History Main / FantasticCasteSystem

23rd Apr '17 12:24:20 PM Generality
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In real life, social inequality and social stratification can be problems. However, in science fiction, things are often a lot worse. Fantastic Social Inequality is what happens. This type of fictionalized society generally consists of some measure of central planning by elites, with all of the "dirty work" being done by workers. Expect for the latter to be thought of as a different culture, and in some cases may even be a different species.

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In real life, social inequality and social stratification can be problems. However, in science fiction, things are often a lot worse. Fantastic Social Inequality ExtremeSpeculativeStratification is what happens. This type of fictionalized society generally consists of some measure of central planning by elites, with all of the "dirty work" being done by workers. Expect for the latter to be thought of as a different culture, and in some cases may even be a different species.
1st Apr '17 10:28:59 PM Theriocephalus
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* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' has the Lizardmen, whose castes are biological: the Slann are giant frogs, the original servants of the Old Ones, with the survivors being the most powerful mages in the world (hell, Lord Kroak's ''mummy'' is still a better caster than most living mages), the Skinks are the priest caste (and skirmishers), and the more powerful Saurus are frontline warriors.

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* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' has the Lizardmen, whose castes are biological: the Slann are resemble giant frogs, frogs and are the original servants of [[{{Precursors}} the Old Ones, Ones]], with the survivors being the most powerful mages in the world (hell, Lord Kroak's ''mummy'' is still a better caster than most living mages), the mages). The small, wiry Skinks are the priest and artisan caste (and skirmishers), and act as attendants to the more powerful Slann, in addition to managing the day-to-day running of the civilization and acting as skirmishers and assassins during war. The strong, physically imposing Saurus are the main warrior caste, acting as frontline warriors.warriors and guarding the Lizardmen's treasures and temple-cities. Finally, the Kroxigor -- colossal, hulking and dim-witted brutes the size of tanks -- perform heavy labor and construction in times of peace, and in wartime join the Saurus on the battlefield, wading through enemy forces to pound their targets into pulp with their bare fists or colossal bronze cudgels.
1st Mar '17 10:32:33 PM M84
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* ''ComicBook/JudgeDredd'' seems to take its cues from several Platonic ideas about state governance. The Judges are effectively a seperate ruling class with absolute power, but their entire life is dedicated to serving the city. Citizens are all non-Judges, who live under constant surveillance but can have all the luxuries that the Judges don't. Judges are selected at a young age and raised as {{Tykebomb}}s; they can quit their job, but an adult citizen cannot become a Judge. All the work is done by robots, mostly removing the issue of a disenfranchised proletariat class common in most of these sci-fi stories.

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* ''ComicBook/JudgeDredd'' seems to take its cues from several Platonic ideas about state governance. The Judges are effectively a seperate ruling class with absolute power, but their entire life is dedicated to serving the city. Citizens are all non-Judges, who live under constant surveillance but can have all the luxuries that the Judges don't. Judges are selected at a young age and raised as {{Tykebomb}}s; they can quit their job, but an adult citizen cannot become a Judge. All the work is done by robots, mostly removing the issue of a disenfranchised proletariat class common in most of these sci-fi stories. [[spoiler:The founder of the system, Chief Judge Eustace Fargo, came to regret ever doing so. He wanted to bring order, not oppress people. Fargo believed he had killed the American Dream.]]
25th Feb '17 5:44:15 AM SeptimusHeap
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* In ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive'', the populations of most of the the major countries are divided into darkeyed common people, and the lighteyed leaders. Within these categories the people are further divided into ten nahns (the darkeyes) and ten dahns (the lighteyes) with the tenth being the lowest and the first the highest. It's possible to work your way up the ladder, through work (such as military service, or through marriage, well-off darkeyes can sometimes marry into a lighteyed family, and thus possibly have lighteyed children. Also, anybody that has a [[AbsurdlySharpBlade Shardblade]] and/or [[PoweredArmor Shardplate]] is automatically important regardless of their birth, and it's commonly believed that a darkeyes who wins a Shardblade in battle will have their eyes change color, which is proven true in the second book. (Notably, "light" colors aren't limited to [[CommonEyeColors the ones usually found on Earth]]- there's mention of nobles with [[PurpleEyes pale purple]] and [[EyesOfGold light yellow]] eyes, with no indication that this is at all unusual.)

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* In ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive'', the populations of most of the the major countries are divided into darkeyed common people, and the lighteyed leaders. Within these categories the people are further divided into ten nahns (the darkeyes) and ten dahns (the lighteyes) with the tenth being the lowest and the first the highest. It's possible to work your way up the ladder, through work (such as military service, or through marriage, well-off darkeyes can sometimes marry into a lighteyed family, and thus possibly have lighteyed children. Also, anybody that has a [[AbsurdlySharpBlade Shardblade]] and/or [[PoweredArmor Shardplate]] is automatically important regardless of their birth, and it's commonly believed that a darkeyes who wins a Shardblade in battle will have their eyes change color, which is proven true in the second book. (Notably, "light" colors aren't limited to [[CommonEyeColors the ones usually found on Earth]]- Earth- there's mention of nobles with [[PurpleEyes pale purple]] and [[EyesOfGold light yellow]] eyes, with no indication that this is at all unusual.)
19th Feb '17 3:44:08 PM rva98014
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[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* ''Disney/{{Zootopia}}'' has a complicated De facto one based around what AnimalStereotypes an animal is supposed to fit. Foxes for example are considered sly and untrustworthy, so they end being forced to live as conman. Judy Hopp's attempt to become the first bunny cop is met with equal surprise and derision. While the [[ObstructiveBureaucrat DMV is staffed entirely by sloths]].
[[/folder]]
3rd Feb '17 1:40:44 AM Theriocephalus
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* FanFic/WhatHathJoinedTogether depicts an AlternateUniverse [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Equestria]] with "the Order" in place, putting alicorns as royalty, unicorns as nobles and the upper-class, pegasi as soldiers and skilled craftsmen, with earth ponies as the laborers and servants. It functions as smoothly as what people who believe in a caste system imagine it to be, serious oppression is rare, and the only recent challenge to the Order came when a unicorn noble attacked Princess Twilight in a rage [[LoveMartyr because she refused to let him marry his earth pony fiance]] [[ChildhoodFriendRomance whom he'd loved since foalhood]]. Celestia, the main pony with the power to influence society against the Order, supports it as UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans to keep Equestria running safely due to some ancient tragedy in her past.

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* FanFic/WhatHathJoinedTogether ''FanFic/WhatHathJoinedTogether'' depicts an AlternateUniverse [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Equestria]] with "the Order" in place, putting alicorns as royalty, unicorns as nobles and the upper-class, pegasi as soldiers and skilled craftsmen, with and earth ponies as the laborers and servants. It functions as smoothly as what people who believe in a caste system imagine it to be, serious oppression is rare, and the only recent challenge to the Order came when a unicorn noble attacked Princess Twilight in a rage [[LoveMartyr because she refused to let him marry his earth pony fiance]] [[ChildhoodFriendRomance whom he'd loved since foalhood]]. Celestia, the main pony with the power to influence society against the Order, supports it as UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans to keep Equestria running safely due to some ancient tragedy in her past.



* ''TabletopGame/{{Space 1889}}'': Selenites in the introductory adventure have this.

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* ''TabletopGame/{{Space 1889}}'': %%* ''TabletopGame/Space1889'': Selenites in the introductory adventure have this.



** The [[OurElvesAreBetter Elves]] in {{Lorwyn}} aren't just [[CantArgueWithElves smug, superior jerks]] to everyone else, but also to ''each other''.
** The Bant shard (the shard composed mostly of White mana with Green and Blue supporting it) in the ''Shards of Alara'' series/trilogy employs a rigid caste system based on the acquisition of sigils, marks of great valor. While it is possible to move up depending on how many sigils one obtains, it's still monumentally difficult. The lack of black and red mana -- meaning virtually no magic can cause unnatural deaths or aimless destruction, but at the same time no magic that supports ambition, desire, or emotional content -- doesn't help.

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** The [[OurElvesAreBetter Elves]] in {{Lorwyn}} Lorwyn aren't just [[CantArgueWithElves smug, superior jerks]] to everyone else, but also to ''each other''.
other''. They base their entire worldview and value system on physical beauty, and how beautiful you are determines your place in society and which of their four social classes you become part of. Faultless elves make up the bottom, "commoner" tier, followed by Immaculate dignitaries and functionaries, Exquisite hunt masters and nobles, and finally the rare Perfects, who rule elven civilization and to whom only Exquisites are allowed to speak. Other races and disfigured eleven are labelled Eyeblights, and can be slaughtered with impunity.
** The Bant shard (the shard composed mostly of White mana with Green and Blue supporting it) in the ''Shards of Alara'' series/trilogy set employs a rigid caste system based on the acquisition of sigils, marks of great valor. While it is possible to move up depending on how many sigils one obtains, it's still monumentally difficult. The lack of black and red mana -- meaning virtually no magic can cause unnatural deaths or aimless destruction, but at the same time no magic that supports ambition, desire, or emotional content contentment -- doesn't help.



** The Tau castes are also racially defined. The Fire Caste are the largest statured and most aggressively-minded, for example.

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** The Tau castes are also racially defined.defined, and are thought to have their origins in the distinct varieties/subspecies that made up the Tau race before the Ethereals united them. The Fire Caste are the largest statured and most aggressively-minded, for example.



** In Dark Eldar society, your position is directly related to birth; natural-born Dark Eldar are so treasured that they're automatically elevated to elite units regardless of their combat prowess, while vat-cloned Dark Eldar must work their way up (assuming they survive that long). Hellion riders also occupy one of the lowest, but most dangerous positions within Dark Eldar society as they are a combination of Street Thugs and small-time Mafia in Commorragh.
* ''{{Warhammer}}'' has the Lizardmen, whose castes are biological: the Slann are giant frogs, the original servants of the Old Ones, with the survivors being the most powerful mages in the world (hell, Lord Kroak's ''mummy'' is still a better caster than most living mages), the Skinks are the priest caste (and skirmishers), and the more powerful Saurus are frontline warriors.

to:

** In Dark Eldar society, your position is directly related to birth; natural-born Dark Eldar are so treasured that they're automatically elevated to elite units regardless of their combat prowess, while vat-cloned Dark Eldar must work their way up (assuming they survive that long). Hellion riders also occupy one of the lowest, but most dangerous positions within Dark Eldar society as they are a combination of Street Thugs street thugs and small-time Mafia in Commorragh.
* ''{{Warhammer}}'' ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' has the Lizardmen, whose castes are biological: the Slann are giant frogs, the original servants of the Old Ones, with the survivors being the most powerful mages in the world (hell, Lord Kroak's ''mummy'' is still a better caster than most living mages), the Skinks are the priest caste (and skirmishers), and the more powerful Saurus are frontline warriors.
28th Jan '17 3:26:55 PM thatother1dude
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* ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'': The [[HiddenElfVillage titular archipelago]] in the ''Islands'' miniseries has the [[spoiler:human]] population governed by three castes marked by clothing colors: Seekers prevent anyone from leaving, have mechanical brain implants and BioAugmentation that make them strong, and [[PurpleIsPowerful wear shades of purple]]. Experimenters do scientific research and wear light blue. Helpers are medical and aid workers who wear white. [[spoiler:Susan Strong, original named Kara, was one of the Seekers. Finn's mother was a Helper, and he apparently would have too if he'd grown up on the islands.]]

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* ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'': The [[HiddenElfVillage titular archipelago]] in the ''Islands'' miniseries has the [[spoiler:human]] population governed by three castes marked by clothing colors: Seekers prevent anyone from leaving, have mechanical brain implants and BioAugmentation that make them strong, and [[PurpleIsPowerful wear shades of purple]]. Experimenters do scientific research and wear light blue. Helpers are medical and aid workers who wear white. [[spoiler:Susan Strong, original named Kara, was one of the Seekers. Finn's mother was a Helper, and he apparently would have been too if he'd grown up on the islands.]]
28th Jan '17 3:24:30 PM thatother1dude
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* The titular machines in ''WesternAnimation/{{Rollbots}}'' are divided into "tribes" by function. Main character Spin is an oddity, having no known tribe.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Thundercats 2011}}'' features a caste system in a medieval StandardFantasySetting with {{Catfolk}}. In Thundera, there's a ruling class at top, a servant class of priests and warriors, a working class, and a low class (slum residents, bums, and ruffians). Per [[AllThereInTheManual the manual]], a Cat's status is determined by whether or not they have a tail. Tails are considered undesirable, marking one as a mongrel and 'genetic freak' which confines them to the FantasticGhetto of Thundera's slums.

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* ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'': The [[HiddenElfVillage titular machines archipelago]] in ''WesternAnimation/{{Rollbots}}'' are divided into "tribes" by function. Main character Spin is an oddity, having no known tribe.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Thundercats 2011}}'' features a caste system in a medieval StandardFantasySetting with {{Catfolk}}. In Thundera, there's a ruling class at top, a servant class of priests and warriors, a working class, and a low class (slum residents, bums, and ruffians). Per [[AllThereInTheManual
the manual]], a Cat's status is determined ''Islands'' miniseries has the [[spoiler:human]] population governed by whether or not they three castes marked by clothing colors: Seekers prevent anyone from leaving, have a tail. Tails are considered undesirable, marking one as a mongrel mechanical brain implants and 'genetic freak' which confines BioAugmentation that make them to strong, and [[PurpleIsPowerful wear shades of purple]]. Experimenters do scientific research and wear light blue. Helpers are medical and aid workers who wear white. [[spoiler:Susan Strong, original named Kara, was one of the FantasticGhetto of Thundera's slums.Seekers. Finn's mother was a Helper, and he apparently would have too if he'd grown up on the islands.]]


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* The titular machines in ''WesternAnimation/{{Rollbots}}'' are divided into "tribes" by function. Main character Spin is an oddity, having no known tribe.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Thundercats 2011}}'' features a caste system in a medieval StandardFantasySetting with {{Catfolk}}. In Thundera, there's a ruling class at top, a servant class of priests and warriors, a working class, and a low class (slum residents, bums, and ruffians). Per [[AllThereInTheManual the manual]], a Cat's status is determined by whether or not they have a tail. Tails are considered undesirable, marking one as a mongrel and 'genetic freak' which confines them to the FantasticGhetto of Thundera's slums.
26th Jan '17 7:44:42 PM MiddleEighth
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*The Tayhil in ''Fanfic/TheKeysStandAlone: The Soft World'' are genetically divided into Fighter/Workers, Priest/Wizards, and Leaders. Only Leaders are truly intelligent and capable of planning; the lower castes are genetically compelled to obey them. George takes advantage of this arrangement to get a Leaderless tribe of Tayhil to clear out.
15th Jan '17 8:12:56 PM thatother1dude
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** The Turian hierarchy also has 33 distinct tiers of citizenship and service. We don't learn very much about it, but it's unusual in that advancement is possible and even expected. For example, completing mandatory universal military service grants you the 31st tier.
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