[LMB] Komarr and Rho Ceta (map)

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Sun Jan 16 07:29:37 GMT 2011

> From: Tel teldreaming at gmail.com

> 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
> Barrayar?
Komarr thought they had a sweet deal with the Cetas. Nobody in government
at the time could look past their greed to see what was likely down the line.
No doubt the Cetas spun them a sweet tale, paid them off, and marked them 
down as an easy conquest after they'd mopped up the odd little nobodies in 
the cul-de-sac off at the side.

And now the Cetas, due to Barrayar's actions, are less of a threat all round. 
The only way Komarr would be at threat frome the Cetas now would be if 
Barrayar ceased to exist, which is unlikely. So it's not part of the calculations
on Komarr.
> > 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.
> Bull.
Convincing argument. 
> 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.
Ok, so according to you life on Komarr is pretty good. There's plenty 
of opportunities, more families are moving up than were doing so under
the stranglehold of the old oligarchy, wealth is spread further.... tell me 
when we get to the bad stuff. According to you, in another post on this
thread, Komarr is a seething mass of misery groaning under the heel of
the cruel invaders. Are there two different people posting this, or do you 
just not pay much attention to what you've said in other places?

> 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). 
Not guilt. A plan to advance more Komarrans and see the integration of
the two cultures. Don't twist the textev.
If you're willing to take all the crap that gets thrown
> your way. 
Because in most real-world jobs everyone is nice to you and you NEVER
have to take anything 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.
A situation which is changing rapidly.

> 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?
> -Tel

According to textev, it was made very clear to the Toscanes that Laisa's
position didn't mean they were going to have huge amounts of influence.
Some, I'm sure, but there's plenty of other pressure groups in the mix.
I think we're not only covering the same ground as before, but we're 
heading back into the 'they're not like us so they're WRONG' way of thinking. 
Not every culture has to follow the same political system. Our way of 
doing everything isn't always the only, or even the best. And, even if it's 
fiction, we need treat it realistically and think about what real people are
likely to do.
Also, don't forget that we're talking about a timespan of one lifetime. 
Piotr went from ToI to uterine replicators. He saw absolutely massive
changes in his lifetime. It took the UK roughly 700 years to go from 
Magna Carta to women getting the vote - I'll bet that Barrayarans go
a whole lot faster than that. But they still need some time to adjust.
There's a limit to how fast you can overhaul a society, go too quickly and 
you just get a kneejerk reaction against it all. It took democracy hundreds 
of years to develop in some parts of the world, and if you watch the news 
you'll see the tragic consequences of imposing a democratic structure on a 
culture that's not ready for it, have a look at what's happening in some
 parts of Africa, the Middle East and even a few spots in Asia. We can't 
arrogantly assume that everyone should be just like us to be a correct 
government. Even if some form of democracy is the desired end, it could
 take some time to get there in a realistic, effective way.

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