1. StormbornT

    StormbornT Member

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    Why would a group of "superiors" want to keep their "inferiors" in their place?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by StormbornT, Aug 16, 2019.

    To keep power and control is a given, but what would be some less obvious reasons?

    I'm struggling to figure out the why's on a science-fiction project (set about 3,000 years into the future) I'm working on.

    I'm not sure if I should include context here or not....
     
  2. Foxxx

    Foxxx The Debonair Contributor

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    Superiors view the inferiors as playthings.

    God-complex.

    See themselves as saviors, and that the "inferior" can be saved.

    Similarly, perhaps they believe that from the masses of the lesser-group, they can pluck out those who rise above the rest and demonstrate their superiority. This could be a potential downfall of their system.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
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  3. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Has the Vocabulary of a Well-Educated Sailor. Supporter Contributor

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    This one. I used to know someone who emotionally abused people by saying shit to trigger their anxieties so he could come to the rescue and feel good about himself. Fucking psychopath...It's a technique used by cults as well.
     
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  4. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Thy rod and thy Staff Supporter Contributor

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    They could honestly believe that their "inferiors" were, well, inferior. Abraham Lincoln thought that slavery was wrong, but he did not believe that people of African descent were the social and intellectual equals of those of European descent.

    I'm not going to quote the passage here, but here's a transcript from the National Park Service of a debate that took place in Charleston where Lincoln expressed those thoughts. It's in the first paragraph, not hard to find.
     
  5. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

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    C'mon @Shenny, ease up. I'm sure you'd be just fine if you lost a little weight off that giant ass of yours. Would you move a touch I'm watching television. Thanks.
     
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  6. halisme

    halisme Contributor Contributor

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    There's the historical idea of white man's burden were it was the "duty" of white people to help people of other races stop dwelling in settlements that were well suited for the environment, and give them some culture (with their own oral traditions, arts, and texts not counting for some reason), by having them provide resources for the wider empire while having Shakespeare thrown at them. The fact that this scenario resulted in massive wealth extraction just happened to be a total coincidence and was totally not the main driving force behind it. No, totally not. Nope.
     
  7. StormbornT

    StormbornT Member

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    Christ. As a bi-racial(black/Irish mother, white father) person, this made me so angry. However disgusting I found it, this was a very interesting and useful read. Maybe I shouldn't try to find deeper meaning in why the superior characters do what they do. Sometimes the reality that people hate another race/group of people just because they're different is horrible enough.
     
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  8. Some Guy

    Some Guy Manguage Langler Supporter Contributor

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    'Like' is for them ears. Behave - and stop chewing the curtains!
     
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  9. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

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    "Sit down @halisme, I would like a contribution from one of the girls if you don't mind. Fiona, yes?"

    "Miss, a societal exploitation based on a scarcity of resources...and...and..."

    "...Good, good.."

    "...And shoving the fuckin' Shakespeare down their fuckin' cultures...give our peace pipes a chance..."

    "Halisme, get outside this minute. I shall not have my classroom disrupted! Bloody boy."
     
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  10. Some Guy

    Some Guy Manguage Langler Supporter Contributor

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    I sense it is time to use the bong-washer. o_O
     
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  11. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Thy rod and thy Staff Supporter Contributor

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    His name is Carlos, and he's paid to clean glassware, not to indulge your weirdo fantasies.
     
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  12. Some Guy

    Some Guy Manguage Langler Supporter Contributor

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    Carlos? We hang out every Saturday! He brings hie guitarlos. He's a cool dude, even if he smells like bong-water. He thinks I'm way too conservative.
     
  13. StormbornT

    StormbornT Member

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    What is happening? :D
     
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  14. halisme

    halisme Contributor Contributor

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    "We've done Shakespeare to death goddamit!"

    On a more serious note though, Shakespeare is actually a pretty common part of many former colonies education systems.
     
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  15. Yaldabaoth

    Yaldabaoth New Member

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    Wanton human cruelty? It's pretty standard for humans, when put in a position of absolute power over subordinates, to go a little cock-eyed.

    The Stanford Prison Experiment, discredited as it is in some circles, does carry some interesting insights on human psychology when planted in positions of power.
     
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  16. RobinLC

    RobinLC Member

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    To avoid becoming an inferrior. To be a general dickhead? IDK. Power is the ultimate motivator in this situation. Power and fear would be the two main motivator emotions I think.
     
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  17. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Spitting .45 caliber grammar.... Contributor

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    Money.
     
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  18. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Senior Member

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    If you want to do a little "light" reading, I'd suggest Discourse on Inequality by Jean-Jacques Rousseau in which Rousseau explains that the origins of inequality stems from natural inequality (physical strength, age, health, etc.), and moral/political inequality. He kind of argue with himself, but they are all good arguments on the dynamic of superiors and inferiors
     
  19. Saphry

    Saphry Member

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    To maintain the status quo because it works/they do it better/only they can do it.

    To keep the cogs turning; to do the menial work, for harvesting their parts, as fodder, energy source, etc

    To exploit important resources owned by them.
     
  20. Rzero

    Rzero Senior Member

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    I don't like that people rag on Lincoln as if he were a white supremacist that we've scrubbed clean in the records. Yeah, I'm sure he had, at the very least, some archaic, nineteenth century ideas on the differences between races, but he made speeches like this one to whites in the south, said the exact opposite in correspondence with black leaders in the north and something squarely in between in speeches to white abolitionists. He also, on several occasions during his first presidential campaign, swore he would never try to abolish slavery. He was a politician in an era when people couldn't instantly fact check or even cross reference anything very easily if something weren't reported in their own local newspaper. All we can really know for sure is what he accomplished and some of what he tried and failed to accomplish. Oh, and I guess we can also say, with some certainty, that even our favorite politicians are liars.

    As it pertains to the OP, this is still a good lesson on how people gain power, and how changes, good or bad, often hinge on the willingness and ability of those who seek power to manipulate the masses. Which side do they lie to? Maybe all of them. Power is about control, and gaining control is about manipulation (and sometimes just brute force, but by itself, that's no way to keep it.)

    Something else to keep in mind is that gaining power is often its own end, but most people still have an agenda once they achieve it. Even if a major part of that agenda is simply keeping power, most still want to change something big or prevent the other side from changing something.

    Several strategies on keeping that power though are centered around creating or maintaining class divisions, be they racial, religious, economic, ideologic or all of the above. A leader or ruling party in your scenario wouldn't even necessarily have to believe in superiority to use it as a means of control. The goals and effects of these divisions can range anywhere from death camps to slavery to religious wars manufactured by an occupying colonial power to generations of deplorable, but mostly nonviolent, racial oppression established by means of a religiously sanctioned caste system, whatever creates power and maintains control for the oligarch, the ruling party or the "superior" class/caste/race/etc.
     
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  21. exweedfarmer

    exweedfarmer Contributor Contributor

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    Thanks for the link. That was a real eye opener.
     
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