Today Serbia and Romania have become allies. For the first time since Serbia was added to the game in 2009, an MPP has been successfully signed between two of the oldest enemies in the game. Serbia and Hungary are closest brothers, and Hungary and Romania are historical enemies. Some might see this as a betrayal, or a fracture within TWO. I want to talk about this very important topic with you in brief.
First of all I mean to address the issue of Romania and Hungary. When I joined the game, the two countries were already bashing at each other in central Europe. Romania was by far the stronger country, and little Hungary was partially occupied during most of the time ATLANTIS existed. With that occupation however came motivation, and Hungary managed to secure a baby boom which swiftly grew them to become the most powerful country in the world, and for that matter the most powerful country in existence. As someone with some experience in this, I can tell you that the Hungary of late-2009 was richer and stronger objectively speaking than any country since.
This however was merely the opening bout of what became a long struggle between Hungary, it’s new ally Serbia and their respective enemies Romania and Croatia. Yet whilst the Serbo-Croat relationship has grown more and more bitter over the years, enforced by the deep divides caused by the real life conflicts that most players on both sides have lived through, the Hungarian-Romanian war settled into more of an old feud. The wars didn’t have the fire and passion of the early days when wiping the enemy was like Christmas and New Year rolled into one. It became more a contest or a game than a bitter rivalry. Although many Hungarians and Romanians probably think negatively about one another, it’s a personal battle between people who know each other as closely as brothers, and a lot more closely than any outside country can.
Thus I believe firmly that with communication and hard work, this divide can be crossed. And it should be bridged, if only to show that the differences which force us apart in the real world can and will be tossed aside if people are willing to try. Other enmities great and small have been crossed in this game, but none would be so symbolic as this.
Secondly I wish to discuss the position of Serbia in this. It’s no secret that the Serbs have no real life affiliation with the Hungarians. They share some common history, and some cultural crossovers. I’m not going to go into the history of it- for those of you who are genuinely interested, there’s a book called “Balkans” by Misha Glenny which is informative, unbiased and accessible to people with no prior knowledge of the region. However Serbia does have good relations with other countries in the region. Greece, obviously, has close ties to Serbia, and whilst the ties to Romania aren’t so strong, they are friendly enough across the border. There isn’t really a reason for Serbs to not get along with these countries. In fact Serbs newly joining the game are often confused about this, similarly to the way Brits joining the game are confused why all our friends across the Atlantic hate our guts and our closest friends are almost all slavic countries in Eastern Europe that most of them couldn’t even point to nevermind talk about.
Anyway, to remain on topic, Serbia has taken a leap here but it’s not a blind leap. They are very aware of Hungarian feeling, and over 4 years of close friendship and alliance is most certainly not being tossed away. And deepening of their friendship with other countries will be taken with the full knowledge and approval of Hungary. In any conflict of interests, Hungary will have Serbia’s support. This isn’t speculation, this is fact, which any Serb will tell you. Hungary was the father of Serbia, and although Serbia is fully grown now, the two are as close as it is possible to be, and there has been no sign of that changing.
Finally I’d like to talk about Romania, and betrayal. In the coming days I expect to see many accusations of treachery thrown Romania’s way. In a way it’s ironic, because the Romanians themselves were in the front rank of people calling out the UK for switching sides all those years ago. To explain the current situation, let me explain the UK’s exit from the ATLANTIS bloc back in 2009.
Since the early days of the game the UK had been aligned with certain countries. Now that alignment was held together by forged bonds. Now these bonds are never between countries (bytes of data in a server), but between people: Older players, presidents, ministers. These people were the glue which held the alliance together. As ATLANTIS collapsed in Europe, we had a big power shift here in the UK. The old order, represented by Sara Droz, then CP, was utterly discredited. It would be eight months until they were re-elected. A lot of the people involved in that old regime were tainted. The bonds between the UK and their old allies were cut. At the same time, PEACE players started joining the UK community, and establishing new bonds. Not with the intransigible old guard, but with the new players hungry for experience and introductions. When these new players gained more and more influence, and rose into government, foreign policy lurched.
Now at the time many called us traitors for changing policy. But the question is, how can you betray someone you had no commitment to? Because alliance relations are by necessity held between a few dozen people at most in a country, it relies on the continued loyalty and good relations of those people. I was one person who was marginally involved with ATLANTIS and resisted PEACE membership quite strongly. But others who were born later felt no loyalty. Those born after May 2009 have had no experience of being allied to those countries at all.
To link this in with a nice segue, Romania are in a similar position. EDEN in effect ceased to exist as a functioning body six months ago. Realistically speaking, it’s been dead for a year. And I am an expert on recognising when an alliance is dying, having swam rat-like from the sinking ship of four alliances now. There are thousands of players in Romania - probably more than half the population - who have never seen EDEN at it’s prime. They’ve grown up under the auspices of a tired, dysfunctional alliance, hobbling along with the virtue of longevity as it’s only crutch. Is it betrayal for them to sign an MPP with a country they have never fought, betraying an alliance which for them has never truly existed?
The real betrayal is pretending that EDEN still has a future. Every dog has it’s day, and EDEN’s day was in 2010/11. I remember the days when EDEN had all but wiped us from the map. I remember the power of their mobile divisions, I remember the constant irritation of RWs. I think we all remember how irritating it was being Romper’d, though it seems like every country has it’s Romper now. But those days are gone, and right now everyone is simply waiting for a better offer. So don’t give Romania a kicking because they’re keeping their options open. They need help against Bulgaria and someone offered them help. Don’t blame them for making a decision countries make every day.
In conclusion, don’t judge before the song is over. Don’t expect everything to last forever. Take the opportunity to build bridges to unexpected destinations. eRepublik is at the end of the day about building castles in the sky, not fighting bloody skirmishes in the muddy ruin of past battlefields. Take a leap of faith.
Ps. It is under 2000 words, ergo it is brief. If you can’t read 2000 words, you don’t deserve to know anything about foreign affairs.
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