Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Wag the Dog

Conrad 'Connie' Brean: What's the thing people remember about the Gulf War? A bomb falling down a chimney. Let me tell you something: I was in the building where we filmed that with a 10-inch model made out of Legos. Stanley Motss: Is that true? Conrad 'Connie' Brean: Who the hell's to say?
- Wag the Dog (1997)

Last week on Thursday I boldly proclaimed that the Cluster Fuck Coalition and Honey Badger Coalition would not be going to war. Since then there have been developments as reported on EveNews.com and TheMittani.com that begin to make my prediction look ridiculous. First we have Montolio of Test alliance going to EveNews24.com (aka EN.com) for an interview on the 20th, then a post on the next day on TheMittani.com (aka TM.com) about how diplomatic ties are failing and minor resets, then a repost (with Montolio's permission) on TM.com of an internal post by Montolio about the history between Test and Fatal Ascension on the 22nd (today), followed immediately by another TM.com article called "The Madness of Montolio" with a byline that states "Drama between Goonswarm Federation and the leader of TEST alliance, Montolio, explodes". EN.com also carried that story.

In the movie "Wag the Dog" there is an American presidential election and a few days before the vote the incumbent candidate gets caught in a scandal (as only politicians can) and his campaign team decides to mock a war with Albania that the sitting president can "win" just before the election for an electoral boost. So they hire a director and movie crew to produce false news reports about this war to fool the american public and mass media.

This flow of events puts me in mind of that movie. It all feels so.... orchestrated. Like their is a director and his crew sitting behind a computer screen saying "now, you 'leak' this chat log and you, Montolio, go to Riverini for an interview... can anyone do some awoxing here? Overview malfunction?" After all, the communities both alliances/coalitions are built on are notorious for their love of trolling so its not a big step to imagine this brewing conflict is one big troll of the Eve community.

If this is real, and Goons and Test and friends are about to go into all out war, I'll be sitting in low sec with a drink and popcorn and I'll enjoy the fireworks. The propaganda alone will be magnificent! It could be the most epic war since NC versus Drone Russians and the most drama-laden since Goons versus BoB.

But I can't help as to feel that this is all being staged for someone's benefit, a giant head of a distraction while the men behind the curtains fiddle with knobs and levers. Why?

Let's indulge in my conspiracy theory and ask the question "Who profits from this war?". I think the answer very straightforward.: Goons and Test do.

How does that work? Well, as we've discussed in the past the greatest threat to an alliance is not outside force but internal ones: drama, sabotage, demoralization, apathy, etc. You can push a group of players out of an area of space and take their homes, but they are not defeated until they leave the group and go somewhere else (or simply stop logging in).

Apathy is the internal threat facing both alliances. There is no large external threat to rally against; the north is conquered, the south a serious of isolated fiefdoms, Against ALL Authorities is down (and perhaps for the count), the drone lands in war... the empires' borders are secure and the soldiers are free to do as they please. This is a grave threat to these conquering alliances because PvP pilots get notoriously bored inbetween wars. And bored pilots don't log in. And fleets get rusty, discipline goes down, subscriptions lapse... and the next thing you know you are in a hollow shell of the coalition that conquered all that space and a new coalition comes in and finds you  topple very easily, much like what happened to the NC against the Drone Russians once the logjam at the fronts was broken with the help of Pandemic Legions involvement, or the collapse of IT alliance after Test and Goons took Fountain.

In order to keep the fleets in fighting trim shape, both coalitions need a war. But the problem is that the available targets are too small or too weak to evoke the urgency needed to get grunts to care. Apathy once again.

Thus does a solution present itself: who better to fight the largest coalition in Eve except the second largest. Cue the stage show.

* * * * *

Occam's Razor suggests that the drama and posturing we are seeing is what it is: two large alliances positioning themselves for the moral high ground in an upcoming conflict. But I can't help but wonder "what if?".


  1. Heh, pretty much what I thought ^^

  2. Either way it's fantastic. Epic war or epic troll it makes for popcorn consuming entertainment. Kudos to both of em either way.

  3. Fascism requires an external threat at all times to keep people from realizing how shitty their lives and government are. Also, Hitler. Just 'cause.

  4. Anonymous10:53 pm

    When did you change your background? I love it.

    Also just wrote something pretty similar. It's a war between fraternal twins who like each other at the base, but the younger one needs to fight something, and the older one does too. Maybe.

  5. It's also possible that what is intended as a troll could go wrong and end up as a forever war.

  6. Anonymous4:21 am

    Interesting reading here.

  7. Had the same thought, yesterday, it feels so staged! By the looks of dotlan and evekill, test and goons have even begun shooting one another.. but it's just a few kills for a few pilots.

  8. While there is no war, Goons + pets and TEST have all done a reset and are now neutral to each other, so with their NBSI rules they can now fight each other, even without a full-scale war.

  9. With OTEC around it's only a war to keep grunts busy but no real sov war.
    They just have to be careful that the propaganda doesn't work too well and real animosity arises.