Ahhh EVE... it's a dirtly little universe. Here is a picture of the current political scheme...
Each of these colored blogs represents an alliance of pilots all frantically (some desparately) attempting to hold a corner of space. Each of those dots represents a system of planets, moons, stations, derelicts, and mineral belts. All of these boil down to ISK. Who controls it, who can make it, who can spent it and where it will be spent... all weave together in to these colored blobs.
Hundreds of thousands of pilots are represented here. The uncolored regions are faction owned and not conqerable by free pilots. The inner most systems are safely guarded by CONCORD with the border systems nearly completely lawness. But virtually every other scrap of non-faction space is home to someone and the only law is their own.
This is perhaps the dream of all EVE pilots. To belong somewhere in the vast hostile universe. However, it is mob mentality in all its extremes. Loyalties are often cheap and last only as long as your numbers exceed those of your enemies. All too often might makes right. Still it is astounding to me that my alliance has well over 1000 pilots. The scale is vast considering that virtually all of them are just giving their spare time.
EVE has lasted about 5 years. I'm not sure where else it will go. They have some grand plans, but I suppose only time will tell. There really are no other space-travel future options.