The van Volkvonvan Dynasty
The communist economic theorist seeking a place where he has the power and freedom to implement his Ideas
Personality and manner
Richard “Rick” Malsstenob is a classic introvert, relatively terse and soft spoken normally, but ready to discuss economics or any of his other interests for hours with anyone who is genuinely interested. He values honestly and openness quite highly, and even though he has generally been a very compassionate seneschal so far during his term aboard the Ardent Sentinel, he has shown several times that he is willing to dole out severe punishments for workers that lie to or obstruct him or their peers.
Rick is very interested in testing out several of his economic theories aboard the Ardent Sentinel, particularly the pattern of organisation in which people are organized into specialized collectives, and share equally responsibility within the collective (usually the responsibility to meet a certain production target) rather than reporting to a single leader.
Though he has some fanciful ideas, Rick is also a master of conventional economic ideas, and is eager to help Conrad van Volkvonvan create a powerful business empire that stretches far beyond the city-ship that will be its cornerstone.
Childhood and education
Rick grew up on the hive world Kumina, the child of a middle class family. He was a dissentful child, constantly questioning authority figures, though he learned pretty quickly that it was usually better to keep his questions to himself, lest he be punished for ‘heresy’, whatever that was. He eventually found that books and other writings could answer his many questions, and read voraciously for the rest of his childhood. Rick’s distrust of authority only grew as he watched the slow moving human rights disaster that is the Imperium do its work on his home planet.
He attended a relatively prestigious local university, studying economics and political science. He assumed that he would eventually join the enormous bureaucracy of the imperium, just as the university’s program of study was designed prepare him for. He spent a few years at the university after graduating doing research, and a couple of his publications (mainly on the efficient use of government resources in a high-autonomy federal system like that of the Imperium) were noticed by elites on his home planet.
When Rick was just 24, a popular newspaper approached him requesting a few opinion pieces, and he obliged them. Conrad van Volkvonvan read one of these pieces and was somewhat impressed, and so decided to invite Rick to interview to be his new seneschal, along with a few other candidates. Being a player character, Rick easily outdid the other candidates and was selected by Conrad to track the Rouge Trader’s finances.
It’s hard to construe Rick’s economic theory as heretical, because it says so little about religion, politics, the imperium, or really humanity at all, but it is clearly unorthodox.
He will happily point out that when a worker serves any entity besides the society they belong to (i.e. the imperium) or themself, they are almost by definition being exploited just like a slave, as their labor is being used to produce an item or service which they will never receive the full value of.
Rick is well known for his very abstract discussion on the workings of an economy in a post-scarcity society, claiming, for example, that in such a society many basic ideas like ownership would become irrelevant. When asked about the total lack of correspondence to the real world that theories about a post-scarcity society have, he usually replies that he believes that if or when the Imperium ever does finally win its many wars and
make peace with suppress the many xeno nations at its borders, it probably has the technology and organization required to create such a society.
He is mainly respected among elites for his most tame area of research, that of how a government, whether a local one or that of the imperium itself, can use its resources to maximize the productivity of its scientists and engineers, particularly those trying to discover and/or improve military technology.
As Seneschal of the Van Volkvonvan Clan