04 November 2010

Political Questions

Given the mid-term elections a couple of days ago, readers might expect a rant about politics on this blog. However, because this blog is about the Dream Land series, I cannot comment on American politics. (I may have nothing of value to say, anyway, though I tend to lean conservative in many issues and consider myself a moderate overall.)

On Ghoupallesz, in the dominant Ghoupalle society, the kingdom of Sekuate has a monarchy with a parlement that represents the people. The parlement is divided between a house for those elected by the citizens of each district and a house for those appointed by the Mexas/king. It is an imperfect system, naturally, which is why some young college graduates felt compelled to start a revolution. Once the Gangus "Council of Five" gained power, the system because closer to the communist ideal in post-revolution Russia, with some empirical ambitiousness of Napoleonic France thrown in. There is no "natural" view of democracy on Ghoupallesz because, like many societies of similar sophistication, they have the assumption that order needs to be maintained for the common good.

Other societies on the planet follow generally authoritarian regimes. The only theocracy, perhaps strangely, is that of the Zetin, whose warrior society (loosely based on Klingon culture from the Star Trek series) is nevertheless formed around spiritual rituals and traditions. There are many references to ancient wisemen, prophets, and priests. The head of the government is the high priest. Other offices are filled by those who have been approved by the priests. Even military ranks equate to theocratic ranks.

The Roue culture is tribal and perhaps the closest to a democratic system on the planet, yet when they act in the society of Aivana, for example, they follow the monarchy system imposed by Sekuate. Of course, we also understand that the foreign sovereigns in Aivana (Tammy and Jason) enjoy the priveledge of rank that a monarchy brings, yet uneasy rests the crown when the people become restless and unsatisfied! This conflict erupts in violence at the end of the second volume of the Dream Land series.

As we see, simply locating on another planet will not introduce weird new governing systems. Humans everywhere will strive for similar guarantees of the freedom to exercise their own personal agency. Small groups join together for mutual support, sharing values and customs, then join with other larger groups which likewise assert common goals and manners. Those coming to reside among such groups are expected to adapt to the majority. Shared governance is then based on shared goals and traditions; outsiders who do not typically share those have no say in the laws. This follows a natural pattern of development from primitive tribal units to small city-states. Once the entity grows large enough to include people who are not of the same culture, traditions, or views, more pressure is required to maintain order and preserve homogeneity over diversity. The natural trend is to maintain similarity rather than invite diversity. This is the pattern seen on Ghoupallesz. One exception that is described is the conflict between the ruling Ghoupalle people and the minority Danid people, which is highlighted in the second volume of the Dream Land series.

No comments:

Post a Comment