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What faction would a principled Marxist side with in Fallout: New Vegas? Anonymous 05/23/2020 (Sat) 15:57:16 No. 776
I though about starting this thread in /hobby/, but considering I'm not interested in talking about the merits of the game-itself, and rather to discuss the specific dilemma of factions, I thought I'd get a more focused discussion here. The Wildcard ending notwithstanding, there are principally three different factions in the game you can side with: Caesar's Legion, New California Republic, and Mr. House. To begin, Caesar's Legion is a fascist power lead by a historical materialist (even though the writers somewhat misrepresent Hegel in their dialogue about the dialectic, the general theme is maintained) most players misunderstand Caesar as just a LARPer rather than someone who is genuinely trying to restart history. His Legion, is admittedly a hegemonic autocracy that Caesar intends to use to subjugate humanity under one banner, so that their collective progress would be accelerated. It's entirely possible to interpret Caesar as just history's janitor trying to send humanity back through the motions and antiquity to try and reach a better result than rushing back to the "good ol' days" like the NCR, rather than someone who takes pleasure in creating a slave society that is an objectively malignant entity. The NCR is presented as the return of the old Bourgeois Dictatorship of the US, their government is a corrupt expansionist bureaucracy that can only adequately administrate war, meanwhile the actual body of the legislation itself has a lineage of benevolent autocrats (tandy) and is ruled by the interest of the "brahmin barons" (kulaks), this is a critique that Caesar presents in his analysis of the NCR (which happens to sound out-of-context Marxian). Caesar correctly identifies the NCR as a reincarnation of the failed Bourgeois state that brought about the very predicament of the wasteland, and seeks to use them as his component in creating a society apt enough to the material conditions of the wasteland. The strangest character in this dynamic is Mr. House, if the NCR is a light veil for a Bourg dictatorship, then Mr. House is an open window, making no illusions to the player about his proposed autocratic status and ex-Bourg origin. Since the wasteland cannot be considered Capitalist (as a true economic analysis of the Fallout universe would lack too many necessary factors to be accurate) we have to assume that the wastes can be best surmised as a scavenger-economy wherein the most valuable resource is electricity and armaments, the wasteland does still have capitalistic elements (the barons of the NCR being a good example, as well as Crimson Caravan and Gunrunners) but lacks the infrastructure to maintain a conventionally capitalist society (and thereby is also incapable of creating a socialist society unless material conditions change). I'd propose that due to this, the best choice for a Marxist in the wasteland is to side with whichever faction has the best capacity to create industry in the wasteland. All the factions in the maingame (and characters in the DLC hint at this theme, but would take to long to discuss) are representations of differing ideological states: the NCR being a bourgeois dictatorship under the farce of democracy, the Legion being a fascist army with the goals (at least the goals of Caesar) of restarting humanity's cultural progress, and Mr. House who breaks the mold as an autocratic Technocrat. You might refer to House as the supreme corporatist, but he's likely the only one possessing of the ability to either industrialize the wasteland or to simply leave Earth behind for Mars, despite being the most comically capitalist entity in Fallout (a series that from inception was an inherent critique of Nationalist Capitalism), House is likely the best choice for a principled Marxist, the NCR would lead humanity into a similar state of global capitalism, it too perhaps has the capacity to industrialize the wastes like Mr. House (and in face House intends to use them largely for a similar purpose) but Mr. House presents perhaps and easier path, because House is a planned economist, regardless of all the old-world business aesthetic, House is someone who would be a literal computer-god who plans the economy. House claims to be an objective ruler with a more important grand vision than say the short-term emulators of the NCR, who despite their uses to him, House rejects as the planners of the economy (potentially because he recognizes like Caesar, their inherent contradictions). In any event of House winning, the inevitable desire of the Marxist Courier would be to have him killed or deposed, I left out Yesman in this little essay because I thought that would be to filled with assumptions to really consider, because of course the obvious answer would be "courier and yes man takes over and the Comrade Courier uses Yesman to create an epic planned economy, Communism 100." A ending which to me seems really silly to rationalize in the context of the setting, to be clear, I don't think F:NV has any Marxist faction or even a Marxian theme, it's themes are focused around nostalgic ideology and the Gnostic need to either destroy the past or worship it. To the end of advancing the Fallout Universe to the next stage of history, I think Mr. House is the only one who even has the capacity to achieve it, even if he's a terrifying computer God who could only be removed by his "employees" in the most idealized scenario. As Benny puts it: "Mr House hides Vegas under his skirt when the bombs drop so it's his? forever?" not that Benny is a proletarian revolutionary or anything, but a Mr. House ending would require that House be willing to take on proteges or somehow put himself in a position to be removed, but since that's a question more of game mechanics than narrative, I'll ignore it. Am I wrong? Who do you think a Marxist should choose? MOD NOTICE THREAD WILL BE MOVED TO >>>/games/ TOMORROW AS THE GODS space_ HAVE GRANTED US A LINK TO SAID BOARD IN THE NAVBAR
Edited last time by comraderat on 05/23/2020 (Sat) 23:00:01.
>>787 the khans are probably your friends, try not to get in trouble with them
>>799 TBH at first I was angry New Vegas never considered communist or Indigenous people being rising factions. I mean if Caesar had access to Hegel, surely he must have had access to Marx? But now I think I know why it doesn't; its because New Vegas isn't meant to be a realistic simulation, its a distillation of the what the United States of America is. We see, even after the world has ended settler colonialism and capitalism haven't. Even without Indigenous people's, the former white people, the former black people and all other ethnicities have formed their own indigenous groups, but even in an apocalyptic wasteland they cannot find peace avoid settler colonialism, whether that's the NCR trying to erase and absorb Indigenous groups in the Mojave such as the Boomers, 4 tribes of The Strip, The Kings, the Great Khans ect, or the Legion destroying and integrating Indigenous people like the Hangdogs, Twisted Hairs, Whitelegs ect. Even the Courier isn't exempt from committing genocide, having accidentally destroyed Hopeville. Whether the writers intended it or not, New Vegas is the USA boiled down to it's gelatin. People, even in a post-racial world, even after the Apocalypse, after anything, cannot escape settler colonialism, genocide and capitalism.
>>820 In the Fallout universe the Soviet Union was still around in 2077 when the bombs fell, and China was the primary communist superpower.
>>821 Yeah but notably, they're gone. In fact, the rest of the world is gone, only the USA survives in any recognisable form.
House, seize the machinery and transition to a fully automated society
>>787 just play however you feel as you gain more insight about them and their goals. With that said, there is a bug in the game where if you piss of the legion, they send high level assassin's after you. Outside of the legion, don't worry too much if factions hate you because a main quest in New Vegas resets any faction animosity, but only once
>>822 Evidence of this? The player never gets to go there.
>>825 In Fallout law, its generally assumed if a place hasn't been elaborated or heard from, its gone.
>>826 I mean its across the ocean. We don't hear anything about Africa or South America but there is good reason to imagine they would at least be better off than the United States, given they would be nuked a lot less.
>>827 Possibly, we know a little bit about South America since the Rangers on New Vegas Radio are said to be campaigning in Baja California. But the narrative is purely about the USA.
>>822 But there are characters who are explicitly stated to have immigrated from Europe
>>776 I don't understand the main objective of many people here, that is to find the fastest way to industrialize to get to the socialist society. I understand the (acceleracionnist) point, but they forget one thing : to have an industry going on a mass scale, you need resources. The war began because there was a lack of ressources, and they couldn't miniaturize to use less of it. Barren as the world is, there is no possibility to do anything more complex than basic light industry. considering all this, the best bet would be to side with what looks like a powerful commune, and build an agrarian workers' paradise
>>817 wildcard has vegas working with the boomers and the Great Khans, combined they have more civilizational potential without the drawbacks of either Caesar or NCR
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>NCR will need to reprioritize as their fresh water dwindles, domestic unrest breaks out >the Legion will be torn apart by civil war once Caesar succumbs to brain cancer >House is only interested in playing the Vegas families for his own end; left unchecked, the Omeratas coup him. Long term he can't keep them in line Autonomous Vegas seems the only sound option here. Long term, a coalition between the Followers Westside, Boomers, Khans, and the Kings would be necessary to pry the NCR off the Mojave.
>>832 I would love a game where you manage the petty politics between the tribes of the Mojave while holding off the NCR and the Legion, both of whom are still pissed at the Courier long after they┬┤re dead
Kill Ceasar, Kill House make deals with most of the other factions. Re-programme Yes-Man if reprogramming Yes man is impossible then destroy Yes man and all the other robots before they become a threat. Take control of New Vegas. Then it depends on the situation and what control would entail. I have a sizeable army of robots, gang members, freesiders famillies boomers etc so I'm assuming the NCR is too beaten down after the battle of Hoover Dam btw I make sure to weaken the NCR sufficiently before using them to take out Ceasar. Then the NCR becomes my customer. I have control over Hoover Dam and have massive amounts of energy and outgun the NCR so I sign a treaty with the NCR and double the amount of bottle caps I charge them for energy because Fuck them and then use a sizable amount of the proceeds to corrupt their entire leadership and command and control and officers at key strategic locations. I want all their troops and citizens into my casinos shops and hotels consuming all the drugs and booze. I have a an alliance with the Great Khans and thry supply drugs to New Vegas. Tongoverb I just have a council of the Casino famillies Gang members Fresside shop owners bottle cap manufacturers Brahmin herders and all the other relevant factions. Ofcourse they all want to kill me but they all hate each other equally and I vastly overpower them so it litterlay runs itself. After a steady stream of bottle cap income and monopoly of force firmly established under my control I then leave this setup to be guarded by the system I just created and continue my adventures going to fight evil with my loyal companions.
>>776 I notice they've not been mentioned yet, but don't forget about the nukes from Lonesome Road
The NCR. Capitalism is more advanced than slave societies. If Ceaser were serious about his own philosophy(its not really hegelian but thats another topic), he would immediately become a dengist and beat the NCR at their own game, he has a greater pool of labor. Of course in the terms of the game, taking over with Yes Man or whatever is the "best" option, but this is sort of an individualist ideological escape from the real conflict.
>>833 I can see conflict between the Khans, who drug out the fiends, and Westside, who is actively under siege from said fiends. Maybe after the fiends are wiped out, the Khans can producing medical supplies in exchange for crops from Vegas?
Legion has no future, Caesar's Legion is an epitome of "le working well on paper" as there is no sign of a functional leadership to takeover when he dies, which by the look of things will happen either soon, or sooner. One of his big plot points, if I remember correctly, is looking for a suitable heir. The way his Legion enforces military discipline through corporal punishment and random acts of violence is comically ineffective. Further more, has Legion shown any signs of being able to commit to grand acts of architecture and infrastructure, beyond merely securing the roads from raiders? The actual material conditions that made Rome step up from it's neighbors. The brunt of Legion's forces, the tip of the spear that will roll back the NCR and ensure a new Rome can't even fix a single howitzer, something that the player can do, given the right parts, without any required technical expertise. Whether he wants it or not Ceaser is a LARPer par excellence, though something he is not aware himself. Mr. House boasts often about his capability for organization and production, as the only real force to bolster productive forces in the post-war America, but so far his actual accomplishments have been far from impressive. Thanks to his own legion of pre-war robots, he managed to jump start electricity production (thanks to a lucky geographical and infrastructural position first and foremost) and restart Vegas. But what is the real accomplishment of Vegas? Bringing some tribes to heel thanks to superior firepower (and given incidents with Omerta family and White Gloves, not even that good), making them play out pre-war fantasies and fixations (something the Kings done without much outside influence) and most importantly bringing back the scale of gambling unimaginable before into the post-apocalypse. For all his technocratic boasting, his most impressive practical achievement has been hooking up wastelander scavengers and junkers to slot machines and sitting them down to poker tables. Beyond the sheer income force of this economic model, New Vegas is hardly a self sustainable model, given that most food production seems to be handled by the NCR. Much like Vegas itself, it's all glitter and glamour made to impress the player with promises of the far, far future, the actual scale of achievements is far from jaw dropping. Meanwhile, Westside is a much more humble, and often overlooked part of the game. A small, relatively thriving community (thanks to Followers of the Apocalypse) with a self sustaining food production, internal security force and a limited, but decent trade economy, despite sitting on the edges of Fiend's territory, one of the most brutal, aggressive and erratic of the wasteland's raiders. Westside's success, if the game offers it in one single word is "co-ops", as in farming co-ops that help the community stand on it's own as a self sufficient model. Though not particularly powerful or influential, they are certainly lot more stable then Freeside or New Vegas Square communities. If there is any "message" supplanted by the in-game information, it's that any hope of the future lies in the model of the Followers of the Apocalypse and their efforts to reach out communities, tribes and cultures such as Westside. Even Great Khans, raiders that they are, are a better potential force for the wastelands future then either Caesar, Mr. House or NCR's bourgeois apparatus. It's not about replenishing civilization, it's about taking the material conditions of the wasteland and building a society that suites them, a society that can therefore extract required resources to build it's own productive forces. I could be wrong on all accounts, this is only from my memory and there could be material outside of the game that completely lays waste to my room temperature takes.
Communists either side with the NCR; which at best is a social democracy that respects the equality of all its citizens, and offers an adequate social safety net. It could probably be reformed by someone like the Courier into some Marx envision - a Dotp based on a Democratic Republic. Another option would be to pursue an Independent New Vegas - the New Vegas Commune, if you will, that gradually socializes industry and agriculture based on syndicalization of all businesses and co-operativization of agriculture. The Legion is a reactionary, proto-fascist dictatorship that enslaves and massacres other races. Any Communist government would to immediately make a pact with anyone to eliminate them immediately.
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>>806 This is ironic because Marx rejected this view in the Manifesto, and quite literally said you could jump stages. I know that MLS don't read the Manifesto, or anything really, so they would miss this key detail.
One of the themes of NV is the trouble that comes from Old World echoes. House is a relic of that world, as is Hoover Dam, while the NCR tries to emulate pre-war America with twisted nostalgia, not much unlike the Legion with their pseudo-Roman charade. The same theme about being stuck in or with the past repeats itself in the Big Empty (literally "Old World Blues"), the Sierra Madre, Zion Canyon, and on the Long 15. Considering that, all the major factions are more or less the same. Much like scavengers, they're trying to build a future from scrap. But that's not a sustainable path. >>836 There is the question whether capitalism is compatible with the Wasteland. Fluff-text implies that as the NCR has developed and the land has been scraped clean of any scrap worth scavenging, the Republic has been forced to act in an expansionist manner to acquire more resources and to provide an internal refuge to a constant exodus of citizens fleeing wage slavery for the promise of opportunity in the periphery. Once again, a reference towards the Old World, the age of the rugged cowboy and the settler. But as it has done so it has become stretched thin. The NCR appears to be at risk of regressing into Robber Baron feudalism led by the Brahmin lords before being able of achieving an actual anti-capitalist zeitgeist. There may be a century, or even several centuries of troubles and tribulations ahead before conditions become favorable for that. Who knows, the NCR might fracture and fall apart in that time. As such, I would personally prefer an independent Vegas where the Kings and the Followers have sway. The Mojave is a strange place, so I cannot imagine anyone but the locals, those who are familiar and accustomed to the challenges of the region, being able of building without suffering a sustainable future in the region. Westside speaks for that. To achieve permanent success, one does not only need to change the material relations and the productive forces of a community, but foster a collection of certain values, a self-sustaining culture which values maintaining Socialism, or whatever they'd call it as the 2200's roll towards the 24th century. People in the Mojave already value cooperation, getting paid your worth, and deserving a say in matters which touch you. The Kings speak of kindness, the Followers are building mutual aid, and Westside fosters a budding seed. These things provide an opportunity unlike any other. After all, a new world calls for new solutions. A shame the independence ending is so vague and unfinished, when there's so much nuance and variation that could've been wrung out of it. Perhaps the devs cut it as time and money was being pulled from under them, as to keep the other options viable. Reposted because I fucked up.
>>841 *citation needed* just use some common sense the NCR are literally on the brink of famine because they decided to expand light industry instead of their agricultural base Caesar's slave society and stockpiling of food mimics the palace economies in the ancient near east where specialization of labor was first able to take place NCR are a subsistence economy larping as democratic capitalists, it's only a matter of time until the farmer lords shatter the NCR because they control the food and the NCR does not have enough stockpiles to fight a civil war
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>>843 Yeah, no, dude you're just wrong here. https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1881/zasulich/draft-1.htm What should be done is the encouragement of collective farming in the New Vegas, the securitrons could easily be diverted to make this easier, along with cultural revolution, and the socialization of industry around New Vegas, and outside of it. Common sense would dictate that New Vegas' superior military technology, along with a pact with the Brotherhood of Steel, could be used to crush Caesar's dictatorship, and integrate his slaves, surrendered troops back into society as productive members. Their nearly conquered territory could also be used for resources. And if the NCR disintegrates, you still have the robots and the dam, so you would in a position to secure that land when they're done killing each other. The Enclave Remnants could also be called upon to suppress counter-attacks from them.
>>776 >What faction would a principled Marxist side with in Fallout: New Vegas? Powder Gangers
>>844 >it's in the manifesto! <actually it is in one of his random correspondences epic As your source states the situation in Russia was unique in that the communal mode survived into a time where Russia's contemporaries were practicing capitalism, thereby allowing the commune to reap the fruits of capitalism without instituting capitalism This is completely different from the fallout-verse where all the means of production have been destroyed by nuclear war. Of course if there existed the technology or base to support a modern society then we would but there simply isn't The NCR are already scavenging tech hard to try and find a way to improve their agricultural output, and if they do find it then they're position is much more tenable, but I would counter that the scavenging and expansionary nature of the Legion is much more capable of supporting these expeditions and would be more likely to consolidate the tech left by the old world. As for the rest of your post, you are essentially saying the same thing I am saying. To form an agricultural base of farms (that I assume you mean would produce surplus not sustenance) and use that to support industry which isn't skipping history, it is just speedrunning slave-society to socialism. We're in agreement here and I would support your position, but OP excluded the wild card ending and Mr. House isn't interested in doing much outside of his little bubble, so Caesar and his dictatorship is the only faction that 1. expands enough and 2. has the political structure to implement agrarian policy.
>>828 >South America >Baja California
>>839 >Communists either side with the NCR; which at best is a social democracy that respects the equality of all its citizens, and offers an adequate social safety net. The NCR is a feudal state run by literal barons always risking a possible famine. Also they basically attempted to genocide the Khans. >Another option would be to pursue an Independent New Vegas - the New Vegas Commune, if you will, that gradually socializes industry and agriculture based on syndicalization of all businesses and co-operativization of agriculture. Would immediately get destroyed by a larger faction. >The Legion is a reactionary, proto-fascist dictatorship that enslaves and massacres other races. Any Communist government would to immediately make a pact with anyone to eliminate them immediately. They're not any more genocidal than the NCR (see: Bitter Springs massacre) and one could argue the authoritarianism is necessary to build up industry.
>>1771 Are you forgetting that the New Vegas Commune has the securitron army as well as the combined forces of whatever factions you joined forces with? Even if you choose to not upgrade the securitrons for no reason, you still have an army of powerful, heavily-armored robot soldiers as well as air support from the Boomers as well as support on the ground from the Kings and other groups. Both the NCR and Legion would outnumber the Commune's forces but it's unlikely that either would try invading given how fierce and obstinate the resistance would be.
A principled Marxist would play a better game.
>>1771 no dude, it's a literal slave run society, that's way more ancient than what ever the NCR is doing
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All you pussies fail to realize that Mr House is the single most dialectical choice here. His victory, from all that we hear, would restart humanity. Not just a shitty society that is barely surviving and struggling, but a modern, and even a space traveling civilization. Would it be brutal in some regards? Yes, it would basically be modern capitalism, however it is very idealist to expect for a better, socialist future to emerge from the barely industrial (and in most cases not even that). Also the game, while well made, has dogshit factions and its really just the case of picking which is least shit: >Legion A bunch of slaver larpers following a dying leader. His vision is pretty bad, but things will only get worse with his death >NCR A meh imperialist state. Probably will get the region over time back under to barely-prewar conditions. Their capitalist system doesn't make them >Free Vegas At absolute best it's an ancom commune. And? How is that going to help anyone outside Vegas? And more likely they would just be a shitshow of many infighting gangs, like the Vegas before House gets the chip, just without House. >House Same as NCR, but can transform the entire setting and achieve far better results than the NCR would. To me he is quite an obvious choice.
>>1816 go lick elon musks boot, I'll take an anrcho commune over any space colonialists
>>1817 Without the proper material conditions, your anacho commune is destined to fail and die of hunger. Read Marx
>>1770 Reminder that Tijuana is at a higher latitude than half of Texas
>>1816 i agree but i disagree regarding the legion, i feel like you haven't actually read the rest of the posts in this thread
>>1816 An "anarcho-commune" with AI controlled robotic cops running around
>>1854 well it didn't happen in game so fuck you!
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NCR. House is an impotent capitalist leech and Legion needs no commenting. >but he promised we'd go to space So does Musk but you're hopefully not sucking him off for it. All House does is rip off tourists and bully locals. He's not going to turn around and develop anything worthwhile just because he's got an army of murderbots.
>>1914 You do realize that House ending is just NCR+ ending, right? The space thing is only a cherry on top. His real goal is to harness the existing capitalist elements of the NCR in order to, well, quite literally develop the productive forces: >The city's economy is a blast furnace in which can be forged the steel of a new rail line, running straight to a new horizon. What is the NCR? A society of people desperate to experience comfort, ease, luxury... A society of customers. With all that money pouring in? Give me 20 years, and I'll reignite the high technology development sectors. In the end, his path would end up just like the NCR one, just with far more developed society, not one that is barely at industrial levels. Eventually the chance for socialism to arise within the NCR is far higher under better material conditions, and especially once more advanced technology is utilized. Reminder that pre-war Fallout setting didn't yet have the transistor. With House in charge of Vegas, the possibility for technological development might fill this hole, allowing for the computational power needed for socialism. And, as much of a meme the space shit is, it would definitely help long term with resources. All of this would likely take NCR alone centuries to achieve.
>>808 isn't the intelligence hit he has because of his brain tumor
Do the old fallouts go into detail on how China was organized politically? were they actual commies or dengists? there was no mention of them in new vegas and 3 and 4 they're just the ebil red gommies
>>2089 I don't remember there being any significant times China was mentioned in the first two, and the wiki itself says that it's unknown if it was still Maoist at the time the bombs fell or not.
>>1816 >>1927 On the other hand, House has been in control for close to a decade, and even the so-called luxury of the strip consists mostly of jury-rigged scrap and scavenge. If he has a "plan" to get "high tech" running withing 20 more years, you'd expect he'd already have some kind of workshops or light industry prepared. Among the Soviet five-year plans, the hardest one was the first: The process of building the industry and infrastructure which'll build industry and infrastructure. You must have something to get something, and that takes time. If Vegas is currently relying on scavenging and repurposed scrap, it most definitely doesn't have the basics of maintaining itself, not to even mention the tools that House's robot army requires for its upkeep. Once the NCR and the Legion have been driven out of the Mojave, a clock is ticking and resources bleeding. Without the right tools, manufacturing, know-how, and equipment, his small empire will face attrition. And considering how lackluster his preparations have been in the past seven years on that front, "twenty years" may be both an overly optimistic goal and far too late. Not to even mention he basically sat on his ass for 126 years after regaining consciousness, doing practically speaking nothing.
>>2120 tbf The Strip does look like shit because of time limitations. It was supposed to be like 10x bigger I think. >>2107 The dialogue with the Chinese captain in FO4 seems to imply that at least they were not capitalist like in USA


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