Statement Regarding Caldari Union Day & Labor

I’ll be brief and concise. It’s been my most sincere hope, following the replacement of the PKN interstellar led administration of the CEP that we would see tangible changes within the Caldari state of the material conditions of untold trillions of workers and disaffected citizens. Instead, we see hurried business as usual with no meaningful moves towards reflecting the policy changes desperately needed at large within the State.

Ah yes, no, wait. I suppose there has been some slight progress within the State at large. Most notably, the award for the contract to rebuild CEP tower and increased military rearmament. Suffice to say, it surprises me very little that after being humbled by the attack at CEP Spire the first order of business for the ruling class is to rebuild their seat of power and increase the apparatus of control over the State. I’m sure that rearmament plan will do wonders to bolster the income of those defense contractors fortunate enough to receive the build order, or will greatly benefit SuVee’s profit margins and prestige. What I am not so certain however, is how this will in any way benefit those diseffected by the prior administration, increase quality of life for the workers of the State, or that this isn’t just a very well-laced way to ensure that decent within the State can never be allowed to reach the level it had earlier this year.

This Union Day is shaping up to be another sham, more about the virtues of the national ruling class than the actual workers of the State. Here this, I certainly hope the CEP has more in their back pocket than bolstering the military, police state, and single-purpose government infrastructure if they wish to hold back the tide of trillions of citizens that have for months sat back in good faith waiting for adequate meaningful change. And if you do not provide that, or indeed never had any intention of doing so to begin with, be prepared to be held accountable.

You cannot tame the wind.

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On this Union day, I find myself fortunate to be given time, not just to mourn the losses of the past year but to reflect on the part I might play to overcome the hardships of the present towards a prosperous future in solidarity with my fellow citizens of the State.

It is not uncommon in hard times such as now for demagogues and malcontents to arise who seek to lead the unwary astray from their duties and obligations to our leaders. However, now as ever, those who have sought to inveigle others have shown themselves as false.

The calls for worker and social reforms by those who have revolted against the lawful and just authority of the ruling corporations have been shown to be nothing more than a sham. The death and destruction wrought upon the innocent at the CEP spire was a barbarous act of terrorism that displays clearly that calls for reform are nothing but a thin veneer of legitimacy to pursue blood-soaked violence.

I reject those crass opportunists who cloak themselves in the garb of revolutionary all the better to stab their fellow citizens in the back. I continue to support the munificence of my leadership in Lai Dai who in their wisdom have refused to negotiate with terrorists, along with the brave men and women of our security forces who valiantly prosecute with all due prejudice the campaign to strike out against those who would use violence against their fellow citizens and the rightful rule of the Board.

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Say whatever you want, little revolutionary, but I sincerly doubt that most people would consider ongoing reforms as missing the point. The problem was with SAF, CEP now tries to fix the SAF. Nothing more is required.

Oh, and workers’ rights… they can use legal means in cases of mismanagement, you know? No Mega is interested in keeping them in truly poor conditions — it’s simply inefficient. While disturbing the order in times of emergency… is ill advised.

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I mean, that’s kind of the point, isn’t it? Disturbing the status quo when everything’s going well won’t get any traction—things are going well, after all, and people are happy. And disturbing the status quo when things aren’t going well… well gosh, that’s unpatriotic and dangerous.

So somehow, nothing ever gets done, and the same rotating sets of oligarchs remain in power, no matter how badly they screw up. ‘Meritocracy’… what a joke.

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In times of emergency, important bit. If you think that beheading the country in the times of open conflict is a norm… perhaps it’s a Minmatar tradition — and as Republic doesn’t look like going to collapse any time soon maybe this tradition even have a merit. But no, I don’t think that for us it will work. Especially as source of problem was not in CEP: it was Navy who failed to execute properly the order of analyzing the situation and adapting forces for the triglavian threat.

Hmph, and about the “joke”.
Every Mega always look for reasons to bite another one. And if some of Great Families would fail greatly this would be something very serious both for Mega within which it happened as it’s a vulnerablity that must be fixed and for everybody else as it’s a vulnerability that can be exploited.
So no, those, as you said, “same rotating sets of oligarchs” are there exactly because of meritocracy — they continue to prove their merit and to carry the glorious legacy of their ancestors.

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Right. But I think you’ll find that as people get dissatisfied with leadership, the oligarchs will always find a reason to declare an emergency. I’m not saying the emergency isn’t genuine this time… sure was kinda convenient though, wasn’t it?

If some of 'great families’1 fail in a massive and significant way, do you really think they will be the ones blamed for it? They’ll find managers and assistants two or three levels below the top to blame—high enough that pieces of the failure can be blamed on them, but just low enough that no members of the ‘great family’ were responsible for that person’s promotion to that position.

And then they’ll find that really, it wasn’t one big problem, it was a dozen or more small issues, any one of which was within normal tolerances, that just happened to come together in a way that amplified each one’s effects, like a massive, freak instance of constructive interference in the ripples of a pond. And now, of course, new safeguards will be put in place to ensure no freak mishap like that could ever happen again2.


1. And really, doesn’t the very concept of ‘great families’ contradict that of a meritocracy? An infant born to those families isn’t genetically predisposed to be a better manager or executive, but that’s exactly the kind of training they’ll get from an early age. The precise position they find themselves in might depend on their performance, but the range of possible options will be completely different than that of someone born to a steampipe fitter in the 4-4 trade hub. So yes, ‘meritocracy’ is a joke.

2. How much you wanna bet that’s a reasonable facsimile of the Caldari Navy’s final version of ‘what happened with the Trigs?’ Hmm? Small things, like confusion in the chain of command because EDENCOM didn’t understand how to interface with the Navy properly, EDENCOM failure to properly adhere to CN procedure for those specific fleet doctrines, Admirals tasking missile and ECM-heavy detachments to EDENCOM even after the initial losses because that’s what EDENCOM asked for, reservist officers unfamiliar with how to spread ECM being clumped together without more experienced veteran officers to help steady them… a hundred tiny little things that each would have totally been nothing major on their own

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Only if you’re Gallentean enough to think merit only on the scale of individual. The Caldari have more in common with us that it seems on the first sight.

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That is the difference between a ‘meritocracy’ and an ‘oligarchy’, yes. Individual performance and achievement is rewarded.

You’ll notice we don’t claim to be one.

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I understand that Republic was affected by Federation greatly but do you really think that everything works only in gallente way? Let me explain.

Maybe not openly… but they will get what they deserve.
Maybe I not really like them much… but look at Ishukone: less than two decades ago Akkilen family was in the high echelones of this Megacorp with one of their own being CEO and the whole star system bearing their name. But Les Akkilen suddenly died, his son Jussal was passed over and instead some random Otro who appeared out of nowhere become CEO and replaced much of senior executives. Certanly Akkilens failed and failed hard enough to… disappoint others. And so they was dealt with. Because Great Families combine competition with team work — like every Caldari.

As Ms. Rhiannon correctly noted, there is not only individual merit. Many Great Families descent from those who took the mantle of leadership in turbulent times of Secession, carried us through Gallente-Caldari War and led us towards independence. They was able to rest on accumulated wealth and to be consumed by hedonism by simply staying on Gallente side — but instead they choosed to fight for the future of Caldari. And this way great burden was placed upon their shoulders and shoulders of their successors. Because unlike for Gallente, for us, Caldari, leadership is a responsibility.

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No, I don’t. But I do think that a meritocracy means that those who rest on the laurels of their ancestors don’t get rewarded for doing so. It doesn’t matter what my great-great-grandfather did for my Clan if I’m an incompetent fool. Now, let’s look at your example.

Do you, for one moment, believe your ‘random Otro’ really ‘appeared out of nowhere’? Clearly, they were educated in business and finance, trained in management techniques and learned the political acumen to convince others to make them CEO when the opportunity presented itself.

Are you going to claim that the child of two of the Dispossessed would ever have had that opportunity? That level of training is, itself, an investment of over a decade’s time and money in someone. It’s simply not possible for every individual in the State to have that training, because they need to spend that time learning other things that help them perform their assigned role.

Advancement begins with opportunity. If a person, family, bloodline, whatever, doesn’t get the chance to demonstrate their capabilities in an exclusive, extremely niche role (such as megacorporate management), they can’t ever demonstrate competence or suitability. They never have the opportunity to show merit. Trillions more people in the State have the capability to excel in that role than will ever get the chance to prove it. So right away, you’ve undercut the idea that advancement is based on merit, because merit isn’t the real gatekeeper, opportunity is. And when you’re talking about opportunities literally based on ‘who were your parents’, then ‘opportunity’ really just means luck.

By the same token, do you really believe Jussal Akkilen was simply tossed into the rubbish bin and Dispossessed? The family knows where too many secrets are hidden, where too many bodies are buried, so to speak. They’ll bide their time in ‘disgraced exile’ from power… which, let’s face it, means that as punishment for failure, they’ll still live in the lap of luxury and enjoy wealth (and the power it brings) only mildly beyond the comprehension of the average citizen of the State.

And eventually, they’ll decide it’s time to cut someone else down to take back what’s theirs. And people like you will marvel at how they ‘appeared out of nowhere’.

Right. That’s what previous generations did. Their descendants do not have any genetic predisposition toward greatness. What you describe is not a meritocracy, but an hereditarily privileged gentry. The only difference between them and actual aristocrats is hereditary titles.

And yeah, that’s how it is here, too. We’re not a meritocracy. I have no illusions about that. No matter how capably and loyally the Stjörnauga serve our Tribe, we will never have the influence of the Midular Clan, or the Rhiannon.

That doesn’t mean it’s ‘bad’, or that it’s wrong for the Caldari people or the State, either. It just means calling a system of gentrified oligarchs a ‘meritocracy’ is a joke.

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I would not consider meritocracy a joke but rather an ideal. However, like many ideals they often do not function in reality as they do in an ideal world. In an ideal meritocratic world, everyone in the State would start life in the same circumstances and afforded the same benefits in life. This is not the case because inequalities arise from other ideals Caldari adhere to, chief among them a commitment to family.

The rise of the great families in Caldari culture is due to the importance and emphasis placed on the family. One is expected not just to work for themselves but for their close and extended families, and this cultural attitude has lead to some families accumulating wealth, shares, and power. This is regarded as socially acceptable in Caldari society because for many given the same circumstances and opportunities they would do the same for their own families.

It is true that the importance of family for Caldari creates contradictions in the pursuit of meritocratic ideals. However, to abandon family in order to implement a truly meritocratic society by Mother Corporations would be met with vociferous resistance by the wider segment of Caldari citizens. As such the contradictions of family with meritocracy cannot be fully ameliorated, only balanced and managed.

The State manages the contradictions of family and meritocracy by seeking to ensure that the barriers to entry for advancement and promotion within corporations are not based solely on family but rather ability and performance. That while family remains important, the criteria for success are based on deeds.

The internal contradiction between family and meritocratic ideals can perhaps be seen most clearly with the scions of the tube child programs. Lacking the support of family and the access to capital and informal social networks that come with it many tube children who grew into adulthood were at a disadvantage compared to many of their contemporaries, but that initial disadvantage did not prevent those who were able to rise through the ranks of Caldari society through their talent and performance.

While meritocracy remains a steadfast ideal, reality often presents complexities and contradictions that interfere with ideal implementations.

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Right, because trillions of infants can be evaluated based on their deeds, so you know which ones to steer toward management aptitude testing every year. It’s not like the first six years of the child’s life are the most formative, or have direct, life-long impact on how they develop. I’m sure children born to poor families get exactly the same amount of high-quality nutrition, attentive caregiving from trained professionals, and high-quality mental stimulation, right from birth, as the children of megacorporate CEOs, right?

The tube kids, in fact, were attended to, constantly, vigilantly, by extremely well-trained caregivers who assumed the developmental roles family members would have: guidance, support, protection, and provision. I know you guys are pretty much conditioned to believe Caldari society is a functional meritocracy, but honestly, the very idea that it isn’t fundamentally skewed from the moment of conception, into a mostly stratified society, where the few statistical anomalies who beat the system get held up as examples to keep the masses placated and obedient… that’s laughable.

No, they don’t. They don’t have access to many of the privileges that come with being from an executive or upper management family in the State such as high-quality after class tutors and extracurricular clubs that promote advantageous social, economic, and military school clubs, either.

Functionally at present meritocracy functions as a foundational mythos in the State, a grand ideal that is rarely achieved due to Caldari culture, traditions, and society. All too often it can lead one to blame themselves, or to accept their lot in life, without questioning the privileges afforded to those who come from families of higher classes and the advantages they bring.

I would say overall that questions of meritocracy and its implementation are at the crux of social, political, and economic divisions in the State today. There currently exists varied conflicts between conservatives who favour culture and tradition along with the old families and old money that create an almost neo-feudal system and reformists who want to restructure society in accordance with meritocratic ideals. How such can be resolved remains an open question to my mind.

Considering what was stated by both Ms. Arrendis and Mr. Nishouji… I think I should make something clear?

Yes, it’s gentry. But the main thing is that this gentry too is measured. Yes, we are very much a caste society - but meritocracy never promised equal opportunites for all. It promised that everyone’s merit will be measured.

In a way we can say that in our system specialized subsystems exist. If person is a worker then they can share experience of worker with their children which will be combined with fitting education to make good worker. If person is executive then they can share experience of executive which will be combined with fitting education to make good executive. This is effective because no school can give you living experience.

Yet still every child is studied closely and if they have capabilities then they can be transfered to the any other field and every adult can move into any other field if they prove themselves. This is effective too because talents should taken and put in use.

Yet sometimes I feel that people still think that we should be like Gallente or something - simply throw everyone into one big pool. Which is ineffective because for the sake of equality the progress of individual parts will be hampered and with it the greater whole will be harmed. So, please, don’t conflate meritocracy with liberalism and us with Gallente.

She’s so, incredibly close to getting it isn’t she?

I see where are you going. No, it will not work.

I will never understand why people keep entertaining the libertine, anarchistic drivel of petty terrorists and dishonest actors with conversation. One is a nascent tyrant and a zealot, willing to kill innocents indiscriminately and shun her culture and her ancestors both in order to promote her own perverse order of affairs and the other, as always, revels in her willful ignorance regarding the order of things.

There is nothing to be gained from engaging with such people.

Your official title on your own profile at the time of writing this is literally: Sobornost Kybernaut, Stribog Clade, Nadzor Intracladistic Affairs

A little heavy handed of a statement to be coming from you don’t you think?

Not really.

I want to return to this actually as I feel like this is entirely emblematic of the discussion here and how mired this entire conversation has become. I seem to remember a time where it was a mainstream talking point among the propagandists and reactionaries that the State is a meritocratic institution thusly the right to not die in the streets is a privilege reserve for those that have demonstrated the ability to do so while those who starve simply weren’t cut out to be Caldari. At the very least recently now that’s fallen away with many now openly recognizing the caste system but falling into defending it as something worth preserving due to its value solely as a cultural norm and to challenge that norm is to push liberal colonialist influence from the Federation or whathaveyou. Meanwhile, somehow very conveniently, the “progressive” stance within the State in the halls of power has become "yes, we live in a broken system but we must seek to move towards a perfect meritocracy while rejecting the idea of any sort of equity among the workers and members of the zaibatsu to ensure the basic needs were met; a tradition in Caldari society far surpassing the age of the modern megacorporations that’s increasingly being lost in a post-Heth world.

It’s established a false binary, and a relatively recent one that has only really emerged post Operation Highlander to justify the continuation of the vestigial corporate power structures that fed of the Provist movement but were able to snake their way out of its festering corpse. It’s allowed all of these issues to pivot around in place in such a way that both ends of the spectrum of the conversation argue for the same thing; the preservation of the corporate elite. The only thing that changes is how do you like your corporate feudalism, ruled by hereditary title or issued following a low-intensity succession war for who will be the next CEO? And to imagine a world outside of this binary (mind you I’ve never even talked of matters of societal liberalism or electorism but simply suggested “hey we can do more to provide for the material conditions of the workers of the State at an executive level”) has somehow been made to be “libertine, anarchistic drivel.”

Do all of you really believe that, honestly? Or are you just condition to defend these power structures tooth and nail out of fear of losing what even you privileged of society are afforded from above? All I’ve stated in this thread is my sincere hope for an improvement of the material conditions of the workers of the State. Anything else is just chaffe, thrown up to purposefully muddle a reasonable plight for the people of the State. Reasonable requests that, in the absence of meaningful reforms, will almost certainly lead otherwise reasonable statesmen to act very, very unreasonable.

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