EVE online mоstly known for giant battles, but it is also full of ironic coincidences, like the first big war being fought over an area populated by a rich group of Objectivists, and interesting political experiments. We going to talk about the latter today.
Approx in center of the game map, right on the border with safe and prosperous high-sec, exists a region of null space, meaning player-owned, unguarded by police NPC. It is named Providence and from times immemorial, this region’s owners, CVA, were adhering to the policy of NRDS – Not Red Don’t Shoot.
This policy used to be common, but obvious hardships within made most people abandon or modify it. In the nutshell, it consists of people being allowed inside the border of the player-owned space, as long as those players adhere to simple rules and weren’t know to openly aggress towards the coalition. Effectively, providence operates an open border system, except it excludes those who were found to violate it’s laws and added to the Kill-on-sight list.
If the player is not listed there and has no history of open aggression towards Provi-bloc he is entitled to live within its borders, mine it’s endless, be it mediocre ore supplies and engage in mission running with a simple rule of first-come-first-serve.
This policy immediately leads to several complications, which, in my opinion, proponents of open borders need to learn and keep in mind.
First and the most obvious point is that it allows criminal cartels to send in some sleeper agent, who will abide by the law of the land only until the moment of betrayal comes. It also allows for easier ambushes and attacks in general, because neutral intruder won’t be killed on sight until he commits a crime.
Not to mention that their devotion to NRDS made them a favorite target for trolls and grifters, who keep biting away at Provi territory.
This led provi-bloc to become frankly paranoid, they use every tool imaginable to check the activity of every newcomer as thorough as possible. They rarely deport for past mistakes, but they sure are good at finding them.
Second – it leads to the federalization of the whole structure, players bind together territorially and create elaborate webs of trust, trust that must be proven in all cases for you to be part of this chapter of space.
This led to whole chapters abandoning others in battles or being pretty much autonomous, ignoring all that happened outside of their space. This is worrying development, always leading towards a crush.
Providence was taken over several times, but they always colluded together and worked diligently, even zealously to get their home back. I think it shows that only a group of devoted, idealistic people can purposefully run this kind of arrangement.
Third and the last thing I will address is that allowing in whole alliances and corporations of neutrals leads to very low cooperation in general. People bond together in a very irregular way, and since there isn’t an official meta-structure, simple defense fleets turn into a logistic nightmare. Providence displays a need for one overarching ruling alliance in such complex arrangements as a trans-galactic space state. Or at least for one clear constitution that governs human behavior.
In conclusion, even tho Providence right now is a prosperous and productive coalition fighting for its life and liberty, all the things in its development point towards a giant need for clearly structured military back-bone that other coalitions always worked so hard on developing.