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Why is the Hegemonic Ministry the one that is being replaced?

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  • Why is the Hegemonic Ministry the one that is being replaced?

    Greetings,

    The fluff of the Seers mentions that Unity is soon to be kicked out of the list of Archigenitors, to be replaced by the Chancellor. But if the World of Darkness is like ours but with supernatural creatures, the Father or the General seems to be the ones losing ground:
    - Even counting Syria, ISIL, Boko Haram, Yemen and other recent conflicts, worldwide there are fewer conflicts and deaths by violence every decade.

    - If the diminishing of violence could be reasonably doubted, at least religiosity is going down surely. Materialism (the Chancellor) is not eating patriotism but religiosity (the Father).
    The rise of the extreme right and nationalistic interests recently shows that Hegemonic is alive and kicking, and the Father seems to be the one in trouble. Am I missing something? Are there signs that show that Hegemonic is truly dying?
    Last edited by lbeaumanior; 07-24-2019, 11:01 AM.

  • #2
    The fear of war is still extremely strong. Nuclear war, while certainly not as pressing as it once was, is still something everyone knows could break out at any time. It also influences global politics. On top of that we have the fear of terrorism (which is also a type of armed conflict, though not outright war) that has made many countries take security measures at the cost of certain liberties.

    The Father, while certainly not in his prime, still has a massive presence around the globe. That his influence has diminished recently doesn't necessarily mean he's lagging behind the other archigenitors. It might just mean that the gap between him and the others has shrunk.


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    • #3
      The symbolism of the Unity is that of the state being the source and ultimate arbitrer of power, which is then used to close the country upon itself and suppress individuality. One example of this is the Tokugawa shogunate, which had a rigid caste system, prohibited entering and exiting the country, made importing goods very difficult and centralized power in the shogun.

      But ever since WW1, these scenarios became less common. Where we often found aristocracy and a king we find democracy. Where there were once more reasons for each nation to do its own thing we now have the UN to set limits and mediate. Globalization means there are less means to control information than before. There is also the rise in power of corporations and their very strong influence on daily life and governance.

      In essence, a more interconnected and informed society doesn't generally fall into the Unity's brand of tyranny.


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      • #4
        Unity is control through xenophobia, it's still very much alive, but at the time that was originally written it seemed to be shrinking. The General isn't the Exarch of just war, but of control through violence, which okay, even if it's going down is still one of the biggest self-inflicted problems humanity has ever dealt with. The Father isn't just the Exarch of religion, but of control through dogma which has hardly budged, even if religious participation has declined.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by lbeaumanior View Post
          The rise of the extreme right and nationalistic interests recently shows that Hegemonic is alive and kicking, and the Father seems to be the one in trouble. Am I missing something? Are there signs that show that Hegemonic is truly dying?
          The writers not having a crystal ball that would allow them to predict the rise of populism, nationalism, and general embrace of hate is probably the best bet. It's not as if corporations are dying in power, and even amorphous things like prime numbers and 'your information' are a commodity. Given The book was written 3+ years ago it's an understandable view that 'hey maybe the Hegemonic Ministry won't be ascendant forever.'

          There's also the reading of it, which is a bit exaggerated. 'As theocracies and corporate interests rise ascendant over political interests, many within the Pyramid whisper that the 21st century will be the last with Hegemony as a Great Ministry.' Is not exactly a promise that they're 'soon to be kicked out.' You have 80 years of possibility and just like the writers had no crystal ball in 2015, we don't have one now.

          Plus it's a story hook. Gives you some reason to have the Ministry of Mammon seeking in roads against the Unity, and members of the Hegemonic to be paranoid about Seers who follow the Chancellor.

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          • #6
            During the 80's and 90's, Globalization, Neoliberalism and the Postmodern Condition certainly ate away at the power of the Unity, giving rise to the Chancellor. It's surprisingly easy to forget how different the world was before 2016. Not because the signs weren't there for those paying attention, but even for those who were how quickly things moved along is kind of surprising, so it's easy for me to cut the devs some slack in not taking into account the then imminent resurgence of fascism worldwide. But I'd would say that's the Unity's counter offensive, unwilling to lose more ground to The Chancellor and desperate to regain what was lost. Who will win in the end is yet to be seen.

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            • #7
              There's also internal politics to concider. The Hegemonic Ministry hedged its bets in the 1930s and backed both of the two possible political ideologies that could possibly go on to dominate the 20th and 21st centuries - fascism and soviet communism.

              This did not reflect well on them when it went tits up.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Darth Fanboy View Post
                There's also internal politics to concider. The Hegemonic Ministry hedged its bets in the 1930s and backed both of the two possible political ideologies that could possibly go on to dominate the 20th and 21st centuries - fascism and soviet communism.

                This did not reflect well on them when it went tits up.
                Is that canon backstory? I might be forgetting some of the book. Wow thats fascinating!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Scarlet Witch View Post

                  Is that canon backstory? I might be forgetting some of the book. Wow thats fascinating!
                  OK, I would have sworn I was working from actual information, but I can't bloody find it anywhere. Possibly I'm remembering a forum post, possibly it's just something I concocted im my own fevered little brain. Anyway.

                  What I did confirm is that the Hegemonic Ministry was heavily involved with the Axis (seriously, look at their logo, it's a literal fasces), but they were already weakened by the Great Refusal and the failure of their would-be Technocracy. They spent the 1950s onwards having their supremacy undermined by the up-and-coming Panopticon (who made out like bandits on the Cold War) and their own splinter group the Pantechnicon. At least in the 1940s, the attempts to control the US had been mostly foiled, their Soviet dupes too-often wound up on the wrong end of the purges, and the attempts to keep control of their Nazi dupes ended up relying too much on mind control and further destabilizing their marks. This is from the (very interesting) Mage Noir book.

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                  • #10
                    There's an alternative reading that the entry is being poetic. It's a correlation that Seers observe, it's isn't a confirmation of cause and effect. I think it's worth remembering that the ministries are themselves still concrete organisations. How well their niche is doing is secondary to the actual health of the organisation.

                    For example, Geryon were a ministry devoted to... fear of secretive groups? Or something like that. Now, that kind of fear is pretty endemic, but that didn't stop a Scelesti summoning a swarm of Gulmoth to rip their minister apart.

                    Equally, one could ask, where has Mammon been? The ideas that it promotes aren't new.

                    'Course there's also an issue that the Ministries are not terribly consistent. The Hegemony in Seers is subtly different to the one in the 2e core (arguably, there was also some confusion within the Seers book too). Mammon fluctuates between materialism and marketisation.

                    Originally posted by Darth Fanboy View Post
                    OK, I would have sworn I was working from actual information, but I can't bloody find it anywhere. Possibly I'm remembering a forum post, possibly it's just something I concocted im my own fevered little brain. Anyway.
                    It's floated around as an idea more or less since Seers came out. Also, the entry for Hegemony directly mentions Fascism as a core tenet. (Though, that being said, it's a quite idiosyncratic definition it uses).


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                    • #11
                      Personally I'm highly unconvinced that the Hegimonic Ministry is going to fall. I think that idea relies on a very narrow view of history that starts around WWII. If you go back far enough Autocracy was a progressive, yes, progressive, idea. Thomas Hobbes' book Leviathan would be an example of this. The idea was that one strong king who has an absolute state monopoly on violence could end the never ending feudal conflicts between barons and counts and bring about peace and stability. That has enormous parallels to the problems facing today's Hegimon.

                      You belong to this barony/country and must fear the people from the neighbouring barony/country. Remember what those bastards did in the war?

                      Fast forward and nationalism is the progressive idea. In the early modern world loyalty to monarchy and religion is declining; a sense of national identity would be the new cement to hold society together in a progressive spirit of "liberté, égalité, fraternité". If the Unity is control through xenophobia you can't ignore how a spirit of nationalism helped overcome divisions; for example by uniting the various German states into one Germany. Or by bringing East and West Germany toeather after the fall of the Berlin Wall. (I'm sure you all know the dark side of German Nationalism so I don't need to go into that here.)

                      What we're seeing today with globalisation is nothing new. In the short term (read, 100 years at least) I think it's significantly more likely to lead to something like competing power blocks (USA, EU, China) that are fairly close to modern nation states in structure than it is to lead to something drastically different like cyberpunk style megacorps replacing traditional governments. The borders get bigger, the poeple inside those borders Unify, but in the end there's still geographical regions with us and them on the other side. Us might include more ethnic groups than before, but go back far enough and Anglo Saxons and Normans would have as much tension as German Americans and African Americans. (Fun fact, people with Norman surnames are still disproportionately represented in top universities).

                      I feel the writers missed a big opportunity here. The Unity is all about conformity and subsuming the individual to the state, but every time some progressive movement has replaced the old style state, they've done it with a bigger state. Is the Unity running some big scam where everyone opposing The Unity is secretly another agent of The Unity? "We got those silly Prussians and Saxons to merge conform into Germans. Mwahahaa. Next well unify the Germans and the French! Then the world!!! MWAHAHA". It also does make sense that somebody called The Unity would like to make all the various nations with their own cultures and traditions conform to one Unified world state at some point.

                      Personally I really like that idea. That the world is so thoroughly under the Exarch's thumb that every option is still submission to the Exarchs. Unless the entire population goes and lives as hermits or something.
                      Last edited by The Kings Raven; 07-27-2019, 06:29 PM.


                      “There are no rules. Only Principles and natural laws.” - Promethius
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                      • #12
                        You do know that when Hobbes wrote Leviathan, Locke was writing Two Treatises of Government, right? No, autocracy wasn't considered progressive, it wasn't some slide forward into a different mode, it was an argument that human beings were awful and the problem was that monarchy wasn't powerful and restrictive enough. Likewise, it's kind of bizarre to try and invoke nationalism as a progressive concept in the wake of WWII when it was the direct cause of the very issue you're claiming it helped solve.

                        But this is what I'd expect from a guy who worked on a fan supplement which posited civil rights groups were actually fronts for or infiltrated by evil agents of disharmony.


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                        • #13
                          First things first, you say that Locke was writing Two Treatises when Hobbes wrote Leviathan. Leviathan was published in 1651, Two Treatises was published 1689, almost four decades later. Two Treatises cites other writers' commentary on Leviathan, that's how big a gap between the two were. Now that's out the way, Hobbes did think humans are awful - I think he was wrong about that but I cut him some slack since his country had just gone through a civil war, and before it the persistent religious conflicts of the Tudor period, and the War of the Roses before that - however Hobbes' views on human nature are not relevant to whether or not he was progressive. Hobbes was arguing to replace the concept of the divine right of kings with a social contract. That is a very progressive idea, Hobbes is the father of modern social contract theory which remains vital to our political philosophy today. And his ideas of autocracy are an early form of the state monopoly of violence, which is also considered to be a good thing and a key part of today's political philosophies. Yes, he took it far too far by giving the sovereign absolute power. But he was trying to progress society onwards from constant feudal & religious civil strife and in doing so he came up with ideas that are still vital to today's political systems.

                          As for nationalism, I acknowledged the dark side of nationalism in my post, but you can acknowledge the dark side of Nationalism and still point out examples where nationalism produced results that go against The Unity's symbols of rule through xenophobia by erasing a border or two. It's simply a historical fact that The Kingdom of Prussa and the Kingdom of Württemberg once fought each other in wars. It's simply a historical fact that German Nationalism lead to Prussa and Württemberg becoming part of the same nation state, leading to the end of xenophobia between those two peoples. Acknowledging those historical facts is neither excusing or downplaying anything that happened during WWII.

                          Quite the opposite, the entire point of my post was that the movement that ended xenophobia between Prussa and Württemberg only ended up creating more xenophobia: Xenophobia between Germany and France, xenophobia between Germans and German Jews. And that the writers had missed out on some awesome potential by limiting The Unity to specific ideologies, rather than making The Unity an expression of how every time new political ideas come along proposing to unite feuding people (English Catholics and English Protestants, Prussans and Württembergans) xenophobia inevitably crops up again.

                          Originally posted by Biston View Post
                          But this is what I'd expect from a guy who worked on a fan supplement which posited civil rights groups were actually fronts for or infiltrated by evil agents of disharmony.
                          Literally never happened. I wrote one specific villain group who use rhetoric along the line of Marvel Cinematic Universe's Killmonger and is opposed by genuine civil rights activists. There's not one word suggesting the wider civil rights movement are fronts for or infiltrated by evil.
                          Last edited by The Kings Raven; 07-27-2019, 07:00 PM.


                          “There are no rules. Only Principles and natural laws.” - Promethius
                          My Homebrew no longer fits in a signature, you can find an index of it here.
                          Full length fan-books I contributed too: Princess: the Hopeful, Leviathan: the Tempest, Dream Catchers

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by lbeaumanior View Post
                            Greetings,

                            The fluff of the Seers mentions that Unity is soon to be kicked out of the list of Archigenitors, to be replaced by the Chancellor. But if the World of Darkness is like ours but with supernatural creatures, the Father or the General seems to be the ones losing ground:
                            - Even counting Syria, ISIL, Boko Haram, Yemen and other recent conflicts, worldwide there are fewer conflicts and deaths by violence every decade.

                            - If the diminishing of violence could be reasonably doubted, at least religiosity is going down surely. Materialism (the Chancellor) is not eating patriotism but religiosity (the Father).
                            The rise of the extreme right and nationalistic interests recently shows that Hegemonic is alive and kicking, and the Father seems to be the one in trouble. Am I missing something? Are there signs that show that Hegemonic is truly dying?
                            Mrm handled the ways in which Praetorian and Paternoster continue to thrive based on Exarchial influence, so let's address the aspect I feel like has been ignored: the co-opting of tribalism into the commodication of everything.

                            Keeping it fairly simple, while we are seeing a rise of nationalism and further tribalistic divides, the capitalist-consumerist mindset has wormed it's way into all of that, where identity is brand and product. The politics of the day all continue to spin around the pursuit of stuff, and while we haven't devolved into a complete kleptocracy/mega-corporate run world yet, we continue to inch closer and closer to the point where profit margins draw the border lines (more so than usual, I mean), and as nation becomes product more and more, Mammon begins to hijack a lot of the methods and power bases that Hegemony relies on.

                            The current surge of political factors definitely work in Hegemony's favor, but given how much of the dialogue of the day surrounds those factors and far less in regards to attacking the commodification of anything and everything, right now it looks like the Chancellor's primary means of subjugating humanity has a hell of a lot of staying power, where as Unity begins to looks more and more like a support structure of those means. That can still change, and Hegemony has some sturdy grounding, but for now, coin is (tyrant-)king.

                            Unrelated, the Geryon Ministry is about by oppression by hidden forces.


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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
                              Mrm handled the ways in which Praetorian and Paternoster continue to thrive based on Exarchial influence, so let's address the aspect I feel like has been ignored: the co-opting of tribalism into the commodication of everything.

                              Keeping it fairly simple, while we are seeing a rise of nationalism and further tribalistic divides, the capitalist-consumerist mindset has wormed it's way into all of that, where identity is brand and product. The politics of the day all continue to spin around the pursuit of stuff, and while we haven't devolved into a complete kleptocracy/mega-corporate run world yet, we continue to inch closer and closer to the point where profit margins draw the border lines (more so than usual, I mean), and as nation becomes product more and more, Mammon begins to hijack a lot of the methods and power bases that Hegemony relies on.

                              The current surge of political factors definitely work in Hegemony's favor, but given how much of the dialogue of the day surrounds those factors and far less in regards to attacking the commodification of anything and everything, right now it looks like the Chancellor's primary means of subjugating humanity has a hell of a lot of staying power, where as Unity begins to looks more and more like a support structure of those means. That can still change, and Hegemony has some sturdy grounding, but for now, coin is (tyrant-)king.

                              Unrelated, the Geryon Ministry is about by oppression by hidden forces.
                              IDK I hear lots of criticism of Capitalism or Neoliberalism then again I Regularly watch breadtube. And R/Anarchism, also 52 Precent of Younger people doubt capitalism. Also what book is the Geryon Ministry in?

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