Dragaera, France, and Firefly

Tue Jan 17 04:49:11 PST 2006

Noah Stacy wrote:

> On topic first: Am I wrong in thinking that Dragaera, especially 
> pre-interregnum, seems to share a lot of traits with France just 
> before 1789? The thought has passed my mind before, but it 
> particularly struck me recently while reading a book on the Revolution 
> that included a brief description of the situation just 
> beforehand--with wildly varying systems of measurement, laws, internal 
> tariffs and customs, and so on, throughout the kingdom.
A few, perhaps.  I imagine that Dragaera just before the Cycle changes 
will always look a little like '89 France.  But France in '89 was 
totally disfunctional as a self-governing society; that is the only 
reason the Revolution succeeded.  (The same is true of the Russian 
Revolution in 1917 someone alluded to.)  And the measurements, laws, 
customs, etc., you refer to had been wildly differing for 
centuries--basically, for the life of the French state since Charlemagne 
and earlier.  They didn't help matters, but they didn't cause the 
Revolution.  Dragaera is a long way from this amount of social breakdown 
just before the Interregnum.  I'd say the situation is actually a little 
more analogous to the abortive uprising of Etienne Marcel in 1358-ish or 
so Paris, after the disaster of Poitiers.  In the latter case, the 
increasing influential bourgeoisie collided with a state temporarily 
deprived of its head.  When it regained one, it rather easily dealt with 
the merchants.

Incidentally, the French Revolution properly begins with the effective 
coup d'etat of the nobility in '87.  they promptly showed that 100 years 
of emasculation at Versailles had left them completely incapable as a 
class of running the affairs of anything as large as a small pastry 
shop.  It was this bankruptcy that allowed and encouraged the rest of 
France to rise up and sweep all that away.