Who else hates the idea that the world could’ve been saved if only...

Discussion in 'General Fallout Discussion' started by Iprovidelittlepianos, May 17, 2021.

  1. Iprovidelittlepianos

    Iprovidelittlepianos Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    454
    May 12, 2020
    I keep seeing this idea thrown around (particularly on places like Reddit) that fusion technology was on the verge of ending the Pre-War resource shortages, and that the Great War could’ve been avoided if only they had more time. This always bothers me because I like to think of the Great War as inevitable, not something that the pre-war world almost avoided. Not to mention that it portrays technology, particularly nuclear technology, in a “heroic” light that I feel is really at odds with the whole “Mankind’s Hubris” theme that Fallout has going on.

    Does this piss anyone else off? Or am I the bad guy here?
     
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 7
  2. Señor Wally

    Señor Wally Mildly Dipped

    507
    Feb 27, 2021
    People get so preoccupied with alternate scenarios and lore detail that they don't seem to engage with the themes. It's more comforting for some to think about a fix all solution then to internalize the implications of massive human error.
     
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 5
  3. Sublime

    Sublime Still Mildly Glowing

    260
    Jun 5, 2018
    Well if the war was inevitable then there's not much space for thinking. I like to believe that it's a criticism of Capitalism and Imperialism. Science offered a solution, but humanity chose the path of war.
     
  4. Iprovidelittlepianos

    Iprovidelittlepianos Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    454
    May 12, 2020
    This is another thing that I don’t really like. Capitalism and imperialism are indeed critiqued (mostly parodied) in the fallout series, but I don’t think that fallout is supposed to directly be about the evils of capitalism and imperialism. These flawed ideologies, like many(all?) before them, are a result of human nature, which I see as the broader theme of the series.

    Then again, Tim Cain is a dirty commie so maybe I’m wrong...
     
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 5
  5. Slaughter Manslaught

    Slaughter Manslaught Vault Senior Citizen

    Dec 11, 2006
    I dunno, I think the world could have been saved and the Great War averted, its not as tragic otherwise. We don't know who or why the nukes were launched (through FNV does seem to point that it was likely the Chinese), but embarking upon nuclear war is not an easy choice.

    I don't think it was going to be a simple "Fusion solves all problems" solution. Yeah no, Fusion came too late to be a game changer.

    Still, even without massive nukage, I think the world of 2077 was headed towards some pretty ugly times:

    - AFAIK, the world outside China and the US was already full of angry squabbling nations collapsing and killing each other.
    - China was on the losing end of a ten-year conflict that was like WWI + WWII on super steroids.
    - The United States was a fraying, collapsing mess led by an insane fascist deep state, and entire cities like Denver and Boston were already deep in revolt and unrest. There were even secessionist movements like the Free States. Canada was clearly resisting.

    I think that if the nukes didn't launch, Roger Maxson was going to be the straw that broke the Camel's back. All the horrors of the FEV program - not just the horrible experiments on deserters and rioters, but also things like the Quarantine Towns. Civil War is the Fallout US' alternate future. Would Roger Maxson try to go away from the US or try to fix it? Who knows. Either way, I think it would be civil war against the US Govt, and fundamentally, against the Enclave. Things might get even messier with secessionists, warlords, rogue military, corps seizing power, run-away science, etc.

    So rather than a instant worldwide collapse, more of a Late Roman Empire/Bronze Age/Mad Max 1 collapse experience. Some places would pretty much end up looking like Fallout anyway but with less radiation and mutants.

    I think it would eventually get better in the 22nd century, IF the Enclave gets what they deserve. The US (and maybe other nations) could eventually recover under sane, stable government, and eventually help the rest of the world. It could become a pretty grounded but carefully optimistic Atompunk future. Otherwise...

    Well, if the Enclave wins, its going to be some "The Man in the Oil Rig" insanity. Fascism with American Characteristics. CODE conditioning and brainwashing for everyone, McCarthyism everywhere, Power Armored jackbooted thugs suppressing freedom, massive gun grabbing, govt-corporate control everywhere, Super Mutant super soldiers solving riots by sending in massive armies of Frank Horrigans, Deathclaw shocktroops, Wannamingo bio-weapons, constant war against foreign nations, etc. Makes the nukes look good.
     
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 8
  6. Black Angel

    Black Angel Grand Inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus

    Mar 21, 2016
    I'd love to discuss the whataboutism of Fallout setting as much as the next guy, but genuinely 'hating' on the very idea seemed strange considering it's not what actually happened, and what's done is done in the canon.
     
  7. Sublime

    Sublime Still Mildly Glowing

    260
    Jun 5, 2018
    First paragraph is what I wanted to express, but worded better. Have a rad good sir.
     
  8. Iprovidelittlepianos

    Iprovidelittlepianos Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    454
    May 12, 2020
    Well hate is a strong word, it’s more that I disagree with the idea, and that this idea seems to be quite common among fans. I was just curious if people here agree with me or not.
     
  9. Sublime

    Sublime Still Mildly Glowing

    260
    Jun 5, 2018
    Is he? I actually didn't know
     
  10. The Dutch Ghost

    The Dutch Ghost Grouchy old man of NMA Moderator

    Jan 11, 2004
    Pissing off? No

    A rather unrealistic idea or fantasy? Definitely.
    It was more than just an energy shortage that troubled the United States.
    Financial decline, increasing unrest, increasing authoritarian government supported by the military-industrial complex, resource shortages, food shortages (because the infrastructure had slowed down to crawling speed).

    It would require a slew of technological innovations to resolve some of the issues that plagued the US, and not all of them can be solved with technology.

    One of the ideas I had for my Fallout Texas setting idea is that Poseidon Energy and other major oil companies fired most of the workers and personnel in the oil sector, only a handful were transferred to other departments.
    Those people's financial fall also wiped out a lot of stores and companies that relied on selling these people goods and services.

    Other than the panic of the New Plague, energy, and food shortages, places like Texas also suffered from riots by unemployed people who could no longer support their families.

    Another idea I had in mind was that there was actually a secessionist movement in Texas that tried to take over a city and declare independence.
    The State government, forced by Washington who did not want more of these movements to get embolden, had to sent in the National Guard, supported by robots.
    And in the aftermath the US government and State government started to consider putting riot countermeasures in every city. (like the Box in Denver, these automated robot assembly lines that would pour out flying eyebots to deal with any rioters).
     
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 3
  11. Rebelscum86

    Rebelscum86 First time out of the vault

    11
    May 22, 2021
    Yes if only the capitalist countries rolled over for the communist ones, the commies wouldn't have had to fire their missiles too.
     
  12. Rebelscum86

    Rebelscum86 First time out of the vault

    11
    May 22, 2021
    I get what you are saying and agree. It is a fan theory that messes with the theme of the story and agree leaning on critiques of systems is a crutch and doesn't go deep enough into humans problems with letting others be.
     
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 2
  13. 2DMenace

    2DMenace First time out of the vault

    4
    Jun 1, 2021
    Fusion or not, the world was doomed, "mankind's hubris" is one of the main themes like you said, the resource wars were but a backdrop to the real issue being countries rather delving into isolation and squabbles over cooperation due to different ideologies and politics, the world was caught in a mainly economic war between America and China over who would be the one in power by the end of it.
    Fusion technology, like any technology and science is a neutral power that could have been used by any, in Fallout's pre-war world, it wouldn't have mattered if it had picked up steam before everything went south, the war would have just continued until its eventual nuclear Armageddon one way or another.
     
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 3
  14. Slaughter Manslaught

    Slaughter Manslaught Vault Senior Citizen

    Dec 11, 2006
    I don't think the Nuclear War was inevitable, unless the nuclear launch was a deliberate decision, but I don't think that fits the Fallout universe, to have some bad guy who "pressed the button" maliciously while doing an evil crackle.

    The Enclave is the closest thing we got, but we actually don't know the history of the Enclave in full, for all we know it started as some innocent attempt to create a bipartisan consensus in dealing with the issue of nuclear war and continuity of command in the US, and ended up as a Shadow Government.

    There is a certain vibe in some of the games that everyone "in the know" agreed that circa 2077 an world-wide atomic war was inevitable. Which is why we have parties like the Enclave, Mr. House, Frederick Sinclair, the militia that became the Slags, the Free States, that ghoul spook in Point Lookout, among others, bunkering down and preparing for the worst.

    Its generally agreed to be the chinese who launched first (the US was winning, there was no reason for them to launch first), but for all we know the launcher of the nukes could have been another country entirely, with China and the US eventually being caught in a wave of nuclear retaliation happening all across the globe.
     
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 4
  15. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Archives Overseer

    Mar 16, 2013
    The Great War was just the culmination of man's technological peak coinciding with (as Fallout views it) inevitable and insatiable need for conflict. It was an inevitability in that aspect. The promise of post-scarcity right around the corner is less meant to be a tragedy in the more literal sense and more extra salt in the wound to make the player rue the inevitability of man's innate savagery. That ever elusive promise or ideal of humanity at peace with eachother - out of grasp and found only in shreds. Dead Money's vending machines could be used to great good but instead Elijah plans on weaponizing them to bring about effectively a genocide, et cetera.

    I think people get too caught up in the literalness of the lore when it comes to the Great War in particular "who started it" is a question in particular that vexes me.
     
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 3
  16. Zvezda

    Zvezda First time out of the vault

    30
    Jul 7, 2021
    It does make sense from that perspective, even if the writers weren't intending to make a critique of capitalism. Maybe more so.

    To give an overview, capitalism's most important contradiction according to the LTOV is probably the tendency of the rate of profit to fall, which takes the form of recurring accumulation cycles, ending in crisis, and recovery to start the next cycle. Initially accumulation crises were resolved by mass bankruptcies, the "business cycle", which grew larger and more spaced out as the mass of capital accumulated. In the imperialist epoch (which started at some point around 1900) the mass of capital is so large its crises can only be resolved by generalised war, which increases the rate of exploitation, suspends competition, and reduces the organic composition of capital (you can read more about all that here if you're interested). The most recent accumulation cycle ended in 1971, and the crisis has been building up (with countless moves to delay the inevitable, intentional and accidental) for 50 years now. Note - this doesn't mean wars are an insidious bourgeois plot to restore the rate of profit or something. The wars happen for a reason that goes hand in hand with crisis - imperialism.

    Capitalism in the crisis definitely rubbed off on Fallout. Automation and capitalist offences - both attempts to reduce variable capital (wages etc) - are prominent features of our world and FO's. So is the lack of a working class response (76 actually has some evidence of action and resistance, which is a nice touch). The Resource Wars resemble the imperialist regional wars of our time blown up to nuclear proportions. The conflict in the European Commonwealth and the Sino-American War only highlight the scale of the hypothetical crisis, which by 2052 (dissolution of the UN) is so immense the delusion of Western and Chinese exceptionalism and the desperate attempt to keep the inevitable war from happening collapses. In the absence of revolutionary consciousness, global destruction in a generalised war, the Great War, seems inevitable - which, to be fair, isn't that far off. You could interpret Fallout as a warning, or a cry of despair.

    The moral definitely wasn't "if you replace the shit you're running out of with different shit it'll all be okay, otherwise the world will end". Oil was only a catalyst.
     
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 3
  17. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Archives Overseer

    Mar 16, 2013
    I think you can definitely view Fallout's world and themes through a Marxist lens (particularly because both the immediate pre war and post war worlds are so massively defined by material conditions) but I do believe that the overall theme of war never changes is a much more simplistic Hobbesean statement on man. Even in a post scarcity commune, mankind would find ways to fight and kill each other.

    I also think the anti-consumerist message is very couched in the culture of the 90s.
     
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 4
  18. Zvezda

    Zvezda First time out of the vault

    30
    Jul 7, 2021
    To be clear, I don't think the writers are Marxists by any means. But I think the influence on Fallout's world is undeniable, even if it's unconscious. The conclusion the writers drew from it ("war never changes") isn't the one I would, but without revolutionary consciousness it's all you've got.
     
  19. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Archives Overseer

    Mar 16, 2013
    I would because despite whatever argument you may make for the improvement of society, unless you're a complete idiot the idea that any societal structure would put an end to human conflict is absurd. Now obviously you can argue the end result wouldn't be as destructive as the Great War but that's the point, without the tools or resources of the Great War people in the Wasteland still fight. In the state of nature it's a war of all against all or whatever big H said.
     
  20. Jogre

    Jogre So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 25, 2015
    I don't particularly like human nature arguements or ideas about a State of Nature or whatever, because I think most often they're just abstractions with no actual basis. I prefer to look at the world as it is, rather than drawing big conclusions about our entire species based on the state of the world.

    But yeah, I ultimately agree that "What if the war could be avoided?" is kinda missing the point. The whole point that the first 2 games at least, went out of their way to establish about the Great War was that it was always going to happen for very material reasons. Resources are finite, and the crisis caused by them drying up was an inevitability.

    I also dislike speculation about who fired the first nukes (Even though it's obviously China). If we take the stance that the crisis would have happened anyway, then it doesn't matter who fired first, because the rise in global tension was happening for decades because of the aforementioned resource crisis. Who fired first doesn't change the fact that nation states were fighting over the world's remaining resources.
    I feel like Fallout, by being a coherent world with understandable material stakes, kinda inherently creates a Marxist reading of it, in much the same way that in real world material conflicts a Marxist reading can emerge.

    To a certain extent it's intentional insofar as the writers were trying to make a cohesive world with understandable social structures, and thus any readings that someone puts in to it are a testament to how well-designed the world is, even if the writers didn't write it with that specific reading in mind.

    Like take Vault City as an example: Vault City has a monopoly on some of the most advanced medical technology in the world, and uses that to basically give their own citizens a life of luxury, while exploiting the outsiders living in the Courtyard who they view as degenerates that they're helping through exploiting them for money.

    Like, IMO, that came about by the writers thinking "Ok, but how would this xenophobic city state function?" and then writing something that made so much sense that people could then apply readings to it.
     
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 3