APPENDIX XIV: How does TOG maintain control over quadrillions of citizens?
- By: Fireangel
One might wonder how it is possible that a repressive, totalitarian empire such as TOG can survive without facing massive uprisings and rebellions throughout the galaxy. Legionnaire suggests that the war against the Commonwealth serves to unite the people, but this simply does not wash; with billions of citizens on every TOG world, there has to be more to it than that. This article seeks to define what is the glue that keeps TOG together. To this end we’ll look at various elements of TOG and see how they interact with one another to keep the empire from falling apart from internal strife.
Instead of starting with the Senate, the Overlords or the Emperor, we need to look at the one thing that binds every citizen to every other citizen across the galaxy; the military. Every male citizen, upon reaching his sixteenth birthday is expected to serve a minimum of three years of compulsory military service.
So what? I hear some saying. Bear with me.
Remember the rules for FTL travel in the RL universe. Long-range travel takes a long time (see APPENDIX IV: T-Space Speeds), so it is not cost or time effective to ship large numbers of recruits across the galaxy to serve their three years. Sure, many choose to remain longer, but certainly many keep their service to a bare minimum.
We know that standard TOG doctrine places one garrison legion per million inhabitants in a world. We also know that 30% of the whole of the population are citizens. Now, all we need to know is how many of those citizens are serving their compulsory three years. How do we do that? Simple: population pyramid.
Of course, we need to make a few assumptions in order to make it work. The first is that by the 69th century the state of health care is such that, for citizens at least, life expectancy is high (let’s say an average of 90 years, which is extremely conservative) and infant survival is also high, so that population growth is relatively stable and births / deaths are fairly balanced. In other words, on average, the population pyramid for citizens is fairly blocky and slab-sided.
Second assumption is that the 30% figure includes males born to citizens and recognized by their father even before they serve. This is not an unreasonable assumption, since a male citizen is required to serve, thus their caste is not immediately dependent on their ability to serve or their ability to vote (BTW, I seriously doubt that they’d let 15-year-olds vote).
With these assumptions, we can build a reasonable population pyramid for citizens in an average world. Considering that citizens are 30% of the whole, for each one million inhabitants, 300,000 will be citizens. This breaks down to the following numbers, with each percentage point equaling approximately 3,000 citizens.
(per million pop.)
So we have, on average, 13,200 citizens serving their compulsory three years at any given time per million population. What does it mean?
We know that TOG makes quite a point of stating in canon that 1 Legion = 50,000 troops. We need to take this number with a grain of salt, considering the hyperbole associated with some of their other canon numbers, so instead of taking the 50,000 troops per legion at face value, we take a look at the manpower breakdown of a Legion as described in APPENDIX XV: How many Troops in a Legion? and determine that an average garrison legion has 20,246 troops.
Yes, the 13,200 per million seems to fall short, but this is only because all the factors are not in: Legionnaire (pp. 151) states that human women make up 20% of the military. Furthermore, “various aliens account for 30% of the total number of troops”. With this data, not even including plebeian human males, we have doubled the 13,200 per million to 26,400 per million; more than enough for a garrison legion and an auxilia. (Yes, I am aware that “not every million will include aliens”, but the numbers average over the entire planetary population, which averages over one billion per planet.)
To this we can add that “most [citizen] individuals… agree to a longer term of service” and we add a minimum of 7,600 to the 26,400 (50% of the 20-23 row in the population distribution table), not counting non-Citizens who agree to longer terms as well. It does not take much math to figure out that each one million population can generate and maintain its own garrison legion (per TOG doctrine) plus additional personnel that can be used for auxiliae and other military forces at the provincial level and higher.
Now, if we take a look at Appendix XIa: TOG Legion Designation of Origin, we see how the Garrison Legions are used in a practical manner to ensure that TOG does not allow individual planets, provinces or prefectures to raise their own liberation army; each world raises its (World) Army, but only about a third of it (usually two Corps) actually remains on-planet as part of the Planetary Garrison Army.
A typical Planetary Garrison Army (PGA) consists of Garrison Legions from across the Province and even the Prefecture. As an example, the world of Harmony (pop. 1,321,000,000) in Haven Province of Baschel Prefecture has a PGA composed of:
- Two Corps of Harmony Garrison "Militia" Legions (432 Legions – "native world" troops)
- Three Corps of (World) Garrison "Guards" Legions from other worlds in Haven Province (648 Legions)
- One Corps of (World) Garrison Legions from worlds in other provinces of Baschel Prefecture (216 Legions)
- 19 Legions of Haven Provincial Garrison Legions (short Division)
- 6 Legions (1 Brigade) (Provincial) Garrison Legions from other provinces of Baschel Prefecture
- 1 Baschel Prefecture Garrison (or, more likely, Second Line Infantry) Legion
- 1 HQ Cohort of District-level troops under the command of a District-level General
Given that only the Harmony Garrison Legions answer directly to the Harmony Clarissimi Senator, the fact that they are scattered throughout the planet and outnumbered two-to-one AND there are significant numbers of Harmony Legions scattered throughout the Province and Prefecture who will suffer if the homeworld rebels, the Garrison Legions are a very effective way of straddling the fine line between creating an army for population control and not having said army turned against the government.
Legions are stationed permanently or semi-permanently (moving every 3-12 years or more); all equipment remains on-station with troops rotating in and out almost constantly (much like the US forces in Europe and Asia). This means that Clarissmi Senators cannot really consolidate their military power outside of their worlds (at least not without alerting the Lictor). Likewise Spectabiles Senators must be careful with their Provincial Legions and the (World) Legions under Provincial control, lest they find themselves in an awkward position where the bulk of their provincial troops are negated by native (World) troops and (World) Legions under Provincial command. Echo upward to the Illustrus (Prefecturial) level.
So what do the Garrison Legions actually do? Their primary function (beyond the basic “defense” and “deterrence from alien invasion” functions, which are considerable) is to enforce the will of the corresponding senator, whether Clarissmi, Spectibles or Illustrus. Depending on the world they are stationed on, they might serve as the primary law enforcement organization or they might be used only with the permission of a planetary senate or other power center. By and large, however, they are a blunt instrument to be used to ensure the absolute rule of the senator in question.
(See also: Appendix XIa: TOG Legion Designation of Origin)
According to canon, officialy, a Clarissmi senator is the absolute ruler of a world, a Spectibles senator is the absolute ruler of a province and an Illustrus senator the absolute ruler of a Prefecture.
This is nowhere as clear-cut as it seems on paper; with the convoluted way in which the garrison legions raised by each senator in his “area of rule” are spread out to ensure their decentralization, no single senator from any level can truly “push” another through military might alone. The one most capable of actually doing this might be the Illustrus senator, but the Prefecturial Senate (composed of the Spectibles senators from across the Prefecture) might have something to say (or do) about it. Likewise for the Spectibles facing the Provincial Senate composed of Clarissmi senators.
One might then conclude that the Clarissmi senators wield the most direct power, but this is simply not true, not only do they have to face their own planetary senate (or assembly) (the guys who elected him in the first place), but he has to contend with his Clarissmi peers and with the Planetary Governor and the Lictor…
Planetary Senates/Assemblies have very little actual power and are generally incapable of actually enacting laws, serving for the most part as a combination social club and advisory council to the Clarissmi, bridging the way between common citizens, the Civil Service and the Clarissmi senator, but these networks cannot be overlooked and most planetary senators are the patriarchs of their respective families and so wield a lot of power in a limited area of influence.
Term lengths and frequency of elections at all levels vary with the venue, with many posts being “for life” after the establishment of TOG.
Provincial Senates assemble once every four years and require that the 40-50 Clarissimi senators attend in person or through VLCA and each Provincial Senate (the physical complex) is permanently located in the provincial capital.
Prefecturial Senates meet twice a year “to pass laws and conduct hearings”. The physical location of the Prefecturial Senate is changed yearly to another Province within the Prefecture (so the entire circuit takes 12-30 years), often the provincial capitals, but just as often other worlds within the prefecture (either “permanent”, with fully equipped facilities or “variable”, where different worlds are selected several years in advance for the privilege of hosting the Prefecturial Senate) serve as the Seat of the Senate. In any case, each Prefecture has a permanent “prefecturial capital” world which serves as administrative and military hub for the prefecture-level Civil Service, Lictor and Military.
The Imperial Senate’s seat is on Terra and functions in multiple sessions (both ordinary and extraordinary) year-round, with most of the 1,009 Illustrus Senators attending via VLCA, though each senator must attend to at least one session in person at least once every four years, though many prefer to remain on Terra longer (for political reasons). This requirement to attend in person once every four years places senators in distant regions at a significant disadvantage, since travel to and from their prefecture can take over a year. For this reason, the Imperial Senate built extensive layover “resort” facilities equipped with dedicated secure VLCA’s at strategic locations in concentric “rings” approximately every 10,000 light-years around Terra, allowing travelling Illustrus Senators to continue attending the Imperial Senate and also manage their Prefectures in an efficient (and comfortable) manner.
The Planetary Governor is the highest ranking representative of the TOG bureaucracy on-world. The position is civil, but may be given (rarely) to a “military reservist” of long standing who has recently retired from the military but is allowed to still wear the uniform for official functions.
In theory, Caesar directly appoints each governor, but in practice just rubber-stamps those selected by the Lictor (a significant bureaucratic nightmare of its own), with only a select few being directly appointed by decree. No senate or senator has any official say in the selection or removal of a Planetary Governor, though many governors have found themselves on the losing end of a battle of influence with a particularly powerful senator.
In practical terms, the Planetary Governor is the local head of the “federal government” (to use a modern, if slightly inaccurate approximation) and serves as the liaison between Caesar and the planetary government. Planetary Governors are usually assigned a personal bodyguard of district or national level troops (usually about an auxilia of infantry), but may (in theory) count on the PGA (national-level) General to obey his will.
More than likely, the Planetary Governor has to exert his will through personal connections in the local Lictor.
The Lictor is both an individual and an organization. Two separate organizations, in fact: the I.S. (internal security) and the E.A. (external affairs) divisions. In theory, the Lictors (division heads) report and coordinate through the Planetary Governor, but the political maneuvering between these three individuals is ALWAYS tense, since each is aware that the other two could easily remove him from office… or worse. Above all, they must always watch for an Overlord, who might be called in to resolve any problems getting in the way of the smooth administration of the world.
The planet-level I.S. Lictor functions much like the present-day FBI would if still under the control of J. Edgar Hoover. On a planetary scale, I.S. is much more visible, not just serving to “protect the citizenry from themselves” but offering their technological, scientific and forensic expertise to planetary and local law enforcement. Beyond the planetary level they coordinate with the I.S. of other worlds and up the provincial level and above.
The E.A., on the other hand, have little positive interaction with the citizenry; they are constantly searching for traitors, collaborators and dissidents. Beyond the planetary level the E.A. organizes espionage and counterespionage missions across its area of influence. Each E.A. office has agents working to coordinate their efforts with other offices, but the sheer amount of data and the complexity of the bureaucracy make this a daunting task.
Each Lictor has its own security and enforcement personnel who are almost universally reviled by all except the most fanatical of TOG’s citizens. Pomerium (I.S.) and Fasciae (E.A.) troops are a different story; heroes worthy of admiration to loyal TOG citizens and objects of fear and hate to the enemies of TOG (of course, as seen from the point of view of TOG).
Fear of the Lictor keeps even the most fanatical citizens in line with TOG. That’s the way Caesar likes it.
THE CIVIL SERVICEEdit
Despite many complaints from the citizenry (regardless of caste), the Imperial Civil Service is the glue that keeps the TOG together. Encompassing everything from water & sewer services to power generation and distribution, through to law enforcement, education and licensing of everything from pets to full-on starships. Bureaucratically, it is virtually impossible to determine where precisely a planet’s authority ends and provincial, prefecturial, district or national authority starts, given that often the same bureau is funded by planetary, provincial, prefecturial and imperial taxes. Even down at the planetary region and below, TOG subjects can expect to deal with local, municipal, regional and sub-district offices and even taxes.
Every TOG subject, from the lowliest slave prisoner to the most powerful Illustrus senator has to deal with taxes (Caesar and his Overlords being the noted exceptions to the rule), though as a practical matter, senators need not worry about taxes at their level or below (i.e., an Illustrus senator is expected to pay Imperial taxes, but not Prefecture, Province or Planetary taxes) with the exception of local sales tax applied generally at the municipal level.
Each level of bureaucracy has its own tax collection service, but these are all supervised by the Bureau of the Governor Praetor, who oversees Imperial tax collection and distribution on a planetary level, with a supervisory bureau at the Provincial and Prefecturial level. Illustrus Senator taxes are overseen by the Imperial Governor Praetor who, unlike the Governor Praetors, is not appointed/rubberstamped by the Lictor/Caesar, but by the Imperial Senate itself, with all the ethical problems that encompasses.
Overall, there is not that much to complain about; unemployment is practically non-existent, the health care system is very good (even for slaves), street crime is extremely low and even the taxes are relatively mild.
As far as law enforcement goes, most citizens feel safe, since the Civil Service law enforcement branches, the I.S. Lictor, the Garrison Legions and the Patria Potestas laws maintain the average citizen (regardless of caste), generally secure and happy in most TOG jurisdictions.
Of course, entertainment, news (both state controlled and state censored) and propaganda have a role too (see below).
Despite an initial outcry, the Patria Potestas imposed by Caesar Ivanolo Buntari has lasted over 150 years after his death, so there must be something to make it appealing to the powers that be. Despite the perception of many, it is not just a way of stripping women of political power; at its foundation, it delegates power away from the government and into the hands of Patricians, or “Family Heads”.
In simple terms, each family is its own nation and its Patrician is its absolute monarch. It is important to realize that the 20th century model of a nuclear family does not apply in this case; it must be remembered that A) in TOG, there is an Imperial drive to increase the Human population, so effective birth control is not practiced except under extraordinary circumstances and women are expected to start giving birth early and push out many babies throughout her life and males are expected to sire as many children as possible, and B) medical technology has dramatically increased the average lifespan of human beings, with the Patricians enjoying average lifespans well in excess of a century.
This means that a Patrician might be the head of a family that numbers in the thousands. How so? If we assume that the average male has just five recognized male heirs throughout his life (average for purpose of this exercise; in all likelihood the number is higher), starting at age 16 (yes, right before joining the military for his compulsory service), an average Patrician will be a grandfather by age 32, a great grandfather by age 48, a great-great grandfather by the age of 64, a great-great-great grandfather by age 80 and a great-great-great-great grandfather to approximately 600 boys by age 96, with a very reasonable expectation of seeing at least a few of his 3,000 great-great-great-great-great grandsons before his 112th birthday.
The Patrician has absolute authority over each and every member of his family, including the power of life and death over them, male or female, and they owe him fealty; each son has authority over his descendants, but they may appeal to that son’s father or above, with the Patrician being the final authority. In exchange for their fealty, the Patrician establishes economic bonds between himself and his descendants; this may be as banal as moneylending or as complex as a woven web of co-ownership in various companies. A good analogy would be the Hollywood interpretation of mafia families, with the Patrician as the Godfather. This is particularly true as the “family” includes slaves and plebeians who have chosen to marry into the family.
If the patrician is wise, he’ll have married his daughters and female descendants in a strategic fashion to increase his power and influence. If he was truly wise, he’ll still have her loyalty. This creates an ever-deepening web of interdependent Citizen Families throughout the empire. This web of families polices their own and makes amends for the affronts of the family, thus maintaining order among the Citizen caste.
Contrary to popular belief, women are not complete chattel; they are able to own and manage property, provided it is under the authority of a male citizen, which could be her father, Patrician (or anyone in between), husband or son. They can get an education and be an important part of the economy. They also have the right to divorce their husbands, though in practice the penalties (social and economic) might make it an unappealing choice. They may also join the military without the permission of a male.
Women also enjoy many of the rights bestowed upon plebeians. Buntari was a pervert and used the law to satisfy his own perversions (and it still is used in such a way in parts of the empire), but by and large, it is inconceivable that women are the uneducated chattel some presume them to be.
Note that the Patria Potestas is little over 150 years old. This means that it is possible that some of the Patricians present when the PP was issued may still be alive and in control of huge families that are spread out throughout human space.
MASS MEDIA, COMMUNICATIONS AND PROPAGANDAEdit
The power of mass media cannot be overestimated; municipal, regional, planetary, prefecturial and even imperial networks are all under the control of one or two groups (sometimes both): Citizens or the government.
Propaganda is nowhere as near obvious as it is written in some sourcebooks (where it is so obvious it is laughable); “TV” shows (the 69th century equivalent) and other mass media like P-comm/VLCA entertainment radio (think of The Ruby Rhod Show in The Fifth Element film) project the image that the government and the Citizen caste want in the citizenry of all castes. The military is a Good and Just™ organization that keeps Humanity safe from the predations of alien empires, separatist radicals and traitorous deserters with evil, hidden agendas that compromise the safety and security of TOG subjects everywhere.
The fact that there is a seed of truth behind it makes it so much harder to see through; the vast majority of the military do in fact see themselves as the defenders of humanity and point to the hundreds of billions of humans living in slavery in the KessRith Empire even in the present day, reminding the citizenry of the thousand-year occupation of human space.
Given the control of media, the government controls the news the citizenry sees and hears, helping maintain the status quo throughout the Empire.