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Old March 9 2009, 04:44 AM   #65
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Are the Cardassians the most interesting Race in the Star Terk Gal

Thor Damar wrote: View Post
I hold firmly to the view that politics is both the art of the impossible and the area of our ideas and hopes, that the point is to share and debate in order to help shape society for the better. Therefore all points of view deserve respect.
Many have forgotten that...and I am very glad to see others that remember.

at least they know that life and success have to be fought for.
And that is one of the many reasons for the greatness of the Cardassian people!

One thing that unnerves me about the Federation is that I am not sure sometimes if they'd even have the fire left to fight for a just cause. Yes...we saw the Borg and the Dominion Wars--but I have to wonder, for instance, just how long they would maintain their commitments in a different sort of combat situation. Let's say the Federation sent aid to Cardassia, but some Cardassians decided to play terrorist.

Part of me fears the Feds would abandon the reconstruction just because it was hard. That they would fail to keep their promises out of fear of pain. And that without the Federation's actual survival threatened, they would not have the capacity to put the cause before the comfort of the individual.

Myasishchev wrote: View Post
Nerys Ghemor wrote:
Yet you so perfectly illustrate my point as to why they need to be outside the Federation as a strong competitor [...]
What does "conservative" mean in the 24th century, then? What does it translate to?

Fiscal responsibility? Economic libertarianism? Utilizing the fleet in its traditional role as a primarily military arm? We should speak in concrete terms here. Does it simply mean "unwilling to integrate and give up sovereignty"? If that's the case, then I can see your point
I think it's more than that, though some of those are components. (And another component, I think, is the value of the family--taking relationships seriously, as commitments and not as flings, and placing the care of one's children and elders first.)

I think it's refusing the easy route of relativism. It's the belief that there are standards beyond the individual. They always had that--though they stopped at the society/government level and didn't move beyond that to the consideration that the universe itself has laws as to what is right or wrong--a higher power, in other words.

Now, just as for those who undertake a 12-step program, the Cardassians need not necessarily restore their old religious beliefs (though I do like the idea of some religious diversity among them, as the novels are showing) to accept a "higher power". As I just pointed out, one could even entertain an idea that the universe itself has laws--corollaries to the laws of physics, perhaps--and that by these objective standards certain things are right or true and certain things are wrong or false. People can disagree on their understanding as to which is which--but in the end there is only one right answer...not a different answer for each person.

As long as the Cardassians abandon the idea of forcing their systems and ways upon others, then I think if they were able to function on a democratic system yet hold to ideals so opposite to the Federation's, it would really get some people's hackles up. Especially if any world (or worlds) that the Federation would've liked to have in their court ended up making a different alliance.

And they do not have the baggage of war guilt and the intense self-examination.
But somehow I see those as in the end, making the Cardassians stronger. If they can face the truth about themselves in ALL aspects--see what is bad AND what is good (kind of a societal 12-step program), then they really WILL go to great heights.

The suspicion of others towards them and the bigotry towards opposing views would actually add a good dose of drama to the plot were a show to be created along those lines. Just like with the Detapa Council's uprising--would the rest of the quadrant fail to accept evidence of change even if it were right before their eyes? And where would that lead?

You seem to assume that the only people whose views are worth having are those who adhere to the exact set of liberal/relativistic values that the Federation have
Not really. Of all the factions in the Star Trek universe, the ones that most closely approximate my own values might actually be the Borg. I find the Federation often hypocritical and parochial... and yet for a society of humanoids, I fear there is no better alternative, just like the real world state for which the Federation is an avatar.
For me the closest approximation would be a Cardassian like Tekeny Ghemor. He loves his family and his nation dearly, and also believes strongly in doing what is right. He believes in principles. (Or as I would put it in my own beliefs, God, family, and country.)
Are you a Cardassian fan, citizen? Prove your loyalty--check out my fanfic universe, Star Trek: Sigils and Unions. Or keep the faith on my AU Cardassia, Sigils and Unions: Catacombs of Oralius!
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