Once again, it is the anniversary of Empress Jamyl’s Historic Announcement that emancipated a significant number of the Minmatar slaves in the Empire, and that the Empress said was a sign of things to come in a New Age of Reason and Enlightenment.
Empress Jamyl 1, may she be at peace, died before this came to pass.
Empress Catiz 1, long may she reign, has not yet issued any new edicts on the matter.
As a new year approaches, it is worth remembering the words of Saint Ageroth: “Happiness is not measured by what you hold in your hand, but in your heart”
An honest day’s work, pride in a job well done, expanding one’s knowledge, these things should be more important than how many or how shiny one’s possessions are.
Honesty though, that’s the thing. I am Amarr, one of the Faithful and, in time, will be a minor Holder. There is no point denying those things.
And what of the Empire ? The Empire that professes love for all the Faithful, but binds them in a rigid society, enslaves strangers and foreigners, and always thirsts for more. More space, more productivity, more citizens. What does that mean ?
The honest truth is that there are few, if any, excuses that can be made for how the Empire is run. A rigid society with a hierarchy based on belief cannot be restructured and rebuilt easily where it doesn’t work effectively. A society supported by slavery allows itself to discriminate against people on a fundamental level. And an empire that is expansionist is impossible to treat as a peaceful entity. Those are the honest facts of the Empire.
Being a capsuleer has perhaps allowed me to step outside the Empire, for a while, and to gain perspective.
The hierarchy and belief… for the unrighteous, it is just another layer of deceit and scheming to hide in. for the righteous though, it gives ideals, something to aspire to, a sense of a greater good. As Saint Ageroth said. Without faith, there is nothing but material wealth, and unrestricted pursuit of that brings only desolation and ruin.
Slavery, the whole system of it, is unfair, brutal, and horrific. There is no denying this. Even so, slavery exists everywhere in New Eden. Not in the trite way that some Gallente would say, that all work is drudgery. Every society has those at the bottom, a class of people who are forced, compelled, required, to do the most menial or demeaning jobs and are punished in some way if they do not. They call it different things - poverty, disaffection, renegade, but all of them obscured the reality that the people affected have no choice and never would.
The Empire though, is at least honest about that, and codifies that reality, in law and scripture. Slavery is honest about the limits that a slave lives under, and does not maintain a false promise of freedom where there is no freedom to be had.
A slave may remain a slave, but through honest work, their children or children’s children could become free, unquestionably. There is a necessity to force people into doing the menial or demeaning roles, because otherwise the rest of the citizens would suffer, from those roles not being fulfilled. Slavery does that openly, but with a clearly delineated way out for those that earn it. The economic systems of other powers of New Eden, such as the Gallente cannot sincerely guarantee freedom for the lowest of their citizens. And so, the Empire is honest about this. Unfair, unjust, though honest.
And if this is all necessary, then, expansion is then also necessary. The Empire needs land, and people, and for those people to work that land in whatever way is necessary to ensure food, housing, and safety for everyone else.
It is not right, it is not just, but if this is what has to be done, to provide structure for society, food for the hungry, housing and safety for all, then it is the least worst way to do it that has yet been found.
The Empress Jamyl I, may she be at peace, promised there’d be a new age, where this would not be necessary, that this age was coming soon, that it was almost upon us. The Empress Jamyl I though, is dead.
And that’s the honest truth about everything. There is no point denying it.
May Saint Ageroth bless you all in the coming year.