politically important and economically powerful. The demand for food is endless, everyone needs to eat.
On paper, the Commonwealth is a Free Market Economy with little incentive spent by the Government to guide the invisible hand of the market. In reality, protectionist measures, tariffs, taxes and subsidies are pervasively used to encourage offloading heavy industries into orbits and ‘dead’ worlds and to prop up Mega-Corporations.
And here lies the real key player of the Commonwealth Economy. The big TSCs are clawed deep into the fabric of the economy, seeing most profits go through them - lobbyism and outright espionage ensures that SolCom is ultimately doing what brings them the most profit. However, they do so covertly, insidiously slow - it is a process of subversion, not rulership and quite mercenary in nature. Some policies, after all, benefit the common man as much as a corporate executive.
However, it is clear - a wage gap is present and ever growing.
Culture and Society
Freedom, Liberty and Equality. The three words that underpins the Zeitgeist of the common SolCom citizen are these. From the anarchies of the Consolidation Period and against all odds, they have been not made slaves, but proven themselves capable of defending their Freedom - even when in reality the Hegemony War was not victory, but stalemate.
With this in mind, the Commonwealth sees itself as a modern state of equal opportunity for everyone - whether someone has been born to an uranium miner or a corporate executive, they will rise in the world according to their abilities - with help of the State where providence did not manage.
However, this is not true - and many, many people realize this. Social policies are patchwork at best - healthcare in some Members and Territories not even subsidized or public anymore and the pervasive influence of the TSCs is felt in every corner - cutbacks, ‘trickle-down’ economics and other corporate buzzwords fly around as they influence politicians to do their bidding or battle each other quietly in the background with raids and corporate espionage.
With the ills of capitalism exacerbated by old money and incredibly powerful industrial conglomerates, many fear that their opinion actually does not matter all that much - only worsened by the fact that only about forty percent of the Commonwealth is actually represented beyond the ‘local’ level, as Federal Member citizen.
But that is not to say there cannot be nice lives. Especially in the Big Five, life is not bad - even easy, as long someone is not poor. Glittering towers of Human engineering dot the planets, naturally habitable or terraformed, ordered and lacking little. Consumer goods are plentiful and almost created on an ad-hoc basis - post-scarcity approaching within generations.
However, this does come on the back of the outer territories. The worlds are hungry for cheap resources, cheap labour and cheap products - and this comes at the expense of those who are not represented, not heard, ignored.
This, of course, has an effect. The lower classes of Humanity are as ever rabble rousing and angry at their lot - while the middle class is apathetic at best, fearful at worst, swayed by demagogues and fear mongers to a very conservative mindset, shunning Xenos, Synthetics and anything that upsets the Status Quo - as they too stand to lose much if they backslide into poverty. Naturally, this is almost encouraged.
A divided House cannot stand alone - and so the mega-corporations cultivate their influences ever further…
Problems and Troubles
The Commonwealth is, for a ‘young’ polity incredibly vast and incredibly powerful. They have made themselves an interstellar equal to the older species of the Orion Spur indeed - but even before the Hegemony War, they had issues. And they have only grown in time, as the Golden Age of the Commonwealth found its end in the fires of conflict.
All the other Kids
Naturally, it is the other Human factions that bring the most issue to the Commonwealth, whose legitimacy as “Sole Protector of Humanity” is called into question when other successful human majority societies exist - regardless of how brutal, cruel or authoritarian they are. Worse yet - all of them sprung from failure of the Commonwealth to address a particular situation or react to political pressure. The Existence of the Ares Confederation, the Salthan Fyrds and the Elysian Colonies proves itself to be a consistent thorn as they’re also one of the main sources of membership loss and emigration.
The specter of an alternative of a Free Market System has haunted Humanity for long. Now, with states actually operating on other economic models - such as the Command Economy of the Salthan Fyrd or the Socialist policies of the Ares Confederation - lets the poorer clades of the SolCom citizenry question if their corporate overlords are really all that jazzed out to be.
Unionism and the galactic labour laws have partially addressed these concerns and let the Proletariat yet slumber in their fervour… But as life still has not significantly changed and as unions are still not able to break the hold of megacorporations on policymaking and dictating where the money goes. Which isn’t in the pockets of the common man.
Baby, lock the door. They are out
Demagoguery and fear mongering are great socio-political tools to suppress a population and keep them compliant, even if it is not in their best interests. Shift blame, shift responsibility for the ills of their lives and they will eat it up, as a weaker enemy cannot push back.
It is not polite nor nice to be a racist, a synth hater, an antisophonist, however. Instead, the fear and suspicion keeps in the polite cadre. People are not Xenos, just untrustworthy. Institutions are not xenophobic, they just quote statistics. The Big Five and inner Federal Members are not extremely welcoming to anything that isn’t at least partially human - and some very much keep track of the degree of how much of you is outwardly human.
…And there is more outside
While the Commonwealth is, at the moment, comfortably in a power equilibrium with its immediate neighbors, it fears it will not be so forever. Not only human polities, but other alien civilizations are slowly rising to an interstellar stage - and the fear of being eclipsed by a younger, more dynamic race is very present in the mind of federal politicians.
This is first and foremost felt with the Tajaran - who are much like humans, very aggressive colonizers. Worse yet, they can perfectly survive in arctic and tundra climates, which gives them a slight edge in geo-engineering planets to be habitable.
In the end, they do not wish to be the Hegemony. And they sure do not wish the Skrell or the Hegemony to meddle with their affairs either. Thus, diplomacy is always in an odd flux of appeasing, threatening or simply cold cordiality with their neighbors.
What is that about Representation anyway?
A lot of citizens are… Actually not represented within the federal levels of the Commonwealth. This is a strict fact. Federal membership is hard to obtain and moves at a glacial pace. Only 40% of the citizens actually can have an Assemblyperson or Senator representing them. So sixty percent have no influence whatsoever on a lot of things affecting them.
Naturally, this leads to frosty relationships between Federal Members and Territories - some want the entire concept of “Territory” gone and have only Federal Members remain, with each former Territory becoming one.
Others claim that this will bloat the Assembly and Senate needlessly and make any decision making an incredibly arduous and glacial progress - not to mention the logistics to ship so many people on a five year basis to the Solar Assembly. It is, in their words, preposterous.
However, federal lawmaking already is glacial. It is already bloated. And with that in mind, Territories are not exactly happy. It is a powder keg, ready to blow.
And there are a whole lot of people ready to ignite it…
Opinions on other Factions
“Protector of Humanity. Home. A beacon of freedom. Sure, there are some problems, but we can fix them. We always do. Life goes on. We can do this.”
“Look, I know we weren’t great with handling the Saltha Sector - but ignoring treaties, honourable ones, is nothing short of barbarism. They should dismantle and come home.”
“Man, it’s full of whackjobs, slavers and pirates. We should just grab the entire Navy and do a good old police action so the rioters can get real jobs and stop diddling their vat-slaves. Disgusting. They make good holovids, though.”
“These fucking cowards shit themselves and fled Mars and now want it back? When will they give up? They’re a failed ideology and should just be destroyed. God. My cousin is dumb, he actually reads their e-missives and newsletters. I don’t want him to get in trouble.”
“Uhm, how do they fucking work? Like, I heard their individual cities are states all on their own? Fuck, how do they get anything done? I guess that's an older species for you - something we didn’t figure out yet, I guess, but we sure will at some point!”
“Man, these fucks are scary. I have seen them on the Tellie. All robed and shit and looking like they are about to eat the Ambassador’s face off if he says something wrong. But we showed them the might of Humanity. Fuck yeah. Doesn’t need a repeat.”
“Oh right, the cat people at the rim, right? I heard of them. They seem like decent folk, you know. For Non-Sol species. Bit too ambitious for their own good though. Hope they don’t do the stupid thing and provoke us. That would be a shame.”
“Ugh, like… Can you imagine drinking your own recycled pee over and over? I am not sure how these people can live on ships every day of their entire life. Spacers are weird, man. And they prefer living like this.”
“Look man. My contract says I can’t say anything on public record without talking to an Internal Affairs Liaison. But you know these Zheng-Hu guys? Fuck ‘em. They try to take away our jobs in this sector.”
“Look, you know my boy Jimmy? He can set you up with a very good deal. You won’t regret it. You should really consider buying from him though - he’s with the FTU and you know how they can be if you don’t go to the list of approved vendors - and Jimmy is right on that.”
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