Moon Communes

"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 and towards a syndicalist-federalist system, they have retained a production-based organisation. They can be understood as a network of cooperatives based on specific domains of production (such as shipbuilding, mining, engineering or artistic cooperatives), that exist under the political umbrella of an overarching structure: the Selene Council. Within this bicameral democratic parliament, each cooperative is allowed a fixed number of representatives (the Lunar Senate) and a variable number of delegates, based on communal membership (the Lunar Assembly). Cooperatives match with lunar geographical features; for instance, the main agricultural cooperatives are located in the lava tunnel cities of the equatorial lowlands, while the highlands are the domain of shipbuilders, while the dark side is populated by astronomers.

Cooperative membership is free under the Moon Communes and a large amount of "cooperative mobility" is observed between the communal entities, depending on one's career path and personal life; the small size of the Earth's satellite makes it so that even the most isolated cooperatives are well-connected. 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 (military vessels, long-range couriers, etc) 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, albeit it remains the most prestigious off-world nation in the solar system. The Communes have a few planetary outposts beyond Sol, but most of their holdings are space stations or wandering flotillas, for the void is their true domain. Though they have relinquished their monopoly on both fusion drives and faster than light devices, the Moon Communes have kept their 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 human space and can be found in many a ship or station. There lies the real power of the Moon Communes: who would dare work against the person who maintains their ships? Who would conspire against the engineer who designed half the world's combat fleets?

The 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, that revolve around a less economically-determined conception of citizenry; a few thinkers even consider the Moon Communes to be an obsolete relic of the second space age, that has no real justification to its continued existence.

Yet, it persists.

Moon Communes logo created by Lazare Viennot.

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