Direct to you from my notebooks, here’s the governmental structure humans have cooked up by the 24th century.
The Kuiper Union
The Kuiper Union is the primary federal government of the Sol system. It’s a representative body whose member states elect/appoint representatives according to their own internal rules. Member states vary widely in their internal approach to government, from totalitarian regimes run by semi-immortal dictators to pure democracies, in which every measure is subjected to a popular vote no matter how technical or inconsequential it is.
The Kuiper Union is headquartered on Triton. Member states and corporations act autonomously; protectorates have considerably less autonomy but are generally expected to police themselves or to be policed by whichever member state/corp has de facto control.
The States (major, minor, and otherwise)
Major member states cast votes on legislative measures (which include passing laws, ratifying treaties, confirming government officials and capital sentences, and declaring war) in proportion to their respective populations. Major member states include Ganymede, Europa, Titan, Rhea, Naiad, Thalassa, and Pluto.
Minor member states can cast one vote apiece on legislative measures, regardless of population. They include Makemake, Sedna, Arimos, Eris, Cubewano (located on Triton), and Atalanta (located on Titan).
Protectorates have no vote. The Kuiper Protectorate States are Mars, Luna, Phobos, Deimos, Ceres, Vesta, Io, and Earth.
How fucked up are the protectorates?
In a word: Very.
Mars’s day to day operations are handled by the provisional Martian government on Phobos, but major decisions must be made by the KU, which often doesn’t do anything, leaving Phobos with a Hobson’s choice: Fix the problem illegally, or let it fester and hope a rebellion doesn’t break out.
The KU also has de jure control over Earth. In practice, however, most decisions about Earth affairs are made by Kuicens, the Kuiper corporation that owns a majority of the planet’s land and resources, including all its water rights. Earth is the only KU protectorate that does not have a resident KU peace force (in fact, there are no official Kuiper Union operations on Earth at all).
What’s this about corporations?
In addition to the major and minor member states, six major corporations are full KU members, with the same voting rights and privileges (and, ostensibly, the same responsibilities) as the major states – except that the number of votes assigned to them is based on net worth, rather than population.
The Kuiper Corps (pronounced like “corpse,” not “cores”) are for-profits and are run as such; they differ from current corporations primarily in that they have sovereignty, rather than being given charters.
In order of lowest to highest net worth as of 2371, the Kuiper Corps are:
- Helios. Founded in 2008, launched its first private space mission in 2014. Helios focuses on space-based mining, energy production, and scientific research. Helios’s brief partnership with Interstellar Science in the 2140s allowed the latter to launch the first superlight-speed space mission.
- State Media Enterprises Exclusive. Better known as “Smee,” State Media produces everything from news reports to porn. If it’s a human book, film, play, or other form of media published since 2160, it went through some subsidiary or imprint of Smee. Smee also owns the copyrights to most human-created media from 1930 to its present.
- Interstellar Science. The corporation behind humanity’s first trip past its own asteroid belt, Interstellar Science focuses on exploration, research and development, and a self-interested form of diplomacy. Compliance, its once-internal control arm, specializes in psychology and pharmaceutical research with an emphasis on behavior modification at both the individual and population levels. The locations of Compliance’s headquarters, labs, and field offices are a well-kept secret.
- Kuiper Corporate Concerns. Known simply as “Kuicens,” Kuiper Corporate Concerns specializes in raw molecule production for industry and home use. They own the majority of Earth, including all its water rights and most of its mineral and air rights. Having turned their worksites into company towns on a protectorate planet with no political voice in the KU, Kuicens also de facto owns most of Earth’s remaining population.
- Gliesen Reynolds: Founded by Chase Gliesen and Anthony Reynolds in 2020, Gliesen Reynolds has two primary arms: paramilitary and finance. The latter is run through subsidiary Veritas, which also functions as a corporate charity. Subsidiary Veritech is the company’s research and development arm; like Interstellar Science’s Compliance, Veritech’s work is shrouded in secrecy, and the location of its headquarters is classified.
From 2020 to 2367, Gliesen Reynolds was run by the descendants of its founders, who jointly shared responsibility. In 2367, however, Jack Gliesen initiated a takeover of the company, forcing out former (business and romantic) partner Gage Reynolds, who became the executive vice president of Amalgamated Logistics.
- Amalgamated Logistics: Controls shipping/trade, warehousing, distribution, and information throughout the Kuiper Union. Amalgamated Logistics also sets and maintains standards of measurement.
Amalgamated Logistics is the only Kuiper corp with no in-system competitor of any size and the only one aggressively expanding into other systems, completing a deal to take over the shipping/distribution needs of the Viidan state of Alash Kan in 2369. As of 2371, its net worth equaled that of Helios, Smee, and Interstellar Science combined.
Since 2368, Amalgamated Logistics is also the only Kuiper corp headed by a non-human. Its President and CEO is Aqharan Mazereth, a Rehhna from Reven in the Riyal system.
Some states recognize corporations of all sizes as legal persons and endow them with the same legal rights. For instance, Naiad allows corporations the same “one person, one vote” as individuals have. The Kuiper Union likewise recognizes all six member corporations (but not smaller ones) as legal persons, in addition to recognizing them as sovereign states.
From 2340 to 2371, the Kuiper Union dealt with no major internal strife. How much longer the peace can last is anyone’s guess.
The 24th century still has coffee. Buy me one?