Upcoming Presidential elections in the Gallentean Federation

“Hi Intergalactic Summit’ members, here’s a transcript from a speech I gave recently, what do you think?”

“Villore IV, 17.09.YC121. Today before the Senate’s High Chamber, local Senator Nunosh from district 18, Coriault constellation, Eglennaert system, happeared on an hearing on Appropriations Subcommittee for State, Foreign Operations, and Strategic Forces issuing the following speech”

“Esteemed Head of the Senate, Esteemed Senators, Honorable Embassadors, Members of the Federal Cabinets, greetings.”

“This last year was filled of important issues and for all of them we didn’t saw any reaction from the Presidential Cabinet.”

“The Triglavian Collective invaded New Eden – with continuous invasions of constellations within our borders – and what was our reply? Nothing! Federal Navy remain docked and we even saw a total inaction from the from Directive Enforcement Department without any strong opposition from our representatives”

“One of our founding nations, the Intaki Nation, faced an invasion on its own homeworld from a Caldari megacorporation and what was the reaction from the Presidential Cabinet? Once again nothing!! We even see Quafe Company and Aliastra joining PKN Interstellar Consortium; a group that was founded by the same megacorporation that invaded Intaki V!! Where is the Gallentean patriotism?”

“Where are we going to end if we do not even defend our own space and founding nations from external threats??”

**”Your time is ending Senator, please be fast”

“I will end my speech Esteemed Head of Senate”

“In less than 3 months our beloved Federation will be called to elect a new President. Jacus Roden is ending his second and last term and it’s time for this great House to step up and recover its own position and support a more active candidate that brings glory, unity and power to our beloved Federation”

“Thank you”


Well … to this particular foreigner this is a pretty good example of why those of us in other countries can be a little skeptical of democracy as a system. The State, Empire, and Republic all have their “hawkish” leaders, and sometimes those hawks pursue a war agenda a little aggressively. Maybe they even want to use a conflict to further their own ambitions.

One thing we don’t have so much, though, is a reason to stir up popular pro-war sentiment as a way to get power. Stirring up resentments is a way to boost morale in favor of a war (or, at most, to generate pressure for a war a certain faction wants). It’s not so much a way to acquire new power. After all, “top-down” regimes are kind of built on the idea that strong popular sentiment can be a trap. It’s exactly the reason subjects don’t get a lot of choice about who rules them.

A democracy, on the other hand, runs on strong popular sentiment. Populations can be stirred or quelled, but if you choose to stir the populace as a method for gaining power you’re likely to become trapped by its passions. If the “active” cause of “glory, unity, and power” (at least it’s vague?) turns out to be a terribly bad, but popular, idea, you might have a little trouble turning away.

In principle, that’s why you’re a representative democracy, I guess: the people are electing leaders, not policies. It might take a strong will to stand in the way of forces you stir yourself, though.

I wonder whether running on “hawkish” sentiment will look like such a good idea in ten or fifteen or twenty years.

That’s what I think, Senator Nunosh. (You did literally ask.)


Nonsense. Shakor came into power on exactly that kind of sentiment. Heth exploited it in his manipulations to power, too. The entire Amarr system of succession is a paean to bloodlust.

Edit for clarity: The idea of genuine ‘popular sentiment’ for war is something of a fallacy, too. Do you think even a significant minority of the people in the Federation give a damn about anything outside the confines of their lives and the lives of their friends and family? They don’t. It’s lip service only, high-minded principles that are wonderful in the abstract, but get met with ‘that’s not how life works’ in the day-to-day grind.

When ‘popular sentiment’ in normal populations[1] gets whipped up for war, it’s always a top-down movement. Leaders who see an advantage in it for themselves, even if it’s just something as simple as advancing their personal stature on the political stage. The masses get used, manipulated and then pointed to as justification for the leaders doing what they wanted to do all along.

1 As opposed to say, the kind of maimed and traumatized population you see in the Republic. I’m not saying it’s right, but we’re predisposed to vengeance and rage, as I explained in the Peace thread. We’re damaged. We shouldn’t ever be used as an example of ‘normal’ behavior. We also shouldn’t be looked to for ‘normal’ behavior. Not even en masse. More like a survivor’s support group… or a wounded animal.


Hm. I suppose what I mean is that there’s less of a direct link.

In a top-down system, popular bloodlust can fuel all kinds of stuff, and of course be weaponized, but it’s really just a form of morale. In a democracy, it can actually express itself through the formal mechanisms of power, though. An angry population will tend to produce a leadership that reflects that anger.

In other words, it’s not just morale (something critical but nevertheless subordinate because it literally reflects the enthusiasm of subordinates). It’s ultimately a direct source of policy, only slightly mitigated by people electing representatives rather than voting on the policy itself.

About your claims about “popular sentiment” being a fallacy … now it’s my turn to say “nonsense,” Arrendis. People are excitable, emotional creatures, and the difference between the “masses” of the Federation and your “maimed and traumatized” people is quite thin. Events such as Nouvelle Rouvenor cry out for blood beyond all reason; strangely similar events, such as Tovil-Toba’s carrier falling on Heuromont, can quash those passions just as abruptly. Those events propelled the abrupt rise and equally-abrupt fall of the most terrible government the Gallente ever elected.

What that government did in its short time, the Caldari have never forgotten and will likely never forgive.

The Gallente don’t maybe have your depth of historical feeling, but the Caldari do. You can argue whether they’re as deeply wounded as the Matari, but really I think it’s just a reflection of similar feelings, and the intensity of a historical wound isn’t based so much on reason or a careful weighing of historic wrongs. Really, I wouldn’t say one’s stronger than the other. Grudges are messy. Vengeance and rage are natural human responses … even if their usual result is to give someone else a reason to hold a grudge, in turn.

And the best way to whip up a “normal population”-- one not presently much motivated by a significant grudge-- for war is to tell it that in fact it does have cause for a grudge, and that vengeance and rage are the appropriate response.

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Think about it. The masses didn’t just instinctively know what had happened. They got told. And that telling included a framing. Someone manipulated popular sentiment. Just because you’re giving people unvarnished facts doesn’t mean you aren’t manipulating them.

The Caldari have, however, had longer to heal, and already worked to get a fair degree of closure. They have thrown themselves into self-definition, with the vertical integration of each of the Megas forging its own identity and having a strong corporate culture. I can very much imagine the Tribes getting to a similar point in another two or three centuries. But they’re a lot less raw than we are, right now.

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You really seem to like the idea of clever people pulling strings to make the world dance, Arrendis.

It must be comforting to believe in something like that.

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I never said everyone was doing it with intent. But it’s still manipulation. And leaders become leaders because they know how to exploit trends for their own advancement.

‘Comforting’ isn’t exactly a word I’d use to describe anything I believe about humanity.

Seeing the human world as a puppet dance instead of a mess of tangled strings and limbs …

… probably there are people out there with interesting plans, but bringing order into this world is a fearsome struggle. I bet those plan-makers face a lot of surprises, probably many of them pretty nasty. Lately, triangular, maybe.

It’s something those of your friends who want to burn this world don’t seem to understand: how hard it was to create even this much safety and order, how hard it is to sustain it.

Nothing better is going to rise easily from this world’s ashes.

That’s something warmongers from any country should maybe keep in mind, even.

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… is not at all what I said.

You realize that you’re saying this to someone who’s responsible for helping to maintain a pocket of safety and order in the face of constant efforts by packs of rabid slavers to tear it down.

A fair number of those warmongers are working to create safety and order, for people who right now only know the lie of slavery, which claims both, but is truly neither. Don’t mistake quiet… for peace.

Terms like “patriotism” should be poison for the Gallente Federation, the empire who’s considered the Utopic one over the others. We have almost the primacy of everything: Technology, lifespan, welfare, civil rights and, mainly, tolerance. Yet is too much having caused troubles like devasting the Caldari State, imposing our thoughts on them showing our hypocrisy on them and others. We don’t need of other “patriotism”.
If the Intaki request our help, then we will kick those Caldari from their territories, if the Triglavian are a real problem, tell the CONCORD to wake up. But please, do not speak about these things using terms like “Patriotism”.

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Most recently.

This is a lot of why you and I don’t talk anymore, Arrendis.

What you said is:

In other words, the masses are puppets dancing on the strings of those at the “top.” “ALWAYS.” This is your original argument. I can understand kind of not wanting to own it in hindsight, but. . . .

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No, Aria, that’s not what that means. The masses are ignorant of things beyond their immediate lives, just like the rest of us tend to be, until someone or some group decides to push awareness of an incident, or a trend. That doesn’t have to be an intentional effort to manipulate people, but that’s what it ends up as. Even just ‘presenting the facts’ influences and pushes on popular opinion in a number of ways.

Leaders are the people who spot the ebb and flow of the masses’ opinions, and they push a little here, pull a little there, in the ways that advance themselves, push their agenda. Not puppetmasters, with the masses dancing on their strings, but matadors. The most successful of them lead the masses through an imprecise dance of luck and influence. The less successful get gored.

And yes, popular sentiment for war—popular sentiment to go and send sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, off to die—is always a result of this dance. But it’s not puppets on a string. It’s a tangled mess, with the would-be puppetmasters as much a part of the mess as anyone else.

Because you like to oversimplify things to make whatever people say fit your preconceived notions of what they’re supposed to be saying?

Because you’re not really interested in exploring reality, or even communicating well. You just want to win. You have to be right all the time, and you’ll adjust and re-adjust until you are, or at least until people are so tired of arguing that they give up.

It’s not just me you do it to, either. It’s everyone, whether they have a point or not. It’s not interesting or fun. I can’t even really admire the technique because I think it costs you more than you get out of it.

It’s useless except to make you feel … validated, I guess. And there’s a quality in it, that darkness in you that even Miz could see. It’s more attenuated, but it’s still there. Maybe it’s not something you can easily shed.

Either way, it’s not useful and it’s not worth the time you spend on it. It’s definitely not worth my time to wrestle with.

So, we’re done. Again.

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Win what, exactly? I haven’t changed what I was saying since the beginning of this discussion, Aria. And the whole way through, you’ve been the one trying to make my words into things they aren’t. I’ve been talking about the matter under discussion, while you make assumptions about the other person’s motives and viewpoint, and try cheap, feeble shots with armchair psychology.

My position hasn’t changed:

Yours has gone from a substantive point about the emotional nature of human beings (which I agree, we are) to… repeated and shifting personal shots.

So, whatever you think anyone’s trying to ‘win’ here… tell you what: you can have it. I give. You win.

ETA: Heck, whatever you’re writing now, you can even have the last word.

It occurs to me, that as Semi-immortals that will most likely outlive all of our baseline friends, families, etc, that we wouldn’t let things get so personal between us.

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Don’t want it.

Arrendis, I didn’t say such a thing to score points or make you look bad. That’s not really my kind of game, or I try not to let it be. I said it so maybe you’d notice there’s a problem and the problem really is kind of a problem and maybe you could even do something about it.

I’m aware you might see yourself as one of the matadors you describe. But I think you’ve been overdoing it, and I’m enough of a sentimental fool not to want to see you get hurt or turn into someone you’d hate (another way of getting hurt).

Maybe that’s not useful advice to someone with a real interest in power, though, if that’s something you’re afflicted by. Maybe the senator would have some insight about that.

… if it even applies. Really I’m not sure anymore what you’re trying to do or be.

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So, uh… what do folks think about the upcoming Presidential elections in the Gallente Federation?


I’m hoping to see Asbran Eleskar (or another credible Minmatar candidate) make a run and bring some fresh perspective.


Nothing yet, more like waiting for the list of candidates.

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A peculiar form of Lan-Bei, where the twin heroes Deceit and Contempt must overcome their adversary Dignity.

Personally, I always found the operas tedious.

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