Brutal Strudel wrote:
As I think on it, the episode is kinda despicable in the way it fleshes out the paranoid rationalization for genocide--here it really is a war for survival; no, not a war, an animalistic struggle.
That's true. In science fiction and fantasy it's all too easy to create the sort of blunt moral conundrums that do not and cannot exist in real life.
DS9 actually gave us the exact same scenario, with the disease to kill the Changelings. Like the Cylons, Changelings are a literal threat to our way of life who are trying to enslave/exterminate us, are in a sense all guilty of the actions of their race (since their identity is submerged as a sort of race consciousness) and can even walk among us, and also
like Cylons, there's one good Changeling on the side of our guys.
DS9 being Star Trek, the guy who's actually in favour of genocide is clearly one of the show's villains, even if the writers love to provide him with extensive arguments that challenge the usual idealism of the Federation.
But in real life, it's not actually possible for a race, as a race
, to be guilty of an action. They don't submerge their identity into a bigger pool and all agree to the dictats of their racial consciousness because that does not exist.
So while I can find myself probably going along with hypothetical genocide in fantasy scenarios I really can't see a situation in the real world where I, the pathetic, cowardly little slimeball that I am, would ever consider it.
At least this is less common in sci-fi than it is in fantasy (Orcs are usually a whole race of evil, vicious beasts in Tolkein and his many imitators), and even in the sci-fi scenarios that turn genocide into something explainable and even something rational people could agree to... there are characters who still reject it as wrong and morally unacceptable. Whether that works within the confines of the fantasy universe is another matter - at least the fantasy universe isn't being used to encourage nonsense in the real world.