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The real reason Empire is more popular than Republic

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Story and Lore
The real reason Empire is more popular than Republic

Lesaberisa's Avatar


Lesaberisa
09.16.2013 , 05:17 PM | #231
Quote: Originally Posted by BradTheImpaler View Post
"The Empire faction lacks substance and depth"? The Agent story and character has far, far more depth than the Consular, as just one example.
Perhaps on a personal level, but the Consular story is much more broad in its implications about the side you are playing - the Republic is strong because of people like the consular building ties with the kinds of populations and factions the Empire would just steamroll, enslave and destroy. One of the foundations for why the Republic is the "better" option for the galaxy is that it is inclusive; the Sith Empire is most decidedly not.

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Anyway, I made a thread/post about this a while ago. I almost always played light side in both KOTOR 1 & 2, and Imperial characters have the option of playing light side as well. So I don't know how common my view is, but I play as an Imperial and I don't think "It's cool to be evil".
LS Imperials are very different than LS Republic characters though. They're much closer to "less evil than most Imperials" or "not puppy-kicking evil". You're still perpetuating and supporting a political system built upon genocide, slavery and the utter destruction of individual rights.


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The Republic is evil in a more disguised and in that sense worse way. The Empire, at least, is open about its intentions and represents a challenge to the Republic
I don't understand how doing worse things is somehow mitigated by being "open about it". Why is it somehow morally better to be open about committing atrocities than having under the table corruption? The Republic may be flawed, but at least its system is designed to give people recourse when these flaws manifest itself. The Empire is run at the whims of the Sith.

For what it's worth, the Empire is also full of people who delude themselves into thinking they're somehow more enlightened because they don't tolerate aliens, practice slavery, etc.

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Since this is Star Wars, though, and so far we're left with the choice of a "lesser of two evils" between Republic and Empire, it's worth saying that any criticism you could make of the Empire could be made just as easily of the Republic, only on an even larger scale because the Republic is huge.
Yes, because the Republic practices genocide, slavery, racism, etc. on a grander scale than the Empire?

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At least being a corrupt and lazy noble trying to play politics will eventually get you removed in the Empire.
Unless you're Sith. Or have a powerful patron. Corruption runs rampant in the Empire too, only it's considered par for the course rather than something to correct.

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The Jedi chain themselves to fighting for the status quo, no matter how corrupt it is. The Sith can be terrible, but they can also be pragmatists who genuinely believe there's a better way to do things than the Republic's way (i.e. Darth Marr's idea of an Empire built on "loyalty and passion" as opposed to the Republic's bloated bureaucracy and imposed alliances).
Because Marr's "Empire built on loyalty and passion" is anything but propaganda? I wasn't aware the slaves, political prisoners and other victims of the Empire were going to be willing participants.

Leaving that line aside, the "better way" of the Sith is a magocacy built on the dark side and power that crushes all those that disagree. How is that a better way?

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tl;dr The Empire is the lesser of two evils and maybe gives an opportunity to a better third faction by challenging the Republic.
Would love to see some kind of coherent argument for the Empire being anything close to a "lesser evil" than the Republic.
Finest mediocre fanfic this side of the Outer Rim:Trooper / Inquisitor

Xakthul's Avatar


Xakthul
09.16.2013 , 07:34 PM | #232
A few things that make me roll Empire again and again:

1) You can basically wear whatever you want. You could be wearing Jedi robes, and still look like a Sith.

2) Red Zabraks look cooler than tan-ish ones.

3) I absolutely love the character stories. BW did really well done at making you feel hate, love, or both owards the characters

4) I loved romancing Vette. She's fun.

5) IA is exactly how I imagined it: James Bond-esqe ******ery.

6) I love the old Sith Order. Bane's Rule of Two is trash.

7) I love confusing the **** out of the Jedi NPCs.
Duelist Mixalot, Grand Champ Tellsa, Lord Saml, Apprentice Syynx, Captain Cirris, Skirmisher Janewei, Jedi Knight Jugger'not, Agent Ez'zio of <Wookies and Cream>, Harbinger
"Aim for the trolls! Kill the trolls!"- Gandalf

Fyurii's Avatar


Fyurii
09.17.2013 , 08:33 PM | #233
Quote: Originally Posted by LordDrewby View Post
I work in retail in the UK and statistically it is the most verbally abused profession in the UK. The public expect all colleagues in this area to be total idiots or uneducated throw backs, this isn't true. I have to stand back, smile, be polite and deal with them as a professional. When it comes to gaming I can finally cut their heads off in a safe, legal way using a weapon that should be issued to every person who works on a Customer Service Desk in any supermarket on the planet.
Having worked both face-to-face and over the phone customer service, I often wish to "reenact" the second Vader & Admiral Ozzel scene from ESB.
Not even in the same room, and able to choke the incompetent **** to death for annoying him. Many parts of both Scotland and England (London in particular for the latter) would suddenly have an abundancy of available living space, due to people inexplicably dying.

As for TOR (and pretty much all RPGs), I only do the "bad guy" routine just to have done it. The majority of my time is spent with the "good guys" in the Republic. I'm not saying the Republic are the good guys, just that the good guys are in the Republic.
However, I must confess that so far I've found many opportunities for the Bounty Hunter to be more of an anti-hero, at least in a way that allows me to imagine a cross between Snake Plisken and Joe/Manco/Man with No Name from the Dollars trilogy.
________║≤o≥║___________
/_______TROOPER___≡≡≡≡≡≡≡╡
\_/‾‾‾‾ // ╝‾‾╚▄▄▄▄▄/‾‾‾‾‾

BradTheImpaler's Avatar


BradTheImpaler
09.18.2013 , 06:51 PM | #234
Quote: Originally Posted by Lesaberisa View Post
Perhaps on a personal level, but the Consular story is much more broad in its implications about the side you are playing - the Republic is strong because of people like the consular building ties with the kinds of populations and factions the Empire would just steamroll, enslave and destroy. One of the foundations for why the Republic is the "better" option for the galaxy is that it is inclusive; the Sith Empire is most decidedly not.
I'm going through each of the planets in my mind and I can't think of any examples of this. In fact I'm not really sure what you mean.
I know the Consular "built ties" with opportunists such as Tai Cordan, for example. The Republic did some people political favours to bring them back into the fold after they decided enough was enough when the Republic originally abandoned them.

In fact if it weren't for Cipher Nine, the Jedi would have been decimated right along with the Sith. This has implications for both factions, not just the side you play. Meanwhile the vaunted Barcen'thor is off running errands for ambitious politicians.

Being "inclusive" in corruption is not much of a virtue, in any case, and it's absolutely no secret that most of the Republic's members are little more than supply depots for the Core Worlds. Where do you think the Rift Alliance came from? They rejoined out of political necessity, but it's clear that when the going gets tough, worlds are all too often left to fend for themselves, and even most of the citizens in the Core were left to rot before the existence of the Empire was known.

Your description of the way the Empire builds alliances is hardly fair. The Empire is perfectly capable of and willing to use diplomacy.

There are certainly times the Empire will be more...aggressive, but I can't think of any where they "steamroll, enslave and destroy" (except perhaps Taris, and in any case the occupants there were almost entirely placed there by Republic military interests---a provocative act considering its closeness to the core of Sith space). The Empire is just as willing as the Republic to form alliances, though naturally both major powers want these alliances formed in terms favourable to themselves.

Quote: Originally Posted by Lesaberisa View Post
LS Imperials are very different than LS Republic characters though. They're much closer to "less evil than most Imperials" or "not puppy-kicking evil". You're still perpetuating and supporting a political system built upon genocide, slavery and the utter destruction of individual rights.
So is the Republic, though, and no I'm not joking. Except of course that the Republic is much more bloated and can afford to not give a damn about a larger chunk of its population (or thinks it can) because it is accustomed to this.

I've played enough to know that LS Imperials are far better people than "not puppy-kicking evil". Unless evil is just a function of which faction one happens to serve, in which case there's no point in debating this because you'd have already defined anything Imperial as evil. I don't think it's that simple at all, and I doubt you do either.

Quote: Originally Posted by Lesaberisa View Post
I don't understand how doing worse things is somehow mitigated by being "open about it". Why is it somehow morally better to be open about committing atrocities than having under the table corruption?
Not being open about it shows hypocrisy, and hidden oppression is more more insidious because it is much more difficult to get people to act to put it to an end. There are things done in the Empire that cause the dispossessed to revolt which, when done in the Republic under the guise of a faux "democracy" are excused with nice words. In any case, at the very least it would show supporters of the Republic are in no position to judge the Empire on moral grounds, and would have to take some other route or concede that both systems are evil anyway.

Quote: Originally Posted by Lesaberisa View Post
The Republic may be flawed, but at least its system is designed to give people recourse when these flaws manifest itself. The Empire is run at the whims of the Sith.
The Republic gives "recourse" to nobles and to whomever fills the pocketbooks of the Senators and calls this democracy. It's an oligarchy posing as a democracy. The Empire is run largely at the whims of the Sith, yes, though non-Force sensitives do hold some power. If anything, the fact that the Empire isn't shy about using force gives more recourse to remove leaders who clearly put personal goals ahead of the survival of the Empire. So this is not to say that the Empire is more "moral". Morals don't really come into the equation. Naked oppression is as a general rule more likely to be resisted than hidden oppression, and in that sense the Empire has more room to grow.

The Republic uses legalistic means to disguise oppression and to try to limit the effectiveness of a push for change (i.e. there's no talk of replacing the corrupt Senate with a superior system or of changing the rules, but instead about, say, replacing a single corrupt Senator as though the next one won't be corrupt).

In the Republic, physical force may be outlawed as a means for change, but economic force is institutionalized, and much harder to resist.

The vast majority of citizens on Coruscant, the very heart of the Republic, who live below the tops of the towers, have no such "recourse". They're too busy scrounging to survive and probably paying protection money to undercity gangs. Even for the centuries before they knew the Sith Empire existed, the Republic allowed this human suffering to continue right under its nose.

Quote: Originally Posted by Lesaberisa View Post
For what it's worth, the Empire is also full of people who delude themselves into thinking they're somehow more enlightened because they don't tolerate aliens, practice slavery, etc.
Not so much. From playing as a Chiss IA I know this is not the case as it was, say, at the time Revan confronted the Emperor. Those who have tried to hold to this way of thinking have been marginalized more and more. Heck, it even caused a schism in the Empire. Meanwhile the institutional oppression of those in poverty in the Republic isn't even discussed.

Quote: Originally Posted by Lesaberisa View Post
Yes, because the Republic practices genocide, slavery, racism, etc. on a grander scale than the Empire?
If we're talking genocide in the broader sense of mass killing rather than racially-motivated killing, then yes to all except racism, and I've already commented on the racism issue.

Quote: Originally Posted by Lesaberisa View Post
Unless you're Sith. Or have a powerful patron. Corruption runs rampant in the Empire too, only it's considered par for the course rather than something to correct.
I'm not aware of any law that says corrupt Sith (i.e. those who enrich themselves while troops on the front lines are left without resources) cannot be removed. In the Republic, on the other hand, a Jedi can't just seize the resources he needs for the greater good from a noble because this would be "illegal" or at the very least would tick off his political masters.

So it's more the other way around, actually. The Empire knows it cannot afford corrupt people hoarding resources which could be used for the war effort. The Republic almost necessarily has more rampant corruption by virtue of the size of its bureaucracy and the political games that must be played to maintain it.

Quote: Originally Posted by Lesaberisa View Post
Because Marr's "Empire built on loyalty and passion" is anything but propaganda? I wasn't aware the slaves, political prisoners and other victims of the Empire were going to be willing participants.
Yep. Say what you will about Marr (as an agent of Imperial Intelligence, I have a bone or two to pick with him, perhaps), but if you know anything about him, you know he's sincere about this much. I'm pretty sure he was excluding slaves and potiical prisoners, though, just as much as the Republic isn't concerned with the opinions of those on Belsavis or otherwise on the fringes of society. The Empire may buy people, but the Republic just rents them, and otherwise leaves them to rot, for instance, at the mercy of drug-dealing street gangs.

Quote: Originally Posted by Lesaberisa View Post
Leaving that line aside, the "better way" of the Sith is a magocacy built on the dark side and power that crushes all those that disagree. How is that a better way?
It doesn't necessarily have to be built on the dark side, but even if it were, if by "crushes all those that disagree" you mean resists those who would see it destroyed, well yes, so does the Republic.

Quote: Originally Posted by Lesaberisa View Post
Would love to see some kind of coherent argument for the Empire being anything close to a "lesser evil" than the Republic.
Happy to oblige.

So, in short:

1. The Republic's corruption is more hidden and therefore more insidious because it is harder to resist.
2. It is unfair to characterize the Empire as irrationally violent. It is pragmatic, just as the Republic is, only it has learned the lessons of the Republic's overexpansion, bloated bureaucracy and hypocritical moralism.
3. My original point, in any case, was less to do with the Empire itself than with the fact that it provides an avenue for those who oppose the Republic, but the Empire itself certainly has its preferable points when compared to the Republic.
In the Imperial Army, it takes more courage to retreat than to advance.

Xilizhra's Avatar


Xilizhra
09.18.2013 , 07:12 PM | #235
Quote: Originally Posted by BradTheImpaler View Post
I'm going through each of the planets in my mind and I can't think of any examples of this. In fact I'm not really sure what you mean.
I know the Consular "built ties" with opportunists such as Tai Cordan, for example. The Republic did some people political favours to bring them back into the fold after they decided enough was enough when the Republic originally abandoned them.

In fact if it weren't for Cipher Nine, the Jedi would have been decimated right along with the Sith. This has implications for both factions, not just the side you play. Meanwhile the vaunted Barcen'thor is off running errands for ambitious politicians.

Being "inclusive" in corruption is not much of a virtue, in any case, and it's absolutely no secret that most of the Republic's members are little more than supply depots for the Core Worlds. Where do you think the Rift Alliance came from? They rejoined out of political necessity, but it's clear that when the going gets tough, worlds are all too often left to fend for themselves, and even most of the citizens in the Core were left to rot before the existence of the Empire was known.

Your description of the way the Empire builds alliances is hardly fair. The Empire is perfectly capable of and willing to use diplomacy.

There are certainly times the Empire will be more...aggressive, but I can't think of any where they "steamroll, enslave and destroy" (except perhaps Taris, and in any case the occupants there were almost entirely placed there by Republic military interests---a provocative act considering its closeness to the core of Sith space). The Empire is just as willing as the Republic to form alliances, though naturally both major powers want these alliances formed in terms favourable to themselves.
Well, they certainly do practice a great deal of slavery. And while the Republic may shortchange the Outer Rim, the Empire simply doesn't have enough territory to do comparable things; I should note that when the Sith do eventually take over the galaxy, they do the exact same thing except worse. Additionally, the Empire goes out of its way to disenfranchise and enslave non-humans and non-purebloods.



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So is the Republic, though, and no I'm not joking. Except of course that the Republic is much more bloated and can afford to not give a damn about a larger chunk of its population (or thinks it can) because it is accustomed to this.

I've played enough to know that LS Imperials are far better people than "not puppy-kicking evil". Unless evil is just a function of which faction one happens to serve, in which case there's no point in debating this because you'd have already defined anything Imperial as evil. I don't think it's that simple at all, and I doubt you do either.
I've played both, and there's a definite tonal difference, although it varies by planet. LS choices on Korriban, for instance, can definitely be morally good, such as getting Alif to safety and letting the Jedi prisoner get away, but on other worlds, it can come across as more pragmatic villainy (much of Taris, for instance).


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Not being open about it shows hypocrisy, and hidden oppression is more more insidious because it is much more difficult to get people to act to put it to an end. There are things done in the Empire that cause the dispossessed to revolt which, when done in the Republic under the guise of a faux "democracy" are excused with nice words. In any case, at the very least it would show supporters of the Republic are in no position to judge the Empire on moral grounds, and would have to take some other route or concede that both systems are evil anyway.
The Republic excuses with nice words, the Empire simply slaughters the dissidents. I don't think the Empire has the moral high ground here. The only way anything can change in Imperial policy is if a powerful enough Sith happens to resist dark side corruption enough to be not evil... and then be powerful enough to get other Sith behind him/her.
The Republic is certainly not a saintly government, but the Empire isn't terribly ambiguous about being worse.



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The Republic gives "recourse" to nobles and to whomever fills the pocketbooks of the Senators and calls this democracy. It's an oligarchy posing as a democracy. The Empire is run largely at the whims of the Sith, yes, though non-Force sensitives do hold some power. If anything, the fact that the Empire isn't shy about using force gives more recourse to remove leaders who clearly put personal goals ahead of the survival of the Empire. So this is not to say that the Empire is more "moral". Morals don't really come into the equation. Naked oppression is as a general rule more likely to be resisted than hidden oppression, and in that sense the Empire has more room to grow.

The Republic uses legalistic means to disguise oppression and to try to limit the effectiveness of a push for change (i.e. there's no talk of replacing the corrupt Senate with a superior system or of changing the rules, but instead about, say, replacing a single corrupt Senator as though the next one won't be corrupt).

In the Republic, physical force may be outlawed as a means for change, but economic force is institutionalized, and much harder to resist.

The vast majority of citizens on Coruscant, the very heart of the Republic, who live below the tops of the towers, have no such "recourse". They're too busy scrounging to survive and probably paying protection money to undercity gangs. Even for the centuries before they knew the Sith Empire existed, the Republic allowed this human suffering to continue right under its nose.
Sometimes I wonder if that's the inevitable fate of every democracy that becomes this large, kind of like how direct democracy stops working in groups over a certain size. However, the Republic's caste system seems rather less set than the Imperial one, where if you're neither Force-sensitive nor human (purebloods are all supposed to be Force-sensitive, IIRC), you're chattel, and where advancement may well be just as based around politics as in the Republic, except where the stakes are higher because getting killed is a very real possibility... which if anything would only make cronyism and kowtowing even more common as a means of staying alive.



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Not so much. From playing as a Chiss IA I know this is not the case as it was, say, at the time Revan confronted the Emperor. Those who have tried to hold to this way of thinking have been marginalized more and more. Heck, it even caused a schism in the Empire. Meanwhile the institutional oppression of those in poverty in the Republic isn't even discussed.
It's discussed, albeit probably not as much as it should be. However, while extremists like that one commander on Nar Shaddaa may be marginalized, that overall line of thought of human superiority is not, though I'll concede that the Empire might be trying to reform that aspect.



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If we're talking genocide in the broader sense of mass killing rather than racially-motivated killing, then yes to all except racism, and I've already commented on the racism issue.
When does the Republic commit that much genocide?
Though I will say this about the current Sith Empire: it's by far less genocidal than Palpatine's Galactic Empire.



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I'm not aware of any law that says corrupt Sith (i.e. those who enrich themselves while troops on the front lines are left without resources) cannot be removed. In the Republic, on the other hand, a Jedi can't just seize the resources he needs for the greater good from a noble because this would be "illegal" or at the very least would tick off his political masters.

So it's more the other way around, actually. The Empire knows it cannot afford corrupt people hoarding resources which could be used for the war effort. The Republic almost necessarily has more rampant corruption by virtue of the size of its bureaucracy and the political games that must be played to maintain it.
Well, if another Sith can get away with killing them, then that's that. But there doesn't really seem to be any other way to remove a Sith, so if they're both corrupt and personally powerful (for instance, Emperor Vitiate, who's outright omnicidal), you're out of luck.



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Yep. Say what you will about Marr (as an agent of Imperial Intelligence, I have a bone or two to pick with him, perhaps), but if you know anything about him, you know he's sincere about this much. I'm pretty sure he was excluding slaves and potiical prisoners, though, just as much as the Republic isn't concerned with the opinions of those on Belsavis or otherwise on the fringes of society. The Empire may buy people, but the Republic just rents them, and otherwise leaves them to rot, for instance, at the mercy of drug-dealing street gangs.
You do realize there are plenty of quests to deal with said gangs, right?



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It doesn't necessarily have to be built on the dark side, but even if it were, if by "crushes all those that disagree" you mean resists those who would see it destroyed, well yes, so does the Republic.
Using the dark side is sort of the point of being Sith, even if you make all possible light side choices. There's also the fact that the Empire popped up out of nowhere and attacked the Republic.



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Happy to oblige.

So, in short:

1. The Republic's corruption is more hidden and therefore more insidious because it is harder to resist.
2. It is unfair to characterize the Empire as irrationally violent. It is pragmatic, just as the Republic is, only it has learned the lessons of the Republic's overexpansion, bloated bureaucracy and hypocritical moralism.
3. My original point, in any case, was less to do with the Empire itself than with the fact that it provides an avenue for those who oppose the Republic, but the Empire itself certainly has its preferable points when compared to the Republic.
The current Empire is more morally gray than the concept has been at other times, yes, but given its numerous atrocities that occur as a matter of policy, whereas the Republic's tend to come about more as a failure of policy, I find it hard to recommend.

Lesaberisa's Avatar


Lesaberisa
09.18.2013 , 08:22 PM | #236
Quote: Originally Posted by BradTheImpaler View Post
I'm going through each of the planets in my mind and I can't think of any examples of this. In fact I'm not really sure what you mean. I know the Consular "built ties" with opportunists such as Tai Cordan, for example. The Republic did some people political favours to bring them back into the fold after they decided enough was enough when the Republic originally abandoned them.
Huh? Leaving aside the loaded description of the Balmorran resistance (someone who specifically doesn't want power is an opportunist)...how is assisting with the rebuilding of the Balmorran-Republic connection (And later influence on the government through Zenith) not a positive (re)building of ties? How about reaching out to the Rift Alliance across Acts 2 and 3? Being open minded and working with Hallowed Voice? The involvement of the consular in protecting the Alderaanian peace movement?

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In fact if it weren't for Cipher Nine, the Jedi would have been decimated right along with the Sith. This has implications for both factions, not just the side you play. Meanwhile the vaunted Barcen'thor is off running errands for ambitious politicians.
So Cipher Nine is a brave hero for doing something at (ostensibly) the behest of Keeper/Imperial Intelligence (or possibly the Sith, but the Barsen'thor is just an errand boy? Further, if the Imperial Agent does something like

Spoiler


How are they a hero?

Leaving that aside, your initial comment claimed the Agent story had more substance and depth than the Consular story. My response was to point out that, as maligned as it is, the consular story is actually very closely tied to the larger galactic picture that's often missed in the 'your character is a superhero' approach that other stories are tied into. The consular story is about connecting the different groups within the Republic and interacting with your companions that are essentially written to challenge traditional Jedi thinking in various ways.

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Being "inclusive" in corruption is not much of a virtue, in any case, and it's absolutely no secret that most of the Republic's members are little more than supply depots for the Core Worlds. Where do you think the Rift Alliance came from? They rejoined out of political necessity, but it's clear that when the going gets tough, worlds are all too often left to fend for themselves, and even most of the citizens in the Core were left to rot before the existence of the Empire was known
They rejoined because (as is the entire point of the overall Republic faction storyline) the Republic shakes off the post-war malaise and demonstrated why it's a far superior option to the Empire as a government; instead of simply forcing everyone to confirm to one specific political ideal like the Empire, the Republic finds strength in building coalitions. I'm not sure where you get the idea that "most of the citizens in the Core were left to rot", or that things were falling apart, before the existence of the Empire was known. There are certainly problems in the Republic as the game opens, but they're largely due to the after-effects of the brutal war the Empire started.

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Your description of the way the Empire builds alliances is hardly fair. The Empire is perfectly capable of and willing to use diplomacy.
Like with who?

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There are certainly times the Empire will be more...aggressive, but I can't think of any where they "steamroll, enslave and destroy" (except perhaps Taris, and in any case the occupants there were almost entirely placed there by Republic military interests---a provocative act considering its closeness to the core of Sith space). The Empire is just as willing as the Republic to form alliances, though naturally both major powers want these alliances formed in terms favourable to themselves.
Uh...Balmorra (particularly under Lachris)? The fact their entire system is built on vicious militarism and slavery? I'm struggling to understand why you would think the Empire offers a constructive approach to nation-building; what positives it offers are there only at the cost of the brutal repression of individual rights (see: Imperial Intelligence as secret police, the Sith acting above the law whenever they plaese), use of slavery, etc.


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So is the Republic, though, and no I'm not joking. Except of course that the Republic is much more bloated and can afford to not give a damn about a larger chunk of its population (or thinks it can) because it is accustomed to this.
The Republic isn't built on rule by a canonically evil organization like the Sith, so that's compeltely incorrect. Also would love to see the widespread atrocities and slavery that are prevalent in the Empire. "Not giving a damn about a larger chunk of its population" is pretty much the MO for the Empire, and it makes zero effort to change that; the best the player character can do is talk about how it's not nice and not actively participate. I'm struggling to understand why you would think the Republic is remotely comparable.

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I've played enough to know that LS Imperials are far better people than "not puppy-kicking evil". Unless evil is just a function of which faction one happens to serve, in which case there's no point in debating this because you'd have already defined anything Imperial as evil. I don't think it's that simple at all, and I doubt you do either.
People should not be excused from their culpability for perpetuating a morally bankrupt system simply because they do nice things from time to time. The Empire, as a political entity, is governed by a group (the Sith) that practices genuinely awful things that are replicated throughout the Empire. Sure, a LS Imperial may not go around doing (that many) awful things, but the system they're loyal to, increasingly so as we move past class stories, is morally reprehensible. Sure, LS Imperials are more morally palatable to us than DS Imperials, but given the overall context, I'm not really impressed.

And, yes, I understand that that's largely due to game mechanics.


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Not being open about it shows hypocrisy, and hidden oppression is more more insidious because it is much more difficult to get people to act to put it to an end.
Except, there are specific Republic quests to bring those things to light. Why? Because there's a legal system in place to deal with such issues and corruption is viewed as something to combat. In the Empire, there is no such legal recourse and corruption is a way of life. I also really don't understand the whole "Well at least the Empire is open/honest about being corrupt" argument.

(1) Many Imperial NPCs are decidedly not open about it and try to either cover it up or pretend like it's somehow a virtue
(2) The legal remedies and rammifications for reporting corruption in the Empire are laughable...unless the corrupt person gets punished extrajudicially by a Sith, I guess. Small victories?
(3) Being openly corrupt but not caring about it is good how?

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There are things done in the Empire that cause the dispossessed to revolt which, when done in the Republic under the guise of a faux "democracy" are excused with nice words. In any case, at the very least it would show supporters of the Republic are in no position to judge the Empire on moral grounds, and would have to take some other route or concede that both systems are evil anyway.
Huh? Where's the "faux" democracy? I'm also not really sure what "things" you're talking about. People revolt in the Empire because they don't enjoy being enslaved and tortured and being massacred and living in fear of Imperial Intelligence acitng like the secret police. Where does that happen in the Republic?

I also hate, absolutely hate, the fallacy of "the Empire does some really bad things but the Republic does some bad things too, so they're both bad." Please explain how poltiical corruption (which is depicted as a bad thing to fix) in the Republic is equivalent to murder, slavery, etc.


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The Republic gives "recourse" to nobles and to whomever fills the pocketbooks of the Senators and calls this democracy. It's an oligarchy posing as a democracy.
Where are you getting this from? Conjecture?

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The Empire is run largely at the whims of the Sith, yes, though non-Force sensitives do hold some power. If anything, the fact that the Empire isn't shy about using force gives more recourse to remove leaders who clearly put personal goals ahead of the survival of the Empire.
...except one of the major reasons the Empire is losing the war is specifically because the system encourages personal abuse of power, even at great cost to the Imperial war effort (i.e. Corellia). Other than Marr (and to a lesser extent, Malgus - though he has his own agenda), how many Imperial leaders have demonsrated much of interest in replacing leaders unless it served their interests? Vowrawn....

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So this is not to say that the Empire is more "moral". Morals don't really come into the equation. Naked oppression is as a general rule more likely to be resisted than hidden oppression, and in that sense the Empire has more room to grow.
I'm confused. First you tried to make a moral argument regarding the Empire as a political entity, claiming some sort of equivalency between things like murder and slavery with political corruption. Now that moral equivalence is irreelvant because the Empire has "more room to grow?" There are two huge issues with that.

(1) It's a really weird argument. Having more room to grow because your poltiical system is morally bankrupt in almost every way is hardly a positive for the Empire.
(2) Even if you accept that argument as plausible, it's only worth arguing if you can demonstrate the Empire has any desire or intent to "grow" morally.Granted, Marr wishes to cut down on Sith power plays, but that's an extremely weak foundation for claiming any kind of moral plus for the Empire.

Quote:
The Republic uses legalistic means to disguise oppression and to try to limit the effectiveness of a push for change (i.e. there's no talk of replacing the corrupt Senate with a superior system or of changing the rules, but instead about, say, replacing a single corrupt Senator as though the next one won't be corrupt).
Not every Senator is corrupt, though, it's just a conflation/implication you're making without support. A Republic character can expose corruption with actual consequences for the person responsible on multiple occasions. I'm also confused about the "there's no talk of replacing the corrupt Senate with a superior system or changing the rules".

(1) Where are you getting the idea the entire Senate is corrupt? It's not.
(2) What "superior system"?
(3) In what context would debating constitutional rules be in any way relevant to the stories as presented as part of a video game?

Facts from the game aside, you seem to have an awfully pessimistic view of how democracy works. Yes, there's always going to be corruption or people looking ou for themselves. That doesn't invalidate everything else, nor does it mean that everyone is therefore corrupt.

Quote:
In the Republic, physical force may be outlawed as a means for change, but economic force is institutionalized, and much harder to resist.
Okay, so the Republic uses soft power. I'm not sure how that's an argument against it/for the Empire, when the Empire goes much much further.

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The vast majority of citizens on Coruscant, the very heart of the Republic, who live below the tops of the towers, have no such "recourse". They're too busy scrounging to survive and probably paying protection money to undercity gangs. Even for the centuries before they knew the Sith Empire existed, the Republic allowed this human suffering to continue right under its nose.
No, the quests make it pretty clear it's gotten worse because the moraly upright Empire sacked Coruscant and the Republic as a whole was severely weakened by its efforts in the war against the Empire. I'm also confused as to your point - inequality always exists, the important thing is how the system is set up to deal with it. The Empire is built to protect and strengthen the elites at the expense of everyone else (even on its capital). The Republic at least tries to do its best most of the time. Why are you condemning the Republic here, again?


Quote:
Not so much. From playing as a Chiss IA I know this is not the case as it was, say, at the time Revan confronted the Emperor. Those who have tried to hold to this way of thinking have been marginalized more and more. Heck, it even caused a schism in the Empire. Meanwhile the institutional oppression of those in poverty in the Republic isn't even discussed.
It only causes a schism (on very limited terms, it should be noted - Malgus is against the institutionalized racism but not most of the other negative aspects of the Empire) because the Empire is getting beaten badly in the war. Since you also played a Chiss IA you'd know that there's several casual racist remarks made about the Chiss to go along with the entire game of racism directed at aliens, referring to them as creatures or beasts, remarking on their lack of intelligence, etc. I'm not sure where you get the idea that the institutional racism of the Empire is marginalized at all.

Even Marr, a supposed reformer, is against the racism for practical reasons, not moral.


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I'm not aware of any law that says corrupt Sith (i.e. those who enrich themselves while troops on the front lines are left without resources) cannot be removed. In the Republic, on the other hand, a Jedi can't just seize the resources he needs for the greater good from a noble because this would be "illegal" or at the very least would tick off his political masters.

So it's more the other way around, actually. The Empire knows it cannot afford corrupt people hoarding resources which could be used for the war effort. The Republic almost necessarily has more rampant corruption by virtue of the size of its bureaucracy and the political games that must be played to maintain it.
What? One of the major reasons for the Empire being in the sad state it's in pre-Makeb is specifically said to be the massive amounts of selfish political-infighting and the lack of consequences for it. The Emprie lost 10% of its military at Corellia at least in part because the various Darths were too busy sabotaging each other to fight off the Republic counterattack. Where on Earth are you getting the idea that the Empire has some kind of corruption-free war effort?

Your point about the Republic also lacks any kind of factual basis. "The bureaucracy is larger (is it? where is that established, even?) so therefore there's more corruption"? Odd, then, that the supposedly ineffective, corruption-filled, sprawling bureaucracy still manages to out perform, out manage and out produce the Imperial war machine


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Yep. Say what you will about Marr (as an agent of Imperial Intelligence, I have a bone or two to pick with him, perhaps), but if you know anything about him, you know he's sincere about this much. I'm pretty sure he was excluding slaves and potiical prisoners, though, just as much as the Republic isn't concerned with the opinions of those on Belsavis or otherwise on the fringes of society. The Empire may buy people, but the Republic just rents them, and otherwise leaves them to rot, for instance, at the mercy of drug-dealing street gangs.
Except, the Republic quests on Coruscant include starting to push those gangs back. You seem to conflate "lacking the resources/morale to act" with "moral bankruptcy". Mentioning Belsavis is weird, because a major aspect of the Republic Belsavis is actually stepping forward and stating the wrongs being done and having the (new) warden agree with you. The Republic does care, it's just flawed like any democracy.

Let's compare that with the slaves on Dromund Kaas. Or the torture victims there. Or the people murdered on Korriban by the Sith. Did the Empire care about them?

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It doesn't necessarily have to be built on the dark side, but even if it were, if by "crushes all those that disagree" you mean resists those who would see it destroyed, well yes, so does the Republic.
I don't even know where to begin with this. I'm literally at a loss as to how to understand how political corruption in a democracy that is actively combated as part of the faction storyline is at all comparable to massacring slaves and imposing tyranny on ordinary people.



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So, in short:

1. The Republic's corruption is more hidden and therefore more insidious because it is harder to resist.
2. It is unfair to characterize the Empire as irrationally violent. It is pragmatic, just as the Republic is, only it has learned the lessons of the Republic's overexpansion, bloated bureaucracy and hypocritical moralism.
3. My original point, in any case, was less to do with the Empire itself than with the fact that it provides an avenue for those who oppose the Republic, but the Empire itself certainly has its preferable points when compared to the Republic.
(1) Is a non-starter on multiple levels. Being "hidden" (it isn't, and is in fact dealt with several times by Republic characters) is in no way inherently similar to the widespread and categorically worse things the Empire does. The Empire is also probably harder to resist, given that anyone that protests or dissents gets tossed in prison, sent into slavery or is just killed.

(2) I didn't say the Empire is irrationally violent, I said it was violent, which it is (though many Sith definitely are irrationally violent). As to your second sentence....

A. The Empire learned its lesson by...taking its time to make sure it properly crushes resistance on places like Balmorra. This is something to be celebrated...why?
B. The Empire also has a bloated bureaucracy and, worse, is run by elites (particularly Sith elites) that regularly put personal goals above the good of the Empire. And that isn't even touching the fact that the entire Imperial system is built on a foundation of morally reprehensible things.
C.Why is barbarism and moral bankruptcy better than a flawed democracy where people at least try to do the right thing? I'm genuinely baffled by the number of times I've seen this argument put forth.

(3) What preferable points does the Empire have? Or, put another way, unless your looking at it from the PoV of a Sith or (possibly) someone in the Imperial elite, why would you prefer the Empire over the Republic
Finest mediocre fanfic this side of the Outer Rim:Trooper / Inquisitor

BradTheImpaler's Avatar


BradTheImpaler
09.18.2013 , 08:23 PM | #237
Hm. Thanks for your response.

Quote: Originally Posted by Xilizhra View Post
Well, they certainly do practice a great deal of slavery. And while the Republic may shortchange the Outer Rim, the Empire simply doesn't have enough territory to do comparable things; I should note that when the Sith do eventually take over the galaxy, they do the exact same thing except worse. Additionally, the Empire goes out of its way to disenfranchise and enslave non-humans and non-purebloods.
"The Sith", meaning of course Palpatine. I'd have to say he's different enough from most of the Sith of the TOR-era Empire, though, that the outcome would be different. Palpatine was virtually unchallenged, unlike pretty much any Sith of this Empire. Unchecked megalomania and rule for personal power is different from a genuine belief, even if you think it's misguided, that Imperial governance would be better for the galaxy.

Quote: Originally Posted by Xilizhra View Post
I've played both, and there's a definite tonal difference, although it varies by planet. LS choices on Korriban, for instance, can definitely be morally good, such as getting Alif to safety and letting the Jedi prisoner get away, but on other worlds, it can come across as more pragmatic villainy (much of Taris, for instance).
This is true. It's worth pointing out that both sides exercise 'pragmatism' in this war, but then, the Republic claims it's all in the service of supposed ideals.

Quote: Originally Posted by Xilizhra View Post
The Republic excuses with nice words, the Empire simply slaughters the dissidents. I don't think the Empire has the moral high ground here. The only way anything can change in Imperial policy is if a powerful enough Sith happens to resist dark side corruption enough to be not evil... and then be powerful enough to get other Sith behind him/her.
The Republic is certainly not a saintly government, but the Empire isn't terribly ambiguous about being worse.
For what it's worth, the Empire doesn't slaughter 'all' dissidents. After all, there are valuable prisoners, and defections of one-time Republic-sympathizers are not unheard of. The Republic, likely through lessons of history, has learned to be pragmatic, because it's far more effective to allow a limited range of dissent and crush "extremists" than it is to try to crush all dissent outright. That's the difference. Pragmatic, not saintly good intentions.

Quote: Originally Posted by Xilizhra View Post
Sometimes I wonder if that's the inevitable fate of every democracy that becomes this large, kind of like how direct democracy stops working in groups over a certain size.
Nope. Just for starters, the Republic isn't a democracy and never was. I won't rant about this since I did that above, but suffice it to say that if direct democracy popped up and fell in the galaxy, it would fall not because of some internal failing but because both the Republic and the Empire would join forces to crush it. It would represent a challenge to both systems of power.

Quote: Originally Posted by Xilizhra View Post
However, the Republic's caste system seems rather less set than the Imperial one, where if you're neither Force-sensitive nor human (purebloods are all supposed to be Force-sensitive, IIRC), you're chattel, and where advancement may well be just as based around politics as in the Republic, except where the stakes are higher because getting killed is a very real possibility... which if anything would only make cronyism and kowtowing even more common as a means of staying alive.
The Republic's caste system is much more insidious, for reasons I explained above. It's under the guise of democracy, whereas the Empire is, um, not.

Quote: Originally Posted by Xilizhra View Post
It's discussed, albeit probably not as much as it should be. However, while extremists like that one commander on Nar Shaddaa may be marginalized, that overall line of thought of human superiority is not, though I'll concede that the Empire might be trying to reform that aspect.
Again, as a Chiss IA I got a very different sense of the state of xenophobia in the Empire. They don't care what species I am as long as I get the job done. This isn't to say it's non-existent, but it's more and more marginalized.

Quote: Originally Posted by Xilizhra View Post
When does the Republic commit that much genocide?
Well, I wasn't the one who originally used the term "genocide", but if we allow it to be defined as the systemic murder of large populations, then the Republic is at least as guilty as the Empire (if not more so because of its sheer size). I'll explain more below.

Quote: Originally Posted by Xilizhra View Post
Though I will say this about the current Sith Empire: it's by far less genocidal than Palpatine's Galactic Empire.
This ties in well with what I said above about how this Sith Empire is quite different from the "Rule of Two" (really de-facto one) Empire of Palpatine.

Quote: Originally Posted by Xilizhra View Post
Well, if another Sith can get away with killing them, then that's that. But there doesn't really seem to be any other way to remove a Sith, so if they're both corrupt and personally powerful (for instance, Emperor Vitiate, who's outright omnicidal), you're out of luck.
Yeah. In the Republic, if you're lucky you might remove the occasional one out of many, many politicians, but this won't blow away the stench of corruption.

Quote: Originally Posted by Xilizhra View Post
You do realize there are plenty of quests to deal with said gangs, right?
Well that's a whole other story, but as I made clear I was talking about the 300 years they had to do something about the gangs before the first war.

Anyway, I'll play along. I've played the Consular, as I said, but no. Last I checked there are plenty of gangs around later on in the Republic. You might go kill a few gang leaders and rescue a few people, but do you do anything to change the system that creates and empowers gangs in the first place? Oh no. Of course I wouldn't expect that level of insight in this game, but it's for the sake of argument about the nature of the Republic that I think it's worth pointing out.

The Republic was perfectly content even during times of peace to let lower-city Coruscanti citizens and others in other Republic worlds suffer the wrath of gangs and poverty and general economic coercion. Then there's the matter of Belsavis where a Jedi Master, despite all the niceties of the Code, does some unpleasant things to political dissidents.

There's also the matter of Revan...but I won't sink so low as to use the Foundry incident because that never should have happened.

Quote: Originally Posted by Xilizhra View Post
Using the dark side is sort of the point of being Sith, even if you make all possible light side choices. There's also the fact that the Empire popped up out of nowhere and attacked the Republic.
"Sort of", though using both is not unheard of, and one could argue as Kyle Katarn did that dark side abilities aren't inherently evil depending on their use (heck, just google "Electric judgement").

Also, I'd recommend checking the timeline of galactic history. They didn't really "pop out of nowhere" (they don't talk about "revenge" for nothing). The Republic tried to exterminate them.

Quote: Originally Posted by Xilizhra View Post
The current Empire is more morally gray than the concept has been at other times, yes, but given its numerous atrocities that occur as a matter of policy, whereas the Republic's tend to come about more as a failure of policy, I find it hard to recommend.
That's certainly the story every government sells when comparing its own atrocities to those of the 'enemy', yes. As a matter of policy, they have no qualms about allying with Hutts when it suits their purposes.
In the Imperial Army, it takes more courage to retreat than to advance.

Bleeters's Avatar


Bleeters
09.18.2013 , 08:48 PM | #238
Quote: Originally Posted by Lesaberisa View Post
LS Imperials are very different than LS Republic characters though. They're much closer to "less evil than most Imperials" or "not puppy-kicking evil". You're still perpetuating and supporting a political system built upon genocide, slavery and the utter destruction of individual rights.
Whilst this is true, it's worth noting that Imperial Agents at least don't have a whole lot of choice in the matter. If they try to walk away, they die.

As far as the whole comparison between Republic and Empire goes... uhm. That the Republic occasionally performs morally questionable actions does not, under any stretch of the imagination, make them remotely equivilant to the Empire. They're the exceptions to the rule, whereas in the Empire such actions are the norm. My favourite example - and one that I keep seeing people make - is the so called 'project noble focus' on Belsavis, pitting criminals of various species against each other and studying the results. As such things go, a pretty abhorrent thing to do. But you need only look at the response from each faction to see how unecessary debates of 'lesser of two evils' are. Aside from the people who were involved in it, quest characters as Republic are appalled to learn of it. Depending on player choice, those responsible face criminal charges and the whole thing gets shut down.

The Empire? They're just disappointed they didn't think of it first, and want to replicate it themselves. Every objectionable act the Republic perpetrates can be found in the Empire, and then some.

BradTheImpaler's Avatar


BradTheImpaler
09.18.2013 , 09:16 PM | #239
You'll have to forgive me but this is a lot to try to respond to two people at once. I may miss something.

Quote: Originally Posted by Lesaberisa View Post
Huh? Leaving aside the loaded description of the Balmorran resistance...how is assisting with the rebuilding of the Balmorran-Republic connection (And later influence on the government through Zenith) not a positive (re)building of ties? How about reaching out to the Rift Alliance across Acts 2 and 3? Being open minded and working with Hallowed Voice? The involvement of the consular in protecting the Alderaanian peace movement?
Loaded description, how? Tai Cordan was an opportunist who was simply installed by the Republic, and his attitude toward Zenith (sending him away, etc.) only proves this. I don't know where you get the idea he "doesn't want power").

The Alderaanian peace movement...don't get me started on those damn nobles. If he really wanted to help he'd have wiped them out and liberated Alderaan. Both factions are guilty of picking sides in a war where regular Alderaanians lose.

Quote: Originally Posted by Lesaberisa View Post
So Cipher Nine is a brave hero for doing something at (ostensibly) the behest of Keeper/Imperial Intelligence (or possibly the Sith, but the Barsen'thor is just an errand boy? Further, if the Imperial Agent does something like

Spoiler


How are they a hero?
Well, you know full well what happens to Jadus. Anyway my comment on the Agent story was simply to say that it's just as connected to the wider galaxy as well.

I guess the galaxy would have been just fine with the Star Cabal roaming around!

Quote: Originally Posted by Lesaberisa View Post
They rejoiend because (as is the entire point of the overall Republic faction storyline) the Republic shakes off the post-war malaise and demonstrated why it's a far superior option to the Empire as a government. I'm not sure where you get the idea that "most of the citizens in the Core were left to rot", or that things were falling apart, before the existence of the Empire was known. There are certainly problems in the Republic as the game opens, but they're largely due to the after-effects of the brutal war the Empire started.
In the core? No, I said outside of the Core. If you'll recall the Senators who walked out in protest before the start of the war. In any case, I've made my point about Coruscant and the sorry state of its undercity as well.

Quote: Originally Posted by Lesaberisa View Post
Like with who?
Non-aligned worlds. That's what the Diplomati Service is for.

Quote: Originally Posted by Lesaberisa View Post
Uh...Balmorra (particularly under Lachris)? The fact their entire system is built on vicious militarism and slavery? I'm struggling to understand why you would think the Empire offers a constructive approach to nation-building; what positives it offers are there only at the cost of the brutal repression of individual rights (see: Imperial Intelligence as secret police, the Sith acting above the law whenever they plaese), use of slavery, etc.
The Republic is guilty of militarism and slavery, too. As for your question, as I've said before it's the nature of the repression that means the Empire might motivate people toward fighting for something better. In the Republic, "peace" means ordinary citizens will be a lot more pacified under a bureaucratic regime and unwilling, even if able, to get rid of it.

[QUOTE=Lesaberisa;6766451]The Republic isn't built on rule by a canonically evil organization like the Sith, so that's compeltely incorrect. Also would love to see the widespread atrocities and slavery that are prevalent in the Empire. "Not giving a damn about a larger chunk of its population" is pretty much the MO for the Empire, and it makes zero effort to change that; the best the player character can do is talk about how it's not nice and not actively participate. I'm struggling to understand why you would think the Republic is remotely comparable.

If you're struggling to understand, I can't help you understand. Canon doesn't change the nature of the Republic, and in fact nowhere in canon is it stated that the Republic is incorruptible, so you are completely incorrect.

Quote: Originally Posted by Lesaberisa View Post
People should not be excused from their culpability for perpetuating a morally bankrupt system simply because they do nice things from time to time.

And, yes, I understand that that's largely due to game mechanics.
If that's how you feel, then let's get rid of the Republic, too. That would be a lot easier under the conditions that it faces when fighting the Empire, and that's why the Empire is a means to an end, even if as an end in itself it would be evil.

Quote: Originally Posted by Lesaberisa View Post
Except, there are specific Republic quests to bring those things to light. Why? Because there's a legal system in place to deal with such issues and corruption is viewed as something to combat. In the Empire, there is no such legal recourse and corruption is a way of life. I also really don't understand the whole "Well at least the Empire is open/honest about being corrupt" argument.

(1) Many Imperial NPCs are decidedly not open about it and try to either cover it up or pretend like it's somehow a virtue
(2) The legal remedies and rammifications for reporting corruption in the Empire are laughable...unless the corrupt person gets punished extrajudicially by a Sith, I guess. Small victories?
(3) Being openly corrupt but not caring about it is good how?
I answered the third question enough above. As for the legal system, anyone who knows what happens to the Republic knows that legal bureaucracy is a barrier, not an advantage, in getting rid of corruption.

Quote: Originally Posted by Lesaberisa View Post
Huh? Where's the "faux" democracy? I'm also not really sure what "things" you're talking about. People revolt in the Empire because they don't enjoy being enslaved and tortured and being massacred and living in fear of Imperial Intelligence acitng like the secret police. Where does that happen in the Republic?
Re your first question: In the Republic. Until you understand this point you won't really grasp anything else I say.

Quote: Originally Posted by Lesaberisa View Post
I also hate, absolutely hate, the fallacy of "the Empire does some really bad things but the Republic does some bad things too, so they're both bad." Please explain how poltiical corruption (which is depicted as a bad thing to fix) in the Republic is equivalent to murder, slavery, etc.
Alright, I will. The fact that political corruption can exist means the majority of people are denied the ability to govern themselves and to work for the common good rather than the enrichment of an elite (whether a mgocracy, nobility, etc.). That's the quick summary of it.

Quote: Originally Posted by Lesaberisa View Post
Where are you getting this from? Conjecture?
Nope, from a quest on Coruscant as a Consular. They're pretty open about it.

Quote: Originally Posted by Lesaberisa View Post
...except one of the major reasons the Empire is losing the war is specifically because the system encourages personal abuse of power, even at great cost to the Imperial war effort (i.e. Corellia). Other than Marr (and to a lesser extent, Malgus - though he has his own agenda), how many Imperial leaders have demonsrated much of interest in replacing leaders unless it served their interests? Vowrawn....
The loss of the Emperor, whatever his true nature, struck a blow to Imperial morale, and the Dread Masters are doing damage to both sides, which the Empire naturally can't afford. Not to mention the manipulations of the star Cabal on Corellia. Still, you might actually be on to something here, but I'd have to be sure the personal abuse of power went unchecked to the point it did much damage relative to these other problems.

Quote: Originally Posted by Lesaberisa View Post
I'm confused. First you tried to make a moral argument regarding the Empire as a political entity, claiming some sort of equivalency between things like murder and slavery with political corruption. Now that moral equivalence is irreelvant because the Empire has "more room to grow?" There are two huge issues with that.

(1) It's a really weird argument. Having more room to grow because your poltiical system is morally bankrupt in almost every way is hardly a positive for the Empire.
(2) Even if you accept that argument as plausible, it's only worth arguing if you can demonstrate the Empire has any desire or intent to "grow" morally.Granted, Marr wishes to cut down on Sith power plays, but that's an extremely weak foundation for claiming any kind of moral plus for the Empire.
Yeah, my wording was a bit vague because I was trying to keep it shorter, but what I mean is the Empire has precedent for removing corrupt persons in a way the Republic wouldn't dream of.

Quote: Originally Posted by Lesaberisa View Post
Not every Senator is corrupt, though, it's just a conflation/implication you're making without support. A Republic character can expose corruption with actual consequences for the person responsible on multiple occasions. I'm also confused about the "there's no talk of replacing the corrupt Senate with a superior system or changing the rules".

(1) Where are you getting the idea the entire Senate is corrupt? It's not.
(2) What "superior system"?
(3) In what context would debating constitutional rules be in any way relevant to the stories as presented as part of a video game?

Facts from the game aside, you seem to have an awfully pessimistic view of how democracy works. Yes, there's always going to be corruption or people looking ou for themselves. That doesn't invalidate everything else, nor does it mean that everyone is therefore corrupt.
1. Yes, it is.
2. Democracy.
3. It wouldn't, but I never said it would (I said quite clearly it's not something I'd expect but it was for the sake of argument about the Republic).

Anyway, no, I don't have a pessimistic view of democracy. You're just confusing oligarchy (i.e. the Republic has nobles) for genuine democracy.

Quote: Originally Posted by Lesaberisa View Post
Okay, so the Republic uses soft power. I'm not sure how that's an argument against it/for the Empire, when the Empire goes much much further.
That is the point, though. The Empire doesn't disguise its true nature and so there are oppressed people who would be more willing to take matters of governance into their own hands. In the Republic, they are confused as you are about what their system really is.

Quote: Originally Posted by Lesaberisa View Post
No, the quests make it pretty clear it's gotten worse because the moraly upright Empire sacked Coruscant and the Republic as a whole was severely weakened by its efforts in the war against the Empire. I'm also confused as to your point - inequality always exists, the important thing is how the system is set up to deal with it. The Empire is built to protect and strengthen the elites at the expense of everyone else (even on its capital). The Republic at least tries to do its best most of the time. Why are you condemning the Republic here, again?
Gotten worse, perhaps, but it existed beforehand. Anyway, the part I bolded is the central flaw in your argument and we're approaching this from very different positions as a result.

Inequality, of the sort I'm talking about especially, is socially constructed in both the Empire and Republic at the expense of average people.

Quote: Originally Posted by Lesaberisa View Post
It only causes a schism (on very limited terms, it should be noted - Malgus is against the institutionalized racism but not most of the other negative aspects of the Empire) because the Empire is getting beaten badly in the war. Since you also played a Chiss IA you'd know that there's several casual racist remarks made about the Chiss to go along with the entire game of racism directed at aliens, referring to them as creatures or beasts, remarking on their lack of intelligence, etc. I'm not sure where you get the idea that the institutional racism of the Empire is marginalized at all.
I recall a couple of those remarks on Hoth, but that's about it.

Quote: Originally Posted by Lesaberisa View Post
Even Marr, a supposed reformer, is against the racism for practical reasons, not moral.
Probably the best point you've made so far.

Quote: Originally Posted by Lesaberisa View Post
What? One of the major reasons for the Empire being in the sad state it's in pre-Makeb is specifically said to be the massive amounts of selfish political-infighting and the lack of consequences for it. The Emprie lost 10% of its military at Corellia at least in part because the various Darths were too busy sabotaging each other to fight off the Republic counterattack. Where on Earth are you getting the idea that the Empire has some kind of corruption-free war effort?
Corruption-free? No. They were fighting each other, sure, but isn't that the difference between this and Palpatine's Empire? They can keep each other in check. One Sith with no real challenger is not kept in check.

Quote: Originally Posted by Lesaberisa View Post
Your point about the Republic also lacks any kind of factual basis. "The bureaucracy is larger (is it? where is that established, even?) so therefore there's more corruption"? Odd, then, that the supposedly ineffective, corruption-filled, sprawling bureaucracy still manages to out perform, out manage and out produce the Imperial war machine
I know the prequels are unpopular, but give them a look. Even in this game, based on a couple of conversations in the Senate, it's well-established.

Quote: Originally Posted by Lesaberisa View Post
Except, the Republic quests on Coruscant include starting to push those gangs back. You seem to conflate "lacking the resources/morale to act" with "moral bankruptcy".
What?

Quote: Originally Posted by Lesaberisa View Post
Mentioning Belsavis is weird, because a major aspect of the Republic Belsavis is actually stepping forward and stating the wrongs being done and having the (new) warden agree with you. The Republic does care, it's just flawed like any democracy.
By massacring political dissidents? Anyway, again you're confusing democracy with oligarchy.

Quote: Originally Posted by Lesaberisa View Post
Let's compare that with the slaves on Dromund Kaas. Or the torture victims there. Or the people murdered on Korriban by the Sith. Did the Empire care about them?
No, it didn't, and didn't pretend to care about those it hurt.

Quote: Originally Posted by Lesaberisa View Post
I don't even know where to begin with this. I'm literally at a loss as to how to understand how political corruption in a democracy that is actively combated as part of the faction storyline is at all comparable to massacring slaves and imposing tyranny on ordinary people.
You should be, because this is not "political corruption in a democracy that is actively combated as part of the faction storyline".

Quote: Originally Posted by Lesaberisa View Post
(1) Is a non-starter on multiple levels. Being "hidden" (it isn't, and is in fact dealt with several times by Republic characters) is in no way inherently similar to the widespread and categorically worse things the Empire does. The Empire is also probably harder to resist, given that anyone that protests or dissents gets tossed in prison, sent into slavery or is just killed.

(2) I didn't say the Empire is irrationally violent, I said it was violent, which it is (though many Sith definitely are irrationally violent). As to your second sentence....

A. The Empire learned its lesson by...taking its time to make sure it properly crushes resistance on places like Balmorra. This is something to be celebrated...why?
B. The Empire also has a bloated bureaucracy and, worse, is run by elites (particularly Sith elites) that regularly put personal goals above the good of the Empire. And that isn't even touching the fact that the entire Imperial system is built on a foundation of morally reprehensible things.
C.Why is barbarism and moral bankruptcy better than a flawed democracy where people at least try to do the right thing? I'm genuinely baffled by the number of times I've seen this argument put forth.

(3) What preferable points does the Empire have? Or, put another way, unless your looking at it from the PoV of a Sith or (possibly) someone in the Imperial elite, why would you prefer the Empire over the Republic
Maybe you didn't say it. I thought someone did. Let's just say the Empire relies entirely on hard power. The Republic uses soft power (I.e. hegemony) to mask inequalities and exploitation.


Anyway, I'm kinda tired now. Gonna bow out I guess.
In the Imperial Army, it takes more courage to retreat than to advance.

Xilizhra's Avatar


Xilizhra
09.18.2013 , 09:34 PM | #240
Quote: Originally Posted by BradTheImpaler View Post
Hm. Thanks for your response.



"The Sith", meaning of course Palpatine. I'd have to say he's different enough from most of the Sith of the TOR-era Empire, though, that the outcome would be different. Palpatine was virtually unchallenged, unlike pretty much any Sith of this Empire. Unchecked megalomania and rule for personal power is different from a genuine belief, even if you think it's misguided, that Imperial governance would be better for the galaxy.
Wasn't he more or less the Sith ideal? I thought the final stanza of the Sith Code, "The Force shall free me," was a reference to being released of any and all bonds, and bending the Force to your own will; in essence, becoming a god. And Palpatine was one of the most proactive about achieving that goal.



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This is true. It's worth pointing out that both sides exercise 'pragmatism' in this war, but then, the Republic claims it's all in the service of supposed ideals.
True, but plenty (I might go so far as to say most) of the soldiers and other operatives of the Republic, especially the Jedi, believe in said ideals.



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For what it's worth, the Empire doesn't slaughter 'all' dissidents. After all, there are valuable prisoners, and defections of one-time Republic-sympathizers are not unheard of. The Republic, likely through lessons of history, has learned to be pragmatic, because it's far more effective to allow a limited range of dissent and crush "extremists" than it is to try to crush all dissent outright. That's the difference. Pragmatic, not saintly good intentions.
So wouldn't it behoove the Empire to do the same?


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Nope. Just for starters, the Republic isn't a democracy and never was. I won't rant about this since I did that above, but suffice it to say that if direct democracy popped up and fell in the galaxy, it would fall not because of some internal failing but because both the Republic and the Empire would join forces to crush it. It would represent a challenge to both systems of power.
Perhaps.



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The Republic's caste system is much more insidious, for reasons I explained above. It's under the guise of democracy, whereas the Empire is, um, not.
Insidious... in that it's less far-reaching, not enforced as severely, and has lesser consequences for those who go against it. I really think that, if I was neither human nor Force-sensitive, I'd prefer the Republic's. Chiss excepted because of their alliance.



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Again, as a Chiss IA I got a very different sense of the state of xenophobia in the Empire. They don't care what species I am as long as I get the job done. This isn't to say it's non-existent, but it's more and more marginalized.
Well, you're Intelligence, I'm Sith; both of us have already proven ourselves. The Empire may have changed someone, but the system definitely isn't arranged fairly.



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Well, I wasn't the one who originally used the term "genocide", but if we allow it to be defined as the systemic murder of large populations, then the Republic is at least as guilty as the Empire (if not more so because of its sheer size). I'll explain more below.
Go for it.



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This ties in well with what I said above about how this Sith Empire is quite different from the "Rule of Two" (really de-facto one) Empire of Palpatine.
I honestly think it has a lot to do with being significantly smaller.



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Yeah. In the Republic, if you're lucky you might remove the occasional one out of many, many politicians, but this won't blow away the stench of corruption.
Not so different in the Sith, except replace "corruption" with "soul-crushing evil."



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Well that's a whole other story, but as I made clear I was talking about the 300 years they had to do something about the gangs before the first war.

Anyway, I'll play along. I've played the Consular, as I said, but no. Last I checked there are plenty of gangs around later on in the Republic. You might go kill a few gang leaders and rescue a few people, but do you do anything to change the system that creates and empowers gangs in the first place? Oh no. Of course I wouldn't expect that level of insight in this game, but it's for the sake of argument about the nature of the Republic that I think it's worth pointing out.

The Republic was perfectly content even during times of peace to let lower-city Coruscanti citizens and others in other Republic worlds suffer the wrath of gangs and poverty and general economic coercion. Then there's the matter of Belsavis where a Jedi Master, despite all the niceties of the Code, does some unpleasant things to political dissidents.

There's also the matter of Revan...but I won't sink so low as to use the Foundry incident because that never should have happened.
Keep in mind that dealing with root causes of criminality while you're trying to save a dying and insane Jedi Master doesn't seem practical. I haven't seen the Belsavis incident, but from what I know of the Foundry, I don't think the entire Republic was supporting Revan; I really doubt such a thing could have made it past the Senate.
And if you want to talk about street crime... Kaas City has Sith murdering civilians in the streets for fun, which is actually legal unless they're tricked into attacking other Sith. Is this better?



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"Sort of", though using both is not unheard of, and one could argue as Kyle Katarn did that dark side abilities aren't inherently evil depending on their use (heck, just google "Electric judgement").

Also, I'd recommend checking the timeline of galactic history. They didn't really "pop out of nowhere" (they don't talk about "revenge" for nothing). The Republic tried to exterminate them.
Obviously the Republic wasn't right in trying to wipe out the Sith race, but... it did happen two thousand years prior. It doesn't seem entirely justified to start a new war right then without any diplomatic maneuvers, requests for reparations, etc. I understand that the Republic is still the same government, so making IRL comparisons probably wouldn't be wholly valid, but I'm against warmongering in general.



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That's certainly the story every government sells when comparing its own atrocities to those of the 'enemy', yes. As a matter of policy, they have no qualms about allying with Hutts when it suits their purposes.
Neither does the Empire.
And I think that's sort of the crux of the debate. You say that the Republic is bad. I say that that's true, the Republic is heavily flawed... but just because the Republic is heavily flawed, it doesn't make the Empire better by comparison. It may do some things better (though it has far less territory to cover and is thus noticeably more efficient by default, which isn't necessarily an endorsement of the governing style), but overall, its actions seem to be consistently worse.