We Hope You Enjoy Your Conquest

From the earlier – which is to say, closer to the fervor of the revolution – days of the Empire’s history:

“Congratulations on your polity’s recent annexation by the Empire of the Star!”

“Whether we have come as the result of a war with your previous government, or merely to put an end to the oppression and anarchy of its former rule, we do so with good will to all who have not, and do not, act against us.  Please accept our assurances that we do not come to plunder, enslave, or exploit.  All your personal freedoms and property rights will be respected.  Nothing will be taken from you – any goods that we require will be purchased openly – nor will any forced labor be required, and no legionaries will be housed in your homes or businesses.  Any crimes committed against you by our forces will be punished most severely.”

“Furthermore, our requirements are few.  We have little interest in regulating your lives and culture; we demand only that you refrain from practicing violence or compulsion, against Imperial citizen-shareholders or against each other, respect the property of your fellows, adhere to any agreements which you voluntarily make, and pay the same minimal tax as Imperial citizen-shareholders for the maintenance of public works.  Such restrictions under which you may have previously labored are hereby abolished.”

“While it may be necessary to continue to maintain a military government in your region for a short while, until the public safety can be assured, we look forward to establishing a civilian government as soon as possible, at which time weapons restrictions will be removed, freedom of travel throughout the Empire restored, and full sharing of technology and upgrading of public infrastructure will commence.  Also, at this time, any of you will be able to take up Imperial citizen-shareholdership on the same terms as the Imperial-born, and we hope that many of you will exercise this option.  For more information on the new order of the world, please consult the remainder of this publication.”

“If we all cooperate and work together, we should soon be able to bring this new province, your home, out of the darkness and into the new era of enlightenment and civilization.”

– Authoritative Guide to the Empire for the New Peripheral,
Ministry of Civic Information, 1480

2 thoughts on “We Hope You Enjoy Your Conquest

  1. Coercive religions, strict egalitarianism of results, and banning of disliked technologies are not included in “personal freedoms” to be respected, of course.

    • Of course. 🙂

      Equally of course, what a lot of those religions, egalitarians, and Luddites fail to realize is that if they narrowed their ambitions a little, they could get at least locally/among their recruits what they want, in many cases. After all, not only is there no law forbidding people from voluntarily contracting to obey a particular religious code, or from voluntarily contracting to redistribute all their income through a common pool, or from voluntarily contracting to eschew certain technologies, but the courts will happily and impartially enforce any of those for the groups in question. After all, a contract is a contract, and while it is an idiot move universally acknowledged to sign such a contract without accessible termination conditions, it doesn’t invalidate said contract.

      Fortunately, most of them prefer to keep banging their heads on the problem of getting to do things nonconsensually, though. (And most of the rest form the subject of an upcoming trope-a-day, “Cult Colony”, for which the short form is “rarely goes well, since the sort of people who think like this generally aren’t all that good at keeping the lights on and the air flowing”.)

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