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Aliens Never Invented Democracy

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As soon as Kang was elected President of the United States, he made some changes.

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?”

A Sub-Trope of Humans Are Special, 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.

Sometimes 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. Due to Hollywood and We All Live in America, an absolute monarchy or dictatorship is foreign to most western pop culture, while not having to come up with truly non-human systems since Most Writers Are Human. In some works it could be a way to present humanity's nice democratic system vs the aliens' evil Empire, which is very common when The Federation faces The Empire. (This is especially common in works made during the Cold War for obvious reasons.) Sometimes is just a matter of Planet of Hats: some writers just can't think that a Proud Warrior Race can be democratic (despite the fact that we have many examples in our own world) because, well warriors are not democrats, also in scenarios of Alien Invasion, 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).


Contrast with Aliens Never Invented the Wheel for the technical counterpart. See also Feudal Future for when the humans don't have democracy any more either. Often overlaps with One-Federation Limit, with humans as the one democratic government.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Subverted in Aldnoah.Zero. Martians have a monarchy but they aren't actually aliens. They're humans who created civilization on Mars and dissociate themselves from Earth bound humans due to Fantastic Racism.
  • Fantastic Children 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.
  • The Gamilons in Star Blazers are unabashedly fascist, led by Leader Desslok (in German, "fuhrer" literally means "leader.")
  • The 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 Expanded Universe 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.
  • In Tenchi Muyo!, Jurai is a feudal monarchy similar to old Japan.

    Comic Books 
  • DC Comics has the following:
    • In most versions the Kryptonians are presented as a caste society with an all-powerful oligarchic High Council.
      • 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 wouldn't fly outside of the Silver Age, but it was established in the Fifties and the Bronze Age kept it until the Crisis due to the Grandfather Clause.
    • New Genesis is a monarchy under a good king.
    • Apokolips is an absolute totalitarian dictatorship under Darkseid.
    • Maxima is the queen of her home planet of Almerac
    • Starfire is a princess of Tamaran, with all that that implies.
    • Wonder Woman (1942): During the Golden Age Diana encountered dozens of extraterrestrial civilizations, all of which were ruled by kings, queens or emperors.
  • Marvel Comics has the following:
    • The Shi'ar have an empire led by an emperor or empress.
    • The Skrulls likewise have an emperor or empress.
    • The Kree government is described as "Military-technocratic dictatorship" in the Marvel wiki, and is usually ruled by the Supreme Intelligence, a Hive Mind composed of 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 Depending on the Writer. The Intelligence is one of the most brilliant minds in the Marvel Universe and pulls 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 long-term or eugenic benefit from doing so. The Kree themselves literally worship the thing.
    • The Inhumans (who are human offshoots that live on the moon) are ruled by their king Black Bolt.
    • In The Mighty Thor, Asgard has an absolute monarchy. Ditto for Olympus and most of the Earth's other pantheons.
    • The individual members of the Technarchy are not social and seem to barely tolerate each other enough to share a "crecheworld" for reproduction.
  • Emperor Ming from the Flash Gordon 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.

    Eastern Animation 
  • The State Tech Kino film Interplanetary Revolution 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.

    Fan Works 
  • History Is Not Legendary (a Backstory piece for The War of the Masters) states that the Klingons attempted to establish a democratic government thousands of years ago after First Contact 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.

  • In, Coneheads, based on a series of Saturday Night Live skits, the eponymous aliens' homeworld is ruled by an absolute dictator.
  • John Carter: The Red Martian city-states of Zodanga and Helium are monarchies, while the Green Martians a.k.a. Tharks are a tribal clan structure whose choice of leaders are determined by Asskicking Equals Authority.
  • Flash Gordon (1980): As in the classic serials, Mongo is an absolute monarchy run by the mad emperor Ming the Merciless. The nations under his rule seem similarly monarchical, with the Arboreans and the Hawkmen both being governed by a "prince" who is in turn answerable to Ming.
  • Independence Day doesn't offer much detail about the society of the invading aliens. Independence Day: Resurgence goes further, establishing that the aliens are organized into hive minds ruled by queens.

  • M.C.A. Hogarth:
    • The Eldritch and Chatcaava from Paradox have feudal governments, though the Chatcaava place more importance on strength than bloodline. Most governments run by humans and their Pelted creations are representative democracies, though there are some (like the Hinichi) that chose other forms of government.
    • 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.
    • 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.
  • The Jan in Alien in a Small Town have a Hive Caste System 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.
  • Ender's Game gives us the Buggers, insectoid and telepathic aliens organized into hive minds each ruled by a queen. The story clarifies, however, that from the Buggers' point of view, this isn't a system of government because the hive is viewed as a single being, not a group of people whose society needs to be organized: the queen is effectively the "brain" of this being, while the other individuals are analogized to fingers or toes. Note that once the queen dies, so does everybody in the hive — they have no minds of their own telling them to eat or drink or save themselves.
  • The First Men in the Moon 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.
  • The atevi from Foreigner (1994) cannot conceive of any other form of governance than monarchy.
  • In Glory Road, Earth is an isolated backward planet. An interstellar anthropologist specializing in the place hears that the hero, Oscar, is from the U.S. and asks him if their 'noble experiment' is still going on. Oscar, thinking he means Prohibition, says it's been abandoned. The anthropologist says it was a silly idea anyway and asks about their form of government now. Do they have a king? He meant democracy.
  • In the John Carter of Mars 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.
  • In Planet of the Apes, the world seems to be a Fantastic Caste System, with the gorillas, the orangutans, and the chimpanzees being roughly analogous to the aristocracy, the clergy, and the intellectuals, respectively. Subverted in that we're told that there is no law enforcing this, and any ape can go into any field he chooses: in practice, however, very few of them ever buck the trend.
  • H. P. Lovecraft rarely went into detail about his aliens' societies, except in The Shadow Out of Time with the Great Race of Yith described as having "a sort of fascistic socialism".
  • Star Trek Expanded Universe:
    • Some novels portray the Romulan Star Empire as having a ceremonial emperor, though the true power lies with the Senate and its praetor. Diane Duane's Rihannsu series is an exception, depicting a Romulan culture distrustful of single leaders due to the ancient tyrant Vriha t'Rehu. 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".
    • The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Relaunch novel Andor: Paradigm reveals that the name of the Andorian Empire is actually an Artifact Title. The last Empress deliberately died childless in the 19th century AD after establishing a parliamentary state.
  • Often the case in Star Wars Legends:
    • Almost none of the alien races from outside of the known galaxy (i.e. extragalactic and Unknown Regions, what the setting would consider truly alien) practice democracy. Ssi-ruuk and Yuuzhan Vong societies both run on a very strict Fantastic Caste System, leading up to a supreme leader, and legitimized by an official state religion. The Killiks are run by a hive mind. The Chosen are dominated by the warlord-conqueror Nuso Esva, with racial and religious allusions suggesting that any beings of other species are considered inferior (though the groups he pressures or tricks into his alliance aren't initially aware of this). The closest thing to a free society outside of the "known galaxy" may be the Chiss Ascendancy, but even their government is dominated by Ruling Families suggesting an aristocratic rather than democratic arrangement.
    • Within the known galaxy, nonhuman species outside of Republic influence don't tend to go for democracy either. The most prominent are the Hutts, a half-plutocratic half-criminal society; they're ruled by a supreme council that houses one representative for each of the major Hutt clans (which are effectively crime syndicates). In complete fairness, the human societies outside of the Republic don't tend to be democratic either: the Hapes Consortium is an absolute monarchy, the Senex and Juvex sectors are slave societies ruled by aristocratic houses, and the Corporate Sector is One Nation Under Copyright. In general, societies outside the Republic are likely to be run this way regardless of species, since they're usually ruled by autocrats who want to be free of Republic laws and Jedi enforcers.
    • The Republic itself is an interesting example. It has the trappings of a democracy, it's referred to as one in-universe, and its chief executive is selected by a simple majority vote among the senators, who can also remove him any time they so choose. However, these senators are chosen by their planetary governments, and the requirements on how those governments should be run are... unclear, but fairly expansive: many of the Republic's alien members have monarchies, hive minds, Fantastic Caste Systems, and other thoroughly nondemocratic systems of government. It's downplayed in that, again, some of the human worlds are nondemocratic as well.
  • The Takisians in Wild Cards practice 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.
  • The Race in Worldwar are ruled by an emperor and have no concept that any other political system is viable or even possible. They initially believe that humanity works the same way and think that the leaders of the various nations they encounter are each a hereditary emperor. Once they figure out that FDR, Stalin, and Hitler are not "emperors" despite being in charge, the only way they can think to describe them are as "not-emperors" who rule a "not-empire". Democracy is the most confusing to the Race, since at least Hitler and Stalin have the authority of an emperor, while the concept of working under the authority of the populace is even more alien. The name for democracy in their language is "snout-counting". Interestingly enough, The Race does have a procedure for removing someone from a position of power that's remarkably similar to an impeachment vote; one of them lampshades its resemblance to the "snout-counting" that they hold in contempt. They seem to justify it to themselves that they are counting the snouts of those who have the proper authority, not just the general public at random.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 3rd Rock from the Sun: The Universe is ruled by the Big Giant Head, an absolute monarch.
  • In Babylon 5: Earth Alliance is the only known democracy in the Galaxy, and even it becames an authoritarian police state for a while. The others are:
    • The Minbari Federation: a 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).
    • 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.
    • The Narn Regime: a Military Junta led by the leaders of La Résistance 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 professionals and intellectuals.
    • 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 the rule change made specifically to keep the thing restricted only to Drazi was caught in a committee for centuries).
    • The Hyach Grand Council of Elders: a gerontocracy.
    • The Brakiri Syndicracy: a case of Corporatocracy.
    • The pak'ma'ra: a communitarian society with no state (the dream of the anarchists).
  • Doctor Who:
    • 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.
    • 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. Though "Asylum of the Daleks" reveals that the New Dalek Paradigm decided to govern themselves via a parliamentary democracy. They even have a Prime Minister!
    • The Ice Warriors appear to have monarchs and nobility.
    • The Sontarans have no civilian population. The entire race is an army.
  • Farscape:
    • The Peacekeepers are under a military dictatorship so ingrained that practically in their society Army equals State. Partially averted in that they are Transplanted Humans.
    • The Scarran Empire is ruled by an absolute monarch.
    • The Nebari Establishment is an Orwellian totalitarian nightmare.
    • The Hinerian Empire is another absolute monarchy.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • 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 representation based on military strength. Gerak later has to make a Heroic Sacrifice to end the Ori plague on Earth, and Teal'c and Bra'tac push the Free Jaffa Nation back to traditional representative democracy.
    • The Goa'uld themselves are a blend of monarchy, feudalism, and theocracy. Their supreme authorities are System Lords who rule over individual domains: their human, Unas, and Jaffa slaves worship them as gods, while their other Goa'uld underlings obey them as kings.
    • Earth's offworld allies the Tok'ra, the Tollan, and the Asgard are somewhat unclear. They're all ruled by some form of a high council and do generally seem to have laws they follow, in contrast to the System Lords' my-word-is-law attitude. However, there's no word on how the leaders of these councils are selected.
  • Stargate Atlantis:
    • Similar to the Goa'uld, the Wraith run on feudalism, though a slightly more insectoid version. Their society is divided into hives, each one ruled by a queen.
  • Star Trek didn't tend to flesh out the workings of alien cultures until Star Trek: The Next Generation. The human-led United Earth (in Star Trek: Enterprise) and United Federation of Planets (in the other series) is the only major democratic power in the known galaxy. The others are:
    • The Klingon Empire: a feudal oligarchy with the heads of the noble houses comprising the High Council and choosing a Chancellor, an emperor in all but name. They use to have fully empowered Emperors who were successors of Kahless (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. They are democratic in a way, in that any Klingon is technically able to become Chancellor, but unless one is the designated or arbitrated successor this generally requires killing one's predecessor in a duel after making him look dishonorable. An episode of Deep Space Nine 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.
    • 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 Police State where the major state security agency, the Tal Shiar, wields significant political power: they station political officers on naval vessels, and at two separate points in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the vice-chair and chairman of the Tal Shiar also sit in the Senate. It's also unclear how the members of the parliament are selected.
    • The Cardassian Union is a military dictatorship with a merely symbolic civil government. It has similarities with both Fascist and Communist regimes. In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "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.
    • The Tzenkethi Coalition: its leader is named the Autarch, you do the math.
    • 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. Surprisingly, this species on most days is not the Founders: they don't exert much day-to-day control over the Dominion's function, leaving that to their Vorta Servant Race.
    • The Borg Collective isn't even really a government so much as a cybernetic botnet. The Borg Queen rules over billions of mindless collectivized drones.
    • The Ferengi Alliance: a plutocratic autocracy led by the Grand Nagus (generally the richest and most politically influential of all Ferengi, or most able to make other Ferengi think he is). All the rest of the administration is basically Corporatocracy. Near the end of the series, they transition to a constitutional parliamentary system by establishing a "Congress of Economic Advisors" to pass laws, with the Grand Nagus now more like a president or prime minister.
    • 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).
    • The Orion Syndicate is The Mafia at the Galactic level, dedicated to all sorts of organized crime including slave trade and prostitution.
    • Even before the existence of the Federation, Star Trek: Enterprise 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.
    • And Kirk certainly encountered plenty of planets-of-the-week ruled by computers, often masquerading as gods.
    • One episode, "The Cloud Minders" showed that Federation membership doesn't require a democratic government at the planetary level. However, another maintains that the Federation won't accept any planet which practices "caste-based discrimination".
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel most demon cultures shown are autocratic or monarchic in nature. Vampires have generally packs ruled by masters (who are generally not only the strongest, but also the smartest -sometimes by far- and meanest of all). Also most other dimensions shown also seem to have absolute monarchies like Pylea and Oden-Tal.
  • Played With in the "Majority Rule" episode of The Orville in which the Sarguns have a form of direct democracy. Unfortunately, it's based on snap-voting in which uninformed opinions are more important than any consideration of the facts, in an obvious parody of excesses on social media.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Pathfinder: There are relatively few nonhuman-ruled nations on Golarion, and none are democracies. Elven Kyonin and the dwarven city-states in the Five Kings Mountains and elsewhere are monarchies (with the dwarf kings forming a larger alliance), while the orc lands of the Hold of Belkzen are an amorphous association of tribes that run on Asskicking Equals Authority. To be fair, however, there aren't many human democracies either, the only notable ones being Andoren (a staunchly anti-slavery parliamentary republic based on an idealized vision of the United States), Galt (effective mob rule, inspired by France at the height of the Terror), and Nirmathas (loose confederation of woodland settlements). The Kellid barbarians also elect their clan leaders by acclamation.
  • Warhammer40000: Downplayed. On the global scale, none of the major Xenos races are democratic: the Tyranids are a Hive Mind, the Orks and the Drukhari lack a centralised government altogether and are ruled by the strongest, the Necron Dynasties are a feudal monarchy, and the Aeldari Craftworlds and the T'au Empire are oligarchies (the former ruled by the psychic Seer Council, and the latter by the philosophizing Ethereal Caste). On the other hand, minor Xenos civilisations mentioned in the fluff are stated to be "republics", as are some members of the larger ones (such as the communist-themed Gretchin Revolutionary Committee). And, of course, 40k being what it is, humans in the setting are no paragons of liberty and democracy either. The Imperium of Man (not to mention the horrific Chaos-worshipping human societies) is often even more oppressive than most Xenos governments, with background fluff mentioning that even theorizing about democracy can get your planet subject to Exterminatus.

  • The Transformers: Played straight in pretty much every incarnation of the franchise. Autobot leaders are chosen by the Matrix of Leadership, Decepticon leaders by Asskicking Equals Authority and Klingon Promotion. The one major exception to this is The Transformers (IDW): when Optimus Prime decides that he can't be leader of the Autobots anymore, they hold an election for his replacement and choose Bumblebee. Later, after the Cybertronian Civil War ends and the Autobots, Decepticons, and unaligned Cybertrons reunite on Cybertron, an election is held for a new planetary leader. Thanks to the unaligned not knowing any better, they elected Starsceam.

    Video Games 
  • Halo: As an authoritarian, caste-based theocracy led by a race of technocratic cultists (the Prophets/San'Shyuum), the Covenant as a whole is very much not a democracy, and the same applies to the internal organization of most of its subordinate species:
    • The Elites/Sangheili are organized into a large number of feudal states.
    • The Brutes/Jiralhanae are divided into packs that operate on the principle of Might Makes Right.
    • The Drones/Yanme'e live in eusocial societies ruled by queens.
    • Because of how oppressed they are by the other species, the Grunts/Unggoy lack any independent government structure larger than small matriarchal tribes.
    • Played with by the Kig-Yar (aka Jackals and Skirmishers); they may not have much in the way of formal democracy, but that's because they don't really have any form of effective central government beyond what outsiders try to impose on them, and their internal affairs are basically determined by matriarchal mob rule.
    • Possibly averted by the Lekgolo (the worms that make up Hunter colonies, among other gestalts), who are implied to have a relatively egalitarian social structure.
  • Mass Effect:
    • The Salarian Union have a decentralized feudal matriarchy.
    • 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.
    • With the Krogan their tribal society is built entirely upon Asskicking Equals Authority. 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.
    • The Quarian Migrant Fleet is under perpetual martial law, but each ship has an elected council that sends representatives to the Conclave.
    • Subverted with the Asari Republics, who have an absolute direct democracy facilitated by the Extranet.
    • Also subverted with the angara, who have a representative democracy with very strict term limits.
  • Among the standard races of Master of Orion 2 only humans have democratic government. All other races are ruled by dictators, by feudal lords or have hive mind.
  • In Sword of the Stars none of the non-human factions are democratic. And it's unclear if SolForce itself allows much democracy.
    • 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.
    • The Hivers are semi-feudal, divided into clans founded by "Princesses" spawned by the Queen.
    • The Liir are a gerontocracy.
    • The Zuul have a chaotic hierarchy held together by psionic domination.
    • The Morrigi are tribal, with females holding land planetside and males living as stellar nomads.
  • X: The Argon (a Lost Colony 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 (The Good Kingdom), the Split (The Empire), the Paranids (The Theocracy), and the Teladi (Corporatocracy). It's unclear what form the Terran government takes.
  • Star Trek Online: Generally avoided with factions original to the game. The playable Romulan faction is the Romulan Republic, a successor state to the vestigial Star Empire. The Lukari and Kentari also have democratic societies (the Lukari are similar to the Federation, while the Kentari are a fairly transparent Strawman Political of the present-day United States, complete with a 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.
  • Stellaris: Averted, as any species is able to be one of seven government types: Democracy, Oligarchy, Dictatorship, Empire, Mega Corp, Hive Mind or Machine Intelligence (if they're robots). Depending on their Ethic and Civics, their government can be more specific, such as having the Materialist Ethic can turn a Representative Democracy into a Direct Democracy, or having the Citizen Service Civic makes them a Citizen's Republic.

  • The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!: A recurring character is Princess Voluptua, the butterfly-like heir to an empire centering around the neighboring brown dwarf of Nemesis and viceroy of our solar system (Earth is a nature preserve). They do apparently have a parliament, though. And the dragons (one of their subject races) have a legislature called the Althing.

    Western Animation 
  • Futurama: Whilst the Earth government is essentially a carbon copy of the US presidential system, the rest of the species have:
    • The Decapodians are ruled by celibate priests (out of necessity, as everyone else dies after mating).
    • The Amazonians are ruled by a female robot/computer.
    • Brain Spawns seem to have some sort of collective Hive Mind.
    • The Native Martians live under a tribal society led by a stereotypical Big Chief.
    • Omicronians have an absolute monarchy.
    • Niblonians are the parody of the Omniscient Council of Vagueness, but much cuter.
    • The robot homeworld is run (incompetently) by a Not-So-Omniscient Council of Bickering.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Not alien by standard definition, but the magical land of Equestria is ruled by two millennia-old, immortal monarchs with enough magic strength to move celestial bodies. All other species are likewise ruled by traditional monarchs. The only edge cases are the griffins, who had kings in the past but are now a failed state without an active government, and the dragons, whose absolute monarch is chosen through a competition in which any dragon can take part.
  • The Simpsons: In the "Treehouse of Horror VII" segment "Citizen Kang", aliens kidnap Homer and ask him to Take Me to Your Leader. Homer quickly agrees, but then he changes his mind because he just remembered they are about to have an election between then-President Bill Clinton 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.
  • Winx Club: It seems like most, if not all, of the civilizations outside of Earth are ruled by monarchies, due to needing to justify the Princess Protagonists. This is a Downplayed example, however, since the Magic Dimension is shown to be a modern, if not advanced, society and aside from the royals and the occasional arranged marriages here and there, the monarchies don't really share the attributes of true feudal systems.