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How can the clan-based, spacefaring society of the Hani work?


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>From: Onno Meyer <Onno.Meyer@arbi.informatik.uni-oldenburg.de>
>Subject: cherryhlist
>Date: Thu, 2 Sep 1993 13:33:37 +0200 (MET DST)
(...)

If hani have reached a space-based economy, I would expect them to have developed a society comparable to an industrialized country today, or even more advanced. The fact that they still use clans and that these clans are an economic unit shouldn't prevent them from forming larger structures to operate factories and cities. (If it does, how can a single clan build a starship?).
Onno Meyer


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>From: Lesley Grant <lgrant@maths.tcd.ie>
>Subject: Cherryhlist
>Date: Fri, 3 Sep 93 14:01:11 BST
(...)
 
> If hani have reached a space-based economy, I would expect them to have
> developed a society comparable to an industrialized country today, or 
> even more advanced. The fact that they still use clans and that these
> clans are an economic unit shouldn't prevent them from forming larger
> structures to operate factories and cities. (If it does, how can a
> single clan build a starship?).
Hani society seems as unchanged from their pre-contact days as possible. We don't see any cities for example. Presumably the ship-yards, banks and so on are run by Immunes. Clans, while becoming more like companies, still mostly work on the basis of kinship-links. I'd say clans borrow money from their allies (ties of kinship again) if they can't afford a ship by themselves, or go to an Immune bank (if the kif can have banks, so can the hani :-)
		Lesley


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>Date: Tue, 07 Sep 93 01:44:01 -0400
>From: "Nancy Silberstein" <silbersteinn@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
>Subject: Cherryhlist\Pride
(...)

A question was raised - a mere, glancing blow - no wonder you don't remember it - about hani ship-building and whether each clan built its own. I think Onno mentioned it as unlikely and, indeed, he is correct. "(T)here was the huge null-g shipyard of Harn Station, where all hani ships were born and where they came for refitting and repair." (...)

(...)
njs  6-SEP-1993 21:13  


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>From: Onno Meyer <Onno.Meyer@arbi.informatik.uni-oldenburg.de>
>Subject: cherryhlist
>Date: Tue, 7 Sep 1993 11:08:02 +0200 (MET DST)
(...)
 
> 	Hani society seems as unchanged from their pre-contact days as
> possible. We don't see any cities for example. Presumably the ship-yards,
> banks and so on are run by Immunes. Clans, while becoming more like
> companies, still mostly work on the basis of kinship-links. I'd say clans
> borrow money from their allies (ties of kinship again) if they can't
> afford a ship by themselves, or go to an Immune bank (if the kif can have
> banks, so can the hani :-)
I don't think so.

Just assume a shipyard run by Immunes. Perhaps a thousand workers, and as many dependents. It would only make sense to protect the yard if the producers of engines, computers and similar devices are immune, too. That would give hundreds of immune clans of the same size. The hani would end up with everyone but the farmers and the merchanters Immune, since the production of screws is as vital for a modern society as dams or river crossins have been for a medevial one. If much more than half of the population are immune (an estimate based on the current numbers), that would definitely change society.

I think Chanur (and all those spacer clans) are large merchant houses who can _afford_ to live in the oldfashioned way, and run a farm out of respect for a past the other hani left behind.

Of course I realize that the importance of the Han contradicts my assumptions, but that could be an old-fashioned system that no longer represents the real power distribution.
Onno Meyer


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>From: Onno Meyer <Onno.Meyer@arbi.informatik.uni-oldenburg.de>
>Subject: cherryhlist
>Date: Thu, 9 Sep 1993 11:14:15 +0200 (MET DST)
> A question was raised - a mere, glancing blow - no wonder you don't 
> remember it - about hani ship-building and whether each clan built its own. 
> I think Onno mentioned it as unlikely and, indeed, he is correct.  "(T)here 
> was the huge null-g shipyard of Harn Station, where all hani ships were 
> born and where they came for refitting and repair."
> (...)
Nobody ever proposed that EVERY clan would build its own ships. The question is wether a SINGLE clan could do the shipbuilding (for every other clan). I doubt even that, unless an awful lot of work is subcontracted.

(...)
Onno Meyer


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>Date: Fri, 10 Sep 1993 11:44:44 EDT
>From: davis@licre.ludwig.edu.au
>Subject: cherryhlist
(...)

Onno writes:
>Of course I realize that the importance of the Han contradicts my
>assumptions, but that could be an old-fashioned system that no
>longer represents the real power distribution.
I think that the han is a recent development, set up by the mahendo'sat. There is a reference to this in TKSB somewhere near the end. The concept of the han does not really fit in with my idea of traditional old-fashioned hani society.
Ian Davis                                    davis@licre.ludwig.edu.au


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>From: Onno Meyer <Onno.Meyer@arbi.informatik.uni-oldenburg.de>
>Subject: cherryhlist
>Date: Fri, 10 Sep 1993 10:30:02 +0200 (MET DST)
(...)
> I think that the han is a recent development, set up by the mahendo'sat.  
> There is a reference to this in TKSB somewhere near the end.  The concept 
> of the han does not really fit in with my idea of traditional old-fashioned 
> hani society.
I think we're talking about different "recent"s . My idea was: the han was set up after the first contact, when Hani still uses bows and arrows, but knew about the possibility of starships. The han is made up by the "regular" clans, and immunes are officers of the han. Immune clans are set up to protect a vital ressource. When the hani industrialized, more and more jobs became vital, and more and more clans should be immune.

I see two possible hani societies:
(1) In the lower classes, the clan structure looses importance. While everybody is still a member of a clan, these hani live like humans do: Single houses/flats as opposed to a clan compound, working for somebody they have to family ties to, etc.

(2) The society remains organized along clan lines. No industrial venture can have more than a few hundred workers. As a result, a lot of the work is subcontracted to other clans, who will be subcontracting themselves.
This will lead to incredibly complex business relationships among the clans, and the producer of screws (or screwdrivers) will be as important for all hani as the custodian of the river dams were some centuries ago. Thus, every monopoly or even market-controlling venture will have to become immune to prevent the disruption of the service. Do you remember what happened to the computer industry when the plant in Japan burned down?
Onno Meyer 


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>Date: Fri, 10 Sep 93 18:37:01 -0400
>From: "Nancy Silberstein" <silbersteinn@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
>Subject: Cherryhlist/Future Topics
(...)

In the Appendix to VENTURE, Cherryh gives a short history of Anuurn and says that the han was created after the mahendo'sat contact. "The term HAN in its application as the collective of the hani species is clearly a reflection of mahen influence in the formative phase of hani world government." p. 303.

(...)
njs  10-SEP-1993 13:53 


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>From: Lesley Grant <lgrant@maths.tcd.ie>
>Subject: Cherryhlist
>Date: Tue, 14 Sep 93 15:32:11 BST
> >From: Onno Meyer <Onno.Meyer@arbi.informatik.uni-oldenburg.de>
> 
> I think we're talking about different "recent"s . My idea was: the han
> was set up after the first contact, when Hani still uses bows and arrows,
> but knew about the possibility of starships. The han is made up by the
> "regular" clans, and immunes are officers of the han. Immune clans  
> are set up to protect a vital ressource. When the hani industrialized,
> more and more jobs became vital, and more and more clans should be 
> immune.
I think it's a question of what 'vital' means to the hani: it used to mean things necessary to maintaining the smooth flow of pre- industrial economics. The Llun guarded some important waterway, didn't they? Very few Immune clans are needed, if it's only some centrally important thing that they safeguard (and as Cherryh explicitly calls the set-up an amphictyony, the organisation of the society as a collection of clans based around a culturally important place/whatever is clear). In industrial times, the Immunes still do jobs that are so centrally important that there must be no sudden change in the board of directors: the Llun now manage the station, for example. Other centrally important places would include the shipyard, banks, vital on-world resources. The only 'mobile' Immune clan that we see is Ehrran, which safeguards the interests of the han. As the han is a relatively recent invention, Ehrran's position is probably equally recent (the han is clearly the central point of an amphictyony of amphictyonies; as the han is everywhere where hani are, so its Immunes need to travel). But the point is, it isn't the job that becomes vital, it's always a place/thing. There's no need for a clan that makes basic tools to be Immune, but if the factory where they make those tools supplies an entire continent, then there is a reason.
> I see two possible hani societies:
> (1) In the lower classes, the clan structure looses importance. While
>     everybody is still a member of a clan, these hani live like humans
>     do: Single houses/flats as opposed to a clan compound, working
>     for somebody they have to family ties to, etc.
> (2) The society remains organized along clan lines. No industrial 
>     venture can have more than a few hundred workers. As a result,
>     a lot of the work is subcontracted to other clans, who will
>     be subcontracting themselves.
>     This will lead to incredibly complex business relationships
>     among the clans, and the producer of screws (or screwdrivers)
>     will be as important for all hani as the custodian of the
>     river dams were some centuries ago. Thus, every monopoly
>     or even market-controlling venture will have to become immune
>     to prevent the disruption of the service. Do you remember what
>     happened to the computer industry when the plant in Japan burned
>     down?
I think option (2) is more likely: those subcontracted clans are allies, vassals and minor-branch clans. The clan that eventually makes the screwdrivers won't become Immune, but the clan that owns the lands on which they make the screwdrivers might. Business relationships do get really complicated, because they're the same as political/family relationships. Eg, Chanur does business with its major allies (Mahn), its minor allies (Faha), its minor-branch (Araun) and its vassals (Anify) [Anify seems to me to be both a minor-branch and a vassal: it just seems like it's far enough away to be moving towards independence slowly]. If any of those clans were to become Immune, however, it's likely to be the main-clan that holds the ties of blood and vassalage -- simply because, as the largest and most powerful group, it's the one likeliest to be situated on the most important area of the region, from which it would already have been drawing pre-Immune prestige.

(...)
			Lesley


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>From: Onno Meyer <Onno.Meyer@arbi.informatik.uni-oldenburg.de>
>Subject: cherryhlist
>Date: Thu, 16 Sep 1993 09:24:42 +0200 (MET DST)
[...]
> are, so its Immunes need to travel). But the point is, it isn't the
> job that becomes vital, it's always a place/thing. There's no need for
> a clan that makes basic tools to be Immune, but if the factory where they
> make those tools supplies an entire continent, then there is a reason.
I disagree. The Llun(?) became immune not to protect the dams itself (who cares wether they're owned by Llun or somebody else) but to make sure that the knowledge how to maintain the dams wouldn't be lost due to some powerstruggle. It's clearly the hani who had to be protected.

(...)

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>From: Lesley Grant <lgrant@maths.tcd.ie>
>Subject: Re: C. J. Cherryh List
>Date: Thu, 23 Sep 93 9:44:45 BST
(...)

Amphictyonies and Immune clans:

The classic form of the amphictyony is that found at Delphi: the groups in the region declared non-aggression and mutual aid pacts, each taking care of the central shrine for a set time each year, which they were also sworn to protect. In ancient Israel, Martin Noth suggested that the model of the Delphi amphictyony could apply to the shrines first of Gilgal and then of Shiloh, with each of 12 tribes caring for the central shrine one month out of the year, and, eventually, the growth of one of the tribes to the status of permanent, landless, "Immune" guardians of the shrine. [This theory is no longer accepted in Biblical studies for reasons which have no place on the list].
As a classicist, Cherryh is probably using the Delphi amphictyony as her model, but could likely be aware of Noth's modifications. She has her amphictyonies based not only around shrines, but also around "crucial trade routes, shrines, mountain passes, dams -- things which were generally the focus of ambition". Access for all to these important places was "usually done by declaring the are in question protected". As can be seen, it is the thing/place that is being protected. Eventually the clan on whose land the protected place is also becomes protected, as they are the people with the most experience at managing the place and at making it available to others: "a clan whose hold over a particular resource must not change, because of the need of the surrounding clans to have that resource managed over the long term by a clan with experience and peculiar skill" [all quotes _Chanur's Venture_, p296]. The Immune clan is not being protected for its own sake, but for the sake of the amphictyony as a whole and for the sake of the central focus place/thing, which must not be subjected to wars or changes over its possession. Also, the Immunes seem more or less taken out of the greater political arena: they may guard a "focus of ambition", but they are stopped from rising too high by means of that guardianship. All their energies go into making sure the Sacred Foobar is safe and accessible to their neighbours, they can't go on a quest for world domination based on ownership of the Foobar. The Immune-clan system protects society by safeguarding the "focus of ambition", allowing all clans in the region to use it, and by limiting the ambition of the clan that 'owns' the focus, directing their energies to serving their amphictyony by allowing all access to the focus.
		Lesley

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