Aug 272018
 
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There is considerable overlap between a sovereign power’s world view and government, but some ideas are bigger than the resulting government, which they can sometimes outlast. An idea can guide the formation of laws and the separation of power (or lack thereof).

We should decide what ideas drive our sovereign power. We can do this by deciding who the ruling class was/is at the time the current government formed. The group will promote its own self interests. This is true even in a democracy, where ideals of freedom for all are still seen as being in the best interests of not only all people, but those putting forth the idea.

If businesses are in power, they might craft laws that only they can own business, expand, or do advertising. Wizards in power might believe in the rule of might by magic and create laws and government supporting this. Those who fear wizards could undermine their power and might ban magic. This can be true of technological advances as well. Some people are selfish and want all the power and riches for themselves, being willing to force millions into poverty to gain it. A dynastic ruling class will try to preserve its way of life. Generally, any oppressive regime will undercut the people while also trying to prevent an uprising. By contrast, a more democratic one will empower the people.

The world view of those in charge can diverge from those they rule, regardless of the population’s freedom. Those in a dictatorship might despise their government (quietly, to avoid being murdered by it) while democracies can have opposing parties that are starkly at odds with each other, despite sharing broader views that unite them. Inventing more than one political party can make our invented sovereign power more believable but isn’t necessary unless we intend to write stories using them.

What we’re looking for are a few broad ideas to characterize this place. They will be generalizations, as not everyone will hold the viewpoint. Take some ideas from here as a starting point:

  • Wizards are evil and therefore magic is banned
  • Aliens will only destroy us and therefore we must be prepared
  • The ocean offers a chance to visit and conquer or explore other lands
  • The world/cosmos is wonderful and must be explored for continued advancement
  • Space must be explored because the planet is in jeopardy and another one is needed
  • Territory or natural resources must be protected from aliens, immigrants, or barbarian hordes and therefore military might is cherished
  • Freedom is a central right of all people and therefore democracy must be spread, prompting support of other countries and being “world police”
  • The race/species in power is superior and deserves to rule the world
  • Other races/species are inferior and deserve extermination or exclusion/expulsion from lands

Gods have given a divine right to dominance that must be pursued

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