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 Post subject: Plotter - Genii Culture
PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 3:31 pm 
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In working out a genii character, I've realized I would like a more fleshed out idea as to how Genii society works. So I'm going to throw out a few questions and ideas for open discussion.

We know they are militaristic, and the bulk of their focus is on defense from/defeating of the wraith. Now I am not a poli-sci person at all, but I am wondering if they would lean towards communism. In the sense that all goods and services are directed and 'owned' by the government to be shared equally by the people. Of course the 'all' would not actually be all. There would be a thriving black market, an under class and a social elite.

I certainly agree on mandatory military service, maybe starting as early as 15. All education is government run, so the Genii indoctrination would start early. I could see the 'lower' class, those that were raised in the tunnels that have been added to the bunkers over the years, have less exposure to education.

My big question is religion. There have been no signs of it in the show, so I am wondering if it really plays any part in the society. I can picture pockets of Ancestor (as in Ancients) Worship, but not much else.

Your thoughts?

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 3:38 pm 
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I've always thought of the Genii as being based on Russian society after Communism began. If you've ever read the book "Gorky Park", or seen the movie, they remind me of the portrayal of Soviet militia in the 70s. The technology probably isn't too far off that, either.

I don't see religion being a big part of their society, but their reaction as the puddle jumper de-cloaks in "Underground" may indicate some belief in the mystical or spiritual.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 8:41 pm 
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I'd say they're definitely extremely statist (Communist, Nazi, etc.). Granted all the ones we meet are pre-selected to deal with outsiders and thus are probably considered totally politically reliable, but none of them is what I'd call an individualist. Ladon's the only one who thinks outside the box and, while he's personally ambitious, he's also very state-oriented in those ambitions. They might not even pay the lip service to 'the People' that Terran communistic/socialistic governments do and just be unabashedly 'you belong to the state, full stop.'

Some stray thoughts/headcanons I have. Not saying I approve of any of these, just that I can see their culture evolving this way given the stresses it's been placed under.

I don't know if they have a formal religion, but they did seem to give off a 'Chosen People' vibe. They're the Genii, they feel they're entitled to take what they want (Atlantis, whatever they were mining for on the other world, etc.). The evil Wraith are keeping them from their proper place being in charge. So figure at least somewhat racist and xenophobic?

Then there's population. I think it's likely they have laws or at least social mores focused on creating more Genii. The women kept sheltered and strongly encouraged to marry early and make lots of babies. Which is going to make for a lot of competition among the women, because male Genii being killed in combat will create a gender imbalance. Polygamy is a possibility. Also, homosexuality and gender dysphoria are probably frowned upon, and might even be considered criminal and/or mental illness.

Which raises another ugly question or two -- what do they do with those they consider 'defective?' What happens to Genii who are born not up to snuff physically and/or mentally and are a net drain upon the state? What about schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, etc? One possibility is they don't put them in the tunnels (after all, the tunnels are where it's safe from the Wraith and thus where the ubermenschen reside), they put them on the surface. Somebody's got to farm the tava beans, after all, and better that the Wraith eat the undesirables than the folks who really matter, amirite? Tyrus' unit guards the Stargate, maybe that's as much to keep the untermenschen from escaping through it as to snow visitors with the 'simple farmers' act.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:18 pm 
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Suicide missions would also be a likely use for the disturbed or deficient. Test subjects for science experiments. They are likely very resource conscious and people are a resource in the end.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 11:51 pm 
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As long as we don't go the soylent green route. :)

I think Statist is a good term for it. While at one point the government may have been 'for the good of the people' over time I can see that ideal wearing away. I'm going to have to find Gorsky Park.

As I was reading through your thought on population, I was wondering about the marry early part. If the society truly wanted to bolster the population then why would they insist on marriage before procreation? I think it would be interesting that any child born out of wedlock immediately become as ward of the state, while a child born in wedlock increases your 'share'. Thus emphasizing family but not hindering population growth. Just a thought.

I can see two version of upworld. Areas (within dart range) where the physically capable but undesirable toil, as well as the village closest to the stargate with tyrus' unit. After all those deemed mentally unsuitable would also be security risks. Who knows what they would tell an incoming trade mission.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 2:19 am 
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Quote:
Suicide missions would also be a likely use for the disturbed or deficient. Test subjects for science experiments. They are likely very resource conscious and people are a resource in the end.


I think test subjects would be the more likely option. Should one of the cannon fodder fail on the suicide part and get captured, that's a big risk of their secret getting out. And yeah, I think they're very resource-conscious (gives new meaning to 'recycling' ... )

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As I was reading through your thought on population, I was wondering about the marry early part. If the society truly wanted to bolster the population then why would they insist on marriage before procreation?


I think the government would back marriage because it has a stabilizing effect on society (men and women know where they stand vis-a-vis one another) and is the most effective arrangement for child-rearing. The state itself doesn't want to be bothered with the resource-intensive rearing part (feeding, clothing, looking after the kids in general), they're only interested in the education indoctrination part of the process. Also, married couples tend to be more content and less inclined to rebellion (they have their lives in order, why go upsetting the apple cart?). I don't think women would be legally required to get married, just that there would be a lot of social pressure to do so.

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I can see two version of upworld. Areas (within dart range) where the physically capable but undesirable toil, as well as the village closest to the stargate with tyrus' unit. After all those deemed mentally unsuitable would also be security risks. Who knows what they would tell an incoming trade mission.


I agree. The closest settlement to the 'gate was the Tyrus one, and it was a fairly long walk. The others would be considerably further away -- easy peasy in a dart, not so much on foot. The Atlantis team never attempted to go beyond the nearest village, and I speculate they would have met with an unfortunate accident if they had. Presumably, the other settlements would have some sort of monitoring in place to make sure none of their denizens 'wander off' and cause embarrassment.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 5:28 am 
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Adding this in, since we were discussing the Genii underground city/bunker. Below is a picture of the city from the Stargate wikia's page on same (I don't know how canon it is, but it's something to work from):

Underground Bunker

With no people or anything else with a defined size to reckon from, it's difficult to tell the scale, but for sure it's big. There are several levels just that we can see and it appears to go off into other caverns, too. The bunker is referred to in the singular in the wikia and I don't recall mention of other bunkers in the show, but even if we go with just this one, there's space for a sizeable population (especially if they're used to being crowded).

Another interesting thing in the picture is the waterfall off toward the right, which suggests hydroelectric power, something that makes excellent sense. The Genii in the show are only barely into the Nuclear Age, so they must have been using something else for energy generation until now. Plus an underground river would provide water for their population once they were done having it spin the turbines.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 5:34 am 
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Runner
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Mole people.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:28 pm 
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The Image is canon. It is the 'you are on the genii homeworld' shot the open those scenes with. I just recently rewatched underground, that's why bunkers (plural) stuck in my head,

" Our forefathers sought the protection of bunkers such as these, originally created for wars long forgotten, and it was here that a small number of our people managed to survive undetected."

If he had said 'Bunkers such as this' I would have believed them down to the one. I can imagine over the years they have built underground rail systems to move things between the bunkers.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 7:36 pm 
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I really need to figure out what the cat did with my DVD remote. I have the whole series, I just can't play it. Though that looks/sounds more like a video game?

Anywhoo, I like the idea of multiple bunkers linked by rail. And Mole People. A significant percentage may even be agoraphobic. Solid ground overhead = safe. Open sky? Utterly terrifying.

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