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  • #31
    Originally posted by HorizonParty2021 View Post
    Is Jack the Ripper a canonical character?
    That there was a "Jack the Ripper" yes. Precisely who they were no.

    By the way, the "Jill the Ripper" theory was around during the original murders.

    But what was her motivation for the murder of a few down on their luck prostitutes HorizonParty2021?
    Last edited by Astromancer; 06-10-2022, 02:49 PM.

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    • #32
      The Whitechapel murders get mentioned just about anytime London comes up in the World of Darkness, even as far back as the original A World of Darkness sourcebook for first edition Vampire 30 years ago.

      One of the more interesting (IMO) takes, at least from a Mage perspective, is still Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell's graphic novel From Hell. (There is a film adaption but it borders on being an adaption-in-name-only.) Aside from the mystic ritual overtones and political conspiracies added to the murders, there's also an occult tour of Victorian London and extremely copious footnotes.

      As for the Victorian Technocracy, one can always look for inspiration from various real world groups, including the Fabian Society, and the writings of its various members (including HG Wells's The Shape of Things to Come), as well as things like Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward (and the curious utopian movement which sprang out of its popularity) and William Morris's News from Nowhere. Also some of the earlier utopian socialist movements of the earlier half of the century, such as France's Saint-Simonianism movement, Auguste Comte's positivism doctrines, and Robert Owen's A New View on Society. (This in addition to stuff like Poe's early detective stories, The Steam Man of the Prairies, The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Gun Club, and whatever Gilded Age robber baron stories interest you.)


      What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
      Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Kakost View Post
        It is important to note that 1984 was written as a critique of the Soviet Union, and that Socialism and Fascism, by the end of the day, are pretty much the same thing with just slight differences.
        Care to share sources? Because Eric Arthur Blair A.K.A George Orwell was a Socialist himself.

        There is no mainstream academic analysis that I've ever heard of in either History, Sociology or Political Science that links Fascism and Socialism in any way, shape or form, neither does their respective political theories hold similarities.

        Now, the study on Authoritarianism and Autocratic governments does cite some major Socialist and all Fascist regimes from the 20th century as examples, but the research does not show a necessary link between political/economical theory and the development of Authoritarian regimes, there having examples of both authoritarian and democratic regimes from all modern political and economical systems, with the sole exception of Fascism, that prescribe authoritarianism directly.

        I only ever saw mentions to Socialism being similar to Fascism in texts written for the general public either by lay people or by fringe theorists that don't have the necessary body of evidence to publish in accepted journals (those journals do publish more fringe ideas if presented with evidence, even if just to provide other researchers with this data for their own conclusions).


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        • #34
          I literally just blue lighted "1984 was written as a critique of the Soviet Union", searched Google with that phrase and the top search result was this article making that claim. Animal Farm is mentioned as having its publication delayed to avoid offending Communist Russia during World War 2, when they were a military ally. I remember both reading Animal Farm and viewing the film as a kid and having it clear in my head that this was about Communism and the Bolshevik Revolution. The fact that Eric Arthur Blair was a Socialist does not preclude him being a critic of Communism, because Communism and Socialism are two different things, although sharing a common origin in the mind of Karl Marx.
          Last edited by HorizonParty2021; 06-11-2022, 08:48 AM.


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          • #35
            Originally posted by HorizonParty2021 View Post
            I literally just blue lighted "1984 was written as a critique of the Soviet Union", searched Google with that phrase and the top search result was this article making that claim. Animal Farm is mentioned as having its publication delayed to avoid offending Communist Russia during World War 2, when they were a military ally. I remember both reading Animal Farm and viewing the film as a kid and having it clear in my head that this was about Communism and the Bolshevik Revolution. The fact that Eric Arthur Blair was a Socialist does not preclude him being a critic of Communism, because Communism and Socialism are two different things, although sharing a common origin in the mind of Karl Marks.
            It was not a critique on Communism, it was a Critique on the Soviet Union. Like you can be a liberal and still critique, lets say, Tatcher's England. His critique was specifically about the turn of events in the USSR under the leadership of Stalin.

            Also, Communism is an Anarchic Utopia where there is no government, with Socialism being a body of theoretical methods to achieve this society through an intermediate state, usually with a heavily controlled government. On top of that Social Democracy is a later development within Socialism advocating for the reform of state institutions to fight inequalities without recourse to non-democratic methods in any way, shape or form and with acceptance of a free market.

            There are more complications and nuance, but those are the basic definitions more broadly accepted today in academy and political theory, derived from the formalization of the terms by Lenin. The Soviet Union was Socialist, not Communist (which is stated directly in their name, Union of Socialist Soviet Republics).

            On the origin, the two terms are intertwined and frequently used as synonymous since before Marx, sometimes one or the other being in greater prominence for cultural reasons, they only got differentiated properly by Lenin. The details and validity of the distinction are still a matter of academic debate, but historically there's no clear differentiation.

            Either way George Orwell both identified himself as a Socialist and the Soviets as Socialists, which doesn't mean he condoned their visions or their actions. What happens is that those words also have diverse definitions when used by detractors of those political views just as much as liberal definitions are twisted by detractors of Liberalism. You shouldn't ever assume any political definition as given by a critic of the particular concept. Understand Communists reading Communists, Liberals reading Liberals, or you'll be bashing very flawed straw-men without even realizing it.


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            • #36
              Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
              Care to share sources? Because Eric Arthur Blair A.K.A George Orwell was a Socialist himself.
              Having read Christopher Hitchens' "Why Orwell Matters" I'd suggest that Eric Blair (who Hitchens points out was right on the evils of Fascism, Stalinism, and Imperialism) recognized the basic similarities between the three. Death Camp, Gulag, or colonial administrator, it was all about some people being used for the benefit of other people in brutal and destructive ways. Orwell demonstrated the connections many times. I think you mistake Orwell's deep commitment to democratic socialism for being soft on Stalinism. Most copies of either "Animal Farm" or "1984" make it clear in the intro that both books are aimed at Stalinism. And both books were seen as anti-Stalinist from publication onwards.

              There is no mainstream academic analysis that I've ever heard of in either History, Sociology or Political Science that links Fascism and Socialism in any way, shape or form, neither does their respective political theories hold similarities.
              Any close reading of Karl Marx would show that his thought has little commonality with that of Lenin, Stalin, or Mao. But when you look at what Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Mussolini, Hitler, Franco, and Pinochet, did in ruling and administrating their nations, these seven show many commonalities with each other. In fact the last seven men named all have vastly more in common with each other than any of them have with Marx.


              Now, the study on Authoritarianism and Autocratic governments does cite some major Socialist and all Fascist regimes from the 20th century as examples, but the research does not show a necessary link between political/economical theory and the development of Authoritarian regimes, there having examples of both authoritarian and democratic regimes from all modern political and economical systems, with the sole exception of Fascism, that prescribe authoritarianism directly.
              Little is needed, socialistic ideas about the running of the economy have been fashionable since Moore's "Utopia." Calling yourself socialist was fashionable. Like labeling yourself "democratic," stylish, but meaningless. Since Marx defined (or redefined) socialism as "the democratic control of the means of production" can you honestly say that the U.S.S.R.
              was ever socialist in a Marxist way?


              I only ever saw mentions to Socialism being similar to Fascism in texts written for the general public either by lay people or by fringe theorists that don't have the necessary body of evidence to publish in accepted journals (those journals do publish more fringe ideas if presented with evidence, even if just to provide other researchers with this data for their own conclusions).
              The justifications used by fascist and Stalinists are different, but both differ profoundly from Socialism (at least as defined by Marx), democracy, and anarchy, in highly similar ways. Stalinism is just fascism in socialist drag.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
                Care to share sources? Because Eric Arthur Blair A.K.A George Orwell was a Socialist himself.
                He self defined as a democratic socialist. His books were still a critique of the USSR thou.


                Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
                There is no mainstream academic analysis that I've ever heard of in either History, Sociology or Political Science that links Fascism and Socialism in any way, shape or form, neither does their respective political theories hold similarities.
                Universities and the "intelligentzia" are heavily ideological for one single side, which I need not name - you'll know it without me having to tell you, which just shows the size of this problem.

                I've been on the academic life for years now, and I can tell you that I cant just publish anything just based on rigorous research. If I dont follow the allowed political dogma - which you know what it is without me having to say it, which just further illustrates the size of this problem - I would commit career suicide.


                Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
                Now, the study on Authoritarianism and Autocratic governments does cite some major Socialist and all Fascist regimes from the 20th century as examples, but the research does not show a necessary link between political/economical theory and the development of Authoritarian regimes, there having examples of both authoritarian and democratic regimes from all modern political and economical systems, with the sole exception of Fascism, that prescribe authoritarianism directly.
                Cite me a SINGLE socialist government that wasnt totalitarian. Just ONE tiny example will do. And no, the nordic countries are NOT socialist, not even close.

                Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
                I only ever saw mentions to Socialism being similar to Fascism in texts written for the general public either by lay people or by fringe theorists that don't have the necessary body of evidence to publish in accepted journals (those journals do publish more fringe ideas if presented with evidence, even if just to provide other researchers with this data for their own conclusions).
                Yes, because like I said anyone that tries to publish anything saying otherwise gets ostracized faster than Socrates was poisoned.

                Truth is, both fascism and socialism have their roots in Hengelian collectivism, thus it comes even before Marx.

                It's no accident that Mussolini was a fanatical socialist before becoming a fascist. And the reason is because the two are so close to the point of being interchangeable.

                Tell me something: today's China, are they Socialist or Fascist?

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Astromancer View Post

                  Having read Christopher Hitchens' "Why Orwell Matters" I'd suggest that Eric Blair (who Hitchens points out was right on the evils of Fascism, Stalinism, and Imperialism) recognized the basic similarities between the three. Death Camp, Gulag, or colonial administrator, it was all about some people being used for the benefit of other people in brutal and destructive ways. Orwell demonstrated the connections many times. I think you mistake Orwell's deep commitment to democratic socialism for being soft on Stalinism. Most copies of either "Animal Farm" or "1984" make it clear in the intro that both books are aimed at Stalinism. And both books were seen as anti-Stalinist from publication onwards.



                  Any close reading of Karl Marx would show that his thought has little commonality with that of Lenin, Stalin, or Mao. But when you look at what Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Mussolini, Hitler, Franco, and Pinochet, did in ruling and administrating their nations, these seven show many commonalities with each other. In fact the last seven men named all have vastly more in common with each other than any of them have with Marx.




                  Little is needed, socialistic ideas about the running of the economy have been fashionable since Moore's "Utopia." Calling yourself socialist was fashionable. Like labeling yourself "democratic," stylish, but meaningless. Since Marx defined (or redefined) socialism as "the democratic control of the means of production" can you honestly say that the U.S.S.R.
                  was ever socialist in a Marxist way?



                  The justifications used by fascist and Stalinists are different, but both differ profoundly from Socialism (at least as defined by Marx), democracy, and anarchy, in highly similar ways. Stalinism is just fascism in socialist drag.
                  Really? So Karl Marx did not called for the creation of the "dictatorship of the proletariath"? (Answer: yes he did). Didnt Karl Marx called for VIOLENT revolution? (Answer: yes he did). Didnt Karl Marx call for the HOLOCAUST of certain ethnic groups that according to him were "lagging behind too much" and thus would have to "perish" in the "revolutionaire holocaust"? (Answer: yes he did).

                  Karl Marx was a genocidal maniac and it is no accident that his followers were a bunch of genocidal maniacs. It's silly to keep saying that they were "not following Marx" after a century of atrocities commited in his name. It's inhumane to the MILLIONS of victims brutally murdered by the psychopaths who were following Karl Marx TO THE LETTER.

                  And no, there's very little differences between the RELIGION that was created by Karl Marx and who were IMPLEMENTED AT FULL on ALL socialist countries. There's no excuses here, the USSR was 100% MARXIST and nothing more, and the truth is that the consequence of Marxism is a TRAGEDY.

                  Time to stop with the poorly made excuses, and to equate Marxism with Nazism into the garbage box of history of terrible and despicable ideas that should NEVER again be replicated.

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                  • #39
                    Anyway, back to the thread...

                    I personally dont enjoy very much how the writters tried to connect the history of the real life world with the history of the setting. Like I said, if the Technocracy controls govermenments - and they should, otherwise it would be just silly to be the alpha dog on the hidden world but letting things in the hands of dumb and blind sleepers - it makes no sense to have Putin's pupeteers having Russia attack Ukraine for example, or having China get close to WW3 over Taiwan. None of that makes sense - unless the Technocracy is actually divided in national identities.

                    And for the Victorian Mage... Pfff, that's just sad to see my beloved technocrats rolling all the way back to simple cartoonish moustache twisting villains.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by HorizonParty2021 View Post
                      Is Jack the Ripper a canonical character?
                      London by Night (Victorian age Vampire) has a two page spread (p42-3) and leaves it up to the ST, but gives some suggestions

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Astromancer View Post
                        I think you mistake Orwell's deep commitment to democratic socialism for being soft on Stalinism.
                        I don't, I think either you didn't read everything I wrote before writing this or I failed to be clear myself.

                        Lenin, Stalin and Mao were Authoritarian Autocrats at the head of Totalitarian states. This is factual and definitely Orwell weren't either soft on this fact or wrong in denouncing the USSR.

                        My point was about the definition of Socialism and that Orwell didn't denounce the USSR because of it, but because it was a Totalitarian state regardless. And that Authoritarianism, including Totalitarianism, is a political phenomenon by itself with no ties to ideologies.

                        We have through history Authoritarian and Totalitarian states from all the political spectrum. Conservative Christians in Austria, Fascists and later Conservative Liberals in Brazil and Chile, Imperialists in Portugal, and even Democratic Nationalists in China and later Taiwan. Add to those examples the more known ones and we still won't cover even a fraction of all the Authoritarian states during the 20th century alone, not to count states that went through Authoritarian periods without fully adopting an Authoritarian regime.

                        No major ideology other than Fascism requires an Authoritarian regime, but none is immune to it, either. That means that using the occurrence of Authoritarian regimes to describe a link between the ideologies those regimes support (or allege to support) is a fallacy. The exceptions are broad Nationalism, about which there's a body of studies pointing to Authoritarian tendencies due to the idea of subordination of the individual interest to the idea of Nation, and Fascism, because it explicitly ordains the formation of a Totalitarian state.

                        Originally posted by Astromancer View Post
                        can you honestly say that the U.S.S.R.
                        was ever socialist in a Marxist way?
                        Never said that, quite the opposite.

                        Marx was from a time where the terms had no clear distinction and he defended a "communist state" only as a short process to overtake the means of production by over-taxation, while Lenin elaborated the theory of Socialist State and defined the current distinction between Socialism and Communism.

                        Originally posted by Astromancer View Post
                        The justifications used by fascist and Stalinists are different, but both differ profoundly from Socialism (at least as defined by Marx), democracy, and anarchy, in highly similar ways. Stalinism is just fascism in socialist drag.
                        They're similar because they're both Totalitarians, but that's just a part of the whole picture.

                        I'm not concerned with the use of Fascism as an insult broadly applied to perceived authoritarian ideas, my interest resides in actual technical definitions that help us understand the details, intricacies, behavior, evolution, strengths and weaknesses of such systems and political phenomena, that actually empower us to deal with them.

                        Calling Stalinism as "Fascism in Socialist drag" is all fine as a catch-phrase, but as understanding of what is happening is bullshit. They don't defend the same things, don't create the same structures and internal power networks, and do not raise to power in the exact same ways, and while the end result is similar and horrible, those differences are vital for us to avoid any of them raising to power.

                        Specially because they're explicitly enemies, and can easily raise to power by presenting themselves as an alternative to the other. That happened through the world several times and is happening again in several places.

                        Originally posted by Kakost View Post
                        He self defined as a democratic socialist. His books were still a critique of the USSR thou.
                        Yes. Democratic Socialism is a Socialist current in Socialist Theory, born in the discussions among Socialist parties over the world. And yes, he critiqued the USSR, that fully deserved that critique and a lot more.

                        Originally posted by Kakost View Post
                        Universities and the "intelligentzia" are heavily ideological for one single side, which I need not name - you'll know it without me having to tell you, which just shows the size of this problem.
                        So your source is the idea that the whole academic circle the world around is so completely united around a single and specific idea that there are no sources for contrary ideas? All over the world, every single academic institution is not simply biased, but actively erasing other notions? Not only that, but that the idea being erased is the objective truth? Not even just an equally valid theory, but the objective truth?

                        Yes, there are ideological currents in academy that make a lot of pressure, I'm also an academic, thank you. Yet it is hardly an environment of ideological hegemony, much less across all disciplines and all countries. There are several researchers and theorists in History and Sociology that are strongly averse to Socialist doctrines, including Liberals. Yet they agree on those basic precepts. A lot of the academic work on the matter of Socialism, Liberalism, etc reached no consensus at all, yet they agree that Fascism and Socialism have nothing to do with each other.

                        Originally posted by Kakost View Post
                        Cite me a SINGLE socialist government that wasnt totalitarian. Just ONE tiny example will do.
                        Algeria, Portugal, Bangladesh, Guyana, India, Nepal and Sri-Lanka are examples of functional democracies under explicitly declared Socialist constitutions. India is currently an exception because Narendra Modi's regime is considered heavily Authoritarian since 2014, but the constitution is far older than that.

                        Originally posted by Kakost View Post
                        Tell me something: today's China, are they Socialist or Fascist?
                        Imo, neither, as this is a false dichotomy. It is certainly a Totalitarian state, which isn't the same as either.

                        Originally posted by Kakost View Post
                        Really? So Karl Marx did not called for the creation of the "dictatorship of the proletariath"? (Answer: yes he did). Didnt Karl Marx called for VIOLENT revolution? (Answer: yes he did). Didnt Karl Marx call for the HOLOCAUST of certain ethnic groups that according to him were "lagging behind too much" and thus would have to "perish" in the "revolutionaire holocaust"? (Answer: yes he did).
                        I'll ask again, sources?

                        Marx used the term "dictatorship of the proletariat" indeed, which wasn't a literal term. He didn't called for necessarily violent revolution, yet he strongly believed it would be the only way, as everyone did in the 19th century, in the wake of the French Revolution and the Republican revolutions throughout Europe.

                        As for the call of a holocaust? It's fake. It is a fabrication from the 2008 documentary The Soviet History, built from a claim by George G. Watson in the documentary and a misquote Watson made in 1976, constructed from the de-contextualization and mashup of two distinct and specific quotes, one from Marx and the other from Engels, added by the word holocaust, that weren't even used in this sense at Marx's time, as it only started to be used in the sense of the genocide of Jews after WWII.

                        Originally posted by Kakost View Post
                        psychopaths who were following Karl Marx TO THE LETTER.
                        Interestingly, while I'm not a Marxist myself, I've read Marx and never found any of those instruction to build murderous totalitarian states. Care to share sources, so I can read them?

                        Originally posted by Kakost View Post
                        Anyway, back to the thread...

                        I personally dont enjoy very much how the writters tried to connect the history of the real life world with the history of the setting. Like I said, if the Technocracy controls govermenments - and they should, otherwise it would be just silly to be the alpha dog on the hidden world but letting things in the hands of dumb and blind sleepers - it makes no sense to have Putin's pupeteers having Russia attack Ukraine for example, or having China get close to WW3 over Taiwan. None of that makes sense - unless the Technocracy is actually divided in national identities.

                        And for the Victorian Mage... Pfff, that's just sad to see my beloved technocrats rolling all the way back to simple cartoonish moustache twisting villains.
                        The thing is that the Technocracy either isn't cartoonish mustache twisting villains and don't completely control the world, or it completely controls the world and also is a bunch of cartoonish mustache twisting villains.

                        Not because they have to be, but because there are two versions of the Technocracy in the game.

                        First-edition Technocracy controls the world and is a bunch of cartoonish mustache twisting villains, period. They're references to several conspiracy theories and are irredeemable assholes grabbing power for the sake of power and promoting wars to further their own Pogrom.

                        Second-edition Technocracy acquired a lot more nuance and changed deeply to conform to the players' outcry for not equating proper peer-reviewed science, ethically developed technology and public safety to Evil Domination. But in the process the game also greatly de-emphasized their direct control over the world, so they're less letting or causing wars and more being unable to stop them if they want to.


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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Kakost View Post
                          None of that makes sense - unless the Technocracy is actually divided in national identities.
                          i will argue it does make sense with several conditions; (A) they are not as in control of the mortal/sleep world as they think, and (B) Nephandi are influencing (but not really controlling) the Union.

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                          • #43
                            There's also the option of them having a degree of control (or, better, being cappable of asserting it with some effort) , but not caring a whole lot about each and every war and tragedy, because - even before considering corruption (which definitely it's a thing) - that's not their agenda. The Technocracy aren't the Carebears.

                            Making emphasis on the detachment of the middle and upper exhelons. The Union's most cheriched ideals - expressed in the precepts of Demian - explicitly regard the Masses as a collective, and marks the Technocracy as existing "above" said collective. Is it really so hard to believe that people that are mostly OK with this fundamental principle are going to be willing to ignore some degree of human suffering?. Because I think it's almost implicit.

                            Technocrats have the same problem of all mages of their upper (and sometimes middle) echelons being somewhat detached from humanity. If there's a group of NWO agents as consultant of every major goverment, you can bet their orders aren't to stop crime nor wars. The Technocracy doesn't care if a group of humans suffer at the hands of other group of humans...They care about the Time Table. If human suffering can push that one foward, you can bet many non-Nephandic Technocrats are going to take advantage for it. To make the Technocracy an hegemonic power it's necessary to further their "noble" agenda, and a lot can be excused.

                            I don't think it's one or the other, tough, but a number of factors:

                            a) Technocracy isn't omnipotent, and - more to the point - they most explicitly don't have the power to do what they were meant to do: Eradicate unaligned supernaturals, or even enemy mages, that by their very existence (if not direct agenda) threaten their Time Table. If they were able to do this, then there's no Ascencion War. At most, there could be roge mages and suppernaturals trying to live w/o ever perjudicating Technocratic agenda et all.

                            Since there are factions who are in "direct opposition", they can't control everything. By principle

                            b) This principle manifests as "can focus on a number of issues each time".

                            Technocracy cannot micromanage humanity. All their - very significant - power it's focused on their goal: Protecting the masses from the supernatural. Making the Time Table advance. Protecting their own hegemony. A War isn't going to revert the "the Masquerade", but a collective act of the Traditions could, so they focus all their migth on making that impossible. To do this they focus on preemptive action and fear mongering.

                            Which goes to the one that I mentioned earlier:

                            c) The Technocracy aren't the Carebears. They don't care about yourself, your family, nor your country - even if individualy they migth, as an institution they have a bigger picture in mind.

                            d) Also the Technocracy it's corrupt. And not by Nephandi. They're corrupt because they're human. They're not wiser nor nobler than humans, and that they believe they are it's part of the problem. If humans could believe that it was rigthful to have slaves, you can bet mages tougth so too. And if mages on the slaved regions objected, well, they were wronged, ignored, or both.

                            *And that's why it's so important to note that the industrialization of Europe, and the very fundaments of the "division of labor", was made possible empolying the resources of colonization. The Technocracy *has* to have responsability on this, if they want to take credit for the technological advancement of the XX century et all. I don't buy the bad aspects of it being blamed on "the masses", yet them taking credit for the inventions and advances of the masses. One doesn't happen w/o the other. That's why I don't like to just say that they were "powerless". There has to exist a middle ground between these propositions. And I think that the middle ground can be built with all the aforementioned points

                            Between corrupt Technocrats actively pushing againist it to cement their own hegemony (that happens to be part of why the Technocracy *has* hegemony in the first place), detached Technocrats not caring, corruption being "hard" to face w/o also loosing power (individually and collectively), and "good" Technocrats having more things in their plate that they can actually accomplish (again, the same going for the Technocracy as a whole), a lot of evil just get's ignored or even reinforced.

                            Technocracy doesn't have the resources to stop all the evil in the world, so they instead figth the Traditions and amass power - and if ignoring or even fostering the human pain, and more evil supernatural creatures even, to do that sounds cruel, it's because it *absolutely is*. But between all of these you don't need Nephandi to explain it

                            Part of the drama of Mage it's people having the power to do miracles and making a better world, aren't using their power to do that. For various reasons. You could take it as an alegory of how powerful people in RL that are positioned to do stuff about wars, also don't "stop wars" but more often will prolong and foster 'em.

                            albeit, e) Nephandi exist, too, and they have their part

                            And on the politics of this thread I'm not going to comment. Suffice to say that one has to love how the people that says they don't want a Mage book to be about the RL politics of the authors, are so adamant about their political ideas being part and parcel of it. That's exactly why I don't think it was such a bad thing to do what they did in Victorian Mage. Not that everyone arguing to the contrary want's to push an agenda, but enough it's enough to make me think it's not a worthless theme at all to explore, if perhaps could have been approached in better ways.
                            Last edited by Aleph; 06-12-2022, 03:30 PM.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Kakost View Post
                              Anyway, back to the thread...

                              I personally dont enjoy very much how the writters tried to connect the history of the real life world with the history of the setting. Like I said, if the Technocracy controls govermenments - and they should, otherwise it would be just silly to be the alpha dog on the hidden world but letting things in the hands of dumb and blind sleepers - it makes no sense to have Putin's pupeteers having Russia attack Ukraine for example, or having China get close to WW3 over Taiwan. None of that makes sense - unless the Technocracy is actually divided in national identities.
                              Mages who use their magic often over a long time period develop Resonance. There are four types, the first of which is Devotional. One of the descriptors is "Patriotic". Militarized projects, which the Technocracy is often involved in, will tend to push at least some of the participating mages toward this Resonance type. They are flawed people with national identities who passed through their country's education system, previous to being inducted into the Union. If nationalistic beliefs provide a good foundation for the type of fanaticism an Ivory Tower Educator wants to inspire, there is no reason to undue it, perhaps only making minor adjustments.


                              Thank you for passing time with me in conversation. My Hacks.

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                              • #45
                                *Sights*
                                Ok, I was trying to avoid getting into this kind of politics debate, but here we go...

                                Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
                                I don't, I think either you didn't read everything I wrote before writing this or I failed to be clear myself.

                                Lenin, Stalin and Mao were Authoritarian Autocrats at the head of Totalitarian states. This is factual and definitely Orwell weren't either soft on this fact or wrong in denouncing the USSR.

                                My point was about the definition of Socialism and that Orwell didn't denounce the USSR because of it, but because it was a Totalitarian state regardless. And that Authoritarianism, including Totalitarianism, is a political phenomenon by itself with no ties to ideologies.

                                We have through history Authoritarian and Totalitarian states from all the political spectrum. Conservative Christians in Austria, Fascists and later Conservative Liberals in Brazil and Chile, Imperialists in Portugal, and even Democratic Nationalists in China and later Taiwan. Add to those examples the more known ones and we still won't cover even a fraction of all the Authoritarian states during the 20th century alone, not to count states that went through Authoritarian periods without fully adopting an Authoritarian regime.
                                Well, that's true but there are nuances to it.
                                First of all, modern democracy is an idea very, very new in human history, beggining in the Netherlands, than the USA and then spreading over SOME parts of the world. Yeah yeah, you had Athens 2500 years before... But that died out before having the chance to spread, and it had also big differences to democracy today. And Rome wasnt democratic, it was an Oligarchic Republic.

                                So, as of the beggining of the 20th century, many countries were still experimenting with democracy - like France - while others were nowhere near and in fact were terrible dictatorships - like Prussia and Russia.

                                Before the 20th and 19th centuries, EVERYBODY was monarchies, sometimes theocratic ones (like the Papal State or the islamic caliphates and the ottoman sultanate, and funnily enough, England too after the anglican reformation), save very few exceptions.

                                So, the truth is that, from the 19th century before, ALL of humanity were a bunch of savage hordes of barbarians. From the cruel mass slavers and crucifiers romans, to the psychotic human sacrificers aztecs to the mass enslavers african kingdoms to the barbaric japanese culture of Bushido that led to the coward massacre of millions of innocent chinese and others, not to mention their psychopatic acts, like boiling BABIES ALIVE, or the chinese acts of total brutality over 3500 years of endless cicles of unification and desintegration over the "Mandate of Heaven" and the brutal submission of all neighbors, or the countless genocides perpetrated by the islamic caliphates, like the extermination of 80 MILLIONS of Hindus in the Indian sub-continent over 300 years, the biggest holocaust in human history which nobody talks about.

                                Our ancestors were all barbarians - even in the USA, were the natives were been exterminated and a civil war was needed to treat ALL citizens as truly equal. But hey, the natives was just as prone to barbaric acts as the colonizers.

                                So, only in the 20th century did we begun IN SOME PLACES to learn how to be HUMANS, or how to be civilized. And even today there are some places that arent.

                                But before the 20th century, all ancestors of all humans alive today were a bunch of brutal savages. Sure you had individual exceptions, like monks and priests here and there from several of those cultures, but the rule was total savagery.

                                But in the 20th century humanity begun to aspire for more.

                                That is, until Empirialism reached it's upmost point into WW1, and we had as consequence USSR and Nazi Germany.

                                Then we had WW2, the most insane period in human history, and the Cold War, the most anxious one.

                                Chile, Argentina, Portugal, Brazil (Im from Brazil by the way), none of those had such a terrible and despicable regime as either Nazi Germany or the USSR, Communist China or any other of the many socialist paradises. You take the Red Khmer for example. They killed 1/3 of their own population in the name of communism. If that happened in my Brazil, that would mean 70 millions of deaths. If it happened in India, it would mean 400 millions.

                                Your comparison, trying to equate Pinochett's Chile with Communist China is false. First of all, we are talking about a learning curve for the countries. Portugal and Spain were absolute monarchies - like all of Europe. They wouldnt just wake you one day as liberal democracies. Latin America became independant but highly unstable, with many countries being dictatorships. In Brazil we became the only monarchy of the Americas.

                                What's the difference? In Chile and Argentina, the number of deaths were in the thousands, not millions - and yes, numbers DO matter. The definition of genocide as opposed to murders is in the numbers after all.

                                Heck, even the Fascism of Mussolini wasnt anywhere as crazy as Nazi Germany or the USSR/China. In Italy too, the deaths were in the thousands and connected to attempts to overthrow "il Dulce", and the jews were only massacred when the germans invaded. In fact, 1/3 of the jews in Italy were members of the fascist party all the way up to 1938.

                                So, what's the end game? ALL the right wing dictatorships of the west ended and were replaced with democratic regimes. Brazil? Democratic. Argentina? Democratic. Chile? Democratic. Peru? Democratic. Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela? Democratic.

                                And Venezuela lost its democracy when? When it decided to try the "social democracy" lol. All the others - corrupt, unstable, problematic.

                                But democratic.

                                And none of those lasted for more than 30 years

                                Now, compare that to the many of the proletarian Utopias around the world.

                                - USSR - never gave up power like the right wing dictatorships of Latam. Instead, the country collapsed, and the russian "core" replaced the soviet regime with another dictatorship (let us hope this one collapses too, and soon). The USSR allegedly killed 20 millions of their own people over 74 years. By comparison, the Brazilian military dictatorship lasted from 1964 to 1984 - 20 years - and killed more or less 400 people - not, that's not thousands, that's 400 individuals, as in, less than 1 thousand. Do you really dare to compare this to the horrors of the Soviet Union?

                                - China: from 1949 up to today, at least 50 to 80 MILLIONS of people slaughtered. Today, as we speak, they are commiting genocide over Uyghurs, Tibetans and Mongols minorities.

                                - North Korea: from 1945 to today, it's the most insane dictatorship in the world. You can be tortured and killed for having the wrong hair cut.

                                - Cuba: killed hundreds of thousands, more than ANY right wing dictatorships, in a population less than 10 times that of Argentina or Chile. Homossexuals still receive to this day the death penalty.

                                - Red Khmer: undoubtly the worse of all, they killed 2 millions, 1/3 of the Cambodjan population, in less than 10 years. Those guys managed to be worse than the Nazis or the Japanese, in relative numbers.

                                And that story just keep repeating itself. Just look at the "democratic socialism" of Venezuela

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