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Old July 29 2012, 04:08 AM   #663
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Re: TP: Zero Sum Game by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
I would imagine no bulls-eye at all being the ideal. One unified mass, with equally distributed spheres of leadership, rather than a single head of the serpent to be cut off.
That's an unrealistic scenario, and the Autarch knows it. Even divided, the RSE was simply too powerful for it not to end up in a position of greater power than the other Pact members. Power equality among the Pact members was never a viable possibility; the Tzenkethi's plan was to install a Romulan government that would be content not to seek overt domination.

But even besides that--again, "soft power," or being the benevolent leader, is a more effective means to the end of dominance than that of aggressive posturing.
I think we're getting caught up in a difference of vocabulary here. "Dominance" vs. "domination." The Tzenkethi know and expect the RSE to be the most powerful Pact nation and to be in a position of leadership -- a position that can be more cynically described as dominance. It was never their goal to thwart that. Their goal was to thwart Romulan domination -- to avoid an RSE government that used its position of dominance to exercise an unacceptable level of power over the Pact and its other members.

They always knew the Romulans would end up as the leaders; their goal was never to prevent that. Their goal was to make sure the Romulans running the Hall of State would be ones content to treat the other Pact members in a more egalitarian fashion and to respect their internal autonomy.

Their goal isn't to prevent Romulus from being the most powerful Typhon Pact world. Their goal was to prevent out-and-out domination.
Which would be far less likely to happen were Romulan space to remain divided.
You're forgetting their second agenda -- stability. A divided Romulan realm was never stabile, in the long run; the Tzenkethi knew that the longer the Romulans remained divided between the Star Empire and the Imperial State, the more inevitable a Romulan civil war would become. Such a war would inevitably drag the rest of the Pact into it, Tzenkethi Coalition included.

So they're faced with two seemingly contradictory goals -- restore stability to the Romulan situation, and prevent the Pact from turning into a Romulan hegemony.

The solution they come up with -- allow the RSE to be re-united, but place it under the rule of an internationalist rather than an imperialist -- is of course imperfect. But that doesn't mean their operation in Rough Beasts was not a success, or that it didn't achieve those two goals at least for now.

Which is of course no guarantee that events won't overcome them in the future. No one ever claimed the Tzenkethi were the master manipulators who know everything that could possibly happen and are formulating perfect plans within plans to manipulate it all. Between the failures of the Tal Shiar and Section 31, it's pretty obvious that there are no infallible Chess Masters in the Trekverse. Think less David Xanatos and more George Smiley.
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