There goes my chance to be the first to study Equestrian economics. Now my degree will be useless.My favorite bit is in the comments there, about Pareto optimization and Comparative Advantage Theory.
It's depressing to realize that somebody had the same idea you did but expresses it so much better.
man that's too long
...Or we could look at this philosophically. If happiness is the ultimate good/ the goal we strive for, and everything is but a means, perhaps in the ponyverse wealth of friendship and satisfaction from doing their special talents make them happier than simple monetary wealth. Also, since magic is powerful there like money is here, and you can't make yourself magical or more so if you already are, there isn't a point for non-magical ponies or those who are, but weak, why wouldn't they spend their time doing things the are good at/like to do? As for overthrowing Celestia, I trust her not to snap, she seems legit.
I had posted my thoughts on it, which mostly consisted of me trying to correct the article or give alternate interpretations, on /co/, but the discussion didn't go anywhere.Interesting thoughts, though!
Worth the read, but only because you get to watch "Winter Wrap-up" at the end.
Hmm, I always did wonder exactly what an earth pony could contribute aside from brute labor. It's a puzzler but at the same time what can really be done by a system that is more or less enforced by the very physiology of the peoples involved?Everything described in the article may very well be the case, but just as easily it could be seen as an unfortunate fact by all parties involved. Perhaps Faust could wave it off explaining that most unicorns are nowhere near Twilight and Rarity, and that most unicorns could only pick a few apples at a time, making kicking more effective than having an average unicorn work on it, but that still limits earth pony placement in society. However, all that is seen is a relatively rural town, where higher mechanical technologies aren't really necessary, and in a larger city, perhaps earth ponies make for better civil engineers somehow. Either way, earth ponies are getting screwed over, but I'm more inclined that they are being screwed over more by nature than a social structure. Perhaps the show will eventually expound on the greater roles of the earth pony.
Woah, holy shit, what?I would have never thought to look so deep into FiM until after season one. Still, though, that is... eye-opening.
Overthinkingit is fantastic! It's cool that they looked at MLP.
Okay, here's what I think:Pony race is determined by individual personality characteristics before birth. In modern capitalist society, politician-type people become politicians, music-type people become musicians, etc. Personal preference, not race, determines your future in a well-structured society.In Equestria, I suspect that each pony is born/created in one of the three races as suits their personality. Thus, most unicorns simply wouldn't be farmers; it's not their calling. Perhaps in that way everypony does her own thing, her personality determining genetics, or vice-versa.
I'm not sure what I thinking.Over-analyzing stuff makes my head hurt.
great oompla loompa in the sky, waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay overthinking it but least entertaing and written correctly.
OH GAWDI CAN SEE FOREVER
It has been my theory that (first) The only reason Twilight could harvest so many apples is cause she's top-tier in magic. We've also seen that other unicorns don't have nearly her control or oomph.It's also been my theory that earth ponies carry a vital role in Equestria - their own brand of magic. Like Pegasus ponies have 'natural' sky-based magic, Earth ponies have their own 'natural' earth-based magic. A unicorn pony might very well harvest faster - but I don't believe that their farm would thrive and flourish nearly so healthy nor their crop grow so swiftly. Applejack, after all, seems to be harvesting apples in three of the four seasons! What earth apple-tree bears fruit as bountiful and numerous as Applejack's? Likewise, I suspect that at the Running of the Leaves, a herd of Pegasus ponies two or three times the herd of Earth ponies would not be able to shake all the leaves down off the trees - it's not the vibrations of the hooves which bring down the leaves, but the subtle earth magic of the Earth ponies.Or at least, that's my theory, and what I'm writing into my fic.
I always thought that the Earth Ponies far outnumbered Pegasi and Unicorns.
nah, I think it's about equal distribution
It's funny, because I thought something along the lines of "Man, if Twilight ever decided to open an apple orchard, she could run Applejack out of business so easily" when I first saw her telekinetically harvesting apples in Applebuck Season. It's cool that the writer had the same thought!And the whole notion of cows in the show bugs the crap outta me too. They obviously have a good deal of intelligence, if they are able to verbally communicate with the ponies, but they're still treated like livestock? That's pretty messed up, and further supports the article's observations of a racial caste system being in place in Equestria.
EARTH PONIES OF EQUESTRIA UNITE! YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE BUT YOUR CHAINS!
Not enough colons.
The cows of Equestria aren't treated as livestock necessarily; they are reprimanded for stampeding, but beyond that, we only see them one other time in the show, where they live in a barn. It's never implied that the ponies "keep" the cows - the cows probably just have their own society, that nobody wants to watch on TV. Cuz ponies are way cooler n' cows
I agree very much with Bramble Rose, on both counts. Twilight's powers are the exception rather than the rule; as described in Boast Busters, most unicorns have harsh limits on what they can do. Rarity's magic does not grant her comparable strength to Applejack.And in fantasy settings with spellcasters and non-spellcasters, it's only natural that the spellcasters externalize their magic [i]and the non-spellcasters internalize it[/i].
This article is excellently laid out and a pleasant read. Below I've laid out some related thoughts...Theory on CelestiaI believe Celestia enjoys immense magical ability by befriending her subjects. In order to hold this position, she oversees the rising and setting of the sun. The implied threat here is that without a magical monarch (I’m dismissing the role Luna plays for now since she doesn’t appear outside of the first couple episodes), there would be a far less preferable natural order. I presume without Celestia or an equal-bodied magical successor, the sun (and moon) would devolve into a pattern other than the simple rise-and-fall that it is currently manipulated into by Celestia. If the solar bodies are closer to the land and scaled to be proportionally smaller than in our own reality, then perhaps the ‘heavenly spheres’ that control them in the natural order make it prohibitively hard to lead a civilized life. I use the term ‘heavenly spheres’ on the assumption we’re relying on ancient theories of celestial locomotion just as we are relying on the ancients for stories of mythical creatures to populate Equestria. If, for example, the sun operated on a double or triple-hinged system while moving across the skyhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dws7iF2yw7othen I could easily imagine the collective of early ponies seeking out a method to control the erratic motion of it. With a regular solar cycle, then organized agriculture would provide the sowing ground for an organized society.A solution I could easily see in this early society would be to choose the most magical among them to control the motion of the sun. In this way, a position within the society would be formed that was based on a natural ability, magic, rather than pure blood lines as in many other governing systems. Of course magical ability may be closely correlated with heritage, as with Apple Jack’s family all being exceptionally well suited to tending apples. You may note that Celestia’s nephew has what appears to be a star-shaped cutie mark. Since Luna is presumably nearly as old as Celestia, and ‘him’ has been the only the only royalty of proper age mentioned, then ‘him’ is likely the most appropriate to take the throne. However, he does not have wings as Celestia does and I conclude likely is not, by birth, as powerful as she is. Aside from his natural inclination to work with stars and a slightly larger horn, and since he is not a direct descendent of Celestia, he may be no better suited to rule than Twilight, especially if the position is chosen based on magical ability rather than blood lines.I should also point out my theory that the position of sun-goddess likely relies on being well connected within the community. If friendship is magic, and conversely magic is friendship as demonstrated by the Elements of Harmony, then perhaps magical power is dictated by the strengths of the friendships (and the number thereof) that the sun-goddess forms. From this I see Celestia being motivated to watch out for the ponies in Ponyville as a friend would. Taking a step back, this could be seen as the government gaining strength of the governed, but rather than by military might, it is by the strength of friendship.I will continue on the vein that Celestia likely governs for the good of her subjects to gain their friendship rather than for personal reasons. Conversely, Luna sought to control the subjects in the land by subjecting Equestria to eternal night, and this action I propose weakened her friendships and thus magical prowess to the point she could be defeated with the aide of the Elements of Harmony. I am operating on the assumption that god-like figures cannot be defeated in an ordinary situation, even with the Elements’ help (thus ‘Harmony’ since they’re only useful in odd situations in order to restore the status quo).
This article is excellently laid out and a pleasant read. I'm having some trouble posting my reply here, so I've copied it to a Doc here: Google Doc
Earth ponies are always physically stronger then unicorn and winged ponies. Pegasus ponies are always faster and more manueverable then other ponies. (Being able to fly like a bird might give a pegasus hollow bones and thus they are more frail then normal)Unicorn ponies have special talents but it is mostly stuck in one or very few areas where they can do abnormal things beyond the normal. (since they don't excercise their bodies as hard and rely too much on their magic, take that away and they are only maybe a quarter to half as strong as an earth pony)Oh sure harvesting wouldn't be as much of a problem for a unicorn. But it'd be pushing heavy plows and tilling the fields where they'd fail unless they matched twilight sparkles level of power and had more control.Lets not forget how much energy it would take for a unicorn to have a successful farm without the support of multiple other unicorns.In comparison the unicorns would be wasting ample amounts of magical energy trying to run a farm whereas hard work would take less.The same problem comes into scope when you have a pegasus trying to run a farm, they aren't physically built for moving the soil or doing any such heavy hoofed work.In the end Earth ponies could go on strike because they control all food production, without them no pony could live very well.
confound these ponies, they drive me to economic-political analysis
A couple of the above commentaries had some cool ideas already. I like the "body your born with reflects your personality" idea. Also the Earth ponies have their own 'natural' earth-based magic idea; a very subtle indirect ability to "in tune" with the Earth and nature (thus so many are farmers).Besides Twilight is rather special, as it is mentioned int he show most unicorn's magic ability is tied directly to their specialty (Lyra probably makes beautiful music with her harp but cannot do much magically outside of that specialty). Twilight's (and a lesser extent Trixi's) specialty is magic. Rarity shows a great deal of fine manipulation with her magic as well, but her particular specialty calls for such control (imagine threading a needle with hooves!).I don't feel too bad for the Earth ponies even though I identify with them the most. Both Applejack and Pinky love what they do. Twilight may be able to harvest faster but she may have no knowledge or ability to plant and care for apple trees, nor the skill set to successfully package and market apples, all of which is probably taught and perhaps more easy to understand *automatically* by certain Earth ponies.
As my comment far surpassed the character limit for a post, I have uploaded and published it as a google document, seen here:https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1D2WzAE-cRr-6z7_yi4ALkS2M_XG1Atc0P5oC6VqrIM4
THIS is amazing.Of course its overanalising a kids show that tries to give kids some good advice.Also I'm waiting for some more grimdark tyrant celestia fics now. It's bound to happen.
@FightingFireRead your doc and you makes some great points. It seems many of us are in agreement that Earth ponies are special and have unique and needed talents that others do not, not even unicorns with all their magic.Also about pegasi, you're right, they do tend to be very energetic and willful. I also agree with Earth ponies probably being the strongest physically and are the best at the fields they gravitate towards.
I took myself the liberty to ask Lauren about the social status of Earth Ponies. Well, that's the answer I got from her, in case anybody cares: http://www.picbutler.de/bild/186332/129917738702faustflpngfi16y.png
@AnonymousSo then most of the theories about the internal magic of earth ponies are at least partially true. Thank you for asking her.
@AnonymousHmm, maybe she could explain fluttershy's connection with the earth as having one pegasus parent and one earth pony parent.
I like to think the earth-pegasus-unicorn ponies have a fighter-thief-mage thing going on, respectively. There's equal advantages and disadvantages to being each one, and earth ponies are not simply the "have-nots" of the world.That was pretty much my only beef with the article, though. Great read!
Yes! He speaks my language!
What I find humorous is that I was talking about this same subject last night in the EqD chatroom. XD
I was very much intrigued by the analysis, but at the same time feel a bit more about the cutie marks and how ponies find their calling could have been accounted for in this socioeconomic commentary. After all, the implication concerning Twilight's efficiency in harvest doesn't account for the fact that apparently unicorns do not passionately pursue farming and so they don't overtake the earth pony markets, so such is left to the humble earth ponies. Her abilities in leadership during the Winter Wrap-Up came about as a result of her organized mindset as a student in magic, not by simply being of a more authoritative race of pony. Make the argument that she was a student in context of her ability to use magic as a unicorn in the first place, sure... but again, that was simply because of her calling. If she were different, she could have been a mere handymare like Applejack (albeit perhaps more privileged in ability) and would not have the expertise to lead others as she did there.I wonder what kinds of occupations are held by the citymares like Applejack's aunt and uncle. That seemed like a pretty bourgeois society. Equestria is vast. Perhaps a larger perspective for the next season will reveal more to contemplate. I look forward to more discussion when that happens.
uuuuughI want to read this but overthinking it is downbluh
Uhh, Manehattan has High Class Earth Ponies and Unicorn as waiters. I beg to differ about Pony Caste system. Plus we got cakes and their distant non-earth pony ancestary and Rarity's Parents (Earth Pony father and Unicorn mother)