From: Alvis Antarianus, Expansion Renewal Union
To: Heriath Calliste, Inevitable Justice Foundation
Subject: Re: Cleaning up the Union once and for all
Look, your proposed operation is well designed. I’ll give it that. But there’s no chance whatsoever that it’ll pass the Senate. Galactic Relations or State Security’d kill it in a heartbeat even if Military Affairs were to let it pass, which they won’t.
Even if you can persuade all the right people that it’s a worthy cause, preemptive occupations are a dead letter for a reason, and it’s not just a few faded scrolls at State & Outlands with a peace addiction. Academician Doctor Excellence Selidië Cíëlle killed them the moment she figured out how to meme-map a mind-state and back-port alterations to the original living brain. She gave us desire control, meme rehab, psychedesign, and the Guardians of Our Harmony, but she shot the knees out from under the belligerati doing it.
People can tell themselves that they won’t crack under torture, even when it’s a nerve stapler or a death cube. They can tell themselves that they can resist any bribe, withstand any temptation, not succumb to any cunning memetic campaign, and intimidate or plain murder any of their neighbors who do. There’s even some damn fools who convince themselves they have the mental integrity to shrug off a YGBM.
But no-one, no-one, can resist psychedesign applied directly to their brain, and everyone out there knows that.
The Conclave of Clionomy have run the vectors on this. Our reputation for ethical stringency keeps people calm and trusting, under normal circumstances. But take a voluntary trip down into the tar-pit, and you’re going to get rumors and propaganda flying about how we’re mass-reprocessing people into good little libertist meme-bots, or weaponizing infectious nanotech that rewrites the loyalty circuits of people’s brains, or some such bitswarf, and if their projections are right, that has a high probability of taking us to CASE SKYSHOCK RED and a hard civilization kill event within two years, five at the outside.
You know they’d be lies, and I know they’d be lies, but try to imagine just how terrifying literally changing someone’s mind would be to a paranoid peon with a poor grasp of consensuality.
Maybe you could try pitching it to the waserai ambassador?