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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old July 5 2013, 01:26 AM   #1
Trek Sifter
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Omega Glory moment

When Captain Kirk recites the preamble to the Constitution of the United States, and then says that the words were written "not only for the Yangs but the Comms as well...They must apply to everyone, or they mean nothing..."--how do you understand this/take this? (Cultural imperialism [forcing those values onto the Comms]? Or reminding the Yangs that the Comms have rights of their own/stop the antagonism?) (Of course, I assume the context of the time would have something to do with the meaning [but I am missing that, as I wasn't alive yet then].)

(YouTube video of it if you need it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3b56e0u0EgQ )
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Old July 5 2013, 03:29 AM   #2
ZapBrannigan
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Re: Omega Glory moment

"They must apply to everyone, or they mean nothing!" strikes me as a misplaced rhetorical flourish. It sounds exciting and forceful, but it doesn't fit the situation.

First of all, it seems meant to suggest the Declaration of Independence (We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal...), not the Preamble to the Constitution that Kirk just recited.

Second, taking Kirk literally implies that the Yangs now have a moral duty to conquer all Comb territory and annex it under the government defined in the Yang Constitution. And that doesn't sit right as a moral imperative.
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Old July 5 2013, 07:09 AM   #3
Mario de Monti
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Re: Omega Glory moment

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
"They must apply to everyone, or they mean nothing!" strikes me as a misplaced rhetorical flourish. It sounds exciting and forceful, but it doesn't fit the situation.

Second, taking Kirk literally implies that the Yangs now have a moral duty to conquer all Comb territory and annex it under the government defined in the Yang Constitution. And that doesn't sit right as a moral imperative.
You´re right it is a badly written line, for exactly that reason. What Kirk meant to say however, IMHO, is that the rights granted to the Yangs must also be granted to the Comms. That the good, the justice and everything else proclaimed in the cited text should be available to everyone, not just to your own people but also to those wo think differently from you.

Like so often in Star Trek this can again be applied to the real world. And written during the time of the Cold War gave it an extra and very current meaning (and political explosiveness?).

Mario
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Old July 6 2013, 06:17 AM   #4
Trek Sifter
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Re: Omega Glory moment

Yeah, the spirit of the moment felt like Kirk wanted them to end the antagonism/respect them as people with their own rights. I think you both are right about it being a poorly executed, not thought-out scene. It's unfortunate also that the Yangs are left not fully understanding what "one-named-Kirk" means, yet somehow the "holy words" will be obeyed. Well, I guess the episode had to end, so there wasn't really time for Kirk to get into better explanations..!
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Old July 6 2013, 08:48 AM   #5
ZapBrannigan
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Re: Omega Glory moment

Trek Sifter wrote: View Post
Yeah, the spirit of the moment felt like Kirk wanted them to end the antagonism/respect them as people with their own rights. I think you both are right about it being a poorly executed, not thought-out scene. It's unfortunate also that the Yangs are left not fully understanding what "one-named-Kirk" means, yet somehow the "holy words" will be obeyed. Well, I guess the episode had to end, so there wasn't really time for Kirk to get into better explanations..!
And this isn't the first time Kirk has broken some eggs and then left the omelette-making to some stunned natives.
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Old July 9 2013, 04:57 PM   #6
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: Omega Glory moment

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Old July 9 2013, 06:19 PM   #7
T'Girl
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Re: Omega Glory moment

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
Second, taking Kirk literally implies that the Yangs now have a moral duty to conquer all Comb territory ...
I was under the impress that what just happened, that was the final battle. The Yangs had won, there wasn't any Comm territory left on the planet.

Any Comms still alive were now in the Yang's single nation. If that is true, then Kirk's words have even more meaning, he is saying that the former enemy is now one of you (the Yangs) and must be treated like you, and have the same rights.

The Comms were now Yangs.

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Old July 12 2013, 03:48 AM   #8
Praetor Baldric
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Re: Omega Glory moment

Isn't the United Earth of TOS (and by extension the system of government that characterizes the Federation) essentially based on the system of a liberal democracy as one finds with the USA?

I think the message is clearly that the US general style of government (which is shared by many other nations as well) is the most virtuous one.

TOS is strewn with this idea. On a very simple level, compare the governmental systems of the Klingons, Romulans, and any other Meanies from the show and see what they all have in common. They are all totalitarian, authoritarian, and undemocratic. In TUC, the Klingon Empire is estimated to fall in 50 years due to the economic inefficiency of its infrastructure (echoes of the USSR perhaps?).
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Old July 12 2013, 02:33 PM   #9
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Re: Omega Glory moment

KingDaniel,

I so loath that episode, one of only a handful of things I could say that about with Star Trek as a whole.
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