TV Tropes Org

Forums

Writer's Block:
The Father Of His Nation
search forum titles
google site search
Total posts: [17]
1

The Father Of His Nation:

 1 The Handle, Wed, 17th Apr '13 1:43:03 AM from Location, Location, Loca
So we were discussin polygamy on an OTC thread

One does have to be very careful to properly regulate polygamy such that it doesn't become a "one man owns many women" scenario. Frankly, it's not just dominant males who seek out those sorts of relationships; look at any celebrity and then at the number of women who would give anything to marry them. It's a throwback to a tribal, patriarchal pattern of behavior.

Still, there are happy, consenting, equal polyamorous relationships, and we would do a disservice to our ideals to discourage them. I would, however, like to remind everyone that polygamy is not the subject of this thread — let's please rerail.

And then my brain coughed up this thing:

The leader of Qurac has just issued a decree: his sperm shall now be available at sperm banks for the candidates wishing to take it, who live up to the prerequisite standards. Among those are: high IQ, high income, a good public reputation, and a lack of history of hereditary diseases in the family. Children proven to be his offspring will have the title of Princes; mothers or guardians of princes shall receive a [very nice sum] stipend from the State. They will also be eligible for a number of fiscal and logistical benefits and advantages. The Princes themselves will be afforded all the privileges and advantages that come with the title, including priority access to education and travel opportunities, and eligibility to the highest political offices up to and including Head of State.

Without wishing to come over all Godwin-y, "I am free of Jewish ancestry and all hereditary diseases" was part of the Nazi secular marriage oath. Indeed, Adolf and Eva themselves will have said it.

But the basic idea of making everyone a 'prince' as a workaround to give everyone access to services looks solid.

Neither was the intent. My brain just went:
  • "there's this meme that genetic imperative grossly translates in guys wanting as many kids in healthy women bodies as possible and women wanting to raise the kids of the richest healthiest most powerful most high status awesomest guy around" and
  • "polygamy is legally problematic, patriarchal polygamy is morally problematic" and then I remembered about
  • Emperor Charles of Britannia and his 108 wives, and
  • the King of Siam and his mega-harem and all the little potential heirs running around (and in danger of being slaughtered were their father to be usurped),

and said brain just went all light-bulb-y
  • "polygamy without polygamy,
  • reproduction without marriage,
  • offspring maximization with science and economics,
  • securing the line of succession forever".

The end result might be something like this:

The movie opening states that if some Fenwickians seem [[UncannyFamilyResemblance remarkably alike (while showing the Grand Duchess Gloriana, the Prime Minister Mountjoy, and Tully Bascombe, all of whom are played by Peter Sellers, along with a statue of Grand Fenwick's founder), it is because Sir Roger Fenwick "was in every possible way, the father of his country."

I was just following Rule of Funny though, I wasn't actually thinking of social consequences or anything like that. But, what do you think, is there a story there, perhaps a short Sci-Fi? There's lots of Unfortunate Implications and lots of potential for crazy things and horrible things, but what I find attractive about this idea is how baffling and outlandish it is. I dunno, it just seems challenging.
I stayed up all night, 'cause I wanted to see where the sun went—and then it dawned on me.
 2 Wolf 1066, Wed, 17th Apr '13 5:25:50 AM from New Zealand Relationship Status: In my bunk
Wolf1066
Polygamy - polygyny (having many wives) - was traditionally beneficial to women and very bad news for those men who did not have lots of land/money.

The reason being that women could share the wealth (and the benefits associated with that) of a rich husband.

In the Old Testament, in its laws dealing with polygamy (the only "acceptable" version of which was polygyny as it was deemed "adultery" if a married woman had sex with any man other than her one-and-only husband), importance was placed on the husband being able to provide for all his wives equally and well - no man was allowed to have more wives than he could afford to keep and he was not to shirk his responsibilities to any one of them nor to his children by any of them in favour of another wife/child.

So, if a man had sufficient wealth to support more than one wife (and being rich, he's sought after by women as being a good provider for the woman and any children), more women in the area could benefit from that wealth. Instead of just one lucky woman landing the one guy in twenty miles with enough money to provide for a family, two or more women and their subsequent children could prosper.

Bad news for the large number of poorer blokes who suffer the shortage of women.

As to the man with the multiple wives - he's got even more responsibility than a man with a single wife.

Stupid people go "ooh, lucky devil, eh, gets to fuck lots of chicks, can pick and choose if he gets bored with one."

Well, it's not quite that simple. He has responsibilities to give emotional and financial support to all of those women - even if he's not bound by the laws of the Old Testament, he has a moral obligation to them all (and if our current laws permitted polygyny, he'd have legal obligations under our contemporary matrimonial laws to all of them as well.)

Then there's polyandry - a woman having multiple husbands (not popular in areas where the Old Testament holds sway because it runs afoul of the OT's definition of "adultery") and general polygamy where either sex can have as many spouses as they can manage - which gives rise to what we nowadays call "polyamory".

But in all of the above, it's not just about sex with multiple people (you can do that without the hassle of getting married to even one) it's about responsibilities and fairness, doing right by them and honouring your commitment to be there for them in all ways.

edited 17th Apr '13 5:27:22 AM by Wolf1066

Dangerously Genre Savvy since ages ago...
 3 The Handle, Wed, 17th Apr '13 5:29:39 AM from Location, Location, Loca
[up]Trouble is, in a patriarchal society, there's a huge gap between these (very nice and laudable) principles and what ends up happening in practice.

Certainly, this is not polygamy as such, since he explicitly does not do any parenting himself. In fact the rule might require the additional restriction that he is not to get a wife to have "legitimate" children with, condemning the rest to "bastard" status: perhaps it would be better if he didn't have any sex at all; that's not an unhealthy habit for a politician, given the Honey Trap and all related problems that can come from it...

I'm thinking, maybe the contest method is not the best approach socially. It does guarrantee the best future for the offspring, but only insofar as the Leader isn't overthrown, and an entire class of faithful privileged children might not lead to the best social ambience. Perhaps it would be cleverer to do a lottery: it would behoove the Leader to have children of as varied a background as possible, and it would dramatically increase the number of people who'll end up being linked to him that way.

edited 17th Apr '13 5:37:09 AM by TheHandle

I stayed up all night, 'cause I wanted to see where the sun went—and then it dawned on me.
 4 Wolf 1066, Wed, 17th Apr '13 5:38:39 AM from New Zealand Relationship Status: In my bunk
Wolf1066
Trouble is, in a patriarchal society, there's a huge gap between these (very nice and laudable) principles and what ends up happening in practice.

I think that's why the OT had to include laws to enforce "fairness" - just so some rich bloke doesn't marry someone then years later marry another and ignore the needs of the first wife and her children in favour of the new wife and her children by him.

I dare say that other societies that permitted polygamy of various sorts would have, out of necessity due to unfairness happening, developed rules to govern it (early Judaism's version is easy to see because they thoughtfully wrote their rules down).

edited 17th Apr '13 5:39:34 AM by Wolf1066

Dangerously Genre Savvy since ages ago...
 5 The Handle, Wed, 17th Apr '13 5:40:16 AM from Location, Location, Loca
What are those?
I stayed up all night, 'cause I wanted to see where the sun went—and then it dawned on me.
 6 Wolf 1066, Wed, 17th Apr '13 5:51:35 AM from New Zealand Relationship Status: In my bunk
Wolf1066
Many references in the OT. This one stands out in particular as a check against unfairness:

"If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated, and they have born him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the firstborn son be hers that was hated: Then it shall be, when he maketh his sons to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved firstborn before the son of the hated, which is indeed the firstborn: But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his." Deuteronomy 21:15-17.

They'd hardly have needed such clear rulings if people had been playing nice.
Dangerously Genre Savvy since ages ago...
 7 The Handle, Wed, 17th Apr '13 5:56:31 AM from Location, Location, Loca
... They could have phrased that less verbosely. "The first-born of all your children ever born of legitimate marriage gets will inherit twice as much of your inheritance as any of the others." Period. Is that from Leviticus?
I stayed up all night, 'cause I wanted to see where the sun went—and then it dawned on me.
... They could have phrased that less verbosely.

Translations of translations of dead languages...
Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.
 9 The Handle, Wed, 17th Apr '13 6:17:00 AM from Location, Location, Loca
No, there's no doubt it's verbose in the original as well. Of course, it's not fair to judge stuff that's Older Than Dirt by modern standards.
I stayed up all night, 'cause I wanted to see where the sun went—and then it dawned on me.
 10 demarquis, Thu, 18th Apr '13 8:17:49 AM from Hell, USA Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
O.M.G. This has such potential as a commentary on the foibles of human nature. Should women take up such an offer? Is it empowering, or objectifying? Who would protest? Who would line up to participate? Just tell the story of several women as they make different decisions, for different reasons, and the reactions of the people who know them. Very interesting.
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
 11 The Handle, Thu, 18th Apr '13 8:28:42 AM from Location, Location, Loca
[up]Of course, we can't forget about the fathers. Is raising a Prince an honor, or is one a cuckold? The main problem with being a cuckold is that you spend resources on offspring that isn't yours, but these kids come with built-in pension and tons of benefits! How does one play the "father figure" to a child whose father is the father figure of the entire nation, including yourself? If at some point you become a political opponent, how do you deal? Or what if you were an opponent from the start, and wanted to defeat the system from within? What sort of education would you give "your" child?

edited 18th Apr '13 8:29:45 AM by TheHandle

I stayed up all night, 'cause I wanted to see where the sun went—and then it dawned on me.
 12 demarquis, Thu, 18th Apr '13 5:15:54 PM from Hell, USA Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
Not to mention foreigners, who may have no emotional attachment to the country or it's leader at all.

edited 18th Apr '13 5:16:04 PM by demarquis

“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
 13 Editor Pall Mall, Thu, 18th Apr '13 6:05:07 PM from United States, East Coast
Don't Fear the Spiders
Do the king's genes really do as you describe or is this the belief of the people? If the former, some genetic engineering of the sperm is going to have to be involved. He may have a lot of positive traits to pass down but there is a sea of negative traits in there as well.
Keep it breezy!
 14 The Handle, Fri, 19th Apr '13 12:28:33 AM from Location, Location, Loca
Huh? The sperm does nothing by itself: all it does is that, if the child has the Leader's genes, he and his (foster?) family will gain all those amazing benefits from the State. With that many children, some of them are bound to be retards, others are bound to be geniuses, and some will be healthier than others.
I stayed up all night, 'cause I wanted to see where the sun went—and then it dawned on me.
 15 Wolf 1066, Fri, 19th Apr '13 12:56:59 PM from New Zealand Relationship Status: In my bunk
Wolf1066
O.M.G. This has such potential as a commentary on the foibles of human nature. Should women take up such an offer? Is it empowering, or objectifying? Who would protest? Who would line up to participate? Just tell the story of several women as they make different decisions, for different reasons, and the reactions of the people who know them. Very interesting.

Of course, we can't forget about the fathers. Is raising a Prince an honor, or is one a cuckold? The main problem with being a cuckold is that you spend resources on offspring that isn't yours, but these kids come with built-in pension and tons of benefits! How does one play the "father figure" to a child whose father is the father figure of the entire nation, including yourself? If at some point you become a political opponent, how do you deal? Or what if you were an opponent from the start, and wanted to defeat the system from within? What sort of education would you give "your" child?

There's at least a trilogy in exploring the ideas in those two posts alone.

Go for it - I'd enjoy reading something along those lines.
Dangerously Genre Savvy since ages ago...
 16 The Handle, Fri, 19th Apr '13 1:41:08 PM from Location, Location, Loca
Problem is, I don't think I have the life-balls*]] to pull it off without looking like an idiot or exposing my inner self. I don't want to have the likes of Something Awful playing Internet Cold Reader with the juice of my soul.
I stayed up all night, 'cause I wanted to see where the sun went—and then it dawned on me.
 17 Editor Pall Mall, Fri, 19th Apr '13 1:46:19 PM from United States, East Coast
Don't Fear the Spiders
If you are serious about writing this you can always seek publishing your work.

edited 19th Apr '13 1:46:28 PM by EditorPallMall

Keep it breezy!
The system doesn't know you right now, so no post button for you.
You need to Get Known to get one of those.
Total posts: 17
1


TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy