Trope-a-Day: What’s Up, King Dude?

What’s Up, King Dude?: Played straightish.

In its straightest form, even the Imperial Couple expect to be able to walk the streets, visit the shops, have lunch or a coffee, etc., outside the Imperial Palace without requiring the closing of streets and the emptying of stores and vast security perimeters, etc., etc. Sure, they do have a discreet member of the Sovereign Protectors on hand and probably some well-disguised Imperial Guards here and there, but even if they had the authority to close down public property and kick people out of private property in the first place, which they don’t, it is generally considered that needing to go to those sorts of lengths to avoid assassination is a pretty sure sign that you’re Doing Things Wrong, which tells you everything you need to know about the sort of people who believe they need to go to those sorts of lengths to avoid assassination…

(And, for that matter, the sheer sense of authoritarian entitlement that lets you repurpose other people’s bits of the world as your own personal mobile bunker. Hell, even the grounds of the Imperial Palace complex are open to the public if they feel like strolling on in.)

In another, it is definitely not considered a good thing for the people running things to be generally out of touch with the citizen-shareholder on the street, and as such part of the job of the Imperial Household’s Office of the Citizenry is to ensure that random selections of citizen-shareholders are invited to dinner at the usual intervals, to hold the equivalent of Big Block of Cheese Day, and so forth.

(The protocol is obvs. not quite as informal as the trope name implies, and people who have specific requests know perfectly well that if it can be dealt with through the proper process, it should be, you will be told to not waste the Imperial time, and it will actually get you quicker results, but the bubble is far, far thinner that we would imagine it to be.)

3 thoughts on “Trope-a-Day: What’s Up, King Dude?

  1. On the other hand, Citizen Oversight and the Watch Constabulary provide a security-in-depth against assassination that a US SS Protection Detail duty commander can only barely dream of. It’s just that it’s running all the time for everyone, not just for a few special people.

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    • These days, pretty much, yes. (And, of course, in the event of an assassination, they can be restored from backup.)

      Wasn’t always that way, though, and this is a tradition that goes all the way back to Alphas I Amanyr and Seledíë III Selequelios at the founding of the Empire, who really wanted to make a point of the whole we-rule-by-universal-consent-and-thus-need-fear-nothing-from-our-people – unless we break the Charter, in which case, we _shouldn’t_ be protected from our people. And with that example having been set, none of their successors would have dared break with the tradition. They probably had that last in mind, too.

      [I was somewhat inspired by the scene in The Door Into Sunset, I think, in which we learn that the Queen of Darthen has to hammer out her crown anew every year in the middle of a public square, unguarded, to give the people a chance to dispose of an unfit ruler.

      It’s not a matter of law, in the Empire, but it is exactly the sort of gesture that the Founders would have made to show that they weren’t-and-would-never-become like the korasan tyrants of old.]

      (As a side note: even with their modern capabilities, I’m pretty sure the Watch Constabulary would argue that the primary thing that keeps people safe and secure – including the Imperial Couple out for a coffee as well as everyone else – is that bit in the Imperial Charter than points out that the flipside of the Right of Common Defense is the _Responsibility_ of Common Defense, and that the citizen-shareholders actually take the notion of protecting each others’ rights as well as their own seriously.

      Enough so that where the rare violent crime is concerned, the Constabulary often turns up just in time to scrape the corpus of the criminal off the pavement, and that’s just the way they like it.)

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  2. Pingback: Trope-a-Day: Modest Royalty | The Eldraeverse

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