Is there any country in Golarion where only smart people are allowed in positions of power?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion


Considering they can tell how smart someone is with detect thoughts, it would be easy to tell. Indeed, I don't get why we don't have this policy in real life, other than it being harder to tell how smart people are in real life.


What you're referring to is a Meritocracy.

Arguably, Hermea is an authoritarian meritocracy.

Dark Archive

I kinda thought they were referring to Noocracy? Aka the "Rule of the wise" or "Platon thought philosophers should rule"


Maybe, either would be an example of "Smart people decide what gets done" with variations depending on how you define smart.

For example, I don't want a philosophy major running the sanitation department or being responsible for water treatment. I would prefer to leave that to the experts on those sorts of topics.

But you could argue that at the highest levels of government which are more generally looking at the public good than at specific issues that a philosopher would be an appropriate head of government.


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Well, the problem with only "high Int" people can rule is that due to an insufficiency of Wisdom, eventually it will come to be ruled by the Charismatic.

But the problem with representing this on a level that transcends stat blocks is that there are, in reality, many different dimensions of intelligence many of which are not relevant to a given situation. Like no amount of fast head-math and comfort with abstraction is going to help in delicate diplomatic talks, and no level of emotional intelligence and the ability to read people is going to design a better system for irrigation.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

Well, the problem with only "high Int" people can rule is that due to an insufficiency of Wisdom, eventually it will come to be ruled by the Charismatic.

But the problem with representing this on a level that transcends stat blocks is that there are, in reality, many different dimensions of intelligence many of which are not relevant to a given situation. Like no amount of fast-head math and comfort with extraction is going to help in delicate diplomatic talks, and no level of emotional intelligence and the ability to read people is going to design a better system for irrigation.

True, which is why you need someone who can identify what is most important at the top. You need people who are good with people to be diplomats, and you need people with STEM skills to design things like Irrigation systems.

You put people who are the best at various things in those respective roles.

I'm an engineer. I consider myself to be relative intelligent, but I don't really know crap about farming. So while I might be able to design a system to pump water to put on your crops, I don't know about optimal design for large scale crop irrigation. However, if you can give me someone to work with that can tell me what the end result should look like, I can work on building a mechanical system that will achieve that.

In the same way, you should have people who are experts at the things they do leading, and working together to achieve specific goals.


One would think with its strong number of wizards, Nex would rank among rule by High Intelligence scores but it is described as something of a bureaucratic nightmare IIRC :)

Contributor

Probably Hermea would be the purest version, yeah.

I'm inclined to think that Nidal and Cheliax demand a certain level of competence in any real positions of power, if only because there are always enough ambitious underlings gunning for your back that the truly incompetent are liable to get shot down fast. However, there's also a skew toward corruption (of different sorts) in both nations, so I wouldn't consider either to be a pure meritocracy. I think of them more as meritocracies with a couple of heavy thumbs on the scale privileging certain people over others.

But, still, they probably have well-developed and functional bureaucracies, and I imagine they're fairly efficient at administering their respective hellworld dystopias. Which is not altogether great for the people who have to live in them, but hey.

Shadow Lodge

Imperial Hwan Wa was probably this, but has since fallen and shattered.


What is "smart" ?
How do you define it ?
How pertinent of a criteria is it ?
You have three hours.
I'd say the evilish, cutthroat regimes are the more likely to be what you speak of, if only because politicians there need to be smart if they want to survive the game. See : Cheliax.
Also, those with immensely powerful, potentially immortal rulers, who've had time to get smart.
So Geb, Nidal, Hermea, Thassilon... That one kraken ruled wasteland over in Tian Xia, as an example of ruler who cares very little about his domain and subjects .

In a more neutral way, the mess that is Nex is still a wizard heavy magocracy, and open evil has a hard time flourishing in the Kalistocracy.

Either way, smart doesn't prevent you from being an absolute monster, nor does it make you a good ruler. There's a lot more to it than that.


Ridge wrote:
One would think with its strong number of wizards, Nex would rank among rule by High Intelligence scores but it is described as something of a bureaucratic nightmare IIRC :)

Smart people tend to overcomplicate and overthink things, leading to bureaucratic nightmares.

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