Tuesday, September 16, 2008

On Cultures

The best way to think of Nike and Tyche on a micro level is like earth, only more varied. It's rare to have things like "east" and "west"... those types of distinctions formed from historical expansion and colonization have no meaning when everyone landed pretty much where they settled. Colonization of new territory HAS happened, but there were no indigenous cultures to convert. Hundreds upon hundreds of countries, varied in terms of politics (kingdoms, theocracies, technocracies, federations, etc.), religion (Hinduism, atheism, Buddhism, Islam... almost never Christianity and rarely Judaism), and, of course, the cultural elements that derive from each.

Hera is less varied, with a system of locally governed prefectures reporting to a planetary Assembly. Given the small habitable region of Hera, the population is markedly smaller than her two sister worlds. The cultural is close to nationalism, rife with entitlement and "better than". Things like government contracts and access to certain areas are limited depending on ones status as a "Heran Citizen" as opposed to "aliens". A system of helotry exist, and the resulting state-sponsored slavery is a sore spot between Hera and some trading partners. There is, of course, much more data on Hera available for anyone interested. Note: Hera's not at all evil, and shouldn't be taken that way. Nor is it monolithic by any stretch of the imagination. It's just comparatively homogeneous compared to Nike and Tyche.

On a macro level, Nike has a loose UN-type organization, while Tyche allows for free market control over planetary affairs. Both fall under the rubric of the DCSF (see History 3), which ensures planetary stability. Wars that occur between nations are primarily economic of guerrilla, rather than large scale engagements that would catch the eye of Fleet. As mentioned in the histories, Hera has its own Navy (the HCN), and this sometimes leads to some tension between Tyche/Nike and Hera. While there's not a strict divide between those two "camps", proximity and a shared defence force have driven T/N's trading relationship closer together.

On a universal level, the last great cultural clash was between those of the heliosystem and those of Earth some thousand years ago. The technology doesn't exist to explore the Solar System (save for the remnants of the Terra Arcanus in orbit around the remnants of Hera's second moon), nor does the inclination; after the subjugation, who'd even want the Terrans to be alive, let alone make contact with them? (Note that the discussion doesn't happen much: it did early on, but people came to their senses and decided to let sleeping dogs lie. Besides, the Sol system was so strip mined to build the first Gate and colonize the Heliosystem that it was all but uninhabitable.)

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