• I have searched around and didn't find something relevant to my question.

  • My question is on topic; it is related to "*Effects of events or world elements, including biology, technology and magic, on specific aspects of that world's societies, cultures, and environment" but I also think it is related to "How to achieve a specified effect in a defined world, including by the use of biology, technology or magic, while maintaining in-universe consistency".

  • I have used the checklist to verify that my question has everything that it needs: on the first section of questions only 5 is not answered in the positive because I have written two edits so far to remove the [on hold] status; on the second section, again all questions can be answered in the negative except for 10; again, in this case, the comments above for point 5 in the previous section are relevant.


In this edit I am trying to address as many of the issues raised in the comments as it is in my capacity to accomplish:

@Rick M.: I have not yet clarified how the two parts relate to each other geographically. I have been considering two mutually exclusive cases.

  • The first one has people that dwell/participate into different sectors live beside one another-in this case I do not impose any geographical separation; people can intermingle but that adds another layer of complexity that I have yet to spell out. I haven't figured out how are they supposed to interact socially. For example, would it be admissible for a regular Joe to buy an Otherly gal a drink? How about the immigration office? How does that work and how would policing something like that go about? I don't know yet.

  • In the other case, the two segments are physically distinct; one thought is to have the 'other' sector physically located inside a dome-like structure; another thought is to put it on another planet eg the moon; this is more to demarcate it as 'different' and keep the distinction clear; if I have to be honest, I need the strong separation at this point because I am trying to get a sense of the aggregate dynamics this duality imposes and after I figure out how things are supposed to work, I hope to add the intricacies of interaction.

@Rick M.: You are correct about this; I don't have a name for the 'other' sector, yet; it is in a sense a mirror image of the 'real' part only stretched and translated along axes I have yet to spell out; - indeed I didn't provide the governing rules of that place because I want to convey a sense of lawlessness but also of infinite possibilities (which might be actual or fictional/illusory); it is in a sense a kind of a 'wild west' if you like (obviously less the saloons and the gunslingers, but not necessarily so-I don't know yet).

  • As far as the legal arrangements in the other side are concerned I would think that besides a strong conviction in the appropriateness of Natural Law their law system is whatever the dynamics of power relations and coalitions of interests allow it to be; I have strong feelings in favor of making explicit that their legal civilization allows-even encourages-the death penalty; citizens of that 'other' enclave are expected to agree that their conduct can in certain situations-which I haven't spelled out yet, but will have to be less stringent than what they are in effect in today's real world- can bring about the capital punishment; as an example, consider a high-powered executive that is expected to commit suicide should he/she fail to secure favorable contracts for his/her employer.
  • As far crime is concerned, in the 'other' enclave, I'd say that it is a matter of interpretation; what I mean by that is that-besides Natural Law-behavior is directed by calculations of relative advantage; if you do what's best for you at a given setting and manage to get out with your head on your shoulders, then that's ok.

  • As far as what people are expected to do in the 'other' side, I am trying to respect the initial dichotomy created by the right of people to choose where they want to be situated; in this light, I'd expect them to do more or less the same things 'regular' people do but with a significant caveat in place: that their actions are not bound by the edict people on the 'real' side live their lives by ie doing what's in accordance of the 'common good'. For example a fisherman in the 'other' side wouldn't mind wiping out a pod of gray whales if that served his/her immediate calculations; on the other hand, that'd be considered 'malpractice' in the 'real' side because such an action would jeopardize fisheries' sustainability and would therefore undermine the common good, what's good for the people.

  • As far as government is concerned, I noted in the postscript that both segments of society are considered sovereign. The current model I entertain is a federal system much like what is in place in the US today but I seem to favor a certain amount of asymmetric power in favor of the 'real' part which I don't know yet if it is warranted; to be honest, I have a feeling that the real sector needs that asymmetry in its favor in order to be able to contain the 'other' sector which seems to be endowed with a natural aggression, but also vivacity. I guess I need to spell out the governance structure more precisely in latter versions.

  • To answer the question about existence (why the 'other' side exists?) I don't consider it to be an either/or case; what I mean by that is that both segments can exist on their own rigth; their cohabitation or symbiosis is effected by having a society that (probably by virtue of historical evolution or other reasons not necessary to spell out, in my current view) assigns with individuals the right to choose in which enclave they want to participate. In a sense the 'other' side exists for roughly the same reasons the 'real' side does to.

*@AndyD273-: I'm really sorry I had to force upon you something like that; I understand it is not the best experience to struggle for meaning in other peoples' writting; for that I apologize; if I had to do a tldr version it'd go something like this: "By virtue of having the prerogative to express preference ie make a choice, people can position themselves in either one of two diametrically opposed and highly assymetric socio-economic agglomerations; please, explain in a way that makes intuitive sense how the two segments would maintain dynamic stability as far as their population is concerned, conditional upon the specifics of each segment, spelled out in more detail above".

a4android: So, if I'm reading you correctly, you do not feel there is a need to justify the population dynamics because what I am describing resembles actual existing societies and in such a setting dynamics like that are irrelevant?

orig: Consider a society with a dual economy; by 'dual' I intend to inform the reader about the following structure: an adult person can choose to make a living in one of two discrete and disjoint workplaces.

The choices include a 'real' economy, where a person follows a profession that is productive and caters to the needs of the people. These jobs don't need to be exclusively farming or blue-collar activities; they could easily extend to white-collar job specifications (and services even) and beyond that; they can also include professional services like the ones provided by doctors or lawyers.

In this real part of the economy there is even room for actuarial professions related to the provision of eg insurance services; the only restriction in the FIRE sector would be that the products sold would have to be demonstrably a response to actual societal needs eg flood insurance or futures on crops that aim to stabilize farmers' income; obviously speculative activities and gambling in general would not be accommodated in this real sector of the economy;

Activities with an expressed antisocial objective (eg predatory lending) or activities with a high disruptive potential for the orderly working of society (eg rogue financial system) would not be banned altogether but will be the domain of the other sector of the dual economy; should an adult person choose to dwell in this segment of the economy then that person would consent to the rules and obligations attached to citizens of that sphere.

Such would be the requirement for a person making the opposite choice but the difference between the two is located in what is expected of each person in every jurisdiction. Namely, people integrating themselves in the real segment of the economy would be legally obligated to cater to the needs of their fellow citizens; the main avenue through which they would be expected to do that would be their professional excellence; demonstrated failure to do so when accompanied by a positive proof of bad intentions would result after due process in banishing the person from the real segment to the other segment of the economy.

There, the rules are not really clear other than the fact that almost anything goes. Choosing to integrate oneself in that part of the economy (either voluntarily of through malpractice) would entail possibly large monetary fortunes but also probable (with a positive probability) physical death (eg due to famine or execution by privately owned law enforcement).

The duality of this economy seems so far to be an artifact of the description as there doesn't seem to be much to be desired in the sector opposite the real one; I argue that there can be a positive flow of headcount into the other sector despite the seeming attractiveness (I mean I think it seems attractive) of the real sector, due to personality traits that would make someone more susceptible to the 'other' way of life and of course incidences of malpractice.

What would be legitimate arguments in favor of a positive headcount flow to the 'other' sector of the economy?

ps. The two segments are connected with trade in goods (predominantly from the real economy to the other segment) and services, capped capital flows on the part of the real segment and obviously the flow of people as discussed above; law enforcement and national security is delegated to the real part of the economy although regional arrangements are flexible for the two distinct segments (eg private law enforcement in the other segment) and both jurisdictions enjoy mutually recognized sovereignty.

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    $\begingroup$ Do the two sectors dwell separately? Different neighborhoods, cities, countries? $\endgroup$ – Rick M. Apr 29 '18 at 20:39
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    $\begingroup$ Also, in the second sector (I couldn't understand how it's called), can you elaborate about their rules? What exactly is legal/accepted? white-collar crimes? all crimes? How do they work? Who governs this(if is is governed), and how? $\endgroup$ – Rick M. Apr 29 '18 at 20:43
  • $\begingroup$ And What does the rest of the society get from the existence of that sector? Why is this lawless-sounding land allowed and accepted? This is important, because this can provide lots of reasons and incentives to choose that sector (e.g. If we need private militias to fight of the zombies, I might really want to be that guy that saved the nation). $\endgroup$ – Rick M. Apr 29 '18 at 20:45
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    $\begingroup$ Think you could sum it up as a tl;dr? It's complicated sounding, and so hard to follow. $\endgroup$ – AndyD273 Apr 30 '18 at 0:38
  • $\begingroup$ The trouble is this is exactly like real economies. Economies are mixtures of productive & non-productive, if downright parasitic, sectors. No justification is usually needed, because power is in the hands of the non-productive sector. Provided the non-productive sector doesn't overwhelm the productive societies & economies can remain stable. Lots of individuals will suffer the consequences of economic & financial malpractice. Just like in the real world. $\endgroup$ – a4android Apr 30 '18 at 1:21

From your description, it sounds like your society is broken into two groups: "productive workers" and "criminals". (Please correct me if I misunderstood your intent.) Let us then ask why a person would choose to be a criminal.

Certainly, not everybody actively chooses this route. Some fall to it, because they were tempted, because they made bad decisions, because to cover their bad decisions, they proceeded to make more bad decisions.

Some are born into crime. Think of mafia families: there's power and money there. And yes, some do choose crime. The potential gains are enormous. The risks exist, but they can be mitigated. Most people do not choose a life of crime not because of the risk of being caught and punished, but because of a firm belief that this is Wrong. Remove this impediment, and sure - the potential gains would attract people.

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