L Neil Smith
Author of the Probability Broach, in which there's a parallel Earth which "split off" from ours based on their Declaration Of Independence said: that certain truths are self-evident, that people are created equal, that they are endowed with inalienable rights, that governments derive their power from the unanimous consent of the governed and that the purpose of government is to protect these rights.
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From that point on their technological and social progress is much faster than ours. There's a funny timeline at the end of the book showing how quickly they got to the moon, etc.
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