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Tau Ideaology Question
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Old 09 May 2006, 09:25   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Tau Ideaology Question

Greetings Comrade. I'm not sure if this is the right board, but i have a question that has been nagging me worse than a good case of Nurgle Rot. Are the Tau communists? Before you smite fight and bite me just hear me out. the entire concept of the greater good sounds like communism, Wanting to share and help your fellow man (or alien)? Communism i tells ya! what are your views ?
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Old 09 May 2006, 09:38   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau Ideaology Question

Well, definitely pretty far left... However its not the kind of communism humans have ended up practicing every time (where a little oligarchy in charge of all the sharing takes more for itself).

So the answer would be no if you're asking whether the tau are communist in the same way as Mao/Stalin/etc claim to be, but yes in terms of the 'ideal' of communism (assuming the ethereals aren't taking large amounts of resources needed by others, which doesn't seem to be the case; everyone seems pretty content).

Its actually quite a noble ideal to strive for, especially compared to "we at the top have ours, and if you don't have yours its because you don't deserve it" faci.. er... corporate capitalism. They certainly won't have a stock market that's for sure...

By redistributing everything as needed rather than a 'trickle-down' (aka golden shower) economy, they improve working conditions, consumption rates for luxuries (you can't buy luxuries if you can barely buy bread) assuming they have some form of 'pocket-money', which means there's more production to supply the demand, thus more jobs AND profit, and thus massively improve the quality of life for everyone. The greater good.

The reduced strain on the 'la ranks should they actually recieve less actually improves production, efficiency and thus proift (safety and short work hours actually pay off in the long run, but cost a bit in the short run). Just look at the work-weeks of some european countries, or the occasional startup company: the reduced hours actually translate into equal or higher production (at less cost) by reducing stress and fatigue (which leads to accidents, damage, breakdowns...)

This is at a slower rate than current modern beancounters (who may be there for just a few short years to 'improve margins' before moving to the next company or retiring) seem to find acceptable.

The lack of an imperium (or any modern country, really) sized bureaucracy (ie; a useless self-sustaining monstrosity) probably helps things to an incredible extent, too: not having a 'department payroll archiving' payroll department definitely reduces how much of the cashflow is being bogged down and lost by paperpushers with no actual use in society (read: half our governments if not more)

Mind you I'm no economic expert, but yeah, I'm pretty sure that if they're not outright communists as you suggest, they're either damn close, or one step past it.
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Old 09 May 2006, 09:50   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau Ideaology Question

Thankyou for being so reasonable.
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Old 09 May 2006, 09:57   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau Ideaology Question

It is an interesting question, and usually produces enlightening discussion. No one gets the smite just for asking a question (unless copywrite infringement is involved :funny.

I would argue that communism is primarily an economic system, and we don't know enough about the Tau to make that call. The problem I see is that communism is based on the idea of the workers owning the means of production, but the Tau don't seem to have the same view of ownership that humans do. The fact that the Tau have a pre-determined caste system also is a marked break with communist ideology.

My usual answer to this question is that the Tau are an upper Hereditary Theocratic Oligarchy (small group of Ethereals born to office rule through what is essentially a religion) with a lower Parliamentary Meritocracy (the upper ranks of the castes are chosen for ability and make consensus decisions).
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Old 09 May 2006, 10:09   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau Ideaology Question

Meritocracy.. I'd forgotten about those. Also a pretty good concept, and seems to match the ranks too (Shas'O are shas'el with a lot of skill and experience under their belts; and so on down).

If their concept of ownership is different, then their entire economy most likely is also.

It would be interesting to get some more info on tau culture on things like this.
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Old 09 May 2006, 12:54   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau Ideaology Question

I concur.. Similar to Marxism... (The ideal concept Communism was derived from)
Very insightful, good read.
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Old 09 May 2006, 14:36   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau Ideaology Question

Of course they're communists, only the commies come up with good tech fast. :



Sorry, terrible joke. On a serious note you *could* consider the Tau a benevolent dictatorship of sorts. You know, just replace Linus Torvalds with the Ethereals.
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Old 09 May 2006, 15:44   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau Ideaology Question

The concept does seem to lean towards communism.

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Old 09 May 2006, 23:09   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau Ideaology Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Commander SilentStrike
The concept does seem to lean towards communism.
Or Christianity or islam or any -ism that put the good of society at the fore...
There are any amount of human -isms that can be used to portray the Tau society, possibly including fascism "The good of Our race at the peril of those who oppose us".

Take your pick >

[edit]
..but of the options presented so far, I agree with Khanaris' definition!
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Old 09 May 2006, 23:54   #10 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Tau Ideaology Question

Well, not all descriptive options are quiite accurate... organised religions, for example, are rarely, if ever, for the good of society instead of for the good of the few controlling it and their acomplices (church and state, remember?)... the few good people who follow them would not have been turned 'evil' just because it was lacking. Its a set of rules/restrictions (generally ignored by the high-ups in the faith), NOT a moral beacon.

Replace 'emperor' with <insert jesus, allah, spaghetti monster, or any icon of your choice> and the imperium would still be exactly as it is, though some of the iconography used might of course be different; what with the holy meatballs and forks adorning the landraiders.

the 'ideal' (not the one that ends up getting practiced) form of communism is probably the closest thing to what the tau practice: a deeply ingrained sense of "Everyone benefits (yourself included)". The ethereals seem to be 'worshipped' more out of a sense of respect for their having brought this philosophy over, or possibly due to the pheromones or whatever they use for control.

A society that's benefited from the greater good for so long would be extremely hard-pressed to change their ways as they grow up experiencing the advantages of a community that seeks to encourage their growth, rather than rip their brains out with a few 'amens' (or 'hail big brother or whatever&#39 and turn them into cogs. Even the caste differences aren't necessarily all that limiting: the physiological differences as well as upbringing will mean that an extremely high percentage of offspring grow up to WANT to perform the duties of their caste.

Granted there's always the exception; "I wanna pilot THAT thing! *points to manta*, not a hammerhead!" but even then those can PROBABLY be accomodated... after all its a meritocracy, so what you're good at is probably far more important than what caste you're born in.

Fire caste for example are bigger than most other tau, and naturally more agressive. While its possible one might end up as a scientist once in a while (nothing wrong with mixing the species back up a little for the greater good), the great majority of them are probably far more interested in using a pulse rifle than making one. Much as we hate to admit it sometimes, kids often end up with similar tastes/values to their parents or guardians.


edit: ... well that oughta give my chaos-playing friend an idea for his theme... spaghetti monster chaos marines (would that be slaneesh or nurgle? I mean, its delicious delicious pasta... ... but its also wierdly mutated organic foodstuffs!)
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