In regards to the Omnibus Peerage, one argument that is heard: We will water down the concept/reality of what Peerage is by including more. I will attempt to dismantle that theory. I will use certain groups as examples, but this is a ubiquitous argument and is not limited to, or singling out any specific group. They are examples. Nothing more, nothing less.
Driving in ones lane
Who is made ‘less’? When someone is elevated, they are elevated for what they master in, in their lane. Meaning this candidate is a master of the thing they are, in the space they chose. Someone who is recognized as a Laurel for their woodworking mastery will not be a detriment (nor necessarily as boon for that matter) to the Equestrian community. These two worlds might collide in a weird Venn-y diagram-my world, but not likely. Both will enjoy the benefits of having one so recognized in their ranks, continuing to do what they do, in their mastered field.
What this means is that one being recognized or elevated in their space in no way detracts from the other. Presumably these people are recognized for the work they have done, and hopefully continue to do. These individuals will be asked for support by the Society and Crown on their areas of expertise. It is about singling out individuals who are masters and thought leaders in their space. It identifies people who can be depended on for wisdom and intelligence. In other words, there is no pie. Anyone recognized as a Peer already, is not harmed or damaged in any way. Their voice rendered no less valued, their mastery not diminished in any way.
Peers… they live!
Whether we agree on the mechanics of how and why, one thing we should all agree on, is that Peers already exist, they simply haven’t been recognized as such. In each wonderful area that exists in the Society we could go to those communities, and ask, “Who is the most amazing person in your ‘space’?”. I would wager that any person who is active in that space, has at least one immediate answer. I would further bet that many of those people named would already be Peers in that area. The glaring exception would be people in specific groups in the SCA (eg: archery). Given that they do exist, that by any metric ever used to determine worthiness, a person meets or exceeds them all, why AREN’T they a Peer?
They can be a Peer already
“If they are an archer, they can become a Laurel!” If the argument is to be believed, that ‘granting a Martial Peerage would water down the pool’, then by recognizing an archer as a Laurel, or a Martial Peer would literally take the same space. Meaning regardless of what the individual is a candidate for, you are still adding N+1. So why not recognize them for who they are?
Take the example of an archer is recognized for their art and not their mastery of the martial skill (of which their art is derivative) couldn’t that be insulting? Perhaps this is hard for some to understand because they don’t know much about archery specifically, but this example can be overlaid to anything else. An example I think most people can recognize is this: There is a candidate in the fighting community who exemplifies all Peer traits, is a master of their martial form, derived arts such as making armor, weapons, teaching, and more… Would any member of the Chiv community accept them being made a Laurel for their armor making skill in lieu of a Knight for everything they are? Would that not be insulting to all the dedication and value they bring to every other aspect of the Society?
Let’s do both!
The Society and Crown have recognized individuals as multiple Peers, again and again. If they argument is to be believed that we cannot ‘water down’ the Peerages, then why do multiple Peers exist? Certainly there are members of the Laurel who are also members of the Chiv, and in each space, deserving. Using the water down argument, recognizing someone as a Peer in another space would be wasteful.
But it isn’t, and anyone who knows a worthy individual who holds multiple Peerages, has them for a reason. WHAT are those reasons? The reasons one conjures are the same exact reasons used for allowing recognition for individuals for who they are and what they do, not ASPECTS of who they are and what they do.
Dude, shut up
I will for now, but I’ll conclude with this. If the concept of Peerage is a necessary one, and we as a Society value those candidates, let us recognize those individuals for who and what they are. Respect their space as we continue to respect yours.
In service to the Dream in equity…