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View Full Version : Are the Assassin's anarchists?



joshoolhorst
10-22-2016, 08:58 PM
I hear people compare them to that and I'm no expert on it so are they similar?

Sigma 1313
10-23-2016, 07:00 AM
Assassin's generally believe in freedom for all. From what we've seen, this is generally accomplished by fighting back against the authority. I think at the root of assassin ideology is a desire for true anarchy (no government), and only the wills of free men and women limiting people. Templars on the other hand recognize that humans are greedy, violent, and will do whatever it takes to rule. There are many Templars we've seen that seemed to wish for a completely fascist government, more controlling than Big Brother in 1984. That said, many other Templars like Haytham are the happy middle. Man is corruptible, we can't allow man to access the PoE, and must have a strong leader and government to help guide people. There were some Assassins who were honestly more authoritarian as well, such as Mirabeau in Unity, who was a member of the political elite. Other Assassins have very little care for the creed and ideology (a la Jacob, and partly Evie). I actually think communism is a beautiful simile for the Assassins. It promises and desires anarchy (no government) so that all can be equal and free, but in order to keep the people free and safe, a government must be put into place, which has in every practical application been authoritarian.

TL;DR it's a complex ideology that has many characters interpreting it in different ways, and twisting it to their benefit. In a perfect world it would be:
Assassin - Anarchist (no government)
Templar - Authoritarian (government controls everything)

Lysette88
10-23-2016, 12:22 PM
Hm, Templar are not the government, even they might have influence on the government and one or the other templar might be part of a government. It is more like in the real world, where corporate interests and the will of mighty people influences the government indirectly via lobbyists, using bribery or threats to gain control over influential politicians or institutions of executive, jurisdiction or legislation.

IMO assassins do not have communist tendencies, because communism is a quite strict form to control people in a major way, which is not the intention of the assassins. Are they anarchists?- Well, they are certainly not choosy when it comes to using murder and other criminal methods to achieve their goals. But their goal is not anarchy, it is just another form of order - one could call them anti-establishment, for as long as they do not have the control and become the establishment themselves. In the end they are not much better, just different, and it depends on the personal point of view, if one can see this as a positive or a negative thing - they cause havoc to the establishment, so in this sense they are temporarily anarchists, but the outcome will in the end be just another form of control and establishment, which might not be that much better, just different.

Especially with the french revolution one can see, that setting people free will not always lead to the desired results - what happened was after a quite bloody mess that Napoleon took over and became basically an emperor (or call him a military dictator, if you are so inclined), who was even more powerful than the monarchy, which he replaced. Seen from the tricolore, the original intention was not to replace monarchy, but just to change it into another form - otherwise white, which symbolizes monarchy would not have become part of the tricolore in the first place. And if one looks at the chaos of different forms of government, which were tried and failed in those few years before Napoleon took over, one can see that people have to get used to freedom. If you just free them and leave them without law and order and an operational government, this leads to anarchy for quite some time which in it's result leads to a desire for a strong leader, who will bring order into chaos - and this is exactly what happened in France and a bit over a century later in Russia and in Germany, where the chaos of the Weimar Republic with it's many parties made way for a desire for a strong leader - and so it happened 1933. Interesting with this is, that in both cases lack of food was the original cause - in the 20th century it was the great depression, which made way for this.

joshoolhorst
10-23-2016, 03:23 PM
Kinda makes me dislike the Assassin's

Sigma 1313
10-23-2016, 05:18 PM
Hm, Templar are not the government, even they might have influence on the government and one or the other templar might be part of a government. It is more like in the real world, where corporate interests and the will of mighty people influences the government indirectly via lobbyists, using bribery or threats to gain control over influential politicians or institutions of executive, jurisdiction or legislation.

IMO assassins do not have communist tendencies, because communism is a quite strict form to control people in a major way, which is not the intention of the assassins. Are they anarchists?- Well, they are certainly not choosy when it comes to using murder and other criminal methods to achieve their goals. But their goal is not anarchy, it is just another form of order - one could call them anti-establishment, for as long as they do not have the control and become the establishment themselves. In the end they are not much better, just different, and it depends on the personal point of view, if one can see this as a positive or a negative thing - they cause havoc to the establishment, so in this sense they are temporarily anarchists, but the outcome will in the end be just another form of control and establishment, which might not be that much better, just different.

Especially with the french revolution one can see, that setting people free will not always lead to the desired results - what happened was after a quite bloody mess that Napoleon took over and became basically an emperor (or call him a military dictator, if you are so inclined), who was even more powerful than the monarchy, which he replaced. Seen from the tricolore, the original intention was not to replace monarchy, but just to change it into another form - otherwise white, which symbolizes monarchy would not have become part of the tricolore in the first place. And if one looks at the chaos of different forms of government, which were tried and failed in those few years before Napoleon took over, one can see that people have to get used to freedom. If you just free them and leave them without law and order and an operational government, this leads to anarchy for quite some time which in it's result leads to a desire for a strong leader, who will bring order into chaos - and this is exactly what happened in France and a bit over a century later in Russia and in Germany, where the chaos of the Weimar Republic with it's many parties made way for a desire for a strong leader - and so it happened 1933. Interesting with this is, that in both cases lack of food was the original cause - in the 20th century it was the great depression, which made way for this.

I half agree with the Templars not being government. In every game other than Unity, the Templars played key positions within the government positions, and I'm sure Abstergo has more than a lobbyist in modern day. And I agree, the majority of assassins are not communists nor do they have communist tendencies. I was merely pointing out that Jacob and Evie were willing to help spread the ideology of Marxism within 19th century London in the guise of "liberation" without considering the costs (a common theme in the game). But because practical communism requires an authoritarian leader, while the assassins may agree with the reasoning, they would (or should if they want to be consistent) disagree with the outcome.

They are anarchist to a point like you said, but the majority do seem to agree that system of government is needed in the end, they just want it done their way and will pretty much kill whomever disagrees.

I don't think we can really look at the French Revolution too much in regards to Assassin Ideology. Unity showed Assassins that were in powerful positions in government, trying to keep the country together, other assassins attempting to bring down the current leaders of the assassins. The only times we see events from the Revolution are when we're not supporting the people, but attempting to save an ally or kill someone who was in the plot to kill Francois de la Serre. But in cases like Germany and Russia we have the assassins openly supporting the people, the revolution, and even communism.

Lysette88
10-23-2016, 06:03 PM
Yes, I was more referring to the pattern we can see in in all these revolutionary changes:


the vast majority of people are living in misery
a reasonable solution fails, things get worse
open demonstrations, progressively more violent
it gets to the point, where open conflict turns into warfare (well, riots is maybe a better term for it)
the result of this unequal power relation leads to a change in power
former leadership gets eliminated
due to lack of an operational government anarchy is spreading
for the majority it is now even more miserable than before
political chaos leads to many ideologies. but no practical solution
increasing misery and no perspective for life leads to desire for a strong leader
and eventually this leader shows up and the result is a freely granted dictatorship



It happened this way in France, Russia and Germany, where the end result was a factual dictatorship, even it was not always called this way. This was, what I was referring to, this pattern which emerges out of dissatisfaction or even just horrible misery of people. It is not enough to free people, one has to give them a perspective for their lives as well.

Problem is, that most people are not able to deal with total freedom, they need structure in their life, which either a hierarchical system or a free economy provides. The later leads to other problems, which were addressed by Marx for example. What led to another extreme in form of Leninism and later Stalinism, which was prone to fail. A final solution to this problem is not found yet and maybe there is none. The 3 ideals of the french revolution are just that, ideals - which do not work in reality, because we are neither equal, nor brotherly, nor truely free - and most could not deal with being truely free anyway. It is an ideology, which is nice on paper, but which does not work in reality - not even inside a family and even less in a society.

The strange side of the french revolution is, that most of it could have been avoided, if people would have eaten potatoes - but those were considered pig feed. It was not before the end of the revolution, that potatoes became food for human beings. so the whole starvation situation, which led in the end to the french revolution, could have been avoided, if people would have considered potatoes to be food for humans and not just feed for pigs.

Sigma 1313
10-24-2016, 12:53 AM
100% agree. I also just want to say that you've only included the most recent examples. Rome had a very similar situation from about 130BCE to about 30 BCE. This form of civil war and power change has been going on for thousands of years, with nothing ever truly changing.

Elder-Kalakta
10-24-2016, 05:34 AM
I don't think they're anarchists, or they wouldn't be supporting certain governments themselves. Like when they backed Al Gore while the Templars backed George W. Bush for instance.

The Assassins are a group that preaches freedom with responsibility. Technically, yes, you are free to do anything. You may even murder. But that's where the "responsibility" comes in.

Action = Reaction.

If you murder out of your own free will, then expect a consequence to enact itself upon you out of your own actions and choices.

So, to an Assassin, a Templar is technically free to try and conquer the world but it conflicts with their own ideals of ensuring everyone's right to liberty.

They're an ironic bunch, I think it was Ezio who covered the ironies about the Creed. They preach freedom and yet have to follow strict rules or face death in worst case scenarios for breaking them. They kill Templars who are merely practicing their own right to liberty. They preach that there are no truths and yet have to follow a list of truths within their own order.

So that's why I think there's a much deeper meaning to their Creed. As was hinted in Black Flag. "Nothing is true, everything is permitted" is a very vague sentence that roughly sums it up. Think of it as a TL: DR version of their actual Creed.

Lysette88
10-24-2016, 07:05 AM
100% agree. I also just want to say that you've only included the most recent examples. Rome had a very similar situation from about 130BCE to about 30 BCE. This form of civil war and power change has been going on for thousands of years, with nothing ever truly changing.

Not even the most recent - it is not as if this would be over now - just look at african nations and you can see this pattern repeating again and again nowadays. Take for example South Africa, it is a bit over 20 years since apartheid ended, the old system is gone, it has been replaced by a democratic one, which reminds me a lot of the Weimar Republic in the 1920s - lots and lots of parties, which all know what they are against it, but none of them has a vision for the future, they simply do not know what they are in favor of. On top of it this country is plagued by corruption and a lack of law enforcement. Well, the police does what they can, but it is simply not enough resp. effective methods to fight organized crime were abandoned, basically by corruption soon after those showed success. The only reason, why this does not lead to an uproar, is that the vast majority is so used to being poor while being paid for staying poor, that not much is changing.

In the end, like so often, people want change, but they do not want to change themselves. And South Africa is still a positive example, other african nations ran into the pattern, which I pointed out above, and the outcome of it was a factual dictatorship - it is still all over the place in Africa. And the people behind all of this want it to stay this way. There is actually a tendency to avoid a solution for the crime problem. Lately they even marked foreign security companies as unwanted in South Africa. There are already more private security forces than there would be police. Still, it would require foreign know how to solve the issues, but when this was going to happen, the government marked it an unwanted business and no foreign company can get a permit for that kind of business in South Africa anymore. This is IMO due to corruption, which wants to keep it as it is, because this way the majority has no actual power. Crime holds South Africa back and maintains the status quo, and corruption supports it. It is not even lobbyism, it is straight forward bribery and corruption.

If we would want to look for Templar and Assassin mentality in South Africa, we would have the Gupta-family on the Templar side - which basically have Jacob Zuma as their controlling figure in the government. And the EFF (economic freedom fighters) led by Julius Malema would be the assassin's mentality. These are of course just comparisons to what the factions would be like if this would be an AC game, but I guess you know what I mean.

Edit: well, maybe I should explain, why crime is a replacement of apartheid - it is not obvious if one does not live in the country. With a high crime rate, poor people will not get to a better standard, because as soon as they would attempt it and earn a bit more than others, they would make themselves a target for burglary - they have more than others, but they do not have enough to pay for security, and so they become an easy target. This way the high crime rate maintains a status of apartheid without that this would have to be an official policy. And it will stay this way, as long as there will be high crime rates.

cawatrooper9
10-24-2016, 02:49 PM
I'd say the Assassins support what they view as just government, but have no problem leading revolutions against unjust governing bodies-

though, from what the Brotherhood said in Unity, it almost seems as if at least some sects actually don't try to involve themselves in politics at all.