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Lit The Social Safety Net Under the Empire

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Daneira, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. Daneira

    Daneira Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 30, 2016
    Re-reading "Death Star" recently (one of my favorite hobbies), I came across an interesting paragraph.

    Memah Roothes is a Twi'lek living in the Southern Underground on Coruscant whose bar has just burned down. This takes place around 3 BBY-ish.

    I find this to be very interesting. The "Evil Empire" has unemployment benefits? And even aliens on super-speciest Legends Coruscant, which has been depicted as more or less an apartheid state during the reign of the Empire (with the Alien Protection Zones and Invisible Sectors) can receive them? This opens a huge can of worms. Does the Empire have nationalized free healthcare too? Food stamps? Subsidized housing?
     
  2. Yunzabit

    Yunzabit Jedi Knight star 4

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    Apr 5, 2015
    No. Their is absolutely no evidence to suggest that she would receive benefits. She is just lamenting that she will be at home without a job, probably eating into her savings which she most likely accumulated.
     
  3. Daneira

    Daneira Jedi Master star 4

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    Jun 30, 2016
    “on the dole” means receiving benefits. That’s the evidence. She’s not worried about not having enough money, she’s worried about being bored while receiving money from the government.


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  4. Yunzabit

    Yunzabit Jedi Knight star 4

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    Apr 5, 2015
    I must’ve missed “on the dole”. I sometimes read too fast.
     
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  5. Matthew Trias

    Matthew Trias Jedi Grand Master star 6

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    Sep 8, 1999
    It's not really surprising. The Clone Wars painted a picture of a progressive Republic.

    The Empire, being an evolution of the Republic, wasn't just going to overturn that overnight. The support of the citizenry would evaporate.

    Also, in republics and democracies, usually a dictator gains power by promising to give more free stuff.

    I can imagine the Empire providing a social net for humans and a lesser one for near humans like Twi Leks.

    Sometimes, the evil a government can do is not in not providing something like a social net, but is instead in forcing you to sell your soul to receive that "privilege".
     
  6. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Master star 5

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    Aug 8, 2016
    I imagine such a safety net was a republic program and one that was something the empire would not have removed-given the massive unrest it would have created.

    I also suspect such a thing would be limited to the core, inner rim, expansion region, etc... I doubt humans on Tatooine had access to such a service.
     
  7. Vialco

    Vialco Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Mar 6, 2007
    That sounds very much like a Core-World problem.
     
  8. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Master star 5

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    Aug 8, 2016
    Indeed, that does seem very much a core world problem.
     
  9. Dr. Steve Brule

    Dr. Steve Brule Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Sep 7, 2012
    Well, we know that just about every type of job in the GFFA has a guild. Maybe the unemployment benefits in this case come from her membership in the Bartending Guild?
     
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  10. darklordoftech

    darklordoftech Force Ghost star 6

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    Sep 30, 2012
    If the Republic had a social safety net, I doubt Sheev took it away from human Imperial citizens. Why would he?
     
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  11. Vialco

    Vialco Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Mar 6, 2007
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018
  12. Daneira

    Daneira Jedi Master star 4

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    Jun 30, 2016
    Well, the interesting thing is that it’s also available to nonhumans.


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  13. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

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    Jul 30, 2000
    I wonder if it's beyond Coruscant.
     
  14. Voltron64

    Voltron64 Jedi Master star 1

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    Dec 23, 2009
    Sadism? This is Palpatine we're talking about.
     
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  15. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Master star 5

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    Aug 8, 2016
    I was merely in agreement.
     
  16. MrDarth0

    MrDarth0 Jedi Master star 4

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    Oct 3, 2015
    I see this is a Coruscant thing, not an Imperial run program.

    Things like social welfare, healthcare, education, etc. are probably still run by individual member worlds, so each one is different. It would be impossible to have a centralised welfare in a galaxy as diverse and populated as the GFFA.

    Rich worlds like Coruscant or Alderaan have probably really good welfare systems, while poorer worlds not so much. And if you're from a place like Tatooine and you have no money, well it was nice knowing you. Kinda like we have here, on our little world.
     
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  17. Havoc123

    Havoc123 Jedi Master star 4

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    Jun 26, 2013
    ...Why wouldn't there be? This is Legends, where the Empire doesn't actively try to make its people hate it, not Disney Canon where it consistently twirls its mustache around. I mean the Soviet Union was known for an efficient and working social safety net, if nothing else. I agree though, its likely a thing only in the Imperial Core, so the Core Worlds, Inner Rim and worlds closely tied to Coruscant, like Eriadu, Chommel Sector and the New Territories. The periphery like Tatooine, Socorro etc, is unlikely to be getting much at all if anything.
     
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  18. Landb

    Landb Jedi Knight star 1

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    Mar 7, 2017
    This. Legends established the Empire as pretty hands-off in how it ran most of its member states. Provided they paid their taxes, obeyed directives from high Imperial authorities such as the sector Moff, and stayed loyal to the Imperial throne, they pretty much carried on as before. There's a reason there were NewsNet segments about things like elections where a traditional conservative party was running against a hardcore New Order party made up entirely of locals.

    This does not mean those worlds were free, though. The moment anti-Imperial sentiment got too significant and public, or the Empire found something of specific interest on said world, they could very quickly switch to a more hands-on style of governance. Hands-wrapped-around-the-throat-and-squeezing, in many cases.

    If a world or member state made up of multiple worlds had a welfare program before the Empire, they very likely continued to do so, unless they were one of the places unlucky enough to attract the direct attention of something like COMPNOR's Department of Redesign.
     
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  19. Daneira

    Daneira Jedi Master star 4

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    Jun 30, 2016
    I was just reading about the Social Security Act in the US, which, when written in 1935, excluded agricultural and domestic workers. Guess what two fields the majority of African-Americans living in the Jim Crow South worked in? There's a real life precedent for social programs not applying to subjugated people.

    The interesting thing about Death Star is that all the main characters in the book start off as pro-Empire, or at least not anti-Empire. Reaves and Perry don't get into the apartheid nature of Imperial Center. Actually, it seems that the Southern Underground, where Memah lives, is fully integrated. She does have human patrons at her bar. This is also where a lot of the Coruscant action happens in Shadows of the Empire, another Reaves book.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
  20. Dr. Steve Brule

    Dr. Steve Brule Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Sep 7, 2012
    On this topic also, as I recall the lack of social services for the aliens on Coruscant was a plot point in the X-wing books with the Krytos virus and its effects after the Republic takes Coruscant.
     
  21. Landb

    Landb Jedi Knight star 1

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    Mar 7, 2017
    It seems plausible to me that life for aliens on Coruscant got substantially worse in the time between Yavin/SotE and the Xwing books.

    Various alien polities joining the Rebellion post-Yavin, and/or an increase in Rebel 'terrorist' or espionage activity on Coruscant by disproportionately non-human agents eventually leading to the (completely temporary, we assure you) ban on aliens living or working in certain areas save for the occasional rigorously background-checked or Empire-employed exception with the correct papers.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
  22. CaptainPeabody

    CaptainPeabody Jedi Master star 3

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    Jul 15, 2008
    I imagine that, as MrDarth0 says, welfare is probably more a matter of individual worlds than of the Empire as a whole. I would not be surprised, though, if the welfare system on Coruscant is more directly run by the Empire, as it's the capital.

    Still, as you say, there's a very wide historical variance in "welfare" systems and who is eligible to receive them. I would imagine that Coruscant, with its vast and it seems mostly unregistered population, probably only offers actual support for a pretty select few of the people on-planet at any given time, & perhaps not even many of the actual poor. One could compare this to the Roman grain dole, which was not really aimed at poverty relief but was in large part a matter of status for the select class of registered citizens.

    Actually, it sort of makes sense that this character, who is a business owner, even if she is an alien, would be one of the lucky few with the legal registrations & status, etc, to actually be able to rely on it. I would be shocked, though, if any of the actual poor districts of the planet ever see a dime of relief.
     
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  23. Dr. Steve Brule

    Dr. Steve Brule Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Sep 7, 2012
    I would say that the "Pursuit of Peace" episode of TCW is rather relevant to this, as it specifically mentions that things like electricity and clean water are services provided on planets by the Republic government, and which were cut down due to the war effort's deficit spending.

    I always thought that kind of ridiculous (also that Padme's handmaidens are apparently dirt poor) but nevertheless, it is what the episode states. If things like electricity and water come from the Republic government, at least on Coruscant, health care being provided by it isn't quite as hard to believe.
     
  24. GrandAdmiralJello

    GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin ❉ Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque star 10 Staff Member Administrator

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    Nov 28, 2000
    Since we’re talking Legends, I note that the Rebel Alliance Sourcebook paints a picture of a relatively socialized Core Worlds in terms of public benefits (going back to the Republic) and that SWAJ #7 notes that most bureaucratic engines from the Republic continued as normal under the Empire.

    There may have been a reduction in services during the war that was never maintained. But conversely, “bread and circuses” are also a trope going back to antiquity, so.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
  25. Dr. Steve Brule

    Dr. Steve Brule Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Sep 7, 2012
    And to keep up with the ancient Rome analogy, the amount of services the Republic/Empire itself provided for Coruscant's inhabitants for obvious reasons isn't necessarily reflective of what they provided for other worlds, even other Core Worlds. If anything, it may have been the Republic's taking over of Coruscant that would have been a decisive change in quality, given the disruption of galactic trade.