There are two events that are the seed for this thread: 1) In an attempt to answer my own question (What is you story about?), I have been trying to get to some serious basics in my story these past few weeks. 2) I am watching Evita right now. The story of Evita is about transformation. There are revolutions and transformations happening at every level of this story: personal, social, economic. The complexity of such changes is astonishing and my mind is spinning at the implications of revolution, true revolution. Revolutions can happen with purpose and plan, and they can also happen by accident, which brings me (rather convolutedly) to my question. When a culture is under construction, is there a procession of economies that is natural and inevitable to occur? And if the culture is one which has attained a very high level of technology and social organization and then backslid for one reason or another, do the same rules apply to the culture's re-ascendance now that the paths are known? And which is the effector and which is the effected? Social structure vs Economy. Which creates which? Perhaps I am over-thinking the issue, but I believe I have reason to consider it because the question brings into question one of my main characters. In my story, one of my main characters is a great family to which one of my protags and a few other peripheral characters belong. If my story is one where we are coming into a backslid culture that has sprung up from a partially failed interplanetary colony ship, I am forced to ask myself why would this great family have become great? Would the economic dynamics at such an early and precarious point in time of a culture allow for this? Or might it be that the pressures of such a situation would eventually push someone to the top? Would people who understood the implications of different kinds of social structure allow for this kind of situation, this almost feudal system? Would the reason of the group reign, or would it always be overridden by human nature? What are your thoughts?