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Old 11-17-2011, 06:35 AM   #131
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Default Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)

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Seems likely enough. The Imperium would probably glorify the more benign and less extravagantly(at least for their time) evil empires that did things like building roads, taxing efficiently and keeping peace. They would be ambiguous about Byzantium; their religious enthusiasm would be rather uncouth by 3I standards as Impies would consider any enthusiasm beyond harmless eccentricity as rather uncouth. The religious persecution and religious feuding they would certainly decry though some annoying people would point out that it was really no different then the Psionic Suppressions. And of course the frequent changes of regimes by overly vigorous methods would NOT be approved of. However the Imperials would praise the things normally praised about Byzantium; the protection of Europe against invaders, the preservation of antique culture and the simple determination to survive.
Agreed, but like conventional modern day Western History textbooks, they'd leave it pretty much in the footnotes.

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China would certainly be praised as was said. As would be Rome. I once pictured that Imperial ideology would when making references to Terra would make poetic metaphors about "The Eagle, the Dragon, and the Lion, the empires of the West, East, and South(the lion is Ethiopia; I don't know much about ancient Ethiopia and from what I do know it wouldn't fit the narrative of Imperial Culture well. But it does fit well from the poetic point of view and rather completes the thing).
Ethiopia's history is quite interesting. They'd be slotted in as a tragic Empire that shrove to provide justice. Hemed in by religious fanatics and barbarians. They'd also make note of how the Italian Fascists brutalised the Empire and how Stalinists destroyed it.

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South American Empires would certainly be passed over. However the mystery surrounding them would make them something of a minority interest. Tibet would in some circles continue to have the same curious exoticism, even though real life Tibet was just another culture and the local monks were just as brutal to their serfs and just as given to feuding as any other overlord class whether clerical or aristocratic.
Tibet would apeal to the lovers of mystery and mysticism. It always does.

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The British Empire would certainly gain approval. It would have the right combination of sort-of-liberalism, and Imperialism to please the Imperial ideology. They would probably disapprove of the nationalist movements in the British empire. The Imperium would definitely approve of the late Habsburg Empire-the Habsburgs of Maria Theresa, exotic coffee, hussars, and sound of music that is, not the Habsburgs of Charles V who were after all rather overenthusiastic, don't you know. They would appreciate the ideal of knitting together several nations in, er, harmonious, kind of, loyalty to a single dynasty and bringing peace to Central Europe. They would also note that once the Habsburgs were gone the Nazis gobbled up everyone and when they left the Staliniests took what was left. The Imperium would not like Revolutionaries. No not at all. Americans would be an exception to that because they were the embryo of the Terran Confederation whose ideals did contribute to the Imperium.
I disagree on the USA. Our existence from our revolutionary beginings through our rise to power, the existence of the USA is a rebuke to Empires. We prove they aren't needed. That's why we are labled an Empire, they're stuggling to hide the fact we've outmoded Empire. The 3I would either slander or ignore the USA.

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Hollernzollerns would not be approved of by the Imperium as compared to the Habsburgs. But the disapproval would be mild. Old Fritz they wouldn't mind but Kaiser Bill they would agree was a spoiled Royal Brat.
A very good BAD example indeed.
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Old 11-17-2011, 06:44 AM   #132
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The East Romans an the pre British 'Indians' are 'too religious and disturbing' but China isn't? Does not compute. Religion has played a huge role in Chinese history.
Actually, not so much. From a fairly early period (there's debate as to when) China's elites have prefered to encourage agnosticism amoung the elites. Read what Confucius actually says on religion. He isn't interested in banning or denying it, he just suggests it's a waste of time and energy. China has a great deal of passionately religious people yes, but the elites tend to quietly leave it alone. Those amoung the elites who were deeply religious tended to keep their faith private. Remember that in Chinese literature, the devout are generally dupes and the priests are generally crooks.

China ran itself with a nonreligious elite. You could make the case that between 1780 and 1980 the USA followed a similar policy of keeping religion out of the halls of power even when the president was deeply religious.
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Old 11-17-2011, 09:04 AM   #133
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Actually, not so much. From a fairly early period (there's debate as to when) China elites have prefered to encourage agnosticism amoung the elites. Read what Confucius actually says on religion. He isn't interested in banning or denying it, he just suggests it's a waste of time and energy. China has a great deal of passionately religious people yes, but the elites tend to quietly leave it alone. Those amoung the elites who were deeply religious tended to keep their faith private. Remeber that in Chinese literature, the devout are generally dupes and the priests are generally crooks.

China ran itself with a nonreligious elite. You could make the case that between 1780 and 1980 the USA followed a similar policy of keeping religion out of the halls of power even when the president was deeply religious.
Buddhism and Taoism were both important in politics during long chunks of Chinese history, though, and Confucianism was assimilated into the larger religious-ideological system. Ancestor worship, which is older than any of those things, is still practised to a considerable extent even today.


I'd argue that what you see in China is not a lack of importance of religion in state affairs, but simple a different way of loooking at these things, and a different set of religions/ideologies.
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:02 PM   #134
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Default Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)

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Buddhism and Taoism were both important in politics during long chunks of Chinese history, though, and Confucianism was assimilated into the larger religious-ideological system. Ancestor worship, which is older than any of those things, is still practised to a considerable extent even today.


I'd argue that what you see in China is not a lack of importance of religion in state affairs, but simple a different way of loooking at these things, and a different set of religions/ideologies.
If I recall Taoism was sort of a tangential creed having a cultural position similar to mendicants in the West and dervishes in Islam. A Taoist priest might get an invitation from an Emperor but wouldn't become a court priest.

My memory could be wrong though.
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:09 PM   #135
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Spacer's Fifth.

The Custom held in many parts of the Imperium and beyond, whereby a Spacer who returns on time from liberty has the right not to be questioned by the officers. This can only be revoked if the officer finds reason to believe a serious offense has been committed. What is considered a serious offense by spacers varies and most officers will not make a bother anyway because they need to get to the next port.

The term Fifth is said to have come from the laws of the Ancient United States and later been a colloquial term for a similar right in the laws of the Terran Confederation.
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:14 PM   #136
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Terran Navigational Accords:

Compilation of Admiralty Laws first made during the late ISW, and re-codified during the Rule of Man. The basis of modern Imperial navigational laws.
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Old 11-18-2011, 02:40 AM   #137
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If I recall Taoism was sort of a tangential creed having a cultural position similar to mendicants in the West and dervishes in Islam. A Taoist priest might get an invitation from an Emperor but wouldn't become a court priest.

My memory could be wrong though.
It turns out that a number of emperors were promoters of Taoist literature, rituals, science/magic, and so on. Elites read religious texts along with other important writings.
Note that some Taoist texts eventually become classics that prospective officals are required to study, as part of the civil service exams.

There were also periods of control/supression of some forms of Taoism.

I think it's important to remember that the Chinese folk religion is a fusion of ancient indigenous belief systems, Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. This mix developed over a long period of time, of course.



I would caution against confusing syncretism and pluralism with irreligion.

This is hardly a scholary source, but since I know you use wiki:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History...E2.80.93907.29
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Old 11-18-2011, 10:43 AM   #138
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It turns out that a number of emperors were promoters of Taoist literature, rituals, science/magic, and so on. Elites read religious texts along with other important writings.
Note that some Taoist texts eventually become classics that prospective officals are required to study, as part of the civil service exams.

There were also periods of control/supression of some forms of Taoism.

I think it's important to remember that the Chinese folk religion is a fusion of ancient indigenous belief systems, Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. This mix developed over a long period of time, of course.



I would caution against confusing syncretism and pluralism with irreligion.

This is hardly a scholary source, but since I know you use wiki:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History...E2.80.93907.29
I wouldn't necessarily confuse syncretism and pluralism with irreligion. Sometimes I would be tempted to think it an indication that the rulers consider religion just a plaything or a fashion but that is neither here nor there. In any case Far Eastern religions tend to be not incompatible of one another in the way more Middle Eastern ones are. Therefore Syncretism is a natural result in the East whereas in the West it is at best a desire to avoid strife and at worst a sign of indifference and in between a sign that people really care about other things then religion.

I do think the Imperium would have an Imperialistic "we don't care as long as you pay taxes" combined with an occasional "it is our custom to hang people who burn widows" in unusual situations. The Imperium would probably overestimate how easy it is to pull such a philosophy off and underestimate the power of religion or any other cause which demands enthusiasm.
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Old 11-18-2011, 10:57 AM   #139
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Unilateral Imperialism:

IMTU Megacorporations and Nobles often act on their own outside the Imperium. There are several reasons for this. One is that I thought that even SW was to favorable to the Imperium and the Darrians in it's narrative of the frontier wars. I don't like the Zho-they get inside your head where they don't belong(I mean I wouldn't like them if they existed; they are fine as a plot device). And I don't like the Vargr-they have no control of themselves(though that must be exagerrated if they can build starships). But I do like the Sword Worlders, and would like them to have a decent provocation other then "We're really cool space vikings who don't act a bit like vikings." On the other hand I don't want an Evil Imperium as such either. Having Megacorporations and Nobles do provocations on their own outside of Imperial policy fits this narrative.

Similar reasons apply closer to my characters home. The Megas are old trade rivals and are willing to use force to shove competitors out if they can get away with it, or to intimidate local powers into charging unbearable tarrifs.
Meanwhile the Imperium appears as Combat Referee. I like this because it is a paridigm shift from the typical space opera where the Empire is an active player either as a good guy or a bad and if the empire is good then the characters are it's servants and if it is bad then they are it's enemies.
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Old 11-18-2011, 02:09 PM   #140
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Default Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)

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IMTU Megacorporations and Nobles often act on their own outside the Imperium.
It seems to me that corporations do that in the OTU too.

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One is that I thought that even SW was too favorable to the Imperium and the Darrians in it's narrative of the frontier wars.
Well, the book was writtent from an Imperial viewpoint, so you could hardly expect a Sword World hagiography. What exactly did you have in mind? The broad strokes of the history was already established, but I did add a few motives. Where did I treat the Sword Worlders unfavorably?

(I'm geniunely curious).

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I don't like the Zho [...] and I don't like the Vargr...
And the Aslans are unbearably smug land-grabbers with no respect for other people's property rights.

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But I do like the Sword Worlders, and would like them to have a decent provocation other then "We're really cool space vikings who don't act a bit like vikings."
Who says what now? I fail to grasp your point.

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I like this because it is a paridigm shift from the typical space opera where the Empire is an active player either as a good guy or a bad and if the empire is good then the characters are it's servants and if it is bad then they are it's enemies.
People have talked about how the Imperium and the Megacorporations are in bed together, but there's at least one mercenary ticket and several other bits of canon that show the Imperium acting as a curb on megacorporate activities and noble shenanigans.

My view of the canonical Imperium is that Strephon (and, I imagine, the Alkhalikoi in general) tries to do right by his subjects and requires his servants to act on that, but that there's only so much control he can exercise; mostly it boils down to the character of the local duke.


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