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Old March 9 2009, 06:17 AM   #66
Myasishchev
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Re: Are the Cardassians the most interesting Race in the Star Terk Gal

Firstly, Nerys, I do want to point out the irony of you asking for cultural relativism in the view of a non-relativist society.

Nerys Ghemor wrote:
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.)
How does membership in the Federation keep Cardassians from staying true to their families? The Federation is no more going to coerce Cardassian lasses into flings than any truly democratic Cardassian state is going to coerce them into not having flings.

I think it's refusing the easy route of relativism. It's the belief that there are standards beyond the individual.
Fine and very dandy--but any society worth respecting places limits on the extent that such standards may be imposed.

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.
Strength in unity. Unity through faith (in the Federation). I think you overlook the dramatic possibilities in a schismatic Cardassia that is torn between those who want the Federation and those who want Cardassia for Cardassians. Those who recognize the Federation is a flawed but friendly thing, and that not all foreigners are sub-Cardassian, as you put it, and those who are extremely wary of the potential for the loss of identity in the Babel sea of kooky aliens.

Taking a page from Enterprise, the latter could call their movement Cardassia Prime Prime.

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?
Such a drama could be pursued with the Cardassians in or out of the Federation. Personally, I think it could be done even more profitably within. (What would the Bajorans think if Cardassia Prime and her colonies suddenly applied for membership into the UFP? "Great, the Cardassians took our resources for half a century by force, but they found a better way: now the Federation will do it for them!")

And if we have the Romulans having annexed Cardassian territory de facto, but the Cardassian Union is whole de jure, what results from the sudden admission into the Federation of all these Cardassians under Romulan control? Interestingly, this could be used as a vehicle for exploring what the Federation itself has become after a war that nearly annihilated it--a power in no mood to be flexed with anymore, the Quadrant's arrogant superpower.

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.)
The Federation respects your beliefs, citizen. Now, give us your dilithium.
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