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Old January 10 2013, 10:26 PM   #1
JirinPanthosa
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Speed of Ferengi cultural change: Believable?

One of my biggest issues with the way they ended DS9 is the way they left the Ferengi homeworld.

I would have totally believed if Quark went to Ferenginar 100 years in the future and saw a world where women are equal, the unemployed get welfare, monopolies are illegal, and all that other good stuff.

But over the course of one year? Really? Profit and Lace showed a law change that made it so women can earn profit, okay. Jumping from that to it being fully accepted in Ferengi culture almost immediately is a huge stretch.

And then, making Rom Nagus? Yeah, it was 'feel-good' ending. But I imagine the Ferengi stock market tanked completely about two days after that. Progressive reforms are awesome but if you try to apply them without really planning them through there's going to be a ton of unintended side effects. Part of implementing progressive reforms is having the maturity to know where to stop them, and there is a difference between what feels like the morally right thing to do and what is the effective thing to do.
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Old January 10 2013, 10:35 PM   #2
Ho Ho Homeier
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Re: Speed of Ferengi cultural change: Believable?

That's why Rom has Leeta to advise him.

Based on what we saw in "The Nagus", as soon as Rom was appointed, it's likely assassins were being quietly hired.
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Old January 10 2013, 11:01 PM   #3
R. Star
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Re: Speed of Ferengi cultural change: Believable?

In the books Quark has to stop Brunt from overthrowing Rom if that helps any. Heck, Quark almost joined the coup himself in that one until he realized Brunt was in charge of it.
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Old January 10 2013, 11:37 PM   #4
Timelord Victorious
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Re: Speed of Ferengi cultural change: Believable?

In Star Trek Online most Ferengi still hold on to their "capitalistic" ideals, just in a more private and personal way.
AFAIK Rom is still NAGUS and successfully completes his reforms because getting all those clothed women into the economy actually improved overall profits considerably for everyone.
For everyone having the lobes anyway.
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Old January 11 2013, 01:55 PM   #5
royalfan5
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Re: Speed of Ferengi cultural change: Believable?

Now I'm only 8 episodes deep into DS9 Season 2, but from what I've seen so far that the Ferengi have a pretty wide pragmatic streak, that would allow them to change pretty fast if they could see that something was in it for them.
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Old January 11 2013, 03:14 PM   #6
lvsxy808
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Re: Speed of Ferengi cultural change: Believable?

Bear in mind that just because the law was officially changed doesn't mean the entire populace agree with it and everything is suddenly egalitarian and hunky-dory.

I mean, America has a black president now, but it doesn't mean there are no racists in the US.

The legal change has gone through quickly, yes. And women are no doubt quick to take advantage of it, expanding their businesses rapidly and catching the men off guard. Some men might well have secretly harboured pro-female feelings all along and were happy to receive the change in the law. Other men might be convinced, as you say, by sheer practicality - now every house has two wage earners instead of just one, why complain about that? But there will no doubt be plenty of men, perhaps even a majority, who are very unhappy about it. They may go along with it for the most part on fear of legal reprisals, but muttering and fighting it all the way. Basically, Quark is one of the latter.

.
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Old January 11 2013, 08:33 PM   #7
DS9forever
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Re: Speed of Ferengi cultural change: Believable?

I would say once Ferengi realised how much money they could make, more and more accepted the changes.
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Old January 12 2013, 12:57 PM   #8
Timo
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Re: Speed of Ferengi cultural change: Believable?

Exactly. Changing the society would not be that big a deal: if there's profit to be had in conservatism, fine, but if radicalism increases sales, it can be the new fashion. As long as it lasts.

The Ferengi society may in fact undergo major social changes fairly often, about as often as "X becomes the new black" here on Earth... They just don't amount to actually changing the way Ferenginar is ruled and run.

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Old January 12 2013, 05:35 PM   #9
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Re: Speed of Ferengi cultural change: Believable?

lvsxy808 wrote: View Post
I mean, America has a black president now, but it doesn't mean there are no racists in the US.
This is not the correct example. At present, racists are a minority in USA.
A correct example would be:
How do you think USA would react to laws legalizing black slavery now, laws antithetical to what most americans believe?

Most ferengi, by DS9 season 7, believed in treating women as second hand citizens and oppressing their employees.
Laws granting women equal status and employees rights would be met similarly to laws legalizing black slavery in today's USA.

As for change in ferengi values:
How long did it take for the majority of USA's population to reject racism? How many centuries?

So yes, the ferengi happy ending from DS9 is not believable.
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Old January 12 2013, 09:36 PM   #10
Rķu rķu, chķu
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Re: Speed of Ferengi cultural change: Believable?

DS9forever wrote: View Post
I would say once Ferengi realised how much money they could make, more and more accepted the changes.
Quite.

The Ferengi follow the orders given them by the Nagus. If that Nagus is obviously incompetent, he can be removed from office by the FCA (or assassinated). But Rom is not incompetent. Idealistic to a fault, yes. But he knows what he's doing.
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Old January 12 2013, 11:53 PM   #11
TheRoyalFamily
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Re: Speed of Ferengi cultural change: Believable?

Quark was able to convince one of the most influential Ferengi of the advantages of females with money and clothes in less than five minutes. Sure, there was...something else influencing Mr. Slug-O, but he still sided with Zek even after...all that. I don't think most Ferengi would need much more convincing.
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Old January 13 2013, 07:47 AM   #12
Edit_XYZ
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Re: Speed of Ferengi cultural change: Believable?

TheRoyalFamily wrote: View Post
Quark was able to convince one of the most influential Ferengi of the advantages of females with money and clothes in less than five minutes. Sure, there was...something else influencing Mr. Slug-O, but he still sided with Zek even after...all that. I don't think most Ferengi would need much more convincing.
You forgot to mention how this ferengi was the ONLY ONE of the Nagus's numerous connections who would even listen to the argument.
How the majority of ferengi were literally becoming sick to their stomach when hearing such ideas.
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Old January 13 2013, 06:49 PM   #13
Rķu rķu, chķu
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Re: Speed of Ferengi cultural change: Believable?

^ If Mr. Slug-O-Cola can come around, then they will too, eventually.

More people making profit, equals more profit. It's that simple.
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Old January 13 2013, 07:31 PM   #14
Edit_XYZ
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Re: Speed of Ferengi cultural change: Believable?

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
^ If Mr. Slug-O-Cola can come around, then they will too, eventually.
As said:
How long did it take for the majority of USA's population to reject racism? How many centuries?
1 year is supposed to be believable? Ridiculous.


BTW, 1 year is not even close to enough for 'profit' to materialize from women gaining rights:
-in order to buy (creating profit for ferengi business men), one must have money; in order to gain money, one must have a job; in order to have a job, one must have skills useful on the work market - skills which the vast majority of ferengi women lacked.

Again - USA is a good example:
Did the freedom of afro-americans translate into more profit for the former slavers?
And the afro-americans did have useful skills (in agriculture, primarily).
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Last edited by Edit_XYZ; January 13 2013 at 07:47 PM.
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Old January 13 2013, 10:53 PM   #15
Ensign_Redshirt
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Re: Speed of Ferengi cultural change: Believable?

Deep down, Ferengi are opportunistic cowards. They're gonna swallow it and make the best of it.
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