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The Imperium never was so Xenophobic? I mean still defending from hostile aliens but instead of All out attacking a Xenos race that poses no threat to them, ie. Tau or Eldar?
Would the Imperium be a better place? Couldn't they learn so much from the Ancient knowlegde or Modern Technology that the Xenos are in possesion of? I know the Imperium never would but this is strictly hypothetical in all respects.
It would be a very different place. The question is whether any peaceful non-xenophobic society could survive in the 42nd millenium. Even the Tau, arguably the most peaceful society are still extremely agressive and expansionistic.
Learning from other races is dependant on them being willing to teach. The Eldar are generally unwilling to let a bunch of half-monkeys tramp around their elegant libraries asking silly questions and getting the floors all dirty. The Tau might be more willing to share their knowledge, and all they ask in return is that you join their society, completely abandonning your own as you do so. I'm sure that Chaos has lots to teach though, and is prefectly willing to give you the first lesson free.
The societies of the 42nd millenium are the product of their history - and that history has been entirely violent. So, obviously only the most violent, paranoid socities have survived.
The Imperium, while the most common candidate for the whole "they are so bad - they should just stop being so bad" thing, isn't the reason why the galaxy is at war. Everyone is fighting everyone else and the first guy to stop gets chopped to pieces.
Feel like putting your guns down?
My secret, shameful desire is a three Ordo army...
(I know I'm bad...)
I think even if the Imperium was peaceful, they wouldn't trade very much.
The eldar, as Pheonecia pointed out, are probably too arrogant to use humans as anything other than disposable troops in their fight against chaos, and therefore, the humans can't really offer them anything besides cannon fodder.
The Tau may not be xenophobic, but they are incredibly xenocentric. They consider their social system to be the only valid one. So unless the Imperium actually joined their empire and submitted to the 'greater good', they're unlikely to help the humies out much.