Mages, Coups and Revolutions

JDC_OnPaper

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So just a quickie Political question about fantasy worlds:

In fantasy world's why don't Commoner-born Mages, Wizards, Magic Knights and whatnot, Try and do a coup or revolutions?

Of course, they are humans, they sometimes make mistakes, but also learn from them. But they can also be corrupted and drunk with power. Now to the main meal— If we are to go with normal and realistic numbers, Commoners should outnumber the Divinely-assigned Nobility, meaning that as long as the Magic power and Mana stuff aren't manipulated nor monopolized by the Nobility or some whatnot superpower (Lmaooo Religion goes brrrrrr).

The Commoners can do and actually possess the capabilities to properly execute a coup, against the Nobility and Royalty... very easily...

Which gives me a question? Don't they have non-magic-oriented intellectuals? Philosophers? will they reach the point of scientific revolution? Enlightenment? industrial revolution? class revolution (Like making the nobility collapse then establishing a new form of government)? and whatnot?

They are humans and they learn, yet why can't I seem to find a story with commoners actually questioning the position, authority, the overall existence of the Nobility itself?

I know that most commoners don't possess knowledge nor that much intellect due to their limited to non-existent education, but I'm talking about Commoner-born Mages, Wizards, Magic Knights, etc. They not only obtained the knowledge of liberal arts, Politics, History, Math, etc. from their respective Magic and Sword Academies but they also know first hand the arrogance and personalities of the Future Nobility.

Bullying and abuse in Magic and Sword Academies from young Nobles to commoners are one thing and Older Nobility abusing and mistreating Older commoners are another— The former actually learns from this experience for their future and to push theirselves further, While the latter just accepts being maltreated and abused due to their age and responsibilities.

They possess Anger, Frustration, and contempt for the Nobility— YET WHY NO REVOLUTION? NO COUPS? NO QUESTIONS?

Is it because Loyalty? Honor? FEAR? And most of those principles and qualities of the 'Knight' or in other words, a 'Model Subject' for the crown and their respective lords.

Please answer me (I'm sleep-deprive and I want answers), This is very Important for a Novel that I'm currently planning.
 

Jesse.S.Pierce

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It could just be me being pessimistic here and I won't say what or why, but either way the answer should be obvious to you.
 

Ilikewaterkusa

Counter-Current Enjoyer - Gigachad
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So just a quickie Political question about fantasy worlds:

In fantasy world's why don't Commoner-born Mages, Wizards, Magic Knights and whatnot, Try and do a coup or revolutions?

Of course, they are humans, they sometimes make mistakes, but also learn from them. But they can also be corrupted and drunk with power. Now to the main meal— If we are to go with normal and realistic numbers, Commoners should outnumber the Divinely-assigned Nobility, meaning that as long as the Magic power and Mana stuff aren't manipulated nor monopolized by the Nobility or some whatnot superpower (Lmaooo Religion goes brrrrrr).

The Commoners can do and actually possess the capabilities to properly execute a coup, against the Nobility and Royalty... very easily...

Which gives me a question? Don't they have non-magic-oriented intellectuals? Philosophers? will they reach the point of scientific revolution? Enlightenment? industrial revolution? class revolution (Like making the nobility collapse then establishing a new form of government)? and whatnot?

They are humans and they learn, yet why can't I seem to find a story with commoners actually questioning the position, authority, the overall existence of the Nobility itself?

I know that most commoners don't possess knowledge nor that much intellect due to their limited to non-existent education, but I'm talking about Commoner-born Mages, Wizards, Magic Knights, etc. They not only obtained the knowledge of liberal arts, Politics, History, Math, etc. from their respective Magic and Sword Academies but they also know first hand the arrogance and personalities of the Future Nobility.

Bullying and abuse in Magic and Sword Academies from young Nobles to commoners are one thing and Older Nobility abusing and mistreating Older commoners are another— The former actually learns from this experience for their future and to push theirselves further, While the latter just accepts being maltreated and abused due to their age and responsibilities.

They possess Anger, Frustration, and contempt for the Nobility— YET WHY NO REVOLUTION? NO COUPS? NO QUESTIONS?

Is it because Loyalty? Honor? FEAR? And most of those principles and qualities of the 'Knight' or in other words, a 'Model Subject' for the crown and their respective lords.

Please answer me (I'm sleep-deprive and I want answers), This is very Important for a Novel that I'm currently planning.
Probably are suppressed really well, or everyone just enjoys the fruits of magic so no one is willing to tear it down
 

SuperHeiyan

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Mages? They do. Plenty of "magocraties" and "rogue mages" in the fantasy stories. They tend to be portraited as evil and plenty of times they are. There is even more cases when mages are content with simple being "servant of the crown" instead, because many simple uncomfortable with leading position and can get plenty of comfy jobs with minimal efforts. Meanwhile rulers going to have not only regular army and propaganda, but also powerful "walking weapons" at their call, so long as they show some respect and don't demand too much from mages.

Mageless commoners, on other hand, rarely have a real chance of winning by numbers alone in the fantasy worlds. The difference is just too big if the tech level of the world is small (Familiar of Louise/Zero no Tsukaima for example, "commoners" aren't able to do shit until advent of guns and even then there was treats no amount of guns can deal with) , and if it not then their overlords just have much better tools at their disposal (Shadowrun) and more ways to acquire pretty unfair advantage with their resources.
 

T.K._Paradox

Was Divided By Zero: Looking for Glovebox Jesus
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So just a quickie Political question about fantasy worlds:

In fantasy world's why don't Commoner-born Mages, Wizards, Magic Knights and whatnot, Try and do a coup or revolutions?

Of course, they are humans, they sometimes make mistakes, but also learn from them. But they can also be corrupted and drunk with power. Now to the main meal— If we are to go with normal and realistic numbers, Commoners should outnumber the Divinely-assigned Nobility, meaning that as long as the Magic power and Mana stuff aren't manipulated nor monopolized by the Nobility or some whatnot superpower (Lmaooo Religion goes brrrrrr).

The Commoners can do and actually possess the capabilities to properly execute a coup, against the Nobility and Royalty... very easily...

Which gives me a question? Don't they have non-magic-oriented intellectuals? Philosophers? will they reach the point of scientific revolution? Enlightenment? industrial revolution? class revolution (Like making the nobility collapse then establishing a new form of government)? and whatnot?

They are humans and they learn, yet why can't I seem to find a story with commoners actually questioning the position, authority, the overall existence of the Nobility itself?

I know that most commoners don't possess knowledge nor that much intellect due to their limited to non-existent education, but I'm talking about Commoner-born Mages, Wizards, Magic Knights, etc. They not only obtained the knowledge of liberal arts, Politics, History, Math, etc. from their respective Magic and Sword Academies but they also know first hand the arrogance and personalities of the Future Nobility.

Bullying and abuse in Magic and Sword Academies from young Nobles to commoners are one thing and Older Nobility abusing and mistreating Older commoners are another— The former actually learns from this experience for their future and to push theirselves further, While the latter just accepts being maltreated and abused due to their age and responsibilities.

They possess Anger, Frustration, and contempt for the Nobility— YET WHY NO REVOLUTION? NO COUPS? NO QUESTIONS?

Is it because Loyalty? Honor? FEAR? And most of those principles and qualities of the 'Knight' or in other words, a 'Model Subject' for the crown and their respective lords.

Please answer me (I'm sleep-deprive and I want answers), This is very Important for a Novel that I'm currently planning.
Most people are comfortable living in society in which they have been in their entire life. Revolution is kick started from more than an oppressive government.
 

rain-090

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Messages
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So just a quickie Political question about fantasy worlds:

In fantasy world's why don't Commoner-born Mages, Wizards, Magic Knights and whatnot, Try and do a coup or revolutions?

Of course, they are humans, they sometimes make mistakes, but also learn from them. But they can also be corrupted and drunk with power. Now to the main meal— If we are to go with normal and realistic numbers, Commoners should outnumber the Divinely-assigned Nobility, meaning that as long as the Magic power and Mana stuff aren't manipulated nor monopolized by the Nobility or some whatnot superpower (Lmaooo Religion goes brrrrrr).

The Commoners can do and actually possess the capabilities to properly execute a coup, against the Nobility and Royalty... very easily...

Which gives me a question? Don't they have non-magic-oriented intellectuals? Philosophers? will they reach the point of scientific revolution? Enlightenment? industrial revolution? class revolution (Like making the nobility collapse then establishing a new form of government)? and whatnot?

They are humans and they learn, yet why can't I seem to find a story with commoners actually questioning the position, authority, the overall existence of the Nobility itself?

I know that most commoners don't possess knowledge nor that much intellect due to their limited to non-existent education, but I'm talking about Commoner-born Mages, Wizards, Magic Knights, etc. They not only obtained the knowledge of liberal arts, Politics, History, Math, etc. from their respective Magic and Sword Academies but they also know first hand the arrogance and personalities of the Future Nobility.

Bullying and abuse in Magic and Sword Academies from young Nobles to commoners are one thing and Older Nobility abusing and mistreating Older commoners are another— The former actually learns from this experience for their future and to push theirselves further, While the latter just accepts being maltreated and abused due to their age and responsibilities.

They possess Anger, Frustration, and contempt for the Nobility— YET WHY NO REVOLUTION? NO COUPS? NO QUESTIONS?

Is it because Loyalty? Honor? FEAR? And most of those principles and qualities of the 'Knight' or in other words, a 'Model Subject' for the crown and their respective lords.

Please answer me (I'm sleep-deprive and I want answers), This is very Important for a Novel that I'm currently planning.
You've run into the error of taking a medieval society and randomly throwing magic in it.

The nobility would be the mages

Also, unless it's some magic where you are good at it the second you get it a revolt with Mage persons is highly unlikely as you usually have to be learned to use magic and the nobility are the educated ones

And any commoners who can use magic will be integrated into the nobility in some way
 

TrashyHuman

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In fantasy world's why don't Commoner-born Mages, Wizards, Magic Knights
Because, I'd imagine, training as a wizard is hard and expensive and wizards become tools of the system just because of their debts. In my stories, commoners either have no ability to become wizards a priori, or wizards are so essential to their society that they are basically the leading powers and require a lot of power just to keep humanity (as in, humanoid intelligent races) alive. Or societies and civilizations just rise and fall too fast.
Which gives me a question? Don't they have non-magic-oriented intellectuals? Philosophers? will they reach the point of scientific revolution? Enlightenment? industrial revolution? class revolution (Like making the nobility collapse then establishing a new form of government)? and whatnot?
That would depend on the story. An industrial revolution where magic isn't used in a fantasy world is something I'd avoid with a ten foot pole when writing a story, for example. Creating new social dynamics and possible courses of development of civilizations is one the of most fun parts when it comes to writing fantasy. There's no reason to fall back to history of our world.
They are humans and they learn, yet why can't I seem to find a story with commoners actually questioning the position, authority, the overall existence of the Nobility itself?
You speak with much bias against nobility and class systems, which is funny because wealth inequality has always been a thing and it will probably stay that way, and issues of rich people treating the poor poorly aren't exactly rare even in democratic countries. You might as well question why we don't rise up in a communist revolution now, or you can just, not be a snob and treat people from the past like they were retarded just because they had different values from yours.
 

Lloyd

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In our world revolutions are all started by the CIA. Without the CIA revolutions are much less likely.
 
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They possess Anger, Frustration, and contempt for the Nobility— YET WHY NO REVOLUTION? NO COUPS? NO QUESTIONS?
the essence lies in two things: suppression and distraction. you could find this better explained if you do some research on the nature of dictatorships and revolutions. the world you described wouldn't be so much different than ours. mages are the equivalent of very wealthy individuals and politicians.

suppression is simple. you keep the people uneducated. you stop your people from heavily interacting with each other. you don't allow large groups to form. you plant moles to weed out possible trouble, and squish opposition as soon as it starts. you control the media and news. they only get to know what you want them to know.

distraction works by keep their minds occupied. if they're too busy thinking how they'd get their next meal, you can be sure they won't be plotting about how to rebel. and even if they were, they'd have no energy to do so. again, since you control the media, you control what they see and hear. throw a party, blow up a building, create a scandal. you just need to direct their emotions elsewhere.

revolutions and coups are often pointless. you remove the head - whether it's a president or a king - but he's just a tiny cog in a machine. the system itself is still there. there's always a boiling point for the people. revolutions and coups are allowed to occur when the current leader has reached his expiry. and the cycle starts again.
 

skillet

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Theoretically speaking, why aren't WE constantly revolutionizing when we're dissatisfied with the government?

There's also the fact that a lot of people fear the unknown more than they fear what they already have. Stick with the evils I know rather than brave risk of everything getting even worse, I'd say
 

SuperHeiyan

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Because, I'd imagine, training as a wizard is hard and expensive and wizards become tools of the system just because of their debts. In my stories, commoners either have no ability to become wizards a priori, or wizards are so essential to their society that they are basically the leading powers and require a lot of power just to keep humanity (as in, humanoid intelligent races) alive. Or societies and civilizations just rise and fall too fast.

That would depend on the story. An industrial revolution where magic isn't used in a fantasy world is something I'd avoid with a ten foot pole when writing a story, for example. Creating new social dynamics and possible courses of development of civilizations is one the of most fun parts when it comes to writing fantasy. There's no reason to fall back to history of our world.

You speak with much bias against nobility and class systems, which is funny because wealth inequality has always been a thing and it will probably stay that way, and issues of rich people treating the poor poorly aren't exactly rare even in democratic countries. You might as well question why we don't rise up in a communist revolution now, or you can just, not be a snob and treat people from the past like they were retarded just because they had different values from yours.
This is... kinda example of tunnel view. Historical prototypes of mages and idea of magic are tied to religious aspect. Wizard basically means "learned man" and ironicaly in ancient times this man tended to gather into various kind of religious sects. Druids, volhvs, priests, oracles, mohists and even many famous Greek mathematical (who had serious problem with Greek religion because they were part of the "sect of numbers") were seen as people who wield magical powers. There is no reason for industrial revolution and magic to not being able to coexist, more so, they likely to have synergy resulting in "technomagical" revolution. When author go for more "Tolkin"-esqu world instead then fine, but it is going for flair, not the essense.

Also, "nobles oblige" is a fine idea and all, but most rulers never knew such concept.
Attempts of revolutions in ancient times were nulmerious and very bloody. Attempts of all kinds of coups even more so. To reduce the number of latter it was pretty common for a new kings to permamently dealth with concurents. That was not necessary involved kinslaying, just often enough so modern people believe it was common tactics.
 

SerikoLee

Chaos Realm Creator/ Chaos God
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Knights are commoners within my story while mages are adventurers within one nation due to the freedom to use magic.
While Magic knights are generals but are quite loyal to the king's nation.

So revolts happen due to corruption, high unhappiness, and so on.
 

ConansWitchBaby

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Let's take the examples from the one most people like to associate with, the French and Marie long name that I will butcher if I even try.

Very, very, basic reason as to how it was even done is this: the social lines where blurred. Noble men would no longer divide themselves form the commoners by visiting regular bars and what not is one of the simplest examples. The increase of altercations between the classes made the divide more superfluous than it already was. Didn't help that things were already heightened for a few decades. I am mentioning this because the other reason as to people simply not wanting to because, they live comfortable enough is that there is a clear cut as to what can be done practically.

The other aspect of what you mentioned is magic as a means to practice war. As in they have weapons or weapon like abilities to brute force a conflict. They go in two ways. People have had weapons, at times legally required to have on their person, and nothing note-worthy happened. The other is a rise in violence without the help of traditional weapons but weapon like tools i.e., a big ol stick, or farming scythes, machetes, etc. So, having magic wouldn't be much of a reason to tip the scales. More as some help after the conflict has begun. And no, a conflict does not start once everyone is at each other's necks. Usually, it is done at a much earlier time with bickering and blue balling until a major event happens.

I would like to wrap this up in mentioning as to why I think you haven't read such stories. You look at the wrong genre. Going a revolution and/or coupe route means of storytelling, means heavy strategy and political intrigue. Even done in a light manner as it happening in the background requires a fair amount of investment to write out. It might not be what the author feels like they should discuss.
 

BearlyAlive

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So just a quickie Political question about fantasy worlds:

In fantasy world's why don't Commoner-born Mages, Wizards, Magic Knights and whatnot, Try and do a coup or revolutions?

Of course, they are humans, they sometimes make mistakes, but also learn from them. But they can also be corrupted and drunk with power. Now to the main meal— If we are to go with normal and realistic numbers, Commoners should outnumber the Divinely-assigned Nobility, meaning that as long as the Magic power and Mana stuff aren't manipulated nor monopolized by the Nobility or some whatnot superpower (Lmaooo Religion goes brrrrrr).

The Commoners can do and actually possess the capabilities to properly execute a coup, against the Nobility and Royalty... very easily...

Which gives me a question? Don't they have non-magic-oriented intellectuals? Philosophers? will they reach the point of scientific revolution? Enlightenment? industrial revolution? class revolution (Like making the nobility collapse then establishing a new form of government)? and whatnot?

They are humans and they learn, yet why can't I seem to find a story with commoners actually questioning the position, authority, the overall existence of the Nobility itself?

I know that most commoners don't possess knowledge nor that much intellect due to their limited to non-existent education, but I'm talking about Commoner-born Mages, Wizards, Magic Knights, etc. They not only obtained the knowledge of liberal arts, Politics, History, Math, etc. from their respective Magic and Sword Academies but they also know first hand the arrogance and personalities of the Future Nobility.

Bullying and abuse in Magic and Sword Academies from young Nobles to commoners are one thing and Older Nobility abusing and mistreating Older commoners are another— The former actually learns from this experience for their future and to push theirselves further, While the latter just accepts being maltreated and abused due to their age and responsibilities.

They possess Anger, Frustration, and contempt for the Nobility— YET WHY NO REVOLUTION? NO COUPS? NO QUESTIONS?

Is it because Loyalty? Honor? FEAR? And most of those principles and qualities of the 'Knight' or in other words, a 'Model Subject' for the crown and their respective lords.

Please answer me (I'm sleep-deprive and I want answers), This is very Important for a Novel that I'm currently planning.
My first thought was the "Powder Mage Trilogy" by Brian McClellan, which is pretty much french revolution but with mages instead of frenchmen.

Going by medieval Europe, since let's be honest, that's the template for 80% of every fantasy, people had more pressing problems than getting their torches and forks ready. Either they were systematically supressed, too stupid for revolution or had no time for revolution while trying to stay alive.
 

BigHoodieBoy

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I had some very long essay of the revolution arc of regressor instruction manual, then realized that I probably would get some stuff wrong, went to re-read it, then decided not to after realizing how much I hate that arc. Love the story, hate that arc.

Anyway, to answer the question, most of the time, either there are monsters that can threaten humans so Mages have to fight them instead, or they get promoted to a position where they get lots of benefits. Why destroy the system that benefits you after all.
 

NotaNuffian

Still a fat dude, duh. But damn, that smile.
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You do know that after overthrowing the oppressive nobles, it wouldn't take long for the "saviours" to become the new overlords right?

You are basically touching on the basis of humanity, that we are all goblins at heart.

"Power corrupts and who has more power other than Superman?"
-Justice Lord Superman

"Power doesn't corrupt, it just shows who you really are."
-Some random rapper

The whole handing the peasants power is already a big LOL point and meritocracy is a joke. You will need connections too in order to be successful as well.

"It is not about what you know, but who you know."
-My dean when I first got into university

"It is not about who you know, but how you know them."
-A-Team, Face

So you think that a revolution can just happen by the power of the peasants? NO! Someone in the court must be ticked off enough to kickstart the royal reshuffle.

Think of the economics that you learnt, the cost and benefit, the losses and profits if you will. Then tell me if it is worth to coup.
 

Keene

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I would like to offer something not yet mentioned in this thread.

What drives commoners to revolt against the elite?

Hunger.

When we look throughout our own history it appears one of the most consistent and motivating factors behind a revolution is the lack of food. In fact you may very well be hard pressed to find any large scale conflict that didn't have hunger as a significant factor. A volcano explodes in Iceland, crippling Europe's food production and not long after the French are having (another) revolution. There have been causal links established between the famous Irish potato famine and the Irish revolution which occurred many decades later.

Why would a commoner born mage, wizard or knight risk their own life? Take our commoner protagonist, through luck, divine intervention or pure hard work has been noticed and accepted into the magical academy, or become the squire of a magic knight. They are fed, clothed, given knowledge and equipment and are quickly integrated into presumably ancient hierarchical social structures. They make friends and send money back to their family. They, as a commoner are living probably better than 90% of the population.

Why would our protagonist ever desire to incite revolution? They wouldn't, at least, not while they have bread on their table and coin in their pocket.

In the absence of wide-spread famine, who leads revolutions and coups? The answer is other nobility, generals, and the powerful church. Without famine the chance of formulating a realistic motivation for a commoner uprising is basically zero.

Of course we're writing fictional fantasy novels here - the reader can be expected to suspend their disbelief. Historically corrupt nobles alone would unlikely be a significant factor in an uprising however in our fantasy books we can make it the key motivation. The readers who will apply their modern sensibilities to our world will find themselves agreeing why yes, corruption is a valid reason for the peasants to revolt!
 
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