Skrell/Politics and Economics
As a spacefaring species that has existed in their current form for millennia, the Skrell are a complex and developed people who have spent the centuries developing a number of unique solutions to many of the necessities of life in regards to the state.
Skrellian society is built around a concept in some parts similar to human constitutional monarchies : In the Qerr-Katish caste there can be found several royal families whose power is transmitted to the progeny upon them having passed the most successfully the Qerr-Uglo, a series of tests carried out to determine if they are fit to rule. A skrellian king, called a Qerr-Skria, usually rules over a single city, although there are records of Kings having ruled over several, sometimes extending their realm to the size of a human country; Those Kings were called Emperors, or Qrri-Qerria in skrellian. Those are generally remembered negatively by the Skrell, for they have an ancient folk saying that "a King with too much territory cannot rule efficiently."
The King holds executive and judiciary power. They are advised by the Qerr-Koal, members of each caste who have been considered wise enough to intervene more actively in politics. It is rare to see a Qerr-Koal under the age of 85, even if age does not come into account when deciding to celebrate a caste member as one. There is no limit to the number of Qerr-Koal a king may have, although a King must be at least accompanied by one of each caste. The success of a King is measured by their ability to listen to the Qerr-Koal around them.
The legislative power is held by the Xaq Moglar, a congregation of the members of the city’s Academy.
Academies are the heart of skrellian politics: They bear the same purpose than human Parliaments, with a few differences in their exact nature. Members of the Academy are not elected; They follow a strict organisation based on the position of the Skrell within the academies organisational structure.
The Keri-Glo’i, the students in the final stages of their education, can attend to sessions of the Academy to observe the political process, though they do not vote and do not have a say in any legislative matters. This way, they can also learn how to properly act as citizens of their Kingdom later in life.
Teachers and Professors have the same purpose, having the ability to vote the laws and various projects of the Kingdom, with the difference in their weight: A teacher’s voice is worth one, while a Professor’s voice is worth two. A teacher is called a Qrri-Gloqal, while a Professor is a Qarr-Gloqal. Given the size of skrellian academies there can often be thousands of sitting legislators. This can, and often does, result in extensive, complex and thorough sessions. It is for this reason that many of the larger city-states are often exceptionally slow to introduce change.
Directors and other leading figures of the Academies, often being Qerr-Koal, do not take part in the legislative part of the skrellian political life, instead focusing on their positions and their role as mentors and advisors.
For the Skrell, money is an ephemeral thing. Skrellian currencies are printed with a temporary filigree, made from the spores of a very specific luminescent mushroom on Qerr’balak. The luminescence fades completely after two years, after which a skrellian bill is no longer usable. Each filigree includes the date of the bill’s printing, allowing the verification of the bill’s authenticity by comparing the date and the expected luminosity of the spores. A number of other advanced anti-counterfeiting techniques are also used.
This means Skrell cannot hoard money, and are instead incentivised to spend it either by buying goods and services or investing it in various endeavours. If a Skrell wishes to preserve money for future projects, or simply for financial safety, their only recourse is to loan that money, without interest, to the City-State, for a set duration decided at the start of the loan. When the government gives back the money, the bills are freshly printed for a new 2-year long period of use.
That way, the skrellian City-States are consistently supplied with their citizens’ money, negating entirely the need for taxes or banks in their society. Since money is constantly printed and destroyed, inflation is a very minor phenomenon, and the gap of wealth between the various castes, while still existent, is far less consequential than in humans societies.
On the corporate side of Skrellian society, corporations are far less capitalist, and have exceptionally close ties to both the city state in which they are headquartered and the academies that supply much of their workforce. As such, skrellian corporations tend to have a heavy focus on investment and exchange. with the majority of unspent profit being cycled back into the city state in much the same way as private loans do for individuals. Most interactions that would be on a financial level between human organisations instead see them engaging in information and technology exchanges, or agreements pertaining to interaction and competition in certain markets or the allocation of one corporations manpower in support of another. It would be erronous to believe that skrellian corporations are any less competitive or political than human corporations are, indeed, the lack of concern for currency versus information and technology makes them an incredibly complex organism that is difficult for the inexperienced to navigate.
However, the introduction of humans to the galactic market has produced a number of difficulties within the skrellian system. Humans have no use in the perishable money of the Skrell, forcing the Skrell to use human money for inter-species exchanges. Luckily, the skrellian technological advantage allowed them to sell a lot of goods to mankind, injecting a lot of foreign currencies in the skrellian market.
While human money is technically unusable in the skrellian territories, most City-States accept it in exchange of freshly printed skrellian bills, the government then using them for exterior trade, and under strict conditions, to exchange with skrellian corporations wishing to trade with humans. A noticeable proportion of Skrell have discovered another advantage of human currencies: non-perishability, which allows them to keep money for as long as they wish, only exchanging it against skrellian currency when the need arises.
This has caused several issues for the City-States, more particularly at the human frontier, as citizen loans are getting rarer and rarer. Despite the harm caused, various governments cannot take any action against human money as they still need it to trade. Despite the growing trend, though, hoarding human money still bears some stigma within skrellian society, as the damage it causes to the economy is seen as anti-patriotic, but also because criminal circles make heavy use of it, allowing them to further bypass the government in their activities. The matter has led to fierce debate in the academies of a number of city states, with a number of proposals to counteract the impact of hoarding human currency.