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by The One-Winged Etymology Shark of Erinor. . 71 reads.

The Southern Journal - In Defense of a New Defender Moralism

In Defense of a New Defender Moralism

By Erinor

There has been a lot of discussion over the last month or so about Defenderism in the South Pacific, what it means for our regional culture and identity and whether or not the South Pacific can truly be a leader in the Defendersphere. Throughout these discussions, I have found myself examining my own Ďarmchairí Defenderism and whether a more vigorously Defender TSP has a place for one like me and I came to an interesting conclusion. My personal brand of Ďarmchairí Ďsmall m moralistí Defenderism might be exactly what TSP needs truly to fully absorb Defenderism into its bloodstream.

Arrogant, much? Perhaps. But I think thereís an argument to be made that if you want Defenderism truly to be part of a regionís culture, without the region being a purely military region, then it might just be those who hold to the ideology whilst not participating in military gameplay at all that will swing the balance. So, let me take a moment of your time to explain why I think that TSP should explore my brand of moralism (and yeah, let's give it a capital M whilst weíre at it) in the steps we take in the future. [Full disclosure: the following contains content lifted from my own comments in the Legislators Lounge in the TSP Discord server.]

Firstly, in what way do I consider myself a Moralist? Well, with regard to the question, Ďare Raiders bad people?í, I would tend to answer Ďnoí. I think they might be good people (as much as any of us are), who nonetheless do bad things to native communities with inherent value because they think 'it's just a game'. I also understand the necessity of raiding for defending to exist (although as a non-military type, I'd be pretty unmoved by the end of R/D. Itís not military activity that inspires me to espouse Defenderism, but rather my beliefs in how we should treat communities - more on this in a bit.) I also recognise the variety of raiding activity and don't treat them all equally. You could say that Iím tolerant of some raiding activity, like basic tag raiding, for the purposes of activity.

But, I said that they think itís just a game. I think it's a collection of communities of varying levels of meaning and attachment masquerading as a game. TSP is a real community. It's made up of people who barely know each other and who may or may not be who they say they are, but... that's true of most modern communities, actually. NS is full of such communities and a lot of people running around doing good and bad things to each other. That a lot of the latter is done in the name of fun and it being a game... is still like a lot of modern communities.

And, to be fair, I tolerate a lot of that in real life, too, but still work to undermine that kind of behaviour when I can. So, I treat Raiders like anybody else, but find it natural to support those who target the specific actions to which I'm opposed. The focus of this New Moralism, then, is not the Raiders themselves, but the natives that we seek to defend.

This is, I hope, is the foundation of a rational, tolerant Moralism. It doesnít prevent us from working with and accepting Raiders in our community, but it does encourage and embolden us to crack down on those acts of raiding which are harming native communities out there in the vastness of NS. But thereís more to this new Moralism than just our external attitudes - itís a body of values that should affect our whole community identity.

To instill these values in TSP, as in real life, I want to foster certain attitudes in our community; attitudes which I feel go part and parcel with this kind of New Defender Moralism and with TSPís existing culture, too. Iím talking about things like encouraging democratic freedoms and self-determination and feeding that into ideas of personal growth and fulfillment; care and concern for the other, empathy and sticking up for the powerless. Iím talking about justice and truth. If TSP is to lead in this New Moralism, then it can do so in a uniquely South Pacifican way where our democratic and community values can be the balm to go alongside the military action, both here and in the regions we help to defend. It should be a Defenderís duty to comfort, protect and uphold the independent and self-determined community - our own and those of others.

Granted this might not be what others choose to get from Defending - for some it will always be about activity first and, in the context of a game, thatís both inevitable and understandable - but within TSP we can work the international dialogue in that direction even as we tie these things together and reinforce them within our own culture. TSP can be a leader in the Defendersphere, but Iím convinced that it has to espouse and spread a new kind of defending to do so and remain authentically the South Pacific. I hope you will join me as members of this community in building this vision for the future.