History Main / BreadAndCircuses

14th Jun '17 9:34:41 PM DustSnitch
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[[{{Dystopia}} Evil governments]] are usually depicted as {{Crapsack World}}s of greedy, corrupt, backstabbing despots who each want to cut themselves the largest piece of the pie before it rots completely, at the expense of the rabble they [[PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny claim to represent]]. When a revolutionary hero rises from the masses and sets everything in its proper place, everyone's happy and all ends well. [[FullCircleRevolution (Or not.)]]

Sometimes, however, the evils of such a government (whatever they may be) may not actually filter down to the lower levels of society. Perhaps the leaders realize that a happy population is usually a supportive one, or maybe they just aren't ''that'' despotic in most of the more utilitarian areas of government. The workers all get paid, everyone has enough to eat, and TheTrainsRunOnTime. And it's not a LotusEaterMachine or an especially efficient PropagandaMachine; the stuff is real. As a consequence, as long as the people are contented, who's going to care about petty things like restrictions of basic freedom, environmental destruction, WMD research, or random abductions...

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[[{{Dystopia}} Evil governments]] are usually depicted as {{Crapsack World}}s of greedy, corrupt, backstabbing despots who each want allowed to cut themselves be evil because they appeal to the largest piece needs and desires of the pie before it rots completely, at the expense of the rabble they [[PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny claim to represent]]. When a revolutionary hero rises from the masses and sets everything in its proper place, everyone's happy and all ends well. [[FullCircleRevolution (Or not.)]]

Sometimes, however, the evils of such a government (whatever they may be) may not actually filter down to the lower levels of society. Perhaps the leaders realize that a happy population is usually a supportive one, or maybe they just aren't ''that'' despotic in most of the more utilitarian areas of government.
general populace.

The workers all get paid, everyone has enough to eat, and TheTrainsRunOnTime. And it's not a LotusEaterMachine or an especially efficient PropagandaMachine; the stuff is real. As a consequence, as long as the people are contented, who's going to care about petty things like restrictions of basic freedom, environmental destruction, WMD research, or random abductions...
10th Jun '17 5:40:19 PM HalcyonDayz
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* In ''VideoGame/SecretofMana'', the protagonists eventually get [[HumanCannonball shot]] into [[TheEmpire Empire lands]]. A GenreSavvy player might be expecting to land in a CrapsackWorld only to find calm mellow music, green pastures, and a mix of ordinary citizens and resistance fighters moving about in a quiet country town. Even the empire soldiers, while strict, appear to be genuinely helpful to the populace. Eventually it's implied that there is peace and happy citizens in all empire towns.

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* In ''VideoGame/SecretofMana'', ''VideoGame/SecretOfMana'', the protagonists eventually get [[HumanCannonball shot]] into [[TheEmpire Empire lands]]. A GenreSavvy player might be expecting to land in a CrapsackWorld only to find calm mellow music, green pastures, and a mix of ordinary citizens and resistance fighters moving about in a quiet country town. Even the empire soldiers, while strict, appear to be genuinely helpful to the populace. Eventually it's implied that there is peace and happy citizens in all empire towns.



* ''Webcomic/DomainTnemrot''. The title stadium is one of these. The people who can afford anything are all entertained with these, or compete with their slaves, and the slaves themselves are generally better off that the horrid scavenging we see at the beginning.

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* ''Webcomic/DomainTnemrot''. The title stadium is one of these. The people who can afford anything are all entertained with these, or compete with their slaves, and the slaves themselves are generally better off that than the horrid scavenging we see at the beginning.
10th Jun '17 5:35:55 PM HalcyonDayz
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** Wealth and Corrida Colliseum is essentially the way Doflamingo is rulling his Dressrosa Kingdom, having turned that once simple people into an egotistical bunch. [[spoiler:They also completly ignore that their country generate immense incomes slave labour and arms trafficking, while dissidents are simply made into puppets and erased from other people's memories.]] As someone says, Dressrosa under Doflamingo's rule divides the people into submissive winners and rebellious losers, which isn't too far from how the World Government works.

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** Wealth and Corrida Colliseum is essentially the way Doflamingo is rulling ruling his Dressrosa Kingdom, having turned that once simple people into an egotistical bunch. [[spoiler:They also completly ignore that their country generate immense incomes slave labour and arms trafficking, while dissidents are simply made into puppets and erased from other people's memories.]] As someone says, Dressrosa under Doflamingo's rule divides the people into submissive winners and rebellious losers, which isn't too far from how the World Government works.



--->'''Pycelle''': It gives the young a chance at glory and the common folk a respite from ther woes.

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--->'''Pycelle''': It gives the young a chance at glory and the common folk a respite from ther their woes.



* ''VideoGame/RomeTotalWar'' of course, fits the trope as (among other factors) public order depends on the frecuency of gladiatoral games and races and how high are taxes.

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* ''VideoGame/RomeTotalWar'' of course, fits the trope as (among other factors) public order depends on the frecuency frequency of gladiatoral gladiatorial games and races races, and how high are taxes.tax rates.



* The Azadi Empire in ''VideoGame/DreamfallTheLongestJourney'' aren't entirely liked by the people they now rule, but most people dont' want to speak up specifically ''because'' the Azadi empire supplies them with paying jobs, food, and a roof over their heads.

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* The Azadi Empire in ''VideoGame/DreamfallTheLongestJourney'' aren't entirely liked by the people they now rule, but most people dont' don't want to speak up specifically ''because'' the Azadi empire supplies them with paying jobs, food, and a roof over their heads.



* Deconstructed and parodied by [[http://www.theonion.com/articles/48-syrian-civilians-massacred-during-claire-danes,29666/ this]] [[Website/TheOnion Onion]] article describing a massacre of 48 civillians in Syria during the Emmy awards with the headline "48 Syrian Civilians Massacred During Claire Danes' Emmy Award Acceptance Speech"

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* Deconstructed and parodied by [[http://www.theonion.com/articles/48-syrian-civilians-massacred-during-claire-danes,29666/ this]] [[Website/TheOnion Onion]] article describing a massacre of 48 civillians civilians in Syria during the Emmy awards with the headline "48 Syrian Civilians Massacred During Claire Danes' Emmy Award Acceptance Speech"



* [[DeconstructedTrope Deconstructed]] In ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats2011'' the {{Catfolk}}-populated [[TheEmpire empire]] of Thundera has the severity of its decay, UrbanSegregation and FantasticRacism underscored by contrasting [[FantasticGhetto the slums]], and the fates of Thundera's prisoners-of-war with the extravagant entertainments and feasts enjoyed by the upper city's deeply complacent BlueBlood. They enjoy lavish banquets and watching BloodSport GladiatorGames in a [[TheThunderdome giant amphitheatre]], which a fêted general singles out as one of "the little things in life [I] miss the most." while slum-dwelling {{Artful Dodger}}s must pick pockets to buy food, and hungry LizardFolk P.O.W.s, [[MadeASlave enslaved]] for the crime of raiding the expansionist Cats' crops, must contend with the most dangerous implications of medieval StockPunishment. Small wonder the Cats fail to see their fall on the horizon...

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* [[DeconstructedTrope Deconstructed]] In ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats2011'' the {{Catfolk}}-populated [[TheEmpire empire]] of Thundera has the severity of its decay, UrbanSegregation and FantasticRacism underscored by contrasting [[FantasticGhetto the slums]], and the fates of Thundera's prisoners-of-war with the extravagant entertainments and feasts enjoyed by the upper city's deeply complacent BlueBlood. They enjoy lavish banquets and watching BloodSport GladiatorGames in a [[TheThunderdome giant amphitheatre]], which a fêted general singles out as one of "the little things in life [I] miss the most." while slum-dwelling {{Artful Dodger}}s must pick pockets to buy food, and hungry LizardFolk P.O.W.s, [[MadeASlave enslaved]] for the crime of raiding the expansionist Cats' crops, must contend with the most dangerous implications of medieval StockPunishment. Small wonder the Cats fail to see their fall on the horizon...



** The WesternAnimation/BugsBunny cartoon "Roman Legion Hare," where Centurian guard Sam goes after Bugs as the token Christian to be thrown to the lions in the Coliseum.

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** The WesternAnimation/BugsBunny cartoon "Roman Legion Hare," where Centurian Centurion guard Sam goes after Bugs as the token Christian to be thrown to the lions in the Coliseum.
31st May '17 6:40:33 AM thatmadork
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Added DiffLines:

* According to Creator/KarlMarx, this is how capitalist economies work. He famously defined the ideology of a given society as stemming from the base (capital) and the super-structure (owners of capital) built on top of it, with the ideology ensuring that StatusQuoIsGod. This ideology can include anything and everything from appeals to religion, imagined past glory, military adventurism, racist hostility to immigrants and others stealing your jobs and women and when all else fails, ConspicuousConsumption, all of which to ensure that [[WeAreStrugglingTogether the working class are divided from uniting for their common interests]].
15th Apr '17 5:39:30 PM nombretomado
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* In ''SonicUnderground'', the series shows how Robotnik can afford to stay in power. The upper-class aristocrats can either provide his funding, or lose their land and privileges and risk roboticization.

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* In ''SonicUnderground'', ''WesternAnimation/SonicUnderground'', the series shows how Robotnik can afford to stay in power. The upper-class aristocrats can either provide his funding, or lose their land and privileges and risk roboticization.



** The BugsBunny cartoon "Roman Legion Hare," where Centurian guard Sam goes after Bugs as the token Christian to be thrown to the lions in the Coliseum.
** HannaBarbera's 1972 cartoon ''TheRomanHolidays'' is a dom-com in the days of Bread and Circuses.

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** The BugsBunny WesternAnimation/BugsBunny cartoon "Roman Legion Hare," where Centurian guard Sam goes after Bugs as the token Christian to be thrown to the lions in the Coliseum.
** HannaBarbera's Creator/HannaBarbera's 1972 cartoon ''TheRomanHolidays'' is a dom-com in the days of Bread and Circuses.
3rd Apr '17 4:58:17 AM Doug86
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* ComicBook/LexLuthor of ''{{Superman}}'' fame is known to do a great deal for the city Metropolis and the country in general. Of course, he is trying to covertly rule the planet and attempts to kill the world's greatest hero out of sheer pettiness every weekend, but everyone's gotta have a hobby.

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* ComicBook/LexLuthor of ''{{Superman}}'' ''Franchise/{{Superman}}'' fame is known to do a great deal for the city Metropolis and the country in general. Of course, he is trying to covertly rule the planet and attempts to kill the world's greatest hero out of sheer pettiness every weekend, but everyone's gotta have a hobby.
24th Mar '17 1:50:54 AM WillBGood
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* The Studio in ''Literature/TheActsOfCaine'' is a company that funds the most extreme live action role playing games ever by sending highly trained "Actors" over to an alternate universe populated with creatures like dragons and elves, making them have Adventures, and selling the recorded memories. In Overworld (the alternate universe in question), they are known to the locals as Aktiri, a kind of human-resembling demon that brings wanton slaughter, and Earth is known by some Overworld religions as the True Hell. This is because the actors do all the stuff fantasy heroes do - [[DesignatedHero looting tombs, murdering people, exacting genocide on unpopular species, starting wars, etc.]] [[BloodSport The Adventures]] sold by the Studio are [[HumansAreTheRealMonsters the best-selling entertainment in human history]] and keep people from questioning a global feudal government that operates on a ruthless corporate caste system and keeps nine out of ten people in near wage slavery. [[SickSadWorld It's one of those stories.]]

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* The Studio in ''Literature/TheActsOfCaine'' is a company that funds the most extreme live action role playing games ever by sending highly trained "Actors" over to an alternate universe populated with creatures like dragons and elves, making them have Adventures, and selling the recorded memories. In Overworld (the alternate universe in question), they are known to the locals as Aktiri, a kind of human-resembling demon that brings wanton slaughter, and Earth is known by some Overworld religions as the True Hell. This is because the actors do all the stuff fantasy heroes do - [[DesignatedHero looting tombs, murdering people, exacting genocide on unpopular species, starting wars, etc.]] [[BloodSport The Adventures]] sold by the Studio are [[HumansAreTheRealMonsters the best-selling entertainment in human history]] and keep people from questioning a global feudal government that operates on a ruthless corporate caste system and keeps nine out of ten people in near wage slavery. [[SickSadWorld [[CrapsackWorld It's one of those stories.]]
19th Mar '17 6:48:47 PM fgenzo159
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* The TropeNamer was AncientRome, where the poor would receive free wheat and have gladiatorial shows staged for them to keep them happy. Although it's often said that "the Emperor" handed out the bread (or wheat) to placate his subjects, the practice predates the foundation of the Empire by ''centuries'' and the food was rarely if ever actually handed out by the Emperor in person. (The emperor, however, ''did'' incur the cost of the entertainment, or at least his treasury did -- and since the state funds and the Emperor's personal expenses both came out of said treasury, the distinction is essentially academic.) Depicted in ''Film/{{Gladiator}}'' (see above). It's worth noting that the it occasionally backfired [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nika_riots spectacularly]].

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* The TropeNamer was AncientRome, where the poor would receive free wheat and have gladiatorial shows staged for them to keep them happy. Although it's often said that "the Emperor" handed out the bread (or wheat) to placate his subjects, the practice predates the foundation of the Empire by ''centuries'' and the food was rarely if ever actually handed out by the Emperor in person. (The emperor, however, ''did'' incur the cost of the entertainment, or at least his treasury did -- and since the state funds and the Emperor's personal expenses both came out of said treasury, the distinction is essentially academic.) Depicted in ''Film/{{Gladiator}}'' (see above).
**
It's worth noting that the it occasionally backfired [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amphitheatre_of_Pompeii occasionnally]] backfired, sometimes [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nika_riots spectacularly]].
10th Mar '17 11:32:30 AM gb00393
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** No feudal house practices and demonstrates its effectiveness better than the Tyrells. Their home, the Reach, is a fertile region in Westeros famous for being the center of chivalry and romance. Margaery Tyrell, prospective and future Queen, wins the hearts and minds of her subjects by personally bringing food to war orphans. Her grandmother Olenna Tyrell outright tells Tyrion and Tywin Lannister that people need distractions like a royal wedding in the middle of wartime to turn their attention from the problems of starvation and poor governance.

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** No feudal house practices and demonstrates its effectiveness better than the Tyrells. Their home, the Reach, is a fertile region in Westeros famous for being the center of chivalry and romance. This fertility allows them a lot of food and money to throw around on extravagances for their people to keep them happy and satisfied. Margaery Tyrell, prospective and future Queen, wins the hearts and minds of her subjects by personally bringing food to war orphans. Her grandmother Olenna Tyrell outright tells Tyrion and Tywin Lannister that people need distractions like a royal wedding in the middle of wartime to turn their attention from the problems of starvation and poor governance.
8th Mar '17 3:56:44 PM nombretomado
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* Akin to the ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' example above, in ''MegaManZX'', Serpent is the head of the Slither Inc., which gives the city the power source and protection from outer harm (namely Mavericks), which gives him [[VillainWithGoodPublicity a good PR]]. Beneath all that, though, [[spoiler: he actually staged all those Maverick outbreaks by his minions, and he's also planning to dig up the ArtifactOfDoom Model W for his personal power.]]

to:

* Akin to the ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' example above, in ''MegaManZX'', ''VideoGame/MegaManZX'', Serpent is the head of the Slither Inc., which gives the city the power source and protection from outer harm (namely Mavericks), which gives him [[VillainWithGoodPublicity a good PR]]. Beneath all that, though, [[spoiler: he actually staged all those Maverick outbreaks by his minions, and he's also planning to dig up the ArtifactOfDoom Model W for his personal power.]]
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