Thursday, May 22, 2014

Why would you want a Patron?

In the modern world, Companies are Patrons.

When Haiyan struck the Philippines, one of the biggest corporations in the philippines was able to fly out its employees. In my work experience, certain corporations have benefits that cover healthcare, transportation allowance, even provide car allowance, housing allowance, and some even child care services (in the form of a daycare) etc... Not just large corporations provide such but very wealthy employers provide some similar economic benefit. 

continuing from another article Patron, Duties, and Frequency of Appearance

In some cultures there is a practice that some employers will help out in financial hardships. They provide assistance when gov't, banks, and all other relatives have been exhausted. Employees who act as agents to the Patrons, like lawyers or paralegals, nannies, drivers and messengers, actually get special support from the patron in emergencies. You would want to look closer using economic demographics at the savings rate and the average economic situation to understand how powerless people can be against misfortune, and how they look towards the economic superiority of a patron for aid. 

Patron and Client relationship is very much alive today. In fact its transformed a bit in the west, but it is very much alive everywhere else. Its also not as one sided a relationship as it was like in the past, the client had many bargaining tools then and even more now. Patrons always had to help out then, but gov'ts and communities have prospered economically to need less help from patrons.

I guess what is affront to Patron-Client relationship is that it dispels the illusion of equality. Scarcity and Wealth do not make people equal, some people are better off and have more momentum and resources than others. When Deng Xiapoing introduced the free market to communist china, he had to alter the communist ideology a bit saying that "others will prosper a head of others" - an interesting way to "frame" the economic disparity. 

In the modern world, strong Gov'ts - those that can provide for the basics of their population (ex. healthcare, food, food security, jobs, training and educations, stable cost of living, freedoms, rights, and some even internet) empower their populations so that they do not need a patron - a healthy and growing society is their patron. Of course, there is some memetics that try to make Gov't THE patron, but that assumes society has control over Gov't through democratic and/or technocratic process. Of course such are exceptions than the rule when you consider the world and the rest of history. You may even consider it even a fluke, if less than ideal situation of scarcity would ramp up the variables. 

The human characters we make are vulnerable, and have the same worries and powerlessness in most situations as we do, but the advantage we can choose for them. If their world is much like ours, they may be even more vulnerable than us depending in their era or level of education. They may have a different take on "equality" in the presence or reality of patrons and clients.

In a Sci-fi "Utoptia" where society is a stable and healthy collective psyche and has sustainable economic goals you may have Society as a Patron. Even if there is such an assumption, everyone else will have more primitive social orders that exert a large amount of influence because of lower overhead and greater resources at its disposal. It also assumes the powerful forces of social entropy will be finally overcome in a stable form of "magical" social state lolz. Maybe in Sci-fi Fantasy.  
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