Minor Polities

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It is not always necessary to be a part of a larger Sephirotic empire or meta-empire. Many smaller polities exist, in the borders between the larger hyperpowers. These small states guarantee the same sentient rights and adhere to the same standards of civilization as their larger brethren.

Such polities are sovereign states, ruled by sapient or transapient governments. It may be as small as a single individual (a so-called Sovereignty of One) or as large as a vast interstellar empire. It may be a democracy, a theocracy, an autocracy, an anarchy, an aiocracy, a panocracy, an aristocracy, a plutocracy, a meritocracy, or any other of the innumerable forms of government found throughout the civilized galaxy. But whatever the form of government, there will be sapient or transapient sentients at the head, whether the entire populace (as in extreme democracy) or a single autocrat (as in extreme monocracy). These beings then decide the foreign, economic, military, educational, legal, industrial, cultural, entertainment, and ideological stance of the polity as a whole.

The number and diversity of such polities in the galaxy is as great as the number and diversity of clades, cultures, and memetic-complexes. There are estimated to be almost a trillion polities incorporated in the Civilized Galaxy, only a tiny proportion of which are heavily memed, angelnetted, and governed aicracies in which the Archailects have established their hold securely and with no fear of defection or subversion. A much larger number consists of the many nominally aligned or neutral worlds, habitats, and polities, with populations ranging from the thousands to (in a few cases) the billions. Far larger again, and making up the vast majority of sovereign states, is the huge number of Sovereignties of Ones and of micropolities with only a few dozen or a few hundred citizens. Especially in the case of trader empires — like the FAS and the Orion Federation — there are, in addition to the large and powerful core of central federated worlds and superpolities, millions of relativistic ship-states, each trader vessel being a sovereign nation unto itself. Individually these traders have very little power. Collectively they are a force to be reckoned with. Almost all empires also have to contend with — in the less regulated and developed regions — the phenomenon of individual, family, and clan homesteaders declaring their own little piece of rock or ice a sovereign nation. Finally there are the Free Zones, polities that specifically swear allegiance to no Archailect or, in the case of the NoCoZo, to an archailect so abstract that some doubt whether it even exists at all!

Because of the tendency of individual, family, clan, and small clade and subculture sapients and powers to declare autonomy, the AI empires have no choice but to rule by memetic and noetic principles. If their religion, ideology, philosophy, esoteric, spirituality, and toposophy, is attractive enough, then the homesteaders, nomads, colonists, and traders will automatically align with them, as the most reasonable and beneficial option. If their memetic is weak, and their noetic does not promise much, then they will find these innumerable small polities defecting to the opposition or remaining independent.

The intrigues and stratagems required to keep these smaller polities happy and aligned with one or another of the Sephirotics, or even with a more minor local god, can at times be so convoluted that many sapients — and even many transapients — choose simply to ignore them. For them it is enough that they get a good deal from a local god or hyperturing, that they be allowed to trade in information, creativity, and materials, or if they choose, to not trade, and to express their ideology and lifestyle without interference. When pirates or barbarian raiders or blights come their way, these small polities are quick to cry for help to the big powers. Sometimes, in the interests of encouraging diversity, the big powers and AIs will protect the small polities from such dangers without asking for anything obvious in return. For them, simply nurturing of diversity is apparently motivation enough.

  • Albireo Confluence  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Association of some 2000 distinct superbright and transapient polities in and around Albireo. The Confluence also extends through Known Net and Wormhole Nexus relays and links to a large number of local and distant systems. Historically it has expanded outwards primarily through the old and the current Cygexpa wormhole /stargate nexus, but it has also established its sphere of influence along other wormhole axes. Economically and memetically it dominates the Albireo Sector.
  • Alexandria Clusters  - Text by Marcus Wellpoth and Marcus Rauchfuß
    Information storage clusters in Dyson swarms around red dwarf stars.
  • Alpha Centauri  - Text by Steve Bowers and John M. Dollan
    Colonised by Von Neumann Machines (neumanns) in the Solsys Era; these self-replicating machines were designed to be self-evolving and independent, and rejected any further human contact once they arrived. This led to the loss of the resource-rich Alpha Centauri system.
  • Barnard's Star  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Surrounded by extensive asteroid belts, Barnard was one of the first systems to be colonised by the First Federation.
  • Betelgeuse Umma - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A Consolidation Age offshoot of the Umma Shell that settled in the solward Betelgeuse volume, the Betelgeuse Ummaites drifted progressively away from the rest of the Shell, becoming unrecognisable as Umma (apart from a few cultural and religious quirks) by the middle Integration period. Currently they are one of several dozen primary cultures that make up the volume.
  • Capellan Federation  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    One of a number of small empires to develop following the break-up of the ComEmp, the Capellan Federation has been luckier than most, continuing to the present time.
  • Carina Cycler Union  - Text by Liam Jones
    A development/exploration based beamrider polity in the Carina Rush, commonly described as a combination of the Deeper Covenant and Cygexpa.
  • Cronosians, The  - Text by Espen Antonsen
    Distributed polity consisting of generation ships, effectively interstellar mobile fractal habitats
  • Crystal Star Domain  - Text by James Ramsey
    Outer Volumes region founded by and under the sole rule of the S5 archailect Crystal Star. Clades created by Crystal Star are predominantly biont, and music is an integral part of their cultures and languages.
  • Disarchy  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Influential polity in the Crucis Corridor, on the frontier between the Negentropy Alliance and the NoCoZo.
  • Dream Rejection Tendency, The  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Brown dwarfs in the Stellar Umma region supporting a dual civilisation; a virtual cosmos in the databanks, and a human nearbaseline society living outside utilising the waste heat.
  • Dry Empire, The  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Informal name for the coalition of aioids expanding out of the Inner Sphere that do not participate in the affairs of the bionts.
  • Far Edge Civilisation, The  - Text by Espen Antonsen
    Small formerly isolationist polity founded by a single transapient individual, an upload of a cyborg who began as a baseline human in the interplanetary Age.
  • First Exocore Bordered Corpus  - Text by Liam Jones
    Independent polity formed by the group of eccentric breakaway Menexenes "Association-With-Greater-Civilisation Guild" aided by the archailect Synergenesis.
  • Free Sophic Polities  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    An association of polities and their regulating transapients that first emerged along the NoCoZo - Sophic League border during the later ComEmp and Re-Evaluation periods, as a result of increasing relativistic intermingling between the adjacent sephirotics.
  • Friedmen - Text by Anders Sandberg
    NoCoZo inspired autonomy in the outer Cygexpa regions. The Friedmen refuse to accept the political authority of any surrounding polity. From their traditionalist archanarchistic point of view governments and states do not exist other than as abstractions, and the world is an entire autonomous zone with some misguided and dangerous groups attempting to control it. Due to their refusal to submit to these abstractions and their shared memetic in creative disobedience, they have become very unpopular among the local ruling systems.
  • Greater Superchimps  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Postchimp-led sapientchimp superpolity.
  • Iceberg Cultures - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Cultures whose importance, size or power is not readily apparent to a given group of observers. For instance for most human nearbaseline observers the Silicon Generation, the Dry Empire and the Backgrounders were iceberg cultures, especially earlier in their histories.
  • Iota Network, The  - Text by The Astronomer and Worldtree
    The Iota Network is an independent polity led by the archailect Iota Scholar and centered around the Lucida system (Iota Piscium).
  • Lost Colonies  - Text by Somes Jung Hallinan with additions by Steve Bowers
    Colonies that have been totally isolated from the remainder of Terragen civilization for a long period of time.
  • Lucida (Iota Piscium)  - Text by Steve Bowers and The Astronomer
    Iota Network - The system containing Corona and the Hestia Sunline
  • Mensan Way, The  - Text by Extherian
    Minor polity with a population consisting only of high transapients
  • Nekology, The  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Outer Volume "empire" of Terragen origin.
  • New Daffy Panoparchy  - Text by Anders Sandberg, with additional material by Steve Bowers
    Middle Regions Interstellar SuperPolity, corewards region of the former TrueModel volume.
  • New Dumont  - Text by Darren Ryding
    Cool world colonised by Siberoos, Megasibers and nearbaseline humans.
  • Newhope  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    One of the oldest wildsap/wildhu preserve in Terragen space.
  • NoCoNeg - Text by M. Alan Kazlev and Anders Sandberg
    Colloquial and semi-humorous term for former NoCoZo systems conquered by the Negentropy Alliance during the Version War. During the early ComEmp period they caused a lot of discomfort to the Negentropy Alliance by their constant harping for less centralism and more freedom. In the end the Negentropist regional administrations allowed them sweeping liberalizations and generous trade tariffs. Although nominally a part of the Alliance they cannot be relied upon in sensitive situations, and in recent centuries have become more of a semi-autonomous empire of their own.
  • Oquendo  - Text by Omega Tyrant
    Three terraformed Mars-like worlds.
  • Orange Polity, The  - Text by Thorbørn Steen
    Corridor #3920 (YTS 2892-5093071) is an F2 star, located on the border between Negentropy space and the MPA. First colonised in 3826 a.t. by Negentropic neumanns. At the end of the Version War in 4654, the now uninhabited system was designated as part of the Seams.
  • Orbital (political unit) - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Originally, a nation state or city state based on habitats in orbit around Old Earth. Over the course of the Interplanetary Age the term came to be used for any such state in Solsys. By early First Federation times the term Orbital was used more broadly for any independent or semi-independent state based on a hab in orbit around a planet.
  • Organic Ascension Alliance, The  - Text by Espen Antonsen
    A bionanotech/transapienttech civilisation at Chi-1 Orionis.
  • Peregrinate, The  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Distributed pseudo-polity of unknown origin, consisting of individuals claiming allegiance to the Peregrinate and being under the protection of the Peregrin, an unknown AI god protecting them through adornments similar to the Solarian pilgrimage jewellery.
  • Puppis Democracy, The  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    A non-aligned tweak empire that emerged during the Version War period, near the Sophic League.
  • R'Foxxans, The  - Text by AI Vin
    A polity of superbright symbiont bioborgs that emerged from a mix of the various nearbaseline humans that colonized the ACAF-37274637-8633 system in the Sagittarius Sector.
  • Restored Ambi Limis  - Text by Extherian
    A number of worlds in the Perseus Rift, centered around Khan, that once were part of Ambi Limis and are trying to reclaim their former glory. Politically they are too far away and too economically weak to be interesting, and instead act as a kind of buffer state between the Dominion and Metasoft.
  • Shadow Federation, The  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Informal grouping of Hider clades, popularly believed to be the closest organisation that the Hiders have to a superpolity.
  • Shipwright's Commune  - Text by Basu
    Non-aligned space-based polity specializing in megascale engineering.
  • Siris Habitat  - Text by Tapio Erola
    Subversive peripatetic relativistic fractal habitat/museum-ship.
  • Spacefarer Union  - Text by Basu
    Nomadic Interstellar ship-based Culture.
  • Stellar Umma, The  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    A large region of space near the Sophic League with a rich Islamic culture.
  • Synthetic/Human Alliance, The  - Text by AI Vin
    The GJ 3655A-B star system; An alliance of equals between Humans, both biont and Synthetic
  • Tartarus  - Text by Darren Ryding
    Home of the Black Tower, a 16km arcology built in the early years of colonisation.
  • Tribe Luxia  - Text by Ryan B
    A minor ultratech polity located in the Outer Volumes (originally Periphery) 5,000 light years spin/coreward in between the Orion and Sagittarius arms. Occupying 43 star systems in a roughly oval volume 30 light years long along its major axis, Tribe Luxia is a very diverse group mind society.
  • Triumvirate, The  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Not a true empire, but a unified ontology and meta-polity. It was created by a multi-clade group of local administration godlets and superbright and po clades as a synthesis of the Negentropy Alliance, MPA, and Fomalhaut Acquisition Society in the wake of the Version War, and spanned a large swathe of middle regions MPA and Negentropy Alliance border worlds.
  • Tylansia  - Text by Darren Ryding
    A relatively small independent baseline planetary colony in the Hinteregions, near the borders of the Keter Dominion and the Archosaurian Empire.
  • Ulysses Network - Text by Anders Sandberg
    One of the major Perseus Rift volumes; a local power that has gradually developed to rival the power of the Dominion in the Rift. It began as the Ulysses Prefecture found itself isolated but with a functional wormhole nexus of its own. It began to spread, gaining trade and political importance (especially as a bridge to the Perseus Arm). Over the last few thousand years the Dominion has several times attempted to subdue the Network, with limited success. At present, the Network finds itself in a precarious position due to the nearness of the Amalgamation and the PADO.
  • Utochishte System  - Text by Domagoj K
    Colony on the periphery of Terragen Space which was isolated for more than a thousand years and developed a complex and idiosyncratic culture. This resulted in the creation of an extensive virtual world, divided into millions of mini-universes.
  • VanGuard Alliance - Text by Darren Ryding
    Former theocracy ruled by the mad godling VanGuard; now a close ally of the Toh Chi Lok-Nar.
  • Wachowski Civilization  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Post- Diamond Belt megastructures, mostly Inner Sphere, Age of Consolidation to Recent.
  • Xeon  - Text by Grant Thomas and M. Alan Kazlev
    Aggressive expansionist Outer Volume cyborg empire.
  • Zerzavec Commune  - Text by Liam Jones
    A dual Biaioid/Aioid polity in the Carina Rush.
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Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev

Initially published on 17 December 2003.

Additional Information