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Guide to roleplaying your foreign policy [OOC GUIDE]

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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New Aeyariss
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Guide to roleplaying your foreign policy [OOC GUIDE]

Postby New Aeyariss » Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:08 am

from NS World Fair 2015

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Welcome. This guide is dedicated to all honest RPers, especially from the Modern Tech / Realism community, although I have little issue with it being applied to other types of roleplays; I kind of have fascination with the Chinese warring states period myself, so if one wants to implement it to even fantasy roleplays, I have little issue. Still, my point is that this guide, greatly connected to what is my real life field of work, is aimed at teaching roleplayers at how to roleplay the state - and the international politics it carries behind it. As much as it is understandable, judging by the fact that very few people posses that knowledge, I seen multiple forms of absurdities arise on international incidents subforum - ones so grave that I honestly thought that it is good that those people do not rule over us. Political leaders squabbling like little children, behaving on level of sandbox, going to war over few words and fighting virtually everyone over... well, nothing except personal grudges and ideological differences. At the same time I noticed great drop in quality of MT RPing on II, one that saddens me greatly. What I see, however, is aside from better policing of II sub forum, including zero tolerance for behaviors not beneficial for RPing community, such as godmodding and uncooperativeness, I firmly view that learning about how real states function could actually enrich view of multiple roleplayers, giving them new perspectives and above all, allowing them to explain WHAT are their governments interested in and WHY are they doing what they are doing - often helping them build deeper geopolitical stories.

Of course, as I begin to write this lecture, I always have to add what I mention in my every lecture - there is a golden rule in thinking about your nation, and that rule is what the economy calls scarcity of resources. Your nation can NOT have everything, it must have holes, it must have problems that the leadership will be attempting to solve. I for example always roleplayed Nifon as a state with virtually zero natural resources - no oil, no gas, no REMs, no gold, not even a thing. That is why Nifon to stay afloat as a major power, needs to secure them somehow - and here comes the question of securing the sea lanes of communication (SLOCS) to transport them back home, as well as finding proper partners who will deliver them. If necessary, who knows, maybe an option is to secure some of them by force... And here the entire game begins. Just like individuals, states have needs too - and how they manage to fulfill those needs is the essence of the story.

Before we go to looking at how can you interact with other states, we will briefly discuss how can we view the situations we are likely to meet. I managed to single out three dominant worldviews among real life politicians and - very briefly - present them for you here. It is a note that you should not be surprised that those descriptions are very brief - my purpose here is merely to introduce them for the reader. Those theories should be treated as sort of glasses - when head of your government puts them on, he sees simplified reality through them. The three dominant schools of thought are: Liberalism, Realism and Marxism.

Liberalism descends from thinking of the Enlightenment age, but one of greatest contributors to this idea was Woodrow Willson, 28th president of the USA - thus why sometimes it is called Willsonian Idealism. One of key assumption of liberalism lies in it's view of humans as capable of being good, and result of the grievances - such as wars and bad policy management - lying not in the individuals, but in the institutions such as authoritarian governments. At the same time, liberals believe that there is a huge difference in interests between the societies and governments, especially in authoritarian and totalitarian states - aiming at their own best interest, societies are not, by their nature, interested in participating in conflicts and thus have to be forced into it, by some way, by the political structures ruling them.

Most adherents to this theory firmly believe that natural goodness of humans makes social progress, and thus peaceful coexistence and harmony in the international system is possible by mutual cooperation. Liberals believe in model of "rational egoist" who by understanding what is good for him, acts for good of a whole. This sort of thinking is especially visible in how liberals view economic relations, where many of them pursue ideas of interdependence - that mutual reliance on each other in economic affairs will block possibilities of conflicts between the states from arising. Another important interest - of everyone - is, according to the liberals, peace.

In terms of resolving international disputes, liberals tend to rely primary on international institutions, collective security systems and diplomatic techniques such as mediation or arbitration. Ideas of collective security are especially pursued in terms of security policy - and perfect example of this thinking is the alliance called International Freedom Coalition. A very important element of this theory is the idea of democratic peace - t.m. that democracies do not go to war with each other, and are by their very nature more peaceful than other forms of government. Therefore existence of democracy in as many countries as possible - including, often, export by military means - is seen as one of primary goals which would aim at creation of world peace. Of course even as internal changes progress, liberals do not deny that international system may be anarchic, thus why certain processes are seen as necessary:

- Expansion of possibilities existing in current system of states

- Expansions of collective security systems blocking possibility of a conflict.

- Creation of some kind of international governance forms.

Opposing school of thought is Realism. It is a school of thought as ancient as the world itself - it's ideas were already known to Thucydides (author of the "Peloponesian war"), Chinese politicians from the Warring States age and Kautilya, Indian author who wrote famous "Arthashastra". Contributions were later done by such famous figures as Niccolo Machiavelli or Cardinal Richelieu, and major re-emergence happened after World War II, which seen many question the idealistic thought of the liberals.

Basis of this way of thinking is focused on idea of "international anarchy" - t.m. that the international system has no centrum or stronger regions. States - seen by realists as the primary actors - function within this realm of international anarchy, having no one above themselves to dictate them their behaviour. Even grandest international organizations, such as WA, are seen only as "forums" for inter-state discussions.

Realists believe that states are rational actors - t. m. ake decisions by calculating the weaknesses and strengths of the solution pinned against their goal. Man - and thus state by extension - is viewed rather negatively by the realists, leading to conclusion that most often it seeks it's own good above everything else. Thus primary function of the state is pursuit of the national interest in a way fitting the state.

Because there is no "central power structure" akin to power that state has over it's citizens to judge between the states, pursuit of security matters is one of most important affair. This leads states to constantly increasing their own power to guarantee themselves a better standing in the international system. Of course, power politics are relative - rise of one state's strength always attracts attention of other states which may unite against it, as happened in Warring States period or against France in XVIII and early XIX century.

This however does not mean that in every situation we are facing a game sum of which must equal zero, or that in every situation interest of the counties are absolutely contradictory. Realists are not rejecting cooperation or even creation of international norms and laws, as long as it will serve the state's national interest. SACTO, one of major alliance on II, is classic example of this thesis - realist thinking powers as Riysa or Nifon eagerly create a collective aid structure aimed at mutual shielding (both militarily and from economic sanctions) because it is simply in interest of both powers (Riysa delivers Nifon oil, so needed by state with virtually no reserves!). Likewise, Nifonese have little issue in maintaining close ties with Kirishima, even with liberal ideas being prevalent in that society.

One example of this thinking in action is famous COSTAL maritime crisis. Nations such as Inyursta or Nifon concluded that the current international system is creation of colonialism and thus and outdated one, requiring direct revision to cope with new threats and circumstances. In fact, in Nifon it went far beyond maritime security; Kojiro actively aimed at demolishing the "leftist-liberal international system" and replacing it with his own, and successful demonstration that Nifon can actively resist policing actions by Hayesalian navy concludes victory in the Shogun's eyes, because no matter of the situation, Nifon not only retained it's claim, but also humiliated Hayesalian navy in doing so. Hayesalia, on the other hand, was fighting to preserve the order it seen as beneficial by it's ideas of transnationalism & international cooperation.

Another important element of realist foreign policy is the idea of balance of power. Balance of power not as much decreases tensions, but rather prevents them from happening due to both states being respectfully unable to carry out any hostile actions. One of grandest - and best functioning applications - was in China during warring states period, where invasion of one state instantly caused counter-invasion from several others.

Primary concern of Marxism, alongside with view of history that Karl Marx proposed us, is that history of mankind is the history of struggle over control of the means of production - which, in one word, can be specified in short sentence that "economic factors dictate all". Indeed, when roleplaying a communist politician, one must think as one and act as one - and this means acknowledging certain set of ideas as true. Marxists tend to view states, societies, etc. etc. as sort of "outgrowth" of capitalism - soviet military theorists attempted to use this fact to justify their idea of "corelation of forces" where the entire military & foreign policy was based on the idea of constant, permanent struggle between "progressive forces of socialism" and "reactionary capitalism", which had to end in victory of the first ones. Ironically, when we look at historical communist regimes we often discover that they had frequently fought with each other. Existence of "revisionist forces within revolution" is what allows one communist thinker to justify fight against his brother in the ideology.

View that "economic factors define all" puts primary actors as classes, social structures and international corporations rather than independent states, which Marxists see only agents of the economic forces. For second, important factor, Marxists do not see the "capitalist system" as an equal one, but rather an extremely hierarchical one - this theory became a major point of the political thought of Mao Zedong, who actively pursued the idea of "third world", "second world" and "First world". According to this sort of thinking, overproduction at the "core" (first world) leads to imperialism and conquest of the foreign lands as a sole way of ensuring profits appropriate to production. Once weaker markets of the undeveloped states have been conquered, the capitalists begin fighting each other for profit - which is how Marxist theorists attempted to explain the great wars between imperialist powers in first half of XX century.

Therefore Marxists see a need for armed revolution to topple the hierarchical structure of international system and establish a new one, based on principles of equal redistribution of wealth. Previously mentioned idea of "Corelation of forces" as stated by Vasily Sokolovsky meant that every move done by a communist state was aimed at destroying the forces of "reactionary capitalism". Even when peace was made, it was only because soviet leadership believed that the proletarian revolution will eventually win in the West, which is why there is little need of pursuing armed conflict...

Now, let us take a short look at example of the situation: famous Nifonese bombing campaign of Mawani. How would politician representing those three schools of thought explain that event?

- Liberal would see the cause of the incident in nature of governments involved: for them Nifon would be seen as Authoritarian state waging aggressive foreign policy, exploiting the fact that equally radical Mawani government weakened itself through undemocratic rule enough to fall prey to Nifonese foreign policy. Liberal would conclude total failure of mechanisms of international governance and collective security: not only where there no mechanisms to deter the bombing in first place (such as international law), but subsequent reaction shows that many governments would have even sided with the Nifonese. However, a liberal would see hope with involvement of other states in reaction to Nifonese bombing: and thus attempt to form some sort of collective problem - solving mechanism out of it, aimed at stabilizing domestic conflict in Bashriyya, ending the sectarian and jihadist threats and creating stable democratic form of government. Some liberals would likely disagree of what to do with Nifon - some will point at aggressive nature of the bakufu and point out that bombing government personnel was a war crime and Nifonese tendency to assume that domestic law is superior to international law, some however will say that Nifonese campaign was aimed at regimes violating human rights, and including Nifon in the peace process can open path to democratization and cooling down hostilities.

- Realist would see reason for the action in national interest of Nifon. Bashriyya, one of key players involved in the region, is a key Nifonese ally and oil supplier. In addition to that, Nifonese government considers spread of international communism a threat to national security, and allowing the jihadists to spread would in long term threaten security of Bashriyya, and thus Nifonese oil supplies. The very fact that Nifon planned to cooperate with tribes that secured oil fields means that gaining access to local oil reserves was likely as important factor. Now, what to do with it, would depend on national interest on county involved.

- Marxist would look at it from economic perspective. In his view, Nifon is "at the center" of the pyramid of the global capitalist hierarchy; Bashriyya attempts to move in the middle, while Mawani is a periphery, important only because of natural resources is possesses. Therefore, Nifonese capitalist class and their Bashriyyan proxies exploited the fight between their enemies: local feudal class (Islamists) and workers attempting to create a socialist state (the government) to eliminate the government (representing progressive forces of socialism) and both secure their economic interests as well as seize control over local means of production (oil fields, mines) formerly belonging to local feudal class or collectivized during the worker's revolution. Of course, Marxist would defend the "government's brave fight against Nifonese fascism" and recommend supporting it's loyalist to re-establish a socialist state.


Now, goal of it is merely to give you some basis in theoretical thinking over WHAT your nation is doing and WHY your nation is doing it; because this can greatly affect your nation's idea of foreign policy. For example, Nemawashist nation of Nifon is far less inclined to believe that democracy is important element in world system; on the contrary, it openly scorns the idea of universality of "Enlightenment age institutions" and itself is closer to meritocracy where leadership is selected on basis of skill, virtue and result of the exams rather than by popular choice. For another nation, democracy will however be vital - but can as well lead to major dilemma. Liberal will defend deposing of Arab dictator in the name of human rights and democracy - while realist will argue against, citing costs of doing it, lack of any political power with authority and support enough to replace him, risk of his nation becoming a failed state and thus terrorist haven, fact that he may be useful ally against terrorism or theory that liberal democracy is not best working in the Arab world. On the other hand, I seen communist and capitalist states being best friends: if this happens, you are no marxist! Sole reason why we had "coexistence" in 1960s was based on idea that communist revolution will ultimately win in the west. Of course not all communist counties will perfectly realize Marx's will, but revolution is, after all, aimed at some one...

During the negotiations that ultimately resulted in treaty of Versailles, European leaders attempted to restore peace by means already known to them such as balance of power and alliances. This was turned upside down by Woodrow Willson who decided that instead of following European tradition, USA will play by it's own rules, beginning first grand confrontation of liberalism with realism. Now imagine how much this could improve our roleplays if we actually understand WHAT our political leaders want, WHY do they want it, and HOW are they going to reach it.

I will allow myself to include as well a short note on diplomacy and how to conduct it. Diplomacy is weapon very often disregarded by NS players, despite the fact that many empires – like ancient China or Byzantine empire – relied on it instead of force of arms to keep their enemies at bay. Both of these countries mastered manipulating their enemies, often turning one barbarian tribe against other, thus ensuring their mutual destruction. Traditional diplomacy is influencing other counties through negotiations, trying to convince them to take specific course of action. Some methods, used by diplomats, include:

- Expressing unhappiness to target state’s actions, publicly or privately

- Offering better relationships with target state if certain actions done by target state would change

- Threaten negative consequences

- Adhere to international body seeking recognition for one’s actions

- Give target state something it needs ( Diplomatic recognition, economic aid) for exchange of specific action.

- Remove what target state wants (international aid, support )

Diplomacy usually begins with bargaining. Both states know that certain actions lead to reaction by other parties. Usually bargaining is repeated until a consensus is reached: or the negotiations are cut. Many players however are totally not seeing the fact that culture, religion, ideology, international situation etc. have big influence on what the state wants, and how it would behave. Rational move for one player will be totally irrational move for second player. Let’s take look at fictional situation.

Two counties are engaged in economic talks. Both are economic powerhouses, but have different systems of economy. Country B sells a lot of X to country A, but does not accepts other products from country A. Now, country A, world liberal benchmark, tries to support economic liberalization of county B, to balance trade. However County B sees no interest in changing their policies, because liberalization opposes their political interests of being economically and politically independent. Thus both players have much different perspectives about the situation, often not understanding what second side wants.

Interesting concept is also Public diplomacy. Goal of this concept is to create a diplomatic look around the country as diplomatic power. Example of it is series of travels undertaken by leaders, to promote certain image of the country.

Second important mean of influencing other states is through economic sanctions. Economic sanctions can be positive or negative, and are generally carrot or stick game. Positive sanctions are often carrot, trying to reward moves in desired direction. Negative sanctions are stick, trying to punish moves in not wanted direction. State economic ability depends on it’s economic potential and possible use of all economic assets it has. For example, key resource in weaker state can be useful way of negotiation with stronger state. Weaker states also can use mediators as mean to influence stronger state in certain direction they want.

Generally, economic sanctions may be divided into:

POSITIVE:

Give the nation status of Most Favored Nation (MFN), which includes a lot of privileges
Give them allowance to trade sensitive materials ( Military technologies, atomic technologies)
Invest in target state when it seems too risky
Allow key product of target state into your market at best terms



NEGATIVE:

Freeze banking assets in your banking system
Blacklist certain country
Boycott goods and services
Sanction certain products



Third, and most often – sadly – practiced mean on NS is use of force. Most of NSers use force like it was nothing, totally disregarding military and political realism. However, two major strategies used by counties are COMPELLENCE and DETERRENCE.

COMPELLENCE – trying through use of force or threats make the target undo something It has done.

DETERRENCE – Discourage target from use of force.

This in short concludes my short lecture, which I hope will help you improve your skill to roleplay the state, as well ease the amount of OOC tensions when players will distance themselves from their nations - and finally become good writers. Thank you!
Last edited by New Aeyariss on Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:15 am, edited 2 times in total.
Rping in MT (2018) and PT/FanT (1564)


Inyourfaceistan wrote:You didn't know that Cusc is actually a 4-armed cyborg genius commander and skillful warrior created in secret by a cabal of rich capitalist financiers built to lead and army of drones and other renegades against and overbearing socialist regime?
Psalms 144:1 wrote:Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.
Also known as El Cuscatlan, the original "Carrier Breaker", "Anti-Che", and "General Grievous of SACTO".


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New Aeyariss
Negotiator
 
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Founded: May 12, 2010
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Postby New Aeyariss » Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:16 am

Q&A SESSION TRANSCRIPT

Macabees - Dziś o 18:01
What up, what up @everyone ! Today we welcome @El Cusc , known as New Aeyeriss or Nifon on NS. We have a very exciting Q&A session here on foreign policy, written from the perspective of political science and the workings/motivations of the state. @El Cusc , would you like to start with a quick intro on who you are, your background, and what the topic is about?
El Cusc - Dziś o 18:03
@Macabees Of course! On NS I have over 4 years of experience, having first joined at May 2012. IRL wise I have been involved in those topics for a long time, it being part of my job: I am a person that had a pleasure of sitting next to former minister of defense at one conference. This lecture is a result of a long time of work I undertook because of poor state of II, especially recently.

In general, people whom I see on II often treat it like sandbox: too much identifying themselves with their nations, and completely lacking understanding of what states do and why they do it. My purpose today is to bridge that gap by explaining people how foreign policy works, and how to look at it.(edytowane)
In short, I can conclude that this type of knowledge is really needed in order to make roleplays deeper and give them some degree of taste We are roleplaying national governments, after all.
Macabees - Dziś o 18:06
I agree with you that not enough players pay attention to the details of what makes a state a state, and the inner workings of those institutions. You mention in your lecture that if people were more detailed in this area they'd be able to get a much richer roleplaying experience. Is that right?
El Cusc - Dziś o 18:09
Yes of course, because in such situation the actions of their government actually get some sense. You see, everything in the realm of foreign policy costs. The fact that you want to be altruist and liberate poor oppressed people from the evil dictator does not exclude the fact that the entire intervention you will carry out to overthrow him will cost you - often a lot. And that is assuming that the dictator does not have military powerful enough to block such attempt.

Suddenly, NS gets a depth requiring planing and thinking. "With whom I am going to ally" "which deal is most beneficial" - those ideas help set you your goals, ones which you want to achieve, and help set you path for realizing them.
Macabees - Dziś o 18:12
If players are looking to learn more about political systems and how these influence their foreign policy, per @Havensky 's question, what could they read?
El Cusc - Dziś o 18:13
@Macabees I would recommend two works. "The Prince" By Niccolo Machiavelli and "Diplomacy" by Henry Kissinger.

The Prince should get you aquatinted with basics of politics, while "diplomacy" will show you how foreign policy was conducted across the ages.
Oh and I would have forgotten one
Macabees - Dziś o 18:14
I remember when The Prince was required reading in high school. I wonder if that's the case any longer.
Btw, @everyone , The Prince is available for free online: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/1232/1232-h/1232-h.htm
El Cusc - Dziś o 18:14
Arthashastra is also one I would have recommended
It is, in fact, even superior to the prince in some areas.
Macabees - Dziś o 18:15
Awesome reference. I will have to pick it up.
What are some of the more interesting things about the inner workings of the state to you?
Allow me to rephrase.
What aspects of the inner workings of the state do you think the average RPer would be passionate/interested about/in?
El Cusc - Dziś o 18:23
@Macabees What your average RPer knows about politics usually comes from the media, and misses reality a lot. Politics, usually are game of power; very few in there are idealists who really want to change something. And we have to realize that even those who indeed are often have to ally themselves with particular interest groups...

Take for example your average democracy; at first glance of an eye you see two parties trying to win, but in fact, the problem is that those parties represent someone - this is called cleavage. They have their own social backing. In my RL county it was struggle between older, conservative part of the population and younger, liberal - leaning part. But on the second plane, we have to realize that politicians who "represent" those groups do not always need to care about them; they merely want votes.

That is of course assuming democracy. NS, however, is different and I could say that it is a place where Hapsburg style dynastic policy could have a return, judging by the amount of monarchies, even ceremonial ones. I have actually always been fascinated by the medium ages, and I would dare to say that this is where the real potential is held as well; it both has certain climate and possibility for development of a story.

Now as Machiavelli said, the prince has to be both lion and a fox, lion to scare off the wolves and fox to avoid traps. What sort of traps? Intrigues are the answer. As much I am no conspiracy theorist, history of mankind is history of conspiracies - Hitler and Stalin conspired against Poland, Stalin conspired against Hitler (see Icebreaker by Viktor Suvorov)... everyone had their plans. And even if your nation is peaceful - it does not mean that they will avoid you. On the contrary, militarily peaceful nations such as China or Byzantium usually had overgrown intelligence & diplomatic services, purpose of which was to turn their foes against each other before they had chance to initiate an armed attack.
Macabees - Dziś o 18:26
A lot of people see the supposed idealism of candidates, but don't realize that for "optimal behavior" -- optimal being a function of subjective preference -- to happen you need a certain set of institutions, or rules of the games that constrain political behavior. And these institutions are never perfect, and can't be because humans are fallible, and this is something you allude to in your lecture. I think it's related to your point on scarcity.
Are you familiar with public choice literature'?
The economics of public choice, if you will
El Cusc - Dziś o 18:26
Actually heard the term, but I have not studied it. You are the economist, @Macabees
Macabees - Dziś o 18:27
For those who haven't, and are technically minded (there's game theory and the text is heavy, i.e. boring af, but the lessons are invaluable), this is one of my favorite books on democratic institutional theory: http://files.libertyfund.org/files/1063 ... k_v6.0.pdf
Let me ask a possibly tangential question
You don't play a democracy; I don't play a straight forward democracy. What do you think draws people to non-democratic governments on NS?
I ask because I feel that RPing a dictator helps abstract from the complexities of government, because an idealist whose dictator can implement whatever policy. In reality, this isn't really true, because dictators have constraints as well (factions to appease, etc). For these players -- this is an add-on question --, what do you recommend they think about when trying to come up with better detail on their political systems?
El Cusc - Dziś o 18:34
Let me begin about Nifon at first. Nifon is not really a dictatorship, it is a meritocracy: I borrowed a lot from traditional Confucianism here, I won't hide. In fact the entire Nemwashist ideology (about which I would like to talk as well, but let me finish).

But first, I would say that monarchy - which on II is quite widespread - carries certain splendor with it. Dictatorship is always seen as bad. But monarchy? The prestige is still alive in our culture and I would dare say that the authority of crown and scepter is far more than just sheer power: It is tradition, custom, culture.... those traits are still alive in us.

For second I can gree that many people greatly overstate role an ideology would play in society - for example "social democratic state". As much as founding ideology of Bakufu is Neo - Tenrigakism / Nemawashi, there are countless factions within Nifon, often more connected to their own interests than to any particular ideology (zaibatsu, the military seeing itself as descendants of the Samurai, etc.)
Macabees - Dziś o 18:36
You mention tradition, custom, and culture. Those are great references, because those are often what makes the system complex, multi-faceted, and interesting, right?
And Nemawashi is an excellent example to bring up.(edytowane)
El Cusc - Dziś o 18:37
For those who do not know about Nemawashi: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=395039&hilit=Nemawashi#p30410475
Now I think @Gauliscia 's question ties in as well, citing the fact that as I said, Nifon IC wise is leaning towards meritocracy, where officials are selected on basis of their merit rather than selected; only one of the three houses of the Imperial Diet has elections by universal suffrage. Some people too often forget that cultures differ - and often it was culture which killed democracy in multiple nations...
Nifon for example has 3 houses of parliament - one is elected by universal suffrage from their areas (rather than from parties), second has officials appointed by merit ( and 1/3 for the clergy) and third one has hereditary membership for families that accomplished themselves in service to Nifon.
I kind of think that there are too many "Western-modelled" nations on II; especially too many America-modeled or Scandinavia - model nations....
Macabees - Dziś o 18:41
That question, for reference was: could you outline the benefits of rping a civil service culture?
El Cusc - Dziś o 18:41
Next question please.
Macabees - Dziś o 18:41
What would an eastern-modeled nation look like to you?
El Cusc - Dziś o 18:45
@Macabees There are several models, but we just have to look at Nifon or, if you want RL example, Singapore (although it has the same processes in far lesser amount than Nifon does). Nifon culturally differs from the west (big influence of Bushido & Confucian values, although it has some common ground thanks to protestant Christianity as well), in addition to a political system focusing on merit. Your average western government has 3 branches: Nifonese have 5 (I borrowed that idea from Sun Yat Sen), adding examinative & auditive branches as well.
Of course "East" are many more cultures, and by Western I meant "America like".
Macabees - Dziś o 18:46
Examinative and auditive branches?
El Cusc - Dziś o 18:47
Examinative branch is responsible for carrying civil service exams while auditive branch for ensuring proper functioning of the government, estimating performance of the officials and fighting corruption, laziness and abuses .
Macabees - Dziś o 18:49
Ah, interesting. If there was just one takeaway from your lecture you'd want the average NS RPer to understand, what would it be?
El Cusc - Dziś o 18:51
Do not associate yourself with your nation. Think about it from third person, think what it needs, and think about your political leaders - and what they want to accomplish.
Macabees - Dziś o 18:52
That's a really good piece of advice. Your nation shouldn't be an extension of you, right?(edytowane)
El Cusc - Dziś o 18:52
Yeah. I admit that I make this mistake sometimes as well, when certain RPers pis me off. It is hard to get rid, but entirely worth it.
Macabees - Dziś o 18:53
Yes, it is hard to not do all the time, but nobody is perfect and what matters is the effort to improve oneself.
Aside from your political system, what's another system that you've seen well RPd?
El Cusc - Dziś o 18:55
@Macabees I would say that I liked New Edom's. He created an unique political structure that was actually both funny to read, and pretty unique.
Macabees - Dziś o 18:57
Cool. In a nutshell, how does he RP it?
El Cusc - Dziś o 19:01
@Macabees he created an unique set of tensions, and well developed atmosphere of his nation. One of key elements that I have to say is that it is unique - which was especially evidenced by the feminist cultural revolution thread. New Edom is a county of many differences, especially with 5 Christian sects that dominate the religious landscape - ones that have a lot to say in politics, and practice such strange believes as holy naturism.

In addition to that we had political groups which were not interested in being parts of the traditionalist society, which cultimanted in threads such as the famous "Feminist cultural revolution marches on!" Then we had multiple struggles for power between Edomite royalty. Every time when there was a story, it always held consistency with what he described his nation as.
Macabees - Dziś o 19:02
Very, very interesting. Thanks for sharing!
We've spent about an hour on the topic. A fascinating topic, honestly. It was great to have you here @El Cusc , thank you for taking the time to answer our questions, it was very educational. People are still welcome to ask any questions, and they can of course visit your lecture thread
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=401366
@El Cusc do you have time for one more audience question?
@Manc asks "do you know anything on how the old roman republic would operate its foreign policy?
El Cusc - Dziś o 19:09
@Macabees Sure, but only one more.
And @Macabees I know a lot about Byzantium if that interests you, I have not studied Rome that much. However what I can tell you is that Rome, as republic or later Empire, had the aspiration to become the international system by itself - rather than merely to be part of it.

Byzantium, on the contrary, was completely defensive in foreign policy, leading very few conquests, if any then to base it's borders on natural factors such s rivers or mountains. The policy of Byzantium in first place was to prevent barbarians from reaching it - thus why some tribes were paid to fight the other tribes. Barbarian cheifs were also bribed, or simply assasinated.
Macabees - Dziś o 19:14
Another great point, and I think that this ties a bit into @Havensky 's lecture on soft power -- the use of soft power to have others do your dirty work(edytowane)
Thank you for this great talk, @El Cusc
El Cusc - Dziś o 19:15
Thank you as well.
Last edited by New Aeyariss on Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Inyourfaceistan wrote:You didn't know that Cusc is actually a 4-armed cyborg genius commander and skillful warrior created in secret by a cabal of rich capitalist financiers built to lead and army of drones and other renegades against and overbearing socialist regime?
Psalms 144:1 wrote:Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.
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Aeyariss
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Aeyariss » Thu Jan 26, 2017 6:37 pm

Well I've read through this, but I think I need a second or third reading before I can fully generate value adding commentaries, otherwise looks good.
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby New Roma Republic » Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:21 pm

I agree with with Aeyariss. It certainly has me rethinking my nation's foreign policy, if nothing else. The points are interesting.
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Postby New Aeyariss » Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:02 pm

bump
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Inyourfaceistan wrote:You didn't know that Cusc is actually a 4-armed cyborg genius commander and skillful warrior created in secret by a cabal of rich capitalist financiers built to lead and army of drones and other renegades against and overbearing socialist regime?
Psalms 144:1 wrote:Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.
Also known as El Cuscatlan, the original "Carrier Breaker", "Anti-Che", and "General Grievous of SACTO".


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The IASM
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Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby The IASM » Fri May 05, 2017 1:00 pm

This is one of the better guides I have come across on this subject. Very good work.
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New Aeyariss
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Postby New Aeyariss » Fri May 05, 2017 2:30 pm

The IASM wrote:This is one of the better guides I have come across on this subject. Very good work.


How would you classify yourself as? Liberal or a realist?
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Inyourfaceistan wrote:You didn't know that Cusc is actually a 4-armed cyborg genius commander and skillful warrior created in secret by a cabal of rich capitalist financiers built to lead and army of drones and other renegades against and overbearing socialist regime?
Psalms 144:1 wrote:Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.
Also known as El Cuscatlan, the original "Carrier Breaker", "Anti-Che", and "General Grievous of SACTO".


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Greater Carloso
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Moralistic Democracy

Postby Greater Carloso » Fri May 05, 2017 3:10 pm

After reading it for a second time, I can say I think you have done a very good job of contrasting the three systems of foreign policy you have put forward - realist, Marxist and liberal, especially the different reactions states following said policies would have on any given international event or conflict. An important read for anybody wishing to improve their general diplomacy skills and knowledge, and potentially very useful in other situations too. :)

Mind you, I would consider Carloso a nation with a realist foreign policy, putting national soverignty and will over membership of international organisations, for the most part. I believe world is in constant state of anarchy - even real life organisations like EU, UN, NATO etc. and fictional organisations like IFC are part of this anarchy. In the end, true ambitions and intentions of the individual, as has been seen time and time again, will eventually invoke change in the world order, bringing entire organisations crashing down.
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Inyourfaceistan
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Anarchy

Postby Inyourfaceistan » Sun Sep 24, 2017 7:22 am

Taking the Arab dictatorship example, you could also apply the reverse conclusion.

While the mentioned scenario of the Realist wanting to keep the dictator in power to serve his own interests and the Liberal wanting to remove the dictator to promote democracy and human rights is a realistic one, both sides can also take the opposite stance for the same reasons. For example:

The Realist supports deposing the dictator because he knows doing so will lead to instability, thus rendering a would-be geopolitical opponent into a now handicapped and significantly weakened state.

The Liberal opposes deposing the dictator because instability leads to the inability of the state to provide "universal basic services", and the supposed right of the people of said nation to have access to basic state services outweighs any geopolitical benefit of destabilization.

I've had this argument several times on the IFC discord server about the morality or justification of intentionally taking actions which you know will cause instability for geopolitical benefit. Again, your example isn't incorrect, its just that either side can take the same action, and the real difference is what compels them to do so. In short:

Realist: Supports or deposes dictator because it suits his interests
Liberal: Supports or deposes dictator because it adheres to his morality
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Zhouran
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Moralistic Democracy

Postby Zhouran » Sun Sep 24, 2017 9:26 am

New Aeyariss wrote:Third, and most often – sadly – practiced mean on NS is use of force. Most of NSers use force like it was nothing, totally disregarding military and political realism.

As someone who strongly prefers a foreign policy of non-interventionist, non-aligned neutrality, I strongly agree with this statement. That's not to say that I'm against those who turn their international-incident RP into a war RP because of plot, but however I do hate it when a RP on a diplomatic incident quickly escalates into war for no reason.

However, I personally disagree with using the terms realist and liberal, with the latter being more of a generalization while the former is a subjective usage of the word "realist".

Inyourfaceistan wrote:Realist: Supports or deposes dictator because it suits his interests
Liberal: Supports or deposes dictator because it adheres to his morality


A nation that supports or deposes a dictator because it adheres to their morality isn't an exclusively-liberal thing since even a conservative state can do the same thing also. As for the former, every state including those that are liberal each have their own interests.

Anyway, if I had to make a choice, I'd rather pick "Liberal", although the only thing I strongly oppose is reliance on international institutions since RL shows that organizations such as the UN or the EU aren't particularly great with dealing in diplomatic incidents and international disputes. This guide on foreign policy is quite interesting, but I don't particularly agree with most of it, especially in regards to diplomacy. However, the part on Marxists is pretty accurate though.
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New Aeyariss
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Postby New Aeyariss » Sun Sep 24, 2017 6:09 pm

Taking the Arab dictatorship example, you could also apply the reverse conclusion.

While the mentioned scenario of the Realist wanting to keep the dictator in power to serve his own interests and the Liberal wanting to remove the dictator to promote democracy and human rights is a realistic one, both sides can also take the opposite stance for the same reasons. For example:

The Realist supports deposing the dictator because he knows doing so will lead to instability, thus rendering a would-be geopolitical opponent into a now handicapped and significantly weakened state.

The Liberal opposes deposing the dictator because instability leads to the inability of the state to provide "universal basic services", and the supposed right of the people of said nation to have access to basic state services outweighs any geopolitical benefit of destabilization.

I've had this argument several times on the IFC discord server about the morality or justification of intentionally taking actions which you know will cause instability for geopolitical benefit. Again, your example isn't incorrect, its just that either side can take the same action, and the real difference is what compels them to do so. In short:

Realist: Supports or deposes dictator because it suits his interests
Liberal: Supports or deposes dictator because it adheres to his morality


When writing my guide, I do admit that I made certain simplifications. My purpose was not to write an academic paper, but rather, show people the basic schools of thinking that have been present in foreign policy. In fact, those schools have multiple sub-schools of thought (Defensive realism, Offensive Realism, Liberal structuralism, etc.) If I was to characterize briefly those two schools, it would be

Liberalism vs Realism

Human Nature being good and orderly vs evil and chaotic
Optimism vs Pessimism
Individuals as having their own interests vs states as unitary actors
Variety of actors such as states, international organizations (primacy) vs states as most important actors
Rejection of incompatibility of interests vs power politics
Collective security vs national security

I have to say that the terms of liberal vs realist, as far as IR theory goes, are different from liberal and conservative schools. Let's see an analysis of Regan's foreign policy done by Henry Kissinger in his magnum opus, " Diplomacy ". Regan, despite being candidate of the right, would be classified as liberal or liberal realist, at best, alongside many American "right wing" politicians as well.

I could use to compare mere mentality of Inyurstans vs mentality of the Nifonese in terms of foreign policy...

Returning to our debate, however, I don't think that morality would have played a role here. Morality isn't domain of neither of the sides, and neither do liberals focus on morality that much, although one may get such a vision from many speeches. The key difference when it comes to national interest is that realist assumes that there are contradictory differences, while a liberal believes that there is no such thing as interests that can't be resolved and that we can gain more via cooperation.

In that case, refusal to remove a dictator would have less to do with morality, more with an idea of "dragging him into our structures" and convincing him to reform via peaceful means, as Ausitoria proposed Ardoki in the famed RP.

In general though, central to liberalism is the theory of democratic peace - aka "democracies don't attach each other". Thus why liberals in general are for toppling of dictators whenever possible.

However, I personally disagree with using the terms realist and liberal, with the latter being more of a generalization while the former is a subjective usage of the word "realist".


The names are not my creation. They have been in science of IR for centuries.
Last edited by New Aeyariss on Sun Sep 24, 2017 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Rping in MT (2018) and PT/FanT (1564)


Inyourfaceistan wrote:You didn't know that Cusc is actually a 4-armed cyborg genius commander and skillful warrior created in secret by a cabal of rich capitalist financiers built to lead and army of drones and other renegades against and overbearing socialist regime?
Psalms 144:1 wrote:Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.
Also known as El Cuscatlan, the original "Carrier Breaker", "Anti-Che", and "General Grievous of SACTO".



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