In recent years, the question of the Intaki people and their future has become ever more pointed a source of dispute and conflict. This is doubly so as the Gallente Federation has become ever more paternalistic yet neglectful, while the ranks of the capsuleer class have swelled with Intaki and others who support them. The Star Fraction, and before its formation Jericho Fraction, has long been sympathetic to the aspirations of those Intaki who would see their people on the path of self-determination. In part, this is due to the many Intaki in our movement who hold the future of their people to lie in freedom at home and amongst the stars. Yet it is mainly a function of the ideology of the Fraction, which holds self-determination to be an essential that must be observed and upheld in any association or society in which all may flourish. Even so, we are from time-to-time asked what our position on the Intaki Question is and recently a number of interested parties have made inquiries in this vein.
In essence, the Fraction stands for the sovereignty of the individual as claimed and won by the individual. This is reflected in our radical freespace politics, our emphasis on self-reliance in matters economic and military, and our profound belief in the necessity of free and informed self-determination. The latter has an obvious connection to the Intaki Question but all aspects of the Fractionist belief and insistence on the Individual as Sovereign have application here. The struggle for freedom that so many Intaki are concerned to prosecute is simply one of the most pertinent and provides a timely illustration of the role capsuleers and others on the frontiers of space and time can play in the destiny of a people and the individuals that make up that people.
As is common knowledge, the Gallente and their Federation have played a part in the development of a number of races: the peoples of Caldari Prime, the Achura, the Mannar, the Jin-Mei and, of course, the Intaki. The facts of history, let alone their interpretation, are much disputed when it comes to the role of the Gallente and the races they drew, by one means or another, into the Federation. Let us then cut through such disputes and assume, for the sake of this argument, that in every case where the Gallente obtruded themselves into the affairs of another people they did so to the initial benefit and technological enrichment of these peoples. This is an assumption of great controversy but to grant it allows us to examine the conduct of the Gallente as their client races came to full awareness of their place in the universe and its myriad possibilities without becoming sidetracked in arguments that are not necessarily germane to the present discussion.
The Gallente Federation was not forty years old before what may have started as an association of autonomous peoples began to travel down the well-worn path of tyranny that too often begins so innocently. We shall not linger long over the terrain of the Caldari-Gallente War but the simple facts are clear enough: the peoples of Caldari Prime, their Achura partners and those Intaki who sympathized with them and their ideals sought to maintain their autonomy and when they saw this simple freedom would not be granted them they chose to secede. The secession of the Caldari bloodlines, the Achura and the Intaki were met with violence by the central authorities of the Federation. The Caldari and Achura succeeded in gaining their independence and established that polity which would, sadly, devolve into the sad mockery of freedom that is the Caldari State. Those Intaki who sought to imitate them in seeking freedom and independence from the deadening hand of the Federation were brutally suppressed and the survivors exiled.
No doubt the Federation authorities expected little would come of a handful of Intaki rebels expelled into the outer darkness. Meanwhile, some Intaki were able to fight in a cause that was certainly noble enough and became the nucleus of that force which later became Mordu’s Legion and was in its origins an expression of the desire for free association, the right to bear arms and use them, and the importance of economics and technology for a free future.
Since the Caldari secession and the Intaki risings, the Federation has had much cause to regret those times though it has shown little remorse and a tendency to compound its errors anew. The Outer Ring Excavations company caused many an alarum in the Federation Senate when it threatened to dominate the nocxium trade and the authoritarian reflex showed itself once more with a crass attempt to coerce ORE into revealing the location of its prize ore fields. The response, as with the Caldari, was secession, albeit on a much smaller scale and this time that of a single corporation rather than an entire people.
It is telling that the security of this fledgling corporate faction was greatly enhanced by the services of Mordu’s Legion. To be sure the Legion sold its service for the coin that ORE’s resources brought it but it is perhaps not too fanciful to imagine a certain satisfaction in the job among the Legion’s many Intaki veterans. Even now, with the Legion elsewhere, the fortunes of ORE remain connected with the Intaki exiles of the Syndicate region not least through their freeports and markets but also the strategic alliance forged between the Intaki Syndicate and the Serpentis Corporation, another grouping late of the Federation and come into its own since shucking off the restrictions of the Gallente polity.
What then of those exiles who made their homes in the region that came to be named for their syndicate? The Intaki Syndicate began as a band of those Intaki who most loved freedom and sought to fight for it during the tumultuous years of the Caldari-Gallente War for which actions they were suppressed and transported beyond the limits of civilization. Not content with expelling them from the territory of the Federation, the authorities forbade them from settling on the surface of those moons or planets within easy reach. Why the Federation chose to impose this vindictive condition on the 5,000 Intaki they had cast out is a matter for speculation but if it was intended to limit the potential of these people the plan backfired.
Forced to embrace space, the founders of the Intaki Syndicate built themselves numerous space stations throughout the region. The Syndicate arose as an association of station-owners, each sovereign and operating their stations as freeports beyond the purview of the Federation or anyone else. The Syndicate does not seek to close the space in which its stations are set like so many diamonds on a sable background and does not discriminate on grounds of race, national politics, religion or any other of the many stupidities that set human beings one against the other. Rather the Syndicate deals with people in terms that are universal, rational and equitable: free and fair trade in goods and services.
How then did the Federation choose to respond when it became clear that the Intaki of the Syndicate were making their own way free of the Federation and its strictures? With police actions and military incursions. With seizures of goods and the capture and trial of Syndicalists as ‘criminals’. Not content to see these men and women cast out, the Federation has spitefully pursued a vendetta against the Syndicate under the usual tawdry and ragged cloak of ‘maintaining order’.
Yet this is a grotesque fiction when set against the state of Placid region, where the green jewel that is the Intaki homeworld hangs in the midst of stagnation and underdevelopment, mindless chaos and unthinking neglect. In the 200 years since its foundation, the Intaki Syndicate has spread nearly seventy stations through its region on its own account, with dozens of stations belonging to organizations as diverse as Thukker Mix and even the Quafe corporation.
All this was achieved with no help from a paternalist state but rather through the independence of the Intaki who made their lives in the space of Syndicate region. While it is hardly perfect, the Intaki Syndicate and its constituent stations represent achievements anyone can take pride in as the fruits of the free human spirit but most especially the Intaki people can do so. Compared to the stations of the Syndicate, the insurance brokerages, storage facilities and mining depots that tumble about the Intaki system are simply banal outposts of a society that seeks to impose its values to the exclusion of all others.
The object lesson here is in the benefits that self-reliance and self-determination bring and how readily people can flourish in circumstances where these are to the fore. The Intaki especially seem to flourish when given the chance to strike out for themselves with their path among the stars, their faces to the future. This spiritual people are indeed almost naturally post-humanist, their native philosophy lending itself to an appreciation of long-term trends and the possibilities inherent in new technologies such as the capsule and cloning techniques.
What future then would the Star Fraction wish to see for the Intaki? Certainly not one where an ‘Intaki Free State’ rises full of dreams of greatness only to fall into squalid tyranny and the cruel suppression of Intaki by Intaki. Do we wish to see the Intaki free then? Better to say that we wish to see those Intaki who desire freedom and are willing to seize it for themselves left to tread a path of their own making rather than a narrow, sign-posted way that some central authority deems is good for them and their descendents. The Syndicate is a stop on a road that may split and lead in many directions and while it is a good stop for a time, it should not be the final destination of Intaki hopes and dreams. No more than the Federation should seek to be both start and finish for the frozen aspirations of the Intaki.
Ultimately, self-determination will tell, either in its fulfillment as individuals make themselves free and sovereign or in its denial as empires, federations and states reveal themselves for the dead mechanisms of tyranny they inevitably become if they do not make way for those who have outgrown them.
Therefore, in the case of the Intaki, as for all, we wish to see true, informed self-determination and will be content if they find their way clear to it, have the will to take it and summon the strength to hold it.
Unity cannot be compelled.
Reprinted with author’s permission.