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What is Earth's government

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What is Earth's government
Post by Rincewind   » Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:05 pm

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I have been mulling this question for quite some time & I thought it was about time I asked it.

What kind of government does Earth have?

Throughout the entire series we have seen reference to the Solarian League having its capital & the core of its bureaucracy on Earth but what about Earth itself. Is there a separate Earth government or has the Solarian League absorbed Earth's government? I should imagine that it does not have many powers compared to other system governments in the Solarian League.

Thoughts anyone?
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Re: What is Earth's government
Post by quite possibly a cat   » Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:39 pm

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Rincewind wrote:I have been mulling this question for quite some time & I thought it was about time I asked it.

What kind of government does Earth have?

Throughout the entire series we have seen reference to the Solarian League having its capital & the core of its bureaucracy on Earth but what about Earth itself. Is there a separate Earth government or has the Solarian League absorbed Earth's government? I should imagine that it does not have many powers compared to other system governments in the Solarian League.

Thoughts anyone?

Wouldn't it be part of Sol's government?

I vaguely remember a infodump that briefly mentioned Sol being one of those single system polities.

From what little we've heard of the history, I can't imagine Sol would have been keen on surrendering sovereignty to outsiders when the Solarian League formed. After the Final War, devastation of Earth, and an unknown number of plagues breaking the firewalls to hit Mars and Luna the people in power would all be spacers of various sorts. I suspect their opinion of people who lived on "habitable" planets had probably cratered.

Furthermore I bet a large number, if not most had some level of genetic engineering, to deal with the low-gee and higher radiation. Combine that with the sudden rise of anti-genie sentiment in most places.

The icing on the cake is the Solarian League had formed because Earth was nearly "uninhabitable". Try telling that to someone who needs radiation shielding on their house to protect from the sun.

I'm guessing their response was to see just how bad of a Constitution they could get them to agree too.
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Re: What is Earth's government
Post by WLBjork   » Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:52 am

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quite possibly a cat wrote:
Rincewind wrote:I have been mulling this question for quite some time & I thought it was about time I asked it.

What kind of government does Earth have?

Throughout the entire series we have seen reference to the Solarian League having its capital & the core of its bureaucracy on Earth but what about Earth itself. Is there a separate Earth government or has the Solarian League absorbed Earth's government? I should imagine that it does not have many powers compared to other system governments in the Solarian League.

Thoughts anyone?

Wouldn't it be part of Sol's government?

I vaguely remember a infodump that briefly mentioned Sol being one of those single system polities.

From what little we've heard of the history, I can't imagine Sol would have been keen on surrendering sovereignty to outsiders when the Solarian League formed. After the Final War, devastation of Earth, and an unknown number of plagues breaking the firewalls to hit Mars and Luna the people in power would all be spacers of various sorts. I suspect their opinion of people who lived on "habitable" planets had probably cratered.

Furthermore I bet a large number, if not most had some level of genetic engineering, to deal with the low-gee and higher radiation. Combine that with the sudden rise of anti-genie sentiment in most places.

The icing on the cake is the Solarian League had formed because Earth was nearly "uninhabitable". Try telling that to someone who needs radiation shielding on their house to protect from the sun.

I'm guessing their response was to see just how bad of a Constitution they could get them to agree too.


Originally, it was probably all separate. I would guess over the years though that some aspects will have been absorbed by the SL government.

It won't have taken all aspects though - consider State and Federal legislature, or EU and Country legislature. Edit: The development of the EU may be the better model, as the US Federal system broadly started out as this.
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Re: What is Earth's government
Post by pappilon   » Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:28 am

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Rincewind wrote:I have been mulling this question for quite some time & I thought it was about time I asked it.

What kind of government does Earth have?

Throughout the entire series we have seen reference to the Solarian League having its capital & the core of its bureaucracy on Earth but what about Earth itself. Is there a separate Earth government or has the Solarian League absorbed Earth's government? I should imagine that it does not have many powers compared to other system governments in the Solarian League.

Thoughts anyone?

quite possibly a cat wrote:Wouldn't it be part of Sol's government?

I vaguely remember a infodump that briefly mentioned Sol being one of those single system polities.

From what little we've heard of the history, I can't imagine Sol would have been keen on surrendering sovereignty to outsiders when the Solarian League formed. After the Final War, devastation of Earth, and an unknown number of plagues breaking the firewalls to hit Mars and Luna the people in power would all be spacers of various sorts. I suspect their opinion of people who lived on "habitable" planets had probably cratered.

Furthermore I bet a large number, if not most had some level of genetic engineering, to deal with the low-gee and higher radiation. Combine that with the sudden rise of anti-genie sentiment in most places.

The icing on the cake is the Solarian League had formed because Earth was nearly "uninhabitable". Try telling that to someone who needs radiation shielding on their house to protect from the sun.

I'm guessing their response was to see just how bad of a Constitution they could get them to agree too.


WLBjork wrote:Originally, it was probably all separate. I would guess over the years though that some aspects will have been absorbed by the SL government.

It won't have taken all aspects though - consider State and Federal legislature, or EU and Country legislature. Edit: The development of the EU may be the better model, as the US Federal system broadly started out as this.



My mind is in a "srtanger-than-usual" place, so please consider this a stupid attempt at humor, especially as I can't recall any textev.

After the final war earth was considered too ... socially unstable and was declared a protectorate by the Solaran League planets that rushed in to save it (Yes Bab-5 Ranger series comes to mind. It is rather like the District of Columbia, it has a sort of elected "government" to give the natives the illusion of independence, but it is actually governed directly by the SL.
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The imagination has to be trained into foresight and empathy.
Ursula K. LeGuinn

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Re: What is Earth's government
Post by Daryl   » Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:58 am

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Butterfly's thoughts do have some validity. I wonder myself though if the SL is mature enough to understand the difference between administration and ruling. They wouldn't be interested in getting down in the weeds of running one solar system, much rather have the glory of ruling over a galaxy.
Better to have a subservient local legislature that ensures that there is water, infrastructure,food, and power available, enabling you to look at bigger things.
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Re: What is Earth's government
Post by George J. Smith   » Sun Jan 28, 2018 5:02 am

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Could it be similar to the UK government setup.

Of the 4 nations that constitute the UK, England, where the central UK government is sited, does not have a separate assembly as do the other 3.

In other words, Earth, where the Solarian League government is sited, does not have a separate assembly as do the other planetary members of the league.
.
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Re: What is Earth's government
Post by ldwechsler   » Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:57 am

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George J. Smith wrote:Could it be similar to the UK government setup.

Of the 4 nations that constitute the UK, England, where the central UK government is sited, does not have a separate assembly as do the other 3.

In other words, Earth, where the Solarian League government is sited, does not have a separate assembly as do the other planetary members of the league.


From what we've had (that story by Eric Flint that introduced Helen), I get the impression that Earth is like Washington, DC in our world. The powerful and rich live great and everyone else is really poor.

Chances are at this point that the government of earth is of just about no value, corrupt enough to make life easy for those governing the League.
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Re: What is Earth's government
Post by cthia   » Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:05 am

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I've been wrestling with this notion for ages. Probably as long as the Solarian League. LOL

It is what led me to ask the questions regarding its power structure and the kind of government that would lead to and allow the Mandarins. I read somewhere in SOV that all planets have their own local government. They have to. There must be governance in the absence of the League. Earth has its own government as well. Yet, it, Earth, happens to be the central government of the Core worlds. The capital of the Core, the county seat if you will. The powers of Earth's central government is where the real power originally lay, pursuant to the intent and spirit of the law.

Over time, convoluted changes—caused by the reality of the cradle of civilization having to make policies that recognized its responsibilities amidst, and in conjunction with, the moral responsibilities of the most powerful navy in the galaxy to govern the whole of mankind spread about the heavens—have diluted that power.* The erosion of power of Earth's central government can probably be traced back to one defining point, one moment, one event. I'd bet that event was Earth's Final Wars. A widening of that birth came as a result of an Eridani Edict violation. Further usurpation of those powers was a direct result of the corruption within the League's central government at the civilian level who first realized the potential of Earth's economy to be fleeced without measure. Once the central government headed down that road, the momentum of a snowball rolling down hill was hard to stop.

A cataclysmic moment on Earth, Final Wars, probably had to yield power to a stronger hand that could make the hard calls that needed to be made. The government on Earth was probably just as decimated as the government on Manticore would be as a result of the premise of the Eridani Edict Violation thread. In the absence of a functional local government wiped out by the Final Wars, a temporary power structure was set up, ruling somewhere from a central, isolated nest. Akin to a cabal of special marines on the ground to steer the cart and the apes pulling the cart. (Not a full grown gorilla then). These marines are the Mandarines. Then the Mandarines ever broadened those powers to include the constantly widening influence of the League. A separate governance to control the systems beyond the core, because only those who venture outside of the core, the navy, can be qualified to make policies there. This government grew in power to eclipse the local, central government. The local central government, via patchwork and bandaid laws, is hardly even a shell of its former self. The power was never relinquished.

*Which may have been the original altruistic bailiwick of OFS.

Such as it is, I must confess, if I had to guess what led to this mess.

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Re: What is Earth's government
Post by ldwechsler   » Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:15 am

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cthia wrote:I've been wrestling with this notion for ages. Probably as long as the Solarian League. LOL

It is what led me to ask the questions regarding its power structure and the kind of government that would lead to and allow the Mandarins. I read somewhere in SOV that all planets have their own local government. They have to. There must be governance in the absence of the League. Earth has its own government as well. Yet, it, Earth, happens to be the central government of the Core worlds. The capital of the Core, the county seat if you will. The powers of Earth's central government is where the real power originally lay, pursuant to the intent and spirit of the law.

Over time, convoluted changes—caused by the reality of the cradle of civilization having to make policies that recognized its responsibilities amidst, and in conjunction with, the moral responsibilities of the most powerful navy in the galaxy to govern the whole of mankind spread about the heavens—have diluted that power.* The erosion of power of Earth's central government can probably be traced back to one defining point, one moment, one event. I'd bet that event was Earth's Final Wars. A widening of that birth came as a result of an Eridani Edict violation. Further usurpation of those powers was a direct result of the corruption within the League's central government at the civilian level who first realized the potential of Earth's economy to be fleeced without measure. Once the central government headed down that road, the momentum of a snowball rolling down hill was hard to stop.

A cataclysmic moment on Earth, Final Wars, probably had to yield power to a stronger hand that could make the hard calls that needed to be made. The government on Earth was probably just as decimated as the government on Manticore would be as a result of the premise of the Eridani Edict Violation thread. In the absence of a functional local government wiped out by the Final Wars, a temporary power structure was set up, ruling somewhere from a central, isolated nest. Akin to a cabal of special marines on the ground to steer the cart and the apes pulling the cart. (Not a full grown gorilla then). These marines are the Mandarines. Then the Mandarines ever broadened those powers to include the constantly widening influence of the League. A separate governance to control the systems beyond the core, because only those who venture outside of the core, the navy, can be qualified to make policies there. This government grew in power to eclipse the local, central government. The local central government, via patchwork and bandaid laws, is hardly even a shell of its former self. The power was never relinquished.

*Which may have been the original altruistic bailiwick of OFS.

Such as it is, I must confess, if I had to guess what led to this mess.


Again, from what we've read, damn little, it would seem the government doesn't care all that much. A bit of it sounds like a somewhat more extreme version of some places in Europe with no-go zones.

My guess is that the powerful live in carefully protected areas and the less powerful are essentially ignored unless they can get hired to be part of a mob organized by the government.

The talented probably work their way out of there.
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Re: What is Earth's government
Post by drothgery   » Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:51 am

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ldwechsler wrote:From what we've had (that story by Eric Flint that introduced Helen), I get the impression that Earth is like Washington, DC in our world. The powerful and rich live great and everyone else is really poor.


That's like, the exact opposite of the case.
The illegal immigrant ghettos of Old Chicago (and some other cities on Old Earth) are a tiny, tiny percentage of the Sol system's population.
Sol is one of the more wealthy systems in the League, quite possibly the richest in absolute terms, and if not at the top per capita, it's not that far behind.
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