Fallout

There’s a serious disconnect between how most people talk about Ashur’s Pitt and the Institute.

fallout 6 - There's a serious disconnect between how most people talk about Ashur's Pitt and the Institute.
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Just out of curiosity I've looked at what people on this and the other Fallout subreddits have had to say about the Pitt over the years, and as it seems, most people leave the DLC with the impression that Ashur is the best choice. Usually when people are defending their choice, it goes something like this:

"In the end I decided Ashur was the best choice because even though his methods may be tough he has a chance at turning the Pitt into a real viable city and I trust that he has the city's best interests at heart unlike that asshole Wernher. Slavery might suck but it's just a temporary evil on the road to a great future so they may as well suck it up."

Which, I dunno, I don't agree with that, but I guess it is a viewpoint? Yet that same person is liable to have said a few months later that:

"The Institute are nothing but crazy Nazi doctors and slavers who want to kill people for no reason, I was really happy to blow them up, they have nothing to offer the commonwealth."

Like, I'm sorry, but I think we're missing something here. First of all, let's take a tally of all the things Ashur's raiders are actually responsible for:

  • Slavery. Not the Blade Runner "maybe it's slavery but it's hard to say" thing like in Fallout 4, but honest-to-God-nobody-doubts-it slavery. Seems obvious, but it's worth saying anyway, considering how many slavers one usually kills in Fallout 3.

  • Kidnapping people from other settlements and areas to become slaves and later die from the toxic radiation.

  • Siccing the most sadistic sorts of raiders imaginable on the slave population and giving them carte blanche to beat them or kill them or do whatever else as it suits them.

  • Throwing the slaves, essentially unarmed unless they're proactive about it, into a monster infested street to collect steel ingots. Generally a straight up death sentence.

  • Feeding the slaves with "Slop," which is basically water + the ground up flesh of the aformentioned monsters. Considering that those monsters used to be human, and that there seems to be plenty of real food for the raiders, that alone is almost unspeakably cruel.

  • Whenever Ashur feels like it, he pits the slaves against one another in fights to the death as they get deliberately contaminated by radioactive waste, all so they can potentially win three times and not be slaves anymore. Meanwhile, the raiders get to shoot at them if they feel like the fight is boring. This particular option is made even worse by the simple fact that Ashur thinks it's a good thing. It's how he sleeps at night. It's how he feels justified in calling them "workers" rather than slaves, because they have this as a "chance at freedom".

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I think you get the point. Honestly, compared to all of Ashur's sins, the Institute look like veritable saints by comparison. But in the interests of fairness, let's look at what they're guilty of too:

  • Kidnapping random people to either kill and replace or transform into Super Mutants.

  • Unleashing aformentioned Super Mutants onto the population after they're created.

  • Keeping synths as essentially slaves, and casually memory wiping them if they get "out of hand."

  • Destroying settlements for valuable resources or raw materials for their expansion/experiments.

  • Inspiring fear and paranoia on the surface on the basis of Gen 3 infiltrators secretly watching their communities.

Is this a whole lot better than what Ashur does? Not really. That's the point: they're both bad. They're both evil. But only in the Institute's case is anyone ever seemingly willing to admit it!

Plus, if you want to be utilitarian about the whole thing, let's just think about their goals. What is Ashur's big plan? The justification for all the bloodshed and misery? Because he wants to build a factory. That's basically it. He saw a factory, and thought "Wow! This must be the only factory on the planet! I must do anything to protect it!" Now, a factory is useful, sure, but is more plentiful steel alone really going to revolutionize wasteland life? Obviously everyone will have their own standards on what's worth what, but it's hard for me to believe it can possibly be worth the blood price in this case.

But brother, if you want to talk about "ends justifying the means", then man…forget about a factory, the Institute could probably revolutionize the whole planet if it's allowed to go far enough. Things could be even better than they were before the war, potentially. Species could be resurrected from extinction! Irradiated hellholes could finally be cleaned! Clean water and food could be abundant! The cures for all diseases may be discovered! Abundant electricity! Teleportation!

Now, does that mean the Institute's crimes are worth it? Maybe, maybe not, that's not for me alone to decide. But if that's not worth it, then I'd really like to know, how in the world is a factory worth it?

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