Each corporation is made up of thousands of smaller companies, ranging from industrial companies to law firms. All land and real estate is owned by a company which leases it to the citizens, and government and policing are also handled by independent companies. Although this gives the corporations dictatorial powers, they are just as bound by Caldari customs and laws as the individual, and the fierce, continual competition between the corporations ensures a healthy, consumer-based social environment, which benefits everyone. While the Caldari State may not be nearly as big as that of the Gallenteans, let alone the Amarrians, they are still universally feared and admired.
The Caldari economy is strong, and their military might is parallel to that of the larger empires. Coupled to the fact that they are more unscrupulous than the Gallenteans and more combative than the Amarrians, this makes them in many ways the most meddlesome of all the empires. As most Caldari trade is conducted by individual companies rather than the State itself, this makes it difficult for the other empires to deal with them at a political level.
If a company is found guilty of unethical business dealings, it simply disappears into its parent corporation, and before long another one appears to take its place. But if a Caldari company is threatened, the whole corporation and often the whole State backs it up with full force.
Caldari society is steeped in military tradition. As a people, its members had to fight a long and bloody war to gain their independence, and even had to surrender their home planet to their hated enemies, the Gallenteans. It was at this time that the corporations established themselves as the driving force behind creating and maintaining the new Caldari State. Even if the Caldari have not engaged in war for many decades, they still strive to be at the cutting edge of military technology and their vessels, weapons and fighting methods are inferior to none but the enigmatic Jovians.
To curb their aggressive tendencies, the Caldari actively pursue and sponsor a range of sporting activities. Many of these are bloody, gladiatorial-like competitions, while others are more like races. But whatever the sport, the Caldari love betting on the outcome, making gambling a massive industry in the state.
The State offers its citizens the best and the worst in living conditions. As long as you keep in line, do your job, uphold the laws and so forth, life can be fairly pleasant and productive. But for those who are not cut out for this strict, disciplined regime, life quickly becomes intolerable. They lose their respect, family, status, everything, and the only options left to them are suicide or exile.
Although not exactly xenophobic as such, the Caldari are very protective of their way of life and tolerate only those foreigners that stick to the rules.