It makes you wonder about the Emperor, and how good or bad he really is. He's always described by Imperium characters as the Saviour of Humanity but how true is that really? I have never thought the Emperor or the Loyalist Space Marines are the good guys in this story, by any stretch of the imagination. And I certainly think the Emperor is a selfish, myopic human whose arrogance might have ruined everything and given Chaos more power than it could have dreamed of. All because he wanted power for himself.“An ambition to save humanity is almost always a disguise for the desire to rule it.’
– attributed to the Panpacific tyrant Narthan Dume,
in the era of the Unification of Terra [M30]”
He lets Primarchs like Angron, Curze, Perturabo and even Russ brutally massacre entire populations of civilised, peaceful worlds just to bring them to 'compliance' with his vision of what society should be. In forcing societies to become 'compliant' with his beliefs, he is enforcing his views on others much like a fascist dictator- its mentioned that he has killed billions more than Hitler ever did. When he's unhappy with Lorgar he doesn't try and correct things subtly, he instead humiliates Lorgar and his legion in front of Gulliman and the Ultramarines which basically set off the chain of events that resulted in the Horus Heresy. By the way, Lorgars crime was to linger on after compliance to help rebuild as well as spreading his religion- because Lorgar was one of the few Primarchs interested in improving the lives of the people on the worlds he conquered. He doesn't trust his "children" (i.e the Primarchs) enough to tell about the true threat of Chaos leaving them vulnerable to manipulation, and the reason they are vulnerable is because he basically abandons them with no warning and leaves them alone with no guidance- which is terrible "parenting", and quite selfish. John Grammaticus, a perpetual who probably knows more about Chaos than any almost any other human, calls him a "Bloodthirsty B@stard'. And finally, it is heavily implied in Vengeful Spirit that the Emperor received his power from the Chaos Gods themselves..although this could very, very easily be more lies from the Chaos Gods to manipulate Horus- thats actually pretty likely
Essentially, I think the Emperor has caused the current dire and destructive state of the 40k universe through his own selfish and bloodthirsty actions. What do you think? Is there anything redeeming about him as a character? Is he the saviour or messiah he thinks he is? Or is he just another warmongering, authoritarian dictator?