Domination and Cooperation


Hundreds of years into the future humans have colonised the solar system. Earth and the Moon are in a state of cold war with the much bigger and far more prosperous Mars. Further out lie the numerous clusters of small colonies on the asteroid belt off Jupiter and the Moons of Saturn. These outer planets are totally dependent on Earth and Mars, surviving on the export of the precious ore they mine. 

Those on the outer planets isolated by distance , feel neglected, exploited and taken for granted. Back on Earth the ruling government resents the power of Mars, its economic dominance and its increasing attempts to exert  political influence. Mars has a military government which sees itself as the natural leader of planets. This is the setting for The Expanse a popular US science fiction series. The context for life in the future is the relationship between these planets/ power blocks and a running political  theme of subjugation and collaboration.

 

The language may be extreme but we don’t need to look to outer space or science fiction to see dominance and cooperation in a political context. We have the relationship between central government and local government in which central government exerts political influence/control with ring fenced grants and special funds. Distance from the centre of power adds to feelings of neglect and being taken for granted. We have the relationship between County Councils and District, Town and Parish councils. In which big brother gets frustrated in its attempts to establish strategies across local government organisations and the outer districts feel neglected, ignored and constantly over ruled.  

 

The recent Levelling Up bids were a good example of domination and cooperation in practice. Making the distribution of limited funds a competitive process was part of dominating local government. In order to win the much needed funds local government had to collaborate/ cooperate with central government. District Councils and Town councils lacked the infrastructure and resources available to County Councils and Borough Councils for putting a complex bid together but many still produced bids reflecting the needs of their locality. However before these bids could to go forward they had to have the support of County or Bough Council who were putting forward their own competing bids.  A case of domination and cooperation. 

 

Blair Mcpherson former Director author and blogger www.blairmcpherson.co.uk 

 

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