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Old 11-23-2011, 11:36 AM   #221
jason taylor
 
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Default Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)

For one thing, the vast majority would look on the subsector Duke, let alone the Emperor as a distant figure, rather the way Russian serfs thought of the Czar.
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Old 11-23-2011, 12:06 PM   #222
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Default Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)

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Originally Posted by combatmedic View Post
A very brief, and necessarilly incomplete and imperfect, summation of 'Imperial Values' as seen in the late/modern Imperium-

  • Glory to the Emperor!
  • The autocratic powers of the Emperor are as necessary and just as the autocratic powers of a starship captain.
  • The Emperor enjoys the Blessing of God/Mandate of Heaven (not universal, but many people do feel this way)
  • Social equality of ranks and station is unnatural and undesirable; hierarchy is natural and good. God did NOT make all men equal.
  • Blood will tell.
  • Personal loyalty is tremendously important.
  • A man's word is his bond.
  • Cowards are despicable.
  • Duelling is a fine old tradition.
  • A gentleman always pays his debts.
  • The profession of arms in an honorable one.
  • Humans are the most important race in Charted Space, but it's rude to trumpet this around the other sophonts. They've made contrbutions too, often under human leadership.
That very nicely sums up my views of "imperial culture" as drawn from CT/MT/T4 canon sources.

It's worth noting that Dulinor, pro-equality and pro-democracy, was the revolutionary in the OTU... Nobles being "just people with titles" really is a TNE & Modern Europe thing.
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Old 11-23-2011, 01:15 PM   #223
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Default Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)

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Originally Posted by combatmedic View Post
A very brief, and necessarilly incomplete and imperfect, summation of 'Imperial Values' as seen in the late/modern Imperium-
I've had a closer look at this list, and here is my version:

  • Honor to the Emperor!
  • The autocratic powers of the Emperor are as necessary and just as the autocratic powers of a starship captain.
  • An Emperor is necessary to run an interstellar state the size of the Imperium. Hence #2 above.
  • Social equality of ranks and station is a contradiction in terms; hierarchy is natural and good as long as social mobility allows the gifted to rise. Inequality before the law, OTOH, is a Great Evil. Nobles should not be able to misbehave and hide behind their rank. And they're not allowed to. No, really! We don't stand for that sort of thing, ever! Well, hardly ever...
  • Training and education allow nobles to shine in their role as caretakers of the Imperium. The few bad apples are invariably removed by an administrative system that has been honed for over a millenium. Well, almost invariably.
  • Personal loyalty is tremendously important.
  • A man's word is his bond.
  • Cowards are despicable. Scoundrels are disreputable. Brutes are brutal. Savages lack culture. Etc. etc..
  • Duelling is a fine old tradition when not abused.
  • A gentleman always pays his debts.
  • The profession of arms in an honorable one.
  • The Imperium stands for equality between all races. Humans are a majority in the Imperium, so it's no more than natural that they dominate it. Nothing questionable in that. Really. Other races have just the same chances as humans to make it in the Imperium. No, it's true! Humans don't have any special advantages. Nope! None at all!


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Old 11-23-2011, 06:43 PM   #224
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Default Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)

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Originally Posted by ak_aramis View Post
That very nicely sums up my views of "imperial culture" as drawn from CT/MT/T4 canon sources.

It's worth noting that Dulinor, pro-equality and pro-democracy, was the revolutionary in the OTU... Nobles being "just people with titles" really is a TNE & Modern Europe thing.
Yup, that's how I see Dulinor.

I based my bullet points on CT and MT materials, and I used T4 sources as historical notes. I ignored TNE, as well as any parts of GT that seemed 'off' to me.

Last edited by combatmedic; 11-23-2011 at 07:03 PM.
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Old 11-23-2011, 06:44 PM   #225
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Why copy losers? Cromwell and Washington are much better models.
Cromwell got the treatment in death that he should have recieved in life.

Washington would have made a fine king.
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Old 11-23-2011, 07:11 PM   #226
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At no point did I claim the Romans lacked a State Religion. I simply pointed out their notorious cynicism about it.
That 'notorious cynicism' has possibly been overplayed by later generations of Christians, who were not so likely to understand and approve of religious pluralism and syncretism. We might as easily talk about 'Roman tolerance' as 'Roman cynicism'- but I think either approach must come up short at least part of the time. The pagan worldview was different from our worldview, and it wasn't unchanging or unifrom, to judge from the surviving sources.

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Old 11-24-2011, 07:13 AM   #227
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On a par with 20th century perhaps. But they have left the twentieth century far behind.

And yes people on Capital would be far to sophisticated to worship the Emperor and in any case many religions and even many emperors would consider this blasphemous hubris. The point was that I think imagining a large portion of the Imperial population having an outlook more similar to pre-moderns then to ivy-league graduates in the twentieth century is not implausible either. In the eighteenth century by comparison, large portions of the upper classes had an outlook on life that is surprisingly similar to that of urbanized moderns at times; while peasants seem to have a medieval outlook simultaneously.

I certainly don't see Strephon supporting a personal cult as such. I could see it happening. Furthermore there is a lot of space between a Mark Twain-ish cynicism and skepticism, and Emperor worship as such.
Edmund Burke had no trouble in seeing Marie Antoinette as both a childish idiot and a heroine of chivalric romance at the same time. I doubt many on these boards would find Burke unsophistocated. I imagine that there's a lot of doublethink in the Imperium. The Emperor would be both an Uncle Sam-like image of the Imperium and its benefits and a mortal man.

Also remember in the here and now, many British people, who ought to know better, think that Elizabeth II cares about them personally. Doubtless its the same in any stable monarchy.
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Old 11-24-2011, 07:18 AM   #228
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Cromwell got the treatment in death that he should have recieved in life.

Washington would have made a fine king.
But the real point is, each man forced lasting changes. They won, the Jacobins were losers. Heck present day French political culture owes as much to the American and British revolutions as to its own.
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Old 11-24-2011, 09:09 AM   #229
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Default Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)

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Edmund Burke had no trouble in seeing Marie Antoinette as both a childish idiot and a heroine of chivalric romance at the same time. I doubt many on these boards would find Burke unsophistocated. I imagine that there's a lot of doublethink in the Imperium. The Emperor would be both an Uncle Sam-like image of the Imperium and its benefits and a mortal man.

Also remember in the here and now, many British people, who ought to know better, think that Elizabeth II cares about them personally. Doubtless its the same in any stable monarchy.
Natuarally. That probably would be how people from sophisticated and populous worlds tend to view the Emperor. Doublethink isn't quite the word for what you are describing though; the Uncle Sam analogy is rather amiable as propaganda goes. Think of it more that Strephon is a man and The Emperor is a costume. It is not an attempt to fool anyone about the Emperor's mortal status, merely an attempt to appeal to the paternalistic instincts in sophants, an appeal which is recognized for what it is and played along with.

The point is that his image would vary from planet to planet. All the same, folk-superstition is meant to be a real aspect IMTU, like other pre-modern traits because I am not making an assumption of linear social progress according to enlightenment values. In fact the Imperium in OTU is very unmodern. The people there accept hierarchy in a way that twenty-first century westerners assuredly would not; Imperial Nobles are not usually the sort that regard commoners as livestock(at least not openly) but neither are they just hereditary museum curators and parade directors. The people in OTU accept danger and loss of life with a fatalism that is certainly un-twenty-first century. Warfare in OTU means real bloodfests not the punitive expeditions of today that get pretentiously puffed up until any stomping of a petty warlord is either World War II, Vietnam, or the American Revolution. Between major wars, disorder is taken for granted and there is no state monopoly of violence nor is there intended to be. All of these traits are definitely more pre-modern then modern. MTU is based on the assumption that civilization in it's present stage exists on sufferance of overwhelming wealth and military might gathered several generations before, much of it by very unmodern people and that the stress of surviving in space with competitors of equal strength would encourage a regress to attitudes more like our ancestors then our own. In many cases this would include sincerely believed folk-superstitions. It is NOT posited that that would be the general opinion among the better educated. It is posited that such beliefs exist congruently with technology and can even be found in people and places you wouldn't expect("do you believe that?""Are you sure you should be handling advanced equipment?")which can make for interesting paradoxes. The image of Strephon being an "uncle sam figure" would probably be the one officially encouraged by the Imperium and believed in by the rich and powerful; and of course by palace servants who are necessarily in contact with the Emperor's more prosaic aspects. However there would be some in backwater worlds who would actually believe that Strephon can heal with his hands and that flowers grow at Iphigenia's feet. And not necessarily only in backwater worlds.

A related point is that the Emperor would come across differently to different cultures. To humans he would be presented as sort of a grandfatherly figure. To Aslan he would be thought of rather like a Ko. And to Vargr like a charismatic chief. Who knows how Droyne would think of him as.
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Old 11-25-2011, 12:36 AM   #230
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But the real point is, each man forced lasting changes. They won, the Jacobins were losers. Heck present day French polotical culture owes as much to the American and British revolutions as to its own.
I don't know about that last bit. The Jacobins implemented radical secularism/laicite (insert accent aigu), reordered the provinces, centralized the gov't to a greater extent than ever the kings had done, and generally changed France a lot. Later attempts to roll all that back were only partially successful.

I think we also have to consider Jacobin influences in America and Britain.

All-in-all, they were important.

Evil, of course, but important.
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