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AAA Studios - Hypothetically...


Necris Omega
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I'm willing to bet there's a certain American zeal behind anti-imperialism, however ironic. The country was founded in revolution against the biggest empire, in terms of area, that ever existed (though at that time it was just a really big empire, not the biggest). American historical culture glorifies the Founding Fathers fighting the evil, irrationally oppressive empire - we just wanted to dodge taxes! Federalism balances the despotism of empire by making all states ostensibly equal. So, America's founding mythos is very anti-imperial, ignoring the plight of Native Americans, Mexicans, Filipinos...

 

And Jeff is American.

 

I believe that our (I am american) founding myth is anti-monarchal and that any especially anti-imperial feeling has come from other sources. During the time of the founding fathers, George III did not have the title Emperor (that did not happen until 1876 with Queen Victoria adding the title of Queen of India, by which point our relations with England had improved). Likewise the first French Empire had not yet been declared until the founding fathers were towards the end of their careers and we were somewhat pro France at that time(Napoleon I 1804). The Holy Roman Empire was close to dissolution (1806) and fell during the Napoleonic wars. The empire of Japan was not seen as a threat until the 1920s, the Russian Empire was never a threat (unlike the USSR and Russia). I am not sure how many americans ever noted the existence of the Emperor of Ethiopia or the Ottoman Empire. I do not think that Empire became a particularly bad word any earlier than WWII and quite possibly later.

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The founding myth of American anti-imperialism certainly was not made at the time of the Revolution. It, after all, is a myth, not a history, which means that fabricated and anachronistic details were totally fine.

 

I'm toying around with the idea that the Monroe Doctrine may have had a hand in making Americans feel anti-imperial, if at the very least because they were defending the "little guy"... so they could exploit Latin America instead.

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The Monroe Doctrine was pretty explicitly anti-empire. It was that way for practical geopolitical reasons rather than ideological ones, but nonetheless.

 

Monroe... I just realized. Oh, oh dear.

 

u.s. president james monroe was not in fact jeff vogel's ex-wife

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The Monroe doctrine probably did generate some anti-imperialism sentiment. Throughout American history, there has been an ideological battle between the manifest destiny/world's policeman approach and isolationists. For the manifest destiny crowd, the Monroe doctrine served as the stay out of our backyard message, for the isolationists it served as a stay away from us message.

 

A bunch of posts ago this started with a statement of America hates Empires but is okay with Kingdoms which is why we tend to have evil Empires in video games. My opinion is that Americans have traditionally hated all forms of monarchy with no distinction between Kingdoms and Empires, and that Americans traditionally do not like imperialism from anyone but Americans. I think that the tendency to have evil Empires in video games is more of a case of why have an evil Barony when you can have an evil Duchy. Empires to most are just bigger, badder Kingdoms and the bigger the enemy is, the better antagonist that it is for our intrepid adventurers who are fighting for truth, justice and the (fill in the blank) way.

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I think by and large a portion of the Monroe Doctrine was an attempt to limit spillover of Euro-Asian conflicts to the Americas. Granted, this had happened to an immense extent by the time said doctrine was put into place (see "The American Revolution") but as history would prove beyond any shadow of a doubt, the far, far, far worst was yet to come.

 

Strange that only a couple decades later our "LEAVE US ALONE!!11" policy would be completely subverted as we put a proverbial gun to Japan's head and demanded they knock off their own isolationism.

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I would agree that one of the Monroe Doctrine's goals was an attempt to limit the spill over of European conflicts to the Americas. I don't think that any of our politicians in the day spent any thought at all on Asian conflicts.

 

The isolationist groups in American politics were more effective in general policy terms, but less in individual action terms. They kept us from having possessions outside of continental North America until 1898 and they kept us from having the type of mutual defense treaties that served as the formal trigger for WWI until 1947, and they (and our weakness at the time) kept us almost completely out of the Napoleonic wars, but they did not keep us from fighting the Barbary pirates, taking a big chunk of Mexico, "opening" Japan, acquiring Hawaii, or entering World War I. I suppose they were part of the reason why we didn't take Cuba in the 1840s-1850s, but there were other factors there beyond isolationism.

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To be honest, I always found it refreshing that the Empire in the Elder Scrolls wasn't inherently evil like in seemingly 99% of every other invocations of that term in fiction.

 

... And a whole lot of non-fiction references, come to think of it.

 

I know I'm super-late but I'd like to make a correction to my original statement: I was merely making an observation; in both games it is a large empire that is doing nasty things to you, both in Skyrim and Avernum. However! In Skyrim I did always either go with the Imperials or try to broker a peace because I could never really accept the Stormcloaks' racist attitude. So, they're the real devils in my eyes(, but less so than the Thalmor).

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The problem I have with the Stormcloaks is that... If the Empire couldn't beat the Thalmor, what makes them think Skyrim alone could? ... Granted, the Reguards held them off to a point, but the Thalmor seem like the sort of thing you need an international coalition to overcome, rather than piecemeal resistance.

 

Other than that, and the racist undertones, though, I'm pretty pro-Stormcloak. As far as I'm concerned, the notion that Talos is a god was cemented in Oblivion, and even if they don't like my furry/scaley/elven self, they didn't actively try to lop off my head. Kinda hard not to take that personally.

 

I don't know... however it's handled going forward, I just hope Elder Scrolls VI either puts dealing with the Thalmor once and for all first, or takes place after that's happened in some satisfying fashion.

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Definitely agreed about the Thalmor. Hence, a peace between the Stormcloaks and Empire was another great thing that I did on one of my more peaceful characters.

 

As for the lopping off the head at the start, that's actually something that someone pointed out to me a long time ago: the man who takes your name says "I'm sorry", and then proceeds to follow the captain's orders. In this case, I feel like it was the captain who just had a bad day and decided to take it out on you; while the name-list-taker-person would've wanted to just let you skitter away scot free.

 

Yep, definitely waiting on how they deal with the ESVI and the Thalmor Question.

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