Who Are the Patriots?
What you are about to read is a detailed report of the history of the Patriots, the clandestine organization featured throughout the Metal Gear Solid game series. I talk about their predecessors and how they came to be, leading up to the events of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.
“Who Are the Patriots?”
By Joseph “Maniac” Cirillo III
What if the world as we knew it did not really exist? What if it was just the world that was put in front of our eyes to make us feel that we were really in control of our own government, when in reality we had no such control? Think about it, do you honestly believe that public opinion influences the government’s decisions? Writer/Director Hideo Kojima explored this very concept in his popular video game series Metal Gear Solid. The United States has a government that is believed to be elected by the people and for the people. But what if the world we knew was a lie? What if the country, and the rest of the world, was actually run by twelve men? These twelve men would embody elitist theory. Unelected and self-appointed, it was their job to run the United States, with their decisions impacting the whole world. They appointed only those who swore allegiance to them public office. To the few who knew of their existence, these men were known as The Patriots. Who these men were, how they came to power, and how they were able to stay secret from the American people is a true testament to the implementation of elitist theory in a piece of entertainment.
It all started with her. She was considered by many to be the mother of all Special Forces. She was the first woman in space. She had developed a new type of martial art known as Close-Quarters Combat (CQC). She was the leader of the Cobra Unit, the toughest military outfit in WWII. She was the best and she trained only the best, and because of that every ally wanted her on their side more than anything. Such a woman could only be known as The Boss, and the ideologies which the Patriots held dear all came from her.
During World War II key figures in the secret levels of power of three great nations realized that in order to fight the Axis Powers the resources of the three nations would have to be pooled in order to fund a way to fight the war. The three nations that entered into the agreement were the United States, China, and The Soviet Union. They realized that in order to fight a war, funding was required for special secret projects that would keep them ahead of what the axis powers could throw at them. The key figures of the three nations came into an agreement to share a large pool of money. The exact amount was twenty billion dollars, enough to win the war “five times over.” The secret men who controlled this pool of money and the decisions on how to use it were known as The Philosophers and their money became known as The Philosophers’ Legacy. None of this was ever kept anything but absolutely secret, even from the most senior public officials.
The Philosophers promised each of their nations that the money would be returned to them after the end of the war but in reality this was not to happen. The Soviet Union found a way to take the legacy and keep the other nations from getting it back. The money went into the bank account of a Soviet Philosopher named Volgin, who was laundering it. After the death of Volgin, his son, a Colonel in the Soviet Union military known to the west as Thunderbolt, illegally inherited the money his father stole and put it towards building newer, never before seen weapons of mass destruction to use as leverage against the west. Using the money, Volgin’s team developed a rocket equipped tank capable of launching a nuclear strike from any runway under the control of the Soviet Union, able to reach the United States. The tank was called the Shagohod and it was able to fire an ICBM by using rocket assistance during the first stage. Using a three-mile runway, the Shagohod would propel itself to three-hundred miles per hour as it fired a smaller ICBM, saving fuel in the rocket itself, cutting down its size.
The Philosophers from the remaining countries realized that the Soviet Union could not just take all of that money and attempted to steal it back to their respective countries. Knowing this, the American Philosophers attempted to steal back their money during a covert operation known as Operation: Snake Eater, and the microfilm with the location of the Legacy was recovered by the United States with the help of a Soviet mole planted in Volgin’s unit, and by an American spy who had the abilities of a one-man army. This operative, known only by the codename Naked Snake, was a protégé of The Boss. He was told by his commanding officer Major Zero that The Boss had defected to the Soviet Union and he needed to execute her in order to stop the United States from going to a full-scale war with the USSR. He completed his mission and received the Distinguished Service Cross for bravery recovering the Legacy, preventing war, and destroying the Shagohod, and then-President Lyndon B. Johnson awarded Naked Snake with the codename of Big Boss, saying he was “above even The Boss.”
However, while it all appeared to be a success, the operation was not as the Philosophers’ had originally hoped for. The Boss was supposed to recover the legacy, but when her existence in Russia became known, the US had to cut all ties with her to prevent war. By the time Naked Snake had completed his mission, all of the agents of the organization that participated in Operation: Snake Eater, a group known as FOX, were made aware of the existence of the Philosophers, and it became their undoing. By 1972, the Philosophers’ Legacy was finally brought back to the west. FOX’s leader, known only by the codename of Zero, wanted to use the money in order to form his own organization similar to the Philosophers, and replace their rule with his own, guided by the philosophy left by The Boss. His partner and friend, now known as Big Boss, was on board with this idea and became the second member. The other members of FOX agreed to join including the respected Dr. Clark, known as PARA-MEDIC for inventing the first parachuting medical unit, and Mr. Sigint, their technical expert, would later become the Chief of DARPA. However, not all the operatives who helped in Snake Eater were FOX members. The Soviet mole who helped out, now known as REVOLVER OCELOT, was welcome into the group, and he idolized Big Boss. The final member was a American-born Chinese operative who defected secretly to the west because she was in love with Big Boss, known as EVA. This US branch of the Philosophers became known as The Patriots. With the backing of the Philosophers’ Legacy, The Patriots could take their thrones of power in the United States. The Philosophers who still were alive were secretly killed by the Patriots so there would be no one to question their absolute control, and they also had a secret weapon on their hands, the counter-weapon to Volgin’s Shagohod, a nuclear equipped walking battle tank called Metal Gear.
Over the course of the next forty years the Patriots would get their hands into everything and control all that they could. Military, political and economic control was all under their sights. The government was in actuality controlled by them. The President of the United States was nothing more than a puppet who acted under the will of the Patriots, not the will of the American people. He certainly was not elected either, he was chosen by the Patriots only after swearing an oath of allegiance to them. Things credited publicly as initiated by Congress, such as missile defense, were actually done by order of the Patriots. The elections were a show presented to the American people to keep them thinking they had a say in their country. Even the Democrats and the Republicans were dancing to The Patriots’ tune. The media was also easily controlled, and would only broadcast on television or newspapers what they had decided upon, after being heavily filtered and censored. The world belonged to the Patriots, and these selfish men did everything in their power to keep themselves in power for as long as possible.
All was not well however, as there was dissention coming in the Patriots’ ranks. After years of friendship and cooperation, Big Boss and Zero were not agreeing anymore on how the world should be run. Big Boss wanted a world where soldiers were free to fight each other free of ideology, Zero wanted absolute power and if he could have it, complete control over free will. After so many years, Big Boss and many other Patriots did not believe that’s what The Boss would have wanted. What made this difficult was while Zero was the leader of the Patriots, Big Boss was a popular figure. His victories had made him the greatest living solider in the world, and part of the influence of the Patriots was from the respect the world had for Big Boss and Zero knew it. It wasn’t long before Big Boss would rebel against his friend Zero, and his weapon to use against the Patriots would be the Metal Gear operating out of a base known as Outer Heaven. Even though he attempted to use his own organization to take himself out hoping it would fail, an organization known as UNIT FOX-HOUND, Big Boss would be stopped by FOX-HOUNDs newest member. After the Outer Heaven incident, Big Boss’s actions had made him nothing more than a terrorist in the eyes of many. With his apparent death came the defection of EVA, who changed her name to Big Mama, and Revolver Ocelot, who later joined up in Big Boss’s unit FOX-HOUND. PARA-MEDIC would later die in her lab during an experiment.
After forty years, the only remaining member of the Patriots was Zero, and he was dying of old age. With no children of his own and due to Big Boss’s betrayal no successor, he developed a sophisticated series of artificial intelligences to control the world after his passing. He designed four of them, named after the four Presidents on Mount Rushmore, each with its own focus, and one central AI to monitor them, John Doe.
The only thing a man from an analog generation feared was not physical at all, it was digital. The internet and all the information that came along with it was rapidly growing in user support by the year 2007. Unfiltered information was a threat to the Patriots because it exposed their one major vulnerability. Their censorship systems were not designed to operate on such a massive scale as all the information being posted to the internet minute by minute. News reports, blogs, and web pages all were outside of the grasp of the Patriots’ influence. If their existence was ever revealed to the public, they knew for sure that it would mean a full-scale revolution. The advent of digital media, media that would be unfiltered, easily accessed, and survive forever, was something beyond the Patriots’ control. For the first time the Patriots felt like they could be obsolete and it terrified them. The only way to stop the flow of this data would be if the Patriots developed a massive artificial intelligence capable of censoring the Internet, and the only way this could be delivered is through a highly protected, highly armored mobile fortress capable of nuclear attack. They called this artificial intelligence G.W. after George Washington, and the mobile fortress which housed it Arsenal Gear, a massive warship capable of coordinating the entire country’s defense. It was considered the logical evolution of the technology Volgin worked on forty years earlier. A terrorist group attempted to steal Arsenal Gear, something Zero had expected, and failed. With their failure proved that Zero’s AIs systems could now work under any circumstances and they were brought online. Only one man alive had the power to stop them, the descendant of Big Boss, who inherited his father’s abilities of a one-man army, the hero of Outer Heaven, known only as Solid Snake. Only he could stop The Patriots from launching their ultimate weapon against the world and make up for his father’s sins. With the support of an inexperienced operative handpicked by the Patriots to stop Arsenal Gear from being stolen known as RAIDEN, Solid Snake was able to learn the names of the original twelve members of the Patriots, only to find that the names were of the original Philosophers, and had been dead for some time. The Patriots’ AIs were now in control of the system and were loyal only to Zero’s wishes, to have complete control over free will.
The Patriots are the embodiment of the Elitist Theory. Perhaps Kojima was familiar with the theory when he envisioned them. They exist only at the top of everything, and all of their judgments get trickled down to their underlings. However, they are the extreme case of elitist theory. These are men that exist in power, and seek out not just ways to stay in power, but the ability to constantly gain more power. They control the government, the military and the media. They are not present in the minds of the people they govern, because the people they govern are lied to, they cannot rebel against an enemy they are not aware they have.