[Note: The “Imperium” in the article is a star-spanning fictional pagan monarchical government, in the Traveller sci-fi Role-Playing Game]
[Repost from the sci-fi blog]
And so, I reach one of the hard limits of my imagination.
It’s not so much that it’s impossible for the Imperium to be as warm, kind, just, rich, nurturing, and feminine as implied by the picture above.
After all, at the birth of Jesus 2000 years ago, all societies were slave cultures, most everyone had some kind of tyrant God-Emperor at the top, real poverty — “poverty” as “nothing to eat all day” — was a common occurrence in life, between 1/3 and 1/2 of children born alive didn’t live to see five years… and it was disturbingly common for mothers to die in childbirth, too.
As a good postmil Christian, I am reasonably confident that humanity 2000 years in the future, will be as ethically far ahead of us as we are ahead of the Romans.
Not nearly as much as we should be, thanks to a distasteful resurgence of amoral (really, immoral/anti-moral) ideologies in the West. But still, notably better, especially in the Post-Nazi, Post-Colonial, Post-Soviet era: the time of Peak Materialism, Peak Oppression, Peak Murder, and Peak Lies has come and gone.
So: the joy, happiness, kindness, warmth, goodness, and peace symbolized by the Golden Lady above is factually possible, even likely, given enough centuries.
I just can’t imagine what that hyper-Christian, super-optimistic future would look like.
Traveller doesn’t help much here: technology aside, it’s a ideological throwback to the way things used to be, back in the colonial heyday of the 18th century. “Just without all that Christian stuff.”
[Or — once you get rid of the Christian ghosts lurking around in the setting (“Exactly why is slavery banned again?” “Laws of War? Are you kidding?”) — even right back to the days of Imperial Rome.]
I have a suspicion, though, that a certain Protestant Virgin Queen – for all her very real flaws – might have had a better grasp of the actual Far Future than I do, being blinded by the fog of the dying secularist-statist culture all around me.
Perhaps, God being merciful, we all can have a chat about it someday.