As we gallivanted around East Berlin, Hendrika rattled on about life on her commune in southern Holland. She talked of being a “free spirit,” and I soon realized that the Dutch translation meant “also does animals.” She bragged of frolicking with any and all types of mammals with no reservations or prejudices. She was the first person I met who viewed anthrax as a sexually-transmitted disease. (And no, I didn’t.)James Bovard, My First Time to East Berlin
The focus of the article is on the oppression of Communist East Berlin, and not on the foolishness of a young Dutch lesbian of 1977.
(Who could well be an aging and respected Dutch Establishment politician in her 60s today.)
No doubt, the Solomani Party would view such activities with great hostility.
But there has always been two ways for totalitarians to rule, as noted by Orwell: play the puritan (as in the book 1984) or play the whore (as in Huxley’s book Brave New World), but – regardless of the style – always insure that all power is kept in the hands of the Right Sort.
(They are not strictly exclusive: the Inner Party of 1984 didn’t mind producing certain forms of pornography to keep the Proles happy, and I wouldn’t be surprised to discover that some Alphas of the Brave New World preferred a more Stoic way of life, to better centralize power in their hands.)
The Imperial Difference
As the Emperor rules the space between the stars, he isn’t really that interested in the sexual activities of a planet’s inhabitants, so long as those perverted psions are properly suppressed.
(The Noble households are different: but most are more focused on governing the activities of their household membership, then on what the commoners are up to.)
And yet… there is an entire alien race within the Imperium, the Droyne, who are quite psionic and yet are not oppressed, suppressed, or undergoing genocide.
This is mainly due to public ignorance: as of 1115, very few Imperials are even aware that there is a single star-spanning Droyne race. And the Imperium isn’t that interested in spreading the news.
But the news is going to spread …if the Imperium lasts long enough. (Points to Archduke Dulinor, on his way to meet Emperor Strephon in 1116.)
The knowledge will leak (in an alternate-universe Imperium) from academics to popular science-oriented chat shows to the general public to the textbooks.
The Imperial Mystics – the analogue to Solomani Free Spirits – are going to start multiplying.
Various Imperial loyalist groups – and one conservative superculture, the Vilani – are going to start demanding Imperial Action against the deepening rot at at the foundations of Imperial Rule.
Relentless investigators and conspiracy theorists are going to reveal the secret repeal of certain Psionic Suppression Orders, something that will shock the public and open an opportunity for various ambitious Ruling Houses to make their move.
(And not just outside the Imperial Family, Duchess Margaret of Delphi, a relative of the Emperor, has a certain hostility to cyborgs. It would be interesting to discover her opinion on psions.
Perhaps she would be shocked – shocked! – at the actions of the Emperor who is, after all, her cousin once removed. Perhaps, for the sake of the family, her dear relative needs to step down and someone untouched by the scandal rise to the Iridium Throne.)
Certainly, the Emperor is going to have to make some far-reaching decisions as the crisis of legitimacy mounts.