Ain Jalut wrote:
So did Alexander the Great's, but he's not considered evil.
Being handsome by western standards, he was an egomanaical mass murdererlike the rest.
Right. The only reason the West has traditionally held up Alexander as a hero and Genghis as a villain is because Alexander was "one of us" and Genghis was not. In Asia, Genghis tends to be held up as a culture hero much the way Alexander is in the West.
Fiction is about good and evil. History rarely is. Most rulers, most nations, are responsible for both good acts and evil acts. Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, yet he kept slaves. America spread the principles of democracy and justice, but built the nation through territorial conquest and genocide. Mao Zedong led the revolution to free China from horrible oppression and corruption, but ended up committing even worse oppression and establishing a system that had no mechanism for preventing corruption.
Really, that should've been the lesson for Kirk to teach the Excalbians -- that good and evil are not permanent alignments or inborn character traits, but choices
that every individual, every culture, faces. The Kirk of the first couple of seasons would've made a speech about how we all have the capacity for both good and evil within us, that it's not a battle of one faction versus another but a battle we wage within ourselves everyday to prevail over our darker natures. Which is a lesson that Surak could've certainly gotten behind.