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Me hopes to acquire this shortly, for a reference material. In the case of RoS's arguments, where things were muddied, methinks I can manage IMTU anyways a coherent fix to certain things.

Tis good this out in print, as many players, and some GM's do not have a good grasp of Imperial Nobles aside from 2-D bigwigs who move and shake things up, or the occaisional patron encounter.

as always, YMMV & this is again,
my .000000125Mcr worth.
About 90% of it matches up with what I was doing on my own, so I remain largely in favor of the book (and I house-rule the rest).
I thought GURPs nobles & liked it. My wife's corsair character is an Imperial Knight & finds her status quite useful outside the Imperium.
The book rather glibly says that the Imperium is ruled by men not laws. In fact that is not true.
What the Imperium is ruled by is by custom. a noble can stretch or even break the law. If the result turns out to be well judged and in the interests of the Imperium-or is to much trouble to punish, then it will be accepted. If not well...
However what cannot be broken is custom. That is the hidden limit.
For instance the Emperor has theoretically near absolute power. However he cannot use it erratically or arbitraily or in any way that would obviously be a threat to the safety, prosperity, or perception of honor of Important People.
If a staff officer of the Ine Givar is captured and brought before him, the Emperor could question him privatly, or even order him put to the torture. He might be criticised. He might be considered to have been tyranical. But in the long run he would not have been considered to have acted in an "unimperial" manner.
If however he starts saying, "off with his head" every time a noble doesn't kneel in the proper fashion, or regularly orders commoners executed for looking at him in an unrespectful manner or, declares his hunting horse Archduke of Deneb he is likly to be overthrown. In other words if he behaves so erratically as to threaten everybody then he wouldn't be tolerated. Vito or Michael Coreleone could rule the Imperium, Micheal's stupid brother whats-his-name couldn't. Or Augustus, Tiberius, Constintine, or Justinian would be acceptable. Nero or Caligula wouldn't.
The customs of the Imperium are what holds the Noble class and prevents arbitrary rule. The stuff about honor and duty is not just propaganda(it is propaganda-but it's not JUST propaganda). Rather it is a hint of a truth. All the pagentry and ceremony is more than frivolity. They are rather the surface of something that is bred into the mindset of all Nobles-there are some things they must do, and there are somethings they must not do. When a nobleman is tried by his peers he will officially be tried by the law. But more important is the fact that he is unofficially being tried by custom.
This does not say that Imperial Nobles don't plot or intrigue. A number of them do. But it does say that Imperials are not Vargrs changing rulers six times a year. Nor are they like medieval robber barons. They are more like Venetian nobles in the late Middle Ages. Or like British in the eighteenth and ninteenth century. Or like whatever you can think of. They are sometimes above the law. But though custom is more flexable, they better not bend it beyond breaking point. Or at least they better not get caught...
That's part of what Rule by Men means... Men can overthrow each other. That's what the Nobility have done since the social contract was established in the 6th and 7th centuries...

Theoretically, no government can continue unless it has the tacit acceptance by it's governed. It maters little whether by force, coersion, popularity, social morality, or religious authority. If people stop accepting that a government has rightful authority, they then begin to undermine it. (Several great minds make this point in other wordings, including Marx, Franklin, Hitler, Lenin, and even to some extent Mahan and several Popes.)

Rule by Men rather than laws also means that it's a fair site on the dangerous side to go beyond custom. (Men are inherently ruled by custom... hence why in Alaska, Marijuana is still common and seldom prosecuted save for major grow ops, despite possession being a federal crime....)

I could, for example, go to my neighbor, and buy some pot. Definitely unlawful. Socially acceptable. Likewise, a cop could ask me to do so while wearing a wire, in order to bust my neighbor. Lawful, yes. But beyond custom. His Lt would chew him for wasting time on a minor pot bust, the news would release his name, and thus he'd be ridiculed, and the judge would probably throw it out, too, for invasion of privacy. All because of customs in violation of law.

Now, when law goes away, we still have custom.

They can just fine get away with breaking laws, since those are local things, provided they can justify them for the good of the imperium. But those other men in power better agree, or "Off with his head" would be a release....