Governance is the governing entity of humankind in general and Earth in particular. It arose from the EDC and can be defined as an AI-mediated, human-interpretable abstracted democracy. Formally divided into two branches, Governance proper is situated on and around Earth, and Colonial Governance, consisting of the governments off-Earth and on the colonies.
- 1 History
- 2 Structure
- 3 References
In the time before Unification with the emergence of functional AI some of the states employed an Utilitarian AI Technocracy. This form of government uses artificial intelligences as experts in various fields to set rules and place individuals in positions of power in an effort to maximize happiness or reduce suffering, respectively.
The goals and ideologies of the states of the Freedom Alliance were not necessarily in accord with the general well-being but rather aimed for the pleasure and ensuring of the status quo of the ruling elite. Before Volokhov set the outlines and confirmability of a human morality in artificial intelligences, previous individuals did not need to follow a moral core or adhere to one.
When the UN and its General Assembly was dissolved around 2160 and the United Front General Assembly formed, one could reasonable say it was the beginning of the first steps to the actual Governance. It self-described as a successor to the United Nations and received its actual power by a mixture of the actual charter, interventions as well as military conquests over time.
Under the leadership of the Executive Council the states of the United Front were militarily harmonized and gradually formed into a coherent force in the advent of an expected conflict, with harmonization efforts extending beyond the military as well.
When the conflicts grew harder, longer and finally nuclear the Executive Council was reorganized into the Emergency Defence Committee, an organization much more reminiscent of a government than a council, fielding various secretaries for instance. Collapses of the component states of the UF forced the EDC to intervene on its own soil, so to speak, and take over even more governmental aspects, with the war effort making hitherto unthinkable measures not only thinkable, but necessary.
By 2200 only few component states of the UF still had some power of their own, and the distinction between UF and EDC was in most cases on paper only. Those independent states had no choice but to cede their remaining power to the EDC, especially since the EDC made a persuasive argument that future peace being only ensured under its own, direct rule. Thus the UF General Assembly was made obsolete by essentially a military junta, neither elected nor open.
Unification War aftermath
Up to and after defeating the last holdouts of the FA the EDC started implementing decrees keeping itself in power, but also organizing a global reconstruction effort, partly fuelled by the very armies it wielded. Furthermore scientist in the employ of the EDC developed the structures and projects ensuring humankind's survival by setting a new government in malleable stone, and by 2240 the EDC was ready to dissolve.
The new government was meant to be provably aligned with the populations interests (thanks to Volokhov-friendly AI's), amorphous and unassailable by incorporating the population into the governing body, Governance.
When first contact was made by the Cephalopods attacking Aurora, Governance entered Emergency Mode Level One, with each and every Representative participating to some degree to solve this problem, and only after the Battle of Epsilon Eridani did Governance re-emerge from Emergency Mode to somewhat normal operations.
Governance addresses the problems of an advanced need for governmental oversight, decrease in political engagement and desire for an, above all, efficient government by approximating the results an Utilitarian AI Technocracy would achieve with a distinctly and radically different internal approach.
At the core of its functionality lies the concept of Representatives. This artificial construct is set to incorporate the interests, opinions and beliefs of certain sets of the human and AI population and argue for these interests as best as possible. While formed at a relatively basic level, Representatives can and do easily merge into super-Representatives, sometimes via advisory AI, to form a more general view and interest. This progress cascades to ever higher levels, forming bigger and more generalized but still topical super-Representatives up the Directorate-level. A characteristic of all but the lowest-level and highest-level Representatives is being part of a super-Representative.
The actual governing, assigning resources and decision making takes place in committees, made up of the various and relevant Representatives. Some committees are permanent, like the Central Economic Committee, while others are formed on the fly as the need and necessity arises and dissolved once the issue has been addressed and resolved. The formation of committees is incumbent upon special supervisory Committees, as is the assignment of Representatives. Specialist advisory AIs oversee these assignments and may offer insights in which Representative to assign, given the marginal utility of and impact on the Representatives constituents to the problem at hand.
Committee meetings are held in an virtual reality environment under as accelerated time as computational reasonable, with each Representative usually being both part of and actually simultaneously sitting in on multiple committees at the same time. This allows committees to decide fast without sacrificing due diligence to discuss and argue their points, a feature paid for by using about a third of the computational power of Earth.
The highest institution is the Directorate, wielding sovereign power only limited by a few Core Rights. It furthermore appoints, retires or creates Representatives under the advisement of MAR. Its constituents are at least the following Representatives:
- Science and Technology
- Military Affairs
- Manufacturing and Distribution
- Health and Happiness
- Colonial Affairs and Colonization
- Public Order
- Artificial Intelligence
- Public Opinion
The need for meetings in accelerated time, incorruptibility and integration into super-, sub- and Representatives would have proven a challenge in the time before the Unification Wars, but neurological enhancements of various kinds (Permanent Awareness Module, partial neural backups, cortical implants) have made that problem less significant. With the help of dedicated advisory AIs, more mundane and secondary tasks are taken care of while the more cognitive parts of the consciousness attend VR meetings.
A danger in this progress lies in the perceived loss of humanity as a philosophical quality. Humans interlaced in committees are not as attendant of their physical, or virtual, surroundings as basely enhanced humans are and bleed over can happen. To address this danger every human-based Representative has to be checked regularly if they still meet the Volokhov Criterion while disconnected from the network. If they do not fulfil the Criterion, they are to be gradually reintegrated into their bodies until they do.
Many of the possible ways to achieve peak efficiency in Governance are left unexplored because they either run counter the ideology and ideal Governance sees itself as and are progressively counter-human on a moral scale. If the need arises, though, those concerns loose weight over the continued survival of both humankind and Governance. This loss is expressed in Emergency Modes. Speculation, but only scant evidence, points to Cephalopod society being organized into a permanent Level Three equivalent. 
- Level One
- full Emergency session of all Governance Representatives
- every Representative must allocate at least some computational time for this
- Level Two
- Called by majority vote of Level One Session
- all members of the Directorate merge into one super-Representative Governance, thus containing every human and AI representative, advisory AI and most military AIs
- this super-Representative would in effect be the supreme sovereign, and Governance be the AI technocracy it so far only imitated
- possible scenario for Level Two: imminent invasion of Earth
- Level Three
- called by Governance
- every citizen is mobilized
- direct two-way interfaces between each citizen's brain and nearest computing network for transmission and relay of (non-compulsory) orders
- Core Rights are suspended, Governance/stylized Humanity may make use of its recovered powers of execution, summary imprisonment, etcetera
- possible scenario for Level Three: actual invasion and imminent loss of Earth
- Level Four
- called by >90% vote of all citizens
- permanent activation of civilian Emergency Safety Packages, with subsequent effective mechanization of all human interaction
- orders non-compulsory
- possible scenario for Level Four: imminent destruction of human civilization
Even before Governance and the success of Project Janus various groups on Earth set out to travel to nearby planets at sub-light speeds. Colonies were established, cultural drift occurred, but once reconnection was ensured Governance enforced Fundamental Rights every henceforth Governance-sponsored or private colonization effort had to subscribe to.
This, as well as the general diverging nature of natural developments, lead to a mixture of free trade zones, fiscal unions and other economic structures surrounding among the colonies. These are influenced and in a roundabout way governed or influenced by Governance proper and it wielding Earth's economy. The more open aspects Earth deals with these structures is as an arbitrator and mediator in struggles among the colonies.
Governance sponsored colonies
With the population the preselected colonization AI-human council arrives. The members are formally part of the bureaucracy of the Governance proper, but the leeway granted to colonies does not make this as rigid as it seems to be. Elections and referendums held by the locals are usually adhered to and council members are instated or removed by the local legal code, with Governance proper in most cases merely rubber-stamping the decisions.
The council manages the colony and establishes a legal code, often enough bigger than the legal code of Earth due to the lesser control of the government.
In time, with the colony's economic growth and increase in population, it's council will run into difficulty managing the colony efficiently and a proper colonial government will be instated, based on the structure of Governance proper. It is at this stage a super-Representative of the colony will partake in Governance proper, part of relevant (sub-)committees, with weighted relevance in relation to the colony's participation.
Gradually, the colony will grow and be able to allocate more resources to its own growth, and those more effectively. The internal structure will develop and more Representative necessary and instated, thus making the colony more and more alike in functioning to Governance proper.
A proposed final merger of Governance proper and a colonial subsidiary requires a constant, reasonably instant and reliable connection between the governing bodies on an informational as well as physical level. This requires a significant amount resources as well as technological progress, both of which currently preclude a merger, even with Nova Terra. Even if there was no such limitation at the time, instability due to the Contact War as well as sociocultural differences between Earth and Nova Terra have both sides doubt the wisdom of the merger.
Non-Governance sponsored colonies
Without the material and resource support provided by Colonial Governance, these colonies are in some ways both more free and restricted to develop on their own. While the adherence to the Fundamental Rights is mandatory, most other aspects of its affairs are left to the colonies themselves, unless they impinge upon other colonies.
If a non-Governance sponsored colony gains substantial success, inspections by Governance: Public Order and Governance: Military Affairs are to be expected. It will intervene to establish or evolve a more Governance-congruent government and develop the colony more along the Governance-sponsored track. While it has no reservations to enforce such a change, even against dissent and discontent, Governance still prefers a gradual and agreeable transition.
If the divide to Governance runs rampant, though, Colonial Governance has no qualms to put a bigger focus on the rampant colony to preclude a possibly devastating development. There are cases when an intervention was necessary, albeit always in measure and relation to the offence. The graver the offence, the harsher and more secret the intervention, with the exception of violation of Fundamental Rights, an offence that cannot be answered with anything but a coercive military intervention.
- Incubator Archives: Organization post 2, Governance post 1 (history)
- Incubator Archives: Organization post 2, Governance post 2 (Colonial Governance)
- Incubator Archives: Organization post 2, Governance post 3 (ideology)