Friday, December 20, 2013

Wolves of the Southern Wilds

And now, what’s going to happen to us without barbarians?
They were, those people, a kind of solution.

      - C.P. Cavafy - Waiting for the Barbarians

The word 'barbarian' was coined, to the best of our knowledge, by the Mycenaean Greeks.  It is an onomatopoeic word, intended to reflect the sound of barbarian-speak as the Greeks perceived it.  Seems Agamemnon and his lot found the speech of non-Greeks to be coarse, guttural and rather silly; they mocked it as sounding like” Bar, bar, bar".   It was pretty funny at the time, or at least everybody who spoke Greek thought so.  And they all had a good laugh at the expense of these benighted outsiders.  Mind, the joke lost a little of its jolly when the bar-barians sacked Pylos and the other Mycenaean citadels sometime around 1200 BCE.  

Who the barbarians are has always been largely a matter of perspective. It is an exclusionary word, intended to draw a distinction between persons outside a group and persons inside a group.  In particular, the word is loaded to underscore the relative superiority of the insiders and, especially, the inferiority of the outsiders.

To Goonswarm, we are all barbarians.  

And that's a bit ironic since, upon a time, Goonswarm itself was viewed as a bunch of pubbie barbarians; their tactics at the time depending on overwhelming the enemy with a mass of inexpensive ships flown by inexperienced pilots.  But, as they say, the only constant is change.  Band of Brothers (BoB), nullsec's major power of those early days is no more, laid low by the very barbarians they scorned.  And now Goonswarm sits in the seat of empire, enjoying a degree of hegemony unseen in nullsec since the founding of New Eden.

Indeed, Goonswarm has completely rewritten the character of nullsec and the playbook for holding and extending sovereignty here.  Wherever Goonswarm and its proxies in the ClusterFuck Coalition (CFC) hold sway, nullsec is a relatively risk free place where the living is easy.   Wars are imposed on others and are fought elsewhere, allowing ISK to be easily harvested and flow without interruption in to the imperial coffers. As CFC member Razor Alliance’s leadership recently pointed out to its membership, it “… doesn’t have to do anything but joining fleets and making ISK”.  

Having ‘won EVE’, one would think Goonswarm’s leadership could rest easily 'pon their starry beds.  Alas, one can do anything with bayonets but sit on them.  And. for some reason, empires tend to evidence a strange compulsion toward controlling populations for whom they historically express contempt.  As in life, so in EVE.  For Goonswarm, the elimination of meaningful threat is no longer the point.   All barbarians (i.e., non-Goons) must be either be domesticated or eradicated. 

Thus the empire assembles a vast host and marches south in all its strength.  The wolves of the south wait for them, and sharpen their knives the while. 

We are all barbarians. It’s only a matter of whether or not you’re wearing Goonswarm's collar.  That is the narrow choice before free nullsec.  You can be Goonswarm’s dog, or you can be a wolf.  But you can’t be both.

Choose well, my friends.


  1. And what, rhetorically speaking, will you choose to be?

  2. In many ways, the GSF represents the New Eden ideal. Every new capsuleer has dreams of carving out a small tract of land to call their own, relatively safe from invasion. Inevitably, it becomes easier to capitalize on someone else's efforts... in other words, bend the knee to Mittanigrad. Why fight when you can get what you want for wearing a bee on your shirt?

    On the other hand, if you value strategy, and complex tactics over stability, you're probably better off going against the CFC. You won't find any better challenge than standing against the Honey Horde.

  3. Amazing how this has all worked out, who'd a thought?