'Start a Research Corp, She Said'


(Melisma Ramijozana) #1

I would rather not have to make the exact same explanation every time someone tries this argument, so I’ll put it to bed now:

(Emphasis mine.)

I am of the admittedly small group who believes that economic measures will be at least as vital to ending Amarrian slavery as rescuing the slaves themselves. I applaud the efforts of the many individuals and organizations who rescue slaves from their holders, or from the markets where they are sold, or any of the dark corners where slavery is still a way of life. Your efforts are both valid and necessary. All Matari know and appreciate that, including me.

So, in the very near future, when all of our sisters and brothers are free and well, these fighters will have accomplished a monumental task worthy of celebration. My specific worry is what comes after: Bereft of the free manual labor upon which Amarrian lives and economy have rested for so long, what do they do? Most likely, they get themselves more slaves. Possibly they will decide that Matari slaves are not worth the hassle. But since they see us as ‘barbaric heathens’ already anyway, I believe instead that they would simply stage another invasion of us, and we start all over again. More slaves will be had from somewhere, born out of cruelty and superciliousness as well as necessity.

That’s where people like me come in (because I’m not the only one; I’m just the loudest). I believe that creating automated processes to handle the roles and tasks that Amarr currently use slaves for will decrease, and eventually eliminate, their need for and interest in slaves. That’s my contribution. Manufacturing and research and ‘market things’ are what I’m good at. (I mean, seriously. You really don’t want me in your fleet.)

So we have two different but complementary approaches: the visceral and immediate rescue of slaves, and the implementation of viable alternates to slavery. These objectives are not in opposition. One of us is shooting Amarr and one of us will be supplying them with goods. Maybe you view this as evil, and trust me, I’ve had those thoughts. At some point I will have to work directly with Amarrians and exchange our goods for isk and all this; I’ve lost sleep over it, and it took a long time for my own clan to come around to the idea. I’m shaking hands with the enemy. Yeah. I get it. Thanks.

And to clarify, even though I’ve quoted Ms. Vuld here, I’m not speaking only to her. I’ve encountered this line of argument several times even in my short time being here. And I promise that long before any of you made these comments to me, I made them to myself.

Providing an alternative to slave labor is something that someone will have to do sooner or later. I would much rather it not be me, but that’s where my skills fall. This is what I can contribute, and little though they may be, efforts like mine don’t deserve to be dragged because we’re not shooting holders in the face.

And before any Amarr post here praising my ‘much more civilized’ approach, save yourself some time. I’m not your Magic Matari, and the only reason I’d be willing to work with any of you is for the sake of my enslaved kin. Pin any of your hopes to me, and I’ll burn you so hard that you’ll be appointing Kernher to sainthood.


(Veikitamo Gesakaarin) #2

How do you propose to convince Amarrian Holders and institutions to foot the bill for the up-front costs associated with the purchase of automated processes?


(Nahine Heluene) #3

I believe there’s a misunderstanding about the role of slavery in the Empire as opposed to Curse or other criminal markets. The Amarr don’t care about free labor. The point of slavery is to break the spirit of the enslaved, so that they willingly accept the Amarr as the chosen people of their god. That’s what Reclaiming is. Automation is antithetical to the purpose of slavery in the eyes of Amarr, so I wonder if there isn’t a better use of your skills elsewhere in the cluster.


(Gaven Lok'ri) #4

Amarr is not monolithic like that, Nahine.

Part of why Kahah has been so violent is that many Khanid do not see slavery as a means for conversion, but instead view slaves as subhuman livestock. See Chakaids rhetoric for a prime example of this.


(Aria Jenneth) #5

So-- first, at least as I understand it, this isn’t totally wrong: slavery is indeed regarded as a sort of spiritual and social apprenticeship that lasts generations.

Second, it is at least partially wrong. (1) There are modes of Reclaiming that don’t involve slave-taking (I’m a clear target for one such form, myself), such as non-coercive persuasion and conversion; (2) it’s totally possible, actually probably inevitable, for what starts out as a religious mission to need to find its place in a national economy and then to become bound into it in ways that have a clearer economic than religious motive.

I’ll defer to Lord Lok’ri on the specifics (he’s both inevitably more knowledgeable and better-placed to comment), but, yeah. It’s not so crystal-clear and diamond-hard as you seem to want to make it.


(Gaven Lok'ri) #6

The particular thing I see on these forums is people having taken the Ardishapur line as if it were the Amarr line.


(Aria Jenneth) #7

Would you be willing to give us a quick run-down of the various lines as seen from various Great Houses, my lord? I’ve been watching kind of closely but I’m not sure I’m totally clear on just where all the differences in perspective lie, if such information’s even really widely known in detail.

We hear a lot from House Sarum, but otherwise. . . .


(Gaven Lok'ri) #8

This encyclopedia resource is reasonably thorough: Amarr Politics Overview

But I am glad to answer any questions people might have on the subject.


(Gaven Lok'ri) #9

One caution I would have on imagining automation as the antidote to slavery: If you make slavery unprofitable compared to other land uses, the Khanid in particular are likely to take action to remove their excess slave populations in the fastest or most profitable ways possible. Given that their slaves are generally poorly educated, it is unlikely that they could sell them all to the other factions. If they cannot sell them, they certainly will not agree to free them, given the level of full blown racism on display in the management of the Kingdom.

I hope you all can see where this scenario can end?


(Melisma Ramijozana) #10

Initially, we will simply offer similar (or superior) goods for sale at fair market prices. That is the stage in which we convince Amarr that hey, you maybe don’t need a slave for that, because this one made by bots is just as good!

Should the Amarr become interested in establishing the non-slave manufacturing techniques themselves, then we will pivot to implementation and teaching them how to make the processes as efficient as possible. The costs involved at this stage will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.

I’ll point out, though, that Corovid Industries ourselves are nowhere near either of those stages yet. We’re still in development and are studying the relevant markets.


(Gaven Lok'ri) #11

It’s also worth noting that the factions of Amarr with the highest levels of foreign industrial tech, that is Tash Murkon and Khanid, are also the factions that are willing to do things like use TCMCs on their slaves. I do not believe that this correlation is coincidence.


(Melisma Ramijozana) #12

I don’t doubt that. In fact, my working theory has been that any faction that could already have replaced their slaves with tech are probably holding on to their slaves for reasons closer to what Nahine Heluene described above.

A better audience for this project would be Amarr factions who don’t have access to automaton tech, or those who could but have more immediate concerns elsewhere, or those who haven’t really considered it yet, and so on.

There are, after all, plenty of more warlike Matari organizations who would be well disposed to deal with those factions who would rather murder their slaves.


(Veikitamo Gesakaarin) #13

The thing is, the vast majority of slaves are not involved in value additive processes like commercial manufacturing. The majority of slaves are used in primary industries like resource extraction and agriculture.


(Melisma Ramijozana) #14

True, and there are plenty of ways to automate resource extraction. Agriculture is trickier, but I think it can be done. That’s part of what we’re researching now.


(Deitra Vess) #15

It’s fairly simple, as much as many of our kin don’t seem to believe it, if they talk we NEED to talk back, not bark, talk. Bravado has gotten us no where near what we could accomplish.


(Garion Avarr) #16

I actually have a bit of knowledge about this, and would be happy to talk to you and perhaps work with you on it. My family’s holdings primarily produce agricultural products, and some ten years ago, my parents made major moves towards automation and freed nearly all of our slaves. The results were mixed, and I’d be glad to share them with you, and talk to my brother about trying to find ways to improve results.


(Deitra Vess) #17

I remember a while back there was a discussion on hypothetically ending our fighting. One of the main sticking points was slavery. I believe the only thing many (from both sides) would conclude was the economic side was the main hurdle to jump. The religious indoctrination side was more addressed by missionaries. I don’t believe, from that discussion and others over the last few years that holds as much of a sway. It seems to be considered a more antiquated notion rather than a rational necessity with their “age of reclaimation by conquest coming to a close.”


(Gaven Lok'ri) #18

Outside of the frontier plantations, which seem to be informing the discussion of slavery I see here, Domestic service is by far the highest job slaves do. There are also many highly educated specialist slave jobs.


(Melisma Ramijozana) #19

Indeed, at least on my part. My focus at first will be jobs that can easily be done by machines. Manufacture and assembly of parts, synthesization of inorganic materials, things like that. As far as I understand it, many of these jobs are being handled in an assembly-line manner, so the goal would be to eliminate the human element entirely.

Domestic service will be more difficult, I expect, because of the inherent human value in it. Short of hiring freed people instead, posts like that would probably need AI-focused solutions. That will also take more research, but I’m confident that it can be done as well.


(Veikitamo Gesakaarin) #20

Sure, but what I am alluding to is that there exist reasons the Empire has not adjusted from a slave-based economy because of the sectors those slaves are employed in, such as:

Slaves employed in primary industries will require a massive up-front cost to be paid in order to purchase automation for them to be phased out of that field.

Slaves employed in technical fields cannot be replaced by automation. For example, Scriptural exegesis cannot be automated.