Weite - Breaking the Shackles
Control Rating is a rough, numeric designation as to the level of legal restraint imposed upon someone in the system in question. It is a very rough and approximate guide, and relaxed laws in one area of conduct can be met by harsh criminalization of other possible conduct. For example, a planet may see swindling and conning as a normal behavior, but make sex outside marriage punishable by painful execution.
For the purpose of most travellers, the Control Rating expresses the level of weaponry which may be carried.
In any case, the higher the rating, the more restrictions one can expect. A rating of 0 means no real control exists.
Control Ratings are as follows:
0. Anarchy. There are no laws or taxes.
1. Very free. Nothing is illegal except (perhaps) use of force or intimidation against other citizens. Ownership of all but military weapons is unrestricted. Taxes are light or voluntary.
2. Free. Some laws exist; most benefit the individual. Hunting weaponry is legal. Taxes are light.
3. Moderate. There are many laws, but most benefit the individual. Hunting weaponry is allowed by registration. Taxes are moderate and fair.
4. Controlled. Many laws exist; most are for the convenience of the state. Only light weaponry may be owned, and licenses are required. Broadcast communications are regulated; private broadcasts (like CB) and printing may be restricted. Taxation is often heavy and sometimes unfair.
5. Repressive. There are many laws and regulations, strictly enforced. Taxation is heavy and often unfair. What civilian weapons are allowed are strictly controlled and licensed and may not be carried in public. There is strict regulation of home computers, photocopiers, broadcasters and other means of information distribution and access.
6. Total control. Laws are numerous and complex. Taxation is crushing, taking most of an ordinary citizen’s income. Censorship is common. The individual exists to serve the state. Private ownership of weaponry, broadcasting or duplication equipment is prohibited. The death penalty is common for offenses, and trials – if conducted at all – are a mockery.