Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Orcish Society: Democracy/Dictatorship

For much of second age the orcish society had a democratic form of government. In the second age even if some leaders seized power, it was always through democratic means and by loopholes in the law.
Democracy first came to the Orcs after the end of the reign of Shah-rookh. After his death, and Lazog’s victory, no leader could claim the throne bye the virtue of birth. So the orc clans choose their central leader by way of polling. It was the first recorded democratic exercise in the history of middle earth, though the early clans choose their leaders by popular vote.
It had a trickle down effect and soon almost all public offices were decided by popular vote. It had a deep impact on the orcish psyche that it made them believe in equality of all irrespective of birth. It probably also made them more cunning and wary as they had to live with the deceits of politicians.
The path to democracy was perilous and democracy was achieved at cost of many lives, and when no one intended it. After the war between Lazog and Shah-rookh, Lazog enlisted the help of prominent people of various orcish clans, who were not chiefs but prominent people in their own right. The chiefs generally supported the king, Shah-rookh, being old and natural allies. When Lazog won over, he made his supporters chiefs and other high officials, but that right and title was not to be hereditary but rather to be won over. Lazog took the title “Ruler by the Will of the People”.
With democracy and the meritocracy it bought, the orcs made great progress in all fields. When Melkor was released from prisons, he was both astonished and pleases to find the Orcs not in need of help, but rather ready to lend it to him.

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