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Old 11-18-2011, 02:54 PM   #141
jason taylor
 
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Default Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)

I didn't say you treated Sword Worlders unfavorably. I just said that their POV in the official history of the Frontier wars wasn't made sympathetic-it makes it sound like they were engaged in aggression for arbitrary reasons.

What I had in mind was that the Sword Worlds had a number of Colonies and outposts scattered about that had been conquered earlier in history and that the megacorporations often interfered with Sword Worlder trade by direct or indirect use of force or fraud. Or were accused of such. And of course there were other grievances like this along the way by both sides back and forth.

As for the Zho, I mean I have a primal dislike for them. The sort of dislike that makes me appreciate them as villains not the sort of dislike that makes me wish they were not there. The Vargr are less so. However I still prefer them as villains. They can make interesting protagonists from time to time.

And yes the Aslan do nasty things and yet I love the aslan. Go figure. If one must make a difference one might point out that Ihaiti conquer so they can build civilization whereas Corsairs just make a mess and leave with their plunder.

It is an aesthetic attitude as much a moral one or rather an aesthetic attitude about which kind of villainy I like. And I just wanted more shades of grey between the Imperium and the SW then were given in canon. The interpretation I gave is not unreasonable.
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Old 11-18-2011, 10:46 PM   #142
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Default Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)

BOOK REPORT


The Three Guardsmen

by Celestine Floridore
published 1022

A rousing tale of adventure and derring-do at the court of Emperor Styryx, written under a pseudonym by a high-ranking Imperial noble.

In 969, Kerran Saleshshu, the son of an impoverished provincial noble, travels to Capital where he meets and befriends three members of the Imperial Guard (Shasta, Padmos, and Benevis) and becomes embroiled in their rivalries with the household troops of Duke Ibrahim Tancredi, the powerful Minister of State, and in the political rivalry between Duke Ibrahim and Duke Gusztav Halici, leader of the Solomani Faction, who vie for influence over the weak and vacillating Emperor.

When Duke Tancredi learns through his spies that Empress Charmian has incautiously given a Keramish globe to her lover, Duke Ilkin of Cemplas, a prominent member of the Solomani Faction, the Duke has his agent, Mata Lahari, the lovely widow of Count Lahari, another prominent Solomani sympathizer, steal the jewelled music-box inside the globe and manipulates the Emperor into sponsoring an exibition of Keramish globes at the Imperial Museum.

Prompted by Shaleshu's lover, Alfhild Lloyd, a trusted member of the Empress' staff, he and his three friends travel to Cemplas and retrieves the globe in time for the Empress to loan it to the exibition, Duke Ilkin having had a faithful replica of the music box made to replace the stolen one.

Duke Ibrahim kidnaps Alfhild who is later rescued and hidden away by the Empress. Saleshshu meets Mata Lahari and discovers that she is Shasta's wife, a criminal who had been presumed dead. The Duke orders the Countess to get rid of Duke Ilkin, giving her an Imperial Warrant to absolve her of any crimes she may have to commit along the way. Shasta finds out about this and takes the warrant; he also warns the new Count Lahari, younger brother of the Countess' deceased husband, about her mission. The Count arrests her on suspicion of having killed his brother.

She suborns her guard (who then assassinates Duke Ilkin) and escapes to the retreat on Capital where the Empress has hidden Alfhild. She kills Alfhild. The four friends track her down and she dies in an epic battle with her and her guards.

On the way back to the city, Saleshshu is arrested. Taken before the Duke, he relates recent events and produces the Duke's Imperial warrant. Impressed, the Duke offers him a blank guard officer's commission. Saleshshu's friends each in turn refuses the commission and urges him to use it himself, which in the end he does, embarking on an illustrious career in the Guards.

Important characters
--------------------

Fictional
* Kerran Saleshshu
* Shasta
* Padmos
* Benevis
* Alfhild Lloyd
* Countess Mata Lahari
* Count Lahari
Historical
* Emperor Styryx
* Empress Charmian
* Duke Ibrahim Tancredi
* Duke Gusztav Halici
* Duke Ilkin of Cemplas
[Canonical: Emperor Styryx. ;-) ]


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Old 11-19-2011, 03:13 AM   #143
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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.


As my Imperium does actually have a state-favored religion (at the Imperial level), things are rather different. The Imperium is far too large and diverse for any one faith or set of customs to be imposed on all the many member worlds. The attempt to do so would almost inevitably end in the secession of numerous worlds, and possibly the dissolution of the Imperium. The Imperium does not presume to regulate the domestic/internal religious affairs of member worlds, so long as Imperial agents are not impeded. As the Church is partner to/part of the Imperial regime, Church agents may fall under the Imperial aegis. The Church does missionary work on numerous worlds. The Imperial military provides recruits with exposure to the Church. Of course, there are entire regiments composed mainly of adherents other religions. Many worlds remain entirely outside the Church, if one doesn't count a chapel at the starport (which, of course, is Imperial territory and not actually ruled by the member world). Forced conversion is not the Imperial way.

It's problematic to generalize much further than this. Conditions, motivations, personalities, and policies vary a lot. The Imperium is HUGE.

Last edited by combatmedic; 11-19-2011 at 03:38 AM.
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Old 11-20-2011, 01:23 PM   #144
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The USA is often described as having a "Civic Religion." But through most of our History, at least up to the 1950's we resisted being called a religious nation. Jefferson and Hamilton fought over many things, neither man ever allowed that the USA could be seen as a Christian Nation. In fact durring Jefferson's nogotiations with the Barbary Pirates he stressed that America was in no way a Christian nation, and there are no reports of anyone in Congress objecting in the least.

Lincoln was aproached by more than one deligation of ministers brutally trying to pressure him into declaring the USA a Christian nation as the CSA had declared itself a Christian nation. The Blackmail was intense, but Lincoln ignored it as did the Congress.

Although both Wilson and FDR were devout Christians, both men rejected all attempts to declare America a Christian Nation. There were no objections from Congress to their resistance.

Durring this period the USA had a very high church attendence, often higher than in nations were Church attendence was compulsorary. A Nation can be officially agnostic and run in a secular manner while having a deeply religious populace. The 3I would make a similar choice.

Or they could be like the Ancient Romans who said "The people find all religions equally true, the phillosophers find all religions equally false, and the politicians find all religions equally useful."

Either way, the people at the top would lead secular lives. If religious, they'd keep it private.
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Old 11-20-2011, 05:16 PM   #145
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Activities which involve gatherings of large numbers of people are a strange definition of "private". Or do you mean "apolitical"?
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Old 11-20-2011, 05:25 PM   #146
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In any case I really can't believe "keeping it private". Any social group that wields a lot of potential influence by definition will inevitably use that influence for it's own purposes. In fact any social group period.
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Old 11-20-2011, 05:29 PM   #147
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Oh, you mean, "people at the top". I missed that. Yes I would half agree with that; they would try to separate it from their office at least officially.

That is kind of what I had in mind when I posited that an Emperor who believed in a given religion would attend services using one of his lower ranking titles in the manner in which he sometimes attends the Moot.
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Old 11-20-2011, 06:06 PM   #148
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Separation of Church and State is one of the things I believe the Imperium would have inherited from the Terran Confederation. But quite apart from the cultural heritage, I think an Imperial state church would sound the "local autonomy" alarm bells on far too many member worlds to be practical. So if there is a prominent church on Capital (quite likely), it's activities would be strictly not funded in any way by the Imperium. (What Imperial nobles do with their private funds is their own business).

Maybe there's a College of Pontifexes made up of the heads of the major churches on Capital to deal with matters of faith.


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Old 11-20-2011, 08:13 PM   #149
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Originally Posted by Hans Rancke-Madsen View Post
Separation of Church and State is one of the things I believe the Imperium would have inherited from the Terran Confederation. But quite apart from the cultural heritage, I think an Imperial state church would sound the "local autonomy" alarm bells on far too many member worlds to be practical. So if there is a prominent church on Capital (quite likely), it's activities would be strictly not funded in any way by the Imperium. (What Imperial nobles do with their private funds is their own business).

Maybe there's a College of Pontifexes made up of the heads of the major churches on Capital to deal with matters of faith.


Hans
I would agree there wouldn't be an established church. However sooner or later ethical decisions are going to come up and their has to be some framework. It does not have to be official but it has to be generally understood, and it does not have to be religious as such, but it probably would be encompassed in some philosophical framework.


Religion, I think, has several components:

A. Metaphysical assumptions: Not necessarily requiring a deity or similar figure but requiring statements about the nature of the universe.

B. Ethical assumptions: it can be both underestimated and overestimated the similarities between religions. To a large degree the difference is in prioritizing.

C. Custom. Traditions, ceremony, etc. This comes by habit or as a commandment from on high, or both, deciding which is not our concern. These are patterns of behavior that highlight religion, but are not considered morally necessary so much as a symbol of identity. All social groups of any kind have these.

The Imperium would necessarily have B and C. It probably wouldn't have A. They need not be officially established but they would exist.
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Old 11-20-2011, 08:42 PM   #150
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Astromancer-


I suggest that you read more about Hamilton. He attacked Jefferson for T.J.s irreligion. Hamilton wanted a more Christian, not less Christian, nation. He proposed the creation of a Christian Constitutional Society.

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