Talk:Graham Eberd Noel-Baker

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Government title note

Noel-Baker's position in Japanese is 最高評議会書記局二等書記官, which translates literally as "Secretary Second Class of the High Council Secretariat" Glacierfairy 08:43, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

Have to wonder why no Secretary First Class was there. Maybe abandoned their posts already. Or maybe sitting outside the chamber was that lowly and undesirable of a post. Iracundus 21:34, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
Whats frightening here is that, for these actions, punishments were actually considered. So much for an enlightened Imperial society. To be honest, except for Reinhard, Hildegarde, Kircheis and a very few others, most of the Imperial characters are either thuggish, blindly loyal, or just plain dumb. This isn't an enlightened society, its a military junta that just happens to be led by a relatively enlightened man. People have been shown to be put Under the threat of death for just saying that the Kaiser wasn't as good as Yang as a military officer (which he isn't)! FPAForever
Imperial society is one in which the concept of lèse-majesté still exists. For example, during the Klopstock Incident, Imperial security forces held back for fear of damaging a statue of Rudolf I or the Gaiden case where the Imperial woman got into trouble for stamping on pictures of Rudolf I and Friedrich IV. While those may have just been custom, Imperial law, or fear of punishment, the common Imperial soldier (and even more so if they were veterans of Reinhard's campaigns) was probably intensely loyal and sensitive towards any perceived disrespect to their warrior-monarch that had led them to victory over all enemies, so the obstinate resistance of the few in a conquered city under martial law would have been even more infuriating. Most lower ranking soldiers throughout history have not dealt very well with resistance or perceived insolence from the conquered populace of a city under martial law. See the story of the reputed death of Archimedes, who was supposedly killed by a common Roman soldier during the fall of Syracuse when he did not instantly obey a summons to see the Roman general, even though the general had wanted to keep Archimedes alive. However such reactions to perceived disrespect of the state are not limited to just absolute monarchies. Look at the issue of modern flag burning or flag desecration and how in some countries it is illegal or even where it is not, there are heated emotional responses and attempts to make it illegal. Iracundus 19:30, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
The officers who nearly killed Mr. Odets, an unarmed Alliance diplomat who merely stated - truthfully - that Yang was such a great military leader than even Lohengramm was unable to defeat him (after being subjected to insults and snide comments from the utterly incompetent Bayerlein), were admirals, not merely rank-and-file. And Mittermyer does stop the act, but then immediately follows-up by saying that the reaction was PRAISEWORTHY. Add to that the fact that Mittermyer himself stated, loud and clear, before the Chief of the Military Police, his intention to kill Lang (who was himself a bastard, but thats in no way an excuse). Kessler's reaction is mild at best, merely scolding Mittermyer and taking no action against him. Add to that the fact that the fleets are clearly more loyal to their commander than to the state - the Black Lancers especially, but all of the others are guilty of this to some degree, and the idea that Hildegarde Mariendorf will be able to hold a LICK of real power after Reinhard has gone makes no sense. Its a very sick society that will end up killing itself in constant civil wars. FPA Forever
Yes, it is not good to threaten unarmed diplomats. The main risk post-Reinhard era is the same risk as that of Alexander the Great, that of warlordism as his subordinates carve out their own realms to rule, or try to usurp (or be the power behind the throne). I do not think Mittermeyer is necessarily one that would do this, though admittedly he is in a way already the power behind the throne with his position so he may support the immediate post-Reinhard status quo of Hildegarde as regent. Most of the other commanders also appear to respect and defer to him so I do not really see another civil war happening so long as Mittermeyer still commands the Space Fleet. The greater risk is actually in following generations, as they will not have any personal experience with Reinhard to strengthen the bonds of loyalty to Reinhard's family and successors. The risk is of the central government losing control or becoming the puppet of an effective "sword nobility" of commanders who command fleets that are loyal to themselves first, and the New Galactic Empire second. Historically this loss of central control over the military was one of the contributing factors to the fall of the Eastern Han and Tang dynasties. Iracundus 06:15, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
Well, something certainly happened since Reinhard died. Because the format of the story is that of an history lesson. In that future, the society is quite democratic, since the narrator openly talks about even Reinhard's flaws and critisizes everybody from Lohengramm to Yang. He, however, clearly saves most of his praise for Yang and for the following Iserlohn Republic. Clearly, the future isn't ruled by an autocracy. What do you think happened? FPA Forever
I do not think we have enough information to conclude anything. For example, although the UK is a constitutional monarchy, it is possible to talk about flaws of past monarchs if they are sufficiently in the past such as Henry VIII, George III, etc., or if certain lines are not crossed. If it is a constiutional monarchy like Japan or Thailand, then it is still taboo to criticize the monarch (past or present), taboo in custom even if not strictly speaking illegal. The future beyond the ending of the novels is deliberately left vague. I recall reading a Chinese translation where Yoshiki Tanaka specifically said he did not write anything about what happened next and with no plans for a sequel like Julian Mintz Afterwards or The Rise and Fall of the Lohengramm Dynasty. Found it over here in its original Chinese format: Iracundus 11:11, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
<<Line Removed. It was silly and immature. Sorry about that.>> FPA Forever
Go far enough into the future and any nation or government will change beyond recognition or fall. That after all is one of the themes of the story, that nations are not eternal and that the cycle of history keeps turning. What we don't know is how long the Lohengramm dynasty goes on for. Was it a short lived unifier dynasty like Qin or Sui of Imperial China, or like Alexander the Great's empire? Or did it go on for centuries like Han or Tang? Did it go out in a round of rebellion and revolution? Or did it quietly go out due to changing from a monarchy to something else? Or did it simply change ruling house through a process of marriage, births, deaths, and lack of heirs? Iracundus 20:19, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
No biases present in this talk page. Makes sense now about the name and all your hard work on your story where the Empire didn't win. As usual I agree with Iracundus. As long as Mittermeyer was chief commander of the fleet it's hard to see any of the surviving admirals waging war against the Kaiserin and the young Kaiser. Due to her progressiveness it's safe to assume some form of democracy or at least a general liberalization of Imperial politics took hold in the years after Reinhard's death. Just as Iracundus said it would take later generations that did not live in Reinhard's time to openly challenge the fundamental ideology that is the Imperial dynastic system, as it is hard to see anyone waging war against Mittermeyer to usurp and infant or child. When Alexander gets older though, who knows what could happen as he may be a despot being the son of such an influential man. At the very least we can assume Alexander would have existed permanently in his father's shadow, which even if he was of exceptional character would have had some hold over Alex. Twenty years after Reinhard's death would be difficult to predict but in my fanfiction about this very topic I, fully knowing this is worth nothing, have the Autonomous Republic of Heinessen evolving back into an Alliance of disgruntled planets within Neue Land while the Empire deals with its own identity and with the Imperial Senate holding some of the power within the Empire.
As far as the whole soldiers being more loyal to their commander than to the state, I don't see it that way. Sure, there are cases of this in many militaries quite often but in the instances shown in the OVAs, I'm assuming you're referring to the Imperial on Imperial battles, is more of a case of two opposing causes held together by the same military structure. The soldiers of the fleet don't need to agree with the cause they're fighting for as long as that structure is maintained, and from personal experience I can tell you that structure is very difficult to sway or act alone or in small groups against. Most of the sailors in the British navy were pressed into service for hundreds of years, and they maintained the most powerful naval force in the world for centuries, so morale and loyalty in a closed ship like environment can be trumped by control. Even some of the major plot points came about because of Imperial soldiers trying to break that system down, that is, supporting their enemy's cause over their commander's.
As far as the people being thuggish and adhering to absolutist rule with such zeal, I simply offer that this is roughly 1,500 years in the future. The supposed civilized era we live in has only been around for a small amount of time. Even two or three centuries ago, one would be threatened, note the word threatened, with death if they insulted a foreign monarch in the presence of their subjects. But this was more a show of fierce loyalty than a threat of actual violence. If you wanted blood, than a duel or assassination seem to be the preferred choices of history. That said I don't think Bayerlin would have killed Odets. Held the gun close to his head, yes. Out of line and unacceptable for our societies, absolutely. But killing an unarmed man would be extremely ungentlemanly and cowardly in the minds of Imperial officers who viewed themselves to be reeking of honor. With that kind of pride present in so many officers, especially under Reinhard, it's hard to think that he would have gone through with it. Knowing this, it is easier to see why Mittermeyer would react as he did, but still, never show a blade to the messenger. I agree with you two there, I'm just playing devil's advocate. As far as the murder attempt against Lang, such occurrences in Classical Europe were not considered commonplace but were by no means unheard of. If the victim was hated enough by the government and masses then the perpetrator could be viewed as the hero and a sorts. It's illegal in every way but in autocracies anything can happen, and if the people like him and the powerful praise him, a slap on the wrist would be all to expect, especially if the act was prevented. Again, in this twisted logic that had permeated throughout most of our history, this would be seen as absolute loyalty to the monarch.
Oh, I am biased. So is everyone else to an extent, including you. I'm not hiding it, am not ashamed of it. However, although I am biased towards the democratic side of the equation, it doesn't mean that my story will have the Imperial side looking badly. Merkatz I've already shown as a good man in an impossible situation, I'm in the process of showing that Kircheis is actually wiser than Yang. Mittermyer will be shown as being very cordial to the men who held his forces back while the Eight Fleet escaped. I've already expressed in-story that the admirals Under Reinhard were all highly skilled. Reinhard himself will eventually show up, although the story being largely set within the Alliance means the focus won't be on him much. However, when he does show, I do intend to show him as the kind of man people would follow to Hell and back. The concept of autocracy is absurd to me, but good people remain good people.
As for the Empire 'not winning', well, there's already the main story for that, and lets be honest, with the way things were going, I was convinced that Reinhard was going to win at Episode 5. Things were strongly tilted in his direction. So strongly, sometimes, that, yeah, it could be annoying. My story isn't about going the other way, but simply about giving the Alliance more credible chances. Still, the Alliance lost at Dionysus, and I stated many times that the Alliance forces were spent and couldn't have handled Reinhard another time, including Yang himself. The story, honestly, is solely focused on 'What if Yang tried just a BIT harder?', while another excellent story is about 'What if Kircheis lived?'
It seems that a slight part of the bias comment is from the absurd sentence I said, which I've removed. Sorry about that. I've been fighting health issues since September, as well as computer issues, which have slowed my writing speed to a crawl. I intend to write a chapter every month, but so far, things have piled up to prevent me, and I admit its making me react too much. Still, I intend to continue my story, slowly if need be. I am having fun with it. FPA Forever

More people find it easier to believe and follow concrete symbols, such as people, than an abstract ideology. Such is the case with an autocrat or absolute monarch, who is the state personified. To some extent that occurs with any elected head of state even today. Even Yang acknowledges that many follow him rather than follow the ideals he holds. Now some may critique this paradigm of the Great Person being the mover and shaker rather than more abstract and impersonal socioeconomic forces, but it cannot be denied that certain individuals have upset entire systems through their own personal charisma and efforts at the right place and time, such as Alexander the Great and his defeat of the Persians. Taken on a lesser level, one can see how the public follows celebrities or sports teams (who could be argued to become proxy avatars of the local area or nation in the case of national teams) to see how normal people can invest enormous amounts of time and energy, even loyalty and their own identity.

Autocracies have always had their supporters, because for a minority of people (i.e. those favored by those in power) they do benefit tremendously. Every autocrat has had tiers of supporters who formed their own elite class, and these in turn were supported by the middle and working classes who became vested in the status quo. Inertia is a powerful force too. People today may bemoan the flaws of the latest administration of their nation, but stop short of actively trying to overthrow the government. Similarly, those who have lived their whole lives in an autocratic system may know its flaws but not do anything, simply out of apathy or being patient until the bad ruler is gone. Soldiers in representative governments today don't revolt just because they disagree with the poltical party in power, because they are loyal to the nation and government structure as a whole. Similarly, many of the supporters of the Lippstadt League may have been all too aware of the failings of Friedrich IV but still opted to preserve the status quo because they thought one bad ruler did not mean one overthrowing the entire system or voiding one's oaths of loyalties.

Now that said, I think the Goldenbaums were in real danger of losing the Empire anyway regardless of whether Reinhard had ever been born or not. The Galactic Empire by the time of Friedrich IV was actually very decentralized because the ruler became effectively hostage to the nobles that had supported him to the throne, and who controlled much of the Empire's economy and military. The Goldenbaum rulers essentially were becoming the pawns of one noble house or another, and Friedrich IV was for his entire rule playing a balancing act to try to avoid falling irrevocably into the camp of one noble. If this pattern had continued, eventually I think some noble would have wondered why they needed the pretense of a puppet Goldenbaum at all. This is a situation similar to the late Eastern Han, where the Han emperors became puppet figureheads. This continued only so long as the belief endured among warlords and the population that there needed to be a Han emperor, from the Liu bloodline. Once the idea was planted that perhaps one could take the throne and start a new dynasty, the use and value of the Han emperor as a figurehead was gone. In a similar sense, the absolute power of the Goldenbaum rulers was becoming more a fiction than fact, and they were acknowledged by the nobles as all powerful only so long as they never attempted to use their power in any significant manner. Friedrich IV in his own personal balancing act arguably made things worse because he left the succession so unclear with the two main rival noble factions near equals to each other. If he had clearly come down favoring one faction of nobles, then he risked an immediate revolt, but a greater gap in faction strength would have left the succession more clear cut and reduced the potential for major civil war. Iracundus 12:19, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

Well said. I would love to get into a history discussion or two with you as you seem to have Eastern history down to a T. Exactly my view the first time I watched the series. The Goldenbaum Dynasty was finished, whether with Friedrich IV or a generation or two later, the High Nobles were obviously exerting influence over the Kaiser by the time of the OVAs. In the Gaiden when is announced that Reinhard would inherit the name Lohengramm on his 20th birthday you get to see how full of themselves the High Nobles are even when reacting to a comparatively minor situation when compared to the battle over succession that led to the Imperial Civil War. Even Friedrich showed that he was aware of all that was happening and seemed genuinely disinterested in preserving such a nation. As Reinhard stated, the Government as a whole was but a beautiful glowing shell that encased a black cesspool of corruption and incompetence. Cracks were already starting to show by the time of Ashbey and Siegmeister and loyal Imperial subjects repaired them the best they could, but the whole thing was about to cave in. Reinhard was merely placed at the right time in history to Alexander the Great it out of the park.
To FPA Forever, I never meant to make you or your story the topic of this or to offend you in any way. I was trying to be funny with a bad joke and apologize for any extra offense my comments may have added to it. I hope for the best regarding your story and especially your health. Strayor 15:53, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
No problem at all. In fact, I was meaning to ask you about Admiral Merkatz, who will be the Imperial POV character in my story for a certain length of time. How would you characterize him as. I tend to see him as an 'Old Guard' type of officer who is honorable, proud, and sticks to his oaths. Also, I depict him as respecting but not trusting Reinhard von Lohengramm. Thoughts? FPA Forever
Merkatz fits the ideal of the loyal old retainer, even when the cause is hopeless and his master is incompetent or dead. While we see examples of young officers like Fahrenheit switching to join Reinhard's camp, Merkatz clearly feels that such a change of loyalty would not be acceptable for him as he has served Goldenbaum for so many decades though we see in season 1 that he advises the young Fahrenheit to live on and not go down fighting for the doomed Goldenbaums. He views serving Reinhard who is clearly the usurper against the Goldenbaum Dynasty as violation of his oaths of loyalty, even though he does not appear to have anything against Reinhard personally. He knows he is on the wrong side of history when he fights for the Lippstadt League, and that the new regime is better for the people of the Empire, yet for him loyalty means loyalty at all times, bad as well as good. Merkatz is also a person who pays his debts. After the last gasp of the Goldenbaum government in exile, Merkatz continues to aid Yang, more out of personal loyalty and gratitude for Yang taking in Merkatz than following Yang's ideals. As we saw in season 3, it would be hypocritical for him to claim to do so given he has fought against the Alliance for decades. Merkatz is ultimately a man separated from his family and looking for either a restoration of his liege or failing that an honorable death. While it may seem fatalistic or even nihilistic, this fits with old pre-modern ideals, including Japanese ones, of retainers following their lords (and houses) unto the very end. Iracundus 07:14, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
I honestly can't see a way the Merkatz would ever ally with Lohengramm without violating his oaths. Not to sound sadistic but if all of the Goldembaums were dead would his oaths still bind him to fighting the Neue Reich? That's a genuine question. Also, the POV from Merkatz would be quite a complicated yet interesting one. My personal opinion is that Merkatz would not have openly fought against the Lohengramm axis if his daughter, or was it granddaughter, were not threatened first. In that case, I think his oaths would have had him take the Mückenberger path and retire. Actually, if my memory serves me, wasn't that exactly what he said he was going to do when Braunschweig threatened him? I should check but that's the jist of what I remember. Perhaps you have that exchange never occur and give an the POV from an old Goldenbaum retainer that is witnessing the rise of the Neue Reich. If Merkatz existed within an Empire under Reinhard's control, I can't see him fighting for or against Reinhard again. If he still goes to Yang, then I think the way he acted in the OVAs is a near perfect reference for you to base your Merkatz off of in your timeline. Strayor 17:15, 11 February 2015 (UTC)
I cannot find any reference to Merkatz preparing to retire in that episode. Also the Goldenbaums, like many historical royal houses, probably were widespread enough that some distant relation could always conceivably be dug up as a figure for people to rally around. Liu Bei for example from the Three Kingdoms era based his claim to rule on his status as the great grandson of an emperor, and therefore still of the imperial Liu bloodline despite that branch of the family having been demoted to commoner status before. Merkatz's psychological state and internal reasoning is complicated. While originally wanting to stay out of what he saw as an internal power struggle between two noble factions, the Lippstadt League vs. Lohengramm/Lichtenlade, and even asked Duke Braunschweig why he was rebelling against Erwin Joseph II if the issue was of loyalty to the throne, but then Merkatz was coerced into joining by the threat against his daughter. However once having joined, I think Merkatz internally rationalized his actions in that, he saw himself as a loyal servant of the Goldenbaums, so therefore he couldn't possibly be rebelling against them, therefore he was trying to free Erwin Joseph II from the control of ministers that were threatening to usurp the throne. Once Merkatz got himself into such an ideological corner though, there was no way out, because according to Merkatz's ideals of what a loyal retainer should be, one does not serve the usurper of one's master and one must try to restore one's master no matter what. Iracundus 12:27, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
I guess I got him saying he should have refused confused with he should have retired. I for some reason thought he tried to retire before his daughter was threatened by Braunschweig but alas, you are correct. Interesting thinking though. What a mental strain it must be to fight for what you know is a corrupt and lost cause when you are fighting for all the right reasons.Strayor 05:49, 16 February 2015 (UTC)
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