Lit How could the Empire have changed for the better?

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Alixen, Sep 29, 2013.

  1. Bib Fartuna Jedi Grand Master

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    I wonder if the Nazi Remnant under Grand Admiral Karl Donitz got ... "better"? [face_thinking]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Admiral_Dönitz
  2. DarthJenari Force Ghost

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    It was alright in my book. The Old Man of the Empire did good. Slavery outlawed, anit-alien tendencies frowned upon, he led the Remnant into a truce with the New Republic and it joined the Galactic Alliance later on as well. He also frowned on the idea of a government having secret police. The GAG headed by Jacen Solo eventually led to Pellaeon withdrawing the Remnant from the Alliance.

    Indeed I feel he, as a person, nicely sums up the Empire's best traits.
    Last edited by DarthJenari, Sep 29, 2013
  3. Bib Fartuna Jedi Grand Master

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    What was the purpose then of the Imperial Remnant, if it was basically the New Republic in all but name?

    Two sides of the same coin? Coke and Pepsi???
  4. DarthJenari Force Ghost

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    As seen in LOTF and later FOTJ, it changed some of its policies, but it still traits of the Empire. Anti-alien tendencies were frowned upon, but many still didn't like aliens, and that's something that had to be lived with as that's how the Empire was when it was first created. The Moffs still had some control over things, though how much is up for debate and doesn't really make sense the way its written. I think of the Remnant under Pellaeon as the Galactic Empire-Light.
    Last edited by DarthJenari, Sep 29, 2013
  5. Bib Fartuna Jedi Grand Master

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    Had to laugh at that.

    Also, are you suggesting that Pellaeon's Empire is the salad version, compared to the steak option of Palpatine? [face_dancing]
  6. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    Pelly made a point about how the entire Remnant was a garden, and he was the gardner who culled weak or undesirable plants. Sounds absolutely chilling. It's also worth pointing out that Pelly was the guy in charge of the Remnant's dishonorable and faithless attempt to conquer Adumar after the Adumari rejected them. Pelly only made peace with the New Republic because he knew he would be destroyed if he didn't. It wasn't out of the kindness of his heart.

    And sure, he had a distaste for secret police -- he prefers his dictatorship to be military rather than civilian.
  7. DarthJenari Force Ghost

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    Just saying lol at different times it's like Pellaeon can do whatever he wants or he needs the support of the Moffs to do something.


    In a way yes. [:D] It's dropped some of the darker traits of the Empire, or at least cut the fat off of them.
  8. Bib Fartuna Jedi Grand Master

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    Quoting someone else:

    India was divided between the Mughal empire in the north and lots of Hindu kingdoms in the south. The British played these principalities off each other and made allies of the others, so that Britain unified India by about 1850. This was a tremendous development, as it was the first time the mass of the sub-continent had been politically unified since about 800 A.D. The superior attitude of the British convinced many Indians to unite in driving the British out, and in achieving independence. In addition, India recognized that if it wanted to communicate with the world, that it had to adopt English as one of its two official languages, which it did. The British also brought humanitarian efforts to India such as vaccination against diseases, public sanitation and clean water supplies, as well as developing a road and railroad network. Britain also outlawed slavery and the caste system.

  9. Bib Fartuna Jedi Grand Master

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    So, you are arguing that Pellaeon is not a salad, however, perhaps an eye fillet? ;)
  10. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    Clearly a polite suggestion doesn't get the message across.

    Dude, if you're going to take a controversial position, you should have the guts to own it instead of hiding behind someone else's words. It's also bad form, because you're unable to actually defend any of the claims made because you don't know if any of them are true.

    The British were desperate to use any means necessary to preserve their colonial possessions, including inflaming a religious animosity that wasn't a real issue before their occupation. They also "united" the peninsula by a policy of divide and conquer: causing different princely states to wage war against each other and then swooping in to pick up the pieces. Except afterwards, they were content to continue exploiting religious and ethnic animosities to avoid people uniting against them. Your argument that India is a democracy now so the ends justify the means beggars comprehension, especially as that wasn't the slightest intent of the British.

    It's also tremendously off-topic, and also quit double posting. You know better.
    Last edited by GrandAdmiralJello, Sep 29, 2013
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  11. Mechalich Force Ghost

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    See, I firmly believe your understanding (or perhaps characterization) of how the Empire functioned in practice is outdated and frankly flat-out wrong. So it's largely pointless to have this argument.

    Your second paragraph undercuts your first. The Empire did indeed not care about the actions of its member worlds, or even whole sectors, so long as resources were provided to the military. The Republic did care. It believed in things like the universal rights of sentients and so forth and even certain points of commercial policy and it attempted to enforce those social and moral dictates - most often via the Jedi. The Republic was far more intrusive into the lives of individual planets than the Empire was ever intended to be (in practice the Empire deviated massively from its theoretical underpinnings of course).

    The crux of this statement is saying that legal technicality and popular opinion trump moral virtue. That is a terrible viewpoint to hold. The Empire was evil. Period. Star Wars celestial mechanics make it very clear that the above four-word statement is, from an in-universe perspective, objective truth, not opinion.

    The popular support is based on lies, deception, and the brutal suppression of any and all dissenting viewpoints. The legitimacy is based in legal hair-splitting, not any sound philosophical foundation. 'I convince you that I should be Emperor so when you proclaim me Emperor I deserve to be Emperor' is not legitimacy, it's just intimidation. There's also corruption, since Palpatine's original election was not democratic, but bought, stolen, and threatened into being through the manipulations of Plageuis.

    Does the Remnant have many virtues, no, but it maintained stability and unity of law in its territories, which, from 19 ABY onward were at least nominally members by choice. Additionally, it is arguable that by stressing professionalism in conjunction with military power, the Imperial Remnant found a mechanism to restrict abuses, though this may have only been possible due to its minority, imperiled status.

    The true issue of what the Remnant accomplished is one of comparison not against the ideal of a robust, highly responsive and representative democracy, but of the democracy that can be created in the GFFA. Everything we've seen in the EU suggests that a strong democratic state cannot control the galaxy, or at best can only do so in the presence of a powerful outside antagonist. If the democracy is always going to be weak and ineffective, then there may very well be an appeal to pragmatism. The in-universe appeal of the Imperial Remnant resembles, to me, the protestors in Egypt who demanded the army conduct a coup against the Muslim Brotherhood.
  12. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

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    Responding to someone else, and you, this is a really terrible argument. You only lay out about three points: the unification of India, the adoption of English as an official language, and he "modernization" of India. However, most of them are poor. Your preference for English is purely normative. It also falls prey to a sort of chicken-and-egg problem. A principle reason English was so versatile is that the English conquered so much of the world and forced their language on the subjugated populations. You are therefore saying that it was good that the British conquered because it help people to operate in a world where the British conquered extensively. Think about that one a moment.

    Turning to your next point, you praise the modernization brought by the British. This, at least, is an unambiguous good. But it is only really meaningful if it represents an alternative path to what would've happened without their influence. I don't see where that's the case. Other nations that maintained their independence, like Russia and later Ethiopia, aggressively pursued efforts to catch up with the advances of Europe. They didn't need a military occupation to start updating transportation systems, healthcare, and eliminating systems like slavery or peonage. So if this can so clearly be done without resorting to violent military occupation, economic exploitation, and cultural decimation, what exactly is the argument for doing it this way? Does it really make sense to count imperialism as a positive because it did less effectively and with more upheaval what others were already accomplishing on their own?

    Finally, your only real argument that is at all particular to India is that the British "unified" the country. But is this actually a net positive? Did the erosion of independent Muslim power bases on the road to this unification really help the situation in-country? Might that not have contributed to the relative feeling of disenfranchisement Muslims had as the country moved towards independence, ultimately boiling over into the bloody division of India and Pakistan? Is the current political configuration of India ideal? Because a poorly managed or sub-optimal unification isn't better than none at all.

    Ultimately, your arguments rested largely on asserting that events of questionable significance or value were unambiguously good. Closer examination reveals a significantly more complicated picture. Even judging by the supposed "merits" alone, without tallying all the costs of colonization, I don't think your argument is a good one.
  13. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    Until Vergere was revealed to be at least Sith-associated, the use of similar gardening metaphors by her and Jacen was not criticized- but seen as a sign that they're willing to "root out" a genuine threat to the public of the galaxy- the Vong- without descending into evil in the process.
  14. Bib Fartuna Jedi Grand Master

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    Okay, I know this is a hard one, because it is hypothetical, but please describe / imagine an India (current day), that never had a British influence, or occupation.

    One point, I don't believe it would be a unified nation. Perhaps at best, a hodge podge version of the European Union, a loose Federation of nation states. Perhaps internecine warfare would have continued to the current day.

    PS: Yes, this is wildly off the original thread topic.
  15. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    I'll reply to Mech later, but really quickly -- just because they both refer to gardeners doesn't mean they're referring to the same thing. Pelly was clearly talking about the social structure of the Remnant, and its organizing principles when he said that "the inferior bud soon feels the strength of my pinch!"
  16. DarthJenari Force Ghost

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    I don't think anyone said that the Remnant was all rainbows and sunshine. The point is that it was still toned down from its Death Star days.
  17. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

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    I don't see how one could, as there are way too many variables. In any case, though, it's irrelevant. You told us what you thoughts the benefits of colonization were. You can feel free to add to that list. But if the benefits you name don't turn out to have been very substantial, you can't argue that the colonization itself was beneficial. That's just logically true.

    Yes, you already made this point last time. I'll ask again, why is this such an overwhelming positive? Rwanda may well not have been a single nation if not for colonization. Did that turn out great? The USSR couldn't have been one huge nation if not for the power disparity between Russian and all other participants. But, in fact, that arrangement was hugely exploitative of what are now the post-Soviet republics. They shamelessly extracted materiel and manpower. Was this a "better" set up for Asia? Why are you acting like glomming a bunch of things together into larger states is always good?
  18. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    My main argument is that it is basically pointless to be in the Remnant unless you love it. I guess I'll preview my intended response to Mech here or just let this substitute for it, but essentially my thesis is this: the Galactic Empire, warts and all, is the galactic government. It's the same galactic government that has been around for 25,000 years. It's what you've got. That's the biggest thing it has going for it. You don't have to be a COMPNOR jackbooted thug (in fact, let's hope you're not, because they're awful), you don't have to be a high aristocrat or courtier, you don't have to come from a military family, and you don't have to be particularly inspired by the Emperor to be an Imperial -- odds are, anywhere you live, you just are.

    The Remnant doesn't have that, because the New Republic is the unquestionable galactic government after the final destruction of Byss. To be a citizen of the Imperial Remnant, you have to unquestionably prefer its system. Especially after the Pelly-Gavrisom Accords where -- as Mech pointed out -- folks who stayed in the Remnant actually did so willingly, at least in theory. Consequently, examining the actual philosophy of the Remnant is more important here because only people who like it support it. \

    Every one else, of all stripes, lives in the New Republic: it's the new "default mode." It's the exact opposite during the GCW, where you were only a Rebel if you preferred their ideals. The Order of the Canted Circle -- the most exclusive group in the galaxy, pretty much synonymous with Imperial high society -- operates on Coruscant under the New Republic. Former Imperial Advisors such as Alec Pradeux operate on Coruscant under the New Republic. Much of the former Imperial governing apparatus operates on Coruscant under the New Republic.

    You can be an Imperial Loyalist and not support a thing like the Death Star. But you can't really be a member of the Remnant without approving of Pelly and his dictatorial philosophy.
  19. Bib Fartuna Jedi Grand Master

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    So, according to your logic, the result of the Founding Fathers, and thus the United States of America, is bad?
  20. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

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    Always. ALWAYS. Did you see that word in my post? In the very sentence you highlighted? The penultimate one of my entire post?

    Sometimes combining into a bigger nation-state can be a good thing. Sometimes it isn't. How do you tell the difference? Well, if you're saying it's good, you should be able to point out the specific reasons that it's god. You haven't done that. You just keep repeating that it is. What are you basing this judgment on?
  21. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    Daala's eulogy of Pellaeon in The Essential Guide to Warfare, hints strongly that it was the bad aspects of the old Empire, that Pellaeon was "pruning" from the Imperial Remnant, "saving the Empire from the atrocities with which an unscrupulous few had blackened its name".

    Of course, Daala's view of the Remnant and Pellaeon may be coloured by her own biases.

    Still, it's an interesting possibility, that the only way the Remnant became as "good" as it seemed to the NJO-era and beyond Republic, was because of all Pellaeon's quiet work behind the scenes to eliminate its corruption.
  22. fett 4 Chosen One

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    Your joking right. Russia had Serfdom (which is slavery) and had a huge Empire that pretty much stretched from one end of the globe to another. It's worth reading Tolstoy since he served as an offcer in the Caucasses during that time.

    As for India there was not just the Brtish there, were also the French/Portugese and Dutch too, there were also hundereds of principalties and kingdoms all at war with each other. Before that you had the Mughal Empire. Why do you think there are lighter skinned Indians in the North, that was due to an Invasion of Ayran Settlers who pushed back Indias original inhabitants way back south.
    One of the main reasons during the Mutiny as with the Rani of Jansi for instance was that the British were not going to carry on paying her a stipened which was considered an insult.

    Besides which the USA is hardly perfect. we are in the midst of the war of 1812 and the attempt to conquer Canada. Jefferson (the guy who declared all men equal but kept his own children slaves) boasted that it would be a mere matter of marching.
    You then have the expansion westward both against the various Indian tribes which were pretty much exterminated not conquered and of course Mexico which s why California and New Mexico are part of the USA today.
  23. fett 4 Chosen One

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    Actually if you look at the Roman Empire the opposite is true. the Republic had an oligarchic elite who kept everything including power to themselves. It was Caeser followed by others during Imperial rule that allowed people and peoples outside that elite to benefit and rise within the Empire. It's why contrary to the film Gladiator there was no enthusiasm or desire to return to Republican rule except perhaps for the senetorial elite.
  24. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

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    And which colonial administrator deposed the czar and forced the Russians to abolish serfdom? Was it an appointee of the French? One of the British trading companies? Wait, what, it was Tsar Alexander II, responding to the internal political dynamics of his own country? Well, what about which part of the royal British army forced the Russians to undertake a huge expedition to Europe, hire several technical advisors, started to introduce the idea of merit-based rank, and compulsory childhood education for the nobility? Turns out that was actually Tsar Peter the Great, again making these changes on his own, for the benefit of his own people as driven by internal interests.

    You seem to have completely missed my point about Russia. It was not that it is some model for the whole world. It's that they were able to make the same sort of changes that were attributed to colonialism without having to be colonized. So colonization obviously wasn't an essential ingredient for making this happen.

    What point are you trying to make here? The question was whether British control of India was a good thing. I'm not arguing that a unified French colonial India would have been a better thing. I'm arguing that colonialism, overall, was a a bad idea. That the "benefits" the original poster suggested weren't really substantial. How does this random string of facts about India relate to that?

    What does this have to do with anything? I never said the US was even good or admirable in the first place, let alone "perfect." Thank you for arguing against something I don't think. But yes, American imperialism can be and many times was as bad as that committed by other nations. Mostly because imperialism was not just a benign system that some people were abusing. It was fundamentally a bad idea. Everyone who practiced it ended up doing very bad things. Which is a large part of the reason no one of any decency aspires to it or defends it any longer.
  25. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

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    That's like Palpatine eulogizing Chancellor Valorum.