Adventurous Jobs, and the Duties of the Rich to the Poor
Posted: Posted September 9th, 2018 by chiarizio
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.
Me, I like this idea.
What does anyone else think?
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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