Civil society of the Great Steppe

The civil society of the various native states of the Great Steppe is comparable to the Euclean concept of the civil service, but instead of describing a group of individuals who are employed by the state, refers to the responsibilities of the state as they are divided into the existing divisions of society. In the case of the Great Steppe specifically, this refers to tribes and social classes. In the modern era, civil society has been largely displaced by militarism, principalism, and Southern democracy.


The communities from which civil servants are drawn in traditional grassland culture have a particular focus. For example, families in the yellow robe tradition emphasize legal codes, arbitration, and precedent in their course of education. There are general education topics, such as basic arithmetic and literacy, which are common to these communities, but often their general education ends at a very young age. Though it varies by organization, traditional civil service families have their children transition to a civil service apprenticeship by the age of 12 or 13.

Not every community has a civil society tied to it. The civil societies are restricted to a prestigious group of families, tribes, and towns. Each society tries to protect its status by providing good services; this typically meant more commissions for their members, which was a more prestigious and profitable career than herding or farming.

Children and, more rarely, adults are sometimes admitted to a society without first being members of the appropriate community. This is aided in part by a degree of relationship; distant cousins were more acceptable than complete strangers. Ambitious families would train their children, to the best of their ability, in the civil service that they were most closely related to in hopes of gaining admittance for their children. Talent alone was very rarely acceptable grounds for admission, since that implied that the community itself had a very weak claim to its status in society.


Civil service posts were not heritable and were instead earned as commissions. There were two kinds of commissions, one was a local commission issued by a village headman or a tribal authority, and the other was a universal commission that was issued by a monarch. Local commissions were issued, in part, for access to centralized resources. A local village council could not, for example, establish a mine on their own since it would require permission from the monarch as well as goods like timber and picks. Commissioning a blue robe official, however, would bring the council the ability to access those resources and potentially gain permission from the monarch. Only in very rare, dire circumstances could public resources be accessed by a lay person without a member of the civil service.

Universal commissions existed both to supply the monarch's court with learned officials to assist in the administration of the state and also to ensure that individuals and communities without the resources to commission their own official would have access to the court periodically. There was no difference in the commissions of court officials and itinerant officials, duties were assigned to them based on the monarch's wishes or their chief minister of the appropriate society.

Commissions included a form of compensation. The most desirable positions paid money, but the majority of the earliest commissions were paid with room and board. These poorly compensated commissions were typically taken by young members of a civil society. They would either eventually get a better position or else take a side business, such as a herd of sheep, to secure their income.

Commissions were often received by the chief minister of society at court and then given to a particular person within the society. If an individual was close to a community, however, they could commission them personally instead of requesting an official from court.