I though about starting this thread in /hobby/, but considering I'm not interested in talking about the merits of the game-itself, and rather to discuss the specific dilemma of factions, I thought I'd get a more focused discussion here.
The Wildcard ending notwithstanding, there are principally three different factions in the game you can side with: Caesar's Legion, New California Republic, and Mr. House. To begin, Caesar's Legion is a fascist power lead by a historical materialist (even though the writers somewhat misrepresent Hegel in their dialogue about the dialectic, the general theme is maintained) most players misunderstand Caesar as just a LARPer rather than someone who is genuinely trying to restart history. His Legion, is admittedly a hegemonic autocracy that Caesar intends to use to subjugate humanity under one banner, so that their collective progress would be accelerated. It's entirely possible to interpret Caesar as just history's janitor trying to send humanity back through the motions and antiquity to try and reach a better result than rushing back to the "good ol' days" like the NCR, rather than someone who takes pleasure in creating a slave society that is an objectively malignant entity.
The NCR is presented as the return of the old Bourgeois Dictatorship of the US, their government is a corrupt expansionist bureaucracy that can only adequately administrate war, meanwhile the actual body of the legislation itself has a lineage of benevolent autocrats (tandy) and is ruled by the interest of the "brahmin barons" (kulaks), this is a critique that Caesar presents in his analysis of the NCR (which happens to sound out-of-context Marxian). Caesar correctly identifies the NCR as a reincarnation of the failed Bourgeois state that brought about the very predicament of the wasteland, and seeks to use them as his component in creating a society apt enough to the material conditions of the wasteland.
The strangest character in this dynamic is Mr. House, if the NCR is a light veil for a Bourg dictatorship, then Mr. House is an open window, making no illusions to the player about his proposed autocratic status and ex-Bourg origin. Since the wasteland cannot be considered Capitalist (as a true economic analysis of the Fallout universe would lack too many necessary factors to be accurate) we have to assume that the wastes can be best surmised as a scavenger-economy wherein the most valuable resource is electricity and armaments, the wasteland does still have capitalistic elements (the barons of the NCR being a good example, as well as Crimson Caravan and Gunrunners) but lacks the infrastructure to maintain a conventionally capitalist society (and thereby is also incapable of creating a socialist society unless material conditions change).
I'd propose that due to this, the best choice for a Marxist in the wasteland is to side with whichever faction has the best capacity to create industry in the wasteland. All the factions in the maingame (and characters in the DLC hint at this theme, but would take to long to discuss) are representations of differing ideological states: the NCR being a bourgeois dictatorship under the farce of democracy, the Legion being a fascist army with the goals (at least the goals of Caesar) of restarting humanity's cultural progress, and Mr. House who breaks the mold as an autocratic Technocrat. You might refer to House as the supreme corporatist, but he's likely the only one possessing of the ability to either industrialize the wasteland or to simply leave Earth behind for Mars, despite being the most comically capitalist entity in Fallout (a series that from inception was an inherent critique of Nationalist Capitalism), House is likely the best choice for a principled Marxist, the NCR would lead humanity into a similar state of global capitalism, it too perhaps has the capacity to industrialize the wastes like Mr. House (and in face House intends to use them largely for a similar purpose) but Mr. House presents perhaps and easier path, because House is a planned economist, regardless of all the old-world business aesthetic, House is someone who would be a literal computer-god who plans the economy. House claims to be an objective ruler with a more important grand vision than say the short-term emulators of the NCR, who despite their uses to him, House rejects as the planners of the economy (potentially because he recognizes like Caesar, their inherent contradictions). In any event of House winning, the inevitable desire of the Marxist Courier would be to have him killed or deposed, I left out Yesman in this little essay because I thought that would be to filled with assumptions to really consider, because of course the obvious answer would be "courier and yes man takes over and the Comrade Courier uses Yesman to create an epic planned economy, Communism 100." A ending which to me seems really silly to rationalize in the context of the setting, to be clear, I don't think F:NV has any Marxist faction or even a Marxian theme, it's themes are focused around nostalgic ideology and the Gnostic need to either destroy the past or worship it. To the end of advancing the Fallout Universe to the next stage of history, I think Mr. House is the only one who even has the capacity to achieve it, even if he's a terrifying computer God who could only be removed by his "employees" in the most idealized scenario.
As Benny puts it: "Mr House hides Vegas under his skirt when the bombs drop so it's his? forever?" not that Benny is a proletarian revolutionary or anything, but a Mr. House ending would require that House be willing to take on proteges or somehow put himself in a position to be removed, but since that's a question more of game mechanics than narrative, I'll ignore it. Am I wrong? Who do you think a Marxist should choose?
Edited last time by krates on 09/19/2020 (Sat) 17:54:19.
113 posts and 23 images omitted.