Just finished my third legion run and there's something that always bothered me (i don't know if it is too late for this lol): I never understood why people tend to think of Caesar's Legion as an absolute evil force like if it was a B movie villain.
Let's address what people usually bring to prove they are "the baddies"
That's a big deal, isn't it ? How can you say that a faction that does not practise slavery is evil ? Well, while slavery is a bad thing no matter what, I would like to say a few things about that that a lot of people miss about the Legion "slavery"
The Caesar's Legion start as a union of tribes either annexed or willing to enter it. Before even reaching the Mojave, the Legion counted almost 100 tribes. During this expansion, it came into contact with some of the most savage and awful kind of communities, cannibals, raiders, loud neighbours,…Arizona was even worse than the Mojave. The Legion took those as slaves yes, but not for profit, but because he realized that you just can't change those communities without subjugating their free will.
And do you know why that is crystal clear ? Because their children, that aren't yet psycho-jet addicted, killers fighting for scraps or cannibals, are taken by the Legion and raised as citizens by legion's priestesses. It may be sad, but imagine having to deal with a tribe of cannibals assaulting people to literally eat them, how would you deal with them ? Simply kill them ? Put them in prison, having to feed them for doing nothing while guarding them as the world is litterally starving (that totally worked NCR, didn't it) ?
You may say: "but not everyone is behaving like an animal out there !!!" And that is true, this is why if you do the Caesar's Legion ending, you would know that several Mojave communities, like Goodsprings, are left alone without a single slave taken.
All the facts here prove that slavery lasts 1 generation per community and is only enforced for actually degenerated communities that would have issues to integrate.
But there's more, Caesar says that he himself think that this "rough" aspect of the Legion, it.s constant use of Slavery for newly subjugated opponents showing primitive lifestyles, will eventually cease as the expansion will allow for a structural change. The Legion will acquire some of the aspects of the NCR (that he differentiated from simply barbaric tribes), and become a wider stable state. I don't believe Caesar here because I trust him, I believe him because it makes sense. Just like the actual Roman Empire ended up abolishing slavery entirely (through a process of relatively smaller reforms, sure), the Legion will eventually get rid of slavery as it becomes less focused on militaristic expansionism. After all, as I proved, they show no sign of wanting to enslave communities that aren't primitive shi#holes full of cannibals and drug addicted thugs, and they are extremely pleased to re-educate their children.
I mean, let's not waste too much time on this…can you name a single working democratic government in the Fallout lore (except glorious Dave Republic of course) ? No, NCR doesn't count, presidents are de facto president for life, they had president Tandi in charge for 52 years. Democracy is simply not sustainable in post apocalyptic wasteland, it would be dishonest to call the Legion evil for that.
A few times I heard that the Legion are some kind of fanatics that hate technology and medicine. That's not true, a lot of times they are shown using pre war weaponry and equipment, except robots, including an howitzer, and they can even seize Archimedes 1. They don't even exclude the use of "strictly medical" pre war meds and medical equipment. They are against the use of drugs, train their soldiers for hand to hand combat and favour the use of natural post war medicide. This is because pre war chems and weapons will eventually become unavailable. This is the opposite, the mindset of somebody determined to actually build a society, with tech and culture, beyond scraping relics of the old world. Is also untrue that the Legion doesn't have economy or trade, Dale Barton mentions how Caesar's Legion is interested in keeping trade routes safe.
Hot topic: Crucifixion and death penalty. The Legion employ several times brutal ways to execute criminals, sure. Remember Nelson, what a view that was. And still, I want to ask you, how did you actually deal with NCR penitentiary and its criminals ? I think you killed that scum on sight, just like me (unless you sided with them OOF). The difference is that the Legion sends a message to those kind of people by doing that. Is that terrible ? Yes. Is that effective ? Hell it is. Caesar's Legion territory, unlike NCR and Mojave territory, is free from raiders and completely safe for caravans of traders, and that is said not by a Legion member. If prisoners and citizens were crucified like that, there would be no justification, but what we are talking about (both in Nelson and Cottenwood Cove) is literal scum that would have attacked us on sight for some food.
I think I made my point clear, I don't think Caesar's Legion is evil, just as morally grey as any faction in game.
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