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Old 08-06-2016, 03:09 AM   #11
Tallor
 
Join Date: May 2016
Default Re: Question about Infinity, Centrum, the Cabal...

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
...
I generally run centrum light. Or at least run centrum agents as real people.
...
Except Centrums legendary Unattached Agents, who have the power and cold precision of a Synth Courser.
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Old 08-06-2016, 09:32 AM   #12
robkelk
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Default Re: Question about Infinity, Centrum, the Cabal...

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Originally Posted by Tallor View Post
Except Centrums legendary Unattached Agents, who have the power and cold precision of a Synth Courser.
That sounds like something out of Lensman, right down to the name "Unattached".
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Old 08-06-2016, 10:35 AM   #13
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: Question about Infinity, Centrum, the Cabal...

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
If the economic planning is honest, rational and efficient it might not technically be a command economy. As usually used "command economy" implies wages, prices and supplies of workers and goods set by the fiat of the central government operating on some non-economic rational about what these should be rather than what will actually work.

Having such a thing actually work without extreme ultra-tech levels of data gathering and analysis might say od things about the underpinnings of reality on such a line. I certainly think having Gernsback's (much less intrusively) planned economy work as well as it does implies weird social science.

If you need an actual label for Centrum I think it may be more like Corporatism than anything else in our timeline. The semi-mythical "Japan Inc" might be the clearest example of that. Fascism (as a meaningful classification rather than an insult) is a sub-category of Corporatism that adds extreme natonalism and militarism.

Centrum is also of course Totalitarian as it permits no other social institutions than itself. Centrum's monolithic combination of political, economic and social power is quite extreme in most ways. Persons in search of "Centrum light" can decide that its' vices are all mitigated by the virtues of honesty and rationality.

Having it all work as well as it is supposed to s still werd.
"Corrupt, inefficient, and arbitrary" are not part of the definition of "command economy" if we are to speak "technically". They just are the inevitable results so far as we know. We do not of course know just how poorly Centrum works at home.
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Old 08-06-2016, 08:26 PM   #14
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Question about Infinity, Centrum, the Cabal...

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
"Corrupt, inefficient, and arbitrary" are not part of the definition of "command economy" if we are to speak "technically". They just are the inevitable results so far as we know. We do not of course know just how poorly Centrum works at home.
I believe "arbitrary" _is_ a part of the definition. Inefficient is just the result in all of our experience and corrupt is very common. If Centrum is none of these things then lumping it in with what we call "command economies" is misleading.
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Old 08-06-2016, 08:50 PM   #15
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: Question about Infinity, Centrum, the Cabal...

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I believe "arbitrary" _is_ a part of the definition. Inefficient is just the result in all of our experience and corrupt is very common. If Centrum is none of these things then lumping it in with what we call "command economies" is misleading.
It is not however part of the definition which goes thusly: "an economy in which production, investment, prices, and incomes are determined centrally by a government." Now it is in fact pretty inherent that no realistic government is capable of doing that in very rational manner because no realistic government possesses the required understanding of the integrated economic consequences of every move they make and because even a dictatorship or oligarchy is going to face political pressures to make suboptimal allocations.

Centrum IS a command economy. Any society in which everyone is employed by a single entity which monopolizes all goods and services is. If you believe that a command economy can't be one which managed well (an idea that I feel inclined to agree with)...then the conclusion is obvious. Centrum's economy is not managed well and we've just never seen that because we've never been there. Mind you there a lot of parallels that have capabilities that are impossible in reality. And Centrum does have an advantage over real command economies in that it can subsidize inefficiencies using access to "unlimited resources" from outside.
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Old 08-07-2016, 04:16 AM   #16
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Default Re: Question about Infinity, Centrum, the Cabal...

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
It is not however part of the definition which goes thusly: "an economy in which production, investment, prices, and incomes are determined centrally by a government." Now it is in fact pretty inherent that no realistic government is capable of doing that in very rational manner because no realistic government possesses the required understanding of the integrated economic consequences of every move they make and because even a dictatorship or oligarchy is going to face political pressures to make suboptimal allocations.

Centrum IS a command economy. Any society in which everyone is employed by a single entity which monopolizes all goods and services is. If you believe that a command economy can't be one which managed well (an idea that I feel inclined to agree with)...then the conclusion is obvious. Centrum's economy is not managed well and we've just never seen that because we've never been there. Mind you there a lot of parallels that have capabilities that are impossible in reality. And Centrum does have an advantage over real command economies in that it can subsidize inefficiencies using access to "unlimited resources" from outside.
Wait, why can't Centrum just be using some sort of hybrid economy? It's what every Western nation does now (admittedly Centrom probably has far more command in their recipe then we do, but the ideal mixture has yet to be found.)
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Old 08-07-2016, 09:38 AM   #17
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: Question about Infinity, Centrum, the Cabal...

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Wait, why can't Centrum just be using some sort of hybrid economy? It's what every Western nation does now (admittedly Centrom probably has far more command in their recipe then we do, but the ideal mixture has yet to be found.)
Yeah. Centrum doesn't do that.

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all citizens enter the Service for
which they have most aptitude and
inclination, to be promoted strictly by
talent and achievement. Each adult
citizen belongs to one of seven grades,
corresponding to a specific rank within
his Service.
As I said, the government is the only employer and the only provider of goods and services. Any form of capitalism is prohibited.
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Old 08-07-2016, 10:36 AM   #18
johndallman
 
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Default Re: Question about Infinity, Centrum, the Cabal...

Among the reasons that command economies don't work are that humans can't actually make plans of the needed complexity for an entire modern economy, and even if they could, they wouldn't stick to them, preferring to "do things their own way", either for personal advantage or local optimisations that upset the larger plan.

Since Centrum's homeworld was built up after a very destructive war, it seems possible that their economy is very much simpler than that of any normal world, making a planned economy only inefficient rather than disastrous. It also seems possible that they are a sufficiently disciplined culture that they actually will stick to plans. That suggests that the Interworld Service is where they put people who aren't good at conforming.
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Old 08-07-2016, 05:56 PM   #19
Tallor
 
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Default Re: Question about Infinity, Centrum, the Cabal...

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Among the reasons that command economies don't work are that humans can't actually make plans of the needed complexity for an entire modern economy, and even if they could, they wouldn't stick to them, preferring to "do things their own way", either for personal advantage or local optimizations that upset the larger plan.

Since Centrum's homeworld was built up after a very destructive war, it seems possible that their economy is very much simpler than that of any normal world, making a planned economy only inefficient rather than disastrous. It also seems possible that they are a sufficiently disciplined culture that they actually will stick to plans. That suggests that the Interworld Service is where they put people who aren't good at conforming.
I'm no economist, but I would assume that building a TL7+ command economy is a lot easier when you're building it from the ground up after a major war. There's less economy to manage in the first place, plus there would be a power vacuum for new, radical forms of government and economy. That's my two government-issued cents, anyway.
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Old 08-07-2016, 06:09 PM   #20
ericthered
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Default Re: Question about Infinity, Centrum, the Cabal...

I don't know if this has been mentioned yet, but on a lot of world's centrum's advantage is time: They've been in this game for over a 100 years. On the worlds where they are entrenched, they are well entrenched. Additionally the technology gap is the most glaring where parachronics are concerned.

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I suppose in retrospect the only way for centrum to have anything resembling capitalism is to have either services that compete against each other, or at the very least different branches of the same service.

Also in retrospect, centrum would probably view the lack of capitalism as desirable. Capitalists tend to upset the social order in general.
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