brni (brni) wrote,

With spades and hoes and plowes, stand up now, stand up now

A friend of mine (mouseworks) recently stated:

Fantasy is a highly unlikely vehicle for egalitarian views because its core premise is that power/magic is unequally distributed -- equally distributed magic means that the story isn't going to be about magic at all because there no tension in that.

And fantasy as a genre tends toward concepts of inequality - divine right of kings, superior and inferior peoples, rights & powers defined by birthright and bloodline, &etc. The Arthur myth. Lord of the Rings. Even The Court Jester. Even modern fantasy tales written with the intent of subverting these themes often still buy into some of them.

But y'know, what is fantasy based on? Lords and Ladies, courts and intrigue, powerful wizards, priestly hierarchies. Elves and orcs. Can you dispense with all that stuff and still have something that would be recognizable as a fantasy?

I dunno. But it sounds like an interesting challenge.

And I suspect that the place to start is here.


corollary question: what would Marx look like if he was writing in a pre-Industrial time?
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