Author Topic: Yeerk Politics: Vissers and Sub-Vissers  (Read 1579 times)

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Offline Duck, Duck, Goose

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Yeerk Politics: Vissers and Sub-Vissers
« on: May 16, 2016, 05:32:47 PM »

     So, I've been thinking about the structure of the Yeerk military.

     In the Hork-Bajir chronicles, we learn from Esplin 9466 that whilst on the Hork-Bajir planet they devised a new system of military ranks: Vissers and Sub-Vissers. I imagine it being yet another word stolen by the Yeerks--probably from the Ongachic, since that was the latest host species they took by that point.

     We know that these are like generals. It would seem that each Visser is designated to a planet to conquer, perhaps with a specific number of sub-Vissers along with them. We know that here is competition and in-fighting as a result. And we know that a Visser may be demoted or promoted based on failures or successes. We know that there are 47 Vissers--or so Ax believes in Animorphs 5--and at least over 400 sub-Vissers--Edriss' rank is Sub-Visser 409, as seen early in Visser.

     But there's still some things to speculate upon. How many sub-Vissers are under a Visser? How are they chosen? For example, Taylor is Sub-Visser 52 and works under Visser Three by the time of Animorphs 33. How is it decided which Visser goes where? How do promotions work? For example, in Animorphs 46, we learn that Esplin gets promoted to Visser One above Visser Two, presumably (at least Poparena speculates) because Visser Two has a giant man crush on Visser Three. If Visser Three was promoted to Visser One, why did he stay on Earth, and not move on to another planet? Wouldn't his efforts on earth be taken over by the new Visser Three?

     Thoughts?
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Offline RYTX

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Re: Yeerk Politics: Vissers and Sub-Vissers
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2016, 09:00:24 AM »
On that specific example, I assumed Esplin got promoted because he was in charge of Earth. He had the most experience there, was probably the best they had, in their opinions, to keep the "Andalite bandits" in check, and the council was opening up to his ideas to take what was, at that point, where they had the highest investment. Giving him top spot gives him authority, and responsibility, at this all important site. Edriss got the promotion for finding it, but then went on to other things before they really had Earth as a make or break. Hell, given the details in Visser, she may have requested to be away from Earth, so I think the assignments are better tasked to the individual than they are to a rank.

The sub-visser system, unfortunately does not seem well thought out. Taylor was second in command to V3 in book 33 (though this is the first time we ever see her), yet in 19 Karen reported to a subvisser 19. Did Taylor get demoted, is this someone else? If she's so high ranking why is she never around before this but you can't get rid of Chapman? Tom's last yeerk should have been near those ranks, and yet there's hints the Vissers, though they can't openly kill each other may not hesitate to kill a sub-visser any more than a regular peon. What I'm getting at is the distribution and roll of sub-vissers should be more organized than we see it.

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Offline Duck, Duck, Goose

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Re: Yeerk Politics: Vissers and Sub-Vissers
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2016, 09:31:54 AM »

     I guess the Empire never figured out the Sub-Visser system. In the Hork-Bajir chronicles, Esplin says that random Yeerks were declaring themselves sub-Vissers and nobody corrected them. It was a funny instance, but says a lot about how slight the improvement in Yeerk military structure was thirty-forty years after the declaration of the Empire.
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Offline Shenmue654

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Re: Yeerk Politics: Vissers and Sub-Vissers
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2016, 03:16:22 PM »
I always speculated that there was a sense of basic disorganization to the whole thing beyond the existence of the 47 Vissers and the Council of Thirteen. Part of what seems to be the problem in giant dystopian bureaucracies like that one (Including several very real examples we had going on in the 30s and 40s, and in China's own Communist Party--- Although they were really the only example that fully resolved the problem) is that no one can agree on where authority actually cuts off. It's completely possible in a system like that to declare that you have a particular responsibility and just sort of bull**** your way along until someone more powerful corrects you.

This actually appears to have happened in the Nazi Party multiple times. The more distant the final authority figure is from their own outposts, the more likely this is to happen. The Council of Thirteen was clearly powerful, but it was more than a little obvious that a lot of that was cultural respect rather than them having any clue what their own Vissers were doing. The Vissers were almost like Lords with ever-changing groups of knights under them than a modern-day US military with strict ranks.

There's even a little bit of a Darth Vader joke going on with regards to Visser Three in particular, who due to his impulsiveness and emotional instability was prone to killing off his subordinates with literally no warning. They probably gave up on having any kind of rationally defined hierarchy like...a couple months to a year into that hot mess. XD


« Last Edit: July 25, 2016, 03:20:25 PM by Shenmue654 »

Offline Snakie

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Re: Yeerk Politics: Vissers and Sub-Vissers
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2016, 09:14:51 AM »
With respect to Visser Three getting promoted to Visser One over Visser Two, I was always skeptical of poparena's speculation that he was passed over because he was a fanboy.  My explanation?  Visser Two wasn't passed over.  He was promoted alongside Visser Three/One.

I think something might have happened offscreen to the original Visser Two(maybe the old Visser One got them killed in the failure at Anati?) and Visser One managed to use his influence to get one of his cronies/friends promoted to the spot right underneath him. Or maybe nothing happened to the Original Visser Two, and they always restructure things when a new Visser One is promoted.  Either way, I feel like the Visser Two we see in number 46 was probably relatively new to his job and a loyalist to Visser Two.  That would also explain why he's not particularly good at his job.

Then again, its pretty clear that incompetence was pretty rampant among the higher ranks of the Yeerk Empire.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2016, 09:18:26 AM by Snakie »

Offline RYTX

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Re: Yeerk Politics: Vissers and Sub-Vissers
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2016, 10:50:27 AM »
Query: How was V2 incompetent?  As far as I recall, he was doing really good at almost starting WW3 till the animorphs got involved, and even then for some time. While he was ridiculous and crazy, he was very in control of himself and his men till he was bound and gagged.

In part because we only see him briefly, but I was always kind of impressed that he came in to a new environment and took charge, and executed the plan well. Yeah he got beat, but that's because no one beats the animorphs.
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Offline Dogman15

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Re: Yeerk Politics: Vissers and Sub-Vissers
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2016, 05:14:19 AM »
Tom's last yeerk should have been near those ranks


Actually, in book 53, Tom's Yeerk says "I should be a Sub-Visser by now." http://animorphs.wikia.com/wiki/Tom's_Yeerk So, for whatever reason, he was never promoted. But Iniss 226, the Yeerk controlling Hedrick Chapman? He was probably a Sub-Visser from the beginning, we just never heard about it.

Offline RYTX

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Re: Yeerk Politics: Vissers and Sub-Vissers
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2016, 08:43:07 PM »
Yes, that's why I said Tom's Yeerk should have been near those ranks (sub-visser).
The way chapman was treated, by Esplin, Edriss, Taylor and really everyone strongly suggests he was an "adviser" not a sub-visser. He had no respect, from above or below, was almost always working under someone on assignments, never in charge of an operation, and there is zero reason to not have someone call him Sub-Visser X at least once in the series, when every Yeerk possible is referred to by rank
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Offline Dogman15

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Re: Yeerk Politics: Vissers and Sub-Vissers
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2016, 03:35:10 AM »
Good point.