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147 – Macrosociology
Apart from those who engaged in farming, commoners with technical skills were called craftsmen.
Commoner craftsmen who relied on their skills to run their shops were called handicraftsmen. Thus, most of the handicraftsmen were freedmen and most of the craftsmen were serfs.
According to Liszt’s understanding, after running their business for a period of time, these people would turn into the bourgeoisie. However, with his understanding of this world’s society, he knew that it was temporarily impossible for craftsmen to evolve into bourgeois, as aristocrats wouldn’t allow this to happen.
Taking Earth’s medieval Europe as a reference, with progress and the industrial revolution, the handicraftsmen who grasped the means of production would either acc.u.mulate the means of production and evolve into bourgeois, or lose the means of production and be reduced to workers.
In this world, craftsmen have existed for a long time, yet they were still craftsmen.
There were no bourgeois or large numbers of workers. No matter how they developed, they were still va.s.sals of aristocrats. The absolute disparity in individual strength that cultivation of qi brought about made it so aristocratic Knights could firmly grasp all power without fear of being overthrown by a new social cla.s.s.
Of course, the development of the craftsman cla.s.s differed from state to state and from city to city.
There was no fixed hierarchical division.
Liszt summarized it thusly.
Craftsmen could be roughly divided into 4 grades: ‘specialist’, ‘technician’, ‘artisan’, and ‘worker’.
Technician – craftsmen of this grade generally lived in big cities. They were freedmen of very high status, reaching the same level of status as lesser aristocrats.
Architect, shipbuilder, carriagebuilder, goldsmith, jewel master, caster, driller, and others were top craftsmen of various industries.
Architects were responsible for the construction of castles, large buildings, magic towers, and so on; shipbuilders were responsible for the design and construction of ships; carriagebuilders were responsible for the production of carriages, miner’s carts, and chariots; goldsmiths forged gold coins, silver coins, copper coins, and even dragon coins; jewel masters designed precious ornaments with crystals, precious stones, and even gems; casters could make all kinds of fine tools; drillers could excavate mines.
On the Coral Island, there were only architects, shipbuilders, carriagebuilders, and casters. There were no goldsmiths, jewel masters, or drillers.
Artisan – craftsmen of this grade were the backbone of craftsmen as well as part of the most basic cla.s.s of major cities. They were of all walks of life and were the cornerstone of prosperity for cities and fiefs. Most of them were freedmen who could choose to run shops or sell crafts.
Stonemason, carpenter, blacksmith, leathersmith, and tailor were the 5 fundamental occupations of artisans as well as the 5 industries with the largest number of people.
Stonemasons built constructions, carpenters produced furniture, blacksmiths forged tools, leathersmiths tanned leather, and tailors made clothes.
Additionally, bonesmith, papermaker (thick bast paper), locksmith, shoemaker, cooper, crystal craftsman, jeweler, gem craftsman, precious stone craftsman, soap maker, winemaker, baker, barber, cook, sugar maker, condiment maker, and salt maker were also of artisans.
Worker – craftsmen of this grade were also the backbone of craftsmen, but they had a large-scale presence in the manors of lords. Most were serfs, and practically no different from farmers, as they only engaged in slightly skilled work.
Weaver, spinner, dyer, salt worker, sugar worker, grinder, miner, sailor, ship worker, handyman, and so on were all workers.
Additionally, merchant occupations like innkeeper, peddler, grocer, and coper, who themselves weren’t skilled in any craft but were responsible for the circulation of crafts, had generally the same status as artisans, namely, common freedmen.
Specialist – people of this grade weren’t considered to be craftsmen and should be called artists.
Author, bard, pianist, painter, minstrel, sculptor, and so on, they were mostly people of the aristocratic cla.s.s who could not inherit any t.i.tle, so they developed their artistic talents, and wandered among aristocrats and enjoyed a high quality of life.
Strictly speaking, Wizards who made magic equipment and ‘iron Knights’ who forged a variety of weapons were also craftsmen. However, they were either outside the system or were aristocrats.
“There are no technicians. There are very few artisan, while most are workers. It feels like I made a loss.” Looking through the thick bast paper list in his hands, Liszt mused regretfully. What he wanted was artisans. However, the serfs he bought were mostly workers.
Obviously, these craftsmen were what was left, or, Levis’ subordinates were only willing to buy cheap craftsmen. In slave trade, the price of an artisan was obviously a bit more expensive than that of a worker, let alone that of a technician. No one would sell technicians, artisans, workers, and farmers at the same price.
“Anyway, with a group of skilled workers, I can barely add a few industries to the Flower Town… I can make my own sugar, soap, cloth, sea salt, indigenous paper, and develop other industries.” Liszt comforted himself. At the same time, it couldn’t be considered as him comforting himself, as skilled workers were still valuable.
He had Thomas bring quill pen, ink, and blank thick bast paper, and then began to write and draw.
He was going to do a sum up of the several industries that this batch of craftsmen could develop in order to see how many more workshops could be added to the town’s workshop area. However, as he wrote, he diverged from craftsmanship to the study of the social system.
“If I wanted, I could become a sociologist!”
He divided the social system of this world into different categories.
The upper cla.s.s of society – aristocratic lords.
The upper middle cla.s.s – Wizards who pursued truth, officials without t.i.tles, Knights, and indispensable artists.
The middle cla.s.s – technicians who grasped irreplaceable skills and dest.i.tute Knights who served as mercenaries.
The lower middle cla.s.s – castle servants, production and technology artisans, merchants, toiling workers, and rats walking in the shadows.
The bottom of society – farming serfs and beggars, with whom even serfs wouldn’t mingle.
“It’s quite clear at a glance.” He took a big bite of a piece of magic beast meat, then chewed and swallowed it before going on, “If I expound further on the responsibilities of each social cla.s.s as well as the social mobility, I could probably be able to produce and publish a masterpiece of sociology.”
This was just an idea, as he hadn’t fallen so low as to rely on writing books to earn his keep. This was something that dest.i.tute aristocratic children would do.
Moreover, works of sociology had no market.
To write books, you would have to write Knight novels about slaying dragons or contracting sprite kings
The best start would be to open with a dest.i.tute prince with a lesser sprite, who would spend a romantic night at sea with a Siren, spend a few days in a marquis manor with a dissolute lady, single-handedly slaughter an evil dragon by himself, or ride a dragon, and have the lesser sprite break through to a sprite king.
Eventually, the hero would save a belle, who was a princess approved by a unicorn, and marry her.
A Knight novel with these elements would be a best-seller. Youngsters who liked works of fiction would be very willing to pay a pretty penny for it.
After he finished his breakfast, Liszt put away the stack of thick bast paper on which he had written and looked out the window at the rising sun: “When Glanny arrives, maybe I can talk to him about sociology.”