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Old July 24 2009, 09:23 PM   #136
rahullak
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Re: The Typhon Pact

Boy am I asking a lot of questions....

What would be the unique cultural and traditional belief systems or way of thinking/basis of thinking that Pact members have? (apart from RSE, which we all know)

For eg. we know generally humans are "always seeking peaceful co-existence, with minimal conflict and explore and seek to improve themselves", the Klingon's base their existence on a "culture of battles and conquest", Ferengi on a culture of "business, profit and enterprise", Cardassians...well...I don't quite know...victory at all costs? Of course there are a lot of individual or situational exceptions to the "rule", but we can understand these exceptions better once we understand the "rules" themselves. (eg. Nog holding his Starfleet ideals over Ferengi ones most times, Romulans allying with UFP, Klingons in the Dominion war, Klingons allying with the UFP so they can focus on their battles on other fronts etc.)

We can also understand relations between peoples and how this evolves once we understand these "rules" (in general, Klingons detest the Ferengi cowardice, Ferengi detest or cannot understand why the UFP doesn't run on profit-making enterprise, Romulans detest everyone because of their inherent belief in their superiority over the galaxy etc.)

I expect this would be gradually answered in the coming books, but do we already know something?
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Old July 24 2009, 09:49 PM   #137
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Re: The Typhon Pact

rahullak wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
Or maybe the current leaders' decision to join the Pact could spark a backlash from the opposition and endanger the survival of the sitting regime.
With a little instigatory help from Starfleet Intelligence or Section 31.
I doubt Starfleet Intelligence would do something that obnoxiously imperialistic, because it violates the Prime Directive. Also because it's just stupid. History shows that when America has attempted to bring about "regime change" coercively, it's just created bad blood and made things worse in the long run. I can certainly see Section 31 doing such a thing, because they're totally twisted.

Besides, why would Starfleet want to do such a thing? A government that's willing to participate in the Typhon Pact is a government that's willing to give interstellar cooperation and diplomacy a try. The opposition party in such a case would be the xenophobes or the militants, and those aren't the kind of people Starfleet would want in power. That would be as stupid and self-defeating as the CIA overthrowing populist reformers and backing brutal dictators because they believed it served America's Cold-War interests. It was policies like those which led to the rise of Fidel Castro, al-Qaeda, the current Iranian regime, and the like, ultimately working against America's interests.

That's why the Prime Directive is a good idea. Because it's arrogant and foolish to think you have the right to make other cultures' political decisions for them, and it generally turns out badly.


rahullak wrote: View Post
What would be the unique cultural and traditional belief systems or way of thinking/basis of thinking that Pact members have? (apart from RSE, which we all know)

For eg. we know generally humans are "always seeking peaceful co-existence, with minimal conflict and explore and seek to improve themselves", the Klingon's base their existence on a "culture of battles and conquest", Ferengi on a culture of "business, profit and enterprise", Cardassians...well...I don't quite know...victory at all costs? Of course there are a lot of individual or situational exceptions to the "rule", but we can understand these exceptions better once we understand the "rules" themselves. (eg. Nog holding his Starfleet ideals over Ferengi ones most times, Romulans allying with UFP, Klingons in the Dominion war, Klingons allying with the UFP so they can focus on their battles on other fronts etc.)

We can also understand relations between peoples and how this evolves once we understand these "rules" (in general, Klingons detest the Ferengi cowardice, Ferengi detest or cannot understand why the UFP doesn't run on profit-making enterprise, Romulans detest everyone because of their inherent belief in their superiority over the galaxy etc.)
I don't think such generalizations are useful. Again, those "rules" just represent the attitudes of the currently dominant cultural or political group. Wait a century, or even a generation, and they could be completely changed. Sometimes it doesn't even take that long. Compare how Bush's America looked to the rest of the world to how Obama's America looks to the rest of the world and it's like we've become the complete opposite of what we were.

On TV, it's useful to simplify alien cultures as storytelling shorthand, but I'd hope that the novelists won't reduce the Typhon Pact members to broad stereotypes.
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Old July 24 2009, 10:20 PM   #138
St. William Of Levittown
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Re: The Typhon Pact

I don't think such generalizations are useful. Again, those "rules" just represent the attitudes of the currently dominant cultural or political group. Wait a century, or even a generation, and they could be completely changed. Sometimes it doesn't even take that long. Compare how Bush's America looked to the rest of the world to how Obama's America looks to the rest of the world and it's like we've become the complete opposite of what we were.
And of course, Chris, as the events a nation lives through pass into history, one's perspective of them tends to change. As Sisko explained to Jake, it's a lot easier to judge how "right" or "wrong" a particular major decision is when it's seen through the perspective of history...than to judge it's morality (or lack therof) as it happens....

How the world looks at our actions as we conduct them now...won't neccessarily reflect how historians look at said actions 100 years from now.
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Old July 24 2009, 10:50 PM   #139
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Re: The Typhon Pact

^@Christopher
The "instigatory" comment was just me proceeding from one assumption that certain sections of SI might view the Pact as a direct and imminent threat to the Federation. Of course it might not be the case that the Pact is a threat, in which case it would be foolish to cause incidents that might result in more conflict.


As for the belief systems of Typhon Pact members, no one is suggesting that they be reduced to stereotypes or generalizations. It simply helps to understand a character's actions by knowing all of the motivations behind their actions (why Ferengi do what they do, why hewmans do what they do, why Klingons behave that way), apart from the necessities of the situations that the characters find themselves in and their individual wants and needs. Of course it varies from individual to individual even within the same culture, but that's what gives us insights into different interpretations of the same culture. Personally, I find it more interesting when a character is forced to go against his/her beliefs or revise his/her beliefs in a unique situation. But to understand the depth of the character's conflict, it is necessary to know what value systems s/he believes in and also what the other characters in the situation believe in.

I simply want to know what systems or "code of conduct" that different TP members follow, what their motivations are as individuals (not just as political entities), what they value (simple examples: is it profit and business, is it dominance, is it freedom, or is it something else entirely new, some complex combination of values?) currently.

Can these belief systems change over time? Of course they can. Change can't be disputed.

Just as we have depictions of the physical attributes of a race, is it too much to ask for depictions of the current cultural complex attitudes of a race (that no doubt has individual differences that vary over time, just as physical attributes have individual differences that vary over time)? Naturally, such depictions would be interwoven into the story or spread across multiple stories so as to make it more interesting and evolutionary (unlike physical descriptions that tend to be provided all at once...Tzenkethi seem to be an exception).
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Old July 24 2009, 10:51 PM   #140
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Re: The Typhon Pact

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
I don't think such generalizations are useful. Again, those "rules" just represent the attitudes of the currently dominant cultural or political group. Wait a century, or even a generation, and they could be completely changed. Sometimes it doesn't even take that long. Compare how Bush's America looked to the rest of the world to how Obama's America looks to the rest of the world and it's like we've become the complete opposite of what we were.
And of course, Chris, as the events a nation lives through pass into history, one's perspective of them tends to change. As Sisko explained to Jake, it's a lot easier to judge how "right" or "wrong" a particular major decision is when it's seen through the perspective of history...than to judge it's morality (or lack therof) as it happens....

How the world looks at our actions as we conduct them now...won't neccessarily reflect how historians look at said actions 100 years from now.
True.

But, there again, it's also important to remember that the view that might become dominant after an event takes place is not always an accurate view; how we interpret history often is determined by which point of view serves the generally-accepted ideologies of the present.

But, also, it's important to bear in mind that something that seemed right to one faction can have seemed wrong to another faction, and then can later turn out quite definitively to have been wrong -- proving the opposition faction to have had better judgment all along, and obligating the previously dominant faction to admit that its judgment was inaccurate (and sometimes even based on delusional value systems).

Like someone said: History is the process by which a culture interprets the meaning of its past.
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Old July 24 2009, 10:54 PM   #141
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Re: The Typhon Pact

For the record, the novel The Lost Era: The Sundered by Michael A. Martin & Andy Mangels, and the ongoing Vanguard series provide a lot of insight into Tholian culture, history, and beliefs -- including an excellent explanation for why they are often so hostile to non-Tholians.

In addition to DS9's excellent coverage, the Terok Nor trilogy and A Stitch in Time both give a lot of insight into Cardassian culture. The Gorn Crisis gave us some insight into the Gorn as well.

As for the Talarians, Tzenkethi, Kinshaya, and more of the Gorn? Well, that's presumably what the new Typhon Pact novels will be all about!
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Old July 25 2009, 04:20 AM   #142
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Re: The Typhon Pact

rahullak wrote: View Post
^@Christopher
The "instigatory" comment was just me proceeding from one assumption that certain sections of SI might view the Pact as a direct and imminent threat to the Federation. Of course it might not be the case that the Pact is a threat, in which case it would be foolish to cause incidents that might result in more conflict.
It would be even more foolish to cause incidents if they are a threat, because it's just going to make them hate and fear you even more than they do already. History shows that trying to force or manipulate other countries into bowing to your will generally creates more problems than it solves.
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Old July 25 2009, 05:31 AM   #143
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Re: The Typhon Pact

^
Even in the event of a war? When I say "direct and imminent threat" I'm talking about war being declared or border skirmishes that keep escalating. So if the Pact is a "direct and imminent threat", supporting the opposition in a Pact member that favors peace with the UFP is a good idea for SI.
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Old July 25 2009, 05:35 AM   #144
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Re: The Typhon Pact

rahullak wrote: View Post
if the Pact is a "direct and imminent threat", supporting the opposition in a Pact member that favors peace with the UFP is a good idea for SI.
I don't think so. It would give credence to the Pact's list of reasons why people should hate the Federation, and we don't want that.

Although...
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Old July 25 2009, 05:42 AM   #145
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Re: The Typhon Pact

^
And you think that would overshadow the border skirmishes or the direct conflict they would be engaged in? During war, they don't need a "list of reasons" to rationalize their actions, although I'll admit they would try to use it for whatever propaganda.
In the end, it comes down to the UFP wanting to save lives by ending the conflict as quickly as possible, whether by diplomatic means or failing which by other means such as supporting movements in the Pact that favor peace.
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Old July 25 2009, 04:16 PM   #146
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Re: The Typhon Pact

rahullak wrote: View Post
^
And you think that would overshadow the border skirmishes or the direct conflict they would be engaged in? During war, they don't need a "list of reasons" to rationalize their actions, although I'll admit they would try to use it for whatever propaganda.
In the end, it comes down to the UFP wanting to save lives by ending the conflict as quickly as possible, whether by diplomatic means or failing which by other means such as supporting movements in the Pact that favor peace.
Your assuming that there is going to be a full scale war. They could just go the cold war route.
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Old July 25 2009, 04:47 PM   #147
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Re: The Typhon Pact

rahullak wrote: View Post
^
Even in the event of a war? When I say "direct and imminent threat" I'm talking about war being declared or border skirmishes that keep escalating. So if the Pact is a "direct and imminent threat", supporting the opposition in a Pact member that favors peace with the UFP is a good idea for SI.
It sounds like you're looking for excuses to rationalize immoral acts. It's always easy enough to convince yourself that "the ends justify the means," but it rarely turns out well in the long run. Better to devote your energies to finding ways to do the right thing rather than looking for rationalizations for doing wrong.

Supporting a party that wants peace is all well and good. Employing dirty tricks and black-ops operations to force events to go the way you want is not "supporting" anything but your own selfish interests and arrogant desire for control. And in so doing, you undermine the legitimacy of any peace party. If their people find out that they only came to power because your spies helped overthrow their opposition (and such secrets never stay secret for long), then they will lose their people's trust and be worthless as an ally. If you really want to support a peaceful opposition, then you need to do it in a way that's aboveboard and respects the sovereign rights of their own people. You need to let them make the choice for themselves, or it will never stick. It would be stupid to employ such tactics to stave off a war in the short term only to guarantee another war later on.
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Old July 25 2009, 06:40 PM   #148
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Re: The Typhon Pact

True.

But, there again, it's also important to remember that the view that might become dominant after an event takes place is not always an accurate view; how we interpret history often is determined by which point of view serves the generally-accepted ideologies of the present.

But, also, it's important to bear in mind that something that seemed right to one faction can have seemed wrong to another faction, and then can later turn out quite definitively to have been wrong -- proving the opposition faction to have had better judgment all along, and obligating the previously dominant faction to admit that its judgment was inaccurate (and sometimes even based on delusional value systems).

Like someone said: History is the process by which a culture interprets the meaning of its past.
Ah...hence, the old adage that "history is written by the winners"...and many times, re-written as the winners change over time....

For example, Sargon II of ancient Assyria attacked Jerusalem--and failed. He worded his account like so: "I made King Hezekiah a prisoner in his own city!"

Of course, Hezekiah actually won, Israel survived--and history records Jerusalem as being a "free zone" during this time....


Supporting a party that wants peace is all well and good. Employing dirty tricks and black-ops operations to force events to go the way you want is not "supporting" anything but your own selfish interests and arrogant desire for control. And in so doing, you undermine the legitimacy of any peace party. If their people find out that they only came to power because your spies helped overthrow their opposition (and such secrets never stay secret for long), then they will lose their people's trust and be worthless as an ally. If you really want to support a peaceful opposition, then you need to do it in a way that's aboveboard and respects the sovereign rights of their own people. You need to let them make the choice for themselves, or it will never stick. It would be stupid to employ such tactics to stave off a war in the short term only to guarantee another war later on.
So then, it is better to openly declare support for a freedom movement--and then support and supply said movement--again, openly, thus avoiding all the problems associated with "dirty tricks".
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Old July 25 2009, 06:48 PM   #149
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Re: The Typhon Pact

Hartzilla2007 wrote: View Post
rahullak wrote: View Post
^
And you think that would overshadow the border skirmishes or the direct conflict they would be engaged in? During war, they don't need a "list of reasons" to rationalize their actions, although I'll admit they would try to use it for whatever propaganda.
In the end, it comes down to the UFP wanting to save lives by ending the conflict as quickly as possible, whether by diplomatic means or failing which by other means such as supporting movements in the Pact that favor peace.
Your assuming that there is going to be a full scale war. They could just go the cold war route.
That's practically a given. And I'm guessing there'll be a lot of staring-down and "missile drills" (or more appropriately, torpedo drills), cloak-n-dagger move-and-countermove (SI, yes...but also a lil' Section 31 thrown in for good measure. ), that sorta thing.
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Old July 25 2009, 07:16 PM   #150
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Re: The Typhon Pact

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Supporting a party that wants peace is all well and good. Employing dirty tricks and black-ops operations to force events to go the way you want is not "supporting" anything but your own selfish interests and arrogant desire for control. And in so doing, you undermine the legitimacy of any peace party. If their people find out that they only came to power because your spies helped overthrow their opposition (and such secrets never stay secret for long), then they will lose their people's trust and be worthless as an ally. If you really want to support a peaceful opposition, then you need to do it in a way that's aboveboard and respects the sovereign rights of their own people. You need to let them make the choice for themselves, or it will never stick. It would be stupid to employ such tactics to stave off a war in the short term only to guarantee another war later on.
So then, it is better to openly declare support for a freedom movement--and then support and supply said movement--again, openly, thus avoiding all the problems associated with "dirty tricks".
Although it is also important to note that openly supporting that faction may well undermine that faction's ability to achieve popular support for its goals. For instance, about the worst thing the U.S. could have done for Mir-Hossein Mousavi's faction in Iran after the recent fraudulent electoral victory of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would be to openly support Mousavi; the average Iranian would have taken it to mean that Mousavi is an American stooge and would have supported Ahmadinejad in retaliation. And, as we've established, covert support is unacceptable.

As such, a desire to help a given foreign faction can sometimes obligate a state to do nothing for that faction -- because doing something would only make things worse.
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