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Old July 1 2009, 03:12 AM   #31
hyzmarca
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

Anwar wrote: View Post
Precisely, can technology exclusive to war feed the people? Can it improve living conditions? Better war tech means for a better army and more resource raids but I doubt it can go on forever. It would have been more true-to-life if we saw that a culture built on war and an economy dedicated to the military over all else left the common non-warrior Klingon living in squalor.
Funnily enough, yes. Advances in military technology are usually accompanied by leaps in the quality of civilian life, simply because military technology really does trickle down the the civilian sector with rather powerful results. Everything from computers to jet aircraft to nuclear power were gleaned from military advances. Many engineering techniques that are now common were pioneered by military engineers. The amount of stuff that we take for granted which was derived from military technology is staggering.

Last edited by hyzmarca; July 1 2009 at 03:04 PM.
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Old July 1 2009, 03:13 AM   #32
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

Thanks, guys.

It actually only took about 20 minutes to type out - it's basically a congealment of suppositions I've been making for years now combined with a little bit of fresh insight. Of course, I haven't really directly addressed my original question in full, have I?
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Old July 1 2009, 03:39 AM   #33
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

Anwar wrote: View Post
They never mentioned just WHAT caused the prior civilian government to fail though.
Probably the Dolchstoss.
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Old July 1 2009, 03:54 AM   #34
Anwar
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

hyzmarca wrote: View Post
Anwar wrote: View Post
Precisely, can technology exclusive to war feed the people? Can it improve living conditions? Better war tech means for a better army and more resource raids but I doubt it can go on forever. It would have been more true-to-life if we saw that a culture built on war and an economy dedicated to the military over all else left the common non-warrior Klingon living in squalor.
Funnily enough, yes. Advances in military technology are usually accompanied by leaps in the quality of civilian life, simply because military technology really does trickle down the the civilian sector with rather powerful results. Everything from computers to jet aircraft to nuclear power to gleaned from military advances. Many engineering techniques that are now common were pioneered by military engineers. The amount of stuff that we take for granted which was derived from military technology is staggering.
Really? I must study my social development with regards to military technology better.

In your opinion, what kind of war-oriented society would cause the armies to be strong and advanced while the common civilian lives in squalor? Would it have to be an underdeveloped 3rd World nation of Space to be that bad off?
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Old July 1 2009, 06:38 AM   #35
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

hyzmarca wrote: View Post
Anwar wrote: View Post
Precisely, can technology exclusive to war feed the people? Can it improve living conditions? Better war tech means for a better army and more resource raids but I doubt it can go on forever. It would have been more true-to-life if we saw that a culture built on war and an economy dedicated to the military over all else left the common non-warrior Klingon living in squalor.
Funnily enough, yes. Advances in military technology are usually accompanied by leaps in the quality of civilian life, simply because military technology really does trickle down the the civilian sector with rather powerful results. Everything from computers to jet aircraft to nuclear power to gleaned from military advances. Many engineering techniques that are now common were pioneered by military engineers. The amount of stuff that we take for granted which was derived from military technology is staggering.
Let's get specific here:

Advances in military technology are accompanied by leaps in the quality of the lives of civilians on the victorious side.

They're usually accompanied by drastic reductions in the quality of life for civilians on the losing side of a war. Just ask the residents of Baghdad.
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Old July 1 2009, 09:06 AM   #36
Osiris Aten
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

I also see the Romulans as the equivalent of the Roman Empire, especially in the TOS era, as they have Roman/Latin titles: praetor, centurion, etc. Romulus and Remus, according to myth, were the founders of Rome raised by a she-wolf that were in conflict w/ one another w/ Romulus becoming the king after killing his brother. Remus is subjugated and viewed as second-class citizens & slaves (at least up to Nemesis). This correlates to the mythology.

They are Machievellian schemers (TNG-era) and view themselves as superior to everyone - a Roman virtue. However, comparions to modern China & N. Korea can be made: they are isolationist & distrust outsiders. The Praetor & Senate aspect of its government is Ancient Roman in style, especially during the Imperial era as emperors were occasionally assassinated, committed suicide, insane (Caligula, etc.), and power hungry.
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Old July 1 2009, 11:50 AM   #37
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

Anwar wrote: View Post
I think that was because the Obsidian Order weren't allowed (even by Central Command) to have their own ships, and so they had to use their own operatives as the crew for all the vessels. The reason the Obsidian Order was defunct after the Founder Homeworld incident was because nearly everyone in the Order was now dead, not just a scandal. The Tal Shiar may not have had such restrictions and maybe even authorization from the Empire to attack (The Romulans did try to blow up the wormhole before and that the normal military).
The Tal Shiar must've been its own army and navy from its founding, or the ships and their crew were "on loan" from the actual military, while the Obsidian Order put most of its eggs in one basket by secretly and illegally assembling an armada that got decisively annihilated.

Either way, the Romulans often came out of direct fights with the Dominion much better than the Cardassians and Klingons, that's for sure, and their fleet seems relatively unscathed (and expanding).

Not long after the Dominion War in Nemesis their shipyards turned out a new generation of Warbird in significant numbers, the Valdpre-class, and hulking monstrosities such as the Scimitar-class and the "mining vessel" Narada, which both seemed one of a kind and were comandeered by renegades. The Valdpre-class and the wankish Scimitar were most likely the result of the Romulans reverse engineering Dominion ships (which were in some ways more advanced and could be built on a larger scale than most Alpha/Beta Quadrant warships). The Narada was once a normal industrial ore processing vessel and was like a smaller brown Warbird, but captured Borg technology was intergrated into it and it grew much bigger.
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Old July 1 2009, 12:33 PM   #38
Anwar
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

I think you mean Valdore, that more streamlined vessel we saw in NEM? Yes, those were a newer class of vessel for the Romulans to make up for their losses in the Dominion War. I think the line of reasoning was that the Warbird had always been more of a visual terror weapon rather than the most efficient battleship which is why it's so big yet gets trashed as easily as any other vessel. After that the Romulans decided to just make smaller but more lethal vessels and we get the Valdore.
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Old July 1 2009, 02:22 PM   #39
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

captrek wrote: View Post
Anwar wrote: View Post
They never mentioned just WHAT caused the prior civilian government to fail though.
Probably the Dolchstoss.
The stab in the back myth that German reactionaries claimed was the reason why the Second German Reich lost world war I?
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Old July 1 2009, 02:43 PM   #40
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

I think TNG never could decide what the Romulans should be. They moved back and forth between cold hearted killers with no remorse or honor to thoughtful, logical and passionate. I've been going through the DVD's of TNG over the past month and notice that seasons 4 - 6 really play the extremes. One episode they accept help from the Enterprise and then try to destroy them. Next encounter they are upset because a ship with 18 aliens is destroyed.
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Old July 1 2009, 02:48 PM   #41
Anwar
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

Isn't that good thing though? It shows the Romulans aren't just a one hate species and can various different reactions to stuff.
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Old July 1 2009, 03:20 PM   #42
hyzmarca
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

Anwar wrote: View Post
hyzmarca wrote: View Post
Anwar wrote: View Post
Precisely, can technology exclusive to war feed the people? Can it improve living conditions? Better war tech means for a better army and more resource raids but I doubt it can go on forever. It would have been more true-to-life if we saw that a culture built on war and an economy dedicated to the military over all else left the common non-warrior Klingon living in squalor.
Funnily enough, yes. Advances in military technology are usually accompanied by leaps in the quality of civilian life, simply because military technology really does trickle down the the civilian sector with rather powerful results. Everything from computers to jet aircraft to nuclear power to gleaned from military advances. Many engineering techniques that are now common were pioneered by military engineers. The amount of stuff that we take for granted which was derived from military technology is staggering.
Really? I must study my social development with regards to military technology better.

In your opinion, what kind of war-oriented society would cause the armies to be strong and advanced while the common civilian lives in squalor? Would it have to be an underdeveloped 3rd World nation of Space to be that bad off?
In a word, Socialist. In order for a civilian population to not benefit from advances in energy, transportation, computing, engineering, fabrication, materials, logistics, and many other things integral to the military, it would need to have a command economy run either by an idiot so someone who is absurdly corrupt, possibly both. To see the absurdly corrupt idiot effect, just look at North Korea, which does have decent military science, and crappy everything else.

Beyond that, pretty much every Third World country is unable to lacks a decent industrial and scientific infrastructure, and is thus to buy equipment from First and Second World countries. In this case, idiot leaders use natural resources to buy weapons that they have no idea how to make or maintain instead of using them to build up the infrastructure required to make their own.

In a capitalist society it is impossible for military advances to not trickle down to the civilian populations, with the possible exception of dangerous secret technologies such as cloaking devices or radar resistant paint (you don't see too many stealth civilian aircraft). The companies that make military tools also make civilian tools, things like fly-by-wire flight control systems that are necessary for aerodynamically unstable stealth craft are eventually adapted and integrated into civilian aircraft to reduce cost and increase safety.
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Old July 1 2009, 04:24 PM   #43
Anwar
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

Thank you, you're better versed in social development than I am (shouldn't have focused so much on medieval history...).

This is just a question of re-conceptualization but how would the Klingon Empire have to be set up that it would be a Military Superpower but conditions would leave the common non-soldier Klingon living in squalor? How would things have to be that the economy funneled so much money to the military it wouldn't have much left to maintain or advance civilian quality of life beyond the sheer basics even if the technological advancement of civilian life was possible?
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Old July 1 2009, 07:16 PM   #44
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

The Klingon culture has an advantage in this regard because it seems that practically everyone is a warrior of some sort. Klingons despise for-profit business as much as the Federation does, apparently, as it violates their sense of honor. (Of course, this means that the Ferengi Alliance is likely to be the dominant power in the Alpha Quadrant within a century or two.) This, in turn, severely limits the civilian industrial infrastructure.



I'm not even sure if there are such things as Klingon civilians, really. There are Klingon scientists and engineers, sure, but their military seems to revolve around the concept of the citizen-soldier and their culture around the warrior ethic to the point where the most reliable way to earn a promotion is to challange your boss to a duel to the death. They even have codified rules that allow any Klingon to challange the Head of Government to a duel for the position.

Like the Spartans, they pride themselves on being hardcore, so most comforts are anathema to them. They train hard to fight and kill and don't have time for much else.

This is an unfortunate side effect of them being a culture of the hats. Their hat happens to be war and battle. With an entire culture that rejects the very concept of being a civilian, that sees anyone who is unable or unwilling to fight as being disgraced or dishonored, it would make sense that they would lack civilian industrial infrastructure.

The best way to do this would be to set up the Klingon Empire to Mirror Sparta, with all Klingons being citizen-soldiers who are required to train and to serve in the military for a time, while the other infrastructure needs such as farming and manufacturing are taken care of by client races, who have either been conquered or joined the empire voluntarily for protection against even worse races.
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Old July 1 2009, 10:50 PM   #45
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Re: Thoughts on the Romulan Empire

Anwar wrote: View Post
It would have been more true-to-life if we saw that a culture built on war and an economy dedicated to the military over all else left the common non-warrior Klingon living in squalor.
I like the idea. The vast majority of Klingons live in squalor. The Empire is ruled by dozens of military dictators. Klingons are indoctrinated, almost from birth, to believe that non-Klingons are inferior, and that the greatest glory is to give one’s life in suicidal attacks against the enemies of the empire. And when we finally learn of the founder of the Klingon way, his name isn’t Kahless. It’s Muhammad. Now that would have made for compelling televion.

Thor Damar wrote: View Post
captrek wrote: View Post
Anwar wrote: View Post
They never mentioned just WHAT caused the prior civilian government to fail though.
Probably the Dolchstoss.
The stab in the back myth that German reactionaries claimed was the reason why the Second German Reich lost world war I?
Yes, that’s what I was referring to. The Cardassian Union is suffering, militarily and/or economically, and they come up with this idea that a “fifth column” has compromised the civilian government and caused all its failings by stabbing it in the back. A military junta comes to power and easily wins the support of most Cardassians, who believe that they will provide protection from these enemies within.

Last edited by Captrek; July 1 2009 at 11:00 PM.
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