Every other faction, including the Minutemen is a collectivist nightmare waiting to happen. Only the Railroad represents a value placed ont he individual as the highest order.
In the Minutemen, you’re expect to die for your neighbors tatos.
In the Institute, you’re expected to Kill to grow better gourds.
In the Brotherhood, you’re expected to bleed to save people from themselves.
Only in the Railroad is individual agency even acknowledged. And this is the cornerstone of a just, and more importantly, sustainable society in the long term. Think of Communist and Authoritarian hellholes that collapse at the drop of a hat. That’s the future assigned to the Commonwealth under the other 3 factions. The only principals they stand for is “Muh group” and readily compromise their ideals if it’s for the benefit of “muh group” while the Railroad stands for, is united by, and fights for the individual autonomy of people. (Synth and Human).
People often associate the Railroad with the Civil Rights movement, for obvious reason, but the actual political alignment of the factions goes like this:
- Brotherhood of Steel – Right Wing Authoritarian (Fascist)
- Institute – Left Wing Authoritarian (Communist)
- Minutemen – Left Wing Collectivist (Anarcho-Communist)
- Railroad – Right Wing Individualist (Libertarian)
It must be noted for the layperson, that Right/Left wing are demarcations of economic policy. For example, the Brotherhood of Steel participates in the Free Market, even though they are authoritarian (Making them Right-wing), the Institute does not (And in fact, simply redistributes other’s property as they see fit, making them Left-Wing of the highest order)
However, examining the Railroad, one sees all the telltale aspects of a just, Libertarian society (not total ideological purity, no practical system can ever be ideologically pure, but it’s good enough)
- Meritocracy: The Best people are chosen for the Job from the available pool.
- Free Market economy: The Railroad is the one faction that does not appropriate other people’s property for their own purposes. (DIA Caches are nobody’s property)
- Individual Agency: Most agents have their own purposes, their own goals, even their own lives. They’re free to abandon their post at any time for any reason. Even PAM is not a slave, but a volunteer.
- Equality of Opportunity, not Equality of Outcome: Most relevant to the fight to liberate synths. the Railroad seeks to provide individuals (Including synths) with the same opportunity to create their own life. Even if they choose to become a Raider, assassin or just settle on a farm somewhere. The Railroad may suggest options (Mind wipe, resettlement) but ultimately leaves the decision up to the individual in question.
- Don’t Tread on Me: The quest designers were quite cognizant of the Railroad’s Identity, which is why in particular, the Brotherhood conflict is brought to a head, only after the Brotherhood attacks the Railroad. The Railroad is viciously defensive, but generally unwilling to initiate a set of hostile action first. (And remember, most/All escaped synths are just that, Escapees that the Railroad helps)
Original Link – Continuation of discussion