In the centuries since mankind ascended to the stars, countless souls have ventured forth into the infinite black in search of freedom. Freedom from oppression, freedom from poverty, freedom to create one’s own destiny. In the years since the Jovian gift of the hydrostatic capsule, that pursuit of freedom has taken us ever further across the galaxy, spanning the width and breadth of New Eden and Anoikis alike.
The oldest institutions in existence – the governments, corporations, and sociopolitical entities under which New Eden became what it now is – are ill-equipped to handle the relentless pursuit of further horizons that is the nature of capsuleers. Quite often the goals of our organizations conflict with their own, and they react to this in the same manner in which governments have reacted to new powerful entities for tens of thousands of years: they enact laws telling us that we have to do as they say, or else. To this we in return reply in the manner in which capsuleers invariably reply to such talk:
Or else what exactly?
It is the capsuleers who power the financial engines of New Eden. Our bottomless coffers, our insatiable wanderlust, and our effective immortality fund their petty squabbles over patches of dirt, their “grand” grasps at power over corporate entities that the least of us could buy and sell a dozen times over without giving it a second thought. Even the largest and most powerful megacorporations pale in comparison to the absolute might wielded by most large capsuleer alliances.
The empires use the threats of force to keep us in check, but what do they actually have at their disposal? We hear mention of vast fleets of ships, but it is we who do their dirty work, with these supposed fleets never to be seen. We hear mention of the Iapetan titans, but those ancient unwieldy machines are few and far between, in comparison to the thousands that could be wielded by a united capsuleer force. They boast numbers, but these numbers are mostly civilians – the elderly, the infirm, children, and the meek. Even should they manage to militarize all of their citizenry, these entities are fractious – divided amongst themselves, each coveting their neighbor’s share of power and money.
And what of CONCORD? What indeed. The only real power that CONCORD wields is the Jovian technology that powers their ships, the “remote control” that can turn off our warp drives and weapons systems. If they are beholden to any master at all, it is the Jovian empire, a master of whom they should be wary indeed. As we have seen in recent events, it is CONCORD and specifically the Directive Enforcement Department that is the least trustworthy baseliner organization of all. Their suppression of vital information of public interest, their harassment and at times outright assault on the media, their strong-arm tactics in dealing with capsuleers, suggest that they are not to be bargained with, but dissolved entirely.
The empires are completely aware that actual, gloves-off competition with one another would devastate them all. Their citizens would not stand for it, their infrastructure could not support it, and their respective pride could not tolerate the potential for failure. This is why the Emergency Militia War Powers Act was enacted, and why it must be repealed for us to realize our full potential. We are told that the EMWPA was necessary to prevent another incident like the Battle of Caldari Prime. But according to how it is enacted, it does nothing of the sort. Instead capsuleers are encouraged to focus their efforts on skirmishes to protect the “borders” of their respective empires, while there are high-security paths between all four of the major empires that bypass the militia zones entirely. Pilots are encouraged to take and re-take systems with little to no strategic or economic value, into which no governmental resources will be put. Civilians unfortunate enough to live in a Factional Warfare system receive little to no support from their governments, only a different occupying force every once in a while. The most fortunate are those who live in a system primarily occupied by a pirate corporation, whose residence provides both economic and social stability for resident civilian populations.
Yet there are those who stand against these trends. We stand for an open culture of free exchange and expression of ideas, tools, and works. We stand for transparency and openness, a culture where the activities and agendas of governments are not hidden from the public. We stand for individual privacy, and the freedom to make personal decisions that do not harm others. We stand against monopolistic policies. We stand for the power of the individual against institutions, and the universal rights of all humanity, regardless of ethnicity or socioeconomic status.
For these values they call us “pirates.” For our belief in self-determination, they call us “pirates.” For our belief in every human’s right to participate in their own governance, they call us “pirates.” For our insistence that surveillance and the assumption of guilt are intrinsically unjust, they call us “pirates.” For our rejection of traditional authority and exclusionary policies, they call us “pirates.”
We wear this label of “pirate” as a badge of honor, a name to be worn proudly, no longer to be looked at as an inflammatory slur, implicative of criminality. We are Pirates. We stand for the liberty, equality, and solidarity of all human beings, and against any and all threats that they may face.