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Deep Space Nine What We Left Behind, we will always have here.

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Old October 17 2009, 05:39 AM   #46
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Re: In Defense of the Occupation

Well, I was rather serious about it myself, though I went out of my way to point out that such a situation is not to be found outside of SF. In fact, that's what makes it truly disturbing: BSG gave us a situation where the morally indefensible choice was the only viable option then fell back onto a somewhat self-congratulatory moral absolute. In my book, there are no moral absolutes; all morality is situational, all ethics are relative.
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Old October 17 2009, 05:47 AM   #47
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Re: In Defense of the Occupation

SpaceBrotha wrote: View Post
I propose that the Cardassian occupation of the Bajorans was not only fair but morally correct. The Bajorans were a naïve and juvenile race compared to the Cardassians. If anything the Bajorans were blessed by the Cardassian occupation. It forced them to mature as a race and fight for their survival thus making them value their lives, and understand what it means to truly live.

Many civilizations were created by the blood and sweat of inferior cultures. Where would America be now if it had not had the mighty Negros to tend her fields and fight her wars? Where would the English be if she did not have India to fund her illustrious empire? Would we still have the pyramids if our ancient black brethren did not enslave the barbarous Hebrews? DS9 will be the Bajorans contribution to future generations.

It matters not the individual suffering of a race. What matters is the destiny of the race as a whole. Thus the Cardassians shall go over and the Bajorans shall go under. The fact that the Bajorans were able to win their independence only shows that they have earned the right to continue living and fighting in the great race for survival. The Cardassians should not be demonized for their aspirations. Nay they should be lauded and applauded for bettering the the Bajoran race. Yay the Cardassians have embiggened the Bajoran civilization. Any Bajoran that died in slavery was not fit enough or strong enough to continue on into the superior post Cardassian occupation world. This is pure evolution. Arguing this fact would be tantamount to supporting creative design as opposed to natural selection.

I will conclude and summarize my argument thusly. The Cardassians were undoubtedly correct in their actions, and they have received a severe mis-service by the way their actions have been recorded in Star Trek history. Hopefully future generations will see this and do whatever they can to mend the grievances their ancestors have wrought upon the great name of Cardassia.
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Old October 17 2009, 03:54 PM   #48
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Re: In Defense of the Occupation

Brutal Strudel wrote: View Post
Well, I was rather serious about it myself, though I went out of my way to point out that such a situation is not to be found outside of SF. In fact, that's what makes it truly disturbing: BSG gave us a situation where the morally indefensible choice was the only viable option then fell back onto a somewhat self-congratulatory moral absolute. In my book, there are no moral absolutes; all morality is situational, all ethics are relative.
I find it disturbing that most people who defend the choice to try to destroy all Cylons by a biological weapon, committing a genocide, are the ones who take the self-righteous moral absolute stance, apparently unable to recognize that there is anything morally wrong with such a choice. If they said "Yes, I know this is a crime, that it is wrong in many ways, but it is understandably a good choice under those circumstances", I wouldn't have such a problem. But they act as if this was an undeniably right thing to do, and condemn Helo for doing the moral thing and refusing to commit a genocide. Even worse, they claim that he is a traitor for disobeying a direct order to commit genocide. I guess they must also think that the Nuremberg defense ("I was just following orders") was completely legitimate, eh?

The premise used for defending genocide in that situation in BSG, is the same premise used for defending war crimes and genocide many times in real life. The difference is that in real life, propagandists claim that this is just what has to be done for the survival of 'our people' against the cruel enemy; while BSG, it being SF, created a situation where it might have been true. But once people accept the premise that it's OK and even necessary and commendable to commit genocide in retaliation for genocide, or that it is a treason for a soldier to disobey the order to commit a war crime, I can see them buying into that kind of propaganda (which, unfortunately, I am all too well familiar with) in real life as well.
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Old October 17 2009, 06:09 PM   #49
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Re: In Defense of the Occupation

DevilEyes wrote: View Post
If they said "Yes, I know this is a crime, that it is wrong in many ways, but it is understandably a good choice under those circumstances", I wouldn't have such a problem.
This is actually pretty much what I say. It's a gigantic Necessary Evil, but hey, the Cylons have wiped out most of the human race and aren't showing signs of stopping, better safe than sorry and extinct.

But they act as if this was an undeniably right thing to do, and condemn Helo for doing the moral thing and refusing to commit a genocide. Even worse, they claim that he is a traitor for disobeying a direct order to commit genocide. I guess they must also think that the Nuremberg defense ("I was just following orders") was completely legitimate, eh?
Hey, a German who refused orders to kill Jews would be a traitor. He'd also be doing the moral thing. These are not mutually exclusive, and by and large being a traitor to the Nazis is a more moral thing than supporting them (for obvious reasons.)
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Old October 17 2009, 07:30 PM   #50
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Re: In Defense of the Occupation

Thing is, the Jews were a threat to Germany only in the twisted, paranoid rantings of Hitler and his deluded countrymen. The Cylons had already wiped out upwards of 99.999% of the human race and were still attacking. This wasn't genocide as a retaliatory act that Apollo was suggesting, Devil Eyes, it was genocide as a necessary pre-condition of the human race's survival, the paranoid fantasy of genocide-as-self-defense made real. As such--within the logic and reality of the show--it was the only tenable option unless the human race was willing, like the Halkans of "Mirror, Mirror," to die as a race in the name of a pacifistic ideal, a hard sell in a show predicated on militarism. Helo took it upon himself to make that decision and it was only the crude and arbitrary plot twists of the subsequent episodes that vindicated him. Were I Adama and/or Roslin, I'd have airlocked him.
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Old October 17 2009, 07:56 PM   #51
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Re: In Defense of the Occupation

DiaboliKate wrote: View Post
Kestrel wrote: View Post
Ignoring the failed-troll; but really?
Really. It's usually in the form of somebody talking about what a wonderful guy Dukat is, and by extension, how the occupation wasn't really that bad. I disagree rather strongly, as you can probably tell.
Guh... eww. That's all on that unpleasant thought
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Old October 17 2009, 07:58 PM   #52
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Re: In Defense of the Occupation

Kegg wrote: View Post
Hey, a German who refused orders to kill Jews would be a traitor. He'd also be doing the moral thing. These are not mutually exclusive, and by and large being a traitor to the Nazis is a more moral thing than supporting them (for obvious reasons.)
That's not the way the word "traitor" has been used in that discussion (and not how it is usually used).

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Brutal Strudel wrote: View Post
Thing is, the Jews were a threat to Germany only in the twisted, paranoid rantings of Hitler and his deluded countrymen. The Cylons had already wiped out upwards of 99.999% of the human race and were still attacking. This wasn't genocide as a retaliatory act that Apollo was suggesting, Devil Eyes, it was genocide as a necessary pre-condition of the human race's survival, the paranoid fantasy of genocide-as-self-defense made real. As such--within the logic and reality of the show--it was the only tenable option unless the human race was willing, like the Halkans of "Mirror, Mirror," to die as a race in the name of a pacifistic ideal, a hard sell in a show predicated on militarism. Helo took it upon himself to make that decision and it was only the crude and arbitrary plot twists of the subsequent episodes that vindicated him. Were I Adama and/or Roslin, I'd have airlocked him.
Adama was obviously against the plan himself, and very relieved when Helo sabotaged it since he did not really want to go through with it himself. He probably guessed exactly who sabotaged the plan and did not do anything because he secretly approved of what he did - which was confirmed in the deleted scene from "Woman King".

You are not going to convince me that there is no difference between fighting a war and committing a genocide in that war. You might pretend that it is the same, but you should realize that it's not. The Colonials were most definitely fighting a war, not refusing to fight it and agreeing "to die as a race in the name of a pacifistic ideal". Adama and Helo were both military men, and as such was not upholding "pacifistic ideals" (maybe you confused them with the "Demand Peace" movement from season 2, who presented as idiots in the show), but humanistic and military ideals which include not using biological weapons in attempt to wipe out an entire race of sentient beings.
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Old October 17 2009, 08:07 PM   #53
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Re: In Defense of the Occupation

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Old October 17 2009, 08:23 PM   #54
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Re: In Defense of the Occupation

Brutal Strudel wrote: View Post
Helo took it upon himself to make that decision and it was only the crude and arbitrary plot twists of the subsequent episodes that vindicated him. Were I Adama and/or Roslin, I'd have airlocked him.
Not even. Stopping an unethical doctor isn't really on the same magnitude as wiping out a threat to the human race. As such, his actions sort of rise or fall on what one considers of them. A real vindication via plot twist would be something like 'oooh, the virus would also wipe out the human race' or result in something else bad that the characters had no way of knowing about (hey, maybe that happens in S4, but I haven't watched that.)

I simply feel they make dramatic sense, which I'm more than content with. Helo's rationale is pretty explicable given his background.

DevilEyes wrote: View Post
Kegg wrote: View Post
Hey, a German who refused orders to kill Jews would be a traitor. He'd also be doing the moral thing. These are not mutually exclusive, and by and large being a traitor to the Nazis is a more moral thing than supporting them (for obvious reasons.)
That's not the way the word "traitor" has been used in that discussion (and not how it is usually used).
No, that's exactly how it is used. He would be, in fact, literally guilty of treason. Disobeying orders? In wartime, no less?

Treason isn't in the eye of the beholder. Right and wrong, maybe, but not treason. As I observed, treason is very likely the moral course of action when a citizen of a fascist state.

Which doesn't stop it from being treason.
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Old October 17 2009, 09:22 PM   #55
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Re: In Defense of the Occupation

I wasn't thinking of Helo's story ("The Woman King") when I mentioned the plot twists but the way the whole human/Cylon thing is eventually resolved. I won't spoil it for you but I will say I was disappointed.

As I think on it, the episode is kinda despicable in the way it fleshes out the paranoid rationalization for genocide--here it really is a war for survival; no, not a war, an animalistic struggle. But then, much as I love DS9, I was always creeped out by how easily the Dominion can be read as an allegory for the Ku Klux Klan/Neo-Nazi fantasy of Zionist global control. Here we have a species supremely skilled at disappearing into host populations (cf. Jewish assimilation in Europe) who, after being clobbered one two many times, retreat to their home-world (cf. Israel nee Palestine after the Holocaust) and engineer a proxy force of quisling humanoids (cf. white race-traitors who do the bidding of their evil Jewish overlords) and malignant, hyper-violent sub-humans who are addicted to a white narcotic (cf. the American bogey-man of the crack addicted gangsta). I doubt this model was in anyone's conscious mind when the idea of the Dominion was mooted and developed but it's eerie how close the allegory maps and how potent such an evil paranoid fantasy is even among those of us who should know better.
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Old October 17 2009, 09:55 PM   #56
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Re: In Defense of the Occupation

Well I disagree with the Occupation, it's the same as the Nazi prison camps for Jews as previously stated. Duet Just about says it all I quote "I covered my ears every Night, I couldn't bear to hear those Horrible sceams" or "We are all Guilty" I'm sorry but Duet is not only Very touching but it shows how horrible the Occupation really was
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Old October 17 2009, 09:55 PM   #57
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Re: In Defense of the Occupation

Brutal Strudel wrote: View Post
As I think on it, the episode is kinda despicable in the way it fleshes out the paranoid rationalization for genocide--here it really is a war for survival; no, not a war, an animalistic struggle.
That's true. In science fiction and fantasy it's all too easy to create the sort of blunt moral conundrums that do not and cannot exist in real life.

DS9 actually gave us the exact same scenario, with the disease to kill the Changelings. Like the Cylons, Changelings are a literal threat to our way of life who are trying to enslave/exterminate us, are in a sense all guilty of the actions of their race (since their identity is submerged as a sort of race consciousness) and can even walk among us, and also like Cylons, there's one good Changeling on the side of our guys.

DS9 being Star Trek, the guy who's actually in favour of genocide is clearly one of the show's villains, even if the writers love to provide him with extensive arguments that challenge the usual idealism of the Federation.

But in real life, it's not actually possible for a race, as a race, to be guilty of an action. They don't submerge their identity into a bigger pool and all agree to the dictats of their racial consciousness because that does not exist.

So while I can find myself probably going along with hypothetical genocide in fantasy scenarios I really can't see a situation in the real world where I, the pathetic, cowardly little slimeball that I am, would ever consider it.

At least this is less common in sci-fi than it is in fantasy (Orcs are usually a whole race of evil, vicious beasts in Tolkein and his many imitators), and even in the sci-fi scenarios that turn genocide into something explainable and even something rational people could agree to... there are characters who still reject it as wrong and morally unacceptable. Whether that works within the confines of the fantasy universe is another matter - at least the fantasy universe isn't being used to encourage nonsense in the real world.
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Old October 18 2009, 02:51 PM   #58
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Re: In Defense of the Occupation

Brutal Strudel wrote: View Post

As I think on it, the episode is kinda despicable in the way it fleshes out the paranoid rationalization for genocide--here it really is a war for survival; no, not a war, an animalistic struggle. But then, much as I love DS9, I was always creeped out by how easily the Dominion can be read as an allegory for the Ku Klux Klan/Neo-Nazi fantasy of Zionist global control. Here we have a species supremely skilled at disappearing into host populations (cf. Jewish assimilation in Europe) who, after being clobbered one two many times, retreat to their home-world (cf. Israel nee Palestine after the Holocaust) and engineer a proxy force of quisling humanoids (cf. white race-traitors who do the bidding of their evil Jewish overlords) and malignant, hyper-violent sub-humans who are addicted to a white narcotic (cf. the American bogey-man of the crack addicted gangsta). I doubt this model was in anyone's conscious mind when the idea of the Dominion was mooted and developed but it's eerie how close the allegory maps and how potent such an evil paranoid fantasy is even among those of us who should know better.


I am continually amazed by people's ability to find the most convoluted interpretation of an SF show plot that somehow makes it a parallel to this or that real world situation, and especially to use those convoluted interpretations as a basis for accusations of racism against the show, or proof that it has a specific political agenda.

According to the collective wisdom of various fans/viewers, it seems that pretty much every single race in Trek, apart from humans and Klingons, is some kind of analogy to Jews. Come on, people, make up your minds. Vulcans, Bajorans, Ferengi and the Founders can't possibly ALL be direct analogies for the Jews (with the Bajorans apparently doubling as an analogy to Palestinians).

Either there's just one, or we should agree that there are no direct analogies, just vague and general similarities (because every SF storyline has to have some grounding in real life) that anyone can interpret any way they want.



Kegg wrote: View Post

DevilEyes wrote: View Post
Kegg wrote: View Post
Hey, a German who refused orders to kill Jews would be a traitor. He'd also be doing the moral thing. These are not mutually exclusive, and by and large being a traitor to the Nazis is a more moral thing than supporting them (for obvious reasons.)
That's not the way the word "traitor" has been used in that discussion (and not how it is usually used).
No, that's exactly how it is used. He would be, in fact, literally guilty of treason. Disobeying orders? In wartime, no less?

Treason isn't in the eye of the beholder. Right and wrong, maybe, but not treason. As I observed, treason is very likely the moral course of action when a citizen of a fascist state.

Which doesn't stop it from being treason.
Treason is not a neutral word. You seem to think it is, but you may be the only person in the universe to think so. Treason is a very value-judgment-laden word. It is considered a serious crime in most legal systems and carries a sentence of death penalty (if it exists) or long prison sentence. It is also word with strong negative connotations, constantly used in propaganda to label people who think different.

And it is IMO very much in the eye of the beholder, more than anything else is. The episode and scene where this phrase comes from gives a perfect example. An agent of a secret police in an authoritarian system labels a dissident "a traitor" (gee, I haven't heard that one before...). A traitor to whom or what? His country/race/civilization? Other people might feel that the dissident is the one being loyal to it, a true patriot, by trying to help it and make it a better place to live and free it from an oppressive system.

And even in the situation you mention - disobeying orders in wartime? Some people would argue that a true patriot would have to disobey inhumane and illegitimate orders to commit crimes and that he/she is doing much more good for his country that way - by refusing to commit war crimes.

In your example with the Nazis, why should a German person feel loyal to the government, if they despise it and believe in to be wrong for Germany and the world? Did they ever pledge loyalty to the Nazi government? No, they just happened to be born in Germany and live at the time when Hitler came to power. Why should they feel any loyalty to the Nazis?

Finally, in a situation when one is committing an act that could be called "treason" with a good reason, against a country/government/nation/ethnical or religious group etc. that they feel no loyalty to, out of idealism and beliefs in something else... I wonder, how can you be a "traitor" if you never pledged loyalty to something/someone? Say, maybe a person commits an act of espionage or terrorism, or maybe he/she defects... and the country where they were born considers them a "traitor". But what if the person doesn't give a damn about the state as such and doesn't feel he/she owes anything to it, because they feel loyalty to, say, their religion, or the international socialist movement, or whatever? Or what if a person is a member of a minority and feels more loyalty and stronger ties to the country of their origin than the country they live in currently? Or the opposite - if they feel more loyalty to their new country, others who feel the opposite might label them "traitors" to their people.

The very idea of "treason" is usually based on the premise that a person owes loyalty to someone/something - even though, in many cases, they never pledged that loyalty in the first place. They just happened to be born somewhere - and this, somehow, makes the current government of that country feel that they have the right to expect loyalty from them. Why?

The only real treason, IMO, is when a person betrays something they truly believe in, out of weakness, fear, for material gain, etc.
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Old October 18 2009, 03:28 PM   #59
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Re: In Defense of the Occupation

Considering how obsessed the West has been with the Otherness of blacks and Jews for centuries if not millennia, perhaps it is possible for an overwhelmingly Western tv show to have several direct and indirect allegories for both groups--not to mention other groups deemed Other as well, such as Asians. But that's right: Star Trek (or SF) is allegory until the allegory makes us uncomfortable. Then it's just all in your head.

I think we're done here, no?
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Old October 18 2009, 03:56 PM   #60
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Re: In Defense of the Occupation

Brutal Strudel wrote: View Post
Considering how obsessed the West has been with the Otherness of blacks and Jews for centuries if not millennia, perhaps it is possible for an overwhelmingly Western tv show to have several direct and indirect allegories for both groups--not to mention other groups deemed Other as well, such as Asians. But that's right: Star Trek (or SF) is allegory until the allegory makes us uncomfortable. Then it's just all in your head.

I think we're done here, no?
Oh right, you're just the brave one who is able to see the racism and antisemitism of ST writers that we cowards are blind to. Congratulations.

Or maybe... it just says something about the way your mind works.

I think we're done now.
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