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Building a Quasi-fuedal Corporatocracy.

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Logos&Eidos, Feb 22, 2015.

  1. Logos&Eidos

    Logos&Eidos Sage

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    I'm i need of a bit of help fleshing out a society of mine and some of it's constituent ideas. The central enemy nation in my science-fantasy is essentially megacorporation , a concept that doesn't come up all that much in fantasy;at least not anything fantasy related that I've read. I didn't import the megacorp directly from cyberpunk so using it is not just a matter of bring the concept in closer line with "fantasy".

    The corpstate in my setting is one semi autonomous arm of a much larger entity, as long as the arms do not break any of the body's laws or jeopardize it's existence they may do as they please. Which in this case involves an invasion of the homeland that the protagonist come from. Rather than go with the Aesop of"oh capitalism,industry progress are bad" I want to build in some moral ambiguity to the corp, the mastermind behind the invasion he,she or it is going to be evil though.

    My basic idea on how the cooperation is structured is that everybody, from the lowest ditch digger up to the chief executive officers belongs to the corp. Citizen-Employes are indentured-servants if not outright slaves to the corp. They are are born in corp hospitals,are raised in creches,from there sent to training centers then to advanced training before being employed in one of the divisions/guilds of the corp;each arm has it's own divisions. While many on the outside would see this life as oppressive, the Citizen-Employes see it as a competitive meritocracy;both answers are true.

    The Nation that the protagonist are from is something of magocracy fused with a military junta, think love the child of Dragon Age's Tevinter Imperium and Starship Troopers Federation, and you'll see the direction that I'm going for. Compared to that a corporate state might seem like an improvement.

    Some an other idea is that Citizen-Employes are not paid in cash they are awarded points of some kind. which they exchange for various thing that they want or need.
     
  2. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    This sounds kind of interesting. What parts of it is it you're curious about fleshing out more?
     
  3. Hainted

    Hainted Sage

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    Do some research on early 20th century coal miners and textile workers. They worked for the company, lived in company owned housing (with the rent taken out of their "pay") and paid in scrip that could only be redeemed at the company owned stores. Children attend "schools" that train them to do the job the company needs them to do. Small children can sew smaller stitches and fit into areas the adults can't to fix things.

    My area of the country (Martinsville and Henry County Va) was built entirely on these company set ups. I'd say about 90% of the towns in this area have the phrase "The company needed somewhere cheap for it's workers to live." in it's charter
     
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  4. AndrewMelvin

    AndrewMelvin Scribe

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    Further to the previous suggestions, look up the East India Company for an example of a megacorp with almost total control over thousands/millions of people.
     
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  5. stephenspower

    stephenspower Inkling

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    My novel has something similar, an oligarchy in a fantasy world. Nationally, my model was the city-state crossed with trading leagues such as the Hanseatic League and East India. For the main city, I simply imagined what if lobbyists actually were Congressman and used lots of material lifted straight from ALEC's wish list, especially in regards to prisons, and from shit Republicans just casually say. Rand Paul's recent comment that parents own their children will, in fact, play a role in the sequel. There are plenty of models from history you can turn to. For indenture, you might look at those who essentially enslaved themselves for 7 years to afford the passage to the New World.
     
  6. X Equestris

    X Equestris Maester

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    It's an interesting concept, and one you don't see very often in fantasy.
     
  7. Logos&Eidos

    Logos&Eidos Sage

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    How might the point system be implemented and what would be a cooler name than points. The idea that I have right now is that points are more than just salary. They are also a measure of merit, maybe citizen employees also have a level indicating their worth. The more life time points one has more eligible one is to compete for promotion. I can see the pros and cons of the money and merit system being one and the same.

    What to call this nation, consortium,syndicate feel a little to obvious, the best name that I have is union. Related to the name is the corp's titles neither the ones from medieval aristocracy or modern cooperate nomenclature feels right; perhaps a mixture of the two Lord-President.

    How to make a system usualy associated with the badguys in fiction be seen as having good points. Contrasting progressive with or conservatism stasis. The country that protagonists from is in part modled on an older culture, while the corporatestate is something and growing. that growth is part of the motivation for the invasion, expanded yourself while at the same time do away with the relics of an older culture.

    Your world looks interesting, dept bondage is going to be a feature of the mageocracy. Though I'm not sure if I want to include the conceapt of debts being transferable to kin including offspring, while going into the dark territory generational indentureship. havine true slavery would make things less ambiguous in my world.
     
  8. WooHooMan

    WooHooMan Auror

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    The only example of that that I can think of is House Hlaalu from the Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind.
    In the setting, Hlaalu owns about one fifth of the country while in the game, a branch of the House "owns" the city of Balmora along with other smaller settlements on the island of Vvardenfell.
    They're suppose to be a political faction but anyone who joins them enters into a business contract with all of the other members. There's a lot of social mobility in the organization. If you can make money, you can work your way up from a hireling or retainer to a grandmaster or councilman.

    The other Great Houses are a warrior aristocracy, a coalition of backstabbing mages, slave owners and a fundamentalist theocracy. Hlaalu is the least racist/xenophobic and most progressive of the Great Houses. They care a lot about money but money is only the second most important thing to them. They care more about having a good reputation.

    So, I don't know, is that giving you any ideas?
     
  9. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

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    From what I've been told the early Monastery system [in Western Europe at least] might also be a guide.
    There was the Church as the central power and several uniformed divisions [the monks in their various orders] but in many cases much of the day-to-day work was done by lay people,men women and children that got the support of the Monastery/Church organisation for physical and spiritual safety but were tied to them economically. In some places it was a fairly loose tithe on produce or labour that kept them to the Monastery in other places it was more akin to bonded labour or slavery.
    It could also mean some advancement if a child could be taken in to the church as a novice.
     
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  10. Logos&Eidos

    Logos&Eidos Sage

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    Though the Morporatocracy remains murky,escialy the point system. I have a clearer picture of the Magocracy that the protagonist come from.

    You have the Plebeians at the bottom,they own can no property,have no voice in the government,don't start businesses(whether or not it is actually illegal for them to do so is something that I'm still debating). Are perhaps banded from guilds and higher education? The majority work as indentured servants. The only way to advanced out of their tier is to pass the highly competitive Imperial examination thus becoming Citizens; Plebeians that are currently Indentured are ineligible for the exam. Despite begin sat the bottom Plebeians are protected from all forms of molestation under Imperial law and can bring suite against the higher Tiers.

    Citizen Is the next tier up. They can join guilds,participate in higher education,own bushiness and lease land from the gentry.
    If a Citizen passes the Imperial Examination and works for the state they then are eligible for the lower chamber of the assembly . If a citizen successfully undergoes arcane development training they are elevated to gentry.

    Gentry are the highest tier,they are are also mages, while anybody baring an unfortunate few who are born weak-souled can tap in their spiritual fire , those with out the hereditary predisposition are rarely able to achieve a useful level of magical ability. Gentry can lease property directly from the throne and have all the right and privileges of the lower classes. They alone hold the highest offices in goverment, however their is a catch service is mandatory. A member of the gentry must peripatetic in the Imperial Service or forfeit all rights and privileges of their tier; a service that usually military.
     
  11. X Equestris

    X Equestris Maester

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    I probably wouldn't call the lowest class "plebeians". Something else might fit their status a little better.
     
  12. The government in Elantris by Brandon Sanderson is similar to this. Sanderson calls it a feudal MLM in one of his Writing Excuses podcast.
     
  13. stephenspower

    stephenspower Inkling

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    this is a bit convoluted. you might look at citizenship in Rome as well as early America, in which only landed men could vote originally. the indian caste system might also be a good model. how would plebians work and survive in this structure? are they slaves? who decides a baby is plebian? and plebians wouldn't be protected legally at all nor could they bring suit. they would be legally invisible.

    i'd go back and say, where did the system come from? how did it develop organically? don't create it. what it evolve.
     
  14. Logos&Eidos

    Logos&Eidos Sage

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    The Magocracy is an off shoot of a largely dead Empire, it's founders left the great archipelago which constituted the known world. The Empire was at war with and for a very long time was losing against a race of vampiric beings whom the empire called demons. Even after the demons were defeated the empire was so depleted that they could not administrate their territory and collapsed.

    The Empire's basic structure thus the Magocrcies was an out grow of this world's oldest form of government next to theocracy Martial-feudalism. In this world having magic is the norm though only a few individuals will have the talent and dedication to achieve a particle level of power

    The forerunners to the modern battle-mage would use their abilities to carve out safe places to live and secure resources. In exchange for fealty they allowed those less able to live with in their territories. This created a warrior-noble class, since talent could crop up anywhere this prevented the warrior class from being strictly hereditary. Commoner who had the talent were adopted into the Warrior-Noble class instead of being killed for having abilities unbecoming of their station. magic begin the only thing that can effectively fight magic and kaiju begin a normal part of the ecology doubtlessly influenced this. Class system was in theory and even sometimes in practice symbiotic, the warrior-nobles own the land and the resource but are obligated to fight and die to protect it. The common people in exchange for resource and protection in turn work the land and forge the equipment to provision and out fit the warrior-nobility.

    The Empire's and by extension the Magocracy's tier citizenship is in fact partially inspired by Rome, i got the idea then later while doing research found that a similar system actually existed.

    Under the Imperial system all land and resources are owned by the Throne a legal person in manor similar to corporate person hood.

    The First tier are Gentry Mage Nobility, one is adopted into the class upon demonstration of magical aptitude. The children of a mage are neither automatically gentry nor can they automatically inherit a parents "leases", they are citizens. The Gentry alone lease land and resource rights directly from the Throne. which is normally sublet to a wealthy citizen if the Gentry doesn't have any business interest of their own. Gentry are the only ones who can hold seats in the higher chamber of the Assembly and from the ranks of the higher chambers members is the Imperatum selected. The Gentry are also under obligatory national service upon reaching the age of majority they must serve the empire in some capacity,to do otherwise is to be in contempt of station. The penalties for that are quite severe.

    The Second tier are the Citizens, the middle class of the empire. Citizens can lease land from the Gentry and start business,they can also join guilds(a union,trade school and employment agencies all in one) participate in higher education.
    They join take the Imperial Examination and those that pass work for the government in some fashion. Only those Citizens who have worked for the state are eligible for chairs in the lower Chamber of the Assembly. A citizen can also undergo mage training those that successfully complete it are elevated to gentry. Any child of a Citizen is automatically one.

    The Third Tier are the Plebeians they are the lower class, the foundation and bedrock of the empire. They can not lease property, do not own business. Nor do they join guilds. They work primarily as indentures, the majority of their contracts are held directly by the state. Much of what they do is participate Public works which some times involves being loaned to other countries. Plebeians can advance to citizen or gentry by passing the Imperial Examination or undergoing Mage training.
     
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