I am watching these recent changes at former InterBus with growing concern.

The venerable Pukara-haan was a man of principle, committed to peace, free trade, stability and sound business practice. Now, EverMore says its ‘new mission’ under the Gallente Ducasse is to “bring all things to all people”. To me this implies an interest in controlling all people, and to compete with every sitting interest in New Eden, whether corporate or state. And should the worst come to pass, who will hold this new sprawling private interest to account?

The resignation of so many executives signals a cultural shift in this institution. You may say I am paranoid, but to me their quiet protest sounds like alarm claxons.


As someone who has worked closely with InterBus for a decade, I share your concerns about the dramatic shift in business model.


We seem to be finding the next uniting factor since the Triglavians.

I also find myself extremely concerned about this move of InterBus we have all learned to trust into the hands of someone who is basically an outsider, with no clear reason other than short-term greed, utilizing a time of turmoil. Experienced InterBus executives leaving does not bode well for the future of the corporation or the service level we are accustomed to, especially not where the new owner seems to be over-reaching for new models of business at the same time of acquiring the existing one.

I hope to be wrong in my concerns.


It’s really impressive that, within 48 standard hours of taking office, M. Ducasse has managed to agree sale terms for a clusterwide operation with four shareholders who cannot normally agree on how to boil an egg, with time left over to line up five separate major acquisitions. He must be very persuasive.


Or remarkably well funded and affluent.

Perhaps his time in Interbus has granted him access to unknown vaults of proverbial closet skeletons?

The acquisition of Inner Zone alone must have been incredibly pricey considering it was previously bought out by the Bank of Luminaire.


Yeah, I don’t think the old CEO’s death was what they say it was. His son was staying with him when he died? And then the kid backs the new CEO? And all these large and suspiciously related aquisitions before the guy’s corpse is even cold?

Someone’s moving their pieces into place. I wonder what the big Secret of Evermore is.


Careful now… but if you find yourself needing legal assistance, I can introduce you.

It is indeed a concerning development, one that caused some stir with the Companion Services, and the Neopian Federation as well… Paranoia is not unfounded, in these uncertain times, and even justified! But it must also be tempered with the potentials of opportunity.

It seems to me like what used to be interbus is being weaponized to export what passes for Gallentean culture to places where it is not welcome. If that suspicion is affirmed, then such tools for indirect warfare should be excised from our systems.

For the love of–.

Could it be that international conglomerates are, in fact, not a devilish plot?

Could it in fact be a reasonable thing that arises from interstellar trade?

Or are some of you of the mind that, winds, the CEO’s name is aggressively Gallente so obviously that desire to expand product lines is inherently a threat to the State and its citizenry?

Do you believe our culture, our peoples so weak that they need to be shielded from any threat of cultural exposure?


Uh-- in … fairness, Ms. Priano, I think at some point I did actually believe this.

The idea was that the Caldari culture is harsh, and unattractive-- and also what lets us survive. To let people be seduced away by other ways is to surrender what keeps us strong, leading to dissent, dissolution, and, when those other, more decadent ways falter: doom.

I don’t think we’re truly so fragile though. It’s been pointed out that the Raata Caldari still living in the Federation actually live more like the ancestors than the Caldari of the modern State (a rhetorically awkward reality for pretty much everybody).

Maybe part of being survivors is the strength to hold true to the old ways against rhetoric as well as blizzards?

(My predecessor, who originally had those thoughts, did very much think of the Caldari as “we” though she, also, was culturally Achura. The idea was that Achur culture is fragile and precious, and the Caldari shield us, which makes their security our own as well. I usually draw the line a little more clearly but still see the point.)

The heavy boulder shatters steel but melts to the mountain stream. The tree falls to insects but bends in the storm. The blizzard kills the traveller but dies by a warm sunbeam. Which is the strongest?

At any rate, while I share Tereven-haani’s concern, that is “business as usual”. It has little to do with the core problem raised, the one shared by both a Caldari and Minmatar.

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That two great empires seek to absorb us, digest us, and leave us unrecognizable as anything but more of themselves? True as it might be, nothing will change in that regard while the eastern half of the cluster clings to the western half for security. A two-legged stool falls over. A cosmopolitical realignment that creates a three-axis balance of power is needed before there can be any stability.


“Gallentean culture” is a boogeyman like the Boitata or Malagrin of the Morthani marshes. Mlle. Priano is right to ask if there is some kind of cultural insecurity to explain this paranoia.

The cultural insecurity is as Suzaku-haan explained, Mr. Menkalinan.

In this analysis, “Gallentean culture” is seen to be Caldari culture’s natural enemy: something subtle and corrosive, gradually wearing away the strongest defenses by mere contact, something seductive that a society built around rigor, discipline, and self-sacrifice can defeat only by avoidance-- or by shifting the conflict to more familiar and comfortable ground where the Caldari virtues can thrive, such as actual warfare.

Though I don’t quite agree, it’s not a silly way of looking at things.

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It seems a little silly if the dreaded enemy doesn’t actually exist. Perhaps the enemy is all culture that is not Caldari?

That’s ended up being a little bit the reaction. Even Khanid Kingdom expatriates in the State aren’t permitted to practice their Amarrian faith in public (and expats from the rest of the Empire aren’t even allowed to practice privately; same goes for believers of any other stripe from outside State borders).

In fairness if you do a little looking Mr. Menkalinan I believe you can find materials on an actual Federal policy and program of cultural warfare, trying to do with music and holoflicks what blaster charges and crystal carbonide couldn’t pull off. It’s a natural step; Gallentean culture is, in fact, attractive to many, and it’s not a huge leap to weaponize it to pry open a closed society.

I’m not at all sure that program survived the Heth era, though. Because of who can afford to consume Gallentean cultural materials, the effects ended up hitting the elites far more than the workers, resulting in a decadent and selfish ruling class dominating a mostly steadfastly traditionalist populace.

The resulting revolution, such as it was, led to the Provists, and to Tibus Heth-- essentially the opposite of the desired outcome.

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Perhaps I’m not being clear enough. Gallentean culture doesn’t exist.

There is the mix of cultures from Gallentia (primarily Rouvenori and Morthani but several others). There’s Mannar culture (which itself is a fairly recent aggregation through conquest), Jin Mei culture (which is perhaps the most cohesive), Intaki culture (which, if you compare the old Assembly colonies is diverse to say the least), Raata Caldari culture (as you pointed out), Minmatar culture (with all that complexity) and Amarrian culture (or elements of it). If you travel from any part of the Federation to another, you will struggle to connect the two culturally. The majority of citizens don’t even speak the official language, let alone enjoy the same food, music and entertainment or practise the same spirituality.

Fretting about the threat of Gallentean culture has all the credibility of hiding under the bedsheets from an imaginary boogeyman.


This is a claim that can only be made by a Gallente, and it is just as wrong as it is true.

For you, ‘Gallente Culture’ does not exist. You exist, or grew up, on the inside of the Federation, immersed in it, saturated by it. You perceive the variations and differences as only an insider can. Your words are truth, as you see it.

But they are also a lie. They are a lie because your own familiarity leads you to assumptions and ‘common knowledge’ that is not true. You claim the Federation contains Minmatar culture with all its complexity. It does not. It cannot. Because we are not a culture. We are a kaleidoscope of cultures, half-remembered and tattered, crashing into one another as Time turns the cylinder. An ignorant outsider will try to make sense of the chaos, to find common threads. But my ways are not Rhiannon’s ways. They are not Gripdjur’s ways. They are most definitely not a Brutor or Vherokior’s ways. We are a thousand little cultures, each fumbling about in the dark. Your Federation would need to contain us all before it could claim to contain ‘all that complexity’. And even then, it would be a lie so long as even one of our people remains enslaved, or remains Ammatar.

But I do not hold the lie against you, unintentional and born of the impossibility of knowing us as we know ourselves, as it was. You did not see. You could not, through no fault of your own. And I suspect that among each of the other groups you think the Federation embraces, there are areas where you are just as blind. Contradictions of your belief that you simply do not see.

You also do not see the truth that the rest of the cluster sees. And that truth is just as true and accurate as your truth. Because it is made to be so.

Outside of the Federation, Gallente cultural exports present a largely homogenized version of the Federation, a ‘Gallente Ideal Culture’, if you will. We are shown a purpose-crafted image of life within the Federation where diversity itself is universal, and so not truly ‘diverse’ at all. It is an image where Gallente youth ‘rebel’ in expectable, predictable ways, like aping Matari voluvals and other tattoos, regardless of cultural significance. Where Gallente of all ethnic backgrounds freely celebrate one another’s traditions, and in doing so, make them universal Federation traditions. Where decadence and hedonism without restraint are considered natural, healthy expressions of the human spirit.

This is the sanitized, sterilized, ‘see, we accept all traditions and ways of life, so we’re no threat to yours!’ version of the Federal experience that is fabricated for export. For those within the Federation, or Federal expatriots encountering these entertainment products outside the borders, this is harmless fun. It is a way to show familiar tropes and shorthand, in broad strokes. It is easily seen for the fiction that it is.

But it is how the Federation chooses to show itself to those who do not have that intimate knowledge. It is the monolithic lie the Federation tells the cluster to believe. It is the weaponized fantasy, the propagandist’s sibilant whisper, that we are bombarded with and expected to buy. Often, quite literally, to buy, transferring wealth from our people into your conglomerates in order to choke down the latest batch of subtle programming.

Repeat a lie often enough, and even those who know it is a lie are conditioned to accept it, primed to take it at face value. This is not some revelation. It is known among politicians, con artists, and propagandists across the cluster, and has been for as long as human beings have told one another lies to get what they want.

‘The threat of Gallente culture’ is not about the Federation that you have experienced, Mr. Menkalinan. It is about the Federation that your nation rains down upon the rest of us, with sitcoms, earworms, memes, novels. It is about the illusion that the Federation subjects us to, ceaselessly… relentlessly. Mercilessly. And usually, purely for something as crass as profit.


I think the Caldari understand that Gallentean culture doesn’t actually exist, even as they rail against it.

It’s simply a more convenient term than “the Federal political structures, their processes, and their impact on wider society”.

Of course there’s local variety, but you and I are both very aware of what the weight of Federal bureaucracy does to local system governance and decision making. Security in Intaki, for example.

I completely understand why the Caldari would want to keep such a political culture at arm’s length.

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