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Old July 21 2013, 03:30 AM   #1
USS Einstein
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What do we know about life inside The Dominion (for it's citizens)?

Recently there have been some good threads on the Klingon Empire and Romulan Star Empire, correctly, for example, pointing out that Romulus appears to be an 'imperial democracy', and thus bears similarities to Ancient Athens, Ancient Rome, and perhaps some modern democracies. Thus we can infer some very interesting things about life for a Romulan citizen; such as the idea that wars may be justified as a matter of self-defence, and not explicitly aggressive in the eyes of it's people. I also believe there is some evidence that the Klingon Empire operated something like the British Empire, and then underwent a fascist-style reformation sometime prior to TOS.

Likewise, what can we infer about the nature of like within the Dominion? Does it resemble any known political entity in Earth's history? How do it's citizen's live? How are new species inducted? What is the political relationship between Vorta, Jem'Hadar, Karemma, etc?



The Dominion is multi-ethnic, containing several species such as the Vorta, Karemma, Dosi, Yaderans, and Jem'Hadar. These races are not equal in status. The Jem'Hadar constitute a military force, somewhat similar to the Cloned Grand Army of the Republic in Star Wars, or Peacekeepers in Farscape. The Vorta served as administrators. The Karemma as traders or businessmen. Other species may have been simple members.

We know that their political system was a dictatorship of some sort, but must have been more complex than simple despotism, as it survived for between 2000 and 8000 years. What institutions and balances kept it functional for so long?
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Old July 21 2013, 04:49 AM   #2
JirinPanthosa
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Re: What do we know about life inside The Dominion (for it's citizens)

Where's this Romulan thread? It seemed pretty obvious in Unification that the people were scared of being disappeared for being disloyal. If they approved of Romulan militarism it's because they're terrified of being seen as not approving it.

It seems like rule in the Dominion follows the simple rule: Don't get too powerful, don't cause trouble, and you never see us. Bother us in any way, Jem'Hadar make you go boom. It's clear in several episodes that there is free commerce within the Dominion, and the Dominion probably encourages things like the Tosk hunt like the Roman colliseum. Social freedoms and economic freedoms, but no political freedoms and constant fear of seeing the Jem'Hadar on your doorstep.
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Old July 21 2013, 04:52 AM   #3
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Re: What do we know about life inside The Dominion (for it's citizens)

The relationship is simple.

The Vorta carry out the will of the Founders.

The Jem'Hadar do what the Vorta command.

If your race doesn't do what the Vorta command, they send in the Jem'Hadar. Then you die.

On a day to day basis, it seems so long as you meet your contribution quotas and don't cause any trouble, you're allowed general autonomy. The Karemma for example had a fleet and trade relations.
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Old July 21 2013, 05:07 AM   #4
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Re: What do we know about life inside The Dominion (for it's citizens)

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
It seems like rule in the Dominion follows the simple rule: Don't get too powerful, don't cause trouble, and you never see us. Bother us in any way, Jem'Hadar make you go boom. It's clear in several episodes that there is free commerce within the Dominion, and the Dominion probably encourages things like the Tosk hunt like the Roman colliseum. Social freedoms and economic freedoms, but no political freedoms and constant fear of seeing the Jem'Hadar on your doorstep.
That sounds about right, from what little evidence we have on the life of Dominion subjects.

The Dominion is probably way too large for them to rule the whole thing with an iron fist, so they let most species go about their own business with little interference, and bring the Jem'Hadar down hard on anyone who causes trouble.

As for how they become Dominion members... it's probably as simple as a delegate of Vorta going to a planet (leaving a huge number of Jem'Hadar in orbit) and politely informing that planet's government that they are in the Dominion now.
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Old July 21 2013, 03:43 PM   #5
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Re: What do we know about life inside The Dominion (for it's citizens)

^I'd agree with the above. Of course one example of a Dominion member race is the Cardassians. And we saw how that turned out. The Dominion seemed to view the Cardassians as little more than what can they do for us. If the Dominion had won the war I would expect that sooner or later the Cardassians would have had their fleet dismantled so that they wouldn't pose a threat to the Dominion.
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Old July 21 2013, 08:41 PM   #6
Anwar
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Re: What do we know about life inside The Dominion (for it's citizens)

I saw them as a "Pay us our tributes and obey our commands, and we'll more or less leave you alone and defend you if anyone attacks".
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Old July 21 2013, 10:26 PM   #7
USS Einstein
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Re: What do we know about life inside The Dominion (for it's citizens)

So they basically operate like the Peacekeepers in Farscape?



Originally a Peacekeeping force, they effectively maintain the rule of the establishment by conducting invasions, lightning raids and punitive attacks, to keep civilized planets in line. Other than that, planets maintain their own governments (nominally). A bit like the Jem'Hadar, although I would say, better done.



Species like the Dosi were seemingly able to continue their cultural practices relatively unmolested, so long as order, the rule of law (as the Founders saw it), and stability were maintained. Memory Alpha claims the Dominion was envisioned as an anti-Federation:
Robert Hewitt Wolfe: "We just felt it was time to give a face to the Gamma Quadrant. Voyager was going to be wandering through the Delta Quadrant from place to place, meeting new people every week, and we wanted to make the Gamma Quadrant distinctly different from that, by creating the Dominion, a sort of unifying anti-Federation in a way, just to give it a completely different character. Instead of like the big mysterious out there, which all the other Star Trek shows had done, and Voyager was going to do, it was a very specific, dangerous, nasty Other, so that part of the motivation."

The Dominion was first mentioned in "Rules of Acquisition", then in "Sanctuary" and next in "Shadowplay", before finally being encountered in "The Jem'Hadar". The initial idea was to make the Dominion a kind of anti-Federation, similar in structure but with very different ideologies. The Dominion was to represent a wide array of alien races, just as does the Federation (as opposed to the mono-species Klingon Empire, Romulan Star Empire, and Cardassian Union), but it was to be fascist-like, ruled by coercion and domination, in contrast to the cooperation and freedom of the Federation. As Robert Hewitt Wolfe explains, "The Dominion was not monolithic, it wasn't just the Romulans or the Cardassians, they were distinct in that they were the Dominion, they were, like the Federation, a collection of different races. But unlike the Federation, they were bound together by fear and extortion, whereas the Federation is bound together by noble thoughts and love and friendship and all that good stuff. So in a lot of ways, they were the mirror image of the Federation."

Initially, the plan was was for numerous different species to be seen on Dominion vessels and involved in various parts of the Dominion's activities, although eventually, only three "main" species were firmly established: the Founders, the Jem'Hadar, and the Vorta, although the Karemma were also a member.
Now that could have been really interesting; if Dominion ships were manned by all sorts of multi-ethnic crew instead of just Jem'Hadar. I think they lost a little bit of that 'anti-Federation' idea along the way, and they became a bit of a bland empire, from a nice concept.

Also, although they call the Romulans and Klingons mono-cultures, in reality, I'm sure their empires contain a great many species - the Romulan Empire, being like Rome, probably has similar diversity, and the Klingon Empire was originally was an 'anti-Federation' itself - but of course, they only allowed ethnic Romulans or Klingons in their militaries.
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Old July 21 2013, 11:12 PM   #8
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Re: What do we know about life inside The Dominion (for it's citizens)

USS Einstein wrote: View Post
I also believe there is some evidence that the Klingon Empire operated something like the British Empire, and then underwent a fascist-style reformation sometime prior to TOS.
Klingons always make me think of Vikings.
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