The Jarnian Confederation, the political structure in which I’ve set all of my science fiction writing, is neither a utopia nor a dystopia. It is a pragmatic structure which has evolved over time to govern a number of planetary systems, and its primary purposes are threefold:

1. To prevent Humans from bothering other sentient species. In my universe most space-traveling races are basically cooperative for the simple reason that in order to reach technology sufficient for interstellar travel, they must go through a stage when self-destruction is possible. Humans are an exception to this: one of the R’il’nai hybridized with early proto-humans and led his offspring back to the stars, and the R’il’nai have felt responsible for them ever since.

2. To protect Humans from one species in particular, the Maungs. The Maungs are friendly, but they are a symbiotic species and one of the symbiotes, which enters a free-living state during Maung reproduction, is capable of infecting and taking over the mind of any Human in the vicinity. The best prevention, recognized by both R’il’nai and Maungs, is separation. Luckily the Maungs prefer planets both hotter and with a higher gravity than those Humans prefer.

3. To keep Human planets from attacking each other. This is actually the hardest one.

R’il’nian-Human hybrids with a preponderance of active R’il’nian genes, known as R’il’noids, actually do most of the work, and tend to regard purposes 1 and 3 as the real reason for the Confederation, with 2 being one of the main reasons the Humans accept it.

Human planets have their own governments of many types: democracies, dictatorships, patriarchies, matriarchies, oligarchies, meritocracies, anarchy (though usually not for long with any sizable population), theocracies, and just about anything else you can come up with. The Confederation government has absolutely no voice in local affairs with one exception: any Confederation citizen has the right to emigrate to any planet which will accept that person. (This may be an empty right because of finances.) But it is also true that any Confederation planet has the right to refuse entry to any person. New planets are being terraformed and settled frequently, but companies settling desirable planets generally require a substantial premium. (Undesirable planets often have a very high death rate.)

In addition to settling interplanetary disputes, the Confederation may assist in major crises, most often novel diseases or natural disasters that affect a large portion of a planet.

Because hybrids tend to have very low fertility, they are scarce and a number of Confederation laws have been developed specifically to protect R’il’noids. Before Çeren’s time this worked very well, as all the early R’il’noids inherited the R’il’nian empathy and sense of responsibility. At the time of my stories this has fallen apart, and there are a number of R’il’noids lacking empathy entirely.

I’ll give some details of the practical side of the Confederation government later.