Later historians contend that the reason for the Eastern Republic’s stunning defeat at the hands of the Western Empire can be attributed directly to a cultural malaise that afflicted the multitudinous citizens of the polyglot Republic. In the 200 years before its annihilation, the Eastern Republic had gradually withdrawn official recognition of most religious and cultural groups, instead pressing them to amalgamate into the Organization for Universal Life, otherwise known as OFUL. The idea, promoted by seven Prime Ministers in succession, was that the only way to ensure unity amid the staggering diversity of peoples, cultures, and faiths that had come under the Republic’s rule after the end of the Resource Wars was to amalgamate everything into a single whole. If every citizen attended the same church, the same social group, the same civil society, surely unity would follow.

In practice, the doctrine of the OFUL was so diffuse as to be practically nonexistent. Its tenets simply affirmed the belief that life was a good thing and that people should be happy, while encouraging the perusal of whatever members wished. The dissolution of all other organizations in the Republic, intended to give teeth to the various provisions of unity, simply meant that most organizations which had existed before were reconstituted inside the OFUL in secret. Rather than the unity that they had hoped for, the Prime Ministers had created a force of disunity, incapable of exciting passion among its adherents and so watered-down in its tenets that the only ones in its ranks that were true believers were clandestine members of suppressed groups. The only response to diversity was uncertainty of belief, OFUL claimed, and the result was that many believed in nothing at all.

The Western Empire also espoused a state religion, but its embrace of the Cult of the Sages was uncompromising. All citizens who were not part of the Cult were denied the right to participate in civil society and subject to official harassment, confiscation of property, and even state-sponsored murder. The Seven Sages and their collected writings, the Codex Sagax, were considered inviolate and universal truths, applicable to any and all situations. Though there was dissent in the Empire, it was mostly in the form of inter-ethnic conflicts and struggles between different interpretations of the Codex. On the basic truths espoused therein, there was unanimous certainty and support; those who did not cleave to the Codex were so thoroughly terrorized by violence and official repression that they were paralyzed into inaction.

In other words, history often paints the triumph of the Western Empire over the Eastern Republic as one of certainty over doubt, conformity enforced by brutality over milquetoast polygoltism. It’s not a universally-held view, nor is it without its accusations of bias and even various -isms. But it remains the most popular explanation of how the technologically, numerically, and militarily superior forces of the Republic were utterly defeated in a whirlwind 4-month campaign.

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