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<<//Your mind is original. Preserve it.
Your body is a temple. Maintain it.
Immortality is an illusion. Forget it.
Extinction is approaching. Fight it.
- Jovian credo [1]//<<

**The Jovians are different**

The 12-year-old [2] Jovian Republic was born out of the chaotic years of the Collapse - it's not called the Fall over there, because the Fall was Human being cast out of Eden by God, and the TITANs are not God. They do not count time as AF - they still maintain the Old Earth calendar, and by their reckoning the year is 2144 AD. This may be true, or not [3].

Ideologically, the important question to the Jovians is this: are you human? If your ego has only ever resided in the one morph you were born with, if you pass a (reasonably forgiving) DNA test, if you are a combination of genes from two parents (even if you may not know who they are), then congratulations: you are a human, and the Republic wants to protect you. (That's the state definition, but some religious factions have stricter views, excluding splicers, the implanted, the cybernetically enhanced -- for the ultra-extreme, even people born in exowombs may not count. [4])

If you're not human, you may be harmless (an uplifted pig is a useful farm animal [5]), horrifying (a grotesque copy of a person who has died, maybe even by suicide) or insanely dangerous (an AGI). In many cases, the Jovians would rather you didn't exist, or at the very least stayed far away from them. Transhumanity is an abomination, a deluded concept at best, a TITAN-induced memetic plot to destroy what little remains of humanity at worst. The Jovians may deal with transhumans, they may trade with them, exchange diplomats and play against their sports teams [6] but they will never consider them human.

In a thoroughly calculating and nonsentimental way, the Republic honestly cares about humanity. The people running it have looked at the abyss of the Fall, said "never again", and chosen their way of making sure this comes true. While transhumans easily believe that the leadership of the Jovians is just another pack of power-crazed demagogues who are making a killing off the backs of a gullible and misinformed populace, this is honestly pretty far from the truth. The top echelons of Jovian power, are comprised of people who have decided that uncontrollable technological progress is dangerous. They appear to also have made the philosophical decision that uploading and resleeving technology is not trustworthy, that it does not guarantee the continuity of the self, that dying here is still dying even if a backup exists. Even if a copy claims to be you, believes itself to be you, knows all that you knew and acts like you, you still do not experience your life as that copy, and therefore the copy is not you. [7] This is in agreement with, though not based on, Catholic theology that comes to the same conclusion from a spiritual viewpoint. No wonder the Holy See found in Jovian Republic an excellent partner; of course the fact that most of the initial Jovian population came from the Catholic Latin America helped immensely.

The leaders of the Republic want to survive; therefore they need humanity to survive; therefore there are things they must do and must not do. They live in a solar system full of things looking like people and claiming to be people but not actually being people -- this would be frightening enough. Add to this the knowledge that these entities keep dabbling with the technology that brought us to within an inch of extenction and you get to full-blown paranoia. There are voices in the Republic senate who would like the Jovians to cleanse everything else with nuclear fire and antimatter, and it's easy enough to understand why.

But paranoia is an insidious trait -- and not a long-term survival trait, no matter what your paranoid fellow sentinel may think. Paranoia will cause you to see threats even when there are none, it will cause you to waste energy defending against them, and ultimately will cause you to turn against even those who might be your allies. Paranoia is a snake devouring its own tail, and in a way, this is an apt metaphor for all the worst impulses of the Jovian republic. It is not only paranoid towards outsiders, it is afraid of its own people as well. More accurately, the Republic is afraid that the memes of transhumanity will infect it. It is not blind to the benefits of nanofabrication, or the lure of immortality promised by uploading, or building ubiquitious computer networks way more effective than the ones it currently allows. It's obvious that having these technologies provides both its neighbor polities and their citizenry options that it cannot have -- that it cannot let its people have. It has to keep them away from its citizens and civilians, even though many of them would probably leap at the chance to have cornucopia machines, muses or resleeving. It must keep its people in the dark for their own good, and this gives its enemies a tool to use against it.

The Republic is a stratocracy: a militarised democracy, with the highest power residing with the military. While supreme power nominally resides in the Senate, the Security Council is the executive body that has not yet been challenged by the Senate. Even though the republic is called the Jovian Junta by many, one should not mistake it for a dictatorship that will collapse the second it loses its strongman. The people who founded the republic did really want humanity to survive, and since they did not share the transhuman idea of immortality, they had to build a system that would outlast them. [8] Peaceful transfer of power is built into the system, even though it has never been tested, and the power is divided in such a way that the Commander in Chief cannot easily become a dictator.

With a population of 40 million, the Republic is not supremely large. About 80% reside on the Galilean moons, with the rest spread out on habs on smaller moonlets and asteroids. In addition, there are a few million people living in protectorates. The population is mostly divided into civilians and citizens; citizenship is earned by completing four years of military service.

**The Jovians are not so different**

A view prevalent in the PC and on many Autonomist polities sees the Jovian people as oppressed, brainwashed, ignorant, prejudiced and pitiful. To some degree this is certainly true, but not to the extent generally believed.

When it comes to civil liberties, the Jovians certainly are certainly lacking -- but only in some degrees. Freedom of press, assembly and privacy are definitely poor. Freedom of expression exists to some degree, but there are limitations (mostly related to how you disseminate your work, not on what you express with it). Surprisingly, freedom of speech for individuals is strong. No one is afraid of criticising the government, the officials or even the Republic - and the Republic really doesn't care if you complain about it. Again, constraints on the freedom of press and assembly make it difficult for anyone trying to set up organised resistance.

Freedom of equal treatment under the law is also very strong. No society is free from corruption, but the Republic is no more corrupt than any other generally democratic polity. Also, if you find yourself in trouble with the law, you can expect a fair trial; the laws may be restrictive, but they are not applied arbitrarily. (It would be naïve to claim that the wealthy and the powerful didn't have a privileged position, but it's not glaring.)

Freedom of religion and freedom of property are absolute. Even though the Catholic Church is powerful, and religious minorities can have a hard time, the government makes a point of treating everyone equally. And as a polity based on the Old Economy, almost nothing is more important than the right to own and amass property.

The Jovian people may not know a lot about the rest of the system after the Fall, but they are not ignorant of history. Also, while they generally do trust their government, this is because the government actually mostly works for them. The Republic does not treat its people like they are stupid; it does not attempt to pass blatant lies in its sanctioned news services. Of course the news manipulates opinion and censors unpleasant truths, but it's not obvious about it.

Prejudice is a complicated matter. Certainly the Jovian Republic is xenophobic, and its people living in a heavily censored news bubble are a product of that environment. This xenophobia is aimed towards the rest of transhumanity; it is not directed inwards. The Republic has absolutely no interest in having its own people divided against each other. Discrimination based on skin color, gender or sexual orientation is just as ancient history in the Republic as elsewhere [10]. The actual level of xenophobia among the populace varies. Not everyone sees transhumans as monsters; certainly while many or most may view resleeving as death, but they may still feel that even though the thing in the new morph is not the same person as before, it is still some kind of a person. However, uplifts and AGIs will certainly experience hard prejudice from almost everyone, and infomorphs are generally lumped together with AGIs. Jovian thinking automatically equates morph with ego, so you should expect to be treated based on the morph you wear.

As for pitiful, there's certainly a case to be made here. The people of the Republic do live a backwards existence: they have no access to nanofabrication, resleeving or cortical stacks. They lack pyschosurgery, and instead of muses they have very rudimentary expert system secretaries in their external links. Their mesh is cut off from the general system, and their habitat building technologies are way out of date. They live in heavily irradiated Jovian space, which, while providing them with cheap energy and control of a trade route between the inner and the outer system, is hell on their flat morphs, and even though the proportion of splicers is increasing, they do not have it much better. Their economy is a mess: the Republic itself is wealthy in energy, raw material and even manufacturing capacity, but almost all of that is directed into maintaining the most efficient military in the system. In addition, the Old Economy model plus an old style capitalist model of thinking results in poor social support structures. There's an irony and a contradiction in the Republic's way of thinking here: since it sees every human as intrinsically valuable, it would stand to reason that it would invest in improving the lot of its people in order to make them better contributors to society. However, a decades-old mindset of valuing self-reliance and being against handouts and social welfare has resulted in a lot of poor, uneducated people whose contribution is minimal. Sure, the republic provides free air, heat, water and data to everyone living in its habs, and nobody is actually starving; there is sort of schooling for everyone and basic level medical care is cheap -- but that's as far as it is willing to go. There are voices calling for a basic income and a better social safety network, and e.g. housing that's better than the de facto slums on Liberty and other places but they have been drowned out by a dogma insisting that beyond the basic level already provided, everyone should really just pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.

**Transhuman life in the Republic**

The Republic is not uniform. Some habitats are reasonably liberal in their attitudes. Also, while the resleeved are "unpersons", it does not mean that they do not exist. Some people do have cortical stacks and backups, and in the transhuman sense a loss of original morph is basically just a change in legal status. You stop being a citizen (or a civilian) and become property -- but if you're wealthy enough to have a stack, a backup and a morph to resleeve into, you're likely to be wealthy enough to have set up a foundation or a company to claim you as its property. Of course, you will lack some basic rights, but who really needs to vote for a senator when you're already rich? And since you look just like everyone else, in everyday life this is not going to bother you that much.

So when you resleeve, what you do is this: you have the company that owns you relocate you into a liberal habitat -- something like Miory, Kissinger or Grande Bastiana -- that you know has a laissez-faire attitude towards the restrictions on individual movement. This is because checkpoints might be a bit of a hassle, but on Miory, those are practically non-existent for everyday life, and on Kissinger, no one really cares about your status. And then you just live there, doing what you do. In your everyday life you are like other people; they probably don't know anything is different about you. When you need to do legal stuff, you act through your company.

You do not want to attract the attention of CDC, as they might just destroy your morph if there is a serious infraction. [11] You do want to keep your backups up-to-date and replacement morphs handy. This is, again, why you want to live in a liberal polity: they will have the support structure in place for resleeving. You will most likely want most of your morphs to be clones, as living gets difficult if you suddenly look entirely different.

You //really// do not want to get in trouble with the law, as they might decide that the foundation / company you set up is breaking the law. If that happens, your transhuman life in the Republic is over; your backups and morphs will be seized and/or destroyed. If you're fortunate enough to be related to someone who owns a really big company, this might not happen.

So, why would you do this then?

Well, most don't. In general, you will probably want to start planning your exit the second you lose your original morph. But if you're wealthy, there may be things you still need to do in order to make sure that you do not really lose control of your property. This is by far easiest to do from the inside. Or you may still want to spend time with your family. There are other reasons.

It is rumoured -- or hell, basically known, just look at the Security Council -- that there are transhumans working for the military, particularly the intelligence services. I mean, just because you died doesn't mean you stopped being a patriot. And just because you're not human doesn't mean you cannot still be useful. You will never be a human again, but you can still work for humanity. You might even hold a high rank in the military, but you will definitely be watched closely. Because who knows what the whole uploading thing has really done to your mind.

**The military**

It is generally understood that civilians are second class people, and while this is partly true, the situation is in reality a bit more nuanced than that. The Republic would not have set military service to be voluntary if they wanted everybody to be a citizen, but on the other hand they would have not made it easy for anyone to enlist if they really just wanted to create a stratified society. The logic behind this is again based on survival. The republic really does see every single human as valuable, at least as a repository of genetic diversity and some sort of societal building block, and it does not want to lose anyone. This would happen if everyone had to serve in the military. The republic is interested in providing some sort of living conditions for everyone, and making it fairly easy to improve their lot just by signing up for the service. The military service is long, but it's hardly a nightmare; most of the conscripts are never placed in a dangerous situation during their service, although adventurous postings are certainly available for those who desire them for whatever reason.

The republic has only been in existence for 12 years, but the concept of (military) service as a requirement for rights predates it. Before the republic, the North-South American coalition administering the Jovian moons only gave permanent residency rights after an immigrant had completed a period of community service. This was originally not strictly military service, although the service was often security oriented. When the Jovian Republic was formed, most of the older inhabitants had already completed this service and thus were grandfathered in as citizens. Naturally this made the transition to a stratocracy easier.


[[|""[""1""]"" LordMunchkin, on the Eclipse Phase forums]]
[2] Assuming 10 AF. The Fall was three years long. The 17 Minute War occurred in the first year.
[3] It is probably true, since the Fall was only 10 years ago, and people do have memories that span 10 years.
[4] Exowombs and basic biomods are almost a necessity in the Jovian system. In low gravity, natural pregnancy tends to fail, and without basic biomds flats lose bone and muscle density. The most extremist factions are basically only in Reagan habs with 1G spin gravity.
[5] Some Jovians do eat uplifted pigs, but generally this is seen as a bit distasteful by those who are aware that the pigs are uplifts. Still, neo-pigs in the Jovian system generally lack vocal chords and opposable thumbs, and they are not bred for smarts. (Most Jovians are not even aware that there is such a thing as a "neo-pig"; they figure their pork is just another animal. Usually they are right.)
[6] For serious sports, Jovians do insist that everyone playing is a human; otherwise the match is pretty much a sideshow (and also, the Jovians would lose). Their opponents may or may not really fulfill the Jovian standards of humanity -- it's hard to confirm -- but at least appearances will be maintained, or the Jovians won't show up.
[7] There exists another, more chilling argument: why do we trust that the uploads are identical to the original person? The technology that is used to measure how identical two egos are is the same technology used for ego copying. What if there is something that the process misses? For the religious, it's the soul; for the materialistic, it may be just some feature of the original meat that is lost in the transfer. No two brains are exactly alike to the last quantum piece of information, even if they are of an identical morph type with alpha forks of the same ego. Even after almost 20 years of uploads we still don't entirely understand consciousness or personhood. [this is based on the fact that you cannot create a certain kind of persona entirely from scratch, you can just copy and/or modify personae that are existing, or see how an AGI develops] So, there is certain merit to claiming that an upload is just a copy. For most transhumans, this is good enough, and the fact that it cannot be absolutely proven is nothing but a philosophical curiosity. There are others it keeps awake at night, however.
[8] There is a more cynical view: that in reality, the leaders of the republic have embraced the advantages of transhumanity, and actually do want to rule forever. A pointer towards this is the Intelligence Commander Zane ""McFarlane"", who is not human by Republic standard: it's well known he's egocast from Earth before the Fall. [9] This does not seem likely, however, as attempting a deception like that would practically ensure that it be discovered at some point. So even if the Security Council was planning to upload & continue their existence, they'd likely do it in secret and not stay on as actual rulers of the polity, only as untouchable oligarchs.
[9] This is a well understood point of hypocrisy, and it would be pointless to hide it, so the Security Council doesn't even try. However, it never draws any attention to it; neither does the Holy See or most of the radical elements. This is simple pragmatism: ""McFarlane"" may not be human, but he is useful. The most lunatic of fringes of course does try to discredit him and call for his head from time to time, but they are generally ignored. As long as ""McFarlane"" doesn't flaunt his status and go around egocasting or resleeving, his condition is not a problem. Since he's an intelligence chief, staying out of the limelight suits him fine, and the Jovian news organisations do not press the issue. The ones that want to keep operating, anyway.
[10] On sex and gender: the Republic generally sees this as everyone's own business. Sort of genderfluid or gender-agnostic approach is the norm. If you are uncomfortable with the sexual characteristics of your body, you can alter them easily enough. In general, people are sort of expected to have their body issues sorted out by the time they are 20, but e.g. transitioning even after that is not frowned upon, it's just seen as a bit eccentric. On language, gender-specific pronouns have pretty much died except in formal / old fashioned speech or among some of the ultra-conservative factions. [Possibly? This is a trend that the author sees, but there is also a personal bias at work here, as the author is native in a language that lacks gendered pronouns.]
[11] Emphasis on "might". The Jovians are used to equating morph with person, so using lethal force against or disposing of a human morph is not a simple matter for them. If things seem to be going this way, there will definitely first be imprisonment, examinations etc that will take days if not weeks - not an on-the-spot summary execution.

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