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A Political Analysis of Planet Bob


Learz
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Effects of the Karma War

We've seen how the Karma War resulted in a dramatic upheaval in politics here on Bob. Specifically, the central power structure (the NPO) was defeated and resulted in the empowerment of other alliances/blocs. In addition, the "sides" in the conflict acquired names: Hegemony, and Karma. These terms were used to refer to the opposing coalitions that fought, and still are used extensively today. However, my esteemed colleague Archon makes an interesting point that these names/classifications died with the end of the Karma War. But, given that the sides more or less exist intact (as seen by the recent "war"), how should the "sides" be called? In fact, are there sides? If so, who composes these sides?

A New Classification

Archon is correct that the use of the Karma/Hegemony monikers died in the Karma War. Both sides have radically changed in a number of manners. Although efforts to re-classify them exist ("Karmony", "Puppets", "New Evil", "Purplol", "SuperComplaints", etc), these are ineffective and limited in use (at best). So how should we classify the sides, especially considering the loose sorting that occurred during the TPF incident?

For the remainder of this topic, I'll be identifying and referring to three groups. They are:

1) Remnants (of the Hegemony). Loosely identified by pre-Karma War treaties, they have not changed much. They were either previously allied with NPO or the NPO's allies, and maintain ambivalent or positive attitudes toward the NPO. Lest the ex-Karma forces appear to be warmongers' and/or worse than the Hegemony, Remnant forces maintain considerable freedom and power in today's world. Remnants also maintain good communication and support with each other, creating a "coalition" (aka, a "side").

2) Karma Splinters. Loosely identified as those groups that composed the Karma coalition during the Karma War, and still maintain the (hostile?) mindset of Karma. They oppose the Remnants, and seek to limit, or eliminate, their power. Splinters maintain their Karma War connections with one another, and also work to maintain good communication and support with each, thus creating another "coalition" (aka, a "side"). Most Splinters and Remnants do not actively oppose one another, however, different outlooks and treaty connections mean that they often will end up opposing one another.

3) Bystanders (aka "others", "neutrals"). Bystanders exist in the twilight between the Splinters and Remnants. Composed of predominantly neutrals (such as GC, or GPA), semi-neutrals (FCC, TFD, and others), isolated blocs/alliances (only weakly connected to the treaty web), minor alliances, and swing alliances/blocs (those that have fought or will fight on both sides).

The Recent Crisis and Effects

When TPF was attacked, there appeared to be a growing realization that the post-Karma world was quite similar to the pre-Karma world. The sides were quite the same, with some notable exceptions. Most Splinters had banded together in an apparent attempt to finish the Remnants before NPO could be released from terms. In immediate retrospect, however, it seems the Splinters made several miscalculations, resulting in a number of Bystanders shifting to the Remnants. Combined with the all-too-real problem of a lack of Bystander support for the Splinters, the Splinters sought to end the conflict quickly.

This illustrates the dynamics of the new world. The Splinters and Remnants appear fairly close in power and strength. But, Planet Bob is NOT a bipolar world! The Bystanders exist as a third wheel, able to swing the balance of power in any direction. The Bystanders themselves do not compose a side, as they are too fragmented. However, they exist inbetween the two sides; a considerable amount of unaligned firepower, enough to compose a third "side" if they had a common goal (which they do not).

What Happens Next?

Both Remnants and Splinters will seek to rule the world (although it will be interesting to see how a multipolar leadership will do). Bystanders, existing in the middle, will have to decide between staying neutral, or siding with the Splinters or the Remnants. Some Bystanders may have already decided which way they will go, while others may have not. Still others might wait and see which side gives them the better offer. Others may seek to isolate themselves to not get dragged into the fight, allying predominantly with other Bystanders to minimize their risks. Splinters and Remnants themselves are not safe; those only weakly tied to a side, or tied simply due to necessity may seek to exercise their wings (and consequently, attempts to keep one's allies in line by power or fear will not be effective).

As a result of all of this, it appears that Bob is in for its first large-scale Cold War.

As both Splinters and Remnants seek to exercise their collective power, utilizing trumped up CB's, proxy wars, grandstanding, and other such things as we have seen recently. Recall the Knights of Ni! incident, allegations of RoK and TPF spying, and heightened tensions, among others. In all cases, global war didn't quite break out; but it was clear who the sides were and who was jockeying for position. We should expect to see more of this occurring over the next few months, including the lack of a major war -- unless someone gets trigger-happy.

Or bored.

That's my spiel. And kids, this is what happens when you clear a day to spend on CN fighting a major war that doesn't occur. ;)

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Interesting, most interesting

As a younger played I did not take part in what would be knownv as the Karma war

The one problem with your hypothesis is that, unlike a real cold war where there are actual lives/national treasure at stake. With out these, it gives the Nations/Alliances the freedom to take risks, openly fight, and act more irrationally than any actor in the OCC world could.

Great piece though.

Edited by Kubla Khan
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I'd say this is pretty accurate, except all sides would take exceptions to your terminology. If there is no war before July, it will be interesting to see what happens when NPO comes out of terms. Will it shift power, from on side to another, or will it shift the leadership of one side, or will it be the proverbial tree that falls in a large woods, but is not heard.

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Assuming that the former Hegemony and former Karma Coalition remain somewhat nicely inclined toward each other then I agree with your prediction. The potential kink on the scheme is that these forces may not, in fact remain aligned at all. What happens if the splinter elements rip each others' throats out and the remnant makes a comeback? What if people surrender the old precepts and start building non-Hegemonic non-Karma based alliances?

Looks good, Learz.

Edited by Tokugawa Mitsukuni
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After thinking about this more I'm thinking that before the TPF war, we had a four polar war, where there were three different blocs that controlled the power in the world. Now I see that this was a bad a description of the pre TPF war state.

First we found out that the power of a bloc isn't in its numbers as so much its unity. FB was so dis-unified that it didn't survive the TPF war. Citadel also showed no unity at all, showing that it is not really as powerful a bloc as it once was, its really just another name to call TOP by. If you don't believe me take a look at that really bad announcement Gramlins made during the war.

So now we live in a bipolar war, where SF, and CnG controll the direction of major events in planet BOB, they have the power to control events.

However there are those who are left out, the left out, are many times connected with NPO, b/c NPO used to be a power that many alliances connected its self to, however it can consist of any alliance that is not a member, or connected to CnG or SF. The left out don't act cohesively, so they cannot do any large scale agressive action, but they can quickly chain treaties exponentially, and therefore faster than Super Complaints, so they can defend themselves quite well.

The question is, will SF and CnG work together in the future or will they butt heads? If a coalition of CoC is perceived as a one time fluke, they will likely butt heads, if they perceive the threat of another version of CoC, they will likely work together.

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So now we live in a bipolar war, where SF, and CnG controll the direction of major events in planet BOB, they have the power to control events.

Hey awesome, we're the new Q. ive always wanted to boss smaller alliances around

You there! fetch the daily news :P

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Maybe SF and CnG should just merge and truly create SuperGrievances.

(Note: I'm not actually expecting that to happen/advocating it, tin foil hats need not apply)

Honestly, it's the only theoretical merge between two currently prominent blocs that would have a chance at being successful. Of course it will never happen if only because no one involved wants to create a new Continuum.

*Fixed tags

Edited by Choader
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Good analysis, however, I also see that alliances of what you termed "the Remanents" and "the Splinters" are also becoming "Bystanders". Of course, most of those were already rather neutral alliances in the first place (in terms of political power). This will perhaps create more centres of power than we could expect, or, they could just converge into the pre-existing powers of Planet Bob come treaty activating time.

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Very interesting read, good work overall.

I think it's a little too simplistic to essentially label one side "neo Hegemony" and one side "neo Karma". I know you didn't use those terms, but that's basically what you said. I agree that the two sides are split largely along Karma War lines, but not entirely so. For example, a large portion (at least) of Citadel seemed to be leaning towards CC. This group was one of the central factions of Karma, so I don't think you can really label them as "bystanders" who have simply moved closer to the Remnants (which is an awesome name by the way... Best one I've seen for the ex-Hegemony crowd). Karma War affiliations aside, Citadel/allies are much more than a peripheral swing group who have leaned towards the Remnants. The Citadel-and-allies crowd, even if not all of them had fought, would have formed a large percentge of CC's NS and nukes. So I think viewing the "CC side" of the web as primarily being the Remnants, with the Citadel group as a mere peripheral faction, is erroneous.

Instead, I see that side of the web as primarily being a fusion of two groups: The Remnants (of the former Hegemony coalition) and the Moderates (of the former Karma coalition). The Moderates (Citadel and allies) fought for Karma, but had (as a group) been close to NPO in the past, and were mostly in favor of lighter punishments for the Hegemony. They tended to be less fanatical about the conflict. I see the "SG side" of the web as being primarily made up of the Stalwarts (of the former Karma coalition). The Stalwarts fought for Karma, had been lightly tied (in the case of SF/allies) or opposed (in the case of CnG/allies) to NPO in the past, and were mostly in favor of stronger punishments for the Hegemony (though this was certainly not always the case). In general, they saw their struggle as a war of good overthrowing evil, and were much more dedicated to and fanatical about their cause.

I also dissent with your opinion that the world has not become bipolar again, but I think the disagreement here is one of terminology. What exactly is a "pole"? Is it any group, however nebulous, with a large amount of strength? Or is it a clearly-defined "side" that is politically and/or militarily struggling with another side or sides for power? I tend to lean towards the latter definition, and I think it's the most commonly accepted one. For that reason, I don't view the swing groups as a pole of their own, and thus I view the world as bipolar.

-Bama

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As a result of all of this, it appears that Bob is in for its first large-scale Cold War.

As both Splinters and Remnants seek to exercise their collective power, utilizing trumped up CB's, proxy wars, grandstanding, and other such things as we have seen recently. Recall the Knights of Ni! incident, allegations of RoK and TPF spying, and heightened tensions, among others. In all cases, global war didn't quite break out; but it was clear who the sides were and who was jockeying for position. We should expect to see more of this occurring over the next few months, including the lack of a major war -- unless someone gets trigger-happy.

Or bored.

That's my spiel. And kids, this is what happens when you clear a day to spend on CN fighting a major war that doesn't occur. ;)

First off, want to say good essay, even if I disagree in a lot of places.

Now, as for there only being 2 sides, with undecided's in the middle: You are forgetting NpO. They definitely have enough political pull to form a "side" relatively quickly.

Also, this couldn't be the first Cold War, it would at least be the second (NPO vs CoaLUEtion) or third (if you count NPO vs AEGIS as well), and possibly the fourth (Time between GWIII and UJW).

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Karma was a marriage of convenience. Sure, it contained C&G and SF- but only because they were unified against the NPO. To say they control the current political climate is simply not true. If RoK didn't accuse TPF of spying on it during the last 'almost' war- C&G would have stood alone. Citadel, C&G, NpO, Ex-Hege and SF will be on the same side as one and other if it happens that the treaty web falls that way. There is no 'supergrievances.' No side has control over the whole of planet Bob.

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Care to offer a better model then?

Without wanting to sound glib or arrogant - As someone who carefully watches what is happening, is involved in a number of discussions with various other leaders on a daily basis and is aware of the real underlying issues right now, I will respectfully decline to give away anything I know, because thats what gives me the edge. If you want to speculate about who is where and can do what, you are free to do so, but do not expect anyone to contribute anything useful to the discussion when the reality is war is only a day or two away for any of us.

The TPF issue came out of nowhere, the next issue will as well. Where several alliances sit when the next issue breaks will determine the ''polarity'' of the winners and the losers.

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2) Karma Splinters. Loosely identified as those groups that composed the Karma coalition during the Karma War, and still maintain the (hostile?) mindset of Karma. They oppose the Remnants, and seek to limit, or eliminate, their power. Splinters maintain their Karma War connections with one another, and also work to maintain good communication and support with each, thus creating another "coalition" (aka, a "side"). Most Splinters and Remnants do not actively oppose one another, however, different outlooks and treaty connections mean that they often will end up opposing one another.

The Recent Crisis and Effects

When TPF was attacked, there appeared to be a growing realization that the post-Karma world was quite similar to the pre-Karma world. The sides were quite the same, with some notable exceptions. Most Splinters had banded together in an apparent attempt to finish the Remnants before NPO could be released from terms. In immediate retrospect, however, it seems the Splinters made several miscalculations, resulting in a number of Bystanders shifting to the Remnants. Combined with the all-too-real problem of a lack of Bystander support for the Splinters, the Splinters sought to end the conflict quickly.

decent analysis though bias is quite clear. the two above statements are hardly unbiased and can render a negative impression of the entire essay. fact is, while some alliances in the Splinter side may actively oppose the Remnants it is not true for every single alliance that composes the Splinter side. in fact, i would say that some alliances are friendly across the lines.

also, TPF was not attacked in "an apparent attempt to finish the Remnants before NPO could be released from terms." please leave the speculation and major bs out of this. there are what, half a dozen threads that this could be discussed. no need to even attempt to bring unsubstantiated claims such as this into the mix.

now onto the rest of the analysis. while CnG and SF are tied by treaties, they have their own particular outlooks and agendas. thus, they may or may not always be on the same side of an issue. Though, i would not doubt that we may see closer ties formed with the recent showing of CC in the TPF war.

as for Cit- it is fairly split so to lump them in with Remnants is not easy to do. TOP/Argent seem to be far more friendly towards Remnant than i would say Gremlins/Umbrella are. FCC is semi-neutral and with the new leadership i won't attempt to take a guess at how they may fall in the future.

as for the Bystanders they are not exactly as "swing" as you think. Most, even if weakly tied, tend to be tied only to one side. very few are tied to both sides in a way that could potentially see them fighting for both sides.

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I think this analysis is a bit off, the world is not bi-polar.

The recent conflict created some lines, but many of them loose and blurry, and several alliances not clearly on either side. The world is less multi-polar than before, but it remains multi-polar. Thinking that it is all a matter of how some "swing" alliances fall into the picture is missing the big picture.

In fact, the sides in the next flare up could vary significantly, in many permutations. Depends on how it happens.

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