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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
In the current Imperium, life is hard and brutal if you are poor.

There seems to be two classes, the rotten rich and rotten poor.

It might be argued that some people like scribes etc are a middle class, but they cannot travel, or take vacations or do anything that the average middle class person today can do.

The only real option seems to be a life of crime as a means to not be stuck in the class/caste you are born in.

People are press-ganged (kidnapped), into lives of servitude on ships, whole planets abandoned to aliens and daemons.

While the rich seem to live pretty much like rich people always have.



Now, when the Emp was alive, he wanted to conquer the known and maybe unknown galaxy, and perhaps purge it of all non-human sentient life.

Much of the population of Terra exists in the most terrible squalor, their greatest hope that one of their offspring might be accepted into the Adeptus Terra, the Priesthood of Earth, as a Menial, an adept of the lowliest sort
I am fairly certain the happiness of the individual meant nothing to him, so the state of the Imperium as it is now might well have been what it was at the time of the 'Great Crusade'

Does anyone think he intended for the Imperium to be like how 'Star Trek' is ?
Where the individual is important, and the suffering of some for the benefit of others was not the status quo. Hunger non-existent, Planets paradises, people free to explore whatever direction there lives took.

Or that the current brutal class system would be the accepted norm?
 

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You're describing life in a hive. That's not representative of the entire Imperium. It's like saying "life on Earth sucks because the bus is always late."
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
You're describing life in a hive. That's not representative of the entire Imperium. It's like saying "life on Earth sucks because the bus is always late."
The people press-ganged in 'Relentless' were not hive-dwellers...

Are you intentionally reading only surface of what I am trying to ask ? :headbutt:

So the average non rich, non noble imperial citizen can get up one day and quit their job, and go explore, and decide they want to do X instead of Y, and have the full support of the Govt?

I am sure it happens on RARE occasions, but I was comparing the life of a random sampling of Star Trek Human Worlds, to a random sampling of Imperium Worlds.

Ultramarines have serfs..aka SLAVES. I don't think anyone of them can quit, and take to the sea. That is what I meant. Let me say it again....

Was the emp planning on things being like that, or did he intend for everyone to be free and able to pursue individual happyness.
 

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Even in the great crusade days their were rich and poor, at the time most worlds were still being ploughed into providing for the military machine, troops, equipment, goods etc. but there were still definetly higher and lower class even then.
 

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Indeed, thats how... Hey... Wait... What? You are not supposed to know these things... They are from a restricted file! Damn you!
 

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Firstly,

Ultramarines have serfs..aka SLAVES. I don't think anyone of them can quit, and take to the sea. That is what I meant. Let me say it again....
That is disingenuous. The serfs utilized by most/all SM Chapters are candidates who were selected as potential initiates to the Chapter, but who failed in one way or another to continue on through the recruitment process. Perhaps their body rejected the implants; their minds might have been resistant to hypno-conditioning, etc.. But the Chapter allows these failed initiates to serve the Chapter and the Imperium in a different manner: as Chapter serfs.

That isn't quite the same thing as someone who is pressed into slavery on board a ship.

Secondly,

I'm not entirely sure I understand your question. Are you asking if the Emperor cared for the individual and wanted to create a utopia, where none would languish or suffer?

I don't think even he believed such a feat was possible. I believe his aim was to ensure that humankind dominated the galaxy, and could exist free from the threat of Xenos, Mutants, Chaos, etc. But free from the harsh reality of life? No, I don't think he was trying to remove that.

The Adeptus Mechanicus turned worlds into polluted cesspools even when the Emperor was still walking around (see Fallen Angels for a description of M31 Caliban after the Mechanicus opened shop). There was still an 'elite' class of people - Planetary Governors and cobblers didn't eat the same food or wear the same clothing. Rogue Traders are also another glaring example.

So, no: I don't think the Emperor was striving for, nor realistic in achieving, perfection. He simply wanted the galaxy to belong to Mankind, where they could live safe from non-human influence and aggression.
 

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To be fair, the HH series shows that the Emperor did have utopian, futurist ideals, but I think he was all about conquering the galaxy first. He was pro-science, technologically and culturally progressionist (amusingly, in the Imperium of the 41st millennium these are all heresy), and believed in improving people's lot... But he was a despot at the head of an empire geared for war, taking worlds by any means necessary and ensuring the manifest destiny of mankind.

Lots of the HH books have characters wondering what will happen when the Great Crusade ends and the Imperium ceases its focus on war - most notably Magnus the Red. The general impression is the Imperium of the 41st millenium is closer to the opposite of what the Emperor wanted.

Though when I say 'utopian' I doubt the Emperor expected to remove the rich/poor divide on every world and make things perfect - he was too intelligent to believe such a thing. I think he believed in everyone working together for the greatest happiness -and woe betide those who didn't want to help out. This isn't necessarily socialist, either. As I've said before, the Imperium is too big to slot into any economic philosophy.

As has been said, the Imperium is a varied place. Some worlds really are much more pleasant than others, with different degrees of government control, individual freedom and upward mobility. Of course, though the Administratum can change all that with the tithe. Worlds have been strip-mined hollow and had their populations decimated by conscription... but it doesn't happen all the time or the Imperium would have ceased to function. It's certainly not as nice as the Star Trek universe, and yet somehow (ignoring the daemons and aliens) I find it more believable as what a massive galaxy-sprawling human empire might look like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I do find it (Warhammer 40k) more believable to be honest, and it's quite depressing. I mean Star Trek has war and suffering too, but the outlook is so much different.

btw, Those Chapter serfs, I am 100% certain they cannot save up enough to buy a ship as a collective a go explore the galaxy, or go to some other nice lush planet and live.

But do you think it would have been possible to have a Utopia ?

Technology removes a great deal of the social divide, but due to the Imperiums ban on sentient machines, the need for slaves/serfs/people to clean the crap off the streets would always be needed.

I mean for example. People are starving, yet someones armour needs rubies and diamonds and gold parts?

After even a fist fight, those things need to be replaced, they do nothing to impress anyone, the resources are so wasted
 

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Chapter serfs, I am 100% certain they cannot save up enough to buy a ship as a collective a go explore the galaxy, or go to some other nice lush planet and live.
Considering most Imperial ships are literally ancient relics filled with technology that's either difficult or outright impossible to recreate, I'd agree with you.

Chapter serfs are actually noted for their loyalty - they see their duties as an honour. They're also enjoying a far, far higher quality of life as valuable, respected servants than most of the people on a hive world, or indeed a feral/feudal/forge world. Sure, they're living a life of indentured service... But so are Space Marines. The Imperium and other Space Marines do not take kindly to Marines who decide to pursue their own destiny - theirs is a life of sacrifice and service.

With regards to the starvation issue, well, providing aid isn't that simple - as our single planet proves. There objectively IS enough food for everyone on the planet (more than, just about), and yet people are still starving. Add to that the huge distance, expenses and danger of warp travel... No, the Imperium can't really stop people starving. The Imperium is too big to sort out issues like this effectively, and also far too big to care.

Plus, you can't eat gold or rubies. May as well stick them on armour because on a galatic scale they're practically worthless - gold's rare on Earth, but in the whole galaxy?

Technology in the Imperium actually furthers the social divide, by creating a unique tech-class of adepts (and a few rare individuals outside the tech-priesthood) sanctioned to perform repairs on anything more complicated than a car. Also an underclass of techno-heretics (or hereteks) who do so illegally.

Some semblance of a class system is a sad neccesity for any society - even if you brought in sentient machines for all boring manual labour, that'd just create cultural stagnation. And economic ruin, the oft-forgotten outcome of mechanising all labour.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I agree, but there is no need for the social divide to be that vast.

If I said to all of us WH40K fans, you have a choice: Live in this 2010 world, or take a raffle and end up in the body of a RANDOM person in WH40K. How many people knowing what life is like would risk it ?

While if I said the same thing about 'Star Trek' or "Star Wars' take-up would be much higher.

Worlds that are even unspoiled, are ruined upon discovery, unless some Noble uses it for a personal pleasure world or something.

You can't vote, you don't have free speech, people lives are rigid and routine.

Why would removing manual labour create cultural stagnation ? I can see economic ruin, but the Imperium is a single entity, it would be achievable to a certain extent if the Emp wanted it to be thus after his crusade of conquest.

In Mechanicum, science was flourishing somewhat, they were Adepts creating without the pointless ritual.

Todays Imp has slaves now, and they have extreme cultural stagnation, and economic ruin is a fact for some worlds.

Btw, does anyone know what the Tithe is ? Is it a set % or done on a case by case basis ?
 

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Somehow I don't expect anything to be different 40000 years from now. As far as the Imperium is concerned I believe some have it pretty golden and others have it pretty shitty. Sure there is a constant state of war, vast differences between the rich and the poor, and religious intolerance...

In other words much like life here in the 21st century.

I just don't ever see the idea of a utopian "star trek" world. It's not is man's nature to be that good. 40k seems more realistic on the note.
 

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You can't vote, you don't have free speech, people lives are rigid and routine.
Some Imperial worlds are actually democracies. The latter two points are usually correct, however.

Btw, does anyone know what the Tithe is ? Is it a set % or done on a case by case basis ?
Case by case. A feudal world with limited resources but a large population will have a heavy 'give us soldiers' tithe, agri-worlds will be mostly produce, etc. The nature and size of the tithe vary from world to world.

Problems arise when the tithe either doesn't change in spite of local upheaval or changes due to a clerical error (this has killed entire worlds by cuting them off from trade or ordering them strip-mined to the bones) or bad decision on the part of the Administratum. This usually ties into the Imperium's constant war - suddenly they need a LOT of, say, iridium near the Eastern Fringe to repair starships. The one planet with a plentiful supply finds its tithe doubled, which is a foul and even deadly thing for its populace, but if they disobey the Imperium will not be happy...

You have to bear in mind that after his death, the Imperium spiralled out of the Emperor's control. Stopgap political systems were maintained for centuries because the High Lords simply lacked his authority. Lots of different bodies with overlapping responsibilites sprang up and constantly step on one another's toes. The AdMech tightened the stranglehold the Emperor had been trying to loosen. The Ministorum/Ecclesiarchy was born out of the belief that Emperor was/is a God (a belief he railed against) and has gained an incredible amount of political and military power in spite of several measures trying to prevent just that.

It is a cynical, twisted empire quite distant from the Emperor's hopes and dreams and it's too conservative, politically complicated (seriously, the number of major power-players is ridiculous) and (not to belabour the point here) big to change. There's no point complaining about it though; that's why we love it. If it was a nicer galaxy it wouldn't be so popular - the 40Kverse is where sci-fi fans come to escape the black and white morality of Star Wars and the idealistic dreams of Star Trek.

Plus, it has space marines fighting giant hive-minded bug-lizards, Lovecraftian monsters, primordial gods of evil and space-orcs. How freakin' cool is that? :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Cool enough that I would rather be outside looking in, than a part of it....

Democracy ? How so ? Doesn't the Imperium pick the Governor, who is absolute power on the planet?
 

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I don't think the Emperor was dastardly enough to be anti-happiness, but I also don't think he cared much for the plight of the common man. He was more keen on preserving and advancing humanity as a whole, and not necessarily in ways they'd want to be preserved and advanced if they ever stopped to think about it. A man whose lived for tens of thousands of years probably can't see "small picture" things like poverty, famine, and misery, especially when he's been exposed to those elements throughout his life.
 

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Democracy ? How so ? Doesn't the Imperium pick the Governor, who is absolute power on the planet?
For newly conquered worlds, yes. For established ones they just have to rubber-stamp the successor.

Many world are monarchies, other big fights between noble houses to get their candiate on the throne, some more complex and bizarre systems, and some are actually democracies. Probably - but not definitely - a more Roman system of unfair representation, but still...
 

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The view of the Imperium as one-size-fits-all is rather short-sighted. Certainly, there are places like you describe, places were you are either a noble or a slave, places were you are rich and can have a life in which you make the desicions or are poor and have everything dictated to you, places were people work 18-hr shifts and sleep at their workstation.
But, there are also thousands of worlds like ours, still split into multiple countries with multiple governments. There are worlds that are united under a democraticly elected government, their Imperial Governor elevated by the vote of the populace; there are also places under the thumb of a warlord who is loyal to the Golden Throne and who is assigned a Governor to make sure they toe the line.
The Imperium runs the gamut of methods of government and ways of life- as long as the people hold the Emperor as leader and god, and they follow the rules and pay their tithe, then the Administratum don't care how they get there.

GFP
 

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Take the Eisenhorn omnibus for example. Gudrun sounds like a paradise. Even it's cities sound gorgeous and generally nice to live in. Go to a feral world and it's hell unless your Bear Grylls. Then it's a wet dream.
 

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The imperium of man could most likely be related to Russia during it's years of being red. Everyone feared the government, they worked for the whole and thinking was highly feared by the rulers. Leading to the creation of the KGB (basically the inquisition).
 
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