To understand the Conclave of Galactic Polities, it is perhaps most important to understand the various alignments within it, of which there are six major alignments (although these together make up less than two-thirds of Conclave members) and a large number of minor alignments which may or may not associate with one of the major alignments.
These alignments, of course, are almost entirely informal blocs; such power as their leaders may have over their members or benefits which their members may receive is exercised outside the Conclave itself.
The Empire, as you know, is the foremost polity of the Imperial Axis, a minor alignment composed of our satrapies, client-states, allies, and close friends. The Axis, in turn, is one of the leading lights of the major Freedom’s Necessities alignment, known to our detractors as the “Minimalists” or the “Irresponsibles”.
In the Conclave, Freedom’s Necessities acts to promote the hands-off, laissez-faire approach to interstellar governance coordination we favor, ensuring that the Accord does everything that it must, and nothing else.
Two other Presidium powers, the Photonic Network and Consolidated Waserai Echelons, also commonly align with us. The Rim Free Zone, also, is a dedicated supporter of the alignment, but one which frequently ends up opposed to us in internal debates. We also attract considerable support from the minor species of the Worlds, since we are happy to offer these species concessions and benefits (such as can be offered) in exchange for cooperation and support, contrary to the demands so often made by more interventionist powers.
Of the other alignments, there are four of particular significance:
The Council for Economic Justice & Development
Also known to cynics as the “Levelers”, or the “Parasites on Parade”, the Council’s concern is the transference of income from rich polities to poor ones. In practice, this means that their primary support comes from emerging market polities which resist economic integration into upper-tier markets, but aren’t sufficiently kleptocratic as to caucus with the Socionovists for self-preservation.
In the long run, they would dearly love to institute a progressive tax on gross polity product across the Worlds to fund aid to their members, but without a Presidium seat, their current business model is largely holding up Conclave business (and in particular the establishment of new colonies) until sufficiently bribed.
The Responsible Government Movement
Sometimes shortened to the “Federalists”, or derided as the “Meddlesome” or the “Alliance for Pecksniffery”, the Movement’s grand dream is the conversion of the Accord from an intergovernmental association into a full federated interstellar governance, with the Conclave as its legislature. Concomitantly, this would also entail much deeper intervention into the affairs of member polities to enforce its policies and expansive view of sophont benefices, and it is an open secret that the federation the Movement wishes to see is one of democratic – or, more realistically, oligarchic – republics.
The Movement’s prime mover, the League of Meridian, is also a Presidium power. It attracts support from a variety of strong republic-model polities across the Worlds.
The Socionovist Association
Pithily summed up as the “Union of Repressive Autocracies”, the Socionovist Association is composed of – by its own description – those polities opposed to the current political and economic order of the Worlds, who seek reform along better and fairer lines.
By everyone else’s description, the Socionovist Association is a collection of malcontents, rogue states, despots, kleptocrats, and the generally despicable, united primarily to prevent interventions in polities’ internal affairs, limit peacekeeping operations, and generally to stir up trouble.
The principal members of the Socionovist Association are those polities which are, if we may be permitted use of the vernacular, “begging for a good kicking”.
The Systems’ Rights Alliance
Also known as the “Localists” or the “Disintegrationists”, the Systems’ Rights Alliance sees itself primarily as a watchdog on interventions. They chiefly oppose the Meddlesome, whose interference in their internal affairs would be unwelcome, but also oppose us in our desire to open up free trade and travel across the Worlds.
Unlike the Socionovists, however, they are prepared to back interventions against governances engaged in, for example, slavery or democide, and fully support peacekeeping operations against interstellar imperialism.
Much of the support for the Alliance comes from members of the Interstellar League of Tribal Chiefdoms – as a matter of principle – but they also draw considerable support from polities with particularly unconventional governance forms, including many utopian, religious, and ideological colonies, and also from the Microstatic Alliance, who see themselves as easily steamrolled by larger factions.
– MoSaO briefing book for new Conclave attaches
“The Rim Free Zone, also, is a dedicated supporter of the alignment, but one which frequently ends up opposed to us in internal debates.”
Is it cuz Rim folk skew toward, as you say, ‘a rough and ready version of natural rights’ while Imperials skew toward a more refined interpretation, or is just cuz Rim folk favor bein’ contrary for the sake of contrariness?
I can see one of the RGM’s arguments being “one day, some Big Nasty Thing is going to come out and we’re gong to need a governing structure to fight it. It’s like a fire extinguisher-you don’t carry it around all the time, but the day you need it you really need it. We don’t want to start it now, just have the scaffolding somewhere secure so that we can build the structure as needed.”
“And when that time comes… the Worlds will be reorganized into the First Galactic Empire! For a safe and secure society!”
And, there is someone there with a REALLY long pin…to puncture that particular flight of ego completely and totally.
“So this is how liberty triumphs. With thunderous applause.”
And fireworks. And dead Stormtroopers being tossed off walkways.
Also, First Galactic Empire? Damn it, soph, if you’re going to shoot for the brass ring, don’t pretend that you’re going to lose at some point. Wave the banner of your victory high and revel in it.
(The joy of empires run by immortals…explaining to the people in charge that five thousand years of human history is considered an interregnum by the secret systems that run the world, that barely comprehend the concept that you’re trying to convert an AI-mediated oligarchy into a AI-mediated constitutional monarchy…)
Think “First” as in “All Others Are Second Or Less”.
Once again, insufficient confidence/ego. You’re the Galactic Empire. Everybody else is merely a pretender that you will sweep under your petticoat one day soon. 🙂