This was prompted in large part by a particularly annoying thread here:http://forums.cybernations.net/index.php?/topic/125757-ambition/ but I've wanted to address this topic for a while now.
The point of this is not to stir up IC beef, because even if you hate an alliance IC, this game thrives on conflict and it would be even more lame if we were all treatied to each other.
Mainly, I'm frustrated that politics is becoming even less-value driven and more reduced to "realpolitik" and OOC friendships. I put realpolitik in quotes because I think in order to look past principles or morals for more pratctical concerns, you have to have some principles or morals in the first place. Without that, there's really no compromise or tension in the choices you make - it's just a completely obvious and natural affiinity for whichever side has the bigger numbers.
In other words, if you don't have a moral compass guiding your alliance to help you distinguish who's a good match for you and who's not, then what difference does it make who's on your side beyond your OOC buddies? X mil NS is X mil NS whether it's GOONS or Valhalla or RnR or VE. However, that eventually gets us to a place where in-game friend and foe are completely arbitrary and transient functions of how the ever-shifting treaty web is playing out in that cycle. If all you're interested in is hanging out on IRC with OOC friends and clicking buttons once a year, no problem. Wars will still happen, but there will be no CB or at least no clear reason why those guys over there are the ones you should be fighting, and these guys in your coalition are the ones you're supporting. If you want to treat this game as any kind of political simulator, with an emergent narrative and points of debate to engage in, you're going to be completely SOL.
Some of you might think this is just because Polaris is on the wrong side of the power balance right now, but I'd rather lose a "Good vs. Evil" struggle than win an arbitrary war with no CB, where no one even cares why they're fighting or who's on which side. If we're going to do that, then let's at least pick teams OOC beforehand so we can have an even fight, just for the challenge of it.
So this brings us to DBDC, which as been the focal point of a lot of moral-type discussion. I honestly don't want to spark the same debate going on in that thread, but I have to point out that by any real world standard, or standard by which 90% of AA's operate in CN, DBDC would be considered "the bad guys." Or at least, an extremely aggressive group that doesn't respect the norms that place a check on untempered violence, and that make no effort at justifying any of this. Any country in the modern RL war would face an enormous, global backlash. There would be UN resolutions, sanctions from larger nations, etc. DBDC's behavior is extreme even by CN standards, where we've been too apathetic to care about tech raiding the unaligned.
So my request to you is this: think for one minute about what your nation and alliance stand for, if anything, and wonder about whether your role in the Cyberverse is even remotely coherent or consistent with this position. For instance, if you've outright banned tech raiding, there is probably a reason for that, and it just might mean that the more aggressive, amoral alliances shouldn't be a natural fit. Ask yourselves which alliances IC are a good match for yours. And if they all seem pretty much the same, including yours, then you're starting to see the problem.
If you do this moment of soul-searching and decide that your AA isn't concerned at all about principles, and will do whatever serves it best, regardless of what it does to other people, then congratulations: you're RPing a band of sociopaths. That's awesome! I'm being completely genuine here: people RPing alliances that are bloodthirsty and completely indifferent to law/morals/ethics would be great for the game. But don't support others who do that on one hand, and then play yourselves off as a milquetoast, harmless group of good guys that just wants to get along with everyone. That's incoherent and, more importantly, LAME. You can do whatever you want! Tech raid neutrals! Start rolling tiny AA's just because you can! You don't have morals, remember, and you'll probably have fun.
You see, I don't hate DBDC for doing what they do. I hate the rest of you for being so apathetic about the political sim aspect of the game that it doesn't even register for what it is.
tl,dr: Figure out if your AA has IC values (or no morals at all) and then RP it, and we'll all have a much more interesting game.