[LMB] OT: Medieval parliaments

Harimad harimad2001 at yahoo.com
Mon Sep 19 20:53:18 BST 2011

D> On Mon, 9/19/11, Damien <phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu> wrote:
D> And of course history gives us little model for what happens
D> to a 100% literate population with deep democratic traditions
D> under deep stress. Emberverse survivors turning to Big Men
D> doesn't seem impossible; having that be a uniform response
D> seems unrealistically simplistic.

MZB has this happening on Darkover, in which a highly literate, generally highly educated ship's personnel and colonists are stranded on a mostly inhospitable planet.  (The planet is Darkover, the novel is Darkover Landfall.)  By the time we see the planet[1] society has become stratified and feudal[2].  MZB wrote a short story illustrating how this happened, indicating that extremely challenging conditions favored a Big Man decision-making process - "No time to argue about what to do," basically.

- Harimad

[1] Chronologically speaking.  In publishing order Darkover Landfall is 7th.
[2] Although not stagnant.  Felt I had to mention this, for anyone who hasn't encountered this series yet.

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