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Klaus and constitutional rule, was Re: Such a sweet young thing

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  • akgreentea
    ... Actually, The theater is merely evidence that the Renaissance has occurred. Theater did not become popular or take on the form as we know it until then.
    Message 1 of 27 , Apr 1, 2009
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      > We have good reason to believe that at least part of the Enlightenment occurred in Europa, otherwise this
      >
      > http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20051019
      >
      > would have had no place in the narrative.
      >
      > The French Revolution is also inferred with the Metric System being used even as far east as Central Europa.

      Actually, The theater is merely evidence that the Renaissance has occurred. Theater did not become popular or take on the form as we know it until then. The Enlightenment was a rejection of the idea that rulers were blessed by God and thus had the right to rule absolutely, instead the idea that everyone is equal or should be equal began to sway the idea of how government should be formed. In the world of Girl Genius, all men are not created equal. There are the sparks, and there is everyone else. The sparks gain the right to rule based on the strength of their spark and ability to eke out power, although there are still the people who want to hold power because their family has always had power. This is a world that is still far away from the Enlightenment. The best that can be hoped for is an end to the war between sparks, which Klaus has achieved. What has people worried is if it can last after his death. Usually, rule is determined on the strength of one's spark and Gil is an extremely unknown quantity, so you have people like the Knights of Jove, who see an opportunity to gain power.
    • jsheikg
      ... It s the same as what Klaus does in his own special way actually, and even he has admitted he can t predict a breakthrough.
      Message 2 of 27 , Apr 1, 2009
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        <snip>
        > Sarge, explain again how Klaus's way is worse than this?
        <snip>

        It's the same as what Klaus does in his own special way actually, and even he has admitted he can't predict a breakthrough.

        http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20030331

        A Breakthrough is the RW equivalent of "Going Postal" and even in our normal world with only normal people to contend with we can only do two things about it. First, make clear and unambiguous laws regarding the violation of the peace and second, educate the public to look for any signs that might lead up to the violation and prepare to intervene accordingly. That is effectively what Klaus has attempted to do.
        The real difference is that Klaus endorses the continuance of the Spark "War of All Against All" (Hobbes, Leviathan) for the sake of his own freedom of action rather than submitting to the higher authority of a Constitution that he might find inconvenient and which would free the actions of other Sparks from his direct control.
      • jsheikg
        ... My apologies for not being specific enough. I was referring to Balthazar s Daddy s attempt to refer to Giovanni Mirandola s _Oration on the Dignity
        Message 3 of 27 , Apr 1, 2009
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          > Actually, The theater is merely evidence that the Renaissance has occurred.
          <snip>

          My apologies for not being specific enough.
          I was referring to Balthazar's Daddy's attempt to refer to Giovanni Mirandola's _Oration on the Dignity of Man_ which is about as 'Enlightenment' as it gets.
        • John Savard
          ... Well, I think the reference was to Giovanni Mirandola s Oration on the Dignity of Man , and not the theatrical setting.
          Message 4 of 27 , Apr 1, 2009
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            --- In girlgenius@yahoogroups.com, "akgreentea" <akgreentea@...> wrote:
            >
            > > We have good reason to believe that at least part of the Enlightenment occurred in Europa, otherwise this
            > >
            > > http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20051019
            > >
            > > would have had no place in the narrative.
            > >
            > > The French Revolution is also inferred with the Metric System being used even as far east as Central Europa.
            >
            > Actually, The theater is merely evidence that the Renaissance has occurred. Theater did not become popular or take on the form as we know it until then. The Enlightenment was a rejection of the idea that rulers were blessed by God and thus had the right to rule absolutely, instead the idea that everyone is equal or should be equal began to sway the idea of how government should be formed.

            Well, I think the reference was to Giovanni Mirandola's "Oration on the Dignity of Man", and not the theatrical setting.
          • Jefferson
            ... I disagree. If all he was after was his own freedom of action he wouldn t be running an Empire. While I won t claim that running the empire isn t
            Message 5 of 27 , Apr 1, 2009
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              jsheikg wrote:
              > The real difference is that Klaus endorses the continuance
              > of the Spark "War of All Against All" (Hobbes, Leviathan) for
              > the sake of his own freedom of action

              I disagree. If all he was after was his own freedom of action he
              wouldn't be running an Empire. While I won't claim that running
              the empire isn't something he wants to do, I honestly don't think
              it's the first thing he would choose to do.

              > rather than submitting to
              > the higher authority of a Constitution that he might find
              > inconvenient and which would free the actions of other Sparks
              > from his direct control.

              And who is to create and enforce this mythical document? Klaus
              himself? That would be even worse than ruling as a tyrant. The
              sparks families who will break it as soon as Klaus is gone? The
              noble families who are only interested in their own privilege?
              The common people who don't understand how a government works?
              Before you can create a constitution you need a social order that
              believes in the rule of law instead of the rule of privilege or
              the rule of power. Europa doesn't have that.

              No, Klaus isn't a developing a constitution, he's developing a
              government in which a constitution can operate. Not that I
              believe he's doing it deliberately. (If I did believe that I
              could join the KDL with a clear conscience.) Faced with his
              circumstances, however, a constitution would be nothing more than
              a silly piece of paper and Klaus knows it.

              --
              Jefferson
              http://www.monticello21st.com/fiction/
            • akgreentea
              ... Oh, I see, but I have a feeling that such an oration might have gone differently in the Girl Genius universe. More likely, it was claiming that sparks
              Message 6 of 27 , Apr 1, 2009
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                --- In girlgenius@yahoogroups.com, "jsheikg" <jsheikg@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                > > Actually, The theater is merely evidence that the Renaissance has occurred.
                > <snip>
                >
                > My apologies for not being specific enough.
                > I was referring to Balthazar's Daddy's attempt to refer to Giovanni Mirandola's _Oration on the Dignity of Man_ which is about as 'Enlightenment' as it gets.
                >
                Oh, I see, but I have a feeling that such an oration might have gone differently in the Girl Genius universe. More likely, it was claiming that sparks shouldn't just use non-sparks as tools but should instead treat them like real human beings. Unfortunately, I have a feeling that giving such an oration in the Girl Genius universe, is akin to what happened in "Guards, Guards" when a man tried to explain the strength of humanity to a dragon.
              • yumitori
                ... And we see how well it works in our so very enlightened era. If someone is going to go completely @pe-sh!t, all the laws in the world aren t going to stop
                Message 7 of 27 , Apr 1, 2009
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                  > A Breakthrough is the RW equivalent of "Going Postal" and even in our normal world with only normal people to contend with we can only do two things about it.  First, make clear and unambiguous laws regarding the violation of the peace and second, educate the public to look for any signs that might lead up to the violation and prepare to intervene accordingly.  That is effectively what Klaus has attempted to do.

                  And we see how well it works in our so very enlightened era. If
                  someone is going to go completely @pe-sh!t, all the laws in the world
                  aren't going to stop them.

                  And if they have giant man-eating gerbils to back them up, so much the harder...

                  > The real difference is that Klaus endorses the continuance of the Spark "War of All Against All" (Hobbes, Leviathan) for the sake of his own freedom of action rather than submitting to the higher authority of a Constitution that he might find inconvenient and which would free the actions of other Sparks from his direct control.

                  Is that why he does it? You know this?

                  I suppose that's one way to look at it, since if he pushes too hard to
                  suppress all the ruling families and/or Sparky leaders like Beetle or
                  the Master of Paris completely they will find him a great enough
                  threat to set aside their own differences until he's beaten. Even if
                  he isn't taken down, the fallout would devastate the whole area and
                  significantly weaken his control. But by giving them control within
                  their own lands most are not angered enough to join together with
                  their enemies, so any uprisings will small enough to contain.

                  I'm also curious as to why the assumption in this discussion is that
                  constitutional rule is the only proper and appropriate government.
                  Certainly it has definite advantages, but I submit that a wise and
                  enlightened dictator can protect the people under their rule just as
                  well, if not better. We've seen in our own times that constitutional
                  protections do not mean much if the leaders should be upholding them
                  chose to violate the public's rights instead.


                  --
                  Ron/yumitori

                  "... We reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.
                  Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine,
                  drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a
                  charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light
                  the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake."

                  - President Barack Obama
                • subnormalized
                  ... Nope. A quick Google on Giovanni Mirandola shows that the fellow was Renaissance, not Enlightenment. And yes, he did write Oration on the Dignity of
                  Message 8 of 27 , Apr 1, 2009
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                    --- In girlgenius@yahoogroups.com, "jsheikg" <jsheikg@...> wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    > > Actually, The theater is merely evidence that the Renaissance has occurred.
                    > <snip>
                    >
                    > My apologies for not being specific enough.
                    > I was referring to Balthazar's Daddy's attempt to refer to Giovanni Mirandola's _Oration on the Dignity of Man_ which is about as 'Enlightenment' as it gets.
                    >

                    Nope. A quick Google on "Giovanni Mirandola" shows that the fellow
                    was Renaissance, not Enlightenment. And yes, he did write "Oration on
                    the Dignity of Man"...

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pico_della_Mirandola

                    The only thing arguing for the existence of the Enlightenment so far
                    is the Metric System, and if the Master of Paris is just a descendant
                    of Lavoisier, even that is suspect...

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antoine_Lavoisier

                    Now imagine a powerful Spark obsessed with accurate measurement, and
                    who is the pre-eminent Chemist of the age. He gives his closest
                    neighbors and countrymen 2 years to convert to Metric or die. No
                    other demands, like taxes or such, just standard measures. He even
                    sends out samples for alignment and calibration. But then he follows
                    through on his threats by 'rewarding' the recalcitrant with the
                    Gassing of Marseilles, and the Poisoning of Orleans. He then extends
                    his demands outside the country...

                    He won't be considered a source of stability, nor an object of
                    admiration, but he will get the Metric system adopted. :p In fact,
                    given the Girl Genius world, that probably *is* how their Metric
                    system got started, as opposed to the French Revolution and Napoleonic
                    Conquest...


                    Jonathan Fisher
                  • Prof. Zarchne (of Zarkhnistan)
                    ... Speaking of the Napoleonic conquest, I m only about 3% into _War and Peace_ (hm, is there a Tolstoy wiki?), but Pierre s defense of Napoleon in Book One
                    Message 9 of 27 , Apr 1, 2009
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                      On Thu, Apr 02, 2009 at 05:20:51AM -0000, subnormalized wrote:
                      > given the Girl Genius world, that probably *is* how their Metric
                      > system got started, as opposed to the French Revolution and Napoleonic
                      > Conquest...

                      Speaking of the Napoleonic conquest, I'm only about 3% into
                      _War and Peace_ (hm, is there a Tolstoy wiki?), but Pierre's
                      defense of Napoleon in Book One Chapter V reminded me a bit
                      of Gil's defense of Klaus; or at least, the way Russian high
                      society views Napoleon reminds me of the Fifty's view of
                      Klaus.
                    • Prof. Zarchne (of Zarkhnistan)
                      Crazy theory: the Americas are inaccessible to Europans because the natives won the war. (Coyote beat Loki on Coyote s home territory.) ... That s true in
                      Message 10 of 27 , Apr 2, 2009
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                        Crazy theory: the Americas are inaccessible to Europans
                        because the natives won the war. (Coyote beat Loki on
                        Coyote's home territory.)


                        On Wed, Apr 01, 2009 at 08:21:52PM -0600, yumitori wrote:
                        > I'm also curious as to why the assumption in this discussion is that
                        > constitutional rule is the only proper and appropriate government.
                        > Certainly it has definite advantages, but I submit that a wise and
                        > enlightened dictator can protect the people under their rule just as
                        > well, if not better.

                        That's true in the short term. The problem is continuity:
                        how do we secure to ourselves *and our posterity* the
                        blessings of liberty? ("Short term" here is less than a
                        human lifespan; Keynes' view of the "long run" (in which "we
                        are all dead") is to be rejected.)

                        > We've seen in our own times that constitutional
                        > protections do not mean much if the leaders should be upholding them
                        > chose to violate the public's rights instead.

                        You mean like the Supreme Court invalidating laws that
                        protect personal dignity and the lives of innocent human
                        beings (on which all other rights must be predicated)?

                        No, I know what you mean and I don't even necessarily
                        disagree with you. Would you not agree that the political
                        process -- that the U.S. Constitution provides -- appears to
                        have worked, in that those who would violate your rights are
                        now out of power, without having to resort to violence?


                        In the end, I agree with you that a "living constitution" is
                        worth little.
                      • stereo_bis
                        ... Hmmm, that theory has crossed my mind a few times, and I m growing fonder of it. After all, if Thundering Engine Woman is (was?) such a strong spark, and
                        Message 11 of 27 , Apr 2, 2009
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                          --- In girlgenius@yahoogroups.com, "Prof. Zarchne (of Zarkhnistan)" <zarchne@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Crazy theory: the Americas are inaccessible to Europans
                          > because the natives won the war. (Coyote beat Loki on
                          > Coyote's home territory.)
                          >
                          Hmmm, that theory has crossed my mind a few times, and I'm growing fonder of it. After all, if Thundering Engine Woman is (was?) such a strong spark, and considering that they are on their territory and all the local sparks can work together against the invaders sending in a few spark at a time, it is very possible that at one point, TEW created some kind of wall/force field/protection (sea monsters and dragons?) that prevents any new uninvited guests to get reach their lands.

                          If this is never answered within GG's main story, I wish the professors (or someone they approve of) will explore this side-story.


                          Back to plotting for the Professors to win that Hugo so they have another reason to come to Montreal: Stereo

                          (Yes I know: the winners aren't known until the ceremony, but that's the point of plotting for it!)
                        • yumitori
                          ... And a valid reason for a continuing framework of laws to protect the rights and dignities of individuals. *If* the society places importance on protecting
                          Message 12 of 27 , Apr 2, 2009
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                            > On Wed, Apr 01, 2009 at 08:21:52PM -0600, yumitori wrote:
                            >> I'm also curious as to why the assumption in this discussion is that
                            >> constitutional rule is the only proper and appropriate government.
                            >> Certainly it has definite advantages, but I submit that a wise and
                            >> enlightened dictator can protect the people under their rule just as
                            >> well, if not better.
                            >
                            > That's true in the short term.  The problem is continuity:
                            > how do we secure to ourselves *and our posterity* the
                            > blessings of liberty?  ("Short term" here is less than a
                            > human lifespan; Keynes' view of the "long run" (in which "we
                            > are all dead") is to be rejected.)

                            And a valid reason for a continuing framework of laws to protect the
                            rights and dignities of individuals. *If* the society places
                            importance on protecting such rights.

                            But we are dealing with a world of Sparks, and what is and is not
                            scientifically possible is different that in our world. We already
                            have reason to believe that Albia of the British Isles has lived and
                            ruled for many long decades, likely centuries.

                            > No, I know what you mean and I don't even necessarily
                            > disagree with you.  Would you not agree that the political
                            > process -- that the U.S. Constitution provides -- appears to
                            > have worked, in that those who would violate your rights are
                            > now out of power, without having to resort to violence?

                            It's not my intention to digress into a discussion on the failures of
                            those whose duty it was to uphold the US Constitution. So I'll point
                            out that just in the last century we have seen two world wars with
                            sedition trials and interment camps, witch hunts in pursuit of
                            'communists', domestic spying of presumed 'enemies' (which has been
                            done multiple times by powerful individuals and agencies within the
                            government, not just during any recent occasions that might come to
                            mind), and a host of other violations both great and small, and leave
                            it at that.

                            A constitution, or indeed any framework of rights, ethics and
                            principles, is only powerful if society as a whole makes it so. But it
                            is those rights, ethics and principles that are actually what's
                            important, not the form they take.

                            --
                            Ron/yumitori

                            "... We reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.
                            Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine,
                            drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a
                            charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light
                            the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake."

                            - President Barack Obama
                          • brellchild
                            ... An interesting idea indeed. And suggestive of future events? A war between the Wulfenbach Empire and Albion would be interesting, and quite an opportunity
                            Message 13 of 27 , Apr 2, 2009
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                              > Speaking of the Napoleonic conquest, I'm only about 3% into
                              > _War and Peace_ (hm, is there a Tolstoy wiki?), but Pierre's
                              > defense of Napoleon in Book One Chapter V reminded me a bit
                              > of Gil's defense of Klaus; or at least, the way Russian high
                              > society views Napoleon reminds me of the Fifty's view of
                              > Klaus.
                              >
                              An interesting idea indeed. And suggestive of future
                              events?

                              A war between the Wulfenbach Empire and Albion would
                              be interesting, and quite an opportunity for
                              Wellington to arrive on the scene.

                              But other than England, there is no military power
                              yet shown that can directly engage the Wulfenbach
                              forces on that scale and hope to survive. Napoleon
                              had several other enemies besides England, and at
                              the moment Klaus doesn't.

                              But if the Queen hears about what Gil threatened it
                              might not matter.
                            • Cerrberus
                              ... ~~Xnp~~ ... But nominees are often present for the award ceremony, to be there for the win. What we need is a plot to fund the Phoglios travel
                              Message 14 of 27 , Apr 2, 2009
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                                --- In girlgenius@yahoogroups.com, "stereo_bis" <stereo_bis@...> wrote:
                                >
                                ~~Xnp~~
                                >
                                > Back to plotting for the Professors to win that Hugo so they have another reason to come to Montreal: Stereo
                                >
                                > (Yes I know: the winners aren't known until the ceremony, but that's the point of plotting for it!)
                                >
                                But nominees are often present for the award ceremony, to be there for the win.
                                What we need is a plot to fund the Phoglios' travel to/attendance at the Con, eh?

                                Cerrberus
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