So, lately we’ve seen a plenty of posts about boosting morale of mainly the capsuleer combatants in the CEMWPA warzone, and one thing that has annoyed me is the constant use of the phrase, “never again another Long Night.” While yes, it has been used a long time before, while yes, even I have used it probably some time in the past, recently its use has propagated to unbearable levels.
Wanna know why it annoys me and more importantly, why it should annoy you too? I’ll tell you. It is an utterly meaningless phrase, that people seem to use kinda like signing off a message with “kind regards.”
It is a meaningless phrase for a couple of reasons, namely; The free Minmatar will never bend the knee again to any invader. The next war will be a total war that will see either the Empire or the Republic - or more than likely, both - burn in untold carnage from nightmarish weapons we probably won’t even know to have existed until the day they are unleashed. There will never be another Long Night.
Secondly, and more importantly in my book, there are trillions of Minmatar to whom the Long Night never ended. Trillions more than are free now, more than have ever been free.
“Never again another Long Night” is something only a freeborn can say - not due to malice but from a position of privileged ignorance.
You want to bolster Tribal unity, I’d prefer you use “we come for our people.” That’s an implicit threat and a promise.
Ah but Tein, the two phrases have traditionally been used by different political entities, with variations of ‘never again’ being those who emphasize the defense of the Free Tribes, and ‘we come for’ those who advocate an attack now. Neither is really at its heart and origin a phrase of unity; they are rather phrases of debate.
It is certainly interesting that at this time the usage of the two has started to mix, with same people using both, or choosing one or the other depending on situation. Myself included.
Sounds good to me. Any foreign entities seeking to use the free Minmatar to their own gain without expressed consent deserve no consideration beyond do they want to get shot in the front or the back.
A valid point, but they are rousing words aimed at their own frame of reference, nevertheless. Out of the two, “we come for our people” just feels more right and less wishy-washy nonsense to me, personally, even if I don’t indeed share the exact implied mindset behind it.
But using it strongly implies that the speaker actively is coming for our people. That they’re going beyond the limits imposed by the CEMWPA agreements and working to liberate slaves en masse throughout the Empire. And maybe you are, I don’t know and certainly wouldn’t presume to claim one way or the other on your behalf.
For those whose focus isn’t incursions into Amarr space to conduct illegal1 liberation raids, but rather to stand guard against the attempts by the Empire to expand their reach and slowly lay the groundwork for another invasion, ‘Never again another Long Night’ is as much a mantra of vigilance as it is one of defiance.
You say the free Minmatar will never bend the knee again to any invader… but plenty on Skarkon have had to. Others, including capsuleer kybers, actively choose to. And while the news these days makes it feel like total open warfare might break out at any moment… ‘the next war’ might be centuries away. It might only come after decades of the CEMWPA warzone bloodsports have lulled people into a false sense of complacency. If we do not remind ourselves that we must remain forever vigilant against the inroads of the Amarr faith (which, after all, holds that temporal authority rests with the Throne, not the Tribal Council), and commit our nation to maintaining a strong enough military to make outright invasion prohibitively expensive… then in some unlooked-for future, we might find ourselves weak enough to be over-run again. It’s a reminder to never let down our guard, never think we’ve done enough.
For myself, Teinyhr, I don’t see those two positions being at odds. One is the sword, the other the shield. No matter how aggressively we come for our people, we need to be able to protect them once they’re free.
I’m just saying going on about “not another long night” is in my opinion ignorant at best, downright insulting at worst. Like I said already, looking at it in absolute numbers - because we can - the Long Night is still ongoing. The Free Minmatar are in a sense a handful of escapees huddling next to a campfire in the night, making plans to go back and free the rest. They are free, but it is still the same night.
What would be a better rallying cry for the “shield” position then? I don’t know but frankly I’m not sure we need one.
If I may, I think slogans help even if they perhaps don’t fully reflect what is meant by them. Personally, I’ve always found “Never again, another Long Night” to be really evocative.
These phrases, like place and community names, have an emotional force that is hard to explain. Take a look at the responses to a similar sort of question that I asked here. Without wanting to stray from the topic, I sometimes think the Syndicate’s weak position is partly explained by its choice not to adopt emotive names and phrases.