Politics by way of DnD
Dungeons and Dragons has an interesting alignment system that charts your character’s moral and philosophical standing along two axes. Axis one is Good vs. Evil and axis two is Lawful vs. Chaotic. The first standard is both common and long standing. Though the precise definitions might change depending on religion or culture or time period, the concept of good versus evil should be familiar to everyone.
It’s the second axis that makes things interesting. Apocryphally, the idea was stolen from Michael Moorcock. Hell, that might be canon, I really don’t know. But it expresses a relation to cultural and societal rigidity (or structure, depending on your viewpoint) that really makes the game fun. The difference between Chaotic Good and Lawful Good can be considerably more evident than between Lawful Good and Lawful Evil, for example. That said, people tend to identify more strongly along the Good versus Evil axis than the Lawful versus Chaotic axis. It’s just a more familiar concept.
Political stances are similar. We spend a lot of energy talking about conservative versus progressive, or right versus left, or fascist versus commie. But I would contend that there is a second axis: Rational versus Reactionary. Or, as it works in my head, Reasonable versus Screaming Internet Monkey Shitting All Over The Nice Things.
I will proudly state that I am left of center. Not very far left, not by the absolute partisan standards that get applied these days, but solidly left. Solidly progressive. But more and more, I’ve started to identify along that other axis. I think I have more in common with reasonable conservatives than I do with reactionary liberals. And there’s no one further from my standpoint than Internet Monkey Shitters of any stripe.
I’ve said all of that to say this. There is an organized boycott of Tor books, starting tomorrow. I think this is irrational. The organizer and lead proponent of this particular internet shitting is Vox Day. He is the Internettest Shitter of them all. His support for a cause should be reason enough to oppose it.
So I encourage you to go out tomorrow and buy books. Tor books, if the mood graces you, but mainly just books. Vox’s only stated goal is to destroy the science fiction community. And there’s no better revenge than living well.
Also, everyone knows you don’t let Chaotic Neutral into your party.
One Response to “Politics by way of DnD”
Heh – a great way of putting it and certainly maps to my beliefs. My general thought is “don’t write anything in a blog post or comment box that you wouldn’t be willing to actually say to a person’s face.” There’s a lot of monkeys out there.