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Old February 24 2013, 12:57 AM   #1
The Overlord
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When did Cardassia become a military dictatorship?

When did Cardassia become a military dictatorship? Picard mentioned that the Cardassians were a peaceful and spiritual people before the military took over in Chain of Command.

The Cardassian Union was supposedly formed in the 19th century, so I assumed that is when Cardassia became a military dictatorship, however it was mentioned in the episode "Destiny" that Cardassia had a form of government known as the First Republic in the late 21st century, suggesting a democracy.

http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Card...First_Republic
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Old February 24 2013, 01:07 AM   #2
Pavonis
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Re: When did Cardassia become a military dictatorship?

It would seem that your assumption that Central Command's foundation coincides with the establishment of a military dictatorship is faulty. The Central Command may have been founded as the operating authority for the Cardassian military, but that doesn't mean they didn't have a republic during that time. The military dictatorship may have been a development that happened in the 23rd or even 24th century.
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Old February 24 2013, 01:23 AM   #3
The Overlord
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Re: When did Cardassia become a military dictatorship?

Pavonis wrote: View Post
It would seem that your assumption that Central Command's foundation coincides with the establishment of a military dictatorship is faulty. The Central Command may have been founded as the operating authority for the Cardassian military, but that doesn't mean they didn't have a republic during that time. The military dictatorship may have been a development that happened in the 23rd or even 24th century.
It seemed like Cardassia had started the process of annexation of Bajor in the early 24th century, so it seems that the military dictatorship would have been in place before the 24th century.
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Old February 24 2013, 01:47 AM   #4
Pavonis
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Re: When did Cardassia become a military dictatorship?

Sure, maybe it was in place in the 23rd century. Or just in 2301. Who knows?

Nevertheless, the assumption that the foundation of the Central Command coincided exactly with the establishment of a military dictatorship ruling Cardassia is apparently a bad one. The Central Command was founded in the 19th century; a republic, in name if not in fact, existed in the 21st century. So unless the military was running a republic, it seems that Central Command didn't spring into existence ruling the Cardassian people.
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Old February 24 2013, 02:03 AM   #5
The Wormhole
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Re: When did Cardassia become a military dictatorship?

It is implied that military autonomy has been the norm on Cardassia since the 20th century. I'm paraphrasing here:

Dukat: "In theory, both we and the Obsidian Order answer to the Detapa Council, but in practice we both operate independantly."
Sisko: "That doesn't sound very efficient."
Dukat: "It's worked for four hundred years."
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Old February 24 2013, 02:19 AM   #6
Pavonis
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Re: When did Cardassia become a military dictatorship?

That Central Command and the Obsidian Order operated independently for four centuries doesn't mean they were dominant over the Detapa Council the entire time.
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Old February 24 2013, 02:37 AM   #7
Anwar
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Re: When did Cardassia become a military dictatorship?

Gul Madred more or less stated that the Military came to power during his lifetime. Assuming he was the same age as his actor, David Warner, who was about 50 at the time, this would suggest that it happened about 40 years in the past.
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Old February 24 2013, 02:44 AM   #8
The Wormhole
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Re: When did Cardassia become a military dictatorship?

Pavonis wrote: View Post
That Central Command and the Obsidian Order operated independently for four centuries doesn't mean they were dominant over the Detapa Council the entire time.
But it does imply the Detapa Coucil had no real control over them.
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Old February 24 2013, 03:04 AM   #9
Pavonis
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Re: When did Cardassia become a military dictatorship?

Yes, that's what independent means. But it was de facto independence, not de jure. The Detapa Council theoretically had the power to control the military, but didn't, either through lack of will to do so, or because they lacked the effective means.

At any rate, the fact that all three entities were independent doesn't preclude the existence of a republic, (especially since it is clear that a republic did exist) and in fact Gul Madred's dialogue does support the idea that the military dominance of Cardassia's government is a relatively recent development that stemmed almost directly from their need for resources and apparent lack of them at home. Of course, without any control over the military, it's no wonder Central Command took over in the end, especially since they satisfied Cardassian society's needs while they were in power....
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Old February 24 2013, 03:08 AM   #10
Shawnster
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Re: When did Cardassia become a military dictatorship?

Anwar wrote: View Post
Gul Madred more or less stated that the Military came to power during his lifetime. Assuming he was the same age as his actor, David Warner, who was about 50 at the time, this would suggest that it happened about 40 years in the past.
According to Memory Alpha, the Occupation of Bajor by Cardassia ran from 2319 to 2369. That is 50 years. Cardassia maintained a military presence 10 years prior to this. Cardassia was militaristic and hostile, annexing star systems by force years before establishing a military presence on Bajor.
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Old February 24 2013, 03:10 AM   #11
Pavonis
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Re: When did Cardassia become a military dictatorship?

We won't be able to establish when Central Command took over completely, only that they were definitely in power in the 24th century.
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Old February 24 2013, 03:15 AM   #12
The Overlord
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Re: When did Cardassia become a military dictatorship?

Anwar wrote: View Post
Gul Madred more or less stated that the Military came to power during his lifetime. Assuming he was the same age as his actor, David Warner, who was about 50 at the time, this would suggest that it happened about 40 years in the past.
That doesn't really match up with the timeline, it seems like Cardassia was controlled by the military dictatorship when they annexed Bajor, a process that began in 2318. It seems unlikely that when Cardassia was "peaceful and spiritual" they would not start annexing world with the purpose of stealing their resources.

I think Madred was talking about the accomplishments in a historical sense, those reforms and programs the military regime instituted could have been either recent or historical.

Also it is possible, even likely, that despite the military regime's efforts, there is still a lot of poverty in Cardassia and Madred grew up as a poor youth after the military took power.
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Old February 24 2013, 08:22 AM   #13
Anwar
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Re: When did Cardassia become a military dictatorship?

Shawnster wrote: View Post
Anwar wrote: View Post
Gul Madred more or less stated that the Military came to power during his lifetime. Assuming he was the same age as his actor, David Warner, who was about 50 at the time, this would suggest that it happened about 40 years in the past.
According to Memory Alpha, the Occupation of Bajor by Cardassia ran from 2319 to 2369. That is 50 years. Cardassia maintained a military presence 10 years prior to this. Cardassia was militaristic and hostile, annexing star systems by force years before establishing a military presence on Bajor.
Simply having a military presence on another world doesn't mean you're a Military Dictatorship. The time the annexation formally happened was probably around the same time the Military took over Cardassia, given how close Bajor and Cardassia are.

So the military takeover was 50 years ago, and probably there was resistance to this on Cardassia which explain Madred's impoverishment as a youth until when he joined the Military (around when they truly consolidated their power over Cardassia and stamped out most resistance).
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Old February 24 2013, 09:33 AM   #14
Timo
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Re: When did Cardassia become a military dictatorship?

Gul Madred more or less stated that the Military came to power during his lifetime.
What Madred really says is that the Military made life better for him. Perhaps that was only for him personally? That is, perhaps Cardassia has wallowed in misery for the past thousand years, but the Military at least cares for its own, and things would be much worse if the likes of Madred could not enlist and raise their standard of living that way.

Assuming he was the same age as his actor, David Warner, who was about 50 at the time, this would suggest that it happened about 40 years in the past.
But we have examples of Cardassian males who look much younger than their human-equivalent years: Dukat for one hasn't changed a bit between those days depicted in "Wrongs Darker" and those of the main episodes. Madred might well be 120 years old in "Chain of Command" by that standard.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old February 24 2013, 09:36 AM   #15
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Re: When did Cardassia become a military dictatorship?

Not sure how long ago it was, but I believe it happened when Cardassia's natural resources became more and more depleted and they started striping other worlds, like Bajor.
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