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Old 02-01-2018, 10:34 AM   #71
jason taylor
 
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Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

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Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
I suspect the end result would not be so different from the systems used in most Western nations today, even if the road there was different.


Hereditary Monarchy/Aristocracy, no intermarriage: In this system power is held by the monarch and/or the aristocrats, in whatever combination, but the twist is that noble families and the royal family are forbidden to marry each other, or to marry out-of-realm. Any offspring of such a marriage are automatically disinherited, if not worse. Instead, all members of the royal and noble families are required to marry commoners.

This prevents several of the common tropes of hereditary systems, for good or ill. You can't cement an alliance by dynastic marriage, and fiefs can't be combined into ever-larger subrealms by marital maneuvering, either. OTOH, you can't combine fiefs into ever larger subrealms by marital maneuvering, which removes a recurrent possible threat to the crown. (In the Middle Ages, royal stability was knocked off-kilter m ore than once because noble families intermarried and gained control of so much territory and wealth that they rivaled the monarch in power and income. In England the thumb rule was the stability required that the crown have an annual income in hard currency at least twice that of the mightiest subject.)

It also helps protect the aristocratic class from the dangers of inbreeding.

Politics now gets into how the commoners are chosen. How do the nobles, and the Prince(ss) meet prospective mates? How do prospective mates compete for the attention of a noble (because they will)? What exactly constitutes a commoner? (Does the son of the Duke's third son count as royalty or a commoner for marriage purposes?)
Manticore has something like that in Honor Harrington only it is there to preserve balance of power.

One idea with that is to have a bride show. It would be ridiculously like The Batchelor.

In practice a disproportionate number of commoners to marry princes will be rich tradesfolk as not only do they have political advantage, a prince is likely to grow up knowing several personally, they won't be as impressed by his crown, and thus the chance of being burdened with a golddigger are less.
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Old 02-01-2018, 11:03 AM   #72
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Of course they aren't. But if you're talking about people having shares in their nation-state or city-state, that sounds like using actual corporations as a model. It's not the same as a "corporate state," which is not based on corporations but on industrial sectors, sort of a top-down variant of syndicalism.

In a broader sense, monarchy in general could be described as having the state be the property of a corporation closely held by a particular family. When you get outside of thinking in terms of business enterprises, a "corporation" is any organization that continues to exist and act after the original founders have died; for example, a multigenerational familial lineage, a church, or a science fiction convention could be described as a corporation. (I remember once seeing a leftist article that attacked France for being in the thrall of corporate fascism. The author apparently didn't know that in French "corporation" means a municipality, and an incorporated business is a "société anonyme.")
I thought a corporation was any organization that can be treated as a person by a legal fiction and was capable of owning property, sueing, being sued, making contracts; it probably cannot commit felony as felony involves non-monetary penalties(RICO prosecutes individuals).

In that sense any state is a corporation. It holds property, can sue or be sued at it's own volition(General George Crook once advised the Apache to sue him; obviously they wanted to sue the Federal government, but apparently there was some hassle about that), and make contracts. It even considers itself to have an inherent honor which can be offended by others, and capable of taking revenge violently which of course commercial corporations can't legally do at least at the present time.

Of course the two things run together. Any group with a sustained common interest will also to some extent be a legal person. Even nomads from deceptively simple societies with little of the stuff that is required for large parts of law like agriculture and specialization and warespace(for property that never leaves the possessors sight can be defended personally and specialized jobs need appropriate regulation), accept and pay weregild for offenses.
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Old 02-01-2018, 11:09 AM   #73
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Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

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Latent Law:

This would require an old society. What it is is when amendment is needed instead of abolishing a law it is retired in to latency. What this means is that it is null at the present time, but viable as a precedent in further amendments. That is it will be used in preference to totally novel ideas given that the same purpose is accomplished.

The main place this is used will be in balance of power jugglings to ensure one interest doesn't become overweighted. Other ideas can come up to taste.
I wouldn't be at all surprised to find this principle applied in Common Law generally - as I understand it a judge can take guidance from precedents that are not directly related to the laws in question, although it's generally done when considering something on which Parliament has not ruled, but has legislated on a similar matter.
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Old 02-01-2018, 11:19 AM   #74
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I wouldn't be at all surprised to find this principle applied in Common Law generally - as I understand it a judge can take guidance from precedents that are not directly related to the laws in question, although it's generally done when considering something on which Parliament has not ruled, but has legislated on a similar matter.
Well the idea was that if there was fear of one faction gain to much power through manipulation of a law that law could be put into hibernation by amendment, but if some unnamed future generation needed the precedent for some reason, it could similarly be awakened by amendment.
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Old 02-01-2018, 03:52 PM   #75
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While the OP quite reasonably objected to, "every democracy is a western liberal democracy and every monarchy is medieval England" there are a number of obscurities in the Common Law that are exotic enough that one does not have to go abroad to find interest. One I found in one book was that it used to be a custom in some villages to cede land as designated parking space to passing Traveller clans, presumably those they have some sort of trade alliance with. The details of land use are also complicated. For instance there have been occasions where two villages shared a wood as pasturage. Likewise rent can have all sorts of weird connotations. In one place on the border it included the duty to sound a horn if the Scots are coming. In another place it included the obligation to marry the landlord's daughter(to provide for her naturally, though moderns would prefer the same effect done with rather less baggage to say the least).
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Old 02-01-2018, 04:57 PM   #76
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While the OP quite reasonably objected to, "every democracy is a western liberal democracy and every monarchy is medieval England" there are a number of obscurities in the Common Law that are exotic enough that one does not have to go abroad to find interest.
Years ago, in one of my earlier GURPS campaigns, I had five British adolescents stray over the borders of the faerie realms. In the course of their journey, one of them was mind controlled by the amorously inclined king of the Orkneys. When she appealed for help, a warrior woman who had volunteered to act as her bodyguard ran the king through with her spear. Naturally, this resulted in a trial. So they tried Violet on charges of murdering so-and-so, and the judges ruled that the act was not murder, because it was done in defense of a mortal woman who was not one of the king's subjects and was a guest of the fair folk. And then they tried Violet on charges of murdering the king, and my players boggled a bit—though as it turned out, the fair folk of Orkney decided that his deeds were unworthy and he was no king of theirs; in fact they ended by offering the kingship to Violet.

A lot of this came out of Kantorowicz's The King's Two Bodies, which I think is a really brilliant study of medieval political thought.

It's been my experience that if I want to make up exotic and mind-blowingly weird alien cultures, I can often do so by having them do something some human culture has done, because human beings are weirder and more diverse than most Americans (and probably most people in any one culture) can imagine.
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Old 02-01-2018, 06:29 PM   #77
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Years ago, in one of my earlier GURPS campaigns, I had five British adolescents stray over the borders of the faerie realms. In the course of their journey, one of them was mind controlled by the amorously inclined king of the Orkneys. When she appealed for help, a warrior woman who had volunteered to act as her bodyguard ran the king through with her spear. Naturally, this resulted in a trial. So they tried Violet on charges of murdering so-and-so, and the judges ruled that the act was not murder, because it was done in defense of a mortal woman who was not one of the king's subjects and was a guest of the fair folk. And then they tried Violet on charges of murdering the king, and my players boggled a bit—though as it turned out, the fair folk of Orkney decided that his deeds were unworthy and he was no king of theirs; in fact they ended by offering the kingship to Violet.

A lot of this came out of Kantorowicz's The King's Two Bodies, which I think is a really brilliant study of medieval political thought.

It's been my experience that if I want to make up exotic and mind-blowingly weird alien cultures, I can often do so by having them do something some human culture has done, because human beings are weirder and more diverse than most Americans (and probably most people in any one culture) can imagine.
One thing I found fascinating in Wiki is all the differing types of land tenure. For instance the whole plot of Stevenson's Kidnapped hinges on understanding the distinction between Fee Simple and Fee Tail. That is the House of Shaws must have been entailed otherwise David turning up out of the blue would only be an annoyance rather then a potential disaster for it's previous holder.

In regard to tenure I once tried to think of how land could be owned alodially by anyone except the state or a rich lord with the power to hire mercenaries as the nature of land makes it impossible to protect personally(you can protect your pocketknife by hiding it, but to protect land you have to fight for it and more important you need the help of others in fighting for it).
A sort of commune like Ancient Athens was possible but that is just paying rent in another way. One way I thought of was an agrarian guild that gives options in return for money and labor. The guild dues would not be paid for land one holds now but for future land by developing and protecting someone elses. In essence it would be a pyramid scheme.
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Old 02-01-2018, 09:36 PM   #78
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Default Re: Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems

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One thing I found fascinating in Wiki is all the differing types of land tenure. For instance the whole plot of Stevenson's Kidnapped hinges on understanding the distinction between Fee Simple and Fee Tail. That is the House of Shaws must have been entailed otherwise David turning up out of the blue would only be an annoyance rather then a potential disaster for it's previous holder.

In regard to tenure I once tried to think of how land could be owned alodially by anyone except the state or a rich lord with the power to hire mercenaries as the nature of land makes it impossible to protect personally(you can protect your pocketknife by hiding it, but to protect land you have to fight for it and more important you need the help of others in fighting for it).
A sort of commune like Ancient Athens was possible but that is just paying rent in another way. One way I thought of was an agrarian guild that gives options in return for money and labor. The guild dues would not be paid for land one holds now but for future land by developing and protecting someone elses. In essence it would be a pyramid scheme.
In a setting with technology well ahead of our own, or a low-tech setting with the right sort of magic, there might be ways to render land useless except to someone who knows how to undo the effect. So nobody but Yeoman Smith can even do anything with that parcel of land because it's only fertile for Yeoman Doe.

We could probably render land near-useless today chemically or radioactively, but making it selectively and conveniently reversible is harder, but it might become possible in the future by some means.

But if only Yeoman Doe can use that acreage for anything, then it's only valuable to Yeoman Doe. That doesn't mean he's entirely out of the woods, of course, the very fact that it's potentially still valuable to him gives others some leverage. But that ability might provide one foundation plank of an exotic setting.

If one the blood heir can make the land useful, usurpation becomes more complicated, among other things...
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Old 02-01-2018, 11:53 PM   #79
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- A bicameral elected legislature. One house passes laws, with a 2/3 majority needed for any decision; meanwhile, the other house is only permitted to consider removing laws, with a 1/3 minority needed. (The idea being that if you can't get 2/3 of the legislature behind an idea, it's probably a bad one, and if a law bothers a full third of the people, maybe it needs to go.)
In one of the Star Trek novels Vulcan is mentioned to have a system like this: Tri-cameral legislature, two houses required to pass laws but one house that acts only to rescind laws.
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Old 02-02-2018, 12:10 AM   #80
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But if it's pointed out in the 1958 novel I'd like you to indicate the relevant passage.
"Why, the purpose is," he answered, hauling off and hiding me in the knee with a hammer (I kicked him, but not hard), "to find out what duties you are physically able to perform. But if you came in here in a wheel chair and blind in both eyes and were silly enough to insist on enrolling, they would find something silly enough to match. Counting the fuzz on a caterpillar by touch, maybe. The only way you can fail is by having the psychiatrists decide that you are not able to understand the oath."

I didn’t bother to list the various non-combatant auxiliary corps because, if I wasn’t picked for a combat corps, I didn’t care whether they used me as an experimental animal or sent me as a laborer in the Terranizing of Venus — either one was a booby prize

Some of them were dropped without prejudice and allowed, if they wished, to sweat out their terms in the non-combatant services;

And you have forgotten that in peacetime most veterans come from non-combatant auxiliary services and have not been subjected to the full rigors of military discipline; they have merely been harried, overworked, and endangered — yet their votes count."
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