Saturday, 27 June 2015

The Terran Empire

Broadening our perspective from Terra to its Empire, we learn that, below the Emperor, there are:

the Policy Board;
the General Staff;
the civil service;
the officer corps;
Solar and extra-Solar aristocracies.

On one of the companion blogs (here), there are several articles about aspects of the Empire, e.g., Sector Governors.

Vice Admiral Kheraskov refers to "'...most informed citizens.'" (Young Flandry, p. 385)

However, I am not sure how citizens can be informed when Flandry tells us that important news is underplayed and trivialized while:

"'...more entertaining events can be manufactured to crowd it out of what passes for the public consciousness.'" (Flandry's Legacy, pp. 184-185)

Here, Flandry is casually contemptuous towards the bulk of the population. The Imperium is not alone in manipulating its own public consciousness. Their mortal enemies, the Merseians, plan:

"'...what to fee the Imperial academies, religions, an news media.'" (op. cit., p. 447)

None of this makes the Empire sound like a good period to live in.

6 comments:

  1. Kaor, Paul!

    I disagree. Because the mere fact that multiple media outlets and sources EXISTS shows that citizens of the Empire who WANTED to and TRIED to stay informed about events both in and out of the Empire could do so. The important thing being that they had to do SOME work doing so. After all, recall how Magnusson's own WIFE used the media to openly denounce and repudiate his attempt at seizing the throne when it was discovered he was a deep cover Merseian agent.

    I can ASSURE you that most of the media HERE in the US are, broadly speaking, pro left wing/liberal, pro Obama, hostile to the conservative opposition, and all too willing to ignore or minimize corruption and abuses of power by leftists. I try to stay some what informed by watching Fox News and reading magazines like NATIONAL REVIEW (both non leftist sources). I really don't see the situation you are criticizing in the Empire being all that different from what we see in the real world.

    Sean

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  2. Sean,

    Flandry says, "The fact of a conspiracy to rebel and usurp can't be totally hidden away. But it can be underplayed in the extreme, it can be made boring to hear about, and more entertaining events can be manufactured to crowd it out of what passes for the public consciousness."

    This suggests a greater degree of state control of the media than we experience.

    Paul.

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    1. Kaor, Paul!

      I have to agree, at least on Terran and maybe some of the more prominent planets of the Empire. But, note, Flandry said: "The fact of a conspiracy to rebel and usurp can't be totally hidden away. But it can be underplayed in the extreme..." What I understood this to mean was that citizens who PAID ATTENTION or were willing to dig a little knew about the Cairncross affair. My view is that the bit you quoted also supports my argument.

      Sean

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  3. Sean,
    Who is doing the underplaying? it has to be either the Imperium or media magnates leaned on by the Imperium.
    I want the media to be controlled by media workers, not by either plutocrats or bureaucrats. When the Terran Empire falls and the majority struggle for survival, I hope that a minority will give a lead in organizing cooperatives and, with the benefit of historical hindsight, resisting re-bureaucratization. Of course, appropriating Imperial weapons to resist barbarian incursions, whether Terrestrial or extraterrestrial, may also be necessary!
    Paul.

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    1. Kaor, Paul!

      I concede that it was most likely the Imperiun which put pressure on media outlets to downplay the Cairncross affair. No argument there.

      And I certainly have no objections to media employeers or people working in any forms of business having a share in their ownership by buying stocks. My view is that only free enterprise economy comes anywhere close to the kind of "cooperative" system you desire.

      And, I think what will happen after the Empire falls, at least on the more fortunate worlds, will be the rise of a new feudal system where the barons will at least impose some kind of law and order, of a rough and ready sort. Such as what we see with the "cavedoms" on the planet Nike in "A Tragedy of Errors."

      And I don't think you can avoid SOME kind of civil service in any kind of political system. Simply put, they are the people who keep the ordinary machinery of gov't, any gov't, moving (as Aaron Snelund found out in THE REBEL WORLDS).

      Sean

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    2. Kaor, Paul!

      An additional point I should have made after you quoted the Merseian Tachwyr the Dark, Protector of the Roidhun's Grand Council, was that his comments about the propaganda the Merseians would feed to their dupes in the Empire shows how realistic THE GAME OF EMPIRE was. I only need to point out how the late, unlamented USSR used to launch elaborate propaganda campaigns using dupes, undercover agents, fellow travelers, useful idiots, etc., to advance Soviet aims. So what Merseia was planning to do was all too plausible!

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