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View Full Version : Tau indoctrination and how to get out of it.



Shiakou
11-10-2007, 11:07
First off, I would like give credit where it's due. Many of the ideas I'm about to talk about came from the piece of fanfiction known as The Firewarriors Guide to the Galaxy.

http://forum.spacebattles.com/showthread.php?t=91088

That said;

1. Fire Caste being the ones most directly in contact with hostile enemies, and being the ones usually subjected to SNAFU environments, would it make sense that disillusionment is not limited to a few like Farsight, but is rather widespread among veteran Fire Warriors?

2. Even if Farsight, O Kais, or some other disgruntled one tried to publish something that the Ethereals would find "not for the Greater Good", is it possible for it to be even published? What stops the Ethreals from claiming that it's just propaganda under guise?

3. What happens to the less "enthusiastic" members of Tau society? Do they get along fine as long as they give lip service to Tau ideology, or are they dealt with in some manner, ie re-education camps? Do Tau actively hunt for naysayers like the Inquisition does, or do they just punish them where they find them?

mistformsquirrel
11-10-2007, 11:17
Well the first thing is - we don't 'know' by any stretch that the Tau are actually under any sort of control beyond standard societal ones. I'm not saying they *aren't* either - but there's only hints one way and the other; so one really can't make the statement that "Yes, Tau are practically brainwashed" - which is something I see quite a bit.

That said:

1) I think Fire Caste are definitely the prime candidates for disillusionment with the Greater Good and the Ethereals. Soldiers see some of the most horrible and painful sights that can be seen; a soldier in the 41st millenium is dealing with even more horrors than a modern day one at that. The Tau also ostensibly actually care about their people a great deal - this could easily lead some Fire caste members to become embittered toward the system if they feel that that system abused their trust (and subsequently got their friends and comrades killed).

I'd add however, that I'd imagine an Air Caste pilot who isn't able to be recovered might suffer the same thing. Of course such a pilot isn't likely to be alive long, and even if they survive, doesn't generally mean much to the Empire as a whole (when it comes to material and such).

2) This very much depends on how you see Tau society. Since it has a dedicated leadership caste, one can infer its likely not a democracy - at least not in the sense most modern governments consider it. Nevertheless, its entirely possible they would allow such things to be published, because the appearance of evenhandedness and freedom can sometimes be more important than an iron grip. This is of course assuming the Ethereals don't genuinely care about freedom, which they may very well do. I'll add, even if they allow it to be published, there's little reason to believe they wouldn't issue statements against it.

Think of how modern governments say things about books people write, when they don't agree with them. They call them lies or propaganda, or half truths, or say they were taken out of context, etc... I expect the Ethereals would likely do the same; or similar.

3) Again, this depends on what we think of Tau society as actually being. If you really believe the Greater Good is just about everything it claims to be, then I expect dissidents probably are ignored unless they actually breach the law in some fashion. If you on the other hand, believe Tau operate in some sort of cold war Soviet style state; then dissidents are likely 're-educated' or tossed into asylums; or sent to work, out of sight, out of mind.

Bregalad
11-10-2007, 13:55
Well, "modern governments" in e.g. USA (Bush) and Germany differ a lot in what they consider democratic (and human rights), and Ethereals enjoy a lot more support than politicians in both countries! ;)

But I agree that we don't know much and have to conclude from hints.

But seeing that the Tau Empire can unite very divers Xeno races like Kroot, humans and Vespids without brutal subjugation (more than any other 40k Empire), the society seems stable enough to tolerate different opinions without starting to crumble. Remember that for Tau society itself it is rational and sound to be led by Ethereals, as the bloody Mont'au civil war is still in the minds of everyone.

Invader Nails
12-10-2007, 00:33
I imagine that if any Tau wrote and published some subversive literature, some revered Ethereal would immediately write a response to it which would immediately negate all of its societal effect. Sort of like Zen stories where one guy is militantly opposed to another, only to be instantly converted by a few of his adversary's well-chosen words of wisdom.

trigger
12-10-2007, 00:37
I think the best way to get out of it would be to grow a nose some toesand a couple of fingers
although you may be executed for being a mutant!

How ironic would that be!:evilgrin:

Khaine's Messenger
12-10-2007, 04:24
1. Fire Caste being the ones most directly in contact with hostile enemies, and being the ones usually subjected to SNAFU environments, would it make sense that disillusionment is not limited to a few like Farsight, but is rather widespread among veteran Fire Warriors?

The membership of the Fire Caste with the Empire has been presented, at times, to be more tenuous than any of the other castes. I don't mean to say that there's the very real possibility of a coup or a civil war, far from it....it's just that they live a rather visceral lifestyle and have to live with themselves after killing and being killed. Most of the line troopers would tend to think the problem is with themselves at first, not any intrinsic problem with the philosophy of the Tau'va...after all, a broken blade can still cut, and higher-ups will give you lectures about how the Sio't meditations change over time or how "it doesn't matter how far from the path you are so long as you act in the name of the Greater Good," etc. Veterans may tend to be cynical, but most will try to the point of madness to rationalize their actions within the framework of the Greater Good and let the Empire point them at fresh targets.

Those who really think of it as a broken principle are few and far between precisely because it is tauted to be an inclusive philosophy.


2. Even if Farsight, O Kais, or some other disgruntled one tried to publish something that the Ethereals would find "not for the Greater Good", is it possible for it to be even published? What stops the Ethreals from claiming that it's just propaganda under guise?

Its thesis will out itself and be recognized for what it is. I doubt it would become immediately discredited or censored...rather, it would just fail to rouse the populace because reaction to it would be lukewarm. That, and the lack of canonical meaning of what the Greater Good is means that trying to pick a definition to attack is a chore in itself.


3. What happens to the less "enthusiastic" members of Tau society?

As long as they keep getting along with society and can function competently in their environment, I doubt they are given much second thought. The only interesting exception would be those that go "monat"...they're the ones who generally become "apart" from the whole and strive to find purpose in an arrangement that is usually considered self-destructive. Those that start advocating armed revolution or just go crazy will be treated as mentally ill.

stormblade
12-10-2007, 06:24
I imagine that if any Tau wrote and published some subversive literature, some revered Ethereal would immediately write a response to it which would immediately negate all of its societal effect. Sort of like Zen stories where one guy is militantly opposed to another, only to be instantly converted by a few of his adversary's well-chosen words of wisdom.

- Do we have any fluff that states that the fire caste warriors even know how to write .:confused:

Voleron
12-10-2007, 06:43
- Do we have any fluff that states that the fire caste warriors even know how to write .:confused:

Uhh... Mission reports? Tactical analyses?

There are plenty of things that a Fire caste soldier would need to read/write for.

In pure fluff terms (And not just common sense), Then isn't there all that stuff that Commander Puretide wrote? Plus, a few WD/Chapter Approved dialogues in which Fire Caste Commanders are clearly shown to be Literate.

stormblade
12-10-2007, 06:54
I did think of all that myself(naturally after I posted:eyebrows:) but then I recalled all that they are alien to us so they might communicate and issue orders in a different way(I'm not too versed in Tau fluff) so I left the question there.

A bit off topic I also wandered about the whole issue of Tau literature and everything- it's also worth noting that simply being able to read and write are not the only perquisites for writing a text that could be called a theses which brings out the issue of outside military fire caste education.

Has this aspect of Tau background been totally ignored?

Shiakou
12-10-2007, 07:04
I did think of all that myself(naturally after I posted:eyebrows:) but then I recalled all that they are alien to us so they might communicate and issue orders in a different way(I'm not too versed in Tau fluff) so I left the question there.

Dark Crusade has written Tau reports. Canon or not, there's nothing to dispute it.


A bit off topic I also wandered about the whole issue of Tau literature and everything- it's also worth noting that simply being able to read and write are not the only perquisites for writing a text that could be called a theses which brings out the issue of outside military fire caste education.

Has this aspect of Tau background been totally ignored?

Not entirely. One would expect that a Shas'O would be quite versed in the ways of warfare and thus, assuming that he is literate, could write such a thesis.

stormblade
12-10-2007, 08:49
Not entirely. One would expect that a Shas'O would be quite versed in the ways of warfare and thus, assuming that he is literate, could write such a thesis.

- It depends whether by literate you mean just knowing how to write or knowing not only how to write but also be familiar with more complex forms of language use.

Mr Zephy
12-10-2007, 18:30
Well, many modern soldiers have written their memoirs, war poets ect.

GreenDracoBob
12-10-2007, 20:14
I believe the first codex mentioned how Fire Caste veterans, at a certain age, can retire and become part of a more political area of their art. This would probably require a bit more advanced literary level. Also, Tau education is probably comparable to modern education (or Nazi education if you so wish). Even a military education would be similar to a system like officer's school, I would think.

If a Fire Warrior saw the horrors of the universe, it would most likely convince him that he needed to spread the Greater Good to the Mon'tau that is the galaxy. Deaths and injuries could weaken his belief in the Tau empire, or it could make him that more resolute to prevent such a thing happening again.

In the end, it's up to the individual. People fought in the Vietnam War, some decided that they were done with the like and became pacifists or active cynics of the country. Others volunteered for more service.

Shiakou
13-10-2007, 03:54
- It depends whether by literate you mean just knowing how to write or knowing not only how to write but also be familiar with more complex forms of language use.

Again, they have written reports, that a Commander would need to see, since they're made up of battle reports, requests for intel and reinforcements, and such.

Kasonic
13-10-2007, 04:06
I assume the Tau would have educational systems similar to our own. They are more advanced than us, after all :D

I assume History would be the primary subject. Knowing all the great deeds and successes of all the Castes would serve to greatly reinforce the Greater Good and their societal cohesiveness.

Even if they are under a pheromonal domination by the Ethereals, the Tau would be genuinely patriotic as well, something reinforced by higher education.

Bregalad
13-10-2007, 09:35
Inspired by the documentary "Bowling for Columbine" here is a parallel question that might help us:

Why has the Canadian society considerable less murder and violence than the USA?
1.) Inhuman indoctrination telling them that killing people is a bad thing?
2.) Terror regime suppressing freedom to massacre and brutally enforcing friendliness?
3.) Mind control system?
4.) Pheromones and drugs?

And above all, how can we get the Canadians to shoot people like every decent man should do? ;)

Shiakou
13-10-2007, 09:55
I don't think it matters since Canada's not a real country anyway. :D

stormblade
13-10-2007, 10:21
I don't think it matters since Canada's not a real country anyway. :D

- Real or not it still has more territories than US of A.:evilgrin: