RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 140,213
Posts: 5,437,522
Members: 24,952
Currently online: 498
Newest member: secondhandmeth

TrekToday headlines

Cumberbatch In Wax
By: T'Bonz on Oct 24

Trek Screenwriter Washington D.C. Appearance
By: T'Bonz on Oct 23

Two Official Starships Collection Ships
By: T'Bonz on Oct 22

Pine In New Skit
By: T'Bonz on Oct 21

Stewart In Holiday Film
By: T'Bonz on Oct 21

The Red Shirt Diaries #8
By: T'Bonz on Oct 20

IDW Publishing January Comics
By: T'Bonz on Oct 20

Retro Review: Chrysalis
By: Michelle on Oct 18

The Next Generation Season Seven Blu-ray Details
By: T'Bonz on Oct 17

CBS Launches Streaming Service
By: T'Bonz on Oct 17


Welcome! The Trek BBS is the number one place to chat about Star Trek with like-minded fans. Please login to see our full range of forums as well as the ability to send and receive private messages, track your favourite topics and of course join in the discussions.

If you are a new visitor, join us for free. If you are an existing member please login below. Note: for members who joined under our old messageboard system, please login with your display name not your login name.


Go Back   The Trek BBS > Misc. Star Trek > Trek Literature

Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

View Poll Results: Rate Rough Beasts Of Empire
Outstanding 36 25.53%
Above Average 58 41.13%
Average 25 17.73%
Below Average 13 9.22%
Poor 9 6.38%
Voters: 141. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old March 10 2011, 08:25 AM   #421
rfmcdpei
Captain
 
rfmcdpei's Avatar
 
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
View rfmcdpei's Twitter Profile
Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Not in the mainstream--which frankly, is part of the problem. Had the Federation not been as naive and "idealistic" as it is, it quite probably would not need Section 31.
Do we know this?
For the most part. Perhaps I'm being a little harsh on the Federation...buts its intense desire to avoid conflict has the distinct danger of leading inevitably to giving other powers the benefit of the doubt.
This hasn't worked badly for the Federation so far; it's non-zero-sumness is appealing.

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
I simply said that 31 can easily use the fact that Ross doesn't really know how to "deal with" 31 to manipulate him--much as they did with Bashir in "Inter Arna..."
How do we know Ross doesn't know how to deal with Section 31, or that he doesn't know how it works? By all accounts he seems to get along reasonably well with them, to the point of actively choosing to work for them.

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Anyhow--what would be wrong with supporting the weaker half? The stronger half wasn't exacly interested in peace any time soon.
Becoming involved in a Romulan civil war would be bad enough; becoming involved in a full-scale war with the Typhon Pact, even worse. Maybe if the Borg hadn't made their visitations the Federation would have supported the IRS ... Avoiding conflict with the Romulans when it wasn't clear that the IRS could survive indefinitely wasn't a bad decision.

Donatra's decision-making is something i can't explain. All I know is what you know, that after she learned from Sisko she wouldn't get military support from the Federation against the RSE she opted for a parlay with Tal'Aura and that she agreed to meet the Praetor on Romulus.

I was pointing out, of course, Putin's past career in the KGB
And it's worth noting that Russia in the 2010s is a society directly descended from the Soviet Union, where the KGB had played a major and legitimate role in Soviet society. Again, Section 31 doesn't have anything like that level of legitimacy or recognition or overt power in the Federation, its willingness to knock off inconvenient Federation presidents or blow up inhabited planets notwithstanding.

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
It got crushed when it got duped into attacking the Founder Homeworld.
But the Obsidian Order chose to attack the Founder homeworld; it wasn't forced to. Tain's broadcast back to Cardassia suggests that he was trying to outmaneuver Central Command, by making the Obsidian Order a victorious military power capable of overturning the fragile balance between the Command, the Order, and the Detapa Council. If the Order had chosen not to risk anything in a bid for power, it would have survived to the present.

What comparable institutional support can Section 31 claim?

I've been saying that any attempt by Section 31 to reorganize is going to be partial at best, and will make what's effectively a new organization absent whatever connections and support it enjoyed before its unveiling.

Section 31 was part of the original Starfleet Charter--

Now, BEFORE everyone jumps on that line, and points to Article 14, Section 31 only giving powers to Starfleet to bend the rules in time of crisis--

Read the novel Cloak. As Kirk points out, the Federation Starfleet Charter has a Section 31 which allows for "an autonomous investigative agency" with broad powers, etc.
But that broad? The general definition and Section 31's definition must differ.

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
Why would the Tal Shiar help out Section 31? How would Section 31 pick out some very particular facts--a handshake, in the case of Dor's infection by Alizome--and give them their actual importance and make the case convincing? Is it plausible to imagine Section 31 to have penetrate the upper echelons of Tzenkethi civilization?

As others have said, political instability is common in Ki Baratan at the best of times. Picking out particular patterns must always be tricky.
But not impossible.
But nothing to bet on.
rfmcdpei is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 10 2011, 06:57 PM   #422
Supreme Dittodrone
Vice Admiral
 
Supreme Dittodrone's Avatar
 
Location: Rush Limborg is regenerating on The EIB Network
Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
rfmcdpei wrote: View Post

Do we know this?
For the most part. Perhaps I'm being a little harsh on the Federation...buts its intense desire to avoid conflict has the distinct danger of leading inevitably to giving other powers the benefit of the doubt.
This hasn't worked badly for the Federation so far; it's non-zero-sumness is appealing.
Frankly, I would contend that the reason the UFP has survived in spite of all that directly involves people like James T. Kirk, who was willing to go against Federation policy in such episodes as "A Taste Of Armageddon".

Note carefully how in that ep, the ambassador engages in a policy of appeasement and giving the Eminiar leaders the benefit of the doubt--until he gets captured, and Kirk has to educate him in the ways of the real world.

By extention, Section 31 has compensated in a similar manner--just behind the scenes.

How do we know Ross doesn't know how to deal with Section 31, or that he doesn't know how it works? By all accounts he seems to get along reasonably well with them, to the point of actively choosing to work for them.
I am aware of that. I am also aware that, for reasons which I can understand but not sympathize with, Ross's assumptions towards 31 seem to border on overestimating their viciousness in matters of the presidency.

I understand his reasons for his fear--he was still recovering from being involved in a previous presidential assasination--but I would contend that his agony-filled conscience made him a little...paranoid.

Becoming involved in a Romulan civil war would be bad enough; becoming involved in a full-scale war with the Typhon Pact, even worse. Maybe if the Borg hadn't made their visitations the Federation would have supported the IRS ... Avoiding conflict with the Romulans when it wasn't clear that the IRS could survive indefinitely wasn't a bad decision.
Then why did Bacco invite the IRS into the Alliance?

Donatra's decision-making is something i can't explain. All I know is what you know, that after she learned from Sisko she wouldn't get military support from the Federation against the RSE she opted for a parlay with Tal'Aura and that she agreed to meet the Praetor on Romulus.
It's funny how she takes Sisko's word for it. She's the ruler of a foreign power--surely she and/or her ambassadors have a direct line to the Palais.

I've been saying that any attempt by Section 31 to reorganize is going to be partial at best, and will make what's effectively a new organization absent whatever connections and support it enjoyed before its unveiling.
Connections and support can be rebuilt as well. It may be different in nature, but it can be rebuilt.

But that broad? The general definition and Section 31's definition must differ.
As Kirk noted, the section is very vauge, referring to non-specific discretionary power over non-specific matters.

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
Why would the Tal Shiar help out Section 31? How would Section 31 pick out some very particular facts--a handshake, in the case of Dor's infection by Alizome--and give them their actual importance and make the case convincing? Is it plausible to imagine Section 31 to have penetrate the upper echelons of Tzenkethi civilization?

As others have said, political instability is common in Ki Baratan at the best of times. Picking out particular patterns must always be tricky.
But not impossible.
But nothing to bet on.
Oh, I wouldn't play a game on it--but I doubt we'll know until we return to Julian Bashir, Sarina, and L'Haan, and find out then what 31 knows or doesn't know.
__________________
"I have been wounded but not yet slain. I shall lie here and bleed awhile. Then I shall rise and fight again."

"Forget it, Jake...it's Chinatown."
Supreme Dittodrone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 10 2011, 10:50 PM   #423
rfmcdpei
Captain
 
rfmcdpei's Avatar
 
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
View rfmcdpei's Twitter Profile
Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
For the most part. Perhaps I'm being a little harsh on the Federation...buts its intense desire to avoid conflict has the distinct danger of leading inevitably to giving other powers the benefit of the doubt.
This hasn't worked badly for the Federation so far; it's non-zero-sumness is appealing.
Frankly, I would contend that the reason the UFP has survived in spite of all that directly involves people like James T. Kirk, who was willing to go against Federation policy in such episodes as "A Taste Of Armageddon".

Note carefully how in that ep, the ambassador engages in a policy of appeasement and giving the Eminiar leaders the benefit of the doubt--until he gets captured, and Kirk has to educate him in the ways of the real world.
But you do remember the followup in DC Comics in the early 1990s, when it turned out that Kirk's intervention ended up destabilizing the relationship and killing nearly everyone in the system?

The Kirk you raise to support your point, incidentally, was opposed to Section 31 to the point of organizing a cell aiming to bring it down.

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
I am aware of that. I am also aware that, for reasons which I can understand but not sympathize with, Ross's assumptions towards 31 seem to border on overestimating their viciousness in matters of the presidency.

I understand his reasons for his fear--he was still recovering from being involved in a previous presidential assasination--but I would contend that his agony-filled conscience made him a little...paranoid.
Why?

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Then why did Bacco invite the IRS into the Alliance?
She made an offer, the IRS chose not to pursue it, then the IRS came to an end.

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
It's funny how she takes Sisko's word for it. She's the ruler of a foreign power--surely she and/or her ambassadors have a direct line to the Palais.
I can't explain Donatra's decision-making processes apart from saying that she meant well.

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Connections and support can be rebuilt as well. It may be different in nature, but it can be rebuilt.
But, again, will it? How supportive an environment for Section 31 is the late 24th century UFP? Committed to civil rights for all, transparency in governmental affairs, idealistic ... a death squad with a license to kill doesn't fit with that.

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
As Kirk noted, the section is very vauge, referring to non-specific discretionary power over non-specific matters.
But would those methods be approved of? It's worth noting that every Starfleet officer who came into contact with Section 31 we know of, apart from people like Admiral Ross who joined it, tried to take it apart. Are Federation civilians going to be any more forgiving?
rfmcdpei is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 11 2011, 02:11 AM   #424
Supreme Dittodrone
Vice Admiral
 
Supreme Dittodrone's Avatar
 
Location: Rush Limborg is regenerating on The EIB Network
Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
rfmcdpei wrote: View Post

This hasn't worked badly for the Federation so far; it's non-zero-sumness is appealing.
Frankly, I would contend that the reason the UFP has survived in spite of all that directly involves people like James T. Kirk, who was willing to go against Federation policy in such episodes as "A Taste Of Armageddon".

Note carefully how in that ep, the ambassador engages in a policy of appeasement and giving the Eminiar leaders the benefit of the doubt--until he gets captured, and Kirk has to educate him in the ways of the real world.
But you do remember the followup in DC Comics in the early 1990s, when it turned out that Kirk's intervention ended up destabilizing the relationship and killing nearly everyone in the system?
I don't...but to be honest, the comics have a lot of things that conflict with TrekLit, so I wouldn't really consult them unless the events therein are referred to in said books.

The Kirk you raise to support your point, incidentally, was opposed to Section 31 to the point of organizing a cell aiming to bring it down.
I'm aware of that. Frankly, it's roughly akin to Sloan's point in the end of "Inquistion", concerning Bashir lying in order to get into Starfleet Medical.

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
[
I am aware of that. I am also aware that, for reasons which I can understand but not sympathize with, Ross's assumptions towards 31 seem to border on overestimating their viciousness in matters of the presidency.

I understand his reasons for his fear--he was still recovering from being involved in a previous presidential assasination--but I would contend that his agony-filled conscience made him a little...paranoid.
Why?
Ah...I believe I already explained it....

She made an offer, the IRS chose not to pursue it, then the IRS came to an end.
Yet the fact that Bacco made the offer should count for something. Apparently, Bacco thought it would be in the UFP's interests to bring Donatra into the Alliance--why would that change to the point that the UFP would not help out the IRS?

I can't explain Donatra's decision-making processes apart from saying that she meant well.
I'm just saying--she was not an idiot. I find it very hard to believe she would basically give herself up so quickly.

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Connections and support can be rebuilt as well. It may be different in nature, but it can be rebuilt.
But, again, will it? How supportive an environment for Section 31 is the late 24th century UFP? Committed to civil rights for all, transparency in governmental affairs, idealistic ... a death squad with a license to kill doesn't fit with that.
The UFP's been that way since its founding. And yet 31 survived for over 200 years.

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
As Kirk noted, the section is very vauge, referring to non-specific discretionary power over non-specific matters.
But would those methods be approved of? It's worth noting that every Starfleet officer who came into contact with Section 31 we know of, apart from people like Admiral Ross who joined it, tried to take it apart. Are Federation civilians going to be any more forgiving?
Well, those methods are what happens when you leave a clause like that vague. Frankly, being knowledgeable of history, one wonders why that clause was left so vague in the first place.
__________________
"I have been wounded but not yet slain. I shall lie here and bleed awhile. Then I shall rise and fight again."

"Forget it, Jake...it's Chinatown."
Supreme Dittodrone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 11 2011, 01:05 PM   #425
Dancing Doctor
Admiral
 
Dancing Doctor's Avatar
 
Location: At the Militant Janeway True Path Devotees Compound
View Dancing Doctor's Twitter Profile Send a message via Windows Live Messenger to Dancing Doctor
Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

I thought that Donatra and the IRS did accept the invitation to join the Khitomer Accords...in fact, I thought it had said that the IRS and the Ferengi were the ones who joined immediately or accepted immediately.
__________________
‎"Captain, we are being hailed. That is, if you don't mind...if it isn't too intrusive."

Loyal member of the Militant Janeway True Path Devotees
Dancing Doctor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 11 2011, 08:12 PM   #426
Hartzilla2007
Vice Admiral
 
Hartzilla2007's Avatar
 
Location: Star Trekkin Across the universe.
Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Dancing Doctor wrote: View Post
I thought that Donatra and the IRS did accept the invitation to join the Khitomer Accords...in fact, I thought it had said that the IRS and the Ferengi were the ones who joined immediately or accepted immediately.
No they had accepted the invitation to come to a conference ABOUT them possibly joining. That just means that both powers sent representatives to hear the Federation out about joining the expanded Khitomer Accords.
Hartzilla2007 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old March 11 2011, 08:16 PM   #427
Dancing Doctor
Admiral
 
Dancing Doctor's Avatar
 
Location: At the Militant Janeway True Path Devotees Compound
View Dancing Doctor's Twitter Profile Send a message via Windows Live Messenger to Dancing Doctor
Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Ah, okay. I had misunderstood that part.
__________________
‎"Captain, we are being hailed. That is, if you don't mind...if it isn't too intrusive."

Loyal member of the Militant Janeway True Path Devotees
Dancing Doctor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 13 2011, 06:34 AM   #428
Sci
Admiral
 
Sci's Avatar
 
Location: "We hold these truths to be self-evident..."
Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
There is no evidence of any sort of system for accountability for its agents, and Section 31: Rogue by Andy Mangels & Michael A. Martin made it very clear that Corwin was going to get away scott-free. Which you would know if you read that novel.

Rush, read the damn book.
Sci, unfortunately, not all of us have total access to all information at all times.
Which is fine, but there comes a point where you're asking so many questions about the book that you really ought to just read it first.

Yes, Picard was aware that Corwin had been had. Picard had no way of reporting it to anyone. Corwin got away with his own incompetence.
You are assuming that Picard's superiors--whom he would naturally have reported to--were not being accessed by Section 31.
Picard did not report the existence of Section 31, nor the story of Corwin being hoodwinked. He was going to, but he was persuaded not to. If you want to know why, you'll need to read the book.

I mean, how on Earth is any of that not "behaving in the asshole manner" I described?
The fact that the conspiracy was done in secret, without the Empire's knowledge.
That is utterly irrelevant. The point of "try not to behave like an asshole" was to acknowledge that the Federation can be susceptible to political corruption and that such corruption can lead the Federation to engage in actions its neighbors might find provokative, not to make a statement about levels of political corruption or provocation. It's wonderful that this time, they were able to avert a war, but that doesn't mean that such an aversion would be possible the next time we see a Min Zife in the Presidential Office (if there is a next time). Thus, the Federation has to try not to be an asshole.

Yes, but you tend to frame your possibilities in terms of inevitability or high probability. That's what I'm objecting to. I make no claims about how probable my scenario is; you, on the other hand, constantly use language that implicitly discounts other possibilities.
Perhaps I do, Sci.
Not perhaps. You do. And that's what I and others object to -- not talking about possibilities, but using the language of inevitability to talk about worst-case scenarios. When you do that, you're just creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Why on Earth would you ever think anyone would not want the worst to be prepared for? That's not the issue.
Isn't it?
No, it's not. The issue is that it's important to not think of the worst-case scenario as inevitable, because that just leads to one behaving like an asshole.

So far as we know, none of the Typhon Pact states save the Romulan Star Empire lost any of their planets (though plenty of independent worlds near the Klingon/Romulan/Federation border did). This, again, is not the point, though -- the point is simply that the Typhon Pact states were hit hard by the Borg, too, by virtue of losing so many of their ships at the Azure Nebula, and that as such there's no reason to think they're in a better position to launch a war than anyone else.

Indeed, this is explicitly established in Rough Beasts of Empire, where it's noted that none of the Pact states have the resources or inclination for a war.
I see. Frankly, Sci, that last line of explanation was all I needed to answer my question.
It was already in the novel that this thread is about, so I don't know why you wouldn't have already had that answer.

I'm sorry, did you just argue that the decision to kill a Federation President makes them not hopelessly corrupt?
I did not just argue that the decision makes them not hopelessly corrupt. I just argued that it does not make them hopelessly corrupt.
How on Earth can you reasonably argue that the decision to assassinate a President does not make them hopelessly corrupt? How can an organization that engages in presidential assassinations not be hopelessly corrupt? In what strange land do you live that murdering a president is not a sign of hopeless corruption?

Furthermore, I'd hardly think dealing with corruption "permanently" makes one hopelessly corrupt.
Nice to hear it, Michael Corleone. Meanwhile, the real world disagrees with you.

I'll happily concede that they're not pure mustache-twirling supervillains. Clearly, they're driven in part by empathy towards their fellow Federates. That does not mean that they are not hopelessly corrupt. Bernie Madoff gave a lot of money to charity; doesn't mean he's not hopelessly corrupt.
You are assuming he gave out of the goodness of his heart. One could easily argue he was giving in order to secure a "respectable" air on his own part.
Indeed, I see no reason to think that he didn't give out of his own sense of generosity, and see no evidence to think it was part of cultivating a respectable air. Generosity and greed can live side-by-side in the same heart, and there's no reason to think that a man can't have a genuine desire to give to charity and try to make the world a better place even as he steals billions from innocent people.

People are not simple. People are complex. Decency and corruption can live side-by-side in the same heart. The issue is not whether or not they can live side-by-side; the issue is which side outweighs the other.

I do not for one second believe that if anyone could take Section 31 down, that they would not have spread the word far and wide about this horrible thing that existed in the heart of the Federation. Saying that Section 31 could be brought down and then rebuilt, all in secret, is a bit like saying that the Mafia could be brought down and then rebuilt in secret. It's just silly -- no one who brings them down would ever allow them to be secret. They'd be part of the history books, and every Federate would know about them. Bashir would never have been surprised by the idea of their existence.
First, that actually helps those who would secretly bring them back.
No, it wouldn't. Nothing that exposes their existence to the public helps them at all. The best they can hope to do is try to mitigate the damage such knowledge would give them.

But that's also irrelevant to the point. The point was that your scenario of the history of Section 31 is so improbable as to be effectively nil, because it is inevitable that if Section 31 had been "taken down" in the past, the knowledge of its existence would have been exposed to the public. That Bashir had never heard of Section 31 before "Inquisition" thus indicates that it's highly improbable that it would have ever been "taken down" in the past.

Second--consider the political implications of the widespread news that Federation citzens--an element of Starfleet Intelligence, "conveniently" claiming autonomy, mind you--conducted such illegal activities. It would damage relations with allies, and cause even more suspicion among enemies.
You mean like what happened when the Church Committee exposed the CIA's various crimes?

If the United States today is morally advanced enough to expose its dirty secrets, I don't for a second think the Federation has regressed to the point where it will cover up its corrupt elements' crimes as a matter of routine.

Third, if Section 31 really were as incompetent as you claim here:
Because that's how they've been depicted time and again in the novels and in the canon. It's how Sloan describes how they operate in "Inquisition" itself.

No, it's an indication that Section 31 is motivated by paranoia and is incompetent.
It leads one to wonder why the scenario you devise--of their destruction, followed by mass publicity--never in fact took place. How could an orginization so incompetent, without any structure or chain of command,
I did not say it has no chain of command, I said it has no system for accountability. In other words, there's no evidence that it has a court-martial system.

as you point out Rogue indicates--how could such an orginization somehow manage to evade such exposure and destruction?
By being mostly inactive and/or constricting its activities to backwater planets throughout most of its existence, as Christopher has said.

Absolute malarkey. I've read the DS9 Companion, I've read the interviews, and not once do the writers claim that Section 31 is the reason the Federation has it so good.
From the article on "Inquisition", first three paragraphs:

"Section 31 grew out of a line of dialogue in 'The Maquis, Part II,'" Ira Steven Behr says, still intrigued by the subtext of the words he'd written in the second-season teleplay: "It's easy to be a saint in paradise."

"It came from my growing realization that we could do more with the Star Trek franchise than we'd initially thought we could. It was the idea that we should avoid knocking the Federation and we should avoid knocking Starfleet, but we could knock elements of them."

The theories behind Section 31 are diabolical. "Why is Earth a paradise in the twenty-fourth century?" Behr asks. "Well, maybe its because there's someone watching over it and doing the nasty stuff that no one wants to think about. Of course it's a very complicated issue," he adds, "Extremely complicated. And those kinds of covert operations usually are wrong!"
Oh, please. Behr is engaging in creative speculation, in kibbitzing, not describing in detail his creative intent for Section 31. It's a mistake to take kibbitzing and take that to be indicative of the intention for the final product.

And it's notable that at no point in DS9 was a Section 31 depicted as saving the Federation from something Starfleet couldn't.

This all begs for the question, Sci: Why do even good societies have such dark sides?
For the same reason they have prisons: Because human beings are morally flawed creatures who lust for power, and some put that lust for power above decency.

Enterprise1981 wrote: View Post
This episode of Star Trek: Odyssey sums it up. "It's people like us that let them have their ideals."
Utter hogwash -- the delusional self-justifications for tyrannical, corrupt behavior used by people who never really believe in liberty, equality, justice, or the rule of law in the first place.
Those words, beautifully demagogued, do not change the theory behind Enterprise1981's point: the theory that, like it or not, this is an indifferent universe which does not care about "values and principles".

As a political scientist, Sci, surely you are aware of the theories in Machiavelli's The Prince. Values and principles seem well and good, but "if one considers everything carefully, doing some things that seem virtuous may result in one's ruin, whereas doing other things that seem viscious may strengthen one's position and cause one to flourish.
Yes, I am. I'm also familiar with the fact that Machiavelli's point was to describe how a dictator might secure the obedience of a population, not to describe how a society that believes in liberty and justice ought to behave.

And I'm also aware that you should not conflate securing a government's power with national security.
__________________
"Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic Socialism, as I understand it." - George Orwell, 1946
Sci is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 13 2011, 12:05 PM   #429
Mage
Commodore
 
Mage's Avatar
 
Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Going back to RBE....

I'm about 1/3 through the book now, and I feel the Sisko parts sofar are very well done really. Yes, this isn't the Sisko we left at the end of The Soul Key, but as we can read in RBE, so much has happened to him that it's only natural he has changed.

And everybody complaining about how it's unlike to Sisko to run away, does anyone remember the end of season 6, how Sisko just took off and went back to Earth because it all became to much for him?

Perhaps my opinion will change after I finish the book, but sofar I am deeply enjoying RBE.
__________________
Niner. Lurker. Browncoat.
Mage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 13 2011, 11:49 PM   #430
rfmcdpei
Captain
 
rfmcdpei's Avatar
 
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
View rfmcdpei's Twitter Profile
Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
Rush Limborg wrote: View Post

Frankly, I would contend that the reason the UFP has survived in spite of all that directly involves people like James T. Kirk, who was willing to go against Federation policy in such episodes as "A Taste Of Armageddon".

Note carefully how in that ep, the ambassador engages in a policy of appeasement and giving the Eminiar leaders the benefit of the doubt--until he gets captured, and Kirk has to educate him in the ways of the real world.
But you do remember the followup in DC Comics in the early 1990s, when it turned out that Kirk's intervention ended up destabilizing the relationship and killing nearly everyone in the system?
I don't...but to be honest, the comics have a lot of things that conflict with TrekLit, so I wouldn't really consult them unless the events therein are referred to in said books.
The point is that the sort of willing brinksmanship that Kirk engaged in, however it may have ended well in the short term, ran longer-term risks of precipitating disaster thanks to his particular lack of care and scruples. How much more so Section 31, especially when acting beyond Federation borders against the interests of less scrupulous powers?

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
I'm aware of that. Frankly, it's roughly akin to Sloan's point in the end of "Inquistion", concerning Bashir lying in order to get into Starfleet Medical.
Can you unpack your definition of how it's different?

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Yet the fact that Bacco made the offer should count for something. Apparently, Bacco thought it would be in the UFP's interests to bring Donatra into the Alliance--why would that change to the point that the UFP would not help out the IRS?
The damage to the Federation was greater than expected--only a few ships returned to exploration--and Donatra's control of the IRS that much more fragile, dependent on her continued control of military forces loyal to her and the sustained consent of the populations included in her regime, even as the Star Empire was reclaiming its legitimacy ("Look, the homeworld has a Senate again!").

I'm just saying--she was not an idiot. I find it very hard to believe she would basically give herself up so quickly.
Well, she did. Rough Beasts of Empire explains Donatra's decision in terms of her desire to minimize the amount of harm to the Romulan people--in both states--of Tal'Aura's praetorship.

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
The UFP's been that way since its founding. And yet 31 survived for over 200 years.
Because it was low-key, yes, not because it was popular or its methods would be acceptable.

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
As Kirk noted, the section is very vauge, referring to non-specific discretionary power over non-specific matters.
But would those methods be approved of? It's worth noting that every Starfleet officer who came into contact with Section 31 we know of, apart from people like Admiral Ross who joined it, tried to take it apart. Are Federation civilians going to be any more forgiving?
Well, those methods are what happens when you leave a clause like that vague. Frankly, being knowledgeable of history, one wonders why that clause was left so vague in the first place.[/QUOTE]

Indeed. Proof that Section 31 is exploiting this vagueness to do bad things--trying to commit genocide against the Founders, say--in contravention to basic Federation laws and ideals is not going to serve its cause well.

Is there any evidence that people in the Federation want a Tal Shiar or an Obsidian Order running amok?
rfmcdpei is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 16 2011, 01:46 AM   #431
Supreme Dittodrone
Vice Admiral
 
Supreme Dittodrone's Avatar
 
Location: Rush Limborg is regenerating on The EIB Network
Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
rfmcdpei wrote: View Post

But you do remember the followup in DC Comics in the early 1990s, when it turned out that Kirk's intervention ended up destabilizing the relationship and killing nearly everyone in the system?
I don't...but to be honest, the comics have a lot of things that conflict with TrekLit, so I wouldn't really consult them unless the events therein are referred to in said books.
The point is that the sort of willing brinksmanship that Kirk engaged in, however it may have ended well in the short term, ran longer-term risks of precipitating disaster thanks to his particular lack of care and scruples. How much more so Section 31, especially when acting beyond Federation borders against the interests of less scrupulous powers?
I see. On that same note, Peter David's short story in the "Dominion War" anthology establishes that Sisko's actions in "In The Pale Moonlight" eventually led to another war with the Federation.

Yes, there are consequences to actions--many of them immense. That does not mean that those actions were not the best ones to engage in at the time.

Can you unpack your definition of how it's different?
I don't understand....

The damage to the Federation was greater than expected--only a few ships returned to exploration--and Donatra's control of the IRS that much more fragile, dependent on her continued control of military forces loyal to her and the sustained consent of the populations included in her regime, even as the Star Empire was reclaiming its legitimacy ("Look, the homeworld has a Senate again!").
So...she gave up, rather than take action to reform her own state? Somehow, that doesn't strike me as like the Donatra we know.

Well, she did. Rough Beasts of Empire explains Donatra's decision in terms of her desire to minimize the amount of harm to the Romulan people--in both states--of Tal'Aura's praetorship.
All I'm saying is that I find it so hard to believe that her stated motives were legit. Perhaps I'm being "paranoid" (I would say: rationally suspicious)...but I can't help but wonder if there was something else going on--something that would bring her to that point of rock-bottom desperation.

Because it was low-key, yes, not because it was popular or its methods would be acceptable.
Oh, I know--not acceptable by the general populace. However...apparently, a sufficent portion of the Amiralty (including Cartwright) found it all acceptable--and their support supplied a sanction to their activities.

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
As Kirk noted, the section is very vauge, referring to non-specific discretionary power over non-specific matters.
But would those methods be approved of? It's worth noting that every Starfleet officer who came into contact with Section 31 we know of, apart from people like Admiral Ross who joined it, tried to take it apart. Are Federation civilians going to be any more forgiving?
Well, those methods are what happens when you leave a clause like that vague. Frankly, being knowledgeable of history, one wonders why that clause was left so vague in the first place.
Indeed. Proof that Section 31 is exploiting this vagueness to do bad things--trying to commit genocide against the Founders, say--in contravention to basic Federation laws and ideals is not going to serve its cause well.

Is there any evidence that people in the Federation want a Tal Shiar or an Obsidian Order running amok?
Not really. But that argument rests on the assumption that 31 neccessarily wants the people's approval.

Sci wrote: View Post
Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
There is no evidence of any sort of system for accountability for its agents, and Section 31: Rogue by Andy Mangels & Michael A. Martin made it very clear that Corwin was going to get away scott-free. Which you would know if you read that novel.

Rush, read the damn book.
Sci, unfortunately, not all of us have total access to all information at all times.
Which is fine, but there comes a point where you're asking so many questions about the book that you really ought to just read it first.

Picard did not report the existence of Section 31, nor the story of Corwin being hoodwinked. He was going to, but he was persuaded not to. If you want to know why, you'll need to read the book.
The problem, though, is that such facts are frankly important to this argument. Namely: Picards reasons for allowing himself to be persuaded not to. Was it for the same reasons Vaughn gave Bashir? Was he convinced that perhaps, for now, the UFP needed people like those in 31?

That is utterly irrelevant. The point of "try not to behave like an asshole" was to acknowledge that the Federation can be susceptible to political corruption and that such corruption can lead the Federation to engage in actions its neighbors might find provokative, not to make a statement about levels of political corruption or provocation. It's wonderful that this time, they were able to avert a war, but that doesn't mean that such an aversion would be possible the next time we see a Min Zife in the Presidential Office (if there is a next time). Thus, the Federation has to try not to be an asshole.
That term is, to be frank, entirely subjective, Sci. One person's "a--hole" is another person's "man of blunt honesty and unyealding integrety, willing to speak the truth to power". As I have repeatedly stated, Tezrene certainly has no qualms about being, as far as the UFP is concerned, an a--hole. In Federation Space, I refer you to the Tellarites and the Zaldans. Among the Federation's allies, quite a few Kilingons are that way.

No matter how accomodating you are, Sci--if you are uncompromising about some part of what you hold to be the truth--someone, for valid reasons or not, is going to take that and use it as "proof" that you're an a--hole.

Not perhaps. You do. And that's what I and others object to -- not talking about possibilities, but using the language of inevitability to talk about worst-case scenarios. When you do that, you're just creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.
When the issue at hand is the fate of billions of lives...I'm not going to take chances, in order to give others the benefit of the doubt.

The issue is that it's important to not think of the worst-case scenario as inevitable, because that just leads to one behaving like an asshole.
Again, one man's a--hole is another man's realist.

It was already in the novel that this thread is about, so I don't know why you wouldn't have already had that answer.
To be perfectly honest, I was drawn into this thread before it came out, to anticipate how the events in the novel would turn out, for purposes of research.

After it did come out, I was drawn back into this thread because of the debates herein--many of which are off topic.

As you have probably ascertained, Section 31 is not exactly On Topic as far as this book is concerned.

How on Earth can you reasonably argue that the decision to assassinate a President does not make them hopelessly corrupt? How can an organization that engages in presidential assassinations not be hopelessly corrupt? In what strange land do you live that murdering a president is not a sign of hopeless corruption?
A world where there are no easy answers--there may be simple answers--but not easy answers.

In The West Wing, you may recall President Bartlett ordered the assasination of a foreign leader. It was not hopelessly corrupt--it was necessary, and he understood that. He hated it, but he understood it.

Coup d'etats--and assasinations thereof--have happened in real life throughout history--many times because the leaders currently in power were hopelessly corrupt. It was the idealists who engaged in such assasinations.

Taking an extreme example...were the Valkerie conspirators who attempted to assasinate Hitler "hopelessly corrupt"? He was legitimately elected chancellor of Germany. The power he had gained was given to him--he had decieved Germany, yes, but he did not simply take absolute power by force. It was given to him.

Nice to hear it, Michael Corleone. Meanwhile, the real world disagrees with you.
Oh, I sincerely doubt that. However, I will accept that you and I have two different worldviews which refuse any grounds for common ground of perspective.

Indeed, I see no reason to think that he didn't give out of his own sense of generosity, and see no evidence to think it was part of cultivating a respectable air. Generosity and greed can live side-by-side in the same heart, and there's no reason to think that a man can't have a genuine desire to give to charity and try to make the world a better place even as he steals billions from innocent people.
In that case? One might as well say that his rationale for stealing was that he was genuinely sacrificing the well-being of the few for the good of the many!

Frankly, Sci...the depth of his crime doesn't allow me to give him such a benefit of the doubt. I'm not that generous.

People are not simple. People are complex. Decency and corruption can live side-by-side in the same heart. The issue is not whether or not they can live side-by-side; the issue is which side outweighs the other.
Some things can be reconciled, some things cannot. In the case of Madoff, if he was truly giving out of altruistic motives--assuming, of course, his motives for stealing were not somehow altruistic, I'd suspect he was schizophrenic.

In the case of 31, legitimate altruistic desires cause me to take a good look at whether they have a legitimate right to exist.

No, it wouldn't. Nothing that exposes their existence to the public helps them at all. The best they can hope to do is try to mitigate the damage such knowledge would give them.

The point was that your scenario of the history of Section 31 is so improbable as to be effectively nil, because it is inevitable that if Section 31 had been "taken down" in the past, the knowledge of its existence would have been exposed to the public. That Bashir had never heard of Section 31 before "Inquisition" thus indicates that it's highly improbable that it would have ever been "taken down" in the past.
I was just allowing for the possibility. I'll accept your reasoning on that for now.

You mean like what happened when the Church Committee exposed the CIA's various crimes?

If the United States today is morally advanced enough to expose its dirty secrets, I don't for a second think the Federation has regressed to the point where it will cover up its corrupt elements' crimes as a matter of routine.
I'm not entirely convinced that such actions of exposure are "morally advanced". What of all the claims that news of what occured at Abu Grahib and Guantanamo Bay would encourage recruitment of Terrorism, and damage relations with the Muslim world?

I did not say it has no chain of command, I said it has no system for accountability. In other words, there's no evidence that it has a court-martial system.
If it has a chain of command how does it follow that the consequences of such a chain--such as punisment of subordinates for innapropriate behavior--do not exist?

Oh, please. Behr is engaging in creative speculation, in kibbitzing, not describing in detail his creative intent for Section 31. It's a mistake to take kibbitzing and take that to be indicative of the intention for the final product.
Read the entire paragraph. It states that Behr was referring to "the origins of Section 31". The entire passage establishes that it grew out of Sisko's line in "The Maquis, Part II". And considering how Paula M. Block was one of the authors...I sincerely doubt she'd jump to such a conclusion without legitimate grounds.

For the same reason they have prisons: Because human beings are morally flawed creatures who lust for power, and some put that lust for power above decency.
Prisons are there to combat and compensate for corruption in society.

Yes, I am. I'm also familiar with the fact that Machiavelli's point was to describe how a dictator might secure the obedience of a population, not to describe how a society that believes in liberty and justice ought to behave.

And I'm also aware that you should not conflate securing a government's power with national security.
Jean Jacques Roussau would disagree with you--he was of the opinion that reading between the lines of The Prince unveils the same love of liberty apparent in The Discourses.

While I doubt I would agree with Rousseau on much, I'd say he was on to something here. Note, for example, Maciavelli's advice for how to rule a formally free society--either destroy everything and everyone in there (which is self-defeating), or go live there (which is absurd).

There is also his advice for rulers to not infringe upon their subjects' right to keep and bear arms, to not confiscate their property, etc. In short, to let them keep their freedom, and to concentrate on the actual duties of government.
__________________
"I have been wounded but not yet slain. I shall lie here and bleed awhile. Then I shall rise and fight again."

"Forget it, Jake...it's Chinatown."
Supreme Dittodrone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 16 2011, 02:40 AM   #432
Sci
Admiral
 
Sci's Avatar
 
Location: "We hold these truths to be self-evident..."
Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
Which is fine, but there comes a point where you're asking so many questions about the book that you really ought to just read it first.

Picard did not report the existence of Section 31, nor the story of Corwin being hoodwinked. He was going to, but he was persuaded not to. If you want to know why, you'll need to read the book.
The problem, though, is that such facts are frankly important to this argument.
Then follow the old maxim: It is better not to speak of things you do not understand.

If you don't know what happened in the book, read it before you start drawing upon it to make your arguments.

Namely: Picards reasons for allowing himself to be persuaded not to. Was it for the same reasons Vaughn gave Bashir? Was he convinced that perhaps, for now, the UFP needed people like those in 31?
Read the damn book.

That is utterly irrelevant. The point of "try not to behave like an asshole" was to acknowledge that the Federation can be susceptible to political corruption and that such corruption can lead the Federation to engage in actions its neighbors might find provokative, not to make a statement about levels of political corruption or provocation. It's wonderful that this time, they were able to avert a war, but that doesn't mean that such an aversion would be possible the next time we see a Min Zife in the Presidential Office (if there is a next time). Thus, the Federation has to try not to be an asshole.
That term is, to be frank, entirely subjective, Sci. One person's "a--hole" is another person's "man of blunt honesty and unyealding integrety, willing to speak the truth to power". As I have repeatedly stated, Tezrene certainly has no qualms about being, as far as the UFP is concerned, an a--hole. In Federation Space, I refer you to the Tellarites and the Zaldans. Among the Federation's allies, quite a few Kilingons are that way.

No matter how accomodating you are, Sci--if you are uncompromising about some part of what you hold to be the truth--someone, for valid reasons or not, is going to take that and use it as "proof" that you're an a--hole.
Yes, and now we're going in circles. That was my point. You asked what the Federation could do to stop the Typhon Pact powers from resenting it, and I said that the problem is unsolvable. All the Federation can do is manage it, is mitigate the possibility of hostility by trying not to be assholes.

In other words, there are no guarantees. All you can do is do your best. That's been my point this entire time, before you diverged from the point with a useless digression into the question of whether or not the Federation is susceptible to the sort of political corruption that can increase hostility from foreign states (which it can be) by arguing about the use of the word "try."

Not perhaps. You do. And that's what I and others object to -- not talking about possibilities, but using the language of inevitability to talk about worst-case scenarios. When you do that, you're just creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.
When the issue at hand is the fate of billions of lives...I'm not going to take chances, in order to give others the benefit of the doubt.
The problem with that logic is that there are no guarantees. You're always taking chances, no matter what choices you make. The relevant issue is not "certainty," the relevant issue is which policy choice is least likely to cause a war.

How on Earth can you reasonably argue that the decision to assassinate a President does not make them hopelessly corrupt? How can an organization that engages in presidential assassinations not be hopelessly corrupt? In what strange land do you live that murdering a president is not a sign of hopeless corruption?
A world where there are no easy answers--there may be simple answers--but not easy answers.
The real world often has neither easy nor simple answers.

In The West Wing, you may recall President Bartlett ordered the assasination of a foreign leader. It was not hopelessly corrupt--it was necessary, and he understood that. He hated it, but he understood it.
Which is an entirely different issue, because that relates to the conduct of foreign relations, not an assassination of your own president.

Coup d'etats--and assasinations thereof--have happened in real life throughout history--many times because the leaders currently in power were hopelessly corrupt. It was the idealists who engaged in such assasinations.

Taking an extreme example...were the Valkerie conspirators who attempted to assasinate Hitler "hopelessly corrupt"?
I'm sorry, but that's an absurd comparison, because the government of the Third Reich had no democratic legitimacy. Such an assassination would have been an act of revolution, not an act of treason or insurrection.

He was legitimately elected chancellor of Germany. The power he had gained was given to him--he had decieved Germany, yes, but he did not simply take absolute power by force. It was given to him.
You are severely mis-stating the facts of the Nazi consolidation of power.

Hitler was elected Imperial Chancellor, yes -- but when the Imperial President died, he illegally and unconstitutionally assumed the position of head of state (declaring himself "Fuhrer and Reichschancellor"). To say nothing of the Enabling Act and the Reichstag Fire Act, which were patently violations of the Weimar Republic's Constitution.

He used the power of the chancellorship to then seize further power by force.

Rush Limborg wrote:
Furthermore, I'd hardly think dealing with corruption "permanently" makes one hopelessly corrupt.
Nice to hear it, Michael Corleone. Meanwhile, the real world disagrees with you.
Oh, I sincerely doubt that.
And you're wrong to doubt it. Murdering someone for corruption is just as corrupt as whatever the crime you're murdering for was.

People are not simple. People are complex. Decency and corruption can live side-by-side in the same heart. The issue is not whether or not they can live side-by-side; the issue is which side outweighs the other.
Some things can be reconciled, some things cannot. In the case of Madoff, if he was truly giving out of altruistic motives--assuming, of course, his motives for stealing were not somehow altruistic, I'd suspect he was schizophrenic.
You're assuming that a person's psyche is logically consistent and rational. It's not. Everybody has motivations that are logically in conflict with one-another and are mutually exclusive, and anyone who tells you they don't is either lying to you or lying to himself.

There's no need to invoke schizophrenia when basic humanity will suffice for an explanation. Darkness and light both dwell within our hearts, and neither one destroys the other.

You mean like what happened when the Church Committee exposed the CIA's various crimes?

If the United States today is morally advanced enough to expose its dirty secrets, I don't for a second think the Federation has regressed to the point where it will cover up its corrupt elements' crimes as a matter of routine.
I'm not entirely convinced that such actions of exposure are "morally advanced". What of all the claims that news of what occured at Abu Grahib and Guantanamo Bay would encourage recruitment of Terrorism, and damage relations with the Muslim world?
What of it?

That's a bit like saying that confessing your crimes is not morally more advanced than keeping your crimes a secret because it might lead to you being convicted of violating the law.

When agents of the state commit crimes, other agents of the state have a moral and legal obligation to expose their crimes and to impose due process of the law upon the criminal agents, in order to preserve basic morality and the rule of law and in order to help try to prevent future crimes from being committed.

Exposing the abuses of Abu Graib or Guantanemo was not what damaged relations with the Muslim world or encouraged terrorism. The abuses themselves were what damaged relations and encouraged terrorism, and the only way to stop and prevent such abuses is to expose them.

If it has a chain of command how does it follow that the consequences of such a chain--such as punisment of subordinates for innapropriate behavior--do not exist?
By their not being formally organized, obviously. They have a hierarchy where they'll take orders, but there's no evidence they have a process by which they apprehend their members and try them for crimes. The Mafia has a hierarchy, but that doesn't mean it has a real system for internal accountability (beyond "we'll take you out to the woods and shoot you if you rat us out," anyway).

Rush Limborg wrote:
This all begs for the question, Sci: Why do even good societies have such dark sides?
For the same reason they have prisons: Because human beings are morally flawed creatures who lust for power, and some put that lust for power above decency.
Prisons are there to combat and compensate for corruption in society.
Which is besides the point. Kindly stop trying to create irrelevant tangents.

The point is that the existence of a prison, like the existence of a society's dark side, is a consequence of the fact that human beings are morally flawed creatures who lust for power, and that some put that lust for power above decency.

There is also his advice for rulers to not infringe upon their subjects' right to keep and bear arms, to not confiscate their property, etc. In short, to let them keep their freedom, and to concentrate on the actual duties of government.
No, his point there is to give them just enough freedom that they won't rebel, not to give them real freedom. It's the equivalent of advising someone to give a prisoner just enough food that he won't starve, not of giving someone enough food that they're healthy.
__________________
"Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic Socialism, as I understand it." - George Orwell, 1946
Sci is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 16 2011, 07:53 AM   #433
rfmcdpei
Captain
 
rfmcdpei's Avatar
 
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
View rfmcdpei's Twitter Profile
Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
I don't...but to be honest, the comics have a lot of things that conflict with TrekLit, so I wouldn't really consult them unless the events therein are referred to in said books.
The point is that the sort of willing brinksmanship that Kirk engaged in, however it may have ended well in the short term, ran longer-term risks of precipitating disaster thanks to his particular lack of care and scruples. How much more so Section 31, especially when acting beyond Federation borders against the interests of less scrupulous powers?
I see. On that same note, Peter David's short story in the "Dominion War" anthology establishes that Sisko's actions in "In The Pale Moonlight" eventually led to another war with the Federation.

Yes, there are consequences to actions--many of them immense. That does not mean that those actions were not the best ones to engage in at the time.
But that isn't an argument in defense of Section 31's chosen methods, and not only because Sisko's initiative took place outside of Section 31. It's arguably a point in my favour: policies undertaken by individuals and bureaucracies firmly under central control and supervision are more legitimate, and arguably less likely to go haywire, than policies enacted by people who exist outside of any control.


Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
So...she gave up, rather than take action to reform her own state? Somehow, that doesn't strike me as like the Donatra we know.

All I'm saying is that I find it so hard to believe that her stated motives were legit. Perhaps I'm being "paranoid" (I would say: rationally suspicious)...but I can't help but wonder if there was something else going on--something that would bring her to that point of rock-bottom desperation.
Her thinking processes as described in Rough Beasts of Empire seem sufficiently complete as to need no other explanation, but, hmm. What do you suggest?

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Oh, I know--not acceptable by the general populace. However...apparently, a sufficent portion of the Amiralty (including Cartwright) found it all acceptable--and their support supplied a sanction to their activities.
A sanction that Federation citizens knew about?

One key thing in this discussion is that Starfleet, Leyton's abortive conspiracy aside, is an agency branch of the Federation government subordinate to the civilian branch, i.e. the democratic institutions under the control of the Federation citizenry. The willingness of some people in Starfleet--only some people, note--to let Section 31 do its business exists in the context of the Federation citizenry's ignorance of Section 31's existence and its activities. What happens when Federation citizens do learn of this?

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Not really. But that argument rests on the assumption that 31 neccessarily wants the people's approval.
It does: Once its existence is revealed to the general population of the Federation, as we know happens, Section 31's future chances for survival depend on popular attitudes, on the willingness of Federation citizens to let it grow back.

Will Section 31 find "ways" to deal with all the people--journalists, Federation councillors, photobloggers who find remarkable things, ordinary concerned people, et cetera--who will not be at all happy with the revival of the agency they despised for its violations of basic Federation principles and see as a real threat to their freedoms and their good name?

Earlier in this thread, you suggested that the prominence of ex-KGB people in 2011 era Russia constituted a data point in favour of your thesis of the likelihood of Section 31's revival to its former point. It doesn't: 2011 Russia is so different from 1981's RSFSR that the difference is funny. The position that the post-KGB agency does have, however, depends entirely on the willingness of many Russians--and the implicit consent of most--to accept that the former Soviet police-state bureaucracy wasn't irredeemable, and that its alumni shouldn't be hindered in their careers.

Is the Federation's citizenry so little attached to democratic values?

[QUOTE=Rush Limborg;4813113]
rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
I'm aware of that. Frankly, it's roughly akin to Sloan's point in the end of "Inquistion", concerning Bashir lying in order to get into Starfleet Medical.

Can you unpack your definition of how it's different?
I don't understand....
Of how it's the same, sorry.
rfmcdpei is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 16 2011, 12:06 PM   #434
Sci
Admiral
 
Sci's Avatar
 
Location: "We hold these truths to be self-evident..."
Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
Earlier in this thread, you suggested that the prominence of ex-KGB people in 2011 era Russia constituted a data point in favour of your thesis of the likelihood of Section 31's revival to its former point. It doesn't: 2011 Russia is so different from 1981's RSFSR that the difference is funny. The position that the post-KGB agency does have, however, depends entirely on the willingness of many Russians--and the implicit consent of most--to accept that the former Soviet police-state bureaucracy wasn't irredeemable, and that its alumni shouldn't be hindered in their careers.

Is the Federation's citizenry so little attached to democratic values?
Exactly. The Russian Federation today is not a real democracy. It's a police state -- in some ways, it's now worse than the Soviet Union, because at least during the Soviet era, the Politburo was a check on the power of the KGB. Today, the KGB -- now known as the FSB -- is in charge of the entire government, has essentially become the state, rather than being a particularly heinous apparatus thereof.

Don't believe me? If you speak out in Russia against Putin, people will have a habit of turning up at your door and murdering you. When the police show up, they'll have a habit of shrugging and going, "Oh, wait, you want us to find the murderers and prosecute them? What? Oh, I suppose I could try. *yawns* There, I tried. Too hard."

Russia is not an example of what the Federation should ever want to be like.
__________________
"Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic Socialism, as I understand it." - George Orwell, 1946
Sci is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 16 2011, 06:38 PM   #435
rfmcdpei
Captain
 
rfmcdpei's Avatar
 
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
View rfmcdpei's Twitter Profile
Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Sci wrote: View Post
rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
Earlier in this thread, you suggested that the prominence of ex-KGB people in 2011 era Russia constituted a data point in favour of your thesis of the likelihood of Section 31's revival to its former point. It doesn't: 2011 Russia is so different from 1981's RSFSR that the difference is funny. The position that the post-KGB agency does have, however, depends entirely on the willingness of many Russians--and the implicit consent of most--to accept that the former Soviet police-state bureaucracy wasn't irredeemable, and that its alumni shouldn't be hindered in their careers.

Is the Federation's citizenry so little attached to democratic values?
Exactly. The Russian Federation today is not a real democracy. It's a police state -- in some ways, it's now worse than the Soviet Union, because at least during the Soviet era, the Politburo was a check on the power of the KGB. Today, the KGB -- now known as the FSB -- is in charge of the entire government, has essentially become the state, rather than being a particularly heinous apparatus thereof.
Although at the same time, it's important to note that Russia has become rather more diverse. Russia is reasonably globalized, having joined as many of the different political and economic clubs as it wants to, shifting away from Communist economic structures towards something much more capitalist if still too dependent on natural resource rents, and it has a Westernized pop culture. The many fundamental discontinuities between Soviet and post-Soviet Russia remain. difference is that this is all delivered within the post-KGB framework.

This system works only because Russians accept it. Opposition to the current regime is pretty trivial, since most Russians appreciate the stability and prosperity of the past decade (not necessarily linked to the Putin/Medvedev era, but that's a separate subject). If Russians didn't accept it, well, there've been revolutions recently.
rfmcdpei is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
ds9relaunch, reviewpoll_v1, typhon pact

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 01:49 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.