So, this gives me a curiosity: what would they think of the individuality-preserving type of collective consciousness, like the Transcend?
(One might think that “perfect liberty with perfect coordination” is a pretty decent way to say “Harmony”, after all.)
The average response to a member of the Equestriaverse to the Transcend and what it is…for the most part, it would fall into one of three categories.
The first category, mostly embraced by the Senate and Minotaur Republic would be simply, “KILLITKILLITKILLITWITHFIRENOW!!!“. From a sociological memetic viewpoint, the Black Beast left massive scars. Any potential violation of free will and the ability to formulate free will is to be fought against, even if that means death. Any efforts by the Eldrae to try and point out that the Transcend doesn’t interfere with free will and determination will result in a variation of the quote from Mass Effect 2 on gods (dead or otherwise)-
“Chandana said the ship was dead. We trusted him. He was right. But even a dead god can dream. A god — a real god — is a verb. Not some old man with magic powers. It’s a force. It warps reality just by being there. It doesn’t have to want to. It doesn’t have to think about it. It just does. That’s what Chandana didn’t get. Not until it was too late. The god’s mind is gone, but it still dreams. He knows now. He’s tuned in on our dream. If I close my eyes, I can feel him. I can feel every one of us.”
The Transcend warps things, to their perspective, in ways that are like a force of nature. That it warps things to try and create the best possible universe is irrelevant. That it obeys the Coricál Consensus is merely the rules that us mere mortals know of the game of Gods. Who’s definition of the best possible universe? And, who’s a pawn and who’s a player in the game of gods?
(And, yes, alicorns worry the Senate and Minotaur Republic.)
The second perspective is “it’s neat, but who bells the cat?”, and this is mostly held in variations with the Griffin Moot, the Zebra Kingdoms, and the Changeling Omnivoracy. From the bottom up-
The Changeling Omnivoracy would love the Transcend…if the particular Empress was the one in charge of it. After all, shouldn’t they be in charge of the general direction of the Changeling race? Creating and blazing their own path to the future and the ways of how the universe should work? This is one of the reasons why all of the other races do everything they can to prevent a Changeling Empress from evolving further. They theorize that an evolved Empress (what they call a Demiurge) would rule over Empresses like the Changeling Empress rules over the Queens and nymphs. And, that would be a black, black day for the rest of the universe.
To the Zebra Kingdoms, it’s all about politics. A human observer would call their internal politics “byzantine,” and that would not be an exaggeration. The Transcend and it’s nature would mean that the game would change. And, as long as those that were in power were the ones that were ahead when the game changed-and can keep being ahead when the game changes-they wouldn’t have a problem. It’s when the hoi polloi get above where they belong that there’s an issue. So, of course, things should be kept so that this doesn’t happen.
Ironically, the Griffin Moot could be considered a proto-Transcend in itself. When the Emperor speaks, he (or in two cases, she) speaks for the Empire through the Moot itself. Considering that the Moot’s main storage system is the single largest physical structure in the Empire (a heavily defended moonlet slightly smaller than Ceres) it happens to be a Very Important Thing indeed. And, this isn’t even talking about the various backup systems for the Moot and it’s organization and setup(1). But, the Moot and how it protects and serves the Griffins (and other races under the Moot’s responsibility) has aspects to it that would be familiar-if poorly developed-to the Transcend.
The final opinion is “we’re pretty close…” and that is the Kingdom of Equestria. This is the Wired, the world-spanning (and interstellar via courier ships) network of information, facts, data, advise, support, and a million and one other things that would aid and assist and help the Equestrians. The only issue is the Covenant, which has a huge amount of protections for free will (there’s even a specific Covenant about that). There’s a continual effort to work and develop the software that wouldn’t do things like active precrime predictions or manipulations to make ponies life perfect, because the Article Of Free Will. But, for the most part, Equestrians wouldn’t mind a system like the Transcend if they knew about it and wouldn’t mind working towards that kind of system.
There’s also another factor.
Twenty-seven beings that exist somewhat outside of the system. Twenty-seven beings that are powerful enough to count as a Type Two Kardashev scale society in themselves. And, they exist in a relationship with their ponies that most Equestrians would-in an instant-embrace a full scale Moloch-slaying, circle squaring, actively intervening system that would assure perfect liberty and perfect coordination for all. With the alicorns in full and complete charge of it, forever and ever.
And, that little factoid scares alicorns.
Because, who bells that cat?(2)
(1)-One thing about the organization and setup? Parliamentary impeachment. If Parliament impeaches an Emperor, the Moot stops responding beyond “helping the former Emperor to pack and move out and maybe call a taxi.”
(2)If the alicorns ever learned of Mars, they would be putting their efforts to the creation of that kind of hive mind consciousness. One that was built on the existence of individual ponies, required ponies to talk to each other to trade information, and the networks exist because of ponies.