Dirty Hands episode - children inheriting parents jobs.

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Dirty Hands episode - children inheriting parents jobs.

Post by jock_tamsons_wee_brother on Wed Apr 12, 2017 3:36 pm

On the occassional channel flick the other day I had come across a historical military documentary about the Galloglass who had been a class of medieval Irish society. As well as being interesting and having a persional connection because it was a part of the shared Scottish-Irish history that I was unaware of, it also had a relevance to an aspect of BSG.

This aspect was that one of the features of Galloglass culture was that the role, much like that of the broader Irish Gaelic society which it had belonged to, was handed down from father to son. This feature was raised in the episode Dirty Hands as fear because the society on-board the fleet was turning into one where jobs would have been handed down from parents to children and those children would never have a chance of being anything else.

That fear resonated with myself as it would with anybody else with western liberal sensibilities. However, looking at it from the perspective of the documentary I had watched, it had made me wonder how effective would the solution offered by Roslin of having a lottery for the professions in the ship would really have been if they didn't find Earth II so quickly as they had did?

Medieval Irish society, much like most societies of that time, did not have the means to increase it's population compared to today. There was also the pressure of the society not having a cohesive nation state as enjoyed today which resulted in constant inter-tribal warfare not to mention from foreign nations, which from what I picked up from the documentary the Irish Gaelic society also had to compete with the Anglo-Normans at the time. Due to this, it was not possible to have fully grown males whose only role was to learn a trade or set of skills that was essential for the good of the society. It meant that boys where be used to help out in the various trades/professions but also to learn the skills until they were fully able to doing so adequate with the physical strength that the society they lived in required. The same thing would have occurred inboard the fleet if it had to keep going in space longer than it had did. This is obvious given the fleet's small population size as well as the constant demand for physical labour to ensure it's running. Therefore, there it is logical to say that there would have been no choice for sons and daughters to inherit the jobs their parents did.

The question is would it have slipped into a feudal type society as seen in the times of the Galloglass or could there have been anything to stop it or at least put some social mobility in the structure to relive the pressure that was rightly expressed in the Dirty hands episode?

I think it would be obvious that the society in the fleet would have moved to a more feudal one. However, given that everyone was essentially imprisoned in the ships that they lived in, the pressure on the social structures would be so great that those at the top would have had to give to those below them. Given the population size, everyone was needed to run the fleet so power could not be kept through punishment or worse executions. It was similar to what I had mentioned in a thread on the old imdb site where it would be inevitable that woman would have had to produce babies to keep the society going but that would have had come at a price where for example more resources would need to have been allocated to keep the upbringing of the children as well as the balance of power subtly tilted towards them to one where it could have turned into a sort of matriarchal society? Could such a thing happen in this scenario where it could have turned into a sort of true socialist society where although everyone had an allocated role in society from the cradle to the grave, they would all be equal, as much as the society could afford them?

Of course this is hypothetical but is interesting in how the series or a next generation series would have developed if the series didn't have such a conclusive ending.

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Re: Dirty Hands episode - children inheriting parents jobs.

Post by Guy_VO on Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:50 pm

I liked reading your post.
There are differences and similarities between medieval times and Battlestar Galactica. Life was slower in the Middle Ages. The working rate was determined by natural factors such as season and weather conditions. There was no quick communication between individual groups of people. For the lower class there were no training opportunities. The only thing you could learn is what you saw from your parents. And as a child you had to join in to feed the family.
Equality with BSG: limited training opportunities. You will learn what your parents can do. Work becomes hereditary. Because what you have learned is necessary for the survival of the fleet.

Regarding women: survival chances of children are small (Middle Ages: Disease - BSG: War, Cylons), so reproduction becomes important.

Regarding socialism: Many people are equally important for the survival of humanity, but they are not valued equally. Example = In out country (IRL) waste pickers are paid poorly, although they have a very important function in our society. In a fair society they would be appreciated in terms of their importance to society. I think this has never been this way, not IRL and not in BSG.
Possibly in another universe this could evolve into a truly socialist society Smile
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