Deranged Nasat wrote:
What about Enabran Tain, a man who worked tirelessly for the advancement of Cardassia, sacrificing a personal life or any normality for the cause he believed in?
Ah, but that cause was not a healthy one. Unrepentent leaders of brutal "secret police" organizations who try to commit genocide, drag their nations into wars with foreign powers and assassinate their own children to facilitate their return to power aren't going to make the list, I'm afraid
. This is for people who worked to better Cardassia, as in truly better it, break it out of the system it had caught itself in. Tain is the sort of person Ghemor and Lang were trying to free Cardassia from; he's the antithesis of a Cardassian hero.
Tain's selflessness- and, yes, with the exception of his desire to drag his son into his dark OO world Tain was
selfless- was of the deeply unhealthy and twisted variety that set Cardassia on the path towards destruction. Tain is no hero; he's one of the "night people", as "A Stitch in Time" puts it. He thought his allegiance was to Cardassia, but instead it was simply to the secrets. Yes, he sacrificed a normal life- but for what? To become an avatar for everything that was wrong with Cardassia in the first place, to take his people's fears and contain them, lock them down rather than dealing with them, until he became nothing but a vessel for those fears himself. There's nothing left of him, only night...
Aren't you judging him by Federation standards here?
I suppose you don't think Section 31 were true patriots either!
"Secrets" are only facts you don't fully know about. The decisions Tain made were not going to be obvious to everyone anymore than those of Section 31, but they have been very good ones for Cardassia.
He would never be a hero and his working in "night" would always make him easy to view with suspicion. We will never truly know what good he brought his people.
But we know what "bad" he brought them- remember the Founder's answer to Garak in "Broken Link", when he asked if any Cardassians from Tain's fleet survived the debacle? She replied that they were dead (not true, as season five demonstrated) and that- here's the real point of her answer- "all Cardassians are dead" because of Tain's actions. Starting a blood feud with ultra-paranoid genocidal warlords is not in the best service of your people. Thanks to Tain, the Founders would always remember Cardassia as a threat, an enemy- a target.
As for Section 31, no, they weren't "patriots". They undermined the very ideals by which their society defines itself, functions and on which it was founded. Section 31 is unrecognisable as the Federation, and what it's protecting isn't the UFP but the security of the UFP people- and only
the UFP people- against external threats, or sometimes "threats". Section 31 may have the safety of "the people" in mind, but they are traitors to the UFP. Tain and the OO were
patriots in that they furthered the ideals on which the modern Cardassia was founded and by which it functioned. However, these ideals were self-destructive, and truly heroic Cardassians are those who recognized that and worked to change it despite the risks.
In one way Section 31 and the OO are the same- they are defined by fear. They are hyper-sensitive to "threats" and want to weed them out, destroy them, then carry the burden of those dark activities and fears alone so that others don't have to. They seek to protect others from the darkness and fear by confronting it themselves and then containing it so it can't spread. What they don't understand is that the threat never ends, because as long as there are other sapient beings the "threat" or potential for such is there. So Section 31 and the OO begin to see threat and fear and darkness everywhere, and in fulfilling their role of "protecting" they come to align themselves against every external agency including their own people. They become avatars of fear themselves. They never seek to actually deal with the fear- which means reaching out to others, building alliances and communities- instead they contain and lock it down, leaving it to fester. They find and create new fears all the time by seeing everyone as threats, isolating themselves within a mind that is little but a pit of fears and justifications for any actions taken to keep those fears contained there and "protect" others from having to deal with them. They become martyrs in their own minds.