Why do we do the same things over and over?
Let me tell you all a couple of stories. Whether you listen or not is up to you, I do know my own status here in the eUSA, and I don’t pretend that I haven’t done things to make myself a pariah. I have. I could spout some nonsense about doing them for “THE GREATER GOOD” or something, like the others do; but frankly, I did them because of a specific group of people that I care about and still care about protecting. This article is not about that or them; it is about my stories, which I submit to you in the oldest of fashions, in the form of words in the middle of a great forum.
The Tale of a Man
There are many stories of how this game began. Some histories are better than others, some are utter nonsense, and some are based in fact but embellished quite heavily. All three of these have tackled the entity of Dio Brando and his teachings which form the religious sect, Dioism. Many proclaim him to be a sort of “God-King” who’s teachings shaped the game world, and who’s words created /v/akistan.
It all began in Pakistan, as so much of our history does. In the early days of eRepublik, this nation rose up not due to its military muscle or political clout, like Romania or Indonesia, but because of its cultural significance. Pakistan was a meeting point, a Mecca for a cultural phenomenon. It was the site that Dio Brando established his own significance, by teaching something great. Dio Brando taught his followers that the game is a skeleton.
The actual gameplay is for naught, it doesn’t matter. It’s a foundation, nothing more. The game does not create our stories or our institutions. It does not lend itself to our wants. It has no ability to directly facilitate greatness. In essence, he said what we have now taken as a core principle of our time here in eRepublik: The game itself sucks.
But Dio Brando didn’t stop there. His discourse delved deeper. He taught his followers that, though the game is a hollow shell, worthless in and of itself, that we ourselves can fill its void. It is up to the players, not the game, to create greatness. In essence, he taught that the game’s foundation must be built upon for any sort of lasting structure to be created, and for any good to be achieved.
Dio Brando’s teachings were good, and ultimately spawned the religion of Dioism. The ideas themselves are sound, and the idea of creating something within the shell of the game is a method that has been applied successfully many times over. Sadly, though, this story is not about the good that these ideas did, but about the loss of meaning that they have incurred. Dio Brando and his teachings lost their way by focusing on the cult of personality, no longer pushing for creation of greatness, but instead promising that the way of Dio would lead to greatness. Focus was on the person, not the institution, and people in this game came to believe that a single person is all that is needed for greatness. It is, perhaps, the nature of the human condition to believe that there is someone greater than oneself who will protect and lead. It has been the history of this game that such is the case, not in truth but in practice. We have at times, as a culture, worshipped players as gods, as we now seem to be attempting with yet another man.
Make no mistake; Dio Brando was a great man with great teachings. It is not his words that failed, but his followers. He started to build an institution that could have achieved great things, in some cases, did, but that institution lost sight of things and began to worship the individual over the community. It is there that it died and lost all meaning.
The moral of this story is that a creation must have substance and meaning, but it cannot be focused on one person or even a small group of people. What we create in this game CAN be good, but it isn’t necessarily going to be. What makes greatness in our organizations is a focus on what we can do, without getting caught up in a cult of personality. We create things greater than ourselves; the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. By making one person greater than the whole, we lose sight of the reality of this game, which is that anyone can do anything, but the only truly lasting structures are those that we create together.
The Tale of A Nation
In history we have created a bi-polar world. What began as ATLANTIS and PEACE became EDEN and PEACE and then EDEN and Phoenix, and EDEN and ONE, now is EDEN and TWO. This is not a story about those. This is a story about the third man. This is a story that highlights the fallacy in stating that creating a tri-polar world is “trying something new.”
In the aftermath of the ATLANTIS collapse, two alliances grew out of the ashes. The first was EDEN, which we all know of. What many younger players do not remember, though, is that the eUSA, though a member of ATLANTIS, did not join EDEN in the beginning. At that time, we decided to go our own way with an alliance called Fortis. Fortis was, arguably, viable in the beginning, but ultimately was killed by the defection of the eUK to what was then PEACE and is now TWO. Fortis stood for approximately four months before truly being ended during the Third World War.
As the First North American invasion began, Fortis a dead memory, the eUSA and eCanada forged a bond of brotherhood, fighting together to push back an all-out invasion by PEACE forces. This close bond was made official on October 31st, as the invasion waned, in the creation of the Brolliance. During the Brolliance’s tenure, the eUSA also joined EDEN for a short time, but was pulled out less than half a year later. This brief time in EDEN represents the only time that the eUSA has had membership in an major alliance.
The Brolliance worked closely with EDEN, though, and was sometimes considered a part of the alliance, though not officially part. Some, though, didn’t like this closeness, and insisted on pushing for a new route, which they called PANAM, harkening back to a defunct alliance of Beta days. This alliance, PANAM, also had closeness with EDEN due in part to EDEN’s enemy, ONE, being generally unfriendly to PANAM as well. PANAM soon changed its name to Terra. During its time, Terra attempted to add many countries, but ultimately ended up losing quite a few due to never having a unifying factor. In the end, it was a four member alliance that set its own goals, and often clashed with EDEN brass. As Terra went, though, it was as unsuccessful as Fortis had been, and ultimately never accomplished any major military goals for any long period of time.
This alliance finally died and was replaced with CTRL, which was, perhaps, the most spectacular of failures, lasting the entirety of a month, if that. It was also created by the eUSA and three other nations, mirroring the small size of Fortis, the Brolliance, and Terra’s core nations; and ultimately ended due to a lack of trust on all sides.
This is the current history of the eUSA’s alliances. Except for a short time in our history, we have been doing “something new” now for three years. We have been struggling to create tri-polarity for three years. We have set up and watched collapse alliances that hoped to create a tripolar world. How is it that we can call this trying something new?
The moral of this story is as plain as the one before, insanity truly is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. For three years we’ve tried creating tripolarity, and have failed. I’m not quite sure why we’ve failed so many times, perhaps it’s all for different reasons, but the fact is that we aren’t “trying something new” we’re rehashing an argument that was pertinent during Fortis, perhaps even as recently as PANAM in 2010, but has no place anymore. We are not “trying something new.”
In reading what I can about this new order in American politics, I can see nothing that leads me to believe that this is any more than a cult of personality, not about Dio Brando, but around Publius instead. Perhaps this is the logical progression of things. Perhaps this is how it always has to be. I’ve done my fair share to shake things up, but it’s not change that I see. This is not some new renaissance waiting in the wings, nor anything focused on the community. This is a call to go join another cult of personality, to go shout meme phrases and continuing to follow blindly. These are not new policies or politics, nor do they qualify as some great structure. This is not trying something new. This, unfortunately, is a study in insanity.
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