Jump to content

Welcome to The Bolter and Chainsword
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!
Photo

Why is the Imperium so Xenophobic?


  • Please log in to reply
75 replies to this topic

#51
Grieux

Grieux

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 1,456 posts
  • Location:London
Your doubts are concerning. Please reach your nearest facility for reprogramming.
  • Beren and Kite Senet like this

#52
Marshal Rohr

Marshal Rohr

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 14,148 posts
  • Location:Washington, D.C.
  • Faction: 7th Terran Regiment
The Xenos were hostile to and enslaved humans well before humans became xenophobic. Humans became xenophobic as a condition for survival, not as some kind of commentary on human nature.

Your opinion is important, and someone posting here probably does care what you think. You should go tell them. Remember that it really hurts to come up with an idea you care about and have no one else care. Go care about something and tell them what you think. Now. Think of what it would have meant to you when you were young.

 

+++The Iterators Guild+++

A Group for Lore Minded Hobbyists and World Building Projects

 


#53
Ascanius

Ascanius

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 955 posts
  • Location:Melbourne
  • Faction: Sons of Medusa

Basically it's because the Emperor said so, and that's really important for the modern day Imperium.

 

Yeah. Hard to run a totalitarian fascist state without an external enemy to justify your militarism.



#54
Marshal Rohr

Marshal Rohr

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 14,148 posts
  • Location:Washington, D.C.
  • Faction: 7th Terran Regiment


Basically it's because the Emperor said so, and that's really important for the modern day Imperium.


Yeah. Hard to run a totalitarian fascist state without an external enemy to justify your militarism.

The Imperium is a some kind of Neofeudal state. It can’t be fascist.

Your opinion is important, and someone posting here probably does care what you think. You should go tell them. Remember that it really hurts to come up with an idea you care about and have no one else care. Go care about something and tell them what you think. Now. Think of what it would have meant to you when you were young.

 

+++The Iterators Guild+++

A Group for Lore Minded Hobbyists and World Building Projects

 


#55
Ascanius

Ascanius

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 955 posts
  • Location:Melbourne
  • Faction: Sons of Medusa

That's splitting hairs, and you know it. Its ideology is fascist even if its government is not, in practice.


  • Kite Senet likes this

#56
Marshal Rohr

Marshal Rohr

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 14,148 posts
  • Location:Washington, D.C.
  • Faction: 7th Terran Regiment
Not really. The Imperium practices decentralization in almost everything, which is antithetical to fascism. The only similarity would be militarism, which is not exclusive to fascism and has been a factor in every major form of government practiced throughout history. 40k has the aesthetics of 20th Centruy fascism because that is the worst type of society we can imagine after the collective trauma, but it’s not actually fascist and it’s important to point that out because I’ve seen a dozen or more articles over the past two years about needing to change 40ks message because it normalizes fascism.
  • Noserenda, Marshal Loss, Brother Lunkhead and 4 others like this

Your opinion is important, and someone posting here probably does care what you think. You should go tell them. Remember that it really hurts to come up with an idea you care about and have no one else care. Go care about something and tell them what you think. Now. Think of what it would have meant to you when you were young.

 

+++The Iterators Guild+++

A Group for Lore Minded Hobbyists and World Building Projects

 


#57
Beren

Beren

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 311 posts

The Xenos were hostile to and enslaved humans well before humans became xenophobic. Humans became xenophobic as a condition for survival, not as some kind of commentary on human nature.


Not all pre-Imperial human civilizations were Xenophobic though, but the Emperor decided that his Imperium would be xenophobic and then proceeded to invade and conquer anyone who disagreed. Also, 'the Xenos' can hardly be referred to as a single overarching faction with identical intentions.

#58
Marshal Rohr

Marshal Rohr

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 14,148 posts
  • Location:Washington, D.C.
  • Faction: 7th Terran Regiment
It says it in every edition I’m aware of that old night was filled with hostile Xenos encounters so while I agree ‘the xenos’ dont exist, enough Xenos interactions were hostile that it was a norm worth mentioning. It’s also worth mentioning that human and Xenos interactions being as you describe is a rarity and most cases they just trade. The interex were an exception as noted in Horus Rising.

Your opinion is important, and someone posting here probably does care what you think. You should go tell them. Remember that it really hurts to come up with an idea you care about and have no one else care. Go care about something and tell them what you think. Now. Think of what it would have meant to you when you were young.

 

+++The Iterators Guild+++

A Group for Lore Minded Hobbyists and World Building Projects

 


#59
Beren

Beren

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 311 posts
Fair enough, but I imagine that without the Emperor's intervention humanities attitudes to xenos would be closer to that of Rogue Traders, that is varying from one Trader/human civilization to another.

#60
Marshal Rohr

Marshal Rohr

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 14,148 posts
  • Location:Washington, D.C.
  • Faction: 7th Terran Regiment
Personally, in my head canon, the Imperium has plenty of non-hostile contact with Xenos. The majority of interactions would be non-hostile in my opinion, because it would be economic and not
Military interests doing the contacting in an interstellar empire spread over a whole galaxy. There may only be war in 40k, but it would still be regionalized and spread out just y the very nature of space.

Your opinion is important, and someone posting here probably does care what you think. You should go tell them. Remember that it really hurts to come up with an idea you care about and have no one else care. Go care about something and tell them what you think. Now. Think of what it would have meant to you when you were young.

 

+++The Iterators Guild+++

A Group for Lore Minded Hobbyists and World Building Projects

 


#61
Lord_Caerolion

Lord_Caerolion

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 2,786 posts
  • Faction: Lamenters

Well, the Rogue Traders would definitely be having most of the main Imperial/Xenos, and they definitely trade and have peaceful negotiations with their non-human partners.


"And then Horus landed on the Moon, which looked like the moon. Funny that, isn't it?"


You're hired.


#62
Callan

Callan

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 73 posts
  • Location:The City of Kansas in the State of Misery, Holy Terra
The major xenos powers want to subjugate, kill, and/or eat humanity. The closest thing the Imperium has to an ally among the major xenos powers is the aeldari, and that's only because the aeldari are too weakened to conquer or exterminate humanity.

Most minor xenos contacts the Imperium had were also warlike, or treacherous, or servants of dark powers.

Honestly, not being xenophobic doesn't make sense in this setting. If I suddenly found myself in the 40k universe, once the 40k universe, once I stopped screaming - so, like, a couple months later - I would immediately look into how I could possibly become an Inquisition asset, because the point of the setting is that the horrible stuff is yes, horrible, but also necessary, because the alternative is so much worse.

#63
Cleanse And Purify

Cleanse And Purify

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 221 posts

The setting, I think, plays with xenophobia in a few somewhat clever ways. So first off, it demonstrates how terrible conditions are when xenophobia is justified. Nearly all aliens are inimical to human life, and while that may "justify" human xenophobia, it's not exactly a thing to celebrate. "Oh yippee, we are justified in our prejudice and hatred because everyone really does hate us and want to kill us, yay...?" Also, it's very obviously a dystopian setting (though becoming less so, in my opinion) and part of dystopia is this sort of everlasting, unquestioning hatred of the alien. Someone above mentioned fascism, and while the Imperium is not politically fascist as we would understand it on Earth (Rohr is right, it is far too decentralized on a scale beyond any human society on earth), the rhetoric of the Imperium vis-a-vis aliens clearly mirrors the in-group/out-group rhetoric of real-life demagogues and fascists. It's not meant to be something to celebrate, or to demonstrate the validity of xenophobia. It's meant to be emblematic of the utter despair and dysfunction of society and humanity in the 41st milennium: something as dehumanizing and demoralizing as living in a constant state of government-mandated xenophobic hatred is normal for nearly all humans. It's not nice, it's not good, it's not celebratory. It's vicious, and it's cruel, and even if it is necessary, it's necessary because of reasons that are themselves yet further examples of the essential cruelty and viciousness of life in the 41st millennium.

 

The Imperium, remember, is not a society to be emulated. It is the degenerate and failed experiment of a godlike autocrat who's own sons slew him. It's xenophobia, and the necessity of that xenophobia, is part and parcel of that. It's one of the intrinsic tragedies of the setting: events thousands and thousands of years ago put all the species in the galaxy on this path of mutual hatred and destruction, and they've all walked so far along said path that they can no longer step off it lest they be genocided by those with whom they've warred for millennia. 


  • Marshal Rohr and totgeboren like this

We are the only source of goodness, severe and drastic.

There is no other source of hope than us.

We are agonizingly alone.


#64
Beren

Beren

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 311 posts
It's also important to not that not being Xenophobic doesn't mean being xenophilic. Not auto-hating every alien species you come across didn't require open armed naivete, just a learned caution. If anything, the Imperium should be able to cut down of the xenocides that are unnecessary and divert it's resources to greater threats.

#65
QuantumCollider

QuantumCollider

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 707 posts
  • Location:Ulpia Noviomagus Batavorum
  • Faction: Forge World Fermya

Another important aspect is that most of the xeno-hating rethoric is proclaimed on worlds and in societies that have actually little or no contact with xenos. It is, after all, much easier to spout agressive proclamaitions about sinful xenos if your audience only contact with said xenos is your (very biased) view.

 

It is the infamous 'ideological echo chamber': spouting your views solely to an audience that already agrees with you. Here it is easy to remain ideological pure. Especially if the only way to separate you from all the other yes-men is by being even more rabidly dogmatic.

 

How different it is when you live on a frontier world, where you have no time for theological squabbling and your very survival depends on your relations with xeno neighbours. 

 

Compare it with the times of the Arab conquests of the Crusades: Both sides declared the other side unbelievers, yet in practice warriors from both sides of the ideological devide occasionally sided with one another to address more pressing concerns.


"...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-sapient 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)." 

   - Magos Biologis Dekker Paalsen


#66
Xenith

Xenith

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 9,660 posts

Why are they Xenophobic?

 

They look different. 

 

The fact that you question this makes you suspect, report to your local Ordo Hereticus representative immediately, citizen.



#67
SpecialIssue

SpecialIssue

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 699 posts
  • Location:Not the Warp
  • Faction: Guardian Eagles

It says it in every edition I’m aware of that old night was filled with hostile Xenos encounters so while I agree ‘the xenos’ dont exist, enough Xenos interactions were hostile that it was a norm worth mentioning. It’s also worth mentioning that human and Xenos interactions being as you describe is a rarity and most cases they just trade. The interex were an exception as noted in Horus Rising.

 

The Dark Age of Technology and Age of Strife are also purposely separated from the setting by an insurmountable gap of time. Even though some statements might seem to come from an 'omniscient' authoritative narrator I wouldn't count on being correct in its entirety, but rather a gloss over, partially reflecting of the racial beliefs of Mankind in the Great Crusade/Age of the Imperium, a hazy racial memory. I believe Horus Rising's surprise is based from this in-universe bias that all aliens are hostile.

 

The Age of Strife would probably have hit developed spacefaring aliens just as hard as us after all. While some may have been opportunistic (Orks), many other would have been in the same boat as us. Amidst the horrors of daemon invasion, possession, AI, and collapse, it would be easy to say, with the loss of knowledge and slide into barbarism and isolation that all the aliens turned on us - when they did not, and equate/mix up these other calamities with the work of aliens.

 

After all, the Interex weren't the only ones we've seen. There was that commune fleet of wandering human and alien ships that Fulgrim and Ferrus hunted down and destroyed off the top of my head. Apologist and others' work on the matter is also a great look at the potential tragedies and ignorance of a lost age.

 

Even the Eldar it seems once took pity on us - I have no idea if its still 'canon' (it is to me), but the 3rd edition Necron codex had a Farseer pondering why they spared us in the aftermath of the War in Heaven with the C'tan millions of years ago. "The Eldar had let them be, perhaps they were reluctant to harm what little life remained..."

 

Eldrad Ulthuaan, the most influential Farseer of the Craftworlds, did try to warn the Imperium of the incoming Heresy - but chose a Fulgrim sliding into corruption to treat with, resulting in his Wraithlord best friend being fed to a daemon and resulting in him vowing never to trust humans again.

 

As for what this says about humanity: unlike most other sci-fi, I believe 40k at its heart is pessimistic about humanity. It takes our basest traits and expounds on them, brings them to the fore. Ignorant, tribal, apathetic, power-hungry. Our best hope was an absolute dictator who demanded a personality cult of absolute loyalty to Him, that enforced an ignorance to the dangers of the galaxy. Betrayed by his closest due to equal measure miscommunication, tyrannical enforced ignorance, paranoia and jealousy, his vision was then warped and degraded by pettiness and time, as every single work man will ever do or believe in is eventually fated. Mankind isn't 'special' or ascendant. Rather, we are just as much monsters, broken and flawed as any other in the galaxy.


  • SpAcEGhOsT095 likes this

Alis aquilae, judicium - On eagle's wings, judgement.
Ex astra, mortis - From the stars, death.

Fiat justitia, etiam mundi mori - Let there be justice, even though worlds die.

 

~ the Guardian Eagles

 

W40k - a gothic military fantasy, in that order.

 

Analysis of the 41st Millennium - boltguns, chainswords, Space Marine capabilities

 


#68
Marshal Rohr

Marshal Rohr

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 14,148 posts
  • Location:Washington, D.C.
  • Faction: 7th Terran Regiment
My larger point was that sometimes people see the Imperial Policy of the Great Crusade towards Xenos and think ‘man the Imperium is really bad, that’s just like what happened to some people in real life!’ and that’s not really the case. Xenos and humans had a largely antagonistic relationship throughout human history by the time of the great crusade. For every human on Xenos genocide where the humans shot all the aliens, there were probably alien on human xenocides equal too or more gruesome (humans don’t eat the fallen Xenos, but the Xenos do).

Like imagine if we got news that somewhere a human colony was attacked and instead of them just being killed or enslaved the whole colony was eaten alive by their captors. I know I personally would be pretty cool with a shoot first policy.

Edited by Marshal Rohr, 28 May 2018 - 01:16 PM.

Your opinion is important, and someone posting here probably does care what you think. You should go tell them. Remember that it really hurts to come up with an idea you care about and have no one else care. Go care about something and tell them what you think. Now. Think of what it would have meant to you when you were young.

 

+++The Iterators Guild+++

A Group for Lore Minded Hobbyists and World Building Projects

 


#69
RolandTHTG

RolandTHTG

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 1,447 posts
  • Location:Columbus, Ohio
The interactions are definitely pragmatic at an interstellar level.
I believe it was one of the 7th edition codexes (tyranids or IG, I believe) had a illustrative couple of entries on its timeline.

1st - Imperial forces in the xyz region Ally with 5 local xenos races (A,b,c,d,e) to defeat tyranid splinter fleet. Regional governor swears 100 year pact of peace in gratitude.

Two entries & 102 years later - imperial fleet wipes out b & e races due to dispute over mining rights.

As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,

The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

There are 4 boxes to use in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, ammo. Use in that order. -anon

ETL_Banner_01_Base_Top.jpg

ETL_Banner_03_Custos_Fidei_2012a.jpgETL_Banner_03_Custos_Fidei_2013a.jpgETL_Banner_04_Oath_Breaker_2014.jpgETL_Banner_03_Corner_Blank.jpgETL_Banner_03_Corner_Blank.jpgETL_Banner_03_Corner_Blank.jpgETL_Banner_03_Corner_Blank.jpgETL_Banner_03_Corner_Sword.jpg

6th/7th ed CSM Record 14-7-1 W-L-D

6th/7th ed SM (White Scars ) record 8-2-2 W-L-D

Formerly known as TJWyrm

 


#70
spu00sed

spu00sed

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 1,055 posts

Was the Imperium less xenophobic during the great crusades?

 

I swear that the Imperium was going to make the Laer a protectorate, before Fulgrim decided to show everyone how to do compliance quickly.

 

If they were willing to do it for one race, I'm sure that they would be wiling to do so for other alien races.  Though being a protectorate might involve having your armies drafted as cannon fodder, banned from warp travel and serialisation viruses being secretly inserted into your biosphere


"Hell is waiting
Where the ocean meets the sand
Cliff of burden
Where the soldiers rushed into a certain death"

Cliffs of Gallipoli

Always Guilliman, isn't it? What is so lordly about that war-accountant? At least Russ or Jonson have passion. Roboute fights battles with an abacus

Call me SPU

#71
Kinstryfe

Kinstryfe

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 980 posts
  • Location:Michigan, USA
  • Faction: So many Imperials...

Was the Imperium less xenophobic during the great crusades?
 
I swear that the Imperium was going to make the Laer a protectorate, before Fulgrim decided to show everyone how to do compliance quickly.
 
If they were willing to do it for one race, I'm sure that they would be wiling to do so for other alien races.  Though being a protectorate might involve having your armies drafted as cannon fodder, banned from warp travel and serialisation viruses being secretly inserted into your biosphere


I believe during the Great Crusade the Imperium was more willing to be pragmatic about things the current Imperium isn't. It wasn't so much that "These Laer aren't hostile, and they're friendly, so let's get along" as it was "These Laer are pretty technologically advanced, and decent warriors, and it's probably going to take a whole lot of Marine power to beat them, and we could honestly use them elsewhere against Xenos that are trying to kill us instead of being relatively nice. Let's just ignore them and tell people to stay away in exchange for letting us go kill more valuable targets." Basically the effort wasn't worth the reward with other more valuable planets out there. Not so much now that humanity has expanded about as far as the astronomicon can allow. Now it's time to protect the borders rather than expand them.
gallery_26_4045_659.png

I am a filthy ETL oathbreaker. I acknowledge my failing and will be sure to correct it.

#72
Lord_Caerolion

Lord_Caerolion

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 2,786 posts
  • Faction: Lamenters

Yeah, it was definitely more of a case of "lets not antagonise the powerful empire that's willing to keep to itself, until we have enough Legion support to steamroller them". Definitely wasn't shown as being a long-term arrangement, from memory.


"And then Horus landed on the Moon, which looked like the moon. Funny that, isn't it?"


You're hired.


#73
Ascanius

Ascanius

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 955 posts
  • Location:Melbourne
  • Faction: Sons of Medusa

because the point of the setting is that the horrible stuff is yes, horrible, but also necessary, because the alternative is so much worse.

 

Personally, I think that the point of the setting is that everything the Imperium does "because the alternative is so much worse" is at least part of the reason why the alternative is so much worse. Chaos cults can take root in desperate minds because the Imperium is so oppressive. Potentially peaceful alien species turn hostile because the Imperium is xenocidal. Et cetera.



#74
darnarth lysander

darnarth lysander

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 57 posts
  • Location:Northern Ireland
  • Faction: Space Marines and Orks

We don't know when the anti-xeno sentiment started early on in the crusades. It might have been that the Emperor and co began with no feelings on the matter, but what is the very first race of aliens they come across?

An unknown race that enslaved the humans of Jupiter

The same enslavement on Saturn

So its easy to imagine that Humanity on a whole started to feel some anti-xeno sentiment at this point whether or not there already was some. But then we see in *Dark Imperium* that Gulliman, whose representation of the mind-set of the Great Crusade era and its contrast with the current 41st millennium mindset is one of the key themes of the novel, that while a level of distrust has been placed in aliens, during the Great Crusade it was a strong distrust, and less of a blind hatred that is has been brought about by the Imperial Creed. I think the point made earlier about the extreme anti-xeno sentiment being *policy* and more a facade that the Imperium puts up for its daily citizens. Almost every branch of the Imperium that isnt run by ordinary citizens has had dealings with xenos on some level. The admech let dark eldar fiddle with the Golden Throne, Inqusitors do it so often they need a whole branch for alien languages, Rogue Traders obviously, even Black Templars fought beside Eldar in *The Forges of Mars* series. Clearly the anti-xenos sentiment is a great tool for controlling the masses, but the higher echelons of Imperial Society have no quarrels with bending the rules as long as they don't get caught.

Personally my favourite xenos human interaction will always be the Last Chancers on the Tau Ship, and the rest of *Kill Team*, as I think it shows how the average guardsman (albiet a buncha penal legion guardmen) feels towards T'au.  



ETL_VI_Ad_Mech_Banner2.png

 

 


#75
Kinstryfe

Kinstryfe

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 980 posts
  • Location:Michigan, USA
  • Faction: So many Imperials...
I think there's some pragmatism still around in the Imperium in the modern timeline. If your choice is to ally with Xenos who aren't actively trying to kill you to fight those who are, or fight two Xenos hordes trying to kill you, you take the greater chance of survival. You can always kill the nice ones later. Or if putting on a facade of politeness to befriend a Xenos trader who can be used to fulfill whatever goal gets you closer to your actual mission, then it's strategic to do so. But you're right, there is a propaganda arm to it all. Letting your citizens know that every other lifeform in the Galaxy wants to kill them, and that their only hope of survival is to worship The Emperor hard enough has to do a pretty decent job of keeping people in line. I wouldn't be surprised if the Imperium occasionally captures small bands of Xenos to drop into particularly rowdy worlds just to prove how important being good citizens is...
gallery_26_4045_659.png

I am a filthy ETL oathbreaker. I acknowledge my failing and will be sure to correct it.




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users