Despotic Primitivism: Idealism in DecayEdit
Audio version (does not include the Addendum) It is recommended that you follow the text with the audio.
A New IdeologyEdit
The outbreak of war has brought with it a new and unexpected twist: the death agony of idealism. This has taken the form of a new ideology currently embodied in the alliance 'Vox Populi'. In its short lifespan it has already created a significant amount of literature, churning it out faster than most can keep up. So far politicians have been content to take this new ideology – its goals, origins and ideals – at its word, but for the scientist this is not sufficient. Where did it come from, why did it develop now, what does it stand for, what is it? These are all questions that must be answered in order to understand, and therefore in order to enact policy (alliance or personal), toward it. To this end we will examine the material roots of the new ideology through a materialist microscope and find not just the skin, but the essence of it.
The Death Agony of IdealismEdit
The first thing necessary in any scientific investigation is to examine the character of the membership, for it is they and their interests that make up the essence of the alliance. Upon investigation the scientist is immediately struck by the eleven founders of the alliance and its ideology: Starfox101, Doitzel, Rebel Virginia, West of Eden, Cheyenne, Moridin, MegaAros, Jonathan Brookbank, ChickenZilla, King_Srqt, Schattenman. These names are significant for their place in relation to the existing structures on Planet Bob before they became founders; namely, the majority of them had been rejected and come to exist outside of said structure. We can begin therefore to understand their opposition to it – it is the environment in which they failed to survive. Indeed, this is excellently demonstrated by their own words. Doitzel, one of the founders and central figures of the ideology, described his history: "Hate was all I knew, it built my world, it imprisoned me, taught me how to eat, how to drink, how to breathe. I thought I'd die with all my hate in my veins." Looking across the list of names and their own histories we can see that this was not an uncommon feeling among them – defeated and alienated, without any real group of comrades, they had nothing left to hold onto. The history of this core membership (of which a significant number were dealt bruised egos by the noted alliance) also goes to explain their specific targeting of the New Pacific Order despite a number of others (including alliances they support) being in far deeper violation of the principles they claim to stand by – to this end we can recognise that despite the analysis that follows, a lot of the leaders (whether institutional or social) are merely using the ideology as a vehicle through which to convince others to carry out their personal revenge.
Upon further investigation of the membership its more general nature becomes clear, and this is best demonstrated by looking at their own words. What is remarkable about the vast piles of literature churned out by this new ideology is how little it has actually said, instead focussing on vague and unrefined ideas. So far the focus has been on the use of three key buzzwords: 'freedom', 'sovereignty' and 'anarchy'. Immediately we are struck by the contradictory nature of these terms, as freedom and anarchy are taken to mean the ability of individuals and alliances to do whatever they want, while sovereignty is taken to mean the right of individuals and alliances to exist without political or military interference. The use of these words (as this ideology uses them) therefore cannot occur consistently in conjunction with each other, as to promote 'freedom' and 'anarchy' you must first accept violations of 'sovereignty' as acceptable, and vice versa; and indeed, the new ideology has already managed to contradict itself further by throwing out all three buzzwords and condemning certain war justifications and arguing for a more stable international order!
These contradictions are long-standing among certain groups, and so the mist surrounding the roots of the ideology begins to dissipate. A more in depth investigation into these buzz words turns up yet more clues. One DocOctane, in his manifesto post upon joining the new ideology, said, for example: "freedom and sovreignty [sic] is a god given right." We can again immediately see the contradictions arise as an ideology that ostensibly seeks to remove political structure and hierarchy begins to advocate the enforcement of international 'rights' – something that inevitably requires a totalitarian political structure and hierarchy . There are dozens of similar comments from adherents to this ideology new and old, but these comments are not unique to it; indeed, they harken directly back to the idealism of days past, as displayed by groups such as the coaLUEtion, the League and Aegis – an idealism that has rapidly lost ideological and political ground over the past year as its explanations and predictions failed to mirror reality in any way, shape or form, resulting in the cataclysmic failure of idealist alliances to sustain themselves.
Is this new ideology then simply the re-emergence of idealism? This is self-evidently not the case, and it is this odd situation that has caused such confusion around what the new ideology actually is. While the new ideology has its roots in idealism it has abandoned many of the ideals themselves, openly conducting espionage, nuclear roguery, breaking accepted global standards in conduct and etiquette, announcing their intention to abuse 're-rolls' for military operations, proposed use of perma-ZI and making tabooed 'OOC' attacks – all of which were condemned by the leading idealists and their alliances, despite their occasional forays in violation of them. Yet while many ideals have been abandoned, many, as we noted above, have been maintained.
One might argue that the new ideology has simply taken on the ideals that it finds convenient and separated out the inconvenient, but it goes deeper than this. What we find is that the maintained ideals are broad, sweeping and ultimately unattainable assertions about what ought to be at some unspoken point in the future, while those abandoned are more isolated specifics focussing on tactical details. It is simple enough to recognise why the latter have been abandoned: to make it easier to pursue the former 'greater goods' and to provide a smaller target for political debate that might shine a light on its contradictions.
But by abandoning these ideals the ideology can no longer be called idealism, as while it ultimately shares the same ordered view of the end product – 'freedom' and 'sovereignty' – it has abandoned the ordered view of the world in its current state, instead taking on the slogan of 'the end justifies the means'. With the end product being an unclear and unattainable vision of what the world ought to be, it has swept aside the majority of its 'detail' ideals and launched a last ditch assault against reality – it is the death agony of idealism; its ultimate expression. Its appearance on the world stage symbolises not the strength of its call, but the victory of materialism and its conception of freedom . Indeed, its appearance is in many respects a positive for materialists, not just as it demonstrates the ideological bankruptcy of idealism and the victory of materialism, but as it shines a light into dark corners and weeds out those lingering idealists suffering from this new ideological disease, bringing them into one place and running them over the cliff like lemmings.
In The Final AnalysisEdit
With the origin, principles, and meaning of the new ideology uncovered, we must move on to define it in its own right. We can see already that it is idealism in decay, but due to the markedly unidealist principles it holds vis-a-vis tactics, which significantly change the manner in which it would act in practice in any future world system, it would be a mistake simply to classify it as a variant of idealism. Instead we can see the combination of idealist ends and pragmatic means as ultimately demanding (however confused and contradictory these demands may be) a return to the state of nature where they believe they can implement their 'greater goods' without structure. It is from this that they derive the slogan of 'anarchy', yet, as we saw earlier, the only way this anarchy could be maintained in the manner they desire would be by violating it. More recently they have begun adding the old idealist notion of 'balance of power' to their propaganda, again contradicting previous statements by indicating a desire to regulate global politics. In the final analysis what we see is an inherently totalitarian ideology, moving not towards anarchy, sovereignty or freedom, but towards control by the 'enlightened'. This tyranny is the worst possible outcome for the individual, where their pursuit of freedom is stifled by those self-appointed 'great men' to determine whether or not something is to be deemed “oppressive” and liquidated – never, of course, determining that they themselves are. It is therefore correct to label the new ideology as despotic primitivism, as it outright rejects the means through which the individual can attain freedom, and champions the cause of reaction in both its ends and means.
Vox Populi and despotic primitivism represent not the birth of something new, but the death of something old. Defined by a membership of idealists and those who failed to survive in the international system, with principles derived from an ideology that largely failed to impact on the modern world, the new ideology can only be described as a combination of all that the collective will of Planet Bob saw fit to purge and forget making one last stand before dying into the night. Seeking a primitive 'anarchy' where its own definition of 'freedom' can be enforced across all nations, it is unable to reconcile its own beliefs and finds itself wrought with contradiction. It is therefore no surprise that despite the thousands of words written by the despotic primitivists they never try to demonstrate anything deeper than their opposition to the current system and the buzzwords they dream of replacing it with. Given all this we can be certain of one thing: if you act in the name of freedom and sovereignty, you must rise against the new ideology.
Since this analysis was written and recorded Vox Populi and its adherents have taken on the role of drafting a Bill of Rights for Planet Bob. This stands to confirm (if confirmation were needed) both the idealist roots of their ideology and the hollowness of their 'anarchy', 'freedom' and 'sovereignty' slogan, as they systematically plan to violate all three in favour of the despotism described above. These rights – these laws – they say should not only apply to those who subscribe to them – to those who enter into a binding political mutual defence surrounding certain issues (as we have already seen across Planet Bob for much of history) – but to every nation on the globe. Only a few days into its existence, then, the new ideology has already begun the short descent into tyranny exactly as predicted.