Most of you probably know that I’m not one for public statements and articles unless they are absolutely required. I do reply in long statements in the comment sections of articles when the current government and my own work is attacked senselessly, but I don’t address thing directly with our citizens in a direct manner. But recently there has been a fair increase in propaganda, insinuations, and lies about what is actually going on. I’m writing this to set the record straight.
Over the past month, a large amount of material has been published attacking the government, its work, and more specifically Director9. These claims go from calling us a monarchy, insinuating we do nothing for the country and disrespect our citizens, abuse our positions for our own personal gain, and are overall people of poor character.
Let’s start with a small history lesson. Those of you that are still here from years ago and were active at the time can recall that HOPE is the latest iteration of the opposition of any established government. They don’t stand for anything and have only ever wished to take control. Which they did through military means around 3-4 years ago. They started a dictatorship in Belgium, used the country as they saw fit for their own benefit, and tried to run away with the money when they got bored (hi Monster Grinder). That period is the exact time when Belgium’s community got destroyed. Oppressed players left the country to greener lands or even left the game entirely, leaving us with no leadership or military strength. So please don’t call HOPE anything other than an opportunistic bunch.
That said, we have only been fair with our treatment of HOPE members, never holding the errors of their past against them when it came to benefits from the government programs or listening to their voice when it came to matters of the country, saying otherwise is simply lies. However, listening to someone doesn’t mean agreeing, if the proposed ideas have flaws we would point them out and try to explain why it wouldn’t work as they expected in a constructive manner.
Since the work we’ve been doing is not obvious for everyone apparently let’s lay it all out.
Coming out of our period of forced occupation we had no military force that could be dignified of the name. And we still barely do. Only Director9 stepped up to pick up the slack and poured his own time and money in order to keep Belgium on the map. To this day he’s the only real tank we have and has been single handily managing our wars on the battlefield.
You’ve probably also noticed that for the past years since we’ve been in the government there has always been a steady supply of battles for Belgians to train their military rank and earn patriot medals. Please understand that for a small country like us, it’s a fairly decent feat. We would usually not be asked our opinion on such a matter and be toyed with by the stronger countries (some of you might recall our relationship with Latvia started with a forced occupation from them). In the past three years we’ve established strong relations with Latvia, Lithuania, the Republic of China (Taiwan), Sweden, the Netherlands and to a lesser degree Ireland. And let’s not forget our long-standing mutual protection pacts with Norway and Denmark to provide battles when our own wars are not available.
There’s also the air force related programs and event but more on those later.
As you can imagine losing the majority of our players was a heavy blow to our economy. Fewer players means reduced taxes and so our income slowly fell (not unrelated to the dictatorship’s end, once you’ve milked the cow dry why keep it). If you take a look at our tax revenue you’ll see it is mainly made up of “work as manager” taxes. And for that I’d like to thank those that have their companies in Belgium, contributing to our economy even if it’s not by much. I myself have been paying over 6k in taxes every day and no I don’t take it back out of the bank as might be insinuated by some tasteless people. We’re all in this together, financing our programs is a common effort.
In order to allow our citizens to work in their holding, one of our key conditions for our training war partners was that Brussels should always be free.
Most of you might not be aware of the fact that we have been using the monetary market for years now to slowly increase our assets using the national organizations. Gyantse has been the one managing that whole operation alone for years now. It takes time and doesn’t reap benefits for long periods of time so it requires patience and a constant vision.
Time to talk about the various programs we have had and still have. The longest-running state program, even though it is now privately funded is the Belgian Air Force food program. Since day 3757 we have provided 4000 energy worth of food for 35 kills in any air battle and a shout on a country wall post. In total, we’ve distributed 754000 Q5 food to 24 different players that took part, paid for a time by the state, and for the past 2 years entirely funded by myself.
Back when the Plato Foundation was operating we obtained a grant for the Belgian House Aid program. With the help of the foundation, we ran the program for 4 months with a very positive reception from our citizens. Right after the grant ended we had wanted to start a similarly organized program funded by the state but our finances would not permit it at the time. It’s only more than a year later that we’ve successfully revived the program which has now been running for 34 weeks straight. Through it, any citizen can ask for the funds for a Q2 house as long as they have a Q1 active (we privately provide the funds needed for the first Q1 house which then pays for itself)
To try and bring up activity we’ve also organized multiple iterations of the Belgian Air Force Days. This competition aims to reward any and all activity in the air aspect of the battle module. You can read the report on the latest edition here.
The citizen communication facet of the social aspect is probably one of the only thing we could legitimately be criticized about. We don’t often communicate larger decisions like our future training war partner until the decision is made and we don’t take the time to report on small scale things like the profit generated in the monetary market by using our national organizations. However, we always try to keep in touch about important matters that impact citizens directly. We typically do so via the country wall due to its convenience and privacy for such matters.
I’m not going to toe around the situation. The event has been rough on us. With only one tank and limited manpower to plan our runs for resources, we’ve been fairly unsuccessful in securing resources. Our country just doesn’t have the activity required to manage such an event efficiently. Thankfully we’ve been receiving aid from foreign friends and so far have obtained fish and cattle in Brussels. It’s been a costly process for the people involved, not only in energy bars and tanks to control the walls to get the required points at the correct rate but also in time. Planning out a single run can take hours of preparation on top of the hours needed to carefully watch the walls, making sure no one messes them randomly.
I’m extremely grateful for the help we’re getting and for our citizens that try to cooperate when they’re available.
Is it fair to call us a monarchy?
One of the most common claims we hear from the players who are against the current government is that we’re a monarchy. It’s a poor choice of words to start with, a monarchy in this context would refer to the manner in which the next ruler is decided, typically an heir to the current ruler. In case you didn’t notice the ruler hasn’t changed. The most correct term would be a dictatorship if you wanted to twist the truth to fit your biased vision.
It’s not a dictatorship. Everyone is free to vote for the candidate they want, that’s always been the one rule in this game that hasn’t changed. You get the votes you win. Why should one stop presenting itself for elections? If another candidate gets the votes he wins, that’s all. The only reason we’ve been reelected for the past 3 years and 11 months is that the citizens trust us to manage the state affairs. I myself dread the day we would lose the elections since it would most likely mean the downfall of the country depending on the winning candidate. I fear that the treasury will be emptied for personal gain (funny how I’m afraid of what we’re being accused of), our foreign relations trampled by misguided idealism, and the remnants of our community destroyed as a result.
We’ve never prevented anyone to join the government, it’s just that no one asked. And so we go on, keeping the boat afloat for as long as we can.
I’ll only lightly touch on the matter of this election itself. To summarize I’d disgruntled to see history repeat itself. Propaganda, lies, and imported vote to push a nonexistent agenda are all trademarks of HOPE. It’s the first step toward a bleak future.