A region of the galaxy is controlled by three human factions.

  • The Empire of Excellence (faction colors are black and white)

  • The Alliance of Freedom (faction colors are blue and white)

  • The Union of Justice (faction colors are red and yellow)

As it follows from their names, they value excellence, freedom and justice the more respectively. But this is often just propaganda (see below).

The three evolved earlier from Domain of Excellence, Federation of Freedom and Republic of Justice, after each faction had their satellite states incorporated.

The Empire of Excellence is not a monarchy. It is governed by the Supreme Council of the Excellent, the highest sort of the citizens. All the population is divided into three classes, and each class in divided into at least three sorts.

The highest class, the Selected, have full citizen and voting rights, but only the first and the second sorts are allowed to occupy management positions. Only the first sort participates in the Supreme Council and makes laws.

The second class are the Tolerated, have restricted rights and no voting privileges. The first sort of the second class has nearly full citizen rights except voting while the third sort has their rights severely limited.

The third class is the Garbage. The state aims at best at as harsh exploitation of them as possible. The first sort is deemed to forced life-long labor at huge state plants, but they are moderately fed and cared about so to serve as long as possible. The second sort is deemed for as harsh labor as possible and upon sickness, eliminated. The life of the third sort is not valued at all, they are used for medical experimentation or for most dangerous and health-damaging works. The factories are mostly owned by big enterprises or state, but private slaves are forbidden.

The division into classes is based on genetics, at least this is what the state propaganda says. POWs usually go into the Garbage class.

The Alliance of Freedom thinks Empire of Excellence and the Union of Justice are tyrants, but trades with them a lot. As the most valuable thing in the Alliance is freedom, a lot of things are allowed. This includes all sorts of sexual perversions and deadly games, including sexual snuff, death fighting, Russian roulette lotteries, as well as (paradoxically) slavery.

One thing is important: a slave is who signed a slave contract, and their children are not slaves themselves, unless they also sign a contract (which is allowed at very early age). Virtually any form of contract is allowed.

The Alliance is composed of several entities which may have quite different laws, headed by the Coordination Assembly.

One of the important sources of the slaves is from trading with the Empire of Excellence. The representatives of the Alliance visit the forced labor plants in the Empire and select slaves for them from the ranks of the Garbage. Formally the Garbage people have to sign a slave contract with the Alliance representatives, but little who refuses. The Alliance propaganda represents such method of obtaining slaves as a voluntary contract and as a mercy for those people, who as it claims, are dreaming of an opportunity to get out from the Empire's plants. Thus they say, they save people's lives by buying them into slavery.

The Union of Justice is governed by the All-Union Congress who are selected on the mixed principles of meritocracy and election. Only those who have decorations and merits can participate in a multi-staged elections into the multiple-level bodies the highest of which is the All-Union Congress, having several thousands of members.

The Union thinks their adversaries are unjust. Upon conquest of the territories belonging to other factions, their elites are often eliminated or put into correctional facilities for prolonged time so to restore the justice.

The Union's propaganda says they are against any kind of slavery but they have a lot of correctional facilities used for forced labor, and anybody supporting practices deemed unjust or disliking the Union's ideology is risking to end up in these places.

Given the above, I wonder what ethical, moral, economic, ideological, political, or legal issues may arise in such a world in the course of peaceful or hostile interaction between the factions.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This may cross over a line with "list questions" or "what if" questions which are troublesome for the StackExchange format. There are boundless answers, and we are not given any good way to rank those responses. Could you narrow the questions in any way? Perhaps focus on issues that may cause a particular outcome, or focus only on issues which cause transfer of "slave/garbage" class individuals from one area to another. Or perhaps concentrate on side effects of the contract-based mentality of the Alliance (contract based cultures have several pitfalls which can shape a planet) $\endgroup$
    – Cort Ammon
    Jan 10, 2015 at 1:19
  • $\begingroup$ @Cort Ammon I am mostly interested in ethical problems/loopholes that may develop in the course of trade/political relations between the factions. $\endgroup$
    – Anixx
    Jan 10, 2015 at 1:23
  • $\begingroup$ a concentration on the kinds of loopholes would make sense. Those would be issues that arise not between the disagreeing factions, but rather secondary effects of the presence of their disagreement. I'm guessing you're looking for loopholes along the lines of "Person X does a clever trick with a contract in the Alliance which bootstraps him up from Tolerated to Selected, even though nobody in the Empire thinks he deserved it?" $\endgroup$
    – Cort Ammon
    Jan 10, 2015 at 1:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Cort Ammon yes, this is very close. Or may be something along the ideological lines, where the differing ethics may lead to paradoxial results. $\endgroup$
    – Anixx
    Jan 10, 2015 at 1:28
  • $\begingroup$ I think a lot of the problems they will encounter are internal problems. Unless their propaganda is able to make people think that other factions are worst. $\endgroup$
    – Vincent
    Jan 10, 2015 at 2:02

1 Answer 1


I will answer basing my answer on my knowledge of political science and some conjecture that I have done on the political systems that you described. So, before starting, I make a small clarification. The ones that you want to treat are non-democratic political regimes. These regimes can be essentially of two types: authoritarian and totalitarian regimes. The differences are deep, and can affect the ideological, military, economic legal issues that arise around them.

Authoritarian regimes

  • These regimes do not have a strong ideology, but continuously repeat keywords that characterize their political system. For example, in your particular case, the Empire of Excellence’s keyword is, precisely, excellence. Without a precise ideology, in fact citizens are free to act within the limits of keywords policy.
  • An authoritarian regime allows several institutions to continue to exist with the government, although it is in fact a dictatorship.
  • The authoritarian regime has an extreme need for a charismatic figure in power, since there's not an ideology deeply rooted in the population. Obviously as soon as the charismatic figure ceases to exist, the system collapses.
  • The authoritarian regime goal is the de facto to hold power. Nothing less, nothing more

Totalitaran regimes

  • These systems instead, are based on a profound ideology, rooted in every aspect of daily life. Ideology does not only want power, but wants to shape reality at its will, to change the world according to his own vision, and therefore also the people. People are forced to act in accordance with the ideology, and every aspect of daily life is penetrated by ideology.
  • The leader is not so necessary. A charismatic figure can help, but the ideology will continue to exist even without it. In this, totalitarian regimes are much more difficult to break down.
  • As the political scientist Hannah Arendt says, the regime bases its strength on terror and the common enemy. The common enemy serves to pull together the people and make it a united mass easily foldable to the will of the regime. Terror is instead an adjunct of propaganda, but also the engine of the movement of people. The terror is infused in order to make people constantly insecure, and therefore bring them to rely on the system, that provides them security (and terror).

After these clarifications, I would say that Excellence and Freedom are authoritarian regimes, while Justice is totalitarian. Now I will focus individually on the various factions.


Political/Economic issues

Being an authoritarian regime, there should be a power struggle between various organizations. In this case, the government and the big enterprise. The political system would be dualistic, with the political environment that presses to stay in power, and the economic environment that wants more power. The caste system that you created could further exacerbate the conflict (if such an inept governor belongs to the first category of Selected, and a capable CEO is the second category, the conflict for the power is unavoidable is inevitable.) Ethical

Also, while I was reading the description you've done, I immediately thought of the movie Gattaca. The problems that may arise between the various citizens would be of the same nature as those presented in the movie.



The problem here is precisely the word "freedom." Surely the Alliance legal definition of freedom is completely different from that of the Empire and the Union. In this case, objectively speaking, The Alliance is simply licentious, not free. Some enlightened minds may raise ethical questions on this very difference. Citing as arguments (for example) that if a poor child without parents decides to become a slave, is not because he freely decides to do so, but because otherwise he would probably die. And also about the sex: from what you write I think pedophilia is also permitted. But sex, objectively speaking, should be put into practice to involve pleasure to both partners. Can a child really feel at ease with an adult? And so on. I also think that the society would probably become a nihilistic nightmare. If everyone (except slaves) can have it all without any consequences, the world would be too perfect, and therefore the world would be populated only by

  1. Perverts, individualistic and selfish hedonistic people who have no other purpose in life rather than get pleasure at all costs, regardless of the suffering of others
  2. Nihilists who seek emotions compulsively and therefore may also incur in violent acts of self-harm (included suicide)
  3. Slaves

Also, you might think that the generations of young people (16-26) living in this period, may also decide to rebel against the system to follow higher moral values. Unfortunately incurs a sociological problem. I'm talking about the paradigm of the structure and the paradigm of action. According to the paradigm of the structure social beehavior and individual system of values and morals is determined by the environment, society and culture surrounding the individual. (For example, a child growing up in an war zone will have moral values and behaviors very different from a child growing up in a protected environment, such as a child growing up in a dangerous environment etc.). According to the paradigm of the action instead we act according to a purpose, our action is directed towards others and we give to it a subjective sense. So our actions can not be attributed to abstract entities such as society, but only to the individual. The reasons for an individual to act in a certain way can be understood outside, even if they originate inside the individual. The individual is conditioned by the context, but it is not at the mercy of external forces, deciding how to act according to the way of the action. If you decide to follow the paradigme of structure you must know that society will never change except through external interventions. The people inside it will feel the culture of unrestrained hedonism , of slavery and risk seeking as something normal. Even a child,, although uneasy at the idea of having to become slave, will see it as normal. But if you privilege the paradigm of action, certainly it will not change society, but you can allow the creation of values systems of opposite to those recognized.

For this, I suggest you watch or read Blade Runner by Philip K. Dick, or Running Wild by James Graham Ballard (or any other novel of Ballard)



Soviet Union. Put all the negative aspects of Soviet totalitarianism in Justice.


In addition, a purely legal issue: the Soviet Union led to the distinction between jure imperii (acts put into practice by the State that are part of their duties) and jure gestionis (acts attributable to the State, however, are not part of its duties) given that the Union had de facto gained control of all aspects of private life. For more informations search about the operating limits of territorial sovereignty.

  • $\begingroup$ I am curious why u made it so pedophilia-centered. I do not know whether pedophilia is permitted. Probably, not, unless the legal adult age (which may be low, but it exists). $\endgroup$
    – Anixx
    Jan 12, 2015 at 14:42
  • $\begingroup$ @Anixx I do not understand. Your sentence has something deeply wrong in its very existence. How do you not know whether pedophilia is allowed or not if you have created this fictional universe? Anyway, I took pedophilia as an example, by reading that as the most valuable thing in the Alliance is freedom, a lot of things are allowed. This includes all sorts of sexual perversions and deadly games. I quoted you. $\endgroup$
    – Yaniv
    Jan 12, 2015 at 15:55
  • $\begingroup$ Technically hedonists are interested in their own pleasure but don't have to get it through the suffering of others. $\endgroup$
    – Tim B
    Jan 12, 2015 at 16:14
  • $\begingroup$ In fact hedonists as per "hedonism" strive to maximize total pleasure, i.e. they want everyone to be as happy as possible. $\endgroup$
    – Tim B
    Jan 12, 2015 at 16:15
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Yaniv Slaanesh worshippers xD $\endgroup$ Jan 15, 2015 at 2:21

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