This is a three-part series on the world-building behind the Tom Kratman’s Carreraverse, presented with Kratman’s inimitable, deadpan style. Days of Burning, Days of Wrath is now out from Baen Books and chronicles a climactic storyline finale within Kratman’s best-selling Carrera military science fiction series.
It may not be as obvious as the techno-innovations, but there is a good deal of nation building going on in the series. Part of it is, yes, strictly military. Part is also political, as in the Timocratic system set up. A good deal of it, however, is much more personal. As much is infrastructure building. Still more is industrial. It is, in fact, a fairly holistic program to make a fine country out of one hovering between what we would call the first world and the third. The garment factories that provide clothing to the legions also make clothes for civilians and for export. The furniture factories that make furniture for the legions also impart the skills to make furniture for export. The solar chimneys that provide power to supplement hydro-electric also provide electricity to sell to neighbors.
More important, though, is this: We in the liberal west talk skills and spend vast sums, plow massive personal effort, into providing skill training to whoever will sign up for it. (Yes, it’s more complicated than that.) Maybe this is okay in a universe of unconstrained resources. In a universe of constrained resources, as Balboa has, the better question is, “Who can reliably be expected to make good use of the skill training? We’ll spend what we have on him and her. We’ll identify who they are through character testing…and use the military to do so.”
I’d suggest to you, dear reader, that even if we can afford the more hopeful and idealistic approach, we ought not indulge in it. Character first, and then skills, is a lot more likely to give you a useful product than skills and a groundless assumption of character.