This is an essay I wrote about the political system of CN and the nature of hegemonies. It's an OOC essay, and I tried to write it independent of my IC beliefs. Indeed, the final conclusion of the essay is somewhat opposed to my IC stance.
Why Nothing Will Ever Change
When the Karma War hit, a lot of people talked about change. Change in how the alliances at the top act. Change in how polarity works. Change in this, change in that, and so on ad nauseum. And many things did change. The alliances on top changed. Community tolerance for EZI undeniably and irrevocably ended. And, for a time, there was no hegemonic power sphere. These changes, however, were superficial. The way CN works has not changed and probably never will. In this blog entry I will endeavor to explain why.
The first big change that people talked about during the Karma War was a change in the attitude of the alliances on top of the game. After all, the Karma War was partly about the previous hegemony's enemies finally getting vengeance for various wrongs. People were fed up with the way this group of alliances treated those who it viewed as enemies and threats. For a time, it seemed that the previous hegemony's attitudes would not be seen again. However, this was simply because no one alliance or group of alliances had the power to impose their will without fear of repurcussions. The world was in a polypolar state (I dislike the term multipolar because it can refer either to a state of two poles or of many poles, which are very different). Not until the TPF war did the various poles coalesce into two. With the destruction of one of them in the BiPolar War, the world became unipolar. Now, after the necessary months of rebuilding have passed, we once again see a single group acting with near impunity. Before the comment section degenerates into a listing of individual wrongs of the previous hegemony that the new has not matched, let me clarify: I'm not here to debate who is more evil than who. What I am here to say is that all hegemonic groups have the same fundamental attitude: all threats and enemies must be crushed. This is how humans behave when they are given the power to act with near impunity. This has not changed since 2009, and it will never change because when humans get power we tend to do what is necessary to keep it. In lawless environments like CN, those with hegemonic power are free to exercise it as they wish with no intervention from any higher authority, so long as they do not break the game rules. As a result, any group with global hegemony can do anything they want to those they see as external enemies. When given such power, we humans tend to wield it. That includes NPO. They are still an alliance that plays to win, and should they gain global hegemony again, I am sure that they will go right back to trying to crush anyone they see as an enemy or a threat. Same goes for any other group that might gain global hegemony. The specific actions (EZI, tech reps, disbandment, viceroys, beer reviews, blah blah blah) don't matter. What matters is that anyone who gains global hegemony will attempt to use it to crush perceived enemies and threats.
The second hope that was often trumpeted in the Karma War was the concept of an "independent CN". In most previous times the vast majority of alliances had been lined up in an "us vs. them" paradigm where either two poles contested global power (bipolarity) or one pole destroyed perceived enemies before they could become major threats (unipolarity). This dream was of a polypolar world where alliances sought out their own independent groupings instead of aligning into one or two megafactions. Like the first dream, this one appeared, for a time, to be coming true. However, it was again a mirage. The polypolar state that existed until the TPF war was the inevitable result of the Karma War, in which the old world order was swept away by a huge coalition made up of many groups that didn't necessarily like each other. But it could not be permanent, and it only lasted as long as it did because the huge global enmity toward the concept of hegemony ensured that nobody was willing to seek to consolidate power and be seen as "the new Hegemony". However, the nature of a polypolar world is to eventually trend toward bipolarity should no one consolidate power. This happens because, at some point, one pole perceives another as a threat and seeks to unite with a third (who perhaps fears the consequences should the second pole gain power), then the second pole seeks the support of a fourth, and so on until just about everyone is lined up in a state of bipolarity. This is what happened in the TPF war. TOP and the remnants of the defunct hegemony lined up on one side, SF and C&G lined up on the other. Such incidents are an inevitability on Planet Bob, and eventually they will result in any polypolar state yielding to bipolarity.
Nothing has changed.
Nothing will ever change.
And that is a good thing.
Can you imagine a CN with a benevolent hegemony? One that never antagonizes anyone? Or can you imagine a CN where numerous independent groupings simply sit there and don't seek global power? Either of these fantasies would mean the death of the game. CN needs its hegemons and its freedom fighters. It needs its moralists and its antimoralists. Regardless of which role each of us plays, I hope we can all recognize that.