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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.

  • Satchel
    replied
    Reminder that the Exarchs are not limited to patronizing one Ministry at a time and that the Chancellor in particular supports at least fourteen Ministries, including not only Mammon but Pantechnicon, a lesser Ministry that both lost the race with Panopticon to become a Great Ministry during the 1940s and is characterized as made up in large part of Hegemonic defectors.

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  • mcgonigle
    replied
    Originally posted by Primordial newcomer View Post

    I understand that the ministry has made mistakes, but a large part or what makes a ministry powerful and more attractive to prospective seers is when the I influence of its respective Exarch is far reaching and strong. while I can see them being weakened by their mistakes, I see no reason as to why they are steadily losing influence within the Throne
    Firstly I suspect that isn't the case, as new Seers are being recruited they aren't going to have the mystic understanding of which Exarch is dominant, who recruits them, who makes a good early pitch. There may be cases of Seers awakening directly to an Exarch and then ending up in that ministry. But it's not certain that actually happens as opposed to being spin, and even so it will only account for seers of that path (and probably not all of them.)

    Secondly if the Hegemonic ministry has recently had a really prominent loss that's the information the proto-seer has access to easily. Even if it isn't the case the Chancellor's Ministry gaining ower from the Unities Ministry could be misinterpreted to the Exarches are swapping position even if that is wrong.

    Thirdly I am certain that weakening the ministry will drastically reduce the effective influence of the Exarch. As much as they are drawing power from the state of the world the ministries are their primary tools of influence. The pieces on the board. Yes, they have other tools, but the use of these is always referred to as rare when compared to the actions of the Seers (and if the Unity and it's Archmage minions are relying on Ochumenta and subtle intervention more

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  • Mrmdubois
    replied
    Worth noting the ascendance of a Ministry has nothing to do with the success of their Exarch sponsor. They are completely temporal phenomena. Many Ministries have come and gone.

    This is in stark contrast to the Pentacle, or at least the Diamond which even if you wiped them out would arise again.

    If you wiped out a Ministry it’s gone. Sure, Seers would choose to worship that Exarch still, but they’d form a new Ministry to do it. It’s happened before.

    Speculating, but it’s mentioned in SoS that apparently Ananke were active during the era of Alexander and helped engineer the original conception of the Pentacle. That could be why the Diamond formed and can’t be truly erased since the Ananke are still around just waiting for their cue to ensure the Orders arise again and again. Ministries apparently don’t bother to have that kind of insurance. Probably because the Seers have the Exarchs, and as long as worship of the Exarchs continues they have no need to direct specific Ministries to exist.

    Essentially, if Mammon is on the rise, and the Hegemon is on the way out, the Exarchs don’t care because they still have their adoring slaves. Only the Seers are keeping that score.
    Last edited by Mrmdubois; 01-05-2020, 01:32 AM.

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  • Primordial newcomer
    replied
    Originally posted by mcgonigle View Post
    It might be worth focusing on the Hegemonic Ministry rather than the fields they represent:

    The Hegemonic Ministry is the oldest true Ministry, at one point they were completely dominant within the Seers as the only great ministry being founded in the 16th century (and the Seers don't seem to have the absurd dull historical constancy of the Diamond Orders) all the other Ministries were formed since, during which times what a state is how it acts and how you manipulate it has changed vastly. There are multiple points where they could have thrown in behind the wrong power and lost influence, and I'd be surprised if some of their Pylons didn't loose power during WW2, as they back the wrong superstates.

    The other Factor is the 'Great Refusal' that was the Hegemonic Ministries Grand Failure, and the books actually talk about that as a factor more than the symbolism of the world. The Great Purge probably cost the ministry greatly both in terms of political prestige, but also probably casualties. Representatives who had been working with the Nameless orders, getting killed as the Free Council is born. Those causalities are likely from the more modern members of the Hegemonic, and it's that loss of mindset and skill that creates the possibility of the Ministry Falling.

    Mammon is a younger ministry, maybe the youngest of the 5, probably with any Archmages understanding the modern world better, it's power is likely to be more focused in the more capitalist countries which are generally on the ascent through this time period. With the great refusal they start to gain power in areas that would traditionally be Hegemonic controlled, the wars leave them coming out stronger. (The Panopticon is probably also growing and intruding into
    For all the Trump administration with it's Xenophobia and America First aspects is upholding the ideals of the Unity, that could just as easily be the success of the Chancellor (Or at least they have an easier time dealing with the erratic businessman.)
    I understand that the ministry has made mistakes, but a large part or what makes a ministry powerful and more attractive to prospective seers is when the I influence of its respective Exarch is far reaching and strong. while I can see them being weakened by their mistakes, I see no reason as to why they are steadily losing influence within the Throne

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  • mcgonigle
    replied
    It might be worth focusing on the Hegemonic Ministry rather than the fields they represent:

    The Hegemonic Ministry is the oldest true Ministry, at one point they were completely dominant within the Seers as the only great ministry being founded in the 16th century (and the Seers don't seem to have the absurd dull historical constancy of the Diamond Orders) all the other Ministries were formed since, during which times what a state is how it acts and how you manipulate it has changed vastly. There are multiple points where they could have thrown in behind the wrong power and lost influence, and I'd be surprised if some of their Pylons didn't loose power during WW2, as they back the wrong superstates.

    The other Factor is the 'Great Refusal' that was the Hegemonic Ministries Grand Failure, and the books actually talk about that as a factor more than the symbolism of the world. The Great Purge probably cost the ministry greatly both in terms of political prestige, but also probably casualties. Representatives who had been working with the Nameless orders, getting killed as the Free Council is born. Those causalities are likely from the more modern members of the Hegemonic, and it's that loss of mindset and skill that creates the possibility of the Ministry Falling.

    Mammon is a younger ministry, maybe the youngest of the 5, probably with any Archmages understanding the modern world better, it's power is likely to be more focused in the more capitalist countries which are generally on the ascent through this time period. With the great refusal they start to gain power in areas that would traditionally be Hegemonic controlled, the wars leave them coming out stronger. (The Panopticon is probably also growing and intruding into
    For all the Trump administration with it's Xenophobia and America First aspects is upholding the ideals of the Unity, that could just as easily be the success of the Chancellor (Or at least they have an easier time dealing with the erratic businessman.)

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  • Tessie
    replied
    Originally posted by Michael Brazier View Post
    Now look at the 20th century - do you see explicitly religious tyranny anywhere in it? Religious faith generally was at a nadir during that century; it was dwindling as the 19th century advanced, and is reviving now, but hasn't really become a serious political force.
    It doesn't have to be explicit (most Exarchs doesn't represent outright dictatorships). It doesn't have to be a political force (although it very much still is). It only needs to be present in society for the Father and the Paternoster to flourish. Imposing injustice based on religious doctrine is something that happens globally; be it through legalism or domestically within the home. It's not as pervasive as it once was, but even today I'd consider the Father being the foremost of the Archigenitors. As I wrote in the very first reply in this thread; the Father's influence diminishing doesn't mean he's lagging behind, only that the gap between him and the others is shrinking.

    Also, the status of being an Archigenitor is based on the success of your largest Ministry. As long as the Paternoster is going strong in their endeavours they're still a major Ministry even though their (absolutely massive) arena has shrunk a little.
    On the same theme, the Hegemonic Ministry was probably heavily invested in the fascist movements, organisations and nations that arose in the 20th century. Once many of those broke apart they probably lost a lot of their influence even though new movements has arisen since then. I.e. even if Unity's influence isn't as broken as we thought back when the book was written, it doesn't mean the Hegemonic Ministry reflects that.

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  • glamourweaver
    replied
    The counter argument here is that the current surge of nationalism around the world are the death throws of the nation state before the inevitable tide of multinational corporate power - the long term tragedy being that said nationalist movements are backed by said multinational corporate powers because they don’t actually inhibit those forces but do inhibit the creation of democratic international institutions that could serve to check said corporate power.
    Last edited by glamourweaver; 01-02-2020, 02:54 PM.

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  • ArcaneArts
    replied
    Originally posted by Michael Brazier View Post
    IMO the Chancellor pushing aside the Unity isn't the main error in Seers of the Throne. The real mistake is placing the Father as a major Exarch.

    See, the Unity represents fascism, straight up - the idea that a nation should place itself, entirely, into the service of a state and be organized toward a single goal. The Chancellor represents materialism, the idea that matter is the basic reality and minds a mere byproduct. And the Father represents fideism, the idea that reason is inherently corrupt and leads only to sin, and that only uncritical obedience to authority can instill virtue. Now look at the 20th century - do you see explicitly religious tyranny anywhere in it?
    Uh.

    Everywhere.

    A lot.

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  • Michael Brazier
    replied
    IMO the Chancellor pushing aside the Unity isn't the main error in Seers of the Throne. The real mistake is placing the Father as a major Exarch.

    See, the Unity represents fascism, straight up - the idea that a nation should place itself, entirely, into the service of a state and be organized toward a single goal. The Chancellor represents materialism, the idea that matter is the basic reality and minds a mere byproduct. And the Father represents fideism, the idea that reason is inherently corrupt and leads only to sin, and that only uncritical obedience to authority can instill virtue. Now look at the 20th century - do you see explicitly religious tyranny anywhere in it? Religious faith generally was at a nadir during that century; it was dwindling as the 19th century advanced, and is reviving now, but hasn't really become a serious political force. Materialism and fascism, meanwhile, were the dominant ideas of that century. Its course could be summarized, in fact, as fascism's promising to bring material abundance to the nations that accepted it, and then failing to deliver - that is, the Chancellor seated in judgement over the Unity, and finding him wanting.

    A truer allegory for recent politics would have the Unity and the Chancellor as the two premier Exarchs, dividing the world between them, and the Chancellor with the upper hand, having won a decisive victory with the Soviet Union's collapse. The Father would be, at best, a returning power, taking what opportunities he can.

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  • Leliel
    replied
    Originally posted by Spencer from The Hills View Post
    To be honest, I've never clocked any of those, can you name any examples?

    The big one that comes to mind is India when the East India Trading Company was still owning it.

    To say it was an economic disaster was putting it mildly. One of the dirty secrets about colonialism is that colonies tend to operate at monetary losses, and India's infrastructure under them was so cheap and half-assed that much of its own money was based around trying to put out the fires they themselves caused, because trying to build proper infrastructure did not lead to high profits for that year, so there was no will to do so. The Company was kept alive by regular infusions of cash from the British, not because they could support themselves from their colony.

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  • Spencer from The Hills
    replied
    Originally posted by Leliel View Post
    There's a reason corporate-run states are known to be utterly incompetent at being states.
    To be honest, I've never clocked any of those, can you name any examples?

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  • Primordial newcomer
    replied
    honestly, the Hegemony losing so much power is kinda ridiculous. I feel it's because at the time 1st edition was a thing, mega corporations were like a big idea in fiction. with that, they felt they could have a sorta business style ministry while excusing all the incredibly corrupt governments in today's world (relative I mean. obviously chronicles of darkness does not ignore corrupt government, but mage seems to act like the corporations are a lot worse)

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  • Leliel
    replied
    Originally posted by Livius Magos View Post

    I more or less agree with this except the last part about having to become hermits*. Globalization has only made the State more “godlike” and unassailable. Large corporations and the State almost always work in tandem against the people. They have far more to gain working together against “us” than they do fighting. If anything I would say that all four of the Ministries have become more powerful in the 21st century.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the Ministries are actually cohesive allies to one another and their supposed rivalry is greatly exaggerated to lure the Pentacle into a false sense of security.

    *Their power is tied to Vice and tyranny. They represent pathocracy, rule by sociopaths, Cluster-B’s and evil. Imo they could be beaten if everyone simply embraced Virtue/“goodness.”

    Which all sounds great for the Seers, right up until you read their actual motto. "We deserve power, and the Exarchs will give us that power." By definition, some are more deserving than others.

    For all their posturing, the first people the Seers learn to Lie to is themselves. "Cohesive ally" for them is "guy who thinks exactly like me and does not have something I want or wants something I have or wants what I want."

    That is not possible. They need the Pentacle to define an enemy to define themselves against. Because if they don't have an enemy outside the group, they'll find one within it. That is evil. It is stupid, short-term, and unwise. Patient people, who understand ethical selfishness, don't generally act like overblown sociopaths, they recognize what's good for the all is good for them - but they would have to recognize people who aren't like them might benefit too.

    If you're looking for a great plan to deceive their enemies, you've already been fooled by them. The world is a far stranger and more menacing place than one where there is coherent "sides" in a war; they want you to think they're this monolithic, unassailable force, because then they might believe it. If you see the cracks - well, suddenly the Exarchs' promises don't seem so appealing anymore, do they?

    EDIT: And assuming that large corporations and states work together because something something oppression is an incredible oversimplification. They often benefit each other, but assuming it's at all coordinated assumes a level of forethought a lot of people who do this just don't have. Or organization. Or really, ability to trust the other. There's a reason corporate-run states are known to be utterly incompetent at being states.
    Last edited by Leliel; 01-01-2020, 07:26 PM.

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  • Livius Magos
    replied
    Originally posted by The Kings Raven View Post
    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.
    I more or less agree with this except the last part about having to become hermits*. Globalization has only made the State more “godlike” and unassailable. Large corporations and the State almost always work in tandem against the people. They have far more to gain working together against “us” than they do fighting. If anything I would say that all four of the Ministries have become more powerful in the 21st century.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the Ministries are actually cohesive allies to one another and their supposed rivalry is greatly exaggerated to lure the Pentacle into a false sense of security.

    *Their power is tied to Vice and tyranny. They represent pathocracy, rule by sociopaths, Cluster-B’s and evil. Imo they could be beaten if everyone simply embraced Virtue/“goodness.”

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