Long ago, Prime Minister Bob created the [insert name here], a government organizing Space in a peaceful, lawful, and orderly way. This story is taught in classrooms around the [insert name here], because there is one difference between the forming of the [insert name here] and other powers in this galaxy; Prime Minister Bob did this all without physical contact.

Essentially, what I'm asking is how do you create a government without actually being able to offer anything except information? Here's some more info.

  • Bob, and his civilization, can transmit information near-instantly across any distance. The civilizations they are transmitting to can respond, in a similar time frame.
  • Bob cannot, however, transport any physical material over said distance. Assume that the distances are much too far to be bridged by anything sub-light speed
  • Assume the planets he is contacting are similar to Earth, in that they are broken up into hundreds of little states with differing agendas.
  • Assume Bob, and his civilization, is a Type 2 Kardashev Scale civilization; they've constructed a Dyson Sphere around their star, and have access to massive amounts of energy.
  • Bob's civilization also has very advanced technology; including ships that can travel at 0.1c, general-purpose AI living amongst the population, a solution to the Three-Body problem (By "solution", I mean sufficiently powerful computers to solve using a numerical approach, most systems, and sensors accurate enough to detect initial characteristics), and a Grand Unifying Theory.
  • Bob's civilization is unified and it is willing to do anything you deem necessary in order for it to form its government.
  • By "government", I mean a group that makes decisions for the area they are governing, not necessarily an enforcing body. Compare the UN. If you can figure out a way to make an enforcing body, like India, China, or the US, that would be better.
  • Ask for more information if needed.

Thanks in advance!

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ (1) The U.N.O. is not a government of any kind. (2) The so-called "decisions" of the U.N.O. are more in the nature of non-binding essays outlining some interesting or less than interesting opinions of some more or less informed diplomats, most of whom have no interest whatsoever in the problems which are supposedly to be addressed. (3) The most important thing you need to figure out is what does that government do, that is, what services does it offer to the entities it governs. (4) A real-world government provides a judicial system, an education system, transportation infrastructure etc. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Mar 1, 2022 at 13:10
  • $\begingroup$ P.S. How does Bob communicate with the remote worlds? All right, Bob can send data faster than light, but how can the recipients actually receive it, and how can they reply? And, no, Bob's world cannot have a "solution" to the three-body problem. There is no solution. We know that. For sure. Minus one for failing basic calculus. Gravitationally bound systems of more than two bodies (of comparable masses) are chaotic. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Mar 1, 2022 at 13:12
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexP Apologies. By "solution", I mean sufficiently powerful computers to solve using a numerical approach, most systems, and sensors accurate enough to detect initial characteristics. Wikipedia $\endgroup$ Mar 1, 2022 at 13:45
  • $\begingroup$ @Pelinore, I looked before asking the question, and couldn't find anything; if you could find it, I'd be happy to close this as a dupe. $\endgroup$ Mar 1, 2022 at 16:58
  • $\begingroup$ @Firedestroyer I'm not 100% sure but it might have been this & other answers to this question that was sparking my memory synapses, it's four years old so not as recent as I thought, might have been active with answers & comments more recently though, not going to say it definitely is a duplicate (without a much more thorough read through of both than I've bothered with🤗), 🤔 just that there's some overlap here & you might like to check it out 🙂 $\endgroup$
    – Pelinore
    Mar 1, 2022 at 17:39

3 Answers 3


Self replicating machine message:

Given infinite transmissions, your culture transmits instructions for building a machine. But unlike Contact, this is a self-replicating assembler machine, which then builds robots, factories, and the like.

Initially, the machines churn out devices that solve all the world's problems (disease, famine, whatever) and they have the full backing of the more advanced culture to support their decision-making. They take control of the economies, and eventually can control an army of robots, policing functions, and can then assemble an obedient army of bots or nanites to conquer the worlds.

This assembly can be preceded by propaganda to encourage the conquer-ees to build the machine. And once it's built, who's going to stop the progress of machines fixing every problem? 90% of civilizations would simply comply with assimilation into a vastly superior colonial power, and the rest can be handily conquered.

And on divided worlds, the nation that adopts the tech is immediately and overwhelmingly superior to all who don’t. All you need is one to give in. Imagine North Korea going against the wishes of the rest of the world and instantly becoming the undisputed greatest super power…


Remote Outsourcing and Knowledge-Workers.

The Bonds That Tie

If the past couple years (2020 - 2022) has shown anything, it's that a great many jobs and tasks can be done remotely.

Prime Minister Bob's Interstellar Government (PMBIG) is set up and organised around telepresence and remote-working, which is very popular with its personnel.
The Internet-Equivalent spans hundreds of worlds and brings everyone culturally closer together.

Member worlds benefit from the practical knowledge-worker benefits of being part of PMBIG, and in return they agree to abide by the rules.
If a member world doesn't abide by the rules, then they get cut off from the rest of PMBIG and lose access to a great deal of knowledge-worker support.

The upshot is that membership with Prime Minister Bob's Interstellar Government is full of useful perks and opportunities for money-making that makes it really hard for an established member to be willing to rebel or split away.

For example, if I'm owner of a fairly large business, I might outsource a lot of my work to remote-workers on another planet who handle all the Client-Management and day-to-day operations.
I might maintain a small office-staff on my own planet, but I'd rely on communications via the Interstellar Internet to coordinate my business.
I maintain branches of my company on different worlds to provide the actual physical services and goods that I provide.
All of it paid for through a decentralised Intergalactic Banking Clan.

Real world example: The company I work for has branches in three different countries and outsources elements of its business to at least two more companies on a day-to-day basis. If England suddenly lost internet-access to all other nations, our business would shut down and we'd close doors in short order.

I have a vested interest in my world remaining a member of PMBIG, because if we ever rebelled against that government, we'd be cut off from the intergalactic community.
I'd lose 90% of my workforce (including entire departments which aren't represented on my homeworld) and access to the galactic bank, so all my money as well.

So I'll naturally lobby my local government hard if there's any sign they're looking to break away, or that they're planning to do anything that endangers my livelihood.


Non Proliferation Agreement

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To have a government you must be able to govern. You must be able to enforce your decisions. If you are only allowed to communicate the best you can hope for is to bribe and blackmail the other nations into doing what you say, by providing or withholding the details of powerful technology.

However all is not lost. We can use this approach to make sure space is peaceful and orderly, by preventing warlike technology from developing, by leading emerging species along a pre-engineered technological path.

Our civilization was the first to develop in the Galaxy. Once another species becomes space faring we make contact and send them details to construct marvelous machines that improve life for everyone in the star system. One century later when these machines are created we send them even more marvelous things. That is unless they have developed space nukes in the meantime. In that case we stop sharing until they get rid of their space nukes. Their space is now dangerous but we can keep nearby space safe simply by cordoning the system off by not sending them super fast engine specs.

One bonus feature of our technology is that it is difficult to reverse-engineer into something warlike. So once the new civilization has replaced their technology with the better technology we sent them, and become fluent in how the new technology works, they are less likely to invent weapons than they were before.

  • $\begingroup$ "We got rid of our space nukes, we swear. Come on over for an inspection. Oh wait... It's a bit far, isn't it? Just take our word for it." $\endgroup$
    – Jedediah
    Mar 1, 2022 at 19:49
  • $\begingroup$ The purpose of a government is to enforce rules for sharing and trading. If no sharing or trading is possible between the entities, there is no need for government. $\endgroup$
    – David R
    Mar 2, 2022 at 15:13
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidR Maybe sharing is possible. $\endgroup$
    – Daron
    Mar 2, 2022 at 15:32

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