Alice Springs and Del Rio were fixtures on the first level of the forum. The first level was never highly populated having a maximum count of seven players at anyone time.
Alice favored benign neglect. Her contention was that the Lefties were doing what Lefties always do. That which is unsustainable will not be sustained. They were like physicists attempting to find the critical mass of Pu239 by adding 30 grams of metal to the pile at a time, justifying the increments on the basis that “nothing bad happened last time”.
Del favored a more active approach. He believed it was best to choreograph the Lefties' collapse. His rational was that North Korea had hung on for seventy-years, ChiCom was still run by the Communist Party and Communist Cuba had been parked 90 miles off the tip of Florida for sixty years. Del wanted to see the Lefties crash-and-burn in his lifetime, preferably within the next few months.
Another concern that Del brought up, repeatedly, is that the Republicans were disintegrating just as quickly as the Democrats. Del wanted to make sure the Lefties didn't prevail by default.
Both could dredge up and present valid arguments. Alice argued that NK and Cuba were vassal states that were supported by sponsors. Del argued that ComChina was not a vassal state.
Alice argued that any “nudges” the Leftists were given would be blamed on conservatives. Del said that already happened regardless of where the nudge or bad-luck originated.
Del and Alice were so fixated on destroying the other’s argument that they paid scant attention to the players who more activist than Del. The incoming players might engage in side conversations. The ones who demonstrated the ability to contribute to the forum and showed intelligence and independent thinking were quietly invited to the next level of the “game”.
The players who were less activist than Alice quietly went away as they figured out they couldn’t get a word in edgewise, or if they didn't go dormant, their token was pulled and they were denied admittance. Level one was a recruiting and sorting tool and it needed a constant trickle of new blood to function.
The second level of that game was entirely more specific.
Angus moderated the second level and ruled it with an iron fist. Angus’s take on the struggle was to disperse and disorganize the opposing force. Mass casualty events were to be avoided at all costs because of the effect on mass sentiment.
He had suspicions about some of the members in his group. He was sure he had met some of them in meat-space. If they were who he thought they were, they were capable of shooting pop cans at 300 yards and owned suppressed .22 rifles.
So when discussion turned to shooting the windshields of delivery trucks, Angus did not squelch the thread. He emphasized “no intentional loss-of-life” and suggested that they focus on time, location and type-of-truck that would throw the longest shadow.
Discussion would swirl around the merits of bread trucks versus on-line-fulfillment trucks versus utility repair trucks. On making-a-statement on the fringes of the city vs. deepest down-town vs. at the depot.
This was planning. Nobody had been authorized to act. Everybody realized that if the time ever did come to act that incremental escalation would not take the Leftist out-of-their-game. Execution, if it came to that, had to be sudden and overwhelming.
Angus's mantra was "Get into their heads. Make them fixate on what could happen next. Tiny escalations. You lose your leverage when you run out of steps to escalate."
Angus's favorite example involved judges. "Suppose there is a judge you don't like. What would murdering him accomplish? The next one would be worse and it would be that much harder to take out."
"But what if a man on a motor-bike drove up to the judge's car at a stop-light and shot up the driver's side door with a paint-ball gun?"
"Then, suppose as soon as the judge had the dents in the door fixed, it was shot-up with a paint-ball gun again but this time the contents of the paint-balls etched the paint and broke windows?"
"The judge would freak every time they saw a motorbike because it is very clear what COULD happen."
"How hard are cops going to look for a vandal with a paint-ball gun versus a murderer?"
"It is like kidnapping. You lose bargaining power if you send the person you want to influence the head. You could send a single fingernail and make the same point."
And, for participants who chafed under Angus’s rules, there were levels beyond the forum he moderated.