The morality of EWF

From: Peter Metcalfe <>
Date: Thu, 27 Dec 2001 00:08:30 +1300

Peter Larsen:

>Me>I am pointing out that an empire can collapse for reasons other
> >than "moral rot" that you think must be the cause, and you
> >respond with an example of an empire in temporary retreat
> >with the observation that someone might have thought it
> >was "moral rot" (an overtly subjective judgement on
> >Akhenaton)?

>My point was that an empire can collapse (or weaken) because it is
>too busy dealing with religious/philosophical ideas to tend to the

If so, I fail to see how this warrants describing the empire as being afflicted by "moral rot" and that its ruling class were "cynical". When one looks at Akenaton or the Byzantine Empire, those labels do not spring to mind.

>No doubt, people on both sides of the debate accuse the other of
>causing the disaster by moral rot. It doesn't matter that it's true
>or not,

It does matter. You posted a description of the EWF as being ruled by a cynical upper class. That is an _objective_ assessment about their mindview. When referring to what people say about the EWF, you are relying on _subjective_ opinions. It's also a stretch to infer that because corruption exists in an empire, its ruling class are cynical. Does the entire US government not believe in democracy and the Constitution just because corrupt politicians are found in Capitol Hill?

>Of couse, in Glorantha, moral rot can destroy a government by
>undermining its magic.

Doesn't seem to have weakened the Lunar Empire...

> >What a odd thing to say. Is every gloranthan who acts according
> >to scripture cynical? If not, then why must the actions of the
> >EWF [in conquering Dara Happa] and everybody involved in it be
> so >interpreted in that manner?

>Sigh. They don't _have_ to be, but they _can_ be.

Excuse me, but you did claim that it "seemed likely" that the EWF rulers were into "rule for its own sake" when they conquered Dara Happa.

>The EWF's success against Dara Happa is not proof that they were
>wholeheartedly following the draconic path.

I never said it was. What I did point was that Dara Happa had always been necessary to the goals of the EWF. Given this, the conquest of Dara Happa cannot be taken as proof that the EWF ruling class was cynical.

>The Soviet Union's military and political successes and
>failures from 1940-1980 tell us little about whether the USSR's
>leadership were devout Communists or not.

But given that its doctrine called for the complete triumph of the working class everywhere, we can't describe their actions in spreading revolution all over the globe as being "rule for its own sake".

>As I said in my last message, I believe that a variety of factors
>contributed to the EWF's decline. I'm unclear why you reject the
>"moral rot/cynical user" element in the mix.

I am rejecting your proposition that the entire (or even a majority of the) ruling class of the EWF was cynical. I do not see why "moral rot" should somehow be held to be a significant contributor to its fall, given the highly subjective nature of the criterion such that all empires can be said to be corrupt.

Powered by hypermail