What happens when these fictional governments shut down? We took a closer look at some of the systems in literature and pop culture to find out.
[Movie still from Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, 20th Century Fox]
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
The Government: The Council of Ymbrynes
Cause of Shutdown: Debate over whether to switch to non-GMO bird seed for council meetings.
Result: Budget for bird seed is increased to allow for different varieties.
Harry Potter series
The Government: The Ministry of Magic
Cause of Shutdown: Mid-level employees are tired of arriving to work via the toilet.
Result: Free Wellington boots are provided on Orientation Day.
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
The Government: High Council of Elrond
Cause of shutdown: Wood-elves faction is tired of the High Elves hogging all the Mithril.
Result: Arrow shortage, giant spiders flourish.
The Hunger Games Trilogy
The Government: The Capitol
Cause of Shutdown: In an era of short-attention spans and too many entertainment choices, a debate breaks out as to whether 24 tributes are too many for The Hunger Games. A proposal is made to redraw the lines of the Districts in order to spread the talent and eliminate a few contestants.
Result: Ultimately, gerrymandering—err, redistricting—is shot down.
The Lord of the Flies
The Government: Jack and Ralph's "tribes"
Cause of Shutdown: In the landmark debate of Conch v Glasses, the tribe members struggle to determine where true power lies—in the conch (representing a democratic process) or with the glasses (representing fire and strength). Unable to come to a mutual understanding, civility breaks down and savagery begins to run rampant.
Result: Thankfully, the British navy intervenes and saves everyone.
The Planet of the Apes
The Government: The Council of Ape City
Cause of Shutdown: Dr. Zaius wants to raise the tax on bananas.
Result: There's no soldiers guarding the Forbidden Zone, so the Statue of Liberty becomes a makeshift amusement park.
The Government: The Galactic Empire
Cause: Senate wants to pass a law to outlaw the Kessel Run.
Result: Palpatine blasts everyone with lightning.