The Imperial Commonwealth of the Milky Way is a “Tranquility” police state located in the 60-120 Zone and is widely regarded as foolishly idealistic even by its superpower benefactor, the United Technocracies. The Commonwealth most closely resembles the older totalitarian ideologies in human history in that it believes social ills can be cured through technological and legal restraints, as opposed to using such measures to pursue power for its own sake. The Imperial Commonwealth is, by the 2740s, at war with the Acadian-backed Coloradan Federation.
The Imperial Commonwealth got its start as a confederation of shattered colonial governments at the wake of the Collapse. As a multi-ethnic state possessing numerous groups that historically despised one another, civil unrest was common. It was in this chaotic environment that the ideology of “Tranquility” arose. The root of all conflict, according to Tranquility ideology, is diversity. If people are different, they will despise those who are unlike them, a hypothesis seemingly proved time and again by human history. If everybody agreed to a set of moral principles the government would outline, there would be no conflict and people can feel fulfilled. Everyone would be equal, both physically and psychologically.
Tranquility would, through the centuries, become a powerful force as each new generation grows tired of their fathers’ conflicts. The tipping point came in 2528, when the Tranquility Party under Alfred Kemal gained a supermajority in the Commonwealth’s parliament. Kemal had absolute power by the 2540s and declared a “revolution” and overhauled the Commonwealth’s government. Every other “faction” was banned to “promote peace, harmony and friendship among all people.” Although Kemal’s work would not be complete by the time of his death, his successors managed eventually to phase out the market economy in favor of “economic equality” and enforced moral legislation with the intent of “ironing out the differences between peoples.” A basic moral framework, based on a mix of Western and Eastern traditions, was enforced universally throughout the Commonwealth, with conformity to the norm being central. Eventually, more and more legislation would be passed to “continue peace” and “eliminate vice”; as Tranquility began to resemble a religion, this “New Morality” became its scripture.
This “perfect society” was constantly threatened from the outside, especially by the aggressive Coloradan Federation. The Coloradans frequently smuggled banned goods into the Commonwealth, such as alcohol, cigarettes and pornography. This brand of “social delinquency” was looked down upon by the Commonwealth and Commonwealth forces tried to stop this black market. Eventually, the Commonwealth could no longer take the “corruption” and declared war on the Coloradan “pirates.” This started a “quasi-war” between the two powers, which would become a full-blown war by the late 2600s. Luckily for the Commonwealth, the United Technocracies took notice of their plight. Admiring their totalitarian system and wishing to learn more from them, while at the same time despising the Coloradans for their hostility to their Seidonian ally, the Technocracies offered an alliance.
Society and Ideology
The modern Imperial Commonwealth claims to be inching ever closer to pure tranquility, but most galactic political analysts are skeptical that this pure equality would be reached. The Tranquility Party has managed to establish an electronic observation system that could theoretically monitor every single Commonwealth citizen, but the massive amounts of information gained through this system cannot be realistically processed without better tabulator software. By the 2740s, the Commonwealth has succeeded in eliminating “class” by forcing every single citizen to refer to themselves as Citizen (last name), although the leader of the Commonwealth is considered Citizen Number One. “Vice,” in the form “unauthorized entertainment,” is almost completely eliminated, but foreign goods still manage to weasel their way into the Commonwealth. “Affection” is a crime, with the Tranquility Party claiming it causes feelings of jealousy; in fact, the Party has recently stated that this “selfish love” is a “social cancer” that must be eliminated. Recently, the Tranquility Party announced its “Joy Initiative,” which is a set of laws meant to make everyone in the Commonwealth happy, or else. By the 2740s, displaying any emotion aside from apathy or happiness is a criminal offense punishable by weeks in an “Esteem Building Program.”
“Delinquency,” which is breaking any Commonwealth law, is punished by reeducation, with the level of treatment varying with the severity of the crime. Littering and vandalism are punished with five years of reeducation, while murder is punished by “chemical reeducation,” where a cocktail of psychoactive chemicals and lobotomies are used to turn any “delinquent” into a good citizen. The Commonwealth attempted to use this form of reeducation, as part of the Joy Initiative, on an entire populace of Alkingrad V through airborne chemical agents meant to make the people docile and happy, but this backfired and instead turned them extremely aggressive. The world was eventually captured by the Coloradans, who began to use its people in combat and sold them throughout the galaxy.
Mentioning the existence of a greater galaxy is banned, and has been since the war with the Coloradans. The Party believes that if the people do not believe a greater galaxy exists, then they would not fall prey to its vices. Therefore, it rewrote history so that the Imperial Commonwealth was the only surviving society after the Collapse. Its war with the Coloradans is justified as being action against pirates, and the existence of the United Technocracies is denied completely on the basic level and introduced to military and government personnel on a need to know basis.