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The way Duchairn’s salvaging the Church...

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Re: The way Duchairn’s salvaging the Church...
Post by thanatos   » Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:46 pm

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PeterZ wrote:
fallsfromtrees wrote:The problem with rejecting steam is that it really can be argued that it lies within the prescriptions of muscle, wind and water. Steam power is just the use if water to produce wind where required, and it's usefulness is such that that argument will carry a lot of weight among all of the people. There fore rejecting it takes the chance that people will instead reject the COGA, and instead move to the Sox, which has approved it's use. Rejecting on doctrinal rounds could mean having to restart the Jihad, somewhat the Duchairn really doesn't want to do.

Steam is here to say, and will spread to much of the world - escaping North Marching and Desnair.


Agreed. That failure to adopt steam will make North Harchong subject to revolt from the South. Just occurred to me. A revolution regarding freeing people from bondage where the South wants to free people and they win! Yup, that's coming for Harchong.

Desnair's official rejection of steam will cause their factions to vie for power. Those factions which gain Charisian or Dohlaran support will gain strength and likely win. I see a nasty proxy war there.


Actually, when steam power is introduced in HFAF, Paityr and Housemyn have a conversation about it in which Paityr informs him that within established precedent, steam power goes up against the limitations established by Jwo-Jeng. In his current state of mind, he would gladly approve it but he still needed a plausible excuse to use. As such, he employed the sort of "logic chopping" arguments he once criticized when other inquisitors had used them and gave us the already authorized steam cooking, wind generating excuse. The problem is that even the COGA under Duchairn might have a problem with this "creative" or "inventive" excuse. Moreover, once Clyntahn got wind of the concept of steam power, he was very interested in it. However, if Clyntahn authorized the exploration of this technology as a war expedient, it might cause many in the current reincarnation of the Church to repudiate his decision on the grounds that the Grand Inquisitor exceeded his authority under the Proscriptions. Of course, a failure to attest the use of steam power and to permit its use throughout the lands still loyal to the COGA would become a practical problem. It outs them in a constant state of technological inferiority vis-a-vis Charis and Siddarmark, both militarily and economically.

So even if Duchairn manages to somehow alleviate the security concerns of realms such as Desnair, Dohlar, the border states, South Harchong or Harchong proper, such as through various international agreements with Charis and Siddarmark, it still leaves the stupendous industrial output of Charis and Siddarmark and the former's monopoly over the maritime carrying trade. There is no way for Duchairn to buy or coerce the compliance of loyalist realms if those are facing economic ruin as a result. Nor can he curtail or embargo Charisian trade with the mainland without risking another repeat of what happened after Darcos Sound (the economic consequences of which he remembers all to well and had warn of). To put it simply, for Duchairn to try and "quarantine" Charisian innovation in general and steam power in particular, he would basically be asking the remaining loyalist realms to cut their own throats both economically and militarily.

Given the Inner Circle's access to Old Terra's history, they have to know that one of the lingering problems we have, even today, is the different rate of technological development, economic success and social evolution around this planet. The "Global South" always seems poorer relative to the "Global North". Many Western countries have reached their current level of success thanks to social and political reforms that happened centuries ago. What made Safehold so stable for so long was that there were no "unknown lands" to which "intrepid voyagers" could go and any permissible technological innovation was limited by the limitations of communications in pre-Merlin Safehold, the Church's own restrictions and by the absence of patents that secured intellectual property (thus facilitating the dissemination of said discoveries and inventions). As such, the sort of "uneven" development was very limited (mostly to social reforms like the abolition of slavery and serfdom in Charis). But now the Church no longer has control over the most powerful and wealthiest realms, which will continue to develop and evolve and innovate, something none of the other realms can truly afford to ignore. Cayleb and Sharleyan might seem honorable and decent enough but any ruler worth his crown always has to worry about what happens when they're gone and whether they can afford to lag behind Charis and find themselves completely outclassed at some future date.

We can also assume that Charis and Siddarmark will be smart about this given Merlin's influence. They will first offer their services in some sort of peacemaking or mediating capacity between any factions, thus getting their foot through the door that way. If that fails, they could position themselves as peacekeepers by put some sort of ready force in place between any warring factions in a civil war. Yet there's always the possibility that ties with Charis or reformists in general are the crux of the conflict. As such, any Charisian involvement in such a proxy war might be a bad thing. In reality though, one of the big issues that the Safehold series dealt with from the get-go was slavery and serfdom. The idea of owning a person was a vestige of the feudal system and one that took a long while to eradicate in our own history. But its also something that Charis sought to eliminate from the state and one of the key problems RFC has stated that the Clyntahn had with Charis. The absence of serfdom or slavery denies the Church one of its main tools for suppressing free thought and for controlling the rulers of any realm. This means that Charis will do whatever it can to end slavery and serfdom and its best tool is economics. But eliminating the need for labor intensive industries will make life very difficult for any slave owning realms, as they won't be able to complete with cheaper Charisian products.
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Re: The way Duchairn’s salvaging the Church...
Post by PeterZ   » Thu Dec 21, 2017 4:27 pm

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OH, the horns of the dilemma Duchairn will find himself between! The economic good steam represents will ultimately allow God's children to live their lives in more prosperity than ever before and more equality since creation. Yet, steam arguably pushes against the proscriptions. What to do! Steam will allow him to redeem his debts from the Jihad. It will allow Magwair the arms to defend the Church.
What to do, what to do?
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Re: The way Duchairn’s salvaging the Church...
Post by thanatos   » Mon Dec 25, 2017 8:26 pm

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PeterZ wrote:OH, the horns of the dilemma Duchairn will find himself between! The economic good steam represents will ultimately allow God's children to live their lives in more prosperity than ever before and more equality since creation. Yet, steam arguably pushes against the proscriptions. What to do! Steam will allow him to redeem his debts from the Jihad. It will allow Magwair the arms to defend the Church.
What to do, what to do?


I Certainly agree that this the crux of Duchairn's spiritual dilemma and where we are likely to see the most resistance to reform. I still suspect, as Merlin mentions in ATSOT, that it's likely Duchairn will face a counter-reformation faction within the Church. Imagine some young vicar who leads a group of vicars in respectful and loyal opposition to Duchairn, who are very uncomfortable with all the innovations the Church retroactively permitted for earnest and genuine doctrinal reasons. They will gladly attack the "excessive and unlawful" attestations granted by Clyntahn during the Jihad because he is now officially the Church's Stalin or Hitler and anything Clyntahn supported is automatically suspect in their eyes. And every noble who takes issue with the Church's support (explicit or otherwise) for the abolition of serfdom and slavery, every blacksmith, porter, wagoner, crofter and clerk whose jobs are become irrelevant in the new economy, and every guildsman whose relative position of power and prestige is diminished due to the influx of non-guild members entering his area of trade - in short, everyone who stands to lose from the change in the status quo, will gravitate towards this group of conservative vicars. And depending on how desperate they are to increase their numbers, this group of vicars will not look too closely at the moral standing of these potential supporter before they lend them their support in turn.

That's the biggest problem Duchairn has and why I find it hard to believe that he could "salvage" the church. Once he's done cleaning up its moral failings made amends for the Jihad and all its unfortunate consequences, he would need to effectively govern the Church and any remaining loyalist realms. That includes paying off the Church's massive debts which will take a long time (it took 3-4 years to run up this debt in the first place). While cutting military expenditures drastically might help in paying off that debt, he may not be in a position to cut them too drastically. He also has a significantly smaller tithe/tax base from which to raise money and still has all the macroeconomic problems (like hyperinflation, price fixing and the black market) to deal with. The longer these macroeconomic problems persist and the longer the wartime tax structure remains in place, the more resentment it will breed among the lands still under the Church's control. That's why I think his agreement to adopting steam power is all but inevitable. I just don't see how any restoration or salvage of the Church's moral standing would help in the isolation of Charisian innovation and how it would hurt the Inner Circle's overall objectives.
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Re: The way Duchairn’s salvaging the Church...
Post by PeterZ   » Mon Dec 25, 2017 9:26 pm

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As I posted, the only way he can harm Charis' spreading their innovations is to reject steam immediately. That can delay the spread of technology to a point where the limited Charisian sphere is the only place where technology is demonstrably beyond the proscriptions. That makes the Charisian sphere a tempting target for a bloodthirsty enough awakening archangel. Rakurai Telesberg, Cherayth, Sidar and the capitals of Corisande and Emerald and every other nation will fall in line. Between now and the Return, the CoGA and loyalist nations will go through some crappy times.

That's the only way I see Duchairn salvaging enough of the CoGA to harm the Inner Circle.
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Re: The way Duchairn’s salvaging the Church...
Post by thanatos   » Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:54 pm

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PeterZ wrote:As I posted, the only way he can harm Charis' spreading their innovations is to reject steam immediately. That can delay the spread of technology to a point where the limited Charisian sphere is the only place where technology is demonstrably beyond the proscriptions. That makes the Charisian sphere a tempting target for a bloodthirsty enough awakening archangel. Rakurai Telesberg, Cherayth, Sidar and the capitals of Corisande and Emerald and every other nation will fall in line. Between now and the Return, the CoGA and loyalist nations will go through some crappy times.

That's the only way I see Duchairn salvaging enough of the CoGA to harm the Inner Circle.


I agree that if Duchairn rejects steam power from the get go and manages to isolate Charisian innovations to the Charisian sphere of influence (i.e. the empire and Siddarmark) then a selective application of Rakurai strikes would perhaps force every other realm to toe the line. This of course assumes that all the Charisian and Siddarmarkian "eggs" are in a single or a limited number of "baskets", i.e. that the Rakurai strike manages to kill every member of the Inner circle and every innovative soul and free thinker out there (which is unlikely). While such a move would certainly cow all the other realms into toeing the line, the Inner Circle need only wait 40 years or so before trying again, as Merlin, Nimue, Nahrmahn and OWL are all effectively immortal and can hide plenty of backup people in the Cave to try later. Any PICAs, cloned "Archangel" bodies or anything else laying underneath the Temple would not have setup a 1,000 year checkpoint unless they were limited in their resources somehow.

But I simply don't see how Duchairn could conceivably pull something like that off. As Merlin pointed out, the new steam powered battleships are an intolerable military challenge to every realm on Safehold. Unless Desnair, Dohlar or Harchong wish to live in constant fear that some future revanchist Charisian or Siddarmarkian governments might decide to impose their will on them, they have to develop the means to defend themselves, i.e. comparable steam-powered vessels to defend themselves with. This is essentially the "security dilemma" we've seen here on Earth, whereby if one side gets a military advantage the other side must acquire it as well to feel secure (yet by doing so the first side could view it as a hostile action). And Dohlar would still have a very difficult and strained relationship with the Church, given how Thirsk (a national hero no less) was treated by the Inquisition and how Clyntahn retaliated against the Dohlaran subjects in the Temple Lands after they surrendered to Charis. As such, I don't see how Duchairn could anathematize steam power if it means all the realms within the Church's sphere of influence must live in constant fear of Charisian military supremacy.

The same problem applies to the economic side of things. I am willing to bet that neither Charis nor Siddarmark would allow the Church's embargo of their goods to continue as part of the post-Jihad settlement. That means that Charis can literally bury any nation's consumer market with huge amounts of manufactured, high-quality goods. If they adhere to any Church decree anathematizing steam power, they will not be able to compete with Charisian and Siddarmarkian industry, thus becoming their economic vassals. Remember that the Church used Gorjah's resentment of Charisian domination of his economy as a lever to move him to attack Charis as part of the Armageddon Reef Campaign. So again, I don't see how Duchairn could possibly ask the mainland realms to not adopt steam power and cut their own economic legs from under themselves in the name of God nor embargo Charisian and Siddarmarkian goods or place steep import duties on them (unless he want to see a recurrence of all the smuggling that went on during the Jihad).
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Re: The way Duchairn’s salvaging the Church...
Post by PeterZ   » Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:42 pm

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I totally agree, Thanatos.

Duchairn might persuade other nations to abstain from steam. If Harchong abstains AND survives until the Return, they, Desnair and the Temple Lands might survive to rebuild after the surgical use of rakurai. I can see Northern Harchong digging in their heals. Steam will cause enough disruption that Harchongese aristos will have serious issues in fully accepting it. Desnair is much the same.

So, the question is will Duchairn succeed in rebuilding enough moral authority to persuade those nations if he decides steam is against the Proscriptions.
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Re: The way Duchairn’s salvaging the Church...
Post by thanatos   » Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:03 pm

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PeterZ wrote:I totally agree, Thanatos.

Duchairn might persuade other nations to abstain from steam. If Harchong abstains AND survives until the Return, they, Desnair and the Temple Lands might survive to rebuild after the surgical use of rakurai. I can see Northern Harchong digging in their heals. Steam will cause enough disruption that Harchongese aristos will have serious issues in fully accepting it. Desnair is much the same.

So, the question is will Duchairn succeed in rebuilding enough moral authority to persuade those nations if he decides steam is against the Proscriptions.


Duchairn has other problems as well, PeterZ.

Don't forget that his most prominent and capable ally throughout the Jihad has Magwair, who obviously supported his ascension to the Throne of Langhorne. It stands to reason that he would continue to support him afterwards, even without the threat Clyntahn posed to them personally and to the Church as a whole. Magwair obviously recognized that Duchairn had the support of at some uncorruptible Temple Guardsman, most of the surviving vicars and archbishops and the support and love of the common Zionites. Yet unless Duchairn is exceptionally stupid, he would need to address any military concerns Magwair would have regarding the Army of God's and Navy of God's relative inferiority to Charis and Siddarmark. So would Duchairn constantly overrule Magwair's decisions to embrace the necessary innovations and make an enemy of him? Would he hand such decisions off the new court of inquiry he established?

Then there's the textev that Clyntahn had heard about steam engines back in LAMA. Given Clyntahn's willingness to embrace innovations whenever necessary, I don't think he simply sat on this discovery until he was captured. It's entirely possible that he'd allowed knowledge of this technology to make its way to the Church's researchers after he was certain Charis couldn't find the agent he used to obtain it (never mind that they did eventually find him and use him against Clyntahn in ATSOT). So can Duchairn simply turn the clock on any progress made in understanding steam power? Especially if Magwair basically says to him that Charis could replace its material losses so much faster than the Church could because of its use of steam power in its factories.

Nor can I see Desnair refusing to embrace steam power, especially given the threat Siddarmark and Charis continue to pose, regardless of any peace treaties. Northern Harchong might be able to pull it off, but despite any arrogant misconceptions they might have about their manufacturing capabilities, it will be hard for them to compete against the flood tide of Charisian goods coming into their ports and the sight of steam powered vessels that can provide those goods in a fraction of the time. And any tariffs or embargoes of Charisian or Siddarmarkian goods would be met with similar tariffs and embargoes by them and all the other nations that fall within their sphere of influence. Who then would have the money to buy up the Harchongese surplus?
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Re: The way Duchairn’s salvaging the Church...
Post by PeterZ   » Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:28 pm

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Thanatos,

Both of us have made your current points in prior posts. I agree with you totally.

My point is that steam power IS Proscribed by Father Paityr's post Inner Circle assessment. Duchairn's honest office of the Inquisition may rule it Proscribed in an honest assessment as well. What does he do then?

If he truly serves God as he knows Him, he must Proscribe steam. If he accepted the chopped logic of Father Paityr rather than the ruling of his Inquisition, he causes yet another schism, likely with Harchong and Desnair.

In the case of a second schism, the Inner Circle is incented to attack Harchong and Desnair to force them to adopt steam or at least conquer those nations and allow steam to be used there before the Return. Depending how this attack manifests, it could cause another world war with Charis as the clear aggressor.
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Re: The way Duchairn’s salvaging the Church...
Post by thanatos   » Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:44 pm

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PeterZ, I'll try not to repeat points either of us raised before.

There already is a schism between the Church and Harchong over how it forced the Mighty Host to evolve and become a threat to the status quo within the Empire, as well as their opposition to Duchairn's reforms. As for Desnair, if asked to essentially commit national suicide, be it militarily or economically vis-a-vis Charis and Siddarmark, I think the Desnairian leadership will likely give Duchairn the runaround, delaying implementation of the new Church rules regarding steam power.

But Charis wouldn't need to attack either of them to force them to accept steam power. Just as Duchairn is in an impossible position, Harchong and Desnair are in equally impossible situations. Throughout the series, one of Charis' key policies has been the abolition of serfdom and slavery, something that Harchong and Desnair both practice. And if Duchairn does proscribe steam power, Charis would make such choice over the preservation of these institutions and again put itself an the side of light (steam power and the industrial revolution did make slavery uneconomic after all). All Charis would have to do is to set up an underground railroad for slaves and serfs escaping Harchong and start a new propaganda campaign to truly destabilize these nations. That and some Seijin visitations to reform minded nobles in both places to move things along in a less bloody route.
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Re: The way Duchairn’s salvaging the Church...
Post by PeterZ   » Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:23 am

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Now we both agree on the most likely scenario for the next story arc. These are two of the ways the story arc progresses.

Duchairn accepts steam and defends his decisions against a counter reformation targeting steam and the other reforms to the Inquisition. Charis facilitates the transition of Harchong and Desnair away from serfdom and slavery. That likely involves factions causing civil wars in both nations. This scenario allows the CoGA to grow economically powerful.

Duchairn rejects steam and has enough moral authority to make it stick. He accepts other interpretations as honest but believes they are wrong. The CoGA asserts steam is beyond the proscriptions and preaches the cessation of using steam. Most nations still use steam but have serious problems internally with the nastiest problems in Harchong and Desnair. I would suspect The Temple Lands would also have some minor adoption of steam. This scenario leaves the CoGA poor and weak.

The first scenario continues the prospects of open warfare between nations as a primary plot device. The second scenario is more a story of internal politics in all nations making a transition to industrialization. I suspect the former will is most likely.
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