The State (of Relations With the State)
So, a quick sketch of realities on the ground, here…
Achura got itself found during the run-up to the Caldari/Gallente war, the first one. We actually had an empire at the time, a huge planet-wide unified single civilization, which is pretty impressive if you consider we were still an iron age people. Even the habitable bits of an actually kind of chilly world (once you get away from water) seem really really big when your fastest means of transport is by boat and your fastest method of communication is messenger birds.
It gets a little less nostalgic when you look at some of the rarer artifacts from that time; the methods the old empire used to keep itself together got a bit brutal. The old empire never had a chance against the Caldari, though.
Not that it came down to a fight. The Caldari approached the old military aristocracy, offering what must have seemed like wonders from the celestial realm, and over a few decades they uplifted the cities they lived in and converted the residents, and the whole aristocracy, fully to Caldari culture. Most ethnic Achur are SuVee citizens, now. So, basically, they converted the people who were most likely to fight them not only to their side, but into Caldari.
Poof. No more empire. (Well-- if you count a few decades as “poof.”)
The monasteries had been kind of a secondary source of local leadership a little more sympathetic to the common folk than the nobility tended to be for a long time. With the nobility disappearing and strange space-people with stern sensibilities functionally running the cities while also considering our business (like maintaining public order in rural areas) none of theirs, the monasteries stepped in.
And here we are.
There’ve been a lot of changes during the last couple centuries, since the Caldari came. Cities on Achura are all now pretty much Caldari, of course, and keep to themselves a lot more than they used to, having traded aggressive projection of military authority for Caldari isolationism and self-concern. Having pretty deftly eliminated not only our military but the caste that even really had a military tradition, the Caldari don’t meddle with us much.
They do trade with us, though. Kind of a lot.
In general, rural areas are really, really good and important for food, and, while hydroponics is a lovely thing, sometimes you just want to trade a holo-projector for a cartload of cabbages, or a generator and community mainframe as part of an agreement to keep you in cabbages for fifty years. So, gradually, we’ve kind of come out of the iron age to join this modern world.
We’re still an economic backwater, don’t get me wrong; holo projector systems and mechanized transports aren’t rare, but neither are dirt roads, hand looms, or books or scrolls. Most fishing boats have actual engines, now, but not everybody’s got a local factory for processing the catch.
(We’d probably make a lot on tourism if the Caldari were big on being tourists. But, they’re mostly not.)
So, that’s sort of the state of things. We trade stuff to the Caldari; the Caldari trade stuff to us.
Formally, we’re a “client people,” which means we do have legal status in the State-- not as citizens, but people it’s still not officially “okay” to cheat, rob, murder, etc. (Compare to the Caldari nonentity non-caste; the main thing Caldari can’t do to such people is enslave them. Otherwise, they’re without legal rights. That’s typically the status of indigenous peoples who haven’t accepted Caldari protection.)
SuVee being SuVee, if the Caldari really really want something (valuable mineral deposit, typically), we mostly just have to get out of the way while trying to extract some kind of favor out of them in exchange. Otherwise they pretty much leave us be.
Oh-- one important thing: the Caldari do kind of keep us in touch with the rest of the cluster, and individual Achur do travel a little. Getting direct, personal access to Caldari resources, like admission to the State War Academy for capsuleer training or getting to play with a SuVee graviton reactor, requires converting to Caldari culture, though. That’s not a trivial step. It’s, not coincidentally, a little like immigrating to a new country entirely, and getting citizenship-- if that country’s immigration policies are broadly run by people whose views aren’t that different from Veik’s remarks, above.
They can’t really stop capsuleers switching back. Everybody else, though…