Thursday, April 30, 2015

120. Jovian Union

In the fields of medicine and biology, the following must be respected in particular:
- the prohibition of eugenic practices, in particular those aiming at the selection of persons,
- the prohibition on making the human body and its parts as such a source of financial gain,
- the prohibition of the reproductive cloning of human beings.
CHARTER OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION

As it became clear that the old governments of Earth were falling, Earth itself was being abandoned, powerful figures of Earth began to evacuate to Jovian facilities. It was remnants of the European Union who dominated, and when it became clear that Earth would not recover and that an authority was needed to restore order among the refugees, they recreated the EU among the habitats in Jovian orbit.

The Jovian Union is technically a federal government. Each habitat has its own local governing body, most of which are small republics or democracies. Each local government can send representatives to the assembly, which, in theory, forms the primary governing body of the JU. In practice, however, most power is exercised by a series of emergency committees, composed of original founders, and a court system of judges appointed by those committees.

Culturally, the JU is highly traditional. Handmade artistry is highly prized, as are traditional forms of art; ballet troupes and orchestras are commonly patronized by the wealthy. In habitats with enough wealth and space, designer farms and forests are popular, mimicking the pastoral landscapes of Europe.

All media from outside the JU is sanitized to prevent memetic attack. Media from outside is not particularly popular in any case; most citizens are of the opinion that the trans-, post- and ex-human societies of the rest of the system will collapse or be destroyed by new TITANs. JU elites like to view their polity as a time capsule, preserving truly human civilization until conditions have improved.

JU economic policies are focused on stability, equality, and heading off possible red queen scenarios that would lead to runaway technological development and the side-lining of the merely human. The Jovian Union bases its technology policies on the precautionary principle with a cultural attitudes favoring appropriate technology. Augmentations are typically heavily restricted, requiring a demonstration of an accepted need and an expensive permit. Revenues from such permits, as well as additional taxes on certain augmentations and high-tech industries fund JU welfare projects.

The JU's official position of uplifts is that it is unethical to create them, but takes pride in treating those that already exist humanely. Uplifts are not treated any differently than humans; they are expected to socialize with humans (mixing too much with their own kind is discouraged and treated as suspicious), and have the same rights as humans (issues pertaining only to uplifts invariably go unaddressed). Suicide rates among uplifts are high.

Popular opinion is that infomorphs and cyberbrains cannot have a soul, and that a "real" human mind must in some way be in a human brain and body. AGIs, pod morphs, synthmorphs and infomorphs are not accepted as immigrants. Of those that remained in the Jovian system after the formation of the JU, useful egos were edited down to sub-sentience, and the remainder were killed, often by mob violence. The Jovian Union does not accept infugees.

Although citizens of most habitats are economically and politically equal with each other, inequality between habitats can be high. Rejecting nanotechnology ties them to a traditional industrial base; popular sentiment among industrial habs is that the boutique open-source and traditional artistry movements of the wealthy habs are subsidized by the pollution of the poor habs.

Notes

The Jovian Union is an alternative to the Jovian Republic; based upon a continuation of the European Union and still strongly bioconservative, but less overtly oppressive.

Inspired by Alkahest's idea in this post.

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