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Materials about communism/socialism in Mage: The Ascension scenario

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  • Materials about communism/socialism in Mage: The Ascension scenario

    Hi, folks. Well, does anyone know if in the materials of Mage The Ascension there is any mention of socialist experiences or communism of the last century and the relationship of these historical events with Traditions and/or Technocracy? I don't know if there is this type of material or mention in the Mage books, but if there is, please let me know.

    Thanks.

  • #2
    I believe there is discussion in books such as the Convention Books for the New World Order & Syndicate as well as in books which cover history and the Awakened’s relationship with it.

    The general consensus seems to be that they were experiments facilitated by those groups and might be connected to an internal struggle over direction which took place between East and West during the Cold War but seemed to have been largely resolved with the current status quo of liberal democracy, neoliberalism, and oligarchy.

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    • #3
      We know that the Sons of Ether had a Communist/Anarchist/Socialist wing/faction. Their motto was "Let's kick some @$$ for the Working Class!" But it seems to have been more about being a different flavor of pulp hero than anything else.

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      • #4
        Fairly sure Soviet Russia was a part of the Technocracy.

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        • #5
          There was a whole “mystical iron curtain” thing going on for a while there (something about Baba Yaga sealing Russia off from the rest of the supernatural world); so no, I don't think that Soviet Russia was influenced primarily by the Technocracy. But I suspect it would have been, if not for that.


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          • #6
            Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
            There was a whole “mystical iron curtain” thing going on for a while there (something about Baba Yaga sealing Russia off from the rest of the supernatural world)
            The curtain prevented travel, but I think the Technocracy was already there. In that regards, there would be two technocracies at that time - one in each side of the curtain.

            As far as mage factions go, I don't see why those Technocrats couldn't have had influence (Yeah, Baba was there - but elder vampires are everywhere. If we go with Vampire, it's debatable if Technocrats have that much influence in the west either...the problem of "who holds the most influence" has never been realy solved, and probably can't be solved).
            Last edited by Aleph; 08-31-2021, 07:24 AM.

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            • #7
              Mage generally assumes that you can ignore the influence of other lines if you want to. Nothing stops you from attributing more influence or bringing in events from Vampire metaplot, but very little wordcount is given to it in the books. I don't recall ever seeing Mages barred from Russia supernaturally and that really doesn't seem like the kind of thing the Technocracy would just accept.

              Also, given how much the Technocracy plays around with political philosophy, I think it is best to assume they are involved with Russia in one form or another.


              Mage: The Ice-ension: An Epic Game of Reality on the Rink

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Ramnesis View Post
                Mage generally assumes that you can ignore the influence of other lines if you want to. Nothing stops you from attributing more influence or bringing in events from Vampire metaplot, but very little wordcount is given to it in the books. I don't recall ever seeing Mages barred from Russia supernaturally and that really doesn't seem like the kind of thing the Technocracy would just accept.

                Also, given how much the Technocracy plays around with political philosophy, I think it is best to assume they are involved with Russia in one form or another.
                And the atheism, the materialism, the labour theory of value, smacks of a Technocratic sub-group seeking to create global ascension fast forwarded, using the Soviet Union as a private realm for control.

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                • #9
                  Unless you interpret the Syndicate as having dabbled in alternatives to the market system, their involvement in the Soviet Union in particular, and in communist and socialists societies in general, will be somewhat subdued. Conversely, I could definitely see the New World Order being heavily involved, as the idea of the state being all is very much in their wheelhouse.
                  Last edited by Dataweaver; 08-31-2021, 09:58 AM.


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                  • #10
                    In my headcanon the Syndicate definitely dabbled in various economic theories in the late 1800s through mid-1900s. I actually have a harder time with the idea that they didn't. Even then, I think their efforts were not nearly as pronounced as the NWOs meddling in political philosophy. Indeed I think the NWO had a strong hand in the Democratic, Communistic, and Fascistic governments of the 20th century.


                    Mage: The Ice-ension: An Epic Game of Reality on the Rink

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                    • #11
                      I tend to agree with this, although I would point out that their predecessors were instrumental in taking down the Craftmasons; and according to the Syndicate convention book, their motivation was that the Craftmasons were pushing ideas that today would be called socialism. Take that with a grain of salt, since the convention book in question leans heavily into the idea that The Syndicate is it always has been pro-capitalism; but it does count as published support for the idea that the Syndicate didn't dabble with various economic models.

                      That said, I do tend to agree with you on that point: I also find that it makes more sense to think of them as having experimented with different economic models in the past before more or less settling down on one in the present.


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                      • #12
                        I think the ambiguity comes from the Syndicate being both the 'economic' convention (for want of a better word), ie. they cover economic technology and an actual international cartel/syndicate organisation with specific interests and concerns.

                        Like, I can see why the elders of the Syndicate wouldn't be happy with the Soviet Union. But I could definitely see younger members thinking that this is the new project to get in on the ground floor of. I mean, that'd fit with the greater theme in Ascension of older quasi-immortal mages crowding out younger mages.


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                        • #13
                          The Soviet Union practiced what is called "State Capitalism." Or at least many Marxists say so. Basically, the state is the capitalist. Many scholars of Russian history suggest that state control of the Russian economy is the historical norm in Russia. Certainly the USSR exploited its own people brutally. I could see it as an alternate means to control the masses, just not a very moral or effective one.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
                            I tend to agree with this, although I would point out that their predecessors were instrumental in taking down the Craftmasons; and according to the Syndicate convention book, their motivation was that the Craftmasons were pushing ideas that today would be called socialism. Take that with a grain of salt, since the convention book in question leans heavily into the idea that The Syndicate is it always has been pro-capitalism; but it does count as published support for the idea that the Syndicate didn't dabble with various economic models.

                            That said, I do tend to agree with you on that point: I also find that it makes more sense to think of them as having experimented with different economic models in the past before more or less settling down on one in the present.
                            I mean, didn't the Syndicate say that it was the Craftmason's fault for believing the masses would and can do it on their own? Does not seem dissimilar to some of the more paternalistic aspects of the Soviet Union.

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                            • #15
                              Communism proper is an Anarchism-like theory, Marx proposed the complete dissolution of the state. His opinion isn't that the means of production should belong to a representative of the people, is that it should belong to no one and be free for use by the workers, so whatever you produces there is yours to do as you see fit. He did proposed that the transition should be by means of a state whose whole purpose is to take companies out of the hands of their owners, but that's it and then this state would shut down itself.

                              Lenin solidifies the Socialist theory, where a paternalistic state is fleshed out in place of this minimalist state, and this is what we saw over the 20th century. So it is a pretty different concept from Marx's, despite paying homage to it and keeping ideological links to it.

                              My personal view, as many here, is that the Syndicate would experiment with other economical systems and probably have a hand in the USSR. Not alone, and not all the Convention, but it just makes sense. Unless they're the least magical Awakened in the world, because everyone else busy themselves with exploring options, limits and possibilities inside the scope of their Paradigms. The Syndicate is a grievous outlier there, just maintaining the status quo in a way that makes even the NWO seem avant-garde. This standard "the Syndicate is liberal capitalism" seems like simply a mortal Conspiracy instead of Enlightened.

                              They could have had a hand in the advent of Socialism and its application. Maybe they saw the Communist theory, obviously saw it wasn't compatible with their own goals, but used it as the seed for a new thing. Or maybe they just got a lot of interest in the USSR once it sprang to life, depending on how much you like to have the Mages having a direct hand on History. The Cold War could be a part of their research, a test, it could be a Paradox, could be the result of "outside" tampering, or even have nothing to do with it (since in the end it was much more a strategic dispute for influence with ideology as one of the weapons than really a fight between the ideologies themselves).
                              Last edited by monteparnas; 09-01-2021, 12:42 PM. Reason: Correcting a typo


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