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The origin of neobarb

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The origin of neobarb
Post by cthia   » Thu Jun 30, 2022 10:19 am

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Neobarbarism

Do forgive me for this which has plagued me for "literary" centuries.

“Neo-Barbarism,” according to the curators, is a contemporary trend of the uncivilized or wild that lacks sublimation and strives for a broader meaning. It is characterized by a clear preference for the theatrical, the artificial, the processed – even crudely – over that which seeks to impersonate reality itself.

Another accepted meaning is someone or some entity who is lacking in social or cultural refinement. I very well can't see this term being applied to Manticore any more than I can see it being applied to England and the Queen, as far as social or cultural refinement is concerned.

So from where did this term of endearment come from as applied to Manticore by the SL? Does textev say? Surely not from Manticore's desire to bust heads, which would certainly amount to the huge Solarian melting pot calling the kettle black.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: The origin of neobarb
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Thu Jun 30, 2022 11:41 am

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cthia wrote:So from where did this term of endearment come from as applied to Manticore by the SL? Does textev say? Surely not from Manticore's desire to bust heads, which would certainly amount to the huge Solarian melting pot calling the kettle black.


I'm pretty sure it's NOT that definition.

It's probably using the original definition from the Romans: barbarians were everyone who lived outside the Empire's borders. In the Solarian's sense, everyone who lived outside the League were "neo-barbarians."
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Re: The origin of neobarb
Post by Jonathan_S   » Thu Jun 30, 2022 11:53 am

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I don't recall text-ev saying where it originated - though I found 152 uses of the word in a quick text search of the books I've got electronically.

However it wasn't applied exclusively to Manticore. The League viewed everyone outside its borders as neobarbs. So I think it probably originated more along the lines of what ThinksMarkedly posted -- started off as an "everyone beyond the borders" semi-insult. And then it gained wider spread currency as a general purpose putdown for anybody seen as those systems seen as less technologically culturally evolved as yourself.

See for example Janacek, when he's running the Admiralty for High Ridge, calling Graysons as neobarbs!?!


(Though like many insults it is also used self-deferentially by those it's been applied to -- see Oversteegen saying "And speakin' purely as a backward and benighted neobarb" [CoS])
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Re: The origin of neobarb
Post by cthia   » Thu Jun 30, 2022 12:05 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
cthia wrote:So from where did this term of endearment come from as applied to Manticore by the SL? Does textev say? Surely not from Manticore's desire to bust heads, which would certainly amount to the huge Solarian melting pot calling the kettle black.


I'm pretty sure it's NOT that definition.

It's probably using the original definition from the Romans: barbarians were everyone who lived outside the Empire's borders. In the Solarian's sense, everyone who lived outside the League were "neo-barbarians."

That is certainly logical. What comes to mind is in the sense of the well known Barbarians at the Gate.

The expression "barbarians at the gate" is often used in contemporary English within a sarcastic, or ironic context, when speaking about a perceived threat from a rival group of people, often deemed to be less capable, or somehow "primitive". For example, within the university context, many historians harbour a secret (or not so secret) disdain for the field of political science, as its methodology can be very different than that of history and because some historians feel that the often larger political science departments pose a threat to them. Within such a context, one may say, somewhat sarcastically, that the "barbarians are at the gate."

The term "barbarian" was used by the Romans to denote anyone who was different, or who lived outside of the Roman Empire. The expression "barbarians at the gate" was also used by the Romans to describe foreign attacks against their empire. Many Roman cities were surrounded by walls and gates during the fifth century and as such, this expression was also used in a literal sense.


However, the SLN never considered any other navy as being anywhere near their gates, or threatening in the least.

If they would have woken up and smelled the coffee of the NEOBARBS at their gates, then they would have paid attention to the NEOBARB'S machinery.

I don't recall the term being applied to anyone but Manticore, though it may have been applied to the Havenites as well, being a part of the fighting and bickering "over there."

However, if applied to anyone outside of SL walls, then at one point the SL surely acquired NEOBARBS as part of the SL when they absorbed them. Of course, that would have been viewed by the almighty SL as an act of altruision to adopt a neobarb and enlighten him.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: The origin of neobarb
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Thu Jun 30, 2022 1:03 pm

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cthia wrote:If they would have woken up and smelled the coffee of the NEOBARBS at their gates, then they would have paid attention to the NEOBARB'S machinery.


That needs to get past the major blindspot that neobarbs were, by definition, not worthy of paying attention to.

I don't recall the term being applied to anyone but Manticore, though it may have been applied to the Havenites as well, being a part of the fighting and bickering "over there."


Your sample is very biased here. The vast majority of the Honorverse stories is told from the point of view of Manticoran people, so whenever you hear the term used, the chances are high that it's going to be used on a Manticoran in the first place. If it's used as an insult, then it's also likely to be used with higher frequency against someone the speaker considers uppity. The RMN was standing up to the SLN, so that would cause those situations, whereas the majority of the Verge in stories we've heard would simply be beneath contempt.

But I'd double check if the term didn't get used in the Madras sector in the SI books.

However, if applied to anyone outside of SL walls, then at one point the SL surely acquired NEOBARBS as part of the SL when they absorbed them. Of course, that would have been viewed by the almighty SL as an act of altruision to adopt a neobarb and enlighten him.


Oh, of course. Once they see the enlightenment and become civilised, with the guiding help of the OFS of course, they can join the League.

See also the fact that the term "barbarian" was originally Greek (βάρβαρος), not Latin/Roman. It applied to anyone who didn't speak Greek... so the Romans were initially barbarians themselves.
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Re: The origin of neobarb
Post by Jonathan_S   » Thu Jun 30, 2022 3:42 pm

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cthia wrote:I don't recall the term being applied to anyone but Manticore, though it may have been applied to the Havenites as well, being a part of the fighting and bickering "over there."
It's been applied pretty broadly. And the operative term in "neobarb navy" appears to be "neobarb" -- first you start calling them neobarbs, and then if they have a navy it's a neobarb navy.

Also here's a telling quote given by RMN's Sara Kate Lessem on HMS Clas Fleming at Ajay "They’re Solarians, and Solarians automatically know everything they need to know about the neobarbs inhabiting the outer dark beyond the League’s borders" because that does show that at least Manticorans believe that the League applies the term to anybody outside their borders.


But the term seems pretty widely applied.

Even ignoring cases where someone self-deferentially uses it against themselves, says it as a projection of how they think a 3rd party views them, or is someone from the League using it solely against Manticore, we still have at least the following:

* Rob Pierre [Haven] as a general term for distant folks - "Now everyone, with the possible exception of a few neobarbs on planets no one's gotten around to rediscovering yet, knows who she is" [AoV]

* (As mentioned) Janacek [Manticore] against Grayson - "Besides, Graysons were uppity, without the proper respect and deference such a planet full of hayseed neobarbs ought to show the Alliance's senior navy." [WoH] (one of several instances)

* Janacek [Manticore] against Lynx - ""You think they're going to turn out to be another bunch of Graysons? Or that we should even want another batch of neobarbs?""

* Aldona Anisimovna [MAlign] - "There were entire star nations, and not just those full of neobarbs or stuck off in the back of beyond in the Shell, worth less than he was." [AAC]

* Albrecht Detweiler [MAlign] against the League and/or Manticore - "Sometimes you have to be really obvious to convince neobarbs to draw the desired conclusion." [AAC]

* Rajampet [League] against Manticore plus the verge in general - "We can’t establish that kind of precedent! If any pissant little neobarb navy decides the SLN can’t tell it what to do, we’re going to have a hell of a problem out in the Verge!" [MoH] (one of several against Manticore and "other neobarbs" they might inspire)

* League files [League] against outsiders in general - "Byng’s files had also confirmed something ONI had suspected for a long time. In the almost inconceivable event that some neobarb star nation, or possibly some rogue OFS sector governor, attacked the Solarian League (or chose to forcibly resist OFS aggression, although that wasn’t specifically spelled out, of course), the SLN had evolved a simple, straightforward strategy" [MoH]

* Hirokichi Floyd [League] against Manticore plus others - "To make matters worse, he’d been deprived by the then-Star Kingdom of Manticore, the most uppity of the neobarb star nations which were disinclined to grant the Solarian League the deference to which it was so obviously due" [ART]

* Filareta [League] reflected on his prior belief; against both Manticore and Haven - "After all, how good did some neobarb have to be if all she was going to do was beat up on other neobarbs?" [ART]

* Filareta [League] against Grayson - "ONI and BuPlan had always recognized that Grayson might be stupid enough to stand up beside its Manticoran allies. They were religious fanatics, after all, even more backward than most of their fellow neobarb monarchies" [ART]

* Abruzzi or Carmichael [League] against the grand alliance - "people who were embracing Abruzzi’s version so enthusiastically had done so because it explained how the invincible Solarian League could have been defeated so completely by a patchwork coalition of neobarbs" [ART]

* Admiral Helland [League] about both Manticore and Haven - "She’d subscribed fully to Battle Fleet hubris—at least before the Battle of Spindle—and she still considered both Manticore and the Republic of Haven “uppity neobarbs” who needed to be taught their manners" [UH]

* Hajdu [League] showing it applies more generally - "Neobarb neutrals are one thing, but someone who chooses to stab the League in the back when it’s his responsibility to represent it" [UH]

* Quartermain [League] about the protectorate - "And a government run by their neighbors, people from their own region, has to be more attractive to neobarbs in the Protectorates than OFS ever was" [UH]

* Henry Thoreau [unknown affiliation] - "this one is too high profile. We try to pull it off, and we'd better plan on migrating to some neobarb colony no one ever heard of" [Worlds of Honor]

* Governor Obermeyer [Silesian] - "The Confederacy was not some neobarb single-system little flyspeck on a chart somewhere, she had informed Honor icily, and she intended to demand apologies—and undoubtedly reparations—at the very highest level" [IFF]

* Commodore Aikawa Navarre [Mesan Space Navy] about Manticore - "I am shocked-no, Captain, sickened-to hear anyone calling himself a naval officer, even of a backwater, neobarb 'star kingdom,' acting as a mouthpiece for the scum of the galaxy" [CoS]

* Ragnhild's Instructors at the Acadamy [Manticore] - had told her "Sometimes the inhabitants of planets whose societies or technology bases had been hammered especially hard took a sort of aggressive, in-your-face reverse pride in their neobarbarian status." [SoS]

* Naomi Kaplan [Manticore] - "Too many real pirates are neobarbs from backwaters even less enlightened than Nuncio." [SoS]

* [Manticore] - "Some of those alarmed souls had been none too shy about calling the Talbotters "neobarbs," which Michelle, despite her own concerns, had found decidedly ironic, given the fact that Sollies routinely applied that pejorative to the same citizens of the Star Kingdom who were now using it about someone else" [SftS]

* Maitland Askew [League] - "He knew the RMN was a lot bigger than most of the neobarb fleets floating around out in the Verge and beyond" [SftS]

* Commissioner Lorcan Verrochio [League] about Monica - "a batch of battlecruisers manned by neobarbs who hadn't even managed to get more than three of them refitted and back into commission" [SftS]

* Karl-Heinz Sabatino [League] against the Chotěbořan system - "What amounted to petty cash for a transstellar like Frogmore-Wellington or Iwahara was more than enough to make a neobarb dictator like Cabrnoch and the key members of his regime indecently wealthy by local standards" [SoV]

* Adam Omikado [League] against Swallowan citizen - "He loathed uppity neobarbs like Eileanóra Allenby." [SoV]
Last edited by Jonathan_S on Thu Jun 30, 2022 7:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The origin of neobarb
Post by tlb   » Thu Jun 30, 2022 6:29 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:* Ragnhild's Instructors at the Acadamy [Manticore] - had told her "Sometimes the inhabitants of planets whose societies or technology bases had been hammered especially hard took a sort of aggressive, in-your-face reverse pride in their neobarbarian status." [SoS]

* Naomi Kaplan [Manticore] - "Sometimes the inhabitants of planets whose societies or technology bases had been hammered especially hard took a sort of aggressive, in-your-face reverse pride in their neobarbarian status." [SoS]

I found the first one in chapter 16 of Shadow of Saganami; but cannot find those same words a second time in that book.
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Re: The origin of neobarb
Post by Jonathan_S   » Thu Jun 30, 2022 7:16 pm

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tlb wrote:
Jonathan_S wrote:* Ragnhild's Instructors at the Acadamy [Manticore] - had told her "Sometimes the inhabitants of planets whose societies or technology bases had been hammered especially hard took a sort of aggressive, in-your-face reverse pride in their neobarbarian status." [SoS]

* Naomi Kaplan [Manticore] - "Sometimes the inhabitants of planets whose societies or technology bases had been hammered especially hard took a sort of aggressive, in-your-face reverse pride in their neobarbarian status." [SoS]

I found the first one in chapter 16 of Shadow of Saganami; but cannot find those same words a second time in that book.

That's because I messed up my copy and paste :o

The Kaplan quote should have been "Too many real pirates are neobarbs from backwaters even less enlightened than Nuncio."; from Chapter 24 of Shadow of Saganami

(Risks of a manual process of sorting through over 100 hits in a file in all files search and copy over those I found relevant -- errors occur)
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Re: The origin of neobarb
Post by tlb   » Thu Jun 30, 2022 7:47 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:* Ragnhild's Instructors at the Acadamy [Manticore] - had told her "Sometimes the inhabitants of planets whose societies or technology bases had been hammered especially hard took a sort of aggressive, in-your-face reverse pride in their neobarbarian status." [SoS]

* Naomi Kaplan [Manticore] - "Sometimes the inhabitants of planets whose societies or technology bases had been hammered especially hard took a sort of aggressive, in-your-face reverse pride in their neobarbarian status." [SoS]

tlb wrote:I found the first one in chapter 16 of Shadow of Saganami; but cannot find those same words a second time in that book.

Jonathan_S wrote:That's because I messed up my copy and paste :o

The Kaplan quote should have been "Too many real pirates are neobarbs from backwaters even less enlightened than Nuncio."; from Chapter 24 of Shadow of Saganami

(Risks of a manual process of sorting through over 100 hits in a file in all files search and copy over those I found relevant -- errors occur)

Understandable, sorry I did not try harder to find what you meant to write. I searched for "neobarbarian", instead of "neobarb". I doubted that the exact words would be used twice, but did not adjust my search to account for that.
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Re: The origin of neobarb
Post by dscott8   » Fri Jul 01, 2022 5:56 pm

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This, I think, is quite simple. Lots of societies feel better about themselves if they're able to look down on outsiders. "Neobarb" is the "N" Word of the Honorverse. It's an expression of the bigotry that is a tragic part of humanity's cultural baggage.
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