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Can real-life cultures be a ProudWarriorRace?:

This was brought up on the discussion page for The Prophet Muhammad, and I've encountered this issue before. Can the trope Proud Warrior Race be applied to peoples or cultures of real life on Useful Notes and creator-type pages?

My opinion is no, as this is a classical case of applying storytelling tropes to real life directly. And the Proud Warrior Race Guy page seems to back me up, as it has a No Real Life Examples, Please! tag.

So am I right that all mentions of Proud Warrior Race should be removed from Useful Notes and creator/person type pages on Spartans, Viking, Arabs, Mongols, etc.? (And in the case at hand, the characterization of Arabs as a "Proud Warrior Race" on the page for The Prophet Muhammad?)

Am I furthermore right that the same goes for Proud Merchant Race and Proud Scholar Race, and that the latter two should also get a No Real Life Examples, Please! tag?
It's perfectly possible to admire building a cannon to destroy the moon, whilst lamenting the act of destruction.
How's this for a compromise:

"To outside cultures and later generations, [insert persons here] are often seen as the archetype of the Proud Warrior Race, although this is a gross oversimplification. No Real Life culture could ever be counted, because real people are not so simplistic."

edited 9th Feb '12 1:48:42 PM by KingZeal

 3 Mag Bas, Thu, 9th Feb '12 4:14:02 PM from In my house
—-

edited 9th Feb '12 4:15:08 PM by MagBas

I would basically agree with that. It's a hat, and those don't really apply to real people.

With a note that says they're often seen like that by outside cultures, I don't see anything wrong with including it. For specifically Arabs, I'm less sure, but the other three cultures you mentioned it does fit, since they are often portrayed like that. In the Proud Warrior Race description, it says it's most often about villains, and the ones who consider them to be villains are other cultures.
The Internet misuses, abuses, and overuses everything.
Offhand I would say yes because there are well documented cultures where warfare was a major part of their society, but the hallmark of a proud warrior race is usually a sense of honor, glory and bloodlust. Because of that it is too easy to misrepresent any culture given that label, so in practice on the wiki I would say probably not.

Azor Ahai
I'd say the Spartans are probably about as close as reality gets to a Proud Warrior Race. I don't know if this has been disproven by more recent archeology, but my understanding is that the Spartans had very little art and the like.

With groups like the Norse and Arabs, while they did their fair share of fighting (what culture hasn't?) they also did other stuff. The fact that someone would think of Arabs as both a Proud Warrior Race and a Proud Merchant Race suggests that either/both of those is a simplistic characterization.

edited 9th Feb '12 6:46:47 PM by Jordan

Hodor
 7 32 Footsteps, Fri, 10th Feb '12 7:38:26 AM from Just north of Arkham Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
Think of the mooks!
Heh, I think there's actually a closer archeological basis to call the Vikings a Proud Merchant Race - just one with a very active Merchant Marines.

Agreed with others - given how much of a gross oversimplification the trope in question is, I don't think it can really apply to a Real Life culture. Based on how spotty the historical record is about said time, even the Spartans can't really be difinitively called one. You probably could get just as much milage calling the modern U.S. one, and that's a can of worms we don't want opened.
Reminder: Offscreen Villainy does not count towards Complete Monster.
 8 Fighteer, Fri, 10th Feb '12 7:40:24 AM from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
This is absolutely not something we should be applying to Real Life cultures. You can't distill real people down to a handful of tropes.
Ironically, the pursuit of the definition of happiness does not appear to be a happiness-maximizing behavior.
[up]Agreeing with what a lot of others are saying, I think this should have no real life examples. It would be a stereotypical simplification/distortion of any real culture you applied it to, and would lead to debate and natter on the main page.
Oppression anywhere is a threat to democracy everywhere.
I probably should modify my initial thesis: As the description of Proud Warrior Race Guy points out, the trope can be applied to (representatives of) real-life cultures within a given work.

So a Spartan, a Mongol, a Sioux etc. can indeed fit the Proud Warrior Race Guy trope, when he plays that role in a work.

And I don't object to the Proud Warrior Race trope discussed on Useful Notes pages; however it should be clear (like King Zeal and Feather7603 said) that it is not a synonym for "a warlike culture". Proud Warrior Race is always an outside perception.

@Jordan and KJ Mackley: while the Spartans have indeed a long history of being portrayed (and cultivating a self-image) as a Proud Warrior Race, real life simply is much more complex than a Planet of Hats. For example, the martial code of Spartan society allowed for, even included behavior that would not seem noble or honorable to us, and doesn't really harmonize with the Proud Warrior Race Guy stereotype.

How about my last question — can I go ahead and add No Real Life Examples, Please! tags to Proud Merchant Race and Proud Scholar Race? Or would this have to go through TRS, or an extra thread?

edited 10th Feb '12 12:13:56 PM by LordGro

It's perfectly possible to admire building a cannon to destroy the moon, whilst lamenting the act of destruction.
Well, the very first example under Proud Merchant Race is about the Vikings. It was an important aspect of their culture, even moreso than Proud Warrior Race, which reflected their religion more. Still, like just about all cultures in those ages, the vast majority of the population consisted of simple farmers, with craftsmen and other producers coming at a distant second place.

In other words, real life examples should take consideration for how it actually was. I would say that any examples in recent centuries shouldn't be brought up, though.

edited 10th Feb '12 12:49:13 PM by Feather7603

The Internet misuses, abuses, and overuses everything.
[up]Exactly. I actually wanted to delete that Vikings example from Proud Merchant Race, and Proud Merchant Race from The Icelandic Sagas for a time. Within the Icelandic Sagas, the Norse ("the Vikings") are neither a Proud Warrior Race nor a Proud Merchant Race. We meet Norse society in all its complexity, and not as a Planet of Hats.

Edit: I also agree with Jordan that a people can not be a Proud Merchant Race and a Proud Warrior Race within the same work. A Planet of Hats can only have one hat at a time. So if you can't decide which hat a culture/people/race has within a given work, it probably doesn't have a hat.

edited 10th Feb '12 12:57:52 PM by LordGro

It's perfectly possible to admire building a cannon to destroy the moon, whilst lamenting the act of destruction.
I would disagree that they can't be both. It's sort of a hat, but it's not an exclusive, which a hat is.
The Internet misuses, abuses, and overuses everything.
 14 Madrugada, Fri, 10th Feb '12 1:46:29 PM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
I have no objection to adding the No Real Life Examples, Please! tag, and your last sentence ("A Planet of Hats can only have one hat at a time. So if you can't decide which hat a culture/people/race has within a given work, it probably doesn't have a hat.") is a neat, clear summary of why it's there.
...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.
Proud Warrior Race is a concept that originated in how people attempt to describe Real Life, and from there it went on to be used in fiction.

At minimum, the Real Life section should include mention of things like the British concept of Martial Races and groups like the Spartans that self-identified as a warrior race.

Also, Proud Warrior Race is not a "hat" in the Planet of Hats meaning.

"the Proud Warrior Race Guy seeks battle and bloodshed because his culture teaches that doing so is the greatest source of personal honor and glory."

That is not exclusive of any other features of a society, such as being merchants, religious, or whatever. Your society doesn't have to do nothing but fight to be a Proud Warrior Race. It just has to teach that fighting is the greatest source of personal honour and glory.

edited 11th Feb '12 5:53:40 AM by Catbert

That's still vague.

Because by that logic, American society qualifies.

Americans think that's the greatest source of personal honour and glory? Other people think they think that?
The Internet misuses, abuses, and overuses everything.
Yes. There are plenty of accusations of America being a war-mongering society (we declare "war" on anything that generates buzz: War On Drugs, War On Terrorism, War On Obesity, etc.) Not to mention that we consider soldiers KIA to be martyrs worthy of the highest praise, we glorify heroes who fight enemies to our way of life, we take pride in the strength of our Armed and Naval forces, we have three major sporting events dedicated to unarmed combat (wrestling, boxing and MMA) and treat their champions as heroes, we have entire debates over the right to own and use weapons, much of our culture is built around hunting, and most of our fiction aimed at young boys always involves fighting.

Just off the top of my head.

edited 11th Feb '12 8:35:48 AM by KingZeal

Regarding whether Proud Warrior Race, Proud Merchant Race and Proud Scholar Race are forms of Planet of Hats — the last paragraph on Proud Warrior Race Guy says:
Also compare Proud Scholar Race and Proud Merchant Race for different kinds of hats a species can wear.
and Proud Merchant Race begins
A Proud Warrior Race is a culture whose hat is war. Conversely, a Proud Merchant Race is one whose hat is being Intrepid Merchants.
and ends with
Compare Proud Warrior Race and Proud Scholar Race for species with different hats.
Although I admit, there were probably various authors involved and the Planet of Hats reference was likely added after the initial draft. But Proud Warrior Race Guy has also been added as a kid trope to Planet of Hats.

I wouldn't object to mention the "Martial Races" concept of the British Empire, because that is a historical attempt at classification from an outsider perspective, and not our own classification. However, if there is a folder titled "Real Life", this folder will grow until every people past or present that can be shoehorned into this category will be listed here. "Proud Warrior Race" is one of those magical tropes that tend to be regarded as trophies by editors. Everybody wants his own people or his favorite historical empire or culture to be a "Proud Warrior Race".

In my eyes, there's nothing really worthwhile in the real-life sections of Proud Merchant Race and Proud Scholar Race either. Many X Just X examples, and much natter.

And even if the various "Proud Race" tropes are not Planet of Hats, I'd still contend that a race/culture can not be both, a Proud Warrior Race and a Proud Merchant Race (or a Proud Scholar Race). Proud Warriors put martial values above everything else; Proud Merchants put commerce and profit above everything else; Proud Scholars put knowledge above everything else. Surely a people can have warriors, merchants and scholars all simultaneously, but to be a Proud X Race, one trait must dominate over all others.

edited 11th Feb '12 11:50:50 AM by LordGro

It's perfectly possible to admire building a cannon to destroy the moon, whilst lamenting the act of destruction.
Why must it dominate all others? Why can't it simply be extremely pronounced? Tropes Are Flexible.

edited 3rd Jun '12 9:57:32 PM by jatay3

 
Because everyone's going to have a different definition of what "pronounced" means.

Again, let's take the US—which has a greater military budget than every other nation, and a navy that's more powerful than any on Earth combined. Does that make Americans a proud warrior race when only 1% of the country is enlisted and most citizens have never been a real fight in their lives?

 22 32 Footsteps, Mon, 4th Jun '12 8:03:11 AM from Just north of Arkham Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
Think of the mooks!
[up]Completely agreed.

Also, given how complex entire cultures are, it's a gross oversimplification of various aspects of culture to boil it down to "they glorify warriors to the exclusion of all else."

Heck, take sengoku-era and Tokugawa shogunate-era Japan. Big-time warrior race happenings, right? Well, I'd like to note that the subversions of that idea as presented in Kurosawa's Seven Samurai have been around as long as the samurai themselves. And I bet that, if the historical record was more complete, more ancient cultures would prove similarly disqualified.

It just doesn't make sense to have it apply in Real Life - any real culture is bound to fall short.
Reminder: Offscreen Villainy does not count towards Complete Monster.
 23 Fighteer, Mon, 4th Jun '12 8:36:20 AM from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
This is old business. Why are we necroing it? Did we get NRLEP on this trope or not?

Edit: Yep, we did. Locking as finished.

edited 4th Jun '12 8:36:41 AM by Fighteer

Ironically, the pursuit of the definition of happiness does not appear to be a happiness-maximizing behavior.
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Total posts: 23
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