[LT] Something worth talking about

Day 2,827, 10:58 Published in USA USA by Mama Lunete

There’s an interesting paradigm in eRepublik I noticed recently whilst in the background of the #blacksheep IRC channel.

This gets a little rambly.

If you’d like to read the inspiration for this article please feel free to click this link to a document with all of it copied:HERE

To sum it up for you: I observed the (as of writing) POTUS BeachBunny being verbally attacked on a public IRC channel by a number of eusa citizens, with people from both sides joining in, and the whole thing escalating to more than it should have.

And it’s this, ladies and gentleman that is the subject of this article, I am neither condemning nor praising either side of this argument, but I thought that it brings up an excellent example of a paradigm in eRepublik that is:

The most important and powerful players all tend to, hang out in the same groups that the everyday two clicker and occasional speaker such as myself can join freely. And it’s almost a must in this game. To one who wishes to become powerful and respected in this game, it’s essentially a requirement that they interact with as many people in the community as possible, being intelligent gets you nothing if you can’t make friends here.

In the end eRepublik is meant to be a social game, and in a social game you have to BE social, whether or not you are in the upper echelons of the eSociety, or if you’ve just joined and are taking your first steps into a new world. People now expect to see their leaders interacting with everyone, being friends with everyone, and being completely open with their communication.
I’d like to take a look at why this is such an interesting situation.

The rulers of China cannot be questioned. When they make a decision they are correct, and if disputed, they have the free right to choose a fitting punishment for the one who criticised them. This, I do believe, stems from an ancient belief that the person who is emperor, has the mandate of heaven, heaven chose them to succeed, and until heaven decides that they won’t continue to succeed, then they will succeed. So what this means, is that the most powerful person in this society, the emperor, has absolutely zero interaction with the common people, most of the time. They’ve got people for that. In eRepublik this would be paramount to suicide.

Interacting directly with the community appears to be the most optimal way of securing the voters. The current president, BeachBunny was an incredibly popular figure in the community, she would talk to anyone who wanted to talk, and would be friendly and welcoming to newcomers. This gained her a lot of popularity among much of the community. Obviously this is due to the fact that eRepublik’s systems are built around democracy, but it’s interesting to look at how far away on the spectrum this game is from those ancient government systems

As we can see by the text above, this is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum I described above. Rulers are infallible, perfect, nobody may disobey them and expect to live, nobody may criticise, nobody may speak out of turn. These are the characteristics of a system that benefits the ruling class, and treats the people as a flock to be controlled at will

Now let’s look at a real example on the opposite end of the spectrum.

Athenian democracy was very much for the people. Every male citizen was expected to have some say in the business of the state. They were taught public speaking very young, and being able to argue was an important skill.

Leaders were expected to speak back and forth debates against any and all who challenged them. The famous example of this would be Socrates. The Socratic Dialogues, as recorded by Plato, were long discussions that Socrates (a philosopher at the time) had with people who boasted and claimed to be experts in their fields. Socrates would claim to be foolish and idiotic, but then would proceed to show how their logic was inconsistent and hypocritical. Of course with Socrates he ended up being a victim of the system he supported, and was tried by the citizens he had insulted, and put to death by hemlock. He was forced to drink hemlock, a poison that literally feels like it burns you from the inside out, killing you slowly and painfully. Of course by dying this way, and not escaping his fate, as he could have, he was trying to prove that it was more important to keep the law relevant by not letting anyone avoid it, even the most intelligent like him.

This shows that in ancient times there were two ends of a spectrum in society. One where the leaders and orators were expected to be infallible, perfect, and one where they were expected to defend their actions in front a committee of the common people, and answer all concerns imposed upon them. The difference here is interaction. On one end the Emperor has the mandate of heaven, so he’s already earned his rule in the eyes of god, and on the other, the leader has to earn their rule in the eyes of the people. If they fail, they can be removed, or shunned.
I think eRepublik falls into neither of these categories. It’s even further than the Athenian route.

The citizens of any powerful country no longer expect the basic freedoms that seem like common sense in eRepublik. The citizens of eRepublik expect that their leaders come down to earth and use their own wit to explain what they did and why they did it, in somewhere like the United Kingdom, a speechwriter and a prompter essentially writes everything the Prime Minister needs to say in a speech. The citizens of eRepublik all have the power to be heard through articles and media.

Let me explain.

I will be using the United States as a scapegoat for other countries that employ similar practices. When increasing the draft requirements during the war against Vietnam, President LBJ had this to say

As seen, this was a press conference where no questioning was allowed, and the President's word was taken as something that must be done. Though there was outrage at times, there was no conflicting the will of the government. Many articles were written, many speeches were thrown, but there was never any DIRECT communication with the men in charge. The citizens have almost no way to just ‘ask’ the people in charge why they did something.
This is partly where eRepublik differs from the reality of America. I’ve noticed a few things. When the person in charge doesn’t explicitly communicate their intentions, they are seen as doing nothing of importance. In eRepublik not seeming as being in charge is almost the exact same thing as not being in charge. This may be due to the lack of actual effect on the real lives of individuals that playing the game has. In real life, if the government raised taxes, you might not have enough money to buy food, in a game if the government raises taxes it doesn’t impact your basic human needs, so it’s harder to notice.

When a citizen is unhappy with something that their leader has done, they have essentially the freedom to say whatever they want through the newspaper system, there is no way to easily win success for articles, or to hide articles by any means that isn’t frowned upon. So the upstart writer has just as much of a chance to get their article seen as one by anyone powerful. (see http://www.erepublik.com/en/article/barren-as-a-beach-in-february-2544756/1/20 ) This is quite dissimilar than writing about politics in the real world, where most of the ‘free press’ is controlled by the same people with particular views, and writing political articles that go against any of their views is not so great for your health.

So let’s sum up whatever this rambling article was about. eRepublik arguably has some of the most honest and fair election campaigns, freedom of press, and communication between leaders and citizens. I feel like this is not due to the fairness of eRepublik’s systems itself, but because, that people have just assumed certain things are common sense, like having the people in charge actually being relatable to the everyday two clicker, and giving any new person a chance whatever they want to do in the game without constricting them with laws on account age etc. So eRepublik is an interesting thing. At almost all points it’s more democratic and fair than real life ever could be, but at the same time the systems in it would make almost no sense to put in place in a huge country.

I doubt any sane person could survive a day if they made a controversial decision but still had to log onto a public channel like IRC during the day, just to stay relevant. The amount of hatred would be tenfold than the type they’d get here. But here, if they don’t, well they’re no longer relevant, and people assume they’re just gone. Interesting.

So whatever my point was during this, thanks for reading.