First order of business: like any structured piece of literature, skipping to the end ruins the message. Everything ties into eachother, so read it all before commenting.
I'm meant to be completing my report on the procedural mechanisms involved in the Army Supply Network, said I'll get it done today.. afterall, its not very long nor going to reveal anything groundbreaking, but I really lack the motivation to spend 30 minutes writing a decent report when the content is so immaterial to those giving me crap for it.
This article is my big truth, a personal account. I loath the politics which surrounds our community, I truly loath the degrading effect of these politics are having on the player experience in this community.
I am tired of the egotistically motivated politics and pettiness. When I started taking a proper role in government, it was after the December 2010 wipe of Ireland; the only parties I have ever ran with were the Irish Union Party and Éire Aonair. Both when I entered the 'political realm' were minor political powers (EA came a bit later, but minor for vast majority of its life), both had an ideal where status in the community was the result of hard work and merit of the individual... rather 'factional/camp exclusivism' which has plagued Ireland for so very long.
My motivation to choose those two minor parties? I understood the single track mindlessness of factions and camps once they were established. If I ever wanted to play a game where I didn't have to deal with the petty rivalries and politicking which followed them, I had to be outside all factions.
I've learnt a great many things about the game and how the New World works, and by expressing myself through some objective-led gaming, I have been part of all different factions and neutral governments at one point or another. Last term was my 14th time as a head Minister in the Department of Defence.
Why do I need to give a history lesson to prove I'm not an exclusive player before giving an opinion? I'm in the awkward position where my party is now a major political power. And its awkward because I understand the single track mindlessness of factions and camps. Noone could deny the merit of a player from a minor political power contributing within the government of a different and more prominent political power - but change the dynamic where that player is from and appointed by that prominent political power, and those ignorant of his/her merits will assume a politically motivated appointment. Or perhaps more sinister, if they do know, portrayal it as a political appointment as a smear tactic.
The greatest revolution in this country was when the neutral players in our community, those who never allowed themselves to be cataloged by any faction and their politics, became the most influential force in politics. I remember having an argument with Irishbhoy which he argued that only complete victory in the political arena could last, while I argued compromise and cooperation in a game which is unwinnable is the only lasting victory. Let me be bold to say I was right, while it takes constant vigilance, the neutrals have accommodated compromises from extremes of thought in different factions for overall cooperation for much of the post-December 2010 wipe period.
Fast-forward to recent months.Society of United Irishmen's Sweet Drinker, supported by Eire Aoniar and Irish Freedom Party, steps in for 3 terms to attempt to improve the Financial and Diplomatic problems Independent Labour Party and Eire Aoniar governments had left respectively - fair f***ing remark to anyone feeling Defensive, mistakes happened (they did) and I'm man enough to admit I had a hand in it (suck it).
Eire Aoniar's Ian E Coleman then steps in for two terms to continue on the foundations laid by Sweet Drinker, supported by Society of United Irishmen and Irish Freedom Party. By this point, social tensions have become the most prominent focus of the elections.
I'll start with AD31's Big Truth - because it highlights alot of those social tensions, although I'm differing on the reasons for it. Worth mentioning AD31 leaving was tragic to me, because I feel it came from such bollocks of circumstances.
Taken from AD31's article:
"As many of you know already, there were 3 factions in Irish community so far. The K***s, the anti-K***s and the neutrals. The neutrals were the ones holding our community united at difficult times. Though these last months the neutral faction simple disappeared, leaving Ireland to fight between corrupted politicians and players who try for the better of Ireland."
To me this highlighted exactly the "own truth" I said as far back as Sweet Drinker's 2nd term would eventually boil over.
Factional disputes were prevented from descending into "automatic opposition" by neutral players middle-grounding diversity in governments,so no-one ever felt they were prevented from contributing to the Irish cause. If anyone doesn't get what I mean by "automatic opposition": i.e. one faction will propose an idea and the opposite faction will disagree aggressively regardless of the merit of the idea.
However, after CUA, with our finances and diplomatic standing in such a dire state - that prominent influence, the neutrals, seemed to form a consensus that strong pragmatic oversite was needed to get us back on our feet (and yes, I agreed).
But that doesn't breed diversity. It gives a preference to those most proved, with a good track record in their fields and those who will deliver despite adversity. Hence consequently, under this emphasis, new contenders will find it hard to penetrate significant roles due to the unknown risk of failure. If the consequence of failure is rather immaterial, then its not an issue - but in this emphasis the premise is that failure is a prolonged wipe.
I think many saw how the social problems would evolve. We all like to think we are the masters of our own destiny, but there is always an element that we are the product of our environment. Since Sweet Drinker's first term, it has taken 5 months until Ireland is in a strong enough position to ease up on the pragmatic outlook. That problem is made clear by the saying "a week in eRepublik is a long time".
Bringing it together: the neutrals never left, but the mediating role they played in diversity in governments slacked in place of a shared pragmatic outlook; the problems were identified, the solution known and the steps to take were followed. Ireland recovered.
The real problem is that one faction embraced that pragmatic outlook more than another (for a range of reasons - Don't! Just don't. If you're feeling like a victim, bite your tongue, do not bring yet another discussion about the social problems in this country down again into personal disputes; the point of the article) - so now you have a situation where the Neutrals and one faction have a shared outlook to the detriment of the other faction. Where does this lead? Unintentionally, this faction is not involved in the contribution to that shared outlook (because obviously.. they don't share it). The choices to them become change their outlook to that of the Neutrals and their opposite faction (or at least carry it out regardless), or go against that outlook.
And while I am talking in the extremes of thought i.e. those who truly believe their politics to be a true representation of the truth, rather than painting an entire group with the same brush.. At this moment, between the choices of Compromise or Fight, this faction chose to Fight - and trapped themselves in a conflicting position.
The formation of "automatic opposition"came about; Faction A oppose the policy and outlooks of their political enemies Faction B, the problem is Faction B's policy and outlook are conforming with a Neutral faction lead. Faction A then gives an ultimatum to the Neutral Faction "Are you with us or are you against us?"
The nature of a Neutral player is that they never are drawn into that mindframe, they inhabit the grey area between Black and White - those aren't the parameters of their game. Therefore refuse to partake in the ultimatum. Faction A has appointed themselves as the only holder of truth; a player has not aligned with them, therefore is in league with their enemies - they refuse to follow the Neutral and Faction B's policy and outlook. Therefore, they are isolated from contributing to that outlook because those factions are the majority - and majority rules.
Does anyone acknowledge that? If you do not have the support of the majority, you're opinion will not be implemented by that majority - sounds pretty cut and dry. You can fight it, but you'll fall short and either compromise or become even more desperate. To me, that is where our politics is headed - desperation.
That is why I'm becoming more uncomfortable about trying to give something constructive to this community. In a desperate war, there are no holds barred; I acknowledge decent contributions all the time, either by supporting or criticizing on face value, but when it comes to those in power, those fighting that desperate war will not give that level of respect. Its always personal, its never constructive. In their desperation, they show those who they need to work with in order to contribute, that they are incapable of cooperating. That was true in the days of the IDF and ICA, and its true now.
That need is true - but is never acknowledged once the war paint is on. Unless those fighting that desperate war want to rule a Kingdom of Corpses, they will need to collaborate with the individuals who have the confidence of the majority. They will need to respect that their opinion is not the only truth, that just because they have an opinion doesn't mean its right or equal to a majority opinion.
These social tensions come from an imposed environment which gives the opportunity for factional disputes to escalate to the point Factions can unconsciously isolate themselves and intensify the initial dispute.
Boom. But f*** off does it matter because I said it. And I'm supposedly part of a secret cult where we worship a goat, so obviously my opinion is a mysterious ruse to corrupt your thoughts and steal your freedoms etc etc etc. Hence, according to your war paint, you should shoot to kill - don't ask questions, its a waste of time..
I am going to write that report. But I'm 100% know that the sudden hating on the Army has nothing to do with the f**ing Army. Desperation is the cause - if you cannot defeat your enemy in the field, you attack everything which gives him strength in the field. Politically, the war of desperation has failed to move the support for the recent months "coalition" of Neutrals and supporting Factions. Politically, the playing field is level - the most convincing wins, everyone only has a single vote. Militarily, not the same - everyone doesn't have an equal contribution to give, and hence those with the largest contribution have the highest influence.. the Army was set up so that influence isn't misused to hold an elected government hostage to whims of a minority.
There are legit criticisms to draw from my report, although most are alternative suggestions and quite frankly anyone who thinks the Army's success is because of the supply has a very very very very very short memory, but its far from exclusivism, and its certainly not corruption. Why do I have to constantly defend being part of an apolitical organization to justify fighting according to the wishes of the majority? That sounds like f**ing amiable aim, not a corruption. In fact, its voluntarily saying "despite my greater ability to influence military objectives - I'm going to respect the majority". Maybe I want to be part of a community who has the respect for eachother to follow the team's led. Maybe I want to be part of a community who every member, even if they didn't choose the led to follow, feels the success or failures of it. That we share the glory and the heartbreak.
This is not "touchy feelie, lets all agree". I hate that; when someone says something stupid, I should have the freedom to systemically prove them wrong without mercy until standing triumphantly over their logically exhausted body.. and I'd expect the same in return. But prove them wrong, not bully them into a corner, not make it personal or arguing anything other than exactly what they said. Right now it seems you have to address the personal aspect of eachother; to defend yourself from the accusations of personal bias in your arguments BEFORE you even start arguing. Its a pitiful state of affairs.
I don't like politics, hence not fantastically fond of roleplaying politicians; I have a tested, quantified and prove skepticism of politicians in real life. To me politics in its nature is disrespectful, but in this game, politics can be a very clear set of goals and methods. Why do we insist of making politics a reflection of friendship groups? I try very hard to understand everyone in this country. When Winston start coming out with all the "May The Honourable Gentleman Clarity His Remark As To Ratify The Disclosed Position Under Article 3 Of The Pretentious Tool Act" I actually joined NationStates to see what sort of player such a game attracts.. results confirmed. I actually played TribalWars for a long time so I understand RTK is very much a "win at any cost" sort of guy. Boru probably just plays chess and gets punched at bars. All three rather politician types, but at least two of them try to make an objective action plan based on some proper merits.
All this comes from the fact, I am expected to give a report on the procedural mechanisms of the Army Supply System because there are problems with infrastructure which need addressing. Unfortunately, the climate I'm expected to work in is focusing on the bizarre discussion about the State's role in supplying citizens and a toxic accusation of corruption; the sneak preview is the only person with any leeway in corruption is the Minister of Finance (which is obviously false, Appleman because we love you long time). The blah blah about it all is the end point of the the trickling down benefit of the MoF's activities in the Monetary Market.. as if its a bloody wonder why a Government might not fund adventures which are contradictory to its own objectives... Its a given that if you aren't self-supplying, you're following the direction of the provider (the other arguments then all come down to funding availability and cost effectiveness). You try anything else on #Mercenaries you'd get blacklisted! Bizarre discussion so far to be honest, the oddness of it is my only motivation for actually getting the report done so people aren't coming out with the whacky analysis of a system they don't know.
But to conclude:
Sometimes alright, its a piss take - I could have written 3 reports instead of this. I want the country united, fighting a common enemy and having a good time - don't need the crap for pissing away my limited time on this Earth on trying to provide a service for my team mates on a rubbish browser game.
Irish elections; the race between Winston Hope Smith and Ethel Rosenberg... or more importantly (as both their manifestos were basically the same) the "Non-ICA" candidate vs The "ICA" candidate. This is an in-depth look into the results of Winston's victory and its consequent effect on my two favourite opposing-factions.
I have decided to start using my old disclaimer:
These ignorant, arrogant, bigoted and shameless cartoons do not represent the views of the author, the Irish Government, Viktor Kurgan or the real facts. However, they are not far off and should likely be taken very seriously.
Obviously, alot of grey areas in the "camp" mentality; should there be individuals in such groups who feel this does not represent them... really don't care tbh, its not the truth - its a fabrication, the continuation of existing stereotypes, the ugly face of Irish politics. It is for the amusement of those brave soles who stand in the middle ground, which I'm glad to say many members of this government currently reside.
What is this?You are reading an article written by a citizen of eRepublik, an immersive multiplayer strategy game based on real life countries. Create your own character and help your country achieve its glory while establishing yourself as a war hero, renowned publisher or finance guru.