There is a scene in one of my favorite movies where Clint Eastwood points down Gene Hackman with the barrel of his shotgun. Hackman is the sheriff of the town, who was just doing his job and living his life, but he accidentally killed Clint Eastwood’s friend when trying to send a message to mercenaries coming to fulfill a contract put out by a madame.
Sheriff “Little Bill” Daggett: I don’t deserve this… to die like this. I was building a house.
Bill Munny: Deserve’s got nothin’ to do with it.
– “The Cut-Whore Killings” screenplay (aka “The Unforgiven” 1992, Best Picture)
The Imperium was trying to build a home when it was tackled and shot in the face, not unlike Sheriff “Little Bill” Daggett. In EVE as well as life, justice has nothing to do with who lives or dies. Thirteen long years of EVE’s history has littered deep space with the corpses of capsuleers that didn’t deserve to be killed, alongside those that had it coming.
The Mittani, Vince Draken, and any other major leader in EVE shares the same drive to win, without reservations or mercy. Weaponized boredom may have been coined by Mittens, but it has existed a long time – you don’t fight a battle you cannot win for sake of content…Especially when something valuable is on the line. These leaders set aside justice for victory because living or dying is not a matter of being right, it is a matter of being strong enough to win.
At the start of the war, Vince Draken’s state of the alliance for Northern Coalition basically called for crushing goons, their coalition, and “that stupid website” (TMC). The initial goal was to remove The Imperium from sov, and the long game is to stomp goons whenever they appeared to gain traction.
On the Imperium side, Aryth, head of Goonswarm’s financial cabal and original goonswarm member, has the same vision. He scoffed at investors throwing billions into skill injectors, pointing out the real money was in three things: minerals, salvage, and PI, the three ingredients to the upcoming citadels. Goons think long-term too. Even now as their massive holdings are trapped in the occupied northern stations, goons simply don’t care. Those stations will likely be destroyed by CCP, and the asset safety mechanics will ensure the assets are safely moved for them.
The war may be over, but the conflict will never end as these two sides seek to destroy each other at all costs.
DESERVE’S GOT NOTHIN’ TO DO WITH IT
Both sides accepted the aid of traitors. Circle-of-Two was welcomed into the MBC immediately upon changing sides after a major battle, and Goonswarm (GSF) worked with the treacherous Snuffbox to kill MBC titans. Oath-breakers don’t really pay for their costly actions; as long as they are strong they are welcome
Imperium member Fidelas Constans (FCON) used to boycott the coalition-endorsed “Burn Jita” campaigns out of principle. Their mercy towards the weaker industrialists was repaid with nothing as MBC unceremoniously kicked FCON out as fast as any other Imperium alliance.
On reddit, MBC moderators welcome a deluge of ravenous anti-goon propaganda while at the same time embracing AMA’s from former goon DJ, the guy that gave GSF a bad name in the first place. Short-term memory of new players and amnesia of the old are great when you want to look the other way and just win at all costs. Ironically, an EVE community trust, reddit, was handled politically as a counterweight to the “biased” TMC mouthpiece for Mittani. In reality, the privately held TMC had less of an agenda to win the meta narrative for goons than the “public” r/eve did for MBC interest, thanks to biased moderation.
There are no good guys or bad guys – there is just our own story and self-awareness. We are the heroes even if we are the only one’s that see it that way. The goons may have had it coming, or maybe they were just building a home as a quiet bearing-life for their members, but either way the drive to beat them finally met the opportunity to do it. Change all the names and you get the same result. Null-sec is all about the win through strength, not about deserving it. When the barrel of a gun is in your face, deserve’s got nothin’ to do with it, so save yourself the tears over the victims and get a hired gun of your own.
*The article updated to remove information on TMC’s ban from reddit, and for clarity in the conclusion. TMC’s ban from reddit discussion is in the comment section. Very interesting.