For the first mini-series of posts, I'll be tackling the idea of Empire because our understanding of what empires represent fundamentally influences our Wildstar experience. For one, it affects our choice of faction--Exiles or Dominion--and our expectations of those factions. Something I've noticed from discussions among fellow Wildstar enthusiasts (and several of my students) is that most associations with empire point straight in one of two directions--Darth Vader and Adolf Hitler--and a single conclusion: that empires are synonymous with oppression.
Yes, it's easy to understand why this view is so prevalent. Yes, even Carbine Studios is a little guilty for perpetuating the idea of "Good Republic, Evil Empire" despite continually stating that the Dominion are not the "bad guys" of the game. No, there's so much more to an empire than militarism, oppression, "intimidation, political intrigue and (impressive) military conquests," particularly for a star-spanning empire such as the Dominion. To illustrate this truth, I will use historical examples to discuss the idea of the Good of Empire under headings inspired by the precepts of another "star-spangled" hegemonic empire:
III. AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS
IV. CLOSING WORDS
For further reading, I also recommend this defense of Star Wars' Galactic Empire: A Case for Empire.