Empire vs Confederation

Discussion in 'General Wing Commander Chat' started by Dean478, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. Dean478

    Dean478 Ensign

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    If there is one thing I'm having a slight difficulty accepting, it's this futuristic government in Star Citizen. I've not yet read all the lore updates, so I apologise if I ask a pointless question.

    In Wing Commander we had the Terran Confederation. It certainly seemed to mirror modern day politics with a unity we probably won't see in our life time and certainly a necessity to survive the Kilrathi war.

    This empire on the other hand, well to explain it simply, I'm a little uncomfortable at the thought that humanity would "revert" to such a form of leadership...

    Don't get me wrong, I don't dislike it. In fact it's quite interesting. From a character perspective, I'm now sure how my in-game self will fit in. In reality I find the thought of serving an empire a little daunting. But in-game, my character wouldn't know any different! From a meta-game perspective, it's refreshing. Aside from EVE Online, Warhammer 40,000 and Elite/Frontier, I can't think of anything else where we see futuristic human empires. And all of those examples are oranges to Star Citizen's apples.

    What are your thoughts on this?
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  2. quaker2k8

    quaker2k8 1st Lieutenant

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    Well, we live to serve the empire, no?
  3. capi3101

    capi3101 Rear Admiral

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    You left out the Galactic Empire from Star Wars....

    A democratic society transforming into a dictatorship has actually happened a number of times in history. Rome of course is the best example of this...of the top of my head, 19th century France is another good example (there, you go from monarchy to republic back to dictatorship in a really short period of time), as is early 20th century Germany. So I have no real problem with the notion of a star empire, except of course for all the logistics of keeping one together (clocks, clocks, clocks...).

    We do see confederations in our day and age. They're usually pretty short-lived, because the individual member states retain most of their sovereignty (rather than surrender it to a central government, which is what you see in a federated system like the modern United States) and so a member can withdraw with little sanction if the rest of the states do something they don't particularly like - the reason why we in the U.S. live under the Constitution and not the Articles of Confederation.

    No, if I have a problem with any of this stuff, it's the notion of a unified world government. I think you'd need to have some kind of planetary catastrophe happen before the notion of putting aside all the differences we have with all the other people in the world would even begin to cross our minds. WC, we see that sort of thing (at least in the lore for the movie). Star Citizen, not so much. Yet.


    (BTW, an aside - is the acronym SC going to apply to Star Citizen? I'm old enough to remember Star Control...)
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  4. ChrisReid

    ChrisReid Super Soaker Collector / Administrator Staff Member

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    When I see SC, I think "Strike Commander."
  5. quaker2k8

    quaker2k8 1st Lieutenant

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    I think SimCity.
  6. Dyret

    Dyret Super Carrot!

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    Yeah, people abandoning democracy for one reason or another has happened before and is likely to happen again... whether it's 'real' regression or not depends on the circumstances, and whether or not and whether the leadership are total dickwads, which I suppose will happen sooner or later in any event. :p

    One compelling reason for more centralized leadership would be people looking to a strong leader to get stuff done, which wouldn't be all that unlikely in times of crisis, like a galactic war against a relatively unknown threat or whatever.
  7. Mekt-Hakkikt

    Mekt-Hakkikt Mpanty's bane

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    From what I understood, it's not a total dictatorship...people elect the emperor so maybe they can drop him too or maybe he's elected only for a period of time.
  8. Dean478

    Dean478 Ensign

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    I knew I'd forget the most obvious example... :)

    I'm suspecting this is the sort of detail I've yet to see from the fiction.

    It's nice to see all the replies so far.
  9. Wolfman

    Wolfman Rear Admiral

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    After playing WC4 I was left feeling that Confed was well on the way to becoming Empire like, maybe just the way they wrote Tolwyn for the game helps with that feeling I had by the end of the game.

    During the series it feels empireish but as in game we get little info into Confed and its a war time setting doesn't make it easy to glimpse at the political situation behind the scenes. :p

    But to for my Confed feels like an empire from the bits of fluff I'm aware of, but I do need to read more into the WC fluff. :rolleyes:
  10. Zelvik

    Zelvik Commodore

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    From what I gathered the political system sounds very much like that of Starship Troopers, with Citizenship limited to a certain Elite be it military veterans, rich businessmen etc.. Most people dont seem to enjoy citizenship in the Empire. And I havent yet gathered wheter the Emperors are elected or wheter only the top brass of each branch of government is elected - and we dont know what elected means BTW. One of the first things that Napoleon did when it came to elections was to reduce the number of people that were eligible to cast a vote to a tiny fraction of those before he came to be First Consul (and even before that the French electorate did only encompass a fraction of the actual French people of the time). And with the military seemingly beeing one very prominent way to rise into that elect circle of Citizens, one can deduce where most of the power in that system lies (as many get their personal network of Citizens through the military duty). Not surprisingly most new Emperors seem to arise from military ranks rather than civil careers - which is similar to the later Roman periods of General Emperors elected by their armies.

    I like what ive read so far, it gives you great roleplaying opporunities ranging from the loyal Citizen to Rebel and noble Pirate who fights the opressive Government. Its just dull if Earths banner stands for nothing than goodily good doers.
  11. Ijuin

    Ijuin Admiral

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    Limiting Citizenship and political participation to a minority works as long as the non-citizen subjects maintain most of the same rights (sans voting and holding public office). However, once the Citizens as a class start to give themselves special legal privileges (e.g. lighter punishments for a criminal conviction, or even the notion that an act is not a criminal offense if committed by a Citizen against a non-Citizen yet is an offense if committed by a non-Citizen against a Citizen), then the Citizens begin the slide towards becoming Nobility.

    A good counter for this is indeed the "Starship Troopers" system--i.e. nobody, not even the son of the highest government leaders, gets Citizenship by birth, but instead has to provide the same public service that the laboring classes must in order to earn it--this prevents the entrenched elite families from too easily getting the idea that they are inherently entitled to rule. One of the reasons cited for the fall of Rome in the fifth century is that the elite wanted to be draft dodgers and tax dodgers, which resulted in the Empire "outsourcing" much of their military to foreign mercenaries. Once the mercenaries made up a large enough fraction of the army, they decided that they should be in charge instead, and mounted a coup.
  12. Rylex

    Rylex Rear Admiral

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    When I see SC, I can only think StarCraft!
    And that's the difference: When I see WC3, I think Wing Commander III and not (!!!) WarCraft III...

    But doesn't matter... I'm only playing StarCraft II at the moment.
    If Star Citizien ever comes out, I hope it works native under Mac OS X otherwise I'm not interested because Windows 8 sucks!
  13. Quarto

    Quarto Unknown Enemy Staff Member

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    You can find that out right now - just check if any Cry Engine games work under Mac OS X. If they do, then probably (but not necessarily) Star Citizen will as well.

    Don't worry about Windows 8, though. If the rumblings I hear amongst game developers are any indication, Microsoft has a lot of convincing to do before developers jump on that bandwagon - and until they do, consumers probably won't be that keen to upgrade either. I am almost completely certain that for the next two years, no one will risk making a game that's incompatible with Windows 7; I would even risk saying that this is likely to be the case for the next four years, but that's such a long timeframe, it's impossible to really tell what will happen.
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  14. capi3101

    capi3101 Rear Admiral

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    History shows that folks will go with an OS they're familiar with for as long as they can get away with it. Take me for example: I've got three boxes in my home (though I only use two of them on a regular basis), and of those two of them are still running on XP (and how old is XP at this point?). Point there is that Windows 7 has come across as a Win distribution that doesn't suck, so folks are liable to be using it for quite some time - possibly as long as a decade or more.
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  15. -danr-

    -danr- Commodore

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    I can only echo this sentiment. I primarily used Windows 98 (on a duel boot with XP) until about 2010, until it got to the point that not only would modern applications be incompatible, but so would many file types. I found myself needing XP but avoiding it wherever possible.

    Then, I had a small windfall and invested in a new PC for the first time in nearly a decade. I quickly found Windows 7 to be most accommodating, the 64 bit compatibility is occasionally problematic but isn't an issue as much as I thought it would be. Backwards compatibility is excellent, and I'm only really a 'retro' gamer - I can see myself comfortably using Win 7 for the next decade.

    I'm disappointed Win 8 has already arrived.
  16. HotJob

    HotJob 2nd Lieutenant

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    I am still using an WindowsXP P4-3ghz box with 2 Gb ram and a 2 month old Geforce 7600. Unless Windows7 is still offered a year from now, the system I buy to play Star Citizen (Why oh why has Chris Roberts dictated all my hardware upgrades?) will likely have windows 8. :(

    In the future, buying a keyboard will be like buying a joystick now: a specialty peripheral for a specific program (oh, excuse me, they are called "apps" now) :rolleyes:
  17. L.I.F.

    L.I.F. Captain

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    I haven't yet read all the lore on the website, but could it simply be that, to be a citizen, you need to... have your very own ship? Said like that, I know it's kinda stupid, but still, I'm sure something could be based around it, like the requirement of some civil or military service for any pilot license. The Empire could then separate the eagles and the earthworms. Those who push back the frontier and those who stay on their home planet all their life (and, like in Starship Troopers, would get the same rights as a citizen, except for the political ones).

    You have your ship, you proved that you are -somewhat- responsible with it, then you are a Star Citizen.
  18. capi3101

    capi3101 Rear Admiral

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    Hmm...that's not how I'm reading it. They're going pretty heavily off the history of the latter Roman Empire as the basis of Star Citizen (Earth=Rome, Terra=Constantinople, Vanduul vs. Vandals, etc.). So they're probably going off the model of Roman citizenship - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_citizenship - which basically grants certain liberties (say suffrage for example) to some folks and denies them to others. It can be earned based on service, but simply owning a ship does not automatically make you a citizen.

    Go read Starship Troopers. The Federal Service in that book is probably the best way to think of how this sort of governmental system works. And don't wimp out and just watch the movie...
  19. L.I.F.

    L.I.F. Captain

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    I've read the book years ago, it's a classic. What I meant in my post was that owning a ship was maybe the most visible difference between the civilian and the citizen, the ownership itself requiring a specific civilian or military service. That's what I said in the post and it's explicitly inspired by Starship Troopers, just with the end result being "now that you proved you are someone who offered part of his/her life and personal confort to the Empire, that you proved that you can be trusted with specific responsibilities, the Empire trusts you in return to live where the law is enforced by the citizens themselves: space".
  20. Ijuin

    Ijuin Admiral

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    The main thing keeping keyboards alive at present is that it's nearly impossible to type above 20 or so words per minute on a touch screen because of the lack of tactile feedback. Voice-to-text software is still not reliable enough to do everything via dictation, especially in an environment with lots of background noise. Also, there are certain written things that are very difficult to express in an exclusively-vocal manner and really need to be input with your hands (e.g. many forms of abstract notation, which spreads out the relationships between elements over two dimensions instead of just a simple beginning-to-end one-dimensional string like sentences are).

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