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  • WIR 5E Anarchs

    I had wanted to do this months ago, but life shoved me down, took my milk money and I’ve been preoccupied.

    In the 5E VtM setting the only major groups of vampires are the Camarilla… and everyone else, whom the Lords of the Ivory Tower call the Anarchs. The Sabbat has collapsed and been turned inside out by a war. The Settites have joined the Anarchs. The Giovanni of old are gone, replaced by the Hekata (of even older). The Ravnos are gone, fallen with their death of their Founder. The Banu Haqim are also changed, with some having defected to the Camarilla and the others falling into orbit of the Blood Demon Ur-Shulgi.

    So, 5E VtM reorganized many things. Modiphius and Onyx Path presentation of this shake up included books on the Camarilla and the Anarchs. The Camarilla book presented an insider’s guide to the Ivory Tower, by Victoria Ash. This book serves a similar function for the Anarchs.

    In this thread I will be giving my thoughts on the book, one section at a time.

    Introduction

    "No one holds command over me. No man. No god. No Prince. What is a claim of age for ones who are immortal? What is a claim of power for ones who defy death? Call your damnable hunt. We shall see who I drag screaming to hell with me."
    The opening of the book has two portions, including an out-of-character section, and an in-character section.

    The out of character briefly defines the Anarchs as everything that is not the Camarilla and is generally opposed to the Camarilla, because the Camarilla is the definition of the System for vampires. The introduction even specifically uses the quote from the back of the first VtM book, which I’ve quoted above.

    The out of character section more or less does that same thing, even if it is all over the place in terms of a coherent position. While not specified, I suspect this section is from Agata "mad as a sack of cats" Starek. Though not specifically stated, as an in-character work she probably put the entire thing together.

    Starek is not actually a Vulcan name. It’s actually a Polish and Czech surname. If her statement about the Terror (the one following the French Revolution, not the movie with Boris Karloff) is true, then she has been a vampire at least 230 years. She is also a Ventrue. Starek is also insane, in the sense of fictional characters where everyone describes her as crazy but the presentation of her mental illness is never consistent.

    Mildred: Hey Johnny, what are you rebelling against?
    Johnny: Whadda you got?
    The Anarchs, more than the Sabbat, and the Camarilla play yin and yang to each other. Each sect defines itself, at least in part, by what they are not – they are not that other sect. The Camarilla has a rigid caste system, one with vertical (age) and horizontal (clans) divisions. The Camarilla are the Old Guard of gray faced monsters staying inside the system they built. By comparison, the Anarch reject almost every system, moral, ethical line and the like.

    This potentially lets the Anarch go exploring in ways the Camarilla does not and probably cannot.

    Originally posted by Hunter Thompson
    “The Edge...There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. The others-the living-are those who pushed their control as far as they felt they could handle it, and then pulled back, or slowed down, or did whatever they had to when it came time to choose between Now and Later. But the edge is still Out there.”
    Last edited by Grumpy RPG Reviews; 08-06-2020, 10:04 AM. Reason: Fixed a spelling error.

  • #2
    Awesome! Thanks for doing this!


    Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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    • #3
      WIR 5E Anarchs

      The first two entries in the book, following the introduction, both cover vampire history. As such, I am taking them as a single entry.

      Monsters of the Recent Past

      Rudi (a Brujah ideologue) discusses the recent history of the Anarchs – which is to say no history at all. All history is political - all history as recorded and told is filtered through an ideology, given a particular social foregrounding, and nominally told by the victors. And as Rudi says, none of it should be trusted.

      You have to choose which lies you like the best.
      ― Rudi, Brujah ideologue
      Rudi discusses the (supposed) killing of Prince of L.A. Don Sebastian in 1944 by Salvador Garcia. Rudi states that the specific truths of the incident do not matter as much as the larger consequences, and popular belief. In this, Rudi is telling the truth. More or less. Interestingly, Rudi also advises the reader to be skeptical of the Anarchs as much as the Camarilla. Which gives an interesting foregrounding to the next passage…

      City by the Sea

      …it's no wonder the Camarilla still tries to tarnish the reputation of Carthage. The idea of the city has always been dangerous.
      ― Salvador Garcia
      Salvador Garcia writes this section, which is about the legacy of Carthage. As an interesting corollary, both L.A. and Carthage are cities by the sea, hold a great deal of appeal to Not-Camarilla vampires, and the truth of both places does not match the stories about both places.

      Garcia tells several versions of the history of the city, including the idealist version and the pessimistic version. Echoing Rudi’s statement about choosing the best lies, Garcia says you (the reader, or someone supposedly sympathetic to the Anarchs) should believe the version you prefer. Garcia asserts that this flexibility in the story is the point – the specifics do not matter, but a better world is possible.

      The central thesis of both sections is facts are almost irrelevant, history (and those who present it) are untrustworthy, and truth a relative thing.

      Compare this lack of doctrine to the hardline versions given by the Camarilla; that of a singular history, going to a single conclusion (demanding support of the status quo), as related by people you are required to believe.

      Again, the Camarilla and the Anarchs play yin and yang to each other, nearly every aspect of one group finding a counterpoint in the other group. The chaotic freedom of the Anarch could be frightening, as it provides no specific social orthodoxy to believe in and use to guide existence.

      History are the memories that are not your own. But you cannot trust history, and in the World of Darkness you have reason to be suspicious of even your own memories. To paraphrase the Joker, “History is what our reason is based upon. If we cannot face it, we deny reason itself! Although why not? We aren’t contractually tied down to your rationality!”

      The Anarchs are not simply rejecting the rule of Princes, but the entire social framework and historical narrative that underpins Princes and the Camarilla. In that, they do not and probably cannot offer a specific alternative. They are just everything else.

      Comment


      • #4
        CT Phipps on the Anarchs 1#

        1. The thing about Agata Starek is the fact that she's a multiple diablerist as well as someone who is clearly addicted to Kindred blood since it talks about the various lengths she goes to in order to be able to drink from people like Salvador Garcia. Kindred are going to have no madness that correlates to human behavior so, "Weird" is perfectly fine. I also note that at least some of her behavior is an affection as the Anarch Movement description is a study of contradictions like when the religious vampires credo immediately precedes the atheists'. I do think it's sad she's a Ventrue and not a Malkavian.

        I love Malkavian Anarchs and hate they are treated as a rarity in the Movement.

        2. Rudi is a Gangrel, I think. I actually like his discussion of Don Sebastian's legend growing like Salvador's post-mortem. Don Sebastian is often described as a tyrant and a monster when Rudi suggests he probably is just a perfectly normal Prince. Cocaine-fueled blood orgies? That's a Tuesday in Camarilla society. It's just that it was problematic because Sebastian wasn't very good at cover-ups and it was Hollywood so they were bigger ones than normal. I also like that some people suspect Salvador didn't actually heroically kill him in single combat when we know it was REALLY done by Christopher or Joaquin Murrieta on Christopher's behalf.

        It should be noted that I don't think Don Sebastian was a particularly weak Prince either. It was just a 5th Generation Elder decided for him to go.

        3. I'm actually a scholar of the Rome vs. Carthage divide so the whole story here in this book is actually tremendously amusing. Historians really are like sports teams and one of the way you make your bones as an academic is to try to take someone else's version of history down. The idea of the Romans claiming the Carthagians sacrificing children but this being RIDICULOUS is an example of bad history done by people taking sides. Human sacrifice of firstborn children was nothing new and the fact is the Romans weren't the only people who claimed it about the Carthagians, so did the Greeks. Also, a little known people called the Jews who found it as disgusting as the Romans (who engaged in regular infanticide themselves so fuck them).

        So yes, Salvador is straight up lying here. Whoever wrote this bought into bullshit Carthage apologia.


        Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post
          The Anarchs, more than the Sabbat, and the Camarilla play yin and yang to each other. Each sect defines itself, at least in part, by what they are not – they are not that over sect. The Camarilla has a rigid caste system, one with vertical (age) and horizontal (clans) divisions. The Camarilla are the Old Guard of gray faced monsters staying inside the system they built. By comparison, the Anarch reject almost every system, moral, ethical line and the like.

          This potentially lets the Anarch go exploring in ways the Camarilla does not and probably cannot.
          Are you using poetic liscence, spreading propaganda, or just wrong? Or maybe I'm wrong and the sects have been deeply simplified of late.

          The camarilla are people who trust in an established order to keep their cities afloat. The Camarilla itself has only a small influence on how each city is run, that much is dictated by princes.
          The Anarchs are people who don't trust in an established order to keep their cities afloat, and thus seek their own systems. The wider anarch movement only has a small influence on how each city is run, that much is dictated by barons.
          Both have the potential for minimal governance with emphasis instead placed on social responsibility, and both have the potential for tyranny.

          How these two factions can be more Ying and Yang to eachother than the Sabbat, I do not know. That just sounds like wishful thinking "yeah we removed the Sabbat, but we made the right choice because the Cam/Ana conflict is so much more meaningful" is like saying "We used to have three factions; People who prefer pork, people who prefer beef, and militant vegans; Of course we removed the vegans because they really got in the way of the pork/beef dichotomy'



          Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post

            Are you using poetic liscence, spreading propaganda, or just wrong? Or maybe I'm wrong and the sects have been deeply simplified of late.

            The camarilla are people who trust in an established order to keep their cities afloat. The Camarilla itself has only a small influence on how each city is run, that much is dictated by princes.
            The Anarchs are people who don't trust in an established order to keep their cities afloat, and thus seek their own systems. The wider anarch movement only has a small influence on how each city is run, that much is dictated by barons.
            Both have the potential for minimal governance with emphasis instead placed on social responsibility, and both have the potential for tyranny.

            How these two factions can be more Ying and Yang to eachother than the Sabbat, I do not know. That just sounds like wishful thinking "yeah we removed the Sabbat, but we made the right choice because the Cam/Ana conflict is so much more meaningful" is like saying "We used to have three factions; People who prefer pork, people who prefer beef, and militant vegans; Of course we removed the vegans because they really got in the way of the pork/beef dichotomy'
            I, funnily, disagree with you both.

            1. The Camarilla is a gerontocracy that exists for the purposes of making it so that the Eldest can have their power protected. The Camarilla actively controls the distribution of Domain, position, rank, Herds, reproduction, and even theoretically ghouls--albeit most Princes don't actually care if you make a ghoul of your own. They also hold the power of life and death over you with the only thing holding them back from executing you being that they have to find a PRETEXT of violating one of the Traditions to do so.

            Even then, they don't have to apply this loophole requirement if you're a Caitiff, unapproved siring, or Thin Blood. The existence of the Scourge bringing out the Camarilla's most tyrannical and ruthless qualities to the surface. Overpopulation is something that Camarilla Princes are deeply concerned by and do their best to regularly thin the herd as best they can. In practice, you are at the center of a web of intrigue by existing and unless you are one of the lucky few to be the legitimate childe of an Elder. Even that screws you over because you are either going to be their slave or a target of their enemies or both.

            Or to quote Johnny Cage,"I'm in a hostile environment. I'm totally unprepared. And I'm surrounded by a bunch of guys who probably want to kick my ass. I feel like I'm back in high school."

            2. I don't think the Anarchs are people without moral codes or limitations. Quite the opposite, I think that the Anarchs are actually an alliance of dozens of different competing groups with irreconcilable differences. I imagine that virtually every Anarch gang is completely different with some being a bunch of pacifist hippies, others being Neo-Nazis, others being radical Black Activists, or others being religious cultists that revere Caine or Lilith. All of them are united by the fact that they hate the Camarilla and are working together against it.

            3. I think that once you get over a certain level in the Anarchs, their leaders all tend to be VERY cynical, and go, "Why do we fight? Is it freedom? Is it justice? Is it love? No, it's because the Camarilla has the land, the blood, and the money. We fight the same way mobsters do, because it's them or us so it might as well be us."

            Which is fine by itself and a perfectly consistent motivation.


            Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
              Are you using poetic liscence, spreading propaganda, or just wrong? Or maybe I'm wrong and the sects have been deeply simplified of late.
              The Camarilla are a fascist state, or at least they are as much as they can get away with being a fascist state. The Sabbat have been swept off the board in term of 5E, and their ideology is largely moot until they return in some form. So at present the only real and remaining sects are the Anarchs and the Camarilla. Control and Kaos, as it were.

              When the Sabbat existed they were Vampire-ISIS, or a sect of religious fanatics and tyrants. The Camarilla used secular reasoning and tradition to justify their totalitarian system. The Sabbat used (hysterical) religious reasoning and tradition to justify their totalitarian system. Both sects were secretly ruled by Antedeluvians, and openly ruled by Elders controlling others through Disciplines, manipulation and open force. When you are under the grinding boot heel of a deathless (and hypocritical, venal, petty) tyrant how much does the specific justifications they give matter?

              By comparison, the Anarchs say fuck all to all of that, all of that secular reasoning, all of the (hysterical) religious reasoning, and all those traditions.

              That said, I should have phrased it that in a meta-game, or out of game, sense, the Anarchs and the Camarilla are defined by what they are not, by not being the other section. That the Camarilla is not the Anarch is a big part of what defines the Ivory Tower. And that the Anarchs are not the Camarilla might be the single definition of them that binds them all together.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                2. I don't think the Anarchs are people without moral codes or limitations. .
                I agree with this - individual Anarchs and groups of Anarchs are all going to possess moral codes or limitations. It is just the sect does not impose an ideological through line on its members the way the Camarilla does and the Sabbat did.

                Comment


                • #9
                  So, there was "the dark ages" where princes did whatever they wanted. Due to the small city sizes of the period and generally more powerful elders, some princes claimed very vast domains and baronies were more common. This was the natural order of things.

                  and then they had some revolts and the princes agreed on some more-concrete international comprimises to their power to keep young vampires happy. This became the Camarilla.

                  And now there are revolts against that camarilla, which hasn't actually changed in terms of policy all that much, to revert to that Time of the Dark where there was no camarilla, just local governments. That sounds very reasonable; Totally not just an excuse to topple the current elders and be the new assholes the next half a millennium.

                  The real divide between the Camarilla and the Anarchs, other than the Anarchs mostly forming from Camarilla vampires who were out of favour, was one of culture. The first anarch revolt (Where were the revolts before this I might add? ) occurred in the transition period between the medieval and the renaissance, the one now takes place in the transition of ever increasing industrialization. Mercantilism Vs Capital, Horses VS cars, Paper VS electronic. It's not that the vampires are getting meaner or nicer, it's that they see the generations as radically different in a cultural sense and feel 'the elders aren't with the times' or 'the youths are degenerate' and that gives the young a good excuse to want to seize power. That's not a grand fight against tyranny, that's Identity politics.


                  Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post

                    The Camarilla are a fascist state, or at least they are as much as they can get away with being a fascist state. The Sabbat have been swept off the board in term of 5E, and their ideology is largely moot until they return in some form. So at present the only real and remaining sects are the Anarchs and the Camarilla. Control and Kaos, as it were.
                    I think fascist is a really bad word for the Camarilla and doesn't remotely reflect the reality of the sect. Oddly, I'd say you're more likely to find fascist Anarchs or fascist Sabbat (particularly in the Black Hand following the Path of Honorable Accord) than you are going to find them in the Camarilla. The Camarilla doesn't have any of the points that Umberto Eco created for describing a fascist state (and he lived under Mussolini).

                    http://www.openculture.com/2016/11/u...f-fascism.html

                    The Camarilla is much simpler and more objectively another form of government: feudalist. The Camarilla exists for the purposes of protecting the land-owning gentry class that has their position determined by blood, generation, age, and pedigree. The power of Camarilla figures are determined by how much land they possess and how much they can dole out their cronies and supporters until overthrown by rebels that are usually other nobles.

                    The big difference is the Camarilla is so spread out and has so few members (comparatively) that they just have hundreds of petty kings ruling over courts of dozens rather than empires of thousands.

                    Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
                    So, there was "the dark ages" where princes did whatever they wanted. Due to the small city sizes of the period and generally more powerful elders, some princes claimed very vast domains and baronies were more common. This was the natural order of things.

                    and then they had some revolts and the princes agreed on some more-concrete international comprimises to their power to keep young vampires happy. This became the Camarilla.
                    Yes, because the Anarchs lost the First Anarch Revolt. They didn't get their desired equality from the Elders, they were forced to surrender and drink the blood of the victors. I don't see Hardelstadt drinking the blood of Vykos at that party.

                    You seem to think that the few concessions the Anarchs managed to wring out of their surrender agreement warrant anything resembling continued submission. It doesn't even matter anyway since the vampires born in the Modern Nights aren't the same vampires who surrendered anyway--nor are they bound by the agreements made under duress.

                    And yes, definitely taking down the Camarilla will allow local governments that are vastly improved for the Anarchs, assuming they don't intend to create their own new nations from the breakup of the Camarilla. If you're a citizen of Soviet Republic 24#, you're not really going to long for the reign of your Soviet Masters when your nation gains its freedom. Anarchs who don't want an international vampire conspiracy are probably quite happy making sure their small corner of the globe is free of Camarilla oppression.

                    And now there are revolts against that camarilla, which hasn't actually changed in terms of policy all that much, to revert to that Time of the Dark where there was no camarilla, just local governments. That sounds very reasonable; Totally not just an excuse to topple the current elders and be the new assholes the next half a millennium.
                    You act like that's an unreasonable argument. Is there anything immoral about killing the Prince and taking his stuff? That's how every Prince became Prince. The difference is that you claim you will throw around the blood and money a bit better as an Anarch. There's absolutely no reason to be loyal in a feudal state if you have an opportunity to profit.

                    In the World of Darkness' version of Game of Thrones, there's no such thing as a Stark (well, maybe the Gangrel). So why not improve your lot by killing the Lannisters and taking the throne for yourself?

                    The argument, "I'm an Anarch because I'm the bottom and want to be on the top" seems perfectly sensible if you're not a High Humanity sucker.

                    The real divide between the Camarilla and the Anarchs, other than the Anarchs mostly forming from Camarilla vampires who were out of favour, was one of culture. The first anarch revolt (Where were the revolts before this I might add? ) occurred in the transition period between the medieval and the renaissance, the one now takes place in the transition of ever increasing industrialization. Mercantilism Vs Capital, Horses VS cars, Paper VS electronic. It's not that the vampires are getting meaner or nicer, it's that they see the generations as radically different in a cultural sense and feel 'the elders aren't with the times' or 'the youths are degenerate' and that gives the young a good excuse to want to seize power. That's not a grand fight against tyranny, that's Identity politics.
                    In real life, there's a constant fight between class, society, and countries over resources. The big difference is that in the WOD, vampire rulers are never going to die out and never pass on their wealth to their similarly immortal children. The only way to move up in the world is to kill some people in order to make an opening. The Anarchs are generally made of people without domain, money, centuries of favors, or low generation with powerful disciplines. So they have to team up together in order to take down an Elder and free up some territory.

                    The Camarilla is not even against this because they encourage the Jyhad among Elders to winnow out the weak. The Anarchs are a problem because they refuse to wait centuries to get their "turn" and play the game.

                    Because with a shotgun, you don't have to if you can put it to an Elder's face.

                    Mind you, there's been MULTIPLE Anarch revolts between the "First" and "Second" one. The French Revolution and probably the American Revolution should be the second. Not to mention the Russian Revolution. You can't tell me the Haitian Revolt didn't have Brujah among them.

                    There's also the fact that some Anarchs REALLY ARE idealistic goodie-goodies who believe vampires can be better.

                    Poor bastards.
                    Last edited by CTPhipps; 08-06-2020, 01:06 PM.


                    Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

                      I think fascist is a really bad word for the Camarilla and doesn't remotely reflect the reality of the sect. Oddly, I'd say you're more likely to find fascist Anarchs or fascist Sabbat (particularly in the Black Hand following the Path of Honorable Accord) than you are going to find them in the Camarilla. The Camarilla doesn't have any of the points that Umberto Eco created for describing a fascist state (and he lived under Mussolini).

                      http://www.openculture.com/2016/11/u...f-fascism.html

                      I strongly disagree with you here. Let's examine Eco's 14 common features of fascism (Ur-Fascism or Eternal Fascism to be precise):

                      1.The cult of tradition: The Camarilla is actually the most traditionalist sect of them all and the Ventrue, commonlyidentified as the most powerful clan (politically at least) within the Camarilla are the most traditionalist clan of them all.

                      2.The rejection of modernism: This is a defyining feature of the Camarilla in V5.

                      3.The cult of action for action’s sake: This is more a futurist feature than a fascist oneimo. Anyway it's not exactly a defining element of the Camarilla. Certain princes may very well share this belief though.

                      4.Disagreement is treason: Safe to say many a Camarilla prince shares this belief.

                      5.Fear of difference: Do you remember all those Catiffs and Thin Bloods the prince had his scurges "erase" from his domain? Again, this is not a universal Camarilla trait but is very common.

                      6.Appeal to social frustration: Nope. This one is not a Camarilla trait at all. The Camarilla doesn't like malcontents, in V5 less than ever.

                      7.The obsession with a plot: Weeeel, more than a few princes are paranoid and obsessed with plots to replace them. The funny thing is they are almost always right. Someone, somewhere is actually planning to dethrone them...

                      8.The enemy is both strong and weak: A common propaganda tool. Many Camarilla princes may very well employ it to cement their power.

                      9.Pacifism is trafficking with the enemy: The current Camarilla preaches war against the Anarchs. As far as they are concerned there is only the Camarilla and other vampire sects need to be erased. This is of course a genralization and propaganda as well. But this is the rethoric they have chosen and seems to click with point 9 quite nicely.

                      10.Contempt for the weak: More of a trait of vampires as a whole. Nevertheless the Camarilla has it in spades.

                      11.Everybody is educated to become a hero: Not really, no. The Camarilla doesn't want heroes, they want obedient citizens and devout servants.

                      12.Machismo and weaponry: While vampires tend to outgrow the cult of virility having military power and military might at one's disposal is certainly something the vampires of the Camarilla appreciate.

                      13.Selective populism: Not a universal Camarilla feature but one that we can safely assume might often be employed by them.

                      14.Ur-Fascism speaks Newspeak: Again, not a univeral feature. Some princes may very well assume this style of communication to keep the "masses" in line and increase their following.

                      So as you see the Camarilla actually shares several features with the Ur Fascist ideology. That doesn't mean the Camarilla is "just" a fascist organization. It's very true the Cam's structure is neofeudal as well. But in many ways it's also a fascist organization. And yes, the Anarchs and the Sabbat can be as well.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If we take a disjunctive approach to the list, or that the Camarilla doesn't fulfill all the criteria just most of it, then the Ivory Tower deserves being called fascist under even Eco's definition. I've stated before that the Camarilla (and for that matter the Sabbat) were as close to totalitarian states as they each could be. However, much of my thinking about totalitarianism is shaped by Hannah Arendt more than by Eco, I have to confess.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Let me give you a more measured look at things.

                          Originally posted by Haquim View Post

                          1.The cult of tradition: Yes

                          2.The rejection of modernism: Debatable
                          3.The cult of action for action’s sake: No. Camarilla demains strive to achieve a status quo, not conflict.

                          4.Disagreement is treason: No. Going against the Law is treason, disagreement is not.

                          5.Fear of difference: No (A "sometimes" is a no. Fear of the Anarchs/Sabbat is prefectly rational so I won't credit it here. )

                          6.Appeal to social frustration: Nope. - I'm just reading what you've written here, but I think you might've misuderstood this one, the "Appeal to frustration" means finding a scapegoat. But princes aren't really proud of their Scourges or the work they're doing. That's a hush-hush genuine religious thing.

                          7.The obsession with a plot: No. The Camarilla denies that there are any grand conspiracies against it.

                          8.The enemy is both strong and weak: No. The enemy is just weak.

                          9.Pacifism is trafficking with the enemy: No. The Camarilla desires peace and quiet. And if they did hold this stance, they'd target the inquisition more.

                          10.Contempt for the weak: Yes

                          11.Everybody is educated to become a hero: No, unless you count the copious amount of titles some princes might be fond of.

                          12.Machismo and weaponry: No, if anything the Camarilla celebrates soft power and modesty. The Ventrue might be an old-boys club, but they spread old-money values.

                          13.Selective populism: Not on a sect level, so No

                          14.Ur-Fascism speaks Newspeak: No. The Camarilla is pretty honest with what it is really.
                          .
                          So that's 2/3 out of 14. I'd safely say that they're not fascist.
                          Last edited by MyWifeIsScary; 08-06-2020, 05:26 PM.


                          Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
                            Let me give you a more measured look at things.



                            So that's 2/3 out of 14. I'd safely say that they're not fascist.
                            1. Yes
                            2. Yes, and not debatable at all. The current Camarilla rejects modernity and even technology to the point that some domains ban the use of smartphones, e-mails and the internet.
                            3. Debatable. You must understand that we are talking about a form of fascist rethoric here (as I said more a trait of the Futurist artistic movement but it's true the fascist regime made those themes theirs) and yes, some Camarilla princes might employ such concepts as propaganda tools ("We are all TRUE KINDRED here... are you one as well or are you a kine lover?")
                            4. Yes, most princes do exactly that. Take Don Sebastian as an example. The fact that some don't mostly depends on what they can get away with in their specific political situation.
                            5. Yes, the Camarilla does not recognize other sects as valid alternatives to itself and has a long list of "indesiderables" that need to be dealt with. I mentioned a couple of the kind of vampires that find themselves regularly persecuted within Camarilla domains.
                            6. No. And SOME princes try to keep their scurges' work hidden while some others flaunt it in the face of their subjects. Again, it depends on the individual prince and his/her political circumstances.
                            7. Yes. The Camarilla does NOT deny anything and it's rife with conspiracy theories. See the death of Hardestadt and its consequences as an example of this.
                            8. Debatable. The enemy is "weak" when it's convenient for him to be presented as such. He's "strong" when it's convenient for him to be presented as such. As said it's a propaganda tool.
                            9. Yes. The Camarilla desires power. It will seize it with any means necessary if given the chance. See the take over of Mexico City from the Sabbat and the assault on the Anarch Free State against the Anarchs. The only type of peace the Camarilla likes is the one famously described by Publius Tacitus("Auferre, trucidare, rapere, falsis nominibus imperium, atque, ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant" - "To plunder, butcher, steal, these things they misname empire: they make a desolation and they call it peace").
                            10. Yes.
                            11. No.
                            12. Debatable. Again, the Camarilla may have little to no use for the concept of "Machismo" but they surely respect and covet military might.
                            13. Debatable. As said above some princes might employ this strategy to mantain and increase their power base.
                            14. Debatable as well. Not a universal Camarilla feature but the Camarilla is only honest when it suits for it to be honest (i.e. not often at all). The neonates of the Camarilla are not told they are probably going to die for their sires but that "one day", if they follow the rules, they will inherit their mantle, which is something 99% of said sires do not intend to ever give to anyone else but themselves.
                            So, to my count is 7 fascist traits out of 14, with 5 debatable ones and only 2 traits the Camarilla does not share at all with the fascist model.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post
                              If we take a disjunctive approach to the list, or that the Camarilla doesn't fulfill all the criteria just most of it, then the Ivory Tower deserves being called fascist under even Eco's definition. I've stated before that the Camarilla (and for that matter the Sabbat) were as close to totalitarian states as they each could be. However, much of my thinking about totalitarianism is shaped by Hannah Arendt more than by Eco, I have to confess.
                              One thing to keep in mind is that Eco was a semiologist and he tried to establish the general features that defined the fascist ideology from his own point of view. If we look at things from an historical prospective they become much more nuanced. The fascist movement that was born on March 23, 1919 in Milan is NOT the same fascist movement that was financed and armed by the agrarian elites as a reaction to strikes and social unrest a couple of years later and was employed by them to beat and kill protesters and trade union leaders. It changed again when it was allowed to take power by the ruling italian elites and the military (unlike nazism, the fascist party did not initially enjoy the widespread consent it would gather later on, it was just seen as a convenient tool to rein in the "reds" and their revolutionary aims). It became something else after it took power and banned all other parties, turning Italy into a dictatorship (and basically the first modern totalitarian state, one that would heavily "inspire" Hitler, support Franco and even garnered high praise from one Winston Churchill).
                              Interestingly enough fascism was initially critical of nazi racist theories until it became politically convenient for it to change tune and add racist undertones to its ideology and propaganda (mainly because of Hitler's successes and growing power). This is evident with how the fascist attitude towards jews changed through the years. From the very beginning of the fascist regime more than a few jews joined and supported the fascist party and until 1943 Italy refused to give up their jewish citizens to the nazis (although the racial laws were introduced in Italy in 1938 as part of the "Steel Alliance" with nazi Germany). After 1943 Mussolini supported all nazi requests (and he could not do anything else for the country had been split in two and he depended on the nazi to stay alive).
                              That is to say, from an historical prospective things are extremely complex and that's why Eco speaks about "eternal fascism" and not the actual regime.
                              Last edited by Haquim; 08-06-2020, 07:05 PM.

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