by Max Barry

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The Martian Conglomerate of
New York Times Democracy

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Factbook of the Martian Conglomerate

Martian Conglomerate




Mars' flag, the Laconian Tricolour


Population: 750 million


Region: Solarian Reaches


Capital System: Sol


Capital: Laconia


Demonym: Martian, Laconian


Government
- Authoritarian Republic
Head of State
- Empress Agatha Solveig IV
Head of Government
- Chancellor Fredrick Van Allen
Legislature
- Martian Senate


Establishment:
- August, 2030
Floats on the: right


The Martian Conglomerate
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Laconia on the shores of the Hellas
The Martian Conglomerate, also known as Mars, is a solar starstate that covers the LinkMartian Antarctic and Lower Tropics. It is the second largest nation on Mars, and is sparsely populated with an estimated 70 million on Mars, half of which live in the nation's capital, Laconia. The majority of the Martian population lives in a variety of protectorate colonies across the galaxy, which also make up the nation's largest economic and industrial output.

The Conglomerate has its roots in the establishment and subsequent independence of Laconia from the Sunsetti in 2030. For much of the 21st century, the city-state did very little politically until the Aumani Exodus. The then Laconians quickly expanded outward, claiming most of the planet below the southern tropics, and established colonies abroad.

The early 22nd century saw the most growth for the Conglomerate, as colonial expansions became more ambitious and populations continued to move into Martian colonial regions from other places around the galaxy. The Republic of Mars was officially established in 2115, and while not officially an empire, managed a collection of semi-independent states in different galactic quadrants. Economic recession and political oppression led to the Colonial Wars (2153-2170), which devastated many colonial regions, and created a large cultural divide between mainland Martians and the colonists.

The Martian Conglomerate was formed following the passing of the Union Act of 2177, creating sweeping legal changes within the Martian government, and an expansion of administrative bureaucracy for the colonies, which had suffered a lack of adequate representation for most of their existence. The Laconian Republic, renamed from the Republic of Mars, still holds hegemony over its colonies through political precedent and jurisdiction, but the status of the Secretariat, the body that governs the colonies, was elevated for the first time since the Colonial Wars.

The Martian Conglomerate is a parliamentary authoritarian republic and a constitutional monarchy with division of powers between the Monarchy, Senate, and Magistrate. The Secretariat remains a devolved parliament at the behest of the Senate to manage the colonies. The current monarch and Head of State is Empress Agatha Solveig IV, with the Senate's leader and Head of Government currently being Chancellor Fredrick Van Allen. The Conglomerate is currently a member of the ODIN alliance, the Gaia Coalition, and the Martian Commonwealth.

Martian Government
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The Conglomerate's government is described as a parliamentary authoritarian republic, with a constitutional monarchy. Martian administrative practises and institutions are heavily derived from the early days of the city-state of Laconia. The early government drew extensive inspiration from the Ancient Romans and Greeks, including Plato's idea of a ''mixed government''. A large degree of political tradition and pragmatism has long dominated the political landscape of the nation's capital as a consequence.

The nation's constitution is largely unwritten, instead being composed of a number of Senate Resolutions and Edicts. Powers are divided between the major branches of the Martian government, with the Martian Senate holding the majority of power. The Senate has power of the purse, can establish treaties, declare war, muster military forces, pass national law, handle foreign affairs, and creating public offices. Senators govern for life unless they abdicate, with positions in the Senate being nominated by the Senate, and approved by the Monarchy. The Senate is lead by a Chancellor, whose powers are to table topics for the Senate's deliberations, guide national policy, oversee Senate nominations, and manage the government.

The Monarchy is also for life, and composed of a number of appointed public offices awarded by the Senate. The Monarch's power has waxed and waned over time as a result, though the position maintains certain inalienable powers, notably the Sovereign, Imperial, and Pax authorities. These inalienable powers allows the Monarch to override the Senate in colonial matters, deploy military forces, establish national goals, oversee supreme justice in the courts, and override the Senate by forcing the nation to end hostilities with a foreign power.

The Monarchy is also the source of law within the nation, with the Magistrate drawing their authority from the Monarchy's institutions. As a result, the Monarchy nominates judges to the Magistrate, which must be approved by the Senate. These positions are also for life, and a major element to the nation's checks and balances. The Monarch, as the head-of-state represents the Conglomerate in foreign affairs.


Martian 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 currency

Martian Economy
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While a small nation by modern standards, the Conglomerate maintains a robust, heavily automated economy that dominates industries such as artificial intelligence, ship manufacturing, and cybernetics. Nearly a third of the nation's population is AI as a result, making up almost half of the country's industrial workforce. Mars' economy is dominated by large megacorporations which vie for government charters, and are responsible for creating most of the colonial governments thanks to the nation's aggressive corporate colonisation policies.

Lacking the workforce, the nation remarkably remains economically competitive with its neighbours and manages an extensive galactic trade exchange with its colonies. Specialisations within the economy are key to Martian success, and has kept its economy afloat for the last fifty years. The Conglomerate's currency is the Martian Pound (), which is mostly an electronic fiat currency. Commodity trade is also prevalent in the colonial regions, where corporate banks are not always available or the best option for resources.

The nation's currency and economy is managed by the Martian Reserve, the central banking institution responsible for adjusting interest rates and issuing currency. Taxes are managed by the Martian Tax Authority for federal taxes, while corporate taxes are managed by the Colonial Tax Authority.

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