About the Caldari
Duty and the Caldari Corporations
Duty and honor go hand in hand within the Caldari State, and duty is bound to position. This duty is a two-way street. While the Caldari have a duty to their corporation, the corporation also has a duty to their employees. The corporation is responsible not only for providing work for their employees; they must also provide housing, food, education, etc. for them and their families. By default the children of employees become corporation members and usually grow up to work for that corporation, though not necessarily doing the same job as their parents. Only if it is very obvious that the child's interests or skills lie outside the corporation's sphere do they leave - the vast majority of Caldari pursue their career within their 'foster' corporation, living in its houses, going to its schools, etc., generation after generation.
Every Caldari corporation is a subsidiary of a larger one, which is eventually a subsidiary of the parent corporations. This means that every subsidiary contains assets that belong to some parent corporation, somewhere. Consequently, it is in the best interests of these parent corporations to assign personnel to work with the subsidiary to ensure the appropriate protection of the parent corporation's assets. This is in the form of the Subsidiary Affairs and Enforcement Officer that is assigned by the parent corporation to every subsidiary. While not directly on the chain of command in the subsidiary, the SAEO reports not to the President of the subsidiary but to the SAEO Administration officer of the parent corporation. This provides the parent with a modicum of protection for their interests and assets. The SAEO acts in an advisory capacity, with no direct authority. However, they can, through their communications with the parent corporation, bring into question the judgment skills and management capabilities of the subsidiary executives, so the advice of the SAEO is typically allocated significant weight.
The Caldari Military
The Caldari Navy is a standing fleet of ships assigned to patrol the Caldari borders and protect Caldari interests abroad. It possesses little-to-no authority within Caldari space, and is supported by a mandatory assignment of ships, manpower, and resources provided by each of the ultracorporations. Each ultracorporation and its subsidiaries have their own military or paramilitary forces to support their own efforts and fiercely guard their police privileges. Each of these military groups reports, in turn, up the ladder to their parent corporation such that, in times of need, the ultracorporation can call upon its security forces and those forces will include all of the military from every corporation it supports. Given this, every ultracorporation’s security forces, and those of their subsidiaries, are similar in structure, appearance, and behaviors. Since most of the ultracorporations come from the same background, most of the security forces between the ultracorporations are also relatively similar. These traditions are very strictly adhered to as a fundamental part of the way the Caldari military functions. The difference between the various security groups creates a sense of identity, and these groups compete regularly to prove their might and effectiveness.
The creations or inventions of any employee of a corporation are the domain of that corporation. This has always been the case, and has been the subject of some consternation, such as in the case of Tyma Raitaru, the scientist who got disgusted with having to hand his ideas over to the state and went rogue, pioneering the success of knowledge nomads, or freelance inventors, that develop and sell their technology on the open market. Unfortunately, this means leaving the Caldari state and living on the fringes, without any state support whatsoever, so very few follow this course of action.
Notable Caldari Corporations
There are eight great Corporations that together own more than 90% of all assets within the State. Each of the corporation is made up of thousands of companies of various sizes and various sorts, ranging from simple m***** companies to powerful police companies. There is no single, unified government as such, each corporation rules it's territories like their own kingdom with little or nor interference from the other corporations. In higher matters, such as in foreign policy towards the other empires, the Board of Directors, which consists of the CEOs of the eight major corporations, has the highest authority. The Board of Directors also makes sure that the social infrastructure of the State remains intact and settles all major quarrels between the corporations. The eight major corporations are named: Kaalakiota, Sukuuvestaa, Nugoeihuvi, Ishukone, Wiyrkomi, Hyasyoda, CBD and Lai Dai.
Caldari business practices are just as fierce and competitive as their gladiatorial games, with cutthroat tactics and brutal use of economic tools, with the sole purpose of being the best. This competition weeds out the weak ones and leaves only the strong, cunning ones to rise to positions of influence over the state itself. As such, apart from fraud and deliberate fabrication or deceit, pretty much any business practice is tolerable within the State. Any corporation that is indiscrete or outright abusive in their tactics are either crushed by their competitors, who combine to take them down, or absorbed into their parent corporation to prevent embarrassment. Subtlety and unobtrusiveness are traits of the most powerful corporations in the state. However, the Caldari feel it is important that the defeated know who the victor is. So while they may use stealth and cunning to achieve a victory, once the contest is completed they are not above gloating in order to ensure a unilateral defeat for the loser.
The Caldari are extraordinarily competitive in all aspects of their lives. From one-on-one contests to groups of corporations facing off, competition is as natural as breathing to the Caldari. Every corporation is constantly juggling for its political position in the state, as the position of a corporation dictates its prestige, and prestige and power are everything. All of this competition frequently creates problems as corporations seek ways to resolve the competition definitively, with an obvious victor.
For example, war is one way to resolve competition, to generate profit by creating new markets, or to disrupt a competitor’s business in a myriad of ways. Many corporations, such as the Sukuuvestaa Corporation, (the second largest of the ultracorporations), commonly encourage competition, even warfare, between their subsidiaries. They do this to actively weed out the weak ones and keep everyone on their toes. While the ultracorporations themselves would never war against one another, as that would weaken the Caldari state as a whole, nothing prevents the subsidiaries of two ultracorporations from warring, either of their own free will or through the manipulations of their parent corporations. This allows the ultracorporations to resolve their issues through proxy, or pawns, without the larger, foundation corporations becoming directly involved.
War between two corporations of the same parent is sometimes frowned upon by the parent corporation. If two corporations of the same parent fight, they are essentially destroying the parent corporation's assets indirectly through their inability to resolve their own issues. In this case, the parent company can step in and resolve the matter themselves, sometimes by the dissolution and reprocessing of one or both corporations as an example to the other subsidiaries of that parent.
The above only applies to actual, physical warfare. Propaganda and marketing wars are not only acceptable, but commonplace and expected as ways to improve a corporation’s status, or reduce that of another. Disinformation, slander, and other forms of information and public opinion warfare are quite commonplace among the various Caldari corporations. The only limit to this is the effort every corporation puts forth to maintain appearances at all costs, being an embarrassment to a parent has dire consequences, as outlined above. As a result, corporations often hide problems they're having for as long as possible - including laying off people. People are almost never fired from corporations, but are instead given token jobs and frequently rotated around; basically they're paid for creating the illusion of work. Naturally, such people are looked down upon by their co-workers. This is just one example of how far corporations will go to ensure they do not lose face in the public (or corporate) eye.
The Caldari Identity
A Caldari’s identity is his position in his corporation. How a Caldari does his job is his measure or value. Nothing a Caldari does is focused on themselves as an individual, but only on how they can advance the corporation and their position in it. Business for the good of the individual rather than the good of the many is something totally alien to the Caldari. In Caldari society, those who hold critical jobs in influential corporations are at the top of the social (almost a caste) system; they have the respect of celebrities and the perks that go with it. The wealth and status that come with a high position are side effects, the Caldari do not work for the trappings of power, but for the power itself; the trappings are simply window dressing. Those with wealth are not regarded any higher in status than those without; it is the position or office that matters. Those who are at the bottom of the employment ladder are considered second-class citizens or lower, and there are slaves who live better lives. The unemployed are the untouchables, the bottom of the informal caste system, unnoticed and uncared for.
This caste system among the Caldari is rigid and deeply ingrained, almost to a sense of patriotism because those at the top are literally moving Caldari forward, making the lives of all Caldari better, while those on the bottom are baggage, dead weight, being carried along by the system but of no value whatsoever. It is not unheard of for someone to climb from the bottom to the top, so the caste system is not formal or cultural, (i.e. your family is a janitor so you will always be a janitor), but momentum and cultural inertia among the Caldari is almost insurmountable, so occurrences of this are very rare and are the stuff of legend, used to motivate and inspire those in the lower echelons to keep struggling onwards.
The Caldari Security Index
A fundamental part of what a Caldari is includes their Security Index [SI], which is a compilation of all data about the person, good or bad. This index is maintained by a subsidiary of the Ishukone Corporation, Security Fundamentals Inc. (SFI), and contains information on every person in Caldari space. The [SI] contains all of a Caldari citizen’s work and financial history, from birth to death, with links and indices connecting the record to every member of their family. Corporations can put things in and take things out of the [SI], and the employee is notified of each change. Should an employee disagree with an entry or wish something removed or changed, SFI provides arbitration services for corporations and employees to resolve these issues, though some records are immune to arbitration, such as convictions on fraud or embezzlement. However, excessive arbitration itself is noted in the employee’s [SI], and this mark is also immune to arbitration.
Spiritualism of the Caldari
The Caldari are a very spiritual race. By this, I do not mean religious as the Amarr, but deeply, philosophically spiritual. To achieve the greatness they have, in the short time they have done it, and with the limited number of people available to them, (they are the smallest of the four races), required a tremendous amount of discipline. While discipline can be a genetic trait, it requires honing, refining, and perfecting to be used effectively. As such, the Caldari rely upon meditation and spiritual exercises to allow them to maintain their focus. There are a number of great teachers who espouse different philosophies and practices, and many schools of thought in the various ways of conducting business. Even during their brutal, aggressive sporting competitions, discipline, intellect and cunning rule over brute force, further indicating a heavy reliance upon mental discipline.
This spiritualism focuses on the individual, and perfecting themselves and their practices. Combined with being raised from birth in the omnipresence of competition, the Caldari people are extraordinarily predatory, constantly seeking weaknesses in their opponents to exploit, ferreting out ‘’’chinks in the armor’’’ so to speak, to give them an edge over their rival. This is not simply in business, but in all walks of life. Consequently, cooperation is rarely used, and only as a means to an end. Two people on a team do not work together because they wish to, they do so because it furthers an objective they might both possess. Two teams will work together likewise, as will two corporations, but in all instances, each Caldari can point to an aspect of the cooperation where they directly benefit, or the cooperation does not exist. For any Caldari to win, their opponent must lose. Win-Win is an alien concept in the Caldari mindset.
All education is controlled, one way or another, by corporations. As such, the corporation has total control over every individual's education - it's the corporation that dictates what school a person must attend, what courses to take, etc. Of course, the theory is that people are educated according to their talent and interests, (because it benefits the corporation), but this is not always the case. Even if a corporation is usually perceived as a cold, faceless entity, there are influential people behind the facade which may have personal stakes in the matter, (such as providing the best education possible for their children regardless of talent). The children of employees are a strategic, long range resource for every Caldari corporation. In many cases, the desires of the child or the parent for what they wish to learn are secondary to what will benefit the corporation in the future, when that child reaches the age of employment.
While heavily spiritual, ethics are not something the society as a whole is overly burdened with. Generally considered the most unscrupulous of all the races, the Caldari will do almost anything overall to advance their corporation’s position and influence, even using slavery where applicable to accomplish specific goals. Such acts are not considered issues of ethics, as they are matters of business and efficiency, with no need to justify the means with the ends, as the ends are common to all Caldari. This is especially true if you consider that the Amarr keep slaves because they feel it is their right and destiny, not out of any sense of corruption. Slavery fits well into the Amarr code of Ethics, though the Minmatar do not seem to appreciate it much.
Influence and power are the primary drivers for every Caldari. While some have adopted more palatable mores, the goal of every Caldari is to advance up the societal ladder, and none can risk losing out on advancement because they were reluctant to take a risk that a competitor wasn’t due to inconvenient morals or ethics. As long as the risk is within the bounds of legality established by their corporation, it is acceptable. A Caldari will never let their personal interests interfere with their corporation’s advancement by taking a risk that is inappropriate or illegal by their corporation’s standards.
The Corporation is the building block of the Caldari state. A Caldari’s place in society is equated with their position in the Corporation and how well they perform their duties. Failure to adequately perform in that position carries with it significant circumstances. A failure that is visible or causes the corporation a significant loss of face allows only ritual suicide as a way out. Political machinations, internal or external, that push someone out of place allow for a person to find a new career in another corporation or division, though likely with a significant loss of prestige. For criminal intent, there is no escape clause; the person and their family are permanently alienated socially. The usual result is a suicide or voluntary exile. Because Caldari society is so strict and so driven towards perfection that people are often cast out for what others would deem small mistakes. No wonder that the Caldari race has the highest suicide rate of all the empires.
A Caldari does not measure worth or capability by secondary sexual characteristics, but by ability and action. As such, Caldari is completely equal opportunity with regard to gender. In fact, making issue of one’s gender, especially with regard to business or position, is considered in poor taste as it draws attention to the individual and not the matters at hand.
Caldari Racial Relations
The Caldari consider their society to be superior to all other races, looking at the other cultures as commodities to be utilized to further their own ambitions, with the notable exception of the Jovians, whom they begrudgingly respect. However, no Caldari will ever let their opinion of another’s race or culture get in the way of advancing their corporation’s position and interests. As with ethics, any Caldari who refuses to work with a person for one reason or another suffers the risk of a competitor taking advantage of that perceived weakness.
As with the other races, the Caldari are broken down into bloodlines, the most noteworthy ones of the Caldari being the Deteis and the Civire. On Caldari Prime, the old homeworld of the Caldari, these bloodlines came from different continents and the differences between them were profound, both in appearance and culturally. However, during the evacuation of their homeworld and the war for their freedom, the bloodlines became mixed and less important than their survival. As such, every Caldari considers themselves a Caldari first, their corporation next, and then their respective bloodline a distant third. This means that the Caldari put significantly less impact on their specific cultural stock than the other races, though there are still significant differences in behavior and appearance between people of the different lines. However, all Caldari possess the fundamental traits of duty, discipline, and sincerity.
The Deteis are the officers, the face men, and the sales force of the Caldari. They are more personable and inquisitive than their Civire counterparts, and tend to be more people oriented. Conversely, they are also more interested in political machinations and the more cunning aspects of competition, so tend to be more underhanded than the Civire.
The Civire are the frontline workforce of the Caldari, where everything is straightforward, above board, planned and perfected. Timetables and assurances are met consistently without issue, all projects are kept on schedule, all objectives are delivered as planned. Being “all business”, the Civire tend to be less conversational, being more interested in getting the job done than talking about it.
Roleplaying the Caldari
The foundation culture of the Caldari is based upon the late 20th century Japanese capitalists, the model that allowed them to recover from the devastation of war and completely dominate a world economy. There is no individual, only the corporations and the state, which in Caldari space are one and the same. Those with prestigious position lived in the lap of luxury; those with insignificant positions lived in squalor and were untouchable. The corporations within Japan competed with each other brutally, but joined forces when external corporations intruded into their markets, and are the ultimate definition of cold, brutal capitalism. The ideals of the samurai were carried into the corporate market place, and failure or loss of face meant hara-kiri, or ritual suicide, for the executive responsible for the loss.
Executives of Caldari corporations are expected to act like samurai, like soldiers; respectful of those superior to them, commanding respect of those beneath them. They are completely responsible for all actions committed by those beneath them, answerable to their superiors for their own performance and the performance of the business units entrusted to them. Even the CEO of a corporation answers to its parent corporation, as all assets belong to the parent, not the child, so there is no such thing as an "independent" Caldari corporation. Employees of Caldari corporations follow without question or hesitation, for involuntary loss of a position, especially due to performance, is a death knell for a Caldari. Disloyalty is another way to ensure perpetual unemployment and poverty, as the corporations communicate with each other, especially those of the same parent corporation.
As with the Japanese, there are no labor unions, civil liberty unions, or any form of consumer protection or employee rights groups. The Caldari are corporate, and even the "government" is a for-profit organization, so the rights of the consumers and employees are subservient to the rights and needs of the corporations. Consequently, employees who attempt to create such organizations are quickly silenced by any means necessary as doing so brings shame to the person, their family, their direct supervisor, and their corporation.
[Findings and opinions on the Caldari by Klaus Fleischer]