QUOTE(Helena @ Sep 1 2011, 12:07 PM)
Well, the more I think about it the less it makes sense to me, so I guess we're even
BTW on re-reading my original post, I realise it sounds really obnoxious - sorry about that. This is a genuinely interesting discussion, I agree.
No worries, Helena. Iíve seen your posts enough to know that you are only trying to engage in discussion. Allow me to tender my own apology in advance if anything I say comes off as obnoxious (which Iím sure it will).
OK, firstly: I'm pretty sure Dres are already trading in saltrice. It's highly unlikely that the massive harvests they produce are purely for domestic consumption (if so, why are they consuming so much while the rest of Morrowind consumes so little?) If they're not already trading, it's going to be vastly more difficult for them to make the changeover - how can you shift your entire economy to a mercantile footing when you have no trading experience whatsoever?
You seem to be slightly missing the point about the transition from agricultural to a mercantile economy. A mercantile society is one in which a significant proportion of the population is involved in buying and selling goods, rather than producing them. If the Dres don't trade at all, there's no logical basis for this to happen. If they do already trade in saltrice, then even if they manage to expand the trade, someone still needs to produce the saltrice - and if slavery is the only economically viable way to do this, they're still going to need slaves.
Thank you for the lesson in socioeconomics, but the point you
seem to be missing is that we are not talking about a societal shift here. We are talking about the change in philosophy of a single
Great House whose sole income is tied to production of one
crop. I think all of you are giving Dres undo credit and making them larger than they really are. Even if we bloat our estimates for the sake of realism, a Great House comprises relatively few (maybe as many as five-ten thousand) individuals. Their decisions have at best a minimal effect on the day to day life of the average ash-born. House Dres deals solely in saltrice. Do you know what saltrice is good for? Well, you can either eat it or you can use it to brew some Mazte . . . thatís it! When was the last time you went into a tavern in Cyrodiil and ordered a bottle of Mazte?
Let's put that aside and assume that the shift is possible, somehow. Why the heck would they make that decision in the first place? Not only is it a huge undertaking for little obvious benefit - apart from a shaky alliance with Hlaalu - but the people in charge, i.e. the landowning aristocracy, would be by far the biggest losers. You're basically going to see a massive transfer of power and wealth from the current rulers to the nascent middle classes. "Shooting themselves in the foot" doesn't begin to describe it . . .
It might be possible to overcome these problems successfully, given a century or two. But if you agree to abolish slavery, you have to actually do it; you can't just say "well, we'll think about doing it sometime within the next hundred years." What's more, the dialogue from Oblivion indicates that the slaves have already been freed: "They say that slavery has been abolished in Morrowind. House Dres and Hlaalu have renounced the slave trade, and freed the beastfolk from servitude."
This economic strangulation that you all see for House Dresí change to a mercantile concern is a fallacy because, really, how much can the production of saltrice be worth per year? Itís obviously enough to sustain a Great House, but I doubt itís enough to expand a Great House. Wouldnít it behoove them to shift toward a mercantile business model if for no other reason than to boost the profits they see from finally being able to export their single useful crop via the EEC? Why wouldnít they want to ally themselves with a House like Hlaalu with the proven connections to spread sales of Mazte throughout the Empire? It would be far more profitable than the previous model which, as far as I can tell, consisted primarily of production and (one assumes) consumption.
We have been presented with the scenario that Dres has shifted from an agricultural concern to a mercantile concern. Naturally I assume that if they are Ďshifting
í then they didnít have a mercantile arm to begin with. I also take for granted that they will not completely abandon the machinery already in place to produce the only thing they have worth selling. How asinine would that be?!
The two ideologies are not mutually exclusive. We take for granted that Hlaalu owns mines and plantations, but no one sees them as a mining or agricultural House. Shifting House philosophy simply means that they will benefit from the sale of saltrice more than in the past. It also means that, with the abolition of slavery, they will have to now pay their
workers a fair wage. How much is that in Tamriel, ten Septims a year? It doesnít sound like an exorbitant price to pay for finally being able to reap the rewards of trading throughout the Empire.
Morrowind already exists under Imperial Law, so I'm not quite sure what you mean there.
If that were the case then the Morag Tong would be illegal, and the Ministry of Truth would probably be closed.
Ultimately all of this is just us spinning our wheels. The lore presented to us states that House Hlaalu and House Dres joined in the abolition of slavery against House Indoril and House Redoran allied in opposition. No matter what protestations we may have (and we certainly have them), itís Bethesdaís lore and that is how they want it. I don't think that you are wrong, Helena. In a real world situation the alliances and economic conditions given wouldn't happen. But I was under the impression that the purpose of this thread was to discuss how the current situation could
have come about, not poke holes in the sole theory put forth to explain it. I said in my first post that my theory isnít perfect. Please, if someone has a better one Iím all ears. Otherwise I really have no desire to engage in yet another 'Bash Bethesda' thread. Those have been done ad nauseum already.
I concede the floor to someone else.This post has been edited by Destri Melarg: Sep 2 2011, 09:00 AM