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Old March 2 2011, 12:20 AM   #388
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Christopher wrote: View Post
But again, it's inconsistent to argue both that they're so decentralized and that they could somehow retain a continuous identity and influence for generations as their membership changes. If they're that decentralized, then what was left after the big "weeding out" would just be a few malcontents here and there, nothing big enough, organized enough, or influential enough to have any major influence on events. I can marginally buy Section 31 managing to infiltrate its way into positions of influence once, particularly during the Dominion War when Federation and Starfleet officials were desperate and willing to compromise their principles for expediency. But it must've taken time to build up such a network in secret. If their role as an active manipulator of the government and the military were exposed, if their agents in those organizations were weeded out, then those organizations and the public would be on the alert against them from then on, and it would be hard for the few lingering remnants to gain any influence. So even if there were still a few scattered S31 loyalists here and there, the organization would still be effectively gone as a relevant force in the Federation. And those few lingering fragments would probably just die out or change focus eventually.
Although admittedly such a radically decentralized conspiracy could "mutate" easily. The Triads founded to oppose one Chinese dynasty or another became organized crime networks, for instance. There may be descendants of Section 31, somewhere, with very different aims.

There is no way that the rank-and-file populace of the Federation would approve of Section 31, so they wouldn't give them succor or help them elude the authorities. It's simply not a viable analogy.
In he examples I mentioned earlier, the conspiracies survived only because they had broad support. In the case of the Organisation de l'Armée Sécrète, the OAS people were fighting to retain an Algeria that was an integral territory of France and home to more than a million French citizens, part of a broader effort to keep France relevant as a major power. In the case of the Turkish deep state, the belief that Ataturk's secularization and republican reforms saved Turkey from annihilation post-WW1--not indefensible, actually; separate issue--inspired generations of people working for the Turkish state to believe that whatever it took to keep the republic as it was was a justified act.
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