Nelder City closed its Space Doors this afternoon and crowds gathered in the dock area, free citizens and Imperial Slaves alike, to hear Argon Armrend CEO of the Angeli Imperial speak
“Friends, Citizens, Commanders, Imperials All
I address you all today, to speak on a matter of grave concern to the Empire and its continuing prosperity.
This threat to our great state is no external boogey man the media might use to stir up some furor, no; this threat comes from within the Empire itself.
“Ah” you say, “here we have just another politician looking to sling mud at his fellows, to gain a few points by accusing some rival of some mis-deed, real or imagined, and create a media circus about it”
No, I say, I am not here to accuse any one person of any misdeed, for the threat lies not in a person or power, but in the system itself, a cancer eating the Empire from within.
Systemic nepotism and cronyism, combined with a excessive reliance of slave labour has left the empire weak, rotten in the core and stagnating, like Venial Brass it is polished and luminous on the exterior but corroded within, & we, WE ALL, choose not to see it.
“But the Patron Client system is the basis of the empire” I hear you call out down the back. That the “traditions of Imperial Slavery is the backbone to our economy, and our society”, that we might keep face and still be productive citizens even when the worst strikes and we have nothing to our names.
And it is indeed true that these hallowed institutions are the backbone, the core, the spirit and essence of Imperial society, for what is an imperial citizen when they have lost all control of the destiny? What honour do they have left, when they are no longer the masters of their fact, but instead the flotsam and jetsam in an ocean of indifference.
I, myself, have undergone the rebirth of Imperial Bondage, from Imperial Citizen to Slave, to save myself from degradation and debit; but I ask you, why, why is it that so many of our number, so many promising Imperial youths full of vim and vigour and untapped potential end up debtors, end up selling themselves into bondage, why are they not filling the ranks of our Corporations and Public Offices?
Do we blame Sims? Drink? Drugs? Idle Decadence? Do we want to blame symptoms or do we want to address the cause? Look that those postings and stations we would traditionally equate to the young Imperial first stating their public life, and you will find the positions taken up with Imperial Slaves.
Yes, the bondsmen & women need some way to pay off their debts and reclaim their place as free and enfranchised citizens of the Empire, and yes they work hard to do that, but for minimal remuneration, remuneration that might not even service their debt, and so they are trapped never moving forward, all the whilst holding a position that would otherwise go a free citizen.
And when those roles free up, as infrequent as they do, why would anyone hire a free citizen who would demand a living wage, when one can penny pinch and exploit one bondsman to the legal edge of their contract.
Of course some jobs will go to Free citizens, but how are they selected, are the best and the brightness pit to go use where they be the next wave to push the Empire forward to an ever more glorious future?
Only if they have the nod of some venerable patron, one who is more interested in securing their own political position, by trading nepotism and cronyism for a few more voices to echo theirs at the forum or in the council meetings.
And having not come in from the ground level and pulled themselves up with their bootstraps, these political appointees have no experience to manage what they are assigned, and the wastage harms not only the Empire, but as their departments collapse, throw more citizens into unemployment and debt.
So what are we left with?
No job opportunities and no experience, our free citizens find themselves unable to pay their way; debt and exploitation is all that remains for them, whilst a few powerful patrons amass wealth and they and their clients watch from their palatial holdings
Is that the Empire we want?
It is time for a change, a time for the empire to embrace again the virtues of diligence, industry, perseverance & dutifulness. It is a time for the rewards to go again to those who serve the state, not to those who merely praise the right master.
Be you Freeman, Freedman or Bondsman; no matter you status, all citizens of the empire should be able to stand tall with a full frame, stand with honour, and have an opportunity to do their duty and earn their freedom, for none of us are truly free, unless we have a choice in our destiny.
I, Argon Armrend, vow, any system under my jurisdiction; Imperial Slaves will have fair wages so they might earn their freedom in a reasonable time; Free Citizens will find jobs so they can contribute to society by the merits they can bring and not by the patron that can name.
Together! Together we can all stand side by side, in our toil and relight the fire that once burnt so brightly in the hearts and souls of every Citizen!
Dignitas a Constantia Industriaque
Dignitas a Constantia Industriaque!”