View Single Post
Old 09-27-2017, 01:31 PM   #36
jason taylor
jason taylor's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Portland, Oregon
Default Re: Our dwarves are different

Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
I think that most human cultures romanticize and idealize violent self sacrifice ala the 300 fiction. But that when push comes to shove, it's really almost unnatural mentality for anything other than moment's action for important enough reasons or emotion. Our species wouldn't have lasted this long if half of us were so prone to dying at a moment's notice.
Self preservation and preservation of relatives is paramount to species that take 20 years of heavy resource investment to mature.
Eusocial dwarves could change that assumption realistically, but I personally consider that a too obvious direction to take.

They're eusocial like ants... okay, this is the worker caste, warrior caste, and royal. That's not quite how naked mole rats live and they're arguable a eusocial mammal.
It serves a purpose as every society has to get people to risk their lives for it. And often the difference between the victor and vanquished(which can mean the slaver and enslaved) is whether someone will take such risks. Even in peacetime emergency services can be perilous. Something must motivate people to take actions which they would otherwise only take for close relations. If the only reward is economic then people will weigh their lives against it and find it wanting. The romanticism is a mechanism to in effect allow humans to temporarily behave eusocially. That is not all it is; assuming things are "all it is" is fallacious logically and pernicious to human morale. Or to put it another way, romanticism is part of people's pay.

Among Dwarves the same dynamic could apply of course.
"The navy could probably win a war without coffee but would prefer not to try"-Samuel Eliot Morrison
jason taylor is offline   Reply With Quote