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Early economic systems were informal and composed of an ad hoc mixture of systems
and ideas.
Free Market
“Human behavior is economic behavior. The particulars may vary, but competition for
limited resources remains a constant. Need as well as greed have followed us to the stars,
and the rewards of wealth still await those wise enough to recognize this deep thrumming
of our common pulse.”
CEO Nwabudike Morgan
-The Centauri Monopoly
In a free market system, economic decisions are largely left to individual businesses and
people. Governments mostly do not intervene, apart from maintaining property, settling
contracts, or enforcing crime. Free market systems can generate a lot of wealth, but can
also prove unstable, lead to great inequalities, and support environmental destruction if
special measures are not taken.
As the centauran colonies became more established, some economists and visionaries
began calling for the establishment of institutions and systems that would establish a free
market system in the centauran factions. However, a full fledged free market system was
not developed until effective information networks and high temperature
superconductors. These developments significantly increased the ease of trading
necessary for a flourishing free market system.
Advancements in social science, as well as further economic developments, meant that
disadvantages of free market system could be minimized compared to such systems on
earth, but problems still remained. Still, for many factions, free market economic
systems proved a great boon.
“Every citizen must have a function, a role within the group.”
Chairman Sheng-Ji Yang
-Ethics for Tomorrow
In planned economics, the government makes most or all economic decisions, often in
accordance of an overall goal for society. Planned economies are generally stable, and
can focus their energies on particular goals far more effectively than more decentralized
economies. However, they can also be prone to inefficiency.
At the beginning of the colonization of Centaurus, all governments used some economic
planning to ensure necessary survival functions were taken care of, but it was only the
development of widespread information networks and industrial robotics that
governments gained the ability to effectively control entire economies. Such economies
soon proved productive, andeffective at distributing food and other basic goods, but
proved less effective at generating wealth.
“Self sufficiency should be a guiding principle amongst all military commanders. Any
dependency, even the most innocuous, provides a potential weakness for enemies to
exploit, whether by cutting supplies, accessing information, or even simply determining a
strength or weakness.”
Colonel Corazon Santiago
-Spartan Battle Manual
Autarky is a system where, as much as possible, a faction’s economy is isolated from
other factions. Inside the faction, the economic system can take any number of forms,
but very little trade occurs with outsiders. Though many factions practiced protectionist
policies throughout their history, fully autarkic economies only became possibly with the
development of cheap and effective biofuels and biomaterials, allowing materials from
widely accessible plants to replace specialized materials found only in a few places on the
A successful autarkic economy depends on having access to enough resources for basic
supplies, as well as techniques for producing resources lacking in a faction’s territory.
Large empires have an easier time handling such an economy, as their wider territory
provides a greater access to necessary resources. Empires that use autarkic economies
often loose lucrative trade with other factions, but do not have to worry about other
factions cutting off necessary materials, and experience at self sufficiency allows distant
bases and cities ot better support themselves, creating less of a drain on the main faction.