Wednesday, October 12

Story Help Requested

I'm working on one of my Terran Empire stories, and would really appreciate some input from y'all. I know it won't be a scientific survey, but it'll give me some idea of how the folks my protagonist is addressing would react. (I know how LLLs would react; they'd throw a major cat-fit! But I'm less sure about folks more firmly grounded in reality.)

The situation: An alternate-universe Terran Empire has arrived here, set up a small base in Antarctica, and one of the Empire's representatives is offering Imperial citizenship and protection to anyone willing to accept all the terms of the Imperial Declaration of Rights. Unless any country is willing to give up all forms of socialism and apply for membership in the Empire, only individuals may gain citizenship.

So, given the Imperial Declaration of Rights -- which means precisely what it says -- would any of you choose to join the Empire and gain the freedom of space, giving up any governmental "social safety nets"? (How I currently foresee reaction will be posted later, to avoid influencing any of you who choose to answer.)

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Imperial Declaration of Rights

Article 1:
The right of Imperial Citizens and subjects not in custody for a crime to keep and bear any arms of their choice shall not be infringed.

Article 2:
No jurisdiction may make any law establishing a religion, or prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, so long as said religion causes no proximate harm to another sapient being.

Article 3:
No jurisdiction may make any law abridging freedom of individual or collective speech or expression, providing that exercise of said freedom causes no proximate harm to another being and is not a deliberate falsehood.

Article 4:
The right of the Empire’s people to assemble peaceably for any reason, and to petition their immediate jurisdiction for redress of grievances, may not be denied. If the immediate jurisdiction denies such redress, the petition may be appealed as necessary through higher jurisdictions until it is addressed and a remedy applied, or it is denied by the Sovereign or a Ranger.

Article 5:
The right of all Imperial Citizens and subjects to be secure and private in their persons, properties, effects, and papers and other records in whatever form, against intrusion shall not be violated without a warrant issued on probable cause and supported by oath or affirmation, clearly describing the place to be searched and the person or things to be seized.

Article 6.
No person shall be put in jeopardy of penalty more than once for the same offense, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.

Article 7.
Private property may not be taken for public use or controlled by other than the owner without compensation at twice the true market value.

Article 8.
A. In all criminal or civil cases, the accused is entitled to a prompt and public trial; to be informed of the nature and cause of the action against à; to be confronted with the witnesses against à; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in à's defense; and to have the assistance of counsel in said defense. Facts in the case shall be determined by the most accurate means available.
B. In Imperial cases not involving a ruling noble, the trial shall be before Administrative Service judges if such are available within one standard week; otherwise, before the senior Imperial Marine or Navy officer available. In cases involving a ruling noble, said noble shall preside unless the accused requests the next senior noble to judge.

Article 9.
Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime whereof the party has been duly convicted, shall exist within the Empire.

Article 10.
Aggregate taxes may not exceed five per cent of any jurisdiction’s gross product or ten percent of an individual’s income, must be easily visible to the ultimate individual payer, and may not involve taxation of property of any sort. A jurisdiction’s publicly owned resources must be utilized for essential services before taxation of any sort may be implemented.

Article 11.
Any questions about the interpretation of this Declaration not resolvable by reference to the Commentaries are to be decided by a Ranger or the Sovereign.

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My thanks to anyone who responds!

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