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Old 08-08-2016, 11:52 PM   #41
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Default Re: Question about Infinity, Centrum, the Cabal...

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Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
Wouldn't the "weakest" include those who might be subsidized for the collective benefit? Such as retirees from Centren service who would have more of an incentive to serve if they knew that they would in fact get treated well should they survive?
Possibly. I genuinely have no idea what kind of person you mean by that.

It's kind of inevitable that an attempt to summarise three radically different economies in a single post was bound to miss something. That said, I didn't touch on Centrum's indentured, merely on their "full" citizens. The exact status of indentureds varies a lot depending on how light/dark your centrum is (anything from refugees-in-a-mutually-beneficial-relationship to slaves-in-all-but-name).
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Old 08-12-2016, 09:52 AM   #42
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Default Re: Question about Infinity, Centrum, the Cabal...

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Given that every single citizen of Centrum is a government employee, how can be it anything other than a command economy? They have abandoned the concept of "private enterprise" entirely.

It's true that Centrum is in no way motivated by Marxist ideas or anything analogous to them. They haven't even a theoretical idea that the state could or should "wither away" or that the workers are entitled to anything beyond incentives for those who perform well. Nonetheless they are a culture that has abandoned capitalism and has a centrally planned economy.
Louis XIV and more than a few Chinese and Byzantine Emperors would have freely agreed with the idea of getting rid of anything like private markets. State enterprise isn't an Idea Marx invented.
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Old 08-12-2016, 09:55 AM   #43
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Default Re: Question about Infinity, Centrum, the Cabal...

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Is Centrum communist (light)?

I've always thought that Centrum would agree with Karl Marx on his point that capitalism inevitably leads to boom-and-bust cycles and that these are a bad thing. I'm reasonably sure they would canonically reject communism as well as capitalism (both the 'failed' and 'successful' forms of communism), but I could never quite say why. Possible reasons include:

1) Most communist timelines tend to be Russia or China-dominated, leading to severe linguistic problems for Centrum.
2) Their command economies tend to have glaring inefficiencies compared to Centrum, which Centrum would reject.
3) Leading communist thinkers in history have tended to be outside of the Anglo-French philosophical sphere, leading to cultural rejection of the label, regardless of the possible similarities.
4) By the time Centrum became a thing, 'class warfare' on their timeline had largely become an outmoded concept, replaced by "societal survival". This line of thinking was reinforced again by the WMDs in their final war, which didn't even care about wealth or merit, let alone social class. Even if they came across a successful Anglo-French communist timeline, they'd reject it because the philosophical basis of that society is something that they simply consider outmoded.
I agree with your logic and find it beautifully stated. Centrum is its own animal, we only think it looks like a communist state.
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Old 08-12-2016, 11:03 AM   #44
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Default Re: Question about Infinity, Centrum, the Cabal...

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Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
Possibly. I genuinely have no idea what kind of person you mean by that.

It's kind of inevitable that an attempt to summarise three radically different economies in a single post was bound to miss something. That said, I didn't touch on Centrum's indentured, merely on their "full" citizens. The exact status of indentureds varies a lot depending on how light/dark your centrum is (anything from refugees-in-a-mutually-beneficial-relationship to slaves-in-all-but-name).
I am distinguishing between those who are now an economic burden but whom Centrum has a pragmatic motive to subsidize as part of work benefits for it's world-hopping secret service and those who are pure loss.
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Old 11-07-2017, 07:33 AM   #45
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Default Re: Question about Infinity, Centrum, the Cabal...

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In GURPS Alternate Earths 2 there is a sidebar on page 110 "Centrum Dark, Centrum Light" discussing how to make it darker or lighter. It refers to another sidebar "The Federation" in error, because that sidebar was cut from the final version.

I asked about it on sjgames.gurps back in 2004, and Craig Neumeier kindly posted it. I've got a printout of the post, but nothing electronic. Basically a Centrum that relaxed after getting rid of Secundus.

Too lazy to look for any Centrum Light stuff in 4E right now.

Edit: I'd always assumed the "Technocracy" was a better term for Centrum.
Finally got around to digging it out and typing it up:

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Originally Posted by Craig Neumeier, LHN

The Federation

What does the future hold for Centrum? Assuming that the struggle with Secundus is resolved satisfactorily, it seems likely to become an autocratic empire chiefly distinguished for its reach, dominating and oppressing perhaps a few hundred worlds before its inevitable fall.

Better options are available, if Centrum can relax its paranoia and start to accept partners instead of only subjects. It could evolve into a coalition of advanced worlds, pooling their technology and resources, planting colonies, and sending scholars and diplomats to more primitive worlds. The Interworld Service could become a multi-world institution handling defense and exploration, while leaving ordinary transport to other groups. The setting might even come to resemble a certain well-known United Federation of Planets, spread across hundreds of parallel Earths instead of the Alpha Quadrant of the galaxy.
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