Jon, in lieu of any ANSWERS from Shambles, I'd guess he's tried and failed to force (by a 'Shock and Awe' campaign of 'explanation' and 'debate') Max to jump through hoops. It was probably a much more one-sided variety of 'ineffective' than his crusade here.
The control stuff then comes out in the forum, aimed at secondary and tertiary targets, to no particular goal. Jon, you said, "...or his real motives are nothing to do with what he says they are", but if he's ever actually said what they are, I haven't seen it here. This leaves him free to change them whenever it suits.
Anyway, I'm just agreeing with you. This has turned into one of those things like when people go to a concert to see how drunk or stoned a performer is, or how bizarre he'll act, and don't really care about the music. At first, people will continue to go because there just<might still be an occasional flash of brilliance. But eventually the flashes stop and it's the spectacle, and only the spectacle, that draws.