Let's talk a little bit about the Code, shall we? The Code is always worth talking about. It is, aside from--possibly--the EULA/ToS, the most important legal document in EVE today. Countless highsec residents strive to live under the terms of the Code, or are punished for failing to do so. With over one hundred thousand views, the Code is among the most widely-read EVE-related writings of all time. And that's not even counting the number of times individual provisions are quoted in informal settings, such as EVEmails, forum posts, or local chat. The Code is a relatively recent innovation, less than two years old. But gosh, it's hard to imagine highsec without it!
The Code doesn't operate in a vacuum, of course. Whether you're a miner trying to obey the Code or an Agent trying to enforce it, the Code must first be interpreted. Thankfully, we have MinerBumping and its ~900 posts to help flesh it out. At a breezy 2,200 or so words, the Code is a quick, compact read. You can print out a pocket version of it and carry it with you wherever you go. Despite its small size, it's an incredibly rich, incredibly deep. Each time the Code is read, new insights are available to the reader, no matter how familiar he may be with its provisions. That's my experience, and I'm sure it's yours, too.
Let me give you an example of how much there is to unpack from just a single provision of the Code. Did you know that there's only one direct reference to bot-aspirancy in the entire Code? It's in the provision that reads, "Bot-aspirant behavior is not permitted." Wow! That's a lot of meat and potatoes to get from just five words, isn't it (counting bot-aspirant as one word)?
Too often, carebears attempt to reduce the Code into a simplified, money-based form. If you ask them what the Code says, they'll tell you, "Pay the New Order 10 million isk to mine." This is a very revealing assessment on their part. They see the Code in terms of a financial transaction: Grind some isk, hand it over, and then play EVE however you see fit. Although the Code says a lot about mining permits, that's only a fraction of the Code. Miners are not meant to pay 10 million isk once a year and continue doing what they were doing before.
One of the more controversial things I've said is that a Code-compliant carebear shouldn't even think bad thoughts about the New Order. Some bristle at the idea, arguing that only a carebear's actions can violate the Code. They suggest it's Orwellian to talk about "thought-crimes". This criticism doesn't hold up to scrutiny. Let's think in terms we can all relate to. I am the Father of the New Order. All the carebears of highsec are like my children. Imagine if you had a child who did what you told him to do, but who nevertheless absolutely hated you with every fiber of his being. That's not much of a relationship, is it?
Since carebears are natural liars, we judge a carebear by his actions rather than his words--though we judge his words, too. But thoughts are even more important than actions. Correcting actions alone is like treating symptoms without treating the underlying disease. To properly cure someone, you treat the disease, as well. To put it another way, the mind is like a ventriloquist and the body is the ventriloquist's dummy. The dummy only does what the ventriloquist makes it do. Focusing solely on actions is like having an argument with the dummy.
Viewed in this light, it's readily apparent that for the New Order to succeed, we must transform both the minds and the actions of the carebears. A carebear who obeys the Code only reluctantly isn't of much use to us. It's likely that he'll go back to his bot-aspirancy once he perceives the threat of a bump or gank passes. Such a carebear is still considered in violation of the Code due to his negative attitude, even if he sees fit to transfer 10 million isk from his wallet.
The good news for Code enforcers is that carebears aren't good at hiding what they think. An unreformed carebear will almost always manifest the outward signs of his rebellious nature. He'll show disrespect toward an Agent or make inappropriate comments about the Code. As far as the Code is concerned, a carebear who meets this description is just a rebel whose wallet is 10 million isk lighter. He continues to be a target for future corrective action.
The New Order is perfectly suited to winning hearts and minds. One of the reasons we have been so successful in changing highsec is that we're able to fight and win on two fronts: The battlefield of EVE and the battlefield of ideas. Our ranks are filled with the finest bumpers, gankers, wardeccers, and awoxers that highsec has to offer, so we win on the battlefield of EVE. We win on the battlefield of ideas because, well, we have ideas. The rebels and bot-aspirants don't have any. They became carebears precisely because they didn't want to think. They wanted to "relax" and go AFK, to become mindless. They rejected emergent gameplay because it requires human creativity rather than the thoughtless automation they crave.
I've often said that the Code-compliant miner is the happiest miner in EVE. That's because they are Code-compliant in thought as well as in deed. They follow the Code, not because they are forced to follow it--though they are forced to follow it--but because they want to follow it. They want a brighter future for highsec and they know the Code is the way to get there. Their optimism is unmistakable and infectious. We value and celebrate these miners. The rest of them, we burn.