Amoral Politics

From Dwarves! - Minecraft Roleplaying Server
Amoral Politics
Written802 BY
AuthorKhestor Thidirlun
GenrePolitics & Philosophy

This tome is penned by Zietal Mar Marshal Khestor Thidirlun. In this piece, Khestor delves into politics, what it is, and how it should be used. Later, he gives his view on leadership, the qualities of an ideal leader, and what it takes to be one.


It is easy to point at Lords, leaders and their judgments - especially in hindsight - and to call them immoral or bad and claim that they have misled or lied a group of peoples but it is in times like these that one must remember what politics truly is, and what it should be used for.

Politics is a tool for leaders to defend, enrich and allow their citizens to prosper. A good leader isn’t a Lord who is kind or good in a religious or moral sense; although these qualities may often be looked up to and help with popularity; it is someone who can fulfil the needs of their peoples - namely as mentioned before - to defend, enrich and bring honour to the state. As mentioned before, being nice may be a good virtue in general but what citizens most need from rulers is effectiveness, which may well call upon some darker arts.

Once we understand this basic requirement we stand to be less disappointed and clearer about what we want from our lords and politicians.

Leaders may find it difficult, in fact almost impossible, to be both a good politician and a good person but they should fear this not. For they must only remember one thing, that it is their duty to the state which they must place above the duty to themselves to be good. The overwhelming responsibility of a good Lord is to protect his state from external and internal threats to stable governance, this means he must know how to fight but more importantly he must know about reputation and the management of those around him. People should neither find he is soft or easy to disobey nor should they find him so cruel that he disgusts his society -  He should seem unapproachably strict, but reasonable in judgement.

In order to be strict, difficult decisions may have to be made and whilst it may be ideal to be both loved, *and* feared and obeyed - a Lord should always err on the side of inspiring terror. For this is ultimately what keeps people in check. Whilst contemporaries may suggest that Lords should be merciful, peaceful, generous and tolerant they must be reminded that being a good person is, in short, not the same as being a good leader. I ask you readers to dwell on the incompatibility between moral ethics and good governance. I would like you to attempt to think of one nation that is or was led by a truly good, moral, generous, merciful - some would say weak - Lord, and whether peace, stability and prosperousness lasted long if at all. What tends to happen to the moral, ‘good person’ leaders is that they are overthrown in the most gruesome of events and uproar and chaos ensues.  A Lord must put his state and its self-interest first and seek to increase its power, for even an effective Lord can be the subject to attempts at overthrowing the state and it’s leadership; they will just be more equipped to handle it.

Instead of following true but weak morals, leaders should follow a new virtue, a political virtue. A leader would do well to make judicious use of my new virtue. Namely of wisdom, strategy, strength, bravery and when necessary, ruthlessness. Some may call this a criminal virtue, in which case I would agree with them, but it is important to understand that it is a necessary ability of leaders to be cruel in the name of the state, and yet, still good as leaders. I would argue there are some criteria for what constitutes the right occasion for the use of this criminal virtue; Any violence must be strictly necessary for the security of the state, it must be done swiftly, often and night and it should not be repeated too often - lest the reputation for mindless brutality builds up. One should remember that the wellbeing of the state is important, and brutality is not in the benefit of a Leader or it’s Peoples. At intervals between these events is when one should look to welfare policies, cut taxes, provide cheap foods, build memorials and organise festivals to keep citizens from dwelling on unfortunate memories.

What I argue, in the end, is that one cannot be good at or for all things, not only because of our limited abilities and resources, but also because of conflicts within moral codes. Some of the fields we choose such as politics may require difficult decisions and ethical trade offs. We may have to sacrifice visions of kindness in order to gain practical effectiveness. This is the price of dealing with the world as it is, and not as we feel it should be - for there is no room for delusion or wishful thinking if you are to be successful. It is unfortunate that I have to focus your attention on the uncomfortable tension between the two things we love and always want to have together but perhaps can’t - effectiveness and kindness.

It is with this, that I advise leaders to take into consideration the principles laid out in this publication. Be effective, use political virtue when needed but remind the peoples of your good heart when said policies become too potent. Take them all into account and be flexible with your decisions. For the lion cannot protect himself from traps, and the fox cannot defend himself from wolves. One must therefore be a fox to recognise traps, and a lion to frighten wolves. One must adapt and be pragmatic.

~ Khestor Thidirlun


A review of Amoral Politics was written by Ogrona Frontik, Zietal Mar's Head Librarian.

Library Reviews Edition 1: Amoral Politics By Khestor

In this piece by Khestor, he goes into what makes a good leader. What may be desired by the people, is not what is needed for the people. He says this is on pages 3 and 4 with "A good leader isn't a lord who is kind or good in religious or moral sense; [...] it is someone who can fulfill the needs of their peoples". I only agree in part with this. A good leader must be approachable, though he does go into this in the following pages.

On page 8 he states that "People should neither find he is soft or easy to disobey nor should they find him so cruel that he disgusts his society - He should seem unapproachably strict, but reasonable in judgement." I agree with this, however, I would like to point out the blatant sexism here. It appears that Khestor believes only men be able to lead. I would like to say that on many fronts, us women are equal, if not stronger than men, though I can go into this further at a later point.

Khestor seems to jump back and forth in this, however, as seen in prior pages where he addresses the leader as "they". They being a neutral term for either Gender.

On Page 9 Khestor says "[...] a Lord should always err on the side of inspiring terror. For this is ultimately what keeps people in check." For this case, I would like to refer to the previous attempt of calling down the government by Sornak. He tried to start a revolution against Khestor when he was elected. He did start by trying to call Cyprian the leader, a book on this matter will be released in the future. With this example, I would like to state and show that one cannot lead with fear, the fear will manifest into a revolution. Especially in Zietal Mar, where we closely know each other, and where our Military is independent of the Government, acting on the needs of the people, we hope.

On pages 11/12 Khestor writes "a truly moral, generous, merciful - some would say weak - Lord [...] [would get] overthrown in the most gruesome of events and uproar and chaos ensues." Here, I would like to refer back to my previous point. No matter what leader you are, there will always be a chance that there will be a revolution. In reference to the section where he says "some would say weak" when referring to a kind Lord or Lady. This subtly shows Khestors view on this situation.

One can assume that Khestor beleives that a kind leader is weak, and that kindness is a sign of weakness. We will leave this interpretation up to the reader.

I find it interesting that on pages 15 and 16, Khestor states the virtues a leader should have, one of which being "ruthlessness", and how it could be a "criminal virtue". As an example, he says that a leader should use violence occasionally, and used "swiftly, often and night." I believe that he meant to write "at" here, and will judge this piece as such. I do not think the public is fully aware of how Yorbear was removed from the Outpost. Though both Khestor and Grabhol state this removal to be self defence. I will still call it murder, as Yorbear was killed in his home when apparently he was meant to be detained for questioning based on the murder of his wife.

Near the end, he uses an analogy to compare leaders. "For the lion cannot protect himself from traps, and the fox cannot defend himself from wolves. One must therefore be a fox to recognize the traps, and a lion to frighten the wolves.". While this analogy seems to get his point across, it also assumes that a fox cannot be nimble enough to escape the wolves, or a lion not have the brains to find traps. Once more, it subtly shows Khestors view on the two types of leaders he states.

He assumes the kind "fox" will not be intelligent enough to escape the wolves, and the lion not keen enough to dodge the traps.

In conclusion, this piece by Khestor subtly states his view on different types of leaders in this book, giving his opinion on them, and possible futures of these leaders. This piece is obviously written by a well informed Dwarf, despite his views on certain issues. It is an interesting read.

Analysis by:

Ogrona Frontic

Head Librarian