Some thoughts on XENOCRACY

Invasion by Radojavor

X is a really hard letter to write thoughtful posts to. Especially toward the end of the A to Z challenge, when all my blogging juices have run dry and I am so eager to get this over with, I have to consciously refrain from insulting your intelligence and posting this .gif and just scuttling away.

So.

X

There are quite a few interesting words that start with X and that drew my attention, but didn’t quite cut it this year:

xenographic — across-species, often used in reference to transplants
xenogamy — cross-polination
xenolith — a rock fragment foreign to the igneous mass in which it occurs
xylotomy — preparation of sections of wood for microscopic study

All of these terms could have sparked some sort of similarity to the writing process, especially of science-fiction (which I pretend to know something about), but in light of how tired I am, I couldn’t quite wrap my mind around them enough.

So I’ll muse a little about xenocracy.

Xenocracy is a government by a body of foreigners, of aliens, culturally or literally. Xenocracy is generally not an easy thing to accept by any country or civilization, and I highly assume it will be very hard to accept by humanity if an alien race took over by force (or superior technology; a sort of modern slavery).

If superior aliens would one day rule humanity, what would life look like? What laws would they impose? What resources would we still be able to use? What role will we play — will we be slaves? Property? Equals? A minority? Will we be persecuted, respected or merely tolerated? Will we become their pets? Their pests? Their live stock? Will they drown us in their politics and bureaucracy? Will they uplift us? Will we be tolerant of them? Will we easily accept them, or hate them? Will we admire them or rebel? Will we be friends?

I’m currently rereading one of my favorite books of all time — Lilith’s Brood by Octavia Butler. Mild spoilers ahead.

Her Oankali (an alien species of natural genetic manipulators) have taken over Earth and humanity after we almost destroyed ourselves in a global nuclear war. They painstakingly restore parts of Earth’s ecosystem, and plant the few collected survivors back on Earth to start again — but not by themselves, and not as humans. The Oankali’s nature is to trade genetic material, to enrich themselves by merging with any interesting life-form they encounter on their nomadic travel through the galaxy, and thus create a new species. Humans will no longer be humans, but human-Oankali constructs. Of course, the survivors of the old world don’t find this very funny. They tirelessly, uselessly fight the Oankali, even with the prospect of their renewed self-destruction.

While I already gave away a lot about the basic setup of the book, don’t worry, there are no real spoilers there. I barely touched on the Oankali’s alien nature and what makes this book truly special. But I’ll use it as a discussion start-up —

What do you think will happen, if an alien race took over humanity (regardless of how)? Will we be willing to accept them?

How would you react?

* * *

          This post is part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge, April 2014.          

   In 2012, my X post was — Xenocentric Science-Fiction

13 Replies to “Some thoughts on XENOCRACY”

  1. Alien race take over? It has already happened. Large corporations buy politicians to legislate immunity for themselves so they can do anything they please. It pleases them to produce wealth for themselves, regardless of the price or pain to others.

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    1. It’s a lot worse than that in Romania, I’m afraid. The whole political system is corrupt, they all embezzle money and pass laws to protect their illegal machinations, and it’s all out in the open but they can’t be touched. I know it sucks in other countries too, but you haven’t seen corruption like in some East European countries, trust me.

      Thanks for the comment, by the way, Jeanne. 🙂

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  2. My Jarnian Confederation is a Xenocracy of sorts, but the aliens (who are very human-like in many ways) rule ONLY the relationships between planetary systems and between planetary systems and other intelligent species. Planets can set up any kind of government they please, and there is a huge variety. But they cannot make war on each other–that’s Confederation business.

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  3. X was a struggle for me as well. Not only is x a kind of limited word, not a lot of words start with x, my brain wants a nap.

    Lilith’s Brood sounds very interesting, I might pick that up. Since, a book I’m going to epublish has an xenocracy might be a good idea.

    Thanks for another interesting blog post : )

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  4. I had no idea this was a word. It would be interesting to see a society that asked to be governed by someone else. Sort of like outsourcing the government.

    As for having a xenocracy here on Earth, the cynical side of me says it can’t be worse than the system we already have in place. Then again, if things do go wrong, I’d prefer having only ourselves to blame and not be the victims of someone else’s mismanagement and/or cruelty.

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  5. If an advanced culture did establish a dialogue between other sentient species and themselves, it would be more efficient to construct a benevolent empire, the vast effort needed to subdue alien races and rule by force would be very wasteful and if we assume that making life is something planets generally do, it would be much smarter to make friends with a culture and ask them to join the club. Due to the vast distances involved, they would probably let member worlds retain their own governments.

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    1. Interesting perspective, John. That could be a reasonable course of action for an invading alien species.

      But consider also that if such a species did encounter a lesser one it could rule, they would have to weigh the advantages of an alliance against the risks of leaving the lesser species too many liberties. The former is, after all, an invading, alien species, and I doubt any species willingly accepts and welcomes another species into its home & culture without any resistance. So ruling by force could be the less risky course of action.

      It’s much like the English traveling to the New World and stumbling over the indigenous people. No costly and potentially risky alliance needed, if you can overrun and control a people, and make use of all their possessions and territory at liberty.

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