Imperial Blog 26 Harvest 4703
Compare the role of the Emperor as portrayed in the real world currently, in the cinematic comic, and the best Western and Eastern classical traditions.
With their basis in vulgar materialism, the contemporary social forms of this world find it impossible to sustain true leaders as opposed to rulers and demagogues although the distinction is clear. A ruler seeks power over others and invariably represents the interests of the powerful, pandering to the lowest and most backward elements of society. This sort of power is invariably based on the ability to do violence of one sort or another. The antithesis of true leadership, this sort is typified by the ruling elites of the corporate and political class today.
Palpatine: The power of the dark side is boundless while that of the light side is finite.
While the above exchange, rumoured several years before production actually began, never took place in the actual Episode III, it aptly characterises the distinction between the leadership of a Bush, Chirac, or Putin and that of a Ghandi, King, or Mandela.
Anakin: Why is that?
Palpatine: The strength of the light Jedi is limited by his or her own personal skill. Thus, their power is bound by their own personal limits and failings. But the power of a dark Jedi is not dependent on his or her own individual skill. Instead, the greater the dark Jedi's hatred, anger and impatience the greater the dark Jedi's power. The dark side feeds on anger and hate. The more anger and hate you can harness, the more powerful you can become. The best light Jedi is no match for even the most novice of dark Jedi . . .
Even this however does the latter day panderers more credit than they deserve. If anything a figure like Bush the Lesser comes across as a clown Sith, a open and common target of ridicule who nonetheless continues to rule and mislead.
A true leader is both a teacher and co-learner with those lead. She will be fallible and at times unsure but never a panderer or demagogue.
The Zoo Hypothesis/Prime Directive concepts carry this forward to a universal context. They express an implicit faith in ethical progress and cut through speculations, e.g. those based on game theory, about contact from Superior/Supreme beings/beings.
They are natural extrapolations from the experience of the relation of more and less advanced cultures as these have evolved and are evolving in hunan history.
They also hint at the immanent formulation of religious experience based on reason.
Finally, let's be clear about the nature/role of the Da Xue Emperor. The opponent that he has conquered and over whom he has become Imperator is himself. The luxury and wealth that he enjoys is superior understanding and a well-founded existence. Whether or not this is realized as a social form is not up to him.
¹ e.g. Superior Beings: If They Exist, How Would We Know? Steven J. Brams. Springer Verlag, 1983.