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Can alignment be used to judge entire societies, or is it reserved strictly for individuals? Can you say "that human empire is Lawful Evil", or does the empire have no alignment, only individuals within the empire?
>Can you say "that human empire is Lawful Evil"
Sure, see: the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
Yes. For example
Neutral Evil
Chaotic neutral
Chaotic good
Chaotic neutral
Lawful evil
>Can alignment be used to judge entire societies
Yes. In fact, Pathfinder uses alignment for nations, organizations, people, monsters, and just about any grouping to get a quick idea on how these things generally act.
A LE nation is one of tyranny where the ones in power oppress those beneath them with unjust and draconian laws. A CN nation is a wild, free-for-all with little order or organization. A NG nation looks out for the best of its people without being monstrous dickheads to others.
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World of Greyhawk did that as well, each nation having a culture based on the general alignment of the rulers. Great kingdom was LE, ruled by a devil worshipping Emperor who converted all his nobles into Death Knights and Liches. Good priests where killed on sight, along wih any any chaotic Good Rangers, elves and Halflings. Lands of the CE demigod Iuz where full of even worse and where constantly fighting against the LG Paladins and Knights of the Shield Lands to the south. The City of Greyhawk was Mostly Neutral, a sort of fantasy Babylon 5, so any alignment was accepted there, as long as they minded their own business and didnt kick off to much agianst their polar opposites they met in the streets. Alignment was handy for working out what the general culture and laws would be like in each country, what behaviour was acceptable (honesty, charity, murder, slavery, etc) and what the chances were of law enforcement aiding you or hunting you down.
every single country in that list is lawful neutral with occasionally chaotic neutral tendencies
Alignment doesn't matter, cassus beli does
You mean Lawful Neutral with Chaotic Neutral characteristics

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