Follow TV Tropes

Following

Context Main / AliensNeverInventedDemocracy

Go To

1[[quoteright:350:[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS8E1TreehouseOfHorrorVII https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/president_kang.jpg]]]]²[[caption-width-right:350:As soon as Kang was elected President of the United States, [[TyrantTakesTheHelm he made some changes]].]]²²->''Atvar summed up the Race’s view of the United States in one scornful word: “Snoutcounters! How do they have the hubris to imagine they can build a land that amounts to anything by counting one another’s snouts?”''²-->-- '''[[Literature/{{Worldwar}} Worldwar: In the Balance]]'''²²A SubTrope of HumansAreSpecial, in some works of fiction it seems that Humanity is the only civilization in the Universe that ever thought it was a good idea to choose leaders by voting.²²Sometimes this is done because the writer wants to make the aliens truly alien in culture, thus having weird, even sometimes incomprehensible, political systems is a way. However, if the aliens' government system is just another non-democratic human system like absolute monarchy or dictatorship, then this is not the reason. In some works it could be a way to present humanity's [[GoodRepublicEvilEmpire nice democratic system vs the aliens' evil Empire]], which is very common when TheFederation faces TheEmpire. (This is especially common in works made during the UsefulNotes/ColdWar for [[ScaryDogmaticAliens obvious reasons]].) Sometimes is just a matter of PlanetOfHats: some writers just can't think that a ProudWarriorRace can be democratic (despite the fact that we have many examples in our own world) because, well [[ArmiesAreEvil warriors are not democrats]], also in scenarios of AlienInvasion, having the invaders enjoying a democracy would feel kind of contradictory (despite, again, many examples in our history where democratic republics held vast, cruel empires and subjugated other peoples without considering this a contradiction). And since EverythingIsBetterWithPrincesses, a space princess is probably going to need a monarchy to hail from. ²²Contrast with AliensNeverInventedTheWheel for the technical counterpart. See also FeudalFuture for when the humans don't have democracy any more either. Often overlaps with OneFederationLimit, with humans as the one democratic government.²²----²!!Examples:²²[[foldercontrol]]²²[[folder:Anime & Manga]]²* Subverted in ''Anime/AldnoahZero''. Martians have a monarchy but [[spoiler:they aren't actually aliens. They're humans who created civilization on Mars and dissociate themselves from Earth bound humans due to FantasticRacism.]]²* ''Anime/FantasticChildren'' features an example. The people of Greecia have the power to travel to the land of the dead. They can reincarnate themselves and live several lifetimes. They can even put a soul into a mechanical body. Yet they're still a monarchy. They're ruled by a senile and slightly insane king to add extra insult to the injury.²* The Gamilons in ''[[Anime/SpaceBattleshipYamato Star Blazers]]'' are unabashedly fascist, led by Leader Desslok (in German, "[[ThoseWackyNazis fuhrer]]" literally means "leader.")²** The Comet Empire seems to be a more conventional monarchy, led by a Prince whose daughter is a Princess. ExpandedUniverse material (both the Comico comic book series and the Tim Eldred webcomic) picks up on the implication that ''Prince'' Zordar would probably have [[FridgeHorror an even more powerful father or mother out there.]]²* The [[Anime/{{Robotech}} Robotech Masters]] rule their empire with iron fists, and most of the populace consists of clones (both Tirolian and Zentraedi) with no concept of free will. The ExpandedUniverse reveals that before the discovery of Protoculture, Tirol had been a Roman-style republic. The Invid, meanwhile, are ruled by the unhappily married Regent and Regis.²* In ''Anime/TenchiMuyo'', Jurai is a feudal monarchy similar to old Japan.²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Comic Books]]²* Creator/DCComics has the following:²** In most versions the Kryptonians are presented as a caste society with an all-powerful oligarchic High Council. ²*** In Pre-Crisis days, Krypton was run by the "Science Council" and described as a "technocracy". In practice, this seemed to be a sort of parliament where the representatives were picked for their ''scientific'' accomplishments. The odd implication that scientific prowess alone would be the best qualification for a good politician probably [[FridgeLogic wouldn't fly]] outside of the [[UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks Silver Age,]] but it was established in the Fifties and the [[UsefulNotes/TheBronzeAgeOfComicBooks Bronze Age]] kept it until the [[Comicbook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths Crisis]] due to the GrandfatherClause.²** New Genesis is a monarchy under [[TheGoodKing a good king]]. ²** [[{{Mordor}} Apokolips]] is an absolute totalitarian dictatorship under ComicBook/{{Darkseid}}.²** Maxima is the queen of her home planet of Almerac²** [[Comicbook/TeenTitans Starfire]] is a princess of Tamaran, with all that that implies.²* Creator/MarvelComics has the following:²** The Shi'ar have an empire led by an emperor or empress.²** The Skrulls likewise have an emperor or empress.²** The Kree government is described as "Military-technocratic dictatorship" in the Marvel wiki, and is usually ruled by the Supreme Intelligence, a HiveMind composed of [[BrainUploading brain uploaded]] dead Kree, usually represented by an image of a hideous blobby green face; whether this blobby mass actually ''is'' made of a bunch of disembodied brains varies DependingOnTheWriter. The Intelligence is one of the most brilliant minds in the Marvel Universe and pulls [[XanatosGambit Xanatos Gambits]] constantly, but it is hellishly ruthless in its dealings with its own people and will pull genocidal acts of violence against them if it perceives some [[BlueAndOrangeMorality long-term]] or [[EvilutionaryBiologist eugenic benefit]] from doing so. The Kree themselves [[DeusEstmachina literally worship]] the thing.²** Comicbook/TheInhumans (who are human offshoots that live on the moon) are ruled by their king Black Bolt.²** In ''ComicBook/TheMightyThor'', Asgard has an absolute monarchy. Ditto for Olympus and most of the Earth's other pantheons.²** The [[MechanicalAbomination individual members]] of the [[Comicbook/{{Warlock}} Technarchy]] are not social and seem to barely tolerate each other enough to share a "crecheworld" for reproduction.²* Emperor Ming from the ''ComicStrip/FlashGordon'' universe rules not only his homeworld of Mongo, but subjugates several neighboring worlds as well, organized roughly like fiefdoms. Ming shrewdly encourages these worlds to fight among themselves to curry his favor, as it weakens their defenses and confounds efforts to overthrow him.²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Eastern Animation]]²* The State Tech Kino film ''Animation/InterplanetaryRevolution'' from 1924 shows fearless Marxist cosmonauts landing on Mars, and overthrowing the Martian ruler, who sits still during the whole rhubarb looking displeased about this development. The implication is that hereditary monarchies (we are looking at you, Britain) do naught but pontificate and bellyache.²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Fan Works]]²* ''Fanfic/HistoryIsNotLegendary'' (a {{backstory}} piece for ''Fanfic/TheWarOfTheMasters'') states that the Klingons attempted to establish a democratic government thousands of years ago after FirstContact with the Orion Empire led to the subversion of the emperor at that time. The Klingons fell into civil war five years after adopting their new constitution, which led to a restoration of the monarchy after a distant relation of the former dynasty was found. Some of the failed regime's ideas, such as a Bill of Rights equivalent, were kept, however.²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Film]]²* ''Film/{{Coneheads}}'' based on a series of ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' skits, the eponymous aliens' homeworld is ruled by an absolute dictator.²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Literature]]²* Works of Creator/MCAHogarth²** The [[SpaceElves Eldritch]] and [[DraconicHumanoid Chatcaava]] of the ''Literature/ParadoxUniverse'' have feudal governments. Though the Chatcaava place more importance on [[AsskickingEqualsAuthority strength]] than bloodline. Most governments run by humans and their [[TranshumanAliens Pelted]] creations are representative democracies though there are some (like the Hinichi) that chose other forms of government.²** ''Literature/{{Kherishdar}}'' is about the Ai-Naidar, a species with a rigid, caste-based empire. The short stories are largely about how this works for them, while the novel shows what happens when foreign ideas are introduced into such a system.²** [[Literature/TalesOfTheJokka The Jokka]] generally don't have much of a government, several houses bound more by contract than blood coexist in a city and generally handle their own affairs, until the rise of the autocratic Stone Moon Empire.²* The Jan in ''Literature/AlienInASmallTown'' have a HiveCasteSystem and are ruled by their small number of breeding females, the Matriarchs. We're told that some of their colonies do have elected legislatures in addition to the Matriarchs, but that it's not common.²* Creator/HGWells' story ''Literature/TheFirstMenInTheMoon'' has a civilization ''inside'' the Moon, ruled by the Grand Lunar, who holds that office by virtue of having the biggest brain. It is noted in-universe that Lunars conduct eugenics to produce Lunars specific to a societal purpose.²* The atevi of Creator/CJCherryh's ''Literature/{{Foreigner}}'' series cannot conceive of any other form of governance than monarchy.²* In the ''Literature/JohnCarterOfMars'' series most of the Barsoomian races are ruled by monarchs, save for the tribal Green Martians. John Carter of course marries the princess of the Red Martian city of Helium.²* Creator/HPLovecraft rarely went into detail about his aliens' societies, except in ''Literature/TheShadowOutOfTime'' with the Great Race of Yith described as having "a sort of fascistic socialism".²* ''Franchise/StarTrekExpandedUniverse'':²** Some novels portray the Romulan Star Empire as having a [[AuthorityInNameOnly ceremonial emperor]], though the true power lies with the Senate and its praetor. Creator/DianeDuane's ''Literature/{{Rihannsu}}'' series is an exception, depicting a Romulan culture distrustful of single leaders due to the ancient tyrant Vriha t'Rehu. [[spoiler:The Romulan {{deuteragonist}} Ael t'Rllaillieu is proclaimed empress at the finale, though we're not told how much political power she has.]] The Senate is not really a Senate in the democratic sense and senator in Romulan actually means something like "clan leader". ²** The ''Literature/StarTrekDeepSpaceNineRelaunch'' novel ''Andor: Paradigm'' reveals that the name of the Andorian Empire is actually an ArtifactTitle. The last Empress deliberately died childless in the 19th century AD after establishing a parliamentary state.²* The Takisians in ''Literature/WildCards'' practice [[DeadlyDecadentCourt especially skullduggerous]] medieval feudalism, with the noble families being selectively bred for superior psychic ability, scientific acumen, and physical beauty. Dr. Tachyon still doesn't get democracy after living among us for decades, not entirely seeing why elections are preferable to assassinations.²* [[TheReptilians The Race]] in Creator/HarryTurtledove's ''Literature/{{Worldwar}}'' had no concept of democracy until they attacked the Earth and met humans. The name for the system in their language is "snout-counting".²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Live-Action TV]]²* ''Series/ThirdRockFromTheSun'': The Universe is ruled by the Big Giant Head, an absolute monarch. ²* In ''Series/BabylonFive'': Earth Alliance is the only known democracy in the Galaxy, and even it becames an authoritarian police state for a while. The others are:²** The Minbari Federation: a [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin federation]] of the various Minbari clans, with at the top at least two oligarchical councils with three representatives of each of the three Minbari castes (Warrior, Religious and Worker), the highest of which, the Grey Council, wields effectively absolute power (the Council of Caste Elders mostly serves to deal with matters not important enough for the Grey Council).²** The Centauri Republic: despite the name, it's a monarchy (and not the constitutional one) with an Emperor full in power. The Centaurum, a small legislature made up of the leaders of the eleven Great Houses and a representative for the Lesser Houses of nobility, acts as a counterweight, but how much power it actually has depends on the strength and popularity of the specific emperor.²** The Narn Regime: a Military Junta lead by the leaders of LaResistance against the Centauri. Background material goes into more detail and explain that the Narn government's name is the Kha'ri and it is made of several concentric circles of power from nobility and high priests to artisans and peasents. G'Kar is from the third circle of profesionals and intellectuals.²** The Drazi Freehold: every five years the population takes at random a green or purple scarf creating two factions (with even local and higher leaders being chosen at random) and the two newly born factions fight each other, the winning side taking power then. As Ivanova finds out by accident, any non-Drazi can join the fray simply by taking the scarf of a faction member (the rules date to before first contact with aliens, and [[ObstructiveBureaucrat the rule change made specifically to keep the thing restricted only to Drazi was caught in a committee for centuries]]).²** The Hyach Grand Council of Elders: A gerontocracy. ²** The Brakiri Syndicracy: A case of {{Corporatocracy}}. ²** The pak'ma'ra: A communitarian society with no State (the dream of the anarchists).²* ''Series/DoctorWho'':²** The Time Lords, bless their double hearts, actually ''were'' a democracy, though the elections usually didn't amount to much because the Lord President's hand-picked successor almost always won. Then during the Time War, Rassilon got revived to lead them, and things went downhill.²** As Space Nazis, the Daleks are certainly not democratic. The Daleks are ruled either by a Supreme Dalek or by their creator Davros, depending on how favorable they're feeling towards Davros on any given week. He's been the cause of at least one civil war over whether they should obey him or not, but even at his lowest popularity dips, they can never quite bring themselves to kill him or let him die.²** The Ice Warriors appear to have monarchs and nobility.²** The Sontarans have no civilian population. The entire race is an army.²* ''Series/{{Farscape}}'':²** The Peacekeepers are under a military dictatorship so ingrained that practically in their society Army equals State. Partially averted in that they are [[spoiler:TransplantedHumans]].²** The Scarran Empire is ruled by an absolute monarch.²** The Nebari Establishment is an Orwellian totalitarian nightmare.²** The Hinerian Empire is another absolute monarchy. ²* ''Series/StargateSG1'': Between the collapse of the Goa'uld Empire and the Ori invasion, the Free Jaffa attempt to establish a nation of their own. Early on, there's a conflict between Teal'c, one of the main cast members and pro-democracy, and Gerak, who favors [[AsskickingEqualsAuthority representation based on military strength]]. [[spoiler:Gerak later has to make a HeroicSacrifice to end the Ori plague on Earth, and Teal'c and Bra'tac push the Free Jaffa Nation back to traditional representative democracy.]]²* ''Franchise/StarTrek'' didn't tend to flesh out the workings of alien cultures until ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration''. Some of the major ones:²** The human-led Federation is the only democratic power in the Galaxy, the others are:²** The Klingon Empire: A feudal oligarchy with the heads of the noble houses conforming the High Council and choosing a Chancellor. They use to have fully empowered Emperors who were successors of Kahless ([[CrystalDragonJesus their culture's Jesus]]) but the figure was abandoned some 200 years before the first series starts. A clone of Kahless was later named Emperor but with only decorative and religious functions.²*** An episode of ''Series/DeepSpaceNine'' references they ''did'', briefly, practice democracy after a coup ousted the current emperor. It didn't last long, and Klingon history refers to it as "the Dark Time." Make of that what you will.²** The Romulan Star Empire is technically a parliamentary republic, with the praetor seemingly equivalent to a prime minister. However, it's also very much a PoliceState where the major state security agency, the [[StateSec Tal Shiar]], wields significant political power: they station [[ThePoliticalOfficer political officers]] on naval vessels, and at two separate points in ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'', the vice-chair and chairman of the Tal Shiar also sit in the Senate.²** The Cardassian Union is a military dictatorship with a merely symbolic civil government. It has similarities with both Fascist and Soviet regimes. [[spoiler:In the ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' episode "[[Recap/StarTrekDeepSpaceNineS04E01E02TheWayOfTheWarrior The Way of the Warrior]]", a popular uprising overthrows the military government and restores power to the Detapa Council. Later the Dominion invades Cardassia and overthrows this government to install Gul Dukat as their puppet dictator. Democratic rule is restored after the Dominion defeat in the ensuing war.]]²** The Tzekethi Coalition: Its leader is named the Autarch, you make the math. ²** The Dominion: Officially a Theocracy with the Founders (who are considered gods by their subjects) at the top, in reality an Ethnocracy with a species ruling collectively over the others in its Empire. ²** The Borg Collective: It's an absolute monarchy or a classless collective society depending on how you see it. The Borg Queen rules over billions of mindless collectivized drones. ²** The Ferengi Alliance: A Monarchy lead by the Grand Negus as the figurehead, all the rest of the administration is basically {{Corporatocracy}}. ²** Bajor is technically a presidential republic with free elections to choose the First Minister once they got rid of the Cardassian occupation. However, the Kai (equivalent to a Pope or Dalai Lama) has excessive amounts of power and at one point Kai Winn takes over as interim First Minister after her predecessor dies in office shortly before the election (she's defeated by former Resistance leader Shakaar Edon and concedes peacefully).²** The Orion Syndicate is TheMafia at the Galactic level, dedicated to all sorts of organized crime including slave trade and prostitution. ²** Even before the existence of the Federation, ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'' shows that the other founding members apart from humans were not that democratic; Vulcans were lead by the Vulcan High Command, essentially a Military junta, the Andorians were pretty militaristic and their state was described as the Andorian Empire.²** And Kirk certainly encountered plenty of planets-of-the-week ruled by computers, often masquerading as gods.²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Video Games]]²* ''VideoGame/MassEffect'':²** The Salarian Union have a decentralized feudal matriarchy.²** The Turian Hierarchy is a hierarchial meritocracy with a strong military culture. It is noted in-universe to have potential for great misuse, but this is apparently mitigated by the strong values of civic duty and responsibility that permeates Turian culture.²** With the Krogan their tribal society is built entirely upon AsskickingEqualsAuthority. You want your voice heard when the leader is being stubborn? Either impress the leader with your strength enough that he concedes the point, or '''force''' him out of power and take the reins yourself.²** The Quarian Migrant Fleet is under perpetual martial law, but each ship has an elected council that sends representatives to the Conclave.²** Subverted with the Asari Republics, who have an absolute direct democracy facilitated by the Extranet.²** Also subverted with the angara, who have a representative democracy with very strict term limits.²* Among the standard races of ''VideoGame/MasterOfOrion 2'' only humans have democratic government. All other races are ruled by dictators, by feudal lords or have [[HiveMind hive mind]].²* In ''VideoGame/SwordOfTheStars'' none of the non-human factions are democratic. And it's unclear if [=SolForce=] itself allows much democracy. ²** The Tarka Imperium is an oligarchic monarchy with a caste system stratifying its society. To be more specific, the oligarchic system effectively comprises three different forces: The Nine Emperors, who govern separate polities; the Supreme Commander that heads the military caste; and the police caste, who have a strong rivalry with the military caste, and whose support any strong emperor or supreme commander needs to have.²** The Hivers are semi-feudal, divided into clans founded by "Princesses" spawned by the Queen.²** The Liir are a [[StrongerWithAge gerontocracy]].²** The Zuul have a chaotic hierarchy held together by psionic domination.²** The Morrigi are tribal, with females holding land planetside and males living as stellar nomads.²* ''VideoGame/{{X}}'': The Argon (a LostColony of humans) are the only explicitly representative government among the major factions, giving a senator to every inhabited planet, moon, or space station in their territory. The rest are the Boron (TheKingdom), the Split (TheEmpire), the Paranids (TheTheocracy), and the Teladi ({{Corporatocracy}}). It's unclear what form the Terran government takes.²* ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'': Generally avoided with factions original to the game. The playable Romulan faction is the Romulan Republic, a successor state to the {{vestigial|Empire}} Star Empire. The Lukari and Kentari also have democratic societies (the Lukari are similar to the Federation, while the Kentari are a fairly transparent StrawmanPolitical of the present-day United States, complete with a [[NoCelebritiesWereHarmed Donald Trump stand-in]] for defense minister). The Iconians, however, are an ethnocracy very similar to the Dominion: a small circle of all-powerful rulers of one species, and several servitor species.²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Webcomics]]²* A recurring character of ''WebComic/TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob'' is Princess Voluptua, the butterfly-like heir to an empire centering around the neighboring brown dwarf of Nemesis and viceroy of our solar system ([[AlienNonInterferenceClause Earth is a nature preserve]]).²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Western Animation]]²* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'', whilst the Earth government is essentially a carbon copy of the US presidential system, the rest of the species have:²** The Decapodians are ruled by celibate priests (out of necessity, as everyone else dies after mating).²** The Amazonians are ruled by a [[MachineWorship female robot/computer]].²** Brain Spawns seem to have some sort of collective HiveMind.²** The Native Martians live under a tribal society led by a stereotypical Big Chief. ²** Omicronians have an absolute monarchy. ²** Niblonians are the parody of the OmniscientCouncilOfVagueness²* On ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' [[Recap/TheSimpsonsS8E1TreehouseOfHorrorVII Treehouse of Horror VII]] segment, "Citizen Kang", aliens kidnap Homer and ask him to TakeMeToYourLeader. Homer hesitates, because they are about to have an election between President UsefulNotes/BillClinton and Senator Bob Dole, so Homer doesn't know what to tell them. The aliens Kang and Kodos are apparently familiar with the concept of an election, having monitored human activity for years, but when they kidnap Clinton and Dole and impersonate them, their campaign styles make it clear that they have no direct experience with elections. Once Kang is elected, he enslaves the human population and converts the United States into a dictatorial monarchy.²* ''WesternAnimation/WinxClub'': It seems like most, if not all, of the civilizations outside of earth are still making use of the feudal system and are ruled by monarchies. Probably because EverythingIsBetterWithPrincesses.²[[/folder]]²²----

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report