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In Defence of Curbstomps


Vladimir

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For years now there have been constant complaints about what have colloquially become known as 'curbstomp' wars -- that is, wars where a dozen alliances take on just one or two alliances and destroy them without breaking a sweat. Hitherto I had never given this much thought, being as it is the sort of faux moral outcry we're used to on Planet Bob from political opponents -- despicable when it's the enemy, glorious comeuppance when it's a friend. But with the current political ground unsteady and the prophecies of a new world order from certain unsavoury elements, one can't help but wonder 'what if the current structure did disappear tomorrow and something else replaced it, what then?'

Curbstomps take place when a not-so-well connected alliance has done something to annoy a well connected alliance (usually espionage or a terrible diplomatic move), with the resulting sides being incredibly uneven. The sides develop quite naturally. The connected side tries to stack the odds in its favour as far as is physically possible (this is the entire basis of 'mutual aggression' in treaties), and allied alliances become all too keen to jump on board and get a bit of target practice,. The less connected alliance suffers a flight from its sphere of influence -- allied alliances fleeing the scene as they note the terrible mistake made and the unconquerable odds against them.

We are forced then to ask, under a new hegemonic structure, is this likely to change? In the former case, will alliances suddenly put themselves at unnecessary risk, will they shun the idea of honouring mutual aggression treaties, will they suddenly lose the desire for easy action? In the latter case, will alliances suddenly defend the indefensible, will they sacrifice themselves on the alter of futility? In both cases it seems unlikely. The actions taken during a typical curbstomp are the epitome of rational thought, and no strategic mind would take any different action outside of exceptional circumstances.

The only alternative then is the possibility that in this new structure everyone is equally connected, thus a curbstomp becomes impossible -- that is to say, we are in a perpetual pre-great war situation. But this is an impossible situation. Either one side would diplomatically outmanoeuvre the other and the sides would become uneven, tending again towards 'connected' and 'not connected', or a great war would break out with the same outcome.

We can begin to recognise then that curbstomps are an integral part of our world, regardless of the alliances involved. Alliances will never sacrifice themselves on either side -- whether it be the attacked looking for better odds, or the defender's allies looking to save themselves for a more worthy fight. We can only break out of the cold, hard, rationality of it during a great war period, where sides have been sized up and are just waiting for the firing gun. -- whatever it may be.

Thus to try and blame someone for the phenomenon, or to try and claim that it will suddenly disappear in some mystical new world order, is asinine at best; you can no more remove it from the world than you can remove rationality from the human mind. The cycle of 'curbstomps, great war, curbstomps, great war, curbstomps' is here to stay.

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Complaining about curbstomps is just a reaction to the boredom felt by people because of the stagnant political map. People merely want drama, and quite frankly thats cool. It is a game after all.

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Curbstomps are usually the result of a poor diplomatic policy or being outmaneuvered politically. It is a cause and effect that is natural. They will always be around since the parity necessary to prohibit such an event is absolutely impossible. Politically, there are haves and have nots.

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