Permission is a little different from support. That House Sarum was allowed to try an experiment they’ve been lobbying for for decades is a sign that the Empress was at least considering adopting their preferred policy, but so far that broader policy hasn’t shifted to fall into step with Sarum’s preferences.
As for justice within the Empire, Aritcio Kor-Azor is deceased or I’d have a very famous living counterpoint to hold up.
The Empire isn’t what you continuously seem to want to make it, Arrendis. It’s a civilization, and it’s mostly full of people, who, being people, are complicated in the ways people tend to be. Life is messy. Power is messy. Why do you so often seem to want to make it simple?
You have a realist’s understanding of many of the world’s realities, but you speak like such an idealist, like you think we live in a world of abstract concepts that function like parts in a clock, like you really think “right never makes might.”
Of course it can. There are many kinds of power, Arrendis. That’s one of the few merits the Sabik possess, that understanding. The kind of power you gain from a long-standing reputation for wise and just rulership is maybe more fragile than the kind you get from an armored fist, but it’s power nonetheless, and one type of power can often be traded towards another. Even if one’s followers’ affection for their just and equitable leader is not, itself, might, it’s not hard to transform it-- and that’s even assuming that it’s not recognized by one’s superiors, and rewarded, which isn’t a safe assumption.
You failing to recognize it doesn’t make it less real. It just pries your understanding away from What Is.
Of course, if you really do see but are just engaged in noisy propaganda because you need to devalue rival perspectives, that I can understand.