Thread: The Typhon Pact
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Old July 19 2009, 11:23 PM   #100
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Re: The Typhon Pact

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
I would hope, though, that the writers do find a way for some pro-Federation points of view to be expressed. I don't want this to be the "fall of the Federation" that we keep hearing about.
I haven't heard anyone talk about the fall of the Federation except you. I don't mean that rudely or accusatorially -- I just mean that, literally, you are the only person I know of who has brought that up.

The point is not the fall of the Federation. The point is the evolution of the Federation. The point is the Federation learning to stop being the arrogant superpower and to cope with the fact that it is now living in a multilateral quadrant after having essentially lived in a unilateral quadrant since Praxis exploded in 2293.

In other words, the Federation is undergoing the same process the United States is undergoing in real life: Coping with no longer being the biggest kid on the playground and having to deal with other cultures that are or are becoming equally powerful.

I want there to be hope for the Federation. I want something other than this pervasive, utterly bleak sense of doom and gloom that seems to be pervading the novels lately. What is this, nuBSGTrek? There's got to be some other way.
Personally, I think that seeing the Federation give up its arrogance as it ceases to be a superpower is a good thing. That doesn't mean I think the Federation is as bad as the T.P.-allied states do -- but I do think there's a lot of room for improvement, and that finding that it is no longer the biggest kid on the playground can help the Federation improve its character.

As for overtly positive storytelling -- I'd consider Losing the Peace to have had a very hopeful, inspiring ending, and I would consider Over a Torrent Sea to have been a very hopeful, optimistic story.

The key to the Typhon Pact is to tell a story about the Federation coping with losing its status as the sole superpower of the quadrant without losing Star Trek's essential optimism.

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
Star Trek is pro-Federation, always. More recent Trek literature simply explores some of the flaws of the Federation way alongside its many benefits, and shows how it copes when its formally "perfect" standard of living can no longer be a reality.
There seems to be too much attention to the flaws, and not enough to the strengths.
Destiny, A Singular Destiny, Over A Torrent Sea, and Losing the Peace were all about the Federation's strengths. In each of those stories, weaknesses were also addressed, yes -- but in each of those stories, it was Federation values, Federation morality, that saved the day.

Most of this thread has been about trying to justify the existence of the Typhon Pact (and, therefore, the fall of the Federation).
1. Absolutely nothing in this thread as been about trying to justify the fall of the Federation. That you cannot process the idea of the Typhon Pact has a right to exist and that some cultures might prefer it to the Federation without also thinking the Federation deserves to fall is just bizarre.

2. The point of this thread was to ask why the Typhon Pact exists, remember?

Is there no more role left for the Federation to play? Was Destiny the beginning of the end? I would certainly hope not. You say the Federation still has benefits? Well, THEN WHAT ARE THEY?!?!?
From Losing the Peace, page 319:

"Just days ago, I was sitting in my office resenting the way my comfortable existence had been disrupted, and in my self-absorption, I resolved to launch a campaign to ask my fellow Centaurians o vote on whether we should secede from the Federation. Now, thanks to an utterly audacious act that has shaken me out of my complacency, I've revolved to add a second question to this plebiscite, asking whether we as Centaurians should reassert our commitment to the ideals set forth in the Articles of the Federation. To renew the promises we made over two centuries ago to the peoples of Earth, Vulcan, Tellar, and Andor, and to all the peoples who have come after, to be a unified society, dedicated to our mutual welfare and survival."

Read the novels. Nothing about them is anti-Federation.

But we're not there yet. If those "stingy governors" and refugee crises are all we will ever hear about regarding the Federation, then what else are we supposed to think?
Dude, exactly ONE book out of four post-Destiny has been about that. You're severely over-reacting.

The writers seem to think that the Federation is too good and therefore must be weakened; they are setting it up for a fall.
It's probably more accurate to say that they wanted to see how the Federation would function in a situation where it is no longer the biggest kid on the playground. How would the Federation function if it had a genuine equal in terms of power and prestige? If it was even maybe not as powerful as its rival? Would it still hold on to its values?

Remember, there's nothing virtuous about strength. Taking strength away from the Federation does not mean taking away its morality, its value system, its optimism -- or its survival. No one's trying to destroy the Federation anymore.

Anyway, even Tezrene upfront admitted the Typhon Pact was inspired by the Federation
But the pact was formed specifically to be an antagonist to the Federation,
No, it was not. The Tholians wish it had been, but it was not actually founded to service anti-Federation hostility.

From pages 356-357 of A Singular Destiny:

Nan walked around her desk so she could face the ambassador. The heat from the suit brushed against her face. "I gotta give you credit for holding a grudge. So fine, you got your pound of flesh because I took your toys away when the Borg were invading and because you're still pissed about what happened in the Gariman Sector a hundred years ago. What I really want to know, Madam Ambassador, is why your people are part of this Pact. Playing well with others has never exactly been your strong suit." She had the same question for the Tzenkethi and the Kinshaya ambassadors, but they weren't here right now.

"Because of you."

That brought Nan up short. "Excuse me?"

"The Typhon Pact exists because of you, President Bacco. When you gathered us here to convince us to join your fool's errand at the Azure Nebula, you said that we would be stronger if we stood together rather than apart. OUr governments realized that this was true. But none of us had any desire to subsume ourselves to your Federation, or to the Klingons." Nan couldn't help but notice that a tone of disgust managed to make itself heard in the vocoder's high-pitched monotone. "Therefore, we formed our own government." Tezrene moved closer still to Nan, and the heat emanating from the suit started to become stifling. "Weakened as you are, neither you nor the Klingons are the most powerful nation in this part of the galaxy anymore, President Bacco. And if that thought distresses you, then you have only yourself to blame."
In other words: The nations of the Typhon Pact have realized that cooperation is better than war and that unity is better than division. They just don't want to be united with the UFP. So they unite together instead.

so I don't really see the point. "You inspired us so much that we're going to use your methods to take you down"? Seems rather self-defeating, really.
Not "we're gonna take you down." The Tholians were the only ones acting hostile, and that was in retaliation for what can at best be described as an act of passive pre-emptive hostility from the Federation -- one that could have endangered Tholia's existence. The Typhon Pact itself is not formed with any intent to bring the Federation down -- just with the intent to not end up living under the Federation's flag.

Well, I suppose there *are* the Voyager and Titan novels to consider. If that's where the hope lies, then so be it. Even a little bit is better than nothing.
There is plenty of hope in these books. It's just that the hope exists in the face of big and realistic problems, too. I mean, hell, in Losing the Peace, the Federation manages to overcome a problem of selfishness and unity that still haunts millions of people every year. I mean, look at the way the Federation pulled together in that book to get its act together, stop blaming refugees for their victimhood, and help get peoples' lives up and running again. Then look at the reaction of the U.S. to Hurricane Katrina and how its victims are still living in FEMA trailers and entire segments of the City of New Orleans still lie in ruins four years later, and at how Katrina refugees were discriminated against and treat like crap all across the country.

I'd call that a pretty gosh darned hopeful book, since the Federation managed to be more mature and responsible about its refugees than the U.S. has in real life!

And, plus -- I mean, hell, just months after almost being destroyed, the Federation is sending out two major exploratory fleets -- the Titan and the rest of the Luna-class explorers deep in the Beta Quadrant, and the Voyager fleet of NINE starships back to the Delta Quadrant! I'd call that pretty frickin' hopeful.

Is the Typhon Pact a rival? Sure. A problem? Yeah. An existential threat? No.

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Yes, but I'd like some hope that the Federation can survive even after that. HAS.
So far.

I would hope it will *keep* surviving.

The rather bleak tone that the novels are taking now, you can understand why I question whether the writers want that.
No, because I'm wondering if you actually paid attention to the content of the novels you were reading. Your argument makes about as much sense as saying that Dudly Do-Right promotes tying damsels in distress to railroad tracks. The problems you cite are problems that the Federation is overcoming.

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
rahullak wrote: View Post
The Typhon Pact has been created but has not engaged in any hostile act.
Sekki did. A Ferengi mercenary who was working *for* the Pact. Thus they get to hide behind that and claim that they are not openly hostile...
Again, Sekki was working for the Tholian government, which, if you read A Singular Destiny, you will recall was acting independently, without the rest of the Pact knowing about it. The Tholians were doing this as revenge for Bacco's having deprived them of the Breen mercenary fleet just prior to the Borg Invasion.

In other words, the Tholians were going behind the Pact's back to screw over the Federation.

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
indeed, "The Good That Men Do" appears to promise the 25th century will be a time of great prosperity and peace
In what way? Just because Jake and Nog are still alive, and Section 31 is not? It didn't mention anything about the Federation, did it?
The back cover copy talked about it being a Pax galactica.

If anything, the formation of the Pact demonstrates why the Federation's core beliefs on the subject of peaceful co-operation are so successful. I don't see how the strengths are being overlooked in favour of the flaws.
You have been reading this whole thread, haven't you? It's been all about "The Federation sucks, here's why we think so, and it's why the Typhon Pact must be formed to resist teh evil".
Dude, you have completely not understood the point of anything I've written if that's what you think this thread has been about. The OP asked why the Typhon Pact existed, and I and others basically explained that it boiled down to, "They realized that unity and diversity are good things but didn't want to live under the Federation's flag, so instead they sewed their own." The rest of the thread was about explaining why they might not want to live under the Federation flag without that making them automatic morons or bad guys, and some of the ways that they might conduct a non-violent rivalry with the Federation.

The point was NOT to say that they were RIGHT, but simply to say, "This is how they think and how that might inform their behavior."

And aren't you aware of all of the "fall of the Federation" TV series ideas that have been bandied about?
When you can point to a post by KRAD, Christopher, Margaret, David Mack, Dayton Ward, or any of the other five thousand odd-TrekLit writers who post here that actually argues for the fall of the Federation, I'll take your concern seriously.

In the meantime, I'll just repeat: They've been very clear in saying that the idea is not "the fall of the Federation," but, rather, "The Federation has to deal with credible rivals who are not Pure Military Dictatorship Eeeeeevil, and has to deal with not being the most powerful interstellar state in the Alpha Quadrant anymore."

It was formed because the members have finally realized the benefits of working together and see an opportunity to increase their influence.
Their influence *against the Federation*.
That may be how it turns out. On the other hand, if the Pact really internalizes the values it's starting to embrace, we may well see an end to Pact-UFP hostilities once both realize that there's really no reason to be fighting anymore.

How can the Pact succeed without the Federation failing?
How can France succeed without Britain failing? How can China succeed without America failing? How can Israel succeed without Palestine failing? How can Pakistan succeed without India failing? How can - You get my point.

Politics tends to be treated as a zero-sum game, but it doesn't need to be. It's a result of the choices we make. Now, right now, it looks like the Typhon Pact and Federation are going to end up in a rivalry for power, resources, and influence, but that doesn't mean that it's going to be a war, or that either one has to pose an existential threat to the other. The Federation can still exist even as the Pact grows around it through voluntary expansion.

And if the Federation starts to feel threatened by the Typhon Pact growing to surround them, maybe they need to step back and realize that that was how they made other nations feel. The Federation understands full well that it can grow through voluntary expansion without in any way posing a threat to its neighbors, because the Federation knows that it can grow without having any desire to conquer independent worlds.

The question is, will the Federation extend the same benefit of a doubt it has traditionally asked for from its small independent neighbors to the Typhon Pact if it becomes the small independent neighbor? Or will they react with the same paranoia towards the Pact with which other worlds have reacted towards the Federation?

You want to talk quotes from Batman Begins? Well, what about this one? That's what the books are doing to the Federation:

Gotham's time has come. Like Constantinople or Rome before it the city has become a breeding ground for suffering and injustice. It is beyond saving and must be allowed to die. This is the most important function of the League of Shadows. It is one we've performed for centuries. Gotham... must be destroyed.
Tell me, do you think that the rise of China, India, Brazil, and the European Union as major world powers constitutes a threat to the U.S. in real life? Do you think that a nation is only safe from its neighbors if it is a lone superpower to whom no other nation is an equal?

In other words, to you, does safety only occur when there is domination?

The relevant quote about the Federation and the Typhon Pact is not to be found in the Batman films. The Batman films are about a society's internal sense of identity and beliefs, not about its relations with other societies.

The relevant quote about the UFP and T.P. can be found on pages 376-377 of A Singular Destiny:

"Professor, isn't this Pact a threat to the Federation?"

"It can be, I suppose. Certainly, most every power that's a part of the Pact has itself a history of conflict with either the Federation or the Klingons or both of us."

"So doesn't that mean we need to stop them?"

"Stop them What do you mean by that, Marva?"

Marva shrugged, then looked to the side of the room, as if the west wall would provide answers. "I mean just what I said, Professor. They're a threat--just like the Romulans used to be."

"Maybe. But how can we condemn what they're doing?"

"Like I said, they're a threat."

Sonek nodded. "All right, maybe they are. Would that justify taking aggressive action against them?"

Now Marva was getting uncomfortable. "Well, theoretically, I guess so. Yes. Yes, it would."

"So you're saying that what the Romulans did to try to sabotage the Coalition from happening back in the twenty-second century was justified, too?"

"What?" Marva's mouth was actually hanging open as she tried to parse what Sonek had just said.

"Think about it. What the Breen, Gorn, Tholians, Tzenkethi, Kinshaya, and Romulans are doing now is exactly what Earth, Vulcan, Andor, Tellar, and Alpha Centauri did in 2161.... These people getting together might actually make us strengthen our own alliances. The President's talking about us, the Klingons, the Cardassians, the Ferengi, the Imperial Romulan State, and the Talarians all getting themselves together and having closer ties--having us all cooperate more. See, this is what I've been talking about all this time. This is what makes what we've got so wonderful. After something like what happened with the Borg, it'd be real easy to devolve into stupid wars and pointless fighting. Instead, it's led to more cooperation, and that can only make all of us stronger."
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