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Power and Morality


Byron Orpheus
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The following is neither pro-Francoist nor anti-Francoist.

One realizes rather quickly that the issue of “power” is one that dominates the whole of Planet Bob. There is great talk of classlessness and of the politics that go into the dealings of the supranational alliance entities, specifically on morality (or rather, on subjective morality) as well the hopelessness and barbarism of the universe that we face. However, one is left to ponder the factors beyond this rhetoric and the purpose of its existence as a whole. The fact is that the whole of politics on our beloved planet revolves around the promotion of institutions, whether national, supranational, or superalliance (when speaking about organizations that rise above even the alliance level, most commonly found in alliance-block agreements). These institutions work cooperatively to exert social power upon the whole of the world in order to do what institutions do best: sustain. The lines between friend and foe, ally and neutral, etc are all social constructions that ensure only the obedience of the individual and the survival of the institutions, all the institutions, in maintaining the social order. Morality then, though definitions on a personal level change from individual to individual and from alliance to alliance, is what is socially acceptable under the overarching exertions of the institutional structure. This is achieved through “power”, though operating as a force rather than a commodity. To understand how this institutional morality is achieved, several factors must first be explained.

1) Power. Power, as I have said, is a force rather than a commodity. As such it is not handed out like so much tech, but operates much in the same way as communication, like a conversation. One party puts forth its “power” and the other party replies in turn by exerting its own powers. The power base begins on the national level where sovereigns are free to make decisions as they please; they do so, however, because they have a populace to command in the first place. Just as the population requires the sovereign to direct their efforts, so too does the sovereign require this population to meet his or her own ends. A sovereign without a populace is a person talking to himself, unable to perform even the simplest of national tasks. Without a population, no taxes can be collected; there is no money to pay bills, no one to provide infrastructure, no one to develop technology, no military force, etc etc. This of course works at the alliance level as well. Alliance leaders are given authority within the alliance and may exert that authority; however, they may do so only with the implied consent of the population of the alliance. Therefore, even as the alliance leader is capable of commanding all the resources of the alliance, these resources may only be commanded insofar as the alliance population allows him or her to do so. The same can be said of multi-alliance organizations, though there is no stated leader.

2) Morality. Morality has been pointed before to be as each alliance defines it. That is, it is subjective, at least in appearance. There is no defined, natural morality within this worldview, except what each finds to be appropriate for his own behavior. In reality, however, the morality of the dominant becomes the morality of the world. Though various alliances may not define what is moral or immoral in the same way within the confines of their alliances, the morality of whomever is in a dominant (under erasure for reasons explained later) position in the world is the morality that extends to all extra-alliance behavior.

3) Dominance. Clearly it does not take much to view who is dominant over the other alliances, who wields the most influence and exerts their morality upon those who are under domination. However, the power spoken about earlier comes into play here. This domination cannot exist without the silent complacency of the masses, those who recognize the dominance in the same way that an individual recognizes the authority of the sovereign or the sovereign recognizes the authority of the alliance leader. Domination, then, is socially constructed by the consent of those who are dominated. The dominate, then, are just as reliant upon the willingness of the dominated as the dominated are reliant upon the dominate to set the standards and behavior that is socially acceptable to follow.

It can be seen, then, that those in a position of authority through the consensual agreement of dominate/dominated are those who define the morality of the world. This morality, however, is a superficial morality that in fact seeks to uphold the existence of all parties involved, the institutions (basically alliances). Since the ultimate goal in a “barbaric” world is survival, the morality exerted upon the world is one that ensures survival. Its usefulness as a “moral code” goes only so far as it meets that final goal of survival. The dominate relies on the position of dominator in order to survive, just as the dominated relies on the dominator to set forth the acceptable behavior that allows for maximum survivability. The death of an institution, then, comes about only when the survival of the whole is threatened. Friends, foes, and neutrals all work in this manner to uphold the survival of the social structure as a whole, each feeding off the others and in return providing the structure for the other to feed. The only real foe (and the only person or group that will ultimately be destroyed) within this structure is the person or group that would seek to upset the survivability and prosperity of the social order, those whose “morality” causes an upset in balance that could prove detrimental for the social order as a whole. The real threat to the entire equation is the variable that is unknown, the variable that requires that power reassert itself rather than become stagnate. Otherwise, the system as a whole would be self-sustaining.

Edited by Byron Orpheus
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2) Morality. Morality has been pointed before to be as each alliance defines it. That is, it is subjective, at least in appearance. There is no defined, natural morality within this worldview, except what each finds to be appropriate for his own behavior. In reality, however, the morality of the dominant becomes the morality of the world. Though various alliances may not define what is moral or immoral in the same way within the confines of their alliances, the morality of whomever is in a dominant (under erasure for reasons explained later) position in the world is the morality that extends to all extra-alliance behavior.

There are forms of morality in CN.

OOC = Bad

DDoS = Bad.

Naked Ejay in your local Barnes and Nobles replacing the bibles in the fiction section = Bad

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There are forms of morality in CN.

OOC = Bad

DDoS = Bad.

Naked Ejay in your local Barnes and Nobles replacing the bibles in the fiction section = Bad

That last point, could you specify which part of that is "bad"? Ejay being naked, or replacing the bibles in the fiction section, or the fact that Barnes and Nobles exists?

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Excellent Post Bryon,

The only real foe (and the only person or group that will ultimately be destroyed) within this structure is the person or group that would seek to upset the survivability and prosperity of the social order, those whose “morality” causes an upset in balance that could prove detrimental for the social order as a whole.

Wheh! Thank goodness we havent reached that point.

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I find it very interesting he had to preface his talk on power/moralitiy with "neither Pro-Francoist nor Anti-Francoist"

But classes in CN are similar to classes in RL: Whoever can get the most money/ people under his control is the most powerful. Morality is separate. My two cents.

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I find it very interesting he had to preface his talk on power/moralitiy with "neither Pro-Francoist nor Anti-Francoist"

But classes in CN are similar to classes in RL: Whoever can get the most money/ people under his control is the most powerful. Morality is separate. My two cents.

I guess its the old might makes right rule, but morality is something that does affect it more then power affects morality and they are certainly connected. As soon as people look at something else as morally just, then that new thing starts gaining power over what would be considered to not have that. So its more of morality that gives people power more then the powerful control it.

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I find it very interesting he had to preface his talk on power/moralitiy with "neither Pro-Francoist nor Anti-Francoist"

But classes in CN are similar to classes in RL: Whoever can get the most money/ people under his control is the most powerful. Morality is separate. My two cents.

Power is exercised, not possessed, and the relationship operates in both directions. To be developed further in another essay, "Domination and Subordination"

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