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View Full Version : Why do people call the Imperium a dictatorship?



SpaceTiger
05-10-2011, 05:22
As stated in the title, why do people call the Imperium of man a dictatorship. I mean, yes, during the Great Crusade the Imperium was a dictatorship but not anymore. It is a feudal society whose Emperor is practically dead and hasn't done anything for 10,000 years. Its run by the High Lords of Terra which is a council consisting of every interest group in the Imperium or at least the most powerful ones, their the ones of actually rule the Imperium while saying that everything they've done is the "Will of the Emperor". So the Imperium is run by an Oligarchy and not a dictatorship.

So again why people confuse? Don't they know that dictatorships mean one all powerful leader and Oligarchy's mean a group of powerful leaders running the government.

ForgottenLore
05-10-2011, 05:34
I don't recall ever hearing people call it a dictatorship, usually I see them call it a totalitarian government.

Your right though, if I were to put a name on it, totalitarian feudal oligarchy sounds about right.

terradax
05-10-2011, 05:38
I don't recall ever hearing people call it a dictatorship

This. Never heard of it.

herbtarkel
05-10-2011, 05:41
This. Never heard of it.


I concur! By it's nature of diversity, the Imperium cannot be a dictatorship.

spurker
05-10-2011, 06:29
I have never heard of it being called a dictatorship either! However, diversity does not equal lack of dictatorship herbtarkel :)

Polaria
05-10-2011, 06:42
Although it has to be said that for the 99,999% of Imperial citizens the Imperium is their local planet, its governor and its political system. Which, in most cases, means you have one governor ruling and everyone else obeying.

Lord-Caerolion
05-10-2011, 07:23
Yes, but only if that governor is a dictator. On some planets, the position could be democratic, or tied to whichever merchant house is currently the strongest, and so on.

Inquisitor Aaron
05-10-2011, 07:29
Never heard it called a dictatorship. But the topic has come up at my local store quite recently and we thought it was a Theocratic Oligarchy.

Just my 2 cents.

Sami
05-10-2011, 08:07
I see people have been reading Wikipedia ;)

MetalGecko23
05-10-2011, 08:09
I assume it is the same reason the Tau are Communists.......because people where sleeping through their government classes.:angel:

Blink
05-10-2011, 08:27
I assume it is the same reason the Tau are Communists.......because people where sleeping through their government classes

Or... it's because there are actual elements of communism and utilitarianism that define the Tau "greater good" mentality. Whatever system they have, it is a combination of communism, utilitarianism, hints of a technocracy, and a caste system rolled into one.

People weren't sleeping through their government classes... There's a REASON people think that about Tau, and it's because of the inspirations the creators used to make the Tau's system of governance.

eldargal
05-10-2011, 08:38
The Imperium is not a dictatorship, on account if lacking a dictator. A corpse-God whose soul is barely sustained artificially and is not at all involved in governance is not a dictatorship.

In my opinion the Imperium is a theocratic feudal monarchy under a long-term regency council. The God-King being the Emperor, obviously, the regency council being the High Lords of Terra. Each is largely independent as are their respective institutions which form the bureaucracy and apparatus of state.

You then have planetary governors which are often hereditary and are also largely autonomous so long as they pay tithes in manpower, material and currency. In return they are granted the protection and support of their feudal superiors, either military from the Minsitorum or spiritual from the Eclesiarchy, for example.

The Imperium is not totalitarian or fascist, it merely shares certain common themes with them that are common to any brutal form of government. Were it totalitarian it could not allow fully autonmous planetary governors, AdMech and Space Marine chapters, for example.

Wyrmwood
05-10-2011, 09:01
It's certainly theocratic, it's very archaic and convoluted in the way that the bureaucracy and the Administratum functions. It's very accurate to say that the Imperium is run by a heavily fuedal system; hence, planets become provinces with governors. They report to the Administratum on behalf of the Council of Terra.

It's the condition of living on a Hive World, and the eternal vigilance 'Big Brother' style on the Hive Worlds and the like that evoke the concept of totalitarianism and fascism; everything is geared toward war, much like Nazi Germany was; the most 'famous' conception of fascism.

eldargal
05-10-2011, 09:07
True, but as I said they are common elements of nasty regimes rather than specifically fascist or totalitarian.:) The 'total war' thing does complicate things as the idea of total war developed during the French Revolution which swept away one of the last feudal systems in Europe. But in itself is seperate to totalitarianism or fascism, as the Allies also had their entire economies and societies geared to war. At least, those with their populations directly involved.

Incidentally the largest and most efficient spy network in history was the Stasi, and they were communist, not fascist (though really, both radical socialist ideologies so flip sides of the same coin). They were totalitarian though.

Wyrmwood
05-10-2011, 09:24
True, but as I said they are common elements of nasty regimes rather than specifically fascist or totalitarian.:) The 'total war' thing does complicate things as the idea of total war developed during the French Revolution which swept away one of the last feudal systems in Europe. But in itself is seperate to totalitarianism or fascism, as the Allies also had their entire economies and societies geared to war. At least, those with their populations directly involved.

Incidentally the largest and most efficient spy network in history was the Stasi, and they were communist, not fascist (though really, both radical socialist ideologies so flip sides of the same coin). They were totalitarian though.
Yeah, I was trying to explain why the Imperium is associated with Fascism; not that it is inherently fascist. Sorry if my reasoning wasn't too clear in my above post.

I had thought about that (that the Allies were also running a very war-geared economy), but came to the conclusion that it's simply more widely iterated that Nazi Germany had the manufacturing sector diverted to aid the war effort. Not that Nazi Germany was exclusively producing war wares, of course. Was it the Stasi? One of, perhaps; but wasn't the Okhrana one of the most feared?

eldargal
05-10-2011, 09:33
Well the Okhrana was feared (probably not as much as the Cheka, though, they certainly didn't kill as many people) but the Stasi was so pervasive it was ridiculous. I forget the exact figures but they had something like informant per hundred people or something ridiculous like that. Ironically the Gestapo was one of the least pervasive, their omnipotence being a myth. There is a whole lot of research on it as a way of hiding German complicity in the Nazi regime by creating the Gestapo as a far more powerful instiution than it was, but that is way off topic.:)

Also this whole thread should probably be in the background section.