Why Robert Edwin House is the best hope for the wasteland and humanity

Discussion in 'Fallout: New Vegas Discussion' started by Throatpunch, Apr 14, 2016.

  1. Hardboiled Android

    Hardboiled Android Vault Senior Citizen

    Jun 7, 2015
    And to be fair, an outside force/nation creating a radically different society in the medium to long run is not unheard of: what came after the invasions of ROme was really radically different to what there was before.
  2. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Archives Overseer

    Mar 16, 2013
    And also if they do nothing. The only way they live is if the Courier sides with Pacer and incites a street war under false pretenses and the Kings actively harass and beat innocent people.

    Personally whilst I understand what they were going for in that House ruthlessly protects his sovereignty, I am actually not sure it makes any sense that House would endorse them attacking the primary customers of his economy. You'd think peaceful relations with NCR tourists would be something House wanted.
  3. Clowncarcrash

    Clowncarcrash First time out of the vault

    Feb 7, 2022
    Yeah, and thats ultimately the biggest problem in democracies, we have the same rights on paper but if you have money you're going to be able to leverage these rights COMPLETELY differently. For a real world example, did you know we didnt have free counsel for criminal cases until the 1960s? If that isnt the biggest oversight in the solar system I dont know what is.

    And yeah, I love New Vegas, but I think its KINDA a cop out that they basically say through all the DLCs "the old capitalist imperialist ways are complete bullshit and will lead to our ruin again...... but we're not gonna explore alternatives here, u go do that on your own time".

    I HIGHLY recommend this awesome video essay about House.

    Basically saying House is the Singapore/China model.
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  4. Copey

    Copey First time out of the vault

    Feb 14, 2022
    A couple quotes sum these up perfectly, one from Animal Farm:
    "All animals are equal, but some more equal than others"

    And one attributed to a couple people:
    "Its easier to predict the end of the world than the end of capitalism"

    Its much easier to see issues than propose effective solutions. While it can be seen as a cop-out for the game to not propose solutions directly, it would detract from the overall experience to cart the player into the writer's idea of a perfect solution or utopia. The writing is flexible enough to challenge players into thinking about their own beliefs and ideals. Nice video, btw. If the writers created a "correct" ending/gamepath based on their own opinions, we probably would not have videos like that years after release. That video also outlines the main reason why House's model would be most beneficial to the Strip. These small scale, fairly precarious economies benefit the most from these top-down autocratic systems. Its really icing on the cake that the (talking) head of state is almost literally the best man for the job. 200 years of hindsight is a powerful tool.
  5. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    Good science fiction is often highlighted by the fact how controversial the discussion is when you apply it to the real world. Which speaks of the quality writing in Fallout New Vegas. Many of the positions have something that you can discuss if applied to a realistic scenario. With some limitations of course. As there is absolutely now way to really know what would work and what wouldn't work if it was a real situation. But when you look at it historically, we had empires based on "slavery", just as we had benolevent "kings/tyrannts" and obviously democracies. And they all had their advantages, disadvantages and their prime. Was one system better than the other? I would make one argument though. It is no considence that we saw some of the highest technological progress with the rise of modern democracies.

    Here is the thing when it comes to something that's specific with a demogracy, even a flawed one. You are usually "free" to think and communicate what you want. You can even heavily criticise those in power, the people you vote for, the corporations, what ever. It is possible to perform research and exchange oppinons and informations. Without the fear of heavy reprisal. And while we had societies in the past which have been more open and tolerant to opposing views and oppinions we never enjoyed as much freedom as we have today when it comes to the exchange of different ideas and oppinions. But when ever a society really offers you this you see vast and wide spread improvements. Much faster than with other more riggid societies because the authorities there can not tolerate dissent. And that's something trully unique with democracies - usually. You can have actuall debates.
  6. Copey

    Copey First time out of the vault

    Feb 14, 2022
    That is definitely true, the founding fathers had the right idea providing these unalienable to the citizens of America. Freedom of speech, assembly, press, and ultimately arms are what provide the real means of accountability in a democracy. To keep things Vegas related, I don't remember anything House says directly on these cornerstones of liberty, but he at least accounts for personal liberties. You could extrapolate that he probably would allow for them in a limited capacity. Saying House is an autocrat is the same as saying the CEO of a privately owned business is an autocrat. I doubt he really has any goals beyond what is stated in game-space and shitloads of money, so he really does not say much in terms of governance.

    The Legion and NCR are more developed in this regard. The Legion is a typical cult of personality, dissent=execution, brainwashing, etc. The NCR is a parallel of modern democracy. Just like the US, those unalienable rights should be present in every facet of life, keeping the powers that be serving the people's interests explicitly. To be blunt this is not what is happening. The NCR is in the grips of a gilded age, cooperate interest runs amok in the government, imperialist tendencies and poor economic policy to support it ravage the economy, and the equal rights and opinions of citizens is at a detriment as a result of this. When looking at modern America, we see similar things.

    The modern American is dumber, fatter, shorter, eats worse, lives worse, gets paid in real terms less, and is uglier than those 50 years ago. The only redeeming quality is better access to consumer electronics. What a tradeoff. Just like how over the course of 50 years, standards of living should have improved, our freedoms should still be intact. Unfortunately not. Shockingly, the electronic means of free speech that were crafted are really more shackles that constrain opinion and free thought more completely than ever. To be honest, this is one of the few places where it seems legitimate discussion is tolerated-admittedly on the topic of Fallout but still, NMA doesnt state to do anything more.

    Its almost like the only ones that benefit from this decay and erosion of American values lord over us and suppress opinions contrary. The issues with all governmental systems is that they are run by people. People are fallible, corruptible, imperfect. As good as those democratic bones were that were laid, the cadaver that grew became bloated and sick, weighing on those that still believed in the skeleton that supported it. You are right, I cannot deny that, but inevitably no matter how well thought out the system, it corrupts into a sallow shell of itself. Like in that Singapore video, that guy's solution was "lol just do good democracy". To be fair its doubtful there is really a good solution at all. People are people after all.

    On a sidenote, is this semi-orwellian nightmare in America today the synthesis of what resulted from the cold war? Its probably the most Hegelian conflict in living memory and most of the erosion of American values have roots in the Cold War.
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  7. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    They are not? CEOs/Business owners absolutely "rule" over their "property" like autocrats. There are plenty of examples for it. Sometimes more sometimes less questionable. I am not saying this with the intention to judge. It's an observation. This is how corporations and most business work. But I know of very very few examples where the power and decision making is not centralised in those - much more so than any democratic state. So they are by definition autocratic in nature. And again I am not saying this with the intention to judge it. If I was the owner of my business of course I would be the one calling the shots here as well. Which is one of the reasons why let us say, large corporations, would make terrible governments. And yes there have been historical examples of this that came close to it, like the East India Company which seized control of large parts of the Indian subcontinent. With terrible outcomes for the indigenious populations. It basically meant slavery for many of them. And there are also other examples in colonialism.

    Even if you would have a let us say, "benolevent" CEO, it would still be someone with a very high degree of power, and decision making concetrated in their hands. There is very little seperation of power. Which is a cornerstone of any modern democracy. Including the United States. This comes even before any of the alianted rights, like free speech, assemply, press etc. Those are completely meaningless if you do not have a seperation of power - ancient democracies are prove of that issue because rulers voted in by the masses/senate/etc. would often enough have "supreme" power. Like as it was common in the Roman Republic even if it was limited to like 2 or 4 years. Or if you want Athens. And it was often criticised that in Athens for example the population was a sovereign with nearly absolute power. In other words the majority rule was surpeme. This is how Socrates was killed. The population had a "vote" on it and the majority condemend him to death. In a modern democracy the majority rule is not without limitations. Oppositions and minorities do have some power after all. Otherwise even a more or less pure democracy could become easily a tyrannical rule.

    And this is the point I am trying to make here. That you can not have absolute power concentrated in one or few groups. Regardless about what kind of system we're talking about. This is what accountability really means. It's not even about the bill of rights or any other basic right. They are meaningless without checks and balances, the seperation of power. Only those actually protect those rights. If different groups have the ability to keep each other in check. And a population that actually understands those principles and follows them. When you think about it even a constitution can be tyrannical. Or it can be voted "out", so to speak. If the majority decision is the supreme authority. Already ancient philosophers argued that this is a core issue with pure democracies where the vote is always absolute. So in other words the voter can not be a souvereign with absolute power so to speak. There have to be limitations of some sort. The keys to power have to be shared between different bodies or entities within a political and social system.
  8. Copey

    Copey First time out of the vault

    Feb 14, 2022
    Well yeah, but power always funnels up into the hands of a few inevitably. Its human nature. The founders placed checks of power within government and with the people, and even that isnt working out so well right now.

    The reason you couldn't call a CEO a autocrat is due to them operating within already established power structures and cannot operate without oversight. Legally. The Mojave has no legal oversight, but the end slides make it clear the courier acts in that manner in addition to House being as incorruptible as humanly possible. I more or less just proved myself wrong but whatever.
    The point I'm trying to make with that is that both entities would operate similarly. House's strip/dam venture has a clear stated end goal with no real desire to govern or legislate. Having an democratic process would open the door to inefficiencies toward this. Essentially, his approach is the best fit for the situation. Its also debatable weather or not most Mojave independent settlements even desire a larger centralized government.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2022
  9. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    I never said that any democratic government or system is immune to corruption, lobbyism or any other issues. Of course they are. As you correctly pointed out.

    My argument is that even such a system is still preferable to the available alternatives which have this kind of corruption if you so will kinda ingrained in to it from the start. Of course it is human nature. Hence why a lot of people already thought about it 300 years ago when they created theories about the seperation of power and what an actuall society would need here that's supposed to govern without the tyranny or a monarchy which was the most common form of government back then. Many monarchies had even constitutions and some even parliaments mind you.

    They are still more autocratic by nature - at some angles even fascist - when compared to democratic systems. Don't take it too literaly. This is not meant to be judgmental but in context of the real life examples where given. Fascism and autocracy have not always to be about dictatorships by the way. Infact the whole idea of corporatism even comes historically directly from fascism! - Albeit it is not the same as corporations.
    And even those rarely are as clear cut as the popular examples most people know. Think about something like Russia with Putin, Turkey with Erdogan or the Iranian Government. All of those are autocratic by nature and yet still some of them have even ellections which allow their citiens a certain level of decision making. Yet they are far less accountable compared to other democraciese out there and offer much less checks and ballances.

    Corporations are far more autocratic in their decision making, rulling and structure. They are not worker collectives where the workers actually own the means of production/have shares in or institutions with a seperation of powers. They are not dictatorships for the most part and they have as you say a power structure. But the people that are in power are closer to autocrats than democratic leaders. Or would you argue differently? Are corporations organised like modern democratic states with checks and ballances, seperation of power, the same accountability, voting rights for EVERY(!) employee and something comparable to a constitution? Make no mistake. For better or worse. Corporations have the qualities of autocratic systems.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2022
  10. John_doe

    John_doe unidentified male, age 18.

    Apr 20, 2022
    I have a question, Why should House help Freeside? Its Infrastructure is nothing but rundown dive bars, and collapsed buildings. The only thing worth real value to him is the Robotics center hidden away in the back and the Followers. He'd By much better off killing off all the Fiends and rebuilding the Vault 3 area. A section of Vegas that's full of factories such as a completely automated steel mill (new vegas steel), Or taking control of north vegas to be a work camp for the H&H tool factory. It's within House's best interest to restart the production/manufacturing planets of new vegas as fast as possible.
  11. Feday Of Madness

    Feday Of Madness Working Class Hero

    Jun 7, 2022
    I disagree, if house was in charge it would be civilization for a time long past meant to wither as everything does it's like the ncr minus the corruption. Caesar however is the best hope for a strong civilization and historically would be the same in our time but with less compassion even the most venerable of outsider help wouldnt change the harsh brutality of it.
    To me an Independent wasteland is by far the only viable choice, within chaos maybe someone could be an heir to the courier he would lead shadows to light when he passes, think of it like a real life example i will give. For sometime the Vancouver governor has been implementing psychoactive drugs meant to be ''inhibitors'' or rather a quick fix the reason for this is to not to weed out the chaff from the wheat but to know which of the population is faulty,they're keeping in check. there are videos of these just write Canada, Vancouver drug issue. But in the game's case it would be like rite of passage, natural selection. Because democracy Isn't meant for a time like this both circumstances, but rather achieving paradise.
    One man would lead and change the flow of the world, just like fallout tries to explain it.
    Honestly Ulysses has all the answers you need.

    I won't lie i always seem to go on a genocide run even when i do the quests in the intended outcome.
  12. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    Historically speaking organisations/groups like Ceasar Salads do not last long nor do they really prosper. What he does is spiritually very close to the Huns. They managed for a short time to coquer vast teritories and even bring the Romans to their knees. But with the death of Attila it was pretty much over in an instant. You can not understimate the power of institutions and tradition. Of which none exist with Ceasar Salads "wannabe-rome".
  13. eissa

    eissa Artanis "Altáriel" Nerwen Nos Finwe

    Jan 7, 2016
    Only Synthetic Technocracy, perhaps emulating The Shi.

    So ideally Yes Man being split into bunch of his copies, perhaps these clones would roughly form the closest thing in Fallout universe to Culture Minds and Men of Stone.

    If you have no any idea of those name, let me give you rough description. They're society run by AIs that giving voting right to all kind of sentient being, including smart pen AI.

    But really, I am not exactly what you called democratic crusader that fought for it at all cost. If NCR is corrupt, bureaucratic mess, incompetents being given job due to political connection and collusion, then it's better if my Courier run a separate independent state with whole new ideas.

    Perhaps I might be biased, because I just read too many Yes Man ending fanfics and so far post-NCR ending that I read is quite grim depiction of noir-like mafia conspiracies.

    I'll be honest, any ending that allow me to become powerful, resourceful, and have soft power enough to let me help a lot of people is fine to me. You can't help people without any power base. Especially in setting like Fallout. Too many threat everywhere. Sometimes this is not about inserting real life ideology to a game, gotta be very realistic if I am happen into that kind of situation.

    In the sea of apex predators, you have to become the biggest killer whale.
  14. Feday Of Madness

    Feday Of Madness Working Class Hero

    Jun 7, 2022
    You know even without atilla the church's changed themselves East and west after a conflict making catholics and protestans
    The purpose here is as he says "to break them" caesar is fundamentally an empire that could last longer only if it had compassion rather then brutality but its like a beta version of an empire better will come but for now the road is paved with the body of profligate after all it seems to fallout that humanity is doomed to repeat itself.
    Howard stark is internet users who use social media and viewing platforms, always stuck in the past.

    But if you know about history through religious books the Mormon bible quran tevrat zebur it often tells stories of mythical heroes who saved the world countless times but are left nameless, like Alexander the great or king Solomon. As with every nation and life itself nothing lives forever the only truth and meaning one can find is in chaos and in turn changing their nature for the better even if they're the only one standing and from what I've just said the creators of the game and their inspirations don't seem far fetched they support my ideas and claims. Maybe caesar is less harsh then the sole reason of chaos.
  15. Veers

    Veers Fire when ready.

    Jan 3, 2017
    I was an Enclave fanboy at one point, but I've decidedly become a House guy over the years.

    If you wanna see the fate of democracies, look out the windows of your own American/European country.
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