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Why is the Imperium so Xenophobic?


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#26
Marshal Rohr

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Imperial policy is xenophobic. In practice, Eldar live on Necromunda. Its a spectrum. 

 

 

Edit: Also, the aliens themselves are xenophobic towards humans. It's not just the Imperium. There was a post on a certain facebook page about the Imperium being the worst faction/most evil in 40k because it was xenophobic, because they were operating from the position the Eldar and other non-army races were good guys and humans were just hostile to them instead of it being mutual. Technically, the Eldar would've started it, being the older more advanced race anyway.


 


Edited by Marshal Rohr, 19 April 2018 - 11:59 PM.

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#27
Azekai

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Exactly. The Imperium is xenophobic because the game demands that it needs to be. So in the fluff the Imperium becomes xenophobic ‘cause reasons and “the Emperor said so”.

 

Eh... considering the terrors the galaxy is littered with, I think the xenophobia is justified. Most of the aliens are presented as overbearing threats on both an individual and militaristic level, and that isn't merely Imperial PropagandaTM

How do you make peace with the Tyranids, or Orks, or Dark Eldar, or the Cythor Fiends or the Slaugth? You don't. Even the Tau's influence is insidious.

Burn 'em all, indeed. Let the Gods sort them out.

Edit: Now, mutants, on the other hand, now they get the short end of the stick. Twists get my sympathy more than any cromulent space elf.


Edited by Azekai, 19 April 2018 - 11:58 PM.

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#28
Marshal Rohr

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Its xenophobic most likely because WH40K is a war game, and xenophobia promotes conflict and helps drive the war game.

 

 

"Sauron is evil because Tolkien needed to pay his mortgage" is not a fun answer.


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#29
Azekai

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Its xenophobic most likely because WH40K is a war game, and xenophobia promotes conflict and helps drive the war game.

 

 

"Sauron is evil because Tolkien needed to pay his mortgage" is not a fun answer.

 

Not accurate, either.

It isn't like the Imperium is just out there blowing smoke, a lot of the aliens are actually terrible existential threats; that is part of the fun!


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#30
Lord_Caerolion

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It certainly makes English essays easier though. "The main theme running through this novel, indeed most of the authors work, is that he needed to eat and pay rent, and as such the author wrote words so that they could get paid. In this, they present themselves as an every-man, as like the author, we too must eat and pay rent, and as such perform tasks in exchange for money".


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#31
Volt

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Exactly. The Imperium is xenophobic because the game demands that it needs to be. So in the fluff the Imperium becomes xenophobic ‘cause reasons and “the Emperor said so”.

 

Eh... considering the terrors the galaxy is littered with, I think the xenophobia is justified. Most of the aliens are presented as overbearing threats on both an individual and militaristic level, and that isn't merely Imperial PropagandaTM

How do you make peace with the Tyranids, or Orks, or Dark Eldar, or the Cythor Fiends or the Slaugth? You don't. Even the Tau's influence is insidious.

Burn 'em all, indeed. Let the Gods sort them out.

Edit: Now, mutants, on the other hand, now they get the short end of the stick. Twists get my sympathy more than any cromulent space elf.

 

The issue with mutants is that they're the canary in the coalmine for chaos corruption. Obviously some "mutants" which are in fact just AOT gene splicing experiments or simple birth defects are OK, they're normal and natural. It's when guys start getting born with eyes in the back of their head, porcupine quills, prehensile necks, etc that you've got a serious problem afoot. An individual mutant may not necessarily be evil, but mutants like these definitely have the taint of Chaos on them.

 

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#32
Azekai

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The issue with mutants is that they're the canary in the coalmine for chaos corruption. Obviously some "mutants" which are in fact just AOT gene splicing experiments or simple birth defects are OK, they're normal and natural. It's when guys start getting born with eyes in the back of their head, porcupine quills, prehensile necks, etc that you've got a serious problem afoot. An individual mutant may not necessarily be evil, but mutants like these definitely have the taint of Chaos on them.

...implying that Chaos taintis bad...


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#33
Lord_Caerolion

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Well, it certainly messed up the Eldar, I can't imagine it would end in sunshine and rainbows for humanity.


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#34
depthcharge12

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I’m gonna have to echo the themes that it’s not just because “GW says so,” there are legitimate threats in even the most...idealic factions like the Eldar and Tau. I think the Eldar actually operate on the same psyche that humanity does - we try to help some races out when it benefits us, but the bottom line is us as a race, as craftworld, as an xyz.

You can be darn sure both races would burn pacifist blue aliens on planet James-Cameron VII if they wouldn’t hand over cancer healing plants or a wonder power source. Even the most nice, peace loving alien species could have ulterior motives. The only way to be sure is to nuke em from space.
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#35
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The irony of it all being that Chaos is still probably the biggest threat, certainly long term and post-Cicatrix Maledictum; and alien allies of convenience, at least for the time being, would be in humanity's best interests to help drive back the chaos threat. Same applies to major xenos threats that are a greater threat than others, e.g. the hive fleets.


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#36
m0nolith

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Because Xenophobia is sadly part of the human condition, and this fictional universe exemplifies the worst in our nature.


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#37
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Oi us boyz r just msunderstood. Wez jst invade you hummies for giggles.


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#38
Kinstryfe

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I think in the Great Crusade, it was a matter of cost/benefit analysis. Humanity was reexpanding outward, and there were times when if a race was harmless or peaceful enough, the Imperium was hinted at just telling them to not leave their planet and everything will be fine (for now). Afterall, the resources needed to exterminate a race of sheep herders were of better use elsewhere in the crusade, and you had 19 superhumans personally leading crusade fleets that could make this kind of decision.

Head post Heresy though, and now you had 6 superhumans out and about, then none, and Imperial dogma really had to simplify, because if one fleet admiral was wrong and the fluffy snuggle goat people of Idrak 12 we're actually murderous xenos scum then trillions could die. Expansion also slowed, so there were plenty of resources around. At that point, better to burn the planet from orbit (after all, we have plenty more exterminatus devices where that one came from) than risk what could happen if we show mercy, right?
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#39
Zuvassin

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Out of universe: Read the Nemesis the Warlock series by 2000AD. It's a comic strip about a psyker alien (Nemesis) on the world of Termight (MIGHTy TERra) being hunted by a xenophobic Grand Inquisitor and his army of Terminators. You'll also see, among other things, that the upright arrow used as the symbol for Marine tactical squads was lifted from the stylized graffiti image of a nuclear blast that appears throughout this strip.

 

The xenophobia of the Imperium is really just an element of grimdark humor 'borrowed' from Nemesis, much like how Horus is modeled on the Traitor General from Rogue Trooper, and the worship of Chaos was inspired by the Khaos religion of the ABC Warriors (all of these being 2000AD books). In other words, it's an existing trope taken to darkly comic extremes in 40k.

 

In universe: remember that besides the playable aliens of 40k, there's tons more, including psychic mind-slavers and entire death-worlds filled with various alien species of varying levels of intelligence and sentience. Beyond memories of alien slavers and slaughterers, you're also dealing with aliens still blocking access to habitable planets, or effectively making potentially habitable planets into death-worlds or otherwise extremely inhospitable worlds, all of which undermine the Manifest Destiny of the Imperium's desire to control the galaxy.

 

Also remember: an alien species (the Eldar) gave birth to Slaanesh and essentially were ground zero for a massive warp blast that obliterated multiple entire sectors of real space. The lore tends to focus on all the dead Eldar that were created, but it's likely that there were remnant human colonies caught up in what's now the Eye of Terror. So much like how human psykers cannot be allowed to exist uncontrolled because a single one could endanger an entire world, so too can psychic aliens could cause the destruction of an entire system or sector if they were allowed to live alongside (close or remotely) Imperial systems or in the same sectors/regions.

 

Finally remember: the Emperor has seen how easily humans are to divide amongst themselves. Xenos hatred is, at least short term, an effective means of unifying and directing the human need to judge and hate outward towards a non-Imperial target whether than risking them turning it on each other, especially when it's already easy (and happening) for divisions between Terra and non-Terrans as worlds are brought into compliance (let alone the divisions within the Legions between Terran and non-Terran recruits).

 

Post-finally remember (lol, sorry): alien tech already complicates the barely-understood human tech that the Imperium is recovering during the Great Crusade, whether in side by side comparison or when it gets blended into it. It's - especially to the Mechanicum - often proof that aliens are equally or sometimes more competent than the Imperium is, especially when the aliens know how their energy/plasma/gravity/time-warp tech works and the Imperium is struggling to reverse-engineer standardized blueprints to tractor-tanks and weaponized chainsaws. While the Emperor of course directed a lot of the anti-xeno agenda, he wouldn't have been alone - the Priests of Mars (as well as some of the liberated worlds) would have had their own reasons to hate the alien as well.


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#40
QuantumCollider

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Aside from the fact that aliens are a very real existential threat to the Imperium, the Imperial mindset (or should I say religion) believes very strongly in a Manifest Destiny where Humanity rules the Galaxy. Anything that opposes that goal is then obviously an enemy. 


"...Though every basic Ork (see ref. 'boy') has an animalistic cunning on par with most apex level predators, generally even alpha-level specimens (see ref. 'Warboss') have sub-par intelligence at best. When confronted with simple calculus problems Orks typically  respond with both confusion and agression (see ref. specimen 89230-Kappa. ADDENDUM: Tech-Adept Haagen is expected to make a 87% recovery, with most of his limbs eligible for reattachment. Removal of the abacus from the biological parts of his digestive system has been deemed impractical)." 

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#41
Doghouse

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I think it's because most of them want to enslave or/and eat us.


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#42
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Do not ask "Why Kill the Alien?", rather ask, "Why not?"
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When a Great Beast marauds, the warriors of the keep do not seek terms with it, they do not ride out and ask for it to accommodate their feelings. They set forth with shocklance and power sword, and all the courage and determination they can muster. They find the beast and they lay their blades upon it until it is dead, or they are.


#43
Brokejaw Gutripper

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Lol can you imagine being nominated to be the imperial envoy to the ork warlord in segmentum obscurus? It would be the shortest ambassadorial term in human history.

“Greetings, I...”

“Waaaaagh!!!!!!! Humieeeeee! Stomp the git!!!”

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#44
Lord_Caerolion

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Well, the Tau tried to send ambassadors to talk to the Tyranids, from memory.


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#45
Trixie

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Humans love to fight, especially each other as a quick glance at Earths real world history will evidence. Imagine a Human empire with thousands of planets like Earth....if you didn't convince them that every alien out there was coming to kill them, you can bet your sweet bolter that those Human planets would be waging war against other Human planets


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#46
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And they do. Stromark for example.

When a Great Beast marauds, the warriors of the keep do not seek terms with it, they do not ride out and ask for it to accommodate their feelings. They set forth with shocklance and power sword, and all the courage and determination they can muster. They find the beast and they lay their blades upon it until it is dead, or they are.


#47
Irbis

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If there were no aliens, they'd have to single out ethnic and cultural subgroups of humans to hate.

 

I don't know how you missed that, but they already do. Out of the 'hate triad', the xenos, the mutant, the witch/heretic, two are human. Even if there were no aliens, later two would be perfectly enough. Especially seeing that unlike RL, both groups are genuinely a huge danger to everyone around...



#48
Slan Drakkos

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I gotta tell ya, the things being said in this thread alongside the words 'we' and 'our' are deeply concerning.

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What's that supposed to mean?

#49
DogWelder

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Ironically it is the Lord Commander of the Imperium who agreed the most xenophilic statement I have ever heard a Space Marine say:

 

‘Sometimes I wonder if I am human at all,’ said Guilliman thoughtfully. ‘In any meaningful sense.’
 
‘If you were not, you would not care for the fate of other men.’
 
‘Many of my brothers did not. Maybe it is an affectation?’
 
‘Humanity is not measured on form alone, but by deeds, my lord,’ said Ventris. ‘A mortal man may be inhuman towards other men, yet I have seen xenos behave with honour and fairness when we offer them nothing but hate.’
 
Guilliman appraised the fourth captain carefully. ‘You impress me, Captain Ventris. I have heard much about your deeds. I did not expect you to be so thoughtful.’
 
From: Dark Imperium

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#50
Beren

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If there were no aliens, they'd have to single out ethnic and cultural subgroups of humans to hate.

 
I don't know how you missed that, but they already do. Out of the 'hate triad', the xenos, the mutant, the witch/heretic, two are human. Even if there were no aliens, later two would be perfectly enough. Especially seeing that unlike RL, both groups are genuinely a huge danger to everyone around...

Mutants are only typically a danger when they're either :non sentient, such as hullghasts ; chaos corrupted, which happens to normal humans too; or so pissed off at how that they get treated that they actually do anything about it on a significant level.

As for Xenos, the Great Crusade probably wiped out any of the potentially friendly ones and left the survivors with a profound hatred for the civilization that destroyed them. Thus reinforcing the mentality that everybody is out to get the Imperium, since they all know the Imperium is out to get them. Non-humans wouldn't see humanity as any different than any of its enemies.




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