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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:03 pm 
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Just curious how everyone imagines Feudal Systems in oolite. For me, I imagine monarchies where the monarch has divided his system into realms with a duke or dutchess over each one. The duke/dutchess has almost unlimited power within their realm and over the citizens within it as long as they follow the laws of the King/queen, and pay their taxes to the monarch.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:13 pm 
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Feudal systems? Nice places to do business. My 'home system' is a Feudal system (TL 7, mainly industrial).

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:09 pm 
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Interesting question...

As someone who doesn't consider himself to particularly understand feudalism, I have a reimagined sci-fi take on the typical medieval model.

Just as monarchies could be overthrown and new houses come to power in medieval history, I imagine various industies and powers vying for a monopoly status within their particular field. If suffieciently well established they might be able to exert considerable power and influence over other industries and groups within the same system, effectively holding them to ransom.

So without effective checks on monopolies I imagine corporate/industrial (in the broader sense of the word 'industry') houses vying for power and influence in similar cut-throat fashion to the various monastic dynasties of Europe (and indeed elsewhere). I further imaging that they would be extracting similar obligations from the less powerful groups within their system, partly in efforts to maintain the status quo and restrict any other groups that might be growing in influence.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:15 am 
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I think, personally, that the eight basic political categories will hide a huge variety … when the political setup of an entire planet is boiled down to a single word, it's going to miss a lot of the subtleties.

But from a historical point of view, a feudal society is at its core an oath-based society, where a ruler rewards followers with some form of property - sometimes loot, sometimes land, sometimes a bit of both - who in return owe service (usually military) to the ruler. Everything else, though, is up for grabs. Western European feudal societies (which didn't think of themselves as "feudal" - the term was coined by 19th-century historians) tended to be based around inheritance, usually but not always through primogeniture, where the oldest (usually but not always male) child inherited everything; but this is not necessary. You could have kings chosen by election or acclaim; kings for life, or for set periods, or until de-selected by one means or another. Nobles could be similarly selected and deselected. And although human beings might tend towards alpha-male hierarchies, there's no requirement for non-human cultures to do so (or even human cultures, long cut off from the rest of the species).

Chuck some religion(s) into the mix, and a planet where some areas are (perhaps enormously) more sophisticated/technologically advanced/connected to the Co-operative than others, and you have a huge range of possibilities. Great chunks of any given planet may not think of themselves as being part of a single planetary culture, and may not recognise any exterior definition. Even supposedly feudal Europe had hundreds of self-ruling towns, communes and religious communities, all with their own rights and privileges and ideas as to who - if anyone - they owed allegiance to, and for what.

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