[LMB] Ghem autonomy

Damien Sullivan phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu
Sat Jan 1 08:17:13 GMT 2011

On Fri, Dec 31, 2010 at 01:38:29PM -0800, Royce McDaniels wrote:
> I get the impression (which will be detailed in the wikki) that there is no
> interstellar equivalent to the UN yet, but that there is something rather

Though there's the Galactic Census that visits Athos, and interstellar
accords with inspectors that the Dagoola prison technically satisfied.

> like detente. The major powers seem to be Beta Colony, Barrayar, Cetaganda,
> and Nuevo Brazil (about whom we know bupkis except for their charlie-fox
> with cloning) with Jackson's Whole a secondary player whose viciousness
> gives it a stature beyond its size. These four big powers all seem to have

The whole notion of major power is somewhat problematic, given both the
nature of wormholes and the sheer size of the Nexus.  Our view is
naturally Barrayar-centric.  But look at the maps: Komarr has two
un-IDed wormholes, Jackson's Whole three, and I think is referred to as
leading to the other half of the Nexus.

I don't think there are any Great Powers in the Earth sense, e.g. able
to project force on a 'global' scale.  There's being able to threaten
your neighbors, and the Cetagandans have more neighbors than most.  But
soon travel times and local ability to block you out make force
projection infeasible.  If you're on good behavior and have predictable
foreign policy you might get to send ships through to protect your trade
fleets or harass inferior targets, like early Barrayar or Jackson's

Beta's probably tops in Nexus-wide influence, due to Science!  There may
be some equivalent planet in sheer wealth.  Earth would be were it more
unified.  Barrayar and Cetaganda are more likely local powers, who seem
important only because the books are *about* Barrayar.  On the other
side from JW, people probably don't give a hoot or haven't even heard of
them, except as that backwards place and that weird gene place.

I don't think JW is even a secondary 'power'; they're a minor planet
*and* at least as fractured as Earth.  They have mercantile and
transportation importance, but there's been no hint of ship-level force

Thugs and 'enforcers', now, yeah... the way to global influence in the
Nexus is tech, money, and spies, not ships.

-xx- Damien X-) 

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