Talking Like A True LeaderTarek Raimo
Maybe if you are old enough you can still remember the rousing declarations of Sir Molle or the creativity of Bobby Atlas. If you have played EVE in more recent times, you will most certainly be familiar with the captivating and chilling proclamations of The Mittani. They are among the best examples of motivational speeches in human history, but unfortunately their days are numbered.
Soon, The Mittani will have to look for a job, and he also enters the age where the biological clock starts to tick more noticeably. Chances are, he’ll soon become a father. With new responsibilities looming, he will exit the stage against the backdrop of his shattered Empire, and then what? Who is going to replace him as the new villainous overlord? Elise Randolph? DurrHurrDurr?! Gorski Car?!?!?!
No, there is nobody who can take up this mantle right off the bat without some preparation. This is where I come in and help the next moustache twirling villain to fit the bill when it comes to addressing the masses. Read, learn and practice. Time is running out and you might as well prepare a scathing victory speech which adds insult to injury. Better be ready now than sorry later.
The Staples Of Presentation
“Make sure you practice an expression of smug nonchalance in front of a mirror. Do this in every conceivable situation. Drunk; right after waking up; while brushing your teeth; during sex; when your boss tells you you are fired etc.”
Preparation: Make sure you practice an expression of smug nonchalance in front of a mirror. Do this in every conceivable situation. Drunk; right after waking up; while brushing your teeth; during sex; when your boss tells you you are fired etc. This will help you to always look aloof and in control no matter what the circumstances are. Facial expression is not everything though. Learn to talk slowly and add lots of emphasis. Practice speaking as if every second of your words is spelled with italics. Once you have learned how to present yourself, you can get to using the right words.
Words: Use expensive words and speak with eloquence. Also use a lot of expressions from modern popular media analysis, like “echo chamber” or “manufacturing consent”. It makes you sound smart, and if you achieve that, it does not matter how stupid your message is.
If people have to look up stuff on Wikipedia to understand your speech, then they will automatically accept that you are more intelligent than them and therefore absolutely correct. It doesn’t even matter if you actually manage to do any of the things you say. Just look at Barack Obama. The man got two terms as a president and a Nobel Peace Prize. Did he actually achieve anything to deserve that? Of course not, but he always sounds very intelligent. Words are just the most basic weapon in your arsenal, though. Let’s proceed to combining them into metaphors.
Metaphors: Nothing inspires the people like a memorable phrase that conveys vicious determination. You can experiment a bit, but stick to metaphors that evoke visceral and personal violence. They are so much more powerful because they show how far you are prepared to go. Everyone can gun someone down in cold blood, but how about stabbing them in their hearts, over and over? So much more passion and murderous rage goes into that. Even simple stabbing might not be sufficiently brutal. Maybe twist the knife too? Or fucking someone to death. Hey, you need to be committed to do that.
Make sure your enemies understand that you will make them suffer on a personal level, and that you are prepared to go beyond the call of duty for it. That makes your rage appear more selfless and righteous. This will instill true fear in your enemies. That is not the whole of it though, you also need to make sure that your enemies understand that winning and ruling is your destiny, and to do that, you need to refer to history.
History: This part is very important. History is your best friend and worst enemy. On one side it provides you with nostalgic reference points that demonstrate your greatness, on the other hand all kinds of people inconveniently crop up and pretend to know how things really went. Negate that hostile side of history.
In the best case, your audience are mostly a bunch of millennials with the attention span of a squirrel suffering from ADD. If you are dealing with older players, count on alcohol induced dementia or at least make sure you isolate them from any outside sources. Definitely make sure they never read reddit or Evenews24. Crossing Zebras is right out unless you fly with Pandemic Legion. Then it is of course your own propaganda site and should be mandatory reading for everyone.
Once you have that established, feel free to change the past whenever it suits you, even if that past is just two months ago. Chances are, nobody will remember what really happened back then. If you followed my advice so far, people will take your word as gospel anyway.
If you do find yourself in a tight spot when facing criticism from outsiders, just wave away your false statements as mere trolling. That always works. Joke’s on the others for believing that you were being serious.
“Speak of glory achieved through hardship. You want to make sure that your subjects know that they will reap great rewards even if you make their EVE experience absolutely boring.”
The best historical references are the ones you completely fabricated yourself. For example you could create the myth that your alliance tried to play nice but was antagonised from the get-go. Be sure to repeat those references at every given opportunity and point out that what is happening now is exactly what has happened in the past when you succeeded. Speak of glory achieved through hardship. You want to make sure that your subjects know that they will reap great rewards even if you make their EVE experience absolutely boring.
Take credit for any past successes, whether they were yours or not. For example, if you happen to have participated in a massive battle like B-R5RB on the winning side, make it clear that you achieved victory. That works particularly well if your allies who did most of the work are an isolated language community. Russians work really well for such purposes, so make sure you always keep at least some of them as allies.
Dramatic Simplicity: Do not flinch from discarding nuance. Paint the world in stark black and white. The enemy are clearly the worst people who have ever lived, and their greatest desire is to kill your children and feed them to you. In fact, they are out to destroy EVE just for the sake of destroying you. Never make the mistake of describing your enemies as individuals with complex motivations. Group them together under a general category like “these people”. It will help to make them appear like a faceless bloodthirsty mob and strengthens the “us vs. them” mindset.
If you are faced with internal dissent or defection, prevent all reflection on the potential mistakes of your organisation. The best way to achieve this is a dramatic declaration of the corruption and malice among defectors. You should always have some dirt prepared in advance, so make sure you have someone in your inner circle who is good at doxing. You never know when it may become necessary to out someone as user of a gay dating service or a nationwide forum that also happens to have some local Neo-Nazis posting there.
When all else fails, make something up. Declaring your opponents as mentally unstable is always a good one because that leaves a margin of error. If they do something right then they just had a lucid moment, everything else is proof of your statement.
It is at this point – and only here – where you can actually grant your enemies a modicum of respect, but only do so as an illustration of their immense danger. For example, tip your fedora at their cunning masterplan to destroy your supercap fleet. It will make you look even better because – after all – you exposed the plot and prevented that catastrophic betrayal from succeeding.
Again, in such cases it is not necessary that a plot ever existed. Just make sure you have a trusted advisor who can produce piles of “evidence” that nobody will actually read. The very fact that your statements are supported by 100+ pages of chatlogs will suffice to convince everyone that they must be true.
“If possible, engage in character assassination as I have outlined above. Potential targets are “community” figures like bloggers, reddit moderators, or even CCP devs.”
Passing The Blame: Although it is extremely unlikely, you may eventually find yourself in a situation where things turn out badly for you. You might fail at a Kickstarter or even find yourself on the verge of losing a war. In this case make sure you point the finger at someone or something else as the reason for such failure. If possible, engage in character assassination as I have outlined above. Potential targets are “community” figures like bloggers, reddit moderators, or even CCP devs. Level accusations against the latter in particular if they were affiliated with an enemy alliance in the past.
Game mechanics in general are also a good justification for failure. Everyone knows that EVE is a bad game full of bugs and exploits. You are destined to win, so if you don’t then the game itself is clearly stacked against you and the enemy is abusing this. If you feel confident enough, you can even go as far as stating that CCP is actively colluding with your enemies. Comparisons to the T20 scandal are a great way to do this.
In the worst cases, you may actually admit that something was your fault. However, only do so in connection with a statement that clearly indicates that everything would have been fine if you hadn’t listened to others. False humility should always be balanced out with blaming someone else. If you can pull that one off, then you really have come a long way.
On Your Way To Glory
Like I said in the beginning, you don’t have much time left to learn from the best. I would therefore urge you to listen to all the exceptional examples you can find in the appropriate EVE media channels you can get a hold of.
Of course history also provides many great occurrences of doublespeak, hypocrisy and jingoistic hyperbole. Useful study subjects include Cardinal Richelieu, Oliver Cromwell, Joseph McCarthy or Kim Il Sung. In fact I would suggest to generally model your whole organisation on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. It helps a lot if your subjects are generally isolated, fully dependent on your organisation and fearful of all outsiders.
You may refer to Niccolo Machiavelli, but make sure to never actually read anything he wrote except The Prince, or you might be lead astray by his nuanced wit and terrible liberal tendencies.
So, what are you waiting for? This war isn’t going to last forever and the new ruling coalition of EVE needs a great leader who can fill the immense vacuum that will be left by The Mittani, just as he selflessly took up the mantle of Sir Molle and even surpassed his great example. Maybe you can exceed what The Mittani achieved? If you follow my guidelines, and you have the talent for greatness, I’m sure you will.