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How did Earth find itself in a squalor?

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Re: How did Earth find itself in a squalor?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:53 pm

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cthia wrote:
Duckk wrote:http://infodump.thefifthimperium.com/entry/Harrington/233/1

Thanks for the dump, yet as in all of the others I've consumed it doesn't serve the meat and potatoes. It simply touches on Earth's peripheral problems and the same age old dilemma of the economic gap between classes. And the citizens' jadedness err ignorance. How do the people of Earth allow the government to find itself here?

Aside:

Klaus Hauptman wouldn't even make it onto the Solarian League's Fortune 500??? :o

Probably because the League government has about as much impact on the average citizen of Earth as the UN does on the average citizen of the US.

The local system governments are almost completely automatous from the League government in all internal dealings. And even intra-league dealings each system's veto ability keeps the rules and regulations very non-controversial and center of the road.

You might bitch about them being corrupt, or ineffective. Or read the occasional article about how even the best efforts of their Office of Frontier Security couldn't quell all the violence in some war torn system out the back of beyond. But until about 1 year ago nobody thought that the League could screw up in such a way to negatively impact most full citizens.


Basically it doesn't affect them, it's exploitative forces and effects are out of sight out of mind. So why exactly should they have been incited to the kind of overwhelming groundswell necessary to change how the enormous monstrosity has grown to work?
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Re: How did Earth find itself in a squalor?
Post by Theemile   » Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:53 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:
cthia wrote:Thanks for the dump, yet as in all of the others I've consumed it doesn't serve the meat and potatoes. It simply touches on Earth's peripheral problems and the same age old dilemma of the economic gap between classes. And the citizens' jadedness err ignorance. How do the people of Earth allow the government to find itself here?

Aside:

Klaus Hauptman wouldn't even make it onto the Solarian League's Fortune 500??? :o

Probably because the League government has about as much impact on the average citizen of Earth as the UN does on the average citizen of the US.

The local system governments are almost completely automatous from the League government in all internal dealings. And even intra-league dealings each system's veto ability keeps the rules and regulations very non-controversial and center of the road.

You might bitch about them being corrupt, or ineffective. Or read the occasional article about how even the best efforts of their Office of Frontier Security couldn't quell all the violence in some war torn system out the back of beyond. But until about 1 year ago nobody thought that the League could screw up in such a way to negatively impact most full citizens.


Basically it doesn't affect them, it's exploitative forces and effects are out of sight out of mind. So why exactly should they have been incited to the kind of overwhelming groundswell necessary to change how the enormous monstrosity has grown to work?


It's actually mentioned that on most planets that the SL government is considered a joke- so much so that powerful families see League posts (elected and other wise) as a place to park the family idiots so they can't break anything important.

The president of the SL was mentioned to be one of these people, placed to make sure the government is steering the way the important family wants; having him there gives the family a little prestige over it's peers (like a yahting trophy would), while placing the individual in a place where any misstep didn't matter.
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Re: How did Earth find itself in a squalor?
Post by kzt   » Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:09 pm

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Theemile wrote:It's actually mentioned that on most planets that the SL government is considered a joke- so much so that powerful families see League posts (elected and other wise) as a place to park the family idiots so they can't break anything important.

The president of the SL was mentioned to be one of these people, placed to make sure the government is steering the way the important family wants; having him there gives the family a little prestige over it's peers (like a yahting trophy would), while placing the individual in a place where any misstep didn't matter.

Yup. The entire SL government budget is such a minor amount of money compared to the combined GSP of the SL, and the SL government has so little authority on SL member systems, that nobody except for the good government busybodies types cares.

There also isn't that much money in the verge, the real money to be made is in the core. The 2 trillion plus citizens of the wealthy core buy and spend vastly more than the billion of impoverished people on the verge.

Not that being the king of North Korea necessarily sucks for the king, but a corp controlling 100% of the foreign trade through Pyongyang isn't going to make nearly as money as one with 5% of the trade through Rotterdam or Long Beach.
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Re: How did Earth find itself in a squalor?
Post by saber964   » Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:01 pm

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RFC is probably modeling Old Chicago somewhat after RW Washington D.C.. The Mandarins and the rest of the government probably don't actually live in Old Chicago, they probably live in really really nice enclaves or towers. Look D.C. inside the beltway it's mostly slums except near government buildings and rich enclaves like Georgetown and outside the beltway four of the richest counties in the U.S..
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Re: How did Earth find itself in a squalor?
Post by ldwechsler   » Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:35 pm

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saber964 wrote:RFC is probably modeling Old Chicago somewhat after RW Washington D.C.. The Mandarins and the rest of the government probably don't actually live in Old Chicago, they probably live in really really nice enclaves or towers. Look D.C. inside the beltway it's mostly slums except near government buildings and rich enclaves like Georgetown and outside the beltway four of the richest counties in the U.S..



Not quite. I think the League has a role on earth just as the federal government has on Washington, DC. A real lot of the rich seem to work for the League.

Also, we keep hearing about organized riots, etc. I think the League has a lot of control and, just like the feds in Washington, don't care what happens to most people.
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Re: How did Earth find itself in a squalor?
Post by Marty   » Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:29 am

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I think all the ambitious and idealistic people left the Earth for the "opportunities" out there in the cosmos, leaving only the lazy people behind, hence the home world ended up having nothing but the dregs.
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Re: How did Earth find itself in a squalor?
Post by cthia   » Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:10 am

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PeterZ wrote:The method is simple, Cthia. After the Final War "SOMETHING MUST BE DONE!"
People created the Solarian League assuming that the central government would remain small because, since every system could produce everything it needed locally, taxes based on free trade would ever be minute. That was true. Trade was a small potion of each nation's GSP.

What those creators forgot was all the forces surrounding bureaucratic inertia. OFS began by shepherding nations on the perimeter of the League into the more advanced levels of the Core League. By and large they were successful and taxed the developing world for their services. These worlds eventually joined the League. I believe the Shell was integrated into the League in this way.

Then as is the case in all things, OFS began accepting some graft. At first I am sure it made sense for an appendage of the underfunded government agency to look for corporate donations for them to continue their good work. For those donations, corporations received a quid pro quo. Pretty soon the agency was working for the "donations". Soon after that corporations began ....abusing their privileges over the protectorate states. Newly elevated systems began spending longer and longer time in Protectorate status. Eventually, every Tom, Dick and Harry Solarian were told that these people...neo-barbs, couldn't manage their lives without OFS to keep them out of barbarism.

As OFS transformed from an agency that elevated newly discovered systems into a giant vampire squid creating a financing mechanism to support itself and the rest of the federal government, the rest of the government developed appendages to enable OFS to complete its transformation. As those appendages got bigger, it allowed OFS to expand the scale and scope of its activities. That meant more money was being generated, which allowed the federal government to co-opt more and more of the League into supporting its activities.

The citizenry lost their say over the federal government when they declined to accept the burden of paying for their federal government. By transferring the tax burden to foreign entities that had no say in the functioning of the Solarian League federal government, the Solarian Citizen created the conditions for the federal government to ignore the League citizenry. The federal government paid little attention to the citizens because the citizens couldn't unfund their activities. The Citizens didn't spend a lot of time thinking about the federal government because the activities of the federal government didn't directly impact the League citizens one bit. So long as the messaging was controlled, the League citizens never grew aware of possible alarming activities. Add to that ANY League nation could veto any legislation and no elected body of the League did anything. EVERYTHING was done through agency level regulation and/or traditions.

That's why David put the League capitol in Old Chicago, that epitome of American government corruption. The League functions just as Chicago did in it's heyday.

Btw, I will bet dollars to donuts that Earth's local/national government is not so corrupt. The same is very likely true for almost all national governments in the Solarian League.
Do pardon my bold.

I'd like to believe that Peter but where is the proof? Where is the checks and balances that should be present if that is true? Where is the opposing tide?

What and where is the power of the local government if they are not corrupt. Is the local government impotent in the overall scheme of things? A lot of somethings just doesn't make sense to me.

It is difficult to accept at face value that things could end up this way and the average Joe to be ignorant. Democratic governments just don't work like that. If everything on Earth isn't like what is going on in Flint Michigan then where is the proof?

One thing that I obtained from Duckk's dump is the wealth of many citizens in the League. AND if the average citizen isn't corrupt then how can they remain so ignorant of foreign affairs? If there is such enormous wealth of Earth's average citizen then familial, business and friendly ties with Beowulf, Manticore and Sphinx would educate them. Surely they travel and have family and friends scattered about. It isn't as if the average Solarian never ventures outside of their own star system, yet it sure seems that way.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: How did Earth find itself in a squalor?
Post by cthia   » Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:17 am

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Marty wrote:I think all the ambitious and idealistic people left the Earth for the "opportunities" out there in the cosmos, leaving only the lazy people behind, hence the home world ended up having nothing but the dregs.


If that is the case, and I don't doubt that it could be, then it would conspire against the whole idea of the Mandarins. Democratic societies talk amongst themselves. Free speech. And those native Earth citizens who left would communicate what they see from a new vantage point.

Communist countries use ignorance to accomplish what they do. The people are not allowed to travel. News services are controlled. Tourists are regulated or non existent. No outside media, pictures, etc.

This does not work on Old Earth so it just does not compute.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: How did Earth find itself in a squalor?
Post by cthia   » Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:21 am

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The entire government of the League appears to be impotent to me. The Mandarins control everything but that is ludicrous. The size and responsibility of the League government seems too large and great for a select few to corruptly manage without being obvious to the people.

Another thing that throws me -- irks me, is the perceived ignorance of the citizens. The press seems to be nonexistent. I never understood the news services actually. IDSTR mention of any galaxy wide news couriers demanding the rights of the media that I cannot imagine any polity not signing on to the rights of free press.

So where does the ignorance of the average Joe and Julia in the street come from? The average citizen on Earth seem to be as jaded, ignorant and ill informed as the Masadans or the newly discovered system of Refuge. That doesn't sit well with me. Corruption of the government, by the government and in the government should not equate to corruption of the people, by the people and in the people. Yet, where is the locus of the government trying to set things right?

I cannot accept that the ignorance of the majority of Earth's citizens are as portrayed. And if they aren't as ignorant then where is the proof? I cannot accept the people refusing to demand accountability. Earth's citizens being as passive as they are doesn't sit well with me.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: How did Earth find itself in a squalor?
Post by Duckk   » Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:28 am

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No one on Earth cares about what happens out in the Verge any more than the average US citizen cares about the daily goings-on in Venezuela. Seriously, the situation in Venezuela is absolute shit right now, but no one cares because it doesn't have any impact on a US citizen's life. It simply is completely irrelevant to them. And the Solarian bureaucracy makes it a point to keep a low profile in the Core in order to prevent getting Solarian citizens from having a reason to get worked up. The incredibly tiny minority who does care is drowned out by the billions of other voices calling out for attention for their own personal interests. It'd take something major - like, I dunno, a shooting war - for people to pay attention to things happening outside the borders.
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