Charles Phipps wrote:
Generalising this principle is quite naive.
With some actors - yes, pacifism is the better way.
With other actors - pacifism will only get you killed; the obvious example being WW2 Axis powers: if the Allies would have adopted a pacifistic position, the nazi would have just killed everything in sight, as they repeatedly proved.
For a more contemporary example - non-violent opposition did not work so well for the syrians.
RL examples, of course, go both ways. Star Trek just dares us to imagine otherwise. I.e. that the Nazis are horrible but maybe this whole thing could have been prevented if we'd figured out how to keep Hitler from power (or even, way back when, negotiated that going to war over six drunken guys killing an Archduke was moronic). War may be necessary but glorifying it tends to beget war.
And if Jesus was not crucified...
Seeing how humans are not prophets or gods and don't have the power to predict and change the script - no matter how 20/20 hindsight is - such hypotheticals are, in the end, only ways to avoid looking at the problem: many times, pacifism is suicide with no gain.
And, of course, non-violence has other down-sides, as well: for example, non-violence allows Assad to do whatever he wants in Syria, helped by the pacifism of western nations.
Star trek, of course, can change the trekverse script in order to make pacifism the ultimate solution to any situation.
Thus, the question becomes - do you want to read a children's fairy-tale, where the dice are weighted in the favour of the good guys, or a tale set in an universe which acknowledges the realities of the real world?
I do, however, note that Deep Space Nine could never really come to a conclusion on the reality of a just war. Sisko and Odo resolve the Founders conflict by making peace with them but that's only AFTER they've been threatened with annihilation. The carrot, in this case, was useless without the stick.
Which may be an answer by itself, albeit a troublingly non-Trek one.
Indeed, DS9 was very...let's say, mature, by star trek standards.
It most definitely departed from the 'pacifism is always the solution' mantra which Christopher seems to be exposing.