Monday, December 21, 2015

I still haven't seen the movie, but...

... this is one of those things that I find myself thinking about a lot.

How do people earn money in the galaxy far, far away if their labor isn't worth anything?  Because it clearly isn't.  Star Wars shows droids doing virtually everything.   A fractionally small number of folks design things and/or own the robotic means of production, but everyone is else is shit.  And I think it's pretty clear that the galactic welfare state is in rough shape, even before the Republic falls.  Granted, Emperor Palpatine seems like he knows enough to give the people bread and circuses, but still...  It's not like there's room for an up-by-the-bootstraps story here.  The only people getting ahead in this story are drug runners, space wizards, and girls lucky enough to have been born into the galactic nobility.

Even those folks don't have it easy.

One could argue that the ultimate weakness of the Republic was shown in its decision to let imported clone troops fight its wars rather than ask its citizens to in any way sacrifice to protect their own lives and livelihoods.  This in essence made the citizens consumers of safety--dissatisfied consumers, it should be pointed out--rather than actors in their own collective destiny.  Indeed, at a larger level, droids are doing everything for the people, which necessarily stagnates the economy and gives the common people less buy-in to the collective future of their society.  Instead, there are a bunch of shiftless folks running around with no stake in the status quo, which leads--predictably--to unrest.

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