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.