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Of Pride and Power Chapter 29 is Live


W_L

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Chapter 29

As I noted I'll be on vacation for a bit, I'll leave a few short stories just so folks get some more info on side characters and stories.

As for this chapter, it's an interesting culmination of effects. In the 16th century, the forces of the Calvinism Protestants and Counter-Reformation Catholics were very powerful movements that warped society and enforced a lot draconian moral rules. Places like the Netherlands, which traditionally were far more liberal and cosmopolitan due to their location as major trade hub were radically altered by internal conflicts. However, in my timeline, the Protestant lost the Civil War in the Holy Roman Empire/Germany and Switzerland where Calvinism had its roots was conquered by New Rome/Catholic Church forces. In the vacuum, new movements and ideologies are taking the place of traditional Protestant factions. 

The main theme in this chapter is "how can you defeat tradition", whether it's religion, entitled rights, or views. Eli was never a fan of Christianity, or any religion for that matter, based on his past life and would probably champion the fall of organized religion in favor of individual freedom. At the heart of it, Eli desires a society that isn't bound by tradition. However, to achieve this goal, Eli needs to create a new kind of thought process, known as "Noncomformist" ideology. This little known philosophy was at the heart of the scientific and industrial revolutions in the 18th and 19th, when mankind stopped being held back by tradition and strived towards progress. In particular, one of scions of this philosophy created Charles Darwins' theory of evolution, a concept that threatens the very existence of creationism and in fact theological traditions across the world. If Eli wants to break the power of Habsburg Empire and New Rome, such a philosophy has to become a major school of thought. Feel free to take a look the historical "nonconformist" philosophy and its rejections of traditional Christian orthodoxy, it's an interesting history lesson.

However, before Eli can do anything, there are major issues based around traditional power systems such as the English nobility. While they may not side with Habsbuirg Empire or Catholic Church, their ideology is based on a different kind of "tradition", one based on the supremacy of ownership. It's another important fact in history that English nobility had far more power and wealth than most monarchs due to how things worked. An entitled elitist group of individuals, who acquired everything due to an ancestor's ability, exploits their positions and prevents a lot of things. One of the things that England developed from this concept of land ownership is slavery. The entitled landowner and the servile farmer/laborer were well-entrenched concepts.

Thomas Radclyffe is the foil in my story to the kind of English nobleman that served Elizabeth I, someone who is by nature a self-interested noble with desires of personal wealth above all. In our history, he was also infamous for his campaigning Ireland. In my story, he's a greedy war criminal with a scheming nature. Despite being such a morally and ethically questionable person, Elizabeth I relied on him to put down rebellions. However, Eli could not accept this kind of quid pro quo for the needs to break the power of his enemies over ideology.

As for the solution, a series of rigged carnival games entices players to give up more money than the prize. The games play off the pride of individuals. It's a quintessential truth human beings cannot accept losing and will sacrifice a lot to win a pyrrhic victory, especially if they feel victory should have been easily obtained. 

As for birthdays, I have introduced my version of William Shakespeare, or should I call him Will Tudor-Walsingham as he's the son of Eli and Francis after an experiment in "double stuffing". We also have both Mary Queen of Scots' son James VI of Scotland and Eli's Omega son Jamie Tudor of England, Jamie's lover being called George at the end of the chapter is George Villiers, also known as Duke of Buckingham, the historical boyfriend/partner of King James.

This week's law of power is the 21st law, "Play a sucker to catch a sucker, seem dumber than your mark", it can be seen in how Eli manipulated Earl Thomas Radclyffe to give up a fortune and his own lands in order to win something that ultimately would bankrupt him. Eli appeared to give in and placate the Earl with 20,000 gold coins, then offered to double that and showed favor by slapping Eddie, who was like a son to Eli after so many years. In order to fool the Earl and the other landowners, Eli acted like a fool and showed he feared Earl of Sussex to the point of giving up a lot to win his favor. In the end, the Earl and all the others lost everything to Eli.

Notes:

1. Yes, Flanders, where the Netherlands are now, had a history as very lively place in the middle ages to late medieval era, when it was a major trade hub. Sexual freedom was higher there than in many other regions. I was inspired by this fact and modern Dutch culture to create a society that would be similar to their modern counterpart.

2. As for Novikov's self-consistency principle, it's a time travel concept that argues you can't change the past even if you go back in time. Instead, your actions will help create the event in question due to your actions. When applied to "real" probability, the concept is used to explain away why certain outcomes appear fixed no matter what factors. In my universe, I'm using a variant of this concept: History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme, meaning you can maintain historical events and outcomes by creating alternative routes to reach that outcome. That is how Mary Tudor and Charles V lived passed their dates of death. It's an important world building rule for how time travel mechanics work in my universe. There are of course things that violate self-consistency issues that also exist in my story from prior chapters.

 

Edited by W_L

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