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Siddermark Going the Way of the Wiemer Republic? (Spoilers?)

This fascinating series is a combination of historical seafaring, swashbuckling adventure, and high technological science-fiction. Join us in a discussion!
Re: Siddermark Going the Way of the Wiemer Republic? (Spoile
Post by firespier   » Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:09 pm

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Just for accuracy:
It is called Weimar Republic
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Re: Siddermark Going the Way of the Wiemer Republic? (Spoile
Post by PeterZ   » Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:22 am

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Dilandu wrote:
PeterZ wrote: Wouldn't be surprised if indentured servitude doesn't rear it ugly head in the region. Heck, that same vile institution may well spring up out East too as capital consolidates into fewer and fewer hands and labor becomes a slave to overly concentrated capital.


For what reason? Slavery is economically-based system. If it is not economically-effective, it disappear rather quickly. Siddarmark is experiencing industrialization, which is not compatible with slavery (because industry required experienced & willing workers to be effective).

But the oligarchs of Siddermark are not about economic gain so much as they are about control. They want all the money and the political power. Forcing indentured servitude on workers is simply legalizing serfdom for occupations not connected to the land. Had they wanted economic gain, they would not have confiscated Charisian owned assets. Nor would they have delayed adopting those changes Merlin et al discussed in the book. Protector Stonahr wanted to control the speed of change in his country. Protector Hygyn's cronies want to control everything in Siddermark. Indentured servitude seems an attractive tool for that lot of grasping fools.
Last edited by PeterZ on Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Siddermark Going the Way of the Wiemer Republic? (Spoile
Post by Julia Minor   » Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:14 am

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All we need is one Western oligarch getting the idea of the "company store", and the result will be functionally the same as indentured servitude even if the name is different.

And that's a form of servitude that would be relatively easy to import to the eastern part of the country. Maybe not in the larger cities, but small towns could easily slip into "company town" relationships with the oligarch running the local foundry or factory. Given the economic collapse, those town mayors would be desperate to keep the primary employer running.
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Re: Siddermark Going the Way of the Wiemer Republic? (Spoile
Post by SilverbladeTE   » Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:12 pm

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Economic efficiency doesn't necessarily force change IF circumstances support it.
For odd reverse example:

China was so backward thanks to Confucianism B.S. stagnating the country that the military advances other nations had and the internal problems of incredibly entrenched corruption prevented China using its own force to prevent things that led to the Opium Wars.
It was weak, so it was defeated.

Earlier, China had easily enough force (most of the time) to see off anyone.
They could and did close their markets.

~~~~~~~


Regarding the U.S. Civil War
Some industrialists supported the South as they wanted less regulations, desired an "aristocracy", a weaker government they could manipulate and avoid increasing calls for better worker pay and conditions.

This support may not always have been too obvious for some, but it did go on even if it was tacit and hopeful rather than acted up (since they were in range of Federal guns...)

It is fair to say in general terms about support from Industrialists was pro-Federal, but it was, as usual, more complex than that and the victors write the history books (and their misdeeds are sometimes buried with "deniable assets" in unmarked graves)

Greed, fanaticism, arrogance and stupidity have often made for strange bed fellows and bizarre events throughout history.
Classic example later in history is Henry Ford, supported the Nazis yet happily worked for the Soviets in return for gold...irony being he thus helped spur Soviet industrialization that defeated the Nazis!
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Re: Siddermark Going the Way of the Wiemer Republic? (Spoile
Post by isaac_newton   » Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:12 am

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Dilandu wrote:
PeterZ wrote:
[/b]It has many more similarities to the American Civil War. As I recall Lincoln was enamored with Marx and the United States of that day was definitely controlled by a relatively large number of oligarchs. Recall the Robber Barons of America built their wealth from building the railroad. Their rise can be argued to be the financial driver of the Civil War. Slavery was a wedge issues to gain the support of the more populated North whose workers were threatened by unpaid slaves. Northern magnates donated large sums to Abolitionist Movement.


Generally true. The main driving force behind US civil war was a clash between North industrial national-oriented magnates, and Southern cotton resource-oriented magnates.

SNIP.



not everything just comes down to economics.

For a lot of ordinary people [not necessarily the wealthy, of course] slavery was the key issue. In particular the form practised in the south [and previously in the west indies [under the british & french].

They correctly saw it as an abomination.

I would further point to the english mill workers who, during the civil war, refused to handle cotten packed by US slaves - and that at great cost to themselves.
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Re: Siddermark Going the Way of the Wiemer Republic? (Spoile
Post by dobriennm   » Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:32 pm

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Dilandu wrote:
PeterZ wrote:
[/b]It has many more similarities to the American Civil War. As I recall Lincoln was enamored with Marx and the United States of that day was definitely controlled by a relatively large number of oligarchs. Recall the Robber Barons of America built their wealth from building the railroad. Their rise can be argued to be the financial driver of the Civil War. Slavery was a wedge issues to gain the support of the more populated North whose workers were threatened by unpaid slaves. Northern magnates donated large sums to Abolitionist Movement.


Generally true. The main driving force behind US civil war was a clash between North industrial national-oriented magnates, and Southern cotton resource-oriented magnates.

SNIP.


isaac_newton wrote:
not everything just comes down to economics.

For a lot of ordinary people [not necessarily the wealthy, of course] slavery was the key issue. In particular the form practised in the south [and previously in the west indies [under the british & french].

They correctly saw it as an abomination.

I would further point to the english mill workers who, during the civil war, refused to handle cotten packed by US slaves - and that at great cost to themselves.


Sigh :(

I really, really didn't want to comment on this whole topic because of the absolute firestorm it will set off, but so many people are just plain wrong and I can't keep biting my tongue.

The first, second and third cause of the Civil war was Slavery, Slavery, and Slavery. Anything else mentioned (economics, etc.) are way down the list and are part of the Myth of the Lost Cause. See The Myth of the Lost Cause: Why the South Fought the Civil War and Why the North Won

The South saw itself being hemmed in by the Abolitionists such that eventually there would be more Free States then Slave States, thus losing the Electoral College (the Presidency) and the Senate as well as losing the House due to population disparity. Losing power meant potentially having slavery banned in the entire United States, which was intolerable to everyone in the South who was not a slave.

Read the book above for the evidence, Southern Leaders themselves said at the beginning of the Civil War that it was solely about slavery. Even the Confederate Constitution specifically nullified States Rights by prohibiting the states from doing anything about slavery.

Everyone in the South (who was not a slave) supported slavery because (a) even if you were bottom of the pile socially, at least there was always someone beneath you, and (b) you always felt you could move up in the world by owning a slave.

And please don't use the false argument that slavery was a dying economic institution. Read the book above, slave prices were stable and even rising before the Civil War, showing slaves were becoming even more economically valuable. Plus, for those thinking industrialization is incompatible with slavery, consider Henry Ford's assembly line along with Taylor's time/motion studies. An assembly line is almost tailor made for slaves, simple repetitive motions of many workers resulting in complex machinery. After all, what are robots on the assembly line now but machine slaves.

So basically what I'm saying is comparisons between the Civil War and Siddermark are completely off. The Weimar Republic might be a better comparison, though it's more "sorta, kinda".
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Re: Siddermark Going the Way of the Wiemer Republic? (Spoile
Post by Dilandu   » Wed Feb 13, 2019 1:00 pm

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dobriennm wrote:
The first, second and third cause of the Civil war was Slavery, Slavery, and Slavery. Anything else mentioned (economics, etc.) are way down the list and are part of the Myth of the Lost Cause


This is oxymoron. Slavery by itself is economically-based system of exploitation. It is literally impossible to separate slavery from economic.

dobriennm wrote: Losing power meant potentially having slavery banned in the entire United States, which was intolerable to everyone in the South who was not a slave.


...And why this was a problem, if you are claiming that economy was "secondary" reason? Because Southerners were just Generic Bad Guys, who liked to oppress peoples just for fun? I seriously doubt that.

dobriennm wrote:Everyone in the South (who was not a slave) supported slavery because (a) even if you were bottom of the pile socially, at least there was always someone beneath you, and (b) you always felt you could move up in the world by owning a slave.


It's just don't make any sense. The societies are not build on the basics "we need to have someone who is suffering more than we are". The societies are based on economical interactions first and foremost. The reasons for Southern lower classes to support slavery was, again, firstly economical.

dobriennm wrote:And please don't use the false argument that slavery was a dying economic institution.


...It was objectively dying economic institution. It was just plainly not effective in comparison with hired workers & industrial machines for nearly everything. The cotton, being VERY manpower-demanding & hard to mechanize (until cotton picker was invented in XX century) was basically the only area where slavery was still profitable.


dobriennm wrote: Plus, for those thinking industrialization is incompatible with slavery, consider Henry Ford's assembly line along with Taylor's time/motion studies. An assembly line is almost tailor made for slaves, simple repetitive motions of many workers resulting in complex machinery.


You seems to be mixing monotonous work with slavery. Which is simply not true. The secretary who is filling forms is generally doing rather monotonous work too, but you could hardly consider him a slave.

The difference is, that on Ford factory, workers were actually interested in performing their job well, since they have positive motivation to do that (they get paid). Slaves who have only negative motivation (to avoid being punished) have absolutely no desire to work above absolute minimum, and even this could be achieved only in relatively simple kind of jobs, like cotton-picking. Any kind of job, which required coordination - like work on assembly line - would just suffer of constant delays.

There was a nation that actually tried to use slave workforce for industrial need. It was the Nazi Germany. And despite the brutality which would probably get even most of Southern slave owners sick, this just didn't worked. Slaves put on assembly lines are not even slightly interested in quality control, and have far too many ways to "accidentally" damage the final product, which would led to quick failure. By the end of WW2, the German production quality was abysmal, with machinery basically falling apart from the moment it was used.

After all, what are robots on the assembly line now but machine slaves.


This is just utterly senseless. Industrial robots have neither free will, nor intellect. Claiming the industrial robot to be a slave, is basically as sensible as claiming that you are enslaving the doorknob (you didn't pay anything for poor thing, and you are groping her constantly by your sweaty palms, you, inhuman monster! Free the doorknobs!) :D
------------------------------

- Who would won in battle between strawman Liberal-Democrat and strawman Conservative-Republican?
- Scarecrow from Oz; he was strawman before it became political.

P.S. - And he have Russian twin, to watch his back)
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Re: Siddermark Going the Way of the Wiemer Republic? (Spoile
Post by SilverbladeTE   » Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:26 pm

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Dilandu,
You make good points, except for one glaring oversight:


many Human Beings do not really give a damn about efficiency, or facts, or honesty.
In fact a lot of people are plain bloody idiots because it is easier to be stupid than to think, to have compassion, to study and tabulate data etc.

So, just like Poland and its huge number of ridiculous Szlatcha minor nobles who clung to their ridiculous privileges which made them feel superior to peasants, even if they were no better off financially,
Many 1800's Americans did felt "empowered" because they could "spit down on slaves".
You could be poor as dirt but slaves were even lower, not even "Human"
literally, by the demands of the system, as making them seen as "non-human" by cultural manipulation made abuse of Black slaves "acceptable"...even..."righteous"...ick!
Hence they became "cattle".
De-Humanization, sigh :(

It's ugly, stupid Human Nature at some of its worst :(

Logic has nothing to do with it, same with the excess greed of the Victorian-era Industrialists and today's Corporations.
Some of the S.O.B.s did betray their nations in both World Wars...because that is Human Nature.
Same with using slave workers by the Nazis and others, the arseholes at the top didn't care, it fit their insane "world view".

Another example are the Eugenicists and their garbage, it was never based in fact, they wanted it to be that way and so warped things, or denied them, to fit their view and so Eugenics crimes were being carried out long after the Nazi regime fell, from many U.S. states to Switzerland and lots of other countries beside.
They used "Science" as an excuse to make some people an "untouchable class"...so the Eugenic supporters could feel "powerful".
And it is STILL going on.

As I mentioned, those smug, wahoo Confucianists castrated and hamstrung China.
They violently opposed change and they kept torturing, murdering, imprisoning and ruining innovators and many others all they way through centuries to Mao's horrific regime!
Mao was not a "communist" or whatever, he was just re-walking Qin Shi Huang's decent into an egotistical, nihilistic, self-obsessed Hell, almost to a "T".
Similar fashion with Stalin, except Stalin was more practically effective but that is damning with faint praise as he still caused colossal chaos and ruin.

Real world of Humans does not work on fact, logic and has limited empathy, alas.
And "economics" is absolutely NOT a Science no matter what garbage folk spew on different sides.
It is an "art form" because it is driven by Human EMOTIONS.
2008 Financial Crash should have been yet more proof to drive that fact through the World's skull, sigh.

Thus, while RESOURCES are hard, factual limits, everything else is Human Chaos :mrgreen:

So, if fictional characters, groups and nations behave stupidly in these novels, that just mirrors Real Life!

And now...back to your regularly scheduled programs!


"It's just a rabbit!" :lol:
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Re: Siddermark Going the Way of the Wiemer Republic? (Spoile
Post by dobriennm   » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:46 pm

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Sigh :(

Read the book, it makes the arguments very plain
Why the South Fought the Civil War and Why the North Won

Whatever the economics of the situation (and I do believe free people are better for industrialization than a slave based system), the social aspects overrode every other aspect -the free people did not think of slaves as human beings and thought that they were only suited for slavery. They were never going to give up that belief willingly or to allow their beliefs to be challenged.

Their actions during the Civil War demonstrated that their sole reason to leave the Union was to maintain slavery.

Again, read the book.

Again, the Civil War is not a good comparison to the situation in Siddermark


Dilandu wrote:
dobriennm wrote:
The first, second and third cause of the Civil war was Slavery, Slavery, and Slavery. Anything else mentioned (economics, etc.) are way down the list and are part of the Myth of the Lost Cause


This is oxymoron. Slavery by itself is economically-based system of exploitation. It is literally impossible to separate slavery from economic.

dobriennm wrote: Losing power meant potentially having slavery banned in the entire United States, which was intolerable to everyone in the South who was not a slave.


...And why this was a problem, if you are claiming that economy was "secondary" reason? Because Southerners were just Generic Bad Guys, who liked to oppress peoples just for fun? I seriously doubt that.

dobriennm wrote:Everyone in the South (who was not a slave) supported slavery because (a) even if you were bottom of the pile socially, at least there was always someone beneath you, and (b) you always felt you could move up in the world by owning a slave.


It's just don't make any sense. The societies are not build on the basics "we need to have someone who is suffering more than we are". The societies are based on economical interactions first and foremost. The reasons for Southern lower classes to support slavery was, again, firstly economical.

dobriennm wrote:And please don't use the false argument that slavery was a dying economic institution.


...It was objectively dying economic institution. It was just plainly not effective in comparison with hired workers & industrial machines for nearly everything. The cotton, being VERY manpower-demanding & hard to mechanize (until cotton picker was invented in XX century) was basically the only area where slavery was still profitable.


dobriennm wrote: Plus, for those thinking industrialization is incompatible with slavery, consider Henry Ford's assembly line along with Taylor's time/motion studies. An assembly line is almost tailor made for slaves, simple repetitive motions of many workers resulting in complex machinery.


You seems to be mixing monotonous work with slavery. Which is simply not true. The secretary who is filling forms is generally doing rather monotonous work too, but you could hardly consider him a slave.

The difference is, that on Ford factory, workers were actually interested in performing their job well, since they have positive motivation to do that (they get paid). Slaves who have only negative motivation (to avoid being punished) have absolutely no desire to work above absolute minimum, and even this could be achieved only in relatively simple kind of jobs, like cotton-picking. Any kind of job, which required coordination - like work on assembly line - would just suffer of constant delays.

There was a nation that actually tried to use slave workforce for industrial need. It was the Nazi Germany. And despite the brutality which would probably get even most of Southern slave owners sick, this just didn't worked. Slaves put on assembly lines are not even slightly interested in quality control, and have far too many ways to "accidentally" damage the final product, which would led to quick failure. By the end of WW2, the German production quality was abysmal, with machinery basically falling apart from the moment it was used.

After all, what are robots on the assembly line now but machine slaves.


This is just utterly senseless. Industrial robots have neither free will, nor intellect. Claiming the industrial robot to be a slave, is basically as sensible as claiming that you are enslaving the doorknob (you didn't pay anything for poor thing, and you are groping her constantly by your sweaty palms, you, inhuman monster! Free the doorknobs!) :D
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Re: Siddermark Going the Way of the Wiemer Republic? (Spoile
Post by PeterZ   » Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:45 pm

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dobriennm wrote:Sigh :(

Read the book, it makes the arguments very plain
Why the South Fought the Civil War and Why the North Won

Whatever the economics of the situation (and I do believe free people are better for industrialization than a slave based system), the social aspects overrode every other aspect -the free people did not think of slaves as human beings and thought that they were only suited for slavery. They were never going to give up that belief willingly or to allow their beliefs to be challenged.

Their actions during the Civil War demonstrated that their sole reason to leave the Union was to maintain slavery.

Again, read the book.

Again, the Civil War is not a good comparison to the situation in Siddermark

Indeed. Yet, the issue with slavery was also political as well as social and economic. The 3/5ths compromise attempted to give the slave states more political representation in the federal government by counting slaves as 3/5ths a person with respects to allocating House and Electoral Gollege seats. Destroy the institution of slavery and the Southern Magnates will have lost ANY chance of equitible representation compared to Northern Magnates. The confederacy has 9 million residents, with 4 million slaves. Eliminate slavery and the landed Southern gentry would have lost every bit of power they have.

As the Jim Crow laws developed, we see how the magnates would have fought that. The Southern States could not have prevented a massed Northern and Western migration as they enacted such laws. The South would have quickly been reduced to close to their 5 million white citizens. At that point the 1860 census would have reapportioned nearly half their existing representation to the northern States. Recall that freed black in the North were counted as 1 person. Northern magnates would have further consolidated their control over the federal government and siphoned off almost all federal investments one way or another.

So the political aspects were profound. Asserting the social aspects overwhelmed them is marching a bridge too far. Asserting that the social aspects could have achieved the same degree of passionate support absent the massive contributions of magnates incented to further reduce control of the Southern Sates from the federal purse strings is also a bit much. All three aspects contributed to a seriously powerful feedback loop supporting the abolition of slavery.
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