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World Governments Are Boring | Incoming


There seems to be this expectation that by
the time humanity begins colonizing other planets and encountering alien races, it will
have unified under the authority of a worldwide government. You can find plenty of examples from across
alternate worlds. The United Nations Space Command, Terran Confederation,
Terran Federation, United Earth, Systems Alliance, Terran Republic, the list goes on. But why is planetary unification treated as
a prerequisite for an interstellar society? In my opinion it’s much more interesting
when humanity doesn’t solve all its problems and differences, but instead brings them to
the stars. I think part of the reason I find world governments
to be so boring is the way they’re typically portrayed. While exceptions definitely exist, more often
than not they are American style republics with an economic system, culture, rights and
freedoms more or less identical to the modern western world. While you can argue that this might be realistic
or believable, it’s not exactly compelling. I find the societal and cultural aspects of
this style of world government to be particularly problematic because in most cases 99% of humanity
is ignored in favor of presenting the same narrow American style sliver again and again. If Asian, Eastern European, Middle Eastern,
African, Oceanic or South American elements are present, they are typically inconsequential
and play no key role in the nation as a whole. Take for example the Systems Alliance and
United Nations Space Command. Both feature democratic governments,
a capitalist economic system, use English as their primary language, and their society
and culture is immediately recognizable and familiar. While both refer to constituent nation states
that still possess some degree of autonomy in an attempt to at least nod to the diversity
of the human race, a special emphasis is placed on the successor to the United States with
the rest of the world largely ignored. The United Republic of North America exists
as a part of the UNSC while the United North American States exist within the Systems Alliance,
but good luck trying to figure out what happened to the rest of the world. My main point here is that neither the UNSC
or Systems Alliance seems to be representative of all humanity and the differences between the
two are just largely cosmetic. So while I think this lack of representation
is the main problem with portraying a world government, there are still ways to make it
more interesting. The Union of Allied Planets for example is
a nation founded on the merging of Western and Asian culture. And it’s not one sided either. Characters of
western ancestry have adopted as much from the east and as those from Asia have taken
from the west. While major cultural groups are still ignored,
at the very least, the Union of Allied Planets presents a more complete view of humanity
than the typical world government. You would never confuse it with the Systems
Alliance. Dividing the world between two separate and
typically opposite groups seems to be the second most popular way to depict future human
civilization, but why not go even further. In my ideal representation of a future humanity,
Earth’s has not been completely unified and dozens, perhaps hundreds of separate nations
now exist across our region of the galaxy. Some might be countries we’d recognize today,
others their successors, while still more are completely new, the result of
separate peoples and cultures coming together to create something unique. I’ve seen dozens of variations of a Democratic
Earth forced to contend with a hostile alien dictatorship, but I’ve never seen the Russian
Federation and the Republic of India compete with one another to colonize a strategic group
of star systems. Or the Alpha Centauri Republic declare its
independence from the United States of America. I would love to see an alternate world in
which the old powers of Earth are forced to deal with new nations established across the
Orion Arm, or a reimagining of World War Two or the Cold War set across our region of the
galaxy. I’m tired of seeing the same typical space
empires. What would an interstellar African or Central
Asian society look like? This same idea can just as easily be applied to
alien cultures as our own, why is there only one Romulan nation? Why is every Turian more or less the same? There is such a wealth of diversity here on
Earth and there’s no reason why an alien civilization wouldn’t exist in the same
manner. But let’s take one last look at United Nations
Space Command. If in its place there existed a few dozen
independent human nations, to me, the entire scenario immediately becomes more complex
and more interesting. If the Covenant first began attacking colonies
belonging to United States, would the Russian Federation or China immediately become involved? Or would they maybe wait until their own interests
were threatened? Could other countries maybe submit to the
Covenant voluntarily and become its newest members? Would every nation, culture or society react
or resist in the exact same way? Political machinations, ideological struggles
and tangled webs of international alliances have led to some of the most captivating and
engaging eras in human history. While a united world government that solves
all these issues might be preferable, it would get kind of boring. But that of course is just my opinion and
even though it happens to be correct, I’d like to hear your thoughts. Do you never get tired of seeing a variation
of the United States in Space? Does the idea of China and India fighting
a war over the Vega System sound stupid? Do you not care at all? Let me know in the comments, and until next
time, this has been Incoming. The Templin Institute investigates alternate
worlds and realities. If you’ve enjoyed this video and would like
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Stephen Childs

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