The Best of the Vilani

From Quora:

How to people with IQs of 60-80 think?

Madie Fox, works at IBM

Well my answer is anecdotal and probably relates to people at the very low end of your range, if not lower.

When I was in college, I co-oped with NASA in Greenbelt, MD. Since I would only be there 3 months at a time, I would rent a room, not an apartment. One time I rented a room at a “nursing” home. I put that in quotes because some of the people were old but quite able and others were young but very ill. There were registered nurses who handled the health care, but for the orderlies, cleaning staff and grounds maintenance, this home used people who had low IQ’s (really challenged people). They knew their jobs well, were very pleasant, and were in general good workers with positive attitudes. They didn’t choose to read books although books were available but they did like board games and music. My insight into their thought processes was that they very much liked the structure of their jobs and lives (they lived in). They conversed well about concrete things, but didn’t do much abstract thinking that I could tell. Anything that was out of the ordinary either baffled of alarmed them. They were kind, honest and hard-working. It made me wonder if maybe everyone was like them, maybe we would all get along more peacefully. Of course, the head nurse oversaw what they were doing and she was a kind empathetic person, so perhaps they reflected her kind treatment of them. I do know that they were happy and felt fulfilled.

Oh, in case you are wondering, the state ruled that no patients could be above the first floor (fire escape reasons) so there was an extra room on the second floor with the orderlies and cleaning crew (we shared a bathroom and a common room) and I had a very pretty bedroom all to myself.

The Vilani are a consensus, conformist, collective people. There are real prices to be paid for this kind of setup… but also real benefits. Everyone sticks together, everyone gains a certain level of dignity and respect, everyone looks out for each other.

True: the Vilani also like their efficiency: and in various Solomani materialistic cultures, this means the disposal (actually, murder) of the old, the mentally crippled, and other ‘useless eaters’.

Not so with the Vilani. Their caste system is based on work duties, not genetics: prosperity is tied to benefits to all, not just to the Ruling Classes.

(The classic Japanese system is probably the best illustrator here, where CEOs make 10x the amount of the average wage. I am not a fan of egalitarianism or collectivism, but when you get an economic system where all the benefits, financial and cultural, go to the top 10% or so — and everyone else declines in wages and cultural respect – then some sort of large-scale, structural theft is involved.)

Efficiency is tied to efficiently doing your duties: that is, things and work are dealt with efficiently. People, on the other hand, are valued and treated with care. You use people to build a consensus with, after all: and Consensus (along with Tradition and Prosperity) are part of the Vilani Cultural Trinity.

(The Vilani also have a broader — or at least different — cultural definition of the word people than the genetic definition the Solomani prefer. “Sophonts that follow the Traditions are people: sophonts that don’t follow the Traditions, aren’t.” )

Everyone who is part of the in-group is supposed to moderately prosper (or at least live in comfort, dignity, and respect), as this is the traditional sign of a successful nation, a successful noble, a successful culture.

And incidentally, the Vialni respect for tradition and love of rote learning ans stability benefits the aged AND those who are slow of thought: not much change, not many mental difficulties.

Summary: The best aspect of the Vilani is that they show love, care, and concern for the lowest among their number, a strength of many non-materialist collectivist societies.

Materialist collective cultures, of course, merely dispose of the useless eaters, or those of the wrong class/race/age/etc. Not merely is the collective of greater value than the individual: the wrong sort of individual is a cost to the collective, and should be killed, so far as the Leaders of the People are concerned.

The Vilani are comfortable with genocide, but have no interest in killing their own. Even the weakest of the Vilani are of greater value than the smartest barbarian/unperson/innovator/non-conformist.

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About Alvin Plummer

I'm working to build a better world, a world that blesses Christ and is blessed by Him. I hope that you're doing the same!
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