Thursday, June 4, 2009

Point/Counterpoint: Establishing an Intergalactic Union and Monetary Fund

(This post will contain the arguments in favor of establishing an Intergalactic Union. Check back within the next few days for the counterpoint.)

We've spoken before about the detriments of barring trade and communication from other planets. Suppose, however, that the democratic systems in the DC universe suddenly decided to open themselves up to trade. The question now is: should the major, democratic planets in the DC universe establish an Intergalactic Union (IU)? I see several potential benefits for establishing a single marketplace and universal currency among member planets:

1) Minimizing War. Let's face it, even though planets in the DC Universe remain relatively independent of one another, there are lots of struggles going on. It seems that the only time planets communicate is when they're engaged in some sort of conflict for domination of another or if one is in the middle of a campaign for conquest of the universe. See the Rann-Thanagar War, Final Crisis, Secret Invasion, and countless other examples of intergalactic warfare.

We already know that some entity in the universe cares about the continued survival of the galaxy. In the DCU, the Green Lanterns are a police force composed of humans and aliens from various planets in the universe, whose jobs are to patrol each sector in space at the behest of the Guardians of the Universe. You would think that with all the conflicts going on (Darkseid nearly just unmade existence, after all), the Guardians might be interested in acting as more than just a safety net, but perhaps also try some preventative measures. Organizing major planets into an IU would certainly help there. Building more economic interdependence would foster an interest to prevent the destruction of other planets.

Consider the European Union. What do you think the probability is of a major armed conflict between France and Germany? Likewise, if Rann and Thanagar were trading partners and Rann was reliant on Thanagar for its imports of the Nth metal--a resource native to Thanagar that has the property of negating gravity--do you think that there would have been a war? Of course not. It would have been in Rann's best interest to keep importing gravity boots.

2) Building Stronger Currency and Improving Wealth. Establishing a single market and an Intergalactic Monetary Fund (IGMF) would allow member planets to enjoy freedom of movement of goods, capital, people and services. Humans would finally be able to hover through the sky, to walk on walls, and yes, float around in flying car. In exchange, Thanagarians would finally get their hands on Earth's iPhone and surf the web freely on their 3G networks. Investments and property purchases would easily be moved between planets. Joe Smith would be able to purchase that summer house on Daxam that he's always dreamed of (assuming he could live there -- Daxam is very xenophobic and had actually invaded Earth before. It also lives under a red sun called Valor) .

This would be made even simpler with a common unit of currency, the Galacto. The Galacto would help strengthen the single market by increasing transparency, minimizing exchange rate fluctuations, keeping interest rates low, and protecting against shocks in the global market. Looking at the EU, the European Commission estimates that since its creation in 1993, over 2.5 million jobs have been created. Furthermore, approximately 900 billion euros in wealth and productivity has been generated since its inception. The point: the IU would improve quality of life for all humans, aliens, New Gods, mythical entities incorporated into the system.

3) Inspiring Other Nations to Reform. If ever there became trade talks or a UN type organization, the IU would obviously have a substantial amount of power and influence. And this is not a bad thing since this includes the power to encourage reform in smaller or developing planets (LDPs). Previously hostile systems, dictatorships, etc. might be more swayed to embrace a liberal, democratic government and economy and contribute to the global marketplace.

These are just some of the many reasons why this union would work. Any readers care to submit any others?


Ben said...

What do you propose as the backing standard of the IU? Kandor has no use for gold and Earth no want for crystals. Not that he'd want to join, but I'm pretty sure Ego really only wants to eat planets, not strenthen trade. Here again the issue is cultural value of resources. It seems the only resource that can ever be fully appreciated is power (protection?) which puts everyone on the lantern standard.

ShadowBanker said...

Earth could use some of that advanced technology from Kandor. Kandor could use some fuel from Earth to power their battleships. If they're going to such goods and resources, each respective currency is going to start having a relationship with the other. Then you standardize with the Galacto!

Anonymous said...

The problem when Earth become's involved, is establishing a value for currency. With the US, Canadian, and Australian dollars; British pound; the EU euro; Japanese Yen; etc.; all having differing values currently, we don't even have a common Earth-based currency to be valued with unified currencies of other planets, let alone a single regulatory agency to negotiate trade with other planets. We still have a long way to go...

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