[MQ's Opinion]Getting what you need
Reasons a two-year-old may not be a good role model
This week, we have seen a lot of eUS citizens seeking instant gratification and throwing temper tantrums if they didn’t get their own way. We have had what some regard as an election upset, a revolution, some hot congressional debates and censures/blacklisting of members of Congress and the government, suggestions of impeachment of our newly elected CP/D, and a flurry of media commentary on all of the above. There are claims that the nation is polarized, even by some who should know better, and a lot of self-justification by pretty nearly everyone who has done anything in this time period. Let’s examine some of the claims and counter-claims to see what we can learn from all of this.
It seems to be human nature to reject facts that don’t align with our beliefs, rather than adjusting beliefs to align with the facts. We have seen this on both sides of this controversy.
Who has majority support?
The evidence suggests that the answer to this is nobody. Gnilraps won the election by a plurality, not a majority of the vote. Similarly, no party has a majority in Congress, and even if they did, many party members would be quick to point out that they do not vote en bloc. According to Plato, there are 2795 active citizens in the eUS today. In this CP election, there were 666 votes tallied. In the most recent Congress election, there were 610. Even allowing for the probability that some citizens were already not playing the game and simply had not eDied yet, and that some active citizens were not able to log in on election day for various reasons, even acknowledging that there is a very high probability that some of those “active” citizens are multi/voting accounts that log in ONLY for elections, that is a pretty pitiful voter turnout – less than 24% for CP and less than 22% for Congress in total. Fewer than 11% of eAmericans voted for Gnilraps in this hotly contested election, and only slightly more than 5% voted for USWP in this month’s Congress. Given those numbers, there is no evidence to suggest that any candidate, any party, or any position represents the will of the people. On the contrary, what seems to be suggested is that 75% to 80% of the populace is so disaffected they do not care to vote for anyone, even with reminders every election day on the home page, and the necessity to click only twice to vote. What comes to mind here is the idea of the Silent Majority which has been invoked in RL politics in the past. Being the loudest does not mean you have the most support, only that more people have the opportunity to hear you, if they choose to listen. These numbers also refute the idea that the population is polarized, with SFP/radicals/revolutionaries on one side and forum elite Congress on the other. On the contrary, it appears that most simply do not care.
So, if nobody has the majority, who is right?
Again, I maintain that the answer is nobody. Why?
I have previously stated my long-standing affection for SFP. Despite my having left the party, I still feel that affection. However, I did find it increasingly difficult to support choices made by several prominent members. While I did and do agree with many of the party ideals in principle, I sometimes feel they are put into practice in selfish and thoughtless ways. While I sympathize with the dislike of many members for the dictatorship module, I am one of many (including a number of SFP members) who have come to view it as a necessary evil. I believe that taking it on oneself to overthrow the dictatorship for personal reasons is wrong and is harmful not only to the community at large, but to SFP itself. For me, the July 4th civil war was a critical point, and it nearly caused several other active members to leave, as well. This was not the only factor in my decision to withdraw, but it certainly was a major one. I will note, however, that people I respect made a different decision, to stay and work for a more moderate approach from within.
This revolution, on the other hand, while I think it was premature to say the least, could be seen as more justified, as indeed their candidate had won with a platform that included a dictator-free month. The wiser course, as I see it, would have been to work to get the Congress to support this experiment, but it is easy to see why people believed that was not forthcoming.
This does not, however, exempt the forum Congress from responsibility for the present mess. The rush to censure and possibly impeach is both dismaying and counterproductive, especially when you consider that many of those most ready to condemn SFP and Gnilraps were involved in the first coup attempt (for lulz), and not one of them was blacklisted for that. Yes, stronger forum laws have been passed since then, and yes, those who fought in subsequent revolutions were aware of them, but truthfully, those laws do not affect anything but forum Congress/government, and have no effect whatsoever on what players can do in-game. Indeed, it should be remembered that, if a dictator, even one supported by Congress, chose to do so, s/he could ruin the country far faster than any group of revolutionary idealists. Furthermore, the players that are being blacklisted are, many of them, among the most active/vocal players in the eUS. Isolating them does not promote strength or activity, and ultimately hurts the eUS as a whole more than it helps. Name-calling, insults, and demanding the heads of your supposed enemies on a platter (figuratively speaking, of course) may seem satisfying in the short term, but in the long-term, it erodes your power base to the point where you will have no community left at all. Threats to PTO an active party make you look anything but heroic. If you truly feel the country is threatened (and remember that the determination was over 6 at this point, and something would have had to be done about it eventually anyway), try doing something to engage people rather than driving them away.
In short, it is time for all sides to take a step back, to re-examine their own beliefs about the community and the game in the clear light of reality, and to find a way to work together to solve our problems. There are plenty of other eCountries out there willing to be our enemies. Let’s not be our own worst enemy.
I don't care how, but I want it naaaaaaooow.
Very interesting article and, sadly, very much déjà-vu
Quite true....oddly enough, every eCountry is apparently populated by human beings.
What a disturbingly American way of thinking that you need more than half of the votes to think that the country supports your ideas.
Clearly there are many Americans who do not think any such thing. Rather, the tendency seems to be "i am right, so obviously everyone must agree with me."
indeed the concept of separation of powers is disturbingly American, though it has caught on rather quickly. You can thank James Madison for the modern interpretation of that.
Which is why the eUS Congress acted correctly and well within reason in blacklisting those who broke the law, and denied the legitimacy of Congress to uphold those laws.
A Presidential mandate, at least in the US 😉, has no effect on law.
And where did I mention the separation of powers?
that's the undercurrent to the entire argument as to whether a Presidential mandate has implications to law....
Interesting and in-depth analysis. Well done! I would add that I'm surprised we haven't had a dictator go off the rails yet. Those that do vote and those that participate in Congress seem to take it seriously, even if they seem to over react at times.
My take on this weeks reactions is a bit (way) more basic.
Yours as one of the many articles I read. Your lighter approach is perhaps more appropriate than the pontificating some of the rest of us have done. As for a dictator going of the rails, I think in general the chances of electing someone who would do that are lower here than in many smaller eCountries; however, it certainly should not be discounted as a possibility.
Every censure was automatic. There's a law that automatically censured everyone congress member who fought.
So less premature more obvious breaking of the law
"but truthfully, those laws do not affect anything but forum Congress/government"
Well, no, as a community we uphold those laws. This wouldn't fly as an excuse for allowing illegal citizenship proposals, so I don't see why, now, it's okay to declare Congress illegal.
"Indeed, it should be remembered that, if a dictator, even one supported by Congress, chose to do so, s/he could ruin the country far faster than any group of revolutionary idealists"
This reads either as threat or fear-mongering. During the DD democracy functioned as it always had.
It is really not clear to me why, if these censures are automatic, there is a need for lengthy debates about them, which often seem to take on the air of witch hunts, followed by voting threads. I wouldn't go so far as to say these procedures smack of McCarthyism, but there often does seem to be deliberate targeting of some groups.
I do not see where I suggested declaring Congress illegal. What I am trying to do is point out certain realities that some people seem determined to ignore. Some people have even asked to be censured. Does it not seem curious to you that they would do that if they thought it would affect their game play in any meaningful way?
I also fail to see how you see a threat (from me? I am out of politics, and even if I wanted to do something, there are several smaller countries where it would be much easier that would welcome me with open arms). As for fear-mongering, the same could be said of the reasoning for the defensive dictatorship in the first place. I honestly have no dog in this fight, but it would be unrealistic of the Congress to pretend that this couldn't happen. It even happened in quite a few countries before dictatorship, when Congress had more real control, and some of those who robbed countries blind were later welcomed back with more or less open arms. I do realize that the forum laws are intended to give a more representative form of government than is allowed by game mechanics, but you should also realize that it would not be difficult to circumvent them if a dictator should choose to do so.
'Every censure was automatic.'
They weren't censured, they were Blacklisted; bug FN difference.
Those in congress were censured. Then everyone who fought was blacklisted.
This was done because a censure was not enough of a penalty as it would not affect most.
The blacklist was done because to not do so would be to surrender Congress' authority, as those affected continue to claim that Congress cannot have legitimacy.
If they want to be unblacklisted, an apology and admission of wrongdoing would go a long way.
Apologize for what?
They violently disagreed with the 'Congressional Majority' who refused to implement the will of the 'In Game Majority', which is their right.
Admit wrong doing?
It is only 'your opinion' that what they did was wrong. What I see is that citizens who play eRepublik and not eUSA Forums implemented what the 'In Game Majority' wanted.
Franklin they broke the law. They have no right to do so.It isn't my opinion's, it was congress',
and the very fact that you refuse to see how breaking Congress' law is wrongdoing is evidence why the blacklisting was not too severe, but instead necessary.
Paul, with all due respect, "the law should be followed because it is the law" is an early adolescent stage of moral reasoning.
If the law states you must turn your neighbor in for torture and execution because he is a member of some group that is out of favor (member of a religion, an ethnic group, a political movement, etc.), does that make it right for you to do so? I'm not saying that people should disregard the law for their own convenience, but there may be valid moral grounds for doing so.
Although not interested in eUSA in eRep in general a fine article indeed
The censures were automatic according to the law and I think we all understood that. As for the blacklisting most of us no longer care as we no longer use the eUS forums. I recognize in-game congress and personally that is all. I will continue to live and work and fight for the eUS until it is no longer tolerable. The eUS will lose another active member at that point. I realize many don't care and that's cool. Perhaps one day the forums and meta congress will not be such a cesspit of those only interested in their own agendas, unwilling to compromise or accept others ideas as having merit even if they are counter to their own. I feel cleansed being rid of the forums.
This is why the majority of the eUSA forums is killing the community. They follow their laws, taking no responsibility at all. They could think why should I. It seems there is no need to do that, maybe only for those who really care.
Very insightful article, thanks for writing! o/
“It is historical continuity that maintains most assumptions,
not repeated assessment of their validity.”
Edward de Bono