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Old 01-11-2013, 09:50 PM   #10
Peter Knutsen
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Europe
Default Re: Dwarven Governance & Economics?

Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
The thought strikes me that the longer the life expectancy, the more viable an extended family approach to governance becomes.
If Dwarves have long lifespans, then sons and daughters might have much more incentive to take their refusing-to-die parents to court and have them forcibly declared senile, so that they can inherit. Because presumably Dwarves experience time the same way we do, so for them it might be waiting 120 or 150 years for the old man to croak, rather than just a few dozen years after one has reached adulthood.

Rather than have a court system (in which declarations of senility may be won more on the accuser's social popularity than on the actual objectively measured intellectual decline of the accused), the Dwarves might have invented a custom to get around this. One option might be advance inheritance, where every 24 years, after the inheritor reaches adulthood, a sixth of the inheritance is given, so that in effect "economic death" occurs 144 years after the youngest heir has become an adult.

A problem with this is if heirs are sometimes many years apart. 24 years after the first heir is born, he gets his share, but then a year later another heir is born (maybe from the mother's second marriage), so what do you do then? Take back the too-large part that was given to the first heir? He might already have spent it! A custom where everything goes to the oldest heir might be best, but of course this leaves excess heirs at a severe disadvantage. Where do the Dwarves park those?
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