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Old 07-15-2015, 11:29 AM   #1
Astromancer
 
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Default What if a nation decided to leave?

Basically it is possible, but improvable for a nation or national group to decide to leave the Earth and set up elsewhere in THS. This thread would explore the consequences of such a move.

Senario A) The Kurds or some other fairly large group that lacks a national state chooses to leave the Earth and reconstitute their nation in deep space.

What do their neighbors do about it? Some would let them leave, true, but others would see the migration as a threat to themselves. If a nation has kept itself together, under harsh rule, because of their determination to conquer the neighbors, and the neighbors go away, what would that mean to the leaders who's rule was justified by the struggle? If your national group has demanded the extermination of group A, and group A leaves for far way, where they might very well thrive, do you let them go?

Each culture exists in relation to others. If one culture leaves, they all change.

Senario B) A nation, like South Korea, the Czech Republic, or whomever you like, which sees itself as in a bad neighborhood or just lacking the opportunity to grow and thrive, leaves. Who gets their territory? Will their old rivals feel safe with them in deep space and thus with the high ground? If they were a buffer state, what happens to international politics? And when they settle, what happens to the politics of that area of space. If the whole population of South Korea moved to Mars, would the Chinese be able to tolerate their weakened position on Mars?

Senario C) A large nation like the USA leaves the Earth. Yes this one is a bit beyond what could be done in THS as written, but it could be started and possibly achieved. If the USA just left, it would radically change the politics of the world. And having a 400 million plus nation based in space would radically alter the future of the solar-system for centuries.

What happens?
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Old 07-15-2015, 12:08 PM   #2
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Default Re: What if a nation decided to leave?

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Originally Posted by Astromancer View Post
Basically it is possible, but improvable for a nation or national group to decide to leave the Earth and set up elsewhere in THS. This thread would explore the consequences of such a move.
It requires such a blatant level of mind control - to convince everybody in the nation to actually agree to go - that it's hard to say a lot about consequences. I suppose "they do whatever the mind controllers tell them to as well" works.

For the most part I don't see how this differs from any other mass emigration - say picking up and moving to the US or Israel. In theory it's not quite as hard since you don't need an entry visa from where you are going, but the cost of transport is so huge it amounts to the same thing - you need the approval from whoever is paying for the trip. If your population is rich enough to pay for it themselves, many of them aren't going to want to leave - they have a nice life here thank you - and most states aren't going to let them take that much wealth out of the country with them.

I suppose the other model is a totalitarian government conducting an ethnic cleansing campaign (bizarrely in this case on their own people) forcing them to move into the wilderness somewhere. You could do that in the 19th century, but it's not going to go over so well in 2100.
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Old 07-15-2015, 03:43 PM   #3
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Default Re: What if a nation decided to leave?

Yeah, if my neighbor leaves, awesome. It means my yard just got twice as big. The more people leave, the more sense it makes for me to stay.
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Old 07-15-2015, 05:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: What if a nation decided to leave?

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Yeah, if my neighbor leaves, awesome. It means my yard just got twice as big. The more people leave, the more sense it makes for me to stay.
Well he probably sold it to somebody else before he left. Which also largely answers who gets the country if everybody leaves, whoever bought the individual properties and moved in as the original occupants left are presumably the new citizens of the region. Depending on how long it took and the laws of the original state, perhaps even formally.

In 2100 labor is not in short supply, so nobody is likely to worry about losing people, it's their capital assets you don't want them to take with them. It *used* to be land was the big capital asset, and that isn't portable, but that's not so true anymore. It's unlikely anybody would make any effort stop an ethnic minority from leaving if they are willing to leave all their stuff behind, and if enough of them are going it's selling at a discount that's probably a win too, but any assets (other than your own currency) that is actually leaving your country could be a problem.
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Old 07-15-2015, 09:28 PM   #5
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Default Re: What if a nation decided to leave?

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Basically it is possible, but improvable for a nation or national group to decide to leave the Earth and set up elsewhere in THS. This thread would explore the consequences of such a move.
That would strain canonical THS space launch capacity to the extreme, I'm not sure how long it would take to move a national group of any size into space, or where you'd send them other than Mars.

A small town might decide to move in mass, but a nation...not very practical in early 22nd century.
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Old 07-15-2015, 10:16 PM   #6
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Default Re: What if a nation decided to leave?

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What happens?
Broadly speaking, if you have enough money to do it, you have no reason to do it.
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Old 07-16-2015, 05:44 AM   #7
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Default Re: What if a nation decided to leave?

This sort of thing isn't actually all that unheard of. In the 1920s, Greece and Turkey exchanged nearly two million people and Israeli Zionism is an example of a people all picking up and moving to a particular area. Of course, there are still Jews in other countries, but many of them left and came to Israel.

If about five million people wanted to get up and move to another colony, say, to Mars, they would instantly become the single largest group on that planet. This is often something I run into when I look at the colonial demographics of early (as opposed to "a thousand years in the future!") sci-fi settings: A colony is minute compared to the massive, enormous population of Earth. The Hmong, for example, a small ethnicity in China that you've probably never heard of, number about 5 million world wide... and together double the population of THS Mars. Kurds are about 15 million, which is staggering compared to the current THS Mars.

With a space elevator and a lot of time, such a thing might be feasible. Right now, THS doesn't even have the capacity to get all those people off Earth (I don't think there are 15 million people off-planet, let alone in a single colony).

Setting that aside, Earth probably wouldn't care, Mars would care a lot, and anyone with the capacity to move 5-15 million people around and set up a new colony for them would quickly become a major power in the solar system. Space Kurds or Space Hmong would be a force to be reckoned with.
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Old 07-16-2015, 06:32 AM   #8
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Default Re: What if a nation decided to leave?

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With a space elevator and a lot of time, such a thing might be feasible. Right now, THS doesn't even have the capacity to get all those people off Earth (I don't think there are 15 million people off-planet, let alone in a single colony).
Totals for quoted off-Earth population is about 5 million, though "people" is ambiguous in this setting- it's not so clear which if any of the population figures include sapient non-humans.

If you have the transport capacity to move millions of people quickly *anywhere* it's likely a local issue, not a global one, simply because having that much capacity in the first place implies there is something like that kind of traffic already, which means the populations involved are already at least an order of magnitude bigger.
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Old 07-16-2015, 06:50 AM   #9
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Default Re: What if a nation decided to leave?

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If you have the transport capacity to move millions of people quickly *anywhere* it's likely a local issue, not a global one, simply because having that much capacity in the first place implies there is something like that kind of traffic already, which means the populations involved are already at least an order of magnitude bigger.
Well, the question is "In THS." Either you have the capacity to move around millions of people in short order, in which case we're not really playing the standard THS anymore and having that capacity isn't a big deal, or we're playing standard THS "with one weird thing" that can move millions of people around, in which case it's a big freakin' deal, but not because 15 million people leaving Earth is a big deal, but because something with the capacity to move 15 million people off Earth is a big deal.

EDIT: If it isn't a big deal (ie, it's THS with greater capacity for moving people off world and there's, say, 50-100 million people in the extended Solar System), then I would argue you're back to your Zionist/Greco-Turkic exchange model, only without a population displacement (there are no angry Martians bombing Kurds for taking their land). The Kurds sell their properties on Earth, which are greedily snapped up by locals who want even more room to do Earthy things, and they take that money and use it to fund their transition to their space colony or whatever, and that's that. In such a setting, I doubt that this would be entirely unusual (You almost certainly have libertarians doing it, and communists, and hippies, and cults and so on)
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Old 07-16-2015, 11:08 AM   #10
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Default Re: What if a nation decided to leave?

I said mass migration was on the edge of possibility, but an ethnic group, or at least the majority of its leadership, might decide they had no future on Earth, and work to leave.

Mars really could be seen as a "Land without people for a people without land" in a way that slogan never fit Palestine.

But if you moved a mere two million Kurds to Mars (yes I'm abusing the word "mere") over the next couple of centuries Mars would have a very strongly Kurdish inflected culture. The Kurds could easily be a more influential group than the Turks or the Arabs. And neither the Turks nor the Arabs would like that.

Just think if England could have foreseen the effects of letting the Irish go to North America. The portion of the American population which claims Irish heritage outnumbers the population of England. Gary Addams got taken seriously because an American president, who proudly claimed Irish heritage, promoted taking risks for peace.

The present British Foreign office is deeply unhappy that Barrack Obama is proud of his mother's Irish roots, and remembers that Winston Churchill had his (Obama's) grandfather tortured in prison, tortures that caused the old man's death shortly after his release. The Elder Obama's crime? The Brits wanted his land.

The fact that Obama wears a "Kiss Me I'm Irish" button on March 17th and signs St. Patrick's day cards O'Bama, is not welcome new on Downing Street.

All this is mild, just picture your tribe's hereditary foes going off and migrating to deep space and becoming a power while your tribe remains little and poor. Bitterness would be a weak word for it.

However, in THS, what England could never have foreseen in either the 18th nor 19th centuries, would be understood as a commonplace.

It would have political repercussions.
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