Because ultimately, if everyone here only played the nation simulator aspect, the "game" (which encompasses a political simulator, the nation simulator aspects of buying things, paying bills, etc, is secondary aspect to this for nearly everyone) would be dead.
As a nation simulator, CN has nothing to offer for entertainment compared to numerous games out there. If the "draw" of CN is people to sign in daily, do a few clicks, and "play" a game and that's fine - but if that is the primary "draw" to CN it will ultimately doom CN.
This is exactly my point!
That was all done by facets of this game other than the "nation simulator" aspects. The events leading up to GW2/GW3? Were those led by people who treated this as a nation simulator and played it without engaging others? Who sat on None and didn't coordinate/interact with other players? Or was it by people who considered it a political simulator?
The thing that has been missing from CN for many years is the interesting political simulator aspects. And for many, the ability to compete against other games which satisfy the daily "looking for entertainment" aspects. If CN's greatest draw is a daily nation simulator it will fail to keep up with other games that are far more entertaining/interesting on a daily basis.
This more or less is exactly why I don't think that losing those nations really matters. As nations if they don't want to partake in the greater game that is happening (the political simulator, alliances, OWF, etc) then all CN loses when they leave is a trade partner.
It's amusing to me that in your lengthy post everything you talk about as a positive/interest from CN is only possible because you were involved in some sort of non-nation simulator aspects (OWF, alliance, political simulator, etc).
None of the things you are extolling as a reason to play the game are part of the game for those who sit on "none."
So it didn't work over EIGHT years ago so it won't work again? How many nations during this time had billions upon billions in their warchests? How many had significant military wonders, WRCs, Manhattan Projects, etc?
As a single nation I could personally finance 6 nations in a 2015-NONE setup indefinitely even if I came under constant attack for a year straight given my warchest. And whenever (if?) I ever got small enough, I'd have the means to wreck completely anyone below 10k NS.
There are alliances that do this and have for presumably years. GPA has had a "load up small nations with nukes for tech raid defense" program that appears to be called Small Sentinels - build up a small, 6000 NS nation with nuclear weapons to discourage tech raiders in their lower ranks.
I know it's easier to complain/lament the times in the past, and dream of a better tomorrow, but there are so many more nations in position now to take up the NONE banner effectively than ever before.
Get a Manhattan Project (you aren't using your aid slots, but have DRA/FAC, so in 20 days you can get the 100M and I'm sure there are people in your alliance would be more than happen to sponsor it who are in similar position to me - tons of cash, not using aid slots). Get the Hidden Nuclear Silo next and you're good to go.
My point is, if this is something you are so passionate about there are many, many ways you can take actions that are far more effective than simply lamenting the good times of nearly a decade ago.