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Old June 25 2009, 03:29 AM   #1
Captrek
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life in the empires

If Kirk’s exhortations to the Organians are to be taken at face value, life in the Klingon empire is pretty brutal for non-Klingons.

Is there any reason to believe things have changed by the time of TNG, or does the alliance with the Federation help the Klingons to brutally enslave other worlds?

In “In the Pale Moonlight,” when Sisko talks of the “safety of the Alpha Quadrant,” is he really just referring to the safety of the Federation, outside of which there are few worlds that are really free? It seems to me that for most of the worlds in the Alpha Quadrant, what is at stake is that they will be enslaved by the Dominion if the Dominion wins the war, or continue to be enslaved by the Klingons or Romulans if the Dominion loses.
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Old June 25 2009, 03:38 AM   #2
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: life in the empires

captrek wrote: View Post
If Kirk’s exhortations to the Organians are to be taken at face value, life in the Klingon empire is pretty brutal for non-Klingons.

Is there any reason to believe things have changed by the time of TNG, or does the alliance with the Federation help the Klingons to brutally enslave other worlds?
That's one thing I always thought the show glossed over that it should've had the guts to address. DS9 would've made a great venue for that, but they never did.
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Old June 25 2009, 05:58 AM   #3
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Re: life in the empires

We did see a Klingon World in TNG that was enslaved: Krios Prime. In that episode the Klingons accused Starfleet of assisting rebels. It was The Mind's Eye
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Old June 25 2009, 06:56 AM   #4
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Re: life in the empires

Considering the Klingon "Empire" is pretty much a plutocracy residing over a loose confederation of feudal fiefdoms, there's no simple answer to this question. Some Klingon houses probably run their territories quite smoothly, allocating resources on a need basis and giving everyone their fare share. Others--Duras' territories, for possible examples--are probably slipshod fascist mini-states subjugated only at gunpoint.

Political labels aside, there is probably a practical difference between "The Klingon Empire" and "Territory Controlled by Klingons." The Empire per se is little more than those colony worlds and holdings that belong to a handful of High Council families and/or assorted friends and allies; the rest of the Empire is likely somewhat decentralized, with various listening posts and border stations monitoring traffic from one territory to the next for billing purposes.

Now, the ROMULAN Empire is exactly the military dictatorship Kirk was describing on Organia (on account of the Klingon-Romulan personality swap that culminated in TNG) so it's probably a vast fascist superstate with Romulus in the center of a collection of puppet governments ruled by military viceroys.
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Old June 25 2009, 01:52 PM   #5
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Re: life in the empires

Yep, when Picard and Data went to Romulus he said something about how the Romulan citizens envied the freedoms of those outside the Empire. There's also the Tal Shiar and how the military and common folk are in fear/contempt of them.

I wonder what life is like for the average Cardassian.
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Old June 25 2009, 02:04 PM   #6
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Re: life in the empires

Anwar wrote: View Post
Yep, when Picard and Data went to Romulus he said something about how the Romulan citizens envied the freedoms of those outside the Empire. There's also the Tal Shiar and how the military and common folk are in fear/contempt of them.

I wonder what life is like for the average Cardassian.
The average Cardassian is secure and comfortable, knowing he or she is safe from traitors and aliens thanks to the strength of Central Command and the ever-watching eyes of the Obsidian Order. He or she knows obedience and loyalty keep Cardassia strong, and that without the military expansion his or her family would be starving. He or she is always careful not to challenge the ideological status quo, but since he or she has been raised to believe the state is benevolent, all-knowing and harsh but necessarily so, this poses no real problem. Even though some Cardassians certainly have issues with the government, most likely keep it to themselves. Cardassians enjoy a reasonable standard of living, particularly compared to pre-expansionist times. This is all pre-Dominion occupation, of course.
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Old June 25 2009, 02:14 PM   #7
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Re: life in the empires

captrek wrote: View Post
If Kirk’s exhortations to the Organians are to be taken at face value, life in the Klingon empire is pretty brutal for non-Klingons.

Is there any reason to believe things have changed by the time of TNG, or does the alliance with the Federation help the Klingons to brutally enslave other worlds?

In “In the Pale Moonlight,” when Sisko talks of the “safety of the Alpha Quadrant,” is he really just referring to the safety of the Federation, outside of which there are few worlds that are really free? It seems to me that for most of the worlds in the Alpha Quadrant, what is at stake is that they will be enslaved by the Dominion if the Dominion wins the war, or continue to be enslaved by the Klingons or Romulans if the Dominion loses.
The Trek books often deal with this issue; debates as to whether Federation alliances with Klingon or Romulan are moral, whether peaceful co-existence can influence the empires into change or whether the empires will influence the Federation. Vulcan-Romulan reunification often touches on this, as does pretty much any Federation-Klingon relations story. Of course, the Klingon and Romulan states are never portrayed as "evil", and there have been several stories that give at least a hint of what life is like on subjugated worlds. The Klingons assign conquered people the status of Jeghpu'wI, less than citizens, more than slaves. The Romulans enslave some races- Remans for one, obviously- but others appear to have similar status to Klingon subject races. Overall, the answer often seems to be that it is far preferable to make peace and co-operate with the empires, and influence them that way, rather than attempt to force change, which never works and causes further problems. Also, remember there are plenty of worlds that are independent, neither Federation nor part of a wider empire.

PS: A particularly interesting empire from Trek literature is the Regnancy of the Carnelian Throne from the novel "The Buried Age". Here, worlds symbolically accept slavery to the Carnelian Throne, symbol of justice and noble strength, and "play along" with conquest.
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Old June 26 2009, 12:05 AM   #8
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Re: life in the empires

Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
Anwar wrote: View Post
Yep, when Picard and Data went to Romulus he said something about how the Romulan citizens envied the freedoms of those outside the Empire. There's also the Tal Shiar and how the military and common folk are in fear/contempt of them.

I wonder what life is like for the average Cardassian.
The average Cardassian is secure and comfortable, knowing he or she is safe from traitors and aliens thanks to the strength of Central Command and the ever-watching eyes of the Obsidian Order. He or she knows obedience and loyalty keep Cardassia strong, and that without the military expansion his or her family would be starving. He or she is always careful not to challenge the ideological status quo, but since he or she has been raised to believe the state is benevolent, all-knowing and harsh but necessarily so, this poses no real problem. Even though some Cardassians certainly have issues with the government, most likely keep it to themselves. Cardassians enjoy a reasonable standard of living, particularly compared to pre-expansionist times. This is all pre-Dominion occupation, of course.
My, my...you sound like a Cardassian! Are you one of us?
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Old June 26 2009, 04:43 AM   #9
Deranged Nasat
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Re: life in the empires

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
Anwar wrote: View Post
Yep, when Picard and Data went to Romulus he said something about how the Romulan citizens envied the freedoms of those outside the Empire. There's also the Tal Shiar and how the military and common folk are in fear/contempt of them.

I wonder what life is like for the average Cardassian.
The average Cardassian is secure and comfortable, knowing he or she is safe from traitors and aliens thanks to the strength of Central Command and the ever-watching eyes of the Obsidian Order. He or she knows obedience and loyalty keep Cardassia strong, and that without the military expansion his or her family would be starving. He or she is always careful not to challenge the ideological status quo, but since he or she has been raised to believe the state is benevolent, all-knowing and harsh but necessarily so, this poses no real problem. Even though some Cardassians certainly have issues with the government, most likely keep it to themselves. Cardassians enjoy a reasonable standard of living, particularly compared to pre-expansionist times. This is all pre-Dominion occupation, of course.
My, my...you sound like a Cardassian! Are you one of us?
I subscribe loyally to your ideology, yes
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Old June 26 2009, 04:47 PM   #10
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Re: life in the empires

^Excellent, another loyal servant of the Union!
Welcome citizen.

I do wonder about the status of our client worlds and their relationship with the rest of the Union, are they as... troubled as Bajor or do they enjoy a more equal and productive role in the empire?
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Old June 26 2009, 05:25 PM   #11
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Re: life in the empires

Ooo! Ooo! I wanna subscribe loyally to an alien ideology!
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Old June 26 2009, 05:58 PM   #12
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Re: life in the empires

I wonder if Star Trek will ever have an empire that expands to the point that it becomes too large to be ruled by one central government and then fall into halves or pieces like the Roman empire.

I also am curious that if Romulus was rejoined Vulcan, would the their enslaved worlds be forced into the Federation, or would they be given the opportunity to decide for themselves?
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Old June 26 2009, 06:10 PM   #13
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Re: life in the empires

Jasper Sierra wrote: View Post
I also am curious that if Romulus was rejoined Vulcan, would the their enslaved worlds be forced into the Federation, or would they be given the opportunity to decide for themselves?
I can't imagine the Federation would force Membership upon anyone, nor can I imagine that the Federation would accept as a Member State any state which has conquered a foreign population. The UFP would almost certainly demand that any new potential Member State liberate any conquered worlds before joining the Federation.
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Old June 26 2009, 08:18 PM   #14
Deranged Nasat
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Re: life in the empires

Jasper Sierra wrote: View Post
I wonder if Star Trek will ever have an empire that expands to the point that it becomes too large to be ruled by one central government and then fall into halves or pieces like the Roman empire.

I also am curious that if Romulus was rejoined Vulcan, would the their enslaved worlds be forced into the Federation, or would they be given the opportunity to decide for themselves?
In the post-Nemesis books,
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Old June 26 2009, 08:23 PM   #15
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Re: life in the empires

Thor Damar wrote: View Post
^Excellent, another loyal servant of the Union!
Welcome citizen.
I serve as the state requires.

Thor Damar wrote: View Post
I do wonder about the status of our client worlds and their relationship with the rest of the Union, are they as... troubled as Bajor or do they enjoy a more equal and productive role in the empire?
One can only hope other client worlds were less troubled, and more inclined to accept our allegiance. Possibly the simple over-abundence of resources on Bajor, and its great contrast in productivity compared to Cardassia Prime meant that...less restraint...was exercized in ensuring that the needs of Cardassian citizens were met than would usually be the case.
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