Report by: GRU SpyCrab
Editor’s note: We found this brief, human observation on Dwarven society left by a fellow Urist on Reddit. Initial research looks accurate, albeit dark. More science needs to be conducted before final conclusions can reliably be drawn.
This is my first attempt to analyse the structure of a typical player-run Dwarven society and classify its political and socio-economic systems. I would be very thankful to readers for their criticism and helpful contribution.
First, a few facts we know about dwarves:
Social structure De jure
Hierarchical (feudal), de facto – more or less flat, with elements of meritocracy/favouritism (players tend to provide their favourite legendary craft/military dwarves with better living conditions, better clothes, armour and weapons and tend to their needs first). Nobility has a more or less ceremonial function and is not respected. The interests of many almost always outweigh the interests of few.
Caste system, Descending Class
- The Great Dictator (Player)
- Legendary Military/Craftdwarves
- Middle-level management and specialists (brokers, doctors, managers)
- Recruits/Commoners (cheese makers, ash burners)
No currency in use, no commerce, no taxation. Trade is conducted only by barter. Top-level social security – everything is provided by the state for free (free food, housing, healthcare, professional education and even funeral services). Economy is planned, mainly self-sufficient, with little/no dependence on trade, protectionism. Karl Marx labour theory of value is applied – the value of any product is determined by the total amount of socially necessary labour required to produce it. While it might not be obvious first, high value goods are high quality goods (produced by more skilled dwarves whose training takes time) from more rare materials (steel, platinum, candy) in time-consuming complex multistep processes (dyeing, decorating).
Political system – Absolute right.
Totalitarian police state/absolute dictatorship. Single person in command. Any dwarf can be at any time evicted from their house, have their belongings seized and redistributed, be conscripted or killed. Even the state itself can be destroyed at any moment (fortress abandoned).
Nationalism and Inter-race Relationships
Dwarves are extremely nationalistic. Until the very recent time there was no opportunity for non-Dwarven migrants to obtain citizenship. Two non-Dwarven races are somewhat tolerated (humans and elves), but recognised as being vastly inferior. Non-violent animal people might be spared while it suits the high command. Any manifestation of aggression towards the state or resistance of any sort is not tolerated, enemies of the state are destroyed with extreme prejudice and excessive force (cave-ins, magma).
No sexism, all dwarves are equally likely to work in any profession or serve in military. LGBT rights – no discrimination/oppression, in some large fortresses gay/lesbian/asexual dwarves might be preferred due to the fact that they do not reproduce. Quite possibly such progressive features could be explained by the needs of the War Machine (“Everything for the front, everything for the victory”).
Extremely militaristic society (often players go to great lengths to ensure early acquisition of magma-based weapons of mass destruction).
Extremal, some fortresses are completely isolated from the outside world (führerbunkers).
Although the state would try to employ disabled dwarves, euthanasia is widespread. Psychiatric care is not provided, dwarves are isolated and starved to death or executed. Weak and unskilled (“useless”) dwarves are conscripted or simply exterminated. Animal cruelty, nature exploitation, extermination of critically endangered species. Widespread child negligence and/or exploitation. Child labour, suicide missions, state-organised involuntary military service training programs (the infamous “Dwarven Crèche”).
Unethical state-approved experiments
Dwarfs might be infected with vampirism or lycanthropy against their will to serve the needs of the state (player)
Total, each and every dwarf is addicted to alcohol.
Primitive laws, tortures, incarcerations/solitary confinements, corporal and terminal punishments are widespread. Any dwarf can be made “disappear” and/or executed at any time.
War crimes – prisoners of war might be killed outright or tortured and then killed.
So, if we try to amalgamate all the facts, we will see a quite peculiar picture. Dwarven society is a militaristic national-socialist dictatorship with a planned economy run by a deranged Führer willing to sacrifice their own people to achieve ridiculous goals (megaprojects, circus invasions). In case of failure the whole nation might be deemed unworthy to exist and eliminated.