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      Cyber Nations Forum Rules   07/03/2016

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Realpolitik and Morality: Binary Products of Civilization

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The Zigur

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Note: This essay requires a basic understanding of the principles of civilization laid out in the Meaning of Freedom.

 

Back in 2016 I briefly suggested what could lead to a revival of moralism here:

 

 

"I do think that any rejuvenation of moralism won't be by that name or necessarily looking much like Dajobo's NpO or the Cult of Justicia, but will instead be a result of tired nations choosing for themselves alliances with stable and codified FA approaches."

 

My comment was ignored, but as the subject came up recently, I thought this would be a chance to discuss my thoughts on the issue. When the concept of Realpolitik comes up, images of immoral Machiavellian plots and shady back-alley scheming no doubt comes to mind. But when we examine the origins of the term...

 

Quote

 

The term Realpolitik was coined by Ludwig von Rochau, a German writer and politician in the 19th century.[1] His 1853 book Grundsätze der Realpolitik angewendet auf die staatlichen Zustände Deutschlands describes the meaning of the term:[2]

The study of the forces that shape, maintain and alter the state is the basis of all political insight and leads to the understanding that the law of power governs the world of states just as the law of gravity governs the physical world. The older political science was fully aware of this truth but drew a wrong and detrimental conclusion—the right of the more powerful. The modern era has corrected this unethical fallacy, but while breaking with the alleged right of the more powerful one, the modern era was too much inclined to overlook the real might of the more powerful and the inevitability of its political influence.

Historian John Bew suggests that much of what stands for modern realpolitik today deviates from the original meaning of the term. Realpolitik emerged in mid-19th century Europe from the collision of the enlightenment with state formation and power politics. The concept, Bew argues, was an early attempt at answering the conundrum of how to achieve liberal enlightened goals in a world that does not follow liberal enlightened rules.

 

 

This essay will primarily address the bolded text above: If we accept that the Imperium represents a form of post-revolutionary enlightenment, then how do we advance our way of playing in a contemporary world that has often rejected morality? What is morality?

 

The Producerist Renaissance

 

Producerism represents a renaissance of classical CN materialism as first interpreted by Vladimir, from the viewpoint of the modern liberated tech producer and our upper-tier supporters. At first glance, materialism and morality wouldn't seem to share much in common. The Moralism described during the Cult of Justitia era was often divorced from an analysis of material reality. As a result, it tended to lose value as it became a rhetorical weapon used conveniently against one's more powerful adversaries.

 

As wryly stated by one critic of Moralism:

 

Some of the arbitrary positions taken by moralists, such as an anti-raiding stance against non-aligned nations, were based more on feelings than the material reality of the world. In the case of the Imperium, there have been times when raiding ended with the recruitement new members. These new members were then able to achieve a greater potential for economic growth and cultural development than was possible in the dark, dangerous existence of the <5000 NS zone.

 

So, we are not interested in morality without substance.

 

The Threat of the Sociopath

 

However, there were and continue to be cases of nation rulers and even major alliances with a functional understanding of material reality completely divorced from any sort of morality. While the moralists could sometimes be a nuisance, the more sociopathic members of the global community would prove to be a real threat. On a more isolated level, rogues like Khan understand how to leverage their upper-tier warchests to cause maximum destruction to smaller nations. Bands of pillagers ranging from Mushqaeda to Monsters Inc have dominated much of the political discussion over the last few years. Wars like the Plutocratic War waged against the Imperium caused much more lasting damage that took months to repair.

 

From the perspective of a sociopath, why attempt a productive existence when one can wreak seemingly unlimited destruction?

 

The answer is the fact that according to most studies, more than 95% of the population is not sociopathic. The majority of nation-rulers are loyal members of their alliances, follow the rules, and otherwise participate constructively. Although many nation-rulers don't necessarily understand advanced concepts like material analysis, they intuitively understand the basics related to it such as the need for mutual stability in order to grow their nations.

 

National Self Interest

 

While individuals have different preferences, desires and goals, all nations have the same basic self-interests as outlined by Vladimir:

 

"The self-interest of every nation is to remove itself from the state of nature: to give up its absolute freedom with the resulting removal of perpetual terror. It is in doing this that the individual nation will naturally come to sign a social contract and band together with other nations in an alliance, which allows them to concern themselves less with the matter of survival and instead concentrate on achieving their potential in other fields."

 

The sovereign is charged with the necessity of lifting member-nations out of Chaos, the state of nature:

 

"The sovereign thus becomes the centre that the rest of the alliance revolves around. It is a sovereign and only a sovereign that can have the strength and authority to provide stability in the face of the natural conflict that goes on all around it, both inside and outside of the alliance."

 

Realpolitik as defined by John Bew is inseparable from morality. Our enlightenment is centered around the idea that progress is based on the "forward march of civilisation against the barbarism of absolute freedom." Our first duty therefore is the protection of our comrades, whether we are an Emperor or a new recruit, this duty remains the same. Even when the use of military force offensively is necessary, it is predicated on self-defense, which is why the Casus Belli is required to explain why an offensive war is necessary to our collective defense.

 

The Conditional Treaty

 

A war of aggression should not be unconditionally supported. One of the major problems with the treaty web is that a series of MDoAP links together alliances in a way that can drag an otherwise unobservant alliance into a conflict that isn't in its own self-interest. Alliances should never find themselves baited into joining a conflict, nor should they be unthinkingly chained into a conflict some distant ally of an ally started. The term meatshield came into use because of the tendency of some alliances to support a treaty partner unwaveringly without regards to the context of the operation, thus dissipating resources and weakening the membership.

 

ODoAPs and MnDoAPs (nonchaining) tend to be wiser. In the case of the Imperium, we will always provide some level of support to allies, whether diplomatic assistance, rebuilding aid, or military action. However, we have no intention of ever being dragged into unwinnable conflicts with unclear political objectives at the cost of our own membership.

 

There are of course risks inherent with the conditional treaty approach: One can find themselves isolated in the event of a "curbstomp," and it takes a high level of activity to maintain the alliance against an attack. Many alliances choose the "meatshield" path because it is easier, but in doing so they cede a certain degree of their sovereignty, and in effect, sacrifice their own ambitions to become a satellite.

 

However, with active leadership in place, a reliance on conditional treaties provides increased political flexibility and the opportunity to pursue a morally consistent realpolitik agenda. This means a membership that is less prone to war fatigue and more willing to fight when it really counts.

 

Increasing Civilization

 

In an ideal world, all major political actors would act in the same manner the Imperium does. However, as John Bew noted, we find ourselves trying to advance enlightenment goals in an world that is sometimes outright hostile to them. Thus our realpolitik stance is our attempt to navigate the dangerous politics of CN, true to our principles, without being stomped out of existence.

 

The Imperium was formed from the merger of ancient alliances like MCXA and LoSS. As we defend and advance this tiny surviving faction of civilization, we have found that morality and realpolitik have organically grown intertwined from the success of the stability we imposed in our corner of the world.

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Wherein there is not recourse for the Moralist but in arms, it is his sacred and definite duty to have them at use.

 

Sometimes we just need to coax ourselves to thrash those deserving, wherein no other satisfaction may be found. Beating people for a reason can be real fulfillment, one usually needs a reason for legitimacy. The true moralist rarely reveals any reason to the despoiler of our ration.

 

The only thing I drew from here above was despite calling moralist arguments illegitmate [because it disgusts you they might come from the strong], moralists are still better than that trash in Mushqaeda. Ostensibly because they're rogue.

 

The Moralists have truly won, thank Grace and Good, with the departure of the sociopaths your power-starved structure sucked upon. The Moralists, who have the proudest of traditions in opposing MK and those climbing upon degenerates ever worsening, have an eternal source of legitimate disdain for certain others and even better the deepest satisfaction in the languished and underwhelmed retirement of such force - better even than to hang them ourself. We remain and retain the better of your tired yet MK supporter line, as though an actual moralist would admit anything from such dirt.

 

The enablers and sometimes worse than that, are today showing up their due in the right fashion: Sparta thrashed for the machination of sucking during the moment MHA attacks an innocent. These are the true champions of anti-moralism, and just possibly as concurrently stupid at the politic of the real.

 

 

 

 

Edited by OldSelf

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I do not think such attempt, as you were, is truly possible.

 

The principled are precisely anti-materialist, even Poison clan with 'friends over pixels' gets it. A synthesis that favors the materialist argument is wrong by definition. The debate of moral begins with principle.

 

Material realism on the other hand is an argument that could hold, for example: rationed equality, tech market, so on.

 

It is the love of war, not of "tech raided" that shapes a certain side of the raid debate. Moralists oppose it strictly because it is a material gain and perceived bullying carried from a power imbalance and visited upon the justly unprepared, just as the honest and blind, a moralist is bearing disadvantage - which is why anti-moralists are a crime of the faith. The real accusation is that you can only control your own alliance right. Goons and similar monstrosities are the particular examples that arose the whole debacle. I think this only became a concept when NpO attacked M, and the slurry started a drive to draw any attention from the decrepit communities they truly were. Funny from such war lovers, when even a moralist hates a war deserter.

 

An aside:

Economics are best done in peace.

Tech raiders really want more destruction, and I'm happy to give them that war.

 

There is a seeming demand from the power hierarchy that moralists would hold conviction silent while hordes of bought infidel are sent bearing their truly pathetic 'war boner' or their allies won't like them anymore :*(

 

It is the saddest of humiliation, literally a sea of tears. Wellspring of grief.

 

People decided they really hated being handed justice, and more than anything a losing war from the high of hand. Thereafter any morality became their enemy, for it might accuse their &#33;@#&#036;, and furthermore see my opening post previous. The realpolitiker [see stat hugger] saw this states of affair and recruited the whole array of these pathetic peoples so they could keep any viable and god forbid legitimate competition done, selling a real fancy mirage of a car to do so, but usually reducing to blackmail. The lie of the whole was soon revealed when the convenient suckling horde was prevented from powers ascent and soon became the despised of all. Realpolitikers still love their stats because they are otherwise humiliated, and would still recruit any slime they can have to ensure the moral will never threaten their debased community.

Edited by OldSelf

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Morality doesn't exist in a vacuum. For it to have meaning it needs a moral people. For a moral people to survive, it needs an army to defend it. The Imperium was once 200 nations, formed from the merger of ancient alliances like MCXA and LoSS. Internal weakness gnawed away at us, while hordes of barbarians laid siege to our nations. We are a fraction of that size today but more united than ever before.

 

Moral decay sprung from the downfall of order. As social cohesion weakened, a downwards spiral took place with wars looking increasingly meaningless to the average nation. It's not a new thing. Over the course of history we have seen cycles of building and destruction, of decay and rejuvenation.

 

If war was a symbol of power, then rogues would rule the world. Instead we find that even the most aggressive alliances will usually try to justify their wars somehow. This is because the will of the people leans toward peace and prosperity, and only fighting wars when it can't be avoided.

 

Moralists, barbarians and rogues all expend their influence and power when they fight unnecessarily. In the case of the moralists, there tended to be unnecessary self-limitations and arbitrary rules that weakened them in the face of competitors. Regardless of good intent, they sometimes had a bad outcome. Oftentimes moralists made themselves weak with predictability, chief among these being the way they signed treaties.

 

The game of the aggressor was to target a smaller mdoap ally in order to trigger a war that didn't include the targeted AA's allies. For example, when Supernova X was hit by Doom to trigger Polar during the Doom War in 2014. A reverse scenario happened in 2016, when Polar hit SNX (protected by Doom Kingdom), but we didn't call in DK and instead received the diplomatic assistance of another ally.

 

So the game of the future is unpredictability... to be a moving target and hard for an aggressor to pin down. A moving tank is alot harder to hit than a fixed bunker.

Edited by Immortan Junka

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