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Adventurous Jobs, and the Duties of the Rich to the Poor
Posted: Posted September 9th, 2018 by chiarizio
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In other threads, about wealth and class and privilege, I’ve suggested that Reptigan, and maybe Adpihi, have class systems that are organized in a way to keep inequality from growing too much too fast.

It partly depends on obligating the rich to do certain things to help the poor; and partly on obligating the poor to undertake certain dangerous or hard jobs for the benefit of society.

I also mentioned that “explorers” and similar people would be the “rock stars” of my concultures.

So I’m thinking, what if every upper-class family were obligated (through “soft” sanctions — social pressure rather than law) to pay to outfit some lower-class youngster with everything s/he’d need to probably survive and succeed at a tour of duty on one of these adventurous, which is to say dangerous and difficult, assignments?

What if they got to call him/her their “child”, for at least as long as s/he were on duty?

What if they got to bask in the reflection of whatever glory s/he earned?

For that matter, the upper classes would not want their offspring and heirs to abstain from these prestige-generating jobs; they’d want at least some of their children to earn some of that glory first-hand.

I’m thinking, when an upperclass family was sending a newly-adult (or at least nearly-adult late adolescent) out to seek glory, they’d not only pay for his/her equipment and training; they’d also find some likely lower-class youth, and pay for that one’s training and equipment as well, with the understanding that the lower class youth would become their darling’s “buddy”, and “watch out” for him/her for the duration.

The two youths would be called each other’s “siblings” while in the service. After their service was finished, they’d still be called “siblings”, unless they’d fallen mutually in love and wanted to marry, and in fact could marry.

Lots of opportunity for drama.

Maybe the lower class kid dies but the upperclass kid survives (perhaps the poorer kid sacrificed himself/herself to save his/her buddy.)

Maybe it happens the other way: the rich kid dies and the poor kid now has to comfort the bereaved parents.

Maybe, after they muster out, they don’t like each other enough to call one another siblings.

Or, maybe, the rich kid wants to marry but the poor kid would rather just be friends. Or the other way around.

Or, they both are in love, but they’re the same sex, and it’s (probably) the first marriage for both of them. (At any rate it couldn’t be the third marriage for either of them!) One’s first two marriages are supposed to be for offspring, so they’ll have to wait at least eighteen to twenty-seven months even if they really rush things. And actually third marriages are supposed to be delayed until after menopause or the climacteric, so they may have to wait more like twenty years or so.

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Me, I like this idea.
What does anyone else think?

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ADDED IN EDIT:

It has occurred to me that one of the pair might want to make a career out of the service, while the other might want to pursue some less-adventuresome career.
Suppose they got married (I imagine this would be a minority outcome), and one (say, the one from the poor background) wanted to stay in the service, while the other wanted to enter the workforce (say, the kid from the rich family wanted to get into the family business).
As long as they could have and raise a kid or two, I think the stay-at-home would benefit from having a well-admired spouse, and the career adventurer would benefit from having the financial backing of a well-to-do spouse.

This would be especially interesting if the adventurer were the wife and the stay-at-home were the husband.

Actually, if the wellborn one wanted to keep adventuring and the one with humble origins wanted to settle down, and they married, the wealthy family might take the humble-born child-in-law into their business.

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In other threads, about wealth and class and privilege, I’ve suggested that Reptigan, and maybe Adpihi, have class systems that are organized in a way to keep inequality from growing too much too fast.

It partly depends on obligating the rich to do certain things to help the poor; and partly on obligating the poor to undertake certain dangerous or hard jobs for the benefit of society.

I also mentioned that “explorers” and similar people would be the “rock stars” of my concultures.

So I’m thinking, what if every upper-class family were obligated to pay to outfit some lower-class youngster with everything s/he’d need to probably survive and succeed at a tour of duty on one of these adventurous, which is to say dangerous and difficult, assignments?


I think the Reptigan notion of taming inequality is interesting. Could we have some examples?

Re explorers cum rockstars. It wasn't so very long ago that, at least in the US and possibly the UK, explorers and inventors and pioneers were society's big stars! In the day, the papers and newsreels were full of the great strides in aviation, technology & science. Lindbergh flew across the ocean in an airplane and was feted as a hero and they made movies about the feat. Anymore if someone announced a cure for cancer or alzheimers this week, it might get a mention on Yahoo News, but the story would be crammed between any one of half a dozen jumped-up "celebrities" having a melt down and the 24-7 coverage presidential tweets and for that matter the 24-7 coverage of "celebrity" tweets.

The system you describe reminds me rather of 19th century Britain. That was a time of a great awakening to the social ills of society and that wealthy people ought to help the less fortunate as a matter of social duty.

The notion of "taking in" a poor kid or three for that kind of adventure I think is an interesting idea. Kind of somewhere between an apprenticeship and a practical schooling and a public works programme. Perhaps after the tour of duty is over, such a young person could wind up with a commission as a (very) junior officer in the military or with a position of some authority in a business concern (a foreman for example). If an artistic or scientific or spiritual or some other kind of talent-gift is revealed, perhaps the rich family would be obligated to steer their adopted child into an appropriate course of study.

I think such a system would benefit society in several ways. Obviously, only a few can be directly helped in this way. But, those few will basically be shunted into the middle classes as teachers, civil servants, career military, physicians, artists, perhaps even politics as local councilors or (commons) MPs. They will help as economic drivers and also may serve as object lessons for other poor people. In a highly stratified class system, the serf can never hope to become a lord; but in a system like this, he may hope that his kids can become shop keepers or physicians or guild lords or naval officers.

What if they got to call him/her their “child”, for at least as long as s/he were on duty?

What if they got to bask in the reflection of whatever glory s/he earned?


Possibly. In any event, it would behoove the adopting family to tout the triumphs of their adopted adventurer in the press of the day. After all, the child's successes will reflect well on the family.

For that matter, the upper classes would not want their offspring and heirs to abstain from these prestige-generating jobs; they’d want at least some of their children to earn some of that glory first-hand.


Sure. And this also reminds me of earlier days in America and Britain where the young men were often sent into the military to earn some glory and renown for the family.

I’m thinking, when an upperclass family was sending a newly-adult (or at least nearly-adult late adolescent) out to seek glory, they’d not only pay for his/her equipment and training; they’d also find some likely lower-class youth, and pay for that one’s training and equipment as well, with the understanding that the lower class youth would become their darling’s “buddy”, and “watch out” for him/her for the duration.


Sounds reasonable.

The two youths would be called each other’s “siblings” while in the service. After their service was finished, they’d still be called “siblings”, unless they’d fallen mutually in love and wanted to marry, and in fact could marry.

Lots of opportunity for drama.


Probably too much drama. ;)

Maybe the lower class kid dies but the upperclass kid survives (perhaps the poorer kid sacrificed himself/herself to save his/her buddy.)

Maybe it happens the other way: the rich kid dies and the poor kid now has to comfort the bereaved parents.


Naturally, in the former situation, the wealthy "sibling" would be socially motivated & encouraged, within this system, to look after his "sibling's" family in some way. A kind of weregild. A situation might then develop where, when he himself marries and begins a family, he'll choose to "take in" a son or daughter from that same family that his own "sibling" came from.

We'll need proper words for these extended relationships!

Such a situation could last for generations and perhaps lead to some acceptable level of intermarriage, depending on how relatively high or low the wealthy family is and how relatively well-to-do or not the "taken in" children end up. For example, I doubt very much that a high noble or royal family will "take in" a random urchin off the street. And such a one, if he ended up becoming a guild master, for example, would not make for an appropriate match for a princess royal. But the son of a wealthy physician might make for a decent match to the daughter of a minor noble.

Maybe, after they muster out, they don’t like each other enough to call one another siblings.

Or, maybe, the rich kid wants to marry but the poor kid would rather just be friends. Or the other way around.


Possibly. Much will depend on the kind of society. I'm kind of liking this idea for Auntimoany, having as it does some affinity for certain earlier British ideals. But I rather doubt that a daughter of a wealthy family would be paired with a "taken in" boy. Way too much potential for future problems! Also unlikely that two such male "siblings" would want to marry one another. Unless, in Reptigan / Adiphi, pseudo-same-sex attracted behaviours are socially acceptable and in some ways expected (I'm thinking like ancient Greece). That is not the case in Auntimoany. In any event, the wealthy young man would be expected to marry a suitable girl so the wealth can be passed along to a suitable heir! (Now, if the two boys dìd happen to both be same-sex attracted ánd were mutually attracted to each other, I could see a situation where the wealthy boy could be married to a girl for convenience and dynastic considerations while also being joined with his "sibling" in actual brotherhood. And they'll just have to keep mum as to what that entails.)

Or, they both are in love, but they’re the same sex, and it’s (probably) the first marriage for both of them. (At any rate it couldn’t be the third marriage for either of them!) One’s first two marriages are supposed to be for offspring, so they’ll have to wait at least eighteen to twenty-seven months even if they really rush things. And actually third marriages are supposed to be delayed until after menopause or the climacteric, so they may have to wait more like twenty years or so.


Sensible.

Me, I like this idea.
What does anyone else think?


I'll definitely be working out how these ideas might apply in The World!

It has occurred to me that one of the pair might want to make a career out of the service, while the other might want to pursue some less-adventuresome career.
Suppose they got married (I imagine this would be a minority outcome), and one (say, the one from the poor background) wanted to stay in the service, while the other wanted to enter the workforce (say, the kid from the rich family wanted to get into the family business).
As long as they could have and raise a kid or two, I think the stay-at-home would benefit from having a well-admired spouse, and the career adventurer would benefit from having the financial backing of a well-to-do spouse.

This would be especially interesting if the adventurer were the wife and the stay-at-home were the husband.

Actually, if the wellborn one wanted to keep adventuring and the one with humble origins wanted to settle down, and they married, the wealthy family might take the humble-born child-in-law into their business.


Quite possibly!

Posted September 9th, 2018 by elemtilas
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Examples?

Before you asked, I was thinking of this in terms of the charities whereby an USAmerican family can sponsor a child from-and-in a third-world country, beginning by helping them pay for an elementary-school education. Of course this also involves helping the sponsored child fulfill those more basic needs they have to not be too worried about to concentrate sufficiently on school.
The sponsors get regular updates on the status of the child —— especially including photos! And they are encouraged and enabled to correspond to the child. Once the child is educated enough and mature enough, the updates begin to include correspondence from the child. This might continue until the child comes to the States to finish a professional degree and meet their sponsors! Then they’ll probably go back home to open a practice there, but continue a lifetime sort of penpalship with their sponsors.
(All of that depends hugely on a string of lucky breaks, no single one of which is all that unlikely, but the entire sequence is kinda improbable. )

But, after reading what you asked, it occurred to me that a real-world example of the Krupp family ironworks, and a canon fictional example of Major Barbara, could be an extreme example of something like this. In the Krupp family, the child who inherits the ironworks is always a foundling. I believe the RL Krupp family makes a habit of adopting at least one foundling every generation? I don’t really know; I’m sure I could check it out, and maybe later I will do so. In Major Barbara, the foundling was already adult when the family met him, and he and their daughter Barbara wound up marrying (unless I’m mistaken — I never saw the whole play :$: ).

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It might be typical, if the rich “kid” and their “poor” buddy stayed friends their whole lives, for them to become one another’s third spouses, no matter what their sexes were, once they’d both had all the children they ever wanted to have, and had passed the age when they’d be likely to have more.

In Reptigan, this kind of sponsorship might be extended between sapience-types. AIs and non-human biosapients might sponsor, and/or be sponsored by, humans and/or each other. Maybe several of the first few cross-type marriages would be such third marriages.

I’m really intrigued by your notion that a tragedy such as the sponsored youth sacrificing their life, or maybe just taking permanently crippling wounds, to save the sponsoring family’s child, could lead to a generations-long patron/client relationship between the families!

I seem to have had the idea that the sponsoring family would usually expect their sponsored child to come into business with them, if they didn’t just keep adventuring, or go into some profession where they could help the sort of people who lived in the circumstances they themselves came from.

I put a bit of thought into what sort of arrangement a couple would have to make if the mother were the explorer and the father were the stay-at-home worker.
I think, in order to conceive, gestate, give birth to, and start to raise a child, she’d need to be able to get home to her husband (and child, after a while) every night for about 2.5 years.
After that she could be available for adventuring missions up to at least six months a year for up to at least the next five years.
Then if they want a second child, she’d take another “active rest” of duty near home for another 2.5 years.
Probably after that she’d retire from active duty. OTOH if she did another tour of five years of six-out-six-in duty, at the end she might not want a third kid because of her age. But she might be just young enough to have a third kid; however, this being Reptigan (or possibly Adpihi), she and her first husband wouldn’t want him to be the father of her third child.

Six months a year of long-distance marriage wouldn’t damage the marriage, because they’d both be free to take on a second spouse, who would be comfortable with the primacy of the first marriage. Chances are, after their initial 2.5-year bride-and-groomship, he’d find somebody local and she’d find someone else in the service. A pair of questions that interests me is, would he find a mature wife who was or had been already married and maybe a child or two, or would he find a virgin ( or at least a maiden)? For her part, would she find an older, more experienced veteran, who might also be a sort of mentor, or would she find a young man on his first tour, whom she could mentor?

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In Victorian times, in England, the country was still reacting to the threat of the French Revolution and the threat of the Napoleonic dynasty.
England already had a gentler-than-usual-for-Europe Pareto distribution of property wealth. In England, 30% of the people owned 70% of the wealth; in most European (or, at least, West and Central European) countries, 20% of the people owned 80% of the wealth. (In some, 10% of the people owned 90% of the wealth.)
The upper and middle classes of England thought it their duty to forestall any resentment the property-less inhabitants might have toward them. At least they didn’t want them angry enough to have a revolution; certainly not angry enough to want to behead people just for being born rich!
So they put effort into charitable projects. They’d sponsor houses-cum-schools for orphaned, or sometimes just poor, kids to live and grow up and be taught how to support themselves. They’d send around food, and items they may have made with their own hands, to families one of whose parents was ill. Especially if it were a one-parent house, or the sick individual were the only breadwinner, or the only one able to do the normal lady-of-the-house chores.
Even in America the first ‘student loans” weren’t really loans at all; originally they were outright scholarship grants from (at first) minor nobles and (later) rich commoners. Then, when they became loans, they were at first zero-interest loans.

In the military an officer’s chances for advancement, especially while young, depended in part on the interest of someone wealthy or otherwise important (such as a Congressman or Senator in the US, or a Peer or an MP in England). So that’s another parallel between RL (perhaps specifically Victorian England) and this stuff. I suppose even now, a cadet who somehow has a good relationship with a military contractor, might have a leg up.

For canon fiction, see https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/RCN_Series .
And https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/educational-magazines/major-barbara .
For RL history, there’s this: https://g.co/kgs/zf7dsc

[quote=“Wikipedia”] Andrew Undershaft was loosely inspired by a number of figures, including the arms dealer Basil Zaharoff, and German armaments family Krupp. Undershaft's unscrupulous sale of weapons to any and all bidders, as well as his government influence and more pertinently his company's method of succession (to a foundling rather than a son), tie him especially to Krupp steel.


[quote=“Wikipedia”] Krupp was also a revolutionary company that paved the way for workers rights. Alfred pioneered a system in which if the worker pledged loyalty to the company, he would be offered an unprecedented amount of benefits and social programs including on site technical and manual training, accidental, sickness, and life insurance, housing (sometimes free), recreational facilities, parks, schools, bath houses, and department stores. Widows and orphans were guaranteed pay if their husbands and/or fathers were killed.



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If you’re familiar with the plot of Prince of Persia, you might have seen that a commoner kid who saved a royal life, might be “adopted” into the royal family. There would likely be some specification made that he couldn’t inherit the throne, nor could he or his descendants enter the line of succession. But I think he might have been made a Life Lord! (In fiction he might be made a Duke or a Serene Highness).

I don’t know if you’ve heard of the White Rajahs, but IRL there was a British family who were adopted by some heirless Rajah of some Insular Southeast Asian country after rescuing him from pirates, who actually became the Rajahs of that country. So that’s probably a possibility.

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IRL the bigger the donation and the more complete the sponsorship, the likelier the sponsor was upper class and/or rich. Like Bill and Melinda Gates, e.g.

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I have the feeling I just rambled some. You’re free to actually organize whatever you want to respond to!

Posted September 10th, 2018 by chiarizio
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BTW I was assuming that, as far as the Corps or Services or whatever-the-word is concerned, the rich recruit and the poor recruit would be equals, for as long as they were in the service. It’s just that the service would try to keep them posted together. They’d probably get promotions at around the same time, unless one were unusually talented or the other were unusually untalented. If it were to turn out that, say, one was a great C.B. and the other were a great J.A.G. Corps member, they might still try to keep them as near each other as was practicable.

In their own and their families’ minds, they would be cognizant of their duties to look out for each other. This obligation might be better enforced upon the poor kid (partly in their own mind) than upon the rich kid, but the rich kid’s family, and the service, would regard it as a point of honor that the obligation was reciprocal. And judging by cop shows the rich kid would start regarding his/her buddy’s or partner’s welfare as essential to her/his own!

It would be after completing their (first?) tour, that the difference in their classes might come back up.

Posted September 10th, 2018 by chiarizio
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BTW I was assuming that, as far as the Corps or Services or whatever-the-word is concerned, the rich recruit and the poor recruit would be equals, for as long as they were in the service.

In their own and their families’ minds, they would be cognizant of their duties to look out for each other.


I think this is a fascinating bit of geopoesy! It strikes me that what you're describing is, in my mind at least, a little more modern that what I was describing. Your Service Corps sounds a lot like a social descendant or evolution of my "taking in" system; a more official organisation, perhaps with government involvement. It's starting to remind me of a combination of the ancient practice of fosterage (where a noble would take the son of another and raise him along with his own children) coupled with the WPA and with a touch of Peace Corps thrown in to the mix.

Posted September 11th, 2018 by elemtilas
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It's starting to remind me of a combination of the ancient practice of fosterage (where a noble would take the son of another and raise him along with his own children) coupled with the WPA and with a touch of Peace Corps thrown in to the mix.

Sounds about right.
Thanks!

Posted September 12th, 2018 by chiarizio
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It occurred to me that, if such a system were indeed prevalent in the U.K., the young fosterling might indeed become a Lord, though probably only a life lord rather than a lord whose oldest/youngest son/daughter would inherit his/her lordship.

If the humbly-born kid’s talents were spiritual or ecclesiastical or whatever, his/her patron’s family would steer him/her into the church. If s/he rose in the ranks thereof, s/he might become a Lord Spiritual. There were always more Lords Spiritual than Lords Temporal since 1351, when the parliament created by the Magna Carta in 1215 was split into a House of Lords and a House of Commons. Since Lords Spiritual were for sometime expected to be celibate, or at least heirless, their lordships would not be hereditary.

If his/her talents were forensic, s/he might be started in a career as a barrister, and eventually a judge; and s/he might be appointed a “Lord of Appeal”, ranking as a baron for life. See https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lords_of_Appeal_in_Ordinary . This barony would not be inheritable, most of the time.

If s/he remained in the service, s/he might become an admiral, and eventually a lord of the admiralty. In real-life history these people were often hereditary Lords temporal. Sometimes they were Lords Spiritual, and sometimes knights who were members of the House of Commons. And not all of them were, or ever had been, admirals.

If his/her talents were political, s/he might stand for a seat in the House of Commons. S/he might rise within those ranks, to become a Right Honorable Member. The monarch, in consultation with His/Her Majesty’s Government, might honor him/her with a knighthood; even a baronetcy. Baronet was the highest type of knight and the lowest type of Lord; that was the only rank which could choose whether to serve in the House of Commons or in the House of Lords. (Usually when someone says “peer”, “baronet” is understood.) The monarch would not want to give such a person a rank higher than baronet until his/her career in the House of Commons were over. But, while knighthood wasn’t hereditary, I’m not sure the same is true of baronetcy. And anyway a retired house-of-commons big-shot might be created some higher rank than a mere peer.

If there ever are or were Lords of industry in Britain, maybe the humbly-born client child could be steered into becoming some sort of magnate or tycoon. I dunno, maybe I’m getting a little far-fetched now!

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However, “Lord” and “Lady” and so on mean something different in my conworlds than they do or did in Britain or Ireland or Europe or Japan (or Auntimoany, probably!). And I’m not sure there’s any hereditary legislative or judicial or government-executive positions.

— — — —

Does any of that spark any interest?

Posted September 14th, 2018 by chiarizio
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It occurred to me that, if such a system were indeed prevalent in the U.K., the young fosterling might indeed become a Lord, though probably only a life lord rather than a lord whose oldest/youngest son/daughter would inherit his/her lordship.


This I would doubt. England was, I think, far too class conscious in general to allow anything like this to happen.

The rest, possibly!

However, “Lord” and “Lady” and so on mean something different in my conworlds than they do or did in Britain or Ireland or Europe or Japan (or Auntimoany, probably!). And I’m not sure there’s any hereditary legislative or judicial or government-executive positions.


As one might expect, there are "official" meanings & usages (for example, a gravio or noble might be addressed as "lord"); and "unofficial" usages (for example, the "lord of the fair" or some other honorary title).

But let's see. There are seven houses in Parliament (the Ricksthinge).

The House of Nobles certainly includes hereditary lords. In this case, heads of the noble & trading houses. Interestingly enough, this House has technically been open to Daine who own an ancient and respectable trading house, even though it's only recently they've been given the vote and even considered to be "a kind of people".

The House of Divines has no nereditary MPs. With the possible exception of maybe one or two hereditary priestships.

The Freemens Moot is an elective body, but the electors that choose the Freemen often hold semi-hereditary electorships.

The Folksdage is elected by the local population. As I recall, the first Daine to stand for election ever was sent to this House.

Those are the legislative Houses. There are a further three deliberative Houses:

The Hall of Worthies is appointed by the Empress (or co-Emperor, if he had a mind for these kinds of things) from the various churches, abbeys, universities and libraries in conjunction with the hierarchs of those institutions. These are not hereditary seats.

The Deanery of Arbitrators is also an appointed body.

The Guild of Excisioners is also elected, in like manner to the Freemen's Moot.

The throne itself is not heritable --- Emperors are made (and sometimes broken) by a somewhat mysterious group called the Kingmakers. Judgeships at all levels are appointed. It's not unknown for a barrister to take over the parental judgeship, though.

Posted September 15th, 2018 by elemtilas
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What are the duties of each house?

Posted September 15th, 2018 by chiarizio
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What are the duties of each house?


The four Legislative bodies may each individually, severally or jointly propose a Bill for consideration. One thing to be noted is that each of the four Houses kind of caters to a particular constituency within society: the House of Nobles caters to the needs of the wealthy, the inherently powerful, the ritually powerful and authoritative; the House of Divines caters to the spiritual and religious needs of society, and is often a strong spokesman for the poor. The Freemens Moot caters to the needs of the middle classes: tradesmen, merchants, guildsmen and the like. The Folksdage caters to the needs of labourers, unguilded craftesmen, farmers, less wealthy merchants, country folks and so forth.

The two Deliberative bodies, the Hall of Worthies (scholars & experts appointed by the monarch) and the Deanery of Arbitrators (self-appointed experts in many fields), may not as a rule propose legislation, but rather serve as a check against the excesses of the legislators. Their job is to consider the text of a Bill, compare it with competing Bills in Session, compare them with already existing Law and render Opinions as the usefullness, viability, likelihood of accession / veto by the Empress, etc.

Legislative Bills are documents drafted by legislators that are proposed ammendments to the Code of Law. A Bill may be proposed by any member of the four deliberative Houses, and often, competing Bills are proposed in two or more Houses. Once a Bill is adopted by its proposing House, it is sent with its competing Bills to the Hall of Worthies for their consideration. They draft a series of Compromises which they have determined will rectify any differences between the various Bills. They also draft an Opinion in which they offer their wisdom on the contents of the Bill. The original Bills, the Compromise Bills and the Opinions of the Worthies are then sent to the Deanery of Arbitrators who smooth out any conflicting elements and offer their Opinion on the process and the final drafts of the Bills in general. All of this is then sent back to the four deliberative Houses for a final vote. If the Compromise Bill is unanimously approved, or is approved by three quarters of the Houses, the final draft is placed in a sealed portfolio and transported to the vaults of the Bank. If approved by two Houses, the Bill is sent back to the College of Arbitrators who discuss the votes of the other Houses and break the tie either way. If a Bill receives final approval of only one House, it is "tabled" by being placed on a huge round table in the atrium of the Ricksthinge. Watched over by the guards in the atrium, all the tabled Bills that accumulate are gathered at the end of sessions and ceremoniously burned in a festival bonfire. For purposes of future reference, copies are sent to the Archives. Presumably in order to prevent such a folly in future sessions of the Ricksthinge!

At the end of each day, the portfolios are taken and guarded in the vaults of the Bank until the Days of Deliberation, which is the time traditionally set aside for the Emperor to be made informed of their content, to read through them and grant his consent or disconsent to any approved legislation. Consented Bills become Laws and are then inscribed in the Code of Law, which is promulgated the next New Year for general enforcement. Disconsented Bills may be reconsidered by the Deanery of Arbitrators and Hall of Worthies who may work on a resolution that is more satisfactory to the Emperor. If such a resolution can not be reached, the Bill is "tabled"; if reached, it is sent back to the Emperor. If the resolution is again disconsented, the Bill is considered dead and can not be reconsidered until a future session.

When a sufficient number of Bills have been consented or disconsented by the Monarch, he will summon the parliamentarians to a full session called Prorogation. When this summons is read out, all deliberative action ceases and all Bills in Session are "tabled". In effect Parliament is suspended for a time. At the appointed time, the consented Bills are gathered up into a great Folio and bound in read leather into which the Imperial Seal is seared. This, along with the Emperor will go from the Palas down to Parliament for a very important ceremony.

Here, with all the MPs present in the great Hall, the Monarch will sit in majesty and ritually promulgate the Law. The newly bound Folio will be placed before the chosen Reader who will then read out the Preface, noting the session's dates and places of deliberation and the roll of MPs entered into the Folio, followed by the Index of Deliberations and Bills in Consent. This is basically the table of contents of all the new laws plus those not passed. Then, one by one, the summation of each new Law will be read out, along with the roll of Houses passing each Bill, followed by the ritual Words of Imperial Consent. Either the Reader may do this or the Emperor may choose to do this. At the end of the reading of the new laws comes the Index of Deliberations and Bills in Disconsent, which are not read or even published in summary. At the end of the list, the formulaic Words of Imperial Disconsent are uttered. At this time, the Monarch may deliver a second Throne Speech, summing up the work done and whether his government did a good job or not. Sometimes a particuarly irate Emperor might just give the do-nothing MPs a good old harangue.

Parliament is then dissolved until called for again and the People can rest at ease for a while, knowing that no new silly laws will be enacted for a while!

Posted September 16th, 2018 by elemtilas
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Will that work?
Would it work in real life, or is its success confined to fiction?

IRL parliaments/legislatures with more than three houses have seldom been attempted, and parliaments with more than two houses have seldom been very effective for very long.
I’ve never heard of a RL parliament with more than four houses.

This all sounds very Avantimannish, so it might be a keeper for fictional purposes anyway, whether it’s practical or not.

Posted September 17th, 2018 by chiarizio
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Will that work?
Would it work in real life, or is its success confined to fiction?

IRL parliaments/legislatures with more than three houses have seldom been attempted, and parliaments with more than two houses have seldom been very effective for very long.
I’ve never heard of a parliament with more than four houses.

This all sounds very Avantimannish, so it might be a keeper for fictional purposes anyway, whether it’s practical or not.


So far it's worked pretty well. As far as constitutional monarchies go, Auntimoany's is pretty strong on the monarch's side. I guess they figure a strong Parliament, or at least a big one, will keep the Throne in check. On the other hand, I think they also realised that a Parliament with too few houses would tend to favour a single segment of society. I.e., the US Congress pretty much exists to keep itself in power. :| And tends to pander to special interests. With four relatively competitive houses each with its own built in special interest assortment, all sectors of society tend to balance out. And on top of that, they must also have understood that one, or better two, relatively independent bodies of fact checkers & reconcilers would come in handy to keep the other four houses in check!

I note you didn't ask about the seventh House (and I forgot to mention their duties)!

The seventh body of legislators, the Guild of Excisioners, plays a radically different role in the Government of the Empire and indeed is seen by some as the Government's greatest adversary or the People's greatest friend. For the business of this body is neither to craft legislation nor pass bills nor collect taxes nor wage wars nor preside over fancy dinners. The Guild meets once every twelve years in two sessions of four months each with a month's vacation between sessions. Their sole function is, upon their election in the same manner as the Freemens Moot, first to consider all the Bills passed by the Ricksthinge over the previous twelve years and to determine which ought to be stricken from the books. During their first session, they discuss all the Bills enacted over the previous twelve years. They will often hear testimony from representatives of the People and will also rely upon accounts from the broadsheets of the time when formulating their Opinion.

During their second session, they determine which of the Bills they scrutinized ought to be excised from the code of law. All such Bills as they choose to excise are immediately stricken from the books, any taxes they impose are lifted any offices created are nullified. There is no imperial veto, no appeal and no redress apart from the Ricksthinge being able to introduce a new legislation to replace the old during their next term. However, this must be approached most carefully, as it is rare that the Emperor will countermand the will of the Guild nor that the Hall of Worthies will grant support to a renewed Bill, once it has been sliced out by the Excisioners.

The powers of the Guild are in theory broad and far reaching. Although they have no power to go back in time and excise ancient laws, they may cut as little or as much as they please from the present twelve years of legislation. In practice, the Guild has never excised any law pertaining to the intrinsic function of Government itself. Their chief goal is to examine Bills involving taxes, imposts and expenditures: if they believe that taxes have become too onerous and that the Government have been spending too much, they may step in to correct the deficit.

In general, the power and influence of the Guild ebbs and flows. In the second and third years immediately following their Sessions, it seems that they might as well not exist as a body, for the parliamentarians exhibit a greater liberty in proposing taxes or spending Bills. It is not until about three years out from an impending Session that the legislature regains its senses and moderates itself, as if in preparation for the inevitable ire of the Excisioners.

Posted September 17th, 2018 by elemtilas
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The Excision power is kinda like “judicial review”, then?
They can strike down an Act for being something like “unconstitutional”?

—————

In Medieval and Renaissance Europe the fate of most multicameral legislatures was to fade under the shadow of absolutism; so Auntimoany’s strong monarch fits RL history there.

In England, the Lords owed the Sovereign support in time of war because of their feudal duties —— it was the fee they owed for their tenure as the King’s vassals.

But anything the Commons contributed was a gift 💝 🎁 to the Sov from the knights and burgesses and other commoners.

Their control of H(is)(er) Majest(y’s)(ies’) pursestrings led to the increasing power of Parliament.

- - - - -

Also (this is all hearsay, coming from me, including the above paragraphs), one factor in England’s Parliament becoming “the Mother of Parliaments”, was the fact that the Lords Spiritual had a permanent and significant majority over the Lords Temporal in the upper House.

Don’t know how (nor even whether) that affects your conhistory of Auntimoany and the Eastlands.

Posted September 17th, 2018 by chiarizio
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The Excision power is kinda like “judicial review”, then?
They can strike down an Act for being something like “unconstitutional”?


As I understand the terms, Auntimoany doesn't have either legal concept. As far as judicial review goes, there are discrete instances that function similarly. For example, if the country is going to hell in a handbasket, people might start questioning the monarch's sanity or ability to rule. In legal terms, such an Emperor is said to have "lost the Commission of Heaven", which is kind of like the "divine right to rule" that other kings and potentates claim, but this one has actual cosmic & metacosmic ramifications. "Judicial review" comes into play when the Kingmakers Guild decides it is time remove the Emperor from office.

Usually this happens late at night and involves big strapping lads dressed in black hoods and robes and wielding knives. The result is immediately made known to the People by a bit of a bloody mess on the street out front of the Palas.

That's democracy in action.

There is no legal concept of constitutionality. One, there is no written Constitution to appeal to or decide on the basis of. The law is the Law, and therefore, by definition, "constitutional" because it is impressed with the Emperor's seal & signature and the State Seal. And has been publicly promulgated.


The excision power is purely (anti-)legislative in nature. It's mandate and focus arises from the groans and complaints of the People. Though quite possibly, there may also be matters of personal animus. For example, if an excisioner is elected who is a baker by trade and has had many difficulties due to some onerous legislation directed towards bakers and other food preparation concerns, it may well be possible for this individual to overturn that legislation simply because he doesn't like the new law or perhaps can't stand the MP that drafted the Bill!

In Medieval and Renaissance Europe the fate of most multicameral legislatures was to fade under the shadow of absolutism; so Auntimoany’s strong monarch fits RL history there.


It's definitely a see-saw. Things are pretty smooth now, and Empress Yesseraê is indeed a strong willed woman. Her husband, the duly consecrated Emperor turned out to be rather a weak monarch, more interested in hunting and sporting with his noble comrades. Had she not staged a very clever coup, Parliament could have run amok.

Of course, with the coup, the pendulum has swung in a radically uncertain and different direction. She's a strong Empress, but it is not yet clear how she will use that strength and who it will be used against. It is no secret she does not much like Daine, and it's possible she may strike down recent legislation in their favour. This would concern most Men of power and wealth very little. They don't trust the Daine either!

But there's always that fear amongst parliamentarians that she could gracefully and amiably prorogue a Session with sweet words for the MPs' hard work --- and then just somehow "forget" to call for a new Parliament! That would pretty much leave her in sole control of everything.

Well, everything except that shadowy & mysterious "parallel government" that the Daine are rumoured to have...

In England, the Lords owed the Sovereign support in time of war because of their feudal duties —— it was the fee they owed for their tenure as the King’s vassals.


Indeed. This is the case in Auntimoany as well. More, in times of war, the monarch takes on the role of Herzog, which comes with very broad and far reaching powers that a peace-time monarch simply does not enjoy. Plus, there's a big old army to back up those powers! This is always a matter of concern for those in Government who would balance the power of the monarch.

Thus far I've neglected to mention the "fourth branch" of Auntimoany's government, which is the Magistracy: the Civil Service, the Burocracy. This of course is where all the laws and order and mandates actually get translated into action. On the civil side, if the Magisters of the Cupboard (kind of like the Cabinet, only perhaps a bit more decorative) don't like a monarch, they can work behind the scenes to ensure that all his directives and promulgations go awry.

There are quite a number of Magisters:

First Magister
Lord of the Treasury
Magister of the Home Services
Magister of the Overseas Services
Chancellor of the Exchequer
Lord Admiral of the Navies and Marines
Lord Field Marshal of the Armies and Militias
Magister of the Civil Service
Chancellor of the Emperor's Justice
Lord Speaker for the House of Nobles
Lord Speaker for the House of Divines
Lord Speaker for the House of the Freemens Moot
Lord Speaker for the House of Folksdage
Lord Gravio of Angera
Lord Gravio of Rumnias
Chancellor of the Posts and Highways
Lord Keeper of the Seals and Signs
Lord Great Chamberlain
Lord High Constable
Magister for Policies and Writs
Magister for Civil Ministries
Lord Bishop of Pylycundas
Lord High Priest of Our Lady of the Seas
Lord High Justice for Angera
Magisters without Portfolio

The top seven are the most important and form the Cupboard, a sort of government in miniature. The Empress had the open support of the First Magister, Treasury and Exchequer when she took control from her husband.

The civil service can make for a well loved reign or a reign of historical catastrophe.

But anything the Commons contributed was a gift 💝 🎁 to the Sov from the knights and burgesses and other commoners.


All of which are graciously accepted!

Their control of H(is)(er) Majest(y’s)(ies’) pursestrings led to the increasing power of Parliament.


Right. Several folks have their hands in said purse. In Auntimoany, it's not so clear that any one faction has gained the upper hand by putting that hand the deepest into the purse!

Also (this is all hearsay, coming from me, including the above paragraphs), one factor in England’s Parliament becoming “the Mother of Parliaments”, was the fact that the Lords Spiritual had a permanent and significant majority over the Lords Temporal in the upper House.


I don't know how many Lords Spiritual there are in Auntimoany. Just by having their own deliberative House in Parliament gives them a great deal of power. This is another little known area of concern for the few who know the history of Auntimoany very well. The House of Divines is not an elective body. If you are the bishop or high priestess or chief cohen or grand poobah of whatever church, temple, sacred grove or etc you have a guaranteed seat in the House. What a lot of people don't know is that very many of the "ancient and venerable shrines" of the Empire are, in fact, Daine establishments whose chief monks could, in theory, take a large number of seats in the House.

This whole Daine Question is one the current Empress is wrangling with, though, as of yet, she has no idea how deep and perilous that Question will turn out to be!

Don’t know how (nor even whether) that affects your conhistory of Auntimoany and the Eastlands.


There are certainly parallels!

Posted September 17th, 2018 by elemtilas
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In re my first post to this thread;
I do not know why it took me until now to think of the term “noblesse oblige”,
which I think is the French short term for “(my) nobility obliges (me)”.

In Adpihi and Reptigan there is no, or very little, inborn or hereditary “nobility”. All of the various clans are equally “noble”; and most offices are elective, including those held for long terms or for life. (Most offices requiring interplanetary or interstellar travel will be long-term and/or few-terms offices, by necessity, because of the physics of space travel.).
Since much property will be heritable, it might be expected that certain families within a clan might rise to leadership and prominence within the clan for at least a few generations, simply in terms of wealth. Also, it might be that certain talents run in families, or that certain families’ young people learn certain skills better or younger, as a benefit from youthful exposure to the skills of their elders.

So there is likely to be a sort of nobility-oid je ne sais quoi detectable.

That whatchamacallit might stand in for the “noblesse” in “noblesse oblige”. I imagine that objectively it will just come down to discretionary funds. But the citizenry of Reptigan (and of Adpihi before them) might still attach ideas similar to “nobility” to the obligations in question.

Posted September 25th, 2018 by chiarizio
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In re my first post to this thread;
I do not know why it took me until now to think of the term “noblesse oblige”,
which I think is the French short term for “(my) nobility obliges (me)”.


Maybe it just took a while to click in?

This is kind of where I was inferring with the idea that wealthier / upper classes would have a social responsibility towards poorer / lower classes.

Sponsorships of adventurers & explorers & the taking in to a wealthy family of a poor child are all good examples of noblesse oblige. But put into very practical & hands on situations.

In Adpihi and Reptigan there is no, or very little, inborn or hereditary “nobility”. All of the various clans are equally “noble”; and most offices are elective, including those held for long terms or for life. (Most offices requiring interplanetary or interstellar travel will be long-term and/or few-terms offices, by necessity, because of the physics of space travel.).

Since much property will be heritable, it might be expected that certain families within a clan might rise to leadership and prominence within the clan for at least a few generations, simply in terms of wealth. Also, it might be that certain talents run in families, or that certain families’ young people learn certain skills better or younger, as a benefit from youthful exposure to the skills of their elders.

So there is likely to be a sort of nobility-oid je ne sais quoi detectable.

That whatchamacallit might stand in for the “noblesse” in “noblesse oblige”. I imagine that objectively it will just come down to discretionary funds. But the citizenry of Reptigan (and of Adpihi before them) might still attach ideas similar to “nobility” to the obligations in question.


I think that makes sense. Something like how a wealthy celebrity will adopt a poor child from some other country. I'm thinking also of the McCain family (Sen. John, e.g.), who belongs to what we might call an American "military nobility". His sense of "noblesse oblige" not only manifested in the adoption of Bridget from a Bangladeshi orphanage, but also his military career (and possibly how he withstood being a POW) and also his honourable & fair minded service in Government.

There's a lot ways the concept of noblesse oblige can manifest in cultures without birthright nobility. And also, plenty of room for those cultures with birthright nobility to fail in their practice of noblesse oblige!

Posted September 30th, 2018 by elemtilas
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Thanks, @padraig!

Posted September 30th, 2018 by chiarizio
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Thus far I've neglected to mention the "fourth branch" of Auntimoany's government, which is the Magistracy: the Civil Service, the Burocracy. This of course is where all the laws and order and mandates actually get translated into action. On the civil side, if the Magisters of the Cupboard (kind of like the Cabinet, only perhaps a bit more decorative) don't like a monarch, they can work behind the scenes to ensure that all his directives and promulgations go awry.


That sounds a whole lot like the witangemot of pre-Norman Britain.


There are quite a number of Magisters:

First Magister
Lord of the Treasury
Magister of the Home Services
Magister of the Overseas Services
Chancellor of the Exchequer
Lord Admiral of the Navies and Marines
Lord Field Marshal of the Armies and Militias
Magister of the Civil Service
Chancellor of the Emperor's Justice
Lord Speaker for the House of Nobles
Lord Speaker for the House of Divines
Lord Speaker for the House of the Freemens Moot
Lord Speaker for the House of Folksdage
Lord Gravio of Angera
Lord Gravio of Rumnias
Chancellor of the Posts and Highways
Lord Keeper of the Seals and Signs
Lord Great Chamberlain
Lord High Constable
Magister for Policies and Writs
Magister for Civil Ministries
Lord Bishop of Pylycundas
Lord High Priest of Our Lady of the Seas
Lord High Justice for Angera
Magisters without Portfolio

The top seven are the most important and form the Cupboard, a sort of government in miniature. The Empress had the open support of the First Magister, Treasury and Exchequer when she took control from her husband.


The Magisters sound like the witan, who made up the witangemot.


The civil service can make for a well loved reign or a reign of historical catastrophe.


Ethelred Unread (“Ethelred the unadvised”) was deposed by his witangemot in favour of an invading conqueror. However that (legitimised) usurper died unexpectedly quite soon. His witangemot then invited Ethelred to resume the throne, on condition that he would henceforth rule “better than he had” ruled previously. He accepted, and apparently succeeded in keeping his promise.

Posted November 4th, 2018 by chiarizio
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