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armphid's Avatar

12.07.2012 , 07:34 PM | #13
I play mainly Republic, but I have a few Empire characters as well. I will openly say that I am heavily Republic leaning in my play and personal philosophy. The only reason I play Empire at all is because of friends of mine who play that side that I want to talk to/game with.

I've noticed that most of the pro-Empire posts here have to insert hypotheticals or brush off parts of Imperial doctrine/culture that undermine their argument. IF the Emperor was good, IF the Sith were fair and noble minded. IF this and If that. They aren't; no amount of what ifs will change that.

The reality is that the Empire is rabidly xenophobic and genocidal, elitist to an extent that even humans who can't use the Force are second class citizens and can be slain on a whim by their Sith overlords, and that any social mobility is an illusion unless you're a Sith. Because even if you're a Moff, some punk Sith can still decide to part your hair with a lightning bolt and it's his right to do so. And even if you are Sith, you can be murdered by your fellows (who are encouraged to do so) if they want your stuff and it will be institutionally ignored. Playing Empire side, I've lost count of how many missions I've had to do that are all the result of Darth Ponderous or Lord Pretensor's grudge/pet project/cause being put forth and dozens/hundreds/thousands of lives and millions of credits wasted by the Empire. That seems pretty corrupt to me.

The OP also castigated the Republic for allowing slavery in other governments but the fact that the Empire openly enslaves hundreds of millions of people is all right somehow. There is no slavery in the Republic; it is illegal and those who practice it are criminals who are pursued and prosecuted when caught. If there is slavery in parts of the galaxy that are not part of the Republic, it is not their job to make other governments do what they want. They control their territory, their citizens, and their laws, not that of other people.

The Republic is flawed; there's no such thing as a perfect government of any kind but any one that is based on the activity and will of the populace will be as flawed as people are. The Republic as an institution is more fair, more open, and more capable of change and advancement. There will be corruption, because some people are corrupt but it's not the institutionalized and accepted corruption of the Sith Empire. The corruption can also be expunged more easily; in a democracy, the government can be overthrown whenever the populace wants it to be and change effected. If the people want it and are willing to buckle down and do it, all the structures and systems are in place to effect change. It's not that it is perfect but that it can be that way if the people try hard enough. Reformers in the Republic build support, win small victories and build on them, gaining momentum until change is effected. Reformers in the Empire are killed.

In the Empire, there's no reason to want to change anything and even if you did, there's no way to do it without a coup d'etat, the structure doesn't support that kind of thing. The more terrible parts of the Empire are, in fact, essential for it's functioning. The Empire needs slavery; it couldn't afford to do all the things it does if it had to pay for all that work/food/equipment. The Empire needs xenophobia because it keeps the ruling class from completely disintegrating into paranoid massacres that would fracture it immediately; it creates a boogeyman for them all to unite against. The Jedi and the Republic work the same way for that purpose. The Empire's evil is part of the institution and thus any attempt to change it would have to fundamentally remake the institution itself.
"It's a shallow life that leaves few scars." -- Garrison Keillor