"La Lune seule le sait - Only the Moon knows."
The Moon Communes are one of the most powerful polities in human space and the precursors of interstellar travel. Founded by orbital workers at the end of the Low Age they are a self-organized cooperative collective based on Earth's natural satellite.
Though the Moon Communes have evolved beyond a simple workers' cooperative they have retained a production-based organisation. Politically speaking they can be understood as a network of cooperatives based on specific domains of production (such as shipbuilding, mining, engineering or artistic cooperatives). These cooperatives exist under an overarching structure, the Selene Council, a democratic parliamentary state where each cooperative has a number of representatives proportional to its size. Cooperative membership is free under the Moon Communes and a certain amount of "cooperative mobility" can be observed between the communal entities. While the Moon Communes authorize personal property, they do not allow private property within their domain: all means of production belong to the cooperatives, with strategic assets such as military vessels being controlled by the Selene Council directly.
The planetary domains of the Moon Communes are rather limited. The Moon itself is a dense, somewhat overcrowded settlement that pales in comparison to the Earth. The Communes have a few outposts in the Solar System as well as in Communal Space but most of their holdings are space stations or vessels. The void is their domain. Though they have relinquished their monopoly on both fusion drives and faster than light devices the Moon Communes have kept a real supremacy in shipbuilding and maintenance. Moon-made frames are highly sought after and the Communes will happily sell them to allied and neutral polities alike. Lunar workers and engineers are among the most skilled zero-g specialists in Communal Space. They can be found in many a ship or station in settled space. There lies the real power of the Moon Communes: who would dare to work against the person who maintains their ships? Who would conspire against the engineer who designed their combat fleet?
The kind of engineering-based soft power practised by the Moon Communes doesn't only grant them allies. As the Communes tend to favour those who buy ships from them, ground-based independents are often neutral or even hostile towards them. Their nature as a production-centred society where political allegiances are determined by one's line of work puts them at odds with Eloran or Earth-based polities: a few thinkers even consider the Moon Communes as an obsolete relic of a worker-founded collective that has no real justification to its continued existence.
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