Are there any positive traits of the Jovian Junta?

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bblonski bblonski's picture
Surly wrote:
Surly wrote:
I think the objection's about inconsistency, not evil. If they really are terrifying warmongerers, why haven't they conquered anyone? That's a useful segue, actually - it's easy to talk past each other when discussing the Jovians, because their portrayal has a bunch of inconsistencies. [i]Rimward[/i] p. 38 says "While a civilian enjoys some rights, they do not have absolute freedom of speech and may be detained or confined to their quarters by the authorities, no justification needed." p. 39 says "It may surprise those that have never been to the Republic to discover that we have absolute freedom of speech. While there are rather strict sedition laws, merely criticizing the government will not get you hauled off to prison." And then adds "This freedom of speech is limited due to restrictions against the press and public gatherings, of course." The top of p. 37 says "You are unlikely to suspect that Jovian medtech is on par with the best found elsewhere in the system— we do, after all, have a vested interest in keeping our bodies alive, rather than just slipping into a new one." The bottom of p. 37 says "even those citizens willing to undertake longevity treatments can expect to live a life considerably shorter than the rest of the system—and one that is likely filled with no small amount of pain and suffering." On the same page, contrast "Medical nanotech is allowed under the strict supervision of licensed professionals" with "the best techniques for treating these cancers remain on the banned list or are restricted to a handful of licensed practitioners because they involve invasive nanotechnology." p. 37 says "schools are also top of the line, given the importance we place on rebuilding our population and raising future generations." p. 50 says "Europans pride themselves on their schooling and reject the Jovian notion that only a privileged few should receive the full benefits of a higher education." And [i]Transhuman[/i] recommends giving Jovians the Faulty Education trait, p. 89. If the intent was to give GMs multiple sharply contrasting options for portraying the Republic, or to make Tio Silencio look like a disingenuous propagandist, bang-up job. Otherwise, it's just hammering on the point that the Jovians are bad, in ways that [i]there is no particular reason[/i] for them to be bad. Same deal as with the Reagan cylinders - Jovian accomplishments in areas other than human augmentation suck, for no apparent in-setting reason. It's more interesting to run the Jovians as perfectly competent in areas other than human augmentation than to run them as Space North Korea.
This is I think the best argument I've seen so far with some pretty decent examples. Well done. It's a much different argument than most people have been making though, which has mostly been that the Jovians are one-dimensional evil characterizations of right-wing politics. Now I'd argue that one man's inconsistencies are another's nuance, but some of you examples are fairly compelling. I think the freedom of speech example and education examples are most problematic. Looks like the authors weren't sure where to go with this. I don't have as much problems with the medtech examples. They have the technology, it's just not widely available. I'm sure top officials have some of the best treatment around. I imagine their schools are somewhat like private schools that teach creationism; sufficient in most areas with a few glaring exceptions. The Reagan cylinders we've gone over as most other habs heavily rely on banned technologies such as AIs and nanotechnology. Things are dirtier because they don't have as many AI and infugee butlers cleaning up after everyone. Tio Silencio probably does have some rather extreme cognitive dissonance going on. He's been raised on propaganda, believing his faction is best and provides freedoms and protections not given anywhere else, but he's also become disillusioned and highly critical of his government as he's seen how much they've lied to him. I see the same thing in real life where people claim they have absolute freedom of speech... as long as they don't criticize the government/religious leaders. Same with certain Muslim extremists that claim they have the best treatment of women because they protect them from dangerous things like driving and wearing revealing clothing. I think that's some of the brilliance of writing so much from the perspectives of unreliable narrators. You can pick and choose what things are true and what is personal opinion and cultural bias depending on your preferences. Same goes for a lot of the anarchist propaganda about Jovians. I think you still have a valid point, though. I'm willing to concede that the Jovians could have been written a little more consistent on what freedoms, technologies, and education they enjoy. I still don't think that it was part of some political jab by the authors. Most of the text is reasonable and easily reconcilable. Could have been that not all the authors were on the same page about the Jovians. They do fit into a sort of Soviet Russia/Syria/Iran/North Korea design space, but in, I think, a mostly realistic and understandable way. They add a lot of interesting political tension to the setting without stepping into Empire from Star Wars levels of villainy.
branford branford's picture
bblonski wrote:Surly wrote:
bblonski wrote:
Surly wrote:
I think the objection's about inconsistency, not evil. If they really are terrifying warmongerers, why haven't they conquered anyone? That's a useful segue, actually - it's easy to talk past each other when discussing the Jovians, because their portrayal has a bunch of inconsistencies. [i]Rimward[/i] p. 38 says "While a civilian enjoys some rights, they do not have absolute freedom of speech and may be detained or confined to their quarters by the authorities, no justification needed." p. 39 says "It may surprise those that have never been to the Republic to discover that we have absolute freedom of speech. While there are rather strict sedition laws, merely criticizing the government will not get you hauled off to prison." And then adds "This freedom of speech is limited due to restrictions against the press and public gatherings, of course." The top of p. 37 says "You are unlikely to suspect that Jovian medtech is on par with the best found elsewhere in the system— we do, after all, have a vested interest in keeping our bodies alive, rather than just slipping into a new one." The bottom of p. 37 says "even those citizens willing to undertake longevity treatments can expect to live a life considerably shorter than the rest of the system—and one that is likely filled with no small amount of pain and suffering." On the same page, contrast "Medical nanotech is allowed under the strict supervision of licensed professionals" with "the best techniques for treating these cancers remain on the banned list or are restricted to a handful of licensed practitioners because they involve invasive nanotechnology." p. 37 says "schools are also top of the line, given the importance we place on rebuilding our population and raising future generations." p. 50 says "Europans pride themselves on their schooling and reject the Jovian notion that only a privileged few should receive the full benefits of a higher education." And [i]Transhuman[/i] recommends giving Jovians the Faulty Education trait, p. 89. If the intent was to give GMs multiple sharply contrasting options for portraying the Republic, or to make Tio Silencio look like a disingenuous propagandist, bang-up job. Otherwise, it's just hammering on the point that the Jovians are bad, in ways that [i]there is no particular reason[/i] for them to be bad. Same deal as with the Reagan cylinders - Jovian accomplishments in areas other than human augmentation suck, for no apparent in-setting reason. It's more interesting to run the Jovians as perfectly competent in areas other than human augmentation than to run them as Space North Korea.
This is I think the best argument I've seen so far with some pretty decent examples. Well done. It's a much different argument than most people have been making though, which has mostly been that the Jovians are one-dimensional evil characterizations of right-wing politics. Now I'd argue that one man's inconsistencies are another's nuance, but some of you examples are fairly compelling. I think the freedom of speech example and education examples are most problematic. Looks like the authors weren't sure where to go with this. I don't have as much problems with the medtech examples. They have the technology, it's just not widely available. I'm sure top officials have some of the best treatment around. I imagine their schools are somewhat like private schools that teach creationism; sufficient in most areas with a few glaring exceptions. The Reagan cylinders we've gone over as most other habs heavily rely on banned technologies such as AIs and nanotechnology. Things are dirtier because they don't have as many AI and infugee butlers cleaning up after everyone. Tio Silencio probably does have some rather extreme cognitive dissonance going on. He's been raised on propaganda, believing his faction is best and provides freedoms and protections not given anywhere else, but he's also become disillusioned and highly critical of his government as he's seen how much they've lied to him. I see the same thing in real life where people claim they have absolute freedom of speech... as long as they don't criticize the government/religious leaders. Same with certain Muslim extremists that claim they have the best treatment of women because they protect them from dangerous things like driving and wearing revealing clothing. I think that's some of the brilliance of writing so much from the perspectives of unreliable narrators. You can pick and choose what things are true and what is personal opinion and cultural bias depending on your preferences. Same goes for a lot of the anarchist propaganda about Jovians. I think you still have a valid point, though. I'm willing to concede that the Jovians could have been written a little more consistent on what freedoms, technologies, and education they enjoy. I still don't think that it was part of some political jab by the authors. Most of the text is reasonable and easily reconcilable. Could have been that not all the authors were on the same page about the Jovians. They do fit into a sort of Soviet Russia/Syria/Iran/North Korea design space, but in, I think, a mostly realistic and understandable way. They add a lot of interesting political tension to the setting without stepping into Empire from Star Wars levels of villainy.
Surly captured the thrust of my objections to the Jovians, and provided some great examples. I would just like to add a few quick additional points: 1. My primary complaint about the Jovians is not that they're unnecessarily fascist, evil or even too conservative (although I think they are), it's more that they're inconsistent, effectively incompetent and one-dimensional. If the authors state that the Jovians are an aggressive, militant, hate-filled polity with the largest and most intimidating fleet and some of the best officers who survived the Fall, why do they all sit around dying from radiation poisoning while being ignored by their neighbors (except when helping anarchists!), rather than taking what they need and want from the godless heathens, mechanical monstrosities, and ignorant, narcissistic dead, all while saving the system for the "real humans." If we are to believe that the Jovians are militant fascists, they setting should at least show them acting like, well, scary militant fascists! 2. The authors explicitly conceded on p. 195 of Rimward that as superficially presented, particularly in the Core, the Jovians are meant to be a one-note faction, the irredeemable "Space Nazis," because "nobody minds shooting Space Nazis." The Posthuman crew also mentioned (I believe on Reddit) that in the excitement of writing the books, many of the authors may have favored the factions with their preferred ideologies, which are all admittedly very-left wing. If they didn't go overboard with the Jovians in the core, there simply would have been no need to describe in Rimward how, if you squint real hard and pound you head against the table, you can see the Jovians are more nuanced. No other faction or group required this later, special treatment. Simply, it's really not too difficult to see where the nuance should be found or why the Jovians could be interesting. However, that is a function of creative thinking by the readers, not a result of the setting materials provided in the books. 3. The Jovians are the only large and relevant bioconservative faction. The choice to often make them caricatures of American conservatives or those who hold religions beliefs was, quite frankly, lazy (the treatment of the PC was only marginally better compared to the romanticized anarchists and near flawless socialists). This was not only because it can easily be construed as offensive (note making the only large religious or conservative political group the "other" of the setting is not very liberal, although it demonstrates how even the most progressive individuals act and think no differently when they are recipients of power and privilege) or that many key items were wholly unexplained or internally contradicted, as described by Surly and as I indicated in some of my earlier posts (e.g., why do they even need to be fascist when their would be eager and popular support for their policies), but it limited more meaningful and enjoyable role-playing possibilities. TL;DR - The Jovians would have been far more interesting and fun if they were either allowed to be the scary, competent and aggressive fascists they proudly claim to be, or redevelop the Jovians with the appropriate insight and sympathy of a strong, justifiably paranoid, spiritual and entirely complicated and human polity in the post-apocalypse trying to save themselves and the other meager remnants of humanity from extinction from threats both transhuman and alien.
Tiberia Tiberia's picture
if nothing else, this whole
if nothing else, this whole thread has provided a great deal of material and ideas for people (like me) to use in their own games to add nuance to the Jovians.
Chernoborg Chernoborg's picture
They make the trains run on time
Been thinking about this for a few days and trying to come up with a decent answer...I think I've got one but it's going to sound a little crazy. The Republic cares deeply about its constituents. Much has been made of the Republic being "Space Nazis" and certainly some aspects can be played that way ( faceless, militant, and threatening never go out of style for throwing at protagonists) but that can only go so far before credibility is stretched. Of course, to present more varied aspects more information would be useful but we haven't had a lot to go on ( the MRB presents broad strokes and Rimward had to cover a LOT of territory). I'm sure we'll get more coverage in the future, until then we'll work with what we've got! A consistent comparison of the Republic is to North Korea, this doesn't ring true to me as that's a dictatorship, and near as I remember no one has that much control in this case. The Jovians usually remind me more of the old Soviet Union, a military/industrial bureaucracy dedicated to a social cause. For the Jovians this is the protection of its citizens souls, both physically and spiritually. Unfortunately, as so often happens, the value of the cause has superseded the value of the individual to the detriment of both. There is certainly a lot of repression going on, but from their point of view they are AT WAR. Besieged by enemy forces trying their hardest to infiltrate,exploit or overthrow their way of life. People develop hard attitudes in those circumstances and things get brutal very quickly. On the flip side of this, life goes on for the millions of ordinary people that make up the majority of the Republic. Food is grown on farms and bought and sold in stores. Sports are played and entertainment enjoyed. In a way the Jovians are easier to understand since they don't have near magic technologies that the rest do. The lack of resleeving and rejuvenation means that keeping people safe and alive is a priority ( recently mentioned in the Rover entry of the Morph Guide) unlike the PC where they'll shoot first and interrogate your stack later! Controlling access to potentially dangerous tech is also step in that direction, how many accidentally or deliberately released nanoplages have the PC or AA dealt with- at least two as I recall.
Current Status: Highly Distracted building Gatecrashing systems in Universe Sandbox!
uwtartarus uwtartarus's picture
Tiberia wrote:if nothing else
Tiberia wrote:
if nothing else, this whole thread has provided a great deal of material and ideas for people (like me) to use in their own games to add nuance to the Jovians.
Definitely! The longer this thread goes, the more I plan for a Jovian-system campaign arc!
Exhuman, and Humanitarian.
Smokeskin Smokeskin's picture
branford wrote:capybara wrote
branford wrote:
capybara wrote:
It seems that you are very focused on American viewpoint. I see how from a North American perspective the decision to make the Jovian Republic a non-democratic fascist polity might look as unsubtle mocking and imply all sorts of unpleasant things, but believe me when I say that from oustide North American discource it doesn't look that bad.
My American viewpoint can certainly be attributed to the fact that I'm, well, American, born and bred. :) I confidently believe that virtually all Americans, no less those of a conservative, capitalist or religious disposition, would immediately recognize the authors' obvious distaste for individuals holding such beliefs based upon their depictions of the Jovians and PC. The fact that it might not look as bad from the perspective of non-Americans may speak more to some ludicrous stereotypes of Americans by foreigners or even a greater historical, and often fairly contemporary, experience and tolerance with fascism in their own countries. [...] The authors base the Jovians primarily on American conservatives (and they no doubt believe that the American Democratic Party is only slightly less conservative than the Republicans), yet are still unable to concede that the majority of Americans democratically and voluntarily hold views much to the right of other developed nations.
He didn't say that he thought the American right wasn't democratic. He said that your view that democracy was the only reasonable form of leadership was a too narrow American viewpoint. In many parts of the world, democracies have failed and been unable to get leaders elected that would bring prosperity to the citizens. In Chile, those that view Pinochet as a hero could well be of the opinion that democracy got them socialism and it took a military dictatorship to turn the country around. And these people were among the founders of the JR.
ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
Mmmm, dat sum good EP.
I think it's a good idea to remember that whilst the Jovians are pretty fascist, from their point of view it's moderately justified. Everyone else thinks of them as another polity among many, but from their point of view they're surrounded by hostiles, and are quite possibly on the brink of war. Freedoms are restricted, but if they don't they leave a vulnerability for the non-humans to exploit. They're also kinda justified in their opinions. To call back to ShadowDragon's caveman analogy, judging fire as too dangerous if they see a peer dead with no reason except that a fire is next to him, then that would be completely rational, as the fire is the only difference from the control group. Similarly, they're treating transhumans as though they were non-humans.... which is arguably accurate. To be clear, I do not agree with this point of view, but I can easily understand it. I find it also easy to understand why there hasn't been much outright conflict between the Junta-Loompas and anyone else; any such conflict would, at best, by a Pyrrhic victory. Remember, Jovian habitats are overcrowded, dangerous and the people within are largely stackless. Any conflict is likely going to result in at least one hab being spaced, which would directly lead to the permanent deaths of thousands if not millions of civilians. So the Jovians can't attack without leaving the habs open to attack, and no-one can try to "liberate" the Junta without risking killing everyone they were trying to save. That said, I doubt they'll have as pronounced a disadvantage on the ground as ShadowDragon presumes - they may not combat synths, but they're fine with drugs, and I imagine they have a disproportionally large amount of Battlesuits and other combat Exoskeletons. Unless I'm remembering wrong, they also have nothing against jamming synths. Another method of justifying resleeving as a Junta PC: you loose your soul when you resleeve, but the soul doesn't "vanish"... it stays with the biomorph. So every time the character resleeves into a biomorph, they believe they adopt the soul of the inhabitant. They're still totally against being in a synthmorph or infomorph of course. The jovians are great when you want to explore theological questions, or those concerning how much power a nation should have over it's inhabitants in times of crisis, or what compromises national identity. Do you revile the soulless monsters, or pity those tragic lost souls, locked in a meaningless, hopeless existence, not knowing that they're already dead? Is the soul part of the body, the mind, or something greater? Is it worth violating a cultures guiding principles if that means preserving it from destruction? That type of thing.
In the past we've had to compensate for weaknesses, finding quick solutions that only benefit a few. But what if we never need to feel weak or morally conflicted again?
branford branford's picture
Smokeskin wrote:branford
Smokeskin wrote:
branford wrote:
capybara wrote:
It seems that you are very focused on American viewpoint. I see how from a North American perspective the decision to make the Jovian Republic a non-democratic fascist polity might look as unsubtle mocking and imply all sorts of unpleasant things, but believe me when I say that from oustide North American discource it doesn't look that bad.
My American viewpoint can certainly be attributed to the fact that I'm, well, American, born and bred. :) I confidently believe that virtually all Americans, no less those of a conservative, capitalist or religious disposition, would immediately recognize the authors' obvious distaste for individuals holding such beliefs based upon their depictions of the Jovians and PC. The fact that it might not look as bad from the perspective of non-Americans may speak more to some ludicrous stereotypes of Americans by foreigners or even a greater historical, and often fairly contemporary, experience and tolerance with fascism in their own countries. [...] The authors base the Jovians primarily on American conservatives (and they no doubt believe that the American Democratic Party is only slightly less conservative than the Republicans), yet are still unable to concede that the majority of Americans democratically and voluntarily hold views much to the right of other developed nations.
He didn't say that he thought the American right wasn't democratic. He said that your view that democracy was the only reasonable form of leadership was a too narrow American viewpoint. In many parts of the world, democracies have failed and been unable to get leaders elected that would bring prosperity to the citizens. In Chile, those that view Pinochet as a hero could well be of the opinion that democracy got them socialism and it took a military dictatorship to turn the country around. And these people were among the founders of the JR.
My comment about viewing Americans as undemocratic was not a criticism of the capybara, but rather a more general comment about the view held by members of all political persuasions that when they lose elections or the majority does not agree with their views, somehow democracy is not functioning properly (e.g., claims of voters voting against their own interests, blaming the media for "misinforming" the public, etc.). Your raise an interesting perspective about Pinochet. However, Americans, left and right, are very sensitive about challenges to our democracy and core principles. I believe most Americans would view any comparisons to Pinochet very negatively, basically an accusation that they are on par with murderers and torturers, even if such vile individuals also opposed socialists. Although many, particularly on the far left, both here and abroad, may share the belief that conservatives are equal or close to fascists, such hyperbole is nowhere near a mainstream view, and accusations of fascism are considered very offensive. Interestingly, despite active socialist parties in many parts of Europe, America is very different, socialism is generally considered no better than fascism, and such accusations would be similarly offensive, even to many liberal Democrats. I believe that the authors are American (or at the least informed western Europeans), and intentionally wrote the Jovian sections to parody, caricature and insult conservatives and the religious. I would be incredulous if anyone from Posthuman claimed that they did not know exactly what they were doing with the Jovians in the core book. However, I also certainly do not believe it was hateful, but rather a poorly executed attempt at humor, likely not realizing (or caring?) that many of their consumers were not nearly as liberal as themselves or would simply find it unnecessary and diminishing to an otherwise rich and enjoyable setting. This is also the reason why I believe they attempted to mitigate the damage and offense in Rimward. By way of reference, I am a lifelong registered Democrat, politically left-of-center (for the USA), and a secular Jewish trial attorney in New York City, and I immediately recognized the very negative implication of the Pinochet reference in the core book. I was not personally the target of the implied political commentary, but I nevertheless found it very heavy-handed, gratuitous and unnecessary. To many of my more mildly conservative or religious friends, it would definitely be seen as ridiculous, at best, and more likely, very insulting. The more contemporary Bush moon reference was similarly just provocative snark, little more than a shout-out from the very liberal and partisan authors to readers of a similar political persuasion, really far more juvenile than insulting. On a more relevant note, I believe that trying to "reinterpret" what the authors originally intended, through a purportedly non-American perspective or other means, goes against the overwhelming evidence and is nothing but a fool's errand, particularly in the light of Rimward. However, despite the authors Jovian caricature, there is more than enough basic material in the setting for most mature and enlightened GM's and players to re-imagine the Jovians with more depth and believability, or at least make them effective and "fun" fascist adversaries. This thread alone provides more than ample ideas. I personally use Heinlein's Starship Troopers and Moore's Battlestar Galactica as inspiration for my "new and improved" Jovians.
ORCACommander ORCACommander's picture
Fundemently the jovians as
Fundemently the jovians as canonically written are an example of bad writing do to author bias. And we have discussed that point enough now and fruther bickering about it is really givign me a headache. Bottom line is a lot of people here want to rewrite the jove or flesh them out better. to that end we have a bunch of good ideas lets think of some more.
Tiberia Tiberia's picture
I agree. From this point
I agree. From this point forward maybe focusing on how WE would all like to play the Jovians in our own games would be the most productive course. Whether it be how to make them more threatening space Nazis, Or make them into a more nuanced balanced faction.
branford branford's picture
Tiberia wrote:I agree. From
Tiberia wrote:
I agree. From this point forward maybe focusing on how WE would all like to play the Jovians in our own games would be the most productive course. Whether it be how to make them more threatening space Nazis, Or make them into a more nuanced balanced faction.
I think we have more than enough material already written in the game to make the Jovians a legitimate and terrifying threat to both the inner and outer systems. As I and others have previously mentioned, the Jovians have leadership comprised of the top military, security and intelligence officers who actually survived the Fall, body and mind, they possess the largest and most well equipped fleet in the system (that is even designed specifically to resist mesh-based attacks (Rimward, p.44), more than ample resources and a strategic position near Jupiter, a very large, loyal, determined, and often religiously motivated populace with near universal military training and experience, an extreme distrust and revulsion towards most transhumanity, and a professed and expansionist dogma. Inexplicably, the Jovians expand nowhere and conquer no one. The Jovians, even as caricatured, are very, very dangerous. The authors simply refused to use them as written because they would be a direct threat to many of their preferred, but militarily much weaker, anarchists and other autonomists. Additionally, in fairness to the writers, if the Jovians were nearly as aggressive as described, the other factions would need to vastly increase their security and militarize, thereby altering the tone of the setting away from scientific exploration, adventure and self-fulfillment. Terrorist and other asymmetrical warfare responses to the Jovians could even result in the very extinction of humanity that the Jovians claim they exist to prevent. If you want to employ the Jovians as the threat they purport to be, let them clean-up their habitats, install some radiation shielding, and set-out to save the "real" human race. Europa and Hyoden should be occupied territories chaffing under the steel-toed boots of their Jovian overlords, the Titanians and Locus should be anxiously preparing for an invasion that could come at any day, and the the PC should be scheming to sell the Jovians weaponry and supplies while carefully hiding their own transhuman abominations so as not to also incur the wrath of the Jovian military machine. Maybe the autonomists and inner system polities might even reach a tentative and very uncomfortable detente, just like America and Russia in WWII, to save themselves from the Nazis, err . . ., Jovians. The players could even be part of an underground resistance cell seeking to liberate their people from the fishy Vischy regime on Europa. Semper fi, Citizen! Let's show these unholy freaks what real humans are made of!
Smokeskin Smokeskin's picture
branford wrote:
branford wrote:
My comment about viewing Americans as undemocratic was not a criticism of the capybara, but rather a more general comment about the view held by members of all political persuasions that when they lose elections or the majority does not agree with their views, somehow democracy is not functioning properly (e.g., claims of voters voting against their own interests, blaming the media for "misinforming" the public, etc.). Your raise an interesting perspective about Pinochet. However, Americans, left and right, are very sensitive about challenges to our democracy and core principles. I believe most Americans would view any comparisons to Pinochet very negatively, basically an accusation that they are on par with murderers and torturers, even if such vile individuals also opposed socialists. Although many, particularly on the far left, both here and abroad, may share the belief that conservatives are equal or close to fascists, such hyperbole is nowhere near a mainstream view, and accusations of fascism are considered very offensive. Interestingly, despite active socialist parties in many parts of Europe, America is very different, socialism is generally considered no better than fascism, and such accusations would be similarly offensive, even to many liberal Democrats.
It may not sit right with North Americans, but maybe their sensibilities isn't the only thing to consider? Also, was Pinochet really that bad from a conservative US point of view? He was supported by the US. Chile was socialist and people were poor. Pinochet gets rid of the socialists, implements an ultra-liberal economic system while fighting the socialist insurgents and killing their leaders, then the country goes democratic and ends up one of the most prosperous countries on the continent. It sounds a lot like what the US was hoping to do in Iraq and Afghanistan. Of course, even with the whole "you can't make an omelet without breaking an egg" mentality and extra-judicial assassinations and enhanced interrogation techniques that the US employ, I'm not saying they'd condone his methods, at all. But if if some South and North Americans were orbiting Jupiter in the post-Fall future, trying to find common ground, and you begin comparing death tolls and results achieved, I'm not sure Pinochet looks that bad.
Quote:
The more contemporary Bush moon reference was similarly just provocative snark, little more than a shout-out from the very liberal and partisan authors to readers of a similar political persuasion, really far more juvenile than insulting.
Which Bush was it named after? And are you saying that it provocative to have the JR name stuff after Republican presidents too?
branford branford's picture
Smokeskin, although our
Smokeskin, although our discussion about how political ideologies and actions are perceived from different countries is most interesting, I do not want to send this thread any more off-topic and incur the wrath of the mods or other posters. I would only like to add that the authors are American (or are familiar with our norms) and knew, or should have known, the impact the Jovian material would have on an American audience, who comprise the vast majority of their customers, and who are not particularly partisan or are conservative or religious. For instance, the naming of a Jovian moon after George Bush is meaningless by itself. However, in context, it implied that those Americans who very recently supported Bush, his policies, or even the Republican party, are fascists like Pinochet or the Jovians. How one perceives fascism generally, or Pinochet in particular, does not change the clear and arguably offensive intent of the writers.
bblonski bblonski's picture
branford wrote:TL;DR - The
branford wrote:
TL;DR - The Jovians would have been far more interesting and fun if they were either allowed to be the scary, competent and aggressive fascists they proudly claim to be, or redevelop the Jovians with the appropriate insight and sympathy of a strong, justifiably paranoid, spiritual and entirely complicated and human polity in the post-apocalypse trying to save themselves and the other meager remnants of humanity from extinction from threats both transhuman and alien.
To me this is exactly how they are written. I'm not sure how I would change them to make them any more like this, besides the few consistency issues Surly brought up. Do you have any specific suggestions? You still seem to be cherry picking your facts quite heavily. We've already been over several times that most of the sources you cite also describe the Jovians as being sympathetic and nuanced in a variety of ways, so I won't bother going over it again.
branford wrote:
The authors explicitly conceded on p. 195 of Rimward that as superficially presented, particularly in the Core, the Jovians are meant to be a one-note faction, the irredeemable "Space Nazis," because "nobody minds shooting Space Nazis." The Posthuman crew also mentioned (I believe on Reddit) that in the excitement of writing the books, many of the authors may have favored the factions with their preferred ideologies
It's possible that the freelancer writers were more interested in the anarchists because they were so different rather than a strong political leaning. Even if not, I'd expect any decent writer is able to put aside their political opinions when writing certain characters. If you assume having a political opinion means that you are unable to write without bias, then there is no possible way that any of the factions could be written without bias because everyone has an opinion. The core team made it clear that they tried to be fair and well researched, even with factions they didn't personally agree with.
branford wrote:
If they didn't go overboard with the Jovians in the core, there simply would have been no need to describe in Rimward how, if you squint real hard and pound you head against the table, you can see the Jovians are more nuanced. No other faction or group required this later, special treatment.
I've seen similar threads about the Planetary Consortium, exhumans, anarchists, religion, and the Reputation Economy. The PC, Jovians, and religion seem to be the most commonly debated topics. I theorize that this is because these are the most similar to what people are used to today. We're more aware of the pros and cons of these systems and most people have some sort of investment in supporting those systems. Most of the other factions are harder to have strong feelings about because there is nothing on earth like them today. Usually people have a hard enough time believing they are even possible without going into nuanced critiques of the pros and cons. It's hard to have strong political opinions about systems that don't exist. I imagine that you yourself have strong biases on the subject. You already described how strongly you feel about fascism due to your family history. I think you are probably struggling with the fact that the Jovians mix a variety of traits that you support with fascism. You'd rather see them irredeemably evil, or stripped of the some of the fascist parts that make you uncomfortable. At least that is how it appears to me. There is a great thread going on right now here that shows people have a variety of opinions on each faction. I'd also like to point out that the anarchists can be viewed as a very right-wing ideology. Republicans are very pro "small government" where Democrats support "big government". Anarchists are definitely with the "small government" is good ideology. EP actually supports this explicit stating that the old governments were not efficient enough to survive the fall where corporations and capitalism were able to adapt and get lots of people off earth. I don't think I actually know any liberals who actually think anarchism is a good thing. Putting that aside and focusing on Tiberia's comment, here's some plot ideas involving the Jovians that I have. * Dr. Maria Cofini (Rimward, p. 37) is tired of using outdated medical procedures and wants to sneak in some Nanoswarms to help fight the cancer epidemic. Titan has offered assistance, but is up to firewall to sneak the treatments in. Things get interesting when it turns out that someone swapped some of the medical nanoswarms with a TITAN nanoswarm causing a major disaster. Firewall now has to join up with the Jovians to find out who in the Titanian government is willing to go through such lengths to strike at the Jovians, uncovering a deep conspiracy. * A rouge religious cult believes the fall was the literal rapture and that the TITANs are angles who took the faithful to heaven through forced uploading. The are desperately searching for a way to bring the TITANs back or create a new seed AI. Firewall has to work with the Catholic Church to create counter memes to fight this dangerous cult from expanding. * Several anarchist habitats are destroyed by terrorist attacks from what looks like the Planetary Consortium, pushing the autonomist alliance to all out war. Uncovering the conspiracy, it turns out that the Jovians were responsible for the attacks in an attempt to weaken the PC and Automists, and it's up to Firewall to disarm the conflict. * A TITAN comes back, quickly overcoming many Autonomist habs. Firewall has to convince the Jovians and Autonomists to work together to fight back the TITAN invasion. * Something alien monstrosity is discovered in the depths Europa. Firewall has to work with the Jovians to help evacuate citizens and kill the monstrosity while the Europans refuse to listen (think Jaws). * Some zombie like strain of the exsurgent virus breaks out in a Anarchist hab with the firewall team trapped inside. The team has to hold out until the Jovians can ride in to save them, or possibly blow them up with the exsurgents. * Tensions escalate between Hyoden and the Jovians, pushing them towards all out war as the Autonomists and PC get involved. Firewall has to find a way to disarm the situation before full scale war pushing transhumanity to extinction. I didn't have to rewrite the Jovians for any of those plot ideas, and there is a nice mix of Jovians as both the good guys and the bad guys.
Smokeskin Smokeskin's picture
branford wrote:For instance,
branford wrote:
For instance, the naming of a Jovian moon after George Bush is meaningless by itself. However, in context, it implied that those Americans who very recently supported Bush, his policies, or even the Republican party, are fascists like Pinochet or the Jovians. How one perceives fascism generally, or Pinochet in particular, does not change the clear and arguably offensive intent of the writers.
Pinochet wasn't fascist according to wikipedia: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augusto_Pinochet#Ideology_and_public_image And that some people in the future are fascists and like Bush does not imply that all people who like Bush are fascists. That would be a fallacy of affirming the consequent. The EP junta doesn't seem to be as bad, caricatured or as much of a mockery of current political factions as you try to make them out to be.
capybara capybara's picture
Chile under Pinochet had a
Chile under Pinochet had a very strong fascist element. Pinochet, if I'm not mistaken, initially advocated a local version of catholic corporatism called gremialism, with party politics replaced by a system of various advisory and lobby groups of sorts. Later, however, the more liberal wing of the military government won the argument, and party-based democracy was gradually reintroduced. Which is, I believe, as offtopic as it looks, quite relevant to our Jovian debate - the fact that Chilean military government was, strictly speaking, a fascist military dictatorship, doesn't mean that it was tyrannical or unpopular. It was, if anything, quite pluralistic, in it's own way. Which makes me think: what Jovians really lack is internal debate, Ultimates-style. A lot of nuance in portrayal of the Ultimates, I think, comes from the fact that there are several types of Ultimates - nice, not nice, and indifferent. Let the Jovians also have factions. Some, perhaps, are hardline religious biocons who hate transumans with passion. Some view themselves as humanity's last line of defence and advocate a more proactive approach to TITAN threats. Some are preservationists, for whom the Republic is an "emergency humanity" of sorts, kept intact specifically in case something about the transhuman way goes horribly wrong. Let them have an actual internal debate, like a lot of historic fascist governments did. Let them have a degree of pluralism (which, actually, does not contradict a strict ban on sedition at all) . In my opinion, this is a more, well, intellectually honest and nuanced way of treating them than simply making them democratic. I think a lot of misunderstanding here (and, sadly and more importantly, in real life) comes from the fact that a lot people equate "authoritarian" and "totalitarian". Which is a rather obvious logical fallacy. (I'd like to note that I do not advocate or support authoritarianism myself. It's just I'm rather fond of political science and formal logic.)
branford branford's picture
Smokeskin wrote:branford
Smokeskin wrote:
branford wrote:
For instance, the naming of a Jovian moon after George Bush is meaningless by itself. However, in context, it implied that those Americans who very recently supported Bush, his policies, or even the Republican party, are fascists like Pinochet or the Jovians. How one perceives fascism generally, or Pinochet in particular, does not change the clear and arguably offensive intent of the writers.
Pinochet wasn't fascist according to wikipedia: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augusto_Pinochet#Ideology_and_public_image And that some people in the future are fascists and like Bush does not imply that all people who like Bush are fascists. That would be a fallacy of affirming the consequent. The EP junta doesn't seem to be as bad, caricatured or as much of a mockery of current political factions as you try to make them out to be.
Or, since you personally may not perceive fascists, or Pinochet, as nearly as bad as most Americans (who are both the writers and the majority of the Posthuman customers), you do not fully appreciate the nature or extent of the insulting caricature. In fact, wasn't that part of your original point? The authors certainly didn't choose to have the Republic rename Jovian moons as compliments or accolades to either Pinochet or George Bush! It also certainly was not a coincidence that the only major bioconservative faction was religious, conservative, nominally capitalist, corporatist, authoritarian, and perceptibly evil. Lastly, as I indicated earlier, I believe the authors were probably suffering from "group think" and trying to be funny when they wrote the Jovians, rather than any true malice.
branford branford's picture
capybara wrote:Chile under
capybara wrote:
Chile under Pinochet had a very strong fascist element. Pinochet, if I'm not mistaken, initially advocated a local version of catholic corporatism called gremialism, with party politics replaced by a system of various advisory and lobby groups of sorts. Later, however, the more liberal wing of the military government won the argument, and party-based democracy was gradually reintroduced. Which is, I believe, as offtopic as it looks, quite relevant to our Jovian debate - the fact that Chilean military government was, strictly speaking, a fascist military dictatorship, doesn't mean that it was tyrannical or unpopular. It was, if anything, quite pluralistic, in it's own way. Which makes me think: what Jovians really lack is internal debate, Ultimates-style. A lot of nuance in portrayal of the Ultimates, I think, comes from the fact that there are several types of Ultimates - nice, not nice, and indifferent. Let the Jovians also have factions. Some, perhaps, are hardline religious biocons who hate transumans with passion. Some view themselves as humanity's last line of defence and advocate a more proactive approach to TITAN threats. Some are preservationists, for whom the Republic is an "emergency humanity" of sorts, kept intact specifically in case something about the transhuman way goes horribly wrong. Let them have an actual internal debate, like a lot of historic fascist governments did. Let them have a degree of pluralism (which, actually, does not contradict a strict ban on sedition at all) . In my opinion, this is a more, well, intellectually honest and nuanced way of treating them than simply making them democratic. I think a lot of misunderstanding here (and, sadly and more importantly, in real life) comes from the fact that a lot people equate "authoritarian" and "totalitarian". Which is a rather obvious logical fallacy. (I'd like to note that I do not advocate or support authoritarianism myself. It's just I'm rather fond of political science and formal logic.)
Capybara, I think you raise some relevant points. In fact, Rimward briefly describes some Jovian factions (Rimward, p. 43), but they appear to have little to no effect on the polity's actions or how they are perceived by others.
ORCACommander ORCACommander's picture
branford capybara smokeskin
branford capybara smokeskin would you please make your own thread for debating historical and cultural relativism in eclipse phase and debate of the authors intent please. The last one especially since posthuman has made a point of not commenting fluff matters so we can have our own interpretations
capybara capybara's picture
It's rather these factions
It's rather these factions differ in practical aproach, not in their philosophy. Ultimates differ on "what should we do and why", while Jovians differ on particular strategies of fighting transhumanity. Take this plurality from the Ultimates and you'll get literal Space Nazis.
kindalas kindalas's picture
ORCACommander wrote:branford
ORCACommander wrote:
branford capybara smokeskin would you please make your own thread for debating historical and cultural relativism in eclipse phase and debate of the authors intent please. The last one especially since posthuman has made a point of not commenting fluff matters so we can have our own interpretations
I think it would be a good idea to spin this thread off in the off topic forum.
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branford branford's picture
Regardless of whether one
Regardless of whether one views the Jovians with more nuance or sympathy, I would simply like to see them be more active, particularly considering their (hard)core ideologies, rather than just sitting-around dying of radiation poisoning while shining their boots and talking about the good 'ole days on Earth before those darn thinkin' computers. This can range from anything from rapid and militant expansion as I suggested earlier, to more altruistic or neutral matters like very large and visible Earth reclamation and human survivor rescue projects that scare the hell out of the PC, LLA and Firewall, "liberating" infugees from slavery and indenture in both the inner and out system (to possibly join the Republic or finally permitting them a peaceful and respectful death, whether they want it or not!), trying to capturing or locate a Pandora Gate in order to initiate an emergency settlement program for a human fallback colony in the event of the TITANS return or other system-wide disaster, etc.
Surly Surly's picture
bblonski wrote:branford wrote
bblonski wrote:
branford wrote:
TL;DR - The Jovians would have been far more interesting and fun if they were either allowed to be the scary, competent and aggressive fascists they proudly claim to be, or redevelop the Jovians with the appropriate insight and sympathy of a strong, justifiably paranoid, spiritual and entirely complicated and human polity in the post-apocalypse trying to save themselves and the other meager remnants of humanity from extinction from threats both transhuman and alien.
To me this is exactly how they are written. I'm not sure how I would change them to make them any more like this, besides the few consistency issues Surly brought up. Do you have any specific suggestions?
On "strong," I'd say the main sticking point is this passage from Rimward p. 44: "To us, the Titanians are a threat to our very way of life, a cosmic threat to the order of the universe, and the closest thing to the Devil most Jovians are ever likely to encounter unless the TITANs come again. But to the Titanians? We’re a minor irritant. backwards collection of throwbacks barely managing to keep ourselves alive in a universe that doesn’t care one way or another about us. We barely register, and when we do it’s not because they’re afraid of us, it’s because they worry about our people and want to help." Ibid, but less so with "The Europan people do not live in fear of the Jovian Republic, a fact that irritates the Jovian leadership to no end." These passages are jarring! They make the Jovians sound like a paper tiger. And portraying them like that [i]once[/i] makes it hard to remember any number of times they've been portrayed as truly powerful and threatening. On competent, I'd honestly just hit the inconsistencies I mentioned in my last point and keep the positive versions. Top-tier medicine, good educational system (they really [i]ought[/i] to have enormous emphasis on education and training, since they can't do augmentation). Some examples of their fleet destroying exsurgents or exhumans wouldn't go amiss. For example, there are several mentions of Firewall having entire habitats destroyed when an infection gets out of control. How can a secretive conspiracy do something as overt as sending spaceships to nuke habitats? Well, tipping off the Jovian fleet would be a damn good way. Their paranoia would seem more justifiable if there were examples of problems arising from the kind of augmentations PCs are likely to have, or good arguments for why such augmentations might be a bad idea. The end of the Morph Recognition Guide is a good place to start! Otherwise it seems like they're unjustifiably paranoid. (I actually wondered if their opposition to augmentation, when seed AI is what caused the fall, was supposed to be a US politics joke on the way many Republicans argued for the Iraq war by talking about 9/11). If you feel keeping the Reagan cylinders dysfunctional would be good for the intended mood, there are ways to do that that don't make the Jovians look like they just suck at habitat design. Emphasize tradeoffs; the section on their use of hardwiring instead of mesh networks did an excellent job at this! For example, the brownouts come from a distributed power grid, that's often down in one place but [i]never[/i] down everywhere at once. Thick walls reduce the amount of space and make getting in and out less efficient, but they provide great security and resistance to attack. That's if you're going to keep the thick walls, of course. The passage on them says they use "the rocky exterior as a layer of radiation shielding, a requirement for the Jovian system." This means you can have [i]either[/i] thick-walled habitats, [i]or[/i] the high cancer rates. If the walls are intended as radiation shielding but don't actually work, it's just more arbitrary incompetence. I strongly favor playing them as genuinely democratic. This is partly to make them more sympathetic, but mainly because I think the most compelling bioconservative arguments are the ones that augmentation would undermine equality and democracy. And if not, you could play them as the kind of dictatorship that says democracy is good in principle but can't be implemented until a state of emergency ends. Hey, Pinochet gave up much of his authority when he lost the 1989 election. Your plot ideas are all great ways to use canon!Jovians. I especially like Europa-Jaws.
branford branford's picture
Surly, you and I are on the
Surly, you and I are on the same page with the Jovians. I do not, however, believe that they're nearly as techno-phobic or narrow-minded as even you imply. The Jovians have access to all transhuman technology, and actually have their own cornucopia machines, resleeving facilities, biomorphs, genetic enhancements, nanotech, etc., it is just restricted and regulated or personally disfavored to varying degrees due to religious or other objections. (Rimward, p. 36.) They are certainly not Luddites or crazed brinkers, nor do they fail to appreciate the value and importance of technological advances. Jovians simply prioritize safety and reliability after the disaster of the Fall. (Rimward, p. 27 - CBEAT entry). If this was not case, the Jovians would not be able survive and grow near Jupiter, no less field the largest and most formidable fleet in the system. (Rimward, p. 41- Gen. Westmoreland). I imagine that the Jovian military and intelligence services widely employ fairly cutting-edge technology, and all active duty military personnel are even given the option of backup before authorized missions. (Rimward, p.44). In fact, all Jovians except the most extremely religious have mesh inserts, many are splicers, around 20 percent of the Jovian population do not have their original bodies (Rimward, p. 36), and Zane McFarlane, the Jovian Intelligence Commander and member of the Security Council, was actually egocast to Jupiter and resleeved. (Rimward, p. 41). Edit: more examples and cites.
Tiberia Tiberia's picture
I personally have no issue
I personally have no issue with the Jovians being more Authoritarian then democratic. Authoritarian Rule can be a good thing. I know almost nothing about Pinochet so I can't speak on that subject, But here is my view of democracy vs. authoritarian governments in short. Democracy is slow. it is slow to act, and change. This is both a blessing and a curse. Good leaders can't do as much good through all the red tape and compromising needed to get work done. But on the flip side bad leaders can't do as much harm for the same reasons. So it evens out. Authoritarian, specifically dictatorships are the opposite. They are quick to act, and change. So Bad leaders can utterly decimate a nation in a short time. But a good leader can turn a nation around and usher in a golden age in a short amount of time as well. dictatorship is more of a gamble. if you end up with a good leader then you get a great reward. If your leader is bad then you lose a lot. in an emergency situation a dictator may be preferred to a democracy. the democracy, good or bad may not be able to act fast enough. the dictatorship can act fast enough. it all comes down to the leader at that point. So for the Jovians, who have just survived the end of the world, an authoritarian government could very well be preferred. I would consider having the citizens have more guaranteed rights however.
LatwPIAT LatwPIAT's picture
bblonski wrote:* Dr. Maria
bblonski wrote:
* Dr. Maria Cofini (Rimward, p. 37) is tired of using outdated medical procedures and wants to sneak in some Nanoswarms to help fight the cancer epidemic. Titan has offered assistance, but is up to firewall to sneak the treatments in. Things get interesting when it turns out that someone swapped some of the medical nanoswarms with a TITAN nanoswarm causing a major disaster. Firewall now has to join up with the Jovians to find out who in the Titanian government is willing to go through such lengths to strike at the Jovians, uncovering a deep conspiracy.
This is a perfectly adequate example of why the Jovian Republic's opposition to ubiquitous nanotechnology does not make them, as some would have it, backwards neo-Luddites. In any case, with regards to Tiberia's prompt about our takes on the Jovian Republic, here's mine: [h1]The Jovian Republic[/h2] According to the scattered members of the Autonomist Alliance, Jupiter is controlled with an iron hand by the ‘Jovian Junta’, a fascist two-bit dictatorship ruled by a fat Generalissimo and his imperialist war-mongering cronies. According to the ivory-tower intellectuals on Titan, the Junta is home to a death-cult of reactionary biochauvinists who can’t even put on hearing aids without crossing themselves twice. The dominant meme is that the Jovian Junta is a reactionary throwback to the military dictatorships of Earth, who hold back the tide of a popular revolution with the crushing might of their bloated and fanatical military. And if you really believe that, there’s a bridge on Earth I’m interested in selling you. Rome carved itself an empire through efficient use of manpower. The Dutch built their empire on windmills and sailboats. The British Empire ran on coal, and as it withered and died in the middle of the 20th Century, the United States rose from its ashes to the role of superpower on the fumes of petroleum, a title quickly lost to China and India with the advent of commercial fusion power. The Planetary Consortium seeks the power of the Sun, cluttered as they are near the hearth of the Solar System. The Jovian Republic seeks to harness powers much more fundamental than that; the very forces of gravity and electromagnetism themselves fuel the might of the Republic. The interplanetary shipping routes that pass through Jupiter’s gravity well are taxed. Immense tethers suspended from asteroids trail through the Jovian magnetosphere, draining the kinetic energy of entire moons and beaming it through space to the highest bidder. The Solar System’s second-largest source of antimatter is found in the complex electromagnetic interactions of Io as it trails through Jupiter’s magnetosphere. The Jovian Republic is first and foremost an [i]economic[/i] superpower, not a military one. If you would believe their diplomats, the armed forces exist to protect Republic economic interests and control the shipping lanes, not to project power onto the Consortium or the Commonwealth. Why should the Republic annex Europa or invade Hyoden and antagonize themselves? No, the Republic profits most from a stable Solar System; war, after all, is bad for business. The Inner System is thirsty for water from the Kupier Belt, the Outer System needs heavy metals from Mercury and the Main Belt, and in the middle sits the Jovian Republic, netting a tidy profit from the proceedings. [h2]Politics[/h2] [h3]The Semi-Presidential System[/h3] The Jovian Government, at the highest level, is divided into two distinct bodies; the Presidency and the parliament. The President is elected for 8-year terms by a majority-vote of the people. The President appoints ministers and the chairman of the parliament and has the supreme command of the Jovian Republic's armed forces.The Republic constitution allows the President to mobilize the Army and the Federal Police against any administrative area without consulting the parliament in the event of an emergency, such as a threat to that state’s democracy or freedom. The parliament, meanwhile, is a democratically elected body of almost 300 representatives from all major political parties in the Republic, as well as one representative elected by the local government of each administrative area. The parliament is elected for four year terms. [h3]Disorder in the Court of Zeus[/h3] Just as the democracies of the Greeks who worshiped Zeus were split over political issues, so are the states of the Jovian Republic. Much friction and antagonism exists between the conservative block and a loosely-knit electoral alliance of left-wing groups. The conservative block consists largely of the Republican Centralist Party, while the the left-wing alliance consists mainly of the Social-Democratic Party, the Liberal Party, and the Worker’s Party. [h4]Republican Centralist Party[/h4] The RCP seeks to consolidate power in the hands of the President and the reduce the powers of local governments. To the RCP, the greatest threat to the Republic is the growing independence of federal city-states. The Centralists seek a tighter, more unified Republic under the leadership of a strong President as a solution to the threat of the TITANs and rampart techno-socialism. [h4]Social-Democratic Party[/h4] The Social-Democratic Party is the “checks-and-balances”-mirror image of the RCP; the SDP holds a policy of supporting federalism and representative social democracy. Its membership draws heavily from the Gallilean group, especially from the Original Colonists and the wealthier Fall Refugees. The SDP’s membership often puts them at odds with the Worker’s Party, who accuse them of being petite bourgeoise who are only concerned with furthering the interests of the middle class. [h4]Liberal Party[/h4] The Liberal Party supports a policy of greater economic and social liberalism. They are in favour of deregulation of the economy and lower taxes, which makes them popular among entrepreneurs and business owners, especially those that own small independent businesses. Because they are in favour of interplanetary trade and liberal transhumanism, they have a strong public image abroad. [h4]Worker’s Party[/h4] The Worker’s Party has the strongest socialist policies of the major parties. Considered by many to be the “core” Amalthean party, the Worker’s Party was formed by leading members of the Amalthean power production labour union, and quickly gained support from Inner Satellite and Gallilean ice and mineral miners. [h3]Civil Unrest[/h3] The Popular Front and the Jovian Anarchosocialist Progressive Party (IASPP) are the two most radical and militant political parties in the Jovian Republic. The Popular Front, formerly a branch of the Republican Centralist Party, is a radical populist party with strong nationalistic and biochauvinist streaks that is rumoured to be funded by several larger corporations. The IASPP, meanwhile, is a radical techno-progressive transhumanist anarchist party that is militantly opposed to the Jovian Republic as a political entity. The Popular Front and the IASPP both maintain large paramilitary wings often consisting of disgruntled ex-soldiers, and the two parties frequently come to blows in the streets of Ganymede and Callisto, inciting violent riots, acts of domestic terrorism and savage street fights. Despite their small, almost non-existent representation in government, both parties are growing in membership every day as a dissatisfied worker-class population seeks more and more extreme measures to deal with the immense income inequality in the Jovian Republic. A secret report from the military snatched up by a Firewall agent is telling; at the current projected growth rates for the Popular Front and IASPP, by AF 15 the police and military will not be able to contain both parties if full-scale fighting should break out between them - something which would effectively place the Jovian Republic in a state of disastrous civil war. [h3]Genetic Self-Segregation[/h3] Splicers and other genefixed and augmented morphs are more suited to life in microgravity than flats. The claustrophobic environments of a beehive or cluster habitat puts significant stress on the mental health of transhuman Egos, and the basic biomods inherent in splicers allow them cope with the stresses better. Likewise, flats suffer muscle atrophy and a wide variety of other less severe medical issues when exposed to microgravity over long periods of time, problems that are not helped by the increased rates of infection and disease transmission in space habitats. As a consequence, the microgravity habitats and industrial towns of the Inner Satellites have a disproportionate Splicer population, while the Galilean moons host the vast majority of the flats. The result of this demographic fact is that the Inner Satellite States tend to be more open to the morphological ideals of liberal transhumanism, when compared to the Galilean city-states. This tendency, called the Amalthean/Galilean split, is a significant feature of Republic politics. The Amaltheans have a noted tendency not only towards liberal transhumanism, but liberal policies in general, as well as trade-unionism among the many energy and mining sector labourers. The Galileans are more rooted in bioconservative and authoritarian policies, but due to their high population densities and increasing social unrest, radicalism and extremism of all flavours, especially anarchism, socialism and right-wing populism, are gaining traction. [h2]The Armed Forces of the Republic[/h2] The Jovian Strategic Self-Defence Army (JSSDA) is a major supporter of the right-wing government and the sitting president. The Army is a paternalistic and moralistic institution which sees itself as the valiant guardians of the Republic’s moral integrity and as a vanguard against transhumanism and progressivism. The Army, as an institution, encourages an isolationist policy with regards to Jovian Local Space At the same time, the Jovian Strategic Self-Defence Space Forces (JSSDSF), which is dominated by the Strategic Space Command (SSC) are a major agent of change, constantly pushing the Parliament to approve legislation which will grant them access to more technologically advanced weapons, from neo-avian-based research into intuitive three-dimensional thinking and AGI-based problem-solving and fire control software, to genetic and cybernetic enhancements that will boost the combat capability of their spacecraft and troops, and even NaMiNBC weapons. The JSSDSF are staunchly expansionist, urging the annexation of Hyoden and Europa and even the Jovian Trojans in the name of the Republic’s security. The radical techno-militarism and war-mongering of the JSSDSF puts them at odds with both the Army, which views the JSSDSF as dangerous crypto-transhuman lunatics, and with the economic sector of the government, which views them as a threat to the stability of trade through Jupiter’s gravity well. As the enforcers of the Republic’s trade regulations, the JSSDSF are also one of the main avenues of the Republic’s foreign relations - a task they are undoubtedly unsuited for due to their gung-ho and jingoistic attitude towards everyone who isn’t of the Republic. [h3]Jovian Strategic Self-Defence Army (JSSDA)[/h3] [h4]Federal Police[/h4] The Federal Police are the gendarme of the Jovian Republic, a military police unit with jurisdiction over crimes against the federal state and the military. Their duties include protection of federal rail and rocket services, counter-terrorism, combating organized crime, riot control, and protecting public officials. [h3]Jovian Strategic Self-Defence Space Force (JSSDSF)[/h3] [h4]Strategic Space Command (SSC)[/h4] The Strategic Space Command is the branch of the Space Forces tasked with management and deployment of the Jovian Republic’s strategic missiles and NaMiNBC weapons. [h3]Jovian Strategic Self-Defence Navy (JSSDN)[/h3] The Navy is the smallest branch of the Self-Defence Force. When the initial plans for the capture of Europa after the Fall fell through, the Navy was massively downsized to cut on expenditures. The SSC provides much of the JSSDN’s funding by supporting the Navy’s expenses through “joint projects”. A consistent but unverified conspiracy theory is that the SSC has stepped up the JSSDN’s funding to prepare them for an invasion of Europa. [h3]Taxes And Tariffs Collection Agency (TTCA)[/h3] The Taxes and Tariffs Collection Agency is the newest branch of the Jovian Strategic Self-Defence Force. It was created by the Parliament as an independent branch of the military, explicitly removed from SSC influences. It is tasked solely with toll collection and superficial guard duties in a small sector of Jovian space. The Parliament made no attempts to hide that the TTCA was created to eventually supplant the JSSDSF in collecting gravitational slingshot taxes, which had created much animosity between the nascent and inexperienced TTCA and the JSSDSF. The two often collide over matters of jurisdiction, and inter-service rivalry is high. Because the Parliament wanted to soften the public image of the Republic, the TTCA was made to have a culture of de-emphasizing jingoism in favour of cold professionalism. The TTCA are far removed from the SSC, and because much of the initial organization was recruited Army aerospace divisions and federal law-enforcement agencies, they do not share the JSSDSF’s techno-fetishistic view of transhuman technologies. Among several smaller Outer System groups, there is concern that their closer ties to the dominant bio-conservatism of the Army will lead to harassment of their representatives, though as of yet there have been no major incidents. [h2]The Police State[/h2] [h3]Censorship and Surveillance[/h3] It is not difficult for the Republic to enforce Mesh censorship. Noise from Jupiter’s magnetic field and the need to bury habitats deep underground to shield them from ionizing radiation are both natural barriers to broadcasting. Nothing short of neutrinos can penetrate several meters of hard rock, let alone the kilometers of crust that cover the Jovian cities. Even inside a geofront, layers upon layers of walls, ceilings and floors will block even the strongest signals. Broadcasts through the magnetosphere are a nightmare, and narrowcasts don’t fare much better. It’s only natural that the Jovian ‘Mesh’ is not a mesh at all, but instead a fractal star topology, where local networks are connected to neighbouring networks by central high-speed fiberoptic cables. All Mesh service providers are required by law to structure their networks to allow government wiretaps. [h3]Big Sister[/h3] The Signals and Information Systems Intelligence Agency (SISINT), also known as Big Sister, is the chief electronic intelligence agency of the Jovian Republic. Its mandate is to collect, monitor, and analyse electronic signals for intelligence and counter-intelligence purposes. It is tasked with surveillance of electronic communications both inside and outside the Republic, the protection of the Jovian Mesh from attack and subversion, and the development of electronic warfare systems. [h2]Bioconservatism[/h2] [h3]Progressive Morph Tax[/h3] The Republic holds that having a body augmented beyond the baseline human is an unfair advantage over flats and splicers. A tax is levied upon the owner of an advanced transhuman body to pay for the extra living expenses incurred by Flats, and the more advanced the morph, the larger the tax. Egos sleeved in Splicers are not subject to this tax, while egos sleeved in morphs such as Olympians, Rusters or Sylphs pay a moderate tax. Owners of advanced combat or cognitive-boosting morphs such as Furies, Ghosts and Mentons are in the upper bracket for the progressive morph tax. Egoes sleeved in flats receive government subsidies to pay for their extra medical expenses. Citizens of the Republic have the option to enter voluntary military or government service as a way of paying their progressive morph taxes. The Republic provides strong incentives for the owners of combat-grade morphs to sign up for a five-year stint in the military after their initial two years of conscription are up, and military and government research sectors actively headhunt egos with Mentons and other intelligence-enhancing morphs to supplement their think-tanks. [h3]Brain Boxes and Head Transplants[/h3] [i]"It's essentially pretentious to refer to such a thing as 'transhuman'. If it's transhuman to modify the inner ear to adapt to zero-g, it's transhuman to wear glasses to correct vision, and if that's transhuman, it's transhuman to pick up a sharp rock and beat another ape to death with it. Which means we were transhuman before we were even human, which just shows that the entire concept is nonsense if applied so broadly."[/i] [right]Professor [name] [i]Humanism in the post-Fall Decade: A Review[/i][/right] The radical transhumanists would have you believe that the mind - the self - is just software. The Republic rejects this as a naive conjecture. The mind is a property of the body, both as an emergent structure from the brain and as part of an ever-evolving self-image. To imagine that the intricate complexities of a human consciousness can be carried over from one brain architecture to another through a cursory scan with nanoscale sensors is foolishness; the human mind is made from stochastic processes that lead to a continuous sense of self-awareness. The body is not hardware; the human mind has no hardware/software divide, and thinking you can “sleeve” into a new body just as you might transfer a program from one computer to another is suicidal in its ignorance. Still, the human body is not sacrosanct. Over half the population of the Jovian Republic were born with spliced genomes cleaned of hereditary diseases. The soft, conservative approach of Jovian humanism is to treat the baseline human body as a baseline that can be improved upon. Chimeric tissue splices, pharmaceutical and cybernetic augmentations, vat-grown limb-transplants and gene therapy are all tools in the hands of Republic bioengineers. At the extremes are head-transplants onto heavily augmented vat-grown bodies and isolated human brains in life-support machines plugged into robotic shells that provide protection against the ionizing radiation from Jupiter’s magnetosphere. Personal body-augmentation is predominantly medical in nature, fixing errors in the human body or more rarely actively boosting its physical capabilities. Outside of the poorest ghettoes, even people still wearing the flats they were born in are likely to have had basic biomods and basic mesh inserts installed, and gene therapy and organ transplantation is available to upgrade flats into splicers. People working close to powerful sources of radiation are often required for medical reasons to get rad-shielded brain cases and sometimes cybernetic shells, and zero-g workers sometimes alter their body-plan to become like bouncers. In the cases of full-body transplants and high-grade cybernetic shells, the body itself will often be owned by the government or a major business, while the Ego’s original body is kept in suspended animation for the period of service. Non-medical and non-work augmentation is often viewed with distaste in Republic society, especially among lower and middle-class inhabitants of the Gallilean moons, and people with extensive cybernetic augmentation such as full-body cybershells are often treated as dangerous; the man-machine interfaces that connects the human brain to the sensory and somatic systems of the cybershell are vulnerable to TITAN subversion, after all. Internal organ transplants are a major business in the Jovian Republic. Organ transplants can prolong life-expectancy and reduce the chance of death in case of a major accident. The businesses offer to grow organs based on a person’s DNA inside a pig. The pig can then be harvested for the full-grown organs when they are necessary, or be sold off as second-grade emergency transplant organs to hospitals. [h3]Death[/h3] It is the official policy of the Jovian Republic that an alpha fork is not meaningfully the continuation of a person in neither the legal nor philosophical sense. The use of backups and cortical stacks is therefore not considered an effective way to achieve immortality. Instead, the primal fear of death has forced Republic medicine to adapt by improving survival rates for physical trauma from accidents, physical violence and terrorist attacks. Suspended animation, organ transplants and other forms of advanced medicine help preserve lives and regrow crippled bodies, and some hospitals in major cities have access to restricted nanotechnological medical equipment that can revive brain functions up to several hours after clinical death has occured. Because the creation of alpha and beta forks is illegal according to Republic Law, cortical stacks are technically illegal equipment. However, with over half the population having possessed cortical stacks since birth, it would be prohibitively expensive for the Republic to surgically remove the stacks for collection - in addition to the not trivial risk of damaging the brain or spine during the procedure. The Signal and Information Systems Intelligence Agency (the SISINT Agency, also known as “Big Sister”) has been tasked with registering and collecting the cortical stacks of all morphs that suffer permanent clinical death in the Jovian Republic, under the mandate of controlling illegal communications technologies. The cortical stacks are stored in a large vault in the SISINT Agency’s headquarters on Ganymede. The cortical stacks of foreign visitors are in the vast majority of cases returned to their owners or their owners’ insurance agencies. Rumours and conspiracy theories on what the Egos on the cortical stacks are used for fly wild on the Mesh, ranging from being used as slave labour to monitor the Mesh, to post-mortem fork interrogation, to being used as human sacrifices in unethical seed-AI experiments. The official statement by the government is that the stacks collect dust in the underground vaults. [h3]Forking and Infomorphs[/h3] The creation of alpha and beta forks of humans is highly illegal in the Jovian Republic; the creation of delta forks is merely highly restricted and requires a licence only granted to people deemed to have adequate cause by the Technology Regulation Agency’s (TRA) infotech department. Alpha and beta forks are considered by the law to be illegal artificial intelligences. However, the parliament’s Department of Bioethics recognizes that alpha forks have a human level of consciousness and a sense of self - even the experience of personhood and the belief they are a real person - which entitles them to a certain level of sapient recognition. If it can be proved that the alpha fork was created in a sterile environment with no tampering or modification, they can be offered entrance into the Fresh Start programme. The Fresh Start programme involves extended observation and psychosurgery to remove their long-term memories, a new vat-grown body, and placement with a foster family to help them forge their own identity. (And a permanent mark in their file.) This gives the unwittingly created fork a new chance at life as a real person rather than as a mockery of another. Beta forks, gamma forks, illegal delta forks, inert backups and the alpha forks of violent criminals who can be proven to have forked themselves with the intent to escape into the Fresh Start programme to avoid punishment are deleted or stored by Big Sister. [h2]Economy[/H2] [h3]Shipping Tariffs[/h3] Jupiter’s gravitational sphere of influence extends over a hundred million kilometers into space in all directions, which is comparable to the distance between the Sun and Venus. The Jovian Republic has claimed Jupiter’s sphere of influence as its sovereign territory, and demands a toll from any spacecraft that uses the gas giant’s gravity well for a slingshot or gravity assist maneuver. The Republic does not accept the unsecured, unstable “Rep” of the new economies to pay its tolls. That alone may well produce some of the famed antipathy of various anarchist groups to it; Jupiter, like a lead weight on a rubber sheet, pulls lesser powers into its economic orbit. It only accepts payment in certain currencies judged to be stable - among these its own, that of the Consortium and of Titan - or in raw materials. Of course, for the ice trade from the Outer System to the Inner, the Republic will kindly accept payment secured against the cargo, and there are even convenient agreements with the Consortium which allows the tariff to be deducted immediately from the sale price so the inconvenience of having to remember to hand over the money does not burden the consciences of the traders. [h3]Antimatter Production[/h3] Jupiter is the second-largest producer of antimatter in the Solar System. The complex electromagnetic interactions in Io’s flux tube create an abundance of simple anti-particles that can be isolated collected in magnetic traps. Secondary production happens in orbit around Io itself, where the high-energy magnetic fields are used to power particle-accelerators. While they are unable to match the production volumes or rates of the Inner Syster antimatter factories near the sun, the Republic is still the largest supplier of antimatter to the trans-Jupiter Solar System. Citing the needs of national security, the Jovian Republic has issued a blanket ban on the transport of “dangerous” antimatter through Jupiter’s gravitational sphere of influence, which puts the Inner System at a significant disadvantage when selling antimatter to the Outer System, compared to the Jovian antimatter industry. Despite their diplomatic animosity, the Titanian Commonwealth is the second-largest buyer of Jovian antimatter, after the Jovian military. Conservative Jovian politicians will often blame the sitting government of selling the Commonwealth fuel for the strategic missiles and military spacecraft pointed at Jupiter. Shrewd propagandists have turned this around by saying that the Jovian Republic therefore controls the size of the Commonwealth space forces, and that selling to the Titanians disincentivises the Commonwealth from building up a domestic antimatter industry. [h2]Demographics[/H2] [h3]Original Colonists[/h3] The pre-Fall colonists of the Jovian Republic are on average more wealthy than the refugees and immigrants. The original colonists were selected by their respective governments for their above-average physical and mental aptitudes, as well as psychological stability; this gives the original colonists and their descendants an upper edge in the competitive aspects of Jovian society. The majority of Jovian industrial capital found itself in the hands of either the government or in the hands of oligarchs from among the pre-Fall colonists. Together with cronyism and disdain for the refugees and immigrants, this has served to stratify the original colonists as the upper class and upper-middle class elite of the Jovian Republic. [h3]Fall Refugees[/h3] When the Fall came, Jupiter was hardly the ideal refuge; it was distant, inhospitable and dangerous, so the majority of the emigrants sought safety on Luna and Mars, which had sprawling, well-developed cities, infrastructure capable of supporting large populations, and in the case of Mars, an almost habitable atmosphere and a demand for labour. Then the first reports came in that the TITANs were on Luna, and things stirred; Earth’s moon was no longer safe. Then the TITANs hit Mars, and all hell broke loose. A wave of refugees from Luna and Mars, fleeing from the wars that ravaged the Inner System, washed up on Jupiter’s shores. Today, the Fall refugees are the largest single group in the Jovian Republic. Demographically, they comprise both refugees from Earth and space colonists from Luna and Mars that fled when the TITANs spread out of Earth’s gravity well. The latter include a somewhat prominent population of Rusters and Alpiners. These Martians tend to not be satisfied with the state of affairs with regards to discrimination and the morph tax levied upon their morphological capital. [h3]Immigrants[/h3] A small but steady population of immigrants trickle into the Jovian Republic each year. There are as many motivations as there are people, but the majority are ideological immigrants who reject the self-mutilation and pie-in-the-sky techno-utopianism of the radical transhumanists. Others again immigrate to escape from slavery of the Planetary Consortium and the Extropians, as the Jovian Republic condemns slavery and offers political asylum and citizenship to escaped indentures. The Republic is cautious of autonomous AIs, and has a large demand for skilled labour in the industrial sectors, which causes many people who would be replaced by AIs and fall between the cracks in the Consortium to seek a safe, comfortable and prosperous life on Jupiter. Officially, the Republic does not go digging into the morphological past of immigrants, and are perfectly willing to look through the fingers at infomorph refugees having been uploaded; who are they to judge the poor alpha-forks, who were forced into the life and memories of another person, who might even be dead? Infugees just receive a permanent mark in their file, are reinstated into a flesh-and-blood body resembling their birth-morph, and are barred from certain high-security positions in the government and military. The pragmatic need for labour and the value in projecting an open, democratic image is worth more to the Republic than dogma, it seems. Unofficially, the truth is somewhat darker. In addition to the permanent mark all uploads have in their files, infomorph asylum seekers are all considered to be potential spies, infiltrators, terrorists or saboteurs. They are often harassed by the Federal Police, and will find it near-impossible to get a job at any level of federal or city-state government, police or the military. Instead of spending their mandatory military service in the military, they are often put to work on public works projects and low-risk mining operations. They cannot hold any job requiring a security clearance, and many major industries will not employ them. Big Sister keeps a constant eye on the Mesh activity of former infugees; any dissent or government criticism is investigated is treated as evidence the infugee may be an agent provocateur, leading to night-time arrests and hours of interrogation. Still, it is preferable to slavery and forced psychosurgery. >>>NEW SIDEBAR "Let me tell you why we treat infugees in this way. Because [i]time and time again[/i], the other powers of the Solar System have shown that they have no respect whatsoever for the laws of conventional war held on Earth. The Autonomist Alliance whines on and on about how we oppress refugees. You know why they do that? Because they send hundreds, even thousands of discardable, deniable assets as infiltrators every year, and no doubt even with our precautions, some get through the net. If they didn't send indoctrinated brainwashed assassins with hidden programmed directives, then we wouldn't have to treat every immigrant as a potential security threat!" >>>END SIDEBAR
@-rep +2 C-rep +1
Smokeskin Smokeskin's picture
branford wrote:
branford wrote:
Smokeskin wrote:
And that some people in the future are fascists and like Bush does not imply that all people who like Bush are fascists. That would be a fallacy of affirming the consequent.
Or, since you personally may not perceive fascists, or Pinochet, as nearly as bad as most Americans (who are both the writers and the majority of the Posthuman customers), you do not fully appreciate the nature or extent of the insulting caricature. In fact, wasn't that part of your original point?
If I came off as trying to make a point about Americans in general, that certainly wasn't my intention. I also did not intend to defend Pinochet, and certainly not fascists in general.
Quote:
The authors certainly didn't choose to have the Republic rename Jovian moons as compliments or accolades to either Pinochet or George Bush! It also certainly was not a coincidence that the only major bioconservative faction was religious, conservative, nominally capitalist, corporatist, authoritarian, and perceptibly evil.
My point is that Pinochet, Bush, bioconservatism, religion, conservatism, capitalism, corporatism and authoritarianism are not universally regarded as evil. It seems that you agree with bioconservatism and maybe a few more aspects of the JR, and feel that it is a problem that the rest isn't an idealized cross of current American values and Heinlein's Starship Troopers so they would become your ideal faction. But the junta isn't that. It has both South and North American leadership, and these people who founded and lead the JR just weren't as democratically minded as you and many others. I just don't see that as an ideological problem, or that it makes the junta unrealistic. Anyways, I agree with the others, this is going in circles and have been for some time.
branford branford's picture
@LatwPIAT, that's certainly a
@LatwPIAT, that's certainly a major and comprehensive overhaul of our friendly neighborhood fascists! My one notable criticism is that "your" Republic has only limited and conflicted biconconservative tendencies. I believe that the loss of the Jovians as the only large and unequivocally bioconservative and/or religious faction would leave a void in the setting. I also believe that I've seen this material before. Is this your personal creation, and have you posted it on other sites? Lastly, I'm not familiar with "NaMiNBC weapons." Although I assume that the "NBC" portion references "Nuclear, Biological and Chemical," what is the "NaMi" ? @Smokeskin, as I indicated in a number of posts, I'm actually socially and politically liberal (or moderate by general European standards) and would not find common cause among fascists, (bio)convervatives, the Jovians, or anyone like them. However, that does not mean that I cannot sometimes sympathize with the motivations of, or find points of agreement with, my ideological adversaries. I am definitely not an ideologue. Moreover, after years of law school and practice as a trial attorney, if I cannot argue any side of an issue or represent individuals I may find distasteful, my career would be over. More importantly, in a post-apocalyptic, transhuman setting like EP, I definitely understand the existence of the Jovians and the need for a conservative faction for effective and enjoyable role-playing. Further, as indicated in the setting fiction and notes, Jovian paranoia and precautions may well be justified. I also feel strongly that if the authors chose to include a bioconservative and religious faction in the game as a foil to liberal transhumanity, that they should at least fairly represent the ideologies without caricature, act competently, be relatable, and simply fun. Rendering a major faction as a joke or simplistic black-and-white "bad guy" was a mistake.
Smokeskin Smokeskin's picture
branford wrote:@Smokeskin, as
branford wrote:
@Smokeskin, as I indicated in a number of posts, I'm actually socially and politically liberal (or moderate by general European standards) and would not find common cause among fascists, (bio)convervatives, the Jovians, or anyone like them. However, that does not mean that I cannot sometimes sympathize with the motivations of, or find points of agreement with, my ideological adversaries.
I get that. You like some parts of them, you just think they're ridiculous because they name their moons after a Republican president and a hero to the South American right wing and their catholics still has a pope in space. I sort of feel the same way, tbh. And I feel that way about people who idolize Che Guevara or Osama Bin Laden too. It just doesn't strike me as unrealistic that people would still feel that way in the future.
Lorsa Lorsa's picture
This thread is a lot to read,
This thread is a lot to read, and I have to apologise to LawtPIAT for not reading through the extensive overhaul of the Jovian republic just yet. I'll have to do it later (I wish there was accelerated simulspace already!). While there's certainly possibilities in the game to either go the SD route and think of the Jovians as ultimately evil, or toning down on some of their worst qualities to make them more sympathetic, I do feel that [b]branford[/b] is viewing them from the wrong angle. Please correct me if I am wrong, but you seem to regard them as the main bioconservative and religious faction, which for some reason is fascist. I've said this on another thread before but I think that's the backwards way of looking at it. I've always regarded the Jovian Republic as being a fascist faction that has taken on bioconservative and religious memes in order to easier manage their authoritan state. It's less about "this is what the authors think of the american right" and more about "these are some things a fascist state could claim to be for in order to appeal to a lot of its citizens". The fact that so many people here feel that it is an unfair portrayal of these memes just speak in favor of how efficient their propaganda really is. If you look at the Eclipse Phase setting, it is a universe of ideological extremes. There's various forms of anarchy, including anarcho-capitalism, there's the corporation-run Planetary Consortium and many more. What is clearly lacking is an honest-to-God real democracy. Why? Well, there's two answers to that question. I can't speak for the minds of Ps+, but it seems to me they found that the world we live in is full of this non-extreme "democratic" policy and that it would be fun to lift to the surface some of the other ideologies that doesn't reach public debate as often. There are also tons of RPGs that have nice easy democracies so it's not like they're somehow being totally absent. Then there's also the fact that it doesn't make for such interesting horror. Current-day democracy is familiar and often give people a sense of comfort. By breaking this comfort zone, it's easier to adopt some of the themes they want us to explore. The other reason is an in-game one. All the "normal" bioconservatives, the familiar democracies, the regular "american-dream" conservatives got left on Earth. 90% of humanity got totally wiped out after all, and the ones that were already in space belonged to ideological extremes for various reasons (or rather the same reason; they wanted to escape democratic rule). In a world full of ideological extremes, and given the history of our world, it is only [b]natural[/b] that we'd find a military dictatorship. If there hadn't been one I think the setting would be lacking and forgetting an important extreme that really should be there. So if you remove the fascist elements from the Jovian republic, where else would you find such a faction? It IS the major fascist goverment and making them into something else would make a hole in the setting (or at least so I think). All the bio-conservative, religious, right-wing american ideas that they have are just the polished surface to make them seem like something else. In the core they are and always will be a fascist government. That is how I think they should be treated and that is how I think they were meant to be. They're NOT the major bio-conservative and religious faction, they're the major fascist faction. If you are looking for a nicer, more democratic faction that hosts a lot of bio-conservative (and bio-chauvinistic) and religious ideals there is one. It's called the [b]Lunar-Lagrange Alliance[/b]. While the Jovian republic is a fascist government with some conservative ideals slapped on, LLA is a conservative government period. That's the more nuanced portrayal of the american (and world-wide) right-wing politics that you've been looking for. The Jovian republic isn't, and I think shouldn't be, that. They're a nuanced portrayal of a military dictatorship (and given how the real-world military dictatorships usually look, I think it IS plenty nuanced). I do agree with you that the Jovian republic should be more consistently scary and competent. There's certainly plenty of possibilities to run them as such, without squinting real hard. Their [i]actual[/i] threat level is left up to the GM, just like all other threats in the setting. I don't think we can read the passage about the Titanian commonwealth not fearing the Jovians as truth. It's just their perception and it would be [i]awesome[/i] to play a game where they're totally wrong. Playing in an autonomist campaign where this faction you've been laughing your butt off at suddenly decides to invade you and become a real threat to your existence is the kind of horror Eclipse Phase was made for. So should they be competent? I think so, but I do think it should be left open for each GM to decide how big of a threat they should be. It doesn't need to be stated in black-and-white in the material. Anyway, those are my thoughts and even if you disagree (feel free to), I hope you understand where I'm coming from. You can be assured though that while my own political ideas lie closer to Saturn, I didn't read the entry on the Jovian republic and thought "yeah, [i]that's[/i] an accurate portrayal of the american right, tee hee, the bastards!". I did think they were a fairly accurate portrayal of a fascist military dictatorship though.
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branford branford's picture
Lorsa, thank you for your
Lorsa, thank you for your thoughtful comments. We obviously disagree on some fundamental premises about the Jovains. I really do not see how you read them as essentially fascist first, with bioconcervatism simply as a means of social and political control. The setting exposition and fiction focuses primarily on their fear of the TITANS and advanced technology, survival of "humans" as a species and distrust of transhumanity, the prevalence and domination of religion (i.e. Catholicism) in the Republic, etc.. If anything, I see the fascistic elements as legitimately and honestly viewed as necessary to maintain their bioconservative and religious ideals. Given the belief structure and loyalty of the citizens of the Republic, they would change little if they were suddenly a real democratic republic. However, if you liberalized their bioconservative views, it would fundamentally change their ideals and motivations. There is also no indication in the setting text that the vast majority of the ruling Security Council are not true believers in the bioconservative cause. I also still believe that that Republic is the only notable true bioconservative and religious faction. There are no other major religious polities except for brinker settlements. More importantly, although the LLA may be conservative in outlook and governance, they are fairly diverse, pale in size and influence in comparison to the PC or even Morningstar, and not really demonstrably bioconcervative. In fact, given that today some of the more prominent bioconservative groups are left-wing, particularly in regards to matters like GMO food, I'm surprised that a large liberal bioconservative faction was not included in the setting. I like EP and wholly respect the authors efforts. If I didn't, I would not have purchased all the books. However, that certainly does not mean that I don't think there is room for improvement. The authors admitted in Rimward that the Jovians were superficially written to be the the "bad guys," veritable "Space Nazis" to be remorselessly killed. Nuance would have made them far too sympathetic. Simply, if the authors biases and intent were not so obvious and heavy-handed in the core book, the entire section in Rimward would not have been necessary and the repeated and intense threads here would never have existed. No other faction required this treatment in either Sunward or Rimward. The fact that the writers had the fascist polity rename a Jovian moon for George Bush speaks volumes about their political beliefs and how they viewed and treated the "other" when they created their universe. In any event, my issue was not primarily how the Jovians were too conservative or fascist, but rather how they were one-dimensional, inconsistently written and portrayed, and effectively incompetent, and as a result lessened mature and enjoyable role-playing opportunities. As I've set forth in depth, I would prefer a more nuanced Republic. However, I would be perfectly satisfied if the militant fascist Jovians with the largest and most formidable fleet in the system and top military commanders simply started acting like militant fascists with big guns and the will to use them. Titan should be visibly terrified and militarizing, Europa and Hyoden should be occupied, and Locus, well . . , they're too disorganized other than to ask the Titanians for help and hatch some terrorist plans. It is my considered opinion that the authors wanted the Jovians to be seemingly scary enough to justify their right-wing fascist caricature, but failed to employ them as described because a credible and aggressive threat to any of their preferred autonomists and left-wing groups would change their exploration of these virtually unknown social experiments. Writing about how great socialists and anarchists in space are would certainly not be the same if they were fighting, and badly losing, a war with fascists (American conservatives?). Although, I would not be surprised if the autonomists were triumphant, given that the two Battles of Locus where the PC was totally incompetent and virtually cursed, while the autonomists appeared to be military prodigies, repeatedly protected by the kind hand of fate. Lastly, my capitalist, secular, socially liberal, attorney self would probably not fit perfectly into any of the major factions. If I had to choose, Morningstar would probably be my destination. The lawyer in me, however, might enjoy Extropia, at least for a short time.
Lorsa Lorsa's picture
branford wrote:Lorsa, thank
branford wrote:
Lorsa, thank you for your thoughtful comments. We obviously disagree on some fundamental premises about the Jovains.
And given your premises, I can certainly understand why you would feel as you do towards them.
branford wrote:
I really do not see how you read them as essentially fascist first, with bioconcervatism simply as a means of social and political control. The setting exposition and fiction focuses primarily on their fear of the TITANS and advanced technology, survival of "humans" as a species and distrust of transhumanity, the prevalence and domination of religion (i.e. Catholicism) in the Republic, etc.. If anything, I see the fascistic elements as legitimately and honestly viewed as necessary to maintain their bioconservative and religious ideals. Given the belief structure and loyalty of the citizens of the Republic, they would change little if they were suddenly a real democratic republic. However, if you liberalized their bioconservative views, it would fundamentally change their ideals and motivations. There is also no indication in the setting text that the vast majority of the ruling Security Council are not true believers in the bioconservative cause.
I think partly why I see them as such is becuase to me it makes more sense. Like you said, if they're simply defined by being bio-conservative first then the fascism isn't really necessary. Furthermore, while I really haven't studied the Jovians very deeply (although I've long had the idea that I want to have an adventure or campaign there), their origin seem to speak in favor of being a military dictatorship first. The creation of the Jovian republic comes from a collection of space militaries. When such extremely hierarchical people sieze power it usually ends with fascism or dictatorship of some kind. So part of why I see it as such is because of its origin. Why would a couple of generals, trained in the chain-of-command, that suddenly finds themselves in power give it up in favor of democracy? They [i]could[/i], but it's just as likely they wouldn't. The pope and the catholicism came after. Reading the Rimward text I got the feeling that, [i]yes[/i], there were religious people in the Jovian republic, but they were also present in other places. In the end, the pope chose the Jovian (perhaps because they offered good protection due to their military assets) and with him came an influx of religious people effectively transforming it into being [i]more[/i] religious. Yes, you are right. The bio-conservatism is there for many reasons, which also include the fear of TITANS and unknown technology. But I think the leadership fuels this meme not only for this reason, but also because it's very convenient. If they come across as hypocritical to some it's probably because fascists usually are. I think the fear part is more deeply rooted in the general populace whereas the "control the people" part is a larger reason to the leaders. It's not like leaders inspiring fear in people towards an enemy in order to get away with policy that benefits them is unheard of. I am quite certain that many of the deeply religious, including the Pope, are against the more fascist influences of the republic. Perhaps they agree more with the religious / bio-conservative outlook and is hoping to change the polity from within? That would certainly make an interesting campaign.
branford wrote:
I also still believe that that Republic is the only notable true bioconservative and religious faction. There are no other major religious polities except for brinker settlements. More importantly, although the LLA may be conservative in outlook and governance, they are fairly diverse, pale in size and influence in comparison to the PC or even Morningstar, and not really demonstrably bioconcervative. In fact, given that today some of the more prominent bioconservative groups are left-wing, particularly in regards to matters like GMO food, I'm surprised that a large liberal bioconservative faction was not included in the setting.
I'm honestly surprised that there's a major religious faction [i]at all[/i]. Do you think there's another faction that it would make more sense to be the "main religious" one? I really can't think of any (outside of brinkers). So I guess the other option would be to simply not have any. Religion is quite important in the cultures that are most prevalent in the Jovian republic though, so I think it is the one that is most likely to have such influences. Regardless of what you think of the size and influence of LLA (which I think you are underestimating slightly), they ARE a major faction. It's true that they are not specifically bio-conservative, but I do feel that they are lots of people in the faction that are. While some augmentations and genetic upgrades are widely acceptable (like Exalts), I don't think most people would respond very kindly to a Remade or a 4-armed, blue-skinned thingy or other stuff that breaks the "norm". Yeah, I guess that makes them more conservative, but still... I'd rate them as second on the list of bio-conservatism as far as factions go. What is your main criticism though? That there is only one bio-conservative faction and it is portrayed as fascist? Would you prefer there to be more bio-conservatism present in the setting and if so which faction should have those ideals? Or would you prefer if the Jovians [i]weren't[/i] bio-conservative at all and the setting was simply lacking such a faction? I think I define the factions more based on ideology than common motivation-memes. I don't see the anarchists as being the techno-progressive faction, I see them as anarchists. So that's part of the reason why I think of the Jovians as being fascist first rather than being defined by their bio-conservatism.
branford wrote:
I like EP and wholly respect the authors efforts. If I didn't, I would not have purchased all the books. However, that certainly does not mean that I don't think there is room for improvement. The authors admitted in Rimward that the Jovians were superficially written to be the the "bad guys," veritable "Space Nazis" to be remorselessly killed. Nuance would have made them far too sympathetic. Simply, if the authors biases and intent were not so obvious and heavy-handed in the core book, the entire section in Rimward would not have been necessary and the repeated and intense threads here would never have existed. No other faction required this treatment in either Sunward or Rimward. The fact that the writers had the fascist polity rename a Jovian moon for George Bush speaks volumes about their political beliefs and how they viewed and treated the "other" when they created their universe.
The day any roleplaying game reaches the point where this is no more room for improvement is the day the sky will fall down. I'm certain that if Eclipse Phase 2.0 is released and the setting is overhauled slightly, the Jovians will be written a bit differently. I do hope that they'd still be fascist though because having such an ideology makes the world more complete. As for the George Bush moon, I'm not going to defend that. I don't have a problem with it personally, but I can certainly see why people would.
branford wrote:
In any event, my issue was not primarily how the Jovians were too conservative or fascist, but rather how they were one-dimensional, inconsistently written and portrayed, and effectively incompetent, and as a result lessened mature and enjoyable role-playing opportunities.
Ah right. I don't think they're necessarily more one-dimensional than some of the other factions in the book. That may be because of how my Game Master brain tries to interpret everything into a somewhat believable world though, so that all perceived nuance is actually made up by me. I don't think I've ever ran any setting exactly as written. So I admit there may be problems I don't see as I've already "filled in the blanks". Inconsistency is always bad, and I would argue one of the worst things to find in roleplaying games. I do think there are worse inconsistencies though than those about the Jovians. In the end, you simply have to choose one interpretation and stick with that.
branford wrote:
As I've set forth in depth, I would prefer a more nuanced Republic. However, I would be perfectly satisfied if the militant fascist Jovians with the largest and most formidable fleet in the system and top military commanders simply started acting like militant fascists with big guns and the will to use them. Titan should be visibly terrified and militarizing, Europa and Hyoden should be occupied, and Locus, well . . , they're too disorganized other than to ask the Titanians for help and hatch some terrorist plans.
And there you have a great starting point for a campaign! As a matter of fact, I ran one campaign where I had some plans of them doing something similar, but it never reached that point.
branford wrote:
It is my considered opinion that the authors wanted the Jovians to be seemingly scary enough to justify their right-wing fascist caricature, but failed to employ them as described because a credible and aggressive threat to any of their preferred autonomists and left-wing groups would change their exploration of these virtually unknown social experiments. Writing about how great socialists and anarchists in space are would certainly not be the same if they were fighting, and badly losing, a war with fascists (American conservatives?). Although, I would not be surprised if the autonomists were triumphant, given that the two Battles of Locus where the PC was totally incompetent and virtually cursed, while the autonomists appeared to be military prodigies, repeatedly protected by the kind had of fate.
It is certainly possible. I don't know the authors intentions, but the feeling I get from Eclipse Phase is that it is meant to be fairly open. That is, they've written the Jovians so that they [i]could[/i] be a credible threat, but not so that they [i]have[/i] to be one. Leaving it up to each and every group to decide who will win the day (spoiler alert: the exurgent virus wins).
branford wrote:
Lastly, my capitalist, secular, socially liberal, attorney self would probably not fit perfectly into any of the major factions. If I had to choose, Morningstar would probably be my destination. The lawyer in me, however, might enjoy Extropia, at least for a short time.
The day there is a society that fits perfectly for even one person is the day the sky falls down...
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branford branford's picture
Lorsa, thanks again for your
Lorsa, thanks again for your comments. I now realize that not only are our views not as different as they initially appeared, but I think I found the reason for our most fundamental disagreement. You state,
Quote:
I think partly why I see them as such is becuase to me it makes more sense. Like you said, if they're simply defined by being bio-conservative first then the fascism isn't really necessary. Furthermore, while I really haven't studied the Jovians very deeply (although I've long had the idea that I want to have an adventure or campaign there), their origin seem to speak in favor of being a military dictatorship first. The creation of the Jovian republic comes from a collection of space militaries. When such extremely hierarchical people sieze power it usually ends with fascism or dictatorship of some kind. So part of why I see it as such is because of its origin. Why would a couple of generals, trained in the chain-of-command, that suddenly finds themselves in power give it up in favor of democracy? They could, but it's just as likely they wouldn't.
We both recognize that the Jovians as explicity portrayed do not make much sense. For example, as I've stated previously, given their ideology, motivations, and history, they really do not need to be fascist. They could easily and more realistically be totally democratic and still be very bioconservative, religious and militant. In fact, that is exactly how many currently view the USA (except replace "bioconservative" with "neoconservative"). I view the choice to make the Jovians fascist as an essential part of the caricature of how the authors view conservatives. I view the other numerous and significant inconsistencies as part and parcel of the authors attempt to try to depict a militant, fascist bioconservative polity while simultaneously not permitting them to be a real threat to anyone else. You appear to be "fixing" and re-interpreting the Jovians as you read the books and play the game in order to force the Jovians to make sense. You are a generous soul that apparently fills in all holes, resolves all doubts and errors in favor of the authors, and repairs the setting (consistent with your own biases, as we all do) when the writers fail in their assigned task. I, apparently, am far less charitable. If it does not make sense or is poorly written, I seek to know why and may fix it with house-rules, but still acknowledge the deficiencies. The existence of the forum's numerous and extensive threads about the Republic attests to the problems with the Jovians in the setting, how most of us want answers, and how we seek those best for our individual games. I respect that you automatically fixed the Jovians as you went along to render them sensible and appropriate for your gaming world. My process is slower and less forgiving, but discussions like these are informative, helpful and entertaining. Edit: As for one's reaction to "a 4-armed, blue-skinned thingy" walking around their habitat, unless you're in a Scum barge, such a sight will at least raise a few eyebrows, even among some of the more technoprogessive polities. And although I don't want acknowledge my age, the mere though of such a "creature" reminded me of my youth watching the Krofft Superstars after school.
LatwPIAT LatwPIAT's picture
branford wrote:I also believe
branford wrote:
I also believe that I've seen this material before. Is this your personal creation, and have you posted it on other sites? Lastly, I'm not familiar with "NaMiNBC weapons." Although I assume that the "NBC" portion references "Nuclear, Biological and Chemical," what is the "NaMi" ?
It's a joint project with a friend, and portions of it have been posted a few other places in the past. "NaMi" stands for "Nanomachine, Micromachine".
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Tiberia Tiberia's picture
@Latwpiat
@Latwpiat this is amazing, and I thank you for sharing it. There has been much talk about fascism being the problem people have with the Jovians, but I don't think it is their fascism is what people dislike. I'll try to explain To me the Jovians aren't evil because they are fascist, the fascists are evil because they are Jovians. It's not the memes that make them evil, it's how the faction is shown and portrayed that then imply that those memes are evil. Fascism could very well be a force for good, any system of government can be in the right context and with the right leaders and culture. So it is not the fascism that is the problem. It is they're over all role as evil space bad guys that is the issue. This would not be a problem if they weren't the only bio-conservative faction of note. A good question to ask is who do the Jovians dislike most out of the other factions? The autonomists and their reckless use of technology? The Hypercorps with their profit driven motives? Planetary consortium with it's indentured servants and status as a hypercorp puppet? Titanians? (other then a rivalry what do they dislike about the titanians?) I would think they would dislike the Ultimates the most. They feel like opposites in many ways. I imagine the ultimates would look down on the Jovians with their inferior bodies, and their hanging onto inferior forms. And the Jovians would likely dislike being looked down upon. The Ultimates actively look down on the Jovians, so I imagine the Jovians would dislike them the most.
Lorsa Lorsa's picture
branford wrote:We both
branford wrote:
We both recognize that the Jovians as explicity portrayed do not make much sense. For example, as I've stated previously, given their ideology, motivations, and history, they really do not need to be fascist. They could easily and more realistically be totally democratic and still be very bioconservative, religious and militant. In fact, that is exactly how many currently view the USA (except replace "bioconservative" with "neoconservative"). I view the choice to make the Jovians fascist as an essential part of the caricature of how the authors view conservatives. I view the other numerous and significant inconsistencies as part and parcel of the authors attempt to try to depict a militant, fascist bioconservative polity while simultaneously not permitting them to be a real threat to anyone else.
Yes indeed they could. Playing them as a more corrupt version of USA (is it okay to imply that it is corrupt?) but more democratic than fascist is entirely possible. I agree with you that I don't like to have caricatures in my setting so portraying them as realistic is very important. Regardless of which route you choose.
branford wrote:
You appear to be "fixing" and re-interpreting the Jovians as you read the books and play the game in order to force the Jovians to make sense. You are a generous soul that apparently fills in all holes, resolves all doubts and errors in favor of the authors, and repairs the setting (consistent with your own biases, as we all do) when the writers fail in their assigned task.
I think I do that with all factions. It's probably one of the reasons why I don't have as much problems with, for example, the Forgotten Realms drow as many others. I just focus on the core elements and remove all the caricaturesque, weird stuff. Some settings and factions require more adaptation than others of course. Generally I find that the Eclipse Phase setting is on the higher end of quality, which I guess is the reason so many respond negatively to the problems that exist.
branford wrote:
I, apparently, am far less charitable. If it does not make sense or is poorly written, I seek to know why and may fix it with house-rules, but still acknowledge the deficiencies.
There are other deficiencies that bothers me more. Most of them have to do with setting-vs-rules issues and inconsistencies in the mechanics. For example, the setting states clearly that there is an extreme shortage of morphs. Despite that, a Splicer has only a High cost, far less than a Plasma Rifle (which has a much lower production time according to the rules). A High cost is something you could easily earn in a month, or a favor that can be refreshed in less than that. So if morphs are supposed to be so rare, why are they so cheap? I understand that anarchist-collectivists break the normal supply-demand rules but since High cost refers to credits? It makes absolutely no sense. Furthermore, a full body (except the head) can be regrown in a healing vat in less than two weeks. It takes an hour to completely rewrite all the neural connections in a brain. Yet for some inexplicit reason, it is stated that it takes 18+ months to grow a morph. Why? A healing vat should be able to do it in three weeks! If it takes three weeks to grow a biomorph, it would also explain the High cost of the Splicer (and comparatively low costs of the Expensive biomorphs). So part of me want to go with this and skip the long morph growth time (which is never explained). I'm not even sure how much of the setting really depend on morphs being rare in the first place. It seem to be mentioned as the reason for so many infugees but then never really coming up in any other part of the setting. The rules doesn't support the rareness factor either. Then there's the stress rules, where the setting mentions people being regularly stressed by re-sleeving, potential continuity loss, forking etc, but using the rules that stress often turns out to be rather minimal. Again the fluff and the mechanics have a mis-match. A failed alienation test for example, should really give continouus stress as long as the ego remains in the morph. Now it's a minor inconvenience at most and then you can forget it. Don't even get me started on the hardening rules; I don't think I'd ever want to use them as written. There are probably other setting-based things I've forgotten already that are a bit inconsistent that I had to re-arrange in my head. Some things I don't even notice when I do.
branford wrote:
The existence of the forum's numerous and extensive threads about the Republic attests to the problems with the Jovians in the setting, how most of us want answers, and how we seek those best for our individual games.
Yes. I am not denying that there are people who have a problem with them and are struggling with how to make sense of it. I hope everyone can reach their own interpretation and enjoy playing the game. I guess I see a few potential ways to go: 1) You can do it "my way" and think of them as a military dictatorship first and foremost. All the other things are just the polished surface, there to convince the populace of the need for the fascist government. This could either lead into making them into a real threat to their neighbours, OR you could play it as them using their large military to control a growing unease in the population. Depends on if you want to see it as most people buying into the "meme" or that there's growing dissent which could break loose any minute and potentially force a change in the regime (I think that would be an interesting Jovian campaign to be honest). 2) You can do it "your way" and think of them as being bio-conservative and religious, with some democratic policies meant to enforce the "right of the soul". So people actually [i]want[/i] it to be illegal with forking, re-sleeving and whatnot. Basically a very frightened, conservative and religious democracy. Then you have to decide how militaristic they are. It's quite easy to see why they'd have plenty of reason to attack the autonomists given this interpretation. 3) You can just use them as a villain and give them all the worst qualities you can think of and happily stomp on them. 4) I guess I just wanted to elaborate a bit on the last part of my 1) suggestion. If they are currently fascist, with all of the motivations usually attributed to them, there's a distinct possibility that a lot of people in the republic are quite unhappy with the regime. Still, they do not want to leave because they like the memes present. There could be a large rebellion just waiting to happen, and the campaign could focus on which path the republic will take. Can the players help transform it into a democracy or will it sink deeper into fascism? It's time for the american revolution all over again! 5) I'm sure that there are other ideas, like LatwPIAT's economic superpower.
branford wrote:
I respect that you automatically fixed the Jovians as you went along to render them sensible and appropriate for your gaming world. My process is slower and less forgiving, but discussions like these are informative, helpful and entertaining.
Well, I've been a Game Master for a very long time. Fixing settings while I read them to fit something that makes sense to me just happens automatically.
branford wrote:
Edit: As for one's reaction to "a 4-armed, blue-skinned thingy" walking around their habitat, unless you're in a Scum barge, such a sight will at least raise a few eyebrows, even among some of the more technoprogessive polities. And although I don't want acknowledge my age, the mere though of such a "creature" reminded me of my youth watching the Krofft Superstars after school.
Yes, I do think it would raise an eyebrow basically everywhere but a Scum barge. At least that is how I run the setting. Still, I think people in LLA would be more deeply upset of such a thing than, say, your average anarchist. I remember the very first (or was it second?) session when my players were going to a habitat which had a lot of Scum. The question of "how do we blend in?" came up and the only answer was "by sticking out as much as possible". Fun stuff!
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Lorsa Lorsa's picture
I'm sure it has been
I'm sure it has been mentioned before, but I just realised that the Jovians have absolutely no reason to attack any of the other factions. After all, they're already dead (and not in the "soulless husk" kind of way). When the TITANs come back (and according to the Jovians, they will), all the other factions are going to be destroyed fairly quickly. Pandora is a moon around Saturn and Mars has a gate. Why would you attack your neighbors, risk loosing soldiers and forces, when the REAL enemy is looming on the horizon? I guess that's their highest quality, regardless of which way you go with them. All things considered, they ARE humanities greatest hope for survival, should the TITANs (or something else) come back. The game is called Eclipse Phase after all...
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branford branford's picture
Lorsa wrote:I'm sure it has
Lorsa wrote:
I'm sure it has been mentioned before, but I just realised that the Jovians have absolutely no reason to attack any of the other factions. After all, they're already dead (and not in the "soulless husk" kind of way). When the TITANs come back (and according to the Jovians, they will), all the other factions are going to be destroyed fairly quickly. Pandora is a moon around Saturn and Mars has a gate. Why would you attack your neighbors, risk loosing soldiers and forces, when the REAL enemy is looming on the horizon? I guess that's their highest quality, regardless of which way you go with them. All things considered, they ARE humanities greatest hope for survival, should the TITANs (or something else) come back. The game is called Eclipse Phase after all...
Again, I think with disagree on some foundational material. The other factions of transhumanity are recklessly engaging in activities that will hasten our extinction. Relationships with advanced aliens (Factors) who reveal little about themselves or their technology? Using the Gates even though we have no understanding of the technology and have encountered at least three unexplained, extinct species? Selfishly and wantonly altering the very nature of the human mind, body and soul to narcissistically suit petty whims and desires? Permitting anyone to research and access dangerous weapons of mass destruction like antimatter, virulent plagues and TITAN technology, without proper oversight and caution? From their perspective, the Jovians have more than ample reason to attack and put a stop to the species-level dangerous stupidity of many other groups and factions. The fact these enemies of humanity may already be dead, or were never truly human to begin with (AGI's and Uplifts), simply makes the Jovian's difficult, but ultimately necessary, task a little bit easier. In fact, taking control of the Gates to protect humanity (and maybe reclaiming Earth) should be Jovian's highest priority and most solemn duty. [Note that I do not agree with Jovian philosophy, and am just opining based on their perspective] As to your other responsive post, I happen to agree with you about the other rules and setting inconsistencies. As you acknowledge, no game is perfect. I personally am more sensitive to setting problems than rules issues. Additionally, it is very common for RPG rules to imperfectly depict narrative features of a game universe. Although some rules systems are better than others, the "crunchier" and more "realistic" ones tend to be difficult to learn and even slower to play, and in any event, there is only so much you can do to equate real (trans)human action to the roll of some dice. With respect to the biomorph growing times compared to healing vats issue, it was my interpretation that brains and other nervous system structures are simply far more complicated and difficult to quickly grow. That is why pods have cyberbrains and you can expeditiously regrow a foot or lung in a healing vat, but not a prefrontal lobe, even with the availability of a cortical stack. The disastrous attempt to expedite the growth of both the minds and bodies of the Lost Generation may add some plausibility to my hypothesis.
ORCACommander ORCACommander's picture
the reasons why the no body
the reasons why the no body is engaging in heavy military ops is because of the giant mexican stand off. jovians go after titanians pc moves in and mops up both of them. jovians attack pc Titania hit the jove and likely allied with the LLA since they are resentful about prestige loss. pretty much no matter what happens there is going to be a 3rd party that will wipe out all other parties while they are distracted with each other
branford branford's picture
ORCACommander wrote:the
ORCACommander wrote:
the reasons why the no body is engaging in heavy military ops is because of the giant mexican stand off. jovians go after titanians pc moves in and mops up both of them. jovians attack pc Titania hit the jove and likely allied with the LLA since they are resentful about prestige loss. pretty much no matter what happens there is going to be a 3rd party that will wipe out all other parties while they are distracted with each other
Although I do not necessarily agree with you perspective, at least it seeks to clarify why the Jovians could be reluctant to start a shooting war with a large polity with a professional military like the Titanian Commonwealth. It most certainly does not, however, explain why the purportedly large, aggressive and vastly militarily superior Jovians tolerate the relatively small, liberal and weak transhuman enclaves of Europa and Hyoden who are situated well within the Jovian direct sphere of influence, particularly since neither group is aligned with a major power.
ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
branford wrote:ORCACommander
branford wrote:
ORCACommander wrote:
the reasons why the no body is engaging in heavy military ops is because of the giant mexican stand off. jovians go after titanians pc moves in and mops up both of them. jovians attack pc Titania hit the jove and likely allied with the LLA since they are resentful about prestige loss. pretty much no matter what happens there is going to be a 3rd party that will wipe out all other parties while they are distracted with each other
Although I do not necessarily agree with you perspective, at least it seeks to clarify why the Jovians could be reluctant to start a shooting war with a large polity with a professional military like the Titanian Commonwealth. It most certainly does not, however, explain why the purportedly large, aggressive and vastly militarily superior Jovians tolerate the relatively small, liberal and weak transhuman enclaves of Europa and Hyoden who are situated well within the Jovian direct sphere of influence, particularly since neither group is aligned with a major power.
A couple of good reasons. First off: they can't take Europa. They attack it, the Europans retreat to the subcrustal seas, and the Jovians get jack shit. Second off: The Alliance (and do not discount the Alliance, even separate from the Titanians,) and the Titanian Commonwealth are ruled by consensus and direct votes. If they attack Europa, Gerdr, Hyoden, there's a significant chance that the Alliance will move to war with the Jovians anyway.
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branford branford's picture
ShadowDragon8685 wrote
ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
branford wrote:
ORCACommander wrote:
the reasons why the no body is engaging in heavy military ops is because of the giant mexican stand off. jovians go after titanians pc moves in and mops up both of them. jovians attack pc Titania hit the jove and likely allied with the LLA since they are resentful about prestige loss. pretty much no matter what happens there is going to be a 3rd party that will wipe out all other parties while they are distracted with each other
Although I do not necessarily agree with you perspective, at least it seeks to clarify why the Jovians could be reluctant to start a shooting war with a large polity with a professional military like the Titanian Commonwealth. It most certainly does not, however, explain why the purportedly large, aggressive and vastly militarily superior Jovians tolerate the relatively small, liberal and weak transhuman enclaves of Europa and Hyoden who are situated well within the Jovian direct sphere of influence, particularly since neither group is aligned with a major power.
A couple of good reasons. First off: they can't take Europa. They attack it, the Europans retreat to the subcrustal seas, and the Jovians get jack shit. Second off: The Alliance (and do not discount the Alliance, even separate from the Titanians,) and the Titanian Commonwealth are ruled by consensus and direct votes. If they attack Europa, Gerdr, Hyoden, there's a significant chance that the Alliance will move to war with the Jovians anyway.
Again, consistent with our previous discussion and the more recent exchanges in this thread as to this very scenario, it does not comport with the authors' alleged vast military might of the Jovians, which forms part of the problem underlying the entire nature of this topic. Additionally, your proposed response contradicts ORCACommander's entire premise for lack of a shooting war. The military might of the Autonomous Alliance, to the extent it exists at all, is represented almost entirely by the Titanians. Some of the setting text implies that the Titanians were not exactly thrilled about saving Locus and the other anarchists - twice, and the anarchists were their allies. While they may find a Jovian crackdown on Europa and/or Hydoden repugnant, I would expect little more than the proverbial "strongly worded letter." At worst, they would sever diplomatic relations for a short time. Simply, per the text about Jovian military capabilities, a war with the Jovians would almost certainly be far worse than the smaller episodes with the PC, and could very well be ruinous to the Commonwealth. Titanian involvement, as suggested by Orca, could also strongly encourage the involvement of the inner systems, particularly the PC, who definitely wouldn't mind a little "pay-back" against the AA for both Battles of Locus.
ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
branford wrote
branford wrote:
ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
branford wrote:
ORCACommander wrote:
the reasons why the no body is engaging in heavy military ops is because of the giant mexican stand off. jovians go after titanians pc moves in and mops up both of them. jovians attack pc Titania hit the jove and likely allied with the LLA since they are resentful about prestige loss. pretty much no matter what happens there is going to be a 3rd party that will wipe out all other parties while they are distracted with each other
Although I do not necessarily agree with you perspective, at least it seeks to clarify why the Jovians could be reluctant to start a shooting war with a large polity with a professional military like the Titanian Commonwealth. It most certainly does not, however, explain why the purportedly large, aggressive and vastly militarily superior Jovians tolerate the relatively small, liberal and weak transhuman enclaves of Europa and Hyoden who are situated well within the Jovian direct sphere of influence, particularly since neither group is aligned with a major power.
A couple of good reasons. First off: they can't take Europa. They attack it, the Europans retreat to the subcrustal seas, and the Jovians get jack shit. Second off: The Alliance (and do not discount the Alliance, even separate from the Titanians,) and the Titanian Commonwealth are ruled by consensus and direct votes. If they attack Europa, Gerdr, Hyoden, there's a significant chance that the Alliance will move to war with the Jovians anyway.
Again, consistent with our previous discussion and the more recent exchanges in this thread as to this very scenario, it does not comport with the authors' alleged vast military might of the Jovians, which forms part of the problem underlying the entire nature of this topic. Additionally, your proposed response contradicts ORCACommander's entire premise for lack of a shooting war. The military might of the Autonomous Alliance, to the extent it exists at all, is represented almost entirely by the Titanians. Some of the setting text implies that the Titanians were not exactly thrilled about saving Locus and the other anarchists - twice, and the anarchists were their allies. While they may find a Jovian crackdown on Europa and/or Hydoden repugnant, I would expect little more than the proverbial "strongly worded letter." At worst, they would sever diplomatic relations for a short time. Simply, per the text about Jovian military capabilities, a war with the Jovians would almost certainly be far worse than the smaller episodes with the PC, and could very well be ruinous to the Commonwealth. Titanian involvement, as suggested by Orca, could also strongly encourage the involvement of the inner systems, particularly the PC, who definitely wouldn't mind a little "pay-back" against the AA for both Battles of Locus.
It is patently untrue that the military might of the Alliance is represented entirely by the Titanians. The Titanians account for a plurality of it, but they are hardly the only autonomists under arms. Secondly, the Titanians didn't intervene in the First Battle of Locus, that was [i]all[/i] Anarchist, both local and those who came from afield. Thirdly, the Titanians were, by and large, [i]more than happy[/i] to sail in and give the Consortium the old what-for in the Second Battle of Locus. They sa all too well where their natural alliances and natural enemies were. Fourthly, the Titanians have no say in whether or not anarchists or Scum decide to make war on the Jovians. They can't [i]stop[/i] them, and while the anarchists or scum alone can't [i]crush[/i] the Jovians, they don't have to; they just have to drive the percieved cost-benefit analysis of trying to oppress Hyoden, Europa, or Gerdr, straight into the red. For a present-day, ripped-from-the-headlines comparison, look at the situation in Libya. The United States could [i]absolutely[/i] sail in there and crush the factions they don't like, but the Russians would go ape on us if we do. The political (economic) costs are too high, so we do not. Fifthly, the Jovians can't take Europa. They reject the technologies that allow transhumans to survive as extremophiles in the subcrustal seas; it is, in short, territory they cannot access. Meanwhile, any ice-mining operations they establish on the surface will be subject to guerilla strikes by fighters who can retreat below those seas.
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branford branford's picture
ShadowDragon8685 wrote
ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
branford wrote:
ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
branford wrote:
ORCACommander wrote:
the reasons why the no body is engaging in heavy military ops is because of the giant mexican stand off. jovians go after titanians pc moves in and mops up both of them. jovians attack pc Titania hit the jove and likely allied with the LLA since they are resentful about prestige loss. pretty much no matter what happens there is going to be a 3rd party that will wipe out all other parties while they are distracted with each other
Although I do not necessarily agree with you perspective, at least it seeks to clarify why the Jovians could be reluctant to start a shooting war with a large polity with a professional military like the Titanian Commonwealth. It most certainly does not, however, explain why the purportedly large, aggressive and vastly militarily superior Jovians tolerate the relatively small, liberal and weak transhuman enclaves of Europa and Hyoden who are situated well within the Jovian direct sphere of influence, particularly since neither group is aligned with a major power.
A couple of good reasons. First off: they can't take Europa. They attack it, the Europans retreat to the subcrustal seas, and the Jovians get jack shit. Second off: The Alliance (and do not discount the Alliance, even separate from the Titanians,) and the Titanian Commonwealth are ruled by consensus and direct votes. If they attack Europa, Gerdr, Hyoden, there's a significant chance that the Alliance will move to war with the Jovians anyway.
Again, consistent with our previous discussion and the more recent exchanges in this thread as to this very scenario, it does not comport with the authors' alleged vast military might of the Jovians, which forms part of the problem underlying the entire nature of this topic. Additionally, your proposed response contradicts ORCACommander's entire premise for lack of a shooting war. The military might of the Autonomous Alliance, to the extent it exists at all, is represented almost entirely by the Titanians. Some of the setting text implies that the Titanians were not exactly thrilled about saving Locus and the other anarchists - twice, and the anarchists were their allies. While they may find a Jovian crackdown on Europa and/or Hydoden repugnant, I would expect little more than the proverbial "strongly worded letter." At worst, they would sever diplomatic relations for a short time. Simply, per the text about Jovian military capabilities, a war with the Jovians would almost certainly be far worse than the smaller episodes with the PC, and could very well be ruinous to the Commonwealth. Titanian involvement, as suggested by Orca, could also strongly encourage the involvement of the inner systems, particularly the PC, who definitely wouldn't mind a little "pay-back" against the AA for both Battles of Locus.
It is patently untrue that the military might of the Alliance is represented entirely by the Titanians. The Titanians account for a plurality of it, but they are hardly the only autonomists under arms. Secondly, the Titanians didn't intervene in the First Battle of Locus, that was [i]all[/i] Anarchist, both local and those who came from afield. Thirdly, the Titanians were, by and large, [i]more than happy[/i] to sail in and give the Consortium the old what-for in the Second Battle of Locus. They sa all too well where their natural alliances and natural enemies were. Fourthly, the Titanians have no say in whether or not anarchists or Scum decide to make war on the Jovians. They can't [i]stop[/i] them, and while the anarchists or scum alone can't [i]crush[/i] the Jovians, they don't have to; they just have to drive the percieved cost-benefit analysis of trying to oppress Hyoden, Europa, or Gerdr, straight into the red. For a present-day, ripped-from-the-headlines comparison, look at the situation in Libya. The United States could [i]absolutely[/i] sail in there and crush the factions they don't like, but the Russians would go ape on us if we do. The political (economic) costs are too high, so we do not. Fifthly, the Jovians can't take Europa. They reject the technologies that allow transhumans to survive as extremophiles in the subcrustal seas; it is, in short, territory they cannot access. Meanwhile, any ice-mining operations they establish on the surface will be subject to guerilla strikes by fighters who can retreat below those seas.
We engaged in this very roundabout discussion before, and there is no need to do so again and crowd the thread. We both take very, very different things away from our reading of the explicit text concerning the Jovians. It also offers little new or re-imagined material that could be mined by other players. Quite frankly, I would suggest that you completely and unconditionally accept the Jovian caricature presented by the writers. Rereading your exceedingly strident and angry earlier posts about the Republic, I assume it very probably is because it reinforces your beliefs about conservatism and religion as represented in the setting by the Jovians. The Jovians are superficially written to seem sufficiently powerful, aggressive, hate-filled and unreasonable so as to appear totally unsympathetic and unconditionally evil (Rimward, p. 195-96). However, the authors never permit the Jovians to act, no less according to the writer's descriptions and professed Jovian militant fascist ideology, rendering them essentially an incompetent, one-dimensional, and useless paper tiger. To do otherwise would wreck havoc on their setting. The majority of the outer system was designed as a toobox to explore (and often idealize and romanticize) little known and rarely implemented far-left ideologies like technosocialism and anarchism. If these groups were fighting a viscous, no less losing, war against the Jovians (or even the inner system factions like the PC), it would undoubtedly be a far different game (and likely much too similar to contemporary geopolitics where countries like the USA, China and Russia are the dominant powers, and even many European countries and the EU are taking a decidedly rightward tilt).
Smokeskin Smokeskin's picture
And to add to that, taking
And to add to that, taking and holding territory are two very different things. As a few recent wars have demonstrated, conquest can be easy but if the locals aren't all cooperative you're going to have your hands very full afterwards.
Smokeskin Smokeskin's picture
branford wrote:even many
branford wrote:
even many European countries and the EU are taking a decidedly rightward tilt).
That's not really the case. Left leaning sentiments are stronger than ever. Many countries are implementing some right leaning policies, but it is very unpopular and probably only done because they need the economic growth and can't afford anything else. The left wing parties are losing ground because they promised they'd do something else and so the voters are unhappy with them. Still, the changes are very moderate, we're lumping along at a fraction of the economic growth of say the US, and I'm sure that once we can afford it again, we're going back to our old ways.
branford branford's picture
Smokeskin wrote:And to add to
Smokeskin wrote:
And to add to that, taking and holding territory are two very different things. As a few recent wars have demonstrated, conquest can be easy but if the locals aren't all cooperative you're going to have your hands very full afterwards.
Very true, indeed. However, I don't think the Jovians, as written, would be so trite as to want to bring religion to the heathens, fulfill the "white man's burden," or even "bring real democracy" to the less fortunate barbarians. ;) Where most of the populace is decidedly transhuman in body and technology (definitely Europa and possibly Titan), the Jovians would likely employ a scorched earth, take no prisoners, approach. It would not be about conquest, but rather annihilation for the good of the "human" race (or more charitably, releasing the ghosts of the dead who do no appreciate their horrid condition). Hydon might warrant occupation since there exist some Jovian sympathies. Role-playing in such a polity would be interesting, particularly the x-risk and Firewall possibilities of rebels employing high-tech asymmetrical warfare.
branford branford's picture
Smokeskin wrote:branford
Smokeskin wrote:
branford wrote:
even many European countries and the EU are taking a decidedly rightward tilt).
That's not really the case. Left leaning sentiments are stronger than ever. Many countries are implementing some right leaning policies, but it is very unpopular and probably only done because they need the economic growth and can't afford anything else. The left wing parties are losing ground because they promised they'd do something else and so the voters are unhappy with them. Still, the changes are very moderate, we're lumping along at a fraction of the economic growth of say the US, and I'm sure that once we can afford it again, we're going back to our old ways.
My small comment was not really meant as a truly comprehensive analysis of pan-European politics. I was just being a little snarky about how many leftists, particularly in Europe, view the USA as little more than fascist, while a number of actual, true-to-life, neo-Nazis were actually elected to the EU parliament, something that would be considered impossible in America.
LatwPIAT LatwPIAT's picture
ShadowDragon8685 wrote
ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
Fifthly, the Jovians can't take Europa. They reject the technologies that allow transhumans to survive as extremophiles in the subcrustal seas; it is, in short, territory they cannot access. Meanwhile, any ice-mining operations they establish on the surface will be subject to guerilla strikes by fighters who can retreat below those seas.
I don't think the Europans would be able to make conventional guerrilla strikes on a surface mining operation. The Europan crust is somewhere between 1 and 10 km thick. Getting from the oceans to the surface would be very difficult (I suspect it would be easy to see someone dig a tunnel near your mining operation), and the guerrillas would have to retreat through set routes. There's, for one, no vegetation to hide tunnels in, and unless the Europans have covered the entire surface with tunnels, I don't think they'll be able to have the Jovian miners walk into a prepared ambush location.
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branford branford's picture
LatwPIAT wrote
LatwPIAT wrote:
ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
Fifthly, the Jovians can't take Europa. They reject the technologies that allow transhumans to survive as extremophiles in the subcrustal seas; it is, in short, territory they cannot access. Meanwhile, any ice-mining operations they establish on the surface will be subject to guerilla strikes by fighters who can retreat below those seas.
I don't think the Europans would be able to make conventional guerrilla strikes on a surface mining operation. The Europan crust is somewhere between 1 and 10 km thick. Getting from the oceans to the surface would be very difficult (I suspect it would be easy to see someone dig a tunnel near your mining operation), and the guerrillas would have to retreat through set routes. There's, for one, no vegetation to hide tunnels in, and unless the Europans have covered the entire surface with tunnels, I don't think they'll be able to have the Jovian miners walk into a prepared ambush location.
True. Also, nothing in the Jovian ideology prevents them from building and employing acquatic bots capable of eradicating the fishy Europan abominations and then mining the seas for anything of use, all while the humans sit comfortably on the surface or in orbit psychotically twirling their mustaches and hatching their next evil scheme. Today Europa, tomorrow the universe . . .

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