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Global Feudalism: an alternate analysis


Freddy
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Politics on planet Bob are very much like politics in RL. That is to say our politics are generally capitalistic. We are motivated by what we hold dear. What we each hold dear varies individually. The most basic motivation is mutual defense. The majority of rulers trade a degree of their sovereignty for a greater degree of security. Other rulers prize different motives more, so we see some deviations from the average. Some prize their infra above all else, some their sovereignty, some prize power most.

 

Too often we forget that the alliances are made of individuals. No alliance (or individual) can force a ruler to do anything (except "die"). Each alliance must win the cooperation of its members and prospects. This is accomplished on Bob same as it is on Earth - through propaganda, philosophies, culture. These are tools and nothing more. They may be used to create cooperation or hostility between alliances and power spheres. The alliances, blocks, etc. with the strongest culture (which will serve as a simple title for all the various propaganda and philosophical tools) will have the most power. When their culture declines, so too will their power. 

 

Why is there chaos on this planet? Because the various cultures say there is chaos. It's nothing more than a stage to promote their particular brand of culture. The most compelling culture will prevail in the competition for cooperation and domination. The world is in decline because it's 2013 and most people are exhausted of the efforts of producing a strong culture. We have a lot of average cultures, which is just about good enough to prevent disbandment. A neutral was attacked because they personify this lack of externally directed culture. It isn't the rage quitting rogues that are killing this world, as so many have claimed. They are a symptom of the bland political condition. They are attacking apathy itself. Otherwise, they would just delete and go quietly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Well written but flawed attempt at a (valid) analysis.

 

Politics on planet Bob are very much like politics in RL. That is to say our politics are generally capitalistic. We are motivated by what we hold dear. What we each hold dear varies individually. The most basic motivation is mutual defense. The majority of rulers trade a degree of their sovereignty for a greater degree of security. Other rulers prize different motives more, so we see some deviations from the average. Some prize their infra above all else, some their sovereignty, some prize power most.

 

You begin by stating that politics are generally "capitalistic." How is politics related to capitalism, which is "an economic system in which capital assets are privately owned and goods and services are produced for profit in a market economy." Unless you are arguing that finance capital rules the game, the comparison is invalid.

 

Second, I attempted to present a similar argument relating to national self interests years ago. In Global Despotism: Francoism in Decay, I concluded that "it is ultimately in the self-interest of every nation to choose it's own destiny, whether it be the the heights of civilization or the barbarism of absolute freedom... or somewhere in-between. To deny this is to show a regrettable misunderstanding of human nature."

 

The argument did not stand to logic, as Vladimir noted in his replies. I attempted to remove the central pillar of Francoism (objective analysis of material reality), and substitute vague values such as "human nature." Unfortunately, implementing subjective values downgrades an essay from analysis to opinion. This article should thus be called "Global Feudalism: An alternate opinion."


 

Too often we forget that the alliances are made of individuals. No alliance (or individual) can force a ruler to do anything (except "die"). Each alliance must win the cooperation of its members and prospects. This is accomplished on Bob same as it is on Earth - through propaganda, philosophies, culture. These are tools and nothing more. They may be used to create cooperation or hostility between alliances and power spheres. The alliances, blocks, etc. with the strongest culture (which will serve as a simple title for all the various propaganda and philosophical tools) will have the most power. When their culture declines, so too will their power. 

 

You contradict yourself from the outset in your second paragraph. You state that nobody can force someone else to do anything, and then state that you can force someone to die! If you can kill someone, surely you can also influence them in other ways, and that is the true essence of good diplomacy.

 

An alliance with a strong culture may be powerful, but that is not a way to effectively measure an alliance's power. After all, one could argue MK had a "strong culture," and yet in game their power plummets. "Culture" is a contributing factor, but not a measure of power. Even in Real Life, we see many vibrant cultures that have permanently fallen to the sword, or even to the coin.

 

Why is there chaos on this planet? Because the various cultures say there is chaos. It's nothing more than a stage to promote their particular brand of culture. The most compelling culture will prevail in the competition for cooperation and domination. The world is in decline because it's 2013 and most people are exhausted of the efforts of producing a strong culture. We have a lot of average cultures, which is just about good enough to prevent disbandment. A neutral was attacked because they personify this lack of externally directed culture. It isn't the rage quitting rogues that are killing this world, as so many have claimed. They are a symptom of the bland political condition. They are attacking apathy itself. Otherwise, they would just delete and go quietly.

 

By the third paragraph, your argument has become completely lost in the woods. You state that "chaos," another subjective measure, occurs because of "cultures." Furthermore, you state the "world is in decline" and state what you think "most people" believe. You even begin to exhort that many cultures are "average" and "bland." Finally ending with an argument that "they" are attacking "apathy."

 

I am sorry, although well written, this essay is not an analysis, but an opinion piece.

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First of all, thanks for these debates.

I have just a moment to post, thus I'll be brief.
I agree that an analogy between capitalism (and Marx's criticism) and CN can teach us something. In CN the old nations exploit the new for tech and power (manpower). The ways to do so are many, from the request of tech to give development aid, to the threat of violence if the new nations don't join an alliance, from propaganda of alliance culture to "religion" (e.g. the irrational belief that an alliance needs super-teched nations to keep the small nations safe too) etc.
Of course, it's just a comparison. But I find it intriguing. I've alway wondered what would happen if a revolution of the new and small nations had success. I'd have tried to do something in that sense, too, but I don't think I'd had the time for it.

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Well written but flawed attempt at a (valid) analysis.

 

 

 

You begin by stating that politics are generally "capitalistic." How is politics related to capitalism, which is "an economic system in which capital assets are privately owned and goods and services are produced for profit in a market economy." Unless you are arguing that finance capital rules the game, the comparison is invalid.

 

Second, I attempted to present a similar argument relating to national self interests years ago. In Global Despotism: Francoism in Decay, I concluded that "it is ultimately in the self-interest of every nation to choose it's own destiny, whether it be the the heights of civilization or the barbarism of absolute freedom... or somewhere in-between. To deny this is to show a regrettable misunderstanding of human nature."

 

The argument did not stand to logic, as Vladimir noted in his replies. I attempted to remove the central pillar of Francoism (objective analysis of material reality), and substitute vague values such as "human nature." Unfortunately, implementing subjective values downgrades an essay from analysis to opinion. This article should thus be called "Global Feudalism: An alternate opinion."


 

 

 

You contradict yourself from the outset in your second paragraph. You state that nobody can force someone else to do anything, and then state that you can force someone to die! If you can kill someone, surely you can also influence them in other ways, and that is the true essence of good diplomacy.

 

An alliance with a strong culture may be powerful, but that is not a way to effectively measure an alliance's power. After all, one could argue MK had a "strong culture," and yet in game their power plummets. "Culture" is a contributing factor, but not a measure of power. Even in Real Life, we see many vibrant cultures that have permanently fallen to the sword, or even to the coin.

 

 

 

By the third paragraph, your argument has become completely lost in the woods. You state that "chaos," another subjective measure, occurs because of "cultures." Furthermore, you state the "world is in decline" and state what you think "most people" believe. You even begin to exhort that many cultures are "average" and "bland." Finally ending with an argument that "they" are attacking "apathy."

 

I am sorry, although well written, this essay is not an analysis, but an opinion piece.

 

I was too tired (and apathetic) to even finish the second half. 

 

It's a game, and the real rewards go to the player and not the nation. The prize valued is the prize the player receives. If the individual likes stacking cash or tech, then the financial gain of their nation is also what that player holds dear. Different players seek different rewards. Their desired prize and the effort they put into it and how those are exploited by others are all a capitalist value system. It's a default system, meaning a natural state of affairs we humans resort to when there is no over-riding coercion. Therefore, I would argue, that in this game there is inadequate motivation to act differently than complete self interest. 

 

Killing someone is not at all similar to making them do something. If a player values something an opponent can take away, then that too is an individual valuation. Some players hardly care if their nation is entirely destroyed; others will submit at the first shred of lost pixels. The inconsistency doesn't point to a lack of logic in my statement; it supports my point that the world is chaotic because there is no unifying motive - only diverse motives. True, finding and manipulating leverage where it may be found is the heart of diplomacy. It's a rare and beautiful thing when it's accomplished here. 

 

I would argue that MK disbanded due to weak culture, not weak nations. This only stands to reason...if an alliance doesn't possess the inner drive to maintain itself, of course they can't project any external motivation (other than their nukes). Then again, maybe it's all for shits and giggles. How the hell can you suggest order exists when nations are destroyed for nothing more than shits and giggles? Chaos is a subjective term, in light of that? No, chaos is absolutely definable here. Anyone will do whatever they please for any or no reason. Until someone (more likely some game update) changes that there will be nothing, but transitory order to this chaos. 

 

I argue that chaos is the norm because of a shortage of compelling culture. Keep in mind "culture" comprises every positive method of obtaining cooperation. If culture is inadequate, we have either/both a lack of cooperation and/or excessively resorting to force to promote strong wills. 

 

"Apathy" was a word I chose to replace a neutral alliance's complete lack of external culture. "They add nothing to this world", says the neutral haters...They add no culture, says I. If you were to really hold MQ to explain their feeling of the neutral menace, you may hear that conclusion from them.

 

An "average" culture is one that is just adequate to maintain its existence. It doesn't create much of a stir outside its membership. It isn't a derogatory term. It's not even an opinion. It's just a name for a particular level of culture. 

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First of all, thanks for these debates.

I have just a moment to post, thus I'll be brief.
I agree that an analogy between capitalism (and Marx's criticism) and CN can teach us something. In CN the old nations exploit the new for tech and power (manpower). The ways to do so are many, from the request of tech to give development aid, to the threat of violence if the new nations don't join an alliance, from propaganda of alliance culture to "religion" (e.g. the irrational belief that an alliance needs super-teched nations to keep the small nations safe too) etc.
Of course, it's just a comparison. But I find it intriguing. I've alway wondered what would happen if a revolution of the new and small nations had success. I'd have tried to do something in that sense, too, but I don't think I'd had the time for it.

 

I agree this game does correspond too much with RL. When I attack someone, it's because I want something from them and when I give something to someone or submit to someone, it is also because I want something from them. That says a lot about unchecked or insufficiently checked capitalism.

 

I nearly wrote something about the potential for power inherent in the small nations. Like I said, I got tired and it was against my better judgement to make suggestions like that, anyway. Tywin's "Global Feudalism" thread had me thinking in revolutionary terms. Ultimately, the small nations lack the culture to do any such thing. You may find an ancient re-roll that could rally many small nations, but minus that it would never happen. It's not for a lack of anything, but a cohesive bond between the nations.

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The new nations lack the culture to do so, but older nations (or players) can educate them. The comparison with Socialism/Marxism continues... :)

 

Workers of Bob, unite! lol

 

The problem with any organization that would include all comers is it would necessarily lack culture. Not that that's necessarily what you suggest. In my estimation, the strongest cultures are the ones that reject the most. They reject the inactive, the uncooperative, the unmotivated. 

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I was too tired (and apathetic) to even finish the second half. 

 

It's a game, and the real rewards go to the player and not the nation. The prize valued is the prize the player receives. If the individual likes stacking cash or tech, then the financial gain of their nation is also what that player holds dear. Different players seek different rewards. Their desired prize and the effort they put into it and how those are exploited by others are all a capitalist value system. It's a default system, meaning a natural state of affairs we humans resort to when there is no over-riding coercion. Therefore, I would argue, that in this game there is inadequate motivation to act differently than complete self interest. 

 

Killing someone is not at all similar to making them do something. If a player values something an opponent can take away, then that too is an individual valuation. Some players hardly care if their nation is entirely destroyed; others will submit at the first shred of lost pixels. The inconsistency doesn't point to a lack of logic in my statement; it supports my point that the world is chaotic because there is no unifying motive - only diverse motives. True, finding and manipulating leverage where it may be found is the heart of diplomacy. It's a rare and beautiful thing when it's accomplished here. 

 

It is important not to confuse the interests of the individual, and the interests of the nation. It is quite frequent how bad rulers destroy their nation for their own personal interests. The interests of a nation can be measured objectively via in-game stats. Ideally, the game should have a mechanism for nations to overthrow a bad ruler/player and force him to start from scratch.

 

You have a good understanding of diplomacy, however manipulating a bad ruler for your own ends is not in the interests of the bad rulers nation. Fortunately, it tends to sort itself out, as you see happening with the rulers of Mushqaeda.

 

I would argue that MK disbanded due to weak culture, not weak nations. This only stands to reason...if an alliance doesn't possess the inner drive to maintain itself, of course they can't project any external motivation (other than their nukes). Then again, maybe it's all for shits and giggles. How the hell can you suggest order exists when nations are destroyed for nothing more than shits and giggles? Chaos is a subjective term, in light of that? No, chaos is absolutely definable here. Anyone will do whatever they please for any or no reason. Until someone (more likely some game update) changes that there will be nothing, but transitory order to this chaos.

 

Ultimately we cannot know why MK disbanded; I suspected a plot, you suspect culture, and other believe they just lost interest in power. Ultimately their motives are irrelevant, because they have rendered themselves irrelevant.

 

As to chaos... it is temporary, it occurs when the previous order fails. Some look at chaos as a pit. Chaos is really an absence of order, the state of nature. Chaos is a ladder. "Many who try to climb it fail, and never get to try again. The fall breaks them. And some are given a chance to climb, but refuse. They cling to 'the realm,' or love, or the gods... illusions." Out of chaos, inevitable comes order, when one who is capable finally reaches the top. The only question that remains is what kind of order will follow?

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