Image from IA190
The Non-Coercive Zone
|Definition||Major metapolity of the Inner and Middle regions. Exact size fluctuates due to changing relationships with associate systems.|
|Symbol||No all-encompassing or official symbols. A golden network sigil, with stylised planets or habitats is a popular choice. The Board Logo of a golden cylinder and helix is often associated with the Zone in general.|
|AI Ethos||Non-aggressive, libertarian, marketism. Archai and transapient power expressed through the market. Used sparingly but effectively to maintain efficiency for lower minds.|
|Technology Level||Hightech and above. Home to complex ecologies of niche products and services. High proportion of lower singularity beings owning higher singularity technology.|
|Culture||Metapsychology: Non-aggression, personal sovereignty, voluntary association, non-coercion.|
Values: Emphasises personal success, entrepreneurial lifestyles and philanthropic benevolence. Places extremely high value on sophont labour compared to the rest of the galaxy's post-scarcity societies.
Religion/Ideology: Free marketism, non-aggression, extreme individualism.
Demographics: Extremely high diversity of clades and toposophies. Shifting market demands give rise to highly fluid sub-cultures. On average intelligence augmentation use (via genemods and exoself) is high to thrive in competitive markets.
Languages: Six major trade languages; Haldre, Bit-trust, Nasht, High Comerck, G555, Imblanone. To varying degrees dialects of each are only intelligible via subscription.
|Territory and Population||Current Territory: Vast expanse along the counterspinwards and rimwards portions of the Orion arm, approximately 4,000 light years in length; mostly in Centaurus, Puppis, Carina and Vela. A large enclave in Sagittarius (the Sagittarius NoCoZo) is a major component of the STC. Millions of associate enclaves of varying sizes spread throughout the Terragen Sphere. Originally counted as part of the NoCoZo, the former Cygexpa territories in Cygnus declared themselves independent at an early stage.|
Capital: Technically none, although Merrion is the ceremonial seat of the Conclave of Boards (in actuality the Board is spread throughout NoCoZo virchspace).
Systems: >10 million with majority NoCoZo culture. 41 million with varying degrees of association.
Population: 290 quadrillion sophonts. 82% virtual, two-thirds embodied sophonts cyborgs of some kind. Near-daily body augmentation is common enough in the NoCoZo that exact census data is difficult to gather.
Nexus Infrastructure: Highest overall of any polity (though MPA has more traversable and TRHN more comms). 1.5 million systems connected, many millions more within 10ly of a wormhole.
|Governance and Economics||Legal Systems: As a stateless, free market society the NoCoZo legal system is polycentric; security and justice are provided by competing Security Firms and a market of third party Arbitrators. Contracts are key in NoCoZo society to ensure non-aggression.|
Markets: The NoCoZo is dominated by market economics with >99 per cent of denizens interacting daily via voluntary, financial transactions.
Currencies: Thousands of competing private currencies of all kinds (from raw commodity to crypto). No single group dominates but the two largest are the Q-credit and Tit4Tat Sterling.
Major Industries: Any and all trade in non-fungible goods and services.
|Foreign relations||Heterogeneousity: The individualistic and stateless nature of the NoCoZo means that it cannot be dealt with as a singular political entity. However 'Foreign Power Contracts' have been signed through the Conclave of Boards that are binding over a supermajority of NoCoZo denizens.|
Allies/Rivals: Relationships with the Zone are nuanced with foreign polities having both good and bad dealings with different Zone factions. In general the TRHN enjoys a positive relationship with the Zone due to the high emigration of NoCoZo denizens looking for ascension. The Negentropy Alliance is often considered a rival, with the Utopia Worlds the only other major power near universally disliked in the Zone.
Defense and Intervention: The NoCoZo militaries are governed by market forces, as with everything else. In times of crisis to the entire Zone (such as the Version War) thousands of Defence Firms jostle and negotiate to form larger, co-operative blocs. These blocks rapidly bid for military contracts amongst the (equally dynamic and growing) Consumer Collectives that combine the bargaining power of millions of systems. Usually, after a period of chaotic transactions, one bloc will emerge victorious and carry out the military wishes of the market, dissolving once the crisis is over.
In local business news; Akrana Enterprises has undergone a board reshuffle and corporate restructure after another disappointing day of trading. Analysts have five-sigma confidence that these events were caused by Akrana's key rivals, The Ossin Collective and Magnax, obtaining lucrative MTAs this morning with Lierra Corp. For those of you new to the habitat Lierra is a tertiary-subsidiary of the subsector Cartel. Akrana seemingly caught the Cartel's attention yesterday when they increased the interest rates on their indenture contracts. A transapient led corp favouring their rivals sent Akrana's reputation credit well into the red. The restructure was accompanied by a jubilee of all debtors and, despite the drastic loss of capital, Akrana's credit is up. Analysts have three-sigma confidence that the adjustment of business practices will result in a similarly favourable deal with Lierra before end of business tomorrow.The Non-Coercive Zone; frequently referred to as the "The Zone" (or more disparagingly, The Zoo) is unique in that it is the only Sephirotic Empire without an official archailect overseer/ruler/patron. Evolved out of the Mutual Co-Development treaty, the Zone is a stateless territory of freely associating sovereign (for the most part) individuals. It has no widespread legislature or official government of any kind; market economics combined with polycentric law and private property protection act as the foundations for society. Though all Sephirotic empires are diffuse, often intermingled, and not necessarily contiguous over any region of space, the NoCoZo has usually been the most widely distributed at any given point in history. Since its founding in 1598AT, various independent habitats, worlds, cybercosms, and star systems have aligned themselves with the NoCoZo and its market-based politics, sometimes only briefly, sometimes persisting for long periods or even to the present day.
Helden habitat news packet, 8755at. A primary affiliate of the Zone
Image from Steve Bowers