The government of Amestris is controlled by powerful organizations known as guilds. These institutions are made up of special interest groups that bring together influential people, such as merchants, business leaders, mages, etc., to provide support for common interests and goals. These guilds command wealth, power, and influence in politics and the economy, and are the true leaders of society behind the government. They use officials as patsies by manipulating greed and desire, along with a little blackmail, in order to pass legislation to suit their needs. Although the guilds compete with each other, they can occasionally put differences aside for a single purpose.

The guilds benefit from expanding market share while keeping cost of production as low as possible, and many companies pay their workers the bare minimum with low job security in order to save money. In addition, there is an issue of people dying without paying off debts incurred, hurting profits. However, this leaves them vulnerable to union strikes and social criticism which can ultimately hurt profits. Therefore, they has gotten the government to pass the 35th amendment to alleviate concerns and provide a continuous source of free labor. This amendment allows an institution to resurrect the body of an individual through necromancy for continued service to work off any debt procured in life. A mortgage, a bank or student loan, settlements or fines, and any other debts that individuals haven't yet paid off will make a person viable for resurrections. The institution can then put the person to work for them or even lease out corpses to other institutions for a fee. This would continue until the debt is fully paid. The guilds needs a way to increase the level of debt in the nation in order to provide a replenishable source for undead workers.

However, while the law has gone into effect, there are problems instituting this plan. Society is made up of lazy and spoiled individuals who wish for everything to be handed to them on a silver platter and don't value hard work. This shameful mentality has pushed many to protest the law, arguing that resurrecting their corpses for free labor to pay off debts that they incurred should not be a priority. Some have even resorted to cremation for themselves to violate the law that they are obligated to obey. Raising prices are an option, but this can cause people to stop spending and save more. Raising interest rates on borrowed money can also induce people to stop borrowing, preventing businesses from growing. These actions can hurt the economy in the long run, completely undermining the purpose of this law.

The guilds needs to begin by settling its citizens with debt to the point that the vast majority of the citizenry are viable candidates for this process. This is necessary in order to get this plan into motion. How can these organizations accomplish this?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ You can't. Those places on Earth that do this sort of thing are always riddled with rent-seekers and have backwater economies. It's the very essence of them trying to have the largest cuts of the smallest pies. If this is an essential part of your story, it should focus on how this undermines economies and puts them at a disadvantage. Debt only works when the vast majority of borrowers can pay off that debt. Making bad loans is not just bad for the debtor but for the lender as well. $\endgroup$
    – John O
    Commented Jun 16, 2021 at 13:23
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Why was slavery replaced with wage labor or crop-sharing labor? It wasn't because slave labor was cheaper and more efficient... $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Commented Jun 16, 2021 at 15:19
  • $\begingroup$ Do resurrected people have the same mental capacity as living or are they mindless zombies? What kind(s) of religion does your country have and what per cent of the population is religious? $\endgroup$
    – Otkin
    Commented Jun 16, 2021 at 19:09
  • $\begingroup$ You really don't need debt slavery. Instead of debt, start with the homeless and limit new home building and jack the price of homes to the point where a lot of people are homeless. Any increase in the labor supply drops the price of labor and makes even more homeless. The benefit from zombie labor is that they can't rebel against the system (just like hiring an illegal person in this country). Thus, the company doesn't need to pay for hazard protection, environmental protection, etc. $\endgroup$
    – David R
    Commented Jun 16, 2021 at 20:50
  • $\begingroup$ Why is this Too Story Based? It is a question about the economy. sigh $\endgroup$
    – Otkin
    Commented Jun 17, 2021 at 7:13

3 Answers 3


How to get people into debt slavery

Six months interest free credit!

Do you want a new sofa? A new laptop? The latest smartphone? All this and more can be yours if you sign up today!! Low credit scores accepted! No references required!

ALL-NEW 2021 TruckCorp V12 Gas Junkie!

Drive away today for 0.00 - generational credit plans available! Starting from only 89,999.99. Low credit scores accepted! No references required!

Fed up with living in not-a-mansion?

Get your free mansion mortgage evaluation today! Low credit scores accepted! No references required!

How to not destroy the economy

All you need to do is think of the initial credit boom as a kind of QE, ie a temporary phase of increased spending. The people borrow from the banks to buy stuff. Companies producing this stuff pay their salaries using money gained from selling things that no one will pay for whilst still alive. Long term credit plans can be used to purchase goods so the banks can end up taking on the actual debt & directly gaining future control of the zombies.

The corporations can use a financial instrument called zombie futures in order to pay salaries or other liabilities wherein the liability is paid by a lender via purchase of zombie futures. Zombies from the debtor corporation's onward debt chain are then assigned to pay it back when the loan becomes due. These zombies can be used by the lender or loaned out again, allowing trade in the control of the zombie labour market.

Crucially, zombie futures would give zombie debt it's own intrinsic value creating a new class of tradable assets.

This is the transitional phase of the economy, call it "preliminary zombieism"

The economy will eventually reach a point where all the physical labour is done by zombies and no one works whilst they are still alive. Companies will no longer employ the living and will instead hire zombies at low cost from lenders or buy zombie futures to secure their own share of the labour market. Life will be spent accruing debt on credit accounts by consuming goods built by the undead, and death will be spent building goods for the living to pay off that debt.

State propaganda will keep hidden the true suffering of the undead, supporting the living in relative bliss and complete ignorance - encouraged to purchase anything and everything they want in order to ensure the highest possible extraction of labour-value from them in the afterlife. Cremation would be discouraged and burial sites would be engineered to allow the removal of zombies without visually disturbing the ground ie via underground necropolis railways. Out of sight, out of mind - even if it is public knowledge, people are prone to seek comfort and ignore that which they find unpalatable. They won't think about it if they are not directly confronted with it.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I hate this. But the truckCorp v12 is worth it :D $\endgroup$
    – Gustavo
    Commented Jun 16, 2021 at 14:28

In several countries, you need to actively remove yourself from Organ Donor's list. By default, you are a donor.

Make a law that has the general public by default, being listed to be raised. Add a 'lil fee over here, some costs of Un-living over there and voila'.

As long as the undead citizen is unable to earn enough to pay for his un-life, the poor fella is going to sink more into debts.

All according to keikaku.


Debt is for the people who come after!

People have no problem with governments deficit spending. The kids will figure out a way to pay it off. People have no trouble greenhouse gas making. The kids will figure out a way to cool the earth. People love to pass the buck.

Your people will have zombies do their work for them. People can watch the shows and socialize while zombies are in the trenches and fields. Of course the living must someday pay for the labor that the dead are doing for them. For them and also for the Man but if you are on the porch getting money in the mail, someone somewhere is doing the work and payback time will come.

As it turns out, instead of passing the buck to the younger generation you are passing it to the older generation. They are the ones who are zombies. Your turn will come when it does. But that is not right now. Right now the porch is cool and so is the beer and pretty soon the game will be on. Then tonight there will be a street party on your block. Again!

It is not such a bad system. Live while you are alive! You can work when you're dead.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .