View Full Version : Does RDA control the entire solar system?
03-23-2012, 11:54 AM
The expanded universe says that the Interplanetery Commerce Administration (ICA) gave RDA the exclusive rights to products from Pandora and all other off world sites. This makes no sense!
Given that mankind is colonising the solar system (the moon and mars, possible the outer planets moons) the idea that this is being done by one company which is still forced to bow to state authority (starting the Avatar project) is unrealistic.
Secondaly the idea of Commerce is about businesses and trade, how can there be interplanetery trade when there is only one company doing the tradeing. If RDA has a complete monopoly in the sol system then the ICA is more the 'keep RDA in place administration'.
Personly I think its slopping thinking on the writers, better to have more free interplanetery commerce, different corporations but with RDA dominating the market. Creates a more interesting universe, secret corporate wars, after all we know there are other megacorps.
03-23-2012, 12:44 PM
From what I think, the RDA is in the system to mine minerals that they can then ship back to Earth for profit. It would not be a "trade" thing. It would be no different than a mining operation in West Virginia sending its product, Coal, to the market. Except in Avatar's case, market is five light-years away. Maybe there would be some kind of interplanitary trade at this time frame, but my opinion is that the RDA has a monopoly to take anything (i.e. mine Unontainium) from Pandora for Profit. It is strictly a mining operation.
As far as control, I would not think they are controlling but are using the Alpha Centauri system. If this ICA gave them the business rights to the system, then it would be yes from a business point of view.
03-23-2012, 01:34 PM
The whole thing about the RDA getting mining rights to everything off of Earth screams like something corruption had a hand in...
Resource extraction and commerce aren't synonymous- there could be other trade going on as well. Or perhaps the other commerce that the ICA was also created to deal with hasn't really materialised yet.
Since the RDA are the only human presence in the Alpha Centauri system, they have de-facto control there. They are the representatives of humanity in that system.
03-23-2012, 02:14 PM
In Project 880, the RDA was the Resources Development Alliance: "This is an international consortium of major corporations whose purpose is to find and exploit resources on other planets, both within the solar system, and in the last 25 years, among the nearer star systems. Imagine the Dutch West India Company funded by Microsoft, Matsu****a and a dozen or so of their megacorporation buddies. Everyone just calls it "THE CONSORTIUM". The RDA has an official charter from the ICA, the Interplanetary Commerce Administration (pronounced eyekah), an international trade-regulating body run much like the EC is today. The charter allows them to exploit the resources of planets, moons, asteroids... whatever they find... as long as they follow the International Space Resources Treaty, and the other treaties which prohibit weapons of mass destruction and limit military power in space."
With this definition, the RDA is not a single company, but many, and probably the most powerful ones. The fact that the ICA has given monopoly rights just to the RDA is thus pretty useless: only the biggest corporations can afford a space expedition in the first place (and even then, I doubt a single company could set a expedition to Alpha Centauri).
But this would also mean that this monopoly is not really one, since the companies "allied" in the RDA are otherwise competitors. Of course they come to an agreement with each other to reduce cost, increase efficiency etc... That's what the RDA is made for.
People on Pandora could in fact work for different companies. Maybe one is in charge of the mining, another is specialized in security, another in construction. Scientists from pharmaceutical industries would also come to find counter viruses...
The ICA gave monopoly rights to the RDA probably because they needed to legislate interplanetary commerce and it allowed them to control in some way the actions of the RDA without giving full power to a single company: they probably thought that the different companies would balance each other "for the greater good" (it didn't work very well, did it).
In Project 880, there was a bioethics officer, Rob Parrish. He worked for the ICA and his job was "to make sure that the new worlds are not ravaged by the economic imperative of the megacorporations". In fact, he was corrupted and bent to the RDA. Nonetheless, it shows that, in theory, the ICA is present on Pandora.
I think the word "Administration" makes more sense with this approach. Since when a single private company is an administration? The RDA is an administration because it rules the business and organization of many companies.
03-23-2012, 02:28 PM
Makes sense, the way I did it (with RDA as a single company) was to have them cutting a deal with other space fairing companies to become its sub-contractor who mine, process and ship the resources to earth, where RDA slaps their name on it and adds a small cut to the price, RDA keeps its monopoly on the rich outer solar system, the other companies are happy.
03-23-2012, 04:26 PM
Such an arrange is not without precendent. Consider the East India Company of the 18th & 19th centuries. They were given exclusive trading rights by the British Crown with India and other far east countries. The company had heavily armed ships (in essence its own navy) and mercenary troops to enforce its monopoly (and the compliance of the natives.) Several other companies had similar arrangements in other parts of the world. There was very little government oversight of their activities as long as they brought back wealth to the mother country. Sound familiar? :)
03-24-2012, 01:01 AM
expect there were rival groups in competition with them for the same products. Also they only had the right to trade in the British parts of india, there were french enclaves in India. Also there was litle government oversight of most colonies at this time as well, the distances being so great and communication being so limited (telegraph didn't arrive in India until 1850), as long as you paid your taxes and didn't revolt you weren't bothered with too much.
RDA may be the East India Company in space, but the East India Company did have competition in its trade, RDA doesn't.
04-01-2012, 11:39 AM
the distances being so great and communication being so limited
That sounds exactly like interstellar space. One would definitely imagine then, that similar models would start to emerge.
One might kinda get the idea that the concept of a 'megacorp' comes from cyperpunk science fiction and 1980s videogames, but the VOC practically invented the trope. In reality. In the 1600s.
04-01-2012, 12:42 PM
The UN probably gave the RDA exclusive rights so WW4 would not break out. If Russia, China, The USA, and The EU all sent soldiers out to Pandora and started separate mining operations that were competing with each other it could turn messy fast.
Example. American Commander sees the Chinese commander slaughtering Na'vi and decides to intervene. Chinese base sends reinforcements and a big battle starts. Russia rushes to the aid of China and wipe out the Americans. Back on earth America has suddenly lost its supply of unobtainium and decides to attack China for cutting off their source.
But if one company that will sell Unobtainium to all parties is given exclusive rights to mine on Pandora by the UN that removes the threat of countries recreating the French and Indian wars.
04-01-2012, 01:26 PM
How was the bill of non monopoly bypassed? It's illegal to monopolize any company. JP Morgan did that in the early 1900s to the shipping industry of ocean liners. Bill Gates I think got busted for it regarding computers and his software.
04-01-2012, 03:14 PM
Simple. They ignored it and put conditions and rules that the RDA have to follow or they get in trouble and the UN does something to them. (like confiscate a couple of ISVs and give them to another company if the RDA misbehaves.)