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Some fans like to claim the AdMech isn't holding back, that it's struggling to keep things together. While this is partially true, they could just teach people as a sort of mini-adept for specific tasks in tech that is hand-made or build servitors to do it. And when it comes to hoarding tech and not sharing it, that is exactly what they do. Technological decline can happen from war but only if you not only destroy the factories but also the information and kill everyone who has any of it memorized or simply knows enough to piece things together. Seeing as almost all the fighting happens well away from Forge Worlds and Hive Worlds, that isn't an excuse that can apply to the Imperium. And technological development does not stagnate during war. War encourages advancement, not merely applying what you already have in new ways (it does do that, but not just that). If you don't research and develop more advanced science and create new technology, you're enemy will and you will lose. It's that simple. The only thing holding back the Imperium from having already returned to Dark Age levels of technology is the Machine Cult itself due to the Cult deciding who can study or build what using entirely theological decision-making and political maneuvering within the Adeptus Mechanicus. More importantly, the Machine Cult doesn't like non-tech-priests even having technology in the first place. The last thing the Machine Cult would do is share technology even when it can for the same reason real life Christian priests go through so much training and effort to even be allowed to bless and handle the Eucharist. To the Machine Cult, giving out technology to the rest of humanity (even though it was pre-Cult humanity that invented all of it) is just as blasphemous and unacceptable as a Christian priest going out and giving the Eucharist out like it's some sort of party favor and for the same reasons.
==The Commandments of the Mechanicus==