Trope-a-Day: Eagleland^WStarland

Eagleland Starland: i.e., the equivalent of the Eagleland trope from a different perspective, because when viewed from the outside, the Empire comes in different flavors, too.

Flavor 1: The Empire’s sense of itself, of course, which it’s happy to export, can only be compared to America’s most fulsome sense of itself in the Fifties.  Turned up to eleven.

Which is to say that the Empire of the Star, renowned as the bright center of the universe, is a proud star nation of wise and idealistic gentlesophs of many species and postspecies striding boldly together into the future, residing in a mostly-post-scarcity Utopia built around honor and freedom and wealth and progress, where anyone can build a new life for themselves in the homey, yet ultratech, extravagant, and sometimes almost saccharine land where taxes really are consensual, death’s been abolished, and they’re going to make a damn good try at knocking off universal entropy just as soon as they can find the lever.  It is the best of times in the best of all possible places, the Imperial Dream (q.v.) is ready and waiting for anyone who seeks it in good faith, and they’re just waiting for you to come and join in.

Flavor 2: A star nation made up of roughly one-third pleasure-addled hedonists who are congenitally incapable of taking anything seriously, one-third mad scientists who think ethics is for sissies and that disassembling the Universe while they’re in it sounds like a good idea, and one-third ideological libertist fanatics with a Plan, liberally admixed with crazed machine-cultists, and who are all appallingly smug, stomp around the rest of the galaxy as if they owned the place and had the right to do anything they damn well pleased, talk like they invented every concept worth having, and look down their excessively refined noses at everything that displeases them… which is everything!  May also turn out to be trigger-happy cowboys when something offends their sensibilities enough.

Mixed Flavor: As in the case of the original, a realistic assessment would point out that while they’re not nearly quite as perfect as Flavor 1 portrays them, they’re also nowhere near as bad as Flavor 2, and it’s generally in the vices-of-their-virtues sense.  The Imperials are, it would be fair to say, proud verging on arrogant, overconfident, tremendously idealistic, a touch oversophisticated, disinclined to accept the legitimacy of many kinds of authorities, and tend, when abroad, to not really hide their reaction to being confronted with the appalling squalor – to their eyes – of all too many scarcity economies nearly as well as they might wish to.

But on the other hand, they are also by and large polite, appreciative, generous, helpful – not that that’s always a good thing – and fundamentally good-natured underneath it all.  So.

2 thoughts on “Trope-a-Day: Eagleland^WStarland

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