Statement Regarding Caldari Union Day & Labor

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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Okay, let’s return to the start.

What exactly you want to improve? Free education, free healthcare, almost no personal taxes — this alone is much more than any other empire gives! Because it’s just a pure and simple efficency: people are fed and healthy — machine of State is well oiled and work. What else do you want?

I’m a realist with a vested interest in actually attainable goals by building a rainbow coalition that best serves the most amount of people within the State with the smallest amount of impact on their daily lives. Questions of specific policy vary from corporation to corporation, workplace to workplace, depending on the specific needs faced by the actual material conditions of the factory worker. Things like revisited safety measures and compensation for injuries, workplace automation without workforce reductions, training to prepare workers for new innovation, accessible on premises daycare facilities, standardized space regulations and occupancy limits for workers living in communal berthing.

Some are fortunate to have these already, others do not. In the megacorporate system, there isn’t any reasonable avenue for a citizen to choose their employment based on what benefits are offered and where; for the vast majority its just simply what parent corporation were you born into and who was hiring at the time. For this reason, the CEP needs to make some clear steps towards speaking with the actual workers of the State to meet their needs and finally set some standardized policies across the megacorporations.

Now on to the more misty eyed ■■■■, the stuff I dream to see in my lifetime but I refuse to let get in the way of tangible progress.

I believe that the first step towards building a more unified and cohesive state that can truly heal in the wake of the Invasion is the establishment of real, workers led unions with avenues for collective bargaining with management. I believe in preserving the union worker’s right not only to fair and equitable compensation for their labor based on the labor theory of value, but the necessity to share that aid with those who are unable or unwilling to work themselves due to extraneous factors. (Disability, medical leave, academic study, etc.) All still, I hold no sympathies toward liberal electorism as it simply doesn’t make a difference to people’s material conditions. The only “freedom” I’m interested in is freedom from wage theft, exploitation of labor, and the threat of abject poverty should anyone choose to pursue opportunities outside their current position; opportunities that might otherwise benefit not only themselves but the State at large through new innovation rather than forcing our people to stay in an exploitative working environment under penalty of becoming a non-person. Its my sincere belief that these improvements will either improve productivity such that any offset will pay for itself by creating more opportunity for the creation of capital, and that many of these “free” services some will argue the Caldari people aren’t entitled to are already paid for many times over in the economic output of the worker that is otherwise taken from them when they are paid a fraction of what their own labor is worth.

Many Caldari would point differences between “opportunity” and “outcome”.

When someone with less opportunities have been hammered (and survived) to the point of exquisite sharpness, it will either integrate the upper echelons or topple it.

To the collective, it is a win win situation, to the individuals that got dulled in the process however…

“Keep up or get left behind” is another thing many Caldari would point out.

I don’t. Again: I don’t think the actual structure of Caldari society is bad, or bad for the State. I just think calling a system that runs on nepotism, cronyism, and sucking up to those in power ‘a meritocracy’ because it has a thin veneer of ‘everyone gets tested for xyz and a statistically-insignificant number even manage to not be trapped in the jobs they were supposed to do for their whole lives’ is risible. The label, and the slavish, desperate clinging to the label, is the joke, not the functioning society it gets misapplied to.

I think the libertine, anarchic mess of Federal society is a completely different kind of joke. All that bickering and counting noses is just another form of hedonism, an indulgence of the ego of the everyman. 'You all matter! Your opinions matter!'1 when clearly, most of them don’t, and the real power isn’t held by the masses, but by the backroom dealers, lobbyists, and grifters who get things done. That’s not to say hedonism doesn’t have its charms… it certainly does… but there’s such a thing as too much of a good thing.


1. And if anyone thinks this is a perfectly good description of the IGS itself, congratulations. It never fails to amuse me how many Caldari and Amarr take it upon themselves to involve themselves in a fundamentally Gallente environment as this, and then harrumph and scold people for daring to voice their opinions. That’s all this place is, after all: an exercise in Gallente ego-centric hedonism.

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. . . and if we judge by frequency of opinion-sharing, then no one, dear Arrendis, plunges so far into the ego-centric hedonism of the IGS as you do. :wink:

I mean, duh?

Is pointing out that I’m an arrogant ass somehow supposed to be witty?

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  • Caldari State Workers Union Announces Increased Budget for Inter-Corporation Worker Solidarity Trips

My my. Bang the doldrums boys, maybe its not all as hopeless as we thought. All I’ve wanted was to see some actual tangible changes to signify an upward trend for the workers of the State. Seeing recognition of reform proposals penned by the actual workers rather than drafted by executives is the best sign I could have hoped for. Moreover, its hard to overstate the importance of the Worker’s Union increasing opportunities for workers to organize amongst themselves and maintain open communication with one another. I’m prepared to advise others to show patience and unity so long as the process remains transparent and at a steady progress.

I’m a radical but I’m not a demagog. I’m not in charge of anyone, much less leading any movement. I’ve only ever acted to supply the workers to act as they see fit to assert themselves. It’s my sincere hope that the workers of the State know the value of their own voice and labor and that they pen meaningful terms to present to the CEP, but I don’t pretend to be in a position to dictate those terms and how revolutionary or moderate they need to be. That must be decided by the working class alone. Above all else we need to have a unified and clear voice to fight for permanent changes while we are in a position of strength.

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