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On The Validity Of Reparations

Posted by Lamuella , 19 February 2010 · 149 views

So, the latest war just saw its first surrender. Well, kind of. House Of Lords had already surrendered, but the UCN surrender to =LOST=, Poison Clan, and GOONS was the first of any size.

This followed days of alliances leaving the war with a "white peace, don't come back" finish, so much so that several people in the surrender thread were horrified by the fact that it was a surrender and not simply peace. In particular, they seemed horrified by the amount of money owed in reparations. For the record the amount owed was:

150 million

For the record also, I have more money than that in my war chest right now, after two weeks of solid fighting and getting nuked every day. (oh no, did I just give away war secrets?)

This is not an extortionate amount. It's 60 aid slots. Ten nations could knock it out in one day.

However, some people are complaining about the levying of any form of reparations at all, viewing it as extortionate. While there are certain circumstances in which such a levy could be extortion, this does not mean it is always the case. My personal argument for reparations is as follows:

Even when entering a war as a result of treaty obligations, an alliance has options. In a war this size, it would make no strategic sense for all treaties to be honored to the letter, otherwise the war would become an unmanageable tangle in moments. All of MK's allies would declare on anyone attacking them, and then all of the attackers allies would declare, and then... and so on until the cyberverse collapses. It makes more sense to point different alliances at each other. Case in point, UCN attacked GOONS rather than the several other alliances attacking NATO. This isn't a dig at UCN at all, and I very much respect both their ability and their commitment to an ally, but they did make the choice to attack GOONS rather than any other alliance. Case in another point, GOONS attacked NATO rather than any of the other alliances attacking any of their other allies. To take things back one generation, UCN made the choice to sign a treaty of defense with NATO, and GOONS made the choice to sign a treaty of mutual defense with Mushroom Kingdom. Hence, obligation or not GOONS were in a war with NATO by choice, and UCN were in a war with GOONS by choice.

When you choose to enter a war, or choose to sign a document promising to enter a war in certain eventualities, you are agreeing to the consequences of that war. One of the possible consequences of that war, if you are beaten on the battlefield, is that the side facing you requests that you pay some of the rebuilding costs they incur.

Of course, $150 million is not the total rebuilding cost that GOONS is facing from damage done while at war with UCN. UCN performed well on the battlefield and did considerable damage. There is however another reason for asking for reparations.

Reparations at their most simple level, have a punitive effect as well as a compensatory one. Like a fine levied in a court of law, the amount is not just to remunerate the plaintiff but also to correct the conduct of the defendant. Of course, in cybernations the decision of the court rests not on the weighing of facts but effectiveness on the battlefield. Nonetheless, one of the effects of reparations as a punitive measure can be to make alliances think twice before recklessly entering battlefields. As such, I would support harsher measures against those who declare war without due cause or treaty obligation than against those simply defending those they have pledged to defend.

Ultimately, everyone's mileage on this issue will vary. I absolutely do not advise reparations in every circumstance. To pick an example, I would disagree with an aggressor asking for reparations from a defender. GOONS (to pick an example) would not be entitled to reparations in their war with NATO in my opinion. However, there are circumstances where making reparation is an appropriate action.

I'm sure within the first four comments on here the word "extortion" will be used. To those that use it, I request a sense of perspective, but already I'm sure such a request will fall on deaf ears.

I'd personally just as soon forego reps regardless, but it's not an evil thing. You are correct in your likening it to a fine. And so that your prediction does not fall flat, "extortion."
President Obama
Feb 19 2010 05:55 PM

Because I can. Also, hopefully this is in the first 4 posts.

edit: Damn you Locke

I should go back and edit that to say "I'm sure within the first four comments on here the word "extortion" will be used. Probably by three people cracking the same joke, and then me replying."
Good read. UCN and FEAR (who is allied to UCN) both feel 150 million was reasonable. It makes me dislike GOONS a little less.
astronaut jones
Feb 19 2010 06:07 PM
If you guys feel it is within your rights to ask for reps, then you can, and should. 150 million isn't a lot, and while I don't think any alliances so far deserve reps, I'm not going to say anything negative about you guys receiving them, or the amount. For what it's worth, 150 million was less money than I had at the start of this war, and I was a TINY nation.

It's not much more than I currently have now.
King DrunkWino
Feb 19 2010 06:24 PM
I have no beef with simple reparations. It's the ones designed to cripple an alliance in the wild hope that most will leave than pay and eventually that alliance dies that I got beef with.

Even if you despise a certain group of people, why the $%&@ do you think for a second that you can just bust them up? Honestly, it's a load of chicken**** and even though some folks that I might just like do it, it doesn't excuse it.
You were the victor here, will you feel the same as a loser? Were you a member of the first Goons? Were you happy with that result? Reparations for any action just breed resentment, which results in wars of annihilation. The first Goons received this treatment along with other non-existent entities. It was tried against Fan and Vox. It creates an atmosphere that makes wars less likely because, in essence, you risk much to enter.
While your alliance reparations were lenient and were not in any way excessive, having reparation as a tool available will result in their abuse. Ask NpO, NPO or even the Mushroom Kingdom or members around for the first Goons.
"Were you a member of the first Goons? Were you happy with that result?"

That's right, 150 million in reparations and forced disbandment are exactly the same thing. Nice reasoning, genius.
for the record, I was in the first GOONS. I was also in Browncoats when we were betrayed by our own government, and expected to pay reparations that were considerably higher than this (when alliance size is taken into account) after the Bubblegum War. I didn't moan about the reparations, in fact I coordinated the repayment efforts.

I've asked for reparations, and I've paid reparations. Asking for them didn't make me a horrible thug. Paying them didn't make me a bleating victim.
Did you read the second paragraph at all?
yes I read it. You baldly stated your opinion without giving any facts to back it up. Kind of like you have done in every other thread I've ever seen you participate in.
Ar Pharazon
Feb 19 2010 09:28 PM
Victory gives the conqueror the right to impose his will upon the conquered.
New Frontier
Feb 19 2010 10:27 PM
As long as we're extorting people, want to send some of that moolah my way?
King DrunkWino
Feb 19 2010 10:58 PM

Victory gives the conqueror the right to impose his will upon the conquered.

The conqueror only becomes the conqueror at the consent of the conquered. The second that the conquered reseeds that right, then the conqueror becomes, well nothing to the conquered.

So what you really mean is that the rights of the conqueror come only from the consent of the conquered. Which is why crippling reps mean very little in the scheme of things. Either the conquered decides that the conqueror has become too much of an $@! and tells them to $%&@ off, or the conquered decides that the conqueror isn't that much of an $@! and decides to simply take care of business before telling the conqueror to $%&@ off.

Either way doesn't matter too much since it eventually ends with one party telling the other to $%&@ off. Until somebody finds a legal way to put a real gun to the head of the player of the character that's a member of an alliance, the rights of the victor come solely from the consent of the conquered.
$150M is chump change for an entire alliance. Hell, NEO MONES did around that much damage on his own when he disobeyed orders during Karma War, and the only reason we ended up paying less is Sparta was kind enough to cancel what they owed us out against what we owed them. (And MONES himself still didn't pay a cent even after he was asked to chip in.)

I'd also have to agree with my FEAR ally's assessment of the situation. (o/ Canik)
that depends on which rights you are talking about. many of the conquered's rights stem from the conqueror as well. The right to rebuild. The right to keep a standing army without it being blown away. The right to growth outside of peace mode.
flak attack
Feb 19 2010 11:26 PM
Should have asked for it in tech IMO. The way I see it, if you get reps in tech, you require a GOONS nation to send $3m to a lower nation to get 100-150 tech in reps (with gov directing the flow, of course). That way, you're encouraging that nation to do tech deals and possibly helping them rebuild a bit faster, gives your small nations a similar level of cash flow and saves you from having to find tech sellers.
Feb 19 2010 11:26 PM
reps are not a bad thing in and of themselves. how to define whether reps are a "bad" thing depends entirely on the situation surrounding the war/incident and the reasons behind the war/incident.

for example, i would say that if an alliance is preemptively struck with a reason of "future threat" and the defending alliance loses the war and is summarily crushed during said war, any reps are pretty much bad. especially if the "future threat" has no sound evidence behind it.

in this case, $150 million is seriously chump change and i do believe can be knocked out using only 50 aid slots not 60. 10 nations can easily handle this within one day without sweating.

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