I can remember a time when I was really interested in corp- and alliance-level politics in EVE Online. That time is past.
Hell, I find it increasingly difficult to worry about it even as it applies to myself. Prior to my current corp, I've been in seven corps in EVE. Of those seven, I can only name the CEO of two during my time with them with any confidence (sorry, guys!). Most of those corps were in alliances -- five in all -- and I do better with alliance leaders. I can name three of the five. But two out of those three were (again, sorry!) non-entities in the grand scheme of things, beholden to coalition leaders. As a result, the alliance leaders would get their marching orders from the coalition leaders and then tell the alliance membership directly what was going on. If the corp CEOs got involved at all, it was -- at best -- a message saying "Yeah. What he said."
This doesn't mean I don't remember members of past corps and alliances -- I do, of course! And chances are pretty good that several of the pilots I remember were CEOs of the corps I was in, or leaders of alliances. I just don't remember that they held those positions because from a leadership standpoint, they were non-entities.
I can remember -- with some amusement -- a corp-level meeting of one of those seven corps. The CEO got the directors and a few other key members together to discuss whether the corp should pull out of the alliance we were part of. The attendees made it clear that if the CEO chose to do that, he'd be CEO of a much smaller corp. The people involved (myself included) thought of themselves as alliance members reporting to an alliance leader first before we thought of ourselves as corp members reporting to the CEO. The CEO in question was rather disgruntled afterward. ;-)
There are certainly exceptions! Seleene and the members of Body Count Inc. are hugely proud of their corp. Members of a few other PL corps feel the same. Marcel Devereux and the members of Aideron Robotics are, perhaps, even more so.(1) And in some alliances, there are certainly back-and-forth discussions about how this corp is better than that corp. But these are the exception rather than the rule, I suspect.
It's been joked that Brave Collective and its members are experiencing the EVE meta-game at a hugely accelerated rate. And they've cemented that impression with the formation of their own coalition and the invasion of Catch. And now increasingly, you hardly hear about BRAVE any more; you hear about H.E.R.O instead.
It wasn't always this way, of course. As I said, I can remember a time when I was really interested in alliance-leader politics in particular. So much juicy drama! I had fun researching it and reading about it, and any regions I wasn't interested in, (the now departed from EVE) Mord Fiddle was.(2) These days, what little drama is left seems to be reserved for coalition leadership squabbles and as the number of coalitions dwindles, even that is draining away.
So it is with some amusement that I read about the collapse of both Gentlemen's Agreement and Li3 Federation, and the formation of The Bastion alliance. The new alliance apparently recognizes that any leadership decisions it makes mean so little that they are not even bothering to select a leader as such. They just declared CFC coalition leader The Mittani to be their leader and will apparently just pick a few people here and there to interpret and communicate that gentleman's directives for those corps that choose to join them from GENTS and Li3. Plus, you know, maybe find a person to pay sov bills for a couple of systems or perhaps fuel a jump bridge or two.
As alliances and coalitions grow, what we increasingly see when one fails is that rather than a successor step in to take over, the resulting leaderless organization is either peaceably folded or merged into a healthy organization... or it collapses from internal rot, a vacuum is created, and the healthy organizations move in to fill it. Either way for New Eden, the size of the resulting organizations grows and the number of leaders shrinks. And as a side effect, becoming one of these leaders becomes more complicated. That makes it even less likely that someone will be able or willing to step up to fill the newly-expanded role! Quite a vicious circle!
Sooner or later, though, one of these high-level coalition leaders is going to burn out, rage-quit, or just walk away. Should be interesting to see what happens when that day comes! In the meantime, I can't help feeling that New Eden is becoming a less interesting place.
(1) These guys were nice enough to give me one of the corp challenge coins they had made at this year's Fanfest. Thanks, guys!
(2) This was before he was all grr Goons. Again, sorry to see you go, Mord.