Dwarf Fortress: A Marxist Analysis

by Henry Farrell on January 7, 2014

bq. It is telling in this regard that previous versions of the game used to have an internal monetary economy, with dwarves receiving payment for labor and buying commodities collectively produced in turn. But contradictions occurred between the dwarves’ collective possession of the means of production and the commodified basis for such an economy, and it became unworkable within the game. The game’s designers have abandoned it, and its only remnant is the ability to produce coinage, fulfilling no real purpose. (Indeed, this right of monarchs only achieves true significance beyond questions of prestige in the mercantilist period of absolutism, arguably.) Trade exists, of course, as it does in all feudal societies. This takes the classically feudal form of long distance trade undertaken in dedicated seasons with definite trading partners, the trades themselves taking place at the equivalents of the yearly fair-sites of high medieval France and Italy.

With additional Durkheim and Bloch too! (via David Auerbach on Twitter)

Update: “It’s catching”:https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/01/empire-down/