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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > The Next Generation

The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old February 18 2013, 11:11 PM   #16
Pavonis
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Re: Is worf a Federation Citizen

Just to be contrary -

Why would "citizenship" mean the same thing in the 24th century as it does now? And why would it mean anything to Worf? He's a Klingon. As Timo points out, what does "citizen" mean in Klingon society? Either you're a Klingon, or you're not. If you are, you're subject to Klingon laws, regardless of where you live or what some form in some computer says.

The UFP might have a definition of "citizen", but we never heard of it, did we? Citizens of the Federation were pretty much defined by their species. If you're a Vulcan, you're a citizen of the Federation. If you're not a member of a species that was a member society of the UFP, what are you? Can you be a citizen of the UFP? Are there naturalization procedures to follow? We never heard of them. No one was ever identified as a Federation citizen that wasn't obviously a member of the known Federation member societies. Can Worf be a citizen of the UFP? To Klingons, renouncing citizenship could be like pretending you don't have forehead ridges - it's impossible to deny the existence of ridges, and trying to do so would indicate some sort of delusion on the part of the denier.

As for requiring citizenship to hold an office for the UFP, why would that be necessary? I reject the notion that everything about the UFP is descended directly from the US legal structure. Particularly when dealing with the Klingons, who may not have a notion of "citzenship", why would the UFP worry about the citizenship of the ambassador to the Klingons? Perhaps the UFP regularly uses intermediaries in diplomatic relations with the Klingon Empire - we don't know that Curzon Dax, or Trills in general, are UFP members, yet there was no doubt that Dax acted as an ambassador for the UFP to the Klingons.

What of the other large empires of the Alpha Quadrant? Both the Romulans and the Cardassians were known to have subject races - the Remans and the Bajorans. What was the legal status of those species? Were they Romulan and Cardassian citizens (respectively) or just subjugated races with no legal standing in their respective societies?

It's too bad the topic of citizenship didn't come up more often in some of the Trek shows, as it would be an interesting to see how a multispecies interstellar polity would treat the matter.
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Old February 19 2013, 03:26 AM   #17
Sci
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Re: Is worf a Federation Citizen

Pavonis wrote: View Post
The UFP might have a definition of "citizen", but we never heard of it, did we?
We hear about Federation citizenship all the time throughout TNG and DS9, actually.

Can Worf be a citizen of the UFP? To Klingons, renouncing citizenship could be like pretending you don't have forehead ridges - it's impossible to deny the existence of ridges, and trying to do so would indicate some sort of delusion on the part of the denier.
I see no reason to assume the Federation ever required Worf to renounce Klingon citizenship. For that matter, Worf may have legally renounced Klingon citizenship by UFP law, yet have that renunciation go unrecognized by the Empire.

As for requiring citizenship to hold an office for the UFP, why would that be necessary? I reject the notion that everything about the UFP is descended directly from the US legal structure.
Uh, that's pretty much a function of every single country ever. You can't be President of Ireland without holding Irish citizenship. You can't be an MK in Israel without holding Israeli citizenship. You can't be a judge in Canada without holding Canadian citizenship. Etc.

That's not the U.S. That's a basic rule of civilization. You can't hold office in a state without being a citizen of that state.
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Old February 19 2013, 03:46 AM   #18
Pavonis
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Re: Is worf a Federation Citizen

A basic rule of human civilization. Must all Trek aliens be psychologically identical to humans, too? Bad enough they're barely distinguishable from humans; now they must possess the exact same legal structures, too??
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Old February 19 2013, 04:08 AM   #19
Sci
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Re: Is worf a Federation Citizen

Pavonis wrote: View Post
A basic rule of human civilization. Must all Trek aliens be psychologically identical to humans, too? Bad enough they're barely distinguishable from humans; now they must possess the exact same legal structures, too??
I'm sorry, but the concept of citizenship is pretty much an inevitability of any civilization that comes into contact with other civilizations. Any such civilization will need some legal basis to separate "ours" from "theirs" -- especially when individual members of biological species start the inevitable process of crossing borders to live within the territory of one rather than the other. Worf is a prime example; if he's going to help make policy for the Federation, then he needs to be a Federate. He needs to be part of the club, and he needs to hold a status which makes that official. Hence, citizenship.

Concepts like citizenship evolved in real life because of necessity, not because of a cultural idiosyncrasy. Criticizing the application of the idea of citizenship to the interstellar stage of ST is like criticizing evolution as being insufficiently creative because so many creatures evolved bilateral symmetry or eyeballs. It's a function of evolutionary necessity, pure and simple.
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Old February 19 2013, 04:20 AM   #20
Pavonis
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Re: Is worf a Federation Citizen

The aliens of Trek are insufficiently creative, Sci. You know it, too. Neither citizenship nor bilateral symmetry are evolutionary necessities.
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Old February 19 2013, 04:21 AM   #21
Santa Kang
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Re: Is worf a Federation Citizen

BennyRussel wrote: View Post
JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
Are adopted Chinese children citizens of the US?

Worf was adopted by a human family as a small child, I can't imagine by the time he's in his 40's he hasn't been granted Earth citizenship.
I don't think Worf was ever adopted. He was raised by Mr. and Mrs. Rozhenko, but I am sure he referred to them at different times as "Foster Parents" and "Parents"

AFAIK there was no formal adoption, which is why he refers to himself as "Son of Mogh" and not "Son of Sergey"

Nevertheless, to respond to the OP's question, I think Worf is a UFP citizen simply because he chose to be and he agreed to join Starfleet and adhere to their principles and rules of life.

He also retained his Klingon Empire citizen status when he wasn't blackballed.
He refers to them as "mother", "father" and "parents" in Family.
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Old February 19 2013, 05:39 AM   #22
LobsterAfternoon
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Re: Is worf a Federation Citizen

For what it's worth, Ron Moore said in one of his AOL chats that Nog was probably a Federation citizen. Granted, it wasn't on screen, but it's a similar situation to Worf (species that's not a member of the Federation but individual who is serving in Starfleet.
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Old February 19 2013, 08:28 AM   #23
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Re: Is worf a Federation Citizen

Pavonis wrote: View Post
The aliens of Trek are insufficiently creative, Sci.
That may be. But the concept of citizenship is a necessary development when you have neighboring polities whose populaces may cross borders and otherwise intermingle -- which is certainly the case for the Star Trek Universe. You have to have some way to define "ours" and "theirs" when you have separate polities; it's inherent to the definition of a polity.
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Old February 19 2013, 10:05 AM   #24
Timo
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Re: Is worf a Federation Citizen

One would think that different priorities are at work today already. Leadership positions in practical life are given more often to strangers than to one's "own" folks: business leaders virtually never emerge from the ranks of the company they are supposed to lead. That's another human "necessity" at work - bitter jealousy, and a strong faith in grass being greener on the other side (even if all other change is frightening)... Outsourcing of leadership is found to be practical and conductive of harmony and confidence in the leaders. Heck, Peru imported a president recently... And never mind the thousands of leaders who have imported themselves to the throne by force.

In "Wolf in the Fold", Argelians readily outsourced their security to Rigel and other foreign worlds, and nothing hinted at these prominent de facto planetary leaders having to assume Argelian citizenship in order to boss around the locals. It's not a case of distribution of labor within the Federation, either, as neither Argelius nor Rigel II was indicated to be a Federation world. And even if it were, we'd still have a clear example of the people of the future just not caring.

The pair of words "Federation citizen" appears often enough in modern Trek, yes. In most cases, the context is one of seeking legal protection (O'Brien in "Tribunal", Bashir in "Inquisition", John Doe in "Transfigurations"). But the context is also one of getting none, as the interstellar "partners" of the UFP demonstrate no respect for the supposed rights associated with UFP citizenship. Then there's the trope of the rebellious colony: UFP citizenship just doesn't appear to be a popular thing to hold, and rather paradoxically the keenest adherents turn out to be the Maquis, when in need...

Nog was probably a Federation citizen
Not in "Heart of Stone" yet:

Nog: "All right. Where do I sign up?"
Sisko: "It's not that simple. As a non-Federation citizen, you need a letter of reference from a command level officer before you can even take the entrance exam."
Whether you have to get the citizenship before you start serving in Starfleet, we never really learn.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old February 19 2013, 11:32 AM   #25
Ensign_Redshirt
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Re: Is worf a Federation Citizen

Of course Worf was a citizen.

Given that he wasn't a "natural-born citizen" I doubt that he was eligible to run for the presidency though.
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Old February 19 2013, 11:39 AM   #26
Sci
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Re: Is worf a Federation Citizen

Timo wrote: View Post
Heck, Peru imported a president recently...
Are you referring to Alberto Fujimori? He was born in Peru; his parents had emigrated to Peru four years before his birth. He does hold Japanese citizenship through his parents, but he was also born a Peruvian citizen; he wasn't "imported." (Also, he was first elected in 1990; that's hardly "recent.")
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Old February 19 2013, 04:16 PM   #27
Pavonis
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Re: Is worf a Federation Citizen

Sci wrote: View Post
Pavonis wrote: View Post
The aliens of Trek are insufficiently creative, Sci.
That may be. But the concept of citizenship is a necessary development when you have neighboring polities whose populaces may cross borders and otherwise intermingle -- which is certainly the case for the Star Trek Universe. You have to have some way to define "ours" and "theirs" when you have separate polities; it's inherent to the definition of a polity.
I agree, but I suggest the concept of "citizenship" for some alien societies may be no more sophisticated than "same species" or "different species".
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Old February 19 2013, 06:46 PM   #28
indolover
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Re: Is worf a Federation Citizen

Worf had no known living relatives after the attack on Khitomer. So as part of the Rozhenko family, he was a Federation citizen by default. Just as in a US family who adopts a (say) Chinese orphan.
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Old February 19 2013, 06:48 PM   #29
indolover
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Re: Is worf a Federation Citizen

LobsterAfternoon wrote: View Post
For what it's worth, Ron Moore said in one of his AOL chats that Nog was probably a Federation citizen. Granted, it wasn't on screen, but it's a similar situation to Worf (species that's not a member of the Federation but individual who is serving in Starfleet.
Yet Mr. Moore must be aware that in his own show, Sisko patently stated Nog was not a Federation citizen.

Worf must be a naturalised citizen, and being a Federation citizen per se is not required to serve in Starfleet. Even in some countries in real world, citizens can serve in other nation-states' armed forces. As a Commonwealth country, an Australian can serve in the UK armed forces if s/he opted to.
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Old February 19 2013, 06:54 PM   #30
indolover
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Re: Is worf a Federation Citizen

Timo wrote: View Post
...But perhaps only because it's so damn expensive to send assassins all the way into the heart of the UFP?

Seriously speaking, when K'Mpec says "your life in the Federation would not be affected by this judgement", he's apparently simply saying that Worf will be a sentenced criminal but the sentence will not involve any elements that would significantly inconvenience Worf's everyday affairs. It's not as if Worf would have been put to death inside the Klingon Empire, either, had he done what K'Mpec is speaking of and accepted his father's smearing. He'd be the son of a dishonorable traitor, then, and forced to compensate for that if he ever wanted to be somebody himself (the way Klag compensated by denying his father in "A Matter of Honor"), but none of this would affect his UFP Starfleet career.

Timo Saloniemi
Mogh was chosen as the "traitor" since the High Council did not expect Worf to be "Klingon" enough to pose a challenge. They essentially thought the House of Mogh was defunct since they presumed Kurn was the son of Lorgh.

My understanding of Worf accepting discommendation is that it was the best compromise available. K'mpec had no civil war to deal with, Duras wouldn't be dishonoured and his family would be in good standing, and Worf would be out of the way and could still resume his Starfleet career.
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