As one might read in the yet unwritten books of history:
On December 12, YC115, following the september resignation of President Roden and the disbanding of the Gallente Senate after federation forces had suffered crushing defeats by Caldari militia and civil unrest had broken out on several Gallente homeworlds, a left-wing coalition won the federal elections in an unprecedented landslide. Carried by the voices of millions, who answered to his promise to “bring home our troups”, Canadesh Neber, intellectual and founder of “subvert”, the by now second largest GalNet community, stepped into office as president of the Gallente Federation. A political newcomer, he managed to pull off a comet-like rise from the depths of GalNet, shattering the ranks of established politicians to be the youngest president elected in the history of the federation. His platform, with a strong focus on the values of brotherhood, equality and community resonated throughout almost all of the vastly diverse voter blocks of the federation, ensuring him votes from across the political spectrum with the somewhat predictable exception of the “vultures” block and yielding his coalition an overwhelming majority in senate and all district councils.
As his first act of office Canadesh Neber entered truce negotiations with the Caldari state administration, achieving a cease fire within the first week of the peace talks. Although the armistice was continuously violated by both sides in the following weeks and the actual peace negotiations were drawn out into a long, complicated and exhausting process, the initial cease fire agreement stands as the first of Canadesh Neber’s lasting achievements.
The second item on his agenda was a reform of the political system of the Gallente federation. The common sentiment in the administration, backed by a huge legislative majority and the voices of millions of politically active citizens, was that the prolonged war with the Caldari state was mainly driven by excessive self interest of corporations involved in the military-industrial complex, effectively reducing the possibilities of citizens exercising their pursuit of individual happiness. The answer Canadesh Neber gave to this situation was threefold. First, several initiatives to reinvigorate the strong democratic traditions in the federation were launched, including a significant shift of responsibilities from the federal adminstration to the district and constellation level. Second, a reform of the federal financial framework was initiated. In particular, major changes to the tax system were brought into senate, introducing a progressive tax scheme with a toplevel tax of 40% for individuals earning more than 1B per week, as well as a a tax exempt amount of 10M per week. In addition a property tax for corporations as well as individuals of 5% per week on a list of assests and liquid captial was introduced. The revenues of this financial reform where channelled into the district adminstrative operations, establishing far reaching subsides for the less developed constellations of the empire. The third and in hindsight most far reaching reform was to include the influencial capsuleer community more tightly into the body politic of the federation. In Canadesh Neber’s words taken from a speech that is now known as the “Neber Decree”:
“Capsuleers are an important interest group in our federation, who have enjoyed exceptional privileges in the past as well as they have served dutifully in our militia and the trade fleets of our federation. It is our believe that it is time for the capsuleers to take up responsibility on the political stage. These gifted individuals have the right and the obligation to step up their support for their brothers and sisters in our federation. In these times of change we dearly need their talents in the goverment of our state. We need their dilligence to actively shape our common future.
I am proud to announce today the creation of the “Assembly of Federate Capsuleers”, a new legislative body, wich will specifically work on issues related to space fare. The competencies of the AFC will range from management of the jump gate network, police, customs and militia forces, including financial issues in these fields, and reach as far as trade policies, foreign policy and relations to CONCORD. Active and passive franchise will be granted to all capsuleers with Gallente citizenship. Citizenship will require individuals to have a majority of their assets to be located in Gallente space as well as capsuleers installing their medical clone in a station in Gallente space. Exceptions from this rule can be granted to federal militia members. The AFC will have district departments working closely together with the constellation administrations. It will develop bills and plans for the development of our interstellar policies, which will be subjected to the federal and district democratic process.
With power comes responsibility and from my coversations with important capsuleer leaders during the past weeks I am confident that they will step up and help to strengthen the bonds inside this federation as well as represent our values of equality and freedom to all citizens of New Eden.”
The installation of a governmental body for the representation of capsuleer interests in the Gallente Federation soon sparked similar initiatives in the Caldari State and the Minmatar Republic. In contrast, the Amarr Empire never acknowledged the influence of capsuleers on their ruling class. To this day the immortals of the Amarr organize in cabalistic circles, which seem to have a secret but very well organized internal structure, excerting immense political power on the decisions of the Empire leadership.
One of the first actions of the Gallente AFC that would later go into the history books for sparking the YC116 Gallente – Amarr war was the reform of trade policies, introducing an extensive toll system on the borders of the Gallente federations. Import of various goods into the federation was heavily taxed, sparking anger amongst Amarrian trader dynasties. Another consequence that is generally attributed to have its roots in this decision is the unrest which became known as the “smuggler wars”, which have ravaged the western lowsec regions for several years now.
It is an irony of history that the AFC, wich lately has developed distinct elitist attitudes, has been installed by a left-wing president with the original intention that a tight integration of capsuleers into the political process of the federation would serve to tame the extravaganzas of the immortals. Instead today the AFC is fractured into several blocks roughly along the lines of the traditional voter blocks with an intense game of diplomacy, influence and intrigue determining the decisions of the assembly. The monthly conventions of the assembly are stage for an intense power play with ambitious capsuleers vying for influence, rising to power and falling from grace in the old ritual of politics. The consequences of decisions taken here ripple through the federation and out into the whole of New Eden, clashing with the increasingly influential capsuleer organisations in the other empires, sparking trade wars, forging alliances and shaping the history of New Eden.
The age of capsuleers has entered a new area. What will be the legacy of the immortal politician?
This post is the first of two parts of an article on the possibility of a political system for capsuleers in Empire Space. While I have thought about the subject in previous posts, the latest blog banter is a good opportunity to flesh out the ideas developed so far.
With the return of Live Events such as the Battle for Caldari Prime, clearly the prime fiction of EVE is back in favour as part of this new thematic approach to expansions. However, EVE’s story is very much a tale of two playstyles, with an entirely player-driven narrative unfolding daily in parallel to the reinvigorated backstory. Often, they do not mix well. How can these two disparate elements be united or at least comfortably co-exist in a single sandbox universe? Blog Banter 46: The Main Event
Part two will dive into the challenge of creating game mechanics that would support political gameplay in Empire Space, how to fit this into the sandbox and to explore the role such a system could have in terms of role play, life events and the backstory of New Eden.
Stay tuned! Chira.