Controversy Surrounds Caldari Prime Memorial
CRC Monitoring Post, Polaris - Outrage swept the Caldari capsuleer community when Caldari Prime Memorial organiser, Gorion Wassenar, denounced the current war between the Gallente Federation and the Caldari State as no more than a tool of political ambition. This article attempts to look in depth at the politics surrounding the event and the high feelings it has raised, through the eyes of four very different Caldari pilots.
Wassenar's statement in the announcement of the annual memorial was the source of the friction:
"Much has occurred this year that is painfully relevant to the yearly memorial to the dead of the Caldari people's past war of Independence. Now, just as then, the phantom of war has grasped the Gallente and Caldari people and much sorrow and bloodshed has been wrought.
"This time the Caldari have no noble ambitions of independence, survival or self-determination. Naked ambition, blind patriotism and the lust for power and empire are the only companions of the Caldari Fleet in Gallente space.
"This year we shall also mourn the loss of the great and noble virtues that the people of the Caldari State once held dear."
Gorion Wassenar, in the past, was a well-known State Loyalist. As founder of the New Caldari Rangers and then Tsurokigaarai (current licence-holders for "Drink Starsi" and member of APEX Conglomerate), many were surprised to see him flying under the transhumanist banner of Stimulus, executor corporation of Rote Kapelle alliance and further shocked to hear him speak of the present day Caldari State in such a way. His public biography, however, makes clear the source of his disenfranchisement:
"The State that I knew is dead. Heth has corrupted it to a point that our ancestors shall be shamed for eternity over the warping of our cause [from] the right of all to choose their destiny, to abandoning all of ours for his."
Aria Jenneth of Ghost Festival gave her views on the source of the outrage:
"In some sense, the memorial has always been political, but it's been political from various different angles. That conflict ended up being emblematic of whatever the observer chose to see in it. As a State loyalist, I always used to find that a little upsetting.
"Gorion Wassenar has been organizing the memorial for years now. He started, of course, as a Caldari loyalist - a supporter, if I remember, of the Liberal faction. This year, he apparently decided to ... well, not merely formalize the 'meaning' of the ceremony, but to turn it against the decendants of those the ceremony is dedicated to the memory of. Happily, he ultimately changed his mind.
"One can read a lot into a historical event; I understand many Gallente still regard Admiral Torvil-Tova's final action in the evacuation of Caldari Prime an atrocity. It is subjective, whether we want it to be or not. "Mr. Wassenar wanted to formalize one perspective-- a perspective that would claim that those ancient Caldari dead would have been opposed to Heth's actions in retaking the homeworld. That's by no means an obvious conclusion. Quite the opposite, actually."
Dex Nederland, CEO of Lai Dai Infinity Systems, was the first to speak out against attending the memorial with such a poltical message attached. He explained a little more about his reason for the boycott:
"The event was hosted by a member of the Stimulus organization; an anarchist organization. They do not support the State or its member corporations in any way. I think it meant that those fighting for the Caldari State, its corporations, and the Caldari people were largely not in attendance [at the Memorial]. My understanding is the event was smaller than in years past, quiet likely due to the inability for many to attend, as they would be shot at by the Federation Navy for trying, or [because they] disagreed politically with the organizer."
Another who chose not to attend was Kyoko Sakoda of Veto. In Caldari parlance, she is guri - a "naughty person".
"After meditating on the situation for a while I decided not to attend because of how politicized the event had become. The first year I was aware of it my former employer [Omerta Syndicate] attacked the Federation Navy. The year after that, there were some heated speeches, and in following years I jumped into the politics with a speech of my own, something I regret.
"It should be a memorial, no less, and I feared if I went it would be full of politics given the current climate, so I abstained. I feared that my allegedly radical views might not be very welcome this year, and didn't wish to enter a war of words over hollowed ground, so I stayed at home, remembering the dead in my own way."
Another State loyalist, Svetlana Scarlet of the Caldari Independent Naval Reserve, expressed her personal feelings about the memorial:
"I think the point of the memorial has been lost - hijacked by traitors and anarchists, or trumpeted by those who want to celebrate its 'liberation,' not realizing the irony.
"The evacuation of Caldari Prime was the greatest sacrifice our people have made - or, mostly likely, ever will make. Our ancestors severed their tie with Caldari Prime to save us - to give us a new life, here in the colonies of the State. They gave up what was most dear to them in order to preserve our people for the long run. That is something that has been forgotten.
"Now we have mortgaged our future to cling to a worthless piece of rock in an unteneable position and given our nation over to a loudmouthed factory worker with no idea what he's doing, just because he tells us that our problems are all someone else's fault. It's pathetic."
Tibus Heth, the recently installed executor of the Caldari State, sits clearly at the hub of this tide of high feelings among capsuleers. Mr Nederland gave his views on his nation's leader:
"Heth-haan has been able to inspire the average Caldari - the factory labourer, lower-tier managers, security personnel; those that are doing the manual work that has to be done for the megacorporations and the State to profit and succeed - when the executives and managers were struggling.
"[His leadership has a message for capsuleers:] That we are an important part of our corporations and the State. It is capsuleers in corporations like the Caldari Independent Navy Reserve and 22nd Black Rise that are fighting for the State right now. Then there are companies like Lai Dai Infinity Systems and YTiRi Retail that are focusing on providing the tools for those fighting the war to succeed. Each individual's effort makes a difference to the mother corporation. The State's success rides on the success of its corporations.
"Capsuleers, in general, are less inspired by Heth though. Many view him as a novice executive being given the largest executive role of all. But they will admit that his regime has spurred reform and reminded all of their obligations as Caldari."
Captain Scarlet clearly has a very different view.
"I think there are a considerable number of questions with regard to how Heth-haan came to power, and I do not think he has the experience or the knowledge necessary to guide the State during these times. More of a concern, however, is how the State let itself be taken over by a populist ideologue with a destructive grudge to bear. Or how our economy could have been in such a sorry shape and no one was taken to task for it, or had the courage to actually tell us to our faces how bad things were.
"Heth is a symptom, not the cause."
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