NationStates Jolt Archive

How do you play "Left" and still succeed at NS?

16-11-2005, 07:59
Hi everyone. I'm brand new to Nation States, and though I find all this pretty fascinating, there are still some things that confuse the heck out of me.

Here's the main thing. From the forum thread "Issues That Help Your Economy"

The posts in the above thread seem to indicate that the only way to develop a strong economy is to take very corporatist, right-wing decisions in response to the issues. Let kids gamble, the poor sell their kidneys, CEOs hire and fire without fear of white-collar unions etc. On the other hand, taking left-wing decisions seems invariably to yield an economy that the game calls "Weak", or worse. Am I wrong about this?

This is also reflected in the UN rankings, where the most powerful nations with "frightening" economies are those that have taken right-wing decisions all the way, ending up generally as "corporate police states" or "compulsory consumerists".

Apart from the general problem with this i.e. where socially responsible developmental paths in the real world HAVE led to economic prosperity, as in Scandinavian countries for example... I fail to see how this reconciles with the community-managed "RP" aspect of trade and war between nations.

Let's say I take the leftist, socially responsible path with my issues. And end up as a vast, "College Left" or "Democratic Socialist" nation with a "weak" (or worse) economy. Does this mean that I will automatically be a military wimp, unable to afford the cool AEGIS cruisers and Stealth fighters that the nations with "frightening" economies have?

If so, how accurate is that? Take the USSR... which from the end of WW2 all the way through 1990, posed a primary military threat to the Western world. Maybe their economy "sucked", or could have been shown by WTO bean-counting formulae to "suck", but that didn't take the edge off their enormous military strength by any means. Even today, neocons and purveyors of the Wolfowitz doctrine persist in seeing Russia as the greatest potential security threat to the US, and with good reason. Russia's arms export industry remains huge... their Su-30 air superiority fighter and Akula submarine are a match for anything in their respective classes.

True, some Bill Kristol types sniggered at the drubbing the Russian Army received in Chechnya. However, as the Americans are finding out in Iraq these days, the ability to impose one's political will in the face of raging insurgency doesn't necessarily have much to do with the strength of one's conventional military forces.

Anyway... so is the choice of playing NS on a left-wing tack, and yet having a strong military, open to me at all? If so, how is this reconciled with what the game says about my economy?
16-11-2005, 08:28
I have managed to get an "All-Consuming" economy (2nd best) without compromising my left wing values too much. I make sure I do everything which improves business efficiency and trade (eg outsourcing inefficient industries to poorer countries). Improving these two areas will improve your economy without much of a disadvantage to people, because inefficient industries won't benefit them either.

Sometimes unions can get in the way, and I always feel bad about deciding against them, but often if you read their petitions, their requests are quite unreasonable, so it's not worth taking their side anyway. If you really can't bring yourself to, say, allow hiring and firing on the spot, just dismiss the issue (just don't decide for the union).

Always avoid anything that looks like it will increase regulation.

As for the military, I have no interest in them and have never given them a cent, in fact they are currently holding a 'bake sale' to raise funds! lol.

Czardas, on the linked forum, suggested lowering taxes. Logically, and economically, this is an obvious thing to do to improve the economy, but in NS it doesn't seem to matter, there are many nations with "frightening" economies that also have 100% tax rates!

Chack out my nation if you want:
16-11-2005, 13:01
being a leftist isn't responsible. being a proponent for individual liberty and responsibility is compassionate. helping deadbeats be better deadbeats is torture and should be punished by imprisonment.

so you think perhaps all views in this are deliberately skewed? an attempt to poke fun at everyone's preconceived prejudices and all??
16-11-2005, 14:00
I think QuantumSoft is broadly right about the distinctions the game makes between economic freedom and economic strength. It is certainly possible to have powerful economies with left-wing nations. However, if you're not sure, my suggestion would be to find a left-wing region. I'm not sure I can really recommend one, but there are several. There, you would be with more experienced left-wing players, who might be able to advise you.

A starting point might be the Anticapitalist Alliance ( Just a thought. Good luck!
16-11-2005, 15:15
Personally, I play left and succeed by being the best damn left nation I can. :p And then I make a couple other nations that *aren't* so left. That's the beauty of puppets. You can make them go whichever way you'd like and have multiples.

So if you aren't too picky about making *one* nation the best, send a couple off in different directions and make them the best in their area.
16-11-2005, 17:20
To summarize what everyone has said so far:

Having a strong economy and a left-wing nation aren't mutually exclusive. There are plenty of decisions you can make that will only affect your economy and not civil rights or political freedoms. (True, I ( am not one of those, but I have a nation ( that is...)