Deranged Nasat wrote:
As for what went wrong to transform this obedient, functional hierarchal society into the Union we know and mourn, where those instincts are twisted into a dysfunctional, oppressive nightmare, I suppose the pressures of planetary environmental chaos would have a highly negative effect on such a structured society. I'm reminded of what happens when adolescent male elephants leave the female herds and there aren't any elder bulls around to "mentor" them (having all been culled, for example); the young bulls become unusually aggressive, their musth cycle is abnormal, they're known to rampage around killing rhinoceros or humans for no real reason...but they calm down when older bulls are introduced and they perceive themselves as part of a healthy, supportive hierarchy again. With the collapse of the spiritual Cardassian society of old, and the loss of faith in the old ways, the gods, the leaders and their philosophies - and the rapid rise of a militant philosophy to replace it - are we seeing a form of civilization-wide trauma that Cardassians are particularly vulnerable to?
This is always the theory I've subscribed to. When looking at historical example on earth, when climate change has devastated a region, it tends to throw things into chaos, leading to political and cultural revolution. (Just look at how the Little Ice Age affected France and led up to the Revolution, or how the loss of the yearly floods for an entire generation brought about an end to the Egyptian Old Kingdom.) With a highly hierarchical society like Cardassia, climate change and the subsequent chaos could lead to complete social collapse. The militarization of Cardassia probably started out as a general effort to restore order in a chaotic world, and once that had been reestablished, the military had the room to take over the entire political system.