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Is it possible to rule a galaxy without mastering teleportation?

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I would like to know if a very advanced civilisation could rule an entire galaxy without mastering teleportation or any other method that allows traveling faster than light (unless you give mathematical and experimental evidence that this is possible). By ruling a galaxy, I mean that the galaxy government needs to at least be able to:

  • control the frontier of the galaxy (to avoid invasion, smuggling) ...
  • face a war in any place of the galaxy
  • collect taxes in inhabited solar systems
  • protect its citizens

Note that I don't ask here to explain how could a government conduct all these tasks but rather, if teleportation is a requirement for any civilisation who would like to control an entire galaxy.

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There is no way for a galaxy government to work without faster than light something.

The obvious requirement for creating the society are faster than light travel but this can be dispensed with if the expansion is at sub-light speeds.

Teleportation at FTL speeds would fix the problem as well as FTL space ships but the only reason we would want these is communication. Moving produce, soldiers, weapons over interstellar distances will invariably be more expensive than fabricating locally.

So let us focus on communication, this would allow for a system of government that has information to sell in exchange for power to govern. As the information becomes less innovative (everything has already been invented) the far flung worlds become less reliant on the government. However while there is still information currency the rulers could hold some power over the people in exchange for wikipedia updates.

However a universe with FTL travel and/or teleportation will kind of figure out time travel too and this is bad enough that it is not likely to happen in practice and generally hard to handwave all the problems they entail away with known science.

BUT what if all we added to the known mix of colony ships was a FTL messaging system that works outside of known science then there would be very little to handwave.

So I suggest telepathy between a specific line of clones that were natural telepathic twins. Some clones are sent with every generation ship and lots of cloned eggs in storage and the clone is the royal radio set who can repeat everything his clones think and broadcast to any of them. Over time new twins are found and their clones can spread out for another radio channel. Each planet that finds a set of telepathic twins can start a new local kingdom and they all keep tabs on the home base.

Thinking this civilisation has any chance of fighting off enemies is silly unless they are spotted in transit and rocks thrown at them well in advance.

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Yes. With technology!

Specifically, Replicated Mechanized Police guaranteed to be the same everywhere, throughout the galaxy.

This will also work with any length of human lifespans; even just the ~75 years we have today. Nobody has to be immortal or long-lived. Travel can be sub-light speed (you may need suspended animation, or generation ships), Communications can be just light speed. You don't need FTL or teleportation or wormholes or anything else that is effectively FTL; no FTL.

What you need is an intelligent robotic police force that enforces the rules of the galaxy (ruthlessly when necessary) as the central ruling authority expands throughout the galaxy. So there IS no central authority making decisions for the whole galaxy; the original designers of this scheme built machines that enforce their law.

These robots can be as intelligent as humans but without emotion: Specifically the types of emotion that would drive them to seize power or enslave the humans. So they have no ambition, need no self-realization or "freedom" to choose their own path, they are neither happy or unhappy, ever, but they are capable of human level analysis, are capable of recognizing lies or subterfuge or treason, etc. They are machines that do their job, for millions of years, without any need for central supervision. Communications from the central authority arrive AT light speed, reliably and securely, but no faster.

Presume there are no bugs in this machinery, nothing happens to make any of them go rogue. They can harvest raw material from asteroids, stars or planets and are self-replicating, but to match a proportion of the humans they supervise; they never self-replicate out of control, and have no problem dismantling or deactivating their oldest units to conserve energy should fewer of them be needed.

They also do not follow Asimov's rules of robotics: If circumstances warrant it, they will kill in self-defense, or kill criminals to enforce the rule of law as they see it.

The law is laid down by the central authority, which is presumably highly advanced, and followed throughout the galaxy.

The central authority can give such units (again at least as intelligent as humans) some measure of autonomy for unusual situations, they can make fair decisions based upon some criteria, e.g. making the decision that preserves the most human life. Being as intelligent as humans, they don't get confused or tricked by dumb paradoxes and won't do anything stupid or insane like enslave all humans or kill them all. They will make decisions that will seem both sane and prudent to the vast majority of humans.

The galaxy is ruled: You don't need FTL communications if the Ruler of each star system is effectively the same exact person that will make the same exact decisions as would another Ruler across the galaxy, given the same situation. Or for that matter, as would another ruler in any other galaxy.

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