I am a Minmatar leader of loyalist capsuleers for soon two decades - AMA

In the past 20 years, how often have you been awoken in the middle of the night by a nightmare in which the Angel Cartel were flying vertical Naglfars that were the wrong way up ?
Or worse, horizontal Naglfars ?

While a fun meme, these are not things that feature in my many nightmares.

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Over the years you’ve shared your thoughts on many faults and flaws of the Amarr. Is there anything you find positive about Amarrian culture or society, and if so, could you share what that is?

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Not positive enough to be a redeeming factor, let me make that clear.

But many Amarrian freeborn and nobility have the ability to conduct themselves with grace even in face of adversity. They don’t make scenes. It reminds me of some traditional Brutor militant conduct. Stoic and dignified and all that.

I feel the culture in general recognizes well the value of duty and setting aside your personal preferences in order to pursue it. Even if I take objection to defining, say, Reclaiming as a duty, the ability to do what one believes is the right thing bravely even when it is not pleasant is a personal virtue.

Many of your people are loyal to a fault to their kin, just like mine are. One has to respect that, even when it leads to tragedy and war.

And of course, there is art, martial and secular, verbal and visual, in the Empire. When we think of Amarr spirituality we tend to think of the Rite, and scripture that is fixed, but many Amarr people, high and low on the rungs of your society, are spiritual beyond that. There are stories and myths there, and songs and spoken poetry, that can delight a Keeper of Traditions, the rare times there is opportunity to hear them in a way that is genuine and not laced with a wish to Reclaim.

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Where do you think the future of the diplomatic relations between the State and Republic will go? Do you think there’ll ever be reason for actual war between the two, beyond this conflict-by-adjacency?

How about your opinions on the Angels? The Deathless? Serpentis?

In a different universe where the State and the Republic would exist without the realities of the bigger nations, I cannot really see a good reason for a war between those two. I find us similar in many remarkable ways, both political and cultural, and we both share the healthy respect for independent tribes/corporations/etc right to govern themselves.

I employ several State mercenaries and expats and there has not really been any significat discomfort about them mixing with my tribe-born pilots and staff, certainly no more than we experience with Feds.

Sadly with the rising international tensions I think we are locked in the conflict-by-adjacency. Neither of us can afford to lose our allies.

Official line is I don’t care as long as they stay out of Tribal space. Personally, I have little dealings with the latter two and so do not really have strong opinions beyond take-your-crimes-elsewhere. Angels… I have a varied history and some serious personal beef with and if the slave-trading drug-pushing scum all walked out of an airlock without a spacesuit I can’t say I’d be too sorry, even if a few individuals I have an irrational soft spot for would have to join them.

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Two related questions, purely matters of opinion:

  1. After all this time, what’s your opinion these days of Jade Constantine? Are there old faces you might consider emblematic of the early independent capsuleer days?
  2. Which speakers or philsophically-inclined capsuleers over the years do you consider to have been particularly prescient or insightful?

Jade was a forceful speaker and demagogue, who did not hesitate to use her skill for to gain and keep power. She was ruthless and sharp and absolutely dedicated to whatever job she had taken up at each time and to her core ideology. You couldn’t reason with Jade - you could get the illusion that you were, but she wasn’t engaged in discussion, she was engaged in finding weaknesses in your arguments so she could shoot them down. She was like a force of nature like that, and the argument she understood was force. She was clever enough, most of the time, to see where the force was before she pushed herself into it, which gave the impression that she negotiated - but she really did not, she just figured where she could go and where she couldn’t and worked from that.

In the end, that nature was what finished off her career, too, I think. Maybe it got into her head, or maybe she wasn’t as good on an individual level as she was on the organizational? I wasn’t privy exactly to what went on behind those scenes, but my impression is Jade over-reached and imagined she was supremely skillful in the kind of control and manipulation she did. When it turned out that people close to her saw through it and did not approve, she had no means, no personal mana, to pull through that. Her circles splintered, and that was the beginning of the downfall.

Personally? I didn’t like her. Too much posturing, thought too highly of herself, did not listen. Then again, she probably thought the same of me.

I kind of miss Jade. But I miss everyone from those times. I’m old enough for nostalgia. I expect I would change my mind fast if she reappeared.

It is difficult to name only a few names above others; maybe what insightfulness we have had has more been between us than by any one of us? And we have always been products of the time. But one Makoto Priano comes to mind.

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Oh, I see I missed a question.

I don’t know about emblematic, but including but not limited to, some people who had a name in the public spheres relevant to me already when I entered them include:

Jade Constantine
Maggot (did you ever pay out that 1 isk?)
Viqer Fell
Hardin
Einheriar Ulrich
Lyria Lightbringer (stay crazy!)
Makkar
Rodj Blake (die in a fire)
Randuin MaraL
AsheRaven
GoGo Yubari
Tomahawk Bliss
zoolkhan (I still have your gift)
Horatio Starkiller
Darius Shakor (5/5 would stab again)
Golan Trevize

Congratulations on your two decades! You are a representative of a fascinating generation of Pilot-Captains that preceded my own, in those halcyon years of independent capsuleers.

What would you say are the biggest challenges facing the alliance between the Federation and the Republic, and what are your opinions on the alliance itself. Could we be doing better, or are there concerns that you feel need to be addressed?

As you know I am committed to strengthening the bonds that tie the Federation and the Republic together in our mutual pursuit of liberty and justice, so I would be interested to hear your thoughts on what you believe we could be doing better.

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I find this the hardest question so far. Not because the answer is painful - there were plenty of those before - but simply because I do not know what to say.

If you ask me, the Republic owes a blood debt to the Federation. Without you we would not exist.

What talk can there be of “concerns”, where such binding bonds exist?

Can ice do better than freeze? Can fire do better than burn?

To deny such a debt is ohnesh.

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Considering the more recent … developments. How likely do you believe the Empires are heading towards total war? What do you think is going to happen with those who have worked for the betterment of all instead of joining the conflict?

I have seen half a dozen The War scares since I became a capsuleer and I have learned to not make predictions. If it happens, it happens.

If this is the big one, we all do what we must. Some of us will pick a side. Some will run to the fringes. Some will stay as they are and work what they can in rescue and relief.

I for one do not think anyone needs to fear retribution for not having picked a side earlier - not among the Tribes, anyway. Looks will be given but when are they ever not? One does one’s best, with Fate and Luck.

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