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Yeah, pompous title. But over on RPG.net, someone said that the core of every organization in the World of Darkness was
(1) the ends justify the means and
(2) anyone not with us, is against us.
That struck me as a pretty succinct summary of how conflicts arise and things go wrong, even if people mean well (which, to be sure, much of the WoD doesn't in the first place.)

Which leads to the thought, what if we reverse them?
(1) Rightful means matter
(2) Neutrality is allowed

Or even (1a) Operate via the Golden Rule for everyone, even powerless outsiders.

Which led to wondering about organizations that fit that mold, especially ones which explicitly make the Golden Rule part of their charter. I don't know of any that do the latter, frankly. In the real world, Switzerland and the Nordics might come close to acting on it, even to immigrants. (Yeah, Swiss *citizenship* is hard to get, but I think they're okay to refugees.) Fiction... Star Trek? Their abuse of the Prime Directive (especially in the Picard era) and distrust of AIs undermines that. I probably can't honestly put myself in the position of choosing between my culture and medical care, but I'm pretty sure I'd risk cultural disruption over an asteroid killing my whole planet.

Nanoha's Time-Space Administration Bureau comes pretty close, though, if only by accident of writing style. It seems chock full of nice people, they've got Earth under unexplained Masquerade (I'm willing to buy "not shattering your primitive cultures" as headcanon) but will intervene to stop major threats we can't[1], they try to rehabilitate prisoners.

The USA, OTOH, behaves much more like a World of Darkness organization. Treat people at the border like criminals, lots of underhanded skullduggery (much of which doesn't even work well!)... Believing we should behave more like the second set of rules seems like a pretty useful left/right split, though much of the extreme left runs on WoD rules. These thoughts are even prompted by an RPG.net leftist sneering at liberals "disarming" ourselves by not playing dirty. "Only results matter."

[1] Granted they're willing to puree Japan in the process, because that's still better than letting the Earth be scoured clean of life. Sometimes the ends *do* justify the means.

See the comment count unavailable DW comments at http://mindstalk.dreamwidth.org/428732.html#comments



( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Sep. 27th, 2015 02:33 am (UTC)
Bad means taint good ends.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


Damien Sullivan

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