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Old April 10 2013, 02:16 PM   #7
Re: Worf's actions during Birthright Part II

The wider context should also be noted here: any group of people condemned to live their lives on a single planet, without contact to the interstellar community, can be considered to be unduly suffering (as prisoners, castaways or other sidelined people today are) unless they specifically demonstrate they are hermits-by-choice. In Trek terms, staying on one planet is quite analogous to fortifying at one's ranch and never stepping outside.

Of course, with a ranch the size of a planet, the concept of fortifying loses some of the "deprivation" aspects that are so central to crazy cult fortresses today, even if the social context is the very same. But while Carraya apparently was a vast, lush planet, and the former prison camp walls did not hinder the movement of the inhabitants, the group of cultists there was still the same size as its terrestrial equivalents from today, so the social deprivation element is still very much there.

Our heroes frequently encounter people who want nothing to do with society-at-large. Kirk was in the habit of punching such people in the face until they agreed to become more sociable; Picard had no such inborn wish to alter status quo, but always encountered these hermits in situations where change was already dictated by outside forces, so the end result was the same. Was Worf going against some sort of a Starfleet directive by letting the Carraya camp stand even when it amounted to inhuman deprivation? Or was he simply reenacting "The Masterpiece Society" without the outside pressure of a stellar core fragment impact?

As for the children never having a choice, how is this different from the societal norms of the rest of the Klingon Empire, or the Romulan Star Empire? Rebelling against one's native society is considered ill form in general (everybody despises Worf for defecting to the Federation); the elders on Carraya don't appear to be in a special position in this respect.

Timo Saloniemi
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