The Peace Question

I have been authorized to run a test in order to prove or disprove a theory regarding our current method of operating.

Much has been said about “directly asking” capsuleers about the issues on which we are focused. Having calculated that there is little risk of loss in trying out this method, I present this thread.

The question is addressed to a broad range of people, so I will adjust the wording somewhat.

Matari capsuleers, how do you feel about working alongside Amarr capsuleers in order to nonviolently resolve the present conflicts in the Matari-Amarr warzone, as well as wider-ranging issues such as the end of slavery and the freeing of our people?

Provide your responses below. Thank you in advance for your participation.

If i understand correctly, you want to improve the relationship of two large groups, by appealing to two small subset group within them, is that the case?

Have you considered the question itself and all its assumptions?

  • Matari capsuleers - Small group within the Matari.
  • Amarr capsuleers - Same
  • nonviolently resolve the present conflicts in the Matari-Amarr warzone - It is not an equation where the single capsuleer variable can solve the issue in question. It depends at least on Empire-Republic-CONCORD intervention.
  • as well as wider-ranging issues such as the end of slavery - Empire laws, not even CONCORD will put their finger in this.
  • and the freeing of our people - Broad concept, open to conflicts, lots and lots of conflict.

Perhaps starting with smaller steps may provide more palpable results.

A symposium of Amarr and Minmatar capsuleer organizations, so that they can talk with eachother and not at eachother. Then, perhaps, a list of topics could be agreed upon to be followed by themselves. Then perhaps, their example can become a reference of the manifestation of what was only a possibility, and start to influence a larger ammount of organizations and who know, public policies from both factions.

Chewing in smaller bits helps digestion.

This is a question impossible to answer in general. It is also a question that speaks volumes about how little you know of me. All it would have taken was asking me. But better late than never.

Prior to YC110 I was called one of the staunchest proponents of Karin Midular in space, a proponent of peace with the Empire. I’ve been called an appeaser, a traitor, and worse for it myself, many times. The Heideran-Midular era of building in rivalry in the hopes of a solution without at least immediate bloodshed was something I really believed in. Enough that when it collapsed, I almost took the Way of the Knife, because I could not resolve the loyalties of this new world with my oaths.

Still ■■■■■■■ cannot.

But it all depends on the specific plan. There is nothing more dear to me than the survival of the free tribes - not even peace.

At the moment, the situation is this: the Republic is entangled in a war of attrition in the Militia wars. We had to enter them to prevent a worse escalation, and now we cannot get out, for the fear of the same. But in a war of attrition, the smaller party loses more, in relative power, when the scales are equal. Every day, every single day, we become weaker. And every day, every single day, the Empire becomes stronger, and the voices for immediate Reclaiming become stronger. We are already fighting a war, and we are losing it.

In addition, we are losing the war on the home front. We are bombarded by recently freed of the Faith and by foreign missionaries. Our own reaction has been hard-core tribalism, where a lot of living, newer, traditions are cast aside in the name of uniform fake-tradition. Objecting voices are terrorized into silence, and key witnesses murdered. And yet we cannot afford civil strife, not true civil strife instead of just a couple of capsuleer voices speaking from behind immunity, because see above: we are already in a war, and we are losing it. Any show of weakness, and trust me, there are those in the Empire that will absolutely take the opportunity.

So, hell, yea, present me with a plan, and I’ll take it if it is viable. Pretty much any ■■■■■■■ plan at this point. I don’t care if it is moral, I don’t care if it is honorable, I do not care if I’ll survive it. If we can save our people, I don’t care. I’ve gone as far as say we should rather have total war now than wait until we are even weaker, if those are the options. And yes, even that price I am willing to pay. ■■■■ honor and oaths of old, if the price of sticking to them is the end of the tree tribes.

But “work alongside the Amarr to nonviolently resolve the present conflicts in the Matari-Amarr workzone as well as end slavery” is not a plan. It is at best, a wish there was one. Work how? Do what? What are the capsuleers who work together supposed to do to keep the tribes free?

Wishes can fill a sea but no ship will sail on it. Capsuleers cannot stop what’s happening in Floseswin. Change my mind, show me an actual plan, and I will absolutely consider it.

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While the political differences between Elsebeth and myself are known, I will second her statement. I will only add that this conversation has already happened many times. Please see below.

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This is entirely true. By my memory, things got especially heated during the Muritor debacle in YC 108-9.

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And yet they were simpler times. I wish I had appreciated that properly then.

The purge of Midular’s supporters, power seizure and Tribal state reorganization by Shakor, and the attack on CONCORD and subsequent invasion of Amarr by the Elder Fleet that was far more powerful that anything Muritor could have imagined did make things a tad more complicated. But, at least Shakor got his war, right?

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Nonviolent resolution is nearly impossible without communication. How can there be resolution if communications blackout is apparently the strategy being pursued in Floseswin by House Sarum’s Expeditionary Force?

Such a policy only creates fear. And fear does not lead to free dialogue and negotiation but only acquiescence under duress.

I am curious what makes you think that “free dialogue and negotiation” is supposed to be seen as a desirable thing by any of the combatants?

There Fixed it for you.

You seem to cling to this notion that Midular was honestly attempting to broker a lasting peace with the Empire, and not just trying to buy time to build up a force capable of fighting the Empire, Otherwise known as the Elder fleet. Ill give you that she would have taken a legitimate peace if there was one to be had. But lets think about it:

The Vindication wars were draining Republic assets, manpower, and resources, So Midular, as Ray of Matar, the leader of our people, makes peacefull overtures to keep the Empire off our backs and to free up those resources I mentioned earlier.

The Elder fleet meanwhile is being constructed in secret, because if the Empire had seen a massive build up of Republic Fleet, then that would have jeopardized the diplomatic overtures being made to buy time and would have invited either a preliminary strike or a similar build up of their own military capability - we would likely lose an arm’s race.

Muritor in the mean time, defects, takes a portion of the fleet with him and starts causing trouble as a rogue actor. This of course is a part of the Midualr-Shakor Plan to create precedent of rogue elements within the Republic, providing probable deniability for when the Elder fleet is revealed. He willfully gives his life over to Filmir, both to cement the narrative and to position Filmir as a capable, loyal, and key supporter of the Republic. Shakor is used as a foil, giving the more ‘nationalist’ elements of the republic some one to rally around, and more importantly, control.

Sisters of Eve find the existance of the Starkmanir Tribe within the Empire. This unfortunately is not part of the plan. The Midular-Shakor plan kicks in and the Elder Fleet is deployed before Schedule.

Simultaneously, Republic officials that have been compromised by the Amarr are executed, under Midulars orders, because who better would know and have access to the levels of corruption infecting her government? The Elder fleet and the purge are given the guise of being part of a fictional “elder network” a ‘rogue’ element within the republic. It’s already been established that the Parlimentary Republic doesn’t have full control of the nation thanks to the defiants.

Upon the return of the Starkmanir and the millions of freed slaves, Midular dissolves the parliament and calls for elections, handing power to Shakor with the intent of ushering in a Tribal council governing structure as the Sebiestor Chief, a position with more executive power than the Sanmatar. Filmir Emerges as a central figure in the Republic military in both anti piracy and the fight against the Amarr Empire.

Karin Midular was the Ray of Matar. She always worked for the best interests of our people, and she should be given the credit and recognition she deserves as a master politician and standard bearer of the Matari. May she find peace among the spirits.

TL:DR: Karin Midualr was behind the Elder fleet, the coup, and the Tribal Council.

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The question presents itself as a fairly straightforward ‘how do you feel?’ question. Unfortunately, the conditions underlying the question defy such simplistic framing. Rather, the considerations involved require a clear-eyed view of conditions as they exist, so that the very viability of the question can be determined.

Deeper Issues

One complication to any attempts to frame cooperation along these lines is that the issues presented are themselves fundamentally intractable without delving into the underlying causes for them. Not only is the fighting in the warzones not a thing that capsuleers can truly end, the ‘wider-ranging issues’ are not of a kind where even immediate resolution provides any assurances.

The Warzone

The biggest problem with attempting to ‘nonviolently resolve the present conflicts’ in either theatre of the so-called ‘Faction Wars’ is that the ‘war’ is not designed to be winnable. In fact, the territories within these warzones were specifically designated for the warzone project by the CONCORD signatories, for the express purpose of being at-war.

Over the years, this problem has been highlighted many times, as each of the warzones has come under the complete control of one rival faction or another. Despite complete victory, no signatory nation has pressed for the territory to be formally ceded. Despite complete defeat, no nation has sued for peace. The conclusion is clear: These systems are intended to remain at war. The signatories have no desire for peace, and in fact have a specific desire, and likely a vested interest, in maintaining active theaters of open conflict. The reasons for this may be cultural, economic, or internal socio-political.

Cultural

In the cultural scenario, no side is willing to admit defeat, as this would mean being bested by a hated enemy. Instead, they have all agreed to the establishment of a structure whereby they never have to lose. They never have to admit defeat. At no point will they be forced to deal with the significant loss of face and resulting popular disapproval. The continuation of hostilities allows for a constant direction for ‘we will fight back’ sentiment to be channeled.

Economic

Economic benefits of the warzones are significant. Destruction creates demand: anything destroyed must be replaced and rebuilt. This demand helps to shore up industry, which in turn provides a stable source of general economic demand and activity. This then radiates out through the larger economy in exactly the same way any large-scale influx of economic activity would.

Peace, and the loss of this demand for new munitions, vessels, and other materiel, would present a swift and sudden downturn in economic activity across the cluster which, if not offset by the increase in demand from the rebuilding of the warzone systems, could see cascade effects that trigger a cluster-wide recession. Without significant confidence that such a cascade effect would be avoided, for any of the signatories to engage in a cessation of hostilities is tantamount to a self-inflicted economic wound, and unlikely to be considered, even in the most superficial way.

Socio-Political

Human beings are an undeniably variable and adaptive species. Even within small communities, individuals show a wide range of behavioral responses to similar stimuli. Unfortunately, this variability includes the potential for a pronounced preference for violence. This preference is present among a considerable number of individuals in all of the signatory nations. In many cases, these individuals are funneled into life paths that make use of their aggression and eagerness to challenge themselves. In others, the more direct path of ‘join the military’ is taken. And in some, they just end up in jail.

This segment of the population does not disappear when the population in question is capsuleers. If anything, the traits which allow an individual to succeed and thrive in capsuleer training may well self-select for a tolerance, if not preference, for violence and aggression. As a result, the signatory nations are faced with the challenge of ‘what do you do with a sizeable population of violent, wealthy, potentially influential hyper-nationalists?’

The answer, of course, is yoke their violent potential to their nationalist tendencies, and send them off to a war designed so that nobody ever really loses. ‘Immortal’ warriors, fighting an eternal war. They then become a symbol of national determination and/or pride, and their violent impulses are directed in a way that serves as beneficial to the greater society of their nation. And, if the war ever spreads beyond the warzone, spills out to become a ‘real’ war… there’s a cadre of hyper-adaptable professional mass-murderers quick to hand, ready to be used in particular trouble-spots or to shore up endangered defenses.

The truth, of course, is likely some combination of these factors, in different proportions for each of the signatory nations, as well as other considerations besides. But these factors must be addressed before any attempts to ‘resolve’ conflicts that were expressly designed to not be resolved can happen.

‘Wider Ranging Issues’

Amarr slavery, as it exists now and especially as it exists in the warzone and the current Sarum campaign on Floseswin IV, serves a purpose. That purpose is the Reclaiming. Arguments about God’s forgiveness and the worth of generational slavery aside, so long as the Reclaiming remains a cultural focus, the potential for the Amarr Empire to turn to violence as the method of choice remains as well. Disavowing the Reclaiming, however, means disavowing the Amarr Empire’s express purpose.

Without the assurances that such potential to resume slaving no longer exists, the ‘wider issue’ specified cannot be addressed. Any attempts to do so would be short-sighted and illusory, and any ‘resolution’ would be a temporary measure, awaiting only the whims of a violent madwoman to begin anew.

These deeper issues that underlie Amarr slavery, and the warzone itself, stand as a considerable impediment to any resolution. In fact, no resolution can even be attempted that does not address these issues in a real and lasting way before specific resolutions to the more ‘surface’ issues can be considered, as the landscape of what is possible and what is not will depend entirely on the shape and terms of resolutions to these (and other) deeper issues.

The Position of Amarr and Her Capsuleers

Amarr capsuleers are not permitted to seek resolution to ‘the present conflicts [. . .] as well as wider-ranging issues such as the end of slavery and the freeing of our people’. Those issues are the province of Lords Sarum and Ardishapur, and the Empress, respectively. Amarr loyalists have made it clear that they will not oppose their masters in this. Further, those Amarr capsuleers who have brokered even a foundational, limited agreement with Matari capsuleer organizations have not only been told by Lord Sarum’s representative that such actions are treasonous, doing so has directly fomented an escalation in violence.

What That Means

With both the complications of the ‘deeper issues’ and the complete impotence of Amarr capsuleers in bringing about change, it’s hard to see any framework in which working with the Amarr capsuleers ‘in order to nonviolently resolve the present conflicts’ is at all viable. There really is nothing we can achieve by doing so. Amarr capsuleers do not have the wherewithal to enact meaningful changes with regard to these matters.

Those members of the Amarr nobility who do possess the appropriate authority have made it clear that they have no intention of working with us. Or with anyone else. From the foundational issues with the warzone itself, to the difficulties resolving slavery and the potential for a return to violent Reclaiming, Amarr has no interest in resolving problems. These are, in fact, not problems in their opinion, but a desirable state of affairs. Until such time as they do not desire this state of affairs, they will not be open to entreaty regarding altering it.

That Said…

If there were a viable path forward involving cooperation with Amarr capsuleers that could address the underlying conflicts, that could achieve peace, should we be open to it? Of course. Only the most insane, bloodthirsty psychopath would think otherwise. We should always be prepared to explore every option for an honorable, amicable peace. However, without clear paths forward for addressing the actual root causes of the visible symptom problems… all our efforts are placebo—feel-good fakeries that in the long run do more harm by leaving the underlying disease to fester.

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Actually no. I am quite sure that Midular was biding time for a chance to betray the peace that was offered by the Empire. I have repeatedly said that she was far more dangerous than Shakor.

But Midular was smart, unlike the Jove addled idiot who got you into the current mess. If the Elder Network’s Fleet was her trump card, rather than something separate from the resources that I am sure she was hiding from CONCORD, she wouldn’t have been so insane as to waste her one shot at a knockout.

She lost control. In part because the Matari Republic simply was not optimized for peacetime and could barely function without the pressure outlet of an ongoing war and in part because of the Blood Raider machinations that brought things to a head by threatening the Starkmanir survivors. So Shakor’s Network, which had been undermining her throughout and had actively slowed her attempts to build up a secret fleet to use against Amarr by stealing resources from the Republic, used it’s half developed fleet to attack Amarr without an actual plan for finishing the job.

And so we have a war of attrition that the Republic is incapable of winning and an Empire that is militarizing to levels that it hasn’t been at since before the reign of the Emperor Heideran.

Sometimes I think that we should really thank Shakor for defusing Midular’s threat, since another decade of Amarr complacency might have actually given her a chance to be an existential threat to us.

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And here I thought I had no competition for Biggest Bullshitter of the Night.

Instead of old problems, there are always new ones to try out.

Join the Triglavians and see what happens.

When the Starkmanir were revealed, though, the Republic had to act. Even if we assume Prime Minister Midular knew of the secret fleet, she was of course not the only one who did. The internal situation with the opposition to “appeasement” and not “coming for our people” aggressively enough was already precarious; leaving them would have meant immediate civil war and impending Amarr invasion.

The timing of that revelation has always seemed highly suspect to me.

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I have no doubt that she would have acted if she had been given the chance, but the contrast between a carefully targeted attack to deal with specifically that issue and the massive wide ranging wasteful fleet raids ranging all the way to Sarum that we actually saw on the day of the CONCORD blackout is pretty stark.

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Sure. But at the time, it was not enough to act. We had to be seen acting. Of course, in the end it even that was not enough, the Purges and the coup happened anyway. But trying to act in the shadows would have been worse. Trust me, I was there, working these exact same politics.

I fully buy that Midular’s government knew of the Elder Fleet - that it was built on their intitiative, even. It fits what I saw of the spirit of the time, and come on, realistically, they had to know. So much government money embezzled without it being a high-level inside job is extremely unlikely.

After that, Cain’s theory that it was all orchestrated is pretty, but fits a little too nicely. To me it seemed events were not neat and controlled like that; there were multiple forces moving and multiple plots going on. It is clear Midular yielded to the regime - no one ran to oppose Shakor on our last elections of prime minister, after all. She likely did that in the linterest of preventing civil war and to secure the limited escalation instead of full retaliation, yes. Maybe in the interests of preventing civil war, or to uphold plausible deniability.

But to assume she planned it all - I doubt that. Even the Ray is human. Events moved too fast for such planning, and more likely everyone was just improvising the ■■■■ out of a terrible situation.

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They don’t want peace, so they won’t see it. That’s their decision not ours. We will defend our right to live much like certain other people, as we should support.

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To have any significant lasting peace requires two things

  1. A desire from both parties to do so
  2. Trust on both sides that both parties will do what they promised.

Neither of these options is current and valid. The Minmatar and Amarr Governments do NOT want peace, and neither will trust the other that the desire for peace is genuine.

Capsuleers can make small actions that build that trust (The destruction of the PL titan in Ammake comes to mind) - but our actions are not going to impact at the highest levels. There are so many “advisors” to our leaders that have their own views and agendas that we cannot ensure that our voice is heard at the highest level. The only way that can happen is if we gave up our capusleer life and became full time “advisors” making sure that we crushed the opposing views and ensuring our agenda was the only one that was heard by the Governments.

I am totally sure that if I was to even attempt that role - it would last less than a week before there would be a bloodbath, and I would suggest that would be the same for the majority of us.

In the meantime we muddle on - and defend our positions, to the best of our ability, and hope for saner times, and pray for the survival of our peoples whichever side we are on. Not even I wish the bloodbath that would occur with a full war, for it would impact on both sides so badly. And in the end it is always the innocents who suffer.

Do I trust the Amarr Government if they came to us and wanted peace - hell no… but by the same token - do I trust my people if they want the same - past events would also generate the same response…

so we muddle on and hope for better times because the alternative is unthinkable.

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The end of the slavery or its survival for next (insert term) is an internal Imperial question and shall not be discussed in the light of Amarr-Minmatar relations, unless the Republic will be completely consumed by the Amarr Empire.

Any cases of addressing existing of the slavery inside Imperial borders in order to terminate it during spotlight of external Imperial relations I treat as bullying attempts, not politics.

So, speaking about the Peace, knowing how often and harsh I speak about gallente and demands to them for the peace, you wouldn’t expect me, for example, to demand Gallente to terminate democracy just because 200 years ago they used it to bully us, right? If I said that to get peace with gallentes they must first get rid of their democracy, people would say that I would be a bully or even insane. Because that demand indeed would be insane, and since I am not insane, I am not going to demand gallente to change their internal policies. What I do care about is their external offenses.

But, again, it’s not about me, just bringing myself as example for you to think about it, would you call those outsiders who demand the end of the slavery in the Empire while not being part of the Empire sane? Because it really sounds as demanding termination of democracy in Federation, or demanding disbanding corporations in the State, or, say, demanding all minmatars to remove all their tattoos to end the war. Silly, isn’t it?