Trope-a-Day: My Species Doth Protest Too Much

My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Seemingly averted because, so far as you can tell, all the Imperials really are that way.  (The explanation they would give, stripped of technical and polite terminology both, boils down to “We’re just obsessively inclined to believe that we are certain things, and even more obsessively inclined to live up to our monumental self-image in those regards,” which while probably true so far as it goes, is not really a full explanation.)

A more, ah, complete explanation is that in really fundamental things, like the Imperial libertist ethical tradition, those who don’t feel like conforming leave-or-are-left with great speed in the name of self-preservation (the Renunciates and future Renegades), and that those people who disagree firmly enough with the relentless drumbeat of internal and external perfection, Science!, beauty and negentropism that makes up the social consensus, while absolutely free to go their own way while remaining there, still generally find the atmosphere intolerable enough as to find their own way out.

In short: the Imperials stay that way by kicking out all the troublemakers.

Trope-a-Day: Beauty Equals Goodness

Beauty Equals Goodness: Very much averted in one sense, even by local standards (see: Blue and Orange Morality) of goodness.  It is perfectly true that the eldrae and the other Imperials are an extraordinarily Beautiful People.  But by the same processes, so are the Renunciates.  And so are the Renegades – even the Renegades who are very, very bad people indeed, by anyone’s standards.

Quite appropriate, really.  After all, even fallen angels are still angels.

In another: yes, one of the qualities they esteem is beauty, as a form of excellence.  But this does not imply, simple-mindedly, that the beautiful are the good.  Rather, the dogma holds that it implies that the good deserve to be the beautiful, and therefore that beauty ought to be promoted by the sophont in those places where blind nature and random chance got it wrong again.