[LMB] Komarr and Rho Ceta (map)

Tel teldreaming at gmail.com
Sun Jan 16 05:44:47 GMT 2011

On Sat, Jan 15, 2011 at 8:44 PM, Gwynne Powell <gwynnepowell at hotmail.com> wrote:

> If they'd left Komarr and just taken the wormholes, there'd always be a
> problem if Komarr tried to make alliances elsewhere - even the Cetas?
> After all, they'd got into bed with them once already. To their profit.

Not talking about all the wormholes, only their own. Fundamentally
Komarr doesn't want to get conquered by Cetaganda either - if Barrayar
can't convince Komarr in the presence of an obvious threat that
cooperation is in both their interests, what does that say about

> And the grassroots Komarrans have the same
> degree of freedom that they had to start with, since Komarr wasn't a democracy
> anyway. In fact, there's probably more opportunities for non-elite Komarrans
> under Barrayar than there ever were in the days of full-on Oligarchy. Also, this
>  way the Komarrans would get no share at all of the money from the
>  wormhole fees.


Komarr wasn't a pure democracy, but as a modern technological society
it was far more free than Barrayar and remains so even under
occupation, by the evidence of female migration. Opportunities exist
through trade and entrepreneurship for ordinary Komarrans to get rich,
and new families are admitted into the elite, unlike on Barrayar. Too,
-all- the children of the elite can inherit power, instead of one son
getting the entailments, so wealth and influence spreads further
around and diminishes.

Some opportunities exist. After twenty years of military service,
perhaps against your own people. If you're a man. If you're physically
able. If you're able to pass the entry tests and security screening
(and Duv -didn't- pass the security screening, Aral greased his way in
out of guilt). If you're willing to take all the crap that gets thrown
your way. And after that, maybe you can get into the middle levels of
the civil service on the same level as a Barrayaran prole, but even as
a twenty-year man you're only at the level a non-veteran Vor is born
at, socially . A handful of Komarrans who have Vor patronage and are
adept at hoop-jumping might get higher, but only a handful. And they
will not be the slightest bit representative of your average Komarran.

But then look at all of the opportunities that are cut off by rigorous
loyalty screening for government jobs and even university posts, and
civil service patronage for primarily Barrayaran veterans (Tien!).
The oligarchic side you so criticize gets exalted - Gregor marries a
Toscane, giving her family private influence that no ordinary Komarran
can match. The democratic side of Komarran politics gets squashed -
the majority of Komarrans wanted the Barrayarans to leave during the
Revolt, Aral sent the tanks in.  What about the opportunities of kids
shot down in the streets?


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