Friday, August 12, 2005

Freedom in the Pacific?

In NationStates, for longer than I have played the game, there has been one region that has stood at the center of a never ceasing maelstrom. A region that never fails to spawn controversy and division among the world at large. This region is the Pacific and at the center of everything is the PRP. However, while the People's Republic of the Pacific and it's forerunner, the New Pacific Order, have long been the nexus of discourse in the region, in recent times a third group has revealed its presence in the region. While long known to exist behind the scenes, this enigmatic organization finally stepped out the shadows and announced to the world that it is the Pacific Underground.

The mysterious group finally revealed itself on June 21st this summer, and with their attempt to increase public visibility, produced wide spread speculation about which players were behind the names on their roster as thus far the Pacific Underground isn't telling. Many people have weighed in on the mysterious identities of the self-proclaimed freedom fighters who relentlessly battle the oppressive forces of the PRP, or so they say. The most well substantiated theory to date is that the Pacific Underground is in fact an offshoot of the ADN with the singular purpose of destroying the PRP. The Pacific Underground itself appears to harbor many of the core members of the Alliance Defense Network who have long held a vendetta against the new community that has asserted itself in the Pacific. This conclusion was drawn from comparing the post styles of certain members of the ADN and their PU equivalents which showed duplication of distinctive posting styles. More convincing still is their unique prior grudges that they made public when they came into the open. Also interesting is that in their stated principles nothing is said about defending. I think now we know why.

While they have never admitted this connection publicly, their behavior when confronted with this idea certainly warrants a further look. Almost immediately after the ADN connection theory entered the public discourse, attempts were made to divert attention away from it and instead on the person who proposed it. No outright denials of an ADN connection were ever made by the PU and after it quickly became clear that they could divert the topic no longer, the previously vocal PU members suddenly became very silent. It must be asked why they spent so much effort trying to divert attention away from this theory and why they could never produce a challenge to it?

What makes all of this more interesting is earlier today I came across a bit of information that is extremely damning for the Pacific Underground. It seems that for all their talk of freedom they are nothing more than invaders themselves. In this thread we learn that the Pacific Underground organization is a member of the Aeazen Combine, a group of known invaders centered on the Gothic Underground. To quote an AC official, Sakishima, "TPU, my friend(sic), is a member of the Aeazen Combine(sic), as we promised to help you be free of the PRP if TPU joined." Led by an invader known as Aeazer, the Aeazen Combine have regularly been seen in the company of such invaders as The Jolly Roger and The Cathedral and has participated in their conquests of multiple regions. They also seem to have a desire to gain control of every Lord of the Rings related region in the game.

What is also interesting about this is that it seems the Aeazan Combine is demanding the PU step up their efforts to conquer other regions. What this means is that in the near future, those of us on the defender side of the battle could be seeing more of them on the battlefield in the days to come if and when the Combine steps up their efforts to carve out their own little empire across NationStates. Equally interesting is that they signed on and agreed to join the Combine in the first place, thus committing themselves to the invader course of action which should be in direct opposition to their self-proclaimed principle of freedom.

So then, the group who has spent so much time pontificating about restoring freedom to the Pacific would join forces and take up arms with those who would willingly crush the rights of natives across the NS world? They complain loudly that the PRP is the product of an invasion but see nothing wrong with invading others? For all their talk about freedom, democracy, liberty; it has become clear the PU are nothing but hypocrites of the highest caliber. The only interest of the PU is to put an invader in charge of the Pacific just so long as they happen to fall under their banner. They will join forces, it seems, with absolutely anyone who agrees to help them towards their ends.

So, could it be true that members of the ADN have engaged in raiding for a political end? The PU certainly fits their attitudes and mannerisms. If we look to history to be our judge it is certainly not impossible that individuals in the ADN could be behind this. Nasicournia and Alcatraz, two of the most prominent regions in the ADN, the former housing many of their highest ranking members, have shown in the past they are willing to stoop to invading for political ends. A case and point example would be when the ADN was negotiating a treaty with the region Ireland, the two regions mentioned attempted and failed to stage a raid on the same region they were negotiating peace with. The public backlash was intense enough that Alcatraz was forced to leave the ADN before charges could be filed against them for their part in it. Recently though, under a Nasicournia lead ADN Alcatraz was readmitted. Other questionable actions, such as deliberately outing defender intelligence agents, makes it clear that there are those who would stoop to any low if it meant reaching their goals, whatever they may be.

I will leave it to the readers to draw their own conclusions from what I have presented here but I will leave one parting word. Neither this article, nor any of the text contained herein, is intended to be a blanket condemnation of the ADN as a whole. Instead we must recognize that actions come from individuals, not organizations, and that while it appears that some in the ADN will resort to unscrupulous behavior to achieve whatever political and military ends they desire, among their ranks too are real defenders whose interests lie in protecting regions from invaders above all else. It must be said the ADN is too broad to paint with the same brush and the actions of individuals reflect only on themselves.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Principles and Politics

I have never laughed so hard in my life as I did when reading the massively indignant responses of many citizens of the Pacific (located here). It just goes to show that no matter how long you know someone, Lenin's old adage applies only too well. "A lie repeated often enough becomes the truth." It occurs to me to wonder how many scared inhabitants of the Pacific have congregated together and discussed the possibility of the Pacific joining the ADN. Certainly the replies of The New Duce and Armatea have been full of viciously anti-ADN arguments. How many times has the question, "Are we going to join the ADN?" been repeated ad infinitum until in the manner of Chinese Whispers it has become " We're going to join the ADN! What do we do?"

I must say I trust to the good sense of Mammothistan, Unlimited and BlackAdder. Certainly I believe it unlikely that they will long sustain the inevitable collapse of the internal organs of the Pacific should the region join the ADN - internal rebellion is one characterisation I have heard mentioned about what might happen if the Pacific joins the ADN. The would-be rebels expect that their voice will be listened to. If it is listened to and the Pacific Senate does not force the region into the ADN, it is a blow in favour of democracy in the region and it is to be hoped that members of the Pacific will increasingly use principles to derive opinions as a result (rather than some of the changeable opportunism shown by 1838 in the thread listed above). The mass quotation of Unistrut was one irksome example of that opportunism, shot down by Unlimited.

Many people will reject the interpretation I offer of the events as they have transpired in the Pacific. Many people will also say that joining the ADN would be good for Pacifican democracy. Someone needs to clue me in on that particular thesis.

If the Pacific joined the ADN, parts of the Senate might be accepted into the solidified elite that exists at the ADN (Pope Hope, Unistrut, Blackbird, Dilber plus the army of Pope Hope bootlickers that spam away on the ADN forum) but what of the rest of the great Pacific citizenry? Such a massive change in foreign policy on the part of the Pacific would mean that the citizens of the Pacific would need to be active in the ADN, to fulfil military obligations if nothing else. Would the members of the Pacific be content to pick up the crumbs of what the closeted elite drop from their table? I should hope not! Such a thing would be the end of any democratic spirit in the Pacific.

So, to end this little polemic, in the interest of principle and the interest of a nice little one-two jab at the ADN, I say to the citizens of the Pacific, tell your Senate not to play games with the principles your region holds dear and tell the ADN that Pacific membership will not occur until there is no one in the Pacific left to oppose the hypocritical, pompous arrogance of the ADN.