Culture in the World City of Gomorrah is dominated by Corporations, nearly to the exclusion of all else. Corporations do not own their employees (in most cases, there are bonded employees in some cases) but do everything in their power to develop strong bonds of loyalty. It is this struggle for skilled labour and control of resources which make up most political activity - indeed, in Gomorrah and on Caprice as a while, Corporate activity is political activity.
When the CEF showed up and brought Earth with it, they were entirely unable to penetrate this Byzantine culture and for the first few months of the Occupation the CEF needed to bully the population of Caprice through inefficient brute force tactics. Now that the CID has been established and studies of Caprician culture have been undertaken, the Earthers have begun to adapt the Corporates to their own needs. Equally, the Earthers have adapted to Caprician culture, so now those CEF and CID officials who mingle with the Corporates can be said to be some strange hybridization of both.
Corporate culture on Caprice has been compared to ancient Chinese culture, in that it is highly bureaucratic, monolithic, and long-sighted. It also has a tendancy to subsume opposing cultures - the Liberati have found that the only way to avoid being over-run by the strong Gomorran culture is to avoid it wherever possible. This is a challenge that the CID is well aware of and is doing everything within its power to change Gomorran culture without that culture affecting the Earthers therein.
The Coalition Assembly
The Coalition Assembly is a strange organism of Caprician politics and often touted as the only non-corporate political system on the planet. It is an elected assembly to which each of the 72 districts of Gomorrah send one representative, along with each of the four Highlands quadrants. This Coalition has a chairperson (currently Right Honorable Conal Garland) and enacts Caprice-wide law as any other representative government would.
The Assembly is theoretically supposed to exist outside of corporate politics. However, major Corporations and umbrella groups act as political parties within the Assembly, making the entire Assembly into little more than a meeting-ground for Corporate politics. Indeed, large corporations hold multiple chairs within the Assembly and use it as another battlefield.
The Caprician Corporate Executive
The Caprician Corporate Executive (CCE) is the closest thing that Caprice has for a functioning government. While the Assembly is largely powerless and used as a forum for debate, the CCE enacts policy for the major corporations and, as a result, enacts law for the Gateworld. While this board is technically the highest authority within the system, recently the NEC Colonial Board is in a superior position.
While the CCE is the highest authority its rule is based on consensus and influence, unlike an actual government - each corporation within the Executive may act freely but risks ostracization should its policies be too extreme for the others' tastes. In theory the Coalition Assembly can bring matters to the CCE and force decisions in the matter, but due to the balkanization of that Assembly tis is rarely done - and when it is done it is almost always done in the favour of one of the members of the CCE.
The CCE has 12 members (plus a Monitor from the NEC). Each member corporation is voted on through a Corporate block-vote, with each company's voting power equal to its' CMEC rating.
- Chairman Lothan Muir (Proxy for Mazir de Souza), Hakkar, CMEC 1st
- Eleni Cohl, Kallam-Sollers-Makhan, CMEC 11th
- Clayre Gessiyum, Gallot Caprice, CMEC 4th
- Gabrielle O'Reilly, Costa Moreia, CMEC 5th
- Alecks Sugano, Cat's Eye News Network, CMEC 14th
- Michi Jones, Kinzler Industries, CMEC 7th
- Stefan Kiessel, Caprice Ships Interstellar, CMEC 17th
- Morgan Venarow, Venarow Conglomorate, CMEC 13th
- Joachim Landsdowne, Envry Electric Dynamics, CMEC 19th
- Vance Gordon-Lewis, Gordicon Industries, CMEC 21st
- Carlotta Shu, Dandiann Ventures Mining, CMEC 15th
- Luci Petranov, Extravaganza Playworld, CMEC 12th
- Ludmilla Venarow, NEC Colonial Board Monitor
The Corporate Regulatory Authority
The CRA is the effective arm of the CCE, ensuring that the Corporations of Caprice maintain the standards of the Trent Sector Accords and any policies required by the CCE. These inspectors have come under attack over the years as accusations of spying, blackmail, and corporate espionage. While there is a basis of truth in these claims the CRA is seen as a necessary evil in that they prevent corporate excess, protect the population of Gomorrah, and limit anti-competitive practices. The NEC Colonial Board, interestingly enough, has excluded Terran companies working in Caprician space and on Caprice itself from the overview of the CRA.
Gomorrah Coordination Committee
While most Corporate fiefdoms are entirely self-contained there are many areas in which corporations must work together - the distribution of power, water, food, etc, requires an overseeing committee, the GCC. The Committee operates on the principle Caprician ethos of consent, so that any company - through omission or activity - impedes the activities of another they may fall foul of the Committee. The departments of the GCC regulate are the Departments of Law and Consent, Standards, Communications, Water, Waste Management, Energy, Buildings, Zoning, Traffic Management, and Public Transit.
The Caprician Mercantile Exchange
The CME is arguably where the real politics of Caprice happen. The main CME building is an opulent facility in Babylon Summit, where the top 500 corporations within the Exchange maintain large offices paid for through their subscription to the Exchange and the CCE. These top-500 companies also have reserved seating within the exchange, giving them an edge over the lower-ranked companies. This building is considered neutral ground so also hosts large facities for corporate meetings, and also boasts a massive mall and entertainment centre (owned by Hakkar).
In a very real sense, the CME is the battleground of Caprice - no Corporation maintains much of a military, all of their efforts to gain supremacy happen through the CME. The CMEC rating of every company determines its standing and worth, and therefore CMEC rating is worn as badge of pride by Corporations and their employees. Equally, clever Corporations often make use of legal tactics to create "losses" within their financial accounts in order to hide their real power. Whole Corporations are devoted to the practice of this tactic.
Recently, the CCE has controversially allowed Terran corporations to participate within the CME - eleven of which now sit within the Five Hundred. These companies maintain permanent offices on Caprice and operate within the rule of Caprician law - though outside of the bounds of the CRA and CCE. It is widely considered a clever move by the CCE, forcing the Terran companies to be bound by Caprician market forces and leashing them to the CCE.
- Elite Genome Labs, Not Listed on the CMEC
- Moscow Heavy Industries, CMEC 31st
- Lysander, Inc., CMEC 97th
- Manchurian Extraterran, CMEC 159th
- Angon, CMEC 214th
- Kobelfeldt, CMEC 311th
- Jovian Exowerks, CMEC 429th
At the start of BT05's 2nd Caprician Mission, it was determined that out of the hundreds of thousands of corporations on Caprice, about 50 were working with the CEF and/or NEC. The largest ones identified of this group were Hakkar, Gallot, Venarow, Costa Moreia, and KSM. In specific, EGL Labs also works with the CEF, and is located in Paladin Lots. Costa Moreia was identified as providing maintenance/repairs; lack of this service would cripple Paladin Lots.
Starting a corporation requires little more than going to a CME branch office to fill out some forms, or to register with any recognized financial provider for a business account.
Other Corporations of Interest, see Corporate Index at the top of this entry.