Economic Determinism In the Cities of Greater Sartii:

A Look At The Separation Of Classes

As a noble of the house Durrand, and surveyor of land to be renovated by city funding, I have noticed a distinct difference in the areas focused upon by the Sartii government, and a notable distinction between those who are able to effectively petition the King for public funding. As a rule, those who have money are able to make an impact upon the King or appropriate ruling council, influencing their decisions on the matters of renovation and pubic programs designed for the citizenry. As such, those who have power and influence already are able to direct the flow of money to increase their already considerable wealth while maintaining their positions of power by denying access to prosperity to those already without, therefore assuring their continued position in society.

There exists, within our society, a separation of classes: those who have and those who do not. The nobles, those who have, live in comfort and relative ease from money passed down by generation as a right of birth. The commoners, those who have not, live in squalid conditions working from dawn until dusk in order to make a living that would cause most nobles to cringe in disbelief. This “generational wealth” creates a number of effects, primarily an abundance of leisure time, creation of leisure activities, established power over norms of society, and a culture of waste. Because they live in a world devoid of physical labor, filled with non-productive activities, they are able to create differentiation between themselves and “others” not so fortunate based upon physical characteristics (smooth hands) and irrelevant knowledge (manners, court etiquette). Also, because they are in control of such a large proportion of society, they are able to govern norms for themselves that trickle down to the lower classes.

This control manifests itself in many ways from fashion and speech patterns to creation of jobs or direction of public funding for the general society. Their affluence lends weight and merit to their demands, and those who make decisions, in turn, decide in favor of their initiatives furthering their own wealth and well being at the expense of others. Rather than feeling compassion for their fellow man and acting humanely for the betterment of society, the ruling parties are turned by their silver tongues or even the silver coins their tongues promise. This has many far reaching effects, the least of which being marginaliztion of the lower class within urban centers, leaving them in abject poverty and plague ridden neighborhoods.

“But they bring it upon themselves!” my colleagues may cry, “If they cleaned themselves up, speaking and acting as a human instead of an animal, they would find civilized humans more amenable and willing to impart employment instead of charity.” In which lies your greatest misconception and most grave assumption, that they are able to do such a thing. With their paths towards upward mobility blocked, they are limited in their cleanliness and behavior to that which has been afforded them. We are able to engage in maintenance of hygiene because of two factors, we have the time with which to maintain our looks, and secondly, we have the means with which to afford hygienic materials (baths, soap, perfumes). And as to their behavior, they act as a consequence of their environment. As we speak in the manner in which we have been raised (who cannot recall their mother reprimanding them soundly for mispronouncing words so as to sound “barbaric”), they also speak with a dialect particular to their upbringing. So, as it seems, in order for them to act and look how we would have them look, we would first have to offer them employment with which to afford such a lifestyle as our own. Thus, they are incapable of escaping from the vicious cycle of poverty and unemployment.

This brings me to another point of note in this discussion, behavior, particularly behavior unbecoming of civilized man, more specifically crime. There are those among my colleagues that espouse the immorality of the lower class, claiming them to be inherently chaotic, which is the reason that the gods put them into their position while giving us ours, namely divine right of wealth or poverty. This divine right of birth has many flaws in it, specifically related to the reasoning behind criminal activity. It dawns on me that if everyone was adequately provided for, there would be no reason for non-violent crime, there would be no benefit, which would leave only violent crimes. It is my assertion that, accounting for non-violent crime (theft, burglary, etc.) that violent criminal activity is as common in higher classes as it is in the lower classes. The only instance where this proves to be untrue is when youth are raised in an atmosphere of violence, being taught that in strength and domination lies safety and power, which causes them to be more likely to engage in violence as a solution to problems than those who are not; again, noting this has nothing to do with class, merely the quality of upbringing. The most readily available example is the thieves guild that has sprung up in Sartarus and its outlying cities which remains out of the reach of the Knights and mostly unknown to the citizenry. The reason I bring them up is that the high ranking officials in this guild, presumably, have amassed enough wealth that they may live a life of luxury, yet continue in their life of crime, directing others and guiding them into their illegal lifestyle. Yet, they were still brought into their craft by a need, a need for income with no legitimate means of attaining that income, thus they turn to illegitimate means, as do the youths they indoctrinate seek these illegitimate means to supplement their societal lifestyle goals. Thus, to say that one who is born into the lower class is born to be more susceptible to criminal activity is to say that one who is born into a class that is more susceptible to criminal activity as a result of soceity’s inability to provide means of success is more likely to commit a crime because of a defect from birth, which is totally illogical, and thus is incorrect.

The only way that this and many of the other ills of society to be rectified is to provide fully for all members of society, providing for one’s needs while working with one’s abilities. Thus, a family is provided for by their family need, providing, of course, that the man is working for his living and his children enter the workforce when they are of age. All jobs for the community will be taken care of in exchange for the necessities and niceties of living; which is of course why we created money and goods, so that the goods could be enjoyed in exchange for life’s necessities. I, Bentelal Durrand of House Durrand, will set forth to prove this by creating my own community based upon the theories set forth in this manifesto. To all who come to see my living experiment, Durrand will be a monument to the love of humanity, assuring that happiness is attainable by all involved.

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