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.
The typical skrellian government has been called many names over time: An autocracy, a technocracy, a gerontocracy, etc. The truth itself is more complicated. Despite the Skrell's perceived homogeneity, there is no such thing as a central skrellian government; almost every city-state is fully independent, larger entities being seen as inefficient and dangerous by most Skrell. While this independence has mostly been enforced through social pressure and political manoeuvring, rare occurrences of larger countries have happened in skrellian history, mostly before Skrell discovered space travel. The Qerr-Skria governing such governments are nowadays mockingly called Qrri-Qerria by the Skrell, a term often mistranslated as "emperor" in human languages.
The executive power is entirely held by the Qerr-Skria; a Qerr-Katish monarch in charge of the city-state who surrounds themselves with councillors from each caste commonly called Qerr-Koal. The Qerr-Skria's power is indisputable, being the highest authority in matters of military, diplomacy, administration and, in some cases, judiciary actions. The Qerr-Koal, most of the time high-ranked Skrell over 90 year-old, only have a consultative power, although their social status often grants them a fair amount of informal authority in the hierarchy. At the Qerr-Skria's death, their title and authority is passed down to one of their children, generally designated by the Qerr-Skria themselves. When no successor has been chosen, it is the role of the Qerr-Koal to designate an heir.
The legislative power is handled by the Xaq Moglar, an assembly composed of the City-State's teachers, making skrellian Academies the heart of skrellian politics. Seats are automatically granted upon employment, and should a member of the Xaq Moglar ignore their political duty, their place in the Academy might be revoked as a result. The Qerr-Katish teachers, however, are an exception: being politically represented by the Qerr-Skria, they are most of the time forbidden in participating to the Xaq Moglar and limited to their academical duties. Similarly, not all teachers have the same amount of power: those who teach the Keri-Glo'i, the students in the last stage of their education, are called professors and their voice holds twice as much power in the Xaq Moglar as other teachers. While not allowed to directly participate in the debates, the Keri-Glo'i themselves are allowed and encouraged to attend sessions of the Xaq Moglar to better their understanding of the political process.
The judiciary power is handled by groups of high-ranked Raskinta-Katish complemented with other castes, handpicked by the Qerr-Skria and the Qerr-Koal, whose role is to apply a proper punishment to the guilty party after thorough examination of their crime and its impact on society, culpability being proven or disproven during the initial investigation led by the city-state's police forces. The laws themselves, rather than a complex code attempting to cover every possible situation, work more as guidelines for the courts to use in their assessment. Prison sentences are seldom used, generally reserved for high crimes such as murderers or political nuisances, and tend to be for life, while seizure of property, fines and community work are preferred for lighter crimes. The death penalty is virtually unheard of in the city-states, although the SDTFs often use it instead of prison sentences.
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.