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#ConfessionsofaGreyWarden/ChampionofKirkwall/Inquisitor

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  • AyiekieAyiekie Member Posts: 857
    FWIW, I believe Ander's near-suicidal depression (if Hawke does not openly side against him) comes a little bit from a) knowing that his primary target was a "good one", and a lot more from b) knowing he has irrevocably, with the consent of nobody who he wishes to liberate, started a war in which many of them will die (some without ever even knowing why they're being killed) and which there is no certainty of victory. That's the impression I recall getting from him, though in fairness it was a fair few years ago.

    (Also, fascism was beaten without violence in most countries. Hitler is not exactly an unbiased source, here. I don't wanna politic up the thread any more than necessary, though.)

    So, on-topic:

    Confession: DA2 is the very best CRPG I have played, in over 25 years of playing them. It is not perfect, but its flaws are miniscule compared to its many unique strengths. I got the game for free and then ended up buying DLC I didn't even want just to give Bioware more money out of gratitude for the game.

    Confession: I've still never gotten through a playthrough of DA:O (my last attempt, which was primarily to give me an excuse to play DA2 again, dribbled to a halt somewhere before the Landsmeet). The tacky usage of rape in the city elf origin (the first one I tried) was off-putting (and rape-as-cheap-pathos was not limited to that in the game), and my character's inability to respond to the execrable murderous scumbag Duncan in any terms other than "Yay!" or "(quiet acquiescence)" still rankle on me to this day. There were also other problems like the terrible combat, Sten being made out of wet tissue paper, and so forth. I don't hate the characters, and while the plot is unexciting rehashed battle-against-evil garbage, some of the world building was interesting.

    Confession: Merrill is a great character, and it's sad that so few people seem to appreciate how interesting and unusual she is. One flaw, though, was that the game was written to leave absolutely no doubt whatsoever to the player that her quest was doomed and dangerous to both herself and others. Since there was absolutely no chance of it turning out well, it encouraged players to oppose it at every turn. Could've been done better. Even with this flaw (and the rushing of the final act of her story), she'll still one of my favourite bits of my favourite game.

    Confession: The Rivalry/Friendship mechanic was such a good idea. I expected DA:I to consciously distance itself from its unloved predecessor, but I was still astonished it went back to the terrible approval/disapproval system.

    Confession: Making elves look like humans with pointy ears again was terrible, and everyone who prefers it that way is also terrible.

  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 2,029
    we need an unpopular opinion thread for dragon age so my first one can be: people give DA 2 to much flak and it's still a good game despite being rushed.

    GenderNihilismGirdleSjerrie
  • GenderNihilismGirdleGenderNihilismGirdle Member Posts: 1,336
    Confession: I bought DA:I on Origins before checking if my computer met the minimum specs, and it doesn't (and by enough that I get the choppiest lag ever just at the main menu on minimum settings). :'(

    Confession: Because I still haven't got a chance to play DA:I, DA 2 is far and above not just my favourite Dragon Age game, but probably also my favourite fantasy Bioware game period aside from BG II (which it is almost tied with tbqh)

  • GenderNihilismGirdleGenderNihilismGirdle Member Posts: 1,336
    edited August 2016
    @Ayiekie FWIW I think your FWIW is ringing memory bells with me on that count as well, I feel your feels on that now that you've put it that way.

    (as for the bracketed bit, the history not just of Italy, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Holland, France, Yugoslavia/Slovenia and other places occupied by fascists and Nazis that had active violent resistance movements and war waged against fascism but also of the UK from before the Battle of Cable Street up through 43 Group and 62 Group Jewish antifascist veterans to the Battle of Lewisham and beyond, and the failures of declaring "victory over fascism in Europe" every May 8th from 1945 through the 70s with far right and fascist governments in power in Portugal and Spain that ended up needing antifascist violence to help push out those governments after the deaths of their dictators that was much more sorely needed on and immediately after May 8th 1945 from the international community, where "nonviolent negotiation" with Franco and Salazar at that point only emboldened their rule...I gotta say history disagrees with your bracketed bit pretty substantially, and these are only a token few examples among many others but that's for another thread or a PM no doubt)

  • SjerrieSjerrie Member Posts: 1,079
    edited August 2016
    Confession: I think equating the Chantry (or the Circle) with slavery is a gross over-simplification. Like any organized religion (real-world or fictional) the Andrastian faith has its zealots and moderates, including when it comes to the treatment of mages.
    As IRL, it is inevitable that in some places in the world a particular religion has a stronger presence than in other places, and it may have more influence on the secular government (if that government is secular at all). Kirkwall was a mess in that regard: an ineffective secular ruler (Dumar), a religious leader (Elthina) that has lost control over her subordinates (e.g. Petrice) and her religion's soldiers (Meredith and the Templars), a huge influx of refugees (including mages) over several years, the growing presence of another religion with some incompatible ideas (the Qunari), and a number of smaller events that nevertheless paved the way to inevitable conflict. A conflict that I see as a religious-extremist military coup.

    How mages are treated differs among the nations of Thedas, and even within those nations. Vivienne, while possibly an exception, enjoyed great respect in Orlais. Wynne maybe less so, but she was by no means seen as a slave or even a prisoner. The Mortalitasi of Nevarra also enjoy considerable privileges, even to the point of practicing necromancy without any real consequence.

    Do I think the mages in Kirkwall during DA2 were mistreated? Yes. Were they prisoners? Obviously. Were they slaves? In Kirkwall, maybe, depends on the definition you use. We *are* however looking at a single city-state, which as I've said before is a red-hot mess. If there's any organization that *maybe* could be considered slavers, it's *Kirkwall's* Templars. Not the whole Templar Order, nor the Chantry itself. Unless you consider most organized religions "spiritual slavery".


    Confession: I do believe that there are innocents among the deaths caused by Anders, both directly and indirectly.
    As for directly: laysisters and -brothers present in the chantry, having no real authority yet, those who came to the chantry for succor because their only other option was slowly starving to death. Or orphans, Anders may just be responsible for the deaths of children.

    As for indirectly, even though I realize a conflict was indeed inevitable: there are numerous examples of mages who consider their magic a curse, or whose only wish is to study history or read stuffy books, Circle or no. Mages who without Circle training would have been posessed by the first demon they'd come acros (how's that for slavery). Those still died during the mage-Templar conflict as collateral damage. Likewise there are Templars whose only wish was to protect mages from themselves, or from demonic posession, those that were just as much traing mages to do that as did their mage teachers. Templars like Kieran, whose only option to feed his family was to join the Templars. Or all the non-mages and non-Templars who got caught in the crossfire.


    Confession: I think the phrase "if you're not with us, you're against us" is almost never true or appropriate.

    Confession: I have more sympathy for Orsino than for Anders.

    GenderNihilismGirdle
  • BelleSorciereBelleSorciere Member Posts: 1,946
    So yeah, the circle system was basically mage slavery. Not only were mages put through harsh tests (see the Mage origin), and punished with lobotomies for acts deemed as wrongdoing (this is not unique to Kirkwall, even if Kirkwall may be the worst). Mages were kept under 24/7 observation by a military organization (the Templars), had no freedom of movement, and were coerced into providing free labor on demand.

    GenderNihilismGirdle
  • SjerrieSjerrie Member Posts: 1,079
    @BelleSorciere it seems that on some points we have different opinions. ;) I feel it inappropriate to continue the discussion in this topic however.

  • BelleSorciereBelleSorciere Member Posts: 1,946
    edited August 2016
    My opinions are supported by both in-game and out-of-game (comics and novels) text.

    I forgot to mention the part where mage children are torn from their families and confined to a strange place (circles) for the rest of their lives for the simple crime of having magical aptitude.

    GenderNihilismGirdle
  • SjerrieSjerrie Member Posts: 1,079

    My opinions are supported by both in-game and out-of-game (comics and novels) text.

    And did you just happen to blink past my own in-game examples?

    Confession: while in many cases I would dislike being forced into radical choices, I like that in DA2, despite Thedas being oviously not a black-and-white place, you eventually have only 2.

    Ayiekie
  • BelleSorciereBelleSorciere Member Posts: 1,946
    edited August 2016
    Your in-game examples don't really support your point, though.

    Plus your comparison of real world religions to the Chantry is a bit off because real world religions aren't abducting children and imprisoning them with 24/7 surveillance. This is not to say nothing like this ever happened (Magdalene laundries, for example), but it's very hard to justify them as anything but imprisonment and slavery. Not just that, but they're imprisoned because of who they are and not what they've done.

    If you want an example of how it was in Ferelden, check out Anders' history.

    GenderNihilismGirdle
  • AyiekieAyiekie Member Posts: 857
    The comparison of real-life slavery to what's going on in DA also falls down because there is no legitimate argument in real life that the slavery was for the good of both the slaves and everyone else due to the propensity of said slaves to get possessed by demons and wandering around killing and corrupting the peasantfolk with fell sorcerous energies.

    I don't support the Chantry (Bioware did a terrible job of giving the player any reason to side with them), but it would be far easier to play Devil's Advocate for them than it would be for chattel slavery in real life (not all slavery historically was like British/American plantation slavery, either, but that is another topic). And that system undoubtedly arose because of a very real and difficult to address problem (the game is vague on the scope of the problem, too, so it's hard to say whether it was an overreaction or not).

    GenderNihilismGirdleSjerrie
  • GenderNihilismGirdleGenderNihilismGirdle Member Posts: 1,336
    @Ayiekie The first two games' Codex entries were far from vague on the scope of the problem, Circles where the Chantry was the predominant faith were universally subjected to lobotomy and execution, and universally kept in a state of slavery.

    I agree that it's an "agree to disagree" point about whether mages were dangerous enough that checks of some kind were necessary (and I happen to be a bit of a mix of agree and disagree) but even if I concede that they absolutely were dangerous enough to warrant checks, I still absolutely stand against those being the heinous and vile checks imposed by the Chantry, as I don't think any danger warrants lobotomy, slavery or summary executions to preempt the danger.

    Mages have their own ideas for checks to preempt the danger and I'd sooner let people who are the most directly affected by possession (i.e. those vulnerable to possession and their fellow mages who are the first line of defence against victims of their violence, as well as the first victims of their violence) figure out ways to exorcise through magical means and develop tools and methods designed to help and support rather than let people who fear and are less directly affected than being victims of the possession itself, or their bunkmates, harm and enslave them as either a precaution or a response.

    Plenty of mages express no qualms killing a mage who is too far gone for magic to save, and I think that's a decision for mages to make, not slavers who think no leeway should be given for attempts to exorcise (and oddly enough, Origins and DA 2 both make the case for trying to find solutions that don't just kill the host with quests involving children, and of course Anders' version of being possessed is far from the thing the Chantry propaganda makes ALL of those possessions out to be...all of which I think is very telling tbh, and informs my own opinion of it all).

    and @Sjerrie 1) I'm not talking about them as religious people, I'm talking about them as slavers. They could be a secular atheist org and I'd have the same critiques if their justifications were the same, their religion is irrelevant in my criticisms. I'd love for there to be actual good Chantry members who oppose the slavery of the Circles (powerless to prevent the slavery or not) in the first two games, but we never seem to meet any outside, perhaps, a few party members. If we saw those people, if we got to get a hint that some rank and file/lay Chantry members present were actually Circle abolitionists, I would not count them among the slavers and this would indeed be a more complex issue.

    But we see nothing to suggest the Chantry members blown up by Anders are these people (or even that they exist, whether in Ferelden or the Free Marches) and there is, as far as I can recall, no mention of orphan children being anywhere in the vicinity (I may be wrong though, if that's true and you can source it I'd absolutely concede that killing kids is a major flaw in his plan, even if they're Chantry kids who think it's a good idea...you don't kill kids brainwashed to think slavery is acceptable, you kill or otherwise forcibly stop their brainwashers from doing so). It's an agree to disagree whether the indirect deaths Anders caused were worse than the direct deaths Templars caused on escaped mages who were not in any way compromised by possessing forces, or the lobotomies performed, or the generations of mage slavery that preceded his act that might have continued even longer...and I happen to disagree, and find the direct results of him not acting to have been much heavier a cost than the indirect deaths you list. That is, though, something I think is fair to differ on! I sort of wish that had been more heavily emphasized, on both sides of the equation. It would have made it feel legitimately more morally complex (not that either side went without any emphasis at all, but further exploration of both sets of costs in that respect would have felt more complete to me and less one-sided).

    2) I think you present a very rigid definition of slavery that would have excluded many black slaves in the Americas who had administrative or plantation oversight positions and were able to get an education...who were still slaves. Their masters weren't suddenly "not slave owners" for treating slaves differently than other slaves were treated. Not freeing an enslaved fellow human being is something I don't find any "but" to be a "but" that justifies enslavement of another human being, ever. Period. If you, as someone who has never been enslaved, can abstract the issue enough you can feel like some kinds of slavery "aren't really slavery because of respect for the slave by the masters who still won't free the slave" then we're talking about an Uncle Tom's Cabin kind of narrative that tries to justify slavery by painting some slavery as "beneficial" or "kinder" and then I think that's just a definition we'll have to part ways on. I don't see gradations of slavery with some acceptable and others not. I see 19th century slave owners trying to establish that distinction in their writings, between the "benevolent" slave owner and the "cruel" one, but I'm not one for the arguments of slave owners for the continued keeping of slaves no matter how they treated those they didn't free, and don't see "benevolence" or "kindness" in not whipping someone you own as property...that's just an inhumane practice that you decide not to end and rationalize by not piling on additional inhumanity. It doesn't make the first heinous act not heinous, it just means you avoid some vile things but not the owning of human beings.

    More to the point of the game, but informed by the above: different Circles in Thedas may have been slaves on a gradation of types of treatment, but I'm not one to find even the kindest of those to be somehow not morally just to resist. Kirkwall's were far from being treated "the kindest" of the Circles so I can't see a definition of slavery that doesn't include them. I don't know much about the Nevarran mages because I haven't played Inquisition, but I'm inclined to say their particular Chantry nannies are probably more ceremonial because of the political power these mages wield, so I would say only in that one instance are they not slavers. But again I don't know enough about it, just that the Codex and narrative of the first two imply that no Circle members under the control of the Chantry has freedom of movement to other nations without their express consent, and if the Nevarran Templar don't lobotomize or hunt down and kill escaped Nevarran mages then yeah they're probably not in control of that Circle in any real capacity and hence not slavers like the rest of them, but only because the mages accumulated Tevinter-esque amounts of political clout to neutralize that slavery over them (arguably not in a way that's the best method...but unless they're riddled with murderous possessed mages constantly rampaging through the Nevarran countryside, maybe the Chantry is wrong about Circles that run themselves being a danger! What a concept, slavers engaging in fearmongering propaganda to keep their stranglehold on slavery intact! Who woulda thunk it'd be possible for slavers to spread exaggerations and deceptions in order to continue their morally reprehensible practice, y'know?).

    TStael
  • AyiekieAyiekie Member Posts: 857

    @Ayiekie The first two games' Codex entries were far from vague on the scope of the problem, Circles where the Chantry was the predominant faith were universally subjected to lobotomy and execution, and universally kept in a state of slavery.

    Actually, what I was referring to was statistical evidence of exactly how often free mages are possessed (and how successful Chantry practices were at preventing this or stopping the possessed mage), plus some better ideas as to the how powerful the average possessed mage is, if all possessions are hostile or if there are some that are more like Anders (as you yourself referred to), and so forth. That kind of thing, that allows one to make a better judgement on just how big the mage problem is, and more to the point, make a more informed decision on just how necessary it was to protect the populace from rogue mages.

    Like, if 1% of non-chantry mages go out of control and they're about as dangerous on average as a small squad of soldiers, it's a much different situation than if 50% of them do and it's not uncommon for them to be terrifying threats to small armies.

    (I suspect the answer is in the middle, and that Bioware didn't want to give exact specifics precisely so the player's choice would be a gut check on the "lesser of two evils" rather than an informed choice. Then they screwed up by making the Chantry/Templars so openly evil right in front of the player so often, in both DA:O and DA2, that it seems absurd to side with them.)


    I agree that it's an "agree to disagree" point about whether mages were dangerous enough that checks of some kind were necessary (and I happen to be a bit of a mix of agree and disagree) but even if I concede that they absolutely were dangerous enough to warrant checks, I still absolutely stand against those being the heinous and vile checks imposed by the Chantry, as I don't think any danger warrants lobotomy, slavery or summary executions to preempt the danger.

    I agree in the abstract, in the sense that that's not only what I consistently choose in-game (if only because I'd have a hard time creating a Templar-friendly character who made sense unless they were an out and out mage-hater, which is hard to square with the fact you have to have them in your party), and I would certainly oppose the Chantry/Templar system in real life.

    That being said, I also feel rather strongly there is only two conceivable "end points" for a human society in DA: a) ruled by mage overlords, or b) anyone who displays any magic ability is killed upon discovery. Human societies routinely eradicate even imaginary threats, and the threat posed by mages is not imaginary. So one could argue that the C/T system, flawed as it is (abhorrent as it is), is at least preferable to the likely alternative, and was probably originally motivated by merciful, perhaps even noble intentions.

    (Of course, so were residential schools. Road to hell, etc etc.)

    I'll probably leave it at that until someone wants to start up a fantasy sociology/ethics of situations which can't arise in real life thread. :smile:

    SjerrieGenderNihilismGirdleTStael
  • AyiekieAyiekie Member Posts: 857
    Sjerrie said:


    Confession: while in many cases I would dislike being forced into radical choices, I like that in DA2, despite Thedas being oviously not a black-and-white place, you eventually have only 2.

    The point where my Hawke was told, after a game-long exercise in triangulating, placating, soothing, trying to see the points of both sides, and helping both sides knock down their most odious foes, that she just couldn't avoid picking a side any longer... the obvious frustration and reluctance she displayed was one of the very highest points of a game full of them.

    (Maybe just a smidgen above "If I die... make sure the world knows... I died at Chateau Haine!")

    SjerrieGenderNihilismGirdle
  • SjerrieSjerrie Member Posts: 1,079
    Since we are drifting steadily off-topic, I would like to respectfully ask anyone interested in discussing mage/Templar/Chantry moral dilemmas further to find or create an appropriate topic for it. You may even invite me to it, and I might even re-join the discussion (at my own pace, mind you), but I do think this topic is not the place to go so much in-depth. :)

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,450
    Confession: I've never played DA2, because I believed all the negative anti-hype surrounding it.

    Confession: You guys are making me think about finally giving it a chance, so I can make up my own mind about whether I like it or not.

    SjerrieGenderNihilismGirdleAyiekieJuliusBorisov
  • SjerrieSjerrie Member Posts: 1,079
    @BelgarathMTH like some of us have said, if you can look past the cons, it is an amazing game. :) If you're into it, I'd recommend taking one of your fav DAO games as import savegame in DA2, because while minor, those choices do have an effect.

    GenderNihilismGirdleJuliusBorisov
  • GenderNihilismGirdleGenderNihilismGirdle Member Posts: 1,336
    Slightly Off-Topic Confession: Part of me wishes Mass Effect Andromeda would just be a Mass Effect 4 using a Keep/Tapestry-esque system to highlight the big choices like they did for Inquisition. But...I'm also pretty pumped for what's looking to be on offer in Andromeda so far. Maybe one day...

    BelleSorciereSjerrie
  • SjerrieSjerrie Member Posts: 1,079
    Confession: I had never really tactically used Dispel Magic in DA2 before my current game. It's still no DAO Mana Clash, but man, I enjoy seeing an enemy mage raise a barrier, and almost immediately getting it dispelled and being peppered with arrows.

    GenderNihilismGirdle
  • GenderNihilismGirdleGenderNihilismGirdle Member Posts: 1,336
    Confession: I have the DLC, but I've never romanced Sebastian Vael.

  • BelleSorciereBelleSorciere Member Posts: 1,946
    Confession: I haven't been able to play a game with a dwarven character even though my favorite origins are the two dwarven origins.

    GenderNihilismGirdleSjerrie
  • GenderNihilismGirdleGenderNihilismGirdle Member Posts: 1,336

    Confession: I haven't been able to play a game with a dwarven character even though my favorite origins are the two dwarven origins.

    I have yet to finish a game I started with a Dwarven character...I came close with a Dwarven Noble game that I got distracted from and never finished. I should give it another go (once I'm playing less No Man's Sky lmao) and go with Bhelen this time instead of Harrowmont...Ultimate Forgiveness Route.

    SjerrieBelleSorciere
  • DragonKingDragonKing Member Posts: 1,656
    Confession: My favorite specialty in DAO is shapeshifter.

    Confession: It is only my favorite because I was able to mod in a dragon tree, demon tree, and so on.

    Confession: I loved the idea behind the force mage in DA2

    Confession: Isabela... mmm that is all.

    Confession: Flemmeth was the sexiest thing in DA2 and she deserved a bigger role!

    Confession: I hate how DA2 doesn't have shapeshifting, so no more going dragon for me :(

    SjerrieGenderNihilismGirdle
  • SjerrieSjerrie Member Posts: 1,079
    Confession: my first warden was a dwarf (noble) dual wielder, my first inquisitor was a dwarf dual wielder. My first Hawke was also a dual wielder. My second characters in each game were all (elven) mages.

    Confession: just started my 4th Inquisition game, starring my first male inquisitor.

    Confession: the tanking role is not my favorite.

    GenderNihilismGirdle
  • NimranNimran Member Posts: 4,848
    Confession: I loved being a tank in Origins, but got less interested in tanky characters as the series went on.

    Confession: I love dual wielding rogues in Inquisition, primarily for the ability to wield two masterworks. Chance of an automatic Thousand Knives and generating guard with each hit? Yup.

    Confession: It took me a few tries to realize that I can beat the final boss of the DA2 DLC (the one about the Hawke family) by taking shelter in the alcoves. :sweat_smile:

    SjerrieGenderNihilismGirdleTStaelJuliusBorisov
  • deltagodeltago Member Posts: 7,025
    I donno if I mentioned this in this thread yet but:

    My first (and favorite) Origins character was a murderous, casteless, rogue who used a maul for instant backstabbing kills.

    I was annoyed when I couldn't recreate this type of character in either Inquisition or DA2.

    GenderNihilismGirdleSjerrieTStael
  • TStaelTStael Member Posts: 861
    @GenderNihilismGirdle - I bit certainly, you bit to enligten me - and while I do not agree with you, I like yer strong teeth! :smiley:

    The strength of BioWare writing, I find, is that it is a scavanger, and in this a time honoured originator. What Anders does would be irrelevant if there had not always been also a real-life acceptance of violence for political goals, or achieving change or even mundaine things.

    As such, your view should triupph because achieving change through non-violence is very rare - yet not unheard of. Gandhi. Rosa Banks. Martin Luther King. Nelson Mandela. Aung San Suu Kyi. So there must be more.

    Confession: I hate what Anders does, but could never oblige Sebastian - I tell him to go, even if I a healer mage would do well in the end battle.

  • TStaelTStael Member Posts: 861
    @Sjerrie - most heavy confessions the first two, lol. Especially the melee-rogue Inki one... Without mouse-click attack, I always relied on telescopic abilities for my Inki-rogue, but by somewhat unwilling necessity.

    Confession: I did not hesitate to pump down the difficulty at my first Legacy end battle - but I still really enjoyed it, and pretty much chuckled out loud. "Perhaps a little something more" and those visuals are just charmingly over the top, IMO.

    Sjerrie
  • GenderNihilismGirdleGenderNihilismGirdle Member Posts: 1,336
    edited September 2016
    TStael said:

    @GenderNihilismGirdle - I bit certainly, you bit to enligten me - and while I do not agree with you, I like yer strong teeth! :smiley:

    The strength of BioWare writing, I find, is that it is a scavanger, and in this a time honoured originator. What Anders does would be irrelevant if there had not always been also a real-life acceptance of violence for political goals, or achieving change or even mundaine things.

    As such, your view should triupph because achieving change through non-violence is very rare - yet not unheard of. Gandhi. Rosa Banks. Martin Luther King. Nelson Mandela. Aung San Suu Kyi. So there must be more.

    Confession: I hate what Anders does, but could never oblige Sebastian - I tell him to go, even if I a healer mage would do well in the end battle.

    Simultaneous to Gandhi's nonviolent movement there were violent groups, Hindu, Sikh, Muslim and secular, bombing British colonial HQs and military outposts, including a few daring raids on British jails holding political prisoners. British soldiers and officers posted to India were found murdered with a mounting regularity even as Gandhi's movement also grew.

    We get a filtered view of it because nonviolence alone always protects the state. Nonviolence as one tactic among a diversity of tactics of resistance, including violence, is what has always achieved change, and the media of countries that don't really like their population knowing that (which includes "democratic" countries with "freedom of speech" and not just totalitarian regimes) make sure to filter things, omit things and/or emphasize things as they like.

    This is also true of MLK, he was part of a Civil Rights Movement, and that movement also included black people taking violent action and arming themselves, and it was the diversity of tactics, violent and nonviolent alike, that scared the government into action, and like with the British and India, the only groups and individuals they talked about openly were those they "respected" for their nonviolence, not those the state feared because of their use of effective and widespread violence, and that was in large part to make sure those states could manage any future attempts more successfully by encouraging the more easily suppressed kind of dissidence. MLK also argued late in his life (not that you see this quoted on white people's facebook pages who speak glowingly of an image of him that's sanitized enough not to actually be him) that black people should arm themselves to defend against racist whites, which makes sense for him to eventually come around to given the white supremacist attempts on his and his family's life included guns fired into his home and explosives lobbed through his windows, and he was eventually shot to death. The FBI's massive settlement with his family over their direct involvement in his assassination goes to show that even nonviolent resistance like MLK's can provoke violence from the state...so you might as well meet fire with fire as long as they're going to be bearing down on you with flamethrowers anyway if you're effective enough, even as they praise you for advising people to endure the flames (and I wonder why that might be...).

    Peter Gelderloos talks about all of this in a book you can read for free, if you care to take a look, he goes into way more detail than I do here, dispels a lot of myths about Gandhi and MLK that media prop up which either are complete fabrications or include intentional omissions (and it's worth noting, since I don't think Gelderloos really goes into it there, that while MLK was an amazing stand-up person, Gandhi was actually a pretty reprehensible human being: he regularly sexually abused one of his nieces, refused his wife Western medical treatment when she was dying and then accepted it for himself when he was dying, and a host of other really heinous things if you care to look it up, and Arundhati Roy's introduction to B.R. Ambedkar's Annihilation of Caste, as well as that text itself, make clear how wrong the West's filtered view of Gandhi is, including the division in India about his backwards views on caste when compared to people like Ambedkar, who called Gandhi out when they were both alive on some of this).

    If you dig deep enough, any act of nonviolent resistance that actually succeeded on a wide scale has a violent component. Diversity of tactics is always important, especially when peaceful measures alone aren't working. Same with South Africa in Mandela's time, or with Burmese resistance aside from Aung San Suu Kyi's movement. There is always organized, widespread violence that accompanies the nonviolent resistance, and it is part of the effectiveness of the nonviolent resistance that there is a rod for the carrot to point to.

    So I'm not saying nonviolent resistance has no place, but nonviolent resistance alone has no power. It has never worked on its own, and every instance of it "working" there have been so many people prepped for violence and enacting violence at the same time that it's pretty clear there's a bias at work in the distortion of history as time goes on in trying to exclude what was working together with nonviolence to make it work. Working class protests used to be quite violent, rarely avoiding open violent conflict with police, when they won us caps on the amount of hours an employer could force out of us in the 19th century, and the labour rights won throughout that century and the early 20th were also won by a much rowdier and less controllable labour movement than today. Now organized labour complies with police directives when they protest and is much more peaceful, and achieves substantially less (and in fact the state and the corporate world claws back hard-won victories of the past labour movements more and more all the time in the past few decades).

    BelleSorciere
  • TStaelTStael Member Posts: 861
    @GenderNihilismGirdle

    Well, IMO BW's strenght in writing is to be pretty bold in including rather persistent dilemmas of human nature with DA2 in particular being magnificently topical, and PS:T more on individualistic bases. Those that perpetrated left-wing anarchist or national cycle of terror in Europe obviously believed in and approved of such methods, so it's actually fair Anders has his supporters. I just cannot be one of them.

    The treatment of mages in DA universe is pretty appaling, calling to mind how mental illness was "cured" by lobotomia.

    I somewhat despair how beastly the nature of man can be in context of group think, but I also actually tend to believe that humans are born intrinsically helpful, but that can be easily corrupted by social cohesion, yet nurtured too.

    The issue I take with accepting violence as inevitable as effective as it seems to be is that it is forced upon those who abhor it, or just cannot perform. I am not sure if I were able to kill another even to preserve my own life, and count on not finding out - yet I cannot view unwillingness to harm or kill as weakness.

    Without nonviolent outlets of influence such people are either corrupted or trempled under foot, and many such people of principle were also in the labour movement to which we owe many a thing taken for granted and which I admire. I am not a purist, by no means - I sort of chuckled when Air France workers tore the shifts off their executives' backs, and almost wrote back to tell AF that I was on their workers' side when it wrote a customer e-mail apologizing for the incident. I am at a loss why neoliberal thinking is generally taken as given these days, but take heart in thinking that my consumer choices and left-wing voting pattern will have some bearing.


    Actual gaming confessions? Hum...


    Confession: I am livid what BW did with poor Bann Teagan in Inquisition DLC!!

    I wanted to romance him in Origins, and found him very swoonwrothy. And that gallant, loyal, dashing Teagan was brought back as a cynical old man with extremely odd taste in headwear - damn u BW!

    Confession: I am also frustrated that BW has not at least given the voice of Teagan (Timothy Watson) a major role as a party member thus far, even if I know the man is maybe too valuable as a brilliant actor for wide range of side characters. (Teagan, Gamlen, Lordseeker Lucius etc)

    Confession: Add to that frustration that the voice for Valen Shadowbreath of HoTU (Fred Zbryski) has not been cast as a major romanceable character after that title.

    Confession: I think I am just very envious of cullenites even if happy for them for the first class fan service by BW! :smiley:

    GenderNihilismGirdle
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