(Actually) Interesting Ideas for Ending the Amarr-Minmatar Conflict

Some fourteen years ago, one of the greatest men the cluster has ever seen passed on to take his place alongside our creator. He was a man who led his people through times of great strife, pain, and loss. Yet, through the centuries of conflict he became the single strongest voice for peace and cooperation amongst all peoples of New Eden in the modern era. When news that he was gravely ill reached the public, a vigil for his well-being was held by, ironically, independent capsuleers. We unbounded machines of war honored this man of peace en masse. In response, he blessed us with a message, one that I heard as I was being schooled to become one of those war machines myself:

To my concerned children: word of your vigil reached my ears and I send you these few lines in gratitude for your devotion and concern. Alas, my health is not good enough to be with you but in spirit, though your good deed will be remembered now and forever. In times as treacherous as these, peace may seem a distant illusion, but we must never stop fighting to achieve and maintain it. Disruptive forces seek tirelessly to tear us apart and it is easy for the weak-minded to follow the flow. It is up to you, strong of mind and spirit, to hold high the torch of peace; to fall in a war of hate is a disgrace, to fall fighting for peace is a virtue that few can aspire to. But isn’t it better to die trying than to never try at all? Fare well, my children, my thoughts are with you and your mission. - Emperor Heideran VII, September 12th, YC105

I still hold these words, and the spirit they represent, dear to my heart. I am resolved to uphold the virtue he espouses, and I pray that I can convince others to follow that example, for it is truly better to die trying than to never try at all.

Thus, in the spirit of this season of peaceful tidings, in recognition of the martyrs we yet mourn and are soon to commemorate with new monuments to their ultimate sacrifice, in honor of the memories of the Empire’s last three rulers, all of whom worked in some way to bring the cluster from the edge of total war, and in dedication to our current Empress Catiz I, whom I am certain will continue the trend of the Empire becoming less conqueror and more peacekeeper and guardian to New Eden, I open this thread.

Its purpose will be to facilitate an actual, civil and productive conversation on how to alleviate one of the most destructive and pervasive conflicts in the cluster today: The Amarr-Minmatar conflict. I realize this is a tired subject, one that is nigh impossible to speak about without incurring the wrath of a gaggle of bored and abrasive space warriors, but I feel the need to at least attempt to do this right. Recently, there have been several other ‘discussions’ on the IGS that have embarked upon this subject in bad faith or on ignorant footing; begun by those intending to provoke and anger, or those doing so by virtue of their lack of knowledge on the subject. These have had clear and predictable results. I wish this thread to be different, and to facilitate that I feel the need (perhaps foolishly) to lay out some ground rules:

  1. Firstly, this thread will be for the discussion of potential and viable resolutions for, not intensification of, this war. Any suggestion that violence upon one or the other nation should begin, continue, or intensify, is a non-starter and completely off-topic.

  2. Similarly, any suggestion that would violate one or the other nation’s sovereignty, core cultural principles, or integrity as an independent and secure entity is a non-starter.

  3. Proposals for a viable peace plan should list points of contention, an analysis of their causes and effects, and meaningful and workable solutions that can feasibly be implemented considering the prior two rules.

  4. Proposals should deal with established institutions that may actually enforce action on the points discussed, not nebulous ethnicities, cultural groups or non-state actors that cannot be reasonably held accountable.

  5. Any demand of concession towards one side of the conflict should be balanced with an equal concession from the other. If your peace plans involve one side giving up everything and the other nothing, it is a useless peace plan.

  6. Keep things civil, impersonal, and realistic. No discussion is served well by insults towards individuals or groups, or by completely infeasible proposals that are effectively such.

Obviously I have no means to enforce these rules as the discussion progresses, but I would hope that those who actually have an interest in participating in this exchange will abide by them in the spirit of cooperation. Even if your true opinions might not be appropriate for this thread, I encourage you to find it within you to at the very least attempt to put out ideas that are meaningful. The devout imperialist and the hardened freedom fighter both can participate, so long as they temporarily curb their will for resolution by the sword.

Our words will have little to no impact upon the diplomatic state of the Empire and Republic, but they may have an impact upon some of us here. Use your words well, and soften hearts rather than harden them. This is always the first step towards actually affecting change without violence. We can find common ground upon which we may cooperate, as we have when the current order was founded, and surely will again when the blood has stopped flowing. We can at least start things properly here. Better to die trying, after all.

15 Likes

Simple solution:

1: Create a plan that say for instance in 50 years matari enslavement will end. every year emancipate a set amount or percentage. Edit: I’m referring specifically to slaves due to birth, not criminals. They can rot.

2: No reparations what so ever, as a show of good faith.

3: Create a demilatrized zone between our borders.

4: Have an equally represented police force to quell Illegal raids on BOTH sides.

Is that not reasonable?

4 Likes

In all seriousness the only answer is to stop keeping slaves one way or another.

The idea of keeping another person to do work for me without fair treatment and pay makes my skin crawl. That’s not because of my Gallente background, but rather because of my human background.

Most of the above points are good, it’s only the length of time of the first point that I would question. You have to start somewhere though.

6 Likes

I didnt really have a time span in mind, i just threw out 50 years as an example honestly.

2 Likes

These are quite reasonable, and can be fleshed out with more details and conditions to make them feasible in reality. The joint police force would take a great deal of trust to pull off well, but it could be done as a final act in a series of reconciliatory acts.

This, however, is less so, and not simple in the slightest. Even if the Empire complied in full with this, (which it cannot and will not without violating its culture, security and economic stability), this would imperil the Republic and the freed slaves themselves, as there is no power in the whole cluster that can support so many sudden refugees on such a short timescale. I can explain this further another time, but I would urge you to consider the realities of mass-emancipations on that scale, and compare it with Jamyl I’s emancipation at the beginning of her reign, and the strain it caused within the Republic. Multiply that by ten, once every year, for half a century.

1 Like

To the majority of this I actually agree, for both sides even. I dont however see how it couldnt be achieved passively over numerious decades. Fifty years was an extremely weak guess thinking back on it.

The joint op idea definately would not be over night, nor do I realistically think could survive the first few years with out a third party to keep both sides in check.

2 Likes

Fact of the matter is, someone will have to bow down to the other. The conflict cannot be resolved without 1) Amarr stopping the practice of enslavement and 2) following that, Amarr giving up Reclaiming the rest of the cluster.

If someone cooks up a better solution without anyone having to give up anything, they deserve all the Aidonis’ -awards for the next few millennia.

7 Likes

You’re describing CONCORD. We’ve seen how well that worked.

Capsuleers behave alot differently when they get shot at compared to baseliners. Usually involves bowel movements and prayer I’d imagine. Execution or slavery or well, prison time ingeneral is a little more of a deterrant to those with finite lifespans.

Aside from that I can’t really say I don’t see your point.

2 Likes

I actually like the idea of the Amarr ceasing their taking of slaves and the slow emancipation of Minmatar slaves over a long period of time. It gives us both time to adapt to the influx of immigrant population and to the idea that we are going to have to accept freedmen who are Amarr in all but bloodline.

Frankly, the biggest risk these freedmen are going to face once they cross over to the Republic side of the border is the discrimination against them, especially if they still bear the trappings of the Amarr faith. The painful memories are still lingering and there is a need for that to peter out. That is going to take a while.

3 Likes

So if fifty years is too short, what would be a more reasonable time line? 100 years? 200 years?

If we go by your statement above where you talk about the strain multiplying, “by ten, once every year, for half a century,” would that give us a hint of the time line your looking at? So if the strain is a constant of 10 and we use the 50 years as posited by Ms Vess we could come up with a simple back-of-the-envelope calculation to the the estimate? Such as 10 x 50 years = 500 years?

So is 500 years a more reasonable time line in your opinion, or might that be even longer then what you’re actually thinking?

2 Likes

I believe we need an explanation of the economic mechanism inside the Amarr Empire if we are going to come up with a reasonable emancipation plan. Figure out how long they will need to change said mechanism.

3 Likes

And here we are getting to one of the hearts of the matter. I’ll write one up in due time, or someone else might get to it before I do.

4 Likes

True enough Mr Egivand. I’d just like to establish a hypothetical upper bounds, if possible.

2 Likes

Pretending to care about peace, when you know there can be no peace while you backwards barbarians hold our people in chains, is a non-starter. Your dishonesty is disgusting, Aldrith. Especially your immediate jump to “oh if they’re not slaves anymore, then they’re refugees”. If you want a real discussion about this subject, then you wouldn’t be trying to suppress the problem at the core of the conflict, and taking it off the table.

You’re not that stupid, but I guess you really are that dishonest. Disappointing.

This debate has never been about preferring war over peace. It has been about the price paid for it. This is the dread ghost hovering over people like you and on our own side the Midularite cowards, wholly ignored. You pretend so hard that policies of accommodation, of appeasement is a choice between war and peace, when in reality it destroys even the option of peace, leaving only the choice between War and Surrender.

Every lesson in history has taught us this. Continued accommodation, continued appeasement, continued backing and retreating… will only ever result in the final demand. The ultimatum. Then what? Then there is only surrender or war. Peace was never even an option then, because it doesn’t even matter which side delivers the ultimatum, and which is on their knees. Some among the Amarr will have as much faith and fury as we have determination and will, and so there will be war, because then even surrender is no longer on the table.

No, Aldrith. Midularites. Shakorites. Federation freemen, Imperial reclaimers, mad gods and lost spirits all… This is not the path to peace, because you and I all know that peace is not so sweet, and even life is not so dear as to be purchased with chains and slavery.

Aldrith, do you truly want a future with peace as an option? Do you truly think it is what should be the goal, what people should strive for? Then there is only one path, a hard and difficult and painful and dangerous path left. It is the one where men and women of courage stands up and says to enemies and friends alike that there is a price we will not pay. There must be change, and it will be hard and it will be painful but it is the only path that may lead to a future where peaceful coexistence is an achievable dream.

It truly breaks my heart to see so many people, on all sides, yearn for peace to the point where they mistake it for the maintaining of the status quo, and thus inadvertently - or with malicious intent, in some cases I’m sure - propel our nations forwards on a path that can only ever lead to war.

It is far beyond the time now to stand up and take the responsibility we have as free men and women, Matari or Amarr, and take the hard path, the one of sacrifice and pain… or consign our children and children’s children to a future of darkness and despair.

… peace. It will never cease to amaze me how much people are willing to make others pay for such a thing, when all that does is ensure it becomes an impossibility for everyone once you’re dead and buried.

2 Likes

I’m not saying that I have a solution, but I’ve always been fond of the Win-Win scenario, even if both sides only gain a little bit at least they both gain. If done properly I don’t see why either the Minmatar or the Amarr have to lose anything. While I’m on record as having stated my mistrust of the Amarr government, I would be happy to be proven wrong and I would love if they would prove me wrong in this case.

I guess there’s not too much we can say about how the Minmatar and Amarr should proceed until we get more details though. If neither side is willing to accept a trade-off, but both are committed to resolving this issue their solution may yet surprise us.

Wow, I lost my cyncism there for a moment. Excuse me while I go back and fix my attitude.

2 Likes

I’m a realist. While I do believe that the best solution to this mess is ultimately one of negotiation and compromise, I am not going to pretend that the freedmen we will be seeing are not all going to be Amarr in all but physiology. That is going to be something we will have to deal with. I say this is the one compromise we can reasonably accept.

Vitoc-addicts and TCMC-ed freedmen, we can’t deal with. The Amarr will have to fix them before freeing them. However, I expect there to be shenanigans on that end, so there will need to be a plan to ensure that the Amarr doesn’t use that condition as a loophole to hold slaves indefinitely.

I am also expecting the Amarr to insist that the proper duration for the emancipation plan duration is a millennial or several millennials. That isn’t acceptable and the Republic will have to put her foot down and insist in a more reasonable duration and fix it there. Stick to it or the deal’s off.

However, without more information, the Republic will not know exactly where to fix that goalpost. That goalpost should be fixed in accordance with the Empire’s economic needs, not their spiritual needs. No, we don’t care if the slaves that are emancipated are not Reclaimed enough. We only will be considering how long it takes for the Empire’s economic engines to make the switch out of slave reliance. Economics is a metric we can measure and is the better indicator. Spirituality? No, we can’t measure that. Fixing a goalpost based on that is just insane.

5 Likes

To help gauge the pure economic impacts, here’s some simple population data:

The total population of the Minmatar Republic is 9.641 trillion, or 14% of the total population of the Big Four.

The total number of only enslaved Minmatar within the Empire is 10.712 trillion. Only half of the slaves within the Empire have discernible Minmatar heritage, by the way.

Your entire nation, including foreigners, can fit inside a bit less than a quarter of the total population in the Empire.

If the Empire released all of its slaves at once, it would lose half of its population, while the Republic’s population would triple (if they were to take the non-Minmatar freedmen). If it released just the Minmatar, it would still lose a quarter of its workforce while the Republic would still double. The predictable results would be a massive depression within the Empire, with most production slowing to a crawl overnight. Meanwhile, the Republic would face a total economic collapse as demand far outstrips supply of every good and service available, along with the ability to pay for more.

Now, with all of that said, it is important to note that as much as you may be loathe to admit it, you absolutely must consider the cultural impacts on both the Empire and Republic as well. Few in the Empire wish to fail so blatantly at the Reclaiming. Conversely, few in the in the Republic wish to tolerate those who have been Reclaimed. This is another issue to tackle, and will require more thought.

3 Likes

Now that’s some data to Math over.

4 Likes

Now, having given it some more thought, I believe that before any deadlines can be set, there will need to be economists to determine the economic workings of both the Empire and the Republic to determine the sustainable rate of emancipation to ensure that neither economies will suffer from repression. That will give us a good date to start with.

Also, I will like to point out the extremely high likelihood that emancipated Minmatar may choose to remain in the Amarr Empire, especially once given enough reason to remain such as shelter, jobs, etc. The projection you suggest may not be as grim as you make out to be. Again, let the economists handle the estimates.

As for who should provide the economists, as much as it pains me to even utter their name, I recommend sending CONCORD (What do you mean shooting first at an armed vessel that is burning right at me does not count as self-defence?). I do not trust the Republic’s economists to be neutral, nor do I trust the Empire’s. I also do not trust the State or the Feds either. CONCORD will have to do.

Once that is settled, both sides can then work on adjusting the deadline.

Now on the topic of cultural and ideological impact, I personally believe that this is going to be a lasting problem that we can’t do much beyond salving and soothing. The Minmatar loathe the idea that the free immigrants from the Amarr Empire will still rather be going to church than to sit with us on the feast table and partaking in full-force uncensored Grade-A Minmatar Way. The Amarr loathe the idea that some of the emancipated slaves will gladly cast off their robes and go savaging around like the best of us. However, we are going to have to live with that, and trust time and our orators to smooth over the transition.

This is why I recommend the Emancipation Period (the duration of which there will be staggered emancipation) with a proper deadline (for complete emancipation) determined using estimates as provided by CONCORD economists. Once that is agreed on, we can use that as the project period to smooth over the transition and not screw it all up.

Personally, I will go “Oh, hey, let’s form an EIGHTH Tribe and fill it with Amarr devouts so that they can continue their Amarrian ways as their Tribal ways,” but I am sure that this will screw up the balance of power so badly my name will become a curse word for countless generations.

4 Likes