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I'm sure you're wondering what I mean, so here's the background:

This question concerns Misseena's evolutions (see Why Would Humanoid Kaijura Partner With Humans? for more on Misseena), Samurin and Samurayna, which in turn can become the leaders of merfolk society by evolving into Samuregis.

Here's the problem; Samurin are pragmatic and sensible, levelheaded, and always make the smartest strategic decision. However, Samurayna are sensitive and emotional; they think with their heart, not their head.

Because of this, the Samurin want to keep the Samurayna subordinate (so they can't foul up important decisions because emotion blinded their better judgement). In other words, the Samurayna cannot be leaders, because they are too likely to put what they feel is right over common sense (in the Samurin's view).

So, my question is What Social Structure or Method Will Best Suit This Purpose? Specifically, how can the Samurin best keep the Samurayna in the warrior role and far away from leadership roles?

Additional Information:

  1. When Misseena are born, they are subsequently educated (and indoctrinated with cultural principles) and then sent out into the wild (in small groups, aptly called cliques) to earn their place in society. Once a member of a clique evolves, the clique can return home and take their rightful place in mermaid society, with the Samurin or Samurayna as the leader and the Misseena as their followers. This is problematic for two reasons: A) there is an equal (AKA 50/50) chance of a Misseena evolving into either Samurin or Samurayna out in the wild, and a Samurin or Samurayna in a leadership position has a 70-30% chance of evolving into a Samuregis (Samurin 70%, Samurayna 30%). B) the Samurin are the ones who came up with this equal-merit system-not only will there be CONSIDERABLE pushback if they try to remove it and put in another, but the Samurin's reputation as leaders who always make the best choice may be weakened, and their authority with it.
  2. What the Samurin want is a system that will allow the Samurayna to gain power among their own kind, while making them subordinate to Samurin. Ideally, a Samurayna-turned-Samuregis should not only obey a Samurin's orders without question, but should even allow a Samurin to ride her (please note the symbolism of the latter).

As always, I appreciate your input and feedback, and if there is a problem that prompts you to down- or close-vote, please give me an explanation so I can make better questions in the future. Thank you all!

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    $\begingroup$ What's the actual question? $\endgroup$ Feb 1, 2021 at 18:38
  • $\begingroup$ The actual question? I put it in there, is it hard to find? Basically, there are two groups (Samurin and Samurayna) and the question is how the Samurin can make and keep the Samurayna lower-class. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 1, 2021 at 18:40
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    $\begingroup$ When someone asks what the question is, it is usually the symptom of having too much "fluff" covering it. Try to cut down to the bare minimum for giving the context, and put a TL:DR at the beginning to make your question more clear. $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Feb 1, 2021 at 19:01
  • $\begingroup$ Right; will do that ASAP, but that's not right now. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 1, 2021 at 19:25
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    $\begingroup$ Meantime, don't worry if the question is closed, an edit will place it in the reopen queue, and with any luck (presuming a brilliant edit on your part), it'll get opened and answered. $\endgroup$ Feb 1, 2021 at 20:36

2 Answers 2

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By Using a Caste System

The Misseena and their evolved forms (from here on out I’ll be using Misseenan for the whole society) have adopted a strict caste system for their protection from hotheaded leaders.

Pulling from Wikipedia

(A) Caste is a form of social stratification characterized by endogamy, hereditary transmission of a style of life which often includes an occupation, ritual status in a hierarchy, and customary social interaction and exclusion based on cultural notions of purity and pollution.

The Misseenan schools ingrain a ridged caste framework into the young Misseena that has 5 branches.

1st branch is the Misseena which are the weakest of the branches.

2nd branch is the Samurayna who act as the warriors for the schools.

3rd branch is the Samurin who act as the leaders for the schools.

4th branch is the Samurayna heritage Samuregis who are the elite warriors of the schools.

5th branch is the Samurin heritage Samuregis who are the high ranking leaders and warriors of the schools. (Think Colonel to the Samurayna heritage Samuregis’ Captain to the Samurayna’s Lieutenant.)

Remember the point of society is to protect the many and the Samurin can use that to stay in charge. The Samurayna are the hotheads of the lot and as such have a tendency to make shortsighted decisions that endanger the whole school. Where as the Samurin have a tendency to think over the options and try to take the safest option for the school.

Even after their metamorphosis the Samurayna heritage Samuregis are considered too hotheaded to lead the schools and are relegated to a warrior tier in the caste hierarchy. Where as the Samurin and Samurin heritage Samuregis are promoted to the leader tier in the caste.

Edit: I made this before the question was edited so it may be missing some of the criteria.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you, this works perfectly! I am definitely using this. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 1, 2021 at 21:13
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    $\begingroup$ @Alendyias When in doubt check the history books. There have been many different types of societies over the eons and there have been many interesting experiments in how to run a society. $\endgroup$ Feb 1, 2021 at 21:18
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you; I will use that advice! $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 1, 2021 at 21:18
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However, Misseena are also female, and women (in general) put an emphasis on social interactions. The Misseena that are good with people will have higher standing, and are likely to hold leadership positions. The selfish, backstabbing, obnoxious types are likely to be ousted.

Implying this will not result in an increase in selfish, backstabbing, obnoxious individuals anyway. Societies that put a high premium on social interactions always have high rates of selfish, backstabbing, obnoxious people that know how to manipulate the rules. Just like how societies that prize strength always end up with idiots with more brains than sense in positions of power. To use your example, look at any IRL high school clique or work featuring one.

Afterwards, however, a Samurin or Samurayna can fight off or even kill a Razorshark, and they're so powerful the Misseena's best option is to submit to her authority or leave the clique. This is where politics comes in; either Samurin and Samurayna can evolve into Samuregis, the leaders of Misseena society, and Samurin want to be in charge.

It depends on the details, but one potential option would be the Samurin beating the Samurayna down by force if they are stronger than them. Alternatively just gang up on them, given that Samurin outnumber Samurayna 7 to 3. The Samurin would probably justify this oppression via cold logic that this is for the "greater good".

So, the Samurin have a problem (my question is): how can they convince the Samurayna to stay subordinate to them so they can stay in power? Specifically, the Samurin want to be the ones making important decisions because they don't think Samurayna can be trusted to make the right choice, so they want to set up a system that will make the Samurayna stay subordinate to them even if they evolve into Samuregis. Think of it this way (this is the desired result): Samurayna are peasants, even if they attain a leadership position (evolve into Samuregis) a unevolved Samurin has unquestionable authority over them.

Simply put: they won't. You say Samurayna are highly emotional and think with their heart, not their heads. If this is the case, they'll never listen to what the Samurin have to say, they'll do what they think is right consequences be darned. This includes setting out to form mermaid communes of their own because it's the "morally right" thing to do, completely ignoring that it makes more logical sense to stay near the Samurin where they will be protected.

The Samurayna, given that the prioritize emotional logic over cold logic, would also never go along with a social order that systematically penalizes them in favor of the Samurin. The highly-emotional Samurayna would likely favor equality and fairness above all else, and they would accuse the Samurin of trying to rig the system to keep them a second class citizen (which to be fair, is entirely true according to your question). Not to mention there would likely be a lot of bigotry and cliquishness between Samuregis that came from Samurayna versus Samurin, Samureyna-descended Samuregis would be accused of being unintelligent and Samurin-descended Samuregis would be accused of being heartless. The fundamentally different backgrounds (which will influence worldview through experiences, if nothing else) are just asking for schism.

They should wholeheartedly submit to a Samurin's orders, even let Samurin ride them. A system like the lighteye-darkeye system in The Way Of Kings should work, but I'm not sure how to set that up.

Why the heck would Samuraya let Samurin ride them? They're both mermaids, letting one ride the other has no advantages in battle. It would be the equivalent of a human carrying another human piggy-back into battle. Notably all of the human civilizations that lacked draft animals (Polynesian islands, all of the New World civilizations, aboriginal Australians) never had people carrying each other piggyback into battle.

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  • $\begingroup$ Very good answer, it reads sort of like a frame challenge. My thinking was that the Samurin would convince the Samurayna that they need them to act as a voice of logic, but you have some good points against it. All in all, very thought-provoking. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 2, 2021 at 2:49
  • $\begingroup$ @Alendyis Look at Star Trek: The Original Series. When did Spock ever convince McCoy of anything using logic. $\endgroup$ Feb 2, 2021 at 2:49
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not familiar with Star Trek, but I know his species is very, very logical. Anyway, could an intermediary form of Samurin and Samurayna help? Something in-between them, so they could understand both sides and hopefully get them to agree on a course of action. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 2, 2021 at 2:53

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