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Old March 25 2013, 04:32 PM   #133
Lieutenant Commander
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Re: Would TMP have been better had they used the TOS uniforms?

As I was reading this discussion I remembered the opening from the novelization to TMP
It's from Kirk's point of view and for the most part it seems to defend the necessity of Starfleet's militarism over a more Enlightened Socialistic approach

"Some critics have characterized us of Starfleet as “primitives,” and with some justification. In some ways, we do resemble our forebears of a couple of centuries ago more than we do most people today. We are not part of those increasingly large numbers of humans who seem willing to submerge their own identities into the groups to which they belong. I am prepared to accept the possibility that these so-called new humans represent a more highly evolved breed, capable of finding rewards in group consciousness that we more primitive individuals will never know. For the present, however, this new breed of human makes a poor space traveler, and Starfleet must depend on us “primitives” for deep space exploration.

It seems an almost absurd claim that we “primitives” make better space travelers than the highly evolved, superbly intelligent and adaptable new humans. The reason for this paradox is best explained in a Vulcan study of Starfleet’s early years during which vessel disappearances, crew defections, and mutinies had brought deep space exploration to a near halt. 1 This once controversial report diagnosed those mysterious losses as being caused directly by the fact that Starfleet’s recruitment standards were dangerously high. That is, Starfleet Academy cadets were then being selected from applicants having the highest possible test scores on all categories of intelligence and adaptability. Understandably, it was believed that such qualities would be helpful in dealing with the unusually varied life patterns which starship crews encounter during deep space exploration.

Something of the opposite turned out to be true. The problem was that sooner or later starship crew members must inevitably deal with life forms more evolved and advanced than their own. The result was that these superbly intelligent and flexible minds being sent out by Starfleet could not help but be seduced eventually by the higher philosophies, aspirations, and consciousness levels being encountered. I have always found it amusing that my Academy class was the first group selected by Starfleet on the basis of somewhat more limited intellectual agility. 2 It is made doubly amusing, of course, by the fact that our five-year mission was so well documented, due to an ill-conceived notion by Starfleet that the return of the U.S.S. Enterprise merited public notice. Unfortunately, Starfleet’s enthusiasm affected even those who chronicled our adventures, and we were all painted somewhat larger than life, especially myself.

Eventually, I found that I had been fictionalized into some sort of “modern Ulysses” and it has been painful to see my command decisions of those years so widely applauded, whereas the plain facts are that ninety-four of our crew met violent deaths during those years—and many of them would still be alive if I had acted either more quickly or more wisely. Nor have I been as foolishly courageous as depicted. I have never happily invited injury; I have disliked in the extreme every duty circumstance which has required me to risk my life. But there appears to be something in the nature of depicters of popular events which leads them into the habit of exaggeration. As a result, I became determined that if I ever again found myself involved in an affair attracting public attention, I would insist that some way be found to tell the story more accurately."
"Captain, there are some things that transcend even the discipline of the Service."
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