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  • What's your ideal society?

    Ok we know that Creation has problems. The Realm is... ok-ish, but there's the aristocracy, the class gap, the religion, etc... In fact, every place in the area can be called flawed or have issues in some areas. This is on purpose, because it's an rpg game.

    Curious though. Considering the things in Creation (Exalts, rogue gods, The Fae, The Dead, deadly megafauna, the lack of widescale infrastructure) what would be your ideal society, if you had a chance to try and build one? Consider that you're an Exalt (of any kind).

  • #2
    Originally posted by Accelerator View Post
    Ok we know that Creation has problems. The Realm is... ok-ish, but there's the aristocracy, the class gap, the religion, etc... In fact, every place in the area can be called flawed or have issues in some areas. This is on purpose, because it's an rpg game.
    The religion ain't half bad as long as you are not a celestial Exalt or some local deity profiteering from a "prayer racket" of sorts through abusing one's purview. While it is slanted in favor of Dragon-blooded authority, it does have something of a mandate of heaven/rightful rulership worldview baked in, meaning that immaculate monks will not always rubberstamp whatever dynasts and in a number of cases have been the first to gather the people in peasant rebellions against them.

    Originally posted by Accelerator View Post
    Curious though. Considering the things in Creation (Exalts, rogue gods, The Fae, The Dead, deadly megafauna, the lack of widescale infrastructure) what would be your ideal society, if you had a chance to try and build one? Consider that you're an Exalt (of any kind).
    Well, my ideal society would be a somewhat egalitarian one, what kind of runs counter to "you're an Exalt trying to shape and direct people like so many handcrafted figurines", might be said, making for a peculiar conundrum to work around in the first place, i guess.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Baaldam View Post

      The religion ain't half bad as long as you are not a celestial Exalt or some local deity profiteering from a "prayer racket" of sorts through abusing one's purview. While it is slanted in favor of Dragon-blooded authority, it does have something of a mandate of heaven/rightful rulership worldview baked in, meaning that immaculate monks will not always rubberstamp whatever dynasts and in a number of cases have been the first to gather the people in peasant rebellions against them.



      Well, my ideal society would be a somewhat egalitarian one, what kind of runs counter to "you're an Exalt trying to shape and direct people like so many handcrafted figurines", might be said, making for a peculiar conundrum to work around in the first place, i guess.
      That's funny. Mine too.

      That's actually one of the things I'm trying to ask here. (Darn it, it didn't get through again). We all (I hope) prize the egalitarianism of the 21st century, flawed though it is. And well, most things in Creation fly in the face of that. So my question here is that considering what you are and what's in Creation, how'll you try to... 'fix' it?

      Unless part of your view is that you can't use your superpowers to warp human societies like clay.

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      • #4
        The pithy answer is, I wouldn't try to build an ideal society, just try to fix problems on an ad hoc basis and advance "technology" (which covers both mortal ability to engineer and magic) while leaving social decisions up to communities, and ideally I'd try to preserve them as decentralized separate communities making their own decisions, through something like their traditional hierarchies and "evolved" institutions. Anything that would sort of involve remaking groups of people into shared nations and societies and imposing a new social hierarchy on them or remaking their institutions - like a new bureaucracy of education and merits - is just something I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole. The sort of world of diverse societies and city states without overarching hierarchy or hegemony or government, and with diverse cultural identities without a single shared cultural identity, that Exalted presents in the Scavenger Lands and Threshold is already a fair bit closer to an ideal world in some respects than our reality.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Accelerator View Post
          Unless part of your view is that you can't use your superpowers to warp human societies like clay.
          You definitely can use them that way with comical use - the question is if it's a just or morally right thing to do. And most of times i would say, definitely not, at least by our standards.

          All of that said, it's perfectly possible, even probable i'd say, for a character to come from a personal & cultural background with moral standards quite different and even outright counter to our own contemporary sensibilities. So i'd say "where would your character's ethics & morals stand in relation to your own" is the first spot to stop and think about things a little.


          But overall, i think Ghostread gives a decent enough answer on the subject of how to go at perhaps tackling such an issue.
          Last edited by Baaldam; 09-12-2021, 06:22 AM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Baaldam View Post
            Well, my ideal society would be a somewhat egalitarian one, what kind of runs counter to "you're an Exalt trying to shape and direct people like so many handcrafted figurines", might be said, making for a peculiar conundrum to work around in the first place, i guess.
            Maybe the character in question could try to just talk to people and develop ideas with compromise and consensus, while building useful systems and institutions that will bring over willing voluntary participation.

            It's only a conundrum if one starts out with the assumption that the Exalted treat people in that manner as a matter of course.

            Jeez, look at the chapter fictions of Fangs at the Gate, for a start.


            I have approximate knowledge of many things.
            Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

              Maybe the character in question could try to just talk to people and develop ideas with compromise and consensus, while building useful systems and institutions that will bring over willing voluntary participation.

              It's only a conundrum if one starts out with the assumption that the Exalted treat people in that manner as a matter of course.
              They do not, but there's considerable conceptual space in the toolkit of all of them to do so. Let's not be disingenuous and admit the potential for all too easy abuse is in the mechanics already. Even social skills Excellencies with their capacity to enhance one's capacities at convincing and manipulation can be a little too close to taking advantage of confidence man tricks in some ways.

              There are ways to avoid the (many) pittfalls, but it requires an active and constant effort on its part. It's a temptation very different from the one Integrity charms might serve as defense against.


              And thinking "how does an exalt build up an ideal society" can be a very easy starting step into blindly going into that slippery slope.

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              • #8
                So...

                I believe in consent.

                I believe that human beings own themselves. I believe that right and wrong exist. I believe that reality exists. I believe in consent.

                If a human being wants to play a game of tag with another human being, and that other person agrees, then the two consenting adults can do what they like. If the other person does not consent, then there is no inherent "right" to force them to play tag against their will.

                No exceptions. People have the right to make unwise decisions for themselves. No-one has the right to use violence or the threat of violence to force someone to do something else.

                Human beings do more as a society than as individuals. Lets say you are really good at fishing and at making chairs. There's only 24 hours in a day, so you could spend half your time fishing and the other half making chairs... but you'd be more productive if you spent all your time fishing and someone else spent their time making chairs. Even if that person wasn't as good at making chairs as you, because you could focus on fishing and they could focus on chairs, you'd produce more working together than trying to do everything yourself.

                I believe that people should have the right to be entirely selfish and not help others. But if they do so, they need to face the consequences -- if you don't help others, why should they help you? Of course, if people consent to help you anyway, that's between you and them, it's none of my business.

                I believe people should help others. I believe that when you spend your time and effort giving someone else something they want (be it a good or service) then you should be rewarded. Let's say you should get Good Boy Points (GBP). How many GBP should you get? Well let's wrap back up to that first statement: "I believe in consent" -- you and the person you are helping should agree how many GBP you get.

                GBP are a measure of how much you've helped other people. You can't, in my perfect society, beat people up and take their GBP. You get GBP by devoting your time/effort/resources to helping other people, consentually. What do you do with GBP? You trade them in to other people to get the things you want.

                You spend all day catching fish. You trade your fish to someone who wants fish for 10 GBP. You take your GBP to your friend who has been making chairs all day, and you trade 5 GBP for a chair.

                Peaceful people, voluntarily helping each other out.

                No God-Kings, no Empress, no tribute, no violent genocide of Celestials, no mandatory state religion, no slavery. Just people deciding for themselves what is best for them.

                Best Exalt for this, of course, is the Dawn Caste Solar. :-p
                Last edited by JohnDoe244; 09-13-2021, 02:57 PM.


                Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Baaldam View Post

                  They do not, but there's considerable conceptual space in the toolkit of all of them to do so. Let's not be disingenuous and admit the potential for all too easy abuse is in the mechanics already. Even social skills Excellencies with their capacity to enhance one's capacities at convincing and manipulation can be a little too close to taking advantage of confidence man tricks in some ways.

                  There are ways to avoid the (many) pittfalls, but it requires an active and constant effort on its part. It's a temptation very different from the one Integrity charms might serve as defense against.


                  And thinking "how does an exalt build up an ideal society" can be a very easy starting step into blindly going into that slippery slope.
                  That slippery slope starts way earlier, actually. It's not about being an exalt. It's about the (inherent in the question) belief that the ideal society is up to you to shape. The moment you start going on that road, you unconsciously (or consciously) agree to the fact that your actions will deny the right of at least some other people to have the society they want. And no, you're not going to reach a consensus about that.

                  Of course, you, being an exalt, with all the power advantages it gives you, will only make that worse.

                  Notice also, that, while being an exalt will make you o be able to design and imagine ideas on often much grander scale, and will also help you in making those ideas a reality, at the core you will still be a human. An imperfect being, whose solutions to problems will also be imperfect, and limited by something exaltation does not really offer - wisdom.
                  In fact, i'm quite sure that the more "ideal" the world such an exalt wanted to create would be in theory, the worse it would turn out if actually made a reality.





                  The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.

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                  • #10
                    duplicate post due to some forum issues



                    The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.

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                    • #11
                      ((I've somehow created four duplicate posts? Cool. Attempting to delete/edit the erroneous posts, please disregard my posts after this first initial one))

                      Let's start with a base assumption about how the world works. I do believe people and the right of consent is sacred, but I don't put any stock in the idea of self-governance as a practical concern. As an ideal, of course; but in practice, one person's definition of "self-governance according to their own free will" is going to end up with them oppressing someone else's free will. If you don't believe me, try the practical experience of going to a Home Owners Association meeting sometime to see who quickly we all want to set ourselves up like dictators.

                      As far as the way I understand government and culture and power, I'm basing a lot of my assumptions on Jared Diamond's Guns Germs and Steel. Basically, it's a consequentialist reading of power; and it's entirely possible folks will disagree with that on its face. Anyway...

                      Assuming you're trying to build a society in a lab and not considering the +1,001 ways even a Chosen would have to compromise to take their society from soil to structure, the first question you have to answer is what to do about the Chosen.

                      In that vein, representative democracy is obviously out. The Chosen will never have enough 'skin in the game' to submit to representative democracy because their power (unlike power in the real world) outstrips the contextual circumstances of the societies they're born in. This isn't to say they're outside things like culture, history and circumstance; in many ways they are outsized versions of this thing. In the real world, it takes generations before the small ripples of individual action create real change. With a few excellencies in hand, the ability for an individual Chosen to change society is supercharged.

                      So what you need to have, right out the gate, is a system that recognizes Creation exists in a state of around a thousand active nuclear warheads that cannot be deactivated or disarmed. The best you're going to get is activation deterrence, so a system needs to make the Chosen feel like they have no reason to ever run counter to the system in place, all the while the system in place does all it can to keep them constrained.

                      A big part of that constraint is making sure that the Celestial Chosen do not have carte blanche to rule over anyone who doesn't "Choose" to be ruled over by them. The First Age Realm in general, and the Solar Deliberative in particular had this problem. They carved up Creation into X number of holdings and told the Celestial Host that wherever their name is on the map gives them free rein to rule as they wish. This led to abominable circumstances like Paragon or the umpteen-thousand other atrocities you can find detailed in the 1st Edition Caste books. So, you must get away from the idea of geography as a system of authority in constraining the Chosen.

                      This means our society is going to have no countries. I realize this is basically impossible within the current context of Creation right now, but if we're imagining as close to ideal as possible I'm throwing out any of the possible assumptions, and geographic borders of authority were a huge source of problems. Private property and a centralized "state" authority still exist (obviously) but kilometers do not measure the authority of one governing body or another. For lack of a better term I'll use "Realm" to identify this governing body.

                      Next, we need to provide a way for Chosen who have no desire (or express no wisdom in) ruling to express themselves in ways that don't damage the rest of our society. To meet this end, we set up a caste system whereby proportional representation can check the authority of the Chosen. So, each Celestial Chosen gets an automatically apportioned structure (although not section) of Creation that it may govern, but that amount of governance is strictly controlled by two things. First, the amount of authority afforded to one of the Celestial Chosen is limited to the amount of time they spend within the (name pending) governing body of Creation. If you want to change anything, you must engage with the governing body as it currently exists. Yes, this reduces the ability of the Realm to act dynamically to a crisis; but the sheer miraculous power of the Chosen makes the possibility of such a crisis significantly less. Essentially, if the power of the Chosen is good for anything, it's good for creating base institutions that will ably handle unforeseen consequences.

                      Second, and more importantly, the actions of each Celestial representative is held in check by a number of Terrestrial representatives whose vote together count in equal weight to a given individual Celestial. While this has the unfortunate consequence of limiting the representation of Terrestrial interests, it helps ensure that the sheer social power of the Celestial Exalted does not simply override a single Terrestrial counterpart. Regional power exists solely in the hands of a mortal governing body that exists separately from the Realm. The ideal reason for the existence of this body isn't to provide real power to mortals, but rather to provide a place where all the banal drudgery of day-to-day governing can take place without the interference of the Chosen.

                      The Realm, which governs the Chosen, has a separate system of commerce, property, authority; etc. The Realm may offer its beneficence to a given mortal(s), but cannot exercise power or authority over mortals in whole or in part. Mortals that wish to bring complaints to their government against the Realm are appointed advocates of the same standing to hear their case. Now, obviously, the problem here is that any Chosen can easily flex almost no power to quash the complaints of hundreds of mortals; let alone a single one. Unfortunately but unavoidably we can't let the perfect be the enemy of the good, so I'm not sure if there's a great way to fix this one.

                      The Realm handles matters of governance fitted to the stations of their Caste. Since we've already removed the nation-state as a global (err, Creational) actor, the military is handled exclusively by the Chosen and maintains a constant state of expansive warfare into the Wyle; ad infinitum. Mortal individuals who wish to sign up for the military may do so for economic gain or distinction, but it's 100% voluntary.

                      A similar system is created for the management of cults, experimental sciences, creation-spanning sorcerous workings and the policing of fellow Chosen who do not abide by the limitations of the Realm. The idea here is clear, mortals and Exalts cannot be equal and any society that attempts to posit this will invariably fail. Instead, we encourage ways for the Chosen to police themselves and set up structures that at least allow mortals to volunteer their interactions with the Chosen. No, this creates no defense against Chosen manipulating societies or creating influence that drives mortals their way, but at least in this way we create the illusion of consent that keeps society going.

                      Lastly, and a cornerstone of the society, each Celestial Exalted swears Eclipse-backed oaths to rules of conduct that guarantee non-interference with the mortal government and the rights (free will, travel, destiny) and granted to those folks within it. It's not perfect, but it constrains the Celestial Chosen to behavior fitting their separate station within Realm politics. Put simply, we can't stop the Chosen from doing terrible things; but we can give mortals some limited choice in regards to their level of involvement.

                      - -

                      All this of course works exclusively within the constraints of an ideal society "within the constraints of Creation as we understand it". This means it has the benefits of things like virtually unlimited resources and the miracles of sorcery, but the costs of volatile and unpredictable walking-talking weapons of mass destruction. I wouldn't say my ideas here are perfect or solve all the problems (obviously, can't be done with an hours worth of typing and the devil is in the details) but I think it correctly understands the problem of an ideal society in Creation and makes some positive steps towards how such a society might operate.


                      https://exalted-golden-shackles-iron...dianportal.com Visit Golden Shackles, Iron Crowns; a 3rd Edition Exalted Campaign ongoing since 2014

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                      • #12
                        Three duplicate posts were made in error.


                        https://exalted-golden-shackles-iron...dianportal.com Visit Golden Shackles, Iron Crowns; a 3rd Edition Exalted Campaign ongoing since 2014

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                        • #13
                          Three duplicate posts were made in error.


                          https://exalted-golden-shackles-iron...dianportal.com Visit Golden Shackles, Iron Crowns; a 3rd Edition Exalted Campaign ongoing since 2014

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                          • #14
                            Three duplicate posts were made in error.


                            https://exalted-golden-shackles-iron...dianportal.com Visit Golden Shackles, Iron Crowns; a 3rd Edition Exalted Campaign ongoing since 2014

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