Freakzilla wrote:I've always assumed that the Landsraad was always composed of the leaders of the Great Houses, which would impy feudalism. I have no reason to, or not to, for that matter.
I initially (earlier in the year, when those T(A)U forums were set up) leaned towards what I guess turns out to be an Encyclopedia
-type origin (I haven't read that part of the book, but noticed something about it on WP yesterday), a fairly natural result/outgrowth of a need to regulate and protect intersystem trade and travel.
But then Freak wrote some things back then that made me reevaluate the whole picture; all in terms of my own interpretation of Duniverse history, of course. To wit:
During the eight millennia or so of the Long Diaspora, there was very little in the way of real wars (especially of conquest) conducted beyond the limits of a few neighboring systems because the expense and travel times simply made it unfeasible. (Imagine some future Alexander crawling from one bright spark to the next—maybe staying relativistically young or sleeping away the long nights between in some sort of stasis—conquering planet after planet, system after system, ever aware that Seleucids and Ptolemies would divide his spoils before he even reached the next. What would drive that man?) I figure there were probably a wide variety of governmental systems being used. (I still haven't attempted an estimate of how many settled systems there might be at the end of this period. I'm assuming an exponential rise to that 13,000+ figure after transportation improves. Speaking of which....)
Then comes along space-folding and within a generation or two or three the battleships are being sent out. I'm roughly giving them from 500 to 1,000 years or so to unify all of human/machine space under a central authority; whether that means an emperor or something else, who knows? (Unlike a certain pair of famous dimwits, I don't assume that the final form is achieved immediately and then never changes.) The Landsraad could have developed as an association of system representatives following (or resulting in?) an assertion of local autonomy against the excesses, oppression and/or abuses of a central authority (think Runnymede reenacted on Rigel III
); or maybe it developed more like the Roman Senate? (The details of which I'm a little fuzzy on at the moment.)
I think it's wisest to leave open the possibility that the nature of The Thang changed, and most likely significantly, over the many millennia of its existence....
"Let the dead give water to the dead. As for me, it's NO MORE FUCKING TEARS!"