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Old February 19 2013, 03:40 AM   #136
Pavonis
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Re: Section 31...

Sci wrote: View Post
Pavonis wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
"Fanwank" is, however, a good way to describe the idea that all Founders are the same individual and that there are no innocent civilian Founders...
"The ocean becomes a drop. The drop becomes the ocean."

Isn't that pretty much the way the Female Founder described her/its/their relationship with the Great Link? Do you really suppose the Founders have the exact same concept of individuality as Solids do?
Considering that plenty of real-life cultures have very different conceptions of individuality and group identity than modern America? Of course not. But it remains a canonical fact that there are separate Founder individuals -- however differently they conceive of their relationship to others -- and that not all Founders are involved with running the Dominion.
And which Founders weren't involved in running the Dominion? Odo and Laas? The other 98 changelings wandering through the galaxy? Maybe my memory is foggy, having only finished a rewatch of all of DS9 back in January, but I don't recall any changelings that weren't Founders and I definitely don't recall seeing any children amongst the Founders.

Starfleet was very clearly perceiving the Dominion as a threat by early 2371 -- that's why the Defiant was stationed at DS9. That Starfleet Command did not decide to engage in genocide does not mean that it didn't take the Dominion seriously as a threat and that only Section 31 had the foresight to see the war coming. Everyone knew the war was coming by DS9 Season Four.

You are presenting a ridiculous and false premise -- that only if you are prepared to engage in pre-emptive genocide are you seeing a threat. This is absurd.
Whoa. I'm not presenting anything. I'm just putting together the facts as presented in the canon. The bioweapon that Section 31 infected the Founders with did not spring out of thin air. Some lead time was required to develop it before it was deployed. Unless you want to argue that Section 31 is able to develop tailored viruses to recently-encountered species nigh overnight.
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Old February 19 2013, 08:26 AM   #137
Sci
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Re: Section 31...

Pavonis wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
Pavonis wrote: View Post

"The ocean becomes a drop. The drop becomes the ocean."

Isn't that pretty much the way the Female Founder described her/its/their relationship with the Great Link? Do you really suppose the Founders have the exact same concept of individuality as Solids do?
Considering that plenty of real-life cultures have very different conceptions of individuality and group identity than modern America? Of course not. But it remains a canonical fact that there are separate Founder individuals -- however differently they conceive of their relationship to others -- and that not all Founders are involved with running the Dominion.
And which Founders weren't involved in running the Dominion?
Don't know. Doesn't matter. We know, canonically, that some weren't -- that's all it takes to establish the existence of innocent civilians within the link.

Starfleet was very clearly perceiving the Dominion as a threat by early 2371 -- that's why the Defiant was stationed at DS9. That Starfleet Command did not decide to engage in genocide does not mean that it didn't take the Dominion seriously as a threat and that only Section 31 had the foresight to see the war coming. Everyone knew the war was coming by DS9 Season Four.

You are presenting a ridiculous and false premise -- that only if you are prepared to engage in pre-emptive genocide are you seeing a threat. This is absurd.
Whoa. I'm not presenting anything.
You said, and I quote, "Clearly someone in the Section 31 leadership, if such a thing exists, saw a potential threat years ahead of anyone else in the UFP..."

This statement only makes sense if you define preparing for pre-emptive genocide as "seeing a potential threat" and define all of Starfleet's numerous preparations for conventional conflict undertaken between 2371 and 2373 as "not seeing a potential threat."
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Old February 19 2013, 04:09 PM   #138
Pavonis
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Re: Section 31...

Very well. I'll amend my original "claim" to say that "Clearly someone in the Section 31 leadership, if such a thing exists, saw a potential threat at the same time as the rest of Starfleet and the Federation political leadership, and while trusting the UFP to seek a diplomatic solution to the potential threat, and trusting to Starfleet to competently defend the UFP, sought a weapon with which to attack the Dominion leadership. This search for a weapon resulted in the development and deployment of the morphogenic virus." Does that suffice to soothe you? Are your hackles no longer raised? Will you get off your high horse and stop seeing me as some pro-genocidal supporter (even if it is only fiction)?

And please cite the episode, at the very least, that supports your claim that "some" Founders weren't involved in running the Dominion. I really don't recall any dialogue supporting that idea.
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Old February 19 2013, 08:59 PM   #139
Sci
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Re: Section 31...

Pavonis wrote: View Post
Very well. I'll amend my original "claim" to say that "Clearly someone in the Section 31 leadership, if such a thing exists, saw a potential threat at the same time as the rest of Starfleet and the Federation political leadership, and while trusting the UFP to seek a diplomatic solution to the potential threat, and trusting to Starfleet to competently defend the UFP, sought a weapon with which to attack the Dominion leadership. This search for a weapon resulted in the development and deployment of the morphogenic virus."
Now your statement is factually accurate.

And please cite the episode, at the very least, that supports your claim that "some" Founders weren't involved in running the Dominion.
"The Search, Parts I & II," wherein we learned of the existence of Founder infants who don't know about the Dominion -- or about anything. You know, like infants tend not to.
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Old February 19 2013, 09:43 PM   #140
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Re: Section 31...

You know having thought about it some more if the Founders had all died and Dukat or hell even Damar was still running Cardassia at the time the Federation and its allies might have been screwed.

I mean there was only one Founder shown running things in the Alpha Quadrant and many of the Jem'Hadar and Vorta might not have even seen any Founders before let alone this one, so whats to stop an ambitious Cardassian like Dukat from coming along and convincing Weyoun to keep the Founders deaths quiet?

I mean Damar was able to convince Weyoun to try to kill Odo who is considered a Founder so getting him to keep the rest of the Vorta and Jem'Hadar in the dark about their god's death wouldn't be to much of a stretch.

Now imagine if the Cardassians use this leadership void and the blackmail opportunity they would now have to get more power with the Dominion to the point of controlling it. There goes any hope of a Cardassian rebellion. And what if the Breen still ally with the Dominion?

I really can't help but think the federation got lucky with the virus situation, it could have easily blown up in their faces, and the at this shows that Section 31 is too reckless to be trusted especially since theirs is nobody to check them.
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Old February 19 2013, 10:32 PM   #141
Pavonis
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Re: Section 31...

Sci wrote: View Post
"The Search, Parts I & II," wherein we learned of the existence of Founder infants who don't know about the Dominion -- or about anything. You know, like infants tend not to.
The only reference to infant changelings in those episodes are to the one hundred that were sent off to "explore" the galaxy. There is no other reference to infant changelings.

And seeing as those specifically referenced in "The Search" were part of the special one hundred, we know they weren't with the Founders at all. So naturally they weren't involved with the running of the Dominion. They were also naturally beyond the reach of the Section 31 morphogenic virus and beyond the reach of the war in general.

If I understand you correctly, it was wrong to attack the Founders because they had sent out one hundred infant changelings decades ago? You're assuming that infant changelings exist in the Great Link on a regular basis, but I think that's a baseless assumption, because they're not humanoids, and don't necessarily have a distribution of "young" and "old", "leaders" and "followers". The idea that there would be "innocents" among the Founders is baseless, something you came up with out of thin air.

The Great Link is more like the Borg collective - there are lots of individuals, sure, but how do you separate them from the greater mass? Would the Federation be wrong to defend itself against the Borg because the drones are, individually, innocent of attacking them?

Should Section 31 have deployed the virus? No. Should the war have happened at all? No, clearly the whole thing was one act of aggression based on fear after another. However, since it was used, and since Section 31 did possess a cure, it did end up providing leverage for the Federation Alliance, and there's no evidence that any Founders died from it. Hard to be too broken up about the use of a weapon that ended a war when that "weapon" wasn't even as lethal as a photon torpedo.
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Old February 20 2013, 01:48 AM   #142
Sci
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Re: Section 31...

Pavonis wrote: View Post
You're assuming that infant changelings exist in the Great Link on a regular basis, but I think that's a baseless assumption, because they're not humanoids, and don't necessarily have a distribution of "young" and "old", "leaders" and "followers".
The idea that they only reproduce at special times in limited amounts, or the idea that newborn Founders are instantly as mentally developed and morally responsible as any adult, is itself fanwank. There is no evidence for this hypothesis, and unless there is evidence that Founder mental development occurs in such a fundamentally different manner, the rational presumption is that it follows the universal pattern of immaturity and non-responsibility gradually developing into maturity and responsibility.

The idea that there would be "innocents" among the Founders is baseless,
No, the idea that all members of the Great Link bear equal responsibility for the Dominion's crimes is baseless. We have no idea how the internal dynamics of the link -- and until we do, the sane thing is to err on the side of assuming that, as with every other group decision-making process in the galaxy, there are Founder dissidents and Founder apathetics and Founder innocents in addition to Founder elites and Founder decision-makers and opinion leaders.

The Great Link is more like the Borg collective
Not really. The Borg Collective, in spite of its name, is actually comprised of a single artificial intelligence (the Queen) who overwhelms the minds of its drones and changes their neurological structures to its will -- in essence, linking its drones in a group mind only after it has inflicted a form of mind control upon the drone, suppressing the victim's original thought patterns and will.

There is no such evidence that the Founders inflict similar mind control upon one-another.

Would the Federation be wrong to defend itself against the Borg because the drones are, individually, innocent of attacking them?
No -- but the Federation would be wrong to engage in an act of genocide against every single Borg drone. The drones, after all, are as much the victims of the Collective as anyone else; they deserve liberation, not death. That's kind of the point of "I, Borg."
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Old February 20 2013, 02:08 AM   #143
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Re: Section 31...

Sci wrote: View Post
No -- but the Federation would be wrong to engage in an act of genocide against every single Borg drone. The drones, after all, are as much the victims of the Collective as anyone else; they deserve liberation, not death. That's kind of the point of "I, Borg."
Although, Admiral Nechayev did chew Picard out for not going through with the plan to use Hugh as a wepon, implying that she, at the very least was okay with committing genocide against the Borg.
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Old February 20 2013, 03:49 AM   #144
Pavonis
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Re: Section 31...

Sci wrote: View Post
The idea that they only reproduce at special times in limited amounts, or the idea that newborn Founders are instantly as mentally developed and morally responsible as any adult, is itself fanwank. There is no evidence for this hypothesis, and unless there is evidence that Founder mental development occurs in such a fundamentally different manner, the rational presumption is that it follows the universal pattern of immaturity and non-responsibility gradually developing into maturity and responsibility.
I don't appreciate being accused of spinning fanwank. I'm questioning your assumptions regarding the Founders and their society. We know next to nothing about them. I'm not saying I'm right, I'm saying you're probably not right, either.

No, the idea that all members of the Great Link bear equal responsibility for the Dominion's crimes is baseless. We have no idea how the internal dynamics of the link -- and until we do, the sane thing is to err on the side of assuming that, as with every other group decision-making process in the galaxy, there are Founder dissidents and Founder apathetics and Founder innocents in addition to Founder elites and Founder decision-makers and opinion leaders.
Don't bring "sanity" into this discussion - this is all fictional! What's sane for humans might be insane for non-humans.

There is no such evidence that the Founders inflict similar mind control upon one-another.
I question whether we can consider the Great Link to even have multiple minds. It can sprout multiple independent entities, but does that mean those entities always exist? Might they simply be aspects of one overmind instead?

I ask you to examine your assumptions about aliens that turn into an ocean of goo.
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Old February 20 2013, 04:05 AM   #145
Dale Sams
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Re: Section 31...

and until we do, the sane thing is to err on the side of assuming that, as with every other group decision-making process in the galaxy, there are Founder dissidents and Founder apathetics and Founder innocents in addition to Founder elites and Founder decision-makers and opinion leaders.
psssh. You humans and your ridiculous ethnocentric beliefs.
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Old February 20 2013, 01:18 PM   #146
T'Girl
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Re: Section 31...

Dale Sams wrote: View Post
What's the diff between a virus and a fleet?
The main difference is, the fleet was for the most part was killing the Founder's slaves, the Vorta and the JemHadar.

The virus was aimed at the decision making body of the Dominion.

Sci wrote: View Post
Dale Sams wrote: View Post
But the president at least has to deal with any potential consequences of it.
Exactly!
Given how little we know about the structure of the Federation govenance, the Presidents could conceivable have no worries of "potential consequences" for any of their action. There has never been a Federation President pull out of power and/or punished, or threaten with such, on the show.

And what about other Founder children?
What other Founder children? Seriously Sci, what other children?

How do we know Section 31 has never tried to blackmail or otherwise control or influence the Federation government?
When did we see this on screen? That's how we know.

If they were going to do all these dastardly things [snip] they've had two centuries. Where are the excesses against the Federation as a whole
The question is not, "Are they going to?"
No Sci, that wasn't the question. The question was, where is the evidence that this is in their history or present?

However, could at some point in the future S31 completely change into a different assemblage, with entirely different mission statement? Well, then it wouldn't be the S31 seen in DS9, would it? It would no longer be a secret organization dedicated to the preservation of the Federation by whatever mean they deem necessary.

Even if they use the same name.

So no, the S31 that we see on screen isn't a future threat to the Federation.

Are you seriously going to argue that Founder infants are magically born knowing everything and bearing the same responsibility as moral agents as any adult?
I'm saying that the offspring (if any) is "magically" aware of the knowledge in the link, when they've been fully exposed to it and they at that time are a part of the decision making body that is the link. It's implied that Odo never was joined in the link before being cast into the cosmos.

The idea that the individual 's action could (and should) only be undertaken by a government employee is again insane.
No one has said this.
Actually Sci quite a few people have said this. One of the objection in this thread to S31 is that they are apparently not under the "control and oversight" of the Federation governance. When I posed the hypothetical of S31 being under the Federation's control, you remove your objection to their existence. Even if it were the same people, undertaking the same actions, S31 became somehow legitimate (you continued to object to certain operations).

if it is answerable to the Federation Council, its institutional existence is legitimate. We can therefore trust that its first loyalty is to the Federation and not to itself.
No, in that scenario it's first loyalty would be to the Federation government, but not necessarily to "The Federation." Although it could be both.

There no reason S31 can not be completely loyal to the Federation as a whole, to the very idea of the Federation, without being directly loyal to (or under the control of ) the governing body of the Federation.



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Old February 21 2013, 07:33 AM   #147
Sci
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Re: Section 31...

T'Girl wrote: View Post
The virus was aimed at the decision making body of the Dominion.
I seem to remember DS9 Season Three establishing that most of the day-to-day decisions for how to run the Dominion were left to the Vorta, with the Founders only rarely getting involved. Are we to suppose that all Vorta also deserved death?

Sci wrote: View Post
Dale Sims wrote:
But the president at least has to deal with any potential consequences of it.
Exactly!
Given how little we know about the structure of the Federation govenance, the Presidents could conceivable have no worries of "potential consequences" for any of their action.
"KOR: You of the Federation, you are much like us.
KIRK: We're nothing like you! We're a democratic body." - TOS: "Errand of Mercy"

"RU'AFO: If the Enterprise gets through with news about their brave captain's valiant struggle on behalf of the defenceless Ba'ku, your Federation politicians will waver. Your Federation opinion polls will open a public debate. Your Federation allies will want their say.... Need I go on?" - INS

"SISKO: Overthrowing a legitimately elected President and giving Starfleet direct control over the government?" - DS9: "Paradise Lost"

The canon has very clearly established that the democratically elected Federation government answers to the people of the Federation for its actions.

What other Founder children? Seriously Sci, what other children?
It's an entire species. The idea that they only had kids the once and then they sent them all away is just obtuse. No sentient race could survive with a reproductive strategy like that.

How do we know Section 31 has never tried to blackmail or otherwise control or influence the Federation government?
When did we see this on screen? That's how we know.
No, it is not. The correct answer is: We don't know.

No Sci, that wasn't the question. The question was, where is the evidence that this is in their history or present?
If that's your question, that's a stupid question because it's not relevant. What is relevant is that there has to be a mechanism to counter them in case they do.

So no, the S31 that we see on screen isn't a future threat to the Federation.
Any institution that claims for itself the powers of the state without answering to the legitimately-elected democratic government or to the people is by definition a threat, even if that institution usually spends its time planting daisies.

T'Girl wrote:
Sci wrote:
T'Girl wrote:
The idea that the individual 's action could (and should) only be undertaken by a government employee is again insane.
No one has said this.
Actually Sci quite a few people have said this.
No, no one has said this. Repeating such an absurd assertion is an indication of either a severe lack of reading comprehension or a willingness to lie to advance one's rhetoric.

It's really very simple:

No institution has a right to exist without submitting to the rule of law, and no institution has the right to claim for itself powers which legitimately only belong to the state without being itself answerable to the democratically-elected government and, through that government, to the people.

So if an institution decides it wants to exercise an authority which only the state has a right to exercise -- that is, the right to engage in the national defense -- then it must answer to the democratically-elected government and to the people. It is otherwise exercising a power it has no right to exercise. The use of violence in the national defense is only legitimate in the hands of the state; this is called the state monopoly on the legitimate use of force.

The people, you see, have constituted the state (with its monopoly on the legitimate use of force), and have delegated the rights of the state to the government. An institution that seeks the powers of the state without answering to the government and to the people is therefore violating the monopoly on the legitimate use of force and is therefore a threat to the state and to the people.

This is all a necessary part of what is called liberal democracy. If you don't like it, move to Russia; they don't mind unaccountable death squads there.
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Old February 21 2013, 03:51 PM   #148
Pavonis
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Re: Section 31...

Sci wrote: View Post
It's an entire species. The idea that they only had kids the once and then they sent them all away is just obtuse. No sentient race could survive with a reproductive strategy like that.
The Horta have children only every 50,000 years, after which the entire species, save for one, dies. Is that obtuse, Sci? Are the Horta stupid for reproducing like that? Are the Horta not worthy of preservation because they don't reproduce like humanoids? Should only humanoid species be safe from genocide?

The Founders are no more humanoid than the Horta. The Founders have much longer lifespans than humanoids, maybe even nearly biologically immortal. Certainly they can live for multiple centuries easily. With that kind of lifespan, why should we assume they have offspring on a regular basis like humanoids? Can you imagine a biologically immortal species that insists on reproducing like humans? They'd fill the entire galaxy eventually, faster than you'd think.

It seems to me you assume the Founders are exactly humanoid so that you can be offended by the attempted genocide against them.
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Old February 22 2013, 07:40 PM   #149
stj
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Re: Section 31...

In the course of daily life, the forms and the substance of a bourgeois democratic polity are important. You cannot properly claim to be a genuine democracy if the people cannot claim to exercise the soverignty. In a sense, warfare is the final claim constitutive of sovereignty. Therefore, if the people cannot be said to determine whether Section 31 wages war against the Dominion, the Federation is not a true democracy, whatever characters may say on screen.

The defense of Section 31 hinges on the unsupported, even mostly unacknowledged, "principle" that the world is in fact a constant warfare. Thus, Section 31, like all covert operations branches, must fulfill the needs of this ordained necessity, and notions about democratic control are merely whimpers for a vain illusion.

But, in either case, whether the government is formally certified by the customary forms as representing and executing the will of the people, or whether responsible parties perform their (tragic?) duties, the legitimacy rests upon the assumption that warfare is the natural order.

I say again that is merely reactionary ideology. Warfare is not an inevitability. Indeed, in scientific terms, interstellar empire and warfare are ludicrous. It is merely assumed so as the politically correct thing to believe in a backward society. All aggressive warfare is wrong, as a crime against peace, from which an ocean of evils stem.The show wrote the Dominion as insanely aggressive merely to allow the Federation to be portrayed as fighting a defensive war. However..

Since the Dominion could only attack through the wormhole, it was merely necessary for the Federation to deny them control of the wormhole and any Dominion invasion force would be doomed to failure. Even given the on screen circumstances as portrayed, the genocide was unnecessary, save as a desire to daydream about how "we" need to respond to our current enemies.
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Old February 22 2013, 08:20 PM   #150
Pavonis
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Re: Section 31...

The Dominion's shtick was fear-based aggression. Because the changelings were persecuted in the past, they're motivated to prevent any future persecution by controlling all species that could threaten them. The wormhole merely made their first contact with the Alpha Quadrant powers sooner than expected, but the conflict between the GQ and AQ was almost inevitable. Would the Founders possibly have changed their policies in the next century or two? Probably. But their policy at the time was either to conquer or destroy any threats to the changelings. The Federation was a perceived threat due to its mere existence. Hard to stay peaceful when the other can't stand that you exist.
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