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Well I loathe the weapons industry and how much power they have myself so I'd just call that karma.
Not really karma, more shutting down something that has defined mankind since the dawn of human civilization: our tendency to fight one another.
They can adapt to use their skills elsewhere. For example, the city I live in is famous for producing tanks during WW 2, and the people who made them and the plants where they were made were normaly making agricultural machines. So, like this, but in reverse.
The greater good can easily devolve or intentionally throw away lives pointlessly, De Su 2 did this as well.
Minako who kept insisting on the Greater Good kept throwing away her subordinates lives like they're nothing against the Triangulum, but she was nice so the characters don't take offense to her callous treatment of people.
Meanwhile Yamato makes it clear he hates every single person working under him, but doesn't pointlessly throw away lives and gives then tasks that they should survive doing, but his men also tend to be Too Dumb to Live. But he's also a jerk so it's easier to justify hating him.
Edited by OmegaRadiance on Jun 7th 2019 at 1:17:26 AM
In general, I, well... we're living an a very cynical era right now, and I'm kind of sick that virtually every "ideal" society I see in fiction has some sort of huge catch, often something related to eugenics. I feel that sends an anti-progressive, almost right-wing message; "Don't progress too fast or you'll run off a cliff; be content with the flawed society you live in now!" I find that message uncomfortable the in an age where oligarchs like Putin and Trump run roughshod over everyone else. Is a fictional society that is legitimately portrayed as something that would be worth striving for in real life too much to ask?
This is why I really like Ronaldo's ending.
No that is a perfectly valid response, but the pros can outweigh the cons.
That's why the Law+ and Chaos+ despite their cons are fundamentally better than Neutral+, because they fall more on the idealistic side to Neutral+ and Old Law/Chaos being heavily cynical and extreme.
For all SM Ts faults it's not as bad at doing this as Fate is. Where each Lostbelt involving humans just seems to find new weighs to suck.
Persona being its own thing and needing the status quo means that will never happen, but as a spinoff I have come to accept that.
Edited by OmegaRadiance on Jun 7th 2019 at 1:21:19 AM
Funny you say that, because I kinda read the opposite message into it. Yes, our society is flawed and a lot of terrible things happen, and you solve precisely none of it by just handing the power to people whose sole merit to it is claiming to be "antisystem" or "anti establishment" and who promise they'll make everything better by using this miracle solution nobody seemingly thought of before. that's how trump got elected. That's what putin is selling to his people.
The idea that world peace lead to stagnation isn't just a made up thing by writers either. All of the greatest achievmeents of mankind bar a few are reponses to a problem. When there's no problem to solve with an idea, the idea disappears. People in Bagdad invented batteries a millenia and a half before everyone else did, and then promptly forgot the idea because they lived in a time where there was no applications for it, no conflict to solve with it. People were fundamentally wrong about how to scout good baseball players for a whole century, and only corrected themselves when someone started applying the correct principles and beat them. Most countries in europe lived the best period of their existence economically speaking right after world war 2 because there was everything to rebuild. It's not that flimsy to claim that we are a very reactive species and not a very proactive one.
World peace,on the other hand, is a short-hand for the emobdiment of no problems. It makes sense that in a wolrd with no problem, there's no need for development.
" wouldn't everyone living for others and working together would result in progress? New disease cures, ways of fixing the environment..."
Actually, I think that's equating development and happiness. World peace would probably lead to overall more happiness, but the correlation between happiness and development is discutable. I'm not convinced we as a society are fundamentally more happy than we were centuries ago. Sure, our life conditions have gone up, but so have our expectations of what we could have, and the variety of the problems we are faced with.
I also think the examples you name are poorly chosen. I have no doubt that the people on SJR law + solved climate change and disease because they are immediate problems existing. But that's it. once the immediate problems disappear, the development slows down. It's much harder to be invested in space conquest if there's no incentive to leave your home. The need for technology to keep improving isn't something most people need and, objectively, we could do perfectly fine with the level of our computers for a very long time.
On a more personnal level, I don't subscribe to the idea of world peace because I think that mankind just doesn't function in a way that will ever lead to it, or would even desire it. the concept of conflict is what drives every one at some basic level. just because the world as a whole has a very fucked up rapport to it as we do now doesn't change that. The idea of a conflictless world is antithetic to that notion.
But hey, you know what Death in discworld says : You need to believe in things that aren't true, because that's how they become. You're valid to want affirmation of your beliefs somewhere in fiction.
As a side note, I'd also point out that mankind's development slowing down wouldn't be a bad thing at all. Climate change and resources crisis are a direct result of us evolving too fast and too erratically to control what we're doing. That's like perpetual growth in economy : with each passing day, it's more and more questoonnable whether or not that's a desirable thing at all.
Edited by Yumil on Jun 7th 2019 at 11:40:16 AM
That's an excellent response, well done.
The idea that a utopian society would have the downside of being utterly stagnant isn't unique to SMT? Huh; that's the only place I've seen it.
Brave New World is the codifier for that. People lump it with 1984 and animal farm for forewarnings of Dystopian derives, but when you read it and how the author sees it, it's very much supposed to be an Utopia with a severe but hard-to-challenge vision of Blue and Orange Morality, not a Dystopia. People are happy in it, it's just that everything it takes to reach this is so alien to us that it's impossible to subscribe to the idea of it. Pretty much the idea behind law in most SM Ts, although personally it's Chaos + in SJR that elicits this response from me on a conceptual level - The end result is good, but I can't for the life of me subscribe to the chain of choices that lead to it.
I don't have that many example to name right now off the top of my head, but the idea that utopia are ultimately self-destructives is a very old concept. Arthur C.Clarke's novel Childhood's End is a great example of it, and a pretty old one, that claims and goesi nto details how utopia will eventually falls apart, down to people trying to create an utopia within an utopia that tries to replicate the little flaws of the old society, only "under tolerable levels" that ends up not working either.
edit : oh hey, the very trope page of this novel pretty much spells it. "Thanks to the Overlords' technology, poverty is a thing of the past, crime is way down, and people don't have to work at jobs that they don't want to do. Yet as things get better and better, things get less and less Utopian. Instead, characters like Jan Rodricks and Ben Salomon have to deal with 'the supreme enemy of all Utopiasóboredom'. Although only noticed by a few, it leads to stagnation in art and culture."
the thing dates from 1950, so the idea is essentially at least as old as world wars. Brave new world is from the thirties.
(And, disturbingly enough, Most analysts agress that our world as it evolves is taking more cues from Brave new world than from 1984. People are kept in check by fullfilling their needs, as engineered as they are, not by fear of repression at every turn by an omnipotent regime)
Edited by Yumil on Jun 7th 2019 at 12:05:35 PM
Thanks; your arguments really are excellent. Discussions like this are one of the upsides of being an SMT fan. I can't believe it slipped my mind that promising to be against the system and "fix everything" is exactly what Putin et al. do to gain power to begin with.
Come to think of it, that's probably why most fictional utopias have a big "catch" - because there have been plenty of real people who have been all "What's a few million deaths in exchange for paradise?"
That's probably the real-world inspiration, yes. I think there's also a philosophical dimension in there. Utopia/world peace embodies an absence of conflict, or at least any major ones. Conflict is rooted in differences of opinions and interests. In short, conflict is rooted in the concept of Free Will, the capacity for people to disagree with someone else. And beyond personnal preferences, the notion of free will is held pretty high by our society, and it fundamentally implies the capacity to make bad decisions. Therefore, an utopia without conflicts tends to indirectly reject the very concept of free will.
That's probably the root for the The Evils of Free Will trope, and why mass mind wiping is the trademark method of SMT law and consorts- and another explanation of why free will is intrinsically associated with chaos.
Ultimately, I don't think that admitting that society can't reach utopia is a right-wing idea. "Our society is fundamentally flawed and Our set of moral values are the least worst and all changes will make it worse" is the right-wing version of the idea, while the sensible version of the idea would be that "society is inherently flawed, but it doesn't make the notion of fighting to improve it worthless, and it might actually be better this way because countless people fullfills their life through that process."
Kinda Like that speech that Mayuri gives to Szayel, since I know you've read Bleach. "Perfection(or here, Utopia) is synonymous with Despair, because if it existed, there'd no longer be a place for knowledge, talent, creativity and improvement. There will always be better than everything that came before, but it can't be perfection. The scientist keep fighting with this paradox, and he actually has to enjoy that struggle to succeed."
I don't really know what I'm doing quoting bleach in philosophical arguments. Probably should go to bed, actually. but Hey, I guess I could've chosen much worse.
Edited by Yumil on Jun 7th 2019 at 4:44:45 PM
Probably best not to quote who is arguably the worst person in the entire series but yeah, sounds argument.
I will say, however, I still think works that essentially argue "Maintain the status quo as it is no matter how flawed, because trying to improve it either won't work or will require paying an obviously immoral cost" are far too numerous.
Edited by HamburgerTime on Jun 7th 2019 at 10:26:46 AM
Even Game of Thrones does the "immoral cost" for it.
Too bad italso was really dumbin its handling of said message.
This is why I wanted the White Walkers to win.
Still genuinely surprised that didn't happen.
I guess he wasn't ready for the random Arya. But lets be honest: who really is?
....Um...so who's hoping for SMTV at E3?
Just to defend it a bit, I do believe the character suffers from being retooled into a antiheroic figure after the first arc that played him 100% villainous, and that aside from that and some bits of very questionnable comedy, he could have been the local equivalent to House M.D as a unrepentant jerk, but a jerk who's disturbingly right and never outright villainous, and that speech kinda epitomizes that. Essentially, the manga was using interesting tropes on the wrong character.
Also, I don't think it's that problematic to quote villainous characters. Kimblee is arguably one of the most evil characters of FMA and he makes a disturbingly huge amount of good points. Jerkass Has a Point and Villain Has a Point are tropes for a reason.
I'd say something about how quoting bleach at all is probably not the best thing but starting flamewars just for the sake of taking the piss out of the shortcomings of bleach isn't worth it.
Edited by Yumil on Jun 8th 2019 at 6:28:13 PM
Meeeeeeeeeeh, no SMTV at E3. I'm guessing that means it's at least another two years off.
A little disappointed there wasn't V news, but eh, that's fine. Got plenty of other games to play while I wait.
Especially from Nintendo.
Apparently its only been in full development for about a year, and given that their doing new engine on a new console I suppose we should expect it to take a while.
That said, while I'm not surprised at the lack of a trailer, at least some comment on its progress would be much appreciated.
Favorite settings in the series? I feel like this is one aspect of the franchise that is consistently aces. The Schwartzwelt, Neo-Tokyo, the Vortex World, the Tokyo Beneath the Dome, the Junkyard... the SMTI Tokyo is kind of a weak link (pretty generic post-apocalyptic setting), but hey, it was the beginning.
I really like Under the Dome Tokyo and the Schwartzwelt as well.
I already said this before, but I love the various Makais from the Devil Children games.
As well as Valhalla in the Devil Children Light and Dark anime.
I love them too. Heaven was really interesting in design in White Book too.
I honestly want to see the Devil Children designs utilized a lot more in other Shin Megami Tensei games. So far the only one who's made a break is King Frost. Actually, that reminds me, why haven't we seen more of Queen Frost?
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How well does it match the trope?