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A Needle in a Haystack, a Political Commentary

Day 1,949, 22:15 Published in USA Ireland by Mercurius100

This article is meant as a response to or more specifically the philosophy being expressed in the article. If you haven't read the original I recommend you do so before reading this response.

The philosophy I would challenge is certainly not new or limited to the original author. It has persisted since before I began my life in eRepublik in 2009, and has plagued real-life politics for far longer than any of us have been on this Earth.

I refer to the theory that those in our own in-group are the only ones capable of generating the ideas that our society needs to flourish, and that the process of replacing as many of those who "think differently than us" in positions to make a difference in society with those who "think just like us" is the way to move our society forward.

As you can guess from my writing an article about the subject, I strongly disagree with this philosophy. This group think, and the actions that individuals and groups take that reinforces it, regularly holds our real-life society back. But the way eRepublik society works makes this philosophy even more restrictive on a nation's growth.

eRepublik is a sandbox. That is my favorite way of describing eRep to new players. The game itself provides only the most basic foundation. Everything that we broadly refer to as the metagame comes from the ideas, creativity, and hard work of the players. Over the course of years, what the players have created has become more the real game, and certainly the more important part of the game, than what eRepublik Labs creates and maintains.

It is that player creativity that makes this game go. A player with a good original idea, plus a little hard work, "wins" in this game. A group based on a new idea can rapidly grow in numbers and influence. A nation with a creative idea can rise to be a world superpower far beyond what their number of regions, population, or resources say their standing should be.

This game runs on creativity. Ideas. And the people who dare to challenge current beliefs, how thing are currently done, and push for the change they believe in are the ones who lead their nations forward to success and prosperity. Nations who limit themselves to preserving the status quo, not pursuing new ideas but merely trying to hold on to what they have, are doomed to failure.

But the next great idea can come from absolutely anywhere. From the oldest eRep player or the youngest. From someone already in power to someone with absolutely no influence at all. From a member of the biggest group to someone in the smallest, or someone with no group at all.

That next big idea is the needle in the haystack. But to sew the tapestry of our nation's future we must have that idea! We as a nation cannot sit still where we are, holding onto the past with a death grip. For our hands are merely around our own necks, and the harder we squeeze the closer we bring ourselves to our own demise.

The traditional American political math doesn't work in eRep. We don't have two parties, each of whom can convince themselves their ideas are the only good ones and everybody "on the other side" are backwards idiots. We have 50+ parties, all of which have different beliefs and different ideas about what our country needs to move forward. So we can move forward, we are forced to work together with people who think differently to reach a consensus. We must listen and honestly consider the ideas of others. We must find ways of working together for the betterment of our nation.

It's certainly not in the best short-term interest of a strong political party to work with individuals and parties with little to no political clout. The electoral math is clear, put as much effort as possible into increasing the "% of Congress" on your party's page. Even more clear for a party's President, working with people outside your party instead of staying inside is potential career suicide. Who in their right mind would spurn a member of their own party, and cost themselves votes for their re-election, in favor of somebody not in your party who can't vote for your re-election at all?

But the long-term math is equally clear. Based on eGov's measure of active eUS players, the largest eUS party represents 13% of eUS citizens, nowhere near a majority. What does it tell us when some of our nation's leaders limit themselves to only working with 13% of eAmericans, to seriously listen to ideas from only their own 13%? Or leaders who would rather take their toys and go home when faced with the slightest disagreement of ideas?

That is sacrificing our nation's present and our nation's future for the political gain of one party.

Our nation needs leaders who will honestly listen to 100% of citizens, not 13%. Leaders who will not limit who can come up with ideas to better our nation to the 13% in their personal clique. Leaders who will actively try and work with other groups even if they have different ideas. Leaders who make decisions not based merely on the electoral calculus of what makes my party look best, or what helps me most to win re-election, but the math of what is actually best for the nation. Even if what's best for the nation isn't what's best for my own party's vote share.

The ideas our nation needs to move forward and succeed come from every part of the eUS population. Feds and AMP and USWP and WTP, Vox and SFP, FsH and AUP and iNCi, plus the hundreds of members of even smaller parties and the thousands of eAmericans not in a political party. We need every single one of them, not for their votes but for their ideas. They all deserve a seat at the table as we plot a course forward for our nation. They all deserve an equal voice on what our country's path should be. And they deserve leaders in government, no matter what branch they serve or what position they hold, who will work with them and listen to their ideas unclouded by differences in political affiliation and not weighted by how much somebody can help your party win an election.

This month on the 25th we vote in Congress elections. My fellow eAmericans, I urge you to cast your votes this month for a party and its representatives who will search 100% of the haystack for ideas to make our country better. Not just their own 13%.



weasel2 Day 1,950, 00:12

Being in Congress is a privilege earned. Don't orgs owe the people who work for them first consideration?

Evil.Elvis Day 1,950, 04:38

wow, if weasel2 is telling you you're wrong,

... and you actually are...

you're probably wrong...

fingerguns Day 1,950, 09:28

I'm not running ideas. I am running people who have ideas.

If people who have ideas would like to run as Feds, there is literally nothing stopping them from joining.

Or...if they have ideas that 40 or more people agree with, we will gladly put them on our ticket so they can EARN a seat. They need not be a party member.

Christopher Edwards II
Christopher Edwards II Day 1,982, 01:52

I would find your article more credible if you made more of an effort to run Federalists who have never had an opportunity to serve in Congress before. But when I saw Cromstar on the list, who has alread served in Congress 26 times, all credibility went out the window. New ideas can happen with a complete Federalist roster, but not if that roster consists of Federalists who have already had their shot at Congress and more.

fingerguns Day 1,982, 05:48

That was a month ago, fwiw. Regardless, I disagree with the notion that stacking the deck with exclusively brand new players is a good idea. Too much time is wasted with other parties explaining basic facts and history to them. A combination of experience to mentor the inexperienced has proven to be the best combination.

Christopher Edwards II
Christopher Edwards II Day 1,982, 21:59

So, don't make them all brand new. Throw some candidates in there who have been in Congress only one, two or a few times, but to have the same people in Congress time after time does nothing to bring new ideas in.

Bucephalus92 Day 1,950, 09:43

Because everyone knows society prospers when you give people a free ride/sarcasm.

Bia Pandora
Bia Pandora Day 1,950, 09:57

Well written

Ronald Gipper Reagan
Ronald Gipper Reagan Day 1,950, 10:57

You're forgetting a few parties... fail.

Hey mercurius, how does it feel being IRRELEVANT? No more legions of n00bs for you.

Mercurius100 Day 1,950, 11:52

Let me see. We The People, check. Friendship and Honor, check. Albanian Unity Party, check. ...

Oh dear me.

My sincerest apologies to The Shoe People party for not including you. I'm very sorry about that.

Cromstar Day 1,950, 12:15

>thousands of people not in a party

US has barely over 2000 total living people. Ergo, it is impossible for there to be thousands not in a party. Barely even a few hundred, max. Don't try and pass off the game's population count as a real statistic, most of those are dead.

AlexJ1890 Day 1,950, 21:56

Well, if a party wants someone in congress, they should have to earn a spot on a top 5 ballot. Join one of those parties and work for it. Or, earn it by voting them in at the end of the ballot. If a party normally gets 12 congressman and that party puts a 6th party member at 13, it makes that party work to get their player into congress instead of just being handed a spot above a hard working member of the party they wish to run in. The Feds this month had 20+ awesome people sign up. It's not really fair for them to have to GIVE a for sure spot to a 6th party member who hasn't done anything for the party and/or the nation.

Thronstahl Day 1,951, 03:37

This is a game, after all, if you all forgot. 🙂

Your choice if you want to waste too much nerves, health and time on it. 😉

Miudo Day 1,951, 05:50


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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.