Caste is important to the Gorean

Caste is important to the Gorean in ways that are difficult to make clear to one whose social structures do not include the relationships of caste. In almost every city, for example, one knows that there will be caste brothers on whom one may depend.

Charity, too, for example, is almost always associated with caste rights on Gor. One of the reasons there are so few outlaws on Gor is doubtless that the outlaw, in adopting his way of life, surrenders caste rights. The slave, too, of course, has no caste rights. He stands outside the structure of society. He is an animal.

It is said on Gor that only slaves, outlaws and Priest-Kings, rumored to be the rulers of Gor, reputed to live in the remote Sardar Mountains, are without caste. This saying, however, it might be pointed out, as Goreans recognize, is not strictly true.

For example, some individuals have lost caste, or been deprived of caste; some individuals have been born outside of caste; certain occupations are not traditionally associated with caste, such as gardening, domestic service and herding; and, indeed, there are entire cultures and peoples on Gor to whom caste is unknown.

Similarly, caste lines tend sometimes to be vague, and the relation between castes and subcastes. Slavers, for example, sometimes think of themselves as being of the Merchants, and sometimes as being a separate caste. They do have their own colors, blue and yellow, those of the Merchants being white and yellow, or white and gold. Too, are the bargemen of the Southern Cartius a caste or not? They think of themselves as such, but many do not see the matter in the same light.

There are, on Gor, it might be mentioned, ways of raising and altering caste, but the Gorean seldom avails himself of these. To most Goreans it would be unthinkable to alter caste. He is generally too proud of his caste and it is too much a part of him for him to think in such terms. It is, too, recognized that all, or most, of the castes perform necessary, commendable or useful functions.

The leather worker, accordingly, does not spend much time envying the metal worker, or the metal worker the leather worker, or either the cloth worker, and so on. All need sandals and wallets, and clothes, and metal tools.

Each does, however, tend to think of his own caste as something special, and, somehow, I suspect, as being perhaps a little bit preferable to the others. Most Goreans are quite content with their castes; this is probably a function of caste pride.

I have little doubt but what the caste structure contributes considerably to the stability of Gorean society. Among other things it reduces competitive chaos, social and economic, and prevents the draining of intelligence and ambition into a small number of envied, prestigious occupations. If one may judge by the outcome of Kaissa tournaments, amateur tournaments as opposed to those in which members of the caste of Players participate, there are brilliant men in most castes.

Fighting Slave of Gor, p. 311-313

Subscribe to the Wiki

Enter your email address and receive notifications of new quotes by email.