View Single Post
Old February 28 2013, 03:26 AM   #100
sonak
Vice Admiral
 
Location: in a figment of a mediocre mind's imagination
Re: Star Trek: INS- Son'a/Dominion Question

Locutus of Bored wrote: View Post
sonak wrote: View Post
There's a repeated accusation that supporting relocation of the Baku is representative of neo-con or (to avoid overly American-centric) extremely right-wing philosophy.

In what way is this so?
The neo-conservative think tank Project for the New American Century (PNAC) wanted to promote what they considered to be core American values abroad, and so they used their influence in the GW Bush Administration to push for regime change in Iraq at all costs, and the Administration obliged by manufacturing evidence of the widespread presence of WMDs in Iraq in order to create a pretense for a preemptive invasion.

They had an agenda they wanted to fulfill, and they falsely arranged information to justify that agenda, without regard for what effect it would have on the civilian populace, the already ongoing war, and the soldiers sent in to fight. Much like the Son'a and Starfleet had an agenda to take the metaphasic radiation from the Bak'u planet, so the Son'a left out the details about their relationship to the Bak'u, they went in without any consideration of how relocating the people would disrupt their society, they diverted assets from an ongoing war (The Dominion War), and they forced their personnel into a moral quandary where they were essentially the invaders and bad guys.

"Property rights must be defended 100% at all costs, no matter the context!" strikes me as pretty right-wing thinking, so I'd group the anti-removal crowd in the conservative camp.
It's not a property rights issue. Eminent domain allows that the state has the right to annex private property within its own territory after paying the property owner compensation if the property is needed for a project in the public interest.

The state does not have the right to seize the territory of another sovereign state just because they have something you want. Just because the Federation had grown around the Bak'u territory without either side's knowledge at first doesn't mean the Federation owns the Bak'u planet and can do with it what they will.

To think one state has the right to invade and forcibly relocate the populace of another established sovereign state (while condemning them to disease, possibly fatal injury, and a faster rate of death than their society had become accustomed to over the past three centuries) is pretty much the embodiment of the worst aspects of manifest destiny used against native populations and (since the thread's already been Godwin'ed) Nazi or Imperial Japanese expansionist ideology in WWII.

It's bizarre that you can't see that connection and the inherent wrongness of that philosophy, especially when it was explicitly referenced in the film by Picard.

Because make no mistake about it, the Baku position here is "f--- off Jack, I've got mine!" They stumbled upon this magical treasure, and they want to hoard it for themselves, while telling others, even those defending them from removal, to go jump in a lake. They're like a group of Old Money rich folk who inherited their fortune, have never worked a day in their lives, and have contempt for the poor schlubs who weren't lucky enough to be born rich. Don't even THINK about asking them to give up some of their money, because it's THEIRS!"
I've got certain issues with the Bak'u's rigid ideology in regard to both the Son'a when they were exiled and towards Picard's crew, but nothing you say above is supported by the film at all.

At no time was the possibility of establishing low tech rehabilitation facilities for Federation and other government's citizens on the planet raised in the film, so you don't know if they might have been okay with that, especially given how little of the planet their society occupied. Just because they weren't okay with destroying their planet's ecosystem, being forcibly relocated, and being relegated to earlier deaths doesn't mean they weren't open to other, less invasive options. They were perfectly welcoming to Picard and crew even after they beamed down with phasers and after a firefight broke out in their secretly spied upon village earlier. Their only stipulation was that the Starfleet personnel disarm themselves. They would have had every right to be hostile in that situation but weren't, so they might have been open to the possibility of allowing elderly or sick Federation citizens to rehab on their world as long as they preserved the planetary environment, disarmed themselves, and lived a simple lifestyle without overrunning the planet with technology and people.

Given the rise of various return to nature/manual labor and New Essentialist groups in the Federation, I suspect many would gladly move there and live the Bak'u lifestyle elsewhere on the planet, while the rules would also serve as a natural population control since not everyone would want to give up their futuristic creature comforts even for the promise of a long, healthy life. People with illnesses or severe injuries could stay there temporarily until they healed or permanently if it's a chronic condition that would return once they left.

If, like others here, your position is that the planet is not in Federation space, then you've got a bigger issue than just eminent domain not applying-that means that the Federation has no obligation to protect them, which means, that as a "civilization" of 600 pacifists, they'd be doomed pretty shortly. Also, it means that Picard technically fought a civil war on behalf of the Baku in violation of the PD, though because of Dougherty already involving the UFP, it may be somewhat negated.


As for the Iraq war comparison, I don't see it. Again, you can't compare the magic particles to oil or something. The closest analogy I and others keep using is a cure for cancer. Again, if you think that an issue of sovereignty should stop the international community from removing a small village if it meant getting a cure for cancer, then you're putting property or land rights above the greater common welfare. This is especially silly when you consider how often boundaries and borders have been redrawn in history.


I could see the comparison if the goal was conquering the Baku to change their government and take them over. But that's clearly not the issue here.
sonak is offline   Reply With Quote