Ideologically supportive statement on the IGS, by Frater Patroabo:
*TOWARDS AN ASTROPOLITAN SOCIETY*
The four major “races” or governmental entities of the Eve universe are well known. It would be pointless to spend time and bytes reviewing them here. It is, however, my thesis to establish that there exists a fifth race, one which at once is disenfranchised from its own “people,” yet forms a people of its own: and one which has yet to discover its own true power. I speak, of course, of Astropolites - those who were born, live, work, and die in space.
The various governments of EVE are, understandably, unwilling to say exactly how many of their people are engaged in astroindustry, but just counting ship and station crews, and their families. it is clear that the space-dwelling population of the inner cluster number among the billions. Moreover, people live in space outside of stations as well. Few of us have not been called on to defend or avenge a colony of civilians which has been attacked by outlaws.
We have no way of making accurate estimates of the spacebound population, for the Astropolitan society, more than its ground-based forerunners, is mobile. Its chief commonality is that each and every Astropolite faces the same dangers: the unforgiving environment of space, the incredible trust they put in each other, and the danger each suffers from hostiles.
This is all very interesting, you say, but so what? Consider this: there are dozens of corporations, leagues, and alliances dedicated to protecting “homeworlds,” “cultures,” and “races” with which Astropolites have had limited connection for years – perhaps even generations. I am, for example, an Intaki by birth, a Gallentean by “citizenship,” and yet I have never set foot on Intaki, speak only the rudiments of either the Intaki or the Gallente language, /and did not even have the privilege of participating in the most recent election on my “home” system/. Why? Because I live and work in space. My home is among the stars. I’m not even sure I’d know how to behave dirtside.
No, my “people” are neither the Intaki (although I honor my culture) nor the Gallente (although I respect their attempts at “fair” government). My people are those I see every day: the technician who fuels my ship; the mechanic who controls the mechbots repairing my ship; the assayers who evaluate the value of the ore and minerals I sell; the fast-food cook who whips up falafel while I quickly read market reports. One of them may be Gallente, another Amarr, yet a third Minmatar, and a fourth of parentage from many races. But we are all united in being Astropolites.
The support given to the stations and colonies throughout the universe by the various factions ranges from grudging to indifference. The funds to keep them running come from the corporations who operate there. The SCC and Concord are by now funded mainly not by the various factions, but by a levy on interstellar trade. In short, the planets which the factions claim have less and less connection to those of us who work in space.
Despite the lack of support, we in space are indispensible to the survival of every entity in the Empire or in free space. Only those of us who live and work there keep the space-based industries running, producing the essentials for the planets. Only those of us who live and work there keep the interstellar lanes running. /Only we – the Astropolites – keep the blood of commerce flowing and the shield of defense in place for every single faction!/
We Astropolites have long since been self-supporting. The fact is, we could survive loss of the planets far better than the planets could survive our loss. As self-supporting people, united by the common bond of mutual benefit, growth, and peace, it is time that we declare ourselves our own political entity: a fraternity of “space-states,” working together for our own common good.
This is not said with a view to pitting said space-states against the planetary factions. It is said with a view to benefitting all of us, spacer and planet dweller alike. A coalition of all space-states and all Astropolites would be independent of the fights and strife between the factions. Commerce would flow to any planet willing to accept our shipments peacefully. If the planet chooses to cut itself off by blockading itself – an absurd concept – that is their decision. Astropolitan business goes on, since it is not dependent on any one planet or faction.
Much more must be said on this topic. It would be folly to pretend that all Astropolites would be one happy unified family overnight. Personal and professional rivalries exist in space as well as planetside. We see corporations declaring war against each other daily for the most trivial of reasons. Fortunately, such tend to happen only among the smallest groups. The larger corporations realize the benefits in peaceful cooperation – and competition -- over combat. In time, one could hope that the majority of the astropolitical society could reduce petty squabbles among corporations.
Whatever might happen: war or peace, poverty or plenty, success or failure, lies only in the hands of we who make up astropolitical society. Once all of us realize this, we can begin moving toward realization of that society, for the benefit of ourselves and our planetary siblings. And mutual benefit among people can never be said to be wrong.