• Member Since 25th Aug, 2011
  • offline last seen Mar 23rd, 2017

Sturm Panzer


This is actually an Essay rather than a true story.

Is is a thought experiment that explores a potential economic system that could exist based on canon, with references from the series detailed inline as needed to support arguments.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 20 )

Cool stuff, but this reads more like a socio-economic survey of Equestria rather than a true economic analysis. Given that we have huge gaps of information in terms of how the Equestrian economy is managed, it's likely that Equestria possesses only a very rudimentary free-market economy at best. There is no doubt, a central bank circulating the bits, but whatever role they play in controlling inflation and the money supply is unclear.

Very interesting. Im especialy interested in the last few paragraphs relative to "Fame". It seems that "Fame" is similar to Capital in the real world. It also appears that Equestria has its own form of class struggle between the bourgeois and the proletariat. I intend to refer to this when writing my own story.

#3 · Sep 12th, 2011 · · ·

Really good stuff. Wouldn't mind future essays detailing Equestrian technology and culture.

The impact of societal forces directly affect the economy in various ways, especially in a caste-based society, which Equestria appears to be.

There isn't much in the way of a 'class struggle', since there's essentially the dictates to live in peace, at least as far as canon goes. Certainly revolutionary plots are easy enough to introduce and have been done before.

I have a theory why the pegasi make up the bulk of the Equestrian guard.
1. They have wings, thus the Equestrian guard have a high level of innate mobility.
2. Weather control. Is an awesome weapon on any battle field. Combined that with unicorn magic, I believe a relatively small guard can keep a large group of ponies under control.

It is also interesting to note that most unicorns in canterlot has celestial symbols as cutie marks. I am guessing most of the nobility are actually related to Princess Celestia and perhaps Princess Luna.

I agree with your point that the Unicorns really do make up most of the nobility class. That would go along way to explain how twilight is supporting herself. Twilight Sparkle is probably Lady Twilight Sparkle.

#6 · Nov 20th, 2011 · · ·

Twilite Sperkle: The lady of the library.

No I appericate the insight that you offer into the socio economical system of equestria here.
I am particularly interested in this concept of "Fame" how may such a thing be measured or kept count of for those who did not witness certain events
(Ex. someone is out of town while Celestia is being patronized* upon by the Cakes) * probably the wrong word but whatever
how would that pony be able to know of the change in Fame? public gossip? or opinion?
anyway it is a good thought training.

#7 · Nov 25th, 2011 · · ·

Equestria is a free market governed by a monarchy.

This is why they have so much wealth and can provide for everyone.

They respect individual rights.

"Given that it seems unlikely that Equestria possesses the required technology to refine and smelt aluminum"

Who needs tech to do it when you can have some unicorns smelt it for you at whatever temperature you need and refining.

That would likely require highly skilled specialists if temperature manipulation (though having Pegasus support to create a blast furnace effect would likely help) thus imposing a practical scarcity. Time that most Unicorns would likely see as better spend on administrative duties.

That is of course, my thoughts on the matter.


Aluminum is very difficult to smelt. the main method used is extremely high voltage electrolysis. Trying to us magical means to create and sustain the level of current required to do that would be nigh-on impossible, or at least impractical.

In addition, aluminum is mainly found in bauxite, a hard silicate that needs to be broken down to get the raw aluminum.

The difficulty in producing usable aluminum, along with is very low tensile strength makes it a fairly impractical metal for them to try to find a use for it. Never mind the extreme difficulty they would have in even figuring out what aluminum is in the first place, and then puzzling out how to refine it.

Especially when steel would be much more readily available.

My own thoughts off the top of my head (mostly from an engineering perspective):
IF you can build a robust enough wire coil in series with the electrolysis chamber (or bank of leyden jars in parallel with it?), you MIGHT be able to spread out the current delivery from repeated lightning bolts generated by pegasi enough to achieve electrolysis. We know from "Look Before You Sleep" that magical lightning rods exist, although I do seem to recall that half the point of a lightning rod is that it tends to dissipate the charge in its area thus making lightning strikes at that point less likely. Given this second point, it depends on how the magic enhances the lightning rod exactly and how closely the pegasi can regulate the lightning bolt energy levels and frequency to deliver enough current, smoothly enough, to keep the reaction moving forward without slagging the coil/shorting out the leyden jars/making the reaction chamber explode.

As for high-temperatures... I will point out that the ruler they dote on is in charge of sunlight. As such, while there is no hard evidence for this, it is not unreasonable to assume that they have a fairly advanced understanding of optics (they certainly seem to have a good knowledge of astronomy* and perhaps orbital mechanics**), which may have been applied to the creation of solar furnaces. Certainly cloudy days would not be something that would interfere with such an operation (cloud-cover may even be the "off switch"). Actually, for some purposes, the mirror(s) aren't even necessary, since the pegasi that could herd the clouds away from or over them could probably just lightning-bolt the object to be heated from every direction.
*the report that Twilight was writing in "Owl's Well that Ends Well".
**the equations on the blackboard in "Call of the Cutie".

Are you taking into account the existence of the hydro-arcanic dam in "The Mysterious Mare-Do-Well"?

I will also say that the existence of magazines and newspapers strongly suggests that Equestria has printing presses (although they may lack movable type). This would seem to imply to me that there is no technological barrier to Earth Ponies being writers (and certainly the presence of basic schooling implies that most of them CAN write). The pen begin mightier than the sword (especially in a society that seems to have relegated swords and tail-flails/maces to their history) this puts any ideas that might be raise of them being cut out of the loop in matters of political discussion on somewhat shaky ground. This is without even taking into account the supreme quality of Celestia, and perhaps even Luna.

Now for some repeating of stuff I have heard. I can't remember the source, but I expect it would stand or fall on its own merits in any case. I merely mention it so I am not taking credit for someone else's work. If people prefer I can put some effort into finding these sources.
It has been mentioned in other places (Maybe an essay or comment on an essay on a non-media focused site? Elsewise, perhaps TVTropes or one of the Tangency threads at forum.rpg.net?) that the assignment of certain jobs to certain ethnic groups does not have the same social implications it does in the real world, due to it being perfectly sensible since the average difference in effectiveness as, say a bureaucrat between a pegasus or earth pony on one side, and a unicorn on the other is much greater than the average difference in skill at a given task between two ponies of the same phenotype (which may or may not be a species). This is as opposed to real life where there is a very real question if the intrinsic rather than socially derived difference in ability between various ethnic groups, is merely very small, rather than actually non-existant. Gender dimorphism MIGHT be a better real-life example to work from. In any case, this would also have something of a leveling effect on wages.

I also seem to remember someone pointing out somewhere that "earth pony" DOES NOT seem to mean "lower class" necessarily. The evidence given to support this was two out of three of the EARTH ponies I will now name (I can't remember which ones are people that Rarity is at pains to impress/overwhelmed to have as a client: Hoity Toity, Photo Finish, and Sapphire Shores.

Also, what is the Kzinti “Strakh”?

Mmmmh... Good theory also for determine the nature of the Equestrian currency.
I think also that Equestrian economy is influenced by the Cutiemarks. If ponies are born with blank flank, they will try every activity to find what is their special ability, and when they find it and they're awarded with their cutiemark, they would practice that ability.
Applejack, for example, when she gains her cutimark, she's sure that she doesn't have to follow the city life but be an apple farmer.

Quite interesting, I never looked into the exact population statistics and assumed that the caste system of pre-Equestria had been largely abolished by this point but clearly, it remains, at least in some limited form.

Thank you for the thoughts. :pinkiesmile:

Overanalyzation FTW! :moustache:


As far as aluminium goes, I in my fanfic treated it as a metal that comes in two types, base and noble. (EDIT: This is how I will be treating it in the rewrite)

Base aluminium is the same as the stuff we have, nothing special. It's made when bauxite is smelted with magic at any point in the process, including mining. While valuable, it is not produced in quantity and is considered a curiosity. It's usually made when the making of noble aluminium goes wrong. This represents over 99.999% of aluminium production. In such a magic rich environment as Equestria failure is almost guaranteed.

Noble aluminium is created by any mining and smelting process that does not use any magic. Until refined, magic use in the vicinity of the bauxite ore will polarize the metal, making it just ordinary aluminium. In addition to the physical characteristics of base aluminium it can also act as a storage and focussing medium for magic. The jewellery the Princesses wear, as are the pieces worn by the Elements of Harmony, are made of noble aluminium with a thin gold or silver plating. There is typically 100kg produced each year. About 100 grams is required to be considered useful for the of the typical unicorn, Twilight would need about 500 grams, and the Princesses would need 4 or 5 kilograms. Insanely valuable and usually reserved for more powerful unicorns and government use.

This sounds like an excerpt from a book Twilight would read.

Very well thought out, though the lack of any direct involvement with the cast or any pony for that matter makes this more a supplementary material or a treatise on the economics of a theoretical world than a fanfic.

I'm not complaining, it made perfect sense to me. :twilightsheepish:

Perhaps more detail could be applied in subsequent expansions on the topic... or it could even be used as a basis for a story? Say Luna wanted to learn and put into practice modern economic theory to catch up from her moonride and enlists the mane-6 to help or something? I see potential for a number of derivative works here, and I love a good foundation stone.

A fairly interesting read but I've always considered Equestria to be an egletarian society since it is rather obvious that being an Unicorn does not automatically make one a noble (Rarity and her family) nor does being an Earth Pony make one a plebeian (Filthy Rich, Hoity Toity, Etc.).

In fact, Equestria is in many ways an ideal society with an ancient and intelectual ruler and happy citizens that always have a job that they enjoy since it is based on their own strengths and preferences. I'm actually rather jealous of them in that aspect, getting a Cutie Mark when one finds their special talent would make carreer choices a lot easier.

In that aspect, education also comes into question since we only know that elementary schooling is a fact, though it is also possible that their society does not differ between elementary, middle, and high school though it is not known whether Universities exist since even Twilight is still a student. We can't even get a clue as to what grade they may be in since we only know that the Mane6 is between the ages of 16 and 18 with Fluttershy being the oldest. From what I have observed, mandatory education probably stops somewhere after 16 since all of the Mane6 lives indepentently and hold a steady job.

Going back to the economy, jewels are ridiculously common to the point that they are as valuable to them as glass beads are to us in most cases. However, one must point out that certain types of gems are still considered valuable due to their rarity (no pun intended). Examples include Baby Blue Sapphires, Fire Rubies, and exceptionally large gems although this last example is based on the Hearth's Warming Eve episode from Princess Platinum's quote, suggesting that their homeland was not as rich in minerals.

I'll have to agree with Draco Dei that you failed to mention the existence of electricity in Equestria. However, judging that the fact that oil lamps, candles, magic, and fireflies are the preffered methods of ligthing, it is most likely for industrial use (eg. aluminum smelting).

As an afterthough, aluminum was considered a precious metal in the middle ages due to its impractical manufacture. Since gold is so common, it is not beyond acceptance that Equestrian currency is backed by aluminum instead of gold. It is certainly more practical than artificially backed currency that would be worthless outside of Equestria, although it is not even clear whether any other countries exist in that world other than the home of the Changelings.

There are different accents and languages, which suggest that either multiple countries or regions exist or that there was a period of unification at some point or another. Once must remember that languages often merge or are erased whenever a large country encroaches another, but accents and dialects often remain. There could also be an attempt at cultural preservation if Equestria is that type of nation.

*Egalitarian. Sorry.

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