Philosophy Governing The Star Wars Galaxy

PeliusAnar

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The question I wanted to ask the forum is, 'What is the best way to govern The Galaxy in Star Wars?'

This issue has a singular main component, the size of the Star Wars galaxy is stupidly large. Star Wars Population. Star Wars Senate. Star Wars Population Cannon.
"over a million member worlds, and countless more colonies, protectorates and governorships. Nearly 100 quadrillion beings pledged allegiance to the Republic in nearly 50 million systems."
The huge open area is lined with 1,024 pods arrayed in concentric circles, each pod housing a delegation from an important planet, sector or political body.
The galaxy, as it was commonly referred to, was one of the trillions of galaxies in the universe. The galaxy was a vast composite of over 400 billion estimated stars[1] and over 3.2 million habitable systems[1] orbiting around a supermassive black hole at the heart of the galaxy.[6] The galactic arms rotated around this black hole across a diameter of over 100,000 light-years.[4] It was home to countless sentient species and star systems.
The exact size/population is a bit unclear due to Legends vs Cannon. But it should be reasonable to assume that the number of systems is 3.2 to 50 million and the number of people is between 6.4 to 100 quadrillion, giving an average of 2 billion beings per system, which does not seem unreasonable compared to just Earth. This in turn implies a single Senatorial position for every 3.1 to 48.8 thousand systems, or 6.2 to 97.7 billion beings.

The sheer size presents a number of issues. The first issue is the conflicting laws. While a system of laws like the US and how the states are organized might appear the best option, there are far more different cultures, life styles, and sentiments due to the various alien cultures. Even if the population is primarily human, that still leaves a wide array of different cultures to deal with. All of this creates a larger bureaucracy which slows down said government.

Second, in terms of voting power, if it is one vote per sentient, then species that quickly breed and reproduce have an advantage in terms of voting weight compared to other spices that are long lived with low reproductive rates. Then there is the age that voting is allowed and the standards that would be used. Do species get to determine their own age of majority or would it be decided by a distant bureaucracy?

Third, the enforcement of law and cost of said enforcement over a wide region of space. This was a big weakness of the original Republic, only having a police force but no standing army. There are no known over reaching threats, but corporations having reached interplanetary levels, require their own standing forces to protect this interests. To adequately police the galaxy and stop piracy would require a massive investment into the military, which leads the risk of warlords emerging.

Fourth, due to the sheer wealth corporations can own entire planets and voting blocks. A good example of this in the real world is how Disney owns an entire county in Florida. Due to the sheer size of said corporations they have enough employees, control so much, that they can effectively control entire systems and force a representative of their choice from said systems.

Fifth, while economies of scale are a thing, at a certain point they cease to be a factor and the supply chain, becomes the limiting factor. The infrastructure needed isn't as simple as building a factory either, especially for larger items like ships. Also due to the wide range of aliens, accommodating all of them would vastly increase the cost of various items due to ergonomics and how various species perceive the world around them.

The Republic before Palpatine took over was bogged down by a massive bureaucracy, court system, could not enforce its own laws, and had representation from corporations, nobles, and other entrenched interests with very little representation of the populace. There is a strong argument to be made that things only were accomplished because Palpatine could manipulate things. This is supported by the 1,000 years of slavary and Hutt Cartels that dominated vast areas of known space.

The Empire under Palpatine prescribed to the Tarkin doctrine. To summarize, the idea was to unite the Galaxy behind a single leader with one vision in order to cut out the special interests and to enforce said vision through a combination of military might and fear. Due to the size of the galaxy, there is a legitimate argument that the Death Star was in fact necessary for this to happen, the cost of patrolling and establishing a vast military presence would cost more. A Star Destroyer cost about 200 million credits and the Death Star cost about 1 trillion credits. This implies 1 Death Star = 5,000 Star Destroyers. While there is more strategic flexibility having more ships, it also opens up the possibility of betrayal by military leaders attempting to establish their own dominion (which they did after the Emperor died).
Source: TarkinAttribution: Wilhuff Tarkin
The factor that contributed most to the demise of the Republic was not, in fact, the war, but rampant self-interest. Endemic to the political process our ancestors engineered, the insidious pursuit of self-enrichment grew only more pervasive through the long centuries, and in the end left the body politic feckless and corrupt. Consider the self-interest of the Core Worlds, unwavering in their exploitation of the Outer Systems for resources; the Outer Systems themselves, undermined by their permissive disregard of smuggling and slavery; those ambitious members of the Senate who sought only status and opportunity.

The reason our Emperor was able to negotiate the dark waters that characterized the terminal years of the Republic and remain at the helm through a catastrophic war that spanned the galaxy is that he has never been interested in status or self-glorification. On the contrary, he has been tireless in his devotion to unify the galaxy and assure the well-being of its myriad populations. Now, with the institution of sector and oversector governance, we are in the unique position to repay our debt to the Emperor for his decades of selfless service, by lifting some of the burden of quotidian rulership from his shoulders. By partitioning the galaxy into regions, we actually achieve a unity previously absent; where once our loyalties and allegiances were divided, they now serve one being, with one goal: a cohesive galaxy in which everyone prospers. For the first time in one thousand generations our sector governors will not be working solely to enrich Coruscant and the Core Worlds, but to advance the quality of life in the star systems that make up each sector-keeping the spaceways safe, maintaining open and accessible communications, assuring that tax revenues are properly levied and allocated to improving the infrastructure. The Senate will likewise be made up of beings devoted not to their own enrichment, but to the enrichment of the worlds they represent.

This bold vision of the future requires not only the service of those of immaculate reputation and consummate skill in the just exercise of power, but also the service of a vast military dedicated to upholding the laws necessary to ensure galactic harmony. It may appear to some that the enactment of universal laws and the widespread deployment of a heavily armed military are steps toward galactic domination, but these actions are taken merely to protect us from those who would invade, enslave, exploit, or foment political dissent, and to punish accordingly any who engage in such acts. Look on our new military not as trespassers or interlopers, but as gatekeepers, here to shore up the Emperor's vision of a pacified and prosperous galaxy.

With all this in mind the question remains, 'What is the best way to govern The Galaxy in Star Wars?'
 
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Bacle

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I think the simplest way to do it is to operate under Wolfenbauch rules: You are free to do as you wish, within certain constraints, but don't make me come over there.
 

PeliusAnar

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... Not try to govern the entire galaxy? There's no particularly compelling astropolitical reason why it has to be united, either under a Republic or Empire.
If we go with Legends then the Vong is a big one. Also it is the only way to fight the large Hutt cartels. When you have slavery in over a third of the galaxy, from a purely moral standpoint, having a single unifying power to put an end to all that is a good reason.
The solution, I think, is sorta rule the galaxy. Basically, establish some minimal rights, then federalize the hell out of it.
Like a state type of government overseen by a Federal government that the US has? Any ideas what fundamental rights you would choose and how they would be enforced? Because if you are talking about a strong central government and large military, that is basically the Empire except with less fear.

I think the simplest way to do it is to operate under Wolfenbauch rules: You are free to do as you wish, within certain constraints, but don't make me come over there.
I am curious what constraints you were thinking and the response for breaking said constraints? The real challenge is that you leave the door wide open to corporations and special interests. Like the blockade of Naboo by the Trade Federation. You can't have them disarm unless you have a massive military to protect shipping interests, and said blockade and invasion was 'legal'. The Trade Federation is powerful enough to hold a Senate seat, allowing them to make their voice heard.
 

Lord Invictus

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Ideally?

A force using monarchy or aristocracy. For a few reasons-namely the force reduces the burden of ruling, the force allows the ruler to see into the future, as well as sense its eddies and currents and act accordingly.

Practically? A very decentralized government, that basically allows local systems to do as they will. Within limits of course.

Remember-the Republic/Empire/New Republic/GA doesn't control all the galaxy either. In fact about half of it-plus anywhere from five to around 20% they do not.
 

Abhorsen

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Like a state type of government overseen by a Federal government that the US has? Any ideas what fundamental rights you would choose and how they would be enforced? Because if you are talking about a strong central government and large military, that is basically the Empire except with less fear.
Much smaller (percentage wise) than what the US has.

No, I don't think a strong central government could survive. Ban slavery, enshrine people's freedom to leave a planet/sector (if they can afford it), then have a skeleton of a military that can combine sector level militaries under it to combine against an outside threat.
 

PeliusAnar

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Ideally?

A force using monarchy or aristocracy. For a few reasons-namely the force reduces the burden of ruling, the force allows the ruler to see into the future, as well as sense its eddies and currents and act accordingly.

Practically? A very decentralized government, that basically allows local systems to do as they will. Within limits of course.

Remember-the Republic/Empire/New Republic/GA doesn't control all the galaxy either. In fact about half of it-plus anywhere from five to around 20% they do not.
Then the question is, is the Force ruler Light or Dark? None of that gray nonsense either.

True the Republic doesn't rule everything, but besides the Hutt Cartels, it is the only galaxy wide government present.

Much smaller (percentage wise) than what the US has.

No, I don't think a strong central government could survive. Ban slavery, enshrine people's freedom to leave a planet/sector (if they can afford it), then have a skeleton of a military that can combine sector level militaries under it to combine against an outside threat.
The issue with something like this is that things like ship building are confined to certain systems due to the infrastructure needed. That combined with system level corporations would leave lesser systems ripe for exploitation. I mean you have systems like Naboo, that even after being invaded just say, 'No military.' Would your federal government require systems to fund a defense force? Then this raises the issue of cross raiding, or poorer systems sending out their defense forces to raid other systems for resources to fund said defense force and overall military buildup that lacks any kind of cohesion. Very easy to get warlords popping up.
 

Emperor Tippy

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You don't. At least not without the active aid of incredibly potent Force wielders.

Remove the Jedi and even without the Sith the Republic would be gone in decades. Remove the Force and galactic conquest becomes effectively impossible as it is simply far too easy to escape detection and engage in assassination, insurgency, and guerilla campaigns with planet depopulating weapons.
 

LordsFire

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It's impossible to have a cogent answer to that, without knowing just what the different psychologies of the various different races you're supposed to govern are.

If the majority of sophonts are even reasonably close to human Psychology, a nation of that sheer size is logistically impossible to build, much less maintain.
 

Abhorsen

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The issue with something like this is that things like ship building are confined to certain systems due to the infrastructure needed. That combined with system level corporations would leave lesser systems ripe for exploitation. I mean you have systems like Naboo, that even after being invaded just say, 'No military.' Would your federal government require systems to fund a defense force? Then this raises the issue of cross raiding, or poorer systems sending out their defense forces to raid other systems for resources to fund said defense force and overall military buildup that lacks any kind of cohesion. Very easy to get warlords popping up.
Oh, there will be cross raiding. If it gets too bad, the rest gang up using the skeleton force to organize it. Maybe mandate a minimum 1% GDP military budget? But this will not solve all problems. This is just the only way to possibly control this much territory.
 

CarlManvers2019

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I think the simplest way to do it is to operate under Wolfenbauch rules: You are free to do as you wish, within certain constraints, but don't make me come over there.
Somehow, I think they'll still tell whoever this ruler is or government is, to be totalitarian and dictatorial

Also, what about Black Markets and Organized Crime? They'll be under the radar

And what if people have problems with their neighboring planets? Not so much as trade wars or actual wars or raiding, but things like the latter having differing social values
 
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Lord Sovereign

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... Not try to govern the entire galaxy? There's no particularly compelling astropolitical reason why it has to be united, either under a Republic or Empire.
I unironically think the balkanisation of the Star Wars galaxy would be a happy ending. Empire is literally the only way you could govern such a vast territory with so many peoples. Although The Empire ignores the rules of sensible imperial government, hence poop socking that idea into an early grave.

I think the simplest way to do it is to operate under Wolfenbauch rules: You are free to do as you wish, within certain constraints, but don't make me come over there.
That is the correct method of imperial governance. You'll find the longest lasting empires in history behaved like that; Rome was not a totalitarian state.
 

PeliusAnar

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It's impossible to have a cogent answer to that, without knowing just what the different psychologies of the various different races you're supposed to govern are.

If the majority of sophonts are even reasonably close to human Psychology, a nation of that sheer size is logistically impossible to build, much less maintain.
Well we can look at a couple of the public examples, Gungans, Wookies, and Hutts. Wookies are human shaped but can't speak basic. Gungans are....Gungans. Hutts don't have anything resembling a human body. Most seem to full in a human ranged spectrum of behaviors with nothing completely different, but there are clearly different focuses or possibly ingrained cultural norms.

The challenge for a democracy would mainly fall under when species get the right to vote and how voting rights would be impacted by birth rate and life span. Hutts have a low birth rate and a very long life span. Also with the range of species, it wouldn't be surprising to have a species with the intelligence of chimps. How does one decided between a species being intelligent and not intelligent? The Gammoreans are basically the orcs of Star Wars and they are used for their toughness and brutishness, how would they count?

I unironically think the balkanisation of the Star Wars galaxy would be a happy ending. Empire is literally the only way you could govern such a vast territory with so many peoples. Although The Empire ignores the rules of sensible imperial government, hence poop socking that idea into an early grave.



That is the correct method of imperial governance. You'll find the longest lasting empires in history behaved like that; Rome was not a totalitarian state.
I would argue that this idea has issues due to corporations and the need for mega-projects to construct interstellar ships. In Rome any province could basically be independent from another. In Star Wars one needs massive facilities to build FTL capable ships, whose ship yards are only present at select planets. This speaks nothing to other technologies. The main issue with this type of situation is you develop warlords either from strong military leaders or corporations seeking to increase their profit margins.

This basically seems like what the Republic currently is, but with less central enforcement. A large enforcement arm would require more taxes, which means taxing said systems, and in turn the systems demanding protection for their tax money, which leads to an Empire.

Also, thank you everyone for responding :)
 

ShieldWife

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If I were the Galactic Empress (are there any empresses from science fiction?) I would try to allow individual planets or systems to have autonomy. Let the local planet rule itself how it sees fit. The local government, what ever it may be, can handle how to deal with relations between Wookies or Hutts or what ever creatures exist there. What I want from them is taxation. The taxes should be as small as I can get away with, but even a Galactic Empire needs resources and for a planet to be part of it, it must supply those resources.

I wouldn't demand much from the planets, but of course what I do demand must be supplied. I was thinking that local planets and local economies can operate relatively freely but that I establish my control with FTL travel. That is where my regulation comes in. Planets can do as they please but once they leave their system then they come under my regulation. Maybe my primary method of taxation should be to tax interstellar trade and travel. Resources that stay on planet won't be taxed, but if it comes or goes it will subjected to a tax. This, of course, will encourage smuggling but I think that its simpler to tax this way than have to access value on individual planets and tax based on that.

If I'm maintaining my empire through taxing interplanetary trade, then I would want a monopoly on FTL warships. Local military forces would be relatively unregulated, but I control the navy and preferably control the interstellar travel too, or at least regulate and monitor it. If a system rebels, then at the very least it's shut off from the rest of the galaxy - which actually isn't that different than if it just decided to maintain economic independence but official loyalty to the Empire.

All of this would be easier if I controlled the Spice, Astronomical, ComStar, the Navigators, or some other monopoly on FTL travel. Unfortunately, for my plan, FTL in Star Wars is relatively cheap and plentiful. I think that would still be a good focal point because any interstellar government will have to regulate it to some degree. Hopefully I get access to the Force, that could help me out too.
 

LordsFire

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Well we can look at a couple of the public examples, Gungans, Wookies, and Hutts. Wookies are human shaped but can't speak basic. Gungans are....Gungans. Hutts don't have anything resembling a human body. Most seem to full in a human ranged spectrum of behaviors with nothing completely different, but there are clearly different focuses or possibly ingrained cultural norms.

The challenge for a democracy would mainly fall under when species get the right to vote and how voting rights would be impacted by birth rate and life span. Hutts have a low birth rate and a very long life span. Also with the range of species, it wouldn't be surprising to have a species with the intelligence of chimps. How does one decided between a species being intelligent and not intelligent? The Gammoreans are basically the orcs of Star Wars and they are used for their toughness and brutishness, how would they count?
This doesn't give us enough information to be useful. There are thousands of species, and there's no hard information on who forms what percentage of the population. All we know is that humans are all over the place, and in population proportions high enough that a 'human supremacist' Empire was at least vaguely feasible.

I'd actually say that that proportion of human population alone makes the entire thing unmanageable. Humans are psychologically incapable of maintaining an empire the size of a galaxy; too many people would try to usurp it or secede from it. Theoretically, there's an absurdly fringe case scenario where it could happen, but the sheer number of things working against it make that possibility statistically irrelevant.

And even if it did happen, it would be overthrown in a generation or less. It's just too large of a system to try to maintain.

I would argue that this idea has issues due to corporations and the need for mega-projects to construct interstellar ships. In Rome any province could basically be independent from another. In Star Wars one needs massive facilities to build FTL capable ships, whose ship yards are only present at select planets. This speaks nothing to other technologies. The main issue with this type of situation is you develop warlords either from strong military leaders or corporations seeking to increase their profit margins.

This basically seems like what the Republic currently is, but with less central enforcement. A large enforcement arm would require more taxes, which means taxing said systems, and in turn the systems demanding protection for their tax money, which leads to an Empire.

Also, thank you everyone for responding :)
It's entirely possible to have smaller shipyards building smaller ships. Just because Kuat, Fondor, Corellia and the like have galactic-scale reputations, doesn't mean that every personal shuttle and mid-sized tramp freighter is built by the super-giants. The logistics of supplying that are completely absurd in the first place.

If I'm maintaining my empire through taxing interplanetary trade, then I would want a monopoly on FTL warships. Local military forces would be relatively unregulated, but I control the navy and preferably control the interstellar travel too, or at least regulate and monitor it. If a system rebels, then at the very least it's shut off from the rest of the galaxy - which actually isn't that different than if it just decided to maintain economic independence but official loyalty to the Empire.
So you're basically looking to build to build something close to the Humankind Empire of Abh, from Crest/Banner of the Stars.
 
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PeliusAnar

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This doesn't give us enough information to be useful. There are thousands of species, and there's no hard information on who forms what percentage of the population. All we know is that humans are all over the place, and in population proportions high enough that a 'human supremacist' Empire was at least vaguely feasible.

I'd actually say that that proportion of human population alone makes the entire thing unmanageable. Humans are psychologically incapable of maintaining an empire the size of a galaxy; too many people would try to usurp it or secede from it. Theoretically, there's an absurdly fringe case scenario where it could happen, but the sheer number of things working against it make that possibility statistically irrelevant.

And even if it did happen, it would be overthrown in a generation or less. It's just too large of a system to try to maintain.



It's entirely possible to have smaller shipyards building smaller ships. Just because Kuat, Fondor, Corellia and the like have galactic-scale reputations, doesn't mean that every personal shuttle and mid-sized tramp freighter is built by the super-giants. The logistics of supplying that are completely absurd in the first place.
That is what I am trying to figure out with my post. Is there anything besides a ham fisted galactic empire that has even a chance of managing the entire galaxy? All super large galactic governments seem to devolve to this, cough, looking at you 40k, cough. I do strongly agree with the usurp comment regarding humans. This is shown after the Emperor's death in Legends and Cannon and just plain human nature. Even if only one percent of system groups rebel, you are talking ~10 rebellions.

True there are smaller ship yards. But hyper matter needs large processing facilities if I am not mistaken. In addition any trade of non-super luxury goods in reasonable quantities requires ships the size of the Trade Federations. Like anyone can build a small motor boat, but to build a large super carrier you need equally large infrastructure. I would think it is reasonable to take that difference and apply it to spaceships.

If I were the Galactic Empress (are there any empresses from science fiction?) I would try to allow individual planets or systems to have autonomy. Let the local planet rule itself how it sees fit. The local government, what ever it may be, can handle how to deal with relations between Wookies or Hutts or what ever creatures exist there. What I want from them is taxation. The taxes should be as small as I can get away with, but even a Galactic Empire needs resources and for a planet to be part of it, it must supply those resources.

I wouldn't demand much from the planets, but of course what I do demand must be supplied. I was thinking that local planets and local economies can operate relatively freely but that I establish my control with FTL travel. That is where my regulation comes in. Planets can do as they please but once they leave their system then they come under my regulation. Maybe my primary method of taxation should be to tax interstellar trade and travel. Resources that stay on planet won't be taxed, but if it comes or goes it will subjected to a tax. This, of course, will encourage smuggling but I think that its simpler to tax this way than have to access value on individual planets and tax based on that.

If I'm maintaining my empire through taxing interplanetary trade, then I would want a monopoly on FTL warships. Local military forces would be relatively unregulated, but I control the navy and preferably control the interstellar travel too, or at least regulate and monitor it. If a system rebels, then at the very least it's shut off from the rest of the galaxy - which actually isn't that different than if it just decided to maintain economic independence but official loyalty to the Empire.

All of this would be easier if I controlled the Spice, Astronomical, ComStar, the Navigators, or some other monopoly on FTL travel. Unfortunately, for my plan, FTL in Star Wars is relatively cheap and plentiful. I think that would still be a good focal point because any interstellar government will have to regulate it to some degree. Hopefully I get access to the Force, that could help me out too.
I think that smuggling would shoot way up due to how easy it is to build smaller ships. Also due to the vastness of space and 3d nature of space compared to oceans, it would be a lot harder to find these smaller ships. This in turn would allow corporations sell larger ships to smugglers. I think your idea would work with strict regulations and tracking on ship size. Say anything larger than a Corallian Corvette (Liea's Ship) would be have to be strictly registered and an ID matched up with a central database or certificate of some kind that needs to be renewed.

I would also think the tax law would be simplified since you could do a tax on money earned from trade and avoid an income or planetary tax. I would suspect though that there would be very strong push back from the mega-corps, which could lead to situations like the blockade of Naboo. A mega-corp stopping all trade to a planet, staving them out, as leverage to reduce their tax burdens, just need embargos, not even an invasion. Mega-corps could also fund pirates to isolate weak but politically important systems for leverage.
 

LordsFire

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That is what I am trying to figure out with my post. Is there anything besides a ham fisted galactic empire that has even a chance of managing the entire galaxy? All super large galactic governments seem to devolve to this, cough, looking at you 40k, cough. I do strongly agree with the usurp comment regarding humans. This is shown after the Emperor's death in Legends and Cannon and just plain human nature. Even if only one percent of system groups rebel, you are talking ~10 rebellions.

True there are smaller ship yards. But hyper matter needs large processing facilities if I am not mistaken. In addition any trade of non-super luxury goods in reasonable quantities requires ships the size of the Trade Federations. Like anyone can build a small motor boat, but to build a large super carrier you need equally large infrastructure. I would think it is reasonable to take that difference and apply it to spaceships.
Even an authoritarian empire isn't something that could actually happen on that scale. Not with human psychology. It's just too difficult to hold on to so much territory. It wouldn't be possible in a monoculture, much less a multi-species multi-culture environment.

I think that smuggling would shoot way up due to how easy it is to build smaller ships. Also due to the vastness of space and 3d nature of space compared to oceans, it would be a lot harder to find these smaller ships. This in turn would allow corporations sell larger ships to smugglers. I think your idea would work with strict regulations and tracking on ship size. Say anything larger than a Corallian Corvette (Liea's Ship) would be have to be strictly registered and an ID matched up with a central database or certificate of some kind that needs to be renewed.

I would also think the tax law would be simplified since you could do a tax on money earned from trade and avoid an income or planetary tax. I would suspect though that there would be very strong push back from the mega-corps, which could lead to situations like the blockade of Naboo. A mega-corp stopping all trade to a planet, staving them out, as leverage to reduce their tax burdens, just need embargos, not even an invasion. Mega-corps could also fund pirates to isolate weak but politically important systems for leverage.
ShieldWife wouldn't allow a situation like the completely impossibly anemic military power of the Old Republic to happen.

If you have an actual functional military, even a modest one, any Mega-corps getting delusions of grandeur and siccing pirates on people would be ruthlessly and summarily crushed.
 

ShieldWife

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I think that smuggling would shoot way up due to how easy it is to build smaller ships. Also due to the vastness of space and 3d nature of space compared to oceans, it would be a lot harder to find these smaller ships. This in turn would allow corporations sell larger ships to smugglers. I think your idea would work with strict regulations and tracking on ship size. Say anything larger than a Corallian Corvette (Liea's Ship) would be have to be strictly registered and an ID matched up with a central database or certificate of some kind that needs to be renewed.

I would also think the tax law would be simplified since you could do a tax on money earned from trade and avoid an income or planetary tax. I would suspect though that there would be very strong push back from the mega-corps, which could lead to situations like the blockade of Naboo. A mega-corp stopping all trade to a planet, staving them out, as leverage to reduce their tax burdens, just need embargos, not even an invasion. Mega-corps could also fund pirates to isolate weak but politically important systems for leverage.
Yeah, ships would have to be registered. Maybe the manufacture of hyperdrives too. A lot of this gets into economics and logistics of the galaxy that we aren't quite shown in the fiction. Small ships would be a pain in the butt for me, and since small operators are harder to track, it might actually give an economic advantage to small time smugglers who can avoid my taxes over larger smugglers and legitimate businesses. I this this is where the mega-corps come in.

The mega-corporations have to be brought under my control. But maybe we can work together. I can provide them with some advantages, reduced taxes and maybe trading monopolies. In exchange they can be the ones to root out small time smugglers. In fact I could handle taxation through big trading corporations. This company handles trade in a particular region, but they also handle small time smugglers. If a big organization arises and gets out of line, I can send the Navy. For someone like Han Solo, the corporate bounty hunters can go after him.
 
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