So you want to start a colony in the vicinity of the Earth Domains? Here’s what you need to know. The Earth Domains are a grouping of political units, each controlling a geographic location in space. Each of these units, naturally, is called a Domain. The predominant political unit of the Earth Domains is known as Earth Central. Earth Central is composed of a number of old nation-states (now known as domains themselves) that subscribe to a single Federal structure.
While not all the old nation-states have joined Earth Central, it is the largest single political unit on the planet and in the Domains. Earth Central oversees the political order and administration of the domains as a whole. Even so, while all Domains (States, Colonies, Cities) have some association with Earth Central, the Domains are hardly monolithic and can choose varying degrees of autonomy. This article delves a little into the different degrees of association with the Domains.
I think the easiest way to break it down is like a menu. If you are about to start a colony somewhere in the Domains or in adjacent unclaimed territory, you have multiple choices as to your level of interaction you have with Earth Central.
Your colony chooses to have no obligations to the Domains. You run things the way you want and don’t pay them any taxes. This is not a very practical choice; since your colony might not be recognized by The Domains, it might just be annexed at some point in the future. Furthermore, if you are looking to become a local dictator of your very own corner of space, both Earth Central and the Accord of Beings may be at your doorstep soon for offending their sensibilities.
- No Participation
- Requires: nothing
- Grants: nothing
- Risk: as an unrecognized colony, you are pretty much on your own
You register your colony with the Earth Central government so that your claim is recognized. This can be tricky. Practically, you’ll need to be claiming a location that is undesirable enough to be outside what The Domains considers to be “feasibly colonizable”. In other words, you might only be granted a charter if Earth Central and the other Domains aren’t interested in making a claim themselves. If you are making a claim to unclaimed desirable territory, you had better have some political clout.
All registrants are required to adhere to the Accord of Beings Charter, which grants basic rights to all citizens of certain species. Finally, your claim must be proportionate to your population size. A single person claiming an entire planet will be laughed out of the registration office. If you do clear all these hurdles, you will be granted a colony charter. This means that your claim to your space may not be violated by Domain. Note that a Chartered Domain is not an Earth Domain itself. The Earth Domains may or may not come to your aid if you are threatened by non-domain actors or unfortunate circumstances.
- Chartered Domain
- Requires: Registering with Earth Central, resolving any other claims from other Domains to your space, adherence to the Accord of Beings Charter
- Grants: Legal Recognition, Protection from Annexation by other Earth Domains
- Risk: You are not protected militarily from non-Earth Domains entities
If you want to fall within military protection of the Domains, you will have to charter your colony (as above) and pay military taxes. You will also have to be a “feasibly defensible” colony. An attack on any Earth Domain Confederate is seen as an attack on all; so the members of the Military Confederacy will want to ensure that you will not be dragging them into a war. Your citizens will also be required to participate in military service, and a draft (if one should be instated). As stated above, your colony will have to contribute to any war effort affecting other confederates.
- Military Confederate
- Requires: Chartered Domain, military tax, participation in military service and draft, participate in defense of other confederates
- Grants: Military protection
- Risk: You might entangle yourself in conflicts that are not of your making
As a Chartered or Confederate Domain, you are free to interact economically with the rest of The Domains as you see fit. However, if you wish to participate fully in the economic might of the Earth Domains, you must become a full Economic Partner (EP). Full Economic Partners face no trade taxes and free movement of labor, and participate in a single currency. Economic Partners are not required to be Confederates, but usually are. You give up your own currency and may be affected adversely by economic occurrences beyond your Domain. However the ease of trade and movement of individuals between Economic Partners can be very beneficial. You will be subject to taxes and regulations associated with managing trade, fighting piracy, and ensuring fair trade practices.
- Economic Partner
- Requires: Chartered Domain, Removal of all trade barriers with other EPs, adoption of Earth Central currncy (the Credit), additional trade regulations and taxes.
- Grants: Free trade and labor transfer with other EPs
- Risk: You might entangle yourself with macroeconomic trends beyond your control
A Social Participant (SP) Domain pays into and benefits from a full suite of social benefits and safety net programs run by Earth Central. Domains can present their own social benefits, but the Earth Central social benefit infrastructure is a fine tuned apparatus second to none. Due to its effectiveness, no other Domain can match the cost/benefit ratio of the Earth Domains social programs. Social Participants guarantee their citizens with healthcare, unemployment insurance, poverty prevention, public schooling and other measures that enforce an agreed level of life quality. Social Participants pay a considerable tax for these benefits, but benefit from more stable and attractive living conditions. Social Participants must be Economic Partners, and while Social Participants are not required to be Military Confederates, currently all SPs that are also Confederated. This is likely due to the political and cultural similarities shared by SPs.
Finally, there is the Earth Central level. Domains in Earth Central not only share military, economic, and social infrastructure, they are also all subject to a federal government with a common legal and statutory code. All federal laws fully apply to all Earth Central Domains and all Earth Central citizens can vote in federal elections. Domains and Cities within Earth Central may have additional local laws and have some executive autonomy, but may not contradict the federal government’s laws. All Earth Central Domains are on Earth itself, except for August Domain, which is 750 light years away.