I'M NOW THE KING of Ariby. However, I'm an outsider, here in Ariby. Thus, I must work with those powerful ones who run at least parts of Ariby. I also have to run Ariby for all of the citizens. Things that I do as King will displease some and please others. However, I currently have no real power base here in Ariby. Thus, I must choose a middle path. Not everyone will like everything that I do, but I'll have to make sure that no one is hurt too badly by what I do, or I'll likely have a revolution on my hands.
However, Ariby, unlike most of my other Kingdoms, has money! Instead of trying to figure out how to pay for needed things, I just have to show the business people of Ariby how they can make money and I automatically create trade, jobs, profits and the taxes I need to run the Kingdom.
To start with, I call in to my palace representatives of a couple of dozen very powerful families of Ariby and show them opportunities in banking, spice trade, nickel-iron trade, oil trade and cement trade.
One mental defective from among the representatives of the very powerful families gets up and points out that the oil trade of Ariby is controlled by Dunvar.
I tell the group, "The oil trade was controlled by Dunvar, via a contract that your previous King signed, more or less, at the point of a gun. Once I became the King of Ariby, I had a little talk with the King of Averon. I am the Duke of Averon and, as such, have access to the King. As a result of the talk, Averon will not honour the Dunvar contract. As a further result, most of the rest of the nations of Corin also will not honour the Dunvar contract. I also had a talk with the Association of Nations about the Dunvar contract with Ariby. The Association of Nations has found the Dunvar contract invalid. If Dunvar tries war against Ariby, then Dunvar fights the rest of the nations of Corin. As a practical matter, there will be no war and Ariby, not Dunvar, now sells the oil of Ariby. You businessmen of Ariby will either set up oil sales businesses, or I will call in foreigners to run oil sales businesses.
The attendees look at one another, in approval.
Another mental defective gets up and tells me, "The Bank of Ariby involves itself with interest. The holy book forbids the payment of and/or receipt of interest."
I lecture him, "The Bank of Ariby doesn't actually pay or receive interest. The detail operation of the Bank of Ariby has been reviewed and approved by the Allamahs. In addition, I have a list of prominent citizens of Ariby who have been receiving what amounts to interest from foreign banks. Would you like to see the list?"
No one wants to see the list, which undoubtedly contains the names of all of those present and the names of at least most of their families. (Surprise!)
I lecture the room, "The Bank of Ariby does everything that the foreign banks do, the foreign banks that many of the rich in Ariby now use. Now, the poor may also gain some benefits from the banking system of Ariby. Those among you who don't use the bank of Ariby will soon have an opportunity to explain to me why, as a loyal citizen of Ariby, you don't use your own bank.
No one wants to meet my gaze.
A man then gets up and asks, "I am a spice trader. I am now offered the opportunity to trade what is called Aozorean spice. I can easily sell all I can get. Why do the Aozoreans not sell the spice themselves?"
I lecture, "The Aozoreans raise the spice. They do sell the spice in the New World, where they have contacts. They would like a wider market. They have no contacts in the Old World. Thus, they are willing to use the Old World contacts of Ariby, because I am the King of the Aozoreans and also the King of Ariby. Those businessmen of Ariby who deal the Aozorean spice had better plan to make their profits from their business dealings through volume and not mark up. Once the market begins to mature, there will be those customers who will try to buy more cheaply."
"My contribution is then my sales and distribution organization."
"Establish an efficient sales and distribution organization and build a profitable, lifetime business. Try for a quick profit and lose to those with more foresight."
Another man then gets up and asks, "Who will be allowed to go into the cement business?"
"Any citizen of Ariby may establish any sort of legal business, with the only real restriction being where there is a need for professional licenses. There will be no favourites of the King. The only other restriction will be someone who attempts to establish a foreign trade business with so little capital that the result must be fraud."
The men in the room look at each other, back and forth, for a bit. Finally one of the older men gets up and asks, "Then, you wish the men of Ariby to establish and prosper in business?"
"Yes and more than just the men. The idea of a man running a store where the main products being sold are the underwear of women is insane. There are businesses in Ariby that cater only to women. The women of Ariby will run those businesses."
The man is shocked and asks, "Then, you would have women compete with men?"
"No! The businesses that women will run or work in are set forth in a decree that I will publish in the near future. Such businesses are those that sell products that are always or at least mostly bought by women and will be operated and staffed by women. It's the only thing that makes any real sense."
The man thinks for a bit and then says, "What you say makes some sense. However, it runs very close to the edge of how things work in Ariby."
I lecture the room, "How would any man in this room discuss with a woman what type of underwear that she wishes to buy?"
The man who is standing says, "Why, I would, of course, talk with her husband."
"Would you then run another business in this fashion? Refuse to talk to a customer and only work through an intermediary, especially when the intermediary has no clue as to what is actually wanted?"
The man then says, "You seem to want to make changes."
"I seek to make improvements. If something is working well in a competitive environment, then why change? If something makes no sense, then I will try to make improvements."
The men seem to accept what I have said and the meeting breaks up after a few more questions.
Later, I have a second meeting. I call in representatives of a couple of dozen powerful families of Ariby, although not so powerful as the first couple of dozen families. I show them the same opportunities in banking, spice trade, nickel-iron trade, oil trade and cement trade.
The second group of men have a concern that they wish addressed before we get into specifics. A spokesman gets up and tells me, "We are of the faith of Ariby. However, we are a different branch of the faith from many here in Ariby. How will that affect our standing with you?"
I point out, "I am not of the faith that most in Ariby follow. Thus, I have no reason to favour any group of law abiding citizens of Ariby over any other group of law abiding citizens of Ariby. I will deal with you, as I would deal with any group of citizens of Ariby who control jobs, employment, exports, that sort of thing."
The man who asked the question nods in assent and understanding. He then looks at others in the room and I see the same acceptance.
We then go through pretty much the same business question and answer session as with the first group of men. Then, we get to a matter that didn't come up with the first group of men.
One of the men asks me, "You bring in foreign doctors to Ariby. Why is this?"
"The foreign doctors I bring in are all women. The purpose of bringing in the women doctors is to treat your wives and daughters. Any man who wishes to deny his wife or daughter medical treatment by a real doctor may choose to meet me in sword combat."
The man thinks for a moment and them asks, "Then the foreign women doctors will treat only women?"
"The foreign women doctors will be assigned only to hospitals that are intended to treat women. However, if there is an emergency, an explosion, a fire, whatever, it may result in you or your son being given emergency treatment by a woman doctor. Would you deny your son needed emergency medical treatment?"
"No, but it seems a waste to bring in foreign doctors."
"For a long time, the women of Ariby were denied real education. Without education it's impossible to become a doctor. Let your girls attend school and we will train our own women of Ariby to be doctors for women." (My real aim is at least some approach to equality for the women of Ariby, however, one small, careful step at a time.)