Imagine a setting in which the only major fictional technology is human teleportation at the speed of light (for this question please ignore the question about how the teleportation device makes it to the destination).
Human beings are able to teleport themselves around the nearby stars at the speed of light. What this means in a practical sense is that for the teleported person, no time transpires. Meanwhile for everyone not being teleported, time continues to advance at its normal rate.
So a person who teleports to Alpha Centauri A, turns around, and jumps back experiences just seconds of elapsed time. While the people they left back home experience ~8.6 years of elapsed time.
There is already a teleport booth/portal network in existence between all habitable planets within teleport range of the Earth. Some of the settlements in the Solar System have these booths/portals but there are also several colonies on inhabitable planets within 15-20 light years of the Earth.
Empires like the British and other colonial powers, controlled territories across the globe when it would take months for instructions to pass from the empire's sovereign to the various outposts. So from that perspective there is some precedence of a human government being able to control its various functions with long latency between the issuance of an order and its receipt. Obviously some local functionary would take the role of governor to handle the urgent stuff.
Could humanity maintain control over such an empire or would it tend to fly apart into independently controlled units (maybe at the stellar system level)?
Although I'll accept yes/no, I'm more interested in the reasoning behind that yes/no and will rate answers with explanations higher.
- Are the any precedents for a single government controlling such an empire / civilization that seem relevant (links?)
- Any special points of interest or consideration?