What is to be Done was first written by Vladimir on the 16th of August 2007 at the height of the troubles surrounding the 'Moldavi Rebellion'. The Second Edition was written on the 29th of June 2008 by the same author for public release. The changes from the First Edition include a new preface, an addendum, and minor language changes to add clarity of meaning and correct errors. None of the arguments, concepts or conclusions were altered.
What is to be Done: An Analysis of the August 2007 Coup. Second Edition.Edit
Preface to the Second EditionEdit
"A political struggle is in its essence a struggle of interests and forces, not of arguments."—Leon Trotsky
It has been over 10 months since What is to be Done was first written and published. Due to the climate at the time and the sensitive internal nature of events it was only ever published on the private forums of the New Pacific Order, and later placed in the private library. However, given the length of time that has passed and the political changes that have occurred in that time, it is the opinion of the author that it has become a work of historical and theoretical interest rather than one of contemporary political importance. It is his hope that the arguments in this work, outside of the context in which it was first published, will add to comrades' understanding of Francoism and the wider Order. On that matter the author thanks Comrade Platino for provoking thought on the matter, directly leading to this publication.
The time that has passed allows us to look back on this work with fresh eyes, to analyse the extent to which it was correct, and to investigate how history can inform our actions today. Moreover, recognising that no permanent damage came from the depicted events, we can consider them to have been largely beneficial in the long run. Not only did events help us to organise and communicate our thoughts on the politics and history of the Order, but ultimately they also strengthened our bonds and institutions. As Comrade Cortath first pointed out in his Principles of Pacifica Weekly Address #4, it is through struggle ("war") that we grow strong: "we did not win a war because we were "destined" or "preordained" to win a war, but rather, we won a war because our alliance has created Francoist institutions, and our Francoist institutions, forged in our revolutionary history and continually reinvigorated through war, are those best able to combat a war." This is touched on in the essay itself, which alludes to past struggles in the first chapter (August Revolutionaries) and the last chapter (Lessons), pointing out that internal struggle is nothing new to Pacifica -- we are, after all, a revolutionary movement -- and that it has its place as a progressive and positive force; a retrospective analysis of these events will quickly note that they were no exception.
While this essay was written without direct insight into what took place between Ivan Moldavi and his co-conspirators, time has nevertheless proven its main theses correct. Over the past 10 months Ivan Molvavi has spoken sparingly on events, but what he has said has been (as one comes to expect of him) direct and brutally honest. Two examples are of immediate importance: one from his resignation speech on the 30th of January 2008 and one from a less circulated discussion that took place on the 29th of April 2008. The former is well known, and articulated an outline of his mistakes and regrets:
I am part of the Old Guard. We are a dying breed. Some of us have found compromise in the Order of today and I salute them for their diligence and adaptability. Change for the better is never a bad thing. Sometimes though, the older generation (and I fit that IC and OOC I guess) has difficulty adjusting to change. That is my only excuse and only defense for my actions in August. I will leave these realms with a heavy heart knowing that I let my reluctance to embrace change cause irreparable damage to some of my relationships here and very nearly let my arrogance destroy that which I have spent so many years supporting. To those that lost faith in me because of those actions, I am sorry.
The first thing that jumps out from this is the amazing similarity it has to an argument made in the chapter The Argument From Character -- "As material conditions evolve, so must the alliance and its leadership to meet the changes presented." But it says much more than just this: in saying that the aforementioned argument was his "only defense" he is conceding a great many other points that were flying around in August 2007, and recognising that the mistakes of the forces behind the coup were wrong without exception.
The second example is incredibly revealing on Ivan Moldavi's personal analysis of events. It comes from a discussion with a comrade who was instrumental in returning Emperor Revenge to his rightful place:
For the record, I stated in my resignation statement [...] that my opinion on last August actually matches yours (not specifically, but "yours" in the faction sense) and I know full well where the blame for those events lay.
While not as explicit as some political historians may wish, the meaning is nevertheless clear, and echoes almost exactly the argument made in Spheres of Influence and Future History regarding foreign manipulation. Armed with these two simple quotes we can see the totality with which Ivan Moldavi himself has come to the same conclusions as our own analysis. This is worth pointing out, for as well as being a testament to the clear headedness and objectivity of Ivan Moldavi, it adds greatly to our understanding of history—far from being the opinion of one position, it has become accepted by those who have no personal interest in doing so.
Analyses such as we see in this essay so often cannot stand the test of time. As new information comes to light the author is required to change, adapt or even scrap entire arguments. Yet the new information in this case has served only to confirm our theses rather than challenge them. It is that fact that makes this essay as relevant to our understanding today as it did when events were taking place. However, it is of the utmost importance that we emphasize the point made at the start of this preface: this is an historical essay, and not one that discusses contemporary politics. The conclusions, while correct on this event, do not necessarily speak to more recent events—to understand these a fresh analysis and thesis aimed at them specifically would need to be developed.
But what history has proven more than anything is that history is not shaped by the arguments made in this essay or elsewhere, but by the Pacifican Nation itself. The democratic will of the Nation is irrepressible, and for all the clever tricks and traps of those tumultuous times, in the end it was the sheer force of this will that crashed through them and lifted the Order back onto its feet. With so many false lighthouses trying to drive us onto rocky ground so that vultures could scavenge the remains, it is nothing short of astonishing that we emerged without a scratch. It was this more than anything that demonstrated: we are the children of the August Revolution.
Preface to the First EditionEdit
I must make clear before anything is said that this is not an official post and does not speak for the Emperor. This is a work that draws on my extensive personal experience as a Citizen, Senator, Emperor, Delegate, Councillor, Regent, Imperial Councillor, Prefect and Viceroy of the Order since August 2003. In that time I have helped to create many of the things that I discuss throughout the essay, including its laws, philosophies, personalities and alliances. I was second in command to Ivan Moldavi throughout his reign as Emperor from February to August 2006 and Imperial Councillor to Emperor Revenge throughout his reign from January 2007 to present. Those of you who know me will know that I am not swayed by emotion or friendship, but rather follow only what I objectively believe will be best for the Order in the short and long term.
From that history, this is my analysis. I have tried to remain as impartial as possible while reaching the logical conclusions of my arguments. I hope that you will find it useful in reaching your own.
It is symbolic that August, the same time of year that Pacifica celebrates her great victory in the August Revolution, is also a time of year that has often shook her to her very core. The August Revolution itself saw the overthrow of TheDoc's corrupt puppet-oligarchy. Its first anniversary saw a massive invasion of Pacifican territory, the victory of the Order, and its reformation into the PRP. Later anniversaries would similarly see conflict, reorganisation, rebirth, and death, all as routine, and all beneficial to the grander picture in their own ways. As we approach the fourth anniversary of the August Revolution this is no different. We once again stand at a pivotal moment in history, and it is therefore not surprising that many comrades are conflicted on which road is the best for our prosperity, just as Pacificans have been in past epochs.
This year's situation should be recognisable to all Pacificans by this point: we face a conflict between two respected members of the Order and the paths which they represent, threatening to tear us apart at the seams. On the one hand we have Emperor Revenge, who has been leading the Order since late January when he oversaw our victory against the then larger power of The League. On the other we have Ivan Moldavi, who led the Order in its youth up until the world turned against us in the Great Patriotic War. Each has lay claim to the Emperorship, and an understandably emotive history has seen many comrades internally split on who to follow.
Over the following chapters I will consider the current dispute, and endeavour to discover which road is best through an examination of the arguments that plague both Emperor Revenge and Ivan Moldavi (those from law, philosophy and character), before analysing the events that have transpired, why they have transpired, and coming to a conclusion on the best course of action for the Order as a whole.
Before going into the arguments on the future, we must first consider the arguments on the history of the conflict. To this end it may seem to some that I am making a major assumption on a matter that is still hotly contested by Ivan Moldavi. However, these are assumptions only insofar as the evidence that the author has seen to confirm his position cannot yet be released for various (largely OOC privacy) reasons. I obviously cannot expect this to be taken at face value and so will demonstrate their truth through the available information, without using evidence that is publicly unconfirmed.
This most controversial of perceived assumptions is that Emperor Revenge was coerced into handing power over to Ivan Moldavi against his greater will. This may have been done through clever manipulation, and even have looked to be consensual, but the known facts of the situation provide a clear outline of something that was far from consensual.
I have been present for the handing over of power twice in this universe—first from Ivan Moldavi to Dilber, and then from Dilber to Emperor Revenge—and many more in others. On every single occasion there was (among the higher ranks) a public and transparent discussion between the past and future Emperor, with both openly consenting to the handover and the present officers bearing witness. The new Emperor would then set about his tasks with the full consent and knowledge of all involved. But this case was notably different. Emperor Revenge was approached by two power-players from another alliance altogether, each chosen for their unique talents. The first was Electron Sponge, Emperor of the New Polar Order and owner of the NPO forums; his purpose in this was obvious—to make sure Emperor Revenge knew who had the upper hand. The second was BlackAdder, a long-time close ally of Electron Sponge, personal (OOC) and professional confidant of the Emperor, and well known among older Pacificans for his skills of manipulation. It would take a strong mind to believe that Ivan Moldavi's choice in colleagues to approach the Emperor on his behalf was a mere coincidence. And surely if it was anything other than an attempt at coercion he would have at least sent members of the NPO itself to discuss internal matters with the Emperor of the NPO, if not (as precedent dictates) go himself—his lack of doing this can only be seen as an attempt to distance himself from the situation in case it went badly.
These suspicions are further backed up by the simple fact that Emperor Revenge told his closest advisers immediately afterwards (before Ivan Moldavi had taken any action) that he had been coerced out of power, and this was confirmed by his re-seizure of that power a few days later when conditions were right.
This author, therefore, even ignoring the additional information that he is privy to, can see no other logical conclusion than that there was an coordinated coercive effort to remove Emperor Revenge from power. While we will henceforth accept this as true, we will not use it as a fact to colour our analysis of the arguments involved in it. If using coercion to replace an Emperor is legal under Pacifican law, for example, then it is a point in favour of Ivan Moldavi and not Emperor Revenge. Indeed, it can not be known whether this coercion was coordinated by Ivan Moldavi or if he was simply a player in someone else's plan. These are questions that we will ask over the following chapters.
The Argument From LawEdit
The first argument that became popular among interested parties was that from the legal standpoint. It is argued that, as suggested previously, regardless of how Ivan Moldavi attained the Emperorship, he attained it nevertheless, and thus it was a legal exchange of power within the Order. Since this argument usually comes from those who are self-admittedly weak in Pacifican law, I will attempt to clarify.
It is true that the Charter of the Order makes no specific points regarding how one Emperor should pass it to the next—whether it should be done willingly or not—however, it would be a mistake to equate the Order's Charter with Pacifican law. One reason for the routine internal upheavals that allows the Order to adapt to situations (a key component of its ability to stay on top) has always been (since its founding days in September 2003) the lack of a written constitution. Instead the Order has functioned with an uncodified constitution made up of numerous legal documents (of which the Charter is just one), speeches and, above all, precedent.
To properly understand this precedent and how it impacts the legal status of the exchange of power we must first look at the past four years of Pacifican history and the reasoning behind it. There are three primary requirements to any change in the Emperorship. The first is that the new Emperor is appointed by the previous Emperor: Comrade Franco appointed Comrade Unlimited, who appointed Comrade Mammothistan, and so forth, until current times when Comrade Dilber appointed Comrade Revenge. The second requirement is that there was a common understanding amongst the hierarchy of why, how and when this was to be done, and who it was to involve. This does not necessarily mean that the hierarchy was involved in the decision (although they have generally been consulted), but it does mean that they had a knowledge of it. This was simply due to the fact that it was an open and honest process, with no need to act secretively or do anything in the shadows; and moreover, with the understanding that a 'no surprises' policy in regards to such changes was hugely beneficial to the smooth running of the alliance. The third requirement, as the second implies, is that it was done willingly by the previous Emperor. Since the Emperor is sovereign of the alliance, it may be argued that anything he does is by definition done willingly; however, this is to ignore the leverage and manipulation that is possible for those who know what buttons to push—to sign a contract at gunpoint (whatever that gun is made of) is not to do so by ones own free will. Thus it is only true to say that Emperor Revenge's action was voluntary in the sense that no action can ever be involuntary—a clear and demonstrable falsehood.
It is by virtue of ancient precedent that these three key requirements have made Pacifican law their home, and due to this they have always been observed, even by Comrade Francos Spain himself. It is therefore fair to say that any exchange of Emperorship that does not meet these conditions outside of extraordinary circumstances can not be seen as legitimate.
We therefore look to the recent exchange of power between Emperor Revenge and Ivan Moldavi. It is without doubt that this exchange met the first requirement—that the previous Emperor must appoint the new one—and indeed, it seems as though Ivan Moldavi went to some pains to ensure that this did happen, probably because it is the only requirement that appears in the written Charter. Why this makes the exchange of power illegitimate becomes clear once we begin to examine why these three requirements came into existence, and to do this we must touch on our next chapter; that of Pacifican philosophy.
It is often said that the Emperor is the Order. In fact, it may well have been myself who first coined the term. However, this does not mean what many assume it to. To say that the Emperor is the Order is not to say that the Emperor is larger or more important than the Order, but contrarily it is to say that the Emperor is the embodiment of the Order: its principles, its laws, its dreams and its people. To ignore the latter two requirements and wrestle power from the Emperor is therefore tantamount to wrestling power from the people themselves, only to give it to the individual at the top—something that goes against all Pacifican tradition, culture, philosophy and, from any perspective, law.
This extends to the expulsion of Ivan Moldavi from the New Pacific Order. It is pointed out by his supporters that the Charter states that the Emperor cannot be expelled from the Order, and thus his expulsion must have been illegal. The crucial assumption of this argument is that Ivan Moldavi was Emperor at the time; however if we take our argument to its logical conclusion, which is that Emperor Revenge legitimately retained his position as Emperor throughout the ordeal, then the significant implication of this is that Ivan Moldavi never legally assumed the position and thus held no protection via the Charter. In summation then is therefore true to say that at the time of his expulsion he did not hold the office of Emperor, and so his expulsion was legal.
The Argument From PhilosophyEdit
A second line of argument that has opened up is that along the lines of Pacifican philosophy and culture. Pacifican philosophy is a complex subject, with many internal debates and stages in its history; however, with a brief grasp of history it is not difficult to understand the basics of where we are today and what this means in the current conflict.
The first real codification of Pacifican philosophy came in 2004 with the publication of Proper Francoist Thought (PFT). This essay is largely irrelevant in today's universe, but the fundamental principles that it outlined are still just as relevant today.
The most striking principle that comes from this is that of unity. In the case of PFT it was unity of the class, and that has now manifested itself both in the unity of the red trading sphere, and, more importantly that of the New Pacific Order itself—outside the context of The Pacific territory. The next two principles are strongly related as will be explained shortly. The first was that of Strength of Purpose: always seeking to enhance the Order internally, strengthen it externally, and secure its borders by whatever means (whether that was independently or in cooperation with others). The second, and perhaps that of more immediate interest, is the principle of Autocratic Democracy. This seemingly paradoxical principle is one that developed first with Comrade Franco with during the August Revolution, and was carried proudly through each epoch by its Emperors, through PFT, and into our current universe. Autocratic Democracy is something that we touched on in the previous chapter, with the Emperor existing as the embodiment of the people and channelling their democratic will through him into an effective and autocratic single action. This is one of the most fundamental but least well known factors in the success of the order. To violate this is to violate everything that the Order represents and has fought to maintain for the past four years. These three primary principles may have changed slightly in implementation over the years, but they can still be seen everywhere within the Order, embodied in what we today call the Pacifican Way of Life.
So then it comes down the question of if and how these principles have been violated. The first principle—Pacifican Unity—is perhaps the most important but least relevant in this situation. It is self-evident that unity has been broken with participants on all sides, and so that can be ignored for the purposes of our analysis. The latter two principles—Strength of Purpose and Autocratic Democracy—are intertwined and must be discussed together, since the latter is by and large a way of implementing the former. If one fails, then the other is either in the process of failing or has already failed. Why does this matter? It comes back to the point that was made earlier: that the Emperor is the focal point of these two principles. If an Emperor acts against them, regardless of the spirit in which he does it, he is acting against not just an abstract philosophy, but the founding principles of the Order, and thus the Order and Pacific itself.
The current situation brings these principles to the forefront. By coercing the Emperor to abdicate, Ivan Moldavi coerced the very will of Pacifica and replaced it with himself for his own ends. This in turn destroyed the principle of Strength of Purpose by replacing the democratic aspect of the Order with his own desires, thus negating the strength of the alliance and its direction. In this way Ivan Moldavi's seizure of power broke the basic philosophies and founding principles of the Order, and he can in no way be said to hold the high ground on them.
The Argument from CharacterEdit
The most popular controversial argument has also been, in my view, the least relevant one. That argument is whether Emperor Revenge or Ivan Moldavi made the best leader. I view this as irrelevant as we do not chop and change leaders depending on who we believe to be better on a whim. If that were the case then we would implement an electoral system and tell everyone to run for Emperorship; the results of this, as we have seen in other alliances, are disastrous. What has brought the Order unrivalled prosperity has been the stability and strength that a single leader, focussing the energy of the entire alliance, can bring. This was true under both Emperor Revenge and Ivan Moldavi, and so cannot be used as an argument for or against either one.
Furthermore, the comparisons between the NPO under Ivan Moldavi and the NPO under Emperor Revenge are heavily flawed, as both leaders existed in different times under different circumstances with different officers, and so to compare the two periods is impossible, regardless of who you think was better. Under Ivan Moldavi, for example, our enemies were scattered and fought amongst themselves—there was no League, no Aegis, no MDP web; in fact, there were barely any MDPs at all. As material conditions evolve, so must the alliance and its leadership to meet the changes presented. If we were the same NPO now as we were back then, we likely wouldn't exist. The same may be true of the opposite.
What has specifically been argued is that Emperor Revenge is not strong enough to run the Order, to which a simple response can follow: who led the Order through its wars with League, Aegis, FAN and many others with minimal casualties? Or, more directly, who had the strength of will, organisation and member-loyalty to remove Ivan Moldavi, who, it is claimed by his supporters, is supposedly the strongest player in existence, from a position of supposed absolute power? These do not seem like the actions of a weak man. In this case it may simply be a matter of confusing style for substance—a mistake that no leader can afford to make, as shown by Ivan Moldavi's ultimate downfall.
Spheres of InfluenceEdit
The question has narrowed since we first started looking at the debate, but we are still no closer to an answer: If this is not a legal, philosophical or character issue, then why has it happened? It is clear that by now a simple feedback loop has developed—attacks beget attacks, hatred begets hatred. However, as with any proper analysis, we must look for a first cause to explain why things began in the first place. A wiser man once said that "a political struggle is in its essence a struggle of interests and forces, not of arguments", and this is as true here as it has been elsewhere.
There have been two forces at work here, each with separate interests, but both working temporarily towards a common goal. The first is, of course, Ivan Moldavi himself, and the second is a select group of individuals who sought to subvert the sovereign direction of the Order and bring it under their own sphere of influence. In the case of Ivan Moldavi I think we can expect that he was not malicious in his intentions. It is true that he sought to take the Emperorship for himself, undermining the founding principles and legal basis of the Order, and should be roundly condemned for such; however, we can see from his words and actions that he did so with good intentions; the flaw was only in failing to consider that good intentions that pave the road to hell, not prosperity. To this end I would suggest that the evidence points to Ivan Moldavi not being the manipulator, but the manipulated—to him being played by others for interests that were not his own, without his consciously realising it.
The second group do not get off so lightly. It is evident to this author that they orchestrated the entire event from behind the scenes, manipulating Ivan Moldvi's egotistical nature and attempting to undermine the sovereignty of both the Emperor and the Pacifican Nation. These people were instrumental in coercing Emperor Revenge into stepping aside (making his re-seizing of power necessary), in convincing Ivan Moldavi that he should retake the Emperorship, and in guiding Ivan Moldavi's foreign policy to almost mirror their own. It is unfortunate therefore that we can say that Ivan Moldavi, perhaps unintentionally, was key in putting the affairs of the Order and the welfare of Pacifica into the hands of a foreign power, almost leading to disaster. Taking this into account it then also becomes obvious why such desperation and emotions have been on show from those foreign stakeholders who have been supporting Ivan Moldavi.
This has not been an easy conclusion to reach, as it goes so strongly against strong friendships, past leaders and close allies; but to deny ourselves the facts of this analysis would be a bigger crime than the actions the culprits themselves took. It is only through turmoil like this that we learn to advance our understanding of ourselves, allowing us to better protect our achievements and prosper. From time to time Pacifica must be washed with the blood of patriots to keep it from falling into disrepair. It is now clear that the attempts to bring the Order under another's sphere of influence have failed, and so regardless of past thoughts it is pointless to look towards such a self-destructive event in any capacity other than a lesson learned. All we can do from here on out is to admit our mistakes, correct ourselves, and become better than we ever were before. Because it is not Ivan Moldavi or even Emperor Revenge that is the essence of Pacifica, it is that unquenchable thirst of its members to advance and become all that we should be.
This essay was designed to deal with the popular questions of the day, rather than carry out an in depth analysis of the relationship between the New Polar Order and the New Pacific Order. However, given its conclusion it was inevitable that questions would arise. In order to provide a more complete picture of events I have included my response to these questions. The following is in response to a specific question regarding my use of the words "foreign power" to describe the New Polar Order.
My use of words obviously isn't going to be to everyone's liking; however, I do not use them lightly. BlackAdder and Electron Sponge obviously aren't foreign in so far as they are long-term friends and confidants of many within the Order -- myself included. Where they have become foreign is in where their interests lie, and the methods they use to pursue them. These methods have gradually diverged from our own in recent history, and while I dearly hope that they can be reconciled, it would be intellectually dishonest of me to fall into the is ought problem and ignore the present situation.
I will try to give an example of this to demonstrate, though you'll have to forgive me that it's vague in certain respects for obvious reasons. Once Ivan Moldavi seized power one of the first things that he did was to create a thread in the Imperial Officer forum outlining the suggestion of a new defensive alliance that had been suggested to him. This was an MDP that included a traditional enemy of the Order that we have had little to no recent contact with; however, what they did have was a strong and growing friendship with the NpO. It quickly became clear during the course of discussion that it was Electron Sponge who had made this suggestion, since he was making hourly trips to our forum along with his NpO advisor BlackAdder in order to try and force the proposal through. It received zero support from the officers of this alliance, and in fact most attacked it as not just an ill-advised move, but one that would be negative to the future prosperity of the New Pacific Order. Regardless of this, Ivan Moldavi made clear that he was most likely going to side with those who held no position in this alliance and sign the treaty.
What this demonstrates is the level of leverage that they had gained through their attempts to bring Ivan Moldavi to power, and how that leverage was being used in order to gain things that were in their, rather than our, interests.
It is certainly true that in order to counter this truth Electron Sponge and his officers have been attempting to push the idea that they are taking on the mantle of the 'true' Pacifica, but this can be seen as no more than propaganda, fitting in with the massive attempts to recruit our membership into their own alliance (such as having www.newpacificorder.net link to their forums which encourage people to leave us and join them!).
|Important People||Francos Spain - Vladimir - Sir Paul - Cortath - RedCommunist|
|Important Events||August Revolution|
|Alliances||New Pacific Order - New Polar Order|
|Literary Works||Proper Francoist Thought - The Meaning of Freedom - Five Days that Shook the World - Francoist Papers
An Introduction to Francoism - The Sage and the Student - Principles of Pacifica Weekly Address Series